Willamette Valley News, Tuesday 10/12 – SW Eugene Fire Spreads from Barn to House, Suspect Arrested After Series Of Robberies In Springfield

The latest news stories and stories of interest in the Willamette Valley from the digital home of Southern Oregon, from Wynne Broadcasting’s WillametteValleyMagazine.com

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Willamette Valley Weather

Frost Advisory in effect from October 12, 12:00 AM PDT until October 12, 09:00 AM PDT

Today– A 20 percent chance of rain after 4pm. Snow level 3200 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming light and variable.

Wednesday– A 30 percent chance of showers after 11am. Patchy fog between 8am and 11am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 55. Light west wind.

Thursday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 62. Light and variable wind.

Friday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 65.

Saturday– A slight chance of rain after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 68.

Temperatures fell overnight into the 30s across Western Oregon “bringing us our first night of near-freezing temperatures of the season,” the National Weather Service said.

“There is a Frost Advisory out for all locations lower than 2,000 ft west of the Cascades,” forecasters said. “Take precautions with any crops or plants left over from this last growing season. Clouds will begin to fill in early Tuesday morning with rain on the way in the afternoon.”

SW Eugene Fire Spreads from Barn to House

Officials received reports of a fire on Spencer Hollow Road around 1:15 a.m, according to Eugene Springfield Fire. A caller reported that the fire began in a barn on the property. By 1:30 a.m., the fire had spread to a house.

The fire also spread to nearby trees and power lines.  Four people inside the house were able to escape uninjured. A number of nearby livestock were also uninjured.

According to officials, the fire was extinguished after several hours and crews are monitoring hot spots. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but crews state it started in a sauna and then spread to the barn. They also say the condition of the home, “unlivable.”

Suspect Arrested After Series Of Robberies In Springfield

A series of robberies led to the arrest of one suspect in Springfield over the weekend. According to the Springfield Police, on October 10th around 7:50 pm, Springfield Police Officers were dispatched to a robbery at the Dari Mart located at 1191 Harlow Road.

The suspect description provided by the victim was recognized as similar to that of the suspect in a robbery that occurred the night before at the Dari Mart at 456 Harlow Road.

“While officers were responding, information was obtained that the suspect had robbed an area fast-food restaurant and was reportedly armed with at least a knife,” SPD said in a release. “While officers continued their investigation the suspect was observed entering the Menchies Yogurt Shop at 2820 Gateway Street.”

Officers responded to Menchies where they located the suspect, who was later identified as Joshua Medrano (27 years old). Medrano was given multiple orders to surrender, police report, but he failed to comply with them. Medrano was warned that should he continue to disobey lawful commands a taser may be used against him. When Medrano still refused to follow the officer’s commands a taser was deployed and Medrano was taken into custody.

Once in handcuffs, a loaded semiautomatic pistol with an extended 33 round magazine was found in Medrano’s possession. Medrano was lodged at the Lane County Jail for one count of Robbery in the Second Degree and three counts of Attempt to Commit a Crime – 2.

Fatal Crash on Hwy 126 Near Leaburg

Oregon State Police are investigating a fatal crash on Highway 126 that happened Monday evening. This happened on Holden Creek Road, about a mile west of Leaburg. 

According to Oregon State Police, there were two cars involved in the crash. The highway was shut down and expected to stay that way for several hours.

Oregon reports 2,895 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 20 new deaths

There are 20 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 4,002. The Oregon Health Authority reported 2,895 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 343,993.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (8), Benton (86), Clackamas (212), Clatsop (15), Columbia (57), Coos (43), Crook (10), Curry (13), Deschutes (275), Douglas (62), Gilliam (2), Grant (4), Harney (8), Hood River (30), Jackson (126), Jefferson (50), Josephine (69), Klamath (58), Lake (6), Lane (259), Lincoln (26), Linn (181), Malheur (35), Marion (277), Morrow (13), Multnomah (374), Polk (37), Tillamook (14), Umatilla (94), Union (26), Wallowa (7), Wasco (12), Washington (322), Wheeler (11) and Yamhill (73).

COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon top 4,000 over the weekend

“Today, Oregon has now recorded more than 4,000 deaths,” said Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen. “That’s two short months since we last paused to mark the painful milestone of 3,000 COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon. Our condolences go out to everyone who has lost a loved one, a family member, a friend or a neighbor.

“These two milestones tell the story of how swiftly and severely the Delta variant has moved through our communities.

“This is even more heartbreaking because many of these deaths are preventable. COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout Oregon, and the vaccines are our best protection against serious illness and death from this virus. My message to Oregonians today is simple: The Delta variant has changed everything. Please, get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

4000+ COVID-19 Deaths
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Wildfire season winding down now, however, if you’ve noticed there has been a rash of structure fires now that the weather has cooled down.

October Is Fire Prevention Month in Oregon 

Nationally and in Oregon, firefighters respond each year to structure fires that injure or kill people where the smoke alarm is not functioning or is missing altogether. Residents understanding the sounds their smoke alarms make and what actions they can take to protect themselves can make all the difference. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms make different beeps and chirping noises to let us know that maintenance is needed. Everyone needs to know what each noise means and what actions you should take to keep your alarms in safe working order.  

According to the ten-year data collected from the Oregon Fire Service for the National Fire Reporting System, 250 people have died, and more than 1,400 have been injured in structure fires. In addition, out of the structure fires reported since 2011, over 1,400 incidents reported smoke alarms missing, without adequate power, or disabled. Statistics from the past year show a working smoke alarm in 42% of the structures fires across the state, and 14% of the incidents report no smoke alarm at all. 

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms are good at telling us what they need. We just have to listen.

  • One chirp or beep means there is an issue with the alarm getting power.
  • Recurring beeps or three beeps in a row is the smoke alarm telling you it needs to be replaced.
  • If you noticed your smoke alarm is only activated when you’re cooking or using your shower, it might need to be moved to a better location.
  • If your smoke alarm is beeping continuously, get low, use your family escape route, and call 911 from a safe place outside.

“This year to mark Fire Prevention Month, the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal asks Oregonians to learn the sounds of their alarms,” says State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. “Knowing the different sounds of your smoke alarm and what to do when it makes a certain sound is the key to saving lives; working smoke alarms save lives.”

On Monday, October 3rd, 2021, the OSFM and its fire service partners will be launching a four-week social media campaign #KnowYourBeepingAlarm to illustrate the importance of knowing what your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are saying. Each week takes an in-depth look at the sound and what actions people can take.

The OSFM has also put together a smoke and carbon monoxide installation guide, which is available in six different languages and can be found on OSFM’s website.

For more information on the sounds smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make and proper installation, please visit the OSFM’s website. To get help installing a smoke alarm, contact OSFM at egonsfm@osp.oregon.gov“>oregonsfm@osp.oregon.gov

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Two Women Inmates Walk Away From Work Crew In Salem

Police are searching for two armed women who walked away Monday from a work crew at the Oregon Department of Corrections commissary facility in Salem.

Brandy Woodward and Shelly Radan, who are both incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, walked away around 9:10 a.m. and were last seen on Amber Street Northeast headed toward Dick’s Sporting Goods on Lancaster Drive Northeast, according to a Monday news release from the corrections department.

Jennifer Black, a state corrections spokesperson, said the department’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit has been investigating the walkaway since they left the facility with a boxcutter and a “heavy lock that could be used as a weapon.”

The department said in the news release that the women should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

Woodward, 45 of Long Creek, weighs 145 pounds with blue eyes and blonde hair. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue T-shirt and a sweatshirt all with the word “inmate” stenciled in orange, the news release said.

Woodward pleaded guilty to two counts of delivery of methamphetamine and three counts of possession of methamphetamine over three cases in Grant and Umatilla county circuit courts, according to court records . She has been in custody since April 29 and her earliest release date is Jan. 14, 2024.

Radan, 43 of Otis, weighs 174 pounds with brown hair and eyes. She pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree burglary in Lincoln County Circuit Court, court records showed. She has been in custody since Nov. 3, 2020, and her earliest release date is Sept. 2, 2024. Radan’s previous name was Michael Price Crawford.

The corrections department’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit and the Oregon State Police are investigating the walkaway and asked anyone with information to contact the state police at 1-800-452-7888, their local police department’s non emergency number or the Fugitive Apprehension Unit at 503-569-0734.

ONA Statement on OFNHP’s Kaiser Strike Vote

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) supports our colleagues at the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP) who are fighting for safe staffing and quality patient care at Kaiser Permanente facilities. The results of their strike vote are unprecedented, with 96% voting in favor of staging a strike; a clear and unequivocal message that Kaiser administration must settle on a fair contract and listen to the voices of their frontline healthcare workers. 

In a recent survey, more than 42% of Kaiser’s nurses and other healthcare professionals indicated they are considering leaving the healthcare workforce because of the treatment they have received at Kaiser. These numbers support ONA’s position that Oregon’s healthcare system is facing an existential crisis; one that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic but which was caused by decades of failures by hospital systems like Kaiser.

OFNHP’s members are joined by tens of thousands of other workers who are part of the 21-union Alliance of Health Care Unions, many of which have now authorized strikes as well. Across five states, over 40,000 of the 52,000 workers in the Alliance have local contracts allowing them to strike (38,000 were able to strike as of October 1, with another 2,000 able to strike November 1). 

The primary issue for OFNHP’s members is safe staffing. Again, Oregonians must listen to the concerns of nurses and other healthcare workers who have been saying for years that staffing must be a priority or we will see a worsening of already crisis-level problems across the state.  

OFNHP and ONA are in 100% agreement: health care systems like Kaiser must do more to address safe staffing. This is a crisis they caused and Kaiser’s failure to reach an agreement is putting even more pressure on an already overstressed nursing workforce. 

It is time for Kaiser to put patients before profits and settle a fair contract. 

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents 15,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state. Our mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org. 

Republicans Sue Over New Oregon U.S. House Redistricting Maps

Former Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno and three other Republicans have filed a lawsuit to challenge new congressional districts recently passed by state lawmakers. They say the new maps are partisan gerrymandering, unconstitutional, and contrary to state law.

The suit, filed Monday in Marion County Circuit Court, is the first such attempt to alter the six-district map that Democrats pushed through during a contentious special legislative session last month.

That session nearly ended in a Republican walkout after House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, reneged on a deal to grant the GOP an equal say in new congressional and legislative maps. Instead, Republican lawmakers showed up on the last possible day and allowed Democrats to pass a map that could lead to Democratic control of five of the state’s now-six seats in Congress.

Oregon picked up an additional U.S. House seat because of population gains recorded by the recent U.S. Census.

State receives federal grant to continue developing Habitat Conservation Plan for western Oregon state forests

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Forestry are pleased to announce the state has received an additional $750,000 federal grant to continue developing a Habitat Conservation Plan for state-owned forests west of the Cascades.

This is the third grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support ongoing development of the Western Oregon State Forest Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The Oregon Department of Forestry has engaged federal, state and county partners, as well as Tribes, stakeholders and members of the public in this project since 2018. In October 2020, the Board of Forestry reviewed the first administrative draft of the HCP and directed ODF staff to move into Phase 3 of the project, which is review through the National Environmental Policy Act process. This involves substantial opportunities for public review and feedback, with the next meeting open to the public scheduled for October 12, 2021. Under the current timeline, the HCP would return to the Board of Forestry in 2023 for a final decision. 

By law and administrative rule, lands owned by the Board of Forestry must be managed for social, environmental, and economic benefits to Oregonians. The HCP would apply to 639,489 acres of state forestlands west of the Cascade Mountains and represents a holistic process for protecting threatened and endangered species. It would establish 70-year commitments for conservation with long-term assurances that other uses could continue, such as public recreation and timber harvesting to benefit counties and local taxing districts that provide important public services. The agency is also developing a companion Forest Management Plan that would guide implementation of the HCP. Oregon Dept. of Forestry 

Troon Vineyard One of Only Two Worldwide to Earn Regenerative Organic Certified Label

Troon Vineyard announced it’s the first farm and winery in Oregon to receive the newly launched Regenerative Organic Certification (R.O.C.).

Troon Vineyard in Oregon‘s Applegate Valley is located on the Kubli Bench, high above the Applegate River in the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon.

It is a biodiverse farm of almost 100 acres. Life on the farm includes cider apples, a vegetable garden, re-wilded honeybees, sheep, chickens, wildlife, dogs, humans and, of course, grapevines.

Purchased in 2017 by Texas natives Dr. Bryan and Denise White, and helmed by industry veteran Craig Camp, the trio set out to reinvigorate Troon by transforming the farm into a Demeter Biodynamic Certified vineyard and winery deeply committed to regenerative agriculture, according to a news release from the company. Troon has rapidly evolved by replanting their vineyard with ideal varieties and intertwining cutting-edge agriculture science with biodynamic practices to craft viticulture that best serves the land and their wines. Becoming Regenerative Organic Certified was the next milestone in the process.

“At Troon we do not simply consider ourselves environmentalist, rather stewards of the planet. The basic principle of regenerative farming is restoring the ecosystem of our vineyard back to a place of natural balance,” White said.

Regenerative agriculture is a way of farming that reverses climate change through rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring biodiversity. First, to even apply for the R.O.C. certification you must be certified organic by the USDA. Then there are three pillars of the Regenerative Organic Certification that producers must achieve to be certified: soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. “We seek to be an organization where all of our co-workers can expand their knowledge through education, participate in our organization’s trajectory and planning, and be part of the holistic approach that defines regenerative farming,” said White.

“The focus on regeneration is what is key to me. We have to put back more than we take to establish a natural food growing system. As the R.O.C. slogan says, ‘Farm like the world depends on it” — because it does.  My search for a framework for regenerative viticulture soon transformed into the broader view of the “whole farm” concept that defines biodynamics. Practicing regenerative agriculture is more than simple organic viticulture. Biodiversity creates more biodiversity and is the key to regenerative agriculture,” Camp said in the news release.

Troon Vineyards is also Demeter Biodynamic Certified, a rigorous holistic farming certification that is used in over 50 countries to signify the highest standards and practices when it comes to natural farming and winemaking, according to the news release.

To further showcase Troon’s commitment to biodynamic and regenerative agriculture, it has redesigned its labels to show the biodynamic preparations produced from essential botanicals used to enliven soils, vines, and wines. White wines are now adorned with biodynamic preparation 502, yarrow; amber “orange wines” feature biodynamic preparation 506, dandelion; and red wines highlight biodynamic preparation 507, valerian.

“Our vision since the beginning is to produce the exceptional, individualistic wines in a regenerative way that gives back to the earth. By choosing to include our biodynamic processes on our labels now, we are hoping to bring an even greater focus on these practices to help spread the word and, in turn, help heal the earth one farm at a time — farm like the world depends on it,” Camp said in a news release.

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