Willamette Valley News, Monday 8/23 – Police Investigating Two Different Hit and Run Crashes in Eugene – One Leaves Pedestrian Dead

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

Monday, August 23, 2021

Willamette Valley Weather

Today– Sunny, with a high near 74. North wind 6 to 11 mph.

Tuesday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Calm wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Wednesday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 78. Light and variable wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday– Sunny, with a high near 80.

Friday– Sunny, with a high near 81.

Hit And Run In Eugene Leaves Pedestrian Dead

Eugene Police Department has located and recovered the truck and the Major Collision Investigation team’s investigation is continuing.

The crash occurred around 8:40 p.m. and involved a pedestrian and a truck, which left the scene, police said.

The incident closed Olive Street from 10th to 12th and 11th Ave. from Willamette to Charnelton due to the fatal traffic collision Sunday night.

Eugene Police Major Collision Investigation team responded and is conducting an ongoing investigation.

Anyone with relevant info is asked to call (541) 682-5111.

Two People Injured In Hit and Run Crash In West Eugene

Two people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in a hit-and-run crash near the intersection of West 11th Avenue and Fisher Road in Eugene, officials said.

Map of W 11th Ave & Fisher Rd, Oregon 97402

Officials said the crash involved two cars playing cat and mouse and swerving in and out of traffic. The cars were reportedly both traveling Westbound and attempting to pass in the oncoming lane.

However, officials said the drivers re-entered the Westbound lane to avoid a head-on collision. That’s when one of the two cars clipped the other, causing it to spin out and roll over into a nearby ditch, according to officials.

The other car drove away from the scene, officials said. Police are still looking for the driver of that car, according to officials.

One of the injured was taken to RiverBend hospital, while the other reportedly had scratches. The crash was first reported around 4:20 p.m. — Anyone with relevant info is asked to call (541) 682-5111.

Fatal Accident Near Hills Creek Reservoir

The Lane County Sheriff’s office is reporting a fatal accident that took place on Saturday morning, killing a 34-year-old man. At approximately 8:32 am, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report of a single-vehicle crash on National Forest Road #21 near Hills Creek Reservoir. A blue GMC Sierra was traveling northbound when it left the roadway and rolled.

The driver of the involved vehicle, 34-year-old Justin Allen Mooers, did not survive the crash and was pronounced deceased on the scene. Two passengers were transported to Riverbend Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the involved vehicle, 34-year-old Justin Allen Mooers, did not survive the crash and was pronounced deceased on the scene. Two passengers were transported to Riverbend Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Oregon reports 2,187 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 19 new deaths

There are 19 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,012. The Oregon Health Authority reported 2,187 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 252,977.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (7), Benton (19), Clackamas (74), Clatsop (35), Columbia (32), Coos (47), Crook (13), Curry (28), Deschutes (147), Douglas (168), Gilliam (2), Grant (4), Harney (19), Hood River (12), Jackson (148), Jefferson (13), Josephine (125), Klamath (40), Lane (240), Lincoln (32), Linn (108), Malheur (15), Marion (164), Morrow (12), Multnomah (235), Polk (34), Sherman (2), Tillamook (36), Umatilla (94), Union (17), Wallowa (5), Wasco (39), Washington (176), Yamhill (45).

“Today, we mark another sad milestone in the pandemic: Our 3,000th COVID-19 related death,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen.

“We grieve for every person lost to the virus. I offer my deepest sympathies to every family who has mourned a parent, sibling or child who has died from the disease. Every death serves as a sobering reminder of the devastating personal impact COVID-19 has on all of us. Our sadness is deepened by the realization that these deaths are increasingly preventable. We know that the available vaccines provide a reliable protective shield against serious illness and death from COVID-19. These vaccines are saving lives every day and I urge every Oregonian who has not yet received the vaccine to please make a plan vaccinated.”

https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/oregon.health.authority.covid.19

US regulators gave full approval to Pfizer COVID Vaccine this morning

The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, a milestone that may help lift public confidence in the shots as the nation battles the most contagious coronavirus mutant yet.

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech now carries the strongest endorsement from the Food and Drug Administration, which has never before had so much evidence to judge a shot’s safety. More than 200 million Pfizer doses already have been administered in the U.S, and hundreds of millions more worldwide, since emergency use began in December.

Firefighters Make More Progress On Wildfires Blazes Across Oregon

Firefighters continue to make progress on encircling several wildfires or groups of blazes that have been burning around the state in recent weeks. But fire bosses say at least some of the blazes could continue to burn until autumn rains or winter snows.

The state of Oregon’s wildfires dashboard also shows signs of progress, with 40 active fires at present, compared to over 100 earlier this month, though the ones still actively burning continue to send smoke streaming into Central Oregon and other areas.

Fire activity picked up yesterday afternoon as smoke and clouds cleared in the Cascades where existing fires reported moderate growth. Below seasonal temperatures across most of the region yesterday with gusty winds in the Cascade Gaps. Cloud cover over the west side north of the Umpqua divide brought light scattered precipitation. There were good overnight humidity recoveries across the region. No lightning was observed in the geographic area.

An upper-level trough will dominate the weather through mid-week, keeping temperatures mainly on the cool side of
normal. The west side will see morning clouds through this period with clearer skies east of the Cascades. General winds will be lighter, but still a little breezy through Cascade gaps each afternoon.

Passing shortwave disturbances will periodically increase cloud cover and could generate some sprinkles, but no significant precipitation or lightning is expected through mid-week.

A system passing through Thursday could boost winds as well as shower chances, the latter primarily for northern Washington. The weekend could see some warmer weather, but models are still in disagreement about details.

Cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity along with diminished fire danger will combine to limit the potential for new significant fires for the next several days. Good humidity recoveries across the region overnight.

Here are links to be able to see updated info on the larger fires in Oregon:

This public lands link is super helpful to check before you head outdoors. The Keep Oregon Green website carries ODF’s public use restrictions. Click the link for up-to-date information:

https://keeporegongreen.org/current-conditions/

Protesters Clash In Portland

Opposing rallies that drew hundreds of people in Portland, Oregon, sparked clashes on Sunday.

The two groups had gathered in different parts of the city after a far-right group changed the location of its event.

The right-wing rally drew about 100 people in a parking lot of a former Kmart store and clashes began as it wound down, KOIN-TV reported. A van tried to drive into the parking lot, but crashed and the driver ran away. Demonstrators then began igniting fireworks and similar devices. It was not immediately clear whether anyone suffered serious injuries.

Later, shots were fired near demonstrators downtown. Dustin Brandon Ferreira, 37, a left-wing activist, told The Oregonian/OregonLive he was with others Sunday evening when a man used a slur against a Black man in the group and then fired multiple rounds in their direction.

Portland police said the man was arrested. No one was injured.

Demonstrations associated with anti-fascists had earlier drawn more than 200 people downtown.

The plans for the opposing demonstrations had prompted Portland police to call in all available police personnel.

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said Friday that despite expecting clashes, police will not necessarily be standing in between opposing groups.

Lovell and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler did not name the groups expected to gather that “may choose to confront one another.”

Oregon State Police, the sheriff’s office and other local partners were also helping address the situation.

Similar events in Portland between groups with differing political ideations or affiliations have resulted in violent clashes. Sunday’s event falls on the one-year anniversary of a particularly violent political clash in which the opposing groups brawled on the street next to police headquarters for hours.

You Can Help Redraw Oregon’s House and Senate Districts

The Oregon Legislative Information System has made a game to design a new political map of Oregon. The grand prize is political sway in Oregon for the next 10 years.

Normally this once-a-decade resizing of political districts has the legislature drawing maps, the legislature voting on maps and the governor signing off on maps. The public role is in hearings. If all goes well, there is a new political atlas for the next election.

Redistricting hearings start despite no maps, no data and uncertain future  | News | oregoncapitalinsider.com

This year, mapmaking is going pro-am as amateur cartographers can get on the OLIS video game to draw their own political dream maps. They’ll get the same recently arrived, deeply detailed U.S. Census tract information and software program as lawmakers use.

“Oregonians can begin drawing new lines using the gold standard data,” said Shelly Boshart Davis, R-Albany, co-chair of the House Redistricting Committee.

The starting point is https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/redistricting. After creating an account, taking a tutorial, and preparing a lot of patience to deal with the wonky program, mapmaking can begin.

As a template, the current districts with a 37-22 Democratic majority in the House and 18-12 edge in the Senate can be called up for reference. So can the U.S. House map of the delegation’s four Democrats and one Republican.

A few valley curves, a straight-edge county line, following a river path, or running up against a mountain range will be challenging. But with enough effort and time, voila! your own version of the political landscape of Oregon.

The full slate of work includes:

  • Six congressional districts of 710,000 people each
  • 30 Senate Districts of 127,700 people each
  • 60 House Districts of 63,850 people each

The computer will tell you whether your maps meet geographical requirements and demographic goals.

One of the biggest tripping points is Oregon’s requirement that two House districts be completely “nested’ inside each Senate District. So, for example, House Districts 59 and 60 fit completely inside Senate District 30.

There also are federal voting rights laws. Oregon’s state directives say districts must be contiguous, be of equal population, utilize existing geographical or political boundaries, not divide “communities of common interest” and be connected by transportation links.

The full set of does and don’ts, rules, laws, and other mapmaking stuff is on the website.

When done, the map can be submitted to the legislature for consideration. The deadline is Sept. 7 by 5 p.m.

A note of receipt of the map will be sent by email. Whether maps found to have flaws will be noted in time for resubmission is still undecided.

“It depends on how many maps we receive,” said Allison Daniel, a legislative policy and research analyst.

Maps that make the cut by checking all the boxes for size, shape, location, equity, and other items will pop up on the legislature’s redistricting website.

After a whirlwind series of nine public hearings, the committee will deliberate on what plan to bring to the full legislature when it meets in a special session Sept. 20. The hope is the House and Senate can debate and pass the legislation quickly so it can get to Gov. Kate Brown for review.

The Oregon Supreme Court has set a Sept. 27 deadline to receive the maps.

Low Blood Donation Supply Shortage In Oregon

In a news release, Bloodworks Northwest shared that they are experiencing the lowest inventory of blood in more than a decade. The release continues on saying the record low supply and declining donations is forcing Bloodworks to cut back on the amount of blood it can provide to hospitals from the Canadian border to Southern Oregon and all across Western Washington.

“It’s been a hard summer,” said Vicki Finson, the Executive V.P. for Blood Services with Bloodworks Northwest. “We are seeing less donors, less people making appointments, and a much higher cancellation and no show rate. That combined with the inventory that was already fragile has really put us in a desperate situation.”

With less blood being provided to hospitals, the less care patients can receive. For example, a patient with immediate trauma may get blood but others who need care but not as urgently could be delayed.

“It does mean that someone might not be able to get care,” explained Finson. “A patient who maybe had surgery and their hemoglobin is low and they need a transfusion or a chemotherapy patient who needs to get a transfusion, they might be able to wait in the hospital and get it the next day. Certainly, that is not the best of care, but it does allow us to try and use a very fragile inventory.”

More donations can solve the problem, but there is no time to waste. Bloodworks requires donors to make an appointment. You can do that on their website.

Finson is urging those interested in donating to check all available appointment times. She says it’s possible that some weeks will be filled, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a need for blood.

Powerball Adds Monday Drawing

Oregon Lottery logo

Powerball players will soon have the opportunity to start the week with a third chance to win larger, faster-growing jackpots! A new Monday Powerball drawing debuts August 23, 2021 and will join the current lineup of Powerball drawings held every Wednesday and Saturday, at 7:59 p.m. PT. All 48 Powerball lotteries will sell tickets for the Monday night Powerball drawing.

“Adding a third drawing will not change the Powerball game odds or cash prizes, but it will give players another chance to dream big,” said Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack. “More importantly, more than half of all proceeds from the sale of Powerball tickets sold in Oregon, stay in Oregon, benefiting programs Oregonians value.”

In Oregon, ticket sales from the third weekly drawing will contribute to vital public programs and services including public education, economic development, state parks, Outdoor School, veteran services, and watershed enhancements. Since 1985, Oregon Lottery proceeds have helped contribute more than $13 billion.

Players can watch the new Monday night drawing live online at Powerball.com with a new live stream feature that launched earlier this summer; the Monday drawing will also be broadcast live by participating television stations. 

About Powerball: Powerball tickets are $2 per play. Tickets are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Currently, drawings are broadcast live every Wednesday and Saturday at 7:59 p.m. PT from the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee and will include the new Monday drawing beginning Monday, August 23. Powerball drawings are also live streamed online at Powerball.com. 

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than 
$13 billion for public education, economic development, state parks, Outdoor School, veteran services, and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org 

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