Willamette Valley News, Wednesday 5/18 – Black Bears Rummaging In South Eugene, Narcotics Search Warrant Served in Eugene, Roseburg Mom Helping Other Parents Find Formula

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Willamette Valley Weather

Black Bears Rummaging Around In South Eugene

Bears are coming out of their dens and foraging around towns. Now through the end of June is the highest risk time of year for bear encounters, and there have been a growing number of recent black bear sightings in south Eugene.

“There’s not a lot of natural food out for them so they’re looking to get anything they can eat because they’re pretty hungry at this point,” explains wildlife biologist Christopher Yee.

So far this year, Eugene residents have reported over half a dozen bear sightings. “We’ve documented at least 7 individual bears inside southern Eugene city limits and there’s probably more that cruise in and out that we haven’t individually identified.”

Yee says bears can smell potential food sources up to a mile away, so limit attractants around your home.

“Things like garbage. Bird feeders, including hummingbird feeders; what people put in their compost pile; pet food left out on the porch or back deck.” Lock up garbage cans in a garage or shed and bring bird feeders inside overnight.

Yee says most bears aren’t predatory. In fact, these precautions are mostly to protect the bear. “When these bears start coming out and getting comfortable around people, they become a public safety threat and that forces our hand into lethally removing them.”

The Department of Fish and Wildlife didn’t have to kill any bears in Lane County last year. Yee hopes to continue that trend in 2022.

If you encounter a bear, don’t antagonize it or throw anything. If you see a bear in your yard, keep pets indoors and it will usually leave on its own. If a bear is destructive, call local law enforcement.

Yee says these recent bear sightings have been at night, which is a good sign because it means the bears are not habituated to coming into town during the day yet.

You can visit ODFW.com for more tips on bearproofing your home.

Narcotics Search Warrant Served in Eugene

A police unit served a narcotics search warrant on the outskirts of Eugene. The investigation went underway in the 2700 block of Royal Avenue in the evening hours of Tuesday, May 17th.

The Street Crimes Unit and Oregon State Police investigated the crime scene. Canine units from both departments were on scene to investigate as well. 

Vehicles from the Eugene Police Department and Oregon State Police converged at a house on Royal Avenue and Fisher Road. Multiple investigators and several police dogs were reportedly on the scene looking for evidence in and around the home.

Investigators arrested two people during the investigation.

Val Hoyle takes lead in 4th District Democrats to replace Peter DeFazio in Congress

Hoyle took the lead in the 4th District Democratic primary Tuesday, with 66% of the vote in the eight-candidate field as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

She leads Doyle Canning, who had 14% of initial returns. No other candidate was receiving a double-digit percentage of votes.

DeFazio, a Springfield Democrat, announced in December that he would be retiring after his current term. DeFazio has represented the district, which includes Eugene and much of southwest Oregon, since 1987.

Hoyle is currently Oregon’s Labor Commissioner and has also served in the state legislature. She easily outpaced the rest of the field in fundraising, and was endorsed by DeFazio and many other Democratic leader

Roseburg Mom Helping Other Parents Find Formula With Facebook Group

Local moms are struggling to find baby formula as the national shortage continues. One mom is taking the initiative to start a Facebook group to help parents in Southern Oregon find the formula they need.

Sheila Ullom was a part of a national Facebook group for moms expecting in March, when her daughter was born. She saw a post from a mom who lives in another state, talking about being a member of a separate group to find baby formula.

When she looked to see if there was one locally, there wasn’t one. So she started her own – Formula Finders DC Oregon. https://www.facebook.com/groups/formulafindersdc/

If parents see formula on the shelves in a store, all they have to do is take a picture and upload it to the Facebook

We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently. For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/NzVU50Jau4z

Screen shot of linked dashboard shows an increase trend in cases and test positivity. Hospitalizations show an increase. Vaccinations have plateaued. Please visit healthoregon.org/coronavirus for more.

OHA holds media briefing on COVID-19 today at 11 a.m.

Oregon Health Authority is hosting its monthly media availability to give an update on the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, May 18.

Dean Sidelinger, M.D. MSEd, health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA, will discuss the state of the pandemic and answer reporters’ questions at 11 a.m. via Zoom.

Interested reporters can join via this link. A livestream will be available for the public on YouTube.

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State election officials say early signs indicate yesterday’s turnout for the state primary elections may be among the lowest in the last 60 years. Officials say through last Friday, only about 17 percent of ballots that had been sent to voters had been returned.

The figure at this point was a little higher in the last primary four years ago — a little more than 18 percent. Voter turnout in the 2018 primary was almost 34 percent. But voter numbers have also surged during this time. There are almost 285-thousand more Oregonians who are registered to vote compared with four years ago. As of last night: Statewide voter turnout is 29%.

Two Out Of Three Counties Voting On The Proposed Idaho Annex Rejected The Jurisdictional Transfer In Early Returns

Oregonians in two counties appeared to reject a plan Tuesday to annex parts of Oregon into Idaho, while a third county supported the proposal.

The symbolic thumbs down came from voters in Douglas and Josephine counties, while voters in Klamath County backed the measure. The early results indicated the Greater Idaho movement has secured buy-in from slightly less than a majority of the counties outlined in its target areas across Eastern and Southern Oregon, which represents about three-quarters of Oregon’s landmass.

Shooting in Klamath Falls

Details and an official statement from the Klamath Falls City police are yet to come, but we are continuing to follow the story of a chase and a shooting that resulted in the death of one person in downtown Klamath Falls Monday afternoon.

Details and the timeline are sketchy, but the chase was reportedly at one point through several streets in the Mills Addition. It is known that at some point, a bullet had struck at least one Klamath Falls area law enforcement vehicle.

Initial reports indicate a female passenger in the vehicle being chased bailed out of a vehicle near Mills school. According to unconfirmed reports, the chase continued onto commercial near Oak street and ended across the
street from Eagle Ridge High School.

The high school was put on lockdown as a precaution. Unconfirmed reports say at the end of the chase, the suspect driving the vehicle in pursuit ended their own life with a gunshot. Much of the downtown area was roped off and inaccessible throughout the afternoon and late into the night as the investigation continued.

As more information is released from law enforcement, we will update this story.

Oregon FBI Warns of Cybercriminals Using a Reverse Instant Payment Scam 

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recently issued a warning about a rise in payment scams. Victims appear to get a text message from a bank’s fraud alert department. The text asks if the customer initiated an instant money transfer using digital payment apps connected to a bank. 

For example, a text may say- Bank Fraud Alert- Did you attempt an instant payment in the amount of $5,000? Reply, Yes or No, or 1 to stop alerts. 

 The payment amount and financial institution may vary from victim to victim. You may even receive different texts claiming to be from different banks because the crooks are hoping to guess your financial institution.  

 If the victim responds, they receive a phone call that appears to be from the bank’s legitimate 1-800 support number. The criminals may know a past address, your social security number, and the last four digits of your bank account. This information is used to convince you that the steps being requested are the financial institution’s legitimate process to stop that money transfer. 

Once the fraudsters have you on the hook, here is how they steal your money. Using the bank’s legitimate website or application, the crook will instruct victims to remove your email address from their digital payment app and replace it with an email address controlled by the fraudsters. After the email address has been changed, the cyber crook tells the victim to start another instant payment transaction to themselves that will cancel or reverse the original fraudulent payment attempt. Unfortunately, victims are in fact sending instant payment transactions from their bank account to an account controlled by the criminals. Victims often only realize they’ve been scammed after checking their bank account balance.  

 The FBI recommends the following precautions: 

Be wary of unsolicited requests to verify account information. Cyber actors can use email addresses and phone numbers which appear to come from a legitimate financial institution. If a call or text is received regarding possible fraud or unauthorized transfers, do not respond directly. 

Instead, contact your bank’s fraud department through verified phone numbers and email addresses on official bank websites or from the back of your credit or debit card, never through a text or email you receive.  

Be wary of callers that provide personally identifiable information, including social security numbers. Unfortunately, there have been so many  large-scale data breaches over the last decade, criminals may know some of your personal data. 

Your best protection, Enable Multi Factor Authentication for all financial accounts, and do not provide those codes to anyone. 

If you’ve been a victim of an online fraud, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.   

Sources: https://www.ic3.gov/Media/Y2022/PSA220414 —– FBI – Oregon

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