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, June 21, 2022
Willamette Valley Weather
2022 USATF Outdoor Championships This Week at Hayward Field
- June 23 – 26, 2022
- 6/23 4:00 PM – 6/26 3:00 PM
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running, and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the number one high school and junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
The 2022 USATF U20 Outdoor Championships will serve as the selection event for the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships to be held in Cali, Colombia, August 1-6, 2022.
For the U.S. Team to the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships, in each individual event, the two highest placing finishers at the 2022 USATF U20 Outdoor Championships who elect to compete will be named to the Team.
In addition, for the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays, there will be up to three (3) additional athletes selected for each relay team among all place finishers at the 2022 USATF U20 Outdoor Championships. The complete athlete selection procedures can be found here.
Eugene Police Warn Phone Scams On The Rise
Eugene Police Department is reminding people to be wary of scam phone calls after receiving numerous reports from citizens who, reportedly, have been taken advantage of for thousands of dollars.
According to police, this most recent round of phony calls has scam callers posing as police, often with spoofed caller identities that appear to be from EPD officers. Officials say that scammers have been telling victims that they are required to pay money to avoid criminal charges. Officials add that victims are asked to pay through a variety of means, including Apple Pay, Zelle, cryptocurrency or even gift cards.
Eugene police reminds the public that the EPD or any other government agency will never demand immediate payment over the phone under any circumstances. They advise that you never give out credit card numbers, log-in information or other personal information to a stranger over the phone. They say to beware of high-pressure techniques such as demanding a decision on the spot and say that if an offer or demand sounds quirky or weird, it’s probably part of a scam.
The Eugene Police Department has reportedly received numerous calls from victims of this type of scam, and some have allegedly even come to the police department offices in person after having provided money to the scammers. Police advise to call the EPD non-emergency line at 541-682-5111 if you are the victim of a scam. If you receive a phone call and recognize it is a scam, police say you should hang up immediately and report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Public Invited to Groundbreaking Ceremony for Eugene Family YMCA’s New Facility on Thursday
The Eugene Family YMCA is inviting the public to join them for the official groundbreaking ceremony for their new 75,000-square-foot facility.
“We have been dreaming of this day for more than a decade,” said Eugene Family YMCA Board President Joe Carmichael, also the Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager at Oregon Pacific Bank. “Turning dirt at the new Y site marks so much more than the day construction begins. It represents the transition from a vision to a reality of expanded programs for kids, teenagers, families, young adults and seniors. We know that this facility will be a gamechanger for the community and the way it can support and lift up people of all walks of life.”
The event will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 23 at the site of the new Y on the corner of E. 24th Avenue and Hilyard Street.
Walking and biking is encouraged. The Y is providing bike valet parking, courtesy of Cascadia Mobility. Vehicles can be parked at Roosevelt Middle School, Hilyard and Amazon Community Centers and South Eugene High School.
Construction on the new building is expected to take 18 months and the new Y is projected to open in December 2023. FOR MORE INFO: https://www.eugeneymca.org/events/groundbreaking-new-y
With summer arriving and many of us enjoying the warmer weather, events such as Juneteenth and Pride will bring people together.In Oregon, COVID-19 cases appear to be leveling. However these numbers are likely an undercount because many people are using at-home tests and not reporting the results. We also know many others are not getting tested.If you’re out and about, you’ll likely be exposed to COVID-19.
If you are gathering this weekend, consider moving the gathering outdoors.It’s also a good idea to consider the risk level of people you live or spend time with.If you are indoors, wearing the highest quality mask you can find offers additional protection.
Oregon’s Minimum Wage Set To Increase July 1st
Minimum wage workers in Oregon will see an increase in pay starting July 1st.
In 2016, Oregon lawmakers created a three-tiered minimum wage. That means while many of Oregon’s minimum wage workers will see a new rate of $13.50 an hour, employees in the Portland area will get an increase to $14.75. Those are both increases of 75 cents per hour. Meanwhile, the minimum wage in rural parts of the state will jump by 50 cents to $12.50 an hour.
The Oregon Employment Department says roughly five percent of Oregon’s hourly workers earn the minimum wage.
This is the seventh and final increase that was written into the 2016 law. Next year, minimum wage increases will once again be indexed to inflation, though urban and rural areas will still have different rates.
“It’s not going to be a fixed (increase) like it has been for the last several years,” said Bob Uhlenkott, a researcher with the Oregon Employment Department. “Now it will float, based on the Consumer Price Index.”
Oregon’s rate remains among the highest minimum wages in the nation.
Effort Continues to Move Idaho/Oregon Border
The most recent leader of Oregon’s “State of Jefferson” movement, Bob Chard, has endorsed the “Greater Idaho” movement.
According to organizers with the Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to move the border and make a number of Oregon counties part of Idaho, Chard said that the effort might have a better chance of success than movements that attempt to create an entirely new state out of a part of Oregon.
Both plans would require the approval of the Oregon Legislature, but creating a new state would add two Republicans to the US Senate. Chard agreed the Democrat controlled Oregon Legislature is more likely to approve the Greater Idaho plan because it would not affect the US Senate.
Chard had been the main volunteer for the State of Jefferson movement in Oregon since he revived the movement in 2015. He gathered thousands of signatures at county fairs around southern and eastern Oregon. However, he decided to cease his efforts when he understood that California state legislators and judges had completely ignored California’s state of Jefferson movement, where more progress had been made. He said that without a path to success, the movement in Oregon is now at an impasse. No one has taken his place at the helm of the movement.
Bend Police Warn Public Of ‘Very Dangerous’ Escapee From Psych Unit
A patient facing criminal charges in Oregon and California escaped from the psychiatric unit at St. Charles Medical Center Monday morning.
Jeremy Allbritton, 41, was last seen around 8:45 a.m. on NE Courtney Drive in Bend.
“At that time he had taken off his reddish-pink hospital scrub short-sleeved top but was still wearing his green hospital scrub bottoms,” according to Bend Police. “He was not wearing any shoes.”
Police said Allbritton faces arrest warrants – and is wanted for new crimes.
“He has recently assaulted hospital staff and should be considered dangerous,” according to police. “He was not armed at the time he left the hospital.”
Authorities described Allbritton as 6-feet tall and 220 pounds with very short or shaved brown hair and numerous tattoos.
Bend Police ask the public to report any sightings or interactions with Allbritton. — “Please do not approach Allbritton, but call 9-1-1 to report his whereabouts,” according to police. “If you have already had contact with Allbritton today (Monday, June 20, 2022) please contact non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 so we can obtain further information from you.”
Senator Wyden Sponsoring New Gas Bill
Gas prices are at record high levels and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is sponsoring a bill to limit excess profits, stock buybacks, and big bonuses for executives. Wyden says oil companies would be allowed to reinvest profits to make their operations more efficient.
If they use profits to reward stockholders or executives they would face a surtax. Stock buybacks would be taxed 25-
percent and profits over 10 percent would be taxed 21 percent.
Wyden says oil companies would also be prohibited from reducing their profits through accounting methods.
Coquille Indian Tribe Release Juvenile Chinook Into Coquille River In Effort To Renew Salmon Spawning
BANDON, OR – The Coquille Indian Tribe released 1,000 salmon into the Coquille River Wednesday, the first of thousands more expected to be released by the tribe and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
According to the tribe, the fall Chinook run in the tribe’s namesake river was nearing extinction. The tribe partnered with ODFW to produce “pre-smolts” to be released into the river.
“This is the first of many more generations of fish that will go into their native system from Coquille Tribal lands,” said Brenda Meade, the tribe’s chairman.
Those juvenile salmon will head out to sea, and the hardiest of them will return to the Coquille River system to spawn.
“They’re on their journey, and I hope they have a safe trip and they come back to see us,” said Don Garrett, a member of the Coquille Tribal Council.
Meade looks forward to a time when local residents can resume fishing for Coquille River salmon. “We can’t be the generation that lets this go,” she said.
Trolley-Ride Tours Of Historic Theater Sites In Downtown Klamath Falls
A trolley-ride tour of historic theater sites in downtown Klamath Falls will be offered on various dates through the summer.
The tour program is co-sponsored by the Klamath County Museum and the Ross Ragland Theater. The cost is $15 per person for the two-hour tour, which will be offered on the Saturday mornings of June 25, July 2, and July 9.
Space is limited to 10 people per tour. To reserve space, contact the Museum at (541) 882-1000.
Movie houses still standing include the old Pine Tree and Liberty theaters, now serving as an office or retail space.
The event will conclude with a backstage tour of the Ross Ragland Theater led by Executive Director Samantha Burris, with a discussion of the building’s earlier existence as the Esquire Theater.
Refreshments will be served during the tour. For more information, call the museum at 541-882-1000.