Willamette Valley News, Wednesday 6/22 – Crash Takes Down Power Poles And Shuts Down Lorane Highway Near Friendly Street, Officials Changing Plans For Main Street Safety Project 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

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Willamette Valley Weather

Crash Takes Down Power Poles And Shuts Down Lorane Highway Near Friendly Street

Eugene Police were on the scene of a vehicle crash that shut down all lanes of travel on Lorane Highway just west of Friendly Street last night.

All lanes were closed for quite some time and the driver was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries. EWEB worked immediately to get electricity up and running again and those affected had electricity back on by early this morning. The crash is under investigation.

Eugene Police Break Car Window To Save Man Who Overdosed Then Cite Him For DUII

Eugene police officers broke out a car window and performed life-saving first aid on a 41-year-old man found overdosed on drugs behind the wheel of a car Monday in Eugene. Then they cited him for driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Officers responded just before 4 p.m. June 20 to a car on the 800 block of W. 6th Avenue and Adams Street.

According to police:

To avoid the vehicle moving, a sergeant and officers pinned the car without causing any damage. They broke the passenger window of the involved car out, as the man inside was not breathing.

Over the following minutes the Eugene Police personnel provided life-saving intervention including administering multiple Narcan doses, chest compressions, recovery position, and breathing via a CPR airbag device provided by an arriving Oregon State Police trooper.

A local trauma surgeon was in the area and also provided assistance with life-saving measures.

Medics from Eugene Springfield Fire arrived on scene and transported the man to the hospital.

“An illegal substance evidence was located and there was a subsequent DUII investigation and the man was cited in lieu of custody for DUII,” police added.

Officials Changing Plans For Main Street Safety Project In Springfield

 Despite seemingly nearing the finish line on the Main Street Safety Project, city officials have voted to start fresh and develop a completely new plan.

Springfield’s City Council had centered on a plan that included nine roundabouts and raised medians in the corridor. Community feedback, however, expressed concerns about that option. 

“We know definitely we do not want this nine roundabout plan,” said Mayor Sean VanGordon said. “We’re still a long way off from getting to an actual solution.”

Though there is no hard timeline set just yet, VanGordon said more information about important dates should be available in the coming weeks. 

Joe Tokatly, the owner of McKenzie Glass, led a campaign against the original plan. He displays a sign outside of his business that expresses his stance against the “excessive” amount of roundabouts.

“This is a step in the right direction,” he said. “They demonstrated that they are listening to their community finally after we pushed really hard for the last few months.”

Citizens can send feedback about the project to info@ourmainstreetspringfield.org

Local Schools Start Summer Meal Programs

Now that summer is in full swing for local students, many school districts have started their summer meal programs.

To find the summer meal closest to your location, visit the Oregon Department of Education’s Summer Meals Map webpage.

Something new this summer is that meals will need to be consumed on-site. During the pandemic, meals could be retrieved and taken away because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) waived many of the program requirements, offering flexibilities to meal service operations in an effort to serve participants safely and minimize exposure to COVID-19. Several of those waivers are set to expire in the near future.

We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently.This report covers the four-day period from June 17 to June 20, 2022.For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/46fP50JE5n2Note: The most recent emergency department visit data are currently not available due to a technical issue with the server. We’re working to resolve the issue.

Screen shot of linked dashboard shows an plateau in cases, test positivity, hospitalizations and vaccinations. have plateaued. Please visit healthoregon.org/coronavirus for more.
Oregon map shows Coos, Curry & Hood River Counties  at "high" community level. Low level: Stay current on vaccines & boosters. If symptoms, get tested. Medium: If you're at high risk, consider mask and other precautions. Stay current on vaccines & boosters. If symptoms, get tested. High: Masking indoors in public recommended. Stay current on vaccines & boosters. If symptoms, get tested. If high risk, more precautions

The CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels tool, updated every week, uses multiple factors to rate the level of COVID-19 spread in your county and can help you make decisions about how to approach activities such as grocery shopping, masking, travel and more. Three Oregon counties are at “high” community level, as of June 16. To learn more how to use regional CDC and OHA data to help make decisions about masking and taking other precautions, visit http://ow.ly/9CO850JCWKj.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AROUND-OR.png

Oregon OSHA launches new, free resources to help employers understand and comply with rule protecting workers against wildfire smoke

Salem – As a rule addressing protections for workers against potential exposure to wildfire smoke is set to take effect July 1, Oregon OSHA encourages employers and workers to use new resources developed by the division to help understand and comply with the rule.

The following free resources are now available online:

  • Wildfire smoke online course: Designed to satisfy certain training requirements found in the wildfire smoke rule, the course addresses such topics as air quality measurements, health effects and symptoms, the proper use of filtering facepiece respirators, and other safety measures.
  • Fact sheet about the key requirements of the wildfire smoke rule: This six-page document highlights the rule’s key overall requirements, offering a reader-friendly summary of what employers and workers need to know about the rule. 

“These new tools underscore our ongoing commitment to provide employers with resources in advance to help them comply with the rule and protect their workers from the potential dangers of wildfire smoke,” said Renee Stapleton, acting administrator for Oregon OSHA.  

Oregon OSHA adopted wildfire smoke and heat rules in May. Both rules encompass initial protective measures for workers who rely on employer-provided housing, including as part of farm operations. The heat rule took effect June 15. Resources to help understand and comply with the heat rule are available, including the recently released sample plan for the heat illness prevention plan and sample plans for rest breaks and acclimatization. 

Both rules were proposed in February, following a development process that included worker and community stakeholder listening sessions, input and review by rule advisory committees, and input from employer and labor stakeholders. The rules build on temporary emergency requirements that were adopted in summer 2021 following several months of stakeholder and community engagement.

The wildfire smoke rule addresses an array of exposure assessments and controls, and training and communication measures. The heat rule requires access to shade and cool water, preventive cool-down breaks, and prevention plans and training.

More resources are available:

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/dcbs/.

DCBS audits found RHEA violations with health care insurers

Division of Financial Regulation logo

Salem – Oregon insurers failed to fully comply with the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) in several areas, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation concluded in a report the division released today. RHEA requires health insurers to cover certain reproductive health, sexual health, and other health care services – including contraception and abortion – without imposing cost sharing.

The report, which summarizes marketwide findings, came after the division discovered variations in coverage on RHEA claims and indications of potential widespread noncompliance with the law – specifically the inappropriate application of cost sharing for some services covered by RHEA. This prompted the division to conduct an audit – called a market conduct examination – on RHEA coverage and the insurers’ application of the law.

Generally, violations included failure to implement claims adjudication processes that identify services covered, failure to pay claims according to the requirements of the law, misinterpretation of cost-share requirements, improper application of medical management during claims adjudication, failure to update claims adjudication systems resulting in improper consumer cost share for RHEA services, and outdated consumer and provider complaint handling practices. Not every violation was found at every insurer. 

Some insurers failed to provide coverage of certain benefits until 2020 or later, including preventive services covered by the Affordable Care Act. Examinations also determined that specified services required to be covered without cost share by RHEA were being violated. Those violations included abortion, anemia screening, contraception, pregnancy screening, sterilization, and sexually transmitted infection screening.

The division is finalizing insurer-level reports for public release. As part of that process, the Insurance Code requires the division to provide an opportunity for insurers to review and comment on findings in a hearing with the division. Once finalized, the individual insurer reports will be published and made available to the public. In the interest of transparency, the division is releasing this anonymized, aggregate report while individual reports are being collated. 

In 2017, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3391 – known as the Reproductive Health Equity Act. Some services required to be covered by RHEA are also required without cost sharing as a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act. Health benefit plans, such as individual, small group, and large group, are subject to RHEA. Other plans, such as those offered by a self-insured employers and Medicare, and plans that provide limited benefits, are not subject to RHEA. The enacted provisions of RHEA were applicable to commercial health insurance plans issued, renewed, modified, or extended on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and dcbs.oregon.gov.

State of Oregon increases child care reimbursement rates for providers

(Salem) – Child care reimbursement rates are increasing for providers caring for children of families who receive support with child care expenses through the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS). 

ODHS pays child care providers for child care provided to families receiving child care assistance through the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. 

The new child care reimbursement rates are effective June 1, 2022 and increasing due to the passage of House Bill 4005 of the 2022 Legislative Session.

The average monthly reimbursement rates for full-time care are increasing by:

  • 18% for family, friend and neighbor care
  • Between 6 and 20% for child care centers 
  • Between 11 and 25% for licensed home-based care

“For many families the cost of child care can be a barrier to meeting their goals and entering and staying in the workforce,” said Claire Seguin, deputy director of the ODHS Self-Sufficiency Programs. “These reimbursement rate increases will ensure families have equal access to quality child care.” 

“As our child care system continues to struggle with staffing shortages and lack of child care supply, this is an important first step to ensure our child care providers are paid a fair wage,” said Oregon Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee. “I appreciate the Legislature’s investment in our system and what this will mean for Oregon families who receive support for their child care expenses.” 

Actual child care reimbursement rates vary depending on provider type, child age and what community the provider is in. A complete list of reimbursement rates can be found online at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/CHILD-CARE/Pages/Rates.aspx.

ERDC helps eligible families pay for work-related child care expenses, including registration and enrollment fees. ERDC is a subsidy program, which means some families, depending on their income, may be required to pay a copay. 

TANF supports individuals engaged in the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) program in attaining their goals by providing direct child care payments to providers as well as assistance with enrollment fees.

Oregonians can apply online for ERDC, TANF and other government supports online at One.Oregon.Gov or by phone at 1-800-699-9075 or TTY 711.

Resources to help meet basic needs

The Oregon Department of Human Services, Self-Sufficiency Programs operates the Employment Related Day Care program. The Employment Related Day Care program helps working families pay for child care, including registration and enrollment fees. It also works with partners statewide, including the Early Learning Division, to help families find quality child care.

A new grant program aims to help members of Oregon’s nine federally recognized Native American tribes with the cost of attending college next academic year.

The Oregon Tribal Student Grant program will cover attendance costs, beyond what federal and state financial aid cover, at eligible colleges or universities in the state. Students can use the money for tuition, and they can also apply it to other expenses like housing, books and transportation.

The Oregon Legislature approved the program for one year. Already, more than 500 people have started applications,
according to the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission. State officials encourage students to apply for the grant by Aug. 1, which is the “priority deadline.”

Tribal representatives including Sandy Henry, the education director for the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, were involved in the rule-making process for the grant program.

A 32-year-old woman faces attempted murder, arson, animal abuse and car theft charges after allegedly lighting a pickup truck and camper trailer — that was occupied by a woman and her two dogs — on fire earlier this month.

Porsha Marie Weaver, 32, of Bonzana, has been arrested by the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office in connection to the alleged arson and car theft June 4. The arson occurred near Bluebill Lane and Wigeon Drive.

According to police, they were greeted by a woman who told them Weaver intentionally lit a truck and occupied trailer on fire and then fled the scene in a stolen motor vehicle.

The allegedly stolen car was recovered but Weaver alluded police until she “presented herself” at the Klamath sheriff’s office June 8.

Weaver is charged with attempted murder, arson in the first degree, animal abuse in the first degree, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and criminal mischief in the first degree.

Escaped Psych Patient Arrested

A man facing charges in Oregon and California who escaped from a psychiatric unit in Bend is back in custody.
41-year-old Jeremy Allbritton was reported missing on Monday morning.

Then at around 11:20 p.m. that evening, St. Charles Medical Center staff called 911 to report that Allbritton had arrived back at the hospital. Bend police and Deschutes County deputies arrested Allbritton a short time later.

Allbritton faces charges of coercion, menacing, fourth-degree assault and harassment, as well as two Deschutes County warrants, a California warrant and a violation of his release agreement.

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is missing-in-oregon-tab.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-57.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shane.png


Related posts

Five Fabulous Home Office Ideas

Renee Shaw

Spend for the Holidays Without Breaking the Bank

Renee Shaw

ShakeAlert® Coming to Oregon

Renee Shaw