Willamette Valley News, Monday 6/27 – People Sent To Hospital With Serious Injuries In Hwy 99 Eugene Crash, School Bus Crash on Marcola Road

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, June 27, 2022

Willamette Valley Weather

People Sent To Hospital With Serious Injuries In Hwy 99 Eugene Crash

Eugene Police said that three people were taken to the hospital following a two-car crash in West Eugene. Police said two of the three people were transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Crews responded to the crash just before 1:00 p.m. Sunday on Highway 99 North near Fairfield Avenue. According to police, the cars involved in the crash are a Dodge Ram and a Toyota RAV4.

Police believe the Ram was traveling Northbound on Highway 99 when the RAV4 was coming out of a nearby business and collided. A total of five people were in the two cars, police said.

Both directions of Highway 99N near Fairfield Avenue were closed for a couple of hours. As of 4:20 p.m., roads had reopened. Eugene Police Department’s major collision team is investigating the crash.

School Bus Crash on Marcola Road

Friday morning at 08:43 hours, Lane County 911 dispatch received a report of a school bus crash on Marcola Road near milepost 4.  

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Mohawk Fire and Rescue, and Eugene Springfield Fire and Rescue responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, two occupants were located: an adult male driver and a single juvenile passenger. The adult male was transported to the hospital in serious condition. The juvenile was treated and released at the scene.

The investigation continues, but initial indications point to the driver suffering a medical emergency, immediately preceding the crash.  

Emergency responders had Marcola Road closed for a little more than an hour, to accommodate emergency vehicles and personnel.  The roadway was completely reopened and normal traffic resumed. Lane Co. Sheriff’s Office

Douglas County Rescue Team Saves Man Who Fell 30 Feet Into a Well

Douglas County Fire District No.2 responded to a report of a man that fell approximately 30 feet into a well when attempting to fix the pump in the Green district.

The first arriving crew confirmed the dispatch information and requested the Fire District’s Technical Rescue Team to assist with removing the man from the well.

“Fire personnel set up a rope system to safely remove the male from the bottom of well,” the District said.

The man sustained minor injuries and was treated on scene, the report said.

Douglas County Fire District No.2 responded with two fire engines, one technical rescue truck, two ambulances, and one command vehicle.

Oregon's Reproductive Health Equity Act guarantees an individual's right to an abortion, as well as a health care provider's right to provide an abortion. This includes a legal right for anyone in who comes to Oregon for an abortion, not just Oregon residents. Individuals can access free or low-cost reproductive health services at local health departments and clinics across Oregon. To find a clinic, visit healthoregon.org/rhclinics. You can also call 211 or text HEALTH to 898211.

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. It can help you make decisions about how to approach activities such as grocery shopping, masking, travel and more. Nine Oregon counties are at “high” community level, as of June 23. 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/aRwo30smNHE.

Oregon map shows Coos, Douglas, Hood River, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Sherman and Wasco 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
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Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund expands mortgage support to include more traditionally underserved homeowners

Phase 3 now open to eligible applicants

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services announced that the Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program is open to applicants eligible for Phase 3. The program is a federal temporary COVID-19 emergency mortgage relief program intended to support homeowners who have experienced severe financial hardships due to the pandemic. It provides funding for past-due mortgages and other housing expenses to a limited number of homeowners with low incomes. 

OHCS is working to assist homeowners at risk of losing their home in a phased approach. During Phases 1 and 2, it focused on homeowners who were most at-risk of foreclosure or who had the fewest options. Program staff will continue to process applications already submitted in Phases 1 and 2. Eligibility information for the different phases is available on the HAF website

While continuing to serve homeowners eligible for Phases 1 and 2, Phase 3 expands HAF support to homeowners traditionally underserved or less able to recover, including those who are: 

  • Over the age of 62 years
  • Living with a disability (with proof of benefits) 
  • Rural, as determined by ZIP Code
  • Socially disadvantaged individuals (defined by the U.S. Department of the Treasury), including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as members of federally recognized Tribes 
  • Limited English proficiency (English is not the applicant’s primary language)
  • Recovering property damage or destruction caused by a natural disaster (with proof of benefits)
  • Homeowners with mortgages where the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the named beneficiary. This is a very rare situation, where HUD has taken over a loan that is in default. Homeowners should speak with a housing counselor to determine if this is their loan. 

Homeowners who have not applied and are eligible may now find a new application link on the oregonhomeownerassistance.org website. Homeowners eligible for Phases 1 or 2 may now apply using the same link if they have not previously submitted an application. If homeowners need assistance with their application, the HAF website lists the program’s application intake assistance partners who can help homeowners with online, paper, in-person, or limited English proficiency applications. Homeowners with additional questions about HAF can visit the website or call 833-604-0879.

Phase 4, which will apply to all other eligible applicants if funding is still available, will open at a date to be determined. 

HAF funding is limited. The state is prioritizing Oregon households that are at the highest risk of foreclosure. Once the $90 million of funding granted by the U.S. Treasury is gone, the program will close. Even if homeowners are eligible, there is no guarantee their application will be funded.

Other mortgage relief programs are available if homeowners do not meet the HAF eligibility criteria. Homeowners should contact a housing counselor, mortgage servicer or 211 for more options. 

Pacific Power is preparing for summer’s heat 

PORTLAND (June 24, 2022) – As temperatures approach triple digits across parts of the Pacific Northwest this upcoming weekend, Pacific Power is preparing to face higher demands on the grid from both record temperatures and increased customer need.  

“We’ve taken steps for grid hardening, in particular since last summer, to prevent overloading at the substation level,” said Erik Brookhouse, vice president of operations for Pacific Power. “We are confident about our network’s readiness for this summer.” 

Pacific Power takes steps each day to keep electric service reliable for its customers by monitoring which substations and circuits have the highest use, identifying any potential trouble spots and implementing solutions within a day.  

“Understanding the climate and customer needs help us provide reliable electricity during this season,” Brookhouse said. 

At the end of each summer, Pacific Power reviews how the electrical system performed, and last year identified 49 projects that were completed prior to the 2022 summer season. Examples of projects include: 

  • Increasing system and distribution capacity; 
  • Installing new equipment such as switches, voltage regulators and transformers; 
  • Balancing and reconfiguring the electrical pathways serving customers in specific areas. 

Engineers and power system operators keep a close eye on area weather forecasts as well. Electric systems are sensitive to temperature, so the conditions that impact the electric system the most come during consecutive days when 100-degree highs are coupled with nighttime temperatures that do not cool below 70 degrees. “Customers can also take steps to manage their energy use during the summer peak season,” said Brookhouse. “We have simple tips, programs and incentives for customers to increase their energy efficiency at home and in the workplace, particularly during the summer months.” 

Customers can also take steps to manage their energy use during the summer. To see a full list of energy-saving tips, visit the company’s website. Among the top energy-saving recommendations for summer are: 

  • Keep curtains and blinds closed during the day. 
  • Open windows during cooler evening hours. 
  • Operate the clothes dryer and dishwasher at night. 
  • If you have air conditioning, set it to maintain an interior temperature of 78 degrees, higher when you are away from home. 

More electric energy information is available on Pacific Power’s website at: www.pacificpower.net.  

About Pacific Power  

Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 770,000 customers in Oregon, Washington, and California. It is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, providing 2 million customers with value for their energy dollar through safe, reliable electricity. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net

Head-On Crash Kills Two People Just North of Klamath Falls on Hwy 97

Investigators are still searching for clues and information about a head on crash that killed two people Friday morning just north of Klamath Falls on Highway 97. Oregon State Police said troopers responded to the Highway 97
accident near milepost 267 on June 24 at approximately 12:35 a.m. The Oregon highway was closed for five hours, according to police.

Investigators said a southbound GMC truck driven by Erika Delrio, 36 of Yuba City, California, collided head-on with a northbound Nissan Xterra driven by 35-year-old Cybil Nelson. Nelson, who is from Bend, died in the crash, according to OSP. Martha Carriedo, 60 of Yuba City, (a passenger) also died in the crash.

Police said “both vehicles were destroyed by fire due to the crash” and investigators trying to reconstruct the incident. Erika Delrio was transported to St. Charles Medical Center with critical injuries. OSP said Magdalena Delrio, 21 of Yuba City, CA and two young boys, ages 1 and 2, were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

OSP was assisted by the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Klamath County Fire District 1, and Oregon Department of Transportation. 

Climber Falls on Mt. Hood Suffers Serious Injuries

A 31-year-old woman was seriously hurt Friday when she fell several hundred feet while climbing Mt. Hood, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Other climbers on the mountain were able to call 911 after the fall, which happened just before 6 a.m. Friday in the Old Chute area of Mt. Hood.

They said a doctor, who was also climbing the mountain at the time, got to the woman and was starting first aid.

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Coordinators activated a mission and set up the command center at Timberline Lodge.

Teams from Portland Mountain Rescue, Hood River Crag Rats, and American Medical Response’s Reach & Treat Team also responded.

Shortly after 10 a.m., rescue crews were able to reach the injured climber. About 45 minutes later, an Oregon Army National Guard helicopter also arrived.

The climber was hoisted into the helicopter and flown to a Portland-area hospital, where she is receiving care.

This weekend’s hot weather is a welcomed shift for us humans, but our pets may not be as excited for summer.  
There are many hazards to consider, pavement can burn paws, especially later in the day, and a hot car can be deadly.
A car can heat up really quickly.
Even if it feels comfortable outside, even low to mid-70s, the inside of a car can quickly get over 100 degrees.
That’s even with the window cracked a little bit.
When in doubt, just leave your pet at home with a nice comfy bed and a chewy toy.
The safest bet is to always just leave them home in the cool inside temperatures.
Signs your pet is struggling with the heat include excessive panting and lethargy.

Electric All-Terrain Trackchairs available for free trial in Seaside July 4th weekend

Providing a new way to get out on the beach and into nature for people with mobility challenges, on July 4th weekend David’s Chair Outdoor Mobility Systems is bringing seven electric all-terrain wheelchairs to Seaside’s promenade (between Broadway and Avenue A) for mobility challenged guests to try for free.

From 9am to 5pm on Saturday July 2 and Sunday July 3, people who register at https://davidschair.org can have a chance to buckle in and experience the freedom to travel along the beach without having to be concerned about the sand or water.

Anyone with mobility impairment, requiring the assistance of wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes or crutches, will be able to use these chairs at no charge.

David’s Chair Outdoor Mobility Systems and Oregon Parks Forever are collaborating to add 10 additional locations where mobility challenged visitors can pick up and use an electric all-terrain wheelchair at no charge.

These chairs will provide a new freedom for a mobility challenged park visitor – to get off the pavement and out into nature.

With increased accessibility to trails, lakes, rivers and beaches, through demanding conditions like sand, snow and mud, mobility-impaired visitors will be able to participate in activities never-before possible.

From birdwatching and fishing, to riding along the beach, to simply enjoying the fresh air and solitude of nature, these all-terrain chairs will invite many new people to share the wonders of the great outdoors in our parks.

See these chairs in action at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4KIrqu47WY

Over the next couple of years, the partners are working to locate hosts at American Legion, VFW and Tourism related entities along the Oregon Coast and the I-5 corridor where a chair and trailer can be stored and made available for free use by visitors with mobility challenges. 

We are doing this to provide easier access to these chairs to a wider number of people.  Under the current operating model for David’s Chair, anyone wishing to borrow one of their seven current chairs (for free) must bring a trailer hitch-enabled vehicle to Medford and pick up a chair and trailer to take where they would like to use it.  This severely limits access to other parts of the state.  One of the most popular uses for these chairs is to get out on the beach, hence our desire for host locations along the Oregon Coast.  Also, there are many parks in areas such as Springfield, Eugene, Salem and Portland along the I-5 corridor that visitors would like to access.

Reservations for free use can be made at: https://davidschair.org

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