Willamette Valley News, Monday 7/25 – Eugene Artist’s Portrait of DeFazio Displayed in D.C., Lane County Non-Profits Band Together To Manufacture Mobile Housing Business In Eugene

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, July 25, 2022

Willamette Valley Weather

Heat Advisory in effect from July 25, 12:00 PM PDT until July 28, 09:00 PM PDT

The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a heat advisory for a heat wave that is expected to sweep across the Willamette Valley this week. The heat advisory runs from Monday to Thursday.

Eugene Artist’s Portrait of DeFazio as He Retires Displayed in D.C.

As he gets ready to retire, many of DeFazio’s colleagues from both sides of the aisle gathered for the unveiling of his portrait, which is symbolic of his time in the U.S. House.

After nearly 36 years in Congress, Rep. Peter DeFazio announced last year he was not running for re-election in
Oregon’s fourth congressional district. DeFazio, a Democrat, is the influential chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He helped shape a huge infrastructure package that passed last year.

Congressman Peter DeFazio has been honored many times during his long career representing the Fourth Congressional District. But one of the biggest honors of his career came Wednesday when the official portrait showcasing his time as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was revealed.

“Yesterday was kind of a big day for me,” DeFazio said Thursday during a press briefing with media. “We did the portrait unveiling in the Transportation and Infrastructure building.”

The portrait, painted by Eugene artist Lynda Lanker, will hang in Washington, D.C., honoring DeFazio’s term as chair. He was named chairman of the committee in 2019 and will serve until he retires early next year.

The painting shows the congressman with the gavel he uses to chair the committee. In the background is a photo of the Patterson Bridge that spans the Rogue River heading into Gold Beach. DeFazio said he wanted the bridge in the portrait because it showcases the work he did in Congress.

He explained at one time, the Oregon Department of Transportation was talking about tearing the historic bridge down, before DeFazio stepped in. “I got an $11 million earmark to rehabilitate that bridge,” he said. “It’s good for another 50 years at least, probably 100.”

As for DeFazio, his time as Oregon’s longest-serving congressman is coming to an end. But he promised not to leave quietly. “I’m still working and I’ve got a lot to get done,” he said.

Even when he does retire, DeFazio said he will continue to work on issues that are important to him. “I’m going to look for things to continue to be involved on a positive side to continue to help America and Americans,” he said. But in retirement, he also has other plans, plans much closer to home.

Lane County Non-Profits Band Together To Manufacture Mobile Housing Business In Eugene

Lane County non-profits will spend millions to build affordable mobile houses for Oregon residents. Manufacturing begins next year. The factory is located on 8th and Garfield in Eugene.

The project is a collaboration between St. Vincent de Paul and HOPE Community Corporation. They want mobile housing in the state that is energy efficient, fire resistant and easily repairable.

Units will be aimed at low-income communities and wildfire victims. State Representative Pam Marsh says that despite previous efforts, Oregon is lacking at least 110,000 housing units for residents.

“If we keep producing housing in the conventional way, the way we’ve been doing it, throwing hammers and throwing up sheet rock, we are never going to get ahead. We have to be innovative, we have to think differently.”

East Lane Commissioner Heather Buch represents an area burned by the 2020 wildfires. She says people there are still living in tents and RVs.

“They need a livable home. And I know that if these were ready today, they would be purchased up right away.”

The Oregon Legislature passed two bills this year that aid the project, providing $15 million in funding and limiting the restrictions that local governments can impose on mobile housing.

Manufacturing is expected to begin in July 2023, at an unused factory in Eugene. Organizers project that this will create 112 new jobs.

(UPDATE) Arrest Made for Murder in Kendra Hanks Case

UPDATE: July 22, 2022, 4:45 p.m., the Oregon State Medical Examiners Office has confirmed the deceased female found in Cow Creek on July 13th is 18-year-old Kendra Marie Hanks of Winston.

Arrest Made for Murder in the Case of Missing Winston Woman Kendra Hanks

RIDDLE, Ore. – A Riddle man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Kendra Hanks of Winston.

On Thursday, July 21, 2022, at approximately 3:30 p.m., detectives with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office along with investigators from the Douglas County Major Crimes Team contacted 39-year-old Troy Russell Phelps of Riddle at a residence in the 1500-block of Pruner Road in Riddle. Phelps had become a person of interest in the investigation into the disappearance of Hanks.

Phelps was taken into custody after speaking with Detectives. A search warrant was also executed at the residence where Phelps was residing.

On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office was notified of a deceased person found in Cow Creek in approximately the 9000-block of Cow Creek Road. Investigators responded to the scene and confirmed the death of an adult female, which is suspected to be Kendra Hanks. The body was transported to the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday, July 14, 2022. The death was ultimately ruled a homicide. Sheriff’s Office is awaiting positive identification from the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office has been and continues to be in communication with Hanks’ mother, who is aware of the latest developments in the case.

Phelps was transported to and lodged in the Douglas County Jail on charges of Murder in the First Degree and Resisting Arrest.

Phelps is lodged in the Douglas County Jail on charges of murder in the first degree and resisting arrest.

A quick google search and court documents and jail records indicate this is not Phelps’ first encounter with law enforcement. He has a history of bookings into the Douglas County Jail dating back to 2005, the most notable of which was an arrest on suspicion of first-degree murder in 2017.  (https://www.google.com/search?q=Troy+Russell+Phelps&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8)

Phelps was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Brandon Michael at Lawson Bar in Myrtle Creek in 2017. Although acquitted of the murder charge during a bench trial, Phelps was sentenced to 30 months in prison after a conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm. That sentence was signed by Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Ann Marie Simmons on Dec. 1, 2020.

Phelps was released earlier this year. 

The Douglas County Major Crimes Team which consists of investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, Roseburg Police Department and Oregon State Police working in consultation with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office has consistently and diligently worked on Kendra’s case. – Our condolences and thoughts and prayers go out to Kendra’s family.

Additional details surrounding the investigation will be withheld to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Anyone with information that would aid investigators is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (541) 440-4464 referencing case #22-2871. Douglas Co. Sheriff’s Office

Eugene Reflects on the World Athletics Championships as the Event Came to a Close Sunday

The international track meet brought thousands of visitors and global attention to the Willamette Valley college town, and while crowds may not have met expectations, it was still a busy 10 days for much of the city.

In general, the feel around Eugene was relatively relaxed. Athletes could be seen jogging across campus, while visitors toured the town on rented PeaceHealth Rides bicycles, and people strolled the sidewalks in town.

There was a brief gathering of protestors as many felt the University and Riverside Park Venues took business away from other downtown businesses who had planned for more business during the event.

It was also noted by many in the area that the usual homeless population in Eugene had just disappeared and it was nice to have more than 10 days in a row without chemtrails in the sky.

Covid-19 sickening thousands of Oregonians a week – while monkeypox causes several dozen cases

State health officials said Covid-19 is straining hospital capacity, especially in central and southern Oregon

The latest coronavirus variant is sickening thousands of Oregonians a week and increasing demand for hospital beds, and the monkeypox virus has spread only to a few dozen people.

Monkeypox is not something most people should worry about, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Oregon’s state epidemiologist, said in an online news conference on Wednesday. But Covid-19 remains a concern.

Reported cases and hospitalizations – along with wastewater sampling results – show “high levels” of transmission,” Sidelinger said. He noted that 21 counties in Oregon are considered at high risk, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only three counties – Hood River, Wheeler and Gilliam – are classified as low risk.

Sidelinger said hospitalizations for Covid-19 and other conditions – including people who had delayed care during the first two years of the pandemic – have thrown the state’s hospitals into a crisis.

“Our hospital systems are extremely stressed, and it’s not spread evenly across the state,” Sidelinger said. “But no health care system is immune from this.”

Central and southern Oregon hospitals are grappling with the highest rates of staff shortages, Sidelinger said. St. Charles Health System, with three hospitals in Bend, Madras and Prineville, recently laid off about 4% of its staff following a drop in revenue.

More info– For a Covid-19 vaccine, check the health authority’s webpage.

For monkeypox or hMPXV, check that webpage.Oregon Health Authority data do not single out St. Charles. Hospitalization numbers are grouped by region. Region 7, which includes Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake and Wheeler counties, has five out of 45 intensive care beds available. Region 2 – Benton, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties – has three out of 94 ICU beds free. And Region 5 in southern Oregon spanning Jackson and Josephine counties has five ICU beds available out of 58.

“Hospital beds, particularly ICU beds, are extremely limited now in Oregon,” Sidelinger said. 

Last week, 458 patients with Covid were hospitalized in Oregon, Sidelinger said, noting that the demand for beds has not lessened.

“We’ve remained essentially steady,” he said.

Like the rest of the country, a variant named BA.5 is dominant in Oregon. Specialists say it’s the most transmissible variant yet and is effective at evading immunity either by vaccination or prior infection. People who become infected can be reinfected two weeks later, experts said.

Nevertheless, Sidelinger said available vaccines remain effective at preventing severe illness. Health authority data show that people aged 65 and older account for most of the patients hospitalized. 

Many health experts initially thought immunity from COVID-19 vaccination or infection would slow down reinfections, but Omicron changed that.

The increased transmissibility of COVID-19 has caused some people to be infected more than once – in some cases, three or four times.

Scientists are studying reinfection, seeking to learn how many times someone can be infected and what health outcomes are caused by reinfection. https://covidblog.oregon.gov/what-we-know-about-covid-19-reinfections/

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Unseasonable Heat Targets Pacific Northwest

Summer is in full force for much of the United States as dry conditions take hold and sunshine blazes. After managing to avoid the worst Mother Nature has to offer for much of the summer, AccuWeather forecasters say the time has come for the northwestern United States to swelter amid unseasonable heat.

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An area of high pressure is set to expand across the Pacific Northwest through much of the week which will make dry and hot conditions the norm for many across the region.

“This high pressure will set the stage for a prolonged period of well above-normal temperatures,” cautioned AccuWeather Meteorologist Joe Bauer.

High temperatures will steadily increase by a handful of degrees each day from Sunday into the traditional workweek across much of the Pacific Northwest and into southern British Columbia, Canada. Around midweek, temperatures are forecast to soar 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit (5-8 C) above normal.

While highs may fall short of records in most locations during the upcoming heat wave in the Northwest, above-average temperatures for a prolonged period of time will put the heat into dangerous territory for some residents and visitors alike.

The potential for dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke will increase dramatically, especially for those partaking in rigorous exercise and manual labor, experts warn. People are urged to drink plenty of fluids and take breaks from the heat when possible.

As temperatures surge and rainfall chances remain minimal, soil and brush will dry out substantially during the heat wave, according to Bauer.

“The heat wave will dry out fuels as the region enters the peak of the wildfire season,” Bauer said.

Spring to early summer rainfall has been average to above average over much of the Northwest. Ample rainfall and temperatures near average have helped keep fuels moist thus far. But that combination has also allowed more grass and shrubs to grow, which can become more sources for wildfire ignition as the vegetation dries out later in the summer.

Take care to prepare for the upcoming heat wave – With daily high temperatures forecast to near or above the 100-degree mark next week across parts of the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Power is prepared 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 and on the distribution system,” said Erik Brookhouse, vice president of system operations for Pacific Power. “We are confident about our network’s readiness for this summer.”

Wildfire conditions have elevated too and Pacific Power has taken additional safety precautions in high risk areas to reduce the risk of wildfire. Among other measures, the company is conducting additional patrols of power lines and temporarily modifying targeted system settings to be more sensitive. 

Customers can also take steps to manage their energy use during the summer, staying comfortable while avoiding a surprise on your next bill. 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.

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Oregon Electric Utilities Filed Wildfire Mitigation Plans With The PUC

Public encouraged to prepare for the possibility of Public Safety Power Shutoffs during fire weather events

SALEM, Ore. – Electric utilities across Oregon have filed Wildfire Mitigation Plans (WMPs) designed to prevent and mitigate wildfire risk with the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC). The WMPs are the first to be filed since Senate Bill 762 passed during the 2021 legislative session requiring plans for all electric utilities providing service in Oregon. 

Senate Bill 762 established formal standards for electric utility wildfire mitigation plans, including the information utilities are required to include. Plans must identify areas at high-risk for wildfires within the utility’s service territory and actions to minimize those risks, as well as protocols for implementing public safety power shutoffs. Utilities also need to describe how they determined which risk reduction strategies to pursue. The bill required the three investor-owned utilities that are regulated by the PUC to submit their plans to the PUC by the end of 2021 and the PUC to approve them within 180 days after their submission. The remaining electric utilities throughout Oregon that are not regulated by the PUC, which includes cooperatives, People’s Utility Districts, and municipalities, submitted their plans for approval to their local utility governing body ahead of being filed with the PUC.

“The wildfire mitigation plans demonstrate a great deal of work to meet the needs of communities and keep pace with the changing wildfire risks,” said Letha Tawney, PUC Commissioner.

Included in the WMPs are the utilities’ plans to implement Public Safety Power Shutoffs. A PSPS is a measure of last resort to help keep people and communities in high fire-risk areas safe by proactively shutting off electricity during extreme and dangerous weather conditions when energized electrical lines could be damaged and ignite a fast-moving wildfire.

“As we anticipate higher than average temperatures in the next week, we appreciate that Oregon electric utilities have gone through the planning process to prepare for a possible PSPS,” added Commissioner Tawney. “No utility utilizes a PSPS lightly, but their implementation plans are designed to help keep Oregonians informed and safe in extreme fire weather.” 

View the 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plans for Oregon electric utilities.

Be Ready for the 2022 Wildfire Season and Potential PSPS Events

  • Register to receive alerts from official sources. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Also, sign up for emergency notifications with your local city and/or county, as well as outage alerts from your electric utility service provider. 
  • Develop an emergency plan and make sure everyone in your household knows and understands what to do in the event of an evacuation.
  • Create a circle of safety around your home, which is a fuel-free defensible space that can help reduce fire danger. Visit Keep Oregon Green for more information. 

Prepare for a potential power outage/PSPS event:

  • Be two weeks ready – Gather food, medical supplies, batteries, pet supplies, among other things, needed by family members during an outage or evacuation for up to two weeks. Learn more about what supplies to consider.
  • For individuals with a medical condition that requires power, please contact your service provider in advance of an outage to register a Medical Certificate. This certification provides added benefits and helps the utility ensure they meet your needs in the event of an outage. Also, consider a backup generator or alternative location for power needs.
  • Keep cell phones fully charged in anticipation of an outage. Consider a car-charger for cell phones and other electronic devices.
  • Make sure your utility service provider has current contact information for notifications by updating your account online.

During a power outage:

  • Contact your electric utility service provider to inform them of an outage. Avoid downed power lines at all costs.
  • Stay clear of utility crews working to restore service in your community.
  • Use flashlights or battery operated lanterns for emergency lighting. Do not use candles or other potential fire hazards.
  • Turn off lights and unplug electric appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer to help avoid a surge to the system when service is restored. After turning off all the lights, turn one light on to know when power has been restored. 
  • Use generators safely – Do not run the generator inside the home or garage or anywhere near a window or vent, as these spaces can capture deadly levels of carbon monoxide. Learn more about proper use of a generator✎ EditSign✎ EditSign to avoid hazardous conditions. 
  • Check on elderly neighbors or individuals with special needs who might need additional assistance.
  • Find creative ways to stay cool, including closing blinds and curtains, keeping the hottest rooms closed, stay hydrated, visit the local swimming pool, use a battery-powered fan, and avoid upstairs.

# # # The PUC regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities, including PGE, Idaho Power, Pacific Power, Avista, Cascade Natural, and NW Natural. The PUC also regulates landline telephone providers and select water companies. The PUC’s mission is to ensure Oregonians have access to safe, reliable, and fairly priced utility services that advance state policy and promote the public interest. We use an inclusive process to evaluate differing viewpoints and visions of the public interest and arrive at balanced, well-reasoned, independent decisions supported by fact and law. For more information about the PUC, visit oregon.gov/puc.     

Long Covid Continues To Keep Oregonians Out Of Workforce As State Rebounds From Job Losses

Oregon is nearing a full recovery of jobs lost during the pandemic, according to the Oregon Department of Employment. But the gains are uneven, and for some industries, and hundreds of thousands of Oregonians experiencing long Covid, the road ahead is still uncertain. 

Oregon has regained 94% of jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data the Employment Department released Wednesday. 

“We’re projected to return to pre-Covid job numbers fully by the end of this year,” said Gail Krumenauer, an employment economist at the department, in an online news conference. 

Nationwide, about 98% of jobs lost during the pandemic have been regained. 

In Oregon, construction, health care and social services, leisure and hospitality along with  “other services” that encompass everything from machinery repair to dry cleaning to pet care, experienced the largest job gains. No industry had significant job losses, but leisure and hospitality continue to lag behind the overall job gains of other industries since the onset of the pandemic. 

In 2019, nearly 2 million people in Oregon were employed, which was a record, according to a study by researchers at the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement. Within weeks of public health mandates that closed many businesses, nearly 15% of those jobs were gone. Nearly half were in the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurants and hotels. That sector has regained about 87% of the jobs it lost early in the pandemic, according to the Oregon Employment Department, but remains short nearly 17,000 jobs.

In Oregon, up to 280,000 people have missed at least one work day due to long Covid, according to the study. Long Covid is defined by the Mayo Clinic as persistent symptoms, or symptoms that appear four weeks or more after the initial infection. Up to 30,000 Oregonians with long Covid have missed more than a year of work, according to the study. This has led to wage losses up to $1 billion, the study said. One in five adults in the U.S. who has contracted Covid is living with long Covid, according to the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. This constitutes about 16 million Americans.The committee has found that about 1 million Americans have been forced to leave their jobs because of long-term medical conditions resulting from Covid. (Source: https://oregoncapitalchronicle.com/2022/07/20/long-covid-continues-to-keep-oregonians-out-of-workforce-as-state-rebounds-from-job-losses/)

Nearly Half Of Oregon’s Inmates Are Involved In A First-Of-Its-Kind Class Action Law Suit

A federal trial involving current or former Oregon inmates infected with COVID-19, including one who has died, is moving forward with notification of nearly half of the state’s prison population being included in a class-action suit.

Umatilla County is home to two of Oregon’s prisons: the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institute in Pendleton, and the Two Rivers Correctional Institute in the city of Umatilla. Several inmates were diagnosed with the virus at both facilities, and those numbers were counted in the county’s case rates, much to the dismay of Umatilla County commissioners and public health officials.

The US District Court in Eugene substantiated the suit’s class-action status in April. Since then, a court-appointed administrator has been reaching out to class-action members. According to the class-action notice, these include about 5,000 people who were infected with COVID-19 and imprisoned in Oregon since February 1, 2020, and tested positive after at least 14 days. The suit covers all prisoners infected this year from mid-February 2020 to May 31. According to the state Department of Corrections, that group represents 40% of Oregon’s prison population, which is over 12,000. There are 14 prisons for men and women in Oregon.

The case, brought by seven current and former inmates, accuses state officials of violating their Eighth Amendment rights, which guarantee protection from cruel and unusual punishment. It also claims that the state was negligent in protecting them from getting infected and preventing the death of the prisoner.

Lawyers said the lawsuit marks the first time in Oregon – and perhaps in the country – that a judge has certified a class-action seeking damages over COVID-19. More than 600,000 inmates have been infected with the coronavirus in the US and Puerto Rico, according to the COVID Prison Project, which is overseen by faculty and students at several universities across the country. Project figures show that around 2,900 people have died. According to the Oregon Department of Corrections, 46 inmates infected with the disease have died.

The case did not specify damages but lawyers said it could cost the state millions of dollars in damages and fees. If it goes to trial as requested, it will demonstrate the Correctional Department’s treatment of prisoners during the pandemic. Dozens of inmates sue the agency each year, often representing themselves. Most cases are dismissed.

Prisoners can choose to opt out of engaging in class action for whatever reason they want to file their case or for any other reason. If they are involved, they will share in the damages, the lawyers said.

One of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit, Juan Tristan, who is represented by his estate, contracted COVID-19 while imprisoned at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem and died a year earlier. Other inmates who have been named have been incarcerated or imprisoned with a prison in Salem or the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility at the Oregon State Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Wilsonville. The lawsuit does not detail the severity of their infection, but it blames government officials for not enforcing mask requirements, not properly screening visitors for COVID-19, failing to adopt a robust testing system for prisoners, and Alleges negligence in not providing cleanliness or training.

It said the state knows that masking and social distancing protect against the virus.

“The defendants have failed to take reasonable and prompt steps to adequately prevent, test and treat Covid-19 in all ODOC facilities,” the suit said.

Defendant – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown; Colette Peters, director of Oregon’s Department of Corrections and President Joe Biden’s nominee to head federal prisons; Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority; And seven current or former officials — court filings — denied they were negligent in protecting prisoners from COVID-19. He also said that he did not violate the inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights and was not responsible for “wrongful death.”

Spokespersons for Government Kate Brown’s office and the Department of Corrections declined to comment further on the matter, citing pending litigation.

The case was originally filed in April 2020. A US District Court judge granted class-action status to the case in November 2021, granting the case two classes: one for the wrongful death of 46 individuals and the second for the “harm class” of all those infected. Have become.

The state appealed the class-action decision but was denied in May. The state’s proposal for an early dismissal of the trial in the case was also rejected.

Plaintiff’s attorney and director of the civil rights project at the Oregon Justice Resource Center said some inmates were emotionally shaken.

Juan Chavez said, “I think the stories that stick with me are the same ones where people saw their cellmates die before them because of the disease, when it could have been prevented.” “It’s a particularly scary, dangerous and frustrating place to find yourself … where you have a system that is supposedly designed to keep the public safe, but the people inside these prisons. has also been kept safe, and it was just going to happen that so many people were going to die or get injured.”

The lawsuit states that the state “acted with willful indifference” by failing to protect prisoners, by not separating corrections officers who were infected from others. It also accused the state of being slow in vaccinating prisoners.

“On January 16 and 17, 2021, Oregon DOC offered vaccines to approximately 1,558 adults in custody who were considered high risk or who were elderly,” the suit said. “Despite the initial vaccination of a small number of adults in custody, the remaining adult population in custody – about 12,000 people – was not scheduled for vaccination at the time.”

In early February 2021, US District Court Judge Stacey Beckerman ordered the state to vaccinate all prisoners. Beckerman is also hearing the case.

The complaint states that allowing communal dining inside prisons is contrary to the statewide closure of restaurants and other eateries outside. The lawsuit states that prisons have poor ventilation that helps prevent the spread of the virus, and that the population is at high risk.

“Prisons and prisons also have a large proportion of the medically vulnerable and have limited medical resources available,” the suit said.

It said experts had predicted the pandemic would create a problem in prisons.

The lawsuit states that the first COVID-19 outbreak at an Oregon prison occurred through staff-to-staff transmission in late March 2020.

According to Chavez, after nearly a decade of litigation in a similar case in Arizona, the federal regime found that the state’s Department of Corrections had violated the Constitution in the care of prisoners. Damage was not involved in that case.

“It’s very rare that there is a way to explain how 5,000 people were injured in the same way,” Chavez said. “In terms of class action, money damage litigation is really a huge win. I hope people incarcerated in other states will see this and use it to get to court.”

The suit states that the damages in the case are justified because the state did not consider releasing prisoners to protect them, adding that it “is widely considered necessary in other jurisdictions.

If the state doesn’t settle the case, it probably won’t go to trial until 2024.

The State of Oregon has completed a settlement from a lawsuit filed in 2012 that claimed the state violated the law by segregating people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in sheltered workshops that often paid them less than minimum wage.  

Settlement dismissed in culmination of work to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in community employment

The settlement was reached in 2016.  It brought improvement in employment practices and opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.  In 2016, there were 143 people in community employment and that number has grown to over 15-hundred as of last year.  The state is working to increase job opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/DHSNEWS/NewsReleases/2022-07-21-Lane-v-Brown-settlement.

Bird Flu Quarantine In Deschutes County

The fourth case of bird flu is causing the poultry quarantine to expand in Deschutes County.  

The Oregon Department of Agriculture says the virus has been detected in a non-commercial flock of 40 chickens and ducks.  

The quarantine of all poultry animals now stretches halfway through Redmond and that includes the fairgrounds where the Deschutes County Fair and Rodeo starts August 3rd.  ODA is working with 4-H on aplan that will allow participants to exhibit and sell market birds, but a show for breeding birds has been canceled.

Public comments are wanted on a proposal to create a multi-parks pass that would provide access to Lava Beds National Monument, Crater Lake National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.

If implemented, the multi-park pass would allow visitors to access all four parks through the purchase of a single pass. According to a press release, the new pass would “align the price of each parks’ annual park pass to an equivalent amount, which would allow visitors unlimited entry with a valid park pass to these four National Park Service sites with the added convenience of only having to purchase one annual pass.”

Cost for the multi-park pass would be $55, the same as the current annual pass at Crater Lake, Lassen and Whiskeytown. It is a $10 increase to the current $45 Lava Beds pass. The annual multi-park pass is expected to be implemented Jan. 1, 2023.

The current National Park Service fee program began in 1997 and allows parks to retain 80 percent of monies collected. The remaining 20 percent goes into a fund to support park units where fees are not charged.

The comment period for the multi-pass began Friday, July 22 and will end Aug. 21. People can submit comments online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/fourparkpass and “Open For Comment.”
The comment link is only valid during the comment period.

For those who wish to comment by mail, comments should be sent to: Superintendent Lava Beds National Monument, P.O. Box 1240, Tulelake, CA 96134.

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May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'MISSING Hannah Rhoten Age: 23 Eye color: blue Hair color: brown Height: 5'3 Weight: 130-160 Last seen in Ashland, Oregon Hannah may have a tan dog with her, be wearing her septum piercing, and glasses. The last person she was seen with goes by "Bones". Hannah may be traveling on foot. On May 15, she was staying somewhere called "The Village". If you see/have seen Hannah, please contact the Eugene PD or Ashland PD. We just want her found safe and okay.'

Women Missing Since May 1st 2022 between Medford, Grants Pass and Roseburg per Oregon State Police

MAKENNA KENDALL                                   5/3/2022
ERICA LEE  HUTCHINSON                          5/26/2022                          
MARIAH DANIELLE SHARP                          6/12/2022          
KAITLYN RAE NELSON                                  6/14/2022                 
BROOKLYN JOHNS                                     6/14/2022
DONNA LEPP                                               6/27/2022  
BARBARA  DELEPINE                                    7/4/2022                     
****KENDRA MARIE HANKS                              7/7/2022 FOUND MURDERED 7/21/2022
CORI BOSHANE MCCANN                             7/8/2022
SHYHAILA SMITH 7/12/2022
ALEZAE LILYANNE MARTINEZ 7/13/2022
RAVEN RILEY                                                7/13/2022
TAHUANA RILEY                                        7/13/2022
DANIELLE NEWVILLE 7/14/2022

Women Missing Since May 1st 2022 in Lane County per Oregon State Police

BREISA RAQUEAL SIKEL                            5/3/2022
HANNAH MARIE RHOTEN                             5/17/2022
MARISSA ALEESA DAMBROSIO                  5/18/2022
ISABELLA BROSOWSKEYOUNGBLOOD    6/7/2022             
LOUISA DAY AVA                                           5/28/2022             
AMY CHRISTINA SULLIVAN                          6/1/2022
NIKKI ELIZABETH  ZEREBNY                              6/6/2022
SHADOW STAR SEVIGNY                               6/17/2022
SHAUNA LEAH HOGAN                             6/17/2022
AIRIONNA CHEALSEY RHODES                    6/27/2022           
KARISSA RENEE ADAMS                                7/6/2000
VERONICA ESSYNCE DELERIO                    7/6/2022
AUBRIE HANNA STEPHENS                           7/10/2022     
LARA IVEY STEINMETZ                                 7/11/2022
SARA LINDSAY SCHAEFER                            7/12/2022

This is just a small compilation of missing women’s pictures in the area. There are of course women missing all over Oregon and men and children missing. Sadly most of them never get any attention. Family and friends must keep any information going and lead investigations so that they aren’t just forgotten. https://www.oregon.gov/osp/missing/pages/missingpersons.aspx

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https://www.facebook.com/pg/Have-You-Seen-Me-Southern-Oregons-Missing-People-161249961222839/posts/

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