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
Friday, July 29, 2022
Willamette Valley Weather
New Luxury Apartments Planned In The Oakway Area
Another development project in Eugene near the Oakway area is looking to build about 159 luxury apartments.
The property is a roughly five-acre lot along Fairway Loop between Southwood Lane and Eastwood Lane, just east of the Eugene Country Club and west of Oakway Center.
People who live near the lot said they’ve been in communication with the developers for years to make sure there’s as little impact on their neighborhood as possible. They said an agreement has been reached.
It’s unclear at this time when construction will begin or how long it’s expected to last.
Fatal Pedestrian vs. Vehicle Crash Interstate 5- Linn County
On Friday, July 29, 2022, at approximately 12:02 A.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 5 near milepost 229.
A pedestrian entered the lane of travel on Interstate-5 and was struck by a Toyota van operated by Poblano Lopez (39) of Lynnwood, WA. on I5 southbound near milepost 229.
The pedestrian, identified as Charles Dwayne Hatfield (49) of Salem, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The operator of the van remained on the scene and cooperated with the investigation. The investigation is ongoing.
OSP was assisted by ODOT, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Salem Police Department, and Tangent Fire Department.
UPDATE: Five Members Of Eritrea Track And Field Team Reported Missing FOUND SAFE
Five members of a team that competed at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 have been reported missing, authorities in Eugene reported.
The Eritrean athletes Ande Filmon, Habtom Samuel Keleta, Merhawi Mebrahtu Teweldebererhan, Yemane Teklehaim Haileselassie and coach Berhe Asgedom Nigusse, were all located on Thursday, four days after the initial missing persons reports were filed.
The university released a statement Thursday that the five missing individuals had been located and are not in danger, according to the Eritrean National Athletics Federation. The federation said the athletes are resuming activities with the team.
The World Athletics Championships will be selling Oregon22 assets on Friday and Saturday.
“Get your piece of the first World Athletics Championships on U.S. soil,” said Jessica Gabriel, Athletics Championships communications director.
Everyone is invited to the sale in Eugene at McArthur Court, 1601 University Street, on July 29 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and July 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Oregon22 sale will include:
- Event apparel
- Branding and signage
- Office supplies and furniture
- Non-perishable food items
- Medical supplies (masks, hand sanitizer, latex gloves)
Roseburg Daycare Owner Pleads Guilty to Stealing Government Funds
The owner of a Roseburg, Oregon in-home daycare facility pleaded guilty today in federal court for stealing federal childcare funds. Katie Jo Thompson, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds.
According to court documents, Thompson cared for her disabled child while also operating a licensed childcare business out of her Roseburg residence. Thompson applied for various federal benefit programs administered by the Special Security Administration (SSA) on her child’s behalf. In these applications, Thompson misrepresented her household income, prompting an SSA investigation.
The investigation revealed that Thompson had applied for and received federal Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program funds administered by the Oregon Department of Human Services (Oregon DHS) to support her business. The ERDC program requires that childcare program operators maintain attendance logs for one year. When SSA investigators obtained these logs from Thompson, they showed that Thompson had misrepresented the number of children in her daycare facility resulting in ERDC payments for childcare not provided. Thompson further claimed children were present in the facility who had never attended.
Thompson also used individuals hired to care for daughter who were funded by Medicaid’s Personal Support Worker program to work in her daycare facility thereby allowing Thompson to forgo paying daycare employees herself.
Between January 2018 and December 2019, Thompson fraudulently received and converted to personal use more than $329,000 in federal assistance funds provided by SSA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On April 20, 2022, Thompson was charged by criminal information with one count of theft of government funds.
Thompson faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years’ supervised release. She will be sentenced on November 14, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken.
As part of her plea agreement, Thompson will pay restitution to the agencies she defrauded.
This case was investigated by the SSA Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG) with assistance from Oregon DHS. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Sowray is prosecuting the case.
Lebanon Fire District Unveils Plans for New Station 31 Construction
“In 2019, Lebanon voters passed a general obligation bond to replace the main Station 31 and key firefighting apparatus,” says Fire Chief Joseph Rodondi. “In 2020, COVID and a volatile material market required us to pivot and regroup. We brought on Emerick Construction with the design team to improve value engineering opportunities and keep the station on track and within budget.”
The design, created by architectural firm Rice Fergus Miller, addresses many of the key issues that the aging Station 31 was experiencing. More firefighter bunk rooms allow for the District to grow and keep up with population trends. Compliance with earthquake and building code was necessary to ensure our station could withstand a disaster. The new station design will also allow for a large community room, and improved training facilities.
“We respect and appreciate the fact that voters have chosen to support the Fire District and this new station,” says Chief Rodondi. “This won’t just be a new station for us, but for the entire community.”
Construction is expected to ramp up at the end of this summer, with temporary living quarters already delivered and plans for demolition of the current station forthcoming. Before being demolished, the LFD Training Division has plans to conduct training exercises with other local agencies in the building.
“Station 31 has given the District and the community so much in the nearly 50 years of its lifetime, and will continue to provide invaluable training opportunities even as its lifespan comes to an end. It is bittersweet to see it come down, but we could not be happier with the direction we are headed in the future.”
Station 31 is expected to be completed by the end of 2023/early 2024. Lebanon Fire District
We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently. Note: Starting Aug. 10, we will stop reporting recent cases, active outbreaks and resolved outbreaks in workplaces, childcare settings and K-12 schools in the COVID-19 Biweekly Outbreak Report. (http://ow.ly/rRil50K6OCq ) We will continue to report active and resolved outbreaks in long-term care facilities, senior living communities and congregate living settings.These changes will not affect case and outbreak reporting to OHA. Monitoring outbreaks, especially in high-consequence settings, remains a priority for us. We will continue to work with local public health authorities to provide resources and support during outbreak responses. We are making the changes for several reasons. One reason is to align resources and staffing with the current stage of the pandemic and other public health needs. In addition, universal case investigation and contract tracing ended earlier this year, and OHA advised local public health authorities to focus data collection and response on outbreaks in high-consequence settings. For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/NfsT50K6OCp
Join us Friday, July 29 at noon for a free webinar to learn about COVID-19 treatments: http://ow.ly/Tvxx50K6Te5A panel of community leaders and health care professionals will discuss topics such as the status of COVID-19 in Oregon, who can get COVID-19 treatment (monoclonal antibodies or oral antivirals) and how to find treatment if you need it.Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions during the live event or emailing OHA.email@example.com ahead of time.ASL interpreters will be present.If you’re unable to attend the live event, the webinar will be recorded and posted on our website here: http://ow.ly/uc5a50K6Tcq
OSFM to pre-position firefighting resources in Klamath County ahead of elevated fire risk
SALEM, Ore. – The combination of hot weather and lightning in the forecast in Southern Oregon has prompted the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to pre-position a structural taskforce of firefighters and equipment in Klamath County over the coming weekend.
The taskforce from Lane County, made up of 14 firefighters, four engines, and a water tender, will arrive in Klamath County on Friday, July 29 and will be pre-positioned for 72 hours. The team may stay longer if needed. The taskforce will be on the ground to add additional firefighting capacity if a brush or wildfire breaks out.
“Pre-positioning resources provides additional capacity through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) to areas of Oregon where fire activity could challenge local resources.” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “Rising to the challenge of wildfires is a statewide effort through our response system, truly Oregonians helping Oregonians when they need it.”
Pre-positioning resources is just one of the tools the OSFM has as part of its Response Ready Oregon initiative. Pre-positioning resources is a proactive way to strategically place firefighting resources to keep fires small and away from communities. These resources will bolster any initial fire attack or respond quickly to other emerging incidents in the state. These firefighters and equipment are not being assigned to a specific incident but will be an added resource to increase the state’s readiness if there is a fire.
“This taskforce will give us much-needed capacity and give us the opportunity to keep any fire small. We appreciate the availability of resources through OSFM,” Keno Fire Chief John Ketchum said.
Currently, the OSFM is not mobilizing any of its Incident Management Teams (IMTs). The teams are ready to go if they are needed.
As this hot weather continues, the OSFM encourages all Oregonians to be aware of the dry conditions and take the necessary precautions to avoid sparking a human-caused fire.
ABOUT RESPONSE READY OREGON
The OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative was created to help bolster capacity and modernize wildfire response within the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS). The goal of Response Ready Oregon is to attack fires while they are small and keep them out of communities.
BLM Announces Contracting Opportunities For Hazardous Fuels Reduction
Contracts funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will aim to protect vulnerable communities from wildfire while preparing natural landscapes for a changing climate
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Bureau of Land Management announced contracting opportunities in Oregon and Washington for hazardous fuels reduction projects to reduce wildfire risk, restore forests and protect communities. The work will be funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which is bringing much-needed support to communities across the country to increase the resilience of lands and better support federal wildland firefighters. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides BLM with $878 million over the next five years to plan and implement fuels management.
Hazardous fuels treatments aim to reduce the dangerous buildup of vegetation that could result in highly destructive wildfire and to restore forest health. Large wildfires threaten lives, homes, and businesses, and it costs millions in taxpayer dollars to fight the fires and rebuild afterwards.
The BLM issued solicitations in four regions in Oregon and one region in eastern Washington. In each region, the BLM released two solicitations: one for mechanical treatments and one for manual treatments. Mechanical treatments can use a variety of heavy equipment for treating heavy fuel loads. Manual treatments use hand tools or small power tools, often as part of creating defensible space around buildings or ecologically sensitive areas.
The solicitations are on SAM.gov through the following links or by searching the key words, “hazardous fuels.” Proposals must be received to BLM’s National Operations Center by 1 p.m. Mountain Time on August 5, 2022.
Manual Hazardous Fuels Treatment Solicitations:
- 140L0622R0013 Central Oregon
- 140L0622R0014 East Oregon
- 140L0622R0011 Southwest Oregon
- 140L0622R0012 Northwest Oregon
- 140L0622R0015 East Washington
Mechanical Hazardous Fuels Treatment Solicitations:
- 140L0622R0018 Central Oregon
- 140L0622R0020 East Oregon
- 140L0622R0017 Southwest Oregon
- 140L0622R0016 Northwest Oregon
- 140L0622R0019 East Washington
– BLM –
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash.
Crater Lake National Park Implements Full Fire Ban
With the continued fire danger in southern Oregon, Crater Lake National Park will go into a full fire ban. The outlook is for above normal significant wildland fire potential for the next several months.
To ensure public safety and to provide the highest degree of protection to park resources, the fire ban was implemented yesterday, and includes the following restrictions:
Wood fires and charcoal fires are NOT allowed in Crater
Lake National Park at this time.
Liquid fuel, propane camp stoves, and gas grills are
permitted in campgrounds, picnic areas, backcountry areas
and residential areas.
Smoking is permitted only in the following areas: In vehicles, provided that an ashtray is used for ashes and
While stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter
that is barren or free of all flammable materials. Ashes and
butts must be disposed of safely and may not be discarded
on the ground.
Fireworks are prohibited in the park at all times.
The purpose of these restrictions is to ensure the safety of park visitors and employees, and for the protection of the park’s natural and cultural resources. These restrictions are dependent upon fire activity and weather conditions and will remain in effect until conditions improve. These restrictions are implemented pursuant to the authority described in 36 Code of Federal Regulations 2.13(c), 2.21(a) and 2.38 (b). Our goal is voluntary compliance; however, persons who fail to comply with these restrictions may be cited or arrested. Thank you for your cooperation.
Endorsements Begin to Show Shape of Oregon Governor’s Race
Although election season is now in the political doldrums where campaigns go mostly dark until Labor Day, each of the three major candidates for Oregon governor made news this week.
Former state Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who is now unaffiliated with any party, reported a $100,000 contribution from Sid DeBoer, founder and chairman of Lithia Motors.
GOP nominee Christine Drazan reported a $250,000 contribution from the Republican Governors Association, a further sign that national money thinks a Republican could win the governor’s race for the first time in 40 years. The RGA has now given Drazan a total of $569,000.
Former House Speaker Tina Kotek, the Democratic nominee, racked up endorsements from Everytown for Gun Safety, a Michael Bloomberg-funded group, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
The top candidates for governor continue to pile up stacks of cash in the race to the top of Oregon’s political pyramid. The trio has raised over $17.1 million since January 2021, on pace to blow past the 2018 record of $40 million when Democratic Gov. Kate Brown beat former Republican Rep. Knute Buehler of Bend.
The primaries are two months past and the general election more than three months away. The latest reports filed with the Oregon Secretary of State show a fluid financial situation. Kotek and Drazan are coming off a May primary that saw the pair emerge from a combined roster of 34 candidates lured by the first open governor’s race since 2010.
Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council has now approved BHRNs in 31 counties for drug treatment and recovery services
The Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) approved two additional Behavioral Health Resource Networks (BHRNs) in Clatsop and Linn counties yesterday.
The OAC has now approved BHRNs in 31 out of 36 counties.
The new approvals represent an investment of more than $13.4 million, bringing the total BHRN funding to approximately $151.2 million. To date, nearly $193.4 million has been allocated in support of Measure 110, including Access to Care (ATC) grant funding.
OHA has developed a statewide map visualization that shows the BHRNs that have been approved for funding (in orange), along with those that have been selected by the OAC (in blue) and are in negotiations for funding approval.
See OHA’s robust new dashboard showing the BHRN approval and funding progress to date. OHA will continue to provide frequent updates on the funding process.
Other M110 funds to be disbursed — A three-month extension was offered to ATC grantees through Sept. 30, 2022.
Twenty-eight of the original 66 recipients received first-round extensions for a total of $5,725,054.93. Fifty-four of the original 66 recipients requested second-round extensions; of those, 41 were found eligible for additional funds totaling $4,356,343.
The additional funds are in the process of being disbursed, bringing the total ATC funds to be disbursed to approximately $41.6million.
These funds will prevent a lapse of funding or interruption of service for grantees while the OAC continues to review and approve applications.
ATC grantees comprise 70 substance use treatment programs that provide treatment, housing, vocational training and other life-changing support services.
Background: In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act of 2020, which became effective Dec. 4, 2020, to better serve people actively using substances or diagnosed with a substance use disorder. In July 2021, the legislature passed SB 755, which amended the act and made it more feasible to implement.
People who provide drug treatment and recovery services and advocates for criminal justice reform wrote Measure 110 in response to the high rate of drug addiction and overdoses in Oregon, and the disproportionate impact of those outcomes on Oregon’s communities of color.
Their goal was to establish a more equitable and effective approach to substance use disorder. OHA is working with the OAC to develop a first-in-the-nation health-based approach to substance use and overdose prevention system, which is more helpful, caring and cost-effective than punishing and criminalizing people who need help.
Portland TV Camera Man Assaulted While Filming Story
A TV cameraman for Portland’s NBC affiliate, KGW-TV, has been assaulted while filming a local news story on a cooling station set during this week’s Pacific Northwest heat wave, the station and police said.
KGW said in a story posted Tuesday that the photojournalist, who was not named, was wrapping up a Monday video shoot at Lents Park, where a non-profit was offering water and cooling supplies, and had his camera beside him. The man jumped over a picnic table, punched the cameraman and chased him to his news van.
The assailant then reached the van before the reporter could lock his door and opened the door, punching him again.
The incident was captured on camera by a second photojournalist from the station who called 911.
Suspect Joshua David Sears, 31, was found near the scene and arrested on charges of misdemeanor assault and harassment, according to court records. He was being held without bail due to similar assault arrests in March and May, according to court records and police.
The journalist suffered several cuts and a bruised eye. He was bandaged by paramedics on the scene but didn’t need to go to the hospital.
Chance to Win Gas For A Year + More When YOU Donate Blood to American Red Cross
American Red Cross sees Concerning Drop in Blood and Platelet Donations this Summer — Chance at gas for a year for those who come to give in August, plus $10 e-gift card
Just as most cars need to be refueled constantly, so does the nation’s blood supply. The American Red Cross has faced a concerning drop in blood and platelet donations this summer. Donors are needed to make an appointment to give in August to help prevent a blood shortage.
The decline in donations has caused the Red Cross blood supply to shrink nearly 20% in recent weeks. The availability of blood products will continue to decline if donations do not increase. People should not wait until they hear there is a blood shortage to give. Type O negative blood donors and platelet donors are especially needed now.
“This is a concerning trend that may soon make it tougher to keep blood products stocked on hospital shelves,” said Paul Sullivan, Red Cross senior vice president of donor services. “By choosing a time to give now, donors can help pump up the blood supply for those in immediate need of lifesaving care and those who rely on transfusions for treatment.”
Donors can schedule an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Fuel up on us — As blood and platelet donations drop, gas prices have reached all-time highs in the U.S. As a thank-you, all who come to give Aug. 1-31 will be automatically entered for a chance to win gas for a year, a $6,000 value. There will be three lucky winners. Everyone who comes to give blood or platelets in August will also receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice.
Visit RedCrossBlood.org and put in your zip code to find a donation site near you.
Click here for b-roll of people giving blood.
Blood drive safety – The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control. The Red Cross will continue to socially distance wherever possible at blood drives, donation centers and facilities. While donors are no longer required to wear a face mask, individuals may choose to continue to wear a mask for any reason. The Red Cross will also adhere to more stringent face mask requirements per state and/or local guidance, or at the request of blood drive sponsors. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at a drive.
Oregon and Washington still require face masks be worn at all blood drives and donation sites.
How to donate blood – Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross. — American Red Cross – Cascades Region —— # # # Terms apply. Visit rcblood.org/fuel for details.
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|
|CONNIE LORAINE BOND 7/19/2022|
|KARIN DAWN RUSSELL 7/19/2022|
|CHEYENNE SPRINGS 7/19/2022|
|KAREN ANNETTE SCIORTINO 7/22/2022|
|MARLENE HICKEY 7/23/2022|
|MAKAYLA MAY VAUGHT 7/23/2022|
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|
|ANGELINA MARIE NAZAR 7/16/2022|
|LUCIA MARTHA PANNIER 7/17/2022|
|MALINA LINN COATS 7/20/2022|
As of today, 7/6/2022, there are now 37 women missing between Medford and Eugene. Sadly Kendra Hanks has been found murdered, though that takes her off the list. We send thoughts and prayers to her family as well as the families of all missing people in our area.
37 women missing in less than 3 months. That averages out to a little more than 12 missing per month. Something needs to be done.
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