Willamette Valley News, Monday 8/1 – Early Saturday Shooting Downtown Eugene, Lane County Releases Plan Outlining Pandemic Recovery

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, August 1, 2022

Willamette Valley Weather

Early Saturday Shooting Downtown Eugene

A Eugene man is in Lane County Jail accused of shooting a person outside a local business in downtown Eugene.

Eugene Police responded to reports of shots fired in the 90 block of West Broadway around 2:20 a.m. outside The Davis Restaurant and Bar.

Police said when officers arrived, a man had been shot and a suspect had been detained by a bystander. 

According to police, the scene was chaotic and a crowd was forming.

Both the victim and suspect were taken to a local hospital. The victim suffered life-threatening injuries, but is expected to survive, according to police.

Police identified the suspect as 23-year-old Kelon Logan.  Logan is facing charges of first degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.

Police Looking for Suspect Who Stabbed Woman at a Eugene Bowling Alley

Police are looking for a man who allegedly stabbed a woman at Strike City Bowling in Eugene Friday night.

The stabbing happened at about 10:45 p.m., police said. The suspect ran away from the scene to the north.

Officers said they used a K9 to look for the suspect, but did not find him.

The woman was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. She is expected to survive.

Police said the victim and the suspect know each other.

Elementary School Burglary in Creswell

(VIDEO LINK:  https://fb.watch/eDK78qoDzD/)

On July 28 just prior to 3:00am, security video captured two unknown suspects burglarizing Creslane Elementary School in Creswell. The suspects both appear to be white juvenile males. 

The first suspect is seen wearing a dark color hooded sweatshirt with dark color pants and dark colored tennis shoes.  He is also wearing what appears to be a camo backpack. 

The second suspect is seen wearing a dark color hooded sweatshirt with light color pants.  The second suspect is wearing black flip flops with white a white striped pattern over the toes.   

While in the school, the suspects stole ice cream and found paint supplies in a classroom.  They poured paint all over the floor, walls, and other classroom items. Cost to repair/replace the damaged items is likely to exceed $1,500. 

The suspects appear to have gotten paint on their clothing and shoes while committing the vandalism. 

Anyone with information regarding the identities or whereabouts of the suspects is asked to call the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 opt 1.  Please reference Case #22-4136.

Lane County Releases Plan Outlining Pandemic Recovery

Lane County has released its Annual Recovery Plan, providing residents with transparent information regarding efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and promote economic recovery. 

Lane County was directly awarded $74.2 million in Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. To date, $64.9 million of that award has been allocated for 40 projects, with $14.4 million expended to date.

In addition, Lane County received approximately $50.7 million in ARPA funds from other sources to fund specific, one-time projects, including:

  • $13 million from the State of Oregon’s ARPA allocation for 21 distinct projects (HB5006) 
  • $17 million Emergency Rent Assistance 
  • $5.2 million for utility assistance 
  • $15.5 million for McKenzie River Valley Water System Replacement from an Oregon Business Development Department ARPA grant 

The Recovery Plan includes information collected from more than 1,800 responses to a community survey. Input from the survey led the Board of County Commissioners to set aside $3 million in ARPA funds for community grants. Community grant awards will be determined in August. 

The Recovery Plan provides the public with information on the projects Lane County is  undertaking with ARPA funding and how they are working to ensure program outcomes are achieved in an effective, efficient, and equitable manner.

All counties with populations over 250,000 residents are required to publish and submit to the U.S. Department of Treasury a Recovery Plan performance report. More information and the full report can be found at:  www.LaneCountyOR.gov/ARPA.

Fatal Crash Highway 126W — Lane County

On Thursday July 28, 2022, at about 3:55 PM, Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Highway 126W near Mapleton.   

Preliminary investigation revealed that a Dodge Ram pickup, operated by Roger Montgomery, age 63, from Veneta, was westbound on Highway 126W making a left turn into the gas station in Mapleton. A Ford Focus, operated by Timothy Cooper, age 24, from Tidewater, was also westbound and rear-ended the Dodge Ram pickup. 

Cooper was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend and died on July 30, 2022, from his injuries.  Two additional occupants in the Ford Focus suffered minor injuries. 

Montgomery was treated and released for minor injuries at the scene. 

Highway 126W was reduced to a single lane for about six hours. 

OSP was assisted by Western Lane Ambulance, Siuslaw Valley Fire Department and ODOT. 

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Oregon mask guidelines –

Masks are not required for most indoor settings, but you still need to wear a mask in health care settings to keep everyone safe. Some businesses and schools may still choose to require masks. People may also choose to continue to wear well-fitting masks to protect themselves and others. Oregon’s full rule on masking, including a list of health care settings where masks are still required, is located here.

Quarantine requirements are lifted for most populations

This means most people do not need to quarantine when exposed to someone with COVID-19. You still must stay away from others if you test positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms after exposure.

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Fatal Crash State Route 140- Klamath County — Tow Truck Driver Killed

On Friday, July 29, 2022, at approximately 2:13 A.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a report of a pedestrian struck on State Route 140 near milepost 49.

A Ford F-150 was traveling eastbound on State Route 140 when it struck a tow truck operator, who was outside of his tow truck retrieving a vehicle from the side of the highway. The tow truck operator, identified as Spencer Hughes (32) of Klamath Falls, was transported by ambulance but died en route.

The investigation is ongoing. OSP was assisted on scene by Rocky Point Fire. Oregon State Police 

No photo description available.

Each year, hundreds of first responders and roadside workers are struck along our roadways. Oregon law requires drivers to Move Over or Slow Down when approaching stationary vehicles with flashing lights. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the law.

Drivers must move over to a non-adjacent lane (or slow down) when approaching the rear of police, fire, and ambulance vehicles, as well as any motor vehicle that is stopped and is displaying required warning lights or hazard lights, or a person is indicating distress by using emergency flares or posting emergency signs.

If you can safely move over when approaching a vehicle stopped for an emergency, do so. If you can’t, slow down.

Slow down means reducing your speed by at least five miles per hour below the posted speed of the roadway.

16 fires reported in Oregon including New fire with evacuations near Lake Billy Chinook and the McKinney Fire on Oregon California Border — McKinney Near Oregon Border Now Over 55-Thousand Acres; Two Dead

Thunderstorms and extreme heat have brought multiple new wildfires across Oregon, from a gigantic blaze on the border of Oregon and California to new wildfires in the southern and central Cascade Range all the way to the Sisters and Lake Billy Chinook area.

Air quality has declined across much of the state, large parts of the Pacific Crest Trail have been closed and new wildfires have been popping up and spreading rapidly Sunday evening. Red flag warnings for thunderstorms and “abundant lightning” have been issued for much of eastern, southwest and central parts of the state through Monday evening.

Here are the latest updates.

Fly Creek Fire brings evacuations near Lake Billy Chinook, 16 total wildfires reported in Central Oregon

The recently-ignited Fly Creek Fire has brought evacuations to the area around the Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon, fire officials said Sunday night.

The fire is estimated at 30 acres, officials said, in the Balancing Rocks area northeast of Camp Sherman. Calmer winds slow the blaze’s growth in the evening.

The Perry South and Monty campgrounds were evacuated on a level 3 “no now” order from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

A level 2 “get SET” evacuation notice was issued for the Three Rivers.

Cove Palisades State Park at Lake Billy has not been evacuated, according to state parks officials.

“Crews and a dozer will be working into the night,” fire officials said.

All totaled, 16 wildfires were reported due to lightning Sunday night, most of them small. Small fires have been confirmed near Cultus Lake, south of Wickiup Reservoir and near Wolf Mountain Lookout on the Ochoco National Forest, according to Central Oregon Fire information.

“We’re off and running,” fire information officer Kassidy Kern said. “Firefighters will look for 9 more fires that were reported this evening but have not yet been found. They’ll resume response efforts in the morning.”

Windigo Fire grows to 1,200 acres

The Windigo Fire, burning in the area of Windigo Pass south of Diamond Peak, is estimated at 1,200 acres, according to the Forest Service. The fire is actively burning in timber off Forest Service Road 60 on the Douglas and Klamath county divide, according to officials, in Umpqua National Forest.

It’s in a popular area near Timpanogas Lake.

Nearby, the Tolo Mountain fire in the Deschutes National Forest has burned 41 acres and is now 20% contained. High winds and temperatures caused fire crews to disengage with the fire Saturday evening, but fire lines held through the evening, according to Central Oregon Fire.

A large closure of trails and natural areas is in effect near the fire. A full list of closures can be found here .

Potter Fire grows to 150 acres near Lomolo Lake

A new blaze known as the Potter Fire grew to 150 acres Sunday on Potter Mountain, which is northwest of Lemolo Lake and north of the North Umpqua River, on the border of Willamette and Umpqua national forests.

The fire is located in remote terrain but is growing quickly, the U.S. Forest said.

“The fire was reported and very active although in a relatively remote area,” the agency said in a Facebook post .

McKinney Fire on CA border grows to 50k acres

The McKinney Fire, burning just south of the state border in the Klamath National Forest, increased overnight to more than 50,000 acres and is 0% contained. Firefighters will spend Sunday preparing structures and protecting the nearby communities of Fort Jones and Yreka City, according to Inciweb reports. Multiple evacuations have been ordered, and Highway 96 in the region remains closed.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3d2vSd_0gzfwPJU00

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshall mobilized three task forces Sunday morning, sending crews from Marion, Linn and Clackamas counties to provide support and protect communities in the area of the McKinney Fire, according to a news release. They have sent a total of 41 firefighters, 12 engines and three water tenders, and will remain in California for up to two weeks.

New lightning fires in the area are still being identified, including the Kelsey Creek Fire just south of the Kelsey Trailhead, which jumped containment lines and increased to about 15 acres Sunday morning, according to the forest service.

The McKinny Fire brought significant destruction to the small town of Klamath River.

Two bodies were found inside a burned-out car in the path of a huge wildfire raging near California’s border with Oregon, authorities said on Monday, as heavy smoke limited efforts to deploy aircraft to contain the blaze over the weekend.

Since it broke out on Friday, the fast-moving McKinney Fire has forced at least 2,000 residents to evacuate while destroying homes and critical infrastructure, mostly in Siskiyou County, home to Klamath National Forest, according to a release from Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday.

Two other fires in the county have forced at least 200 residents out of their homes, it said. Those fires grew to more than 1,700 acres combined as of Sunday, the U.S. Forest Service said.

Already the largest blaze in California this year, the fire had scorched 52,498 acres (21,245 hectares) and was 0% contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said in a Sunday evening update.

The two bodies were found on Sunday in a car parked in a residential driveway west of the community of Klamath River, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Monday. It said it would have no additional information about the deaths pending identification and notification of next to kin.

Heavy smoke above the fire region helped limit the growth of the McKinney Fire on Sunday but it also grounded aircraft used to fight the blaze, the U.S. Forest Service said in its statement.

Newsom declared a state of emergency for Siskiyou County on Sunday. The declaration will help residents gain access to federal aid and unlock state resources.

One of those forced to evacuate was Harlene Althea Schwander, 81, an artist who moved to the area only a month ago to be near her son and daughter-in-law.

“I’m very sad. My house is gone, all my furniture, all clothes, shoes, coats, boots. Everything is gone,” Schwander told Reuters on Sunday outside an American Red Cross evacuation shelter in the town of Weed, about 40 miles south of the McKinney Fire.

It is the second major wildfire to erupt in California this season. The Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park was 67% contained after charred more than 19,244 acres, Cal Fire said on its website.

Smoke from the fire is likely to persist in southern Oregon across next week, prompting a warning from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

McKinney, Alex and China 2 Fire Perimeter Updates as of 8/1/22 7 AM.

The maps below are from the latest infrared flight conducted very early this morning over the fire. It shows what is the best known location of the fire perimeters for each incident. The different colors also indicate where most intense fire activity is located. The first map is of the China 2 Fire and the second the McKinney and Alex fires. Based on the current data the McKinney Fire is estimated to be 55,493 acres and the China 2 Fire is estimated at 1,989 acres. The Alex Fire which is northwest of the McKinney Fire was last mapped at 80 acres.

For a full link to fire information please see the InciWeb link below: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/8287/70067/For evacuation information click the link below:https://community.zonehaven.com/?latlon=41.82241712634084,-122.95539351264563&z=10.422241185395976&fbclid=IwAR2NcFJOcoJmIzHjkxPtLrrSw7OnxuzmPojFrcLUgelVl85ZxR7haS29xKA

Dozens Rescued From Pacific Crest Trail As Mckinney Fire Threatens Area

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, at least 60 hikers were found on the trail in the Klamath National Forest and escorted to safety. A spokesperson from the sheriff’s office states that although no hikers were in imminent danger, the remote nature of the trail and the quickly changing wildfire conditions made search-and-rescue the best option.

Pacific Crest Trail Closures

A 110-mile long stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail, between mile markers 1600 and 1710, between Etna Summit in California to Mt. Ashland Ski Area in Oregon has been closed due to the McKinney Fire.

Another section of the PCT, between mile markers 1848 and 1908, about 60 miles of the trail between Crater Lake National Park and Bend, is closed due to the Tolo Mountain and Windigo Fires.

State to fully close Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program on August 12

 Historic levels of assistance distributed to Oregonians across the state

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) to close the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) on Aug. 12, 2022. The portal remains closed to new applicants. Tenants with current incomplete applications or in need of recertification are encouraged to submit their materials right away. No new applications are being accepted but tenants with existing applications in the system who fully submit their completed applications by the August 12 will continue to be processed as funds remain. 

The state was recently notified that it would receive nearly $7 million in additional federal emergency rental assistance funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This funding will support families and individuals who have submitted recertification applications for additional OERAP assistance.

“Throughout the pandemic, OHCS and our partners have worked relentlessly to distribute critical emergency resources to create stability for vulnerable renters and cash-strapped landlords—all in service to supporting an equitable recovery,” said Jill Smith, interim director of the Housing Stabilization Division at OHCS.

OHCS has paid out $390.38 million in emergency rental assistance to 60,829 households. The temporary emergency funding helped an estimated 130,000 Oregonians stay in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OHCS launched OERAP in May 2021, and after an initial slow start, the agency catapulted to become a state regularly ranked within the top five according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). The agency was awarded additional funding from the U.S. Treasury and Oregon Legislature based on the demonstrated need. The agency and its partners have distributed more than half a billion in rental assistance from state and federal funding since January 2021.

Oregon has provided the highest percentage of assistance out of all the states, according to the NLIHC, ranking Oregon first in the nation in the percentage of emergency rental assistance funds paid out and obligated.

“As one of a handful of top-performing states, our program attributes our ability to scale the program quickly to our strong partnerships. Yet the demonstratable need remains,” said Smith. “We always knew that even with record levels of assistance, the need in Oregon continues to far exceed the available funding. I’m grateful to the Oregon Legislature for taking the forward-thinking step of funding additional eviction supports for struggling Oregonians. We know the need continues.”

As OERAP closes, eviction prevention will remain a top priority. OHCS created the Oregon Eviction Diversion and Prevention (ORE-DAP) Program with part of the $100 million in eviction prevention funding the agency received from the Oregon Legislature in December 2021.
 

The new program aims to quickly assist Oregonians facing evictions by delivering rental assistance and other critical eviction and housing-related resources such as case management, mediation, and legal services. This program is being administered statewide by community action agencies in partnership with culturally responsive organizations. To access ORE-DAP resources, tenants may contact their community action agencies or call 2-1-1 to be connected to resources in their area. 

Important OERAP closure information for tenants

Tenants who previously received assistance and still need help must complete the recertification process on or before 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 12, 2022. Applicants must still be eligible for assistance to qualify for recertification payment.

Applicants may log in to the portal and check the status of their application to ensure it is complete. Tenants with incomplete recertification applications will need to provide missing documents or information. Failure to finalize and submit outstanding recertification applications by the deadline could result in the loss of SB 891 eviction protections.

If tenants are eligible to reapply and need additional assistance, they will receive an email with instructions on how to reapply. Remaining OERAP funding is limited, and even if an applicant is eligible, there is no guarantee their application will be funded.

Rental assistance remains available at the local level. For more information, tenants can call 2-1-1 or visit oregonrentalassistance.org. Individuals who have received an eviction notice should contact Oregon Law Center’s Eviction Defense Project for legal support. Landlords can be reimbursed for eligible non-payment costs such as rent and late fees incurred during the “safe harbor” period by applying to the Landlord Guarantee Program.

High Heat in Pacific Northwest Leads to Several Deaths

More than 13 million people across the Northwest are under heat alerts Sunday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. Major cities impacted include Portland; Seattle; Billings, Montana; and Boise, Idaho.

Here’s a look at forecast high #temperatures for #Sunday and there departure from climatology.
– Dangerous heat and above normal highs persist in the Northwest and begin building in the Upper Midwest.
– Typical summer heat is also expected in the Southern U.S. and Northeast. pic.twitter.com/C6lUFNmxuc— National Weather Service (@NWS) July 30, 2022

In Oregon, officials believe at least six deaths over the past week were heat-related.

The most recent death was reported Saturday in Clackamas County.

“The elderly male who died was in his home that had a non-functioning air conditioner,” the county said in a news release. The medical examiner’s office is investigating the official cause of death.

Five other suspected heat-related deaths happened in Multnomah, Clackamas, Umatilla and Marion counties, Oregon State Police spokesperson Mindy McCartt said Friday.

The official causes of those deaths are also under investigation, McCartt said.

The temperature at Portland International Airport reached or exceeded 95 degrees for “6 straight days, with 3 of those at or just above 100,” the National Weather Service said Saturday.

Portland remains under an excessive heat warning Sunday, the weather service said.

But the heat wave scorching the Northwest will ease up this week.

The most extreme temperatures have shifted away from the coast and into interior portions of the Northwest, Brink said Sunday.

Oregon Mother and Daughter Face Federal Charges for Roles in International Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Oregon mother and daughter, both members of a large international drug distribution organization based in India, are facing federal charges for conspiring with each other and others to traffic hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills into the U.S. for distribution in Oregon and elsewhere.

Jennifer McConnon, 48, and Sydney Sleight, 22, residents of Keizer, Oregon, have been charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances.

John Doe aka “Bunny Jinn,” the unnamed leader of McConnon and Sleight’s drug distribution organization, has also been indicted for their role in the conspiracy.

According to the indictment, Bunny Jinn would, from India, export packages of real and counterfeit pills containing various controlled substances including Tapentadol, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Clonazepam, Diazepam, Carisoprodol, Ketamine, and Tramadol into the U.S. McConnon and Sleight, operating in Oregon, received the packages, prepared the drugs for distribution, and distributed them to customers throughout the U.S.

Bunny Jinn, McConnon and Sleight used various encrypted messaging applications and services to communicate with one another and further their conspiracy. McConnon and Sleight, who maintained premises in Keizer to store and distribute the drugs, received more than 275 drug parcels via a post office box, and received payment for their participation in the scheme via several online payment applications.

McConnon made her initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Armistead. She was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and released pending a 5-day jury trial scheduled to begin on September 13, 2022. The date of Sleight’s first appearance in federal court is to be determined.

If convicted, McConnon and Sleight face maximum sentences of 20 years in federal prison.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Salem Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott M. Kerin is prosecuting the case.

Oregon gubernatorial debate, hosted by Oregon Newspaper Publishers

Friday saw the first debate between Oregon’s three candidates for governor—Christine Drazan, Betsy Johnson, and Tina Kotek.

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May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'MISSING KARIN DAWN RUSSELL, 17 Karin was last seen in Riddle, Oregon on July 19, 2022. Karin is 5'3" -5'6" and 145 150 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes. IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: -800-THE-LOST Douglas County Sheriff's Office: 541-440-4471 f/MissingNorthwest @MissingNW'

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

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

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