Willamette Valley News, Tuesday 8/2 – Cottage Grove Police Chief And Captain Placed On Leave Amid Investigation, Corvallis Man Arrested for Kidnapping

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

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Willamette Valley Weather

Cottage Grove Police Chief and Captain Placed On Leave Amid Investigation

On Friday, Cottage Grove placed the city’s police chief and captain on paid administrative amid an independent investigation. The city is not disclosing what the allegations against them are or the scope of the investigation.

Cottage Grove Police Chief Scott Shepherd and Capt. Conrad Gagner were placed on paid leave Friday, Jake Boone, the assistant to the Cottage Grove city manager, said on Monday. They will be kept on leave until the end of the investigation.

Boone declined to comment on what the investigation is about. “This is the beginning of the investigation, not the end, so there should be no presumption of wrongdoing with regards to anybody,” he said. “No conclusions have been made.”

Boone said outside departments are conducting the investigation.

The temporary new chief will be Jeffrey Groth, who retired as the police chief for Sherwood last year, Boone said. Prior to that job, Groth served as a police officer in Tualatin starting in the late 1980s. Groth had been residing in La Pine but will stay in Cottage Grove during his interim role, Boone said.

Boone added that the Lane County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to provide help if necessary during the investigation. The change was first reported by KEZI-TV.

Gagner is the only captain in the department, according to the online personnel webpage . The personnel list shows there are currently 13 officers and three sergeants.

Corvallis Man Arrested for Kidnapping


On Saturday, July 30, 2022, at about 6:00 a.m., Benton County Sheriff’s Office Deputies arrested Daniel Lee Adams, 51, of Corvallis, for eluding deputies in a vehicle after kidnapping a female known to him.

Deputies were dispatched to an argument in the 29800 block of Highway 99W, south of Corvallis, early Saturday morning where they spotted the suspect’s red Lincoln sedan traveling east on Bruce Rd. 

Deputies initiated a traffic stop. They could see the male holding the female, preventing her from leaving the car as the Lincoln began to accelerate away from deputies. The vehicle drove north on Highway 99W at a high rate of speed, passing vehicles both in its own lane and in the oncoming lane. 

While the vehicle was continuing north at speeds around 80 mph, the passenger’s door opened and deputies could see the female attempting to leave the vehicle, but then being pulled back in multiple times. The driver then pulled into a store on Greenberry Rd where his vehicle was disabled. Deputies immediately took the driver into custody and safely secured the female.

Adams was arrested and transported to the Benton County Jail where he currently remains held on $25,000 bail. He was charged with Menacing, Coercion, Kidnapping 1, Reckless Endangering, Assault IV, Elude-Felony, Reckless Driving, DUII, Driving While Suspended­ Misdemeanor, and Criminal Mischief 2.

“The involved Deputies did an amazing job of bringing this situation to a quick resolution and I couldn’t be prouder,” stated Sheriff Van Arsdall. 

No additional information is available at this time. An updated press release or social media post will be pushed out if investigators learn more.

Passerby Shot on McGowan Creek Road

Sunday night just prior to 9:00pm, Lane County Sheriff’s deputies responded to McGowan Creek Rd. after learning that someone had been shot while driving in the area.  The victim of the shooting, a 29 year old male, advised that he and his vehicle were shot multiple times by birdshot from a shotgun while driving on McGowan Creek Rd. Despite numerous injuries from being shot, including to his face, the victim was able to flee and drive himself to responding paramedics.  He was transported to an area hospital and he is expected to survive.

Deputies searching the area where the shooting occurred located a male walking along McGowan Creek Rd. near milepost 7.5.  The male had been carrying a gas can and claimed that his vehicle ran out of gas.  He was identified as 31 year old Cody Michael Hays.  Hays denied involvement in the shooting or having possession of a shotgun.  Deputies located Hays’ vehicle a short distance away.  There was a shotgun in plain sight inside the vehicle.  Hays provided little further statement.

Deputies applied for and were granted a search warrants for Hays’ vehicle.  Upon service of the warrant, they recovered the shotgun and discovered that it was confirmed as stolen.  Birdshot shells similar to those used in the shooting were also recovered. 

Hays was taken into custody and lodged at the Lane County Jail.  As of this writing he remains in custody on charges including Assault in the First Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

This case remains under investigation.  Anyone with any information is asked to contact Lane County Sheriff’s Office detectives at 541-682-4150 opt. 1.  Please reference case LCSO Case #22-4250.

State of Oregon and City of Eugene Announces House America Partnership

The state and City of Eugene join Washington County and Bend as Oregon House America communities

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services Director Andrea Bell and Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis announced that Oregon Governor Brown and Mayor Vinis have joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s House America: An All-Hands-On-Deck Effort to Address the Nation’s Homelessness Crisis. The announcement was made today at the opening celebration for The Nel, a permanent supportive housing community for people experiencing chronic homelessness in Eugene.

“Housing is a critical determinant of health, that has never been more evident. At the local, state, and federal levels, we must take every action necessary to work towards ensuring the people of Oregon have a safe and affordable place to call home,” Director Bell said. “That is our commitment and collective responsibility.”

OHCS and other House America partners will work with HUD and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to use federal, state, and local resources to help reach national goals. The House America partnership aims to re-house at least 100,000 households experiencing homelessness nationwide and add at least 20,000 new affordable homes into the development pipeline by Dec. 31, 2022.

Oregon is committing to re-house 3,500 people and fund the creation of 214 permanent supportive homes by the end of 2022, including small towns and rural communities in the state.  The City of Eugene commits, by the end of 2022, to adding 152 units to their housing development pipeline that will serve people exiting homelessness, an additional 47 units for extremely low-income households, and is committed to re-housing 45 households from homelessness into housing.

HUD’s 2021 Annual Homeless Assessment Report found 9,048 sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals in Oregon, 2,317 of whom were in Lane County. COVID-19 has created greater urgency to address homelessness, given the heightened risks faced by people experiencing homelessness.

“Secretary Fudge and I are thrilled to have the State of Oregon and City of Eugene signing on to House America,” said HUD Regional Administrator Margaret Salazar. “Oregon and Eugene have been at the forefront of affordable housing development at a national level, and it makes sense that they would leverage their expertise and innovation as part of this initiative. They join two other House America communities in Oregon – Washington County and Bend – and their commitment to getting more people indoors is what House America is all about.”

Through the American Rescue Plan, communities now have historic resources—70,000 emergency housing vouchers and $5 billion in HOME Investment Partnerships grants—to help more Americans obtain the safety of a stable home. In Eugene, HUD awarded 184 Emergency Housing Vouchers and $4,728,637 in HUD HOME Investment Partnerships Program funding, a resource that can be used to achieve Eugene’s housing goals.

“The City of Eugene is pleased to sign onto this important initiative. We look forward to working with HUD and the other House America partners to continue our work towards addressing the homelessness crisis, making homelessness in our community, and across America, rare, brief and non-recurring,” said Mayor Vinis.

The Nel fits within Oregon’s House America target goals by creating 45 studio apartments where there will be on-site property management and supportive services. As a Permanent Supportive Housing Program, The Nel will feature services aimed at helping people stay permanently housed, such as case management, health care, connections to employment and educational services, and assistance with independent living skills.

More than 100 states, cities, counties, and Tribes have joined House America to date. For more information, visit the HUD House America website.

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.

We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently. Note: This report covers the three-day period from July 29 to July 31, 2022. Due to a processing error on Sunday, July 31, not all data are reflected in today’s report. We expect the missing data to be reflected in tomorrow’s report.For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/1Vv750K94AY

Screen shot of linked dashboard shows a decrease trend in cases. Test positivity, hospitalizations and vaccinations have plateaued. Please visit healthoregon.org/coronavirus for more.
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McKinney Fire Wildfire Update

Fire activity was again mitigated today by cloudy, cooler conditions. On the McKinney Fire, no perimeter growth was observed. Crews were able to work successfully behind the city of Yreka, bringing dozer line along the ridge to protect the structures. In the steep area on the fire’s southern edge, hand crews worked on direct line construction near Baldy Gap, and in Humbug Creek. The fire continued to back down toward the river in the Walker Creek area, and crews worked there to protect structures. On the west side of the fire, dozers are working there way into the fire’s edge, constructing line from Steelhead and Scott Bar to cut off the fire’s western and southern spread.

The China 2 Fire, located south of Highway 96 near Fort Goff, is slowly backing toward Highway 96 in several locations and is very visible from the road. Crews are stationed along the highway and around structures in the area. Fire behavior has been moderate. Both handcrews and dozers are working to construct line, from China Mountain southwest toward China Point, and southeast toward West Grider Creek. Progress on those lines was good today.

Nineteen wildfires began over the weekend in Oregon, many started by lightning strikes, as the wildfire season begins in earnest in the state.

Some of the fires have triggered scattered evacuation warnings, closed a 60-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail near Crater Lake and shut down some campgrounds.

Lightning started the 400-acre Potter fire on Sunday, burning near Potter Mountain in the Umpqua National Forest, as officials reported nearly 900 lightning strikes in the 24 hours that ended at 8 a.m. Monday.

It’s one of three large fires now burning in Oregon. The others are the nearby 1,500-acre Windigo fire that started Friday in the Umpqua National Forest and the 425-acre Big Rattlesnake fire just southwest of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Lightning sparked the Big Rattlesnake fire on Sunday on public and private land, but fire officials don’t know the cause of the Windigo fire, which began Saturday.

Lightning remained a fire-starter threat through Monday as thunderstorms were in the forecast, said Carol Connolly, a spokesperson for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, which oversees fires in Oregon and Washington.

The Potter and Windigo fires closed the Kelsay Valley Horse Camp, Kelsay Valley Forest Camp, Connie Lake and Linda Lake as well as trails nearby. The Pacific Crest Trail was closed from Oregon 138 (mile 1,848 at the northern boundary of Crater Lake National Park) to Oregon 58 (mile 1,908 at Willamette Pass).

Near the Big Rattlesnake fire, the Baker County Sheriff’s Office labeled the area west of Oregon 203 as a Level 1 evacuation — “Be Ready” — while residents east of the highway no longer have an evacuation order.

The highway at one point was closed to all traffic except for emergency vehicles and local residents.

All three of the bigger fires remained at 0% containment as of Monday morning.

It’s too early to say if the wildfires now burning bode for a busy season, Connolly said.

Recent temperatures hitting near 100 and above in Oregon aren’t to blame for the start of the wildfires, but they can contribute to the spread of active fires because of dry ground conditions, she said.

“Our fire season runs the gamut. We’ve had our firefighters on duty since early spring and they’ve been assisting in other states,” Connolly said. “When you look at fire starts and causes, we can’t predict where that lighting is coming in. The one thing we can do is reduce the risk from our human-caused fires.”

To that end, Connolly urged people planning outdoor adventures to check the fire safety rules before arriving and ensure that they put out all open flames before leaving the area.

Legislators Filing Measure To Freeze Property Taxes For Seniors

Last week, four state Republican lawmakers launched a ballot measure, asking voters to sign and support a petition for a constitutional amendment that would freeze the property tax assessment of a primary residence in the year in which a senior homeowner reaches age 65.

Senators Bill Kennemer of Oregon City and Kim Thatcher of Keizer, along with Representatives Cedric Hayden of Fall Creek and Raquel Moore-Green of Salem say Oregon consistently ranks as one of the most expensive states in the nation for seniors to retire. A release said that is given the high cost of housing and the fact that Oregon taxes senior retirement and pension incomes.

In 2019, House Joint Resolution 25 was sponsored by Hayden, who is now the political action committee director for the Committee to Pass the Oregon Senior Property Tax Freeze Act. The release said it was part of a larger tax package drafted by senate and house Republicans aimed at bringing down the high cost of living for working families and small business owners. Hayden said COVID and supply chain and inflation issues created a situation that has devastated working Oregonians and seniors, particularly those on fixed incomes. Hayden said, “HJR 25 was blocked by the majority party, so we’re going to find another way to get this to the people of Oregon on their ballots”.

The release said to quality for the ballot title, petitioners must submit 1,000 valid signatures and go through the ballot titling process with the Secretary of State’s Elections Division. Upon achieving a ballot title, the measure will need valid signatures equaling eight percent of the total ballots cast in the upcoming 2022 gubernatorial election to quality the measure for voter consideration in 2024.

Hayden said when the issue was polled in 2019, 79 percent of Oregonians stated that they would support the measure.

The committee expects to turn in the signatures to quality for the title later this fall so that petitioners can have the full ballot title ready for signature gathering in early 2023.

The Central Oregon Providers Network, representing about 300 St. Charles Medical Group physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other health care workers, said they re-filed their petition Monday with the National Labor Relations Board for union representation, calling it “a re-do after hospital management stalled the process with unsubstantiated accusations.”

The hospital responded that it was trying to assure the laws regarding union organizing efforts are followed.

The health care workers initially filed their petition on June 3, but St. Charles management alleged that some of the campaign’s original organizing team leaders were supervisors, according to a statement from their intended union, AFT (American Federation of Teachers).

The union said it disagreed, but chose to restart the process with a new card collection. The new petition for a union, like the previous one, would include all 300 providers. COPN said it will work with the NLRB to schedule a new hearing on the petition so it can finalize a date for its secret ballot election.

Roseburg Summer 2022 City Connection e-newsletter now online

ROSEBURG, Ore. – Stay up to date on what’s been happening at the City of Roseburg this summer with the July 2022 City Connection e-newsletter, which is now available.

The online newsletter shares the latest news from various City departments.

Inside, you’ll learn about all the fun ways we’re planning to celebrate Roseburg’s 150th birthday in October, what you need to know to run for local office or a Homeless Commission vacancy, and discover the mystery of the Aaron Rose cutout.

You can also read the latest news about the City’s Gary Leif Navigation Center and new Tent Camping Program, check out the Police Department’s new robots and the Community Development Department’s new Historic Resources Map, gain insight into the Diamond Lake Boulevard design plan study now underway, check out cool photos submitted to the Summer Photo Contest, learn about summer rec programs and Public Works projects, find out about a senior center fundraiser and State Fire Marshal town hall here Aug. 4, and hear about the retirements of the Fire Chief and Public Works director, plus who’s stepping into their shoes.

Would you like to get the newsletter delivered right to your email inbox? You can sign up for the online City Connection newsletter on the City website by clicking here. More City Connection e-newsletters can be viewed on the City website by clicking here.

U.S. Coast Guard Day Celebration takes place on August 7th — 1:00 PM

The 18th annual celebration of Coast Guard Day is scheduled to take place at Port Orford Heads State Park at 1:00 on Sunday, August 7th.

Cape Blanco Heritage Society and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department sponsor the event.  As part of the tradition, the ceremonies will open with the presentation of colors by a Coast Guard Color Guard from the North Bend Coast Guard Station.  

Society President Steve Roemen will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.  Music will be provided by the group known as the Adam Coleman Band.  Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and take advantage of the beautiful surroundings.

The Revenue Cutter Service was established on August 4th, 1790. The Cape Blanco Heritage Society usually celebrates the birth date of the organization on the 1st Sunday in August.  The Cutter Service saw action during the Civil War and was instrumental in the development of Alaska.  This branch of service was active in environmental protection dating back to the 1822 Timber Act that tasked them with protecting government timber from poachers.  In 1915 the Revenue Cutter Service and Lifesaving Service were merged into the U.S. Coast Guard as we know it today.

Visit our Museum at the Port Orford Heads before or during the concert and learn more about the history of this interesting area and enjoy the beautiful hiking trails with wonderful ocean views.

The Port Orford Heads State Park is on the ocean side of Highway101. Turn West on 9th Street in Port Orford, near Milepost 301, and then follow the road up the hill to where the road ends. MORE INFO: https://www.capeblancoheritagesociety.com/

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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
RAVEN RILEY                                                7/13/2022
TAHUANA RILEY                                        7/13/2022

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

REISA RAQUEAL SIKEL                            5/3/2022
HANNAH MARIE RHOTEN                             5/17/2022
MARISSA ALEESA DAMBROSIO                  5/18/2022
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

As of today, 8/2/2022, there are now 44 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.

44 women missing in 3 months. That averages out to 14+ 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 too. We don’t mean to dismiss that, however, there is an inordinate amount of women who go missing each week and there could possibly be a connection with an anomaly or two here and there. 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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