Willamette Valley News, Monday 8/15 – Motorcyclist Killed In Crash With Van On West 11th In Eugene, Veneta School District Employee Facing Child Pornography Charges

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 15, 2022

Willamette Valley Weather

Motorcyclist Killed In Crash With Van On West 11th In Eugene

At 7:51 p.m. on August 13, a 1995 Ford work van was headed west on W. 11th near Crow Road and made a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcyclist on a 2005 Suzuki, who was headed east on West 11th Avenue.

The motorcyclist crashed into the van and although bystanders attempted life-saving care, the motorcyclist was declared deceased at the scene. The driver of the van remained on the scene and was cooperative with the investigation.

Eugene Police said West 11th/Highway 126 has become increasingly dangerous and deadly. There have been several fatal crashes in this stretch in the last couple of months.

In April, Oregon Department of Transportation said they have a plan to make the area surrounding Green Hill Road safer, but it’s still very early in the design phase.

Roads were closed for about four hours Saturday night while EPD investigated.

Eugene Police Major Collision Investigation team is investigating the crash. Names are not yet being released until the family of the motorcyclist can be notified. Case 22-12223

Veneta School District Employee Facing Child Pornography Charges

An employee with the Fern Ridge School District has been arrested, accused of making and distributing child pornography on the internet, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office said.

On Thursday, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children gave the sheriff’s office information that Kelsey Meta Boren, 31, of Veneta, Oregon, had been uploading child pornography to the internet.

Detectives served a search warrant for her Veneta home at about 8 p.m. that evening and say they found “evidence indicating that Boren has utilized the internet on numerous occasions to distribute and exchange pornographic images of children.”

They say they also found evidence that showed she had engaged in creating child pornography and uploaded it to the internet.

Boren works for the Fern Ridge School District, which is aware of the allegations. District officials say they are cooperating with the investigation.

“No children known to Boren through her employment have been identified as victims at this point,” the sheriff’s office said.

Boren was booked into the Lane County Jail on six counts of first-degree encouraging child sex abuse, six counts of second-degree encouraging child sex abuse, and one charge of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct.

If you have any helpful information in the case, detectives want to hear from you at 541-682-4150 opt. 1.

Make a plan: how to prepare in the event you test positive for COVID-19

If you test positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized, if taken within five days of symptom onset. You can help prepare yourself and your family by making a plan for yourself in the event you test positive for COVID-19, that way you can focus on resting and feeling better. Visit our blog for a printable guide that can help you make a plan: https://covidblog.oregon.gov/make-a-plan-how-to-prepare-in-the-event-you-test-positive-for-covid-19/

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4 tips for keeping mosquitos away. 1: Eliminate sources of standing water. 2: Use mosquito repellents. 3: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. 4: Make sure screen doors and windows are well-sealed.

Here’s what to know about mosquitos and keep them at bay this summer.Mosquitoes carry diseases such as West Nile virus and can infect humans, horses and birds.Humans can only get the virus from the bite of an infected mosquito; the disease does not spread from other animals to humans, or from person to person.Most mosquito-borne infections are mild, with fever and flu-like symptoms, but severe infections may cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and rarely, death.To learn more, visit our West Nile Virus Prevention and Education website: http://ow.ly/sb1y30snj5W

Update on Wildfires in the Region

The Klamath National Forest says today crews working the McKinney Fire have 95% containment of the deadly Siskiyou County wildfire.  It stays listed today at 60,392 acres in size.

Though it caused four deaths, its cause is under investigation as firefighters gain containment while hot, dry and windy weather conditions increase, risking potential new fires.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Klamath National Forest Office (KNF) says today hand crews and engines are focusing on the George Fire west of the Scott River where firefighters are strengthening the containment line and getting ready to begin suppression repair work in that area.  It says firefighters will keep focus on a small section of fire containment line northeast of Collins Creek to strengthen its line enough to call that area contained.

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View current wildfire activity and evacuation maps using the OEM Fires and Hotspots Dashboardbit.ly/3oYzFV3

Meanwhile, the Windigo Fire’s containment is up to 60% today.  It has burned 1,007 acres along the Klamath-Douglas County line north of Crater Lake National Park.

Northwest Incident Management Team 6 (NIMT) says, “Firefighters took advantage of the extended period of gentler
weather on Saturday to improve lines on all fires.” It says crews will work direct today, utilizing dry mop up
operations to secure fire lines in the Windigo Butte area as, “Crews use dry mop up methods – mixing dirt into the ashes, when water isn’t available to cool down the burned edge of the fire.”

VIDEO of Potter Fire activity on the southwest corner. 8/13/2022 at 3pm before burnout operations. 20-minute time-lapse. https://www.facebook.com/WindigoPotterBigSwampFireInfo/videos/598503315161461

Windigo Fire is one of three wildfires burning in northeast Douglas County’s part of the Umpqua National Forest.  NIMT says Lake View Hotshots successfully conducted a backburn on the southwest edge of the 425-acre Potter Fire yesterday, and today firefighters will conduct strategic firing operations using a drone, aiming to control fire growth on the west flank of the fire, while crews mop up to secure the Fire’s perimeter.

Fire behavior has been minimal on the #CedarCreekFire with more moderate temperatures, higher relative humidity and light winds. This flyover video was shot at 11:00 a.m. (August 12) by the Air Operations Branch Director on the northwest portion of the fire. https://www.facebook.com/CedarCreekFire2022/videos/747278233202429

Arrest Made in Catalytic Converter Crimes on West Coast

Police in suburban Portland said Thursday they arrested a crime ring leader responsible for trafficking more than 44,000 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles on the West Coast since 2021.

Detectives said they identified Brennan Doyle, 32, as the leader of the operation and searched his Lake Oswego home last week, along with seven other properties. The detectives seized over 3,000 catalytic converters hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, a high-end car and jewelry.

Doyle and his associates are accused of stealing catalytic converters from vehicles along the West Coast, Beaverton police spokesperson Matt Henderson said. The crime ring was centered around Portland, but spanned multiple Oregon counties as well as Washington state, Nevada, California, Texas and New York, he said.

The metals inside catalytic converters can sell for thousands of dollars per ounce. The street value of the parts stolen and trafficked was estimated to be over $22 million.

The crime ring shipped boxes of converters to the East Coast and internationally, Henderson said. Dozens, if not hundreds, of people may have been involved in the operation, he added, but declined to share more details because the investigation is ongoing.

Doyle was indicted on 72 different charges, including racketeering, aggravated theft, and money laundering. Police say one of his associates, Tanner Hellbusch of Beaverton, was caught with over 100 catalytic converters in March. He was indicted on 20 similar counts. It wasn’t immediately known if they have lawyers to comment on the case.

At least 12 other people face charges in connection within the operation, police said.

Person Struck and Killed in Klamath Falls

On Saturday August 13, 2022, at about 9:30 PM, Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a vehicle versus pedestrian crash on South Sixth Street near Hope Street in Klamath Falls.  

Preliminary investigation revealed that an adult male pedestrian walked out into the roadway and stopped in the middle of the travel lane facing westbound traffic. A westbound Toyota pickup, operated by James Richardson-Lawson, age 38, from Klamath Falls, collided with the pedestrian.

The pedestrian was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency personnel.  Richardson-Lawson was uninjured and cooperated with investigators at the scene. 

The name of the pedestrian is being withheld pending next of kin notification.  OSP was assisted by Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and ODOT.

Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Raided Two Alleged Illegal Marijuana Grows Near Beatty

The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office raided two alleged illegal marijuana grows near Beatty on Thursday, Aug. 11.
The Sheriff’s Office said the raids netted 13,300 marijuana plants being grown in multiple greenhouses.

Police said the Southern Oregon operations might have stolen up to 600,000 gallons of water throughout several months. Police have accused other alleged illegal cannabis grows of illegally procuring water for greenhouses.

KCSO said the two grows in Beatty had alleged illegal marijuana valued at $60 million.

Marijuana is legal in Oregon, California and Washington state but high taxes on illegal weed and continued cannabis prohibitions at the federal level and other states including Idaho, Texas, Florida and Georgia drives demand for unregulated, unlicensed products. Beatty is located approximately 40 miles northeast of Klamath

Oregon Outdoor Recreation Committee Seeks Volunteers to Fill Vacancies

Two positions on the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Committee (OORC) are now open for volunteers to apply. The committee is recruiting for one member to represent the interests of people with disabilities and one member to represent members of an historically underrepresented community or tribal government. 

The OORC evaluates, scores and ranks project applications for funding assistance from the Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant Program (LWCF).  The nine-member committee is appointed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department director. Each member serves a four-year term and may be eligible to serve a second term. 

The OORC generally meets once a year, virtually or in Salem. The time commitment varies and duties include reviewing and evaluating an average of 15-20 grant applications each annual funding cycle. The OORC’s priority ranking list is forwarded to the director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and to the Oregon State Parks Commission. 

Those interested in serving must submit an interest form to the LWCF program coordinator by Monday, Sept. 19. The form is available online at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/GRA/Pages/GRA-lwcf.aspx#8 

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Program is a competitive grant program funded by the National Park Service and administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Grants are awarded to local governments, federally recognized tribal governments, and eligible state agencies for land acquisition, development, and rehabilitation projects for public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. 

For more information about the advisory committee or application process, contact Nohemi Enciso, LWCF program coordinator, at nohemi.enciso@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-480-9092.

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Women Missing Since May 1st 2022 between Medford, Grants Pass and Roseburg per Oregon State Police (Jackson, Josephine and Douglas County)

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 8/9/2022, there are now 51women 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.

51 women missing in just less than 3 1/2 months. That averages out to 15 missing per month. Something needs to be done.

This is just a small compilation of missing women and their 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. 


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