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, October 4, 2022
Willamette Valley Weather
PeaceHealth Workers Picket Demanding More Change
PeaceHealth workers in Oregon and Washington are taking to the picket line Tuesday morning at two locations in Lane County.
They said they’re upset about what they’re calling unfair working conditions and wages. Organizers say this is an informational picket; workers are not going on strike. Hospital operations will continue as normal.
Workers at RiverBend in Springfield, the PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center, University District in Downtown Eugene, and the Saint John Medical Center in Washington will be picketing during their designated breaks.
The pickets at PeaceHealth RiverBend will take place from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. on October 4.
PeaceHealth officials provided a statement on the matter:
SEIU’s informational picketing is not a strike nor a refusal to work and will have no impact on the accessibility to or care provided at our facilities. PeaceHealth respects the rights of our caregivers to participate in these kinds of activities as part of ongoing union contract negotiations. We remain deeply committed to our caregivers, and we are proud of the high-quality, compassionate care and service they provide to patients and the community. Our patients and their families can continue to count on us to deliver that care without interruption.
Log Truck Spills Load On Hwy 126 In Springfield
A semi-truck carrying timber lost its cargo, spilling logs onto the roadway and slowing traffic Monday morning.
The incident reportedly happened at about 9:20 a.m. on Monday, October 3 at Highway 126 near 52nd Street. The eastbound lane was blocked, and officials responded quickly to clear the jam. It is currently unknown if anyone was injured in the incident. The flow of traffic was fully restored by about noon the same day.
Truck Catches Fire at Taco Bell on Chad Drive
A pickup truck caught fire and burned Monday afternoon in the parking lot of the Taco Bell restaurant located at 2805 Chad Drive in Eugene.
A witness saw the pickup as it was smoking. It eventually caught fire. Fire and emergency responders
Join a free webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to learn about the symptoms, treatments and advocacy tips for long COVID: http://ow.ly/RLok50KXCMl
Nearly one in five adults who’ve had COVID-19 report persistent symptoms, a condition known as long COVID-19. In the last two years, researchers have been studying long COVID to find out why it occurs and how to help those who live with it.
Experts will discuss and answer questions about the latest research surrounding long COVID as well as workplace rights for those with long COVID under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you have questions about long COVID for the experts, submit them in advance here: http://ow.ly/8FSG50KXCMn
The webinar will offer Spanish translation, live captions/CART and American Sign Language interpretations. A recording will be available.
Testing positive for COVID-19, or even being exposed to it, can be scary. This is especially true for school-aged children and their parents or caregivers. Trained public health professionals at Oregon Health Authority’s toll-free Test Positive hotline are here to help answer school-related COVID-19 positive test or exposure questions: Call (866) 917-8881. Learn more: http://ow.ly/apkg50L0pwS
Governor Brown Announces Oregon Supreme Court Vacancy
Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced on Monday, October 3rd that she is accepting applications to fill a vacancy on the Oregon Supreme Court.
Justice Thomas Balmer is retiring effective December 31, 2022. Gov. Brown thanked Justice Balmer for his dedicated judicial service.
In 2021 there were vacancies in the Oregon Court of Appeals, for which candidates were interviewed and vetted by the Governor’s Office and the Oregon State Bar in a combined appellate judicial appointment process.
Applicants who already submitted interest forms as part of last year’s appointment process will be considered for Justice Balmer’s position and need not apply again.
Interested applicants who did not apply during last year’s combined appellate judicial appointment process and who would like to be considered by the Governor’s Office and the Oregon State Bar for Justice Balmer’s position should address their completed application forms to the General Counsel for the Office of the Governor, and email (no mail or hand delivery) those completed forms to Shevaun Gutridge at email@example.com.
Gov. Brown fills judicial vacancies based on merit. She encourages applications from lawyers with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Forms must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.
Portland FBI Issues Kid’s Cyber Safety Tips
There have been a number of recent cases of children being lured by strangers online to either meet in person or send explicit photos of themself. The FBI’s Portland office urges parents to take steps now to protect children from online predators:
Be involved and understand your child’s internet activity. Know the devices your child has access to and familiarize yourself with the social media sites, apps, and online games they use to communicate with their friends. Get involved in your kids’ online world to understand what they do online and who they communicate with.
Set clear rules and closely monitor your child’s online activity. And designate one place in the home where your children are allowed to access the internet. Discuss internet safety with children of all ages when they begin to engage in online activity and use internet enabled devices. Many people online are not who they say they are, never communicate with people you don’t know.
Teach children to communicate only with people they know in real life; friends they see regularly and trusted relatives. If your child becomes a victim, the FBI suggests calling the local field office or police and don’t try to take matters into your own hands.
Violent Weekend in Portland
Portland Police are investigating a total of four homicides that occurred over a 24-hour period over the weekend. The Portland Police Bureau says the homicides include two fatal stabbings in Old Town, a fatal shooting in NE Portland and a fatal shooting in Southeast Portland, all between early Friday morning and early Saturday. Police have arrested three suspects. Investigations are ongoing.
OSP Traffic Stop Leads to Arrests and Large Fentanyl Seizure- Jefferson County
On September 28, 2022, at about 10:11 P.M., an Oregon State Police Trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation in Madras. During the course of the stop, reasonable suspicion was developed for drug trafficking. The drug dog alerted to the presence of narcotics. A search of the vehicle revealed six (6) bundles concealed within the vehicle, with a gross weight of approximately 14.48 pounds. A preliminary test of the narcotics showed it was fentanyl powder.
The driver Jesus Villalpando Rubio (31) from Phoenix, Arizona, and the passenger Oscar Urias Haro (31) from Tucson, Arizona, were lodged in the Jefferson County Jail for various drug crimes.
This is an ongoing investigation with no further information being released.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (https://www.dea.gov/resources/facts-about-fentanyl), one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill about 500,000 people.
OSP Troopers were assisted during the investigation by Detectives from the OSP-Criminal Investigations Division-Drug Enforcement Section (Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative) and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The Oregon State Police-Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).
The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates with and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement initiatives, including the OSP-DHE Initiative.
Three prescribed burns are planned in the coming days and weeks at Crater Lake National Park.
The park’s fire management staff are preparing to conduct three prescribed fire projects in the park this fall along Highway 62 South, near Mazama Village and Munson Valley.
According to a press release, the Highway 62 South project includes 50 acres of piles and material that were cut last year along the highway starting at the park’s southern boundary and continuing 3.5 miles to the north along the roadway.
The Mazama Village unit will include 64 acres of piles and material that were cut last spring around the Mazama Campground and developed area. The Munson Valley Defensible Space unit includes 25 acres of piles that were cut around historic structures, administrative offices and park housing in Munson Valley.
Fire Management Officer Ed Waldon said Crater Lake’s fire managers plan to begin burning the piles in the next few weeks and will continue burning through the fall as conditions allow.
Farmers Brief Congressional Staff On Western Drought
The following is a press release from the Family Farm Alliance
WASHINGTON, D.C.– A group of 30 Western farmers, ranchers, water managers and association leaders wrapped up the third day of meetings this week with a Western drought briefing attended by over 20 Congressional staff members and an appearance by Family Farm Alliance President Patrick O’Toole before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee.
Today’s events were part of this year’s “Farmer Lobbyist” trip, one of the Family Farm Alliance’s cornerstone programs. This annual event was created over 25 years ago to allow farmers, ranchers and water managers to interact directly with elected officials and other policy makers in Washington, D.C.
This year’s farmer lobbyist contingent included representatives from Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
Earlier today, the Alliance hosted a Western Drought Briefing for Congressional staff at the Capitol Visitors Center.
“This in-person event allowed Congressional staff an opportunity to hear directly from the Western producers and water managers who are literally at Ground Zero dealing with the challenges of one of the worst droughts for the Western U.S. in modern history,” said Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen.
Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-OR) kicked off the event with opening remarks. He met earlier in the week with the farmer lobbyists in the hearing room of the House Resources Committee.
Following Rep. Bentz’s welcoming comments, water managers and farmers from California, Oregon, and the Colorado River Basin described the challenges they are facing, the drivers behind those challenges, and what can be done to help. The one-hour event concluded with a question-and-answer session.
“Solving the water challenges of our day will require everybody working together in a bipartisan fashion,” said William Bourdeau, a California producer and Alliance Board member. “Everyone will benefit when we solve these challenges.”
Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, Alliance President Patrick O’Toole was one of four witnesses who testified before the Senate ENR Committee, which conducted a legislative hearing on several bending bills, including the Promoting Effective Forest Management Act of 2022 (S. 4904). This bipartisan legislation – introduced by ENR Committee Chairman Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY) would reduce catastrophic wildfire risk and improve forest health.
“We are facing brutal wildfires across the West that threaten Wyoming’s forests and communities,” said Ranking Member Barrasso. “Our bipartisan bill will fight back against wildfire risk. It directs the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to cut red tape and dramatically increase their wildfire mitigation projects. I’m thankful to Chairman Manchin for working with me on this important legislation.”
The hearing was webcast live, and an archived video was made available HERE shortly after the hearing was complete.
“The revival of Colorado River and other Western watershed forests is crucial to combating the effects of climate change,” said Mr. O’Toole, whose family operates a sheep and cattle ranch in Wyoming. “By bringing together changemakers and working collaboratively, we can change the paradigm of forest management. Success will mean healthier forests, healthier wildlife populations, more prosperous and dynamic local communities, and much-needed security in our water supplies.”
Mr. O’Toole’s testimony outlined the dire conditions of Western forests and explained why S.4904 is an important step towards improving their future health: https://drive.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59b9f24c64b05fd6531db026/t/6335fc4ed2b80534f0dc4229/1664482383920/September-2022-Senate-ENR-Committee-Hearing-TESTIMONY-OF-PATRICK-OTOOLE-FINAL.pdf&wmode=opaque
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has closed all razor clam harvesting on the Oregon coast, the ODA announced Friday.
The marine biotoxin domoic acid has been found in levels exceeding the closure limit along the entire coast. Razor clamming is closed from the Washington border to the California border.
The ODA says it will test for shellfish toxins twice a month. Two consecutive tests at least one week apart that show domoic acid levels below the limit must take place for razor clam harvesting to reopen. Domoic acid, says the ODA, is produced by naturally occurring algae and originates in the ocean.
For more information call ODA’s shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA Shellfish Biotoxin Closures webpage.
Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules, and limits.
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.