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, January 16, 2023
Willamette Valley Weather
Marches In Eugene and Springfield to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.
- The Eugene Springfield NAACP is hosting a march and community celebration Monday. Marchers will begin the walk at 10:30 a.m. from Autzen Stadium to the Hult Center, where a community celebration is planned at 12:30 p.m.
- Springfield, the Springfield Alliance for Equity and Respect will hold their own march from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The march begins at the Springfield Justice Center at 230 4th St. and ends at Springfield High School at 875 7th St. with a reception and music.
Eugene Police Seek Suspect In Stabbing Investigation
The Eugene Police Department is releasing the description of a man who is suspected to have stabbed another man on Elmira Road on Saturday evening.
According to EPD, at about 6:29 p.m. on January 14, officers responded to Highway 99 near Elmira Road after someone reported a man had been stabbed. Police said they arrived to find a man in his 40s had suffered a stab wound, and he told them he had been attacked on Elmira Road. Police said the victim was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening, and he expected to be treated and shortly released.
Police said the suspect in the stabbing was not found. However, they also said the suspect is described as a white man in his 40s or 50s who may have no teeth. Police said the suspect is described as having scruffy, somewhat pointed facial hair a few inches in length, and was last seen wearing a blue, wool puffy jacket and blue jeans with a red rope, bike lock or string similar to a wallet chain. According to police, the victim told them he did not know the suspect. If you have any information: (541) 682-5111
U.S. Forest Service Waives Park Fees Today for Martin Luther King Day
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Schools and banks are closed today. The U.S. Forest Service will celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day federal holiday and recognize King’s work toward equality for all by waiving standard amenity fees for all visitors to national forest and grassland day-use areas today, Monday, Jan. 16.
The agency will waive standard recreation use fees for Forest Service-managed picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads and visitor centers. Fees for camping, cabin rentals and any necessary permits still apply, and fees will also be charged at concessionaire-operated recreation sites unless the concessionaire chooses to participate.
Congress designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday in 1983 and named it the nation’s first-ever national day of service in 1994 to recognize King’s legacy of service and leadership in the civil rights movement.
The U.S. Forest Service has designated six fee-free days in 2023. In additional to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, fees will be waived for Presidents’ Day on Feb. 20, National Get Outdoors Day on June 10, Juneteenth on June 19, National Public Lands Day on Sept. 23 and Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
For more information about Forest Service recreation passes and fees, including the Interagency Annual Passes (valid at all Forest Service -managed sites in the U.S. and other public lands) and the Northwest Forest Pass (valid at Forest Service -managed locations in Washington and Oregon, only), go to http://www.fs.usda.gov
State Wants Your Input For Locating More Air Quality Sensors – February 1st Deadline
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has launched a public survey to help its Air Quality Monitoring Team determine and prioritize 20 locations for new SensORs to measure air quality from wildfire smoke across the state. SensORs, which were first developed by DEQ’s Laboratory in 2019, are lower-cost monitors that collect timely particulate matter 2.5 data and display it over DEQ’s Air Quality Index .
Currently, DEQ has more than 70 PM2.5 monitoring locations across Oregon. As a result of the devastating fires in 2020, the 2021 state legislature passed Senate Bill 762 , which provides funding for 20 more SensORs to be deployed in regions with few to no monitors.
While DEQ has compiled a list of proposed areas, it would like public input to refine and prioritize it before starting the process of determining specific sites.
The list of proposed locations is based on the following:
• Counties and areas without monitors in the existing network. Typically, these are coastal or interior counties with low populations.
• Areas commonly affected by wildfire smoke.
• Regions where underrepresented communities are disproportionately affected by PM2.5 and wildfires, including rural areas.
• Input from agency partners and other interested parties, such as the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Health Authority.
There are sections of the survey that allow participants to suggest areas of the state that are not on the proposed list. DEQ’s Air Quality Monitoring team is open to ideas.
“In the past, we have used a complex formula of criteria, including meteorology, topography, emission sources and availability of infrastructure to determine air quality monitoring locations,” said Lori Pillsbury, administrator for DEQ’s Laboratory and Environmental Assessment Division. “Those continue to be important elements for the final locations. However, we recognize it’s also important to consult with those who know our state best – the people living in the various regions. We are eager to hear where they believe SensORs should go next for the most comprehensive data collection.”
Particulate Matter is a mix of tiny particles and liquid droplets found in air. Sources include wildfires, automobiles, woodstoves and more. PM2.5 measures 2.5 microns in diameter and smaller (As a comparison, the average strand of human hair is 70 microns in diameter). When inhaled, it can lodge deep in the lungs and remain there a long time, aggravating asthma, heart disease and other respiratory and heart conditions. Understanding high levels of PM 2.5 means state agencies can focus more resources, such as wildfire and smoke preparation materials and smoke management community response plans and gran… , toward those areas.
You can always check current air quality conditions on DEQ’s Air Quality Index or by downloading the free OregonAIR app, which is available for smartphones.
Those interested in participating can find the survey at https://ordeq.org/AQSensORSurvey. Responses will be accepted through Feb. 1, 2023. For questions about the survey, send an email to Questions.AQM@deq.oregon.gov.
Missing Bend Woman Found Deceased
Nearly three weeks of searching by police, search teams, family, friends, and community members came to a sad end Sunday, as searchers at Shevlin Park found the remains of Melissa Rosann Trench, a 38-year-old Bend woman last seen by family the day after Christmas.
Deschutes County 911 dispatchers received a call around 12:30 p.m. Sunday from people searching in the Shevlin Park area west of Bend for Trench, whose car was found at the park entry the evening of Dec. 27 by family members, Bend police Communications Manager Sheila Miller said.
Bend police later confirmed that Trench on Dec. 27 called an ex-boyfriend from years ago and told him she was injured in a forest and needed help. He in turn notified the family, which began their search for her.
Miller said the call was confirmed through cellphone records and that police interviewed the ex-boyfriend, who was out of state when she made the call.
Sunday’s caller told authorities they had found what they believed was a body on the south end of Shevlin Park, near Tumalo Creek and Forest Service Road 4606.
Because the location was outside city limits, sheriff’s deputies responded and initially confirmed the deceased subject was Trench, Miller said. The Deschutes County Medical Examiner’s Office also responded and assisted in the investigation.
“Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office detectives will continue to investigate this case,” Miller wrote, “but there is no evidence of foul play or criminal wrongdoing.”
Bend police thanked the sheriff’s office and Deschutes County SAR Foundation for their assistance in the case.
DCSO SAR had within days of Trench’s disappearance searched nearly 4,000 acres, about six square miles, several times with ground searchers, horse teams, search dogs and drones. Bend PD assigned two detectives who followed up on tips from the public, examined surveillance video and analyzed cellphone data, also searching the area.
Family members organized their own searches, coordinating with officials, and asked the public to help, creating a website called “Bring Home Melissa.”
Seaside Police Reports Discovery Of Missing Seaside Resident’s Car and Body
Seaside, Ore. – Jan. 14, 2023 – Seaside Police and the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue recovered a submerged vehicle on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023 and a body believed to be LaDawn Rene Bloom, missing since Dec. 4, 2022.
As part of an ongoing investigation into Bloom’s disappearance, a search operation in Neawanna Creek near the intersection of N. Wahanna and Lewis and Clark roads in Seaside uncovered possible signs a vehicle had entered the river. At approximately 12:50 p.m., Clatsop County divers located a vehicle, which a tow truck then pulled from the water. The vehicle is confirmed to be Bloom’s 2018 Silver Ford Fiesta.
Police and the Clatsop County Medicolegal Death Investigator continue their investigation.
**end of updated release**
Police Seek Info Related to Missing Person
Seaside, Ore. – Dec. 9, 2022 – Seaside Police are investigating the disappearance of LaDawn Rene Bloom, 58, who was last seen Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022 at approximately 5:45 pm in the area.
Bloom was driving a 2018 Silver Ford Fiesta with Arkansas plate AHK77J on the back and no front license. She had three cats in the car with her but does not have her purse, medications, cell phone or any other known communication devices. Her direction of travel is unknown.
Bloom, also known as Rene Dawn, is a 5-foot-3 female weighing approximately 108 pounds with green eyes and gray hair. She was last seen wearing a purple and pink plaid button-up with a purple undershirt.
The public is asked to call 911 immediately if she is located. Anyone with information related to the search for Bloom should contact Detective Sergeant Josh Gregory by phone at 503.738.6311 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. **end of original release**
A beached whale was spotted at Fort Stevens State Park along the northern Oregon coast Saturday afternoon.
The 40-foot sperm whale remained beached in the sand at Astoria Monday morning, Jan. 16.
The large whale was spotted in the surf near the wreck of the Peter Iredale Saturday at Fort Stevens State Park.
The whale had been dead for a while before washing ashore, according to a Seaside Aquarium Facebook post.
“There were a few large gashes on the whale believed to be from a large ship strike, however, it is unclear if this strike occurred before or after death,” the Aquarium’s post stated.
A necropsy will be scheduled this week.
Crews from the Seaside Aquarium and state parks removed the whale’s lower jaw.
The jaw was removed so that the teeth remained intact for scientific purposes, the Aquarium post said.
The whale is believed to be a juvenile male.
Male sperm whales can reach nearly 60 feet and weigh well over 40 tons. They have been known to live up to 60 years, with males maturing around the age of 50 at a length of approximately 52 feet. They feed on deep water species, such as squid, sharks, skates, and fish, according to the Seaside Aquarium.
While their population is recovering, sperm whales are still considered endangered.
Youth invited to enter poster contest as part of Radon Action Month
PORTLAND, Ore. – Students across the Northwest are encouraged to get creative and help raise awareness about the dangers of radon gas by participating in the 2023 Northwest Radon Poster Contest as part of January’s Radon Action Month.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can build up in our homes. Both old and new housing can have radon problems. Testing is the only way to know if your home has radon because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Long-term radon exposure is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancer in smokers.
Youth between ages 9 and 14 living in Oregon, Idaho and Washington are eligible to participate in the poster contest. Students must either be enrolled in a public, private, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense or home school, or be a member of a sponsoring club, such as a scouting, art, computer, science or 4-H club. Only one entry per student is allowed. Contest deadline is March 10, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be announced by April 17, 2023. Find contest submission forms, lesson plans and rules at the Northwest Radon Poster Contest page.
First-, second- and third-place winners will be selected from each participating state. A regional grand prize will be selected from the winning submissions. First-place posters from each state will be submitted to the 2024 National Radon Poster Contest. All participating students will learn about radon and how to reduce their risk of exposure.
The Northwest Radon Poster Contest is sponsored by Oregon Health Authority’s Radon Awareness Program, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Nez Perce Tribe, Spokane Tribe of Indians and Washington Department of Health’s Radon Program, in collaboration with the Northwest Radon Coalition and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10.