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
Friday, February 24, 2023
Willamette Valley Weather
Eugene Police Seek Tips After Pedestrian Killed In Hit And Run Accident on Hwy 99
The Eugene Police Department is currently seeking tips in a fatal vehicle-pedestrian hit-and-run accident that happened Thursday night.
EPD says at 8:54 p.m. Thursday night, (Feb. 23) officers were called to respond to a vehicle-pedestrian crash on Hwy 99 near Fairfield Ave.
According to authorities, preliminary information indicates that one or possibly two vehicles were traveling northbound on Hwy 99 when the crash with a pedestrian occurred. When officers arrived on scene, the person who was hit was already dead.
EPD says that the involved vehicle(s) left the scene before authorities arrived. The suspected vehicle(s) in the crash would likely have damage caused by the accident. Speed is being considered a factor in the crash.
Traffic was shut down on Hwy. 99 in both north and southbound directions between Fairfield and Royal. EPD advised travelers to find alternate routes.
Eugene Police Major Collision Investigation team is investigating the crash and is asking anyone with information to call 541.682.5138. Case 23-02825
Detectives Investigate Human Remains Found Near Glide
GLIDE, Ore. – A Glide teen located human remains in the forest south east of Glide last week.
On Thursday, February 16, 2023, the Sheriff’s Office was notified by a caller that his son, who had been antler shed hunting, located what were believed to be human remains in the Thunder Mountain area of Glide.
Deputies located the area described and confirmed the presence of skeletal human remains. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division and Medical Examiner were notified and have been investigating the death since the discovery. Investigators have withheld a public statement about the discovery to collect evidence at the location, conduct follow up and to protect the integrity of the investigation.
Working in partnership with the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office, positive identification of the remains is currently being conducted. Anyone with information as to who the remains may belong to is strongly urged to contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 440-4471 referencing Case #23-0618.
Update on Head-On Crash on Hwy 99 near Junction City
Oregon State Police say the crash occurred when a black Honda accord traveling 60 mph northbound on Hwy 99 at milepost 112 hit an icy patch on the roadway and began to fishtail.
The Honda spun out and crossed into the path of a southbound Toyota Camry which collided with the back end of the backwards sliding Honda.
The driver of the Honda sustained critical injuries while a passenger in the Honda and the driver of the Toyota sustained minor-moderate injuries.
Original Release: Early Morning Car Crash In Junction City One of Many Due To Icy Conditions
Officials in Junction City are investigating the cause of an early morning car crash. This happened at 3:56 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, along Highway 99 near Milliron Road.
The early-morning head-on crash sent three people to the hospital with serious injuries and blocked one southbound lane of the highway Thursday. Junction City Fire sent out a tweet. It said to expect lengthy closures.
Icy roads are to blame for the crash. Several calls came in around the area Thursday morning for crashes due to icy road conditions.
The icy conditions are expected to last into Thursday morning. Drivers are advised to slow down and delay travel if possible.
Rural residents asked to help update Lane County’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan by taking survey
Residents who live outside the Eugene-Springfield area are being asked to take a short online survey to help update Lane County’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Take the survey at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/mitigation (QR code attached).
Lane County’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan is updated every five years. Mitigation means taking action now to reduce our long-term risk from natural hazards. It is our local blueprint to help protect people and property. Updating this plan also makes Lane County and its partners cities eligible for federal grants and funding to help mitigate potential impacts from disasters such as fuels reduction reduces our risk to wildfires.
“Lane County is a beautiful place. There aren’t many counties where you can ski and surf in the same day, but alongside this natural beauty that we all appreciate is a high risk for natural disasters,” said Lane County Emergency Manager Patence Winningham. “We regularly experience flooding, wildfire, severe winter storms, and we are at high risk of significant seismic events – including the major Cascadia earthquake.”
Residents can weigh in on the plan update: Do you think Lane County should focus on fuels reduction? Updating culverts and bridges to withstand flooding? Or something else? Take the short survey to tell us what you think the plan should focus on first.
Paper copies of the survey can be requested by calling 541-682-6967 or emailing licInformation@LaneCountyOR.gov“>PublicInformation@LaneCountyOR.gov.
Schools were closed from Portland into Salem and as far south as Roseburg. Wednesday, schools from Medford to Roseburg were canceled due to snow on the valley floor.
Even on the Oregon coast… Astoria reported three inches of snow. Snow also fell on Lincoln City, Newport, Seaside, and Garibaldi. Coos Bay/North Bend, Florence, Port Orford, and Brookings didn’t escape the snowfall either. Harris Beach near Brookings was closed due to the snowfall Thursday.
Bus-Involved Accident in the Illinois Valley 2/23/2023 07:20:21; TA2 – Traffic Accident Lane Bl; 336 S KERBY AVE, Cave Junction;
Illinois Valley Fire District, American Medical Response, Josephine County Sheriff, Oregon State Police, and Josephine County Animal Control responded to a vehicle into a school bus. No injuries to anyone.
With the combination of City of Cave Junction and Jerry’s Tow, they were able to bring the bus back up the hill.
Icy conditions all over – Be Careful.
Road crews from ODOT were hard-pressed to find a major route without abandoned vehicles that plows would need to navigate around in many areas.
In the higher elevations in Klamath County, Crater Lake has already hit the average seasonal peak of snow (105″ which normally falls around March 20) Much more snow is on the way tonight, Sunday and next week.
Travelers should prepare for winter driving conditions throughout the state over the next few days. Snow, low temperatures, and high winds are all in the forecast.
Valleys and other low elevation areas will likely have less snow, but low overnight temperatures can make roads icy. A clear road can still have ice, so slow down and budget extra time for your trip.
Many roads through high-elevation areas have packed snow and ice. High winds may cause snow drifts, too. Tire chain restrictions are in effect on most high-elevation roads. If you’re traveling this week, be winter-ready with water, snacks, warm clothing, medications, and other essentials.
Crews are plowing and treating the roads, but can’t be everywhere at once. Give snowplows and other vehicles space, and only stop to chain up your vehicle’s tires in designated areas. Driving conditions can change quickly during widespread winter weather.
—- Visit tripcheck.com for the latest on road conditions, chain restrictions, and other winter travel information.
It wasn’t just the traffic on the highways and roads that were affected statewide. Wednesday’s near-record snowfall in Portland has left the city’s runways gridlocked along with its roadways, with dozens of flights canceled or delayed at Portland International Airport.
The airport was still open Wednesday morning, but the online departures and arrivals board showed 128 canceled flights and 18 delayed flights as of about 9 a.m., including both inbound and outbound flights.
A message on the airport’s website urged travelers to contact their airlines and check their flight statuses before heading to the airport, and to allow extra time to arrive safely.
A few flights made it in and out in the early morning hours, according to the board, but the vast majority were canceled or delayed through about 10 a.m., with a mix of cancellations and on-time statuses for flights in the later morning or early afternoon.
The board showed that flights ran mostly uninterrupted Wednesday morning and early afternoon, with departure
cancellations beginning to pick up around 3 p.m. and arrival cancellations following suit about an hour later. Most departures after 4 p.m. and arrivals after 6 p.m. wound up being canceled.
Several flights were postponed or canceled at the Rogue Valley/Medford airport Wednesday and Thursday, leaving
Revenue Projections Are Up In Oregon
The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released its updated revenue forecast this week. It said that since December 2022, combined revenues for the 2021 to 2023 and 2023 to 2025 budget cycles have increased by $696 million.The Oregon legislature uses data from this office to aid in its decision-making on fiscal issues.
Anthony Smith, Oregon state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said the forecast means Oregon lawmakers should cut taxes.“State revenues are up again,” Smith said in an NFIB press release, “and now that legislators have several hundred million dollars to work with for the state’s next budget, now is the time to provide tax relief for Oregon’s small businesses that are still facing a variety of economic challenges, including supply-chain issues, inflation, and a very tight labor market.”
Smith said he wants to see cuts made to the estate tax and the Corporate Activity Tax.“The Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) and Oregon’s estate tax (death tax) are two tax policies in need of some practical revisions,” Smith said. “Thankfully, both the House and the Senate have already held public hearings on several bills that would make a big difference for Oregon’s small businesses without substantially impacting the state’s overall fiscal outlook.”
NFIB wants to raise the CAT filing and exemption thresholds. The state taxes businesses with sales in Oregon of at least $1 million, regardless of whether or not they show a profit. Additionally, NFIB wants to raise the estate tax exemption threshold, which is currently $1 million in Oregon.
Although the state is bringing in more revenue than previously expected, Governor Tina Kotek’s response to the news did not mention support for tax cuts. “As inflation continues to slow, this revenue forecast shows that we can anticipate having more predictability and stability for the coming budget cycle,” Kotek said in a press release issued by her office. “While this is encouraging news, the legislature still has some tough choices to make. We will have to keep focused and stay the course in order to make much-needed investments in Oregonians’ most urgent shared priorities: housing and homelessness, behavioral health and education.” MORE INFO: https://www.oregon.gov/das/OEA/Pages/Index.aspx
Marion County Sheriff’s Office looking for help in identifying deceased female found in a Jefferson field
On February 21, 2023, about 4:45pm, deputies from the Sheriff’s Office Enforcement Division, Jefferson Contract, along with detectives from the Criminal Investigations Unit responded to a report of a citizen finding a female, deceased, in a field at the dead-end of Tenth Street in Jefferson, Oregon. The Marion County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to assist.
Wednesday, an autopsy was performed by the State Medical Examiner and the death has been determined to be natural causes. The female found, was a white female, unknown age, 5’3 ½”, 128 pounds, wearing a red tank top, camo colored long sleeve shirt, Green sweatshirt, green sweatpants, and black tennis shoes. She was described as having a brooch attached to the green sweatshirt in the left chest area with a white pearl-looking piece in the middle of it.
We are asking anyone with information on a possible identify for this female to please call Deputy N. Morse, 971-720-0726.
Registration is Open for the 2023 Oregon Women Veterans Conference
Registration is now open for the 2023 Oregon Women Veterans Conference, which will be held on May 20 and 21 at the Salem Convention Center. Hosted by the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, this free, biennial event is the largest gathering of women veterans in the state.
Women veterans from every branch of military service, era and background are invited to attend this free event celebrating the service and contributions of women who answered the call to serve throughout history. The conference will include informational workshops, keynote speakers and networking opportunities.
This year’s theme, “Stronger Together — Voices of Service” is a testament to the continued strength, diversity and community of our women veterans, said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick, who is an Army veteran and the first woman to lead the state agency.
“Oregon continues to be a leader in recognizing, remembering and honoring the outstanding contributions of women who have served their country, and we are proud to be able to host this year’s conference in person again,” Fitzpatrick said. “Together, our collective voices achieve more, overcome challenges, and allow our stories to be shared.”
Women veterans make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the Oregon veteran community, with an estimated 25,000 women veterans living in the state today, representing nearly one-tenth of overall veteran population.
The first Oregon Women Veterans Conference was held 25 years ago in 1998.
“The camaraderie and shared calling of service is what inspires our lives and is what continues to unite women veterans across every generation and era of service,” said ODVA Women Veterans Coordinator Jessica Bradley.
The conference is an opportunity for women veterans to socialize, connect to resources, learn about their earned veteran benefits, and celebrate their service.
Attendance is free, but registration is required. Please visit wvc.oregondva.com to register and find additional event information on lodging and sponsorship and vendor opportunities.
Established in 1945, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is dedicated to serving Oregon’s diverse veteran community that spans five eras of service members. ODVA administers programs and provides special advocacy and assistance in accessing earned veteran benefits across the state. Learn about veteran benefits and services, or locate a local county or tribal veteran service office online at oregon.gov/odva.
Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs At Risk Of Automation And AI Replacement In Oregon
The U.S. job market is about to enter an era of unprecedented change that could impact tens of millions of workers. As robotics and artificial intelligence technologies continue to advance, companies will be able to leverage new, cost effective tools to create and deliver their products to the market, while reducing their need for workers.
According to a recent report from NetVoucherCodes, a U.K.-based voucher code website, automation and AI pose a high risk to 285,850 jobs in Oregon in the coming years – or 18.9% of all jobs considered, the 22nd smallest share among states.
Several media and tech companies, including BuzzFeed and Microsoft, have already stated their intentions to use artificial intelligence to generate content and improve their products. And while BuzzFeed claims that AI will not impact the size of its workforce, the announcement came a month after the company laid off 12% of its employees to cut costs.
The advantages AI can offer businesses is undeniable, and the implications are impossible to ignore. AI is capable of automating a wide range of tasks that, until now, have been performed by humans. But unlike human beings, an AI does not need regular paychecks or breaks. And as AI capabilities continue to develop, virtually no industry will be left untouched. (Here is a look at the fastest growing industries in America .)
Distinct from AI, automation – such as the software used in automatic checkout counters or robotics used in manufacturing – poses risk to the largest number of jobs in the coming years. In Oregon, automation poses a high risk to 249,900 jobs, compared to 35,950 jobs exposed to risk from AI technology.
All data in this story was compiled by NetVoucherCodes . States are ranked on the share of all jobs that are at high risk of being replaced by AI or automation. Notably, NetVoucherCodes used an AI program to aid in its analysis. Source
Boosting Bighorn Numbers In Oregon
In southeastern Oregon, biologists are monitoring an important California bighorn sheep population. The Hart Mountain bighorn herd was the first successful reintroduction of California bighorns (Ovis canadensis californiana) in the state. Some 20 sheep were introduced in the 1950s, and they have since become the source for California bighorn reintroduction throughout Oregon, but in recent years it faced precipitous declines.
In January, biologists conducted capture-and-release work on Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge as part of ongoing efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to increase the bighorn population there. The sheep are coping with encroachment of juniper and other invasive plants, which limit the availability of nutrients for them. The effort is part of an initiative spanning Idaho, Oregon and Nevada among state and federal agencies, Tribes, Oregon State University and wild sheep nonprofits. Source