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
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Willamette Valley Weather
UPDATED: South Eugene High School Bomb Threat Info
Update: Eugene Police units have completed checking the schools interior and exterior with no threat located. The students have been released to 4J. There is an ongoing investigation by multiple agencies into the threats, which have occurred in other states and Oregon cities.
Previous Information:At 9:43 a.m. Tuesday, May 16, Central Lane 911 received a bomb threat for South Eugene High School (400 E. 19th Avenue) that is similar to threats received May 10 and May 3. Eugene Police units have responded and are investigating. 4J is doing a precautionary and preliminary evacuation. Incident number 23-125959
Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy Assaulted While Serving Warrant
Tuesday morning shortly prior to 8:00am, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office was advised of a male that was trespassing in the 83000blk of Williamson Ln. in Dexter. The male was identified by the caller as 27-year-old Taylor Clyde Williams. While enroute, deputies learned that Williams had multiple warrants out for his arrest, including one for a parole violation on an unlawful use of a weapon charge.
A Lane County Sheriff’s deputy observed Williams walking on Hwy. 58. The deputy advised Williams multiple times that he was under arrest, however Williams continued to try and walk away. The deputy waited until backup arrived prior to trying to take Williams into physical custody.
An Oregon State Police trooper arrived at which time they attempted to place Williams into custody. Williams, standing in the middle of Hwy. 58, became physically combative and bit the deputy, causing injury to his finger. Other units were able to respond and eventually get Williams into custody without other serious injury.
Both the deputy and Williams were transported to an area hospital for treatment. Williams will be lodged at the Lane County Jail on his warrants along with new charges including Assault on a Public Safety Officer.
Albany Tattoo Business Owner Arrested for Sex Abuse Involving Multiple Customers
On May 1st, 2023, the Albany Police Department arrested Daniel Nunoz-Rodriguez, owner of Majin Ink LLC, a registered tattoo parlor in Albany, OR, after conducting a sex abuse investigation that began in 2022. Daniel Nunoz-Rodriguez was alleged to have subjected a female client (19) to unwanted sexual contact.
On May 12th, 2023, the Albany Police Department conducted a separate criminal investigation leading to the second arrest of Daniel Nunoz-Rodriguez after another victim, a 24-year-old female, reported being subjected to unwanted sexual contact on two separate occasions while receiving tattoo services at Majin Ink LLC.
Daniel Nunoz-Rodriguez was taken to the Linn County Jail and has since been released from custody pending trial. The Albany Police Department believes additional victims of Daniel Nunoz-Rodriguez are likely, and specially trained investigators are requesting the victims to come forward. Please contact the APD detective unit at 541-917-7688. Albany Police
LCSO Case #23-2497 — Rescue Operation
On 05/09/2023 just after 9:00am, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received information about an injured logger in the woods near of Richardson Upriver Rd. outside of Walton. The 32-year-old logger sustained serious injuries to his pelvis, leg and head after being struck by a moving boulder, leaving him stranded down in a canyon nearly 1000ft away from the roadway. A second logger had also been struck by the boulder but sustained less-severe injuries to his lower-leg.
Lane County Sheriff Search and Rescue personnel responded and made their way down to the injured logger by foot. Search and Rescue personnel began preparing to initiate a complex steep-angle rope rescue when the United States Coast Guard was able to arrive in the area with a rescue helicopter. The severely injured patient was able to be hoisted up to the helicopter via the rescue basket. A Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue coordinator was also brought into the helicopter to continue providing emergency medical care during the transport to an area hospital. The second patient was able to walk out on his own with some assistance. Both patients are expected to survive.
Teen Drowns While Swimming at Ben Irving Reservoir
TENMILE, Ore. – On Sunday, May 14, 2023, at approximately 12:44 p.m., 9-1-1 dispatchers began receiving reports of a swimmer in distress at Ben Irving Reservoir. At the same time, a Douglas County Marine Deputy who was working on the waterway, radioed that a distressed swimmer had gone under the water. The deputy had attempted to assist the swimmer without success.
Deputies later learned the swimmer was 15-year-old Myles Martin Swenson of Tenmile and was presumed drowned. Efforts to locate Swenson by divers and rescuers were unsuccessful on Sunday after extensive above and underwater searching.
On Monday, May 15, 2023, efforts to locate Swenson resumed. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Douglas County Search and Rescue, Douglas County Dive Team, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue and the Oregon State Police. With the use of Klamath County’s specialized sonar equipment, divers were deployed to a specific area where they located Swenson from the reservoir.
The Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office responded and is conducting a death investigation.
On Sunday, additional assistance was received from Douglas County Search and Rescue, Douglas County Dive Team, Oregon State Police, Douglas County Fire District #2, Tenmile Rural Fire Department and Winston-Dillard Fire Department.
LCC Trades Expo and Open House May 20th
A trades expo and open house providing a look at Lane Community College’s programs and facilities will be held at LCC’s main campus on May 20th.
LCC officials said the event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature campus tours and an up-close opportunity to look into trade programs and big rigs. Art displays, music, hands-on activities and fun with Ty the Titan are also part of the event’s schedule, the college said.
“This is a great opportunity for people to see what Lane Community College has to offer,” said Lane Community College President Stephanie Bulger. “Our programs are among the best in the region, and this event is a chance to experience them firsthand.”
The event is free and open to the public, and parking is available, LCC officials said. The college also said Spanish interpreters will be available. For more information, visit LCC online.
Armed Forces Day Celebration Today at State Capitol to Honor Military Service
SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon National Guard is scheduled to participate in a ceremony to honor all military members on May 17, 2023 at the State Capitol Mall in Salem, Oregon.
The Armed Forces Day event is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., with a formal ceremony starting at noon, and will conclude with an F-15 Eagle flyover conducted by the Oregon Air National Guard, and a Howitzer salute by the Oregon Army National Guard’s Bravo Battery, 2-218 Field Artillery Battalion.
In addition to honoring all military members, the event will also feature displays from various units throughout the Oregon National Guard. “Oregon’s Own” 234th Army Band will also be featured, playing a variety of patriotic music and other selections.
Oregon Army National Guard Commander Brig. Gen. Gregory T. Day, is scheduled to preside over the ceremony.
“It has been years since we have been able to host an Armed Forces Day event,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Bomar, Director of Public Affairs for the Oregon Military Department. “We are excited about being able to finally getting back to honoring our military service members and fellow veterans with this public event at our state capital.”
Armed Forces Day was originally created in 1949 by President Harry S. Truman to honor Americans serving in all of the branches of the military, replacing the separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The holiday was finally official designated in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, declaring that, “Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.”
The public and the media are encouraged to attend, and local food trucks will be available around the State Capital event area.
UPDATE: 173rd FW responds to F-15D mishap at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls
- Published May 16, 2023
- By 173rd Public Affairs Office
- 173rd Fighter Wing
KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. —
A U.S. Air Force F-15D departed the runway during landing at approximately 3:15 p.m. yesterday at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore. The aircraft was returning to base following a routine training mission.
Upon landing the aircraft left the paved surface and came to a stop in the Bureau of Reclamation irrigation canal at the south side of the runway.
“We don’t believe the aircraft is leaking any petroleum products based on our initial assessment of the water in the canal,” said Col. Micah Lambert, 173rd Fighter Wing vice commander. “Minimizing the environmental impact is one of our main priorities; we have taken precautionary measures and placed absorbent booms around the aircraft to prevent the flow of fuel, or other substances, downstream in the event there is a leakage.”
Lambert also said the wing is conducting ongoing water sampling to detect if there is a presence of petroleum products in the water.
The plane was assigned to the 173rd Fighter Wing, and there was one crew member on board. The F-15 instructor pilot exited the aircraft safely and was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center as a precaution and for evaluation. He has since been released with minor injuries.
“We are so grateful that our pilot was able to walk away from this mishap,” said Lambert. “Our Team Kingsley responders acted quickly and with professionalism thanks to the extensive training and safety mindset of our team.”
Lambert noted that the wing is partnering with local authorities and federal agencies, to include the Bureau of Reclamation, to ensure the aircraft is safely removed from the canal.
A board of officers has been assigned to investigate the mishap. Additional updates will be provided as soon as they are available. (SOURCE)
Bend Nurses Launch Strike Vote May 16
Nearly 1,000 nurses will cast a strike vote to protect patient safety and protest unfair labor practices at St. Charles Bend.
(Bend, Ore.) – Frontline nurses are opening a strike vote against St. Charles Bend–Oregon’s largest hospital east of the Cascades. Nurses are voting to protect their community’s health and safety, protest St. Charles’ illegal unfair labor practices and fix St. Charles’ growing staffing crisis.
The vote will run from May 16 – 21. If passed, nurse leaders are authorized to call for a strike. The nearly 1,000 frontline nurses at St. Charles Bend are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA).
Local nurses have been meeting with St. Charles’ executives for more than 5 months to try to reach a fair contract agreement that addresses the hospital’s nurse staffing crisis, raises safety standards, increases recruitment and retention of skilled caregivers, and ensures all Central Oregonians have access to safe, affordable health care.
“St. Charles executives declared a crisis last July but nothing has changed for our patients. They’re still stuck with blocked beds, canceled surgeries, and long wait times in the ER. As Bend continues to grow, our staff needs to grow too. We need the hospital to recruit, retain and respect nurses so we can care for our community,” said Erin Harrington, a local nurse and chair of ONA’s bargaining team at St. Charles Bend. “Today, St. Charles is leaving us no choice but to vote to strike. We’ve met them halfway but they’ve refused to compromise. Nurses know our patients and our community deserve better. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
Nurses are not the only ones calling out staffing and safety problems at St. Charles Bend.
- Hospital executives privately declared a staffing emergency at St. Charles’ facilities because of its severe nursing shortage in July 2022.
- The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) cited St. Charles Bend for failing to comply with Oregon’s hospital safe staffing lawEditSign in 2017, 2021, and 2022.
- The hospital currently faces 10 state staffing complaints.
- OSHA recently fined the hospital for serious safety violations.
St. Charles’ chronic unsafe staffing is directly linked to its failures to recruit, retain and respect frontline nurses. Since 2018, nearly 60% of registered nurses at St. Charles Bend resigned. St. Charles Bend has more than 300 vacant nursing positions as of March 21, 2023 per hospital data.
Decades of research and real-life experience confirm a lack of nurses harms community healthEditSign and leads to longer wait times and hospital stays, higher costs, more patient infections and injuries, more readmissions and more preventable deaths.
St. Charles Bend is also under investigation for multiple unfair labor practices including spying on union nurses during nurses’ personal time, refusing to provide information about its multimillion dollar contracts with outside staffing agencies, and bad faith bargaining.
“The nurses we count on to save our lives are overworked, understaffed and undervalued by St. Charles’ executives. That should set off clanging alarm bells in this community,” said ONA President Tamie Cline. “Executives at St. Charles have ignored repeated warnings about its staffing crisis. Now it’s endangering patients and putting an entire community’s health at risk. Nurses have no choice but to take action to protect their community. They have ONA’s full support as they fight to make their hometown hospital safe.”
Nurses are currently working without a contract after the previous agreement expired Dec. 31, 2022. Contract provisions remain in effect while the parties are engaged in negotiations.
The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents more than 16,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state, including more than 1,200 frontline nurses and allied health workers at multiple St. Charles Health facilities serving Central and Eastern Oregon. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.
Numerous Fatal Drug Overdoses Raise Concerns About Dangerous Batch
The Portland Police Bureau is alerting the community of a potentially dangerous batch of drugs circulating the street marketplace. Since Friday, May 12, 2023, PPB has assisted the Medical Examiner with 8 death investigations that are suspected drug overdoses. Six of them are likely fentanyl related, and the other two are pending additional investigation.
These are a list of the current cases:
May 12, 2023, 11:38a.m., inside an apartment in the 12100 block of East Burnside Street, 38-year-old man, case number 23-123928
May 12, 2023, 1:34p.m., in a tent in the 8100 block of Southeast Rhine Street, 42-year-old man, 23-124037
May 13, 2023, 12:24a.m., in a vehicle in Sellwood Riverfront Park, 8049 SE Oaks Park Way, 47-year-old man, 23-124623
May 13, 2023, 1:44a.m., in a grassy area at West Burnside Street and Northwest 8th Avenue, unknown age man (identity has not yet been determined), 23-124669
May 13, 2023, 4:21p.m., in an apartment in the 800 block of Northwest Naito Parkway, 69-year-old man, 23-125214
May 13, 2023, 11:49p.m., in an apartment in the 16000 block of Northeast Sandy Boulevard, 49-year-old male and a 37-year-old man, 23-125607
May 14, 2023, 4:31p.m., 8100 Block of North Hartman Street, Unknown age person, 23-126180
All of these cases are under investigation by the Medical Examiner’s office and Portland Police Narcotics and Organized Crime (NOC) Unit. Preliminary investigation reveals a concerning pattern. NOC has found that in several of these cases, there is evidence that the user believed they were ingesting cocaine, but that it was really a blend of cocaine and fentanyl, or possibly pure powdered fentanyl. Users are warned that there may be a batch of purported cocaine circulating on the street that is particularly dangerous to use.
NOC is continuing to investigate. If anyone has information about any of these cases and have not already talked to police, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and reference the corresponding case number. Additional information will be released when appropriate. (SOURCE)
One historic hotel seeks its perfect match — could it be you?
Nestled in the upper end of the Blitzen Valley with Steens Mountain in the distance, the Frenchglen Hotel awaits its perfect match – a concessionaire with business savvy to run its hotel and restaurant. Are you the one?
Do you enjoy the charms of rural Eastern Oregon surrounded by the high desert and mountain lakes or gazing upon glittering night skies untouched by city lights?
Maybe you’re tempted by the proximity to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge or to the many hot springs nearby? Or is it seclusion you seek? The town of Frenchglen has a population of 12 with the next closest community, Burns, at least an hour away.
This historic hotel has a lot to offer the winning proposal.
A little history: Built in 1917, the eight-room hotel served up accommodations and hot meals to travelers and ranch visitors. Now, 106 years later, the hotel has earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places and is welcoming even more guests with the addition of Drover’s Inn, which includes 4 additional rooms to rent with private bathrooms for a total of 12 reservable rooms on the property. There is also a caretaker’s house.
Business is booming for the majority of the season (March 15 through October) followed by a closed season for quieter pursuits.
This historic hotel and adjoining properties are turnkey ready for this season. All it needs is a new concessionaire after the retirement of its longtime operator.
Still interested? Here is what Frenchglen is seeking:
- 3 years business background and experience in restaurants and hotels
- designated business as S-corporation or limited liability corporation to meet land lease requirements
- a modern touch to grow the business online with digital reservations
- management experience as they will likely need 1 to 2 employees to help with the restaurant and hotel
Frenchglen is accepting proposals online. Candidates will need to register with Oregon Buys or submit completed proposals to email@example.com“>Winona.Butler@oprd.oregon.gov. The deadline is 2 p.m. June 2, 2023. Don’t miss your chance with this historic gem.
You can also make a visit during an open house 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 26.
Disclosure: If this is a match made in heaven, the matchmaker and property owner, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, seeks 5% of revenue and $2,400 a month to maintain the historic property and its infrastructure. Last year the business reported $418,770 in revenue.
Free camping, day-use and activities to celebrate State Parks Day June 3
Celebrate State Parks Day with free parking and free RV and tent site camping at all Oregon State Parks June 3 as well as special events at selected parks.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will waive day-use parking fees at the 25 locations that charge them June 3 and June 4. OPRD will also waive camping fees for all tent, RV and horse campsites June 3.
State Parks Day has been a tradition since 1998 as a way to thank Oregonians for their support of the state park system over many decades.
“Oregon has one of the best state parks systems in the country, and it’s because you have invested in parks, cared for them and preserved them for everyone to enjoy. Thank you,” said OPRD Director Lisa Sumption.
State Parks Day Events
Several free special events and service projects are planned June 3 to celebrate State Parks Day:
- Cove Palisades:Festival of the Landis a free festival that celebrates the diverse history, food and culture of Central Oregon 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes: archeology hikes, kids’ games and activities, petting “zoo”, mini farmers market, pollinator, wildfire and fish displays, fry bread and more.
- Smith Rock: Trail Keepers of Oregon will lead a group of volunteers on some trail maintenance projects on trails in the park 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bring snacks, lunch, water and work gloves. Free. Registration required.
- Valley of the Rogue: Veteran’s Powwow 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 3 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 4. The event includes a powwow ceremony with gourd dancing and vender booths. It is open to all veterans, tribal members or not.
- Honeyman: An educational film screening will be held at the Amphitheater located in B loop overnight campground from 1 to 3 p.m. Park at the Sand Dunes Day use parking area and walk to the amphitheater, or find limited parking by the campground registration booth. This event is weather dependent.
- L.L. Stub Stewart: The Friends of Stub Stewart State Park will have booths and tables set up all around the Welcome Center building dedicated to local fire departments, state forestry agencies and volunteer organizations. Free snacks and refreshments provided by the friends group, in addition to arts and crafts activities and interpretive displays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Luckiamute: Discover the birds that call Luckiamute Natural Area home by participating in Bird Bingo 9 a.m. to noon. Register online. Participants who pre-register will receive a bingo card on the day of the event that consists of birds and plants that are common in the park. The activity begins with a Ranger led casual stroll along the North Luckiamute Trail. We will supply Binoculars to all registered participants.
- Sitka Sedge: Join Park staff for a guided hike at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area to learn about the local plants and wildlife 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at the Sitka Sedge State Natural Area Parking Lot off of Sandlake Road. Dress for the weather, bring water and a snack. The first half mile is flat on packed gravel that is accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.
Fishing is also free statewide June 3 and 4, courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Learn more at https://myodfw.com/articles/2023-free-fishing-days-and-events.
For camping availability, please check oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com or visit first-come-first served sites: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=reserve.first-come
About Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
The mission of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. The department manages 254 Oregon State Parks comprising more than 100,000 acres. Learn more at stateparks.oregon.gov.
PODCAST: 4 Oregon Cold Cases Solved, Families Get Closure
What would you do if someone you loved vanished and was never heard from again? That was the case for several families we interviewed on the first five episodes of The Unidentifieds podcast.
In previous episodes, we explored the rapidly expanding use of genetic genealogy in finding the identities of long lost souls whose remains were found in Oregon.
We told the stories of a nomadic Navy veteran, a young woman who liked to sing, a girl who wore a pink plaid coat and mother of pearl ring, and a little boy whose time on earth was too short.
They all vanished in Oregon. But they were all also found in Oregon. Their stories told, and their names said aloud once again, thanks to the help of passionate experts, their families and advances in DNA technology and genetic genealogy.
On the final episode of The Unidentifieds, hosts Regan Mertz and Dave Killen unpack the emotional toll on families and how getting answers about their loved ones’ fates – even if decades later – brings closure.
The investigators and scientists who worked on the cold cases reflect on how each person’s story lingers in their memory, long after the cases were solved.
How to find The Unidentifieds podcast from The Oregonian/OregonLive
Subscribe to The Unidentifieds on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, YouTube or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Be sure to give it a five-star rating. Find all previously released episodes below:
- Episode 1: No ID. No name. A mystery that endured for 47 years.
- Episode 2: A 2-year-old’s remains found in a southern Oregon reservoir identified 58 years later
- Episode 3: How DNA and genetic genealogy are solving decades-old cold cases
- Episode 4: Human remains found in remote woods near Government Camp identified 34 years later
- Episode 5: Human remains found near Multnomah Falls in 1979 identified four decades later
Willamette Valley News, Friday 3/3 – Valley River Inn Fire UPDATE: Fire Dept Gives Information on Sprinklers, OHA Seeks Comments on J.H. Baxter Health Consultation Draft