Willamette Valley News, Wednesday 2/21 – The Small Business Administration Opens Recovery Centers Related to Winter Storm & Other Local and Statewide News…

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, February 21, 2024

Willamette Valley Weather

The Small Business Administration Opens Recovery Centers Related to Winter Storm

A photo of an "open" sign in the window of a business. Text over the photo reads: "SBA opens recovery centers related to winter storm"

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is opening recovery centers in Lane County to help local businesses that were affected by the January winter storm.

Business owners can drop in to learn about SBA’s disaster loan program and get help completing the application.

**Eugene** – Lane County Public Service Building 🗓️ February 20, February 26, and February 27 ⌚ 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.*

*Springfield** – Springfield Public Library Meeting Room 🗓️ February 21 and February 28 ⌚ 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

**Cottage Grove** – Cottage Grove Library 🗓️ February 22 and February 29 ⌚ 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. –

Cottage Grove Community Center 🗓️ February 23 and March 1 ⌚ 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

There’s also a virtual help center for those who can’t make it to a recovery center. Details: https://www.lanecountyor.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=3585881&pageId=12717921&fbclid=IwAR18OVCBHkF_bEPhOHjbrifop1KvWUHwaaKuh0FI7hd6Cqvlfw9KSMU7iyY

02/19/24 – LCSO Case #24-0851 – Death Investigation on Sweet Creek Falls Trail

On Monday, February 19th around 11:30 a.m., a hiker in the Sweet Creek Falls area located a person down on the trail who was unresponsive. Fire personnel responded and determined the male was deceased.  Investigating deputies identified the male as Adan Miranda-Gonzalez, 29, of Eugene.

They were later able to notify next of kin. Due to the hazardous trail, Lane County Sheriff Search & Rescue volunteers were called out to assist with transporting Miranda-Gonzalez back to the trailhead.  The death does not appear suspicious at this time.  

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 opt. 1.  

Tiffany Brown selected as Lane County Emergency Manager

Tiffany Brown, a leader in emergency management in Oregon, has been chosen as the County’s new emergency manager and started in her new role earlier this month. 

“We are so fortunate to have Tiffany Brown joining Lane County as the new emergency manager,” said Lane County Policy Director Stephen Adams. “She has been in the trenches of local response for many years and is well-positioned to continue to build our program here. Her vast experience in training, exercise, working with partners and the community will serve her – and our community – well.”

Brown succeeds Patence Winningham, who served as the emergency manager for four years. Brown was selected after a competitive national search. The position is responsible for planning and directing emergency management activities and projects; collaborating with partners in the government, private and non-profit sectors to conduct and coordinate countywide mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities; and updating and maintaining the County’s comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan. 

“It is very exciting to be back in the area and humbling to have been selected for the position,” said Tiffany Brown. “The ice storm created a unique opportunity for me to hit the ground running, and in coming months, I look forward to discovering other ways that my experiences on the North Coast can benefit the residents and support our community partners in Lane County.”

Brown served the last eight years as the emergency manager for Clatsop County. She brings a wealth of experience in local emergency management with a focus on regional preparedness, response, and mitigation related to catastrophic events – most notably the Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. Related to her work on Cascadia preparedness, Brown has developed partnerships with state and federal military agencies that can also benefit Lane County’s coastal residents ahead of an earthquake. Prior to her role as Clatsop County’s emergency manager, Brown served as an emergency coordinator and clerk of the Board of County Commissioners there. She has also served as a 9-1-1 dispatcher. 

She is a graduate of the University of Oregon and holds a bachelor’s degree in English. Brown also has a master’s degree in security studies from the Center for Homeland Security Naval Postgraduate School. She is a member of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC), as well as a FEMA instructor and a Certified Emergency Manager, which is a nationally and internationally recognized certification for emergency managers.

Alligator Seized at Springfield Home

A homeowner in Springfield recently learned possession of a crocodilian (yes, alligators are in the crocodilian family) is prohibited in Oregon except for particular circumstances such as a wildlife rehabilitation center or educational/research facilities.

May be an image of 4 people, crocodile and text

The seized alligator had been a family pet for approximately 13 years. The alligator was transported to a permitted facility by an Oregon Department of Agriculture veterinarian where it will live out its remaining years. This was only the fourth alligator Fish & Wildlife troopers could recall coming across in the last six years.

Science tip: You can distinguish an alligator from a crocodile by paying attention to whether the animal sees you later or after a while #dadjokes (https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=448805384136360&set=a.165217442495157)

Corvallis Police Response to Fatal Crash on Philomath Blvd on Saturday February 17th

Corvallis Police Officers responded to a report of a single vehicle crash into a tree on SW Philomath Blvd near SW 71st St on Saturday morning around 08:22 am. 

On Saturday February 17th at approximately 8:22 am the Corvallis Police Department and the Corvallis Fire Department responded to a report of a vehicle crash on SW Philomath Blvd west of Shonnard’s Nursery.

Officers arrived on scene and located a Lexus SUV with extensive damage crashed into a tree on the south side of SW Philomath Blvd near SW 71st St. No other vehicles were involved in the crash. 

Tragically, the sole occupant of the vehicle, identified as 28-year-old Laura Ruhl of Philomath, was found deceased upon arrival. The Corvallis Police Department extends its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Ms. Ruhl during this difficult time. 

Members of the Major Accident Investigative Team (MAIT) were called out to carefully examine the crash site. Consequently, Philomath Blvd was closed for approximately three hours to facilitate thorough investigation and ensure public safety. 

The circumstances surrounding this unfortunate event remain under investigation and no further information will be released at this time. The Corvallis Police Department urges anyone with relevant information pertaining to the incident to contact Ofc Peter Mason at 541-766-6924. 

The 86th Oregon Logging Conference starts February 22-24, 2024

Lane Event Center #86thoregonloggingconferencehttps://www.facebook.com/OregonLoggingConference

ONA Files Unfair Labor Practice Against PeaceHealth for Refusing to Meet with Nurses and Canceling Scheduled Mediation

ONA nurses on strike at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services to reach a fair contract agreement that addresses patient safety and community health; secure equitable pay; and solves PeaceHealth’s staffing crisis. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mealy, ONA.

PeaceHealth has refused to meet with home care nurses for a month. 

(Springfield, Ore.) – The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) has filed an unfair labor practice charge against PeaceHealth for refusing to meet and bargain with local nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. After receiving a strike notice Jan. 19, PeaceHealth unilaterally canceled a Jan. 23 meeting with nurses and a federal mediator and has refused to sit down with nurses for the last month. Local nurses have repeatedly offered to meet with PeaceHealth executives to reach a fair contract agreement to prevent or end a strike but PeaceHealth has declined.

Home health and hospice nurses at PeaceHealth declared a limited duration strike Feb. 10 – 24 to protect their community’s health and safety, combat care delays, secure equitable pay and address PeaceHealth’s staffing crisis at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. 

The more than 90 registered nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA).

“It’s disappointing that PeaceHealth executives would rather sit back and scroll Instagram than talk to the frontline nurses they count on. Our strike line is only 50 yards from their front door. We’re not hard to find. We’ll meet them anywhere, anytime,” said Jo Turner, a local hospice nurse and ONA chair at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. “We love our patients, we love our jobs, and we’d love nothing more than to get a fair contract and get back to work. But we can’t talk to an empty chair. We need PeaceHealth’s executives to show up and prove they care about the people in our community the way nurses do.”

The National Labor Relations Act requires companies like PeaceHealth to bargain in good faith. “Section 8(a)(5) of the Act makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer ‘to refuse to bargain collectively with the representatives of its employees’” specifying that companies must meet with union representatives at reasonable times and reasonable intervals. ONA nurses and PeaceHealth had 40 contract negotiation meetings between Feb. 2023 – Jan. 2024.

However, the two sides have not met since Jan. 12 due to PeaceHealth’s ongoing refusal to negotiate with home care nurses. 

The National Labor Relations Board adjudicates unfair labor practice charges and can impose financial and legal penalties on companies like PeaceHealth which break the law. ONA previously filed an unfair labor practice charge against PeaceHealth after it unlawfully threatened to cancel nurses’ health insurance. 

ONA home health and hospice nurses at PeaceHealth are holding a limited duration strike Feb. 10 – 24. Nurses are not discouraging patients from seeking care during the strike, however PeaceHealth patients may experience delays, cancellations or substandard care as PeaceHealth refused to temporarily transfer patients to other home health agencies and is relying on scab workers from an out-of-state, for-profit company.

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 18,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state, including more than 90 nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services and nearly 1,500 frontline nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.

May be an image of oatmeal cookies, cookies, poster and text that says 'COOKIES WITH CALL TAKERS DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS SWEET OPPORTUNITY το SHAPE YOUR FUTURE! DISCOVER THE WORLD OF 911 CALL TAKING, MEET OUR PASSIONATE TEAM, AND ENJOY SOME DELICIOUS COOKIES! February 20th 6 p.m. 8 p.m. 1705 West 2nd Avenue Eugene, Oregon 97402 Get a firsthand look and explore the exciting opportunities awaiting you. The Entry-Level Call Taker Position job posting opens on February 16th and runs through March 11th. This is a fantastic opportunity start your career in the world of 911 dispatch. For more information, email CE911Recruitment@ci.eugene.or.us'
May be an image of text that says 'U U DISPATCHER WITH Donut miss this chance to sprinkle some sweetness into your morning! Indulge in delicious donuts while chatting with our incredible team of dispatchers. This event offers the perfect opportunity to dunk into the world of 911 dispatch. Learn what it takes to become dispatcher and get a taste of what the job is like from those who do it every day! Join us for a "Hole" lot of fun with Central Lane Communications February 24th 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Classroom 1 and 2 For more information, email CE911Recruitment@ci.eugene.o'

🚨 SCAM ALERT! 🚨 Pet owners in Lane County, BEWARE!

Dog and cat look up to see "Warning! Lost pet scam"

Scammers posing as Lane County Animal Services are preying on pet owners who’ve shared info about lost pets online. 📢 “Jack Richardson” claims your pet needs urgent care, demands CashApp payment 💸, and threatens to withhold treatment.

🛑 This is a SCAM! Lane County Animal Services would NEVER:

1️⃣ Demand payment via CashApp or gift cards.2️⃣ Withhold emergency care pending payment.3️⃣ Contact residents via text without prior arrangement.

Details of the scam: Name: Fake “Jack Richardson” from Lane County Animal Services. 📞 Scammer’s Caller ID number: 541-623-9114. CashApp account: $LCanimalserv, with reference numbers like LCAS-174752.

🚨 HOW TO REPORT:1️⃣ Contact the FBI at www.ic3.gov to report cybercrime.2️⃣ For local reports, contact your local law enforcement agency. Spread the word and help keep pet owners from falling for this scam!

Become a temporary election worker and help democracy thrive

The Lane County Elections Office is hiring temporary election workers to assist with the May 21, 2024 Primary Election. 

“Temporary election workers are critical to the success of elections,” said County Clerk Dena Dawson. “We want to build a more diverse pool of people that is representative of our community. Retirees are always welcome, but so are students, stay-at-home parents, gig workers, and anyone who just wants to learn more about elections or earn a few bucks.”

Available positions include customer service, data entry, ballot processing, and ballot collection. Some positions require a few weeks of availability and others only require a few days, or even just one night. Lane County does not use volunteers to conduct elections; all temporary election worker positions are paid. 

Temporary election workers are hired before each election cycle. Another round of hiring will begin in August for the November 5 Presidential Election. 

Detailed job descriptions, instructions, and more details for applying can be found at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/elections under the “Election Temporary Jobs” section. 

Lane County Elections holding student contest to create “I Voted” coloring page

A young boy wearing a blue plaid shirt and glasses grins through missing front teeth as he holds a handful of pens and pencils. Text next to him reads "Calling all student artists"

Local students, kindergarten through college, are invited to create an “I Voted” coloring page for the Lane County Elections Office.

Four winning entries will be used to create a coloring page that will accompany ballots for the November 5, 2024 Presidential Election. 

“I’m excited about this creative way for Lane County voters to celebrate voting,” said Lane County Clerk Dena Dawson. “I can’t wait to see what students come up with and I hope we blow up social media in November with the colorful versions voters create.” 

There are four categories for student submissions:

  • Category 1: Kindergarten–5th Grade
  • Category 2: 6th Grade–8th Grade
  • Category 3: 9th Grade–12th Grade
  • Category 4: College or vocational school students

Submissions are due by April 1, 2024 and may be provided by email, mail or in-person. All entries must be submitted on the official entry form and must be signed by a parent or guardian if the entrant is under 18 years old. 

Submissions must be original artwork and on a plain white background with black outlines so voters can color the artwork in November and share on social media using #LaneCountyVotes. 

The entry form and more detail about how to submit artwork can be found at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/elections under the “I Voted Coloring Contest” section. 

May be an image of 4 people and text that says 'MISSING ARIANA FREEDOM DEVLIEGER Age: 14 Hair: Brown Eyes: Hazel Height: 5'1" Weight: 105 lbs Eugene, Oregon February 6, 2024 Ariana was last seen in Eugene, Oregon on February 6, 2024. When she was last seen, her hair was dyed red. IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION: f MissingNorthwest Eugene Police Department: 541-682-5111 @MissingNW @MissingNW'

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'MISSING SCARLETT ANGEL WYNCOOP Age: 18 Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown Height: 5'4" Weight: 215 lbs Springfield, Oregon February 14, 2024 Scarlett was last seen in Springfield, Oregon on February 14, 2024. IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION: f /MissingNorthwest Springfield Police Department: 541-726-3714 @MissingNW @MissingNW'
May be an image of 1 person and text

Oregon permanent standard time bill survives after Senate splits

Supporters agreed to amend the bill to say Oregon will only end daylight saving time if and when Washington and California do the same

An effort to switch Oregon to permanent standard time will live to see another day after hitting a temporary roadblock on Tuesday when the state Senate split evenly on the bill.

It takes 16 “yes” votes to pass a bill in the 30-member Senate, and Sen. Kim Thatcher’s Senate Bill 1548 had just 15 senators on board when it first came up for a vote on Tuesday.

That set the Keizer Republican and other supporters on a mission to change a colleague’s mind or find a compromise in the minutes before the Senate adjourned for the day and dashed all hopes for ending the twice-annual clock change.

Several hushed, intense conversations later, Thatcher and Sen. Elizabeth Steiner, D-Portland, had a solution: Instead of trying to have Oregon lead the way on switching to standard time and hoping other West Coast states would catch up, supporters agreed to amend the bill to add a trigger clause clarifying that Oregon would only ditch daylight saving time if and when Washington and California do the same. 

Thatcher told the Capital Chronicle she came prepared with a motion to reconsider the bill if it failed because many of her colleagues hadn’t made up their minds. Three of the senators who unanimously voted it out of a committee last week ended up voting against the bill on the floor. 

“I did not know where it was gonna land,” she said. “I tried to get that intel and it was just that nobody knew where they were.”

For Thatcher, who five years ago pushed a bill to switch to permanent daylight time, it was a clear choice. There isn’t the same momentum around moving to daylight time as there seemed to be in 2019, and permanent daylight time would require an act of Congress while states can move to standard time on their own. 

An effort stalled in Washington this year, but bills are alive in California and Idaho, where a bill was introduced late last week.

“We can ditch the switch for real this time,” Thatcher said. 

A broad-ranging debate in the Oregon Senate covered religious freedom, interstate commutes, health concerns, school start times and Arizona. The majority of the opponents – 12 of the 15 – are Democrats, but so are co-sponsors Steiner, Senate President Rob Wagner, D-Lake Oswego and Sen. Deb Patterson, D-Salem. 

Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, represents a vast section of eastern Oregon including Malheur County, which is on Mountain time and would have ended up two hours ahead of the rest of Oregon if the bill passed as drafted. Findley supported it.

But Sen. Bill Hansell, the Athena Republican who represents northeast Oregon, had the same concerns as Sen. Michael Dembrow, a Democrat who represents north Portland. Hansell said his constituents, many of whom do business in Washington and go to Walla Walla, Washington, for services that aren’t available in smaller eastern Oregon cities, want to make sure they stay in the same zone as Washington. 

Dembrow sees the same issue on a larger scale in Portland, where thousands of people commute between Portland and Vancouver or southwest Washington each day. 

“What that means is that for two-thirds of the year, Portland will be an hour different from Vancouver and southwest Washington,” he said. “All of those people – there are thousands of people who live in southwest Washington and commute to Oregon, or vice versa, are going to have to change their watches twice every day.” 

Public health, religious concerns

Steiner said switching to permanent standard time takes a stand for public health and religious freedom. Steiner is Jewish, and her religion includes morning prayers that can’t be recited until after sunrise. Permanent daylight time would make it all but impossible for Jewish people to congregate and say prayers in the morning, she said. 

Steiner’s also a doctor, and she noted that medical research indicates changing clocks is bad for mental and physical health. She urged senators to move forward with adopting year-round standard time, saying Oregon could lead the way. 

“​​Once we’ve done it and we’ve demonstrated the benefits and we’ve demonstrated our commitment to this, I think we’ll see Washington and California and a lot of other states picking up the mantle sooner,” Steiner said. 

Most states observe daylight saving time, but Hawaii and most of Arizona are on standard time year round. Indiana didn’t start observing the twice-yearly time change until 2006.

Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas, reminded colleagues that they heard a lot about Arizona while discussing economic development and the semiconductor industry last year.

“If I recall correctly, I think that economic horsepower state beating us out for economic development is the state of Arizona, and they’re on standard time,” Boquist said. “Let’s be like Arizona. Let’s get more economic development, let’s get more people moving here. I don’t know if this helps, but it sure didn’t hurt in Arizona.” 

Sen. Sara Gelser Blouin, D-Corvallis, said switching to standard time might make more sense in southern states that don’t see the same swings in daylight hours. Portland is dark for nearly 16 hours a day in December, while the sun is out for more than 15 hours in peak summer. Her constituents and her brother have strong feelings about ending the annual switch, which Gelser Blouin said her brother calls “abuse of clocks.” 

Gelser Blouin said she understands arguments for keeping standard time for students who need to get to school safely. The sun has been rising earlier and earlier for the past few weeks, and by March 9, the last day before daylight saving time begins, it’ll rise around 6:30 a.m. The following Monday, the sun won’t rise until 7:30 a.m. But Gelser Blouin said the real problem to fix is early school start times. 

“With apologies to my brother, my no vote will once again support ‘abuse of clocks,’” she said. (SOURCE)

Klamath Falls Man Accused Of Kidnapping Woman From Seattle Faces New Indictment

A new federal indictment accuses Negasi Zuberi of an attempted escape from the Jackson County Jail and a second kidnapping in addition to the alleged abduction of a woman from Washington to Oregon last summer.

A three-week trial is now set to start in federal court in Medford on Oct. 7. Prosecutor Jeffrey S. Sweet estimated at least 50 witnesses will be called at trial, with roughly half based in Klamath Falls or Medford.

The superseding indictment now accuses Zuberi, 30, of also kidnapping a second woman in Klamath County on May 6, of an attempted escape from his cell in the Jackson County Jail in August and of unlawfully possessing a handgun, a shotgun, two rifles and numerous rounds of ammunition as a convicted felon.

He initially faced a two-count indictment charging him with kidnapping and transportation with Intent to engage in sexual activity.

The new eight-count indictment charges him with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, two counts of being a felon with ammunition, and one count each of transportation for criminal sexual activity and attempted escape.

Federal prosecutors say Zuberi in July kidnapped a woman from Seattle after posing as an undercover police officer, drove her 450 miles to Klamath Falls, sexually assaulted her on the trip and then locked her in a cell in the garage of his rental home in Klamath Falls.

The new indictment doesn’t give any details on the second kidnapping charge.

It picks up the alleged jail escape case that was initially filed against Zuberi in state court. According to court records, aJackson County maintenance worker noticed an unusual noise coming from one of the cells while he was outside the county jail about 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 22 and alerted sheriff’s deputies. Deputies found Zuberi on his bunk bed, near a window that appeared to be chipped, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

He’s accused of using an improvised, screw-like device to strike and shatter glass in the cell, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court. He then covered the shattered glass with books and paper in an apparent attempt to hide it, the affidavit said. The device was found attached to his sandal, the affidavit said.

Nonetheless,Zuberi was transferred back to the Jackson County Jail last week from the federal prison at Sheridan. Zuberi requested the transfer in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane last week. (READ MORE)

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek Uses Legos To Explain The State’s Housing Crisis

She posted a video on Instagram where she uses Lego built houses and Lego people to show how the lack of housing leads to bidding wars and higher prices that make buying a house impossible for many people. https://www.instagram.com/p/C3X9kHrI6p8/

“Right now, there are too many people who need an affordable place to live. SB 1537 is a critical step in the right direction, building more homes for Oregonians to live – brick by brick – to ease our housing crisis.”

She says 440-thousand homes are needed over the next 20 years to keep up with demand. The Governor supports a bill in the Legislature that would allow cities to expand urban growth boundaries to increase housing construction. The bill is opposed by groups that are fighting urban sprawl.

The Oregon House has passed a bill that would allow school districts to install cameras on school bus stop arms to catch drivers that don’t stop.

On one day last year, Oregon school bus operators reported over 14-hundred drivers violated red stop lights on their buses. The bill would give school districts a tool to catch violators, if they want to install the cameras. It’s not a requirement.

The bill also extends the deadline to retrofit buses with new, cleaner burning diesel engines. Supply chain issues are making it impossible to meet the deadline of next January. It would be extended by one year. The bill passed the House unanimously and moves to the Senate.

After a case of bubonic plague was confirmed in Oregon earlier this week, some people may wonder if there’s a danger of the disease spreading in the US.

The Oregon resident, who was the first to contract the infection since 2015, reportedly caught the infection from a pet cat, according to state health officials.

Experts shared with Fox News Digital what people should know about the infectious disease — including how to recognize symptoms, seek out treatment and prevent infection in the first place. (READ MORE)

Sheriff’s Deputies Rescue Infant and Toddler Abandoned in Woods by Suspect On-the-Run

JCSO Case 24-0935

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies rescued an infant and toddler after they were abandoned by a wanted suspect on-the-run this afternoon. The suspect, Justin Ryan Trompeter, 24, of Trail is wanted for fourth-degree domestic violence assault, third-degree robbery, first-degree theft, and reckless endangerment for an incident that occurred February 7 in Shady Cove. If you know of the suspect’s whereabouts, call ECSO Dispatch at (541) 776-7206. He is known to frequent the Shady Cove and Trail area. 

While searching for the suspect, JCSO deputies discovered Trompeter was hiding with the children, ages 6 months and 1.5 years, deep in the surrounding Jacksonville woods. Deputies quickly located a vehicle at the top of Wagon Trail Drive with the two young children abandoned and alone in the car around 1:30 this afternoon. Trompeter had fled the scene before deputies’ arrival. The children were checked by Mercy Flights medics then turned over to Department of Human Services (DHS) personnel for safe keeping. New charges of first and second-degree child neglect are being added by the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.

Crime Stoppers Featured Case #24-04 – Wanted for Murder – Analiesa Golde

The Portland Police Bureau in conjunction with Crime Stoppers of Oregon is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a wanted murder suspect.

55 year old, Analiesa Golde is wanted for the murder of Philip Pierce, after Pierce was found deceased on January 26, 2024 inside a residence in southeast Portland. Golde’s whereabouts are currently unknown but it is believed she fled the Portland area. Golde was last seen driving a burnt orange, 2015 Toyota 4 Runner, with Oregon license plate 501HSB.

If anyone has information that could lead to the location and apprehension of Golde, they are requested to notify law enforcement immediately. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Oregon.

Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 for information reported to Crime Stoppers of Oregon that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime, but tipsters must remain anonymous. Secure and anonymous tips can be left at www.crimestoppersoforegon.com, or you can visit the app store and download P3 tips for smartphones or tablets.

Oregon Kids Credit offers big boost for lowest-income families

Free filing assistance available to help taxpayers claim their credits

Salem, OR—A new state tax credit could provide up to $5,000 for Oregon’s lowest income families who file an Oregon state income tax return.

The Oregon Kids Credit, created by the Legislature last year, is a refundable credit for low-income people with young dependent children. For those with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $25,000 or less, the full credit is $1,000 per child for up to five dependent children under the age of six at the end of the tax year—a maximum benefit of $5,000. A partial credit is available for individuals and families with an MAGI up to $30,000.

When combined with the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and the Oregon Earned Income Credit, it could help boost the tax refund for the lowest income families to more than $13,000.

The EITC is for people with an adjusted gross income of up to $63,398 in 2023. Families may be eligible for a maximum refundable credit of $7,430 on their federal tax return, and a maximum Oregon EIC of $891 on their state tax return.

All three credits are fully refundable, meaning the portion of the credit that is larger than what a taxpayer owes can be refunded. Taxpayers may even be able to claim the credits and receive a tax refund if they don’t normally file a tax return.

To claim the credits, taxpayers must file a return. To assist taxpayers, Oregon offers several free filing options, including free fillable forms and the new Direct File Oregon. Taxpayers who need help filing their taxes can also find free assistance options on the agency website.

Families who are eligible for the Oregon Kids Credit are also likely eligible for the partially refundable Working Family Household and Dependent Care Credit (WFHDC), which helps low- to moderate-income families pay for the care of their dependents while they’re working, looking for work, or attending school.

To encourage Oregonians to save for college and job training, the Education Savings Credit for Oregon 529 Plan contributions allows single filers to receive a refundable credit of as much as $170 ($340 for joint filers) if they contribute to an Oregon College Savings Plan account before tax day. The refundable tax credit is also available for contributions to an Oregon ABLE Savings Plan account, which empowers people experiencing disabilities to invest and build financial security without jeopardizing their eligibility for vital state and federal benefits.

For more information about the federal EITC, the Oregon EIC, the Oregon Kids Credit and other similar credits, go to the Tax benefits for families page.

Taxpayers can dial 2-1-1 or visit the Oregon Department of Revenue website to find free tax preparation sites by using our interactive map. For more information on the EITC, visit https://www.eitc.irs.gov/. For questions about Oregon taxes, call the Department of Revenue at 503-378-4988.

Refunds distribution has begun
The annual refund hold that is part of the agency’s fraud prevention efforts has been completed and the department began issuing the first refunds of the 2024 tax season Monday.

In 2024 Oregon is returning $5.61 billion in surplus revenue to taxpayers in the form of a “kicker” tax credit. Taxpayers will receive their kicker as part of their refund, or the kicker can reduce the tax they owe.

Most refunds are issued within two weeks, but returns that need more review may take up to 16 weeks before a refund is issued. Taxpayers can check the status of their refund by using the department’s Where’s My Refund? tool on Revenue Online. A video outlining the refund process and timelines is also available to help taxpayers understand the process.

Oregon Blue Book Cover Photo Contest Underway

The front cover of the 2023-2024 Oregon Blue Book showcases a hillside covered in beautiful balsam root and lupine flowers at Rowena Crest, captured by Oregon photographer Micah Lundsted of Eugene. The book’s back cover shows an image of three rockfish made at the Oregon Coast Aquarium by Dale George of Grants Pass.

A hillside covered in flowers of purple and yellow. In the sky is a scattering of clouds reflecting sunlight in blue and purple.

Which images will cover the 2025-2026 Oregon Blue Book? The Oregon Blue Book cover photo contest kicks off today, giving amateur photographers the chance to submit their photos to answer that question. Photo contest winners will be selected in October 2024 by Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade.

“Choosing the cover photos for the Oregon Blue Book is an honor,” said Secretary Griffin-Valade. “The images are a chance to see our beautiful state through the lens of the many talented amateur photographers who live in Oregon.”

The contest is open to Oregon residents of any age who earn less than half their income from photography. Images must be Oregon related and should be submitted in the portrait, rather than landscape, orientation. Two images will be selected for the cover: one for the front and one for the back. Visit the Oregon Blue Book Photo Contest guidelines for more information: https://sos.oregon.gov/blue-book/Pages/about-conte…

Images can be submitted through the Oregon Blue Book website portal or via U.S. mail. The deadline to submit photos for consideration is October 27, 2024. Contact the Oregon Blue Book Managing Editor at Oregon.Bluebook@sos.oregon.gov with questions or for additional information.

DETAILS

What: 2025-2026 Oregon Blue Book Cover Photo Contest
Who: Amateur photographers who live in Oregon
When: February 7, 2024-October 27, 2024
Where: Submit online or through U.S. Mail
Why: Photo on the cover of the 2025-2026 Oregon Blue Book

ODFW Announces Stamp Art Competitions

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is making a call to area artists to compete in one, or all three, of ODFW’s 2025 stamp art competitions.

The winning artist in each contest receives a $2,000 award and their winning artwork is used to produce collector’s stamps and other promotional items, sales of which benefit Oregon’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

For more information on contest rules and to order stamps and art prints, visit: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/stamp_contest/index.asp.

Entries will be accepted beginning Aug. 30 through Sept. 27 by 5 p.m., at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr., SE, Salem, OR 97302.

Entries can be mailed or hand delivered. If you hand-deliver your entry, call ahead to make arrangements at 503-947-6314.

Here’s a look at the three categories:

Habitat Conservation Stamp

Art entries must feature a “Strategy Species” identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy in its appropriate habitat. Not all species in the strategy are eligible, so use the qualifying list of species.

See contest rules and entry form for more information and a list of eligible species at

https://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy/habitat_conservation_stamp.asp.

Waterfowl Stamp Contest

Art entries must feature one of the following species in its natural habitat setting: Ring-necked Duck, White-winged Scoter, or Barrow’s Goldeneye.

See contest rules and entry form for more information at

https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/waterfowl/contest/index.asp.

Upland Game Bird Stamp Contest

Art entries must feature California Quail in its natural habitat setting.

See contest rules and entry form for more information at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/upland_bird/contest/index.asp

Artists should not the highlighted new for 2025 information in the contest rules and the final page for packaging tips.

A panel will judge artwork based on artistic composition, anatomical accuracy of the species and general appeal.

Collector’s stamps, art prints and other promotional materials are produced from first-place artwork. Proceeds from product sales are used for habitat improvement, research surveys and conservation projects.

Interested artists are encouraged to visit ODFW’s stamp art competition website for more information on the contests and to view entries from previous years. https://www.dfw.state.or.us/stamp_contest/index.asp

20240224ewextra-David-Bjorkman-Missing

Missing child alert — Jerrica Landin is still missing and is believed to be in danger

2023-12/973/168527/Jerrica_Landin_2.jpg

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, asks the public to help find Jerrica Landin, age 17, a child in foster care who went missing from Portland, Oregon on Aug. 21. She is believed to be in danger.

ODHS asks the public for help in the effort to find Jerrica and to contact 911 or local law enforcement if they believe they see her.

Jerrica may be in Portland or Eugene in Oregon. She may also be in Washington in Vancouver, Seattle or the Tri Cities. 

Name: Jerrica Landin
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: Oct. 24, 2006
Height: 5-foot-6
Weight: 130 pounds
Hair: Reddish brown
Eye color: Brown
Other identifying information: Jerrica has a tattoo of a heart on her neck below her right ear. She often dyes her hair red, pink and purple. 
Portland Police Bureau Case #23-803125
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #1489518

Sometimes when a child is missing, they may be in significant danger and ODHS may need to locate them to assess and support their safety. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and assess their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. 

PART 2Newsweek Podcast Focusing on The Disappearance of Fauna Frey From Lane County

Here One Minute, Gone the Next —-– PART 2 – Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel joins investigative journalist Alex Rogue to speak with Here One Minute, Gone the Next about the disappearance of Fauna Frey, the growing friction between citizen investigators and law enforcement, and the lack of resources in missing persons cases. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-disappearance-of-fauna-frey-pt2-feat-sheriff/id1707094441?i=1000630100040

PART 1 – John Frey joins Newsweek to discuss exclusive details about the case of his missing daughter that until now have been unavailable to the general public.

READ MORE HERE: https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-what-happened-fauna-frey-new-clues-uncovered-1827197?fbclid=IwAR3Z3Glru5lIgqiYXbs_nA1Fj8JuCIzM11OHSVHfwIucfq2f_G5y9y5bnmQ

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Fauna Frey, call the anonymous tip line at 541-539-5638 or email FindFaunaFrey@gmail.com. — Help Find Fauna Frey #FindFaunaFrey FACEBOOK GROUP

Missing Yachats Man’s Vehicle Found in North Lane County

On 08/25/2023, Dustin Steyding was reported missing to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office after he left work on 07/22/2023 and hadn’t been located since. Dustin was living and working in the Yachats area. 

Dustin was reported to be in good physical condition, having previously worked as a hot shot firefighter in New Mexico. Dustin is very experienced in the woods and commonly goes out for hikes to stay in shape. Without means to locate Dustin, Deputies entered Dustin as a missing person in a national database. 

On 09/04/2023, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Dustin’s family after they located his vehicle on Keller Creek Rd, just outside of Lincoln County in Lane County. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputies contacted the vehicle and determined it had been at the location for some time. Deputies were unable to determine Dustin’s direction of travel from the vehicle.

The vehicle having been located in Lane County, Lincoln County Deputies contacted the Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team and arranged for their response the next day to started searching the area. After two days of searching, no clues to Dustin’s have been found.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Dustin Steyding should contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 541-265-0777 and reference case number 23S-07321.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'MISSING TALYNN RYLIE MERTZ, 15 Talynn was last seen in Eugene, Oregon on June 2, 2023. Talynn is 5'3"- -5'4" and 170 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. f/MissingNorthwest @MissingNW @MissingNW IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800-THE-LOST Eugene Police Department: 541-682-5111'
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1109674113319848

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