Willamette Valley News, Monday 5/13 – 5 Affordable Housing Projects Seeking Eugene City Funding, Remembering Eugene Police Department’s Fallen Officers During National Police Week & 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

Monday, May 13, 2024

Willamette Valley Weather

5 Affordable Housing Projects Seeking Eugene City Funding

Eugene has been identified as a city with severe rent burdens, a place where many households pay more than 50% of their incomes on rental housing costs. In 2022, 31.3% of households were considered severely rent-burdened . Lane County’s homelessness dashboard counted 4,578 unhoused individuals in March of 2024.

Eugene’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) is just one of the tools used by the city to identify projects that could effectively develop more affordable housing. After multiple meetings, the committee advising the AHTF is getting its 2024 project funding recommendations ready to present to the City Council.

A look at the AHTF’s 2024 Requests for Proposals — This year, the AHTF has $1,056,545 of funding available for distribution. Four proposals and a request for gap funding were received for the 2024 round of funding. In total, these four projects, not including the gap funding proposal, requested $1,947,049. Here’s a look at each project proposal.

Floral Hill by DevNW — DevNW’s Floral Hill proposal is for funding the new construction of 36 affordable units, providing 100 bedrooms in the south Eugene Laurel Hill Valley Neighborhood. Eight units are planned as two-bedroom spaces and 26 are planned to be three-bedroom units, two of which would be ADA-income-qualified housing units. The 3.89-acre site would have a mix of two- and three-bedroom townhomes alongside three-bedroom detached homes.

The management model utilizes a Community Land Trust to support accessible and affordable homeownership. The project design includes space for outdoor gardening and community amenities such as playgrounds and seating areas.

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Floral Hill hopes to serve households earning 61 to 80% Area Median Income (AMI). The project requests $600,000 from the AHTF. DevNW is also planning to apply for LIFT and Congressional Directed Spending funding to support this project. If funded, the project would complete site preparation and construction in phases lasting approximately two to three years each. Prior to starting a new phase, the newly constructed dwellings would be sold.

Following obtaining funding, site work timelines are expected to last from June 2025 to April 2026. Phase one of home construction would begin in May 2026 and hopes to conclude in April 2027 for home sales from May to September 2027. Phase two home construction is expected to begin in May 2027 and conclude in April 2028. These second-phase homes would then be sold from May to September 2028.

Nelson Place by DevNW — This proposal is requesting funding to support improvements to HVAC systems in 28 homes already constructed as part of the first phase of project construction. In total, Nelson Place aims to provide 31 affordable units with 81 bedrooms as part of a Community Land Trust model to support low-income homeownership.

Phase one of this development is nearing completion in west Eugene’s Bethel neighborhood across the street from Prairie Mountain K-8 School. Phase one construction consisted of three three-bedroom homes and the construction of nine market-rate, two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhomes. Twelve residencies from Phases two and three are expected to be two-bedroom homes and 16 are planned as three-bedroom homes.

Unlike other project proposals, DevNW is requesting AHTF funding to install cooling provisions in units. The units now have cadet heating but lack a cooling capability, which DevNW wrote in its proposal as an urgent need for residents as temperatures escalate in warmer weather.

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DevNW uses community building and neighborhood revitalization strategies to support grassroots efforts to develop more engaging, supportive and vibrant communities. Past neighborhoods where their work was focused include Eugene’s Whiteaker Neighborhood and current focuses consist of downtown Springfield and southtown Corvallis. DevNW’s Flo-Grove project supported the development of six CLT homes in Cottage Grove and 12 in Florence, which was completed in 2020-2021.

Nelson Place aims to serve households earning 60 to 80% AMI and is requesting $231,532 of AHTF funding for these improvements. The project proposal notes that all other funding for this project has been secured and that AHTF money would allow the developer to add to the scope of their work with HVAC improvements and to fold that funding into the construction of Phase Two.

Construction for Phase One is expected to wrap up in July with home sales expected between July and September of 2024. Phase two is expected to start construction soon and hopes to conclude this December with home sales occurring from January 2025 to May. Phase three is planned for construction starting this November and aims to end in July of 2025. Homes constructed in Phase Three are expected to sell between August and December of 2025.

The Lucy by Cornerstone Community Housing — This proposal is for a new construction project of 36 affordable rental units, totaling 75 bedrooms located east of 870 Hunsaker Lane. There are six one-bedroom units, 19 two-bedroom units and nine three-bedroom units along with 48 parking spaces proposed for the 1.8-acre parcel of land.

The project is intended to serve individuals, families and families with children. It is designed as two three-story residential buildings with a community building intended to provide a campus-like environment, according to the project proposal. Centralized community spaces would include a play area, rain gardens and a community room for hosting on-site resident services and providing community partners with space. The community building is also intended to house a full kitchen and storage space for community events.

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Cornerstone Community Housing has been supporting individuals and families across Lane County for over 30 years by developing affordable housing and providing supportive services to promote overall wellness and economic security and independence. Projects such as the Springfield Apartments proposed in partnership with the Hope and Safety Alliance received supportive funding in late 2023, showing the organization’s commitment to providing not only safe and affordable housing but also ensuring that housing is robustly supported by community partners.

The target population this development wants to serve is households earning 51 to 60% AMI. The project’s funding request is for $587,245. Additionally, Cornerstone Community Housing is seeking project funding from the Oregon Housing and Community Services Centralized Resource Offering program. Project timelines expect construction to begin in July of 2025, conclude in summer of 2026 and to fulfill lease-ups in November of 2026.

Rosa Village by SquareOne Villages — This project is a proposal for the new construction of 52 affordable homes, totaling 64 bedrooms. There are 40 one-bedroom units proposed and 12 two-bedroom units proposed for the 3.3-acre lot at 2243 Roosevelt Blvd. Forty-four parking spaces are included in the project plans. Co-located on the northern 1.3 acres of the lot is SquareOne’s Opportunity Village Eugene, a transitional tiny home community housing 30-40 people at a time.

The property plans to be constructed with a village model, including a 1,600 square foot common house that will provide shared amenities like meeting space, a place for residents to do laundry or get their mail, store bikes or access shared tools. Plans also include outdoor gardening space as well as a fenced-in dog park. The management model implements a Community Land Trust with Leasehold Cooperative, which developer and manager SquareOne Villages has utilized in past developments like Emerald Village in Eugene and Cottage Village in Cottage Grove. In this model, the co-op leases the property from SquareOne Villages, which ensures the permanent affordability of the units through the Community Land Trust model. This management model leases homes to co-op members, unlike SquareOne’s Peace Village, where co-op members own the homes on SquareOne Villages’ land.

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SquareOne Villages has a number of other developments putting the organization’s “village model” to use with years of operations in their repertoire such as Emerald Village, Cottage Village and the C Street Co-op in Springfield, in addition to Peace Village in Eugene.

The development aims to serve people earning between 31 and 50% AMI and is requesting $528,272 from the AHTF. In addition to requests for ATHF support, Rosa Village is applying for LIFT funds to help finance the project. Once full funding is secured, SquareOne anticipates construction to begin in March of 2025, with initial occupancy expected for April of 2026.

Williams Place gap funding requestWilliams Place is a development St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County is currently constructing to serve veterans. The 10-unit project is located off of River Road near the Santa Clara Transit Station and would work specifically with individuals partnering with Supportive Services for Veteran Families and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.

This project received AHTF support in last year’s funding cycle. While construction for this project is about 75% completed, a funding gap still exists for the project. The request for 2024 AHTF funds for this development totals $100,000.

What counts as Affordable housing? — Affordable Housing refers to income-qualified and subsidized housing targeted for low-income individuals, usually those who earn 80% of or less than the AMI, which is $49,950 annually for a household size of one in Eugene for 2024. In a city where households can be severely rent-burdened, housing is considered affordable when a tenant does not spend more than a third of their monthly income on rent and utility costs.

What is the Affordable Housing Trust Fund? — The AHTF provides funding to housing projects that support underserved populations and communities across Eugene. This support can come in the form of housing project gap funding, acquisition of current housing developments that can become affordable housing and through other financing like down payment assistance for home buyers and direct rent assistance.

The AHTF has an advisory committee that provides recommendations to city staff on how to best utilize AHTF funding in each annual cycle. The fund’s priorities are to support the creation of housing that innovates and benefits residents through how the project is designed, financing options available to future occupants or provides a novel management structure, such as utilizing Community Land Trusts like the Peace Village Co-Op managed by SquareOne Villages, which received AHTF funds in 2023.

Advisory Committee input and scoring — Proposals are assessed by the AHTF Advisory Committee, which generates recommendations for the city to utilize in deciding which projects receive what funds.

Committee members utilize a scoring system to determine which projects to fund based on a number of criteria. Members assess six elements of each proposal and score them based on a scale of one to 10: project concept and design, site feasibility, income-qualified population, cost-benefit, financial feasibility and organizational experience.

Scoring for each project this year was nearly within a full point average for three out of four of the proposals. Projects can earn up to 60 points if scored perfectly across all criteria.

The average scores were as follows:

  • Rosa Village – 47.25
  • The Lucy – 47.00
  • Nelson Place – 46.75
  • Floral Hill – 40.00

The AHTF funding pool is largely contributed to by Construction Excise Taxes. Housing Tools Analyst Laura Hammond said these CET funds, combined with City Fee assistance funds and general funding provided by the City Council make up the money available for annual AHTF awards.

Following the Advisory Committee’s recommendations generated at its April 25 meeting, the most likely scenario for this year’s AHTF funding is to provide funding for the top two scoring projects, Rosa Village and The Lucy, as well as to provide gap funding for Williams Place. This funding scenario would also provide SDC fee assistance to the four project applicants who applied for exemptions.

Hammond said each year, the priorities for the advisory committee’s project scores change slightly to ensure that approved projects are serving the community’s direct needs. She said this year’s criteria put a focus on developing Affordable ADA units, so projects proposing the development of more accessible units received additional points in the scoring process.

Generating these scores means that committee members spend significant time reading through lengthy project proposals and asking questions to dig deep on how exactly these proposed projects would pencil out if given AHTF dollars to utilize. Hammond said all this committee work is commendable and feels grateful to have reached this point in the funding cycle process.

“I think this is always an exciting point in the process and I’m so grateful to our committee members because they put in a lot of time and work … I think they’re super thoughtful and it’s a hard thing to do,” Hammond said.

“We’d love to be able to fund all of these projects and that’s the hard part about an RFP (Request for Proposal) process is that typically, you can’t do that, you have to have some folks who are going to get funding and unfortunately some who this time around aren’t going to get funding. I’m feeling very grateful and excited that we’re at this point in the process and looking forward to taking it to City Council.”

What’s next? — Now that proposals have been reviewed and scored by the AHTF Advisory Committee, city staff will generate recommendations that are scheduled to be presented to the City Council on June 10.

Once the Council provides direction on funding recommendations, agreements will be drafted to outline funding requirements for developers. AHTF funds usually come to projects as reimbursements, so as developers generate and pay invoices throughout the project, those invoices are sent to AHTF staff, who reimburse the project developer. About 10% of an AHTF development award is held until construction is complete and the project obtains certificates of occupancy. (SOURCE)

Remembering Eugene Police Department‘s Fallen Officers during National Police Week May 12-18

Eugene Police Department honors local and fallen officers nationwide during National Police Week May 12-18, 2024. Eugene Police Department is remembering all fallen officers, and especially Officer Chris Kilcullen, Officer Oscar Duley, and Officer Jesse Jennings Jackson. By remembering them each year, we honor them for their exemplary service and the ultimate sacrifice they and their families made for our community.

National Police Week 2024 is May 12 through May 18. This is a time when our country memorializes law enforcement personnel who died in the line of duty. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. There is a National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington DC to raise awareness about those officers who have died in the line of duty.

Eugene Police Department Fallen Officers

Officer Chris Kilcullen, 43, was shot and killed during a traffic stop on I-105 and 52nd Street in Springfield, Oregon on Friday, April 22, 2011. Officer Kilcullen had initiated a traffic stop of a reckless driver, who ran a red light. The driver, age 56, fled and Officer Kilcullen pursued her into Springfield on Highway 126. The vehicle swerved around several cars that were waiting at a red light at 52nd Street. The suspect’s vehicle was stopped and as Officer Kilcullen approached the vehicle, he was hit when the suspect suddenly fired a handgun, fatally wounding him. The suspect continued to flee and was pursued by numerous local officers for 35 miles to a forest road near Westfir, where she finally stopped. She remained in her car for several hours during a standoff until finally being taken into custody.

Officer Kilcullen, a 12-year veteran, had a remarkable career with 85 commendations, even from drivers he stopped. He won employee of the month awards in May 2004 and June 2008 after conducting the most investigations, arrests, traffic citations and field interviews among Eugene police officers. He moved to the traffic unit in 2005 and was a longtime member of the department’s crisis negotiation team, saving many lives. Officer Kilcullen left behind a wife, two children, a cousin who was like a sister, sister Colby, brother Cory, his father, John Kilcullen, and step mother Sherrie, many friends and coworkers, and a community that loved him. The entire length of OR 126 (Eugene-Springfield Hwy), from the intersection with 6th and 7th Streets in Eugene to the intersection with East Main Street in Springfield, has been officially named in honor of Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen. Senate Bill 987, approved in May 2011 by the Oregon Legislature, directed the Oregon Department of Transportation to place markers along the highway with the memorial designation. A total of four signs are now located at each end of the highway, and where travel from I-5 joins the highway in each direction.

Officer Jesse Jennings Jackson, 35, was killed in a car crash during pursuit of a reckless driver on Saturday, June 2, 1934. Officer Jesse Jennings Jackson and Patrolman Clarence Quinn were pursuing a reckless driver on June 2. Officer Quinn was driving, and Officer Jackson was a passenger, when the car they were following suddenly swerved. Officer Quinn attempted to avoid a head-on collision and the police car plunged into the mill race. Officer Quinn survived the crash and Officer Jackson died at the scene. The suspects in this case, both age 22, were arrested on June 6 after an investigation.

Officer Jesse Jennings Jackson was born in Rola, Missouri, on July 2, 1898, living in that city until he was 16-years-old. He attended the Philadelphia State Electric and Steam Engineering School and upon his graduation, he joined the engineering service of the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy he made 15 trips across the Atlantic, being given a commission before his discharge at Vallejo, California in 1920. He went to Portland to become engineer for the Northwest Electric Company, remaining there 10 years. In 1930, he came to Eugene to be an engineer for the University of Oregon. He had been a police officer for the City during the past year. Jackson left a widow, Blanche Jackson, and one daughter, Francelle, age 8.

Officer Oscar Duley, 35, was shot by a bootlegger hiding in ambush while assisting Lane County Sheriff’s Office during a liquor raid in Marcola on August 28, 1930. Officer Duley had been stationed to wait for some young men who were said to be expecting a delivery of liquor. One, age 28, arrived and Officer Duley placed him under arrest and put him in a car. The suspect’s father, age 68, who had been hiding nearby opened fire, hitting Officer Duley. The two suspects fled. Officer Duley was taken to a hospital where he died shortly before 3 a.m. on August 29.

A search began with a posse of than 100 deputy sheriffs, national guardsmen and residents of Marcola. There was a second shootout on August 29, at the old store building where the shooting suspect lived, during which Oregon Game Commission’s Deputy Game Warden Joseph Saunders of Hillsboro was killed and two others, a deputy game warden and a sheriff’s deputy, were wounded. The 28-year-old bootlegger was captured at his home in bed. On November 25, 1930, the suspect in the shootings was located by six Lane County deputy sheriffs in a highly forested area near Westfir. The suspect opened fire and was shot and killed. Officer Duley used to live at 531 Monroe Street with his wife Jacyln (there was a house there at the time). He was a famed local athlete and was known as Duley the Wrestling Cop. He was scheduled to wrestle an opponent at the Lane County Fair the night he died.

Two Critical Following Beltline Crash

Eugene Springfield Fire responded to a two car motor vehicle crash on Beltline Eastbound between Northwest Expressway and  River Rd. At 11:24 PM on Sunday May 12th, crews were alerted to a motor vehicle crews with reports of CPR in progress on one victim.  

When crews arrived they found the vehicles had sustained heavy damage and one person needed heavy extrication. There were no fatalities on scene and two patients were transported to RiverBend in critical condition.  ESF was assisted on scene by Lane Fire Authority.

At Lane County Elections, we value transparency.

Visit our website to see how and when ballots are being processed, watch a live stream of ballot processing, check out our ballot returns dashboard and learn more about how elections in Lane County are conducted in a fair, accessible, and secure manner. Please make us your trusted source of election information in Lane County.www.LaneCountyOR.gov/elections

Lane County voters: remember to sign the return envelope and return your ballots early

Voters are urged to return their ballots as early as possible to ensure they are received at Lane County Elections by the 8:00 p.m. deadline on Tuesday, May 21. 

In order to be counted, ballots must be received at Lane County Elections by:

  • Regular mail. Ballots must be postmarked no later than May 21, 2024 and received no later than May 28, 2024 to be counted.
  • A 24/7 ballot drop box.
  • Lane County Elections. Ballots can be turned in by May 21, 2024 directly to the Lane County Elections Office during business hours (open until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day).

“We have passionate, engaged voters in Lane County and we want all eligible voters to feel confident returning their ballots in a way that is most convenient for them,” said Lane County Clerk Dena Dawson. “There are several options and, as long as voters are aware of the ballot return deadlines, they can ensure their ballots are received in time so their votes can be counted.”

Voters must also remember to sign their ballot return envelopes before mailing or returning their completed ballot to Lane County Elections.

The signature is a security measure used to verify identity. Signatures are compared to those in the voter registration record. A ballot may only be counted if the signatures match.

If you forget to sign the envelope or your signature does not match, you will receive a notice from Lane County Elections advising you of the issue and how to fix or “cure” it. You have until the 21st day after the election to cure your signature issue and have your ballot counted.

What can you do to ensure your signature matches?

  1. Sign your natural signature. If you don’t usually sign with a middle initial don’t sign your ballot envelope with it. Election workers are trained to look for specific characteristics within each signature. If you think your signature has changed significantly, contact Lane County Elections.
  1. Don’t sign another person’s name. Even if someone gives you permission to sign, or you have power of attorney, it is against the law in Oregon to sign another person’s name on a return envelope. It’s forgery.
  1. Request help if you have difficulty signing.  If it is difficult for you to sign, on either a temporary or permanent basis, you can complete a signature attestation form and return it to Lane County Elections.  Completing this step will allow you to use a signature stamp or other indicator that represents your signature.
  1. Correct a mistake if you accidentally sign your name on someone in your household’s envelope. If you and another person in your household sign each other’s return ballot envelopes, simply place a line through the incorrect signatures and sign the correct envelopes.

Voters with questions can email elections@lanecountyor.gov or call 541-682-4234.

About the Lane County Elections Office: The Elections Office, located at 275 W. 10th Avenue in Eugene, is responsible for conducting elections in Lane County.  The Elections Office manages voter registration, the processing of mail ballots, recruitment and training of election workers, and certification of elections.

Firefighters Respond to Springfield Apartment Fire Resulting in Fatality

Eugene Springfield Fire were on scene of an apartment fire in the 1000 block of J Street in Springfield.  Firefighters were alerted to the fire at 5:11 PM and arrived 4 minutes later at 5:17 PM on Sunday.

Firefighters found smoke coming from a second floor apartment and stretched a hose for fire attack and primary search.  The fire was contained to the apartment of origin.  

This story will be updated with further information after the primary investigation is complete. This fire resulted in a fatality.  The investigation is ongoing.

Firefighters Respond to Fuel Spill on I-5

Eugene Springfield Fire responded to a fuel spill at the Glenwood exit from Interstate 5 Southbound. Just before 9:30 AM Sunday May 12th, dispatchers began receiving calls of a semi leaking fuel traveling down the freeway.  

Fire crews located the semi at the Glenwood exit and assessed the situation.  Noting a large hole in the fuel tank, Eugene Springfield Fire’s regional hazardous materials team was called to help capture leaking fuel and use absorbent to contain what had already spilled.  ESF is working with ODOT and a private contractor on clean up plans.  

The Eugene Springfield Fire Haz-Mat team is a group of cross trained firefighters who do double duty as firefighters serving their community and hazardous materials response technicians.  The Haz-May team is one of 14 regional teams in Oregon supported by the Oregon State Fire Marshal.  These firefighters handle simple fuel spills to chemical, biological and radiological emergencies. Our Region 2 territory includes west to the coast and east to Highway 97 near Chemult.  

Second Week Update on Student Protest Encampment At UO

Sunday afternoon, the UO administration building, Johnson Hall, was chalked with pro-Palestine messaging.

The two main pillars of the building said “ceasefire now”, while the sidewalks said “President Scholz you can’t hide.” The front door handles were scribbled with chalk with a message below the front door reading, “bloody money.”

Around 2:30 p.m. a UOPD police car was seen outside parked on the sidewalk facing Johnson Hall, with another car nearby.  It was not made clear the reason for the police presence and whether or not it was connected to the chalk messaging. 

Last Wednesday, temperatures in Eugene started to climb and precipitation abruptly stopped. The average daily temperature in the first week of May was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but temperatures have hit near 90 degrees this weekend. 

Coalition organizer Salem Younes said that the heat has had little effect on the encampment. “Nothing’s really changing,” Younes said, “just drinking water, sunscreening up, we’re not going anywhere.”

The University of Oregon has given another offer to the anti-war protest encampment on its campus.

The deadline for protesters to leave without penalty expired Tuesday. The university says it now plans to punish the students for violating its camping and reservation policies.

However, in a letter Thursday, the university’s negotiating team said it could ensure that no students face suspension, expulsion or restitution for those violations.

In exchange, it said the encampment must disperse within two days, and organize all future events through official channels. https://www.dailyemerald.com/news/live-coverage-second-week-closes-in-on-pro-palestine-encampment/article_f1a94e56-10a5-11ef-8f78-67ae0ec156b7.html

University Of Oregon Officials Formally Responded On Thursday to Demands Issued By Student Protestors

University of Oregon protesters reject deal to leave encampment

The university’s response, which was posted on the ‘Free Speech and Safety at UO’ page on the U of O’s website, provided the university’s position on the issues raised by the protestors for which the college is willing “to continue productive engagement on the issues and concerns raised.” U of O officials asked that students agree to dismantle the encampment and cease overnight camping by May 11.

The college also asked that the protestors agree to reserve a designated daytime gathering space through an officially-recognized student group and other proper channels, according to the university’s response. READ MORE: https://freespeech.uoregon.edu/uo-response-encampment-demands

Wyden, Merkley: Lane and Douglas Counties to Receive Vital Drought Resiliency Investments

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced Douglas and Lane counties will receive $1.22 million and $4 million, respectively, in drought resiliency funding as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.    “In Oregon and throughout the West, we know firsthand how much the climate crisis has devastated our communities and economies with drought and other impacts,” Wyden said. “Solutions for water storage and innovative ways to capture and reuse water are … Continue Reading

Scam Alert – “Police Call”

About a month ago, we sent out a news release regarding this particular scam. We are continuing to receive reports about scammers stating they were with the Eugene Police Department and needed to speak with them about a legal matter or a warrant. The person calling identified themselves as a sergeant by name. Please don’t fall for this. The scam has actually been around for a while and crops back up like a weed in our community. It is called the “Police Call” scam. Often victims are told they are required to pay money to avoid criminal charges. They use the names of retired and current EPD officers and command staff, often calling from a spoofed number that looks like it’s coming from the police department including starting with ‘541.682’ and getting victims to pay through Apple Pay and Zelle. Victims could also be asked to pay through other means, such as cryptocurrency or gift cards.

Police caution the public to not fall for the “police call” scam. This is where an unknown suspect or suspects calls a victim’s cell phone or home phone, identifies themselves as police or an EPD officer (by name of a real officer working for EPD) and communicates with you about an issue, trying to scam you into parting with money, usually to avoid being arrested or having criminal charges.

This is a variation on other scams where victims report being called by the IRS, police or government agency, with the scammer demanding payment over the phone or face a warrant for arrest. These scams have at times had second calls that show the caller’s ID as ‘911’ or a police number, but these are spoof calls.

Eugene Police would like to remind the public that EPD or any other government agency would never call someone and demand payment immediately, and do not call and advise people they have a warrant for their arrest. There are so many scams out there. Many scams try to alarm you or scare you. Others just prey on your situation. A list of scams is provided on EPD’s website (http://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11128). This document covers some of the most common scams we’ve seen in our area, but new ones are popping-up all the time. It is easy to get taken in, even if you are usually suspicious of scams.

If you receive a phone call and recognize that the call is a scam, please hang up immediately and report the information to www.ic3.govIf you are the victim of a scam and have incurred a loss, please call the EPD non-emergency at 541.682.5111. These cases provide an opportunity for a reminder on how to avoid becoming the victim of fraud. Scams are cyclical in nature. Eugene Police recommend to remain careful and skeptical of callers:

•If someone asks you for your cash, gift cards, credit card numbers, security log-ins, or other personal information (especially if you don’t know them well), the safest move is to refuse their request and check with the police, or find an independent way to contact a legitimate business and follow up rather than responding right away to the caller. •Don’t give out computer or phone log-ins, personal or financial information to someone who calls you. If you are unsure, hang up and independently find the phone number of the alleged represented agency and call yourself. A law enforcement agency will not ask you for this type of information or request that money be sent by way of money order for any reason.•

Beware of high pressure techniques, such as the need to give information or make a decision on the spot. •If it sounds quirky or weird, it probably is.

Lane County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol Offers Free Boat Inspections During May

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Bi-Mart to again offer free boat inspections to help you get on the water safely! 

Bring your boat to a listed Bi-Mart on the scheduled date and time and a Lane County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol Deputy will inspect your boat for free and help make sure you have everything you need.

And for those non-motorized boats (including paddle boards, kayaks, etc.), be sure to always carry a life jacket, whistle/horn and a waterway access permit.

Saturday 5/25/24 – 10am-1pm
Springfield Bi-Mart
1521 Mohawk Boulevard

Sunday 5/26/24 – 10am-1pm
Veneta Bi-Mart
25126 Jeans Road

CAHOOTS and HOOTS Workers Rally for Wage Increase and Other Contract Issues

It has been more than a year since White Bird Clinic and its unionized crisis workers began negotiations and they still haven’t reached an agreement on a new contract.

Support CAHOOTS and HOOTS Workers Win a Fair First Contract NOW — PETITION

Did you know the $18/hr starting wage for CAHOOTS and HOOTS workers hasn’t changed since 2018? Sign this letter of support to help CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Streets) and HOOTS (Helping Out Our Teens in Schools) unionized workers win their first fair union contract with White Bird Clinic.

CAHOOTS medics and crisis workers have been proudly supporting their fellow community members on the streets and in the houses, schools, businesses, shelters, hospitals and healthcare offices of every neighborhood in Eugene since 1989. CAHOOTS later expanded service into Springfield in 2015 and soon founded its sister program HOOTS in 2017. These programs provide free crisis intervention, mental health and medical aid to whoever is in need (for CAHOOTS that’s an average of 20,000+ calls a year; HOOTS provides 28 clinics in 12 high schools). 

Today, their workers need your support. Show your commitment to sustaining workers and protecting the integrity of the CAHOOTS model that has been called “the gold standard”* for alternative response models nationally. Sign here to ensure crisis workers and medics who are dedicating their lives towards helping others win a living wage. Learn more about our campaign

https://www.change.org/p/support-cahoots-and-hoots-workers-win-a-fair-first-contract-now

Oregon Listed In The Top 10 Most Dangerous States Per U.S. News And World Report

As part of the 2024 Best States rankings, U.S. News factored in both the violent crime rate and property crime rate in each state to determine how well they foster public safety, which informs the best states for crime and corrections rankings and the overall Best States rankings.

Police units respond on scene.

Oregon ranked 8th.

Violent Crime Rate: 342 per 100,000

Property Crime Rate: 2,935 per 100,000

Overall Best States Ranking: 31

Places at the bottom of the public safety ranking form this list of the country’s most dangerous states. Among the lower 48, they span from the West Coast to the South, and all but two of the 10 land in the lower half of the overall Best States rankings for 2024.

These are the 10 most dangerous states in the U.S. according to the Best States analysis.

  1. New Mexico
  2. Louisiana
  3. Colorado
  4. Arkansas
  5. Washington
  6. Tennessee
  7. Alaska
  8. Oregon
  9. California
  10. Missouri

For its part, the FBI notes that numerous factors can affect the amount and type of crime in different areas, including population density, economic conditions, climate and family cohesiveness.

MORE INFO: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/slideshows/10-most-dangerous-states-in-america?onepage

Merkley Joins Senate Colleagues In Calling On Postal Service To Pause Planned Changes To Mail Delivery Network

Senators Urge USPS to Request a Comprehensive Assessment of Proposed Changes from its Regulator and Address the Results 

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley joined a bipartisan letter led by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Susan Collins (R-ME), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) calling on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to pause planned changes to its processing and delivery network that could slow down mail delivery until the potential impacts are further studied by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) and addressed by the Postal Service.

In the letter signed by 26 Senators, the lawmakers expressed concern over the impacts these changes have already had on communities across the country, and the potential impacts to timely mail delivery that further changes could cause. The Senators urged the USPS to request a comprehensive Advisory Opinion from the PRC that analyzes the full scope of the network changes, including changes to local transportation and postal facilities across the nation, before moving forward with any such changes.

“We call on USPS to pause all changes, pending a full study of this plan by its regulator. While USPS claims these changes overall will improve service while reducing costs, there is evidence to the contrary in locations where USPS has implemented changes so far,” wrote the Senators. “USPS must stop implementation, restore service in those areas where changes were implemented, and fully understand the nationwide effects of its plan on service and communities.” 

The Senators continued: “The Postal Service’s primary responsibility is to provide timely and reliable delivery to every community across the nation. While USPS must continue adapting as an agency to remain stable and serve the public’s current needs, it must proceed with caution and understand the implications of its plans in order to protect mail delivery for all communities.”  

Joining Merkley, Peters, Collins, Rosen, and Lummis in sending the letter were U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kyrsten Sinema, (I-AZ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Angus King (I-ME), John Hoeven (R-ND), Fischer (R-NE), Jon Tester (D-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and John Cornyn (R-TX).

This latest letter builds on a series of actions from Merkley in opposition to the USPS downgrades in Oregon. Last month, Merkley joined a bipartisan letter with his Senate colleagues in opposition of USPS downgrades of processing and distribution facilities in Oregon, where mail processing at the Eugene and Medford facilities has begun transferring to a facility in Portland, distances of around 110 and 270 miles away, respectively. These changes are producing reports of mail delays in the Medford service area, in particular.

In March, Merkley joined his Senate colleagues in another letter to Postmaster DeJoy, urging him to stop any changes to USPS service standards that would result in job losses and further degrade mail delivery performance, especially in rural areas, which have longer distances where mail must travel and have greater potential risk for delayed service.

Previously, Merkley joined fellow Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer in a letter to Postmaster DeJoy asking USPS leaders to hold public hearings about its plan to consolidate mail sorting in Oregon—specifically flagging the Postal Service’s plan to transfer all sorting and distribution activities in the city to one hub in Beaverton. In their letter, lawmakers called on the USPS to engage in robust dialogue with letter carriers before moving forward with the consolidation plan involving the Portland region. Specifically, they request that USPS convene at least one listening session in every requested location that is open to all affected employees, including in Medford and Eugene.

Merkley led a bipartisan letter last year with members of the Oregon and Georgia congressional delegations to the leaders on the Subcommittees on Appropriations in the Senate and House that oversee the budget for the USPS, calling to block funds for the Postal Service’s planned downgrades.  

The text of the latest letter is copied below and available here.   

Dear Postmaster General DeJoy and U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors: 

We call on you to pause planned changes to the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) processing and delivery network under the “Delivering for America” plan, until you request and receive a comprehensive Advisory Opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission to fully study the potential impacts of these changes.  

USPS is moving forward swiftly with plans to consolidate and alter its facilities across the country, making irrevocable changes to its processing and delivery network which links all communities. This plan includes moving mail processing further away from local communities, by transferring operations out of local facilities (“Local Processing Centers” and Delivery Units) and into more distant hubs (“Regional Processing and Distribution Centers” and “Sorting and Delivery Centers”). The plan also includes “local transportation optimization,” an initiative that cuts the number of truck trips and mail collections at USPS facilities, causing mail to sit overnight in local offices. USPS has begun to implement this change without notifying the public, causing critical delays for mail that requires overnight delivery. 

We are concerned about the impacts these changes have had so far, and the potential impacts that further changes could have. In regions where USPS has implemented significant changes, on-time mail delivery has declined. In addition, it is not clear these changes will improve efficiency or costs. Despite these concerns, USPS has moved forward with announcing and approving additional facility changes across the country. The nature of these changes creates concerns that local and rural service could be degraded. For example, USPS proposals to remove all outbound mail operations from local processing facilities seem to particularly harm local mail – since mail sent to a nearby locality would first have to go through a far-away processing facility, often in another state. “Local transportation optimization” has also caused disproportionate impacts on rural areas. In some rural communities, it has eliminated the possibility of overnight delivery for critical mail like medications and laboratory tests. Taken together, these changes have a nationwide scope and would affect service across the country. 

We call on USPS to pause all changes, pending a full study of this plan by its regulator. While USPS claims these changes overall will improve service while reducing costs, there is evidence to the contrary in locations where USPS has implemented changes so far. USPS must stop implementation, restore service in those areas where changes were implemented, and fully understand the nationwide effects of its plan on service and communities. 

In particular, we urge the Postal Service to request a comprehensive Advisory Opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which would provide a robust and public process to study the impacts of these changes. The request and analysis must include the full scope of network changes, including the intersecting changes to facilities across the nation (conversions to Regional Processing and Distribution Centers, Sorting and Delivery Centers, and Local Processing Centers) and local transportation optimization. During a hearing before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Postmaster General DeJoy stated that USPS would consider requesting an Advisory Opinion – and suggested that USPS may slow down “mail move” changes in 2024. Disappointingly, the Postmaster General did not commit to the scope of an Advisory Opinion, or to meaningfully stopping changes until further study is complete. 

The Postal Service must promptly request a comprehensive Advisory Opinion to study the impacts of its full plan. USPS should pause all changes, including administrative approvals and on-the-ground changes, until the PRC completes this study and USPS incorporates the results. USPS must improve service immediately in areas where changes have been implemented, and restore status quo operations as much as practicable. 

The Postal Service’s primary responsibility is to provide timely and reliable delivery to every community across the nation. While USPS must continue adapting as an agency to remain stable and serve the public’s current needs, it must proceed with caution and understand the implications of its plans in order to protect mail delivery for all communities. 

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.  (SOURCE)

Oregon Joins Other States In Ordering Sigue Corp. To Cease Money Transmission Activities Due To Declining Finances

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has ordered Sigue Corp. to cease engaging in money transmission activities in the state, saying the company can no longer responsibly serve customers due to its declining financial position.

Oregon joined a number of other states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia in issuing the consent order.

Sigue is a state-regulated money transmission company licensed in Oregon and 48 other states (Nationwide Multistate Licensing System ID 915912). Over the past several months, Sigue experienced significant financial deterioration.

The company failed to complete multiple money orders and transmissions and to maintain adequate net worth and permissible investments to cover outstanding liabilities, which are violations of state money transmission law. Many customers are still waiting for their funds.

In Oregon, there are almost 200 open or unfulfilled transactions totaling $39,000 between money transmissions and money orders. Across the U.S. there were just under 25,000 open or unfulfilled transactions totaling nearly $8.6 million. Sigue stopped transmissions across the nation in January.

The order requires the company to preserve and provide access to all books and records, including information on affected customers. 

“This order not only shows how Oregon’s system of regulation works to protect consumers, but also highlights the strong partnerships we have with other states, the Money Transmitter Regulators Association, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors,” said TK Keen, DFR administrator. “Fortunately, all of Oregon’s open money orders and transmissions are covered by the surety bond Sigue was required to have with the division, which means no consumers should lose money.”

As Sigue was primarily used as a transmitter to send money from the United States to Spanish-speaking countries, the division plans additional outreach to the Spanish-speaking community through the Mexican Consulate.

Sigue maintained a surety bond with Liberty Mutual that will cover all of Sigue’s unpaid or otherwise outstanding transactions in Oregon. Individuals who paid for a money transmission or money order from Sigue that went unpaid are encouraged to file a claim directly with Liberty Mutual online by visiting this website and clicking on the link that reads “File Commercial Bond Claim.” Anyone with questions for Liberty Mutual can email hoscl@libertymutual.com or call 206-473-6700.The state surety bond claim process is designed to help make affected consumers whole.

Consumers who have been affected or believe they may have been affected and would like help or to file a complaint, should contact one of DFR’s consumer advocates at 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or email dfr.financialserviceshelp@dcbs.oregon.gov

Hackers Target Facebook “Friends” In New Scam

PORTLAND, OR — The FBI is investigating an emerging social media scam. Hackers take over a person’s Facebook account, then post big-ticket items for sale that don’t exist, like trucks, trailers and ATVs. They claim to be selling the possessions of a relative forced to move into “aged care” and can only communicate through online messaging apps. In just one Oregon incident, around a dozen people lost more than $10,000.

FBI Portland Cybersquad Supervisory Special Agent Yaqub Prowell says the first step to protecting yourself is to try to avoid getting hacked. “We want to use strong, unique passwords, as just kind of the basics of cyber hygiene. You definitely want to enable multi-factor authentication, wherever that’s available. You want to avoid unsecure wifi networks.” He adds, “Also limit oversharing. Be mindful of what you post on social media, because personal information can always be used against you.”

Prowell says hackers use various tactics to achieve one goal: Getting money. “In order to make that money, they have to get you to do something that you may not normally do.” He says they do that by using social psychology. The items listed for sale in the scam are well below market value. It’s a strategy Prowell has seen before, “Something that looks like a deal that’s just amazing and too good to be true, combined with the fact that it appears to be emanating or originating from someone that you know, that plays into our basic psychology; now we have trust.”

The hackers then use that trust to convince the victim to put a “deposit” down on an item, using a money transfer app. “At the end of the day, criminals want to make money. So, in general, if you are suddenly being asked for money from people that you know, and they’re asking you to send that money via electronic means, you really need to make sure that they are legit and that what they’re requesting is a legitimate request.” Prowell says, “Please, pick up the phone. Talk to your friend. Actually have a more close, genuine, human connection, to [be] assured that those communications that you’re having are legitimate.”

It’s just the latest cybersecurity threat. According to the FBI’s latest report, Oregonians lost over a billion dollars in 2023 to cyber-related fraud and other internet-based crimes. Prowell says, “These things can be mitigated and avoided with some basic cyber hygiene, as well as just developing the muscle memory of not being complacent in your communications with individuals that are purporting to be trustworthy.”  He urges victims of cyber crimes to report it, regardless of dollar amount, at IC3.gov.

Coast Guard rescues two people off the coast of Oregon

US Coast Guard in the Pacific Northwest rescued two people and a dog from the water off the Oregon coast on Saturday, May 10.

Their boat had capsized approximately 2.5 miles east of Tongue Point.

Air Station Astoria successfully hoisted one person, while the other person and the dog were rescued by Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment.

Both people were transferred to Emergency Medical Services following the rescue.

Registration Open For Inaugural Oregon Native Trout Challenge

Anglers, grab your favorite fishing rig and a map, as registration is now open for the inaugural Oregon Native Trout Challenge.

Basalt to Breakers, an Oregon nonprofit with fiscal sponsorship by the Oregon Wildlife Foundation, is launching the Oregon Native Trout Challenge to encourage anglers to explore new waters, celebrate the diversity of Oregon’s native trout fisheries and support projects that conserve our native trout species.

“The challenge is intended to be a celebration of Oregon’s native trout species and the ecosystems that support their populations. We intentionally made this challenge different from other native trout challenges to encourage people to explore the diverse ecosystems that Oregon offers,” said B2B Founder Max McCool. “Completing the challenge consists of catching and taking a picture of any native trout species caught in each of Oregon’s eight ecoregions and submitting the location, date, and species through our online form,” continued McCool.

The Challenge is catch-and-release. “We want to ensure that each participant follows ODFW regulations throughout the challenge and isn’t putting additional pressure on any vulnerable species,” said McCool.

Each catch must be documented according to the Challenge rules to count. A one-time entry fee of $35 offsets the administrative costs of the challenge with net proceeds used for habitat restoration, trout conservation, and education projects. Beyond learning more about Oregon’s native trout species and our diverse ecoregions, the Oregon Native Trout Challenge seeks to encourage advocacy for local fisheries.

“In Oregon, salmon get the lion’s share of attention, but Oregon has stellar trout fishing throughout our state. What I like most about the Oregon Native Trout Challenge is that it encourages anglers to explore more of what Oregon has to offer,” said Tim Greseth, Oregon Wildlife Foundation’s executive director. 

Participants can register at https://owhf.tofinoauctions.com/b2bchallenge24/homepages/show. For more information, visit www.basalttobreakers.org

Basalt to Breakers — is a nonprofit corporation registered in the State of Oregon. The mission of Basalt to Breakers is to inspire, educate and engage all anglers throughout Oregon in native trout conservation projects. Basalt to Breakers is sponsored by the Oregon Wildlife Foundation. https://basalttobreakers.org/

Oregon Wildlife Foundation — is an apolitical operating charitable foundation dedicated to increasing private and public funding support for wildlife conservation projects in Oregon. Since 1981, OWF has directed tens of millions of dollars in private and public support to a broad range of projects throughout Oregon. For more information, visit www.myOWF.org.

OHA launches Fentanyl Aware social media campaign

Risks, harm-reduction strategies, recognizing and responding to overdose, and Oregon’s good Samaritan law to be focus of five-week online promotion

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today kicked off a social media campaign spotlighting the public health harms caused by fentanyl, and how people can prevent the deadly overdoses that devastate communities around the state.

Fentanyl Aware Northwest

The campaign, called Fentanyl Aware, will run for five weeks, with posts in English and Spanish. Fentanyl Aware will focus on teaching people about fentanyl risks, harm reduction strategies, recognizing and responding to an overdose, and Oregon’s good Samaritan law, which provides legal protections for individuals and the people they’re helping during a drug overdose.

The Fentanyl Aware campaign begins with a series of social media messages with facts about fentanyl – “What it is, where it can be found and why you need to be aware,” according to the first post. It then moves into messages about the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone, including how it’s given, how it works and where to can get it, followed by posts about Oregon’s good Samaritan law.

The campaign wraps up with posts warning about risks of mixing drugs with other substances, relying on fentanyl tests and using drugs alone.

OHA’s statewide campaign borrows from a social media campaign that Lane County Public Health created in 2023 with support from OHA funds. The county also shared its campaign materials with local public health partners to adapt and share – Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties collaborated to launch the Fentanyl Aware Northwest campaign through this partnership.

Just today, Multnomah County launched its own fentanyl awareness campaign, called Expect Fentanyl, focused on Portland-area youth ages 13-20.

The statewide Fentanyl Aware campaign launches on National Fentanyl Awareness Day, a day of observance that recognizes those who have lost loved ones to the overdose crisis and raises awareness of the lethal danger of illegally made fentanyl (IMF).

Cara Biddlecom, OHA’s interim public health director, said Fentanyl Aware contains youth-informed messaging, but it is intended for general audiences.

“We want everyone to see these important messages because anyone can be affected by fentanyl – teens and young adults, older Oregonians, even young children,” Biddlecom said. “These messages won’t end the fentanyl crisis, but they could help equip people with information that could help them save a life, whether it’s someone else’s or their own.”

Fentanyl is now showing up in a wide variety of drugs on the illicit market, including counterfeit pills made to look like common prescription painkillers or anti-anxiety medications. These may contain enough fentanyl in a single pill to cause an overdose.

According to OHA data, the number of people in Oregon dying from unintentional and undetermined overdoses continues to increase at an alarming pace, from 1,083 people in 2021 to 1,289 people in 2022. Fentanyl has surpassed methamphetamine as the most common substance identified as the cause of death in unintentional and undetermined drug overdoses.

In Oregon, the number of individuals who experienced an unintentional/undetermined fentanyl overdose death between 2020 and 2022 more than tripled (for all ages). And those at higher risk for unintentionally dying from a drug overdose continued to include non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives, non-Hispanic Black/African Americans, and males, though patterns of use across communities is similar. These inequities are avoidable and point to structural racism in the health system and the need for long-term policy change.

Nasal naloxone is now available over the counter, without a prescription. It can be purchased at many retail pharmacies in Oregon, and it costs about $45 for two doses. Most insurance companies cover the medication but may charge a co-pay. Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members can get naloxone at no cost at most pharmacies. Those who use drugs can get medication for overdose reversal and other harm reduction materials such as fentanyl test strips at no cost through syringe service programs. Syringe services are available to everyone that uses drugs, regardless of whether they’re injected. Visit OHA’s Opioid Overdose Reversal Medications webpage for a list of syringe and needle exchange services available in Oregon.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance use, please reach out for help. Speak with a health care provider or visit OHA’s Fentanyl Facts webpage for support and treatment resources. You are not alone.

Oregon Department of Early Learning and Care Celebrates the Statewide Expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

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– Oregon Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) representatives joined Governor Tina Kotek and state officials today to celebrate its new partnership with The Dollywood Foundation for the statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. During the 2023 legislative session, under Senate Bill 5506, $1.7 million was appropriated to DELC to help administer and expand the program statewide.  

The Imagination Library is a program developed by The Dollywood Foundation; a nonprofit organization founded by Dolly Parton. Since launching in 1995, the Imagination Library has become the preeminent, international early childhood book-gifting program. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books each month to children (0-5 yrs. old), free of charge to families, through funding shared by Dolly, the State of Oregon, and local community partnerships. Today, millions of children receive a specially selected book each month, from birth to age five, to help foster early literacy skills and a love of reading.   

The goal of the statewide expansion is to make books available to children ages 0-5 in every zip code in Oregon. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a voluntary program and parents of children ages 0-5 can sign up to receive a new book each month at no cost to families.  

“Brain science clearly shows that kids start to develop literacy skills from birth,” said DELC Director Alyssa Chatterjee. “That’s why here in Oregon, we’re making major investments to help kids develop the joy of reading.” 

In addition to remarks from Director Chatterjee, Governor Tina Kotek, and House Majority Leader Ben Bowman made comments and were joined by representatives from The Dollywood Foundation and local program partners. Dolly Parton provided remarks by video, concluding with an Oregon twist on her classic “I Will Always Love You.   

Currently, over 54,000 children across Oregon receive the gift of a monthly book through 55 community programs. Books are free to the family regardless of family income. The Department of Early Learning and Care is working with local community partners and The Dollywood Foundation to expand. 

Families can visit www.imaginationlibrary.com to find out if the program is available in their area or to sign up to be notified when the program expands to their community. To learn more about becoming a community partner, contact Rachel King at king@imaginationlibrary.com“>rking@imaginationlibrary.com 

Dolly Parton’s video remarks, along with the remarks of Oregon officials can be found on the DELC website.   

About the Oregon Department of Early Learning and Care – The Department of Early Learning and Care’s mission is to foster coordinated, culturally appropriate, and family-centered services that recognize and respect the strengths and needs of all children, families, and early learning and care professionals. More information about DELC is available at Oregon.gov/DELC. You can also connect with DELC on Facebook or sign up for news alerts and updates. 

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library  – Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 200 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by The Dollywood Foundation and Local Community Partners.  The Imagination Library mails more than 3  million high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to children’s homes each month. Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month from birth to age five – at no cost to families.  Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More®.  

The program’s impact has been widely researched, and results demonstrate its positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visitimaginationlibrary.com

Wyden, Colleagues Pass FAA Reauthorization Act

— U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said today that the bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act he voted for this week would save lives as well as benefit Oregon air travelers and small businesses. “It is absolutely essential to our national security and economy to fully fund the departments that keep our planes in the sky and Oregonians safe in Oregon and throughout the country,” Wyden said about the legislation authorizing operations for the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation … Continue Reading

OSP to Recognize National Missing Children’s Day May 25th

– In recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, May 25, 2024, the Oregon State Police Missing Children/Adults Clearinghouse is sponsoring an awareness event to provide resources for parents, guardians, and caregivers. 

The event, which coincides with Missing Children’s Day, will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at the north end of Capitol Mall Park in Salem (Center Steet NE between Winter and Capitol Streets). From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., OSP representatives and partner agencies will be on hand with activities and giveaways. 

The event will include informational booths from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Safe Oregon, OSP’s Missing Children/Adults Clearinghouse, and Marion County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue. Attendees can pick up free identification and DNA kits, visit with a police search and rescue K-9, and tour OSP’s new command vehicle. 

Julie Willard, OSP’s Missing Children/Adults Clearinghouse coordinator, said, “National Missing Children’s Day is an opportunity to remember the thousands of children who go missing each year. We work to educate parents about how to keep their kids safe, and we teach children about the “4 Rules for Personal Safety” that they can learn about on Kid Smartz.” 

Kid Smartz is a child safety program that educates and empowers grades K-5 to practice safer behaviors. Please visit the Kid Smartz website for more information. 

About National Missing Children’s Day:
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25, 1983, the first National Missing Children’s Day in memory of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy who disappeared from a New York City street corner on May 25, 1979. Etan’s killer was convicted in February 2017, but the case remains active because his body has never been recovered. National Missing Children’s Day is dedicated to encouraging parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority. The commemoration serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite missing children with their families.

Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs to Host Statewide Memorial Day Event in Salem May 27th

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs will host Oregon’s annual Statewide Memorial Day Ceremony in person at 11 a.m., Monday, May 27, at the Oregon World War II Memorial, located at the intersection of Cottage and Court Street NE on the grounds of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

This event honors Oregon’s fallen service members from all eras of service and will include remarks from ODVA Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels and Oregon Adjutant General Alan R. Gronewold, along with other veteran leaders and state dignitaries. 

The event will also feature a color guard ceremony, a performance of the national anthem by West Salem High School’s award-winning a cappella group Soundscape, and other ceremonial elements. The theme of this year’s Memorial Day event is “Oregon Remembers.” ODVA Strategic Partnerships Division Director and Navy veteran Sheronne Blasi will serve as emcee.

“Memorial Day, established following the Civil War, is a day when we all pause and remember the more than 1 million men and women throughout history who have given their lives in defense of our nation,” said ODVA Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels. “Those of us who volunteer to serve in our nation’s Armed Forces come from a diverse tapestry and understand when we take the oath to defend and preserve our Constitution, and our nation’s highest ideals, we do so on behalf of ourselves, our families, and every person that calls America their home. On Memorial Day, Oregon will remember all our fallen and honor their service and their greatest sacrifice. Thank you for joining us in remembering.”

Limited seating will be available. Attendees are welcome to bring their own seating for the park setting and are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather.

For those unable to attend in-person, the event will also be livestreamed beginning at 11 a.m. on ODVA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/odvavet and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAQVavs9KmvDeJ42ySFtY8A

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 services office online at oregon.gov/odva

Oregon National Guard Program Offers Students Paid Opportunities To Earn High School Credit And Learn Career Skills

 “The Oregon Plan,” renewed its approval with the Oregon Department of Education, is open to high school students throughout Oregon.

High school students in Oregon will have a paid opportunity to learn professional technical training while earning high school credit, as part of the newly endorsed program called The Oregon Plan.

Created by the Oregon National Guard, the plan received official approval last month from the Oregon Department of Education, which is required as part of its regular renewal process.

“Through this exciting program students get paid to earn high school credit, learn career skills such as basic finance, medic training, construction and engineering and practice working in teams,” said Dr. Charlene Williams, Director of Oregon Department of Education. “As students plan their summer of learning and work, I hope they consider this enriching and life changing option.” 

Background On The Oregon Plan
Established in 1995 as the Military Career Education Cluster Concept, “The Oregon Plan” enables school districts across the state to award academic credits to students who complete qualified military training and instruction. Approximately 700 high school students have joined the Oregon Guard since 2020.

“The Oregon Plan has been providing valuable education pathways for Oregon students for nearly 30 years,” said Brig. Gen. Alan Gronewold, Adjutant General, Oregon. “We’re proud to highlight this innovative program that recognizes the skills our young recruits gain through their military service.”

Multiple high schools across Oregon participate in the program, including Pendleton, Hermiston, La Grande, Elgin, Wallowa, Baker, Ontario, and Grant Union High School in eastern Oregon. Additionally, high schools in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Douglas, Union, Umatilla, Wasco, Hood River, Malheur, Baker, and Wallowa counties have also approved use of The Oregon Plan.

By enabling credit proficiencies through military training, the Oregon National Guard and The Oregon Plan exemplify a commitment to developing educated, skilled, and work-ready youth for future success.

“Our recruiters consistently hear from educators about the value of this flexible credit program, “said Lt. Col. Jessy Claerhout, Executive Officer, Recruiting Retention Command.  “It provides a helpful pathway for students to turn their military experience into academic progress toward graduation, while obtaining life skills and leadership training.”

Many of the credits earned may also translate into college credits towards a higher education degree. Sophomores and Juniors in high school can learn more about the program here. You can also learn more about the Oregon Guard’s 100% College Tuition Assistance program here.

May is Wildfire Awareness Month

SALEM, Ore. – May is Wildfire Awareness Month. Oregon experiences its heaviest wildfire activity during the summer months, but fires occur all seasons of the year including spring. Keep Oregon Green, in partnership with federal, state, tribal and local fire agencies, will be spreading the word about the steps we all can take to prevent the start of careless, unwanted wildfires this summer, and encouraging Oregonians to create defensible space around homes and outbuildings. 

At stake: lives, property and scenic beauty – Each year, over 70% of Oregon’s wildfires are started by people. Many are a result of escaped debris burn piles or gas-powered equipment and vehicles casting sparks or catching fire.

During the 2023 fire season, the Oregon Department of Forestry reported that people were directly responsible for sparking 823 wildfires that burned 6,197 acres. Any spark can gain traction in dry vegetation, spread quickly and impact lives, personal property, and the many benefits provided by Oregon’s scenic natural areas.

Before heading outdoors this summer, contact the agency or landowner who manages the land at your destination for an update on current fire restrictions or bans. Any visitor to Oregon’s natural areas should be familiar with these restrictions before building campfires or using equipment that could ignite a wildfire. 

Put Your Smokey Hat On – Smokey Bear is celebrating his 80th birthday this year. Smokey is a beloved and trusted American icon that has educated the public on preventing human caused wildfires since 1944. His timeless and important message celebrates people who take responsibility and prevent wildfires. Smokey’s hat is the driving force behind Keep Oregon Green’s 2024 summer wildfire prevention campaign. “Put Your Smokey Hat On” is a call to action, encouraging the public to predict the outcome of their actions and do everything they can to prevent wildfire ignitions. Campaign artwork, PSAs, and additional wildfire safety tips can be found at keeporegongreen.org and its various social media platforms.

Coming soon: More Wildfire Awareness Month tips – During May, a new wildfire prevention topic will be shared each week to help homeowners and recreationists learn how to prevent their outdoor activities from sparking the next wildfire. For more information, visit the websites for Keep Oregon Green at www.keeporegongreen.org, the Oregon Department of Forestry at www.oregon.gov/odf, and the Oregon State Fire Marshal at https://www.oregon.gov/osfm/education/pages/prevent-wildfires.aspx

Follow Oregon wildfire news and prevention updates on social media: Twitter @keeporegongreen, @ORDeptForestry and @OSFM

Oregon Offers Electric Car Rebates Again – Apply Now Until June 3rd

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Due to high demand and limited funding, OCVRP will be open for a short time in 2024. Vehicles must be purchased or leased between April 3, 2024, to June 3, 2024, to be eligible for a rebate.

Applicants have six months from their date of purchase or lease to apply. Low- and moderate-income households can prequalify for the $5,000 Charge Ahead rebate by completing the application now at https://apps.oregon.gov/DEQ/Voucher/apply.

LCSO Case #24-1671 – Missing Person from west Eugene

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is looking for 39-year-old Brian John Fierke.  He last had contact with his family on March 26th, 2024.  Deputies, detectives, and Sheriff’s Search & Rescue have searched extensively for Fierke without success.   

Fierke is described as a white male adult, standing approximately 6’4” tall and weighing about 185 pounds.  Fierke has brown hair and blue eyes.  He may have brown facial hair.  

Anyone with information about Fierke’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150, option 1, and reference LCSO Case #24-1671.

20240224ewextra-David-Bjorkman-Missing
May be an image of 1 person, dog and text that says 'MISSING TAMMY PITKIN, Oregon State LAST KNOWN TO BE: Albany, Oregon on 17 OCT 2022 Reported Missing 26 OCT 2022 VEHICLE LOCATED ON DEAD- END FOREST SVC ROAD OFF HWY 20, 30 mi EAST of SWEET HOME, OR, 29 OCT 2022. Physical: age 54, White female, 5'4" tall, 160 lbs, blonde hair, hazel eyes Possibly Accompanied by her 2 small dogs, Cope and Trooper white/brown dog multi smooth-haired Jack Russell terrier) 23 IFYOU HAVE TIPS OR HAVE Feb OR, TAMMY: PLEASE PHONE LINN COUNTY, OR County SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Linh 1-541-967-3911,or911 Locted'

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

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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