Willamette Valley News, Wednesday 5/22 – Man Rescued From Grain Silo, Primary Election Results & 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, May 22, 2024

Willamette Valley Weather

Man Rescued From Grain Silo

At approximately 1:30 pm on May 21st, Marion County Fire District #1 responded to reports of a male stuck in a grain silo buried up to his chest.  Upon arrival, responders found a middle-aged male patient conscious and alert in a silo unable to extricate himself. 

Rescue 4 and Ladder 4 from Salem Fire Department were requested to assist in the confined space and possible rope rescue. After approx. 3 hours of slow and deliberate maneuvers to create a safe exit from the silo, the patient was extricated and transported to Salem Hospital for evaluation.  

Primary Election Results

https://results.oregonvotes.gov/

Lane County – https://apps.lanecounty.org/Elections/Document.ashx?id=3765

Statewide – https://results.oregonvotes.gov/

Election results will be certified on June 17, 2024. Voters with questions can email elections@lanecountyor.gov or call 541-682-4234.

Six Rafters Rescued from Hazardous Dam on the Willamette River

On Saturday, May 18th at about 3:15 p.m., Lane County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol and Search & Rescue Deputies responded to a water rescue along with Eugene Springfield Fire. The rescue took place on and around the low head dam, a concrete structure in the Willamette River east of I-5 that has formed an enormous log jam. 

A total of six people were rescued, including two in shallow water below the dam and one on the dam. None had life jackets, and were floating on inner tubes. Five had gone over the dam into the strainer, while one managed to grab onto a log. Had they gone under the log jam, they likely would not have survived.  

Lane County has miles of beautiful water ways and warm spring weather. Please enjoy safely. Wear a life jacket. Scout the river ahead. Check river obstructions before you go. For those floating the Willamette River in the Eugene / Springfield area, be very cautious passing low head dam, to include taking out well before the obstruction to go around it.  

View an interactive map of obstructions from the Oregon State Marine Board at oregon-boating-obstructions-geo.hub.arcgis.com.

LCSO Case #24-2599 – Deputies arrest armed felon after shooting outside Junction City

2024-05/6111/172487/Junction_City_Arrest.png

On May 19th at about 1:30 p.m., Lane County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a dispute with shots fired in the 28700 block of Bailey Lane, south of Junction City. Investigation determined David Lynn Parker, 69, drove to the location while intoxicated to confront several Hispanic workers about a perceived theft.  

Parker pointed a rifle at a worker and fired several times, injuring him. The worker then struck Parker, knocking him unconscious, and secured the firearm. Parker also made racially derogatory comments about the victims.  

Parker was evaluated for his injury then lodged at the Lane County Jail on charges of Assault in the Second Degree, Bias Crime in the First Degree x3, Menacing x4, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Use of a Weapon x3, Reckless Endangering x4, Coercion, and DUII. Parker was still in custody as of May 21st.  

Benton County Children & Family Mental Health Program to host open house

The Benton County Children and Family Mental Health Program will host an open house on Friday, May 31 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Clients and families served by the program, state and local leaders, community partners, local media, and the public are all invited to attend. 

The celebration follows a recent move from the Children and Family Mental Health program into a new facility on 4185 SW Research Way in Corvallis. The new building will be open to the public for tours, meeting the staff, activities and prizes for the whole family, and a resource fair. The celebration also coincides with Mental Health Month celebrations in Benton County and beyond. 

“The timing is perfect since we just settled into our new space and it’s also Mental Health Awareness Month,” said Kristi Reher, Program Manager. 

Attendees will include state and local dignitaries who helped support Benton County in securing the funding needed to purchase the new building. 

“We’d like to thank the 2024 Oregon State Legislature for allocating the resources and for supporting the critical needs of Benton County., said Damien Sands, Behavioral Health Division Director. “And our Benton County Commissioners who recognized our need and helped us find a solution.” 

The Benton County Children and Family Mental Health program provides therapeutic services, including outpatient, school-based, and wraparound services for youth under age 18 with a mental health diagnosis and identifiable treatment goals.  

The new building is located on Research Way next to the Benton County Sunset and Kalapuya buildings, across the street from the local Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) building. 

For more information about the program, visit their website

### Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate based on disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please contact Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or pioinfo@bentoncountyor.gov.

Firefighters Contain West Eugene Fire

Eugene Springfield Fire responded to a structure fire at Sponsors 338 Hey 99 N in West Eugene Monday evening.

Crews were alerted to the fire at 5:34 PM on May 20th with callers reporting smoke and popping sounds from a storage building.  Firefighters arrived 4 minutes later to find a working fire in the storage building.  Crews made entry and extinguished the fire containing it to the building of origin.  The cause is under investigation. 

University of Oregon pro-Palestine encampment continues for 23rd day

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-34.png

As the 23rd day of the encampment comes to an end, all is quiet.  The encampment count remains steady with approximately 60 tents set on the lawn between Fenton and Friendly Hall.

Weather conditions in Eugene are expected to drop overnight with a 65% chance of rain.  No police were present at the scene as of this writing. Tomorrow at 3 p.m., a University Senate meeting will be held where President Scholz is scheduled to give remarks.

Organizers of the encampment posted today’s schedule on Instagram, including a “Mass Meeting With Faculty Guests” at 5 p.m. and a meeting with Alex Awad, an instructor at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, at 7:30 p.m.

UO spokesperson Eric Howald confirmed that the university had not attempted to contact students who had chained themselves to Johnson Hall. Howald also said that Johnson “remains secured but employees who work in the building are accessing it via keycard.”

READ MORE: The Daily Emerald is providing live coverage of the University of Oregon’s pro-Palestine encampment, which began on April 29 at 7 a.m. All of their coverage on the encampment can be found here.

Student Protest Encampment at OSU

In a statement released on Thursday, May 16, less than a day after student protesters set up at the Memorial Union Quad, OSU gave demonstrators until Monday, May 20, to pack up their tents or face consequences for student conduct code violations. It wasn’t immediately clear what those consequences would look like.

Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights organization at Oregon State University assembled an encampment Wednesday in the northwest corner of the Memorial Union quad.


OSU students gather on Memorial Union Quad on May 15, 2024 on Oregon State University campus.

SUPER said in an Instagram post that the encampment was made in order to gather support for what they said is a stand for OSU to “divest from this genocide.”

The Associated Students of Oregon State University passed Senate resolution SR-83.09, calling for OSU to divest from any organizations funding Israel on May 9. 

OSU also released an encampment statement Wednesday. In it, OSU provides resources and statements for students, staff, faculty and community to read and understand OSU’s official stance on the encampment and what is happening with the people in Palestine.

“We will not accept violence or threats of violence, willful destruction of property, discrimination, harassment or hate speech that incites violence or criminal activity toward community members on the basis of nationality, ethnic identity or religious beliefs,” the statement states. 

In a written response last week, OSU invited protestors to help create new educational resources, and said it will launch a task force this fall to evaluate its procurement policies.

However, the university said the encampment must be gone by this Tuesday, or it will take disciplinary action.

“We will begin using methods available to us to hold participants accountable for violations of policy under the student conduct code and criminal statutes,” officials wrote.

OSU said the encampment violates the campus’ free expression and ground-use rules, while interfering with other scheduled events that have non-refundable contracts.

Encampment Demonstration – The university’s statements and information regarding on-campus protests: https://leadership.oregonstate.edu/encampment-demonstration

Urban Growth Strategies – Homes and Jobs for 2045

Across Oregon, cities are gearing up for growth by planning for housing in a new, more comprehensive way. Instead of just focusing on population growth, cities will also plan for people experiencing homelessness, address past underproduction of homes, and plan for demographic and household changes. In Eugene, this comprehensive look at housing and urban growth is called Urban Growth Strategies. This project will identify tools, actions, policies, and land needed for the next 20 years to support housing and living wage jobs. 

Graphic with text: Urban Growth Strategies: Homes and Jobs for 2045

Led by the City of Eugene, Urban Growth Strategies is a collaborative effort that integrates state-required urban growth planning, equitable community engagement, and City Council-directed policy work. This project will advance several Urgent Community Needs identified in the 2023-2026 City of Eugene Strategic Plan, as well as other City priorities from the Climate Action Plan 2.0 and Housing Implementation Pipeline.

Building off years of planning and community engagement, the project will evaluate the need for housing, jobs, parks, infrastructure, schools, and other urban land uses, as well as what tools can help Eugene to grow more efficiently. This work will result in studies on available land in Eugene for these uses, updates to the Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan and other adopted City plans and land use regulations, a parcel-specific land use map, and an evaluation of whether there is a need to expand the urban growth boundary.  

For those interested in staying informed and involved, follow Urban Growth Strategies on Engage Eugene and subscribe to the EUG Planning Newsletter for monthly updates. A Community Engagement Plan for the project is available at www.eugene-or.gov/UrbanGrowth.  

Save the Date: Housing, Urban Growth and City Projects Community Open House. June 5 from 4-7 p.m.

Housing & Urban Growth Community Open House — The City of Eugene will host a community open house at the Eugene Farmer’s Market Pavilion  from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5. During the event, community members will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on community needs and priorities for housing, future urban growth, and other ongoing City projects. Different City departments will share resources and information on a wide range of topics, including renter protections; safe, healthy, and resilient buildings; community safety, and more. 

This free event includes food, prizes, and activities for all ages. Bring your friends and family, build community, and be a part of the conversation!

The City of Eugene wants to encourage development on Crow Road to help fill the housing gap

The rural area just west of Eugene will get infrastructure improvements thanks to state funds.

The area on the edge of city limits is part of Eugene’s urban growth boundary. The legislature allocated 6 million dollars for wastewater and stormwater infrastructure on Crow Road. Lindsay Selser, with the city of Eugene, says additional housing is a critical need in the community.

The area on the edge of city limits is part of Eugene’s urban growth boundary. The legislature allocated 6 million dollars for wastewater and stormwater infrastructure on Crow Road. Lindsay Selser, with the city of Eugene, says additional housing is a critical need in the community.

“It’s kind of just getting that what is right now, largely undeveloped, up to our city standards, ready for housing, ready for jobs, ready for that commercial industrial area for jobs and then the residentially zoned area for more housing,” she said.

Selser said more than 1,260 new housing units could be built in the area. The project includes plans for single and multi-use housing, duplexes, triplexes and townhouses as well as commercial development.

“So this land is planned for within our urban growth boundary already,” she said. “And so that has all been taken into account when our community went through the Envision Eugene process and landed on where our urban growth boundary needs to be for our projected growth.”

The city says the infrastructure improvements should be in place within the next two years.

The project is funded with $6 million from the recent legislative session and $2.2 million from the city.

The city says, according to a recent study, Eugene leads the state in households burdened by rent.

The project is part of Eugene’s Housing Implementation Pipeline, an effort to stabilize the cost of housing and mitigate impacts of homelessness. The city says it will also help with their goal to increase wages and create more jobs in the community.

Bushnell’s School of Nursing Receives $2.5M Grant

Lane Community Health Council Makes Significant Investment in Nursing Education

Eugene, OR — Bushnell University’s School of Nursing, one of the anchor academic programs within the College of Health Professions, has received a sizable grant from Lane Community Health Council (LCHC) to expand its efforts to meet the nursing workforce shortage in Lane County. As a part of its ongoing mission to improve the health and well-being of residents of Lane County, LCHC has designated $2.5 million to help Bushnell build a state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Lab and to provide scholarships for student nurses completing their Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree for clinical practice. 

Lane Community Health Council is partnering with Bushnell University to meet the ongoing crisis of the nursing shortage in our region through this significant investment in nursing education.  Bushnell University has quickly distinguished itself among the ABSN programs in the state for its innovative approach and successful clinical and academic outcomes. These funds will support ongoing excellence in the School of Nursing as one of the best healthcare programs in the region while also maximizing student enrollment capacity in the program. This will allow Bushnell to meet the state-wide nursing shortage more quickly and effectively. Additionally, the funds will be deployed to address systemic inequities in healthcare by recruiting more students from diverse populations. The School of Nursing is committed to best practices in educating nurses on the healthcare needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized in our communities. 

Nursing simulation labs are the hallmark of modern clinical nursing education. Simulation training utilizes high-tech, responsive patient manikins, providing students the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge to real-life medical situations. In simulated scenarios, nursing students get to both observe their peers and evaluate their own care using video recording and playback technology. This prepares student nurses efficiently and effectively prior to their required in-person clinical rotations in traditional hospital and community health settings.

This generous funding from LCHC, along with additional contributions from individual donors, family foundations, and local businesses, brings the fundraising efforts of Bushnell’s Health Professions Initiative to a total of just over $4.5M since the accelerated program began in January 2022. Together with the generous donation of over 11,000 square feet of education space in the Center for Medical Education and Research (CMER) at PeaceHealth’s Sacred Heart Medical Center University District (UD) campus, these funds provide the University much needed start-up costs to equip and establish this innovative nursing program. 

Bushnell’s nursing graduates are already making a difference in Oregon, with 62% of them choosing to stay in Lane County and over 90% practicing in-state. ABSN students can complete this full-time, pre-licensure nursing program in 12 months. Bushnell graduates currently have a 100% first-time passing rate on the required licensure exam for nursing practice (NCLEX-RN) and a 100% job placement rate upon completion. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN). 

Bushnell seeks to raise an additional $4.0M for the Health Professions Initiative through ongoing fundraising efforts and community partnerships. Additional resources will serve ongoing needs of the School of Nursing and expand behavioral health education through the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CHMC) graduate programs. Through this initiative, Bushnell will be able to enhance scholarship opportunities, train and graduate more healthcare professionals, and enlarge the scope of health education options in our region. 

About Bushnell University – Founded in 1895 Bushnell University helps students discover and answer God’s call on their lives. Devoted to offering a Christ-centered environment, Bushnell encourages students to grow in wisdom, informed by faith, leading to lives of service. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University was founded by pastor-educator Eugene C. Sanderson and pioneer businessman and church leader James A. Bushnell.

Bushnell is the largest private university in Eugene’s vibrant University District. The University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees for undergraduate and graduate studies through on campus, online, and hybrid course formats. More information about the University is available at www.bushnell.edu.

About Lane Community Health Council – The Lane Community Health Council (LCHC) collaborates closely with physicians, hospitals, other healthcare providers and local community organizations to improve the health and well-being of residents in Lane County.

The LCHC governs our local Coordinated Care Organization (CCO), PacificSource Community Solutions, in agreement with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), serving Medicaid members enrolled in the CCO on the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). The LCHC works to guide the design, development and implementation of strategic initiatives in support of the CCO, in service to the mission of better health, better care and better value for our members in Lane County.

Lane County Firewise Grant Program open for applications

Lane County’s Firewise Grant Incentive Program is accepting applications from residents in unincorporated Lane County beginning May 31 through 4:00 p.m. on June 27, 2024.

Firewise grants provide rural property owners with funding to help complete projects that reduce the risk of wildfire, such as clearing vegetation, replacing wood shake roofing, fire-resistant landscaping materials, noncombustible exterior siding, chimney spark arrestors, and more. Up to $15,500 in grant funding is available for each qualifying property. 

Apply online at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/firewise. Paper applications are also available at the Lane County Public Works Customer Service Center (3050 North Delta Highway, Eugene). 

Firewise grants are funded through Title III of the Federal Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Program – Section 601 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. 

Housing and Community Needs Survey

2025 Consolidated Plan image

Are you familiar with the challenges of finding, maintaining, or paying for housing in the Eugene-Springfield area? Do you have insights into the local need for housing, human services and community/economic development programs? Please help identify our local housing and community needs for low- and moderate-income people by completing the short survey below.  TAKE THE SURVEY

Encuesta de viviendas y necesidades comunitarias

¿Conoces los desafíos de encontrar, mantener, o pagar los costos de vivienda en el área de Eugene-Springfield?  ¿Tienes conocimiento de la necesidad local de vivienda, servicios humanos y los programas de desarrollo de la comunidad o economía? Favor de ayudarnos identificar las necesidades de vivienda y de la comunidad local para las personas con ingresos bajos o moderados atreves esta encuesta breve.TOMA LA ENCUESTA

Survey results will help draft community needs and priorities for the Eugene-Springfield 2025-2030 Consolidated Plan for Affordable Housing and Community Development. The Consolidated Plan sets priority needs and strategies for use of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds over a five-year period. Eugene and Springfield receive funds based on formula allocation and Congressional appropriations. The two jurisdictions will receive an estimated $14 million in CDBG and HOME funds between July 1, 2025 and June 30, 2030. The process to develop the 2025-2030 Consolidated Plan is happening now. SIGN UP HERE FOR
CONSOLIDATED PLAN UPDATES

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 2024 Primary Election Ballot Return Numbers Low

Primary Election Results

https://results.oregonvotes.gov/

Statewide – https://results.oregonvotes.gov/

Nominations Open for AARP Oregon Volunteer Making Impact In Their Community

AARP Oregon has opened up nominations for its prestigious award for volunteerism. For the Andrus Award for Community Service, the organization will select a person or couple age 50 or older who performs services without pay in their communities.

Michael Schultz, state volunteer president of AARP Oregon, noted that Oregonians do a lot of volunteering. According to an AmeriCorps study from 2021, more than 970,000 volunteered, contributing an estimated $2.6 billion economic impact through their volunteer hours.

“That is a huge impact on our communities, on our economy and on the lives of Oregonians throughout the state,” he said.

The Andrus Award for Community Service is named after the founder of AARP, Doctor Ethel Percy
Andrus. Schultz noted that the nominator and the award winner will each receive $1,000 to donate to the nonprofit of their choice.

The 2023 winner of the award was Anne Bellegia, a founding member of the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the Livable Ashland Alliance. She has volunteered for many years with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Oregon University.

“This was someone who had really invested a lot of energy and effort to make a positive impact on her community down in southern Oregon, and the selection committee felt that she definitely deserved this award,” Schultz noted.

The deadline for Andrus Award nominations is July 15th. —- Find your state’s deadline and participation status on the nomination form

OSFM Community Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant application period opens May 20

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon State Fire Marshal is pleased to announce the opening of its Community Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant. This funding is designed to enhance wildfire defensible space across the state, supporting wildfire mitigation projects led by structural fire protection agencies, counties, and cities. 

The $3-million grant will significantly reduce wildfire risks by funding projects to create and maintain defensible space around buildings and critical infrastructure. Grant awards will range between $50,000 and $75,000. 

The grant focuses on two project types: 

Defensible Space Projects: The goal is to protect the first 100 feet around buildings, constituting approximately 70% of grant funds. 

Community Protection Projects: These projects extend beyond 100 feet to create fire breaks or lessen wildfire risks community wide.  

Applications will be prioritized based on fire risk, social vulnerability, and project clarity. 

“By supporting local projects that lessen wildfire risks, we are working together to create a prepared and resilient Oregon,” Oregon State Fire Marshal, Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “This grant works in concert with our other wildfire programs to move us closer to our goal of keeping fires small and away from communities.” 

More information, including the application and a grant manual, can be found on the OSFM’s grants webpage.  

About the Oregon State Fire Marshal: The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s mission is to protecting people, property, and the environment from fire and hazardous materials. Through its programs, the OSFM enhances public safety and promotes community resilience across Oregon. 

Oregon Consumer Justice Finds Colorful Way To Educate Used-Car Buyers

The Consumer Confidence Comic helps consumers get the best bang for their buck when purchasing a used car. (Oregon Consumer Justice)
The Consumer Confidence Comic helps consumers get the best bang for their buck when purchasing a used car. (Oregon Consumer Justice)

Buying a used car can be a risky proposition, but a new consumer guide can help people avoid common pitfalls.

The nonprofit Oregon Consumer Justice just released the first edition of its free resource, called the Consumer Confidence Comics. The unique guide doubles as an interactive comic book with coloring pages.

Michelle Luedtke, communications director for Oregon Consumer Justice, describes it as a fun way to learn how to ask the right questions.

“When you get promises from a dealer, where do you capture those to make sure that they’ll be part of your final contract?” Luedtke asked. “We have a checklist of different questions to ask at a dealer about purchasing a used car. You can also download as a resource on our website.”

The guide is available in English and Spanish.

Used car prices shot up during the pandemic but have come down a bit in the last year, with the average used car selling for about $31,000, according to iseecars.com.

Luedtke also recommended taking the time to read the fine print on any contracts. The guide goes through the process from start to finish.

“Whether or not you should be looking for financing beforehand, or what dealer financing looks like? What are scams that are common around purchasing a vehicle,” Luedtke outlined. “And then also, what to do if things go wrong.”

In Oregon, used car dealers have 14 days to finalize the financing, so you could drive it off the lot and then have to return it if the loan falls through. Consumers are advised not to make any changes to the car until they get a welcome letter from their lender. In 2022, Americans purchased about 39 million used vehicles. (SOURCE)

Wyden Announces Four Town Halls in Southern Oregon

Open-to-all town halls on will be May 28-29 in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties

Portland – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced he will hold in-person town halls in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties on May 28-29.

Heading into these four town halls, Wyden will have held 1,081 town halls throughout Oregon – including 16 so far this year — in fulfillment of his pledge to hold at least one town hall each year in each of our state’s 36 counties. The town halls in these four counties originally had been scheduled for April, but had to be postponed because of Senate votes in Washington, DC.

“I’m glad to be able to reschedule these town halls so quickly. I’ll always keep my promise of annual open-to-all town halls in each of our state’s 36 counties because it’s crucial that all Oregonians get the opportunity in their community to ask questions, offer suggestions and share ideas,” Wyden said. “As I approach my 1,100th town hall, these direct town hall discussions remain vital, and I very much look forward to the upcoming discussions with Oregonians in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties.”

·       Josephine County, 12:45 pm, Tuesday, May 28, South Middle School gym, 350 W. Harbeck Rd., Grants Pass 

·       Curry County, 5:30 pm, Tuesday, May 28, Gold Beach Jr/Sr. High School gym, 29516 Ellensburg Ave., Gold Beach

·       Coos County, 10 am, Wednesday, May 29, North Bend High School gym, 2323 Pacific Ave., North Bend (Parking available in lot behind football stadium)

·       Douglas County, 1 pm, Wednesday, May 29, Reedsport Community Charter Jr/Sr. High School, Pacific Auditorium, Reedsport (Enter at the Pacific Auditorium entrance. Please park on Longwood Drive as school will be in session.)

OSU Study Finds Sea Urchins Devouring Kelp Beds Off Oregon Coast Have Indirect Negative Impact On Local Gray Whales

NEWPORT — A boom in the purple sea urchin population off the southern Oregon coast appears to have had an indirect and negative impact on the gray whales that usually forage in the region, a new study shows.

OSU Marine Mammal Institute – A gray whale hunts for food in a kelp bed near Port Orford on the southern Oregon coast. A new study says purple sea urchins are destroying kelp beds and affecting the diet of local gray whales.

When urchin numbers rise, the spiky marine invertebrates can devour kelp forests that are a critical habitat for zooplankton, the tiny aquatic organisms that are the primary prey of many marine animals. Damaged kelp forests lead to reductions in zooplankton, and with fewer zooplankton to feed on, gray whales spend less time foraging there, researchers with Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute found.

“This study shows the cascading impacts of a change in the coastal ocean ecosystem in a way that has not been documented before,” said the study’s lead author, Lisa Hildebrand, a doctoral candidate in the Marine Mammal Institute’s Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna Laboratory. “These impacts extend indirectly to a top predator, the gray whale, and it affects them in a negative way.”

The study was recently published in Nature Scientific Reports. Co-authors are associate professor Leigh Torres, who leads the GEMM Lab at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, and researchers Solène Derville and Ines Hildebrand of Torres’ lab. READ MORE: https://yachatsnews.com/rise-in-sea-urchins-off-oregon-coast-appears-to-have-indirect-negative-impact-on-local-gray-whales-osu-study-finds/

Oregon Serial Killer Fears Sparked by Murders of 5 Women

The deaths of five women in Oregon have sparked serial killer fears in the state. The women, named as Kristin Smith, Charity Lynn Perry, Bridget Leann Webster, Ashley Real, and Joanna Speaks, were found dead in various locations in and around Portland between February and May 2023.

Last year, Newsweek reported that Jesse Lee Calhoun, a 38-year-old man with a history of criminal activity, had been identified as a person of interest in the deaths of four of the women. A fifth woman, Speaks, has since been linked to the case.

Police in Portland initially said that they did not believe the deaths were connected but have since changed their mind. There is now said to be movement on the case behind the scenes.

Families of the victims spoke to News Nation, with one family member saying that she could see a connection. She said: “Putting their faces together… Either we have a serial killer or five homicidal maniacs. I don’t know which one would be worse.”

Last year, Multnomah County District Attorney’s office and other law enforcement agencies working on the case said in a joint statement that investigators had identified “at least one person of interest” linked to the decedents and had interviewed multiple people as part of the investigation. They did not identify Calhoun or reveal why he is considered a person of interest.

Calhoun was previously convicted on burglary and vehicle theft charges and was serving a prison sentence that was commuted by former Oregon Governor Kate Brown in 2021 due to his participation in a prison firefighting program. This commutation reduced his sentence by about a year. Following his release, the murders took place. Calhoun was then involved in further criminal activity, leading to the revocation of his commutation and his reimprisonment in July 2023 to serve the remaining months of his original sentence.

As reported previously by Newsweek, Jose Real, the father of Ashley Real, said that Calhoun was known to his daughter and that Calhoun had attacked and choked her late in 2022. He went on to say that officers did not arrest Calhoun over the alleged assault. Speaking to The Oregonian at the time, he said: “The police didn’t do their work. And now my daughter is dead.”

The investigation into the deaths of the five women has not yet determined the cause or manner of death for any of the victims and the cases remain unsolved. According to online records reviewed by Newsweek, Calhoun has been incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution since July 6, 2023. He is due for release on June 9. (SOURCE)

State wildfire agencies prepared to respond to fire season but will need more staff in future

State wildfire leaders say they are struggling to attract more firefighters due to limited housing and low wages

The state’s top wildfire responders say they are prepared for the approaching wildfire season, but they are concerned about adding staff and resources in the future amid expectations that wildfires will increase. 

At a news conference last Wednesday, the leaders of the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon State Fire Marshal and the Oregon Department of Emergency Management discussed the upcoming wildfire season, which typically begins in mid-May. They predicted a relatively average risk of wildfire through May and June, with a potentially greater risk in eastern Oregon in July and August, when drought and high wind conditions are possible.

Snowpack across Oregon is about average, and it’s been an El Niño winter and spring, which means conditions have been wetter-than-normal. Drought conditions statewide are better than last year but dry conditions persist in some parts of the state, which typically has about 2,000 wildfires a year that burn around 600,000 acres, state data shows. 

Chris Cline, interim chief of the fire protection division of the Oregon Department of Forestry, said the agency has the staff and equipment needed for the current year, but that finding and recruiting firefighters has been difficult and will continue to be a challenge in the years ahead. 

“The workforce is decreasing and shrinking, and it’s becoming very problematic,” Cline said. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry depends on more than 700 permanent and seasonal wildfire fighters, on top of the 11,000 structural firefighters who focus on protecting people, buildings and homes in towns and cities across the state. About 70% of those structural firefighters are volunteers, according to Mariana Ruiz-Temple, Oregon State Fire Marshal, and far more are needed.

“Capacity has gone down over the last 10 years and fires are increasing,” she said. “The Oregon volunteer system is truly the backbone of the Oregon fire service.” 

Cline added that incentives from the federal government for wildfire fighters, such as bonuses and higher pay, could draw those firefighters away from state and local agencies. Also, a lack of housing supply and affordable housing in parts of the state make recruitment difficult, Cline said.

Nevertheless, he added, “We have what we need right now, and we will be prepared to protect Oregonians this summer.” 

In recent years, state fire agencies have added aircraft and cameras for monitoring fires. They’ve also used state and federal grants to boost seasonal firefighter numbers and to purchase more engines, machines and equipment, while undertaking more preventative prescribed burns.

Cline said agencies are increasing the number of prescribed burns amid a recognition that they are needed to destroy ground brush and other fuel that’s been built up over the years and traditionally was burned off by lightning and tribes conducting low-intensity broadcast burns. 

“This is all trying to get (the land) health back to a more natural state,” Cline said. (SOURCE)

State holding open house meetings on community wildfire programs

SALEM, Ore. — A series of six open houses about the state’s new community wildfire risk reduction programs are scheduled June 3 through July 1 across Oregon. These events will offer opportunities to learn about new defensible space and home hardening standards, as well as the draft wildfire hazard map. 

The resource-fair style open houses are being held in the communities that have some of the greatest levels of wildfire hazard within the wildland-urban interface. Each open house will begin with a short presentation and introductions, but visitors may stop in at any point during the event to get questions answered about the draft hazard map and associated community wildfire programs. 

Representatives from multiple agencies will be present to have one-on-one or small group conversations to help people understand Oregon’s statewide wildfire programs.

  • Oregon Department of Forestry representatives will address questions on administrative rules and hazard zone assessment appeals.
  • Oregon State University representatives will address questions on wildfire hazard science, statewide data sources, and updates to the draft hazard map made over the last two years.
  • Oregon State Fire Marshal representatives will address questions regarding defensible space standards, code adoption process and implementation.
  • Building Codes Division representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home hardening construction standards, related code provisions, and implementation.
  • Division of Financial Regulation representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home insurance market and requirements of insurers under Senate Bill 82 (2023).
  • Wildfire Programs Advisory Council members will address questions on statewide policy direction for wildfire programs and council business.

Meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Redmond—Monday, June 3, Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center, South Sister Hall, 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond, OR 97756
  • La Grande—Tuesday, June 4, Union County Fairgrounds, Mount Emily Building, 3604 N 2nd St., La Grande, OR 97850
  • Central Point—Monday, June 17, Jackson County Fairgrounds, Mace Building, 1 Peninger Rd., Central Point, OR 97502
  • Grants Pass—Thursday, June 20, Grants Pass High School, 830 NE 9th St., Grants Pass, OR 97526
  • Klamath Falls—Monday, June 24, Klamath County Event Center, Hall #2, 3531 S 6th St., Klamath Falls, OR 97603
  • The Dalles—Monday, July 1, Oregon Military Department Armory, 402 E. Scenic Dr., The Dalles, OR 97058

Find more information on ODF’s wildfire hazard webpage.

To subscribe to information related to updates on the statewide wildfire hazard map, visit the ODF website.

Background: The 2021 Legislature passed Senate Bill 762 that required the Oregon Department of Forestry to develop and maintain a comprehensive statewide map of wildfire risk that included wildland-urban interface boundaries and five fire risk classes by June 30, 2022, in collaboration with Oregon State University. After the initial version of the map was rescinded August 4, 2022, ODF and OSU began gathering feedback and incorporating it into future mapping efforts. 

The 2023 Legislature passed Senate Bill 80 that made several changes to the map including changing the name from a “risk” map to a “hazard” map, reducing the number of hazard classes from five to three, and changing the appeal and notification requirements. 

Written comment or questions about any aspect of the implementation of Senate Bill 762 and Senate Bill 80 may be submitted by email at any time to ehazardmap@odf.oregon.gov“>odf.wildfirehazardmap@odf.oregon.gov.

Tax day is not over for thousands of Oregonians. Some 12,000 Oregonians might be getting thousands of dollars in refunds due to TurboTax error

Intuit, a Silicon Valley company that makes the popular Turbotax software, has contacted more than 12,000 taxpayers who used it to file their state and federal returns, telling them they may have paid more than they should have because of an error in the software. 

The error was discovered by an Oregon Department of Revenue employee and involved directing people to take the standard deduction when itemizing expenses would have lowered their tax bill. 

The company initially downplayed the impact of the error, saying few had been affected, according to reporting by The Oregonian/OregonLive, but after being pressed by the revenue department it found that as many as 12,000 people were affected, with thousands of dollars at stake.

The company also came under pressure from Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. He wrote to Intuit’s CEO, Sasan Goodarzi, on May 2, noting that the company urges customers to “file with confidence” and has a maximum refund guarantee that includes a refund for buying the software. 

“Fixing this error will require identifying all affected Oregonians, notifying them and ensuring they can be made whole,” Wyden wrote. “In part because of TurboTax’s various guarantees and market share, Oregonians who overpaid due to TurboTax’s error likely assumed the software opted them into claiming state standard deduction to minimize their taxes. That assumption was wrong.”

Intuit has promised to refund the original purchase price for the software to affected customers, something which Wyden expects to happen.

“Intuit has a history of deceptive advertising but I expect it to make good on this guarantee,” Wyden said.

The 12,000 Oregonians now face filing an amended return and possibly waiting six months for money back, which is how long it can take for officials to process returns if they have errors or are missing information.

Taxpayers need to fill out amended returns following Turbotax instructions – either using the online or desktop versions – and then printing them out and mailing them to the Department of Revenue at  P.O. Box 14700, Salem, OR, 97309-0930. Taxpayers can also drop them off at a revenue office or use the state’s online tax filing service. The state offers instructions on this website.

To avoid a months long wait for money, the state officials advised filers to:

  • File a complete amended return, including the federal form and all schedules that were with the original filing.
  • Check the “Amended Return” box on the first page.
  • Use a current address even if it is different from the one on the original return. 
  • Provide direct deposit information; otherwise the department will send a check. 
  • Sign the amended return.

Tax filers can also call 844-333-2161 Monday  through Friday, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and mention “2023 Oregon itemized deductions” to an expert who can help. (SOURCE)

Protect Our Waters – Waterway Cleanup Series Seeks Volunteers for Summer Events

The annual Waterway Cleanup Series, a collaborative effort between SOLVE and Clackamas Water Environment Services, has launched its 2024 iteration with a highly successful kickoff event at Meldrum Bar Park in Gladstone. The event, held on May 9, brought together 36 volunteers who joined forces to clean the vegetation and wetlands along the picturesque Willamette River, collectively picking up 100 pounds of trash and preventing it from reaching the waterways.

The Waterway Cleanup Series, spanning from May to September, is a vital initiative aimed at elevating the cleanliness of rivers, streams, and creeks throughout the region. Each year, SOLVE and Clackamas Water Environment Services join forces to actively promote and support a diverse range of litter cleanup projects, all geared towards preserving and enhancing the health of our precious waterways.

“We are thrilled to launch another season of the Waterway Cleanup Series, a true testament to the power of community and environmental stewardship,” said Kris Carico, CEO of SOLVE. “As we embark on this journey together, I urge individuals and families to seize this opportunity to make a tangible impact on the environment while connecting with nature and each other. Hosting or joining a cleanup event is not just about picking up trash; it’s about fostering a sense of responsibility and pride in our local ecosystems, ensuring they remain vibrant and healthy for generations to come.”

Get Involved! — We’re calling on individuals, businesses, community groups, and organizations to host cleanup events along their favorite waterways throughout the summer months. By organizing or joining a cleanup event, everyone plays a crucial role in preventing trash from polluting our rivers. More information and details about the family-friendly Watershed Discovery Day on June 1st can be found on our website: https://www.solveoregon.org/waterway-series

About SOLVE  — SOLVE is a statewide non-profit organization that brings people together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship. Since 1969, the organization has grown from a small, grassroots group to a national model for volunteer action. Today, SOLVE mobilizes and trains tens of thousands of volunteers of all ages across Oregon and Southwest Washington to clean and restore our neighborhoods and natural areas and to build a legacy of stewardship for our state. Visit solveoregon.org for more information. 

About Clackamas Water Environment Services — Clackamas Water Environment Services (WES) produces clean water, protects water quality, and recovers renewable resources. We do this by providing wastewater services, stormwater management, and environmental education. It’s our job to protect public health and support the vitality of our communities, natural environment and economy.

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.

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

State Parks Day Events

Several free special events are planned June 1 to celebrate State Parks Day:

Carl G. Washburne: Hot dog BBQ noon-1 p.m. in campground B Loop, across from site 32.

Fort Stevens: Come and play disc golf 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lil’ Oozlefinch Putting Course.  Make a putt, win a special prize! Loaner discs available to use.  Giveaways and prizes for all who attend. 

Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail – Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead: Rangers and park partners will be at the Visitor Center 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with information and self-guided activities.

Jessie Honeyman: Hot dog BBQ 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the back patio of the Historic Cleawox Lodge.

L.L. Stub Stewart: The Friends of Stub Stewart State Park encourages all to come to the Community Fair at the Hilltop Day-use Area Picnic Shelter 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the booths and tables hosted by local fire departments, state forestry agencies, and local volunteer organizations.  There will also be interpretive displays and arts and crafts activities for everyone.

Milo McIver:  Join a park ranger at the Interpretive Shelter for a Plant Identification Scavenger Hunt 10-11 a.m. Learn about the different traits of plants and how to determine which species grow within the park. Plan to spend approximately 20-30 minutes learning about edible fruits and prickly plants and then 30 minutes on the trail completing the scavenger hunt. 

Silver Falls State Park: Learn about the emerald ash borer (EAB) and its role as a threat to Oregon’s ash trees. Oregon State Parks and Oregon Department of Forestry staff will be on hand 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to share information about this destructive pest at the Discovery Table in the Stone Circle in the South Falls day-use area. 

Spring Valley Access: Easy, ½-mile guided hike exploring native plants 11 a.m. Meet at the main parking lot near 8900 Wallace Road NW, Salem, OR, 97304. 

The Cove Palisades: Festival of the Landis a free festival that celebrates the diverse history, food and culture of Central Oregon 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, kids’ games and activities, petting “zoo”, mini farmers market, pollinator, wildfire, and fish displays, and more. 

Visit the stateparks.oregon.gov event calendar for a list of additional events this summer.

For camping availability, please check oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com or visit first-come-first served sites: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=reserve.first-come

About Oregon Parks and Recreation Department – The mission of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. The department manages 254 Oregon State Parks comprising more than 100,000 acres. Learn more at stateparks.oregon.gov.

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

Home

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.

Open-Air Train Rides in June!
Oregon Rail Heritage Center

Saturday, June 1 and Saturday, June 29

1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm and 4:00pm

Adults: $15; Kiddos 3-12: $10; Children 2 and under ride free (on lap); Military & Seniors: $13.50

Join us for a 45-minute train ride in open air rail cars along the Willamette River in the heart of Portland. Excellent for viewing wildlife, paddleboarders and Oaks Park rides!

Open air cars are pulled by a diesel locomotive and depart from the Oregon Rail Heritage Center at 2250 SE Water Avenue in Portland, Oregon. Be sure to save a little time before or after to check out the museum.

Visit www.orhf.org/Saturday-train-rides for ticketing and more information.

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

Related posts

Willamette Valley News, Friday 4/1 – Cement Truck Rolls and Blocks Traffic on Delta Hwy, DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon Starts Today

Renee Shaw

Willamette Valley News, Thursday, 11/19 – Covid-19 Cases Rising at Alarming Rate in Lane County, Hospital Beds Beginning to Fill

BrianCasey

Willamette Valley News, Wednesday 6/1 – Lifeguard Shortage At Local Summer Venues, Significant Decrease in Citations by EPD Weekend Party Patrols

Renee Shaw