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Bend/Central-Eastern Oregon News Releases for Wed. May. 29 - 5:47 am
Tue. 05/28/24
UPDATE - Oregon Department of Human Services announces that Odin E. Grant has been found
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 05/28/24 4:09 PM

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, is thankful for the community support to find Odin E. Grant. 

Odin, age 1, is a child who went missing from Hood River on May 3. He was found May 23. 

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. 

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Recognizing the importance of connection during Older Americans Month
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 05/28/24 2:45 PM

(Salem, OR) – Established in 1963, Older Americans Month is celebrated every May and is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of older Americans and reaffirm commitments to serving the older adults in our communities. The 2024 Older Americans Month theme is Powered by Connection, which focuses on the profound impact that meaningful connections have on the well-being and health of older adults.

“Social connection plays an important role in the mental, emotional and physical well-being of everyone,” said Nakeshia Knight-Coyle, Director for the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Office of Aging and People with Disabilities (APD). “Building inclusive programs that help older adults connect with others in their settings of choice to support their well-being is a top priority for the Office of Aging and People with Disabilities.”

As Governor Tina Kotek’s proclamation of Older Americans Month says, “Oregon benefits when people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds are welcomed, included, and supported; and We recognize the need to create an Oregon that offers the services and supports older adults may need to make choices about how they age; and We are striving to build age-friendly communities for people ages 0 to 100+ who are included, engaged and can thrive...” 

The ODHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities maintains a number of programs focused on reducing social isolation, promoting healthy aging and fostering connection for older adults in Oregon. Recent accomplishments include:

  • APD contracted with GrandPad to provide free tablets to people who receive Medicaid long-term care services and supports at home. This partnership aims to help older adults overcome social isolation by easily connecting with family and friends. Approximately 375 in-home Medicaid consumers received GrandPads in 2023, with an additional 275 GrandPads distributed at PACE programs throughout the state. 
  • The Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) of Oregon provides information and referral services and options counseling to help older adults and people with disabilities, regardless of immigration status, find supports that meet their needs and help them connect with others. Through the ADRC’s online database of more than 5,000 resources, people can also search for community support and recreation activities such as volunteer activities, wellness programs and more. People of all ages can also find volunteer opportunities on ODHS’ volunteer webpage
  • Oregon’s 2023 – 2026 State Plan on Aging focuses on building an Age-Friendly Oregon. The goals of the plan include developing programs that reduce social isolation and feelings of loneliness among older adults, especially those who belong to rural communities or communities that have been socially and economically marginalized. 
  • Meal sites for older adults throughout the state of Oregon also provide opportunities for older adults to connect with others in their community. Between 2022 and 2023, the federally funded Senior Nutrition Program supplied 572,020 healthy meals for 14,008 people aged 60 and older at 117 meal sites in Oregon. To find a meal site, contact the ADRC of Oregon at 1-855-673-2372 or visit https://adrcoforegon.org.
  • Councils and commissions under the Office of Aging and People with Disabilities provide opportunities for people to participate in policy and rule development, and shape how programs can best serve older adults in Oregon. ​The Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) Advisory Council provides guidance and recommendations on statewide development, expansion, evaluation and quality improvement in services of the ADRC network.​ The Governor’s Commission on Senior Services works to further the interests of Oregon’s older adults by studying programs and budgets of all state agencies that affect older adults and people with disabilities and recommending plans for delivery of services to older adults.

About the Office of Aging and People with Disabilities:

APD’s vision is to ensure Oregon’s older adults, people with disabilities and their families experience person-centered services, supports and early interventions that are innovative and help maintain independence, promote safety, wellbeing, honor choice, respect cultural preferences, and uphold dignity.

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Annual campfire restrictions to start on BLM rivers in Central Oregon, BLM announces
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 05/28/24 2:02 PM

Prineville, Ore. — Annual campfire restrictions will go into effect June 1 on some Bureau of Land Management-administered lands in central Oregon. In particular, campfires will be prohibited along portions of the Crooked, Deschutes, John Day and White rivers, as well as on BLM-administered lands along Lake Billy Chinook and Lake Simtustus.

“Our number one goal is protecting public and employee safety,” said James Osborne, Fire Management Officer for the BLM Prineville District. “We are excited that people are getting out and enjoying the rivers. Reducing the risk of human-caused wildfire helps us be good neighbors.”

These restrictions prohibit campfires, charcoal fires, or any other type of open flame. This includes a ban on the use of portable propane campfires and wood pellet burning devices. Commercially manufactured lanterns and metal camp stoves used for cooking are allowed, when fueled with bottled propane or liquid fuel and operated in a responsible manner. Under the restrictions, smoking is not allowed except inside vehicles or on the water.

“The river canyons present a combination of limited access, grassy fuels that dry out quickly, and steep slopes that allow wildfires to spread rapidly,” Osborne continued.

For additional information visit: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions.

Restrictions will remain in effect through October 15, 2024. Violation of this closure is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment of not more than 12 months, or both.

For more information and specific campfire closure locations apply to BLM-administered lands, see the river closure order. For more information about these closures, or other fire restrictions on BLM-administered lands in central Oregon, please review the river closure order, call the Prineville BLM District Office at 541-416-6700 or visit https://www.blm.gov/orwafire.

For current information on public use restrictions, fire closures or changes to the Industrial Fire Precaution Level on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the BLM Prineville District, please call the information line at 1-800-523-4737. Additional information about fire activity in Central Oregon is available online at: https://centraloregonfire.org/.

 

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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.


Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 05/28/24 12:40 PM
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An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Ronnie Lee Kramer, died May 27, 2024. Kramer was incarcerated at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) in Ontario and passed away at an area hospital. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the State Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.

Kramer entered DOC custody on September 25, 2008, from Lincoln County with an earliest release date of September 26, 2037. Kramer was 77 years old. Next of kin has been notified.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of approximately 12,000 individuals who are incarcerated in 12 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

SRCI is a multi-custody prison in Ontario that houses approximately 3,000 adults in custody. SRCI has multiple special housing units including disciplinary segregation, intensive management, infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care, and an administrative segregation unit. SRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including a contact center, laundry, and sign shop. SRCI specializes in incentive housing, specialized housing, individuals with mental health/medical vulnerabilities, education and trades programs, cognitive and parenting programs, and institution work programs. SRCI opened in 1991 and is the largest correctional institution in the state.

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Attached Media Files: 2024-05/1070/172601/Kramer_R.jpg

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Illegal Marijuana Market Team Execute Search Warrant (Photo)
Deschutes County Sheriff's Office - 05/28/24 12:37 PM
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Released By: Sergeant Jason Wall

Release Date: May 28, 2024

Location: 8000 block of Yucca Avenue, Redmond, Oregon

Arrested: Thibodeau, Robert William Jr. 68-year-old male, Redmond, Or

Arrested: Howard, Michael Brandon, 37-year-old male, Redmond, Or

Charges: ORS 475C.349(3) (b) (A) F- Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana Item

 

Narrative:

On May 22, 2024, at 7:00 am, detectives with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Illegal Marijuana Market Team (DCIMME) executed a search warrant in the 8000 Block of Yucca Avenue, Redmond Oregon. This long-term investigation resulted in the arrest of two Deschutes County residents, Robert Thibodeau and Michael Howard. 

DCIMME seized of over 400 illegal marijuana plants which were being grown in a 4,700 square foot shop on a 40-acre parcel of land. This investigation has led detectives to believe the marijuana was grown for the purposes of being distributed onto the black market out of the state. In addition to the marijuana seized, two firearms and a large sum of U.S. Currency was also seized pursuant to the search warrant. 

During the execution of the search warrant, unpermitted electrical hazards including dangerous building modifications were located on site. Black mold and leaking septic were also located on the premises. While investigators were on scene, wind speeds were topping nearly 30 mph. large compost piles from the marijuana disposal on the property began to combust resulting in a fire danger to the surrounding properties. Redmond fire responded to the location to extinguish the compost piles to avoid a possible wildland fire. 

Both Thibodeau and Howard were transported to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Adult Jail without incident.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Illegal Marijuana Market Team would like to thank the following agencies whom assisted in dismantling this large illegal drug operation: Deschutes County Sheriff's Office SWAT, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Division, Central Oregon Drug Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, Oregon State Police, City of Bend Police Department, Redmond Police Department, Redmond Fire and Rescue, Oregon Army National Guard, Central Oregon Emergency Response Team, Lane County Sheriff's Office SWAT, Deschutes County Code Enforcement and Central Oregon Water Resources.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service agency that oversees the adult jail, provides patrol, criminal investigations, civil process and search and rescue operations. Special units include SWAT, Street Crimes, Marine Patrol, ATV Patrol, Forest Patrol, along with six K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today led by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves over 200,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 263 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 178 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.




Attached Media Files: electrical , grow room , grow room , fire dept

Rivers, Roses, and Rip City: The Remarkable History of Portland, a New Permanent Exhibition at the Oregon Historical Society, Opens June 7 (Photo)
Oregon Historical Society - 05/28/24 10:49 AM

MEDIA EVENT

Press and community members are invited to a special ribbon-cutting ceremony with local leaders on Friday, June 7 at 11am in OHS’s Reser Westphal Pavilion. Please RSVP to achel.Randles@ohs.org">Rachel.Randles@ohs.org if you plan to attend or to schedule a preview tour of the exhibition.

PRESS KIT

High-resolution images for press available at bit.ly/pdxexhibit_presskit


Portland, OR — What defines a city? How has the relationship between people, land, and water made Portland the place it is today? These are some of the questions asked in the Oregon Historical Society’s newest permanent exhibition, Rivers, Roses, and Rip City: The Remarkable History of Portland.

Opening June 7 in the museum’s Naito Family Gallery, this interactive installation will allow visitors to learn about the city’s distinctive landscape, the communities that contribute to the vibrant and dynamic identity of Portland, and the history of activism that has transformed its spaces. 

“While we are the Oregon Historical Society, our headquarters being located in downtown Portland gives us a distinct opportunity and responsibility to share the history of our city,” said OHS Boyle Family Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “Our city has a complex, messy, and inspiring history, and our hope is that folks will walk away from this exhibition with a greater understanding of this city’s past, context for our present, and how each of us can help shape Portland’s future.”

With the flip of a coin, two American businessmen gave Portland its name, but its history is a much more complex story. For hundreds of years, Portland’s location and industries have attracted a multiethnic population who have made it their home. Decisions about how land and water are used, who controls resources, and who benefits from these choices have shaped Portland into the city we know today.

The beauty and economic potential of the city’s land and water draws people to Portland. Indigenous people have stewarded the land since time immemorial. Trappers and settlers arrived in the region in increasing numbers beginning with the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805. Newcomers chose the area at the meeting of two large rivers, the Columbia and Willamette, to become the industrial and population center of what is now known as Oregon.

Inside the exhibition, 500 objects, images, and archival materials from the Oregon Historical Society’s museum and research library collections convey the fascinating events and histories of the Rose City. Interactive elements will test visitors’ knowledge of Portland trivia, provide opportunities to see or hear sporting events or performances, and share areas of cultural interest within local neighborhoods.

This exhibition reveals the countless ways Portlanders come together — over events like the Rose Festival, a Trail Blazers’ win, or the blossoming of cherry trees — to create and celebrate community. 

“For visitors and residents alike, Rivers, Roses, and Rip City celebrates what makes Portland unique,” said Tymchuk.

The Oregon Historical Society’s museum is open daily in downtown Portland, from 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm to 5pm on Sunday. Admission is free every day for OHS members and residents of Multnomah County. Learn more and plan your visit at ohs.org/visit.


About the Oregon Historical Society

For 125 years, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of objects, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms, educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all.We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view. 




Attached Media Files: Couple sitting on bench, looking at Portland from Washington Park. OHS Research Library, OrHi 91892. , Electric streetcars on SW Morrison Street at 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon. OHS Research Library, OrHi 10205. , People stand on sidewalk outside of Meier & Frank Co., 181, 183, and 185 Front Street, for 1857--1887 anniversary celebration. OHS Research Library, CN 022848. , Newborn elephant Packy, born April 14, 1962, at the Portland Zoo. OHS Research Library, photo file 1893.

New OHA report shows Oregon health costs grew by 3.6% in 2021-2022, driven by prescription drug costs and other factors
Oregon Health Authority - 05/28/24 9:55 AM

May 28, 2024

Media contact:

Erica Heartquist, Oregon Health Authority, ica.J.Heartquist@oha.oregon.gov">Erica.J.Heartquist@oha.oregon.gov, 503-871-8843

New OHA report shows Oregon health costs grew by 3.6% in 2021-2022, driven by prescription drug costs and other factors

Report highlights opportunities to improve health care affordability

(PORTLAND, Ore. –) The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released its annual report on cost growth trends for health insurance plans and large provider organizations across the state. The report provides insight into health care spending in the Commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare markets statewide, and for 30 health plans and 53 provider organizations; more than half of plans and provider organizations met the cost growth target.

The report shows that between 2021-2022 health care costs in Oregon grew 3.6%, slightly above the cost growth target of 3.4%. Cost growth was driven by increases in hospital outpatient services, behavioral health services, and changes in how providers were paid, with more providers receiving prospective payments, quality payments, and other value-based arrangements.

“It’s important to continue to shine a light on health care spending in Oregon. This report allows health insurers and large providers to see where they stand in comparison to others and help focus their efforts on containing health care costs,” said David Baden, Oregon Health Authority Deputy Director for Policy and Programs.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature established the Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program, which is designed to prevent health care costs from growing faster than wages, inflation, and other economic indicators. In collaboration among large provider organizations, hospitals and health insurance plans, employers, and patient advocates, the program sets a statewide target for the annual per-person growth rate of total health care spending.

Accountability measures for health plans and provider organizations exceeding the target cost growth rate will be phased in with a multi-year approach. Performance improvement plans (PIPs) for entities exceeding the cost growth will begin in 2025. No health plans or provider organizations will be subject to a PIP based on the data in this report.

Key trends from the 2021-2022 report include:

  • Overall cost growth was greatest in the Medicare market. Statewide, total health care expenditures grew 2.2% in the Medicare market, compared to 1.5% in the Commercial market, and 1.2% in the Medicaid market. Even though health care cost growth in Oregon was below the target for this measurement period, cumulatively, health care costs in Oregon have grown 12.4% between 2018-2022.
  • More than half of health plans and provider organizations met the target in at least one market. Health plans were more likely to meet the cost growth target for their Medicaid and Commercial lines of business; only 3 Medicare Advantage health plans met the target. Provider organizations were more likely to meet the target for Medicaid.
  • Primary cost drivers include an increase in hospital outpatient services, behavioral health services, and non-claims payments. Medicare Advantage non-claims spending increased substantially, largely due to prospective payments. Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Commercial markets also saw more performance incentive dollars.
  • Retail pharmacy spending continued to grow across the state, even after more than $1.2 billion in pharmacy rebates were taken into account. Retail pharmacy spending grew 2.9% in the Commercial and Medicaid markets, and 2.6% in the Medicare Advantage market.

The 2024 Cost Growth Target Public Hearing will be held June 4. You can share your story about the high cost of health care via email (e.CostTarget@oha.oregon.gov">HealthCare.CostTarget@oha.oregon.gov) or comment at the public hearing. More information available online.

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Fatal Crash- HWY 19- Gilliam County
Oregon State Police - 05/28/24 9:28 AM

Gilliam County, Ore. 24 May 24- On Friday, May 24, 2024, at 3:36 p.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Hwy-19, near milepost 17, in Gilliam County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a southbound Harley Davidson motorcycle, operated by James Nicholas Braithwaite (58) of Pasco (WA), left the roadway for unknown reasons and went down a steep embankment. 

The operator of the Harley Davidson (Braithwaite) was declared deceased at the scene.

The highway was impacted for approximately an hour during the on-scene investigation.

OSP was assisted by the Gilliam County Sheriff's Office, North Gilliam County Fire and Rescue, and ODOT.

 

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About the Oregon State Police 
Oregon State Police (OSP) is a multi-disciplined organization that is charged with protecting the people, wildlife, and natural resources in Oregon. OSP enforces traffic laws on the state’s roadways, investigates and solves crime, conducts postmortem examinations and forensic analysis, and provides background checks, and law enforcement data. The agency regulates gaming and enforces fish, wildlife, and natural resource laws. OSP is comprised of more than 1,400 staff members – including troopers, investigators, and professional staff – who provide a full range of policing and public safety services to Oregon and other law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon.


Historic cemeteries commission awards grants to multiple projects
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 05/28/24 8:22 AM

Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries (OCHC) has awarded $60,556 in grants to 11 historic cemetery projects throughout the state through the Historic Cemeteries Grant program. The funds will help support preservation efforts, tree care and access. Individual award amounts ranged from $2,500 - $10,900.

Funded projects:

  • Gate installation and marker repair at the Antelope Cemetery in Wasco County. 
  • Ground Penetrating Radar interpretation and organizational structuring for Blue Mountain Kees Cemetery in Umatilla County. 
  • Monument repair at the Lebanon Pioneer Cemetery in Linn County.
  • Monument repair at the IOOF Eastwood Cemetery in Medford.
  • Install a fence at the Shelton Jordan Cemetery in Linn County.
  • Monument repair at Lee Mission Cemetery in Salem.
  • Trim trees and remove dead trees at Logtown Cemetery in Jackson County.
  • Repair monuments and hold a marker cleaning workshop at Luper Cemetery in Lane County.
  • Complete land survey at North Powder Cemetery in Union County.
  • Remove hazard trees at Phoenix Pioneer Cemetery in Jackson County.
  • Repair monuments at Rock Creek Cemetery in Clackamas County.

Historic cemeteries are documented by OCHC and must include the burial of at least one person who died 75 years before the current date. 

The historic cemetery grant program is offered annually by the OCHC, part of the Oregon Heritage Program at Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The grant program is supported by lottery and other funds. 

OCHC maintains a list of all pioneer and historic cemeteries in the state. The seven-member appointed commission helps people and organizations document, preserve and promote designated historic cemeteries statewide.

For more information about the grant program or the OCHC, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at i.gill@oprd.oregon.gov">Kuri.gill@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-986-0685. 




Attached Media Files: Award list

Oregon Department of Emergency Management shares evacuation resources and best practices to help people stay safe during wildfire season (Photo)
Oregon Department of Emergency Management - 05/28/24 5:30 AM
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SALEM, Ore. – May 28, 2024 – The Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) encourages Oregonians to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season by staying informed, having an emergency plan and packing a go-kit. People can find an evacuation checklist, live wildfire and evacuation maps, and wildfire preparedness and prevention tips at wildfire.oregon.gov.

“Oregon follows a three-level evacuation notification system structured around the readiness need and threat level,” said OEM Director Erin McMahon. “People should be familiar with the ‘Be Ready, Be Set, Go Now’ evacuation levels and their meaning. They should also evacuate anytime they feel unsafe, as conditions can change rapidly. Being prepared and knowing what to do when you receive an evacuation notice can help keep you and your household safe during a wildfire or other disaster.”

Level one (green on a map) means BE READY to evacuate. Be aware of the danger in the area and prepare to evacuate.

  • Sign up for local emergency alerts at ORAlert.gov to be notified of an evacuation.
  • Check phone settings to ensure wireless emergency alerts are turned on.
  • Have an emergency plan that names an out-of-area contact, a meeting place outside of the hazard area, and how to contact each other if separated.
  • Put together a go-kit of essential health and safety supplies and identification for each person and pet.
  • Call 211 or visit 211info.org for shelter options.
  • Use TripCheck.com or call 511 to map out evacuation routes.
  • Older adults, families with children, people with disabilities, livestock and pet owners, and those with limited access to transportation should consider evacuating at level one.

Level two (yellow on a map) means BE SET to evacuate. There is significant danger in the area and people should be ready to leave with short notice.

  • Continue to stay informed; check for updates through local city and county websites, social media, TV and radio.
  • Consider relocating to a safe place outside of the affected area.
  • Inform loved ones of plans and destinations.

Level three (red on a map) means GO NOW – Leave Immediately! There is extreme danger, and it is unsafe to stay.

  • Grab the go-kits.
  • Follow the emergency plan.
  • Leave as fast as safely possible; do not stop and gather belongings or protect the home.
  • Emergency responders may not be available to help those who choose to stay.
  • Do not return to the area until officials announce the area is safe.

OEM offers a statewide evacuation service that provides greater situational awareness of impacts on communities and lets people view estimated populations affected by evacuation. View this GIS StoryMap to learn more and visit Oregon.gov/oem for additional preparedness information.

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Image caption: Graphic of Oregon's three-level evacuation system, courtesy of Oregon Department of Emergency Management 




Attached Media Files: 2024-05/3986/172528/OEM_EVAC_3Levels_English.png

Mon. 05/27/24
Oregon Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen take part in Memorial Day ceremonies around the state (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 05/27/24 6:35 PM
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SALEM, Ore. – Oregon National Guard Soldiers and Airmen took part in Memorial Day services and community events around the state of Oregon on Monday, May 27, 2024, pausing to remember fallen service members who have given their lives in defense of the nation.

Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty, an Army veteran, along with her husband, Oregon Army National Guard Maj. Ian Beaty, spoke to those in attendance about their own family experiences in uniform before introducing Oregon Army National Guard Col. Russell Gibson, 82nd Troop Command Brigade Commander, who was the Keynote speaker for the Memorial Day service at the Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton.

“I welcome any opportunity to gather with my brothers and sisters in arms, and it is truly a gift to have the opportunity to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation—may their memory be a blessing,” said Gibson, during his opening remarks. “Through their selfless service, they portray the values and ideals for which this country was founded.”

Gibson, who has deployed twice to combat areas of operations, spoke about those who have been lost in recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I know that many of you have stories of loved ones, friends and fellow service members you hold in your memory and in your hearts,” he said. “I would also be remiss during this solemn day of reflection to not also recognize and honor those providing support from the home front. Those that paid the personal sacrifice for us and our nation—our Gold Star Families.”

U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon 1st Congressional District) also spoke and the American Legion Post 185 Band provided patriotic music throughout the event in Beaverton. The 142nd Wing and the West Coast Ravens conducted two separate flyovers during the ceremony.

In Salem, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek and Brig. Gen. Alan Gronewold, Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard, spoke at the Oregon World War II Memorial. Both the 142nd Wing and the 173rd Fighter Wing conducted flyovers around the state as well as in SW Washington at parades, memorial services and other gatherings.

The Memorial Day holiday can be traced back to the conclusion of the Civil War. On May 5, 1868, John A. Logan, as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order No. 11. This order was designated May 30, 1868, “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

Since 1971, Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday of May, marking a solemn time each year to mourn those who have died while serving in the U.S. military — while reflecting on their ultimate sacrifice to our nation.

 

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Released Photos: 

240527-Z-CH590-1281: Oregon Army National Guard Col. Russell Gibson, 82nd Troop Command Brigade Commander, addresses those attending the Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton, Oregon, on May 27, 2024, and was the keynote speaker for the ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

240527-Z-CH590-1255: U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, (Oregon 1st Congressional District) addresses those attending the Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton, Oregon, on May 27, 2024, held at the Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

240527-Z-CH590-1309: Oregon Army National Guard Specialist Michael Banks, assigned to the 234th Army Band, plays TAPS at the conclusion of the Memorial Day ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

240527-Z-CH590-1255: Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty, addresses those attending the Memorial Day ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

240527-Z-CH590-1203: Veterans, families of fallen service members, and other supporters of the military community stand for the Posting of the Colors during the Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton, Oregon, on May 27, 2024, and was the keynote speaker for the ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

240527-Z-ZJ128-1006: Chaplain (Col.) Jacob Scott, State Chaplain of the Oregon National Guard, delivers prayers to open and close the 2024 Oregon Remembers Memorial Day Tribute at the Oregon World War II Memorial in Salem on Monday, May 27, 2024. Scott's invocation and benediction bookended the annual ceremony honoring fallen U.S. service members. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

240527-Z-ZJ128-1001: World War II veteran Vern Staley, a former combat medic, talks with Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek during the 2024 Oregon Remembers Memorial Day Tribute at the Oregon World War II Memorial in Salem on Monday, May 27, 2024. Staley shared his experiences from the war with the governor at the annual event honoring fallen service members. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

240527-Z-ZJ128-1005: Oregon National Guard Brig. Gen. Alan Gronewold, Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard, speaks during the 2024 Oregon Remembers Memorial Day Tribute at the Oregon World War II Memorial in Salem on Monday, May 27, 2024. Gronewold delivered remarks honoring fallen U.S. service members at the annual commemoration event. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

240527-Z-ZJ128-1002: Cadet Kester, a North Salem High School JROTC color guard member, salutes the flag during the 2024 Oregon Remembers Memorial Day Tribute at the Oregon World War II Memorial in Salem on Monday, May 27, 2024. The JROTC color guard participated in the annual ceremony honoring fallen U.S. service members. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

240527-Z-ZJ128-1003: Two F-15 Eagle fighter jets from the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Wing conduct a flyover during the 2024 Oregon Remembers Memorial Day Tribute at the Oregon World War II Memorial in Salem on Monday, May 27, 2024. The flyover was part of the annual ceremony paying tribute to fallen U.S. service members. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

240527-Z-YI240-1001: Army Staff Sergeant Thomas Richards plays Taps during a Memorial Day Ceremony at Restlawn Memory Gardens and Funeral Home in Salem, Ore., on May, 27, 2024. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (Army National Guard photo by Spc. Michael Germundson, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

240527-Z-YI240-1002: Oregon State Senator Brian Boquist speaks to guests in attendance during a Memorial Day Ceremony at Restlawn Memory Gardens and Funeral Home in Salem, Ore., on May, 27, 2024. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (Army National Guard photo by Spc. Michael Germundson, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

240527-Z-A3543-1002: Oregon Army National Guard Lt. Col. Joshua Rapp, commander of the Oregon Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment headquartered in Ashland, delivers a speech during the Memorial Day Celebration at Memory Gardens Memorial Park & Mortuary in Medford, Ore., on Monday, May 27, 2024. Rapp's remarks paid tribute to fallen U.S. service members at the annual commemorative event. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in ceremonies held around the state of Oregon on Memorial Day. (Photo courtesy of Chief Warrant Officer 3 Klare Rapp, Oregon Army National Guard)

240527-Z-A3543-1003: Members of the Oregon National Guard Military Honors team perform a flag folding ceremony during the Memorial Day Celebration at Memory Gardens Memorial Park & Mortuary in Medford, Ore., on Monday, May 27, 2024. The solemn ceremony was part of the annual event honoring fallen U.S. service members. (Photo courtesy of Rylee Rapp, Oregon Army National Guard)

240527-Z-A3543-1001: Oregon Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Eric Riley, Land Component Commander of the Oregon Army National Guard, delivers a speech during the Memorial Day Celebration at Memorial Gardens in Roseburg, Ore., on Monday, May 27, 2024. Riley's remarks honored the sacrifices of fallen U.S. service members at the annual commemoration event. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Jared Carpenter, Oregon National Guard)




Attached Media Files: 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-ZJ128-1001.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-A3543-1001.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-A3543-1003.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-A3543-1002.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-YI240-1001.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-YI240-1002.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-ZJ128-1003.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-ZJ128-1006.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-ZJ128-1002.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-ZJ128-1005.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-CH590-1173.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-CH590-1203.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-CH590-1309.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-CH590-1255.jpg , 2024-05/962/172585/240527-Z-CH590-1281.jpg

Throw out mussels harvested between Washington border, Seal Rock State Park
Oregon Health Authority - 05/27/24 5:58 PM

Health officials say at least 20 people sickened by naturally occurring biotoxin after gathering mussels from Short Beach near Oceanside, Hug Point, and near Seaside

PORTLAND, Ore.—An outbreak of paralytic shellfish poisoning that sickened at least 20 people is prompting health officials to urge those who harvested mussels from a stretch of Oregon’s coast since Saturday to discard the mollusks. 

Officials at the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division also recommend people who experience any symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) – numbness of the mouth and lips, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and in severe cases, shortness of breath or irregular heartbeat – immediately contact a health care provider. They can also get advice by calling the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222.

All 20 people who fell ill reported recreationally harvesting mussels Saturday or Sunday at Short Beach near Oceanside in Tillamook County, and Hug Point and near Seaside in Clatsop County. Some of the cases have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

On May 23, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) closed a stretch of Oregon Coast to mussel harvesting from Seal Rock State Park north to Cape Lookout due to high levels of PSP. On Sunday, the mussel harvest closure was extended from Seal Rock State Park north to the Washington border.

“We have two messages: If you have any mussels gathered since Saturday from beaches within the area of coastline that ODFW and ODA closed to harvesting – that you are preparing for a meal or keeping in the freezer for a later time – throw them out now and do not feed them to pets,” said Emilio DeBess, epidemiologist at the Oregon Public Health Division’s Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section. “And if you have eaten any of these mussels and are feeling ill, see a doctor right away.”

DeBess added the recommendations only apply to mussels harvested by private individuals, not those harvested commercially and purchased in a grocery store or at a restaurant.

PSP is a foodborne illness caused by saxitoxins produced by marine algae and caused by eating shellfish contaminated with the naturally occurring biotoxin, including scallops, mussels, clams, oysters and cockles, as well as some fish and crabs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There is no antidote for PSP – treatment involves supportive care and, if necessary, respiratory support.

PSP is the most common and most severe form of shellfish poisoning. It occurs worldwide but is most common in temperate waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America.

Signs of illness usually appear 30 to 60 minutes after a person eats toxic shellfish and include numbness and tingling of the face, lips, tongue, arms and legs. Patients also might have diarrhea and vomiting, headache, and nausea. Severe cases are associated with ingestion of large doses of toxin and clinical features such as poor muscle control, clumsiness or slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, loose or floppy limbs, mental status changes, and respiratory failure. 

PSP can be deadly, especially for children. Appropriate medical care can lessen the risk of death.

Shellfish poisoning can be prevented by avoiding potentially contaminated shellfish, which is particularly important in areas during or shortly after algal blooms. Marine shellfish toxins cannot be destroyed by cooking or freezing, and shellfish that carry them do not necessarily taste different from uncontaminated shellfish.

Avoid harvest and consumption of seafood from beaches with biotoxin closures.

Treatment for paralytic shellfish poisoning is symptomatic and supportive. Severe cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning might require mechanical ventilation.

For additional information:

###


Fri. 05/24/24
Open house to hear concerns, share information on domestic well safety in Crook County
Oregon Health Authority - 05/24/24 5:11 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is joining other state agencies and Crook County Commissioners for an open house on domestic well safety Thursday, May 30.

Staff from OHA, along with the Oregon Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), will be on hand to gather and share information on services agencies can provide and raise awareness about options for well owners. The agencies want to hear concerns from county well users and discuss individual and community health consultations. 

The event is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crook County Public Library, 175 NW Meadow Lakes Drive in Prineville. 

Health information shared with OHA at the meeting will be used for internal purposes and kept confidential by law. Information shared with DEQ and ODA will be considered a public record and subject to public records requests. 

Those who can’t attend the open house in person can email EHAP.Info@odhsoha.oregon.gov or call 877-290-6767 to speak with an OHA Environmental Public Health toxicologist. 

For more information, visit Oregon.gov/crookcowells.

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Attached Media Files: Flier for May 30 Crook Co. open house on well safety

Board of Forestry to meet on June 5 and 6 in Troutdale
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/24/24 3:04 PM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet for a field tour on Wednesday, June 5, and a public meeting on Thursday, June 6, in Troutdale, Oregon. The field tour will be open to the public for in-person participation and recordings of the tour’s highlights will be posted on the board’s meeting page after. The meeting will be livestreamed on the department’s YouTube channel.

The board’s business agenda for June 6 includes:

  • Forest protection association budgets 
  • Vision for Oregon’s Forests
  • Advancing wildfire prevention
  • Wildfire hazard map and procedural rules
  • Jefferson County forest patrol assessment appeals
  • Western Oregon State Forests Forest Management Plan draft
  • Oregon State University’s College of Forestry report

On Wednesday, the tour starts at 8 a.m. in the McMenamins Edgefield located at 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale, OR 97060, in the west parking lot. Members of the public wishing to join the tour are asked to RSVP by emailing oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov by end of day, Friday, May 31. Those attending the tour should bring their own lunch and PPE gear, including hardhat, reflective vest, and appropriate footwear. The field tour will highlight the 20-Year Resiliency Strategy, the Federal Forests Restoration Program and provide an opportunity to view an active timber sale.

On Thursday, the meeting will be held at 8 a.m. in the McMenamins Edgefield, Blackberry Hall, 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale, OR 97060.

The full agenda is available on the board’s webpage. Live testimony, both in person and virtual, is available on the second day. Sign-up for live testimony is required as spots are limited. Written public testimony will also be accepted. Written comments can be submitted before or up to two weeks after the meeting day by mail to the Board Support Office, 2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310 or email to oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov with the appropriate agenda item and topic included with the submission. Tips for providing testimony to the board are available online.

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200 or by email at estryinformation@odf.oregon.gov">forestryinformation@odf.oregon.gov.

The Oregon Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the State Forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base. Read more information about the board.


Fire restrictions protect Pacific Northwest communities, BLM announces
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 05/24/24 2:59 PM

Portland, Ore. – On May 24, fire restrictions will go into effect for all Bureau of Land Management public lands throughout Oregon and Washington. BLM leaders encourage all visitors to be aware of active restrictions and closures as warmer, drier weather sets in around the Pacific Northwest. 


These fire restrictions help reduce the risk of human-caused fires. Starting May 24, the use of fireworks, exploding targets or metallic targets, steel component ammunition (core or jacket), tracer or incendiary devices, and sky lanterns will be prohibited. 


“Although we had a wet winter, we must still be careful with activities that can cause a spark,” said Anita Bilbao, BLM Oregon/Washington Associate State Director


Wet weather supports the growth of invasive grasses, which then dry out quickly in the summer months.
 

“Everyone can help to keep our first responders, local communities, and public lands safe by following fire restrictions and practicing fire safety while out on public lands,” she continued.
 

Those who violate the prohibition may be fined up to $100,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 12 months. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression. 
For the complete order and more information on seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, please see www.blm.gov/orwafire.

May is also ‘Wildfire Awareness Month’. Visit NIFC.GOV for wildfire prevention tips: https://www.nifc.gov/fire-information/fire-prevention-education-mitigation/wildfire-prevention. 

To learn more about fire careers with BLM Oregon-Washington, please see https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire/state-info/oregon-washington/careers.

This Press Release is also available on: https://www.blm.gov/press-release/fire-restrictions-protect-pacific-northwest-communities-blm-announces. 

-BLM-

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

 


Criminal Justice Moral Fitness Workgroup Meeting Scheduled 6-5-2024
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 05/24/24 1:36 PM

CRIMINAL JUSTICE MORAL FITNESS

WORKGROUP MEETING

SCHEDULED

 

Notice of Scheduled Meeting

The DPSST Criminal Justice Moral Fitness Workgroup will meet at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Conference Room A235 at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, Oregon. For further information, please contact Jennifer Howald at 503-551-3258 or .howald@dpsst.oregon.gov">jennifer.howald@dpsst.oregon.gov.

The meeting will be live streamed on the DPSST YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/@DPSST

Agenda Items 

1.     Introductions

2.     Administrative Closure Criteria

Carried over from May 6, 2024

3.     Policy Committee Case Review Processes

Carried over from May 6, 2024

4.     Applicant Review Committee

5.     Follow-up on Pending Action Items or Discussions from Past Meetings

6.     Next Workgroup Meeting: TBD

Administrative Announcement

This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law. This meeting is being streamed live on the DPSST YouTube page and will be recorded in the form of minutes. Discussion of issues will only be conducted by workgroup members. Please be mindful of comments and side conversations.


OHA kicks off 2024 Oregon beach monitoring season
Oregon Health Authority - 05/24/24 11:16 AM

May 24, 2024

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA kicks off 2024 Oregon beach monitoring season

Agency shares list of monitored beaches for May-September

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Oregon Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) is kicking off the 2024 beach monitoring season by announcing the list of coastal recreation areas it will be keeping an eye on for bacteria during summer and early fall.

The 24 beaches on the list that the OBMP, based at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division, is publishing includes some of the most frequently visited beaches in Oregon. It also includes beaches where the program has found bacteria present, or beaches for which local partners and the public have requested monitoring due to potential pollution concerns.

The following are Oregon beaches being monitored during 2024, including beach name, and the city and county in which they are located:

Beach monitoring season runs from mid-May to mid-September. Beach advisories are only issued for beaches that are actively being monitored within this sampling window. Other beaches will be investigated for inclusion in the next beach monitoring season.

OBMP works with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to identify beaches that need monitoring based on several established criteria. These criteria include: pollution hazards present; previous beach monitoring data that identify water quality concerns; type and amount of beach use; and public input.

As part of an adaptive sampling plan, beaches and sampling locations are routinely re-evaluated to ensure available resources best protect public health. A copy of DEQ’s beach evaluation is available upon request.

For more information and current beach monitoring conditions please visit: www.healthoregon.org/beach, or contact OBMP at each.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov">Beach.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov or 971-673-0400.


Four Local Educators Have Mortgage or Rent Paid for One Year Through OnPoint's Prize for Excellence in Education (Photo)
OnPoint Community Credit Union - 05/24/24 10:52 AM
2024-05/963/172543/OnPoint_EOTY_winners.jpg
2024-05/963/172543/OnPoint_EOTY_winners.jpg
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/963/172543/thumb_OnPoint_EOTY_winners.jpg

The winners, along with four runners-up, will also have donations made to their schools.

PORTLAND, Ore., May 24, 2024—OnPoint Community Credit Union has announced the four winners of the 2024 OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education Educator of the Year awards: 

  • K-5 Educator of the Year: Rachel Hertz, 1st grade teacher at North Star Elementary School in Bend, Ore.
  • 6-8 Educator of the Year: Sherry Reeder, 6th – 8th grade special education teacher at Molalla River Middle School in Molalla, Ore.
  • 9-12 Educator of the Year: Michelle Colbert, 9th – 12th grade art and career technical education teacher at Fir Ridge Campus in Portland, Ore.
  • Gold Star Educator of the Year: Dr. Traniece Brown-Warrens, principal at Markham Elementary School in Portland, Ore.

The four Educators of the Year will have their mortgage or rent paid for one year and receive $2,500 for each of their schools. In addition, the four runners-up will receive $5,000 for themselves and $1,500 for each of their schools. 

“Our Educators of the Year Awards recognize the remarkable educators whose dedication impacts their students and community every day,” said Rob Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of OnPoint Community Credit Union. “This year’s winners and runners-up use their amazing creativity and innovation to inspire students. As we celebrate the 15th year of these awards, we are honored to recognize and support the educators who go above and beyond to teach and lead our youth."

The OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education has awarded more than $843,000 in prizes to 326 local educators and schools since 2010. The 2024 campaign will award an additional $193,000 to deserving public and private K-12 educators and schools.

2024 Educators of the Year

The four winners of the 2024 OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education Educator of the Year awards are:

K-5 Educator of the Year – Rachel Hertz

1st grade, North Star Elementary School, Bend, Ore.

Rachel Hertz has spent her 20-year career as a teacher working to give her students a sense of belonging. Her philosophy as an educator is simple: there is always something new to learn, to experience and to better inform how she teaches. When we stop learning, Hertz says, we stop growing. 

A proud representative of her Bolivian and Mexican heritage, Hertz ensures her classroom celebrates every student’s background. She encourages students to share their cultures and traditions and uses culturally relevant materials to enhance their learning experience. 

She integrates social-emotional learning into her curriculum to foster a supportive space where students excel academically and develop resilience. She is analytical and data driven, researching teaching methodologies that are measurable and constantly checking in to ensure each student comprehends her lessons. She also sends books home and provides families with access to educational applications to support learning outside the classroom. 

Her initiatives extend beyond traditional teaching methods. Hertz hosted a team-building event for school staff, led a Lego Club to build rapport with students after school and initiated an annual Kindness Carnival to promote positive community values. She is frequently on hiring committees for new North Star Elementary staff (most recently for a new principal) and also supports future teachers through her work with Oregon State University Cascades and Western Oregon University.

6–8 Educator of the Year – Sherry Reeder

6th – 8th grade Special Education, Molalla River Middle School, Molalla, Ore.

Special education teacher Sherry Reeder understands students are more than just recipients of knowledge - they want to be active participants in their educational journey. Her student-centered approach means creating an environment in her classroom where students feel empowered. 

Reeder's impact extends across the school. She worked with the administration to conduct focus groups that helped identify the causes of low satisfaction scores among students. This led to the implementation of "brain breaks" to help reduce student anxiety and stress. She is also helping to make elective classes accessible for English Language Development students and those with additional needs.

Reeder also helps mentor new special education staff members, coordinates Instructional Assistants schedules, and provides support staff development. She even organizes offsite staff events to help build connection among her colleagues.

Reeder serves as the assistant coach for the Unified basketball and kickball teams (which give students with disabilities equal access to these sports), plans summer programs, and organizes student awards nights. She also developed the "Academic Leadership Award" to ensure special education students are celebrated alongside their peers.

9-12 Educator of the Year – Michelle Colbert

9th – 12th grade Art and Career Technical Education, Fir Ridge Campus, Portland, Ore.

For Michelle Colbert, art can be a powerful tool to empower youth and allow them to amplify their voices, express themselves and do so in a setting where they feel comfortable. Colbert strives for that every day, whether she is teaching art or career and technical education (CTE) at Fir Ridge Campus. 

When her students returned to in-person learning after the pandemic, she challenged them to express how they were impacted. The result was mixed media self-portraits that gave Colbert an important glimpse into that period of their lives. In her industrial arts class, Colbert leads students through the process of manufacturing skateboards – from designing to adding graphics, grip tape, trucks and wheels. The end result is not just a skateboard but a boost in confidence and skills.

Michelle extends learning beyond the classroom through partnerships and community projects. She collaborates with Nike’s Inventors Club and local professionals via the School to Work program to connect her students with professionals in various careers. Her notable "Our Space of Possibilities" project involved students in public art, including designing a Trimet bus wrap and creating an Afrofuturism-themed art installation. Michelle also leads the Art and AV clubs, organizes the annual Fir Ridge Art Showcase and spearheaded the first Career and Technical Education Pathways Program. 

Gold Star Educator of the Year – Dr. Traniece Brown-Warrens

Principal, Markham Elementary School, Portland, Ore.

In January 2024, an ice storm left Markham Elementary School inoperable. Principal Traniece Brown-Warrens immediately jumped in to ensure as little disruption as possible. She worked with four other schools to “host” students by crafting new bus schedules and ensuring every student received support through carefully scheduled classes and counseling. Even though students could not be at Markham, Brown-Warrens made sure Markham was always with them by sending a daily newsletter called the “Energy Bus News.” 

Since becoming principal in 2022, Brown-Warrens’ impact on Markam can be felt just about everywhere. She introduced calming corners in each classroom to help students self-regulate their emotions. She implemented a "What I Need" (WIN) initiative for students to dedicate 30 minutes each day to address individual learning and emotional needs – which led to increased state assessment scores in math, English, and students’ feeling of belonging. 

To spark a renewed enthusiasm for literacy, Brown Warrens introduced a book vending machine and spearheaded the "Markham Reads a Million Minutes" read-a-thon, raising funds for the PTA and boosting reading proficiency. She also helped establish new student groups such as the Black Excellence Club, the Asian Pacific Islander Club and the Leadership Club.

She hosted a "TEDxMarkham" event to provide students a platform to share their voices and inspire others. She uses media platforms like YouTube to send inspirational messages to her entire student body and, quite often, to single out individual students for their accomplishments or to wish them luck. 

2024 Educator of the Year Runners-up

OnPoint will also award a $5,000 cash prize to each of the following 2024 runners-up and make a $1,500 donation to their schools for resources and supplies.

K–5 Educator of the Year Runner-up – Roxana Campbell

1st grade, HOLLA School, Portland, Ore.

6–8 Educator of the Year Runner-up – Lynda Beauchamp 

6th and 7th grade Math, Realms Middle School, Bend, Ore.

9-12 Educator of the Year Runner-up – Andrew Gunsul

9th and 10th grade Social Studies, Sunset High School, Portland, Ore.  

Gold Star Educator of the Year Runner-up – Martine Barnett 

Principal, Columbia City Elementary, Columbia City, Ore. 

Five Schools Receive Community Builder Awards 

The 2024 OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education also awarded one Oregon school $5,000 and four Oregon schools $2,000 in Community Builder grants for special projects that enrich their communities. Click here to read about this year's winners, which OnPoint announced on May 8, 2024.

Honoring Founders' Legacy of Excellence in Education

Founded by 16 schoolteachers in 1932, OnPoint continues to honor its legacy today by improving access to quality education for everyone. Click here to learn more.

ABOUT ONPOINT COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION

OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving over 554,000 members and with assets of $9.0 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 28 Oregon counties (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark) and their immediate family members. OnPoint Community Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). More information is available at www.onpointcu.com or 503-228-7077 or 800-527-3932.

 




Attached Media Files: 2024-05/963/172543/OnPoint_EOTY_winners.jpg

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Needs Your Help Locating This Stolen Canine (Photo)
Deschutes County Sheriff's Office - 05/24/24 10:47 AM
stolen k9
stolen k9
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/5227/172399/thumb_stolen_malinois.jpg

UPDATE

Tragically GRISHA has been located deceased a few miles from where she went missing. As a result of the investigation the cause of death does not appear to be suspicious in nature and is likely due to the elements.

Our thoughts go out to GRISHA's owner and all who knew her.

END OF UPDATE

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Released By: Sergeant Jason Wall

Release Date: May 17, 2024

Location: Whychus Canyon Preserve Trailhead, Sisters, Oregon

 

Narrative:

On May 17, 2024, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a report of a stolen K-9 from the Whychus Canyon Preserve Trailhead.

The dog owner had parked their vehicle at the Whychus Canyon Preserve Trailhead in the shade. While walking two other dogs the dog owner had secured their 8-month-old Belgian Malinois in a crate inside their vehicle. Upon returning to their vehicle, the dog owner witnesses clearly that someone had opened their vehicle and removed the dog.

The stolen K-9, “GRISHA” was inside a crate with water accessible, and the windows lowered to allow air flow. “GRISHA” was wearing a collar that is black in color and is also chipped. “GRISHA” is well-mannered and responds to her name.

The Deschutes County Sheriff is asking for the publics’ assistance in locating “GRISHA”. Please contact Deschutes County 911 Dispatch non-emergency at 541-693-6911 if you know the whereabouts of “GRISHA” or if you have seen her.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service agency that oversees the adult jail, provides patrol, criminal investigations, civil process and search and rescue operations. Special units include SWAT, Street Crimes, Marine Patrol, ATV Patrol, Forest Patrol, along with six K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today led by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves over 200,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 263 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 178 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.




Attached Media Files: stolen k9 , stolen k9

Committee for Emergency Fire Cost meets June 4
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/24/24 10:08 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Emergency Fire Cost Committee will meet in the Tillamook Room, Building C, Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street in Salem on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 10 a.m. A virtual option will be available via Zoom video conference, which can be found on the agenda. To provide public comment, please contact istine.r.klossen@odf.oregon.gov">Kristine Klossen at 971-446-0065.

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Financial status of the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund
  • Weather update
  • Update on status of large fire cost collection efforts
  • Guidelines for eligibility of firefighting costs
  • Administrative Branch/Fire Protection Division/Administrator reports

The meeting is open to the public to attend in-person or virtually via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the end of the meeting. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 72 hours before the meeting by contacting istine.r.klossen@odf.oregon.gov">Kristine Klossen at 971-446-0065.

The Emergency Fire Cost Committee (EFCC) oversees the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund (OFLPF), established by the Oregon Legislature as a fund with the purpose of equalizing emergency fire suppression costs among the various Oregon Department of Forestry protection districts and forest protective associations. All districts/associations contribute to the fund so that money will be available to any individual district/association to pay fire suppression costs on eligible emergency fires. View more information on the EFCC webpage.


142nd Wing to conduct Memorial Day flyovers (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 05/24/24 9:28 AM
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The 142nd Wing out of Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Oregon will conduct Memorial Day flyovers for ceremonies at locations throughout northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.

“We support the Memorial Day flyovers to honor the great men and women who have given their all in defense of this great nation,” said Lt. Col. Brad Young, 142nd Wing instructor pilot and 142nd Operations Support Squadron Commander. “We hope that conducting the requested flyovers from community organizations is additive to their ceremonies commemorating those who have lost their lives in service to this nation.”

The F-15 Eagle fighter jets are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following community locations at, or around, the designated times on Monday, 27 May: 

10:25 a.m. Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Ore.          

10:38 a.m. Wasco, Ore.         

10:51 a.m. Forest Lawn Cemetery, Gresham, Ore.          

10:53 a.m. Glenmoore Gracious Living, Happy Valley, Ore.          

10:54 a.m. Mt. View Cemetery, Oregon City, Ore.          

10:57 a.m. Calvary Cemetery, Mount Angel, Ore.  

11:00 a.m. World War II Memorial, Salem, Ore.                 

11:01 a.m. Restlawn Memory Garden & Funeral Home, Salem, Ore.                     

11:03 a.m. Timber Linn Memorial Park, Albany, Ore. 

11:05 a.m. Corvalis, Ore.

11:15 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, Beaverton, Ore.

11:16 a.m. Fir Lawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home, Hillsboro, Ore.

11:17 a.m. Forest View Cemetery, Forest Grove, Ore.

11:17 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, North Plains, Ore.

11:21 a.m. Vancouver National Historic Reserve, Vancouver, Wash.

11:38 a.m. Depoe Bay, Ore.

All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be canceled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies.

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Aerial b-roll: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/752272/142nd-wing-f-15-flight-gopro-footage

About the 142nd Wing:

The Portland Air National Guard Base employs 1,500 Airmen who provide an economic impact of nearly $500 million to the region. The 142nd Wing defends our homeland with F-15 Eagle fighter jets, guarding the Pacific Northwest skies from northern California to the Canadian border through their Aerospace Control Alert mission as part of Air Combat Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Their mission is to provide unequaled, mission-ready units to sustain combat aerospace superiority and peacetime tasking any time, any place in service to our nation, state and community.

Photo Caption:

Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagles, assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing prepare for an afternoon training mission as part of dissimilar aircraft combat training (DACT) on Aug. 13, 2019, at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore. The Oregon Airmen are training with U.S. Navy F-18F Super Hornet from VFA-41 squadron, based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., during two-weeks of DACT exercises. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)




Attached Media Files: 2024-05/962/172550/190813-Z-CH590-0055.JPG

Oregon Wildfire Funding Workgroup convenes to address sustainable wildfire funding
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 05/24/24 8:32 AM

SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon State Fire Marshal are convening a workgroup to discuss solutions for sustainable wildfire mitigation and suppression funding to address the growing wildfire crisis.

The Legislature tasked the two agencies with establishing the workgroup through House Bill 5701 in the 2024 legislative session. The group is meeting for the first time in June.

The need for a sustainable and equitable funding structure for wildfire response and mitigation has never been more urgent. The way response and mitigation are currently funded is inadequate to address the growing complexity and cost of wildfires Oregon faces today, which impacts public health and safety, community well-being, and the state's economy.

Workgroup members represent a wide range of partners and will work closely with the Governor’s Wildfire Programs Advisory Council.

Workgroup members include:
• Alan von Borstel, Oregon Wheat Growers League
• Anne-Marie Storms, Oregon Fire Marshals Association
• Armando Martinez, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw
• Barry Bushue, Bureau of Land Management
• Bill Boos, Special Districts Association of Oregon
• Bill Terry, Consumers Power Inc.
• Branden Pursinger, Association of Oregon Counties
• Brennan Garrelts, Oregon Department of Forestry’s Emergency Fire Cost Committee
• Brian Stewart, Oregon Fire Chiefs Association
• Carrie Nyssen, American Lung Association
• Casey Kulla, Oregon Wild
• Chris Edwards, Oregon Forest Industries Council
• Dylan Kruse, Sustainable Northwest
• Eric Kranzush, Giustina Land & Timber Co.
• Frank Day, Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association
• Genoa Ingram, Oregon Fire District Directors Association
• Lauren Poor, Oregon Farm Bureau
• James Hall, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
• Jim McCauley, League of Oregon Cities
• John Davis, Green Diamond
• Jonathan Fink, Portland State University
• Karl Koenig, Oregon State Fire Fighters Council
• Kenton Brine, NW Insurance
• Kyle Smith, The Nature Conservancy of Oregon
• Lon Matheny, Coquille Indian Tribe
• Mari Kramer, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
• Mark Bennett, Wildfire Programs Advisory Council
• Matt McElligott, Cattlemen's Association
• Monte Bryan, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
• Patrick Skrip, Operating Forest Protective Association
• Roger Beyer, Oregon Small Woodlands Association
• Scott Spaulding, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation
• Steve Warden, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
• Suzanne Seattle, Burns Paiute Tribe
• Tim Sexton, Klamath Tribes

Ex-officio attendees include:
• Andrew Stolfi, Department of Consumer & Business Services, Division of Financial Regulation
• Doug Denning, Higher Education Coordinating Council
• Jim Kelly, Oregon Board of Forestry
• Michael Grant, Public Utilities Commission
• Representative Bobby Levy, Oregon State Legislature
• Representative John Lively, Oregon State Legislature
• Senator Fred Girod, Oregon State Legislature
• Senator Jeff Golden, Oregon State Legislature

The agencies will report on the group’s progress to the Emergency Board in December and during the 2025 legislative session. People will be able to view the workgroup meetings virtually. Details will be provided on both the ODF’s and the OSFM’s websites before each meeting.

Learn more about the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon State Fire Marshal and their efforts to meet the rising challenges of wildfire.


Settlement Reached in Oregon Foster Care Class-Action Lawsuit: Parties Agree to Transform System for Thousands of Children in its Care
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 05/24/24 8:30 AM

Eugene, OR– Today, Governor Tina Kotek, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Agency Director Fariborz Pakseresht, and Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner entered into a settlement agreement with Disability Rights Oregon, A Better Childhood, Rizzo Bosworth Eraut PC, and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, attorneys representing thousands of children and young adults experiencing foster care in Oregon. This settlement agreement stemmed from a class-action lawsuit, Wyatt B. et al. v. Kotek et al., that sought to improve Oregon’s foster care system. 

The settlement agreement stipulates, in part:

  • The State will contract with a mutually agreed upon Neutral Expert to address important foster care system outcome areas including maltreatment of children; quality of appropriate placements; re-entry rates; timeliness of case planning and age-appropriate mental, physical and dental health care assessments and referrals; notification and delivery of required reports of child maltreatment; and up to two (2) additional findings by the Neutral Expert within two (2) years that are actionable under the U.S. Constitution or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
     
  • The Neutral Expert’s Initial Review shall occur by April 20, 2025 (extendable up to 90 days at request of Neutral Expert) and be followed by annual reviews assessing improvements.
     
  • The Governor shall provide support to ODHS toward its efforts to achieve outcomes by assisting ODHS’s collaboration with other state agencies and by reviewing the Initial Review and annual reviews.
     
  • The Settlement Agreement ends when the Neutral Expert determines ODHS is in substantial compliance with terms or within 10 years (whichever is sooner). If, after 10 years, the Neutral Expert determines additional time is needed, the Neutral Expert may recommend an extension of no more than two (2) years.

“This case has always been about providing children in the foster care system what they need to recover from trauma and thrive—stability, safety, and nurturing from the adults in their life,” said Jake Cornett, Executive Director and CEO of Disability Rights Oregon. “After more than five years, we’re grateful Governor Kotek and the Department of Human Services see the promise of working collectively to improve Oregon’s foster care system.”

“We are grateful for the willingness of all involved in this litigation to come together to find ways to achieve our mutual goal of improving outcomes for Oregon children and families,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “This agreement is a testament to the progress we have made in child welfare over the past several years and allows us to focus on the important work ahead.”

“We are very pleased that this case has settled,” said Marcia Lowry, Executive Director of A Better Childhood. “We have seen that a collaborative approach to reform in other lawsuits has produced excellent results in other child welfare systems, and we hope the same will happen in Oregon. It takes both sides being committed to actual progress, measurable outcomes, and real results, which we are committed to seeing happen in Oregon.” 

“This settlement gives us the opportunity to continue our efforts to transform the child welfare system by supporting and preserving families – while focusing on continuous improvements that will yield better outcomes for families we serve,” said ODHS Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner. “We appreciate the hard work by both parties in reaching an agreement that is positive for Oregon children and families.”

Resources

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Oregon Department of Human Services(ODHS) is Oregon's principal agency for helping Oregonians achieve well-being and independence. It provides direct services to more than 1 million Oregonians each year. These services are a key safety net for people in diverse communities across Oregon.

Disability Rights Oregon upholds the civil rights of people with disabilities to live, work, and engage in the community. Serving as Oregon’s Protection & Advocacy system since 1977, the nonprofit works to transform systems, policies, and practices to give more people the opportunity to reach their full potential.

A Better Childhood is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that uses the courts to reform dysfunctional child welfare systems around the country. 

Rizzo Bosworth Eraut PC is a litigation firm with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. We work primarily on complex civil matters representing individuals, businesses, and insurers in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm with more than 600 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world.


Redmond Fire & Rescue to Close Outdoor Burning
Redmond Fire & Rescue - 05/24/24 8:00 AM

May 24, 2024-REDMOND,OR- Effective June 1, 2024, Redmond Fire & Rescue will close all outdoor debris burning for the season, until further notice. During this closure, all outdoor debris burning is prohibited in all areas served by Redmond Fire & Rescue in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties.

As a reminder, the closure of outdoor debris burning prohibits all of the following:

1. Backyard or open burning (branches, yard debris, etc.).

2. Agricultural burning (agricultural wastes, crops, field burning, ditches etc.).

3. Any other land clearing, slash, stump, waste, debris or controlled burning.

The burn ban does not prohibit:

1. Small outdoor cooking, warming or recreational fires at residential properties. These include portable or permanent fire pits, fire tables, and campfires, with a maximum fuel area of three feet in diameter and two feet in height in a safe location away from combustibles or vegetation and are fully extinguished after use.

2. Barbeque grills, smokers and similar cooking appliances with clean, dry firewood, briquettes, wood chips, pellets, propane, natural gas, or similar fuels.

There may be more restrictive fire safety rules on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF)-protected land. ODF restrictions may include prohibitions on campfires, smoking, target shooting, powered equipment, motorized vehicles, and other public/private landowner and industrial fire restrictions. More details about ODF fire restrictions are available at Oregon Department of Forestry Public Fire Restrictions.

Outdoor fires in violation of this closure may be immediately extinguished. If a fire agency responds to a fire that has been started in willful violation of this closure, the person responsible may be liable for all costs incurred, as well as legal fees per ORS 478.965. Burning restrictions are authorized under Oregon Revised Statute 478.960, Oregon Fire Code 307 and Redmond Fire & Rescue Ordinance 5.

Fire Officials in Deschutes County encourage the public to use extreme caution with activities that could start a fire. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent and be prepared for wildfires. Residents are encouraged to continue exercising caution and taking steps to prevent and prepare for the threat of wildfires. That includes:


Creating defensible space:

• Mowing and watering lawns.

• Removing brush, dry grass, and leaves from underneath decks and crawlspaces.

• De-limbing tree branches 10 feet off the ground and well away from your roof.

• Planting low-growing, fire-resistant plants near your home.

• Eliminating fuel sources near and around your home – firewood, fuel tanks, etc.


Maintaining access:

• The road or driveway to your home should be clear of all debris, dense vegetation, and low-hanging branches. Turn-out areas are needed if the road or driveway to your home is not large enough for two-way traffic or your home is located at the end of a long driveway or dead-end road.

• The driveway to your home should be designed without sharp curves or steep grades.

• If crossing a bridge is necessary to access your home, it should support 75,000 pounds.


Signing up for Alerts:

To make sure you are receiving the most current alerts regarding Emergency Evacuations (Fire, Flooding, Public Welfare, etc.), Natural Disasters (Fire, Flooding, etc.), Severe Weather or Neighborhood Emergencies, you can sign up for Deschutes Alerts.


Thu. 05/23/24
OSP traffic stops result in seizure of illegal drugs (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 05/23/24 5:09 PM
Marion County_5-14-24
Marion County_5-14-24
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LINN, MARION, & DOUGLAS COUNTIES, Ore. 23 May 2024 – Four Oregon State Police traffic stops along Interstate 5 (I-5) have yielded significant drug seizures in the last month. Oregon State Troopers seized fentanyl, methamphetamine, PCP, and other illegal drugs bound for Oregon streets. The targeted operations are a collaboration among Oregon State Police patrol, K-9, HIDTA Investigation Team (HIT), and Criminal Apprehension through Patrol Enforcement (CAPE) programs. 

OSP Capt. Kyle Kennedy said, “Oregon State Police is diligently working to stop the flow of illegal drugs to our communities. Fentanyl continues to have devasting effects on Oregon’s communities, and we hope the constant pressure will deter and prevent the transportation of illegal drugs to and through our state.” 

Linn County
On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at 9:50 a.m., an OSP K-9 trooper stopped a vehicle on I-5 in Linn County for a traffic violation. During contact with the driver, the trooper suspected possible criminal activity. A K-9 was deployed around the outside of the vehicle and alerted to the presence of illegal substances. 

During a search of the vehicle, the trooper located 10,000 pills suspected to be laced with fentanyl in the vehicle’s trunk. 

OSP detectives interviewed the vehicle occupants. The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time. 

Marion County
On May 14, 2024, at 1:13 p.m., an Oregon State Trooper from the Salem Patrol Office stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on I-5 near milepost 256 in Marion County. During the stop, the trooper observed contraband in the vehicle and suspicious behavior by the vehicle occupants. 

During a consent search of the vehicle, the trooper located 4.6 pounds of fentanyl, 1 pound of phenylcyclohexyl piperidine (PCP), 84 grams of suspected methamphetamine, and 14.2 grams of cocaine. 

The driver, Edgar Izaguirre Torres (33), whose city of residence is unknown, and the passenger, Marvin Fabian Oseguera Escoto (19) or Auburn (WA), were arrested for distribution of a controlled substance. Once the investigation is complete, additional charges will be referred to the prosecuting agency. 

Oseguera Escoto was additionally arrested on a California warrant for distribution of a controlled substance. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.

Douglas County
On May 21, 2024, at 8:40 a.m., an OSP K-9 Trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on I-5 northbound at milepost 148. The trooper contacted the vehicle occupants and noticed signs of criminal activity. The driver and passenger fled from the vehicle on foot. The trooper caught and detained both suspects a short distance from the vehicle. 

The K-9 was deployed around the outside of the vehicle and alerted to the presence of illegal substances. A search warrant was granted, and 42,000 suspected fentanyl-laced pills and approximately 8 pounds of fentanyl powder were found inside the vehicle. 

The driver, Lauro Parra Moreno (25) of Pittsburgh (CA), was arrested for misdemeanor elude, criminal trespass II, Possession of a controlled substance II, and Delivery of a controlled substance I. The passenger, Jesus Acosta Parra (20), of Pittsburgh (CA), was arrested for criminal trespass II, delivery of a controlled substance II, and possession of a controlled substance II. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.

Linn County
Today, May 23, 2024, at approximately 11 a.m., an Oregon State Police K-9 Trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on I-5 near milepost 225 in Linn County. The vehicle was occupied by an adult couple and their 6-month-old infant. 

During a consent search of the vehicle, the trooper located 136 grams (about one-third of a pound) of fentanyl powder and mannitol, which is a common cutting agent for fentanyl. The fentanyl was located in the trunk of the vehicle near the baby’s formula and clothing. 

The driver, Meslin Danexi Gamez Barrientos (30) of Oakland (CA), was arrested for possession and delivery of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a minor. The passenger, Maryori Estefani Ochoa Chapas (30) of Oakland (CA), was arrested for possession and delivery of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a minor. 

The infant was placed in protective custody by the Oregon Department of Human Services. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.
 

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OSP Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative
The Oregon State Police-Domestic Highway Enforcement (OSP-DHE) Initiative is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates with and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement initiatives, including the OSP-DHE Initiative.




Attached Media Files: Marion County_5-14-24 , Linn County_5-23-24 , Linn County_5-8-24 , Douglas County_5-21-24

UPDATE (5-23-24): OSP seeks public assistance - Marion County
Oregon State Police - 05/23/24 4:44 PM

Update 2: 5-23-24

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, the Oregon State Police was notified by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office that the body of Gurjinder Singh Grewal was recovered from the Willamette River at 10:37 a.m. Grewal was found by a fisherman between Oregon City and West Linn. Grewal was positively identified, and there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the recovery at this time.

Mr. Grewal’s family was notified yesterday evening by Oregon State Police. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no additional information is available at this time.

 

Update 1: 2-8-24

Body of news release updated to reflect correct incident date of February 8, 2024.

 

Marion County, Ore. 8 Feb 24 - Oregon State Police requesting public assistance locating a missing person.

On Thursday, February 8, 2024, Oregon State Police responded to the St Paul bridge on Hwy 219, near milepost 24, in Marion County. Gurjinder Singh Grewal (48) was last observed walking on the bridge at approximately 11:00 a.m.. His vehicle, a black Honda Pilot, was located just south of the bridge. 

Any person with dash-cam footage or who may have witnessed him in the area on 2 Feb. between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888 or OSP (677).

Reference case number SP24042821.


 


Dr. Emma Sandoe Named as Director of the Oregon Health Authority's Medicaid Division
Oregon Health Authority - 05/23/24 3:32 PM

May 23, 2024

Media Contact: Amy Bacher, 503-405-5403, acher2@oha.oregon.gov">Amy.Bacher2@oha.oregon.gov

Dr. Emma Sandoe Named as Director of the Oregon Health Authority’s Medicaid Division

Emma Sandoe, PhD, MPH, has been appointed as the permanent director of Oregon’s Medicaid program, effective July 24, 2024. Since 2019, Dr. Sandoe has served in North Carolina Medicaid most recently as the Deputy Director of Medicaid Policy. In her current role, Sandoe has been the state’s primary liaison to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), overseen the state’s Medicaid Plan and its Medicaid waivers, and taken a lead role in developing and implementing new policies to improve health equity in North Carolina’s Medicaid-funded health care system. Dr. Sandoe also serves as Medicaid liaison to Tribal nations in North Carolina.

In North Carolina, Dr. Sandoe helped lead the passage and implementation of the state’s Medicaid expansion, which took effect in December 2023 that will bring health coverage to more than 450,000 people. She also has led efforts to expand the health care workforce under North Carolina’s Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) program. In addition, she has assisted in developing and implementing the state’s Healthy Opportunity Pilots program, leveraging Medicaid dollars to address food, transportation, and housing insecurity, as well as toxic stress.

OHA Director Dr. Sejal Hathi, MD, MBA, said, “Dr. Sandoe brings a track record of expertise, innovation and experience putting health equity into practice in vital Medicaid programs. She brings both vision and pragmatism to this role, as well as strong relationships with our federal partners, which will enable Oregon to continue to set the pace in implementing vanguard Medicaid coverage and benefits that address the major health issues facing our communities, such as homelessness and climate change. I’m excited to welcome Dr. Sandoe to Oregon.”

Dr. Sandoe said, “I’m delighted to come to Oregon, a state that's always been at the forefront of health policy. I’m excited to collaborate with Medicaid staff and partners to expand access to care, improve peoples' lives and eliminate health inequity.”

Dr. Sandoe was selected for the position of Oregon’s Medicaid director following a national search. Before serving joining North Carolina Medicaid, Dr. Sandoe worked as a press secretary at CMS and budget analyst at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Sandoe has taught health policy classes at Harvard University and Duke University. Dr. Sandoe received a PhD in Health Policy, Political Analysis from Harvard University in 2019 and an MPH from George Washington University in 2010.

Vivian Levy, Oregon’s interim Medicaid Director, will serve as deputy director for the Medicaid Division. Dr. Hathi said, “Vivian Levy has brought transformational leadership to Medicaid at a critical time for the past two years. She’s led our temporary Medicaid expansion, protected health coverage for people undergoing eligibility redeterminations in the wake of the pandemic and overseen our ongoing implementation of new Medicaid benefits under Oregon’s groundbreaking 1115 Medicaid waiver. I’m grateful for the direction she’s brought to Medicaid and for the important role she’ll continue to play in Oregon’s Medicaid program.”

Oregon’s Medicaid program currently provide medical, dental and behavioral health coverage for approximately 1.4 million people in Oregon (or more than 1 in 4 state residents) through the Oregon Health Program (OHP) and other programs. The Medicaid program has a biennial budget of $28 billion.

Download Dr. Sandoe's headshot here.


Missing child alert -- Odin E. Grant, age 1, is missing and is believed to be in danger (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 05/23/24 3:07 PM
Odin with Cecilia and Jimmie
Odin with Cecilia and Jimmie
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(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, asks the public to help find Odin E. Grant, age 1, a child who was last seen in Hood River and The Dalles, May 3, 2024, with his mother, Cecilia Grant aka Cecilia Gomez. Odin is believed to be in danger. 

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

Odin and his mother may be in Hood River or The Dalles. They may be with be with Jimmie Champion.

Name: Odin E. Grant
Pronouns: He/him 
Date of birth: Nov. 21, 2022
Height:  2 feet, 8.68 inches
Weight: 29 pounds
Hair: Light brown
Eye color: Blue
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #2022100
Hood River Police Department Case #P240429

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 disappear 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.  

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Attached Media Files: Odin with Cecilia and Jimmie , Odin with Cecilia , Odin

OHA encourages mpox vaccination
Oregon Health Authority - 05/23/24 2:39 PM

May 23, 2024

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA encourages mpox vaccination

PORTLAND, Ore. – As people gather and travel to celebrate Pride Month in June, health officials are reminding Oregonians about the importance of protecting themselves and their community by getting the mpox vaccine.

Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist at Oregon Health Authority (OHA), said the number of mpox infections in the state has dropped significantly since an outbreak in June 2022. However, the virus continues to circulate at low levels, with occasional increases in case counts.

“Mpox activity has generally remained low, but by no means has this virus gone away in Oregon or other parts of the country,” Sidelinger said. “Pride is a great time for people in the LGBTQIA2S+ community to show support for themselves, their partners and their community by getting both doses of the mpox vaccine.”

Oregon saw between 10 and 15 mpox cases reported each week when the outbreak peaked in August 2022. Since then, weekly case counts have ranged between no cases to two or three cases. There were 270 mpox cases in 2022, 30 cases in 2023 and, as of April 30, eight cases so far in 2024. There have been no deaths.

The JYNNEOS mpox vaccine is highly effective. According to a May 2023 study published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the vaccine was found to be 75% effective for those receiving one dose and 86% effective for those who had two doses.

Until last month, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) distributed JYNNEOS to vaccine providers at no cost. On April 1, JYNNEOS manufacturer Bavarian Nordic launched the vaccine on the commercial market, so providers will now bill health insurance to cover the cost. HHS will continue to make JYNNEOS vaccine available as needed; the vaccine remains free to Oregon Health Plan members, and Oregon law requires vaccine’s cost to be covered for others with commercial insurance.

Mpox spreads primarily through close, skin-to-skin contact. Most often, it has occurred through intimate or sexual contact, and during contact with the lesions of an individual with mpox through a caregiving relationship, such as a parent caring for a child or an adult caretaker of another person.

Infection rates are highest among people living in Multnomah County, those ages 30 to 39, and members of the Latino/a/x/e and Black/African American communities. Most cases were men who reported having sex with men, and most identified as gay or bisexual men.

People who suspect they have mpox should contact their health care provider to let them know before going in to be seen. The provider may recommend testing for mpox. Those who don’t have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 or their local public health authority for help finding a clinic or health care provider.

For more information about mpox in Oregon, visit OHA’s mpox website. Vaccination clinics can also be searched by ZIP code with an mpox vaccine locator tool at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Monkeypox/Pages/vaccine.aspx or at https://mpoxvaxmap.org/.


Five companies will offer health insurance in every Oregon county next year as health insurers file 2025 rate requests for individual and small group markets (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 05/23/24 12:01 PM
DFR logo
DFR logo
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Salem – Oregon consumers can get a first look at requested rates for 2025 individual and small group health insurance plans, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

In a major win for Oregonians, Moda will become the fifth company to offer health insurance in every single county in Oregon after expanding into Benton, Linn, and Lincoln counties. Moda joins BridgeSpan, PacificSource, Providence, and Regence as health insurance companies who provide coverage in all parts of Oregon. It is the first time that five insurers have offered plans in every county.  

In the individual market, six companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.0 percent to 11.6 percent, for a weighted average increase of 9.3 percent. That average increase is higher than last year’s requested weighted average increase of 6.2 percent.

In the small group market, eight companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.7 percent to 16.3 percent, for a weighted average increase of 12.3 percent, which is higher than last year’s requested 8.1 percent average increase.

The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to help stabilize the market and lower rates. Reinsurance lowered rates by 8.4 percent. 

See the attached chart for the full list of rate change requests.

“Oregon’s health insurance market remains competitive, with five carriers planning to offer plans next year in every Oregon county, up from only one statewide plan in 2018,” said Oregon Insurance Commissioner and DCBS Director Andrew R. Stolfi. “Unfortunately, inflation – both medical and nonmedical – as well as prescription drug costs, are driving prices higher than last year. Oregonians still have a lot of options to choose from and the Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to allow them to find reasonable rates.”

Virtual public hearings about the 2025 requested health insurance rates will be held July 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. A web address to watch the public hearings will be posted at OregonHealthRates.org. At the hearings, each insurance company will provide a brief presentation about its rate increase requests, answer questions from Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) staff, and hear public comment from Oregonians. The public also can comment on the proposed rates at any time at OregonHealthRates.org through July 1.

“We look forward to putting these rate requests through a rigorous public review, and we encourage the public to join the virtual public hearings and provide feedback on their health insurance plans,” Stolfi said. “This public process not only helps keep insurance companies accountable, but it gives people the opportunity be part of the process.”

The requested rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer.

Over the next two months, the division will analyze the requested rates to ensure they adequately cover Oregonians’ health care costs. DFR must review and approve rates before they are charged to policyholders.

Preliminary decisions are expected to be announced in July, and final decisions will be made in August after the public hearings and comment period ends.

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About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation protects consumers and regulates insurance, depository institutions, trust companies, securities, and consumer financial products and services. The division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency. Visit DFR.Oregon.gov and DCBS.Oregon.gov.

 




Attached Media Files: Health insurance rate requests for 2025 , DFR logo

Oregon State Forests campgrounds can offer great outdoor experiences without the crowds (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/23/24 10:02 AM
Developed state forest campgrounds have signage with area highlights and maps. In addition, most of the developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and other amenities.
Developed state forest campgrounds have signage with area highlights and maps. In addition, most of the developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and other amenities.
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/1072/172519/thumb_Horsecampsign.JPG

GATES, Oregon—If you want to get out in the woods this Memorial Day weekend, try one of Oregon’s state forests.  There are several campgrounds that often have openings or if you are just looking to go for a hike there is free parking at trailheads. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) manages all recreation facilities in state forests.  In northwest Oregon this includes the Clatsop, Santiam and Tillamook State Forests.

 There are three types of camping offered: developed campgrounds, designated campsites outside of regular campgrounds, and dispersed camping.

State forest campgrounds offer a true forest experience without the crowds since most have less than 20 campsites at each location.

“Developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and often have other amenities like hand pump wells,” said John Mandich, a recreation specialist at ODF’s Northwest Oregon Area office.  “Also, most of our campgrounds are first come, first served.  So, if you are a last-minute type of camper, you should try one of our campgrounds.”

Some campgrounds get used less than others.  One of those is the Santiam Horse Camp in the Santiam State Forest near Gates, Oregon.

“This is up the mountain side at 1,200-1,400 foot elevations, so it has great views of the Santiam Canyon,” said Mandich.  “There is a 10-mile loop trail that is muti-use for horses, hikers and mountain bikers.  There are nine sites with corrals, parking for large vehicles to accommodate horse trailers—these can be reserved, but you must have a horse. So far only three of those sites are reserved for Memorial Day weekend.”

There is a day-use area with a pavilion, picnic tables, parking, restrooms and running water at a hand-pump well.

“There are only two designated camping spots for those without horses,” said Mandich.  “We hope to expand that in the near future. However, Rock Creek Campground is close by too and they have five spots.”

Whether visiting for the day or camping there are many recreational opportunities nearby.

“The recently reopened Shellburg Falls recreation area is within a 30-minute drive of the horse camp,” said Mandich.  “Popular Detroit Lake is also about the same distance too.”

Another unique aspect of the area around the Santiam Horse Camp  (See the guide)  is you can see all the phases of forest management on the trail.

“There are recent clearcuts from salvage logging after the 2020 fires,” said Mandich.  “These have recently been replanted.  Then you can walk a ways and see 10-15 year old trees and finally you can see old stands with trees that have three-to-four foot diameters.  It’s a unique experience in a compact area.” 

There are also designated campsites outside of developed campgrounds.  These are numbered and offer a fire ring for campfires. The last type is dispersed camping with no amenities offered. 

 “There are rules for dispersed camping the most important being—pack out what you take in, practice good campfire safety (keep fires small, attended, and make sure they are out), and practice good sanitation (bury your poop). And, camping this way it’s free for up to 14 days.”

Fees at state forest campgrounds range from $5 – $20 per night depending on the type of site. For Memorial Day and July 4 active-duty military get to stay for free with a valid military ID card. Also, the state forest campgrounds honor the Oregon state parks disabled veterans access pass

Although openings can be found on weekends, weekdays have the best availability.  “If you shift your camping trip to a weekday you have a very good chance of getting a spot at most of our campgrounds,” said Mandich.

If you want an outdoor experience further west than the Santiam, try the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests.  If you are going through the Tillamook State Forest, be sure to stop in at the Tillamook Forest Center to see displays about the history, sustainable forest management and wildlife in Oregon’s state forests.  They also have hiking areas including a 250-foot suspension bridge behind the center that crosses the Wilson River and nearby is the Jones Creek Campground.

These are typically under used campgrounds in the Clatsop and Tillamook state forests:

Clatsop State Forest

  • Northrup Creek Horse Campground (Equestrian)

Tillamook State Forest

  • Morrison Eddy Campground
  • Jordan Creek Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Campground
  • Reehers Camp Campground (Equestrian)
  • Keenig Creek Campground
  • Stagecoach Horse Campground (Equestrian)

To see a complete list of state forests camping opportunities, visit the  ODF recreation webpage. The page lists the name, location, amenities, number of camp sites, fees and more information. 




Attached Media Files: Developed state forest campgrounds have signage with area highlights and maps. In addition, most of the developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and other amenities. , There is a day use area at the horse camp with a pavilion and picnic tables. , Santiam Horse Camp has a 10-mile loop trail, Monument Peak Trail, that horse riders, hikers and mountain bikers can use. , The Santiam Horse Camp has nine spaces for campers with horses. They include these log corrals. There are also two tent camping spaces.

Draft of Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan is available online for public review
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 05/23/24 9:00 AM

SALEM, Oregon— The public is invited to comment on the draft 2025-29 Oregon Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) titled Balance and Engagement: Sustaining the Benefits for All Oregonians. A copy of the draft SCORP document and support documents are posted online for public review.  The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will accept comments until June 28, 2024.

The five-year plan is a comprehensive look at Oregon’s outdoor recreation needs and priorities based on a representative population survey of more than 3,000 residents and recreation providers. The research was conducted in collaboration with Oregon State University. 

Results help guide federal, state, and local government, as well as the private and nonprofit sectors, in making policy and planning decisions. The primary purpose of the plan is to provide guidance for the Land and Water Conservation Fund grant program and other OPRD grant programs. The SCORP also provides up-to-date, high-quality information to assist recreation providers with park system planning in Oregon.

Comments can be submitted directly through a comment feature on the SCORP webpage or by mail to Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, 725 Summer Street NE, Suite C, Salem, OR 97301, Attn: Caleb Dickson.

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Boating on Oregon's Waterways - Prepare to Play (Photo)
Oregon State Marine Board - 05/23/24 9:00 AM
Picture of a Grandfather and Granddaughter on a boat wearing life jackets
Picture of a Grandfather and Granddaughter on a boat wearing life jackets
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/4139/172500/thumb_PapaMaddyBoating.jpg

Is the water calling? The Oregon State Marine Board wants to remind boaters to be aware of their surroundings, have all the required gear, and let others know their recreation plans.

“Inexperience and solo operation continue to be a growing trend of boating fatalities in Oregon. Planning ahead, boat with others, always keeping a sharp lookout, and wearing a properly fitted life jacket for your boating activity should be top of mind for all boaters,” says Brian Paulsen, Boating Safety Program Manager for the Oregon State Marine Board. “The Marine Board has many resources to help boaters have a safe and enjoyable experience on all of Oregon’s waterways.”

The agency advises boaters to plan ahead and check out the Marine Board’s interactive boating access map. The map displays public boat ramps and local rules for boat operations. Also, check the weather forecast, water levels, and tides. See if there are any reported obstructions, and have the right gear for your boating activity. Boaters can also check the Marine Board’s website to find out what equipment is required based on the size and type of boat.

The Marine Board would like to remind boaters:

  • Boat Sober. Abstain from consuming marijuana, drugs, or alcohol, which impair judgment, reaction time, and coordination and cause dehydration. Boating demands sharp situational awareness.
  • All children 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket when underway on all boats (motorized and nonmotorized). All boaters on Class III whitewater rivers are required to wear a life jacket.
  • Be courteous to other boaters and share the waterway. Stage your gear in the parking lot or staging area regardless of your boat type. This makes launching faster and everyone around you happier.
  • In Oregon, all motorboat operators with propulsion greater than 10 horsepower must take a boating safety course and carry a boating safety education card when operating the boat. Paddlers of nonmotorized boats 10’ and longer are required to purchase a waterway access permit. The Marine Board also offers a free, online Paddling Course for boaters new to the activity. 
  • Fill out a float plan and leave it with friends and family. This way they can call for help if you are overdue.
     

For more information about safe boating in Oregon, visit Boat.Oregon.gov.
 

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Attached Media Files: Picture of a Grandfather and Granddaughter on a boat wearing life jackets

ODF Grants $14 Million to Help Protect Water and Reduce Wildfire Risk
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/23/24 8:00 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and its local, state, and federal partners have started implementing the 20-year Landscape Resiliency Strategy. The strategy prioritizes areas at high-risk for wildfires. This year through mid-2025, the three programs paid for by the state’s General Fund will invest about $14 million into local, state, federal, and private partners’ projects. The investment will expedite work on over 100,000 acres. The partners will implement these landscape resiliency strategy projects to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk.

As 2024 continues, ODF builds on prior investments. This means leading partner work to reduce wildfire risk, which includes creating wildfire buffers around communities in the wildland-urban interface or WUI. To do some of this work ODF has 13 programs that leverage 27 funding sources. The three state-funded programs are the Landscape Resiliency Program, Small Forestland Grant Program, and Federal Forest Restoration (FFR) Program.

“The state’s leaders have seen how strategic forestry investments can leverage state funds to reduce wildfire risk, bolster the economy, and protect water sources,” said State Forester Cal Mukumoto. “Thoughtful planning makes this happen; that’s what ODF does. Today we’re highlighting some strategic investment vehicles — the Landscape Resiliency, Small Forestland Grant, and Federal Forest Restoration Programs.” 

The Landscape Resiliency Program funds large projects across property ownerships to prioritize work that provides value to nearby communities. The 2023–25 $10 million investment will help improve wildlands and reduce wildfire risk on about 29,000 acres.

  • Northern Blues Central Grande Ronde River Fuels Project in Union County (925 acres). Remove brush and dead trees to connect with private and public lands that have already been similarly managed to reduce wildfire risk to communities.
  • Oakridge-Westfir Landscape Resiliency Project in Lane County (300 acres). Will reduce brush and wood debris and invasive pests; thin; and may use goats to manage brush.  
  • Reduce Wildfire Risk in SE Oregon in Harney and Malheur Counties (22,745 acres). Reduce invasive grasses and western juniper, primary carriers of fire in sagebrush steppe.
  • Klamath Tribes Fuel Reduction & Fire Resiliency on Klamath Tribal Land (3,500 acres). Eliminate brush, small trees, and dead wood using prescribed fire; thin and clear the wood debris. It will reduce wildfire risk for federal, tribal, private lands, and communities.
  • River in Southwest Oregon (950 acres). Will reduce fuel on private lands and Medford Water Commission Lands using crews, contracts, and prescribed burns by the Rogue Valley Prescribe Burn Association to show benefits of using non-wildfire to manage forests.

The 2023–25 Small Forestland Grant Program has awarded $2.5 million to forestland owners for 14 projects on about 1,300 acres. This program helps improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk around communities. The awards invest in the following counties through various local partners.

  • Benton including a project led by Grand Oaks Summit Owners Association.
  • Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson led by Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council with the Heart of Oregon Corps. The Heart of Oregon Corps project will include parts of Jefferson and Crook Counties.
  • Grant, Lane, and Umatilla coordinated by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s District and Unit Foresters for multiple groups of landowners.
  • Hood River under Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District’s leadership.
  • Jackson and Josephine through the Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council, Department of Forestry, Sun Ridge Estates Homeowners Association, and the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative.
  • Morrow through a project led by the Morrow Soil and Water Conservation District.

Every two years the Oregon Legislature decides whether to fund the Landscape Resiliency and Small Forestland Grant Programs. If the programs receive funding for the 2025–27 cycle, project leaders can apply in mid-2025. 

The FFR Program improves forest federal forest health and resilience. As part of the 20-year Strategy, the program helps the state work across property lines to reduce wildfire risk, improve forest and watershed health, and sustain jobs in rural, forest dependent communities. To reach these goals the program invests in two key areas, forest collaboratives and environmental reviews.

Forest collaboratives bring together diverse stakeholders to build trust to responsibly thin forests and use prescribed fire. FFR uses two grant programs to do this – Forest Collaborative Grants (FCG) and Technical Assistance and Science Support (TASS) grants. FCGs help increase the number, acreage, and complexity of collaborative projects. TASS grants give collaboratives access to current science. 

  • FCG investments in 2023-25 provided $410,000 to nine forest collaboratives that include the Blue Mountains Forest Partners, Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project, Hood River Forest Collaborative, Northern Blues Forest Collaborative, Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative, Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative, Southern Willamette Forest Collaborative, Wasco County Forest Collaborative, and Wild Rivers Coast Forest Collaborative
  • TASS grants in 2023-25 provided $400,000 to eleven technical assistance providers supporting ten forest collaboratives on the Willamette, Rogue River-Siskiyou, Mt. Hood, Deschutes, Ochoco, Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla, and Siuslaw National Forests.

Environmental review investments help federal agencies create shovel-ready projects at the pace and scale necessary to respond to the need. The Planning Assistance and Categorical Exclusion (PACE) grants speed up planning through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. PACE investments in 2023-25 total $2 million ($600,000 state; $1.4 million federal) and will expedite planning for about 70,000 acres across the Rogue River-Siskiyou, Fremont-Winema, Deschutes, Mt. Hood, Wallowa-Whitman, Umpqua, and Umatilla National Forests.

ODF leads the 20-Year Landscape Resiliency Strategy to identify environmental and wildfire risks. Then the partners focus investments on priority areas. 

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