Southern Oregon News from Rogue Valley Magazine
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Rogue Valley Weather
Sunny, with a high near 93. Overnight, clear with a low near 61.
Sunny, with a high near 91.
Sunny, with a high near 94. Light north wind.
Sunny, with a high near 91.
Sunny, with a high near 92.
On Thursday at about lunchtime, Oregon State Police (OSP) were notified of a Toyota Prius parked at the Otter Rock/Devils Punch Bowl State Park. Parks reported, it appeared, the Prius had a deceased person in the vehicle.
The preliminary investigation revealed the Prius had been parked, at the park, for approximately the last week. The registered owner was identified as Leslie R. Lightfall, age 68, from Ashland. Once OSP entered the vehicle, the deceased female was identified as Lightfall. It appeared Lightfall had been sleeping in her vehicle and died from natural causes.
OSP was assisted by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Depoe Bay Fire and Rescue, Ashland Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Napa California Police Department, and the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office.
According to Medford Police, sometime between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon, an unknown subject broke three of the windows at 311 E. Main St. This is the Jackson County Republican Party office building.
The windows appeared to have been struck with an object, but no evidence of what was used was left behind. Two windows and a glass door were broken. The estimated value of the damaged property is $4,000. Two days prior to this event, a live feed camera was torn off the front of the building. This was not reported at that time.
On July 3rd, some of the same windows were damaged. In both of the cases there appeared to be no entry into the business and no property taken. The cases are currently under investgation.
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies are focusing on traffic safety as summer comes to a close and kids head back to school. Grant funding will allow JCSO to add enforcement patrols for both impaired driving and occupant safety without diverting deputies from regular calls for service.
From this Friday through Labor Day (August 16 – September 2, 2019), JCSO is participating in an end-of-summer enforcement effort to find drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The added patrols can occur anywhere in the county, but deputies will give added attention to recreation areas and rural roadways that have previously seen crashes involving impairment.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, 10,874 people in the United States died in motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol limit of 0.08% or higher – an average of one death every 48 minutes.
Oregon law prohibits drivers from having a blood alcohol level of 0.08%, or from being impaired to a perceptible degree. Driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) – alcohol, drugs, or a combination – is a crime in Oregon. Penalties vary depending on prior DUII convictions, the level of impairment, and other factors.
During an overlapping period between August 19 and September 1, JCSO is taking part in a nationwide “Click it or Ticket” enforcement period, with a special focus on occupant safety for children. The added patrols will occur primarily during the daytime hours when children are most likely to be traveling on area roadways.
NHTSA statistics show that 662 children under the age of 13 were killed in passenger vehicle crashes in the US in 2015. Of those killed, more than one in three were unrestrained.
Oregon’s current laws require children under 40 pounds to be properly restrained in a child safety seat; infants must ride rear-facing until age two. Children over 40 pounds or who have reached the upper weight limit of their car seat’s harness system, must use a booster seat until they are 4-feet, 9-inches tall AND age 8.
Children who have exceeded the height and age requirements must be buckled properly in a regular seat belt. Proper seat belt use means making sure the lap belt is positioned low across the thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the collarbone, not across the neck. Failing to properly use safety belts or child restraints is a Class D traffic violation with a $115 base fine.
Traffic safety experts recommend to keep kids buckled in safety seats and booster seats even longer than the legal requirements for optimal safety. Learn more about selecting and installing car seats at the SafeKids website: https://www.safekids.org/ultimate-car-seat-guide/ .
This weekend is the perfect time to take a friend or family member fishing. It’s Free Fishing Weekend, which means they won’t need a license, tag or endorsement to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon.
If you’re taking someone fishing during Free Fishing Weekend, you’ve got lots of options to choose from here in the Basin. Trout anglers should focus on areas where summer water temperatures are cooler meaning lakes at higher elevations and the upper reaches of rivers and streams. ODFW reminds you that when water conditions are low, clear and warm, like they are now, be sure to practice good catch-and-release techniques when releasing fish.
Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in July, the same as the revised June rate of 4.0 percent.
This was Oregon’s lowest unemployment rate in the current series dating back to 1976. It tied the 4.0 percent unemployment rate reached in the state in May, June, and July 2018. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in both June and July 2019. In July, Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment added 2,400 jobs, following an over-the-month loss of 1,000 jobs, as revised, in June. Monthly gains for July were strongest in professional and business services, health care and social assistance and construction.
Lake Oswego, Ore. –The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) announced today that Becky Hultberg will become the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer when she assumes the position in December.
Hultberg currently serves as the President and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA), a position she’s held since 2014. Prior to her current role, Hultberg served as Commissioner of the State of Alaska’s Department of Administration.
Other past roles include serving as Regional Director of Communications and Marketing for Providence Health & Services Alaska and as Press Secretary in the Office of the Governor. She has served on the Alaska Retirement Management Board, the Alaska Health Care Commission and several non-profit boards of directors. She currently serves on the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees.
“OAHHS has earned a national reputation as a forward-looking advocate for advancing the state of health care in Oregon,” said Carol Bradley, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Legacy Health, and OAHHS Board Chair. “As a nationally recognized leader in health care, Becky is the right choice to help OAHHS navigate the critical issues facing hospitals and health systems and accelerate the progress being made to advance care and services within our communities.”
The Ward Fire is under control and fire managers are pleased with the progress so far. The fire is currently in mop up stage and containment has risen to 63%.
This success shows that the hard work is paying off. Minimal fire activity is expected today and unburned islands of fuel in the interior will continue to smolder and produce light smoke periodically. Firefighters will continue to focus on mop up operations along the perimeter and will begin removing excess equipment and supplies from secure portions of the fireline. Air resources are available to assist with bucket drops, should that be necessary.
Warm and dry conditions will continue for the next several days, with a slight cooling on Thursday and Friday as an upper level trough passes nearby. As the front passes, northwest winds of 12-17 mph are expected with gusts as high as 25 mph Thursday evening. During his description of the weather forecast at the morning shift briefing, Fire Behavior Analyst Brian Reel told the firefighters that “Today is going to be a test of all of the work you have done for the past few days.”
A local Type 3 organization will assume command of the Ward Fire on Friday August 16, at 6am. The Oregon Department of Forestry IMT 2 would like to thank its partner the Bureau of Land Management. The team would also like to express its gratitude to the community of Keno, Keno Elementary School, Keno Fire Department, and PacificCorp for sharing their town, their school, and their campground.
For future information about the Ward Fire, contact the Klamath-Lake ODF office at: (541) 883-5681.