Oregon News, Thursday, Sept. 5 – Vaping Worries Oregon Authorities

The latest news from around the state of Oregon, from RogueValleyMagazine.com

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Rogue Valley Weather

A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 90.

Sunny, with a high near 89.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 88.

Today’s Headlines…

An Eagle Point woman is in jail on charges related to the physical abuse of her infant daughter.  Jackson County Sheriff’s Office detectives say the baby sustained multiple injuries, including bone fractures.

On August 25, 2019, at 11:23 a.m., JCSO deputies were contacted by staff at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center reporting that a baby had been brought to the emergency room with suspicious injuries.  Detectives responded to the hospital to continue the investigation.  Staff with the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Welfare Division also responded.

The girl, age three months, was transported to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) hospital to receive treatment for multiple bone fractures and other injuries at various stages of healing.  She was later released into DHS foster care pending the outcome of the investigation.

On August 30, detectives arrested the child’s mother, Britney Elizabeth Alexander, 23, of the 8700-block of South Fork Little Butte Creek Road, on charges of first and second degree assault.  She was lodged in jail.  

The case was forwarded to the district attorney’s office; the specific charges are expected to be updated once prosecutors review the evidence in the case. 

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office detectives say two people were found dead in their home.  Investigators believe the deaths were a result of a homicide-suicide.

A man requested a welfare check at a neighbor’s home in the 3200 block of New Ray Road in Central Point.  The man reported he had not seen the occupants for some time and he could smell an odor coming from the home. Deputies responded to the residence and found the bodies of two people inside, both with apparent gunshot wounds.  Two pets, a rabbit and a cat, were also found in the home with gunshot wounds. 

Investigators with the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene.and identified the decedents as 44 year old Shayne Justin Cleaveland and his mother 68 year old Robin Meinhart.  Both resided in the home. Investigators concluded that Cleaveland shot Meinhart and the pets, and then took his own life.  Medical examiner investigators have reviewed a note left by Cleaveland.  The involved firearms were recovered at the scene.

Meanwhile the Josephine County Sheriff’s office responded to the 4000 block of Cheney Creek Road for a shots fired call. Deputies arriving on scene located 41 year old Ivan J. Nutting Jr. deceased in the residence with gunshot wounds.

The Oregon State Police Major Crimes Detectives responded to coordinate and conduct the investigation. The initial investigation indicates there was an argument and a physical altercation between Ivan Nutting Jr. and his father, Ivan Nutting Sr.  Ivan Nutting Sr. was able to wrestle a rifle away from Ivan Nutting Jr. and shots were fired. The investigation is ongoing at this time.

On July 3rd, Medford Police received a report from a 41 year old female that she was being sexually harassed at her workplace.

An investigation was conducted and detectives were able to obtain hidden camera footage of some of the alleged acts. 

The investigation revealed the victim, who is a housekeeper at the Sovana Inn, 250 E. Barnett Road, had been physically harassed in a sexual manner on at least two occasions, by a co-worker who has a managerial role at the motel. Detectives tried numerous times to make contact with the suspect without success.

On September 5th, 2019 at about 10:30 a.m., detectives contacted the suspect, Fernando Corvacho, on the hotel premises. He was arrested without incident and lodged in jail.

The Medford Police Department would like to let the public know that we take these crimes seriously, and realize they are greatly under-reported. If someone believes they are a victim of this type of behavior, they are encouraged to contact police. 

Suspect: Corvacho, Fernando, 59 years old

Charges: Sex Abuse 3rd Degree – 2 counts, Harassment – 2 counts

Bail: $15,000

Salem, Oregon – Michael Greer, the executive director of Oregon Ballet Theatre, has been appointed to the Oregon Arts Commission by Gov. Kate Brown.

Greer brings leadership experience from both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. As a former professional dancer and experienced executive, he enjoys using his diverse background to bring new ideas and innovative solutions to the performing arts. He also currently serves on the board of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition.

“We are thrilled to have Michael join the Arts Commission at this important time,” said Commission Chair Anne Taylor. “His breadth of experience as an executive and a working artist, as well as his commitment to community, diversity and innovation, will be invaluable as we embark on a new strategic planning process.”

In his third season at Oregon Ballet Theatre, Greer works with community leaders to keep dance and the performing arts in the conversations surrounding community and growth. In addition to leading the organization into its fifth year of financial success, Greer’s tenure also is credited with a record numbers of patrons, students and donors. He is proud of the team at Oregon Ballet Theatre and the work they are doing to advance the organization’s mission to Share, Inspire and Connect through dance.

“I am humbled to be a part of the Arts Commission,” said Greer. “Oregon is a state with a rich and diverse arts and cultural landscape and I am proud to be tasked with helping to grow and safeguard that landscape for future generations.”

A native of Missouri, Greer spent the early part of his life as a dancer with stints at Interlochen Arts Academy, School of American Ballet and The Royal Ballet School. He spent six seasons with Ballet West under the direction of Jonas Kåge, performing a wide variety of soloist roles. Upon retirement from performance, he returned to higher education with studies in economics (B.A.), education (M.Ed), and business administration (M.B.A.) from Hampshire College, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and The Wharton School respectively

As a husband and father of two, Greer and his family are proud to call Oregon their home.

His four-year term began Aug. 7.

SAIF customers will receive $160 million in dividends this year.

The board of directors declared a $120 million primary dividend to be paid to policyholders based on their premium and a $40 million safety performance dividend to be paid based on each policyholder’s safety results.

This is the tenth year in a row SAIF has been able to offer dividends, and the 22nd dividend in the past 30 years.48,508 policyholders are eligible for SAIF’s primary dividend. Of those, about 93.9% are also eligible to receive all or a portion of the additional safety performance dividend. Checks will be mailed in October to eligible employers.  

Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley decried the Trump Administration’s decision to fund a border wall by taking billions of dollars of funding from Pentagon projects including more than $10 million for Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls.

In a press release  Merkley’s office said  the Trump Administration is snatching over $10 million from the National Guard base which would go for training facilities and infrastructure updates in 2020 .  

At Kingsley Field, $8 million would have funded a new rifle range and $2.5 million would have funded fuel facility upgrades in 2020 both projects that would have positive impacts throughout Klamath’s economy.

Health advisory issued September 4 for Short Sand Beach at Oswald West State Park

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued a public health advisory today for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Short Sand Beach at Oswald West State Park in Tillamook County.

People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted. Higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to illness from waterborne bacteria. Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

Although state officials advise against water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory.

The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

Lightning storms lit up the night skies sparking new wildfires, and a 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook the ground in Oregon right before National Disaster Preparedness Month.

These stern warnings make it critical for Oregonians to get prepared for both natural and human-caused disasters. September is National Preparedness Month, and it is kicked-off by Home Inventory Week.  To recognize this often overlooked part of disaster preparation, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation encourages all Oregonians to do two simple tasks that will save time, money, and stress when disaster strikes:

Build a home inventory – Take video or photos of each room in your home, paying close attention to walls, drawers, closets, and storage areas. Recalling your personal property is a daunting task following a disaster. A home inventory eases the post-disaster stress, and enables your insurance company to move forward with processing your claim.   Review your insurance coverage – Take time to discuss your policies with your insurance company or agent. Make sure you have the right coverage and know what to expect when you file a claim for disasters such as fire, earthquake, flood, tornado, theft, and ice storms.

Recent wildfires and earthquakes reminds us how important it is for every Oregonians to build a home inventory and make sure they have the right insurance coverage to protect their families said Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi. These projects are easy to do and now is the time to add these money-saving, stress-reducing tasks to your to-do list.

Vaping worries Oregon Health Authority

The Oregon Health Authority is investigating the recent death of an individual who had severe respiratory illness following use of an e-cigarette, which is also known as a vaping device.

Investigators at the OHA Public Health Division say they received reports that the individual, who died in July, had recently used an e-cigarette or vaping device containing cannabis purchased from a cannabis dispensary. OHA officials say the individual’s symptoms were consistent with those of more than 200 similar cases in a national cluster of respiratory illness, mostly affecting teenagers and young adults, in at least 25 states.

“We don’t yet know the exact cause of these illnesses — whether they’re caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself,” said Ann Thomas, M.D., public health physician at OHA’s Public Health Division.

Those who have fallen ill have been hospitalized after experiencing worsening symptoms including shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever or weight loss. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the affected states have not identified a cause, but all cases have reported e-cigarette use or vaping.

OHA investigators and local public health authorities are urging clinicians to be on alert for signs of severe respiratory illness among patients who recently used vaping products, including e-cigarettes, and report any cases. Clinicians can contact the on-call epidemiologist at 971-673-1111.

Before the new illness reports, OHA was already concerned about the health risks of vaping products. A recent report by the agency details the health risks for the products including nicotine addiction, exposure to toxic chemicals known to cause cancer and increases in blood pressure.

Two products produced in Oregon have been named best in North America. Umpqua Dairy Regular Cottage Cheese and Umpqua Dairy Butter Toffee Crunch ice cream were selected by an independent panel of judges and awarded first place as the “Best of the Best” in North America at the World Dairy Expo.

The World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest is one of the largest competitions in the world and the only one in North America that evaluates and ranks all categories of dairy products.

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets by conference call September 10th

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Cannabis Commission.
Agenda: To be determined.
When: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 1-4 p.m.
Where: By conference call at 877-848-7030, access code 753428.

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. Along with this it advises the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission on statutes governing medical and retail cannabis. For more information, please visit the commission’s website at http://www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

Oregon students are back in class now, and many of them are carrying cell phones in their pockets. Laptops, tablets, and gaming systems are in the daily mix, too.

Each of these platforms represent a growing and pervasive influence in the lives of our children. Much of the time, these devices serve an important purpose. Sometimes, though, they become a virtual gateway for real-life consequences.

With the start of the school year, the FBI is launching its #StopSextortion education campaign to help families and schools understand more about the growing problem of sextortion and how to protect young students from these predators. Oregon educators are welcome to request a packet of campaign materials, including posters and other resources. Those requests can be made to the Oregon FBI at media.portland@fbi.gov

What is Sextortion?

The FBI is seeing more and more cases involving sextortion, particularly of young kids… sometimes as young as seven or eight years old. The extortionist finds children and teens on social media, through gaming apps, or through other online platforms. He will either find victims who respond to attention from an adult, or he will pretend to be another child. Either way he will groom the victim, using flattery or gifts. Those gifts could be real or something as simple as virtual tokens or extra progress in a game.

Eventually, he convinces the child to send a naked photo—and one is all it takes. If the child tries to pull away, the extortionist will threaten the victim with exposure, telling the child that he will send the photo to friends and family or post online. Over time, the extortionist continues to threaten while escalating demands, which can include the production of more explicit photos. He may even command that the child perform sex acts alone or with siblings and friends.

For too many parents, the thought is that it can’t happen to my child, and it can’t happen here. Unfortunately, it can on both counts.

What can parents do to protect their children?

Often children and teens are so concerned that they will get in trouble or lose their devices, that they are reluctant to come forward. It’s up to you— the parent—to develop that open, honest line of communication. Start with some short conversations, and ask:

  • When you are online, has anyone you don’t know ever tried to contact you?
  • What would you do if they did?
  • Why do you think someone would want to talk to a kid online?
  • Why do you think adults sometimes pretend to be kids online?
  • Has anyone you know ever sent a picture of themselves that got passed around school?
  • What do you think can happen if you send a photo to anyone—even a friend?
  • What if that picture were embarrassing?

Finally, consider using what you’ve just learned to start the conversation. “Hey, I heard this story on the news today about kids getting pressured to send pictures and videos of themselves to people online. Have you heard anything like that before?”

What to do if sextortion has already taken place:

If your child discloses that he or she is the victim of sextortion, report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at https://tips.fbi.gov.

If you are a victim and not ready to talk to the FBI yet, go to a trusted adult. Tell that adult that you are being victimized online and need help. Remember – you are not the one in trouble. Criminals will try to make you feel unsure, scared or embarrassed. Your willingness to talk to a trusted adult, though, may just be the key to keeping this predator from hurting someone else.

More information:

Students, parents and educators can find more tools and information on the FBI’s website at https://www.fbi.gov/stopsextortion.

Running Y Ranch Resort near Klamath Falls has announced plans to relocate the Sandhill Spa from its current location inside the Sports & Fitness Center to 5790 Cooper’s Hawk Road.

With this move, Sandhill Spa will now be sharing a building with the Golf Pro Shop and will gain 1,700 square feet for a total of 2,800 square feet. This move will also allow the spa to add additional services to their menu to better serve guests. Remodeling began in July and is expected to be completed early next year. The remodel will include converting the current banquet space known as the Ranch House to a multi-room spa.

The new spa will feature several rooms for treatments, massages, couple’s massages, facials, body scrubs and wraps, manicures, pedicures, and a new addition of a Salt Room and a Dry Sauna for guests to enjoy.

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