Rogue Valley News, Monday – College Classified Workers Reach Agreement at Oregon Public Universities

Rogue Valley News update, from


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Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.

Sunny, with a high near 68.

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Today’s Headlines…

Oregon public universities and classified workers reached a contract agreement Saturday morning avoiding a strike two days before some universities, like Southern Oregon University, were scheduled to start classes.

The settlement came early Saturday morning after over 22 hours of negotiating, according to the classified workers’ union, the SEIU, and months of back and forth between the parties. The latest offer achieves a 3% cost of living adjustment the first year and a 2.1% increase the second year. The offer also provides classified staff with 48 hours of paid time over the course of the two-year contract period to use in cases of campus closures, such as in the instance of inclement weather.

The proposed contract also includes a 2.5% increase per year of the contract for those who have capped out at the top wage step. SEIU members will vote to ratify the contract in October and, if approved, it will be implemented in November.

Friday evening Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two-vehicle head on crash on Hwy 99 near mile post 3.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a gray 2003 Audi, operated by 46 year old Freddie Tillett of Grants Pass, was traveling southbound on Hwy 99. Tillett was reported to be driving recklessly, crossed into oncoming traffic, and collided head on with a northbound 2013 Nissan sedan operated by 39 year old Brenda Reinert of Grants Pass. Reinert was transported to the hospital were she was pronouced deceased. Tillett was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating a shooting at a hemp farm just before noon on Friday. 

One man is in custody and another is recovering from a single gunshot wound to the arm. A 911 call reporting a shooting at a property in the 1200-block of Pine Grove Road, north of the city of Rogue River.  The caller reported that two people had been shot and were already on their way to the hospital in a private vehicle. 

The suspect, identified as Jeremy Odell O’Patchen, 34, had fled on foot toward his residence in the 500-block of Minthorne Road. Responding deputies confirmed that only one person had been shot.  Russell Anthony Clark, 55, of Talent, received a gunshot wound to the arm that did not appear to be life-threatening. O’Patchen arrived at the Jackson County Sherrifs main office in Central Point by private vehicle at 12:40 p.m.  He was taken into custody without incident. 

Deputies say O’Patchen had been involved in an ongoing property easement dispute with people at the Pine Grove Road property.  O’Patchen will be lodged in jail Friday for attempted murder.  Additional charges may be added; the investigation is ongoing. 

On Friday, September 27, 2019 at approximately 1:31 A.M. Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Rockydale Rd. at the intersection with Waldo Rd. in Josephine County.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2016 Subaru was eastbound on Rockydale Rd. when it crossed over Waldo Rd and collided with an embankment   A passerby removed the driver and passenger from the vehicle prior to it becoming fully engulfed.

The operator  Benjamin Upshaw (30) from Corpus Christi, TX. sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.The passenger, Jameson Eckert (31) of Cave Junction, was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass with serious injuries.

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