Southern Oregon News, Friday – Oregon Health Authority & OLCC Ban Sales of Flavored Vaping Products

News from Southern Oregon and around the state, from

Friday, October 11, 2019

Rogue Valley Weather

This Afternoon
Sunny, with a high near 76. Clear overnight, low around 42.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 73.

Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.

Monday, Columbus Day
Mostly sunny, with a high near 71.

Partly sunny, with a high near 68.

SPECIAL BULLETIN: Oregon Health Authority and OLCC file rules banning flavored vaping sales, including online

The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission today filed temporary rules that put into effect Governor Kate Brown’s Oct. 4 executive order banning all flavored vaping product sales in the state.

The temporary rules, which will remain in effect for six months starting Oct. 15, prohibit the sale of all flavored vaping products — including online sales — to consumers in Oregon. The bancovers all tobacco and cannabis (marijuana and hemp) vaping products that contain natural or artificial flavors including, but not limited to, chocolate, coffee, cocoa, menthol, mint, wintergreen, vanilla, honey, coconut, licorice, nuts, fruit, any candy, dessert, alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage, herb or spice.

Tobacco-flavored tobacco or nicotine products, as well as marijuana-flavored marijuana or THC products that use only marijuana-derived flavorings, including terpenes, are not included in the ban.

Retailers found violating the temporary rules will receive a warning letter and recommendations on coming into compliance. Continued violations could result in civil penalties of up to $500 per day, per violation. In addition, cannabis retailers or processors could face violations up to and including cancellation of their license.

Additional components of vaping products could be banned in the future. The Governor’s executive order directs OHA and OLCC to “take immediate action and adopt additional emergency rules” to prohibit any chemical or contaminant found to have caused or contributed to vaping-associated lung injuries being investigated in Oregon and 48 other states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are nine cases of this illness in Oregon, including two deaths.

OHA and OLCC officials say the temporary rules filed today are significant steps toward stemming the well-documented tide of e-cigarette use and vaping by youth, as well as keeping products that may expose people to unsafe chemicals and other contaminants off store shelves.

“This commission is working very hard to ensure the cannabis industry can grow, thrive and compete in the Oregon marketplace,”said Paul Rosenbaum, chair of the OLCC. “We are doing so with a clear focus on the integrity of the marketplace for businesses, consumers and public safety. However, it is our overwhelming responsibility to protect public health and our consumers from undue risk. This agency’s rapid and nimble action to implement the Governor’s executive order is exactly why regulated cannabis will always be a superior consumer choice over illegal markets.”

Those needing help quitting vaping cannabis and nicotine can take advantage of a variety of cessation services, including the Oregon Quit Line, Truth Initiative, Oregon’s Alcohol and Drug Helpline, and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline. Information is available at

Five people have been charged for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin manufactured in Mexico in and around Southern Oregon.

Rogelio Gomez-Arias, 23, Irving Beas Ceballos, 34, Alexis Chavez-Franco, 22, and Domingo Matias-Hernandez, 36, are each charged by indictment with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine between May and October.. Additionally, Ceballos is charged with possessing methamphetamine and heroin with the intent to distribute and the other three are charged with distributing methamphetamine. Juan Rodriguez-Ramirez, 62, is charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

All defendants are known to reside in and around Klamath Falls and Dorris, California.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, the Adjutant General, Oregon are scheduled to attend two separate mobilization ceremonies honoring units from the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team as they prepare for overseas assignments, on Sunday, October 13th.

The first ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Southern Oregon University’s Raider Stadium in Ashland, Oregon, for Citizen-Soldiers from 1-186 Infantry Battalion and the 141 Brigade Support Battalion, as they prepare to depart to Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

The second ceremony is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at the St. Helens High School, Oregon, for Soldiers from Bravo Company, 741st Brigade Engineer Battalion and the 141 Brigade Support Battalion, as they depart for the Middle East.

The two units are part of several deployments that the 41st IBCT are sending to different areas of the world. In total, the 41st is scheduled to mobilize deploy more than 1,600 Oregon service members to five different countries: Djibouti, Jordan, Kosovo, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

The events are open to the public and encouraged to attend for the sendoff.

“These ceremonies offer an opportunity for our communities to show support for not only our service members, but also for our families and employers,” said Col. Eric J. Riley, Commander of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, “we are proud to represent Oregon and the Oregon Army National Guard as we mobilize for overseas missions.”

The Oregon Department of Forestry and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have signed an agreement that will enhance protections for the Pacific fisher on nearly 184,000 acres of land owned by the Oregon Board of Forestry.

This includes the Santiam, Gilchrist and Sun Pass state forests as well as other Board of Forestry land in Josephine county. Under this Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances will provide conservation measures for the Pacific fisher, a cat-sized member of the weasel family that lives in lower-elevation conifer forests. The Pacific fisher is a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. Populations have been reduced over time due to trapping, habitat removal and other impacts. The USFWS will soon decide whether to list the animal as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Southwest Oregon Regional Forest Practices Committee will meet Thursday, Oct., 24 at the Oregon Department of Forestry office, 5357 Monument Drive in Grants Pass starting at 9AM.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Selection of Operator of the Year
  • Updates on a variety of other topics, including:
    • Reforestation implementation study
    • Siskiyou project
    • Western Oregon Desired Future Condition/Large-wood project
    • Interagency work on water quality and mercury levels
    • Wildlife food plot rules
    • Interagency agreements regarding fish passage
    • Marbled murrelet protection rules

There will be an opportunity for public comment near the beginning of the meeting. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Questions about accessibility or special accommodations for the meeting can be directed to Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502 or

Regional Forest Practices Committees are panels of citizens – mandated under Oregon law – that advise the Oregon Board of Forestry on current forestry issues and forest management approaches. Three Regional Forest Practices Committees, serving the Eastern, Northwest and Southwest regions of the state, were created by the 1971 Oregon Forest Practices Act. Under Oregon law, a majority of the committees’ members must be private forest landowners and logging or forest operations companies.

Around the state:

Recreational use advisory issued October 11 for Willow Creek Reservoir

The Oregon Health Authority issued a recreational use health advisory today for Willow Creek Reservoir due to the presence of a cyanobacterial (harmful algae) bloom and cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) above recreational guideline values for human exposure. The reservoir is in Morrow County.

People should avoid swimming and high-speed water activities, such as water skiing or power boating, in areas of the lake where blooms are identified. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash.

People are encouraged to visit Willow Creek Reservoir and enjoy activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk.

Early yesterday the St. Helens Police Department responded to a shooting incident at the St. Helens Chevron located at 115 N. Columbia River Highway.  

St. Helens Officers responded and located the vehicle suspected of being involved in the shooting incident.  When officers attempted to contact the operator of the vehicle it fled on Hwy 30 towards Deer Island and officers pursued.  The suspect vehicle became disabled on Hwy 30 near milepost 35 and the suspect fled on foot.  An officer from the St. Helens PD used force resulting in the suspects death. The deceased is being idenitifed as 32 year old Michael Thomas Veatch of Washington. As per policy this officer has been placed on administrative leave. Detectives are investigating the report of shots being fired from the suspect vehicle prior to and during this pursuit.

Yesterday Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to the I-5 southbound offramp at Delaney Road for a two vehicle crash. 

Preliminary investigation revealed that a Dodge Intrepid, operated by 56 year old Anthony Fisher of Turner, was southbound on the I-5 offramp and failed to stop at the intersection with Delaney Road.  The Dodge was struck by a westbound tow truck operated by 37 year old Christopher Helige of Aumsville. Fisher was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Helige was transported to the hospital for injuries.  

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