The latest news stories from the Rogue Valley and around the state from RogueValleyMagazine.com
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Rogue Valley Weather
A 50% of showers, with a high near 57. Light west northwest wind. Tonight, a 20% chance of showers, low around 37 degrees.
Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 58.
Sunny, with a high near 56. Patchy freezing fog overnight.
Patchy freezing fog before 10am. Sunny, with a high near 57.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 58.
Multiple lawsuits were filed this week against Juul, one of the leading e-cigarette manufacturers. The state of Oregon is watching the lawsuit activity. Today’s new lawsuits claim Juul’s advertising campaigns target young people to use nicotine without knowing the associated risks by enticing them with flavor pods.
The lawsuits claim Juul’s advertising campaigns target young people to use nicotine without knowing the associated risks by enticing them with flavor pods.
Juul spokesman Austin Finan told reporters that while the company has not yet reviewed the complaints, they ‘remain focused on resetting the vapor category in the US and earning the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and convert adult smokers from combustible cigarettes.’
Finan’s statement added that the company’s customer base is adult smokers and they ‘do not intend to attract underage users.’ As a result, they’ve stopped selling one of their popular flavors and have suspended advertising in the US, instead focusing on scientific research to ‘reduce youth use.’
The CDC has identified e-cigarette use or vaping as a source of lung illness and a cause for several deaths.
Juul announced last month that it would stop the sale of flavors other than tobacco, mint and menthol. Juul now says it will stick to selling only Virginia Tobacco, Classic Tobacco and Menthol flavors in the United States.
The company said the decision was reached after research published earlier this week showed mint flavor was attractive to young people who vape. Studies published in the medical journal JAMA found that nearly 60% of high school students who vape use Juul, the market leader, and mint was the most popular flavor among US 10th and 12th graders.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the state of California’s lawsuit in conjunction with the Los Angeles District Attorney and the County of Los Angeles on Monday. The state has worked hard to combat tobacco use, he said, but continues to ‘lose Californians to vaping and nicotine addiction.’
Nearly 1 in 10 high school students in Los Angeles County reported using e-cigarettes, the press release from California Attorney General Becerra noted.
The Bureau of Land Management and United States Forest Service are hosting the biennial Rogue River User Meeting on Thursday, November 21, 2019, from 6 to 8PM at the BLM/Forest Service Interagency Office, 2164 NE Spalding Avenue, Grants Pass, Oregon.
This meeting is for permitted commercial guides, outfitters and private parties that utilize the Rogue River. Potential meeting topics include permitting, Leave No Trace, user etiquette, trail use, animal interaction, and how to get involved.
Teleconference participation is available for the first 25 callers for the first hour of the meeting. Phone lines open 5 minutes before the meeting starts. The call-in number and other pertinent information will be available the day before the event on the BLM Rogue River Recreation web page: https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-passes/lotteries-and-permit-systems/oregon-washington/rogue-river
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says a proposed natural gas pipeline and export facility in Southern Oregon would cause significant environmental impacts, but those impacts can minimized.
FERC issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project and Jordan Cove export terminal.
“As described in the final EIS, the FERC staff concludes that approval of the project would result in a number of significant environmental impacts: however, the majority of impacts would be less than significant because of the impact avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures proposed by Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector and those recommended by staff in the EIS,” FERC said in a summary of its findings. Release of the document doesn’t mean the project has won final approval from federal, state and local governments that are considering permits for various aspects of the project.
According to project spokesman Paul Vogel Today’s FEIS release represents a significant step forward for the Jordan Cove terminal and pipeline project and its investment in Oregon. He also said the release of the document is a necessary step before FERC can issue an order approving the project.
Around the state of Oregon
The cremated remains of more than 20 babies that were found on mortuary shelves in Roseburg will be buried Sunday a special ceremony.
The remains were discovered by a woman who was searching for the unclaimed remains of veterans who had not received funerals. A funeral for the 28 veterans whose remains were found in that effort happened in May. Some of the infants’ remains have been on a mortuary shelf for up to 70 years and most of the babies are believed to have been stillborn or died within a day of birth. Carol Hunt the woman who found the remains formed a group called Wings of Love to accomplish the burial project. The remains will be interred at Roseburg Memorial Gardens.
On Friday afternoon, November 15, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a pedestrian that had been struck on Interstate 5 near milepost 174, in Cottage Grove, OR.
Preliminary invetigation revealed that the pedestrian, identified as Andrew Evans (43) from Cottage Grove, entered the road from the southbound shoulder and into the path of a CMV operated by Ignacio Moncada (46) of Winton, CA.
Evans sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Moncada was not injured. One southbound lane was closed for 2.5 hours. Oregon State Police was assisted by the Cottage Grove Police Department, South Lane Fire and EMS, and ODOT.
The FBI is featuring the October 21, 2019, robbery at the Oregon Community Credit Union in Eugene on its Unknown Bank Robbers webpage in an effort to generate more tips to help identify the woman responsible. The FBI and the Eugene Police Department are working this case jointly.
At about 4:40 on that Monday afternoon, the woman walked into the branch, located at 2880 Chad Drive in Eugene, and demanded cash. Once she received an undisclosed amount of cash, she exited the bank and may have left the area in a silver pick-up truck, possibly a later-model Dodge 1500, double-cab.
Age: Mid 30’s
Height: Approximately 5’6”
Build: Heavy with a round face and cleft chin
Hair: Possibly bleach blonde
Other: Pierced ears and may wear glasses
Clothing: Black or dark grey v-neck long-sleeved shirt or sweater with 3 buttons at the top; black pants with light-colored flowers or circles; dark black and tan shoes; black purse with silver handles; dark grey or green beanie hat; and sunglasses with purple lenses.
On Friday, November 15, 2019 at approximately 4:52 P.M. Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a pedestrian that had been struck on Interstate 5 near milepost 174, in Cottage Grove, OR.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the pedestrian, identified as Andrew Evans (43) from Cottage Grove, entered the road from the southbound shoulder and into the path of a CMV operated by Ignacio Moncada (46) of Winton, CA.
Evans sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Moncada was not injured. One southbound lane was closed for 2.5 hours.
Oregon State Police was assisted by the Cottage Grove Police Department, South Lane Fire and EMS, and ODOT.
Oregon State University will use a $3.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study pollution from tiny plastics and its impact on aquatic life.
The university said Monday that scientists will develop tools and methods for evaluating micro- and nanoplastics in everything from the ocean to estuaries. Research will focus on the impact of tiny plastics on an estuary fish called the inland silversides and on oyster larvae off the Oregon coast.
The Bonneville Power Administration’s innovative approach to recycling saved Northwest electric ratepayers nearly $3 million in 2018, with more savings projected for 2019. The agency’s sustainability efforts – from recycling transmission conductor and tower parts to auctioning off used equipment – are winning national sustainability awards.
One of BPA’s innovative approaches to recycling is its use of a machine known as the linear chopper. The device’s technology uses magnets to separate the aluminum and steel components of used high-voltage conductor wire – something BPA has a lot of. The agency owns 15,000 miles of transmission line across the west.
Once the used line is fed into the chopper, bits of steel and aluminum are separated and spewed out on opposite sides of the machine. The metal is then sent to regional smelters where it can fetch a healthy price. Since March of 2018, the machine has recovered more than 375 tons of aluminum valued at $700,000. That’s a lot of aluminum when you consider the Statue of Liberty weighs 225 tons.
“Our sustainability efforts go hand-in-hand with our commitment to being responsible stewards of the environment and accountable to our ratepayers,” says Robin Furrer, BPA’s chief administrative officer. “We recover approximately 90% of our used materials, so we throw away very little.”
Aside from the chopper, the agency’s other recycling efforts include auctioning off used equipment, recycling components from computers and electronic waste and donating used furniture.
In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored BPA with the Federal Green Challenge Materials Management Award. The EPA is honoring BPA again in 2019 for its outstanding sustainability efforts and care for the environment.