The latest news stories from around the Rogue Valley and across the state of Oregon from RogueValleyMagazine.com.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2020
Rogue Valley Weather
Today Sunny, with a high near 54. Calm wind. Overnight, clear with a low about 30 degrees.
Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 56 with light winds. Cloudy overnight, low near 36.
Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. Calm wind.
Thursday A 40% chance of rain after 11am. Snow level 3300 feet rising to 5200 feet in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50. Overnight a slight chance of rain showers with a low of 35. Snow level 4300 feet lowering to 2900 feet after midnight .
Friday A slight chance of rain and snow before 11am, then a slight chance of rain. Snow level 2000 feet rising to 3300 feet in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 48.
A crash on the Redwood Highway sent Rural Metro Fire and American Medical Response to the scene on Saturday morning when a truck crashed through guardrails and into the wooded area.
Two people in the truck had to be extracted. Both were taken to Asante Three Rivers Hospital. Authorities say the younger passenger has serious injuries. No further details are available at this time.
In another accident, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department says a crash on Blackwell Road in Central Point on Saturday afternoon ended in a rollover with a female later transported to the hospital.
The rate of speed seems to be the reason for the crash. The red pickup came to a rest in a ditch. No other information is available at this time.
Community members came together on Saturday in Grants Pass to hear about the county’s plans for Tom Pearce Park.
Members of the Josephine County Parks Department held a small meeting at the Anne G. Basker Auditorium to get public input about several options for a new playground. Back in July, the former playground which had been there for nearly three decades was declared unsafe after an inspection.
The playground has since been demolished but the parks department is looking at replacing it with a new one. The county has several options on the table ranging in prices from $100,000 to $300,000.
The city says the park has limited funding through either donations or grants. According to the department, they are funded 100 percent exclusive from the rest of the county and can’t ask for money from the general fund. Any funds that do come through are predominantly from user fees of county parks.
Tom Pearce Park had been quite popular over the years. The county says it will have the design options available on its website on Monday. People will be able to write in their favorite designs. The hope is to have everything ready to go for a new playground by summer 2020.
Helping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to the Oregon Energy Fund with $2 more.
Pacific Power customers who receive their bills by mail in February will find it includes an Oregon Energy Fund contribution envelope. Customers who pay their bills electronically can send a check or enroll in the fixed donation program. This program allows customers to donate any dollar amount, starting at $1 per month, which is then incorporated into their monthly bill. Fixed donations will also be matched 2-for-1 by Pacific Power.
To enroll in the fixed donation program call Pacific Power toll-free at 1-888-221-7070.
The Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) will host a series of meetings across the state in March to provide information to business taxpayers and tax professionals about the administrative rules for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT).
Department representatives used input collected from stakeholders during a 12-stop tour in fall 2019 in prioritizing and writing the rules. March’s meetings will include a presentation and discussion of the initial temporary rules—the last of which will be filed with the Secretary of State March 1.
“Our CAT team will personally engage our taxpaying communities in March to provide important compliance information. We consistently strive to help taxpayers comply with the law.
The CAT team will also solicit feedback on the temporary rules completed to date,” said Nia Ray, director of the Oregon Department of Revenue. Locally on Tuesday, March 10 6 to 7:30 p.m., Stevenson Union, Room 323, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd in Ashland.
Small grants that often make a large difference in ensuring arts access for Oregonians, especially in rural areas, have been awarded to 101 statewide arts organizations by the Oregon Arts Commission for FY2020.
Awarded to arts organizations in virtually every region of the state, Small Operating Grants are designed to provide operating support to arts organizations with budgets under $150,000. Eligibility is limited to organizations who have operated as an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit for two years or more and provide ongoing, sustained artistic programming and outreach programs. Each organization received $1,494.
For the volunteer Inland Northwest Musicians, who travel Northeast Oregon presenting orchestral concerts, that $1,494 literally puts gas in the tank. At the Coquille Valley Arts Association, a FY2019 Small Operating Grant award transformed a barren art room into a bustling creative center where community members produce pottery to benefit the local food bank.
“This grant program was developed to increase the Arts Commission’s support of Oregon’s small arts providers,” said Arts Commission Chair Anne Taylor. “These organizations frequently represent the only arts presenter for remote and underserved regions of the state.”
Locally, FY2020 Small Operating Grants were awarded to:
Anima Mundi Productions, Phoenix
Ashland New Plays Festival, Ashland
Ballet Folklorico Ritmo Alegre, Medford
Rogue World Music, Ashland
Southern Oregon Guild, Cave Junction
The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at: www.oregonartscommission.org.
Around the state
Oregon National Guard troops aboard two helicopters airlifted 21 people to safety on Saturday, and authorities reported a 62-year-old woman who lived in one of the areas hit by floods was missing.
Waters covering roads in flood-hit northeastern Oregon were starting to recede Saturday, allowing residents who spent the night in shelters to return and assess the damage, a Red Cross official said. Residents in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in northeast Oregon had to be airlifted by from their flooded homes by helicopter and even were taken out in a front-end loader as rain and melting snow caused rivers to crest their banks.
Lower-income neighborhoods in Pendleton, a town of 16,000, were hit, damaging mobile homes, authorities said.