The latest news stories and stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the online digital home of the valley, RogueValleyMagazine.com
Thursday, June 4, 2020
Rogue Valley Weather
Today – Sunny, with a high near 84. Overnight clear with a low of 54.
Friday – Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Overnight, a few showers possible, low of 50.
Saturday – A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 63. Light west northwest wind becoming west 6 to 11 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Overnight showers with a low of 44.
Sunday – A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Monday – Partly sunny, with a high near 70.
Tuesday – A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 76.
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, with a high near 83.
Governor Kate Brown called a press briefing on Wednesday morning, outlining the specifics of Oregon’s plans for Phase II of loosening coronavirus restrictions.
All of the southern Oregon counties including Curry, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, and Lake have submitted plans to enter Phase II this week, and all of them are listed as “under review” by the Governor’s office and the Oregon Health Authority. Most have requested to enter the new phase on Friday.
According to Brown, Phase II will include the following components: Extending possible open hours for bars and restaurants from a 10 p.m. curfew to midnight, Bowling alleys and arcades allowed to reopen, Some recreational sports can resume, Pools reopening under strict distancing and sanitation requirements, Movie theaters can reopen under restrictions and Church, social, and civic gatherings can be larger (up to 250, depending on size of the venue). At the press conference, Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen said that the state would expand COVID-19 testing recommendations to include testing of asymptomatic people from historically underserved communities.
OHA public health officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger reinforced that Phase II will likely last through the summer and into fall for all of Oregon, until a vaccine or widely-available treatment has been developed. It is expected Klamath County will be cleared to go into phase two with over a dozen other counties on Friday.
COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 159. Oregon Health Authority reported 65 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 4,399.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (1), Clackamas (7), Deschutes (1), Douglas (1), Hood River (6), Jackson (1), Jefferson (1), Lincoln (1), Linn (1), Marion (18), Multnomah (13), Polk (1), Umatilla (2), Wasco (2), Washington (5), Yamhill (4). NO cases were reported in Klamath, Jackson, Josephine, Lake, or Curry counties.
Oregon’s 158th COVID-19 death is a 68-year-old male in Clackamas County, who tested positive on May 21 and died on June 2 at Providence Portland Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions. Oregon’s 159th COVID-19 death is a 60-year-old male in Multnomah County, who tested positive on April 17 and died on May 30 at Providence Portland Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.
State Parks Day is Saturday, June 6 and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department invites visitors to their local state park for a day of free camping and parking. Overnight camping is free at all tent and RV sites in open state park campgrounds for stays over the night of June 6.
Day-use parking is free June 6 at the 25 parks that charge a day-use fee. State Parks Day is organized by OPRD and has been held annually since 1997. In the past, State Parks Day included guided hikes, interagency activities with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Lottery, free food and interpretation activities. Reduced staff, budget and resources keep the agency from hosting events this year.
COVID-19 precautions also limit interactive opportunities but the public is still encouraged to visit a state park local to them and enjoy the outdoors.
The majority of state park campgrounds still remain closed until June 9; however, a few are currently open to first-come, first-served guests including two local parks of note that will be open Goose Lake, south of Lakeview and Jackson Kimball, northwest of Chiloquin Oregon’s state parks have started to reopen, but the agency that manages them is facing an estimated $22 million budget shortfall between now and next June amid the economic collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced Tuesday that it will lay off 47 full-time employees by June 30. That’s in addition to the 338 seasonal staff that will not be rehired this year. The layoffs will translate to reduced services at day-use sites and campgrounds across the state, including trash collection, restroom cleaning and maintenance
In addition, Fish for free in Oregon this weekend, according to the ODFW. No fishing licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required to fish, crab or clam in Oregon this weekend.
Although no licenses or tags are required, all other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations to find out more and remember to check for any in season regulation changes. June’s Free Fishing Weekend is usually a special one for ODFW staff and fishing groups that host events all over the state, bringing all the gear newcomers need to try fishing. Unfortunately, due to concerns and restrictions related to COVID-19, ODFW is not hosting or sponsoring any events this year.
A number of waterbodies are being stocked in advance of Free Fishing Weekend as in past years. (Due to concerns about crowding where fish are stocked, ODFW is not currently providing its trout stocking schedule or announcing which waterbodies are stocked.)
The effort will use the voices of Oregon’s clinicians and other health care professionals to reassure the public that hospitals and clinics have added additional safety precautions related to COVIC-19 for patients and staff, and that avoiding needed procedures and exams can bring serious consequences.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 48 percent of respondents said they’ve skipped or postponed medical care because of COVID-19.
“Your Care Continues” messages will show the range of services Oregonians can safely access, including checkups, screenings, treatments, surgeries, specialty care, pharmacy services, telehealth options, and emergency services.
On Tuesday, a Trooper from the Central Point Area Command stopped a 2014 Nissan Sentra for Unlawful Lane Change and Failure to Drive with Lane, on Interstate 5 near milepost 36 northbound.
The Trooper noticed signs of criminal activity and a consent search of the vehicle was conducted. The search of the vehicle revealed approximately 16.3 pounds of suspected heroin concealed in the gas tank of the vehicle.
The driver was identified as Victor Aguilar (33) from Outlook, Washington. Mr. Aguilar was lodged at the Jackson County Jail for Unlawful Possession and Delivery of Heroin.
AROUND THE STATE OF OREGON
On Wednesday, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 22 westbound near Highway 51, Polk County.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the black Nissan 300, operated by Ethan Rogers (21) of Rickreall, was traveling westbound on Hwy 22, when for unknown reasons went into the oncoming lane of a Chrysler Voyager operated by Derek Dornbros (40) of Willimina.
The passenger of Chrylser, Kimberly Johnson (41) of McMinnville, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Both drivers were transported to Salem Hospital with serious injuries.
The highway was closed for approximately 4 hours following the crash. OSP was assisted by Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Josephine County is ready to move to Phase 2 of Oregon’s Public Health Framework for Reopening Oregon.
The Board of Josephine County Commissioners voted on Tuesday to approve a letter formally requesting that the county move to Phase 2 on June 6. That letter has been submitted to the Governor’s Office, and the county anticipates a response in the coming days.
County leaders throughout the state received a letter May 28 from Gov. Kate Brown outlining the process for entering Phase 2, saying that counties moving to the second phase “must again ensure that crucial public health metrics have been satisfied.”
Criteria specific to Josephine County for Phase 2 includes the following:
- An adequate, timely and successful Contact Tracing System
- Adequate isolation/quarantine facilities
- A Minimum Testing Regimen
- Sufficient health care capacity to accommodate a 20 percent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations
- Sufficient supply of personal protective equipment
- No increase in incident cases or positivity
According to the Governor’s Office, guidelines for Phase 2 are still being developed. The goal of the second phase of reopening is to further expand gathering sizes, allow some office work and begin to allow visitation to congregate care.
The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is pleased to announce the graduation of its 397th Basic Police Class.
The Basic Police Class is 16-weeks in length and includes dozens of training areas including survival skills, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, ethics, cultural diversity, problem solving, community policing, elder abuse, drug recognition, and dozens of other subjects.
Basic Police Class 397 will graduate during a private ceremony at the Oregon Public Safety Academy at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE in Salem, Oregon on Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Among the group of graduates are:
Police Officer Jason Lasota
Medford Police Department
Police Officer Michael Sanchez
Grants Pass Dept of Public Safety
DPSST provides training to more than 25,000 students each year throughout Oregon and at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem: certifies qualified officers at various levels from basic through executive; certifies qualified instructors; and reviews and accredits training programs throughout the state based on standards established by the Board.
Yesterday, the Oregon Secretary of State released an audit report of the statewide childcare background check practices. The Oregon Department of Human Services Background Check Unit and the Office of Child Care screen the backgrounds of thousands of childcare providers who participate in the Employment-Related Day Care subsidy program.
HS agrees with and is moving forward on implementing most of the audit’s recommendations. The BCU and OCC screening process includes a thorough fitness determination of potential childcare providers that fully complies with federal and state statutes and is directly supported by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance. This fitness determination includes a consideration of all factors that could have an impact on child safety, as well as the employment rights of applicants and the value of lived experience.
Among the many factors that are considered are evidence of rehabilitation and the passage of time since the crime or area of concern.
Grant applications are being accepted through July 1, 2020, for the 2019-2021 Cycle Two funding from the Marine Board.
Grants are available to public bodies such as cities, counties, state and federal agencies, and Tribal governments for recreational boating facility improvements.
All of the above parties, in addition to non-profit, non-governmental, and private entities are encouraged to apply for boating safety, education, equipment for underserved communities.
“This is an exciting opportunity to partner with new parties to address waterway access needs for all recreational boaters,” said Janine Belleque, Boating Facilities Manager for the Marine Board. “It’s also exciting to be able to compliment access improvements with boating safety education grant dollars in underserved communities that enhance water recreation opportunities.”
In 2019, SB 47 was passed by the Oregon Legislature, creating an account for boating facility grants for the development or improvement of non-motorized boating access sites, or for boating safety education programs in underserved communities. Revenue for the grants comes from Waterway Access Permit sales, which are required to be purchased and carried on board non-motorized boats 10’ long and longer (including some sailboats). The Marine Board approved new grant rules during their June 2020, meeting, integrating the Waterway Access grant application and scoring criteria into the now 50-year old boating facility grant program in the agency.
This simplifies the process for applicants: one application for five competitive grant funding sources. Roughly $250,000 is available in Waterway Access grants and $500,000 of other Boating Facility grants are available for eligible applicants.
Boating facility grant applications are awarded three times during a two-year biennium based on available funding. The Cycle Two funding allocates 20% of the available boating facilities resources and focuses on projects that can be completed within 12 months remaining in the biennium. This includes property acquisition, construction within the in-water windows, and permitting for replacing boat ramps, boarding docks, repaving, or redesigning parking lots or sanitation renovations. The Marine Board’s Boating Facility staff provide technical assistance to grant applicants through every step of the project concept, design/engineering, permitting, surveying, and inspections of any given project, often saving time and money for the facility provider.
Cycle Three allocates 10% of the available funding to factor in previously awarded grants with unexpected cost increases, or emergency situations. This funding cycle is dependent upon the successful completion of other projects and available revenue.
The Marine Board awards more than $5 million biennially for boating facility improvements. Since 2001, the agency has awarded $44 million in facility grants throughout Oregon. These grants are funded from motorboat title and registration fees, marine fuel tax revenue, and in 2020, Waterway Access Permit fees.