Rogue Valley News 6/29: Body pulled from South Umpqua River in Roseburg

The latest news stories from around the state of Oregon from RogueValleyMagazine.com

COVID-19 numbers: the number of cases in the state has reached 8,341. The death toll remains at 202. 

MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2020

Rogue Valley Weather

Today   Mostly sunny, with a high near 71. Northwest wind 18 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Tuesday   Sunny, with a high near 73. Northwest wind 8 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Wednesday   Sunny, with a high near 74. West wind 5 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Thursday   Sunny, with a high near 79.

Friday   Sunny, with a high near 82.

Saturday, Independence Day  
Mostly sunny, with a high near 83.

Today’s Headlines

It’s official.  All in Oregon must wear a mask inside indoor spaces, beginning Wednesday.

Gov. Kate Brown announced this afternoon that she will require Oregonians to wear face masks everywhere in the state — not just a handful of select counties — to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Brown said her new order takes effect Wednesday, and requires people in Oregon to wear a mask whenever they’re in a public indoor space, such as grocery stores, gyms and shopping malls.

Brown had been hesitant to require Oregonians to cover their mouths and noses for weeks and weeks, saying the cloth face coverings are helpful in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and should be worn. Brown recommended that the state’s residents wear face coverings as of late, but repeatedly declined to require them — saying she had confidence that Oregonians would do the right thing.

Then last Wednesday, after it became clear that coronavirus cases in Oregon are surging, Brown began requiring masks in seven counties making up about 55 percent of the state’s population. Those counties were Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Marion, Polk, Hood River and Lincoln.

Again, all Oregonians are to wear masks at indoor spaces in public, beginning Wednesday.

ROSEBURG, Ore. – Authorities pulled a body from the South Umpqua River on Monday morning.

A woman reported the body in the water off Micelli Park to police around 8 a.m.

Law enforcement is now conducting a death investigation.

DEVELOPING STORY | This story will be updated

New modeling of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly in Oregon, according to the latest model released today by the Oregon Health Authority and the Institute for Disease Modeling.

The model, which is based on data through June 18, offers three projections — optimistic, moderate and pessimistic — predicting that daily case levels could rise as much as 20 percentage points. The modeling assumes that hospitalizations from COVID-19 remain stable and testing remains at its present level of approximately 4,000 a day: OHA uses this modeling for data analysis and planning purposes and releases it on a bi-weekly basis.

Gov. Kate Brown says she’ll call a second special legislative session this summer to fix a state budget wrecked by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis and wants to use coronavirus relief funds to help support the Black community and working people.  

The Oregon Legislature wrapped up its first special session Friday after passing bills dealing with police accountability and the pandemic. At a Saturday news conference, Brown said she would wait to call another special session to see if federal lawmakers approve assistance for local governments. She said she may call lawmakers back to Salem in late July or early August. The Oregon Senate on Friday unanimously passed a bill that makes it easier to uphold discipline against police by lessening the power of arbitrators. The measure, which moves to the House, is one in a package of police reform measures before Oregon lawmakers during the special session that began this week. It passed the upper chamber following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed and died last month after a white Minneapolis police officer held a knee to his neck. Currently, police unions can call upon an arbitrator to review discipline handed down to a police officer and overturn disciplinary decisions.

Arbitrators have reversed high-profile officer dismissals in Oregon before. Senate Bill 1604 restricts what arbitrators can do in disciplinary cases and binds them to rule within the discipline guide.

After the second day of the 2020 special legislative session, Democrats in the Oregon House of Representatives are said to be happy with the passage of a bill that would end the practice of suspending Oregon driver licenses for overdue fines and fees.

House Bill 2020 also declares an emergency, making it effective immediately if passed and signed into law. Democrats cited the Oregon Law Center, which found more than 334,000 license suspensions over the past decade. Many of those were for people who could not pay court fines and fees from other infractions, perpetuating “cycles of debt and poverty,” and restricting the ability for someone to go to work, school, or the doctor. According to data from a recent Oregon Criminal Justice Commission report, Black and Latinx people are disproportionately stopped, ticketed, charged, and convicted for traffic infractions.

Oregon stands out on the West Coast for the way its voting districts are drawn. Unlike neighbors California, Idaho and Washington, redistricting in Oregon is a political process decided by the party in power.

The threat of gerrymandering is high. Executive Director of Common Cause Oregon Kate Titus says politicians typically draw districts behind closed doors using elaborate data.

Titus says a coalition of groups is looking to change that. Signatures are being collected for an initiative to create an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission. Its backers have until July 2nd to collect about 150-thousand signatures. Critics of the idea say creating the commission would leave out some marginalized groups.

…For complete details on these and other stories see today’s Herald & News.  Wynne Broadcasting and the Herald and News…stronger together to keep you informed.

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