Rogue Valley News Friday, July 10 – Oregon Sees Largest One Day Increase in Covid-19 Cases at 389

FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2020

Rogue River Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 90. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Saturday Sunny, with a high near 89. West wind 3 to 8 mph.

Sunday Sunny, with a high near 86. Calm wind becoming north northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Monday Sunny, with a high near 87.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 89.

Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 89.

Thursday Sunny, with a high near 88.

Today’s Headlines

Health officials reported 389 new confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases in Oregon, marking the largest single-day increase in cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, there were also six more deaths from the virus, bringing the state’s death toll to 230.  There are 11,188 confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases statewide, the latest OHA report states. 

A majority of the most recent coronavirus cases were identified in Multnomah (86), Umatilla (55), Marion (47) and Washington (46) counties.  So far about 10.5% of Oregon’s patients (1,162 people) have been hospitalized by the virus. 

Currently there are 192 people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in Oregon hospitals. Of those, 59 are in the ICU and 25 are on ventilators.   There are 125 adult ICU beds, 107 pediatric and NICU beds, and 787 ventilators available statewide.

AROUND THE STATE OF OREGON

A 14 year old girl is missing and is believed to be with an older man in the southern Oregon area. 

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office is looking for 14-year-old Kaylena Hope Bledsoe. She was last seen Wednesday morning with 20-year-old James Montross. 

The actual car which is shown on the flyer from surveillance footage, is a burgundy colored Chevy HHR with New York license plates. 

Bledsoe is about 5’5″, has black hair, blue eyes and weighs about 130 pounds. Siskiyou County Sheriff’s ask that you contact them if you know the location of Bledsoe : 530-841-2900.

Bret Alan Hagenno

In Grants Pass, last week a shooting occurred at Pinecrest Drive and Tiffany Way. Detectives located Theodore Homer Robison (55) from Josephine County there, shot several times and he was pronounced deceased.

Investigators identified the suspect as Bret Alan Hagenno, who was found yesterday and was taken into custody. The details of the arrest will be posted when they are available.

Hagenno is know to frequent Josephine and Jackson Counties. Hagenno will be charged with Murder II in Josephine County. If anyone has information about him, they are asked to contact the Oregon State Police Southern Command Center at 541-664-4600 and reference case SP-20-173329.

Oregon ranks at the top for economic recovery

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting shutdowns have caused nearly all sectors of the U.S. economy to hemorrhage jobs, leading to skyrocketing unemployment claims beyond those seen during the Great Recession.

As states reopen, some of those jobs have started to return, and a recent study from financial site WalletHub found that Oregon tops the recovery list.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics based on changes in unemployment claims — the change in claims from last week compared to the same week last year, the change in claims from last week compared to the start of 2020, and the change in claims since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis compared to last year.

According to the study, Oregon ranked best in the nation for recovery over the past week and second in the nation for recovery since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

Proposed Jordan Cove LNG site in Coos Bay

The Jordan Cove LNG energy project received another federal vote of confidence on Monday, but local environmental organizations say the project is a long way from coming to fruition.

The Department of Energy granted Jordan Cove a 20-year authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), primarily to customers in Asia, from a proposed terminal in Coos Bay. The fracked gas would be extracted from shale formations in the U.S. and Canada, delivered via existing pipelines to a compression station near Malin and sent through the proposed 229-mile Pacific Connector Pipeline (also part of the project) to the Coos Bay terminal.

The pipeline, which would impact more than 2,000 acres of forest and cross more than 300 streams, lakes and rivers between the Klamath Basin and Coos Bay, along with the dredging and construction required to build the proposed terminal, has drawn criticism from landowners and environmental groups in southwest Oregon. Various state agencies have yet to grant Jordan Cove the necessary authorizations it needs to begin construction on the project, including a water quality certification, coastal zone dredging permit and easements on state land.

A ballot measure that proposes legalizing the therapeutic use of psilocybin, the active chemical in hallucinogenic mushrooms, has officially made the statewide ballot for Oregon’s election in November.

Sponsors of the petition said in June that they anticipated making the ballot after turning in 164,782 signatures. Just over 112,000 verified signatures are required to make the ballot. The sponsors said that they received official confirmation from the Secretary of State’s office on Wednesday.

Supporters have cited studies that suggest psilocybin can help in treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

If approved by voters, the measure would begin a program to allow the licensed cultivation of psilocybin, and regulate the use of psilocybin therapy. Therapy recipients would have to go three a three-step process — a screening for risk factors, a supervised therapy administration session, and an evaluation following the session.

The Democratic leaders for both chambers of the Oregon legislature proposed on Thursday that the state distribute $500 “emergency relief checks” to Oregonians who have applied for unemployment benefits but still have not received them.

House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, and Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, requested $35 million of the state’s CARES Act Coronavirus Relief funds to pay roughly 70,000 people who are still waiting for benefits, the lawmakers said.

Kotek and Courtney said that the Legislative Emergency Board, a small group of lawmakers that addresses funding needs in between legislative sessions, would meet next Tuesday to consider the proposal.

The lawmakers proposed that the state Department of Administrative Services “develop a simple process” to immediately pay Oregonians who have been waiting on benefits from the Employment Department. It would apply to those have filed for benefits from both the regular Unemployment Insurance program and the Pandemic Assistance Unemployment (PUA) program that was created by the CARES Act.

A volunteer work event to restore meadow habitat east of Butte Falls is set for Saturday, July 18. ODFW and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (RRSNF) are hosting the Habitat Restoration at Blue Rock Meadows event.

ODFW and the RRSNF are providing water, snacks, work gloves, loppers, and hand saws, although volunteers may also bring their own tools. Volunteers are encouraged to bring mosquito repellant and should know restrooms are not available.

Volunteers will meet at Butte Falls Ranger Station at 8 a.m. July 18 and drive east approximately one hour to Blue Rock Meadows. Work ends at 12 p.m. Although not mandatory, volunteers are encouraged to register at https://tinyurl.com/ybse8fmu

The project goal is to improve 10 acres of meadow habitat by lopping and piling small diameter trees and seedlings to be burned later by RRSNF crews. Meadows provide an opening for highly palatable grass and forbs for deer, elk, and many other species. Without fire and other natural disturbance, meadows are slowly being encroached on by saplings and brush. This project will mimic natural disturbance by removing the encroaching vegetation and maintaining the forest opening.

On Wednesday, Representative Greg Walden sat down with multiple fire agencies in southern Oregon to talk about the 2020 fire season and COVID-19. 

Officials from the Oregon Department of Forestry, U.S Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management made it clear that this season, fires need to be put out as soon as possible — while also making sure it’s done safely.

The other big topic is how firefighting will look during a pandemic. Firefighters will need to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Huge fire camps are also not going to be used this year. Different Firefighter groups will be spread out.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is calling for a ban on middle seats on planes after sitting shoulder to shoulder on a packed flight.  

Merkley tweeted a selfie showing no social distancing as he flew home on American Airlines.  He said it was a high-risk situation with passengers “breathing inches from your own nose and mouth” and taking off their mask to eat or drink.  He plans to introduce a bill to block middle seats from being sold during the pandemic.

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