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Rogue Valley News, Tuesday, 10/13 – Southern Oregon’s 2020 Killer Valley Horror Film Festival celebrates its #13 year

Southern Oregon’s 2020 Killer Valley Horror Film Festival celebrates its lucky #13 this year, but for the first time ever, it will not be hosted live.  In previous years this festival celebrated independent filmmakers with in-person screenings, filmmaker meet-and-greets, and an awards ceremony in Ashland.

This year, the 2020 Killer Valley Horror Film Festival launched officially on their website at 3am, Oct. 9th (the witching hour) and runs through midnight of Nov. 1st, 2020 (as the Day of the Dead makes way for All Soul’s Day).

KVHFF is not the first festival to turn to digital streaming, but it is still a new approach for traditional live events to cater to fans strictly through the Internet.  Executive Director Randy Granstrom has said he misses the mingling and the networking with film cast & crew during the festival, and 2020 will be the first year he hasn’t directly presented awards to the filmmakers.  This year’s award-winners have each recorded their acceptance speeches separately, to be presented on the festival’s website and social media at 9pm on Oct. 9th.

The 2020 Killer Valley Horror Film Festival will be streaming all the films in 3 distinct blocks.  Fans can purchase a view pass to watch the films at any time within the 3 week viewing window. Horror fans can visit the website for more details at: KillerValleyHorrorFilmFestival.com

Today’s Headlines

Oregon’s death toll from COVID-19 is unchanged from yesterday and remains at 599. Oregon Health Authority reported 222 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 overnight, bringing the state total to 37,467.

The new cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (13), Clatsop (1), Columbia (1), Curry (2), Deschutes (5), Hood River (1), Jackson (17), Jefferson (1), Josephine (3), Lane (31), Linn (7), Marion (21), Multnomah (44), Polk (1), Umatilla (12), Wasco (5), Washington (40), and Yamhill (19).

The logging museum at Collier Memorial State Park is now partially open after a nearly four-week closure from the Two Four Two fire. The 146-acre outdoor museum contains one of the largest collections of antique logging equipment in the country.

The park campground and Williamson Day-use Area, including access to Spring Creek, will remain closed through at least part of 2021 while park staff clear trees that were damaged or knocked down in the fire. Restrooms will be open at the logging museum for travelers on Highway 97.

The Two Four Two fire burned through the park the evening of Sep. 7, forcing a speedy evacuation for those camping in the park. The fire left the campground largely unscathed, thanks to fire protection measures taken in recent years. But it damaged beyond recovery much of the 400 acres of old growth ponderosa pine forest that surrounds the campground. The fire also destroyed a few park buildings and vehicles.

Additionally, the fire burned through part of the logging museum, damaging two major pieces of historic logging equipment and one of the 10 historic buildings on site. Many smaller items were also destroyed. Still, most of the museum’s 10,000 artifacts remain intact.

“The loss is tremendous because of how unique these items are, and how much they mean to the people of southern Oregon,” said museum curator and park ranger Terra Kemper. “The items that were saved will continue to speak to the history of Oregon and to draw people into the museum.”  

The museum will be open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. seven days a week. Park staff ask visitors to respect closed areas of the park, including the section of museum that remains closed while artifact restoration is in progress. There is no access to the Williamson River or Spring Creek from the park.

Information about Collier Memorial State Park and the logging museum is at stateparks.oregon.gov. Information on how wildfires affected Oregon state parks is on our Fire Information Page.

Around the state of Oregon

On Friday, Jackson County was officially approved by FEMA to receive Temporary Housing Assistance. The approval was met after FEMA reviewed a document by Governor Brown’s office, that showcased all of the damages, lack of housing and impact that the Almeda fire had on the survivors and communities in the area. FEMA says that temporary assistance will address the shortage of available homes in the county and will provide people a stopping point as they look towards a long-term solution. Some of the units that could be coming to the county could include transportable temporary housing in which can be used for up to 18 months after the start of the Almeda Fire.  According to FEMA, they are working with the state to create a plan to provide different forms of temporary housing that would help people displaced by the fire. FEMA says that solutions to each person displaced by the Almeda Fire will vary, depending on how quickly a survivor’s home can be repaired and the availability of housing options in their communities. The organization says that to be eligible for Direct Temporary Housing assistance, Oregon wildfire survivors must register with FEMA and also reside in a county that has been designated for Individual Assistance and approved for Direct Temporary Housing. Damage must be to the primary residence and must be a result of the wildfires.

People who were affected by the Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds and who live in  Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties should apply for FEMA assistance even if they are covered by insurance or have registered with other agencies.

How can insured applicants qualify for FEMA assistance?

Under federal law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance settlements or other benefits, but there are cases where insured survivors might still be eligible for FEMA help. For example:

  • Your settlement was delayed longer than 30 days after you filed a claim.
  • The settlement does not fully cover all your losses and needs.
  • You exhausted the additional living expenses provided in your policy.
  • You cannot locate suitable rental resources in your community.

Take the Following Steps to Make Sure You Get All Eligible Help

  • File your insurance claims for the damage caused by the fires as soon as possible.
  • Apply with FEMA for assistance. You don’t have to wait for your insurance settlement to apply. If you have registered with other organizations, you still need to apply with FEMA if you want to be considered for FEMA assistance. Here’s how:
    • Call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) or (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PDT, seven days a week.
    • Those who use a Relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their assigned number for that service.  It is important that FEMA is able to make contact. Phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.
    • Visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
    • Check FEMA’s mobile app

After You Apply With FEMA

  • Once you have applied, you have 12 months to let FEMA know if your insurance coverage was not enough and you want to be considered for help.
  • To request FEMA assistance, fax or mail FEMA a letter explaining the circumstances to:
    • FEMA Individuals and Households Program,
      National Processing Center,
      P.O. Box 10055
      Hyattsville, MD 20702-8055
    • Or Fax: 800-827-8112

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS – Video Relay Service). Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.

Given the reality check of the devastating fires in our region, Britt Music and Arts Festival has chosen to be part of the solution by helping to protect, manage and promote stewardship of our forests and communities.  That commitment begins with making fire prevention a priority. Britt’s leadership has decided to take decisive measures to protect our beautiful valley.  In response to valid concerns around the hazards of patrons and employees smoking, and with the very real dangers of wildfires, Britt Music and Arts Festival has made the decision to make our hill a non-smoking venue. Effective immediately, the smoking of tobacco products, cannabis, and electronic cigarettes is not permitted anywhere within Britt’s facilities.

Our goal is to make Britt as safe and healthy as possible. Smoke-free environments are simply safer for patrons, volunteers, and staff. 

The Britt Music and Arts Festival non-smoking policy will be strictly enforced.  There will be zero tolerance. No first warning. If anyone is caught smoking or vaping any substance on the Britt property, they will be removed from the venue.   

Approximately $5 million will be sent to current and former Oregonians this fall when the state Unclaimed Property Program initiates a historic distribution of unclaimed funds.  Beginning in mid October, people will begin to receive letters informing them of the forthcoming checks. The initial letter will be followed by a subsequent letter and check in early November. The checks are funds–referred to as unclaimed property–that have been reported to the state by companies and organizations that do business with Oregonians and have been unable to return the money to the correct owner. Common examples of unclaimed property include uncashed checks, forgotten bank accounts, security deposits, tax refunds, credit balances, investment accounts, payroll checks, refunds, and more. Typically, people need to file a claim with the unclaimed property program to receive the funds they are owed. However, given the unprecedented financial uncertainties and difficulties many are facing, the state has determined, for the first time ever, the funds will be directly mailed to the correct owner. Checks distributed will vary in amount between $50 – $2,500, depending on the amount of unclaimed property each recipient is owed and based on criteria described at unclaimed.oregon.gov

On the eve of Indigenous Peoples Day, police declared a riot Sunday night as demonstrators toppled two statues and spray-painted several others.  The protest had been named the Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage, and demonstrators called for the end of colonialism.  The crowd gathered at Southwest Park Avenue and Southwest Madison Street, where they took down statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.  The crowd also broke windows at the Oregon Historical Society and several stores.  No arrests have been reported. The vandalism that seemed to gather the most ire from city and state officials occurred at the Oregon Historical Society, a bastion of diverse artifacts and exhibits on the 1200 block of Southwest Park Avenue. Nearly a dozen windows in the institution’s pavilion were smashed, said Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. Flares were tossed into the lobby, and a priceless quilt was taken. Preliminary estimates to repair the damage were about $25,000, though costs could end up higher. The quilt taken from the society’s lobby was a bicentennial heritage quilt, stitched by 15 African American women in the mid-1970s. The artifact had traveled the nation before going on display in Portland.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) has received approval from Food and Nutrition Services to disburse increased food benefits in October. This additional $30 million for eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will bring the total increased benefits to $180 million. SNAP households will automatically receive the additional allotment in the same way they receive their current benefits. For most customers, this is an Oregon EBT card. The additional benefit amount will be disbursed on the schedule below to all eligible SNAP households. Some recipients may not see it until the following day. Oregonians already enrolled in SNAP do not need to take any additional action. The increase brings all households to the maximum SNAP benefit. Households that already receive the maximum benefit will not receive any additional benefits. This allotment will not permanently change a household’s monthly benefit amount. It is a temporary supplement to help during the current health crisis. ODHS will not be sending individual notices to households about the emergency allotments.

On Monday, October 12, 2020 at approximately 8:01 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a vehicle crash on I5 near milepost 290.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a Freightliner semi-truck, operated by Gurkirat Singh (35) of Fremont, CA. was northbound on I5 when it struck Eric Laursen (47) of Tualatin who was walking across the northbound lanes.

Laursen sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. OSP was assisted by Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsboro Police Department , Tualatin Police Department, Metro West Ambulance, and ODOT.

Stay safe while working in the yard

Pacific Power offers safety tips for homeowners preparing for fall

As the leaves turn, fall weather arrives in the Pacific Northwest. For some homeowners, this means pruning trees and taming overgrown gardens, for others it means cleaning the gutters or painting the house. Many outdoor projects like these can be hazardous if you don’t put safety first.

“Now is a great time to prune any trees that could cause trouble once the storms start coming in,” said Joe Cissna, Pacific Power safety director. “Winter storms bringing down branches is a big cause of power outages. Check around your property if any trees or branches could harm power lines if they fell. Some preventive work now could save more headaches and power outages later.”

Use caution when pruning trees. Don’t use pruning tools or ladders near power lines. Always keep yourself and anything you’re handling at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Never try to remove a branch that is tangled or lying across a power line. Instead, call us at 1-888-221-7070. We’ll be happy to remove it for you. 

  • Treat all electric lines with caution.
  • Use only wooden and fiberglass ladders. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
  • Never use electrical equipment or tools near a pool or other wet areas. Additionally, make sure outlets are equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter, designed to automatically disconnect if the tool comes into contact with water.
  • Be aware and steer clear of overhead electrical wires when installing, removing, cleaning or repairing gutters.
  • Have help when installing or adjusting a satellite dish or antenna. Make sure you’re working at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Plant trees and shrubs away from meters, switching cabinets and boxed transformers. Vegetation blocking electrical equipment makes meter reading, repairs and maintenance challenging and sometimes dangerous for utility workers.
  • Underground power lines are just as dangerous as overhead ones. If your project involves digging, make sure the locations of underground power lines are marked. Call 811 to have underground utilities located and marked for free.

For more safety tips or to order free Pacific Power safety materials, call toll free at 800-375-7085 or visit pacificpower.net/safety.

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