The latest news stories and stories of interest in the Rogue Valley from the digital home of Southern Oregon, from Wynne Broadcasting and RogueValleyMagazine.com
Nine counties in Oregon, including Jackson County, begin a state-directed “two week pause” starting Wednesday. The increased temporary restrictions are meant to slow the rapid spread of COVID-19.
The goal of the “pause” is to reduce human contact in counties where COVID-19 is spreading quickly. It includes counties from Malheur to Umatilla and Clackamas to Jackson.
In recent weeks, Jackson County has rapidly set successive records for daily new coronavirus cases, while Oregon as a whole has reported daily case counts approaching 1,000.
The Governor’s office is urging people to work from home whenever possible, pausing indoor visits to long-term care facilities, and reducing restaurant capacity to 50 people indoors and encouraging take-out instead.
Most of all, they’re encouraging Oregonians to limit the frequency and size of social gatherings, and cap them at six people. Social gatherings are one of the main drivers of increasing infections.
The “pause” goes for two weeks, until November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving.
Oregon health officials reported 771 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, marking a continuation of the state’s recent spike in COVID-19.
The new cases are in the following counties: Baker (7), Benton (13), Clackamas (110), Clatsop (2), Columbia (3), Coos (8), Crook (9), Curry (1), Deschutes (30), Douglas (18), Grant (3), Harney (3), Hood River (2), Jackson (56), Jefferson (7), Josephine (3), Klamath (7), Lane (49), Lincoln (3), Linn (18), Malheur (15), Marion (90), Multnomah (151), Polk (15), Umatilla (23), Union (8), Wallowa (1), Wasco (2), Washington (95) and Yamhill (19).
The Oregon Health Authority said have been nearly 52,000 identified cases in the state since the pandemic began.
A majority of the most recent cases were reported in Multnomah (151), Clackamas (110), and Washington (95) counties. The latest increase in COVID-19 cases reflects a recent increase in the number of daily reported cases. Over the weekend, the state saw a new record daily jump in cases with 988. The governor announced that nine counties will be put on a two-week ‘social pause’ starting Wednesday.
Troubling hospitalization trends
Governor Kate Brown held a news conference today regarding Oregon’s Covid-19 cases, with Dr. Dana Hargunani, Chief Medical Officer for Oregon Health Authority, and Dr. Renee Edwards, Chief Medical Officer of Oregon Health & Science University, as well as several representatives from Oregon hospitals. Leaders addressed Oregon’s increase in patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19.
Currently there are 285 hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of people who have been hospitalized has more than doubled over the past week and has increased 83% in the past four weeks. While Oregon has more available ventilators than earlier in the pandemic, the increase in hospitalization is troubling.
Oregonians can help flatten the curve by following Dr. Hargunani’s suggestion, “Let’s repay our health care heroes by taking seriously the recommendations to stay physically distant, wear face coverings when interacting with anyone who lives outside your household and taking the difficult step of avoiding gatherings even as we enter the holiday season.”
Crater Lake National Park’s North Entrance Road and Rim Drive have been closed for the winter season. All visitors to Crater Lake National Park must use Highway 62 to access the park from the south or west during these closures.
The North Entrance Road and Rim Drive, with elevations from 5,850 to 7,960 feet above sea level, receive an average of more than 40 feet of snow each year and are not plowed from fall to late spring because of deep drifts, avalanche risk, and other dangerous conditions.
The North Entrance Road and Rim Drive will reopen in the late spring or early summer of 2021. Exact dates for road openings depend on snow depths each year. Effective Nov. 1, Crater Lake National Park has been charging winter entrance fees of $20 per car, $15 per motorcycle, and $15 per person on foot or bike. This fee is good for seven days and is collected at the Annie Creek Entrance Station.
It is also possible to purchase an annual pass for Crater Lake National Park for $55, which is honored at both Crater Lake and Lava Beds National Monument. Annual passes for Lava Beds are also accepted at Crater Lake.
La Niña is here, and meteorologists say it may bring a particularly eventful winter to Oregon this year.
The temperature change in the equatorial Pacific Ocean will likely have significant impacts on weather throughout the northern hemisphere during the next few months. And there’s a chance it could result in a better water year for 2021.
Friday and Saturday’s snow and cold temperatures ended a particularly resilient high-pressure ridge that had been keeping southern Oregon warm and dry well into autumn.
Systems like this weekend’s are more likely to occur under La Niña conditions, which tend to result in cooler, wetter weather in the Pacific Northwest. Late in the summer, strong trade winds pushed warm surface water along the equator in the eastern Pacific westward toward Australia and Indonesia, allowing colder, deeper water to replace it. The western Pacific’s abnormally warm water causes it to experience stronger storms, which pump moisture into the upper atmosphere and send it back east across the Pacific, where it cools, sinks and begins the cycle again.
Search & Rescue volunteers in Siskiyou County worked to find and recover three hikers stranded on Mount Shasta over the weekend, the Sheriff’s Office said on Monday.
Around 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office said that it received a 911 call from two men reporting a lost hiker in the Clear Creek Trailhead area on Mt. Shasta. The men reported that they had been separated from their friend and needed help. The hikers said that they had reached the summit around 2:30 p.m. and started to descend the mountain, hoping to reach their car before nightfall. When they realized that they wouldn’t make it in time, the Sheriff’s Office said that they did a Google search to find the fastest route down.
As they started on the new route, one of the hikers became separated, prompting the other two to call 911. By 8 a.m. on Sunday, a larger search began. By 10:30 a.m., SAR hikers found two of the missing hikers “alive and well,” but the third man remained missing. At that point, California Highway Patrol’s Northern Division Operations helicopter was called in to assist, quickly finding fresh tracks in the snow.
Rescuers found the third hiker around 11 a.m., taking him to Mercy Mt. Shasta Hospital as a precaution. The Sheriff’s Office said that two of the men were wearing winter clothing, but the third was in a hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes.
Around the State of Oregon
Oregon’s centralized voter registration system is a weak point in the state’s election system, county clerks told the secretary of state-elect, days after the incumbent fired the state elections director after he raised similar concerns.
Secretary of State Bev Clarno fired Election Director Stephen Trout on Thursday after he pointed out “major technology challenges ahead in elections.”
Clarno’s action shocked county clerks, who are responsible for running elections in their respective counties and sending results to the state. Trout’s concerns were outlined in a letter, a copy of which The Associated Press obtained, that he sent on the eve of the election to Democratic candidate Shemia Fagan and Republican candidate Kim Thatcher. Fagan won by a 7% margin. Both are state senators.
Trout had pointed out that some of the election systems are running on Windows Server 2008 that Microsoft stopped supporting last January; a lack of multifactor authentication for officials accessing election systems that can create opportunities for hacking; and that public-facing websites are threaded through one power supply with only one internet connection, with no redundancy.
FATAL CRASH ON HWY 26 – WASHINGTON COUNTY
On Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at approximately 1:50 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a three vehicle collision on Hwy 26 near milepost 35.
Preliminary investigation revealed a Toyota 4Runner, operated by an adult male from Portland, was westbound when it went into the eastbound lanes and collided with a Ford Transit commercial van operated by Michael Kromm (34) from Salem. The 4Runner then collided with a Toyota Tacoma operated by Michael Young (69) from Portland.
The operator of the 4Runner sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. His name will be released when it is appropriate.
Kromm was transported to an area hospital.
Young and his passenger, Lea Young (68) from Portland, were not transported.
Hwy 26 was closed for approximately three hours.
A man is facing nearly two years behind bars after being convicted of beating a man during a protest in Portland over the summer.
A judge sentenced 26-year-old Marquise Love to 20 months in prison yesterday for the assault August 16th near Southwest Taylor and Broadway. Love pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and felony riot. Video of the incident shows Love beating Adam Haner until he was unconscious. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office says Love apologized and expressed remorse during yesterday’s sentencing hearing.
The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is pleased to announce the graduation of its 401st 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 401 will graduate during a private ceremony at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem, Oregon on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the need for social distancing the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training regret that this ceremony will be closed to the public. However, we would like to publicly congratulate Basic Police #BP401 on their successful completion of basic training
Graduating members of BP 401 include among others:
Police Officer Hannah Anderson
Medford Police Department
Police Officer Michael Kissee
Medford Police Department
Police Officer Alexandra Pena
Klamath Falls Police Department
The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) operates the Oregon Public Safety Academy which spans more than 235 acres in Salem. The Academy is nationally recognized for its innovative training programs and active stakeholder involvement. Les Hallman serves as the Interim Director, and Darren Bucich, Chief of McKenzie Fire & Rescue, serves as the Chair of the Board. The department implements minimum standards established by the Board for the training and certification of more than 40,000 city, tribal, county and state law enforcement officers, corrections officers, parole and probation officers, fire service personnel, telecommunicators, emergency medical dispatchers and private security providers.
Associations representing Oregon’s home builders, bankers and REALTORS® are partnering for the second annual Oregon Housing Economic Summit to be held virtually on January 14, 2021.
The event brings leading housing industry experts, economists, and Oregon legislators together to discuss the state’s housing and economic environment, barriers facing the industry and what the future holds.
Presented by Oregon Home Builders Association, Oregon Bankers Association, and Oregon REALTORS®, the Oregon Housing Economic Summit aims to build consensus around solutions to Oregon’s housing crisis. According to Freddie Mac, Oregon’s housing supply deficit is the worst in the nation.
“Oregon’s housing shortage, combined with the devastation of over 4,000 homes in the recent wildfires, makes it clear that now more than ever we need to come together to discuss solutions to our housing crisis,” says Mark Long, CEO of the Oregon Home Builders Association.
“The pandemic has re-enforced the value of ‘home’ as not just a place to live but now as a place to work and to go to school,” says Jenny Pakula, CEO of Oregon REALTORS®. “Yet home is out of reach for so many in our community because of Oregon’s housing shortage. The Housing Economic Summit will bring together economists, industry leaders, nonprofits and policymakers to discuss how to make it a reality for more Oregonians.”
The Summit is open to the public, but space is limited by the virtual event platform. The event will begin at 9 a.m. with a keynote address on Oregon’s economy, followed by economic, industry and legislative panel discussions. The program concludes at Noon.
Individuals interested in attending are encouraged to register early. Registration is $49 per person. Sponsorships are also available. To register, become an event sponsor, or for general information. visit http://oregonhousingeconomicsummit.com.