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
Monday, January 4, 2021
Rogue Valley Weather
Today- Rain. Snow level 6200 feet lowering to 3800 feet. Steady temperature around 50. Breezy, with a southwest wind 21 to 26 mph decreasing to 11 to 16 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Tuesday- Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 47. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph.
Wednesday- Rain, mainly before 4pm. High near 47. South southeast wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Thursday- Areas of fog before 10am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 48.
Friday- A chance of rain. Snow level 4400 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 46.
Jackson County Public Health reports 115 new COVID-19 cases on January 3, 2021.
Additionally, a previously reported case has been removed from the COVID-19 total cases. These updates bring the total reported COVID-19 cases in Jackson County to 6,069.
COVID-19 has claimed eight more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to
1,500, the Oregon Health Authority reported on Sunday. Oregon Health Authority
reported 1,421 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m.
Sunday, bringing the state total to 117,745.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (9), Clackamas (202), Clatsop (6), Columbia (14), Coos (20), Crook (4), Curry (6), Deschutes (37), Douglas (3), Harney (2), Hood River (5), Jackson (115), Jefferson (65), Josephine (30), Lane (58), Lincoln (1), Linn (11), Malheur (2), Marion (221), Morrow (9), Multnomah (189), Polk (31), Tillamook (7), Umatilla (91), Union (6), Wallowa (2), Wasco (1), Washington (212), and Yamhill (59).
OHA recorded 3,430 doses of vaccine administered, raising the state’s total number of
first vaccine doses administered to 48,725. This figure is based on preliminary reports of
1,717 doses administered yesterday, as well as 1,713 administered on prior days that
had not been recorded. All vaccinations occurred at Oregon hospitals, long-term care
facilities, emergency medical service (EMS) agencies, urgent care facilities and Local
Public Health Authorities (LPHAs). To date, 190,500 doses of vaccine have been
delivered to sites across Oregon.
Oregon trails 40 other states for its slow pace of getting coronavirus vaccine shots in
arms, federal data show, leaving the vaccine deployment lagging as the state’s death
toll hit 1,500 Sunday. Oregon has given 48,725 vaccine shots since the
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved Dec. 11. But Oregon has received 190,500
doses, meaning that about 141,000 doses are still sitting in boxes as the virus
continues spreading and mutating. The state health authority said 1,700 doses were
given yesterday and another 1,700 shots were recorded from earlier days.
At a pace of 3,400 shots a day, it would take until May 2024 to vaccinate all 4.2
A fundraiser led by local organization Rogue Retreat is nearing its goal to purchase prefabricated shelters for vulnerable members of the homeless population.
Rogue Retreat said in a statement that it is $11,000 away from its goal of raising $41,000. With the help of a grant from an anonymous donor, matching up to $34,000, the total will help to buy 10 Pallet shelters for the organization’s Urban Campground.
Pallet shelters are prefabricated buildings made from an aluminum frame and insulated composite walls. Rogue Retreat says that each shelter comes with a locking door, bed, openable windows, heating, air conditioning, and storage.
“Pallet provides safe and secure shelter that moves people off of the streets and into stability immediately — and then on to permanent housing,” says Amy King, founder and CEO of Pallet. “Whereas permanent housing and mass shelters can take years to construct, we can shelter a person experiencing homelessness the same day we arrive on site.”
Rogue Retreat plans to prioritize these new shelters for seniors and the medically vulnerable, due in large part to their higher risk from both COVID-19 and cold weather.
“The shelters are part of a larger strategy and program to shelter Medford’s homeless population at Rogue Retreat, which currently shelters and houses more than 300 people each night,” the organization said.
If you are interested in donating toward Rogue Retreat’s new shelters, visit their site here.
Jackson County Animal Services is reporting a spike in pet adoptions last year compared to previous ones.
Management say there have been more people interested in adopting than animals the shelter has available.
In 2020, the shelter adopted 1,233 dogs and cats into new homes.
They also returned over 800 animals to their owners.
Program manager Kim Casey hopes this upward trend will continue this year.
“So, our biggest hope is to be able to continue to provide the level of service that we have had in the past,” Casey said “We are innovating or trying to innovate to offer people more choices for how that service can be provided.”
The shelter normally houses around 45 dogs and 20 to 30 cats at any given time.
Casey says they’re working on ways people can adopt pets virtually. One idea behind this is to do Zoom meetings. They’re also working on online licensing so that people can purchase and renew them remotely.
Any animal that’s adopted from the shelter will now be microchipped before it heads home.
“Because people either can’t come into the shelter and just look at animals directly, or because they don’t feel safe in doing that, they can do it from home and be able to see and have a better experience in looking at the animals that they might consider taking in as new pets,” Casey said.
Jackson County Animal Services is continuing to do adoptions and all other services by appointment only. https://jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/Animal-Services/Welcome
AROUND the STATE of OREGON
UPDATE – Death Investigation – Lincoln County
The Oregon State Police is releasing the attached approximation sketch of the child that was found in Lincoln County on December 10, 2020.
Sketch was provided with assistance of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
If you have any information that might help investigators in identifying this child, please call 800-442-0776 or OSP (677).
Oregon State Police Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the remains of an individual discovered in rural Lincoln County.
On December 10, 2020, Investigators were summoned to the H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor for a death investigation. At this location, investigators found the remains of a female child.
The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office estimate the deceased’s age to be 6.5 to 10 years old. She is approximately 3’10” to 4’6” tall, and had long hair that is dark brown or black. Her race or ethnic origin has yet to be determined, but DNA analysis is not complete.
Due to the condition of the remains she had likely been deceased at least 30 days before she was discovered.
If you have any information that might help investigators in identifying this child, please call 800-442-0776 or OSP (677).
No information regarding the cause or manner of death is available for release at this time. On Thursday, December 10, 2020 Oregon State Police Major Crimes Detectives responded to the H.B. Van Duzer Forest State Scenic Corridor for a death investigation.
The area is a heavily wooded state park in Lincoln County, Oregon. Due to the terrain OSP Detectives were assisted by Lincoln County SAR members.
At this time the deceased has yet to be positively identified. No further information regarding this individual is available for release until identity is established and next of kin can be notified. An investigation into the circumstances of this incident is active and ongoing. No further details are available for release at this time.
More Wind Alerts for Oregon Coast
Another round of wild and wacky weather is set to hit the Oregon coast and Washington coast, with the National Weather Service (NWS) extending old alerts or issuing new advisories. Landslides, flooding, high surf dangers and high winds are again in store for the region, with advisories or warnings into Monday and Tuesday.
Sirens for High Wind Warning Cause Tsunami Scare in Depoe Bay
Sirens blaring in the small coastal town of Depoe Bay led some residents to believe a tsunami was heading their way.
On Saturday morning, residents reported hearing loud sirens and a public announcement that some said was difficult to to make out clearly.
The sirens appear to have been activated by the city due to a high wind warning from the National Weather Service, said Jenny Demaris, a spokesperson for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Depoe Bay Fire District wrote in a social media post they have been “flooded with calls of concern and panic caused by the City of Depoe Bay activating the Emergency Tsunami Sirens” due to the anticipated high winds.
“There is no tsunami threat to Depoe Bay or properties within the district,” the post says.
Demaris said Depoe Bay’s public messaging system is intended to be used for all hazards, not specifically tsunamis. She added that the sirens are under the complete jurisdiction of the city.
Woman’s Body Found in Burned Home in Seaside
An investigation is underway after a woman was found dead in a burning home in northwest Oregon.
The Oregonian reports firefighters were called to the two-story home in Seaside on Friday afternoon and found the structure engulfed in flames. A search turned up the body of 69-year-old Bonnie Dasse, who was the only one inside the home.Read More
Investigators have not said what caused the blaze, and officials are still trying to pin down a timeline. No other homes were damaged.
A man who robbed the Silver Lake gas station was killed by police Friday after a
standoff in Lake County.
Isaac Matheny, 37, was shot and killed by police about 10:45 a.m. following a brief standoff. According to Lake County District Attorney Ted Martin, Lake County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched at 10 a.m. on Jan. 1 for a report of a man who had brandished a firearm and threatened to kill people before taking cash from the register at Silver Lake convenience store. According to police, the man fled the scene in a compact car with Nevada plates. Law enforcement soon located the suspect near Paisley, heading south toward Highway 395. Officers deployed spike strips on the suspect’s car on Highway 31, north of Valley Falls, about 10:45 a.m. Friday.
According to police, Matheny refused to comply with commands and was shot and killed by police. The weapon used in the robbery was found to be a replica of a rifle, which he had at the scene when he was killed, according to police. Members of the Klamath County Major Crime Team, including members of both the Klamath County sheriff’s office and Klamath Falls police, will investigate the shooting.
New Year, same story. A gathering of people in downtown Portland on New Year’s Eve quickly erupted into violence, with people tossing Molotov cocktail-style firebombs and other projectiles at law enforcement officers, setting off commercial-grade fireworks, and setting multiple fires, police said.
People began to gather near the federal courthouse and Portland Justice Center, the location or destination for
most anti-police violence demonstrations throughout 2020, at approximately 7:45 p.m., according to a news release from the Portland Police Bureau The violence ultimately prompted Portland police to declare a riot before midnight, according to a Portland police statement on Twitter. Police said few people in the crowd complied with orders to leave the area and some continued to throw “dangerous objects” at officers. Law enforcement did not use tear gas but did deploy “inert smoke” and some impact munitions, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
Oregon Lottery Raffle Tickets On Sale
What better way to say goodbye to 2020 than to win $1 million in 2021.
The Oregon Lottery’s 19th Raffle game, with its $1 million top prize, is on sale now.
The Raffle game features over 1,800 cash prizes and with only 250,000 available tickets, Raffle players have the best odds of winning $1 million than any other Lottery game. Each Raffle ticket costs $10.
Prizes for the Raffle include:
- One $1 million top prize
- 300 prizes of $500
- 1,500 prizes of $100
The Lottery will release the winning numbers at 5 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, Mar. 17. To check the winning Raffle numbers, players can use the Lottery’s mobile app, go to www.oregonlottery.org or visit a participating Oregon Lottery retail location.
The Lottery’s mobile app can be found on the Apple or Android app stores. Lottery games are not available for purchase on the mobile app.
The $500 and $100 prize winners can claim their prizes at any Oregon Lottery retail location. The $1 million prize winner must come to the Lottery office in Salem to claim their prize.
Overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 138.8.
- The 2009 St. Patrick’s Day Raffle was the Lottery’s first Raffle game
- Chuck Mikes of Camas, WA was the first $1 million top prize winner
- Todd Williams of Salem was last year’s $1 million winner
- Since 2009, the Lottery has offered 19 Raffle games: St. Patrick’s Day Raffle (12), Thanksgiving Raffle (4), 4th of July Raffle (2), and Halloween Raffle (1)
- The 2010 Thanksgiving Raffle doubled the number of tickets and prizes offering 500,000 tickets and two $1 million top prizes
The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 should contact the Lottery office to schedule an appointment to claim their prize.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $12 billion for economic development, public education, state parks, habitat restoration, Veteran Services and Outdoor School. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org
New Oregon Laws for 2021
Following the general election of Nov. 2020 and a number of legislative sessions, Oregon is starting off the new year with new laws. Here’s some of what the state’s changing in 2021.
Extension for Eviction Moratorium
Shortly before the new year, lawmakers decided to extend Oregon’s eviction moratorium through the end of June 2021. They also issued $200 million in rental assistance for those struggling through the pandemic.
To be protected from an eviction due to non-payment of rent through June, tenants can fill out a declaration, which also allows the landlord to access the Landlord Compensation Fund.
Tax Increase on Cigarettes and Tobacco
On January 1, a tax increase on smoking products went into effect. This new law includes an increase on cigarettes, tobacco, cigars, and vapes. Revenue from the tax hike will fund health coverage for low-income families. This law was passed by voters.
Cigarettes and little cigars will have a $2 increase for a pack of 20 and a $2.50 increase for a pack of 25. Vapes and e-cigarettes will be taxed at 65% of the wholesale price. The tax on cigars will increase from 50 cents to $1.
Proof of Legal Presence
Also, on January 1, Oregon stopped the requirement of proof of legal presence in the United States to obtain a driver’s license or state ID. This bill was passed by lawmakers in 2019. People will still need to prove their name, identity, and residency in Oregon, but will not have to prove their legal presence in the U.S. to acquire official identification.
Facial Recognition Technology
As of January 1, facial recognition technology is banned from being used by private entities in public spaces in Portland. This law was passed by lawmakers in Sept. 2020; In comments made in Sep. 2020, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty both pushed for its passing, noting that such technology adversely harms people of color.
Public spaces have been defined by the Portland City Council as restaurants that serve food or drinks, retailers, service establishments, public recreation, exercise, and entertainment spaces. Private clubs, religious organizations, and private residences are not considered public spaces.
Drug Possession Decriminalization
A law decriminalizing low-level drug possession in Oregon will be taking effect on February 1. This was passed by voters, making Oregon the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize low-level amounts of hard drugs.
This decriminalization law, which is different from legalization, reclassifies personal drug possession to a Class E violation. Those who are caught with personal use amounts of drugs may be fined a maximum of $100 or have the fine waived after undergoing a health assessment, in which they may be directed to a form of treatment or recovery. Such services will be largely funded by marijuana tax revenue.
Annual Minimum Wage Increase
As it has every year since 2016, minimum wage in Oregon will rise again on July 1 of 2021. Standard minimum wage will increase from $12 an hour to $12.75; Portland metro will increase from $13.25 to $14; and nonurban counties will increase from $11.50 to $12.
Another minimum wage increase will occur in 2022.