Rogue Valley News, Friday 1/29 – Suspicious House Fire Leads to High Speed Chase Near Grants Pass, Jackson County, Asante, & Providence Request Second Drive-Thru Vaccination Event, Coats For Kids Give-Away

The latest news stories and stories of interest in the Rogue Valley from the digital home of Southern Oregon, from Wynne Broadcasting’s RogueValleyMagazine.com

Friday, January 29, 2021

Rogue Valley Weather

Today- Areas of fog before 1pm. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a high near 44. Calm wind.

Saturday- A 10 percent chance of rain after 4pm. Snow level 2200 feet rising to 4000 feet in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. South southeast wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

Sunday- A 40 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 49. South wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

Monday- Rain. Snow level 4000 feet. High near 47. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Tuesday- A chance of rain. Snow level 2900 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Coronavirus-update-1-4.jpg

Oregon Health Authority reports ‘steep decline’ in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations

Oregon reports 750 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 6 new deaths

Oregon Health Authority reported 750 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 140,783.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (15), Clackamas (62), Clatsop (6), Columbia (4), Coos (26), Crook (2), Deschutes (37), Douglas (20), Harney (2), Hood River (5), Jackson (25), Jefferson (4), Josephine (22), Klamath (16), Lake (3), Lane (72), Lincoln (6), Linn (12), Malheur (8), Marion (90), Morrow (2), Multnomah(174), Polk (12), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (24), Union (3), Wasco (12), Washington (73) and Yamhill (12).

NOTE: OHA no longer lists individual cases of COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon in its daily media releases. We share aggregated COVID-19 related deaths on OHA’s public dashboards, which are updated daily. A breakdown of today’s reported deaths by age category is included below.

Weekly media briefing scheduled for Jan. 29 at 11 a.m.

Media are invited to attend a media briefing at 11 a.m. tomorrow, Jan. 29, with Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen and Oregon State Public Health Officer and Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger. OHA will discuss COVID-19 projections and COVID-19 variants in Oregon. Media will be able to join via Zoom: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1619447624?pwd=RllrMU5WVXdub2Q0YkFqUVZrZTdDUT09

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 19,010 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total,12,292 doses were administered on Jan. 27 and 6,718 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on Jan. 27.

Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize because providers have 72 hours to report doses administered and technical challenges have caused many providers to lag in their reporting. OHA has been providing technical support to vaccination sites to improve the timeliness of their data entry into the state’s ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS).

Oregon has now administered a cumulative total of 359,370 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. To date, 606,725 doses of vaccine have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

These data are preliminary and subject to change. OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.

The role that race should play in deciding who gets priority for the COVID-19 vaccine was put to the test Thursday in Oregon, but people of color won’t be the specific focus in the next phase of the state’s rollout as tensions around equity and access to the shots emerge nationwide.

An advisory committee that provides recommendations to Gov. Kate Brown and public health authorities discussed whether to prioritize racial minorities but decided on a wide range of other groups: those under 65 with chronic medical conditions, essential workers, inmates and people living in group settings. The 27-member panel in Oregon, a Democratic-led state that’s overwhelmingly white, said people of color likely fell into the other prioritized groups and expressed concerns about legal issues if race was the focus.

Jackson County, Asante, & Providence Request Second Drive-Thru Vaccination Event

Jackson County, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and Providence Medford Medical Center have submitted a request to the state to get assistance with hosting another drive-thru vaccination event.

Tanya Phillips, health promotion program manager for Jackson County Public Health, says last week’s vaccination event had over 500 volunteers, including the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue and the Oregon National Guard.

“The National Guard was a very important partner in this and the roles that they filled were incredibly important,” Phillips said. “They were vaccinators, they helped with traffic control and also data entry.”

Phillips says they want the next vaccination event to be just as successful, so they’ll need the additional support.

“We had a really high throughput and we’re just really pleased with the number that we were able to vaccinate. So, because of that, it definitely sparked conversations with the partners, ‘Can we do this again? What would it look like?’ And those conversations are really important because it’s not an easy lift,” Phillips said.

Phillips says they also put in a request for vaccination supplies, like alcohol pads. She says they’re not sure when they’ll get a response on their requests yet.

For those who were vaccinated during the first vaccination event last week, Phillips says you should go online and schedule your appointment for the second dose with Asante or Providence.

“Just be aware, it may take them a few days or five days to get back to them to confirm,” Phillips said. “We vaccinated more people than we expected, so there is some wait time in getting that confirmation on their second appointment.”

Suspicious House Fire Leads to High Speed Chase Near Grants Pass

An investigation into a suspicious house fire Wednesday night resulted in a violent addendum, according to fire officials — with two suspects leading deputies on a high-speed chase, shooting at their pursuers, then crashing into a guard rail. Rural Metro Fire and Grants Pass Fire Rescue first responded to a house fire in the 4000-block of
Midway Avenue around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. According to Rural Metro, the house was believed to be vacant and occupied by transients. There were no injuries reported in the fire, and officials began an investigation into the fire’s origin. A few hours later, two people led deputies from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office in a high-
speed chase, with the suspects reportedly firing shots at the deputies. The chase ended when the suspects slammed head-on into a guard-rail on Azalea Drive near Galice Road a little after 2 a.m. Emergency crews responded to the crash, and both suspects were taken to hospitals in Grants Pass and Medford with serious injuries. Rural Metro said that the two are believed to be connected to the house fire, though the investigation
into both incidents is ongoing.

Salvation Army Will Be Distributing Winter Coats for Jackson County Kids

This year’s socially distanced Coats for Kids campaign culminates on Saturday as the Salvation Army distributes coats to local families in need at the Expo.

Coats for Kids is an annual campaign helmed by NewsWatch 12 that connects kids in need with winter coats donated by members of the community. Usually coats are donated directly and then distributed by community partners, but the coronavirus pandemic necessitated some changes to how donations are gathered and distributed.

For the 2020 campaign, NewsWatch 12 viewers contributed more than $80,000 toward purchasing new, warm winter coats for local kids in need. Saturday’s event is intended to serve any family in Jackson County who hasn’t already received coats from this year’s campaign.

“We don’t want any child to be cold due to not having a coat,” said Major Jason Koenig, coordinator for the Salvation Army in Medford.

The Salvation Army is holding a one-day event to distribute coats to children in need. The event is set for Saturday, January 30 at the Jackson County Expo parking lot between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. It will be a drive-thru distribution event to provide coats for kids 17 and under.

The event is being managed with COVID-19 safety in mind. Here’s how it will work for people who plan to attend:

  • Drive up through Gate 3
  • Fill out a brief one page application that includes each child’s coat size
  • Volunteers will pull the coat(s) from racks according to gender and size, place them into a bag, and give them to the parent waiting in their car
  • No exchanges or returns due to Covid-19
  • Volunteers will wear masks

AROUND the STATE of OREGON

Friends for over 40 Years Win $7.4 Million Jackpot 

$7.4 million Megabucks jackpot winners Erik Maki and Brian Krahmer

A good friendship is priceless, asErik Maki and Brian Krahmer will tell you. The duo has been friends since middle school and after more than 40 years of sharing a friendship, they can also say they share a $7.4 million Oregon’s Game Megabucks jackpot.

Over the past 28 weeks, Maki and Krahmer, both of Hillsboro, who have also worked together for 25 years, have been taking turns buying Megabucks tickets.

“We always check our tickets on Monday,” said Maki, who has also worked with Krahmer for 25 years. “The best we’d done had been winning a free ticket! Our offices are next door to each other and Brian brought the ticket and said we’d won $7,400. We were pretty excited about that. Then Brian decided to check what number we’d missed and he compared the ticket to the Lottery app. That’s when he saw that we’d matched all six numbers and we’d really won $7.4 million!”

The first thing they did was contact their wives to tell them the news. “They didn’t believe us at first,” said Krahmer. “That was understandable because we both like to joke around.” Once their wives were convinced that had won, Maki and Krahmer wisely contacted their financial planner and CPA before heading to the Lottery to claim their prize January 26.

The two friends split the $7.4 million prize from the January 23 drawing, and after taxes, each received a check for nearly $1.3 million. Krahmer bought their winning ticket at the Cedar Mills Liquor Store on Cornell Road in Portland.

To protect the health and safety of its employees and the public, the Oregon Lottery has temporarily closed the Salem and Wilsonville Lottery offices. Officials with the Lottery continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely. If players have a winning ticket, they can fill out a claim form on the Oregon Lottery website, https://oregonlottery.org/about/claim-prizes , and then mail in the signed ticket and claim form.

Players who have winning tickets of $50,000 or more, will need to make an appointment to come to the Oregon Lottery office in Salem. Call 503-540-1000 for assistance. As always, players should be certain to sign the back of their tickets.

Since 1985, Oregon Lottery players have won more than $38 billion in prizes.

Lottery officials recommend that you always sign the back of your tickets with each Oregon Lottery game you play, to ensure you can claim any prize you may win. In the event of winning a jackpot, players should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings.

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $12 billion for economic development, public education, Outdoor School, state parks, Veteran Services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org 

Grants available for historic properties and archaeology projects
The State Historic Preservation Office is offering grants for work on historic properties and for archaeology projects. The annual grants fund up to $20,000 in matching funds for preservation projects. Both grant programs support the goals of the Oregon Historic Preservation Plan.

The Preserving Oregon Grants fund preservation of historic properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Work may include non-maintenance preservation like window repair, roof work, foundation projects, plumbing, and electrical needs. Recently funded projects include preservation of the following historic properties.

  • Odd Fellows Building in Astoria
  • Butte Creek Mill in Eagle Point
  • Grand Ronde Depot Building
  • Fort Stevens Guard House
  • Carnegie Library in Gresham
  • SP&S Locomotive in Portland
  • Brunk House in Polk County
  • Watts House in Scappoose
  • Triangle Lake Round Barn in Lane County
  • Long Branch Building in Weston

Preserving Oregon Grants can also fund archaeology projects for significant work contributing toward identifying, preserving and/or interpreting archaeological sites. Past projects include the analysis of the Britt Gardens archaeological investigations by Southern Oregon University and study of sites in Lincoln County.

The Diamonds in the Rough Grants help restore or reconstruct the facades of buildings that have been heavily altered over the years. These grants return buildings to their historic appearance and potentially qualify them for historic register designation (local or national). Recent façade projects have taken place in Astoria, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Klamath Falls, Portland, and Sheridan.

The online grant application is simple to use and includes plenty of support.  A free, online grant workshop specific to these grant programs and how to use the online grant application will be offered. Visit the Oregon Heritage grants webpage to register.

  • March, 2:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Diamonds in the Rough building façade projects.
  • March 5, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Preserving Oregon Grants archaeology projects.
  • March 5, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Preserving Oregon Grants historic property projects.
     

Recorded trainings and tips are also online. To learn more about the grants and workshops visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at i.Gill@oregon.gov“>Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.

Oregon Legislative Panel Starts Hearing Policing Bills

Five lawmakers on a House subcommittee will focus on Oregon’s policing practices and the people who carry them out.

They have already started public hearings on more than a dozen bills, some of them overlapping, that propose various changes to Oregon laws in the aftermath of last year’s death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and the nationwide protests it triggered.

One hearing on two bills is scheduled Monday, Feb. 1.

The subcommittee chair is Rep. Janelle Bynum, a Democrat from Clackamas who also leads the full House Judiciary Committee. Her District 51 straddles Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

Bynum, while canvassing her district in 2018, was reported as a “suspicious person” to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. She is Black.

Bynum said in opening the subcommittee’s work Jan. 25 that while there is a need for a strong law enforcement presence, “that is not the only way to keep the peace.”

“I believe that our communities need some healing and an update to our laws so that everyone can live and breathe freely,” she added. “That is the perspective I am bringing to this committee — a sense of fairness, a sense of balance and an opportunity to fix things that have been neglected for a long time — and make sure that all of us feel safer in our communities.”

Bynum was the House co-leader of a joint interim committee that produced half a dozen bills lawmakers passed during a special session June 24-26. But the committee conceded in its final report that more work needs to be done.

While several bills now before the subcommittee emerged from the interim committee, the committee never voted on its final report because it was unable to meet in person in December due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Legislature’s lawyers advised lawmakers that the Oregon Constitution and House rules bar remote voting, unless the governor invokes a “catastrophic disaster” provision that has never been used since voters approved it in 2012.

The two Republican members of the subcommittee are former police chiefs in small communities.

Rep. Ron Noble of McMinnville was police chief from 2006 to 2014, and was with Corvallis police for 18 years before that. He also was on the joint interim committee. Part of his District 24 goes into Washington County.

“I am looking always to ensure the highest professionalism of the people that the Legislature asks to do their bidding to ensure a safe society,” Noble said in his opening statement.

Rep. Rick Lewis of Silverton was police chief from 1988 until his retirement in 2012. He was elected mayor in 2014 and appointed to the House seat in 2017. He also has been chief in Union and Bandon, and worked in Umatilla. Part of his District 18 goes into Clackamas County.

“I want to ensure that what we do is workable, not only for law enforcement, but also addresses the concerns of our citizens,” he said.

Lewis also sat on the interim committee.

The other Democrats on the subcommittee are Maxine Dexter of Portland, a physician with Kaiser Permanente — she represents District 33 in Northwest Portland and part of Washington County — and Marty Wilde of Eugene, a lawyer who also has spent 25 years with the Oregon National Guard, both Army and Air, with overseas service.

All legislative panels are taking testimony virtually or in writing because the Capitol has been closed to the public since March 18, 2020, at the start of the pandemic. They are not expected to amend or advance bills until the midpoint of the session in April, when they will start meeting in person.

Subcommittee agenda

Below is a list of the bills and bill concepts laid out at a subcommittee meeting Jan. 25. Some bills have been drafted by the legislative counsel and carry LC numbers, but have not been officially introduced in the House; others have been drafted by outside groups. Contents of proposals in the latter categories are public; go to the subcommittee website for the full texts.

Bills

(All filed by Rep. Bynum except House Bill 2306)

House Bill 2306 (Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth): Requires police agencies to set up board to review policies annually and report to the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

House Bill 2928: Generally bars police use of tear gas or other chemical irritants, rubber bullets and sound cannons, except where police can justify physical use of force (proposed amended version).

House Bill 2929: Requires police to report misconduct by police involving “unjustified or excessive force,” discrimination, sexual harassment or misconduct, a crime, or violations of minimum standards. Also requires investigation of such reports. Database to be maintained by the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

House Bill 2930: Limits arbitrators’ decisions about alleged misconduct by police. Creates a commission on statewide law enforcement conduct and discipline.

House Bill 2931: Requires an arresting officer to provide for a medical assessment of someone who is arrested. The assessment can be by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

House Bill 2932: Directs Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to set up a statewide database on use of force incidents.

House Bill 2936: Requires Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to investigate the character of officer and reserve candidates before they are accepted for training at the state public safety academy in Salem. Also bars “racist behaviors” by police.

Bill concepts

(These will be assigned new numbers when officially introduced in the House.)

LC 743: Specifies that police uniforms must be blue; black is reserved for members of special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams and correctional emergency response teams. Undercover officers are excepted.

LC 748: Requires a state database to contain any complaint filed against any public safety employee, whether or not it resulted in disciplinary proceedings, and the status of and findings related to the complaint. A state database is maintained by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training of suspensions and revocations of the certifications of officers. (Oregon Innocence Project and Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association)

LC 748: Requires police to report specified disciplinary actions to the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

LC 751: Creates a task force on statewide law enforcement disciplinary standards.

LC 769: Creates a commission on statewide public employee standards on conduct and discipline.

LC 3177: Bars disclosure of booking photos to publish-for-pay publications.

LC 3178: Allows civil lawsuits against police agencies for improper disclosure of personal information of people who file complaints against police.

Concept, no LC number: Uniforms of police in crowd management must bear name, agency identification, and “police,” “sheriff” or “trooper” on jackets or other outerwear.

Five lawmakers on a House subcommittee will focus on Oregon’s policing practices and the people who carry them out.

They have already started public hearings on more than a dozen bills, some of them overlapping, that propose various changes to Oregon laws in the aftermath of last year’s death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and the nationwide protests it triggered.

One hearing on two bills is scheduled Monday, Feb. 1.

The subcommittee chair is Rep. Janelle Bynum, a Democrat from Clackamas who also leads the full House Judiciary Committee. Her District 51 straddles Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

Bynum, while canvassing her district in 2018, was reported as a “suspicious person” to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. She is Black.

Bynum said in opening the subcommittee’s work Jan. 25 that while there is a need for a strong law enforcement presence, “that is not the only way to keep the peace.”

“I believe that our communities need some healing and an update to our laws so that everyone can live and breathe freely,” she added. “That is the perspective I am bringing to this committee — a sense of fairness, a sense of balance and an opportunity to fix things that have been neglected for a long time — and make sure that all of us feel safer in our communities.”

Bynum was the House co-leader of a joint interim committee that produced half a dozen bills lawmakers passed during a special session June 24-26. But the committee conceded in its final report that more work needs to be done.

While several bills now before the subcommittee emerged from the interim committee, the committee never voted on its final report because it was unable to meet in person in December due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Legislature’s lawyers advised lawmakers that the Oregon Constitution and House rules bar remote voting, unless the governor invokes a “catastrophic disaster” provision that has never been used since voters approved it in 2012.

The two Republican members of the subcommittee are former police chiefs in small communities.

Rep. Ron Noble of McMinnville was police chief from 2006 to 2014, and was with Corvallis police for 18 years before that. He also was on the joint interim committee. Part of his District 24 goes into Washington County.

“I am looking always to ensure the highest professionalism of the people that the Legislature asks to do their bidding to ensure a safe society,” Noble said in his opening statement.

Rep. Rick Lewis of Silverton was police chief from 1988 until his retirement in 2012. He was elected mayor in 2014 and appointed to the House seat in 2017. He also has been chief in Union and Bandon, and worked in Umatilla. Part of his District 18 goes into Clackamas County.

“I want to ensure that what we do is workable, not only for law enforcement, but also addresses the concerns of our citizens,” he said.

Lewis also sat on the interim committee.

The other Democrats on the subcommittee are Maxine Dexter of Portland, a physician with Kaiser Permanente — she represents District 33 in Northwest Portland and part of Washington County — and Marty Wilde of Eugene, a lawyer who also has spent 25 years with the Oregon National Guard, both Army and Air, with overseas service.

All legislative panels are taking testimony virtually or in writing because the Capitol has been closed to the public since March 18, 2020, at the start of the pandemic. They are not expected to amend or advance bills until the midpoint of the session in April, when they will start meeting in person.

Subcommittee agenda

Below is a list of the bills and bill concepts laid out at a subcommittee meeting Jan. 25. Some bills have been drafted by the legislative counsel and carry LC numbers, but have not been officially introduced in the House; others have been drafted by outside groups. Contents of proposals in the latter categories are public; go to the subcommittee website for the full texts.

Bills

(All filed by Rep. Bynum except House Bill 2306)

House Bill 2306 (Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth): Requires police agencies to set up board to review policies annually and report to the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

House Bill 2928: Generally bars police use of tear gas or other chemical irritants, rubber bullets and sound cannons, except where police can justify physical use of force (proposed amended version).

House Bill 2929: Requires police to report misconduct by police involving “unjustified or excessive force,” discrimination, sexual harassment or misconduct, a crime, or violations of minimum standards. Also requires investigation of such reports. Database to be maintained by the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

House Bill 2930: Limits arbitrators’ decisions about alleged misconduct by police. Creates a commission on statewide law enforcement conduct and discipline.

House Bill 2931: Requires an arresting officer to provide for a medical assessment of someone who is arrested. The assessment can be by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

House Bill 2932: Directs Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to set up a statewide database on use of force incidents.

House Bill 2936: Requires Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to investigate the character of officer and reserve candidates before they are accepted for training at the state public safety academy in Salem. Also bars “racist behaviors” by police.

Bill concepts

(These will be assigned new numbers when officially introduced in the House.)

LC 743: Specifies that police uniforms must be blue; black is reserved for members of special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams and correctional emergency response teams. Undercover officers are excepted.

LC 748: Requires a state database to contain any complaint filed against any public safety employee, whether or not it resulted in disciplinary proceedings, and the status of and findings related to the complaint. A state database is maintained by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training of suspensions and revocations of the certifications of officers. (Oregon Innocence Project and Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association)

LC 748: Requires police to report specified disciplinary actions to the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

LC 751: Creates a task force on statewide law enforcement disciplinary standards.

LC 769: Creates a commission on statewide public employee standards on conduct and discipline.

LC 3177: Bars disclosure of booking photos to publish-for-pay publications.

LC 3178: Allows civil lawsuits against police agencies for improper disclosure of personal information of people who file complaints against police.

Concept, no LC number: Uniforms of police in crowd management must bear name, agency identification, and “police,” “sheriff” or “trooper” on jackets or other outerwear.

Website of House Judiciary subcommittee on equitable policing, where you can find texts of bills and bill concepts: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Committees/HJUDEP/Overview.

The state Criminal Justice Commission would create a new public database that captures reports on the use or threatened use of force by each police or corrections officer, under a bill heard by an Oregon House subcommittee Wednesday.

State Rep. Maxine Dexter, D-Portland, a proponent of House Bill 2932, argued that it would help create a “culture of accountability and transparency” that would improve the performance of officers. Others in support said they believe it would deter more officers from using excessive force than training would, help provide a true accounting of police actions and identify problematic officers. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Janelle Bynum, D- Clackamas, is one of a number of police reform and criminal justice proposals introduced this legislative session and supported by a 12-member Black, Indigenous and People of Color Caucus. A House subcommittee on equitable policing, which Bynum chairs, held Wednesday’s hearing.

UPDATE – Death Investigation – Clackamas County

 Police say the death of a 16-year-old boy from Washington whose body was found in a parked car at a rest area on Interstate 5 in Oregon “is being treated as suspicious.” The boy, whom Oregon State Police have not yet identified by name, was found Tuesday night at the northbound French Prairie rest area on I-5 in Clackamas County.

“The manner of his death is being treated as suspicious, and investigators are actively examining the circumstances surrounding his death,” police said. The victim was a 16 year old from Washington state.  The name will not be released as he was a juvenile and this is an ongoing investigation.

On Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at approximately 7:37 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers were called to the northbound French Prairie rest area on Interstate 5 in Clackamas County. 

A male was discovered deceased inside a parked vehicle.  The manner of his death is being treated as suspicious, and investigators are actively examining the circumstances surrounding his death. 

No further information is available at this time.  

Fatal Crash on Hwy 31 – Lake County

On Thursday, January 28, 2021 at approximately 8:40 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 31 near milepost 33.

Preliminary investigation revealed a Dodge Dakota, operated by Kenneth Wolfe III (55) of Lakeview, was southbound when it lost control on icy roads, left the roadway, and rolled.

Wolfe III sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

OSP was assisted by Lake County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and ODOT. 

 Alek Skarlatos has a new gig.

The National Guard trooper starred as himself in the Clint Eastwood movie “The 15:17 to Paris” about a thwarted 2015 terror attack that earned Skarlatos the French Legion of Honor and the American Soldier’s Medal. His high-profile heroism led Skarlatos to appear on “Dancing with the Stars” and run for office in Oregon.

The Freedom Foundation announced Thursday that Skarlatos was joining the nonprofit think tank as the group’s national director for development The group has offices in Oregon, Washington, California, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The organization was founded in 1991 and has made headlines in Oregon, including a lawsuit attempting to prevent Gov. Kate Brown’s mask mandate from taking effect.

Must Read

Rogue Valley News, Monday 4/3 – Shooting At Central Point Skate Park, Jackson County Looking At Ways To Revamp Bear Creek Greenway

Renee Shaw

Rogue Valley News, Monday, 11/2 – Election Day Tomorrow in Oregon and Across the Nation

Brian Casey

Rogue Valley News, Wednesday 5/25 – Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Search Warrant Finds More than Just Weed, Suspect Arrested in Medford Area Stabbing, Busy Monday for Grants Pass Police

Renee Shaw