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, February 12, 2021
Rogue Valley Weather
Today- Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 50. Light east wind.
Saturday- Rain, mainly before 5pm. Snow level 4000 feet lowering to 3500 feet. High near 47. West southwest wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Sunday- Rain likely, mainly after 5pm. Snow level 2600 feet rising to 3400 feet in the afternoon. Cloudy, with a high near 46. Light south wind. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Monday/Washington’s Birthday– Rain. High near 51. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Tuesday– A chance of rain. Snow level 3000 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 47.
Oregon reports 621 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 12 new deaths
There are 12 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,056, the Oregon Health Authority reported. Oregon Health Authority reported 621 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 149,082.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (35), Clackamas (35), Clatsop (1), Columbia (11), Coos (17), Crook (11), Curry (4), Deschutes (26), Douglas (46), Grant (1), Harney (5), Hood River (1), Jackson (43), Jefferson (16), Josephine (14), Klamath (6), Lake (10), Lane (57), Lincoln (2), Linn (23), Malheur (1), Marion (32), Morrow (6), Multnomah (77), Polk (17), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (27), Union (5), Wallowa (4), Wasco (4), Washington (58) and Yamhill (24).
Vaccinations in Oregon
Today, OHA reported that 19,695 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 14,004 doses were administered on Feb. 10 and 5,619 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on Feb. 10.
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 623,909 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. To date, 884,175 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.
Dutch Bros Will Donate to Food Banks with Every Drink Sold on Valentine’s Day
Dutch Bros plans to donate $1 from every drink sold on Valentine’s Day to fight hunger through local food banks. The annual ‘Dutch Luv’ event sets aside $1 from every drink sold for local food banks.
This year’s “Dutch Luv Day” event is set for Sunday, February 14. Proceeds will go to food banks that serve the local community — including Access, the Josephine County Food Bank, and Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank.
Dutch Bros says that customers can ask at the window to find out which organization their favorite stand is supporting. On average, a $1 donation helps provide three meals to people facing hunger.
“Serving our communities is the heart of what we do at Dutch Bros,” said Travis Boersma, co-founder and executive chairman of Dutch Bros Coffee. “As we continue to grow as a company, our commitment to make a difference in our communities grows right along with it. I’m stoked to see how our broistas, franchisees, operators and customers come together this year to share the Dutch Luv.”
Dutch Luv began as a canned food drive in 2007, evolving over the next 15 years. Dutch Bros says that it has raised more than $1.8 million for non-profit food banks over the history of the event. In 2020 alone, the event raised $483,346 — translating to more than 1.4 million meals.
“Dutch Luv Day is one of our favorite days of the year,” said Mason Smith, operator of Dutch Bros Grants Pass. “We’re stoked to partner with our customers to make a difference one cup at a time!”
For More Information: https://www.dutchbros.com
Southern Oregon Man Charged With Kidnapping after Freeway Pursuit That Closed I-5 Near Albany
A pursuit that closed Interstate 5 south of Albany Thursday resulted in the arrest of 47-year-old Kenneth M. Burnett of Klamath Falls on multiple charges – including second-degree kidnapping – after authorities closed the freeway at milepost 230.
Oregon State Police troopers from the Springfield Area Command were dispatched to a driving complaint involving a gray Toyota 4-Runner northbound on I-5 from milepost 206.
According to OSP, the caller said the vehicle was passing on the shoulder at a high rate of speed with a large amount of standing water on the roadways. The caller eventually lost sight of it due to weather conditions and speed.
A trooper located the vehicle in the Oak Grove rest area and, when he attempted to contact the occupants, they were non-compliant before taking off in the vehicle, jumping the curb getting back on I-5, police said.
A pursuit ensued before it was discontinued due to weather conditions. It was later located on I-5 northbound at milepost 228 where a spike strip was deployed successfully and the vehicle yielded on the shoulder, letting the passenger out.
The vehicle then once again took off before getting stuck in the mud approximately 1/2 mile north.
“The suspect threw a gun out of the sun roof and less lethal options from SWAT/MRT were used to take the driver into custody for Kidnapping II, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Elude, Hit and Run Property Damage, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm,” OSP said.
Burnett was arrested and ultimately charged with the following:
- Kidnapping II
- Reckless Driving
- Reckless Endangering Person
- Fail to Perform Duties of Driver in Accident with Prop Damage
- Attempt to Elude Fleeing (Vehicle)
Deputies with Linn County Sherriff’s Office responded to assist and ODOT closed I-5 for approximately 45minutes.
AROUND the STATE of OREGON
Free Fishing Weekend Feb. 13/14 in Oregon
Make fishing part of your President’s Day Weekend/Valentine’s Day plans. Everyone can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13-14. No fishing licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag, Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required by Oregon residents or nonresidents to fish, crab or clam in Oregon on those dates.
Although no licenses or tags are required these two days, all other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations to find out more and remember to check for any in-season regulation changes, especially for salmon and steelhead fishing, in the Zone where you will be fishing by visiting the Recreation Report: https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/ You can also check the Recreation Report for the best fishing opportunities this time of year.
With winter weather forecast for the weekend, ice fishing for trout or yellow perch could be an option, but be sure the ice is safe, wear safety gear and follow these other tips (https://myodfw.com/articles/14-tips-ice-fishing-oregon) Several waterbodies in NW, SW and Willamette zones will be stocked with trout, a good option for beginners (see Rec Report for details and our How to fish for trout video series for tips).
If you live near Portland, Bend, Medford, Roseburg or in Lane County, there are lots of nearby options (see links for guides) or check out Easy Angling Oregon, https://myodfw.com/articles/easy-angling-oregon-introduction for other locations.
Crabbing and clamming page has lots of information about how to and where to, https://myodfw.com/crabbing-clamming –remember to take extra precautions during winter and never turn your back on the ocean. Always call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at1-800-448-2474 or check ODA’s Recreational Shellfish page (https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/ShellfishClosures.aspx ) before you go shellfishing.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture regularly tests shellfish and closes areas when naturally occurring biotoxins get to levels that make crabs and clams unsafe to eat. As of today, razor clamming is closed along the entire coast due to domoic acid levels. Crabbing, bay clamming and mussel harvesting are open along the entire coast.
Please remember to follow ongoing precautions in place due to the virus: Practice social distancing. Keep six feet between you and anyone who doesn’t live in your immediate household, including while on a boat or at a fish cleaning station. Wear a mask. Recreation areas can get more crowded during Free Fishing Weekend. Wear a mask outdoors when you can’t maintain six feet of distance from someone who doesn’t live in your household. Wash your hands often. Keep up on personal hygiene and bring your own water, soap, and hand sanitizer with you.
Lottery Offers New Drop Box in Salem for Winners to Claim Prizes
Beginning Friday, Feb. 12, a new drop box at the Lottery offices in Salem will open for players to submit their winning tickets and claim forms. The drop box is for prizes over $600 and up to $50,000. Prizes of $600 or less can be redeemed at any Oregon Lottery retail location. The Lottery’s Wilsonville office remains closed and does not have a drop box.
For the health and safety of Lottery players and employees during the pandemic, the Lottery’s payment centers in Salem and Wilsonville have remained closed to the public since March 2020.
“With Lottery offices closed to the public, winners of Lottery prizes over $600 had limited options to claim their prize,” said Lottery Director Barry Pack. “Players could either patiently wait for the Lottery payment centers to reopen or mail their winning tickets to the Lottery office in Salem. Providing the drop box is just part of an on-going effort to give our players a way to get their prizes without having to put their winning ticket in the mail.”
The drop box offers 24/7 access to submit a prize claim at the Lottery office in Salem. Lottery staff will process claims daily, and players should allow up to 14 days to receive their prize in the mail. Winner claim forms and envelopes will be available at the drop box for players to submit their prize claims.
In addition to the new drop box, the Lottery has been exploring other ways to provide players who have won prizes over $600 with a way to claim their prize. In the coming months, a new walk-up window and a new player-appointment system will also be available.
Players with winning tickets of $50,000 or more, still 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.
For downloadable claim forms and updates, players can go to oregonlottery.org/claim-a-prize.
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
Two Dogs Saved from Residential Structure Fire in Roseburg
At 8:42 a.m. on February 11, 2021, Roseburg Fire Department personnel responded to a reported residential structure fire at 1158 NE Lincoln Street. The reporting party stated that smoke was showing from the roof of the structure and it was unknown if there were any residents inside the structure. Firefighters arrived on scene to find heavy smoke showing from the roof of a two story residential structure.
An interior attack was made by firefighters resulting in location of the fire and quick extinguishment. While completing a primary search, firefighters located and rescued two dogs that were inside the home. Secondary search found no victims and overhaul was completed. It was determined the homeowner was not at the residence at the time of the fire. Firefighters were able to protect the surrounding homes from damage. The primary home sustained structural and water damage. One adult and two dogs were displaced due to the fire; however, no one was injured in the fire.
A fire investigator was on scene and the fire was determined to be caused by cooking and found to be accidental in nature. Twelve firefighters assisted with firefighting operations. Other agencies assisting with the fire included Douglas County Fire District #2, Umpqua Valley Ambulance, Avista Utilities, and Pacific Power.
The Roseburg Fire Department would like to remind everyone of the following cooking fire safety tips:
- Remember to stand by your pan. You can then react quickly if flames appear. Stay in the kitchen when cooking food on the stovetop.
- Keep a 3-foot child and pet-free zone around your cooking area. This helps you stay focused so you can keep an eye on what you fry.
- It is easy to forget about something that is cooking. Use a kitchen timer or a timer on your phone to make sure your dish does not become a fire hazard. This can help you keep an eye on what you heat.
- If a fire starts in a pan, slide a lid (or cookie sheet) over it to smother the fire. Never pour water on a grease fire. Turn off the stove and leave the pan covered until completely cool.
- Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home.
- If you can, close doors behind you when you are escaping, to help contain the fire.
- If the fire has spread to other items, get outside quickly and call 911 from a safe place.
Safety tips are courtesy of the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal.
Oregon House Bill 2612 – Lawmakers Consider Retail Sales of Raw Butter
If you’re a farmer who has something customers want, it only makes sense to do your best to get it to them. Unless, of course, if it’s something that’s illegal to sell in your state — something like raw butter, for example.
That’s the dilemma that Billie Johnson, a dairy farmer in eastern Oregon, is facing. She says there are businesses that want to buy her farm’s unpasteurized, raw butter, but because Oregon doesn’t allow retail sales of raw butter, she’s had to turn to politics in search of a solution.
For the second year in a row, she has gone to the state Capitol in hopes of resolving this issue This year she’s pitching a plea for the passage of House Bill 2612, which would allow for the sale of butter made from milk that hasn’t been pasteurized. The bill would also direct the state’s Agriculture Department to establish grades and standards for such butter.
Supporters of the bill say it will give new options to dairy farmers and consumers without sacrificing food safety. Violations of the regulations would be punishable by up to a year in prison, a criminal fine of up to $6,250 and a civil penalty of up to $10,000.
But that doesn’t scare Johnson, simply because she believes that raw butter is safe. So safe, in fact, that she calls it “brain food.” “I want anyone who wants it to be able to get it,” she said. “I want to be able to sell it anywhere in the state where there’s a market for it.” “We have a lot of demand for raw butter,” she told legislators during a recent hearing before the Oregon House Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee.
On the national level, the Food and Drug Agency has banned raw butter and other unpasteurized, raw dairy products — except aged cheese — from being transported or sold across state lines.
In comments about the Oregon bill, Lapsley McAfee of Raw Farm (originally Organic Pastures Dairy Company) in California said that in his state, raw butter is sold in 500 stores. “It is a top seller,” he said. Describing it as a low risk food, he said that it’s considerably safer than raw milk. Not only that, he said there have been no illnesses associated with it in the past 10 years in CDC’s database. “All people should be able to enjoy the healthful benefits of raw butter,” he said.
Mark McAfee, owner of Raw Farm, said that his dairy can’t make enough unpasteurized butter to meet demand “at this point.” In the past 20 years, it has sold more than 2 million pounds of raw butter without any known incidents. Yet even though he can legally sell his raw butter in California, he cannot ship it out of state.
While the retail sale of raw butter is prohibited in Oregon, it is legal in 11 states. And selling it directly to customers is legal in three states. However, the Food & Drug Agency prohibits it from being sold across state lines. “Businesses are asking us for this product,” Johnson said during a recent hearing before the House Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee.
The food safety debate
While raw-butter consumers and advocates give it an enthusiastic thumbs up, Tami Kerr, executive director of The Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, urged lawmakers to carefully consider the oversight and regulation of products such as raw butter.
“If people get sick from it, it gives the industry a black eye,” she said, referring to dairy in general. “And it’s not so much a matter of if but when.” “We understand the desire of some small producers and their markets to have access to raw products, including butter,” she said. “We also understand the value of pasteurization and combating micro-organisms in retail products.”
Those microorganisms include E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella, foodborne organisms that can get people sick, very sick, or even kill them. But to Johnson, providing raw milk and raw milk products for people is all about the survival of the family farm. As part of that, food safety is paramount. “It’s a way of developing a way to get what we produce on the farm directly to consumers,” she said.
Saving the farm
Johnson’s farm, Windy Acres Dairy Farm (https://www.windyacresdairy.com) in Eastern Oregon, has 70 cows, although not all of them are milkers. The farm is a herd share, which means that members own part of it. Besides raw butter, it produces raw milk, kefir, yogurt, cream and aged cheese — “anything you can think of that can be made with raw milk,” Johnson says.
Under a herdshare arrangement, members don’t buy any of the dairy’s products because they’re part-owners of it. This is a way that dairies can offer raw milk and other raw milk products without being under the state’s Agriculture Department’s regulations. Some people call it a loophole that lets them get away with producing raw-milk products that are prohibited under state law. It also frees them from inspections.
But to Johnson and other raw-milk dairy producers, herd shares are a way to stay in business. And that’s where raw butter comes into the picture. Considering the strong demand for it, to be able to sell it to restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores and other outlets would help flush more money into the dairy’s bottomline.
And people are willing to pay a pretty penny for it: $16 a loaf. (A loaf is equivalent to a pound.) “It’s all in the eyes of the beholder,” Johnson said about the price of raw butter. “It you value your health, you’ll value your food.” She also said that it is “real food” and has better flavor than the conventional butter you buy in the store.
Proponents say that the passage of HB 2612 would give dairy farmers a better shot at making a living and could help stem the decline in the number of Oregon dairy farms. In 1992 Oregon had 1,900 farms with dairy cows, according to USDA data; the latest figures from the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association shows there are 194 dairy farms left in the state.
Johnson said being able to buy raw butter in retail outlets would help keep customers from traveling to northern California to buy it. And that, in turn, would help keep more of the state’s food dollars in the state. If the bill were to be adopted, it would go into effect on the 91st day after the session has adjourned in June.
Boat Capsizes off Netarts Bay
Authorities say two people were unresponsive after they were rescued from the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast Thursday. The duo’s boat capsized in Netarts Bay and an outgoing current pulled them toward the ocean, according to Netarts-Oceanside Fire District Fire Chief Tim Carpenter, fire chief.
He said the woman and man clung onto the boat, then hit waves at the mouth of the bay and became separated from it. Neither was wearing a lifejacket.
Authorities on personal watercraft rescued them and took them to shore, Carpenter said.
Both were unresponsive when they reached the shore. Carpenter didn’t know their conditions after they were taken away in ambulances. He guessed they were in the water from 20 to 30 minutes.
Three Killed in Crash on Highway 26 in Clatsop County
A Pendleton man was among three people killed in a crash on Wednesday, Feb. 10, northwest of Portland, according to police.
Oregon State Police said troopers and emergency personnel responded to a crash involving two vehicles just after 10 a.m. on U.S. Highway 26 in Clatsop County.
Walter Smith, 21, of Pendleton, was driving a Mercedes station wagon west when he lost control, slid sideways into the eastbound lanes of Highway 26 and collided with a Toyota Tacoma operated by Natalie Swauger, 30, of Seaside.
Smith and his passengers — Erick Fadness, 20, of Decorah, Iowa, and a 16-year-old female from Portland — all suffered fatal injuries and were pronounced dead, according to state police.
Swauger was transported by air ambulance to a Portland hospital.
Speed is believed to be a contributing factor, police said.
OSP was assisted at the scene by the Seaside Fire Department and Oregon Department of Transportation.