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
Monday, May 3, 2021
Rogue Valley Weather
Today- Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. Calm wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.
Tuesday- Sunny, with a high near 78. Calm wind becoming north northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Wednesday- Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Light and variable wind.
Thursday- A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 70.
Friday- A chance of showers. Snow level 3700 feet rising to 4600 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 62.
Oregon reports 756 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths
There are three new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,501. The Oregon Health Authority reported 756 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 186,344.
More than 2,500 deaths in Oregon is a tragic milestone in the pandemic. Oregon Health Authority extends condolences to all of those who have lost a family member, friend, colleague or community member to COVID-19.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (16), Clackamas (93), Columbia (4), Crook (8), Deschutes (67), Douglas (11), Grant (1), Hood River (6), Jackson (13), Jefferson (4), Josephine (10), Klamath (35), Lane (56), Lincoln (3), Linn (24), Malheur (1), Marion (81), Morrow (1), Multnomah (217), Polk (12), Tillamook (2), Union (1), Wasco (2), Washington (74) and Yamhill (14).
Vaccinations in Oregon
Today, OHA reported that 22,443 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 19,147 doses were administered on May 1 and 3,296 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on May 1.
The seven-day running average is now 33,710 doses per day.
Oregon has now administered a total of 1,632,561 first and second doses of Pfizer, 1,315,255 first and second doses of Moderna and 96,938 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
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).
To date, 1,940,445 doses of Pfizer, 1,575,700 doses of Moderna and 228,800 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines 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 number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 345, which is 14 more than yesterday. There are 76 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is five more than yesterday.
The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 2,322, which is a 21.3% increase from the previous seven days. The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients in the most recent seven days is 345.
The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity. More information about hospital capacity can be found here.
With Klamath and 14 other Oregon counties return to Extreme Risk restrictions last Friday, 2/3 of the county commissioners in Oregon – including each and every member of the county boards in Klamath, Jackson and Lakes counties – are calling on Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to reconsider.
Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich issued what he described as a “call to action” Thursday “for citizens to contact Governor Kate Brown and ask her to postpone placing counties into the extreme risk category and to
immediately reconsider the metrics used to set the risk levels based on our current vaccination levels and to review the sector guidance for high and extreme risk based on current trends in transmissions.”
A joint letter from the Association of Oregon Counties and the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association that was signed by dozens of county officials from across the state. Despite that letter, and others sent indivicually by other county officials throughout the state, Brown has not responded either in a letter or phone call to any of those that signed the letter. In case you’re interested in calling yourself, here’s the number: 503-378-4582, then choose option 3 to leave a message as the phone will not be answered by a live person.
In a press conference on Friday morning, Governor Brown defended her decision to place 15 Oregon counties under “Extreme Risk” restrictions after the state surpassed a benchmark of 300 people hospitalized with COVID-19.
Vaccination progress has meant that fewer seniors are being hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms, Brown said, but
severe cases have increased among younger groups with the increasing spread of virus variants. The Governor said that hospitalizations of people 18 to 34 has increased nearly 50 percent.
Brown reiterated that Oregon’s restrictions should be lifted by the end of June as vaccinations proceed, and highlighted another $20 million in relief funds
earmarked for struggling businesses. That funding will be distributed to counties for them to make available.
More than $28 billion in funding intended to support struggling U.S. restaurants goes up for grabs on Monday.
The “Restaurant Revitalization Fund” is one component of the American Rescue Plan that was signed into law on March 11. Made available through the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund offers a total of $28.6 billion in direct relief for restaurants and other food establishments that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying shutdowns.
The fund can provide restaurants with relief equal to their pandemic-related revenue losses — up to $10 million per business, and no more than $5 million per location. Funds have to be used for allowable expenses by March 11 of 2023. Registration for the relief funds began on Friday, and the SBA will begin accepting applications on Monday, May 3, at 9 a.m. Pacific time.
Oregon now one of the states with biggest percentage increases of Covid cases
New cases of COVID-19 in the United States fell 16% last week to about 409,000, the biggest percentage drop in weekly new cases since February, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.
Deaths from COVID-19 fell 4% to 4,972 in the week ended April 25, dropping below 5,000 for the first time since October.
Michigan still led the states in new cases per capita, though new infections fell 29% last week compared to the previous seven days. New cases also fell by over 20% in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the states with the next highest rates of infection based on population.
New infections are still rising on a weekly basis in 12 out of 50 states, down from 30 states last month. The states with the biggest percentage increases are Tennessee, Oregon and Arizona.
Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Interstate 5 Jackson County Early Monday Morning
On Monday, May 3, 2021, at approximately 2:53 A.M., Oregon State Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a pedestrian lying in the median of Interstate 5 near Medford in Jackson County.
Preliminary investigation revealed that a pedestrian was in the middle of the roadway for unknown reasons and was struck by a passing semi-truck. The driver of the semi-truck was on scene and cooperative with the investigation. The pedestrian was pronounced deceased on scene by emergency personnel. His name will be released when appropriate.
Interstate 5 was reduced to one lane for crash reconstruction. OSP was assisted on scene by Medford Fire, Mercy Flights, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and ODOT. — Oregon State Police
Serious Rollover On Redwood Highway Near Wonder
According to Rural Metro Fire, a violent crash on Redwood Highway near Milepost 12.5 sent multiple people to the hospital with serious injuries.
During an investigation, conducted by Oregon State Police, police discovered that the truck left the road and rolled multiple times, before finally hitting a utility pole.
Police also say that both occupants were ejected from the truck.
RMF says that a sheriff’s deputy came upon the crash and initiated care to both occupants of the vehicle before rescue crews from Rural Metro Fire, Grants Pass Fire Rescue and AMR-Josephine County arrived.
Both occupants were transported to Rogue Regional Medical Center for their injuries by AMR.
Police also say that Highway 199 was reduced to one lane following the crash for reconstruction.
NewsWatch 12 has reached out to OSP to confirm the status of the people inside of that rollover crash and what may have lead to the vehicle leaving the road.
OSP says that the incident is still under an investigation and they are currently looking into the situation.
This is a developing story and we will continue to provide updates as soon as they become available.
AROUND the STATE of OREGON
Federal changes increase Emergency SNAP Benefits for many households, eliminate them for some
Most Oregonians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive emergency allotments in May. The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since March 2020, to give SNAP recipients additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are two important federal changes to the SNAP Emergency Allotments in May 2021.
Households that are already receiving the maximum SNAP benefits for their household size will now receive an additional $95 in emergency allotments in May.
This increase will impact approximetly 284,000 households (67% of Oregon SNAP households) and will have an impact of $28 million in additional benefits for households in Oregon.
Households who are eligible for $0 in regular SNAP benefits will not receive the May emergency allotments.
This change is because the federal government clarified households must receive regular SNAP to be eligible for emergency allotments. This change doesn’t impact other SNAP benefits and services these households may receive, such as employment and training services. This change will impact approximately 4,300 households. Those impacted by this change are encouraged to report any changes that may impact their regular SNAP amount, such as loss of income or increase in shelter expenses.
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to increase emergency benefits available to some SNAP households in Oregon,” said Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “We also know that for those 4,300 households who will no longer receive the emergency allotments, that this change can be significant and difficult. We encourage them, and all Oregonians who are struggling to meet their basic needs to contact our partners at 211 and the Oregon Food Bank.”
Emergency allotments will be dispersed on May 11 for current SNAP households. New SNAP households or households who are now eligible for the additional $95 will receive the emergency allotment on May 28.
SNAP recipients do not have to take any action to receive these supplemental benefits as they will be issued directly on their EBT cards.
More information about emergency allotments is available at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/About-SNAP.aspx.
Questions about your SNAP benefits should be directed to local ODHS offices or by calling the ONE customer service center at 1-800-699-9075.
If you are a SNAP household and your income or the number of people in your household has changed that could impact your benefits. It is important to make sure we have the most up-to-date information.
You can report any changes to your income or household in many ways:
- Online at: ONE.Oregon.gov
- By mail at: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309
- By fax at: 503-378-5628
- By phone at: 1-800-699-9075 or TTY 711
Resources to help meet basic needs
- Find a food pantry: foodfinder.oregonfoodbank.org
- Learn about government programs and community resources for older adults and people with disabilities: Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon at 1-855-673-2372 or www.adrcoforegon.org.
- Dial 2-1-1, or text your zip code to 898-21, www.211info.org
- Oregon Department of Human Services Resources
Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372. — Oregon Department of Human Services
OIT Picket LIne Update
After a week of forming a picket line at the entrance of the Klamath Falls campus of the Oregon Institute of Technology, Friday was a day of growing solidarity and new tactics from striking faculty to encourage a compromise on contract negotiations.
After a march across campus, students walked into Snell Hall — home to administration offices — chanting in support of faculty. Some participated in a sit-in outside of the cashier’s office. Their goal, said graduate student Brie Landis, was disruption.
Students entered Snell saying they had business at the cashier’s office. When the students arrived chanting, the cashier’s office closed. As the students sat in the hall outside the office, not blocking the walkway or the doors, they spoke about how much they are paying for classes and how much this week is costing them while their classes are stalled.
Two Films Wrap Up Shooting in Klamath Falls
After a fast-paced week of filming, the final scenes wrapped on Thursday afternoon for two films simultaneously shooting in the Klamath Basin this week; the first of multiple film productions planned for the region this year. “This is Their Land,” a short film produced by Cal State Northridge students in the Tulelake area about the Modoc Wars of the 1870s, and a comedy-horror short film titled “Matterhorn” shot around Klamath Falls by a Los Angeles-based film crew completed production.
Months of work remain before either film will be presented to audiences. Both productions arrived in Klamath Falls on Friday, April 23 for final pre-production planning and location scouting before cameras rolled, and despite an unexpected snowstorm on Sunday altering scheduled outdoor scenes, both projects managed to complete within their anticipated timelines.
For Martin Hilligoss, the director and screenwriter of “Matterhorn,” the trip to Klamath County was a return to familiar grounds. Raised in Ashland and now a resident of Los Angeles and recent graduate of the prestigious USC film program, Hilligoss last year had two of his short films shot around Lake of the Woods selected for the 2020 Klamath Independent Film Festival
Police arrested six people after two “autonomous” May Day demonstrations in downtown Portland turned destructive late Saturday.
About 100 demonstrators took the streets around Shemanski Park, smashing windows and spray-painting graffiti on
multiple downtown Portland businesses. Police declared a riot just after 10 p.m. and began making what the bureau called “targeted arrests.”
Around the same time, Federal Protective Services warned a group of several dozen people near the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in South Portland that the building was closed. Officers seized a baseball bat, body armor, a flare and a knife from demonstrators.
‘Sharks of the Oregon Coast’ Netarts Bay WEBS Virtual Program Set for May 6th
The waters off the Oregon Coast are home to at least 17 species of sharks. But not all sharks are created equally; these creatures come in all sizes, shapes, colors and notoriety. From salmon sharks to basking sharks, soupfin sharks and yes, even great white sharks, these predators play a crucial role in helping to maintain a delicately-balanced ecosystem. In other words: sharks help keep the oceans and everything living in them healthy. And while sharks typically get a bad rap, most of Oregon’s sharks are actually quite harmless and non-threatening.
Join the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS on May 6th at 6pm for their latest virtual program: ‘Sharks of the Oregon Coast.’ WEBS is hosting Taylor Chapple, an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University working to increase our understanding and appreciation of sharks off the Oregon coast and around the world.
Taylor’s background is in population modeling of highly mobile species, notably the white shark. He is focused on shifting the current mantra from fear and apprehension of sharks to one of awe and inspiration. Taylor has worked all over the planet engaging people, through science, television, magazines and technology, to think differently about the predators in their backyard.
This free program will be offered via Zoom and will take place online. To register, visit netartsbaywebs.org. or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sharks-of-the-oregon-coast-registration-149388092807
This event is part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Hosted by a consortium of volunteer, community and non-profit organizations, these meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve the area’s natural resources and natural resource-based economy. Find out more about Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS by following our Facebook and Instagram pages (@netartsbaywebs) and stay connected with the Explore Nature Partnership at www.explorenaturetillamookcoast.com or on social media (@explorenature_tillamookcoast).
We understand everyone learns differently and we are open to working with anyone that needs additional support. We will adjust how we offer this event to meet the needs of participants, however we have limited capacity. Please contact us in advance so we can do our best to accommodate your needs.
This event is primarily supported by the Oregon Community Foundation and private donations. Explore Nature series is partially supported by Tillamook Coast Visitors Association and the Travel Oregon Forever Fund.