The latest news stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the digital home of Southern Oregon, Wynne Broadcasting’s RogueValleyMagazine.com
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Rogue Valley Weather
Today– A 20 percent chance of showers after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. Calm wind becoming northwest 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.
Wednesday– A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Thursday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. Light and variable wind.
Friday– A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 74.
Saturday– A chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 86.
Oregon reports 125 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 0 new deaths
There are no new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, and the state’s death toll remains at 2,694. The Oregon Health Authority reported 125 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 203,374.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (1), Benton (1), Clackamas (19), Clatsop (1), Columbia (3), Crook (1), Deschutes (8), Douglas (5), Grant (1), Harney (2), Jefferson (1), Josephine (2), Klamath (4), Lane (14), Linn (6), Morrow (2), Multnomah (37), Polk (2), Union (1), Wasco (2), Washington (2), Yamhill (10).
Vaccinations in Oregon
Today, OHA reported that 14,268 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 10,301 doses were administered on June 6 and 3,967 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on June 6. Note:Today’s totals include data from June 5 and 6 which was not reported due to maintenance of the ALERT Immunization Information System.(IIS)
The seven-day running average is now 14,545 doses per day.
Oregon has now administered 2,293,598 first and second doses of Pfizer,1,641,377 first and second doses of Moderna and 150,091 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
As of today, 1,939,623 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 2,286,813 who have had at least one dose. The number of adult Oregonians needing vaccinations to reach the 70% threshold is 106,671. A daily countdown can be found on the OHA website.
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 IIS.
To date,?2,852,235 doses of Pfizer, 2,168,120 doses of Moderna and?299,000 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 206, which is eight more than yesterday.?There are 50 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is eight fewer than yesterday.
The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 1,512, which is a 16.9% decrease from the previous seven days. The peak daily number of beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients in the most recent seven days is 238.
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.
OHA issues revised quarantine guidance
New guidance released by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) allows Local Public Health Authorities to consider a shortened quarantine period for a person with COVID-19.
OHA is now recommending a 10-day quarantine or a seven-day quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test as acceptable alternatives. The shortened quarantine option is not recommended in high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities and other residential care settings.
However, in all cases, a 14-day quarantine is the safest option to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. Revised guidance for this new recommendation is being finalized.
People who have been fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine even after exposure to a person with COVID-19. A person is considered fully vaccinated if it has been two weeks or longer since they received the final dose of their vaccine series. People who are fully vaccinated are still encouraged to isolate and seek testing if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
Oregon OSHA confirmed on Monday that it will repeal most elements of a permanent rule codifying COVID-19 rules in the workplace once the state reaches Governor Kate Brown’s benchmark of 70 percent vaccinated.
Governor Brown has repeatedly stated that most of the state’s coronavirus restrictions will be lifted once 70 percent of Oregonian adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine. OSHA said that Brown asked them to review rules currently in place in light of the goal. Discussions on the broader rule-set are expected to begin the week of June 14, OSHA said. Preceded by a temporary rule, the permanent list of COVID-19 measures took effect on May 4. The
permanent rule did include changes introduced through public comment, OSHA said, but the requirements are “largely consistent” with those in place since November of last year, following guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. As of Monday morning, OHA reported that 66.2 percent of Oregonian adults had received at least one dose of a vaccine.
Meanwhile, Oregon OSHA issued citations with penalties totaling $44,600 to four employers in May, with all of the cases involving willful violations of rules designed to protect workers from potential exposure to the coronavirus disease.
The citations were issued to two restaurants, a bakery, and a wood products company in Deschutes, Wasco, Linn, and Multnomah counties, respectively. Penalties ranged from $8,900 to $17,800. Violations included willfully failing to ensure workers and customers wore face coverings indoors, and willfully allowing indoor dining despite operating in a county that was designated as an “extreme risk” for transmission of COVID-19.
Ongoing refusals to correct violations and come into compliance with workplace health and safety standards can lead to additional higher penalties. Meanwhile, if an Oregon OSHA inspection documents violations while a county is at extreme risk, but the county’s risk level drops before the citation is issued, the citation will still be issued. The change in risk levels may affect how the violation needs to be corrected, but not whether it is cited.
The Britt Festival Orchestra’s 2021 Season Features a Unique Musical Experience – Brush: Music in the Woodlands
The Britt Festival Orchestra (BFO) will present the world premiere of an experiential new work by the multi-faceted, Pulitzer Prize-winning musician and composer, Caroline Shaw. Under the leadership of the festival’s Music Director, Teddy Abrams, the BFO will perform this special project on the Jacksonville Woodlands Trail system in six free performances from July 30 through August 2, 2021.
Audience members will walk along the trails above the Britt Pavilion through groups of musicians spread along the trail, experiencing Brush: Music in the Woodlands as they go. “It points toward the idea of experiencing a brief encounter with something new and unexpected (“a brush with…”), and thinking about musical textures and ideas as brushstrokes, and of course the image of the brush in the woodlands,” says Shaw.
After the disastrous Almeda fire in addition to the pandemic last year, the BFO is giving back to the community with these free performances.
While COVID-19 has made planning our summer season difficult, the nature of the work will allow our performances to happen with all the necessary safety measures in place.
Brush: Music in the Woodlands continues Britt’s efforts to take the BFO into distinct outdoor settings to highlight the relationship between music and nature. These efforts are foundational to Britt’s mission and have become a point of emphasis for the BFO since our 2016 Crater Lake Project. “We’ve always been dreaming about a successor to the Crater Lake Project, another piece that brings music together with nature,” Music Director and Conductor Teddy Abrams said. “Given that Britt’s venue is immediately next to these beautiful Woodlands Trails in Jacksonville, it seems only natural that we would connect these two elements together. Caroline is the perfect person to imagine this music. She has such a creative mind and spirit of wonder that lend themselves well to developing this kind of experience.”
Following her time as the 2019 Composer/Conductor Fellow, Caroline Shaw is excited to share this musical experience with the world. Brush: Music in the Woodlands will explore interesting points along the Jacksonville Woodlands Trails by spreading small groups of BFO musicians along a 2.5-mile loop. On her vision of the musical experience, Shaw says, “Ultimately, I want the piece to be about how we listen and how we pay attention to the world around us, and if you give the world just a little bit more of a moment, you’ll notice something you wouldn’t have noticed before.” A recognized composer of pieces that range from voice and solo instruments to orchestras, this is Shaw’s first work created for a site-specific outdoor performance.
“We are excited to offer this special musical experience to our patrons and the southern Oregon community,” says Britt President and CEO, Donna Briggs. “After the devastating fires of last year and the ongoing pandemic, this is our chance to give back and share the joy of live music with our community.”
This special event is free to attend, but given our desire to minimize environmental impacts and to help traffic flow, registration will be required. Registration will open when we announce the rest of the offerings for the 2021 BFO season on June 25th. To stay up to date on the project and how to participate, please sign up for the Britt Buzz newsletter at Brittfest.org.
Performance dates and times:
Friday, July 30, 6:30-8:30 PM
Saturday, July 31, 10:00 AM-12:30 PM
Saturday, July 31, 6:30-8:30 PM
Sunday, August 1, 10:00 AM-12:30 PM
Sunday, August 1, 6:30-8:30 PM
Monday, August 2, 6:30-8:30 PM
Fatal Crash on Hwy 199 in Josephine County
On Monday, June 7, 2021 at approximately 2:30 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two vehicle crash on Hwy 199 near mile post 25.
Preliminary investigation revealed a Dodge Caravan, operated by Ronald Johnson (73) of Cave Junction, was southbound when it hit the back of a Nissan Frontier, operated by Brandi Millen (39) of Kerby, which was stopped to turn left into a private driveway.
Johnson sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased while being transported by ambulance.
Millen was transported to the hospital with non life threatening injuries. OSP was assisted by the Illinois Valley Fire District and ODOT. — Oregon State Police
Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Warns of Calls “Donations for Our Officer“
The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety is getting reports of phone calls asking citizens to make a donation for our officer who was assaulted at the Boatnik Carnival. These phone calls were made without the knowledge or approval of our Department or the officer. Neither GPDPS nor the Grants Pass Police Association would ever call citizens asking for monetary donations. Please be aware persons calling claiming to be operating on behalf of GPDPS or the officer are not legitimate.
We urge anyone who gets an unsolicited call for a charitable donation to always verify the organization and its legitmacy. Unfortunately persons committing fraud will sometimes pose as a charity in order to take your money. Legitimate organizations should offer alternative ways to make a donation other than a phone call.
If you did provide money to a caller in regard to our assaulted officer, please call our Department and file a police report. 541-450-6260. — Grants Pass Dept. of Public Safety
AROUND the STATE of OREGON
OHA Announces New Section and Manager for Psilocybin Programs
Angie Allbee, former OHA policy advisor, to lead Psilocybin Services Section
The Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division has a new section to oversee the state’s new psilocybin services program, and a new manager to lead it.
Angie Allbee, who has served as senior policy advisor for OHA Government Relations, based in the External Relations Division, since 2018, has been named manager for the Psilocybin Services Section. The section, created to develop and administer psilocybin services programs as directed with the passage of Measure 109 last November, will be part of the Center for Health Protection, which houses programs that oversee health care facilities and licensing, and environmental health and regulation.
“We’re all very familiar with Angie’s hard work and commitment to public health from her current and soon-to-be-past role as the Public Health Division’s legislative senior policy advisor,” said Andre Ourso, J.D., administrator of the Center for Health Protection. “I’m looking forward to working with Angie in building the new section and implementing Measure 109.”
Allbee begins her work as section manager on June 1. She’s says she’s honored to lead the new program she hopes will bring innovative therapies to Oregonians with mental health conditions.
“I am excited to help move the agency closer to our strategic plan goal of eliminating health inequities while creating safe, effective and accessible psilocybin services in Oregon,” she said.
A Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board will make recommendations to OHA and the Psilocybin Services Section on available scientific studies and research on the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating mental health conditions. The board also will make recommendations on the requirements, specifications and guidelines for providing psilocybin services in Oregon.
Allbee has worked on shaping legislative policy for almost a decade. In addition to serving as senior policy adviser for OHA Government Relations for three legislative sessions, she has served in policy roles with the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, Oregon House Majority Office and Oregon Legislative Assembly.
Prior to her policy work in Oregon, Allbee spent nearly a decade in the non-profit sector engaging with a diverse range of clients, including older adults, individuals experiencing disabilities, refugees, asylees, veterans and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault—work she says “taught me that healing is an essential part of experiencing a healthy, joyful life.”
“Psilocybin therapy offers another option for healing that has been used for centuries by indigenous and tribal communities, and has generated a growing body of research over many decades,” she added. “I am honored to be part of this very important work and to ensure safe, effective and equitable access to psilocybin therapy in Oregon.”
Allbee has recently served on the Board of Advisors for the Voxapod Menstrual Equity Project and worked with community members in rural St. Thomas, Jamaica, to secure infrastructure for the Access to Safe Drinking Water Project. She received her Executive Master of Public Administration degree from the Hatfield School of Government in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University.
Man Arrested in Klamath County with 87 Pounds of Meth
Methamphetamine and cocaine were found during a traffic stop along Highway 97 in Klamath County over the weekend, according to Oregon State Police.
The traffic stop occurred Saturday, at about 12:19 a.m., on Highway 97 near milepost 287. OSP said a trooper from the Klamath Falls Area Command stopped an SUV for speeding. The trooper noticed signs of criminal activity during the stop and a consent search was conducted, according to OSP. The trooper located about 87.1 pounds of meth and about 2.2 pounds of cocaine concealed in the vehicle.
The driver, identified by OSP as 42-year-old Pablo Carmona-Carmona, from Yakima, Washington, was arrested. He was booked into the Klamath County Jail for unlawful possession, manufacture and delivery of methamphetamine, and unlawful possession and delivery of cocaine.
Investigation Continues Into Human Remains Found On Saturday in Douglas County
The investigation continues into human remains found on Saturday near the base of Mt. Nebo, along the Interstate Five southbound onramp at exit 124 in Roseburg.
Saturday detectives from Oregon State Police, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue crews and County Medical Examiner Craig Kinney spent hours combing the area.
Along with searching next to the freeway, some involved climbed to the first terrace of the hillside.
This is not the first-time human remains have been found in that area.
On June 6th, 2018, workers with the Oregon Department of Transportation were performing maintenance operations along the northbound offramp of the same interchange when they located a nearly full human skull.
In December of 2019, OSP said that DNA testing determined the remains were those of Scotty Evenson, who would have been 44 years of age at the time they were discovered. OSP said Evenson, who was from Myrtle Creek, had been reported as missing at some point in the past on a Facebook post, but never to police.
Oregon DHS Looking For Missing Clackamas Teen
The Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division is asking for the public’s help locating a Clackamas teenager who has been missing since last week.
DHS says ShaNai K. Daniels, 16, who is a foster child, went missing from the Clackamas area on June 4 and is believed to be in danger. According to DHS, Daniels is suspected to be attempting to fly to Newark, New Jersey, out of the Portland International Airport. She may also be in Salem.
Daniels is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall, 133 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.
Anyone who has information about ShaNai’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 or local law enforcement.
Sheriff’s Office Confirms Missing Man From Klamath Falls Found Dead
A man who was reported missing from the Klamath Falls area in April was discovered dead, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Monday.
31-year-old Benjamin “Buttons” Mowery was out of contact with friends and family for an unknown amount of time, though he may have been sighted in Klamath Falls on March 24. KCSO confirmed that he had been reported missing on April 6. A Sheriff’s Office official had said at the time that Mowery’s vehicle had been discovered burned.
In a statement issued on Monday, KCSO said only that investigators had located and confirmed Mowery’s death. There was no further information about the circumstances, which the agency said are still under investigation.
“Mr. Mowery’s family has been notified and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time,” KCSO said.
Anyone with information about Mowery’s death is asked to contact the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office at 541-883-5130, or through the KCSO tip line at 541-8505380.
Mild Weather Helps Slow Eastern Oregon Fire Near Joseph That Has Burned Over 4,000 Acres
Cooler temperatures and less wind are helping firefighters tackle a blaze that has consumed 4,000 acres between remote eastern Oregon and Washington since Friday.
The Joseph Canyon fire remains 0% contained, but milder weather has helped firefighters slow its spread, officials said in a statement Monday.
Six specialized crews, 12 fire engines and seven helicopters were fighting the blaze, with additional resources and firefighters on the way, said Larisa Bogardus, public affairs officer with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
The Joseph County fire was one of several blazes that started Thursday night and Friday morning when thunderstorms passed through the region. The Washington Department of Natural Resources spotted the fire Friday morning when lightning struck, starting flames that spread through the canyon’s dry, grassy vegetation and crossed the border from Wallowa County.
The blaze is about 23 miles southwest of Lewiston, Idaho, and is burning in the Nez Perce Precious Lands Wildlife Area, Héte’wits Wétes, an area in Wallowa County protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
The fire nearly doubled in size between late Saturday and Sunday morning, when “extreme winds” limited firefighters’ ability to attack the blaze by air. Cooler temperatures and less windy conditions helped firefighters limit the spread of the fire to 300 acres Sunday.
The area’s steep, rugged terrain remains their biggest challenge, officials said.
No structures had been threatened or destroyed Sunday afternoon and no livestock had been killed, but ranchers were moving cattle away from the fire, Bogardus said.
Another blaze is burning about 10 miles southeast of the Joseph Canyon fire. Firefighters are working to contain the Dry Creek fire, which has burned through 1,600 acres in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area inside the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in remote northeast Oregon.
Oregon’s fire season is off to an early start, with dry spring weather leaving most of the state in a drought. This has firefighters and emergency preparedness officials on high alert heading into summer.
More than 1 million acres burned in September when a succession of fires swept through nearly every part of the state and choked much of Oregon in smoke. About 10% of the state’s residents were subject to an evacuation warning at some point that month.