Rogue Valley News, Tuesday 6/15 – Customer Wins $1 Million Monopoly Prize at Albertsons N. Phoenix Road Store In Medford, Deputies Search for Missing Texas Man Near Prospect

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 15, 2021

Rogue Valley Weather

Today– Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 78. Calm wind becoming northwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.

Wednesday– Sunny, with a high near 89. Light north northwest wind.

Thursday– Sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming north northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Friday– Sunny, with a high near 93.

Saturday– Sunny, with a high near 94.

COVID UPDATES

Oregon reports 127 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 0 new deaths

There are no new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, the state’s death toll remains at 2,730. The Oregon Health Authority reported 127 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today bringing the state total to 205,154.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (1), Benton (1), Clackamas (25), Clatsop (5), Columbia (2), Crook (2), Deschutes (9), Douglas (12), Grant (1), Harney (9), Josephine (3), Lane (5), Linn (13), Morrow (2), Multnomah (30), Union (1), Washington (3), Yamhill (3).

CDC data tracker issue update

OHA has relied on a daily U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) data update to report the number of people who need to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to reach Oregon’s goal of vaccinating 70% of people 18 and older.

Unfortunately, CDC is experiencing an issue with the data feed that contributes to its COVID data tracker dashboard, which Oregon uses to track the state’s progress towards 70%.

CDC is working to resolve the issue and anticipates having it fixed by June 15. The COVID data tracker is the only place where doses from all sources administered to Oregonians are reported, including doses administered by federal entities, as well as doses administered to people living in Oregon by providers in other states.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 11,430 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 7,793 doses were administered on June 13 and 3,637 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on June 13.

The seven-day running average is now 16,766 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered 2,382,590 first and second doses of Pfizer,1,674,408 first and second doses of Moderna and 156,692 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

As of today, 2,323,460 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,038,610 have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. The number of adult Oregonians needing vaccinations to reach the 70% threshold is 71,522. A daily countdown can be found on the OHA vaccinations page.

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, 2,881,575 doses of Pfizer, 2,195,420 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.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 174, which is 11 more than yesterday. There are 46 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is seven more than yesterday.

The total number of COVID-19 positive patient bed-days in the most recent seven days is 1,175, which is an 22.3% 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 174.

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.

Oregon Reopening Is 76K Vaccinations Away — Still Time To Register For Prizes

Oregon is about 76,000 people away from reaching the 70% vaccination rate to trigger the governor’s plan to fully open the economy.

Meanwhile, state health officials and Gov. Kate Brown keep pushing the “Take Your Shot Oregon” incentive program.

Those who’ve received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine by June 27th are eligible to win money, including $1 million.

Oregonians who got their shot out of state from a federal facility, like the VA, need to register online ahead of the June 28th drawing.

Take your shot, Oregon and get your vaccination by June 27, 2021!

There’s no better time than now to get your COVID-19 vaccination!

Prizes & Scholarships

  • One lucky vaccinated Oregonian will win the $1 Million grand prize!
  • One lucky vaccinated Oregonian from each county will win $10,000!
  • Five vaccinated Oregonians 12 to 17 years old will win a $100,000 college scholarship!

You can find More Information here. —- https://coronavirus.oregon.gov/takeyourshot/Pages/default.aspx?utm_source=GOV&utm_medium=egov_redirect&utm_campaign=https%3A%2F%2Ftakeyourshot.oregon.gov

Two smiling people giving thumbs up with bandages on arms. Get Vaccinated for a chance at $1 Million. Good for your health, good

LOCAL HEADLINES:

Customer Wins $1 Million Monopoly Prize at Albertsons N. Phoenix Road Store In Medford

A customer at the Albertsons store in southeast Medford won $1 million from the Safeway/Albertsons Monopoly game, which the store plans to celebrate on Wednesday.

Albertsons has been running the “Monopoly, Shop, Play, Win!” game from February through May for 13 years. Albertsons said in a brief statement that the customer won through a second chance drawing.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a winner in the Phoenix, Medford community this year. People REALLY do win at Monopoly! We are so excited to be presenting this check to one of our loyal customers,” said Gineal Davidson, division president for Oregon and Southwest Washington Safeway and Albertsons.

The local store director will be presenting a large check to the winner, plus cake and refreshments for the public on Wednesday starting at 2:15 p.m. The lucky customer will be arriving in a limousine, the company said.

We spoke to one of the amazing Albertson’s Checkers who has worked a long time at the N. Phoenix Road store, Teresa Shaw, who says the store has been getting ready for Wednesday the last few days, and everyone is excited that one of their customers won the prize: “I hope it is one of our regular customers. Someone local who really deserves it. I can’t wait to see who it is!”

Deputies Search for Missing Texas Man Near Prospect

PROSPECT, OR. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies and Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel are assisting the San Antonio (Texas) Police Department in attempting to locate a man reported missing out of Texas.

Kirk E. Jones, 35, has black hair with a widow’s peak, and a scar over his right eyebrow and chin. He has a slim build, standing 6’3″ and weighing approx. 210 lbs. He was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, black motorcycle jacket and jeans.

Kirk was riding a black 2017 Yamaha motorcycle and has a custom helmet with a green octopus design. he was last seen in Texas on June 3rd.

His motorcycle was found in the Sky Lakes Wilderness Boundary East of Prospect, Ore. — Case 21-03055 Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

If you have contact with this missing person in Southern Oregon or have any information, please call Sergeant Shawn Richards at 541-591-1843 or through Dispatch at 541-776-7206.

Suspect Apprehended for Child Sex Crimes

2021-06/6186/145832/Cox_Thomas_Grant.jpg

Sacramento (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office Assist JCSO Detectives in Apprehending Suspect Wanted for Child Sex Crimes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) detectives left the County early Thursday morning to execute a search warrant in Sacramento, Calif. After the crime occurred in Central Point, Ore., the suspect was made aware of the victim disclosure and armed himself while making suicidal statements to a family member. The suspect, Thomas Grant Cox, 58, of Central Point, Ore., then fled to Sacramento, Calif.

In the days after this event, JCSO detectives worked closely with Sacramento Sheriff’s investigators to determine a known location for the suspect. Sacramento Sheriff’s deputies began surveillance Wednesday, June 9, until Cox was arrested Thursday at approx. 1617 hours. The suspect left the residence in a vehicle and Sacramento Sheriff’s SWAT team initiated a traffic stop, taking him into custody without incident.

JCSO detectives interviewed Cox and obtained additional information, which led to him being lodged in the Sacramento County Jail for two counts of first-degree Rape, and two counts of first-degree Sex Abuse. Bail is set at $1,000,000.

An extradition process is necessary prior to Cox returning to Jackson County. — Case 21-2716 Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

AROUND the STATE of OREGON

Oregon Housing and Community Services Encourages Landlords to Apply for Assistance, Millions in Assistance Available to Cover Past Due Rent – Application Closes June 18th

SALEM, OR — Millions of dollars remain in the Landlord Compensation Fund (LCF) program and Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) Director, Margaret Salazar, encourages landlords to apply soon as the application closes on June 18th.  This is the final opportunity for landlords to apply to get assistance to cover rental debt for all tenants, regardless of income.

Round three of the Landlord Compensation Fund program opened on June 1, 2021 and included at least $60 million in assistance covering rent-owed by eligible tenants that was accrued from April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.   

The agency encourages tenants to pay their July rent as they wait for assistance to cover past rent owed in order to avoid eviction. With unprecedented demand for assistance, the agency also asks landlords to be patient as community organizations distribute funds.  

Oregon’s Landlord Compensation Program is designed to provide relief to residential landlords who have been unable to collect rent due to tenant hardships. Participating landlords can receive up to 80% of rent owed from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, for qualifying residents. For the first time, landlords can apply for LCF funds to cover former renters.  For landlords to learn more and how to apply because go to: https://bit.ly/OHCS-LCF

As outlined in statute, landlords may be eligible to receive funding for an amount equal to 80% of the rental debt owed by qualified residents. Participating landlords must agree to forgive the remaining 20% of the tenant’s debt as a condition of receiving payment.  

A media briefing was held on May 27, 2021 that provided an overview of the program. To view the briefing please visit: http://bit.ly/LCFbriefingMay27.  

Background on the Landlord Compensation Program  

During the Third Special Session of 2020, the Oregon Legislature enacted an eviction moratorium and established the Landlord Compensation Fund (HB 4401). The Legislature allocated $200 million in rent assistance to support tenants and landlords, which includes $150 million for the Landlord Compensation Fund. This program was designed to provide relief to landlords who have tenants living in their homes who have been unable to pay rent at any point since April 2020 due to a financial hardship. The program will also eliminate the rent owed for those tenants experiencing a hardship.  

Once a landlord’s application is deemed complete and has met the eligibility requirements, Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) will verify ownership, make payments to landlords, and notify tenants that their rent has been forgiven.  To date, over $28 M in payments have been made to landlords for this program and the work is ongoing, as PHAs work around the clock to process payments.

Tenants must provide their landlord with a Declaration of Financial Hardship for Eviction Protection. When tenants provide this form to their landlord, they are protected from eviction through June 30th, 2021, and the landlord may use the form to request payment for rental debt owed from April 1, 2020, through June 2021.  

The Landlord Compensation Fund provides direct support to landlords. This program should not be confused with the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) which is also administered by OHCS and recently opened to low-income tenant applications. Tenants in need of assistance can see if they qualify and find more information at Oregonrentalassistance.org

Oregon Legislators Approve Bill Prohibiting ‘Love Letters’ During Home Sales

State lawmakers are approving legislation that would ban so-called “love letters” during home sales in Oregon. House Bill 2550 orders the agents of home sellers to reject personalized letters and other communications from potential buyers.

Lawmakers say such communications have the potential to lead to home buyers being selected on the basis of race, sex or religion. The bill now heads to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for a signature.

Oregon Counties Receiving Emergency Housing Funds Vouchers

Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced Monday that 28 counties and two cities in Oregon will receive more than $19 million in emergency housing vouchers through the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Every single Oregonian deserves an affordable and accessible place to call home,” Wyden said. “The economic fallout from the global pandemic has worsened a statewide housing shortage and affordability crisis. These vouchers give local housing authorities critical tools to provide Oregonians with the stability they need to build a life where they can thrive.”

“It’s impossible to thrive without a safe and affordable roof over your head,” Merkley said. “I’ve been pushing for strong responses to meet the housing crisis so many are families are facing, and that have become even more dire during the pandemic, and these grants are a good piece of the solution.  I will continue to do all I can to secure the resources we need to weather this pandemic and make sure all of Oregon’s families have a home they can afford.”

The emergency housing vouchers are provided to assist individuals and families who are recently homeless, at risk of homelessness, experiencing long-term homelessness, or fleeing (or attempting to flee) intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.

The American Rescue Plan Act that Wyden and Merkley both voted to support this year allocated emergency housing vouchers to public housing authorities on the basis of population, need, and geographic diversity.

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued vouchers to 626 public housing authorities, for a grand total of $1.14 billion in grants. The Oregon recipients are as follows:

  • Housing Authority of Portland, $7,183,068
  • Housing Authority & Community Services of Lane County, $2,179,560
  • Linn-Benton Housing Authority, $2,103,156
  • Housing Authority of Washington County, $1,439,952
  • Coos-Curry Housing Authority, $603,744
  • Northwest Oregon Housing Authority, $752,652
  • Klamath Housing Authority, $503,784
  • Housing Authority of Clackamas County, $657,636
  • Central Oregon Regional Housing Authority (Housing Works), $1,285,128
  • Housing Authority of Jackson County, $801,588
  • Housing Authority of Yamhill County, $714,720
  • Josephine Housing Community Development Council, $582,576
  • Housing Authority of Douglas County, $419,280
  • Housing Authority of the City of Salem, $441,372
  • Northeast Oregon Housing Authority, $314,700
  • Housing Authority of Lincoln County, $272,088
  • Housing Authority of Malheur County, $232,572
  • Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, $218,652
  • Housing and Urban Renewal Agency of Polk County, $199,248

“Home Forward is thrilled to accept these 476 Emergency Housing Vouchers,” Michael Buonocore, Executive Director of Home Forward, said. “In collaboration with our local partners, we will put these to good use in ending or preventing the homelessness of hundreds of our neighbors in Multnomah County. We appreciate the ongoing support and advocacy from Senators Wyden and Merkley that helped make this possible.” 

“We appreciate Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden’s support for the Emergency Housing Vouchers as part of the American Recovery Plan,” Joel Madsen, Executive Director of the Mid-Columbia Housing Authority, said. “This is an investment in housing stability for some of our most vulnerable community members seeking an affordable place to call home.  Prior to the pandemic, housing security and affordable was already out of reach for all too many.  As we work together to stop the spread of covid-19 and focus on more equitable opportunities we need investments like this that advance public private partnerships and leverage existing resources.  Thank you to our great Senators for helping to prioritize federal investments in affordable housing solutions.”

“Central City Concern (CCC) applauds the American Rescue Plan funds – Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV) distributed by HUD to Oregon’s local Housing Authorities,” Gary Cobb, Community Outreach Coordinator of Central City Concern, said. “In Portland, this will be life-changing and lifesaving, to thousands of Portlanders. The folks we serve at Central City Concern that access the EHV’s, will get safety and stability, while they engage in critical wrap around services of Primary Care, Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder treatment.”

“These vouchers will be used to house families facing homelessness in Union, Baker, Grant and Wallowa Counties,” Sarah Parker, Executive Director of Northeast Oregon Housing Authority said. “This new funding will allow our agency and Community Partners to work together to facilitate an expedited leasing process to assist our most vulnerable residents.” 

The Housing Authority of Jackson County is pleased to receive funding for the Emergency Housing Voucher Program,” Jason Elzy, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Jackson County, said. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with the Jackson County Continuum of Care and our very important community service partners to bring this new program online this summer, and to provide this highly needed rental assistance in our community. We’re grateful for the support provided by Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley and all of their endeavors to address the Southern Oregon housing crisis.”

“The housing need in Clackamas County was exacerbated by the pandemic,” Clackamas County Commissioner Sonya Fischer said. “These vouchers are coming at just the right time, and can be used immediately to ensure our most vulnerable residents are stably housed.”

Arson Suspect Sought Who Has Set String Of Fires Near Cape Arago On Oregon Coast

Someone has been using gas to start fires in the Cape Arago area, and the Coos County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in finding whoever’s responsible. The sheriff’s office said the fires have been happening on the weekends (Fridays or Saturdays) for the past few weeks.

In the latest incident, the suspect walked up to a house, poured gasoline on the front door, and lit it on fire.

While first responders typically arrived at the scene within minutes of the initial 911 call, they have not been able to find the suspect. If you have any helpful information, they ask that you call 541-396-2106.

More information on the arson cases from CCSO:

  • The first incident involved a male pouring gasoline in front of the entrance to Seaport RV park, and setting the gasoline on fire.
  • The second incident occurred on 5-21-21 at about 2:30 AM, at 91222 Cape Arago Highway. Cameras caught a video of a male, carrying a gas can.
  • The second incident was on 6-5-21 at about 11:30 PM, at 92222 Cape Arago Highway. Cameras were installed at the residence, but were unable to capture the suspect in video or photographs.
  • The latest incident was on 6-13-21 at about 2:30 AM, at 91484 Cape Arago Highway. Cameras caught both still and video images of the suspect. The owners stated the male walked off at a slow pace even when they attempted to confront him.

Central Oregon Coast Opens for Razor Clamming

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announce the opening of all razor clam harvesting on the central Oregon coast.

Razor clamming is now open from Cape Lookout (just south of Netarts Bay) south to the California border. Recent shellfish samples taken from this area indicate levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid have fallen below the alert level.

Razor clamming remains closed from Cape Lookout north to the Columbia River (including inside the Columbia River). This area of the north coast includes the popular Clatsop beaches which remain closed with razor clam samples well above the alert level. Click here for a map of the open and closed areas.

“With a sample below the closure threshold two weeks ago, we were hopeful Clatsop beaches would reopen this weekend, but that’s not the case,” said Matt Hunter, ODFW Shellfish Project Leader. “However, Newport area beaches are now open so folks have more areas on the coast to razor clam.”

The closure threshold for domoic acid in razor clams is 20 ppm (parts per million). Clatsop beach samples were 33 ppm.
Other razor clam harvest areas include beaches in Gold Beach, Bandon, and Winchester Bay among others.

Mussel, bay clam and crab harvesting remain open along the entire Oregon coast. Coastal scallops are not affected by biotoxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten. ODA does not recommend eating whole scallops. Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers.

Paralytic shellfish toxin and domoic acid toxin are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.

For more information call ODA’s shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA Shellfish Biotoxin Closures webpage.

Firefighters in Lebanon Rescue Dog Trapped in Canal

Firefighters rescued a stranded dog from a canal behind the Lebanon Rite Aid Store on Sunday evening.

The Lebanon Fire District said two citizens noticed the dog stranded on a piling support of a railroad trestle just after 8 p.m. on Sunday. Firefighters arrived shortly after and determined that personnel would need to enter the water to rescue the dog, who appeared to have an injured front leg.

Firefighters secured the dog with a webbing strap around its chest in case it broke free from their arms and the dog was carried back to the shore. It was taken to a waiting Lebanon police patrol car where it was scanned for a microchip, but it did not have one. It was taken to River’s Edge Pet Medical Center for an evaluation.

The dog is a black mixed-breed and 40 to 45 pounds. For more information on the dog, please contact the Lebanon Police Department: (541) 451-1751

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