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
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Rogue Valley Weather
Today– Widespread haze before 3pm. Widespread smoke, mainly after 3pm. Sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming north northwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
Friday– Widespread haze before noon. Areas of smoke before noon. Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming north northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.
Saturday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. Light north wind.
Sunday- Sunny, with a high near 88.
Monday– Sunny, with a high near 89.
200 Workers Released After Raid On Illegal Marijuana Grow Near Kerby
The multi-agency raid on a huge illegal marijuana grow near Kerby on Tuesday has wrapped up without statements that would substantiate suspected human rights violations, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office said in an update Wednesday.
According to the update, investigators interviewed 200 workers at the Q Bar X Ranch near Kerby after serving the search warrants. Sheriff Dave Daniel mentioned in a Tuesday press conference that though law enforcement officers believed there were elements of human trafficking or forced labor at the site, the workers might not be willing to speak about it to investigators.
Daniel’s suspicion was borne out in the resulting interviews, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.
“As expected, the workers relayed no concerns of humanitarian violations. According to the Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigations, this is a common occurrence,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “The workers may be in fear of retaliation to themselves or family members, not being paid, and immigration status concerns among others.”
The detained workers were allowed to either leave the property or stay of their “own free will,” the agency said.
After a full search of the property, investigators said that they destroyed 72,283 marijuana plants, 6,000 pounds of processed marijuana, and 373 green houses. They also seized 10 guns and about $140,000 in cash.
During Tuesday’s press conference, Sheriff Daniel said that the investigation got rolling about two weeks ago, when a Hispanic man was dropped off at the Caves Chevron. The man was “very near death,” and he passed away while being taken to the hospital.
After getting an idea of the size of the grow and suspecting humanitarian violations along with illegal marijuana cultivation, the Sheriff’s Office put out a call for help from other agencies throughout the state. In addition to federal authorities, agencies involved in the raid included some as distant as Deschutes County and Eugene.
Roughly 250 law enforcement officers, including 10 SWAT teams, joined in the pre-dawn raid on Tuesday. Homeland Security Investigations provided interpreters to aid in the investigation.
Sheriff Daniel said Tuesday that he anticipated that four arrests could result from the raid, with the goal of charging the “masterminds” of the grow. The update on Wednesday indicated that no arrests had yet been made, but the investigation is ongoing and the property may be made subject to civil forfeiture of a criminal operation.
UPDATE: Hailey has been found safe. — Another Woman Missing in Grants Pass
News Release from Grants Pass Dept. of Public Safety
The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Hailey Blackwell. Hailey Blackwell was last seen on the afternoon of August 17, 2021 after she left home on a walk to Subway (on Agness Avenue).
Hailey was last seen wearing all black clothing with dark makeup. She is described as a white female with straight black hair, approximately 30 years old, 5’2” tall, and weighing approximately 300 pounds. Hailey likes to spend time at Walmart, Winco and Dutch Bros. Hailey suffers from medical issues and needs to be located for her safety.
We certainly hope that Hailey is found safe soon. If you see or locate Hailey, please call GPDPS at 541-450-6260 and reference case # 2021-35915. Contact Info: Lt. J. Hattersley / 541-450-6260 / email@example.com
We’ve discovered an alarming pattern developing in the last two years of women going missing in the area with some similar circumstances. Sadly, that after they’ve been reported missing they are deemed “there is no sign of foul play” and seem to get lost in the shuffle as well as being deemed “low priority” by law enforcement.
This needs to be looked into. Here are just two examples of many…
Fauna Frey Search Ongoing as Just One of Many Missing Women in Southern Oregon Over Last Two Years
John Frey said he last heard from his 45-year-old daughter Fauna Frey on Sunday, June 28, 2020.
He said since his daughter’s disappearance, he and her friends have used every resource possible to find her.
He explained her credit card activity has been traced and she had made a reservation at Weasku Inn in Grants Pass. However, said Fauna Frey never showed up for that reservation. After she booked her stay, her credit card was never used again.
On September 23, her 2000 four-door Jeep Cherokee was found in a rural area on Reuben Mountain Road a few miles past Grave Creek Boat Landing. Frey said the county’s search and rescue team was deployed but found nothing in or around the car.
“It took about a month, we got Oregon State Police involved and they took DNA and fingerprints out of the jeep, but they have not processed those yet,” Frey said.
He explained state police informed him the evidence collected inside the car is put at the end of a long list because there is no evidence a crime has been committed and no sign of foul play.
“We’ve followed so many false leads, she was supposedly seen in Eugene, we spend some time looking up here, but we couldn’t find any tracing of her,” Frey said. “Then our direction was taken back to Grants Pass again.”
Frey explained since he began searching for his daughter, he has discovered several other women close to Fauna’s age and description who have also been reported missing in the area. He believes it’s a pattern.
Fauna Frey is described as a white woman, who has blue eyes, blonde hair, she is around 5’6” in height and has a tattoo on her lower back.
“There are more people that care than she will ever know, there is a whole bunch of people who love her, we just want to make sure she is safe, and she is okay,” Frey said. “We miss her.”
The family has set up an anonymous tip line 541-359-5638 and email address firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone who has any leads of Fauna’s whereabouts.
Sherry Wellwood Has Never Been Found- Missing in Southern Oregon Since Dec. 2019
Sherrt Wellwood, 46, was last seen Dec. 10, 2019 after she was discharged from a Portland hospital after a mental health hold, Hillsboro Police Sgt. Eric Bunday said. On Thursday, her car was found on a mountain road in rural southern Oregon, with no sign of the missing woman.
Bunday said a family member reported Wellwood missing to the department on Wednesday. He said Wellwood had been discharged from the hospital on Dec. 10, where she was receiving mental health treatment. On Thursday evening, two people found Wellwood’s car in Josephine County.
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel said Wellwood’s car was found on Spencer Creek Road, a Bureau of Land Management road in a remote area of the county with 4,600 feet elevation.
Daniel said the sheriff’s office has found no indication of foul play in Wellwood’s disappearance.
Wellwood’s car appeared to be stuck in about 8 inches of snow and had gone slightly off the road. The snow under the exhaust pipe was black, indicating that the car had idled for a while, Daniel said.
He noted that Wellwood’s car had about six inches of snow on top of it, which made him think that the car had been there for several days. The last snow had been five or six days before the car was found, he said.
“We were thinking if she tried to walk out, she would likely be along a road somewhere,” Daniel said.
He said the area is in between the communities of Selma, Williams and Murphy, but it would likely take several hours to get to any of those places on foot from the place her car was found.
They still didn’t find Wellwood, but Daniel said they found one piece of clothing that could belong to her. On a narrow road uphill from the car, he said searchers found a beanie. “There were lots of butterfly stickers and images in and around the car,” Daniel said. “And the beanie also had a butterfly on it.”
Daniel said there’s no confirmation the hat belongs to Wellwood, and they will submit it for DNA testing.
Daniel said they also found several items inside Wellwood’s car, including a sleeping bag, a tarp, a jacket and some pamphlets with tips for survival and shelter in the wilderness. He said all of her belongings were still in the car, including her wallet, purse and phone. The phone only works off Wi-Fi, Daniel said, so it’s not possible to track its location before Wellwood went missing. He said the last activity on the phone was Dec. 10.
Daniel said they found receipts in Wellwood’s car that indicated she made a purchase in Eugene on Dec. 10, and one in Myrtle Creek on Dec. 11. He said no one has reported seeing her in that area.
There are numerous women in Oregon that have gone missing in the last couple of years.
Oregon Has Third-Highest Rate Of Open Missing Person Cases In USA
Disturbing Number of Missing Women in Oregon in Past 2 Years — There are 261 Women who are still reported missing in Oregon just in the last two years!
Of course, not only women are missing, as there are so many children and men missing too. And really missing people is a crisis that gets shoved aside as not enough resources and is a horrible thing to even think about.
However, there is a disturbing number of women and in particular, a pattern emerging: There are now 51 women over the age of 30 on the missing person list just in the last 2 years. There is a pattern and this needs to be looked into by our state and local law enforcement as well as the FBI — https://www.oregon.gov/osp/missing/pages/missingpersons.aspx
This is an ongoing story and help from the public is needed. If you’d like to help or stay informed please feel free to send us an email at: email@example.com
Oregon reports 2,139 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths
There are 11 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,975. The Oregon Health Authority reported 2,139 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 247,866.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (18), Benton (25), Clackamas (101), Clatsop (22), Columbia (19), Coos (33), Crook (36), Curry (38), Deschutes (112), Douglas (169), Gilliam (2), Grant (1), Harney (2), Hood River (4), Jackson (292), Jefferson (17), Josephine (140), Klamath (30), Lane (153), Lincoln (38), Linn (77), Malheur (13), Marion (194), Morrow (15), Multnomah (201), Polk (68), Tillamook (20), Umatilla (85), Union (38), Wallowa (10), Wasco (7), Washington (112), Yamhill (47).
Oregon’s 2,965th COVID-19 associated death is an 83-year-old woman from Jackson county who tested positive on Aug. 8 and died on Aug. 17 at Ashland Community Hospital. She had underlying conditions.
Oregon’s 2,966th COVID-19 associated death is a 77-year-old man from Jackson county who tested positive on Aug. 2 and died on Aug. 17 at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.
Four Josephine County individuals have died from complications relating to COVID-19 infections.
An 81-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 Aug. 2 and died Aug. 17 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. He had underlying conditions. He had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.
An 85-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 Aug. 16 and died Aug. 17 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. He had underlying conditions. He had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.
A 91-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 Aug. 3 and died Aug. 17 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. He had underlying conditions. He had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.
A 68-year-old woman tested positive for COVID-19 Aug. 14 and died Aug. 16 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass. She had underlying conditions. She had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.
Josephine County now has a total of 96 COVID-19-related deaths. Of those patients, 95 died from complications relating to COVID-19 infections. Of the 96 COVID-19 patients who died, 91 were unvaccinated.
The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 850, which is 12 more than yesterday. There are 224 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which are two more than yesterday.
As of this morning, there are 41 available adult ICU beds out of 652 total (6% availability) and 292 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,193 (7% availability).
|8/18/2021||Statewide||Region 1||Region 2||Region 3||Region 5||Region 6||Region 7||Region 9|
|Adult ICU beds % available||6%||5%||0%||15%||4%||10%||9%||16%|
|Adult non-ICU beds % available||7%||4%||2%||14%||7%||20%||11%||36%|
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.
As Oregon’s health system continues to be clobbered by the state’s worst COVID-19 surge, officials reported on Tuesday that 93% of the state’s hospital beds for adults and 90% of the intensive care unit beds are full. There are 838 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon — surpassing the state’s record, which was set the previous day,
by 86 patients.
Before this month, the hospitalization record was 622 in November, during a winter surge and when vaccines were not available. As of Tuesday a mere 66 ICU beds and 275 available adult non-ICU beds are available, the Oregon Health Authority reported. Oregon also set a new daily case record with 2,941 identified coronavirus cases — fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant, which has rapidly spread, especially in southern Oregon where vaccination rates lag.
Yesterday, skies cleared through most of the region but it remained partly cloudy in eastern Oregon for a good part of the day with some light scattered morning precipitation in the Blue Mountains.
There were below-average temperatures and moderately low relative humidity throughout the region. Gusty conditions set up in the evening over the Cascade Gaps and eastside basins. No lightning was recorded. In the afternoon, fires in the Cascades steadily increased in activity. Light initial attack was reported with moderate growth on existing large fires.
Today brings mostly clearing skies, seasonable temperatures, and relative humidities with westerly general winds
becoming breezy this afternoon through the gaps of the Cascades. An upper-level trough should move into the region later Friday and Saturday and will increase cloud cover and boost chances for showers and wet thundershowers for sections of Washington and the eastern third of Oregon. The passing trough will also bring breezy winds through the weekend.
Potential for new significant fires remains at or below seasonal normal levels for the next few days due to cool, moist conditions. Isolated wet thunderstorms over sections of both eastern Washington and eastern Oregon on Friday and Saturday will provide some lightning strikes but probably not enough to challenge initial attack due to cool, moist weather.
Gusty west winds at times east of the Cascades could present control challenges and boost growth potential for ongoing incidents.
Here are links to be able to see updated info on the larger fires in Oregon:
- Black Butte InciWeb
- Bootleg InciWeb
- Bruler InciWeb
- Bull Complex InciWeb
- Devil’s Knob Complex InciWeb
- Elbow Creek Inciweb
- Fox Fire InciWeb
- Jack Fire InciWeb
- Rough Patch Complex InciWeb
- Middle Fork Complex/Knoll Fire InciWeb
- Skyline Ridge Complex InciWeb
A coalition of Oregon legislators were joined by Governor Brown on Wednesday in saying that the state will accept refugees fleeing the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.
On Tuesday evening, a number of state representatives and senators led by Rep. Khanh Pham and Senator Kayse Jama distributed a letter addressing Governor Brown and members of Oregon’s congressional delegation, urging them to work for safe passage for Afghans fleeing the growing humanitarian crisis caused by the US
withdrawal from the country and the Taliban’s toppling of the government.
By Wednesday morning, the list of lawmakers grew to include House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney, among others. Representative Pam Marsh was among the supporters of the original letter. Before noon, Governor Brown put out her own statement in support of the letter: In their letter, Rep. Pham and Sen. Jama
highlighted their commitment to welcome vulnerable and displaced violence and oppression, particularly women, children, and LGBTQ+ people who face the threat of violence or death.
Jobless Claims Fall as Hiring Increases
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for a fourth straight time to a pandemic low, the latest sign that America’s job market is rebounding from the pandemic recession as employers boost hiring to meet a surge in consumer demand.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims fell by 29,000 to 348,000. The four-week average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, also fell — by 19,000, to just below 378,000, also a pandemic low.
New Oregon claims for regular benefits fell to 5,229, down from 6,021 the prior week. Claims volumes have been higher in August than in most of July, but only modestly so.
On Tuesday, Oregon reported its steepest drop in the state’s unemployment rate in nearly a year, to 5.2%. That’s below the national rate of 5.4%.
The weekly pace of applications for unemployment aid has fallen more or less steadily across the nation since topping 900,000 in early January. The dwindling number of first-time jobless claims has coincided with the widespread administering of vaccines, which has led businesses to reopen or expand their hours and drawn consumers back to shops, restaurants, airports and entertainment venues.
Still, the number of applications remains high by historic standards: Before the pandemic tore through the economy in March 2020, the weekly pace amounted to around 220,000 a week. And now there is growing concern that the highly contagious delta variant could disrupt the economy’s recovery from last year’s brief but intense recession. Some economists have already begun to mark down their estimates for growth this quarter as some measures of economic activity, like air travel, have started to weaken.
Filings for unemployment benefits have traditionally been seen as a real-time measure of the job market’s health. But their reliability has deteriorated during the pandemic. In many states, the weekly figures have been inflated by fraud and by multiple filings from unemployed Americans as they navigate bureaucratic hurdles to try to obtain benefits. Those complications help explain why the pace of applications remains comparatively high.
By all accounts, the job market has been rebounding with vigor since the pandemic paralyzed economic activity last year and employers slashed more than 22 million jobs. The United States has since recovered 16.7 million jobs. And employers have added a rising number of jobs for three straight months, including a robust 943,000 in July. In the meantime, employers have posted a record 10.1 million openings, and many complain that they can’t find enough applicants to fill their open positions.
Some blame supplemental unemployment benefits from the federal government — including $300 a week on top of regular state aid — for discouraging some of the jobless from seeking work. In response, many states have withdrawn from the federal programs, which expire nationwide next month anyway.
Economists point to other factors, too, that have kept some people on the sidelines of the job market. They include difficulty finding or affording child care, fear about becoming infected by the virus at work and the desire of some people to seek better jobs than they had before the pandemic triggered widespread layoffs.
Whatever the causes, the economy remains 5.7 million jobs shy of the number it had in February 2020. And with the U.S. recording an average of more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases a day — up from fewer than 12,000 in late June — the delta variant is increasingly clouding the outlook for the rest of the year.
Just over 2.8 million people were receiving traditional state jobless benefits in the week of Aug. 7, down by 79,000 from the previous week and the lowest since the pandemic struck.
Including federal benefits, 11.7 million were receiving some type of unemployment benefits in the week of July 31, down from 28.7 million a year earlier. That drop is a result, in part, of the increased number of people working and no longer receiving jobless aid. But it also reflects the cancellation in many states of a federal unemployment aid program for the self-employed and a separate program for the long-term jobless.
Dairy Queen in Florence A Total Loss After Building Catches Fire
The Dairy Queen in Florence caught fire Wednesday, and fire officials say the building is a total loss.
A crew arrived to the structure at 125 Highway 101 at about 1:30 a.m. and found fire extending to the roof. A second alarm was called in.
“We went to a defensive fire position immediately,” said Fire and EMS Chief Michael Schick with Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue.
Firefighters attacked the blaze from outside as it was too dangerous to go inside. Two fire engines, a water tender, a rescue truck, a ladder truck, and two ambulances responded to the blaze. Florence Public Works staff were on scene to help mitigate the water runoff caused by firefighting efforts.
By about 3:30 a.m., the fire was out. The restaurant was extensively damaged. No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. Officials say a cleaning crew had left the building about an hour before it started. An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
Anti-government activists seemed primed for a violent clash with federal authorities this summer in the Klamath Basin along the Oregon-California border.
The federal Bureau of Reclamation had shut off water for most of the region’s 1,400 farms, denying access to the same irrigation canal in Klamath Falls, where during a drought two decades earlier, activists tried to pry open its headgates and clashed with U.S. marshals.
Klamath Falls seemed primed to explode, the next major clash after the Jan. 6 riots in the U.S. Capitol building. But it didn’t. The Klamath Basin rebellion appears to have fizzled in large part because local agricultural and community leaders spoke out strongly against it.
Emails show that Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber was in regular communication with FBI agents and Department of Interior law enforcement officers about the possible threat of “outside agitators” coming into town.
Oregon RAIN (Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network) Partnering with Cottage Grove
Oregon RAIN (Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network) has begun its process of partnering with the city of Cottage Grove.
RAIN’s Lane County Venture Catalyst Ariel Ruben has been in the community establishing stakeholder connections this past month. “We’ve officially signed a memorandum of understanding between the City of Cottage Grove and RAIN,” said Ruben. “So as of July 1, we began our work in Cottage Grove.”
The city invited RAIN into the community when it approved the partnership in the city budget on June 28 this year, joining the organization for a two-year entrepreneurial development program in the amount of $21,000 for initial-year funding.
During the council meeting, City Manager Richard Meyers said there was a $25,000 grant which the Community Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce had received as a commitment from the Woodard Family Foundation to support the program. The annual cost of the program is $33,000.
RAIN is a nonprofit which partners with communities to encourage job growth and entrepreneurialism by providing guidance for local businesses.
“We work directly with communities across Oregon — and soon to be beyond Oregon — and we work in those communities to support the entrepreneurs,” Ruben summed up.
Supporting entrepreneurs can manifest itself in many ways and the organization avoids a one-size-fits-all approach, instead building upon “entrepreneurial ecosystems” to accomplish its goal.
“And what we mean by ‘ecosystems’ is that it’s not just about helping the small businesses and the entrepreneurs,” said Ruben. “It’s also about making sure that there’s news and media and government support and mentors and activated capital.”
Making use of a community’s retired population with a desire to give back, initiating education programs and getting connected with local business-minded groups are all pieces of the puzzle.
“So, we’re a bridge builder. We’re a connector,” explained Ruben. “And we want to make sure that companies in small towns have access to all the resources that a metro area might have.”
RAIN staff is also made up of individuals with boots-on-the-ground experience when it comes to business.
“All of us that work at RAIN are entrepreneurs ourselves,” said Ruben. “We need to have skin in the game. We need to know what it’s like to grow and start a company.”
Ruben herself was part of a startup which ran out of local co-working kitchen Bohemia Food Hub for years. The business, Hazel People, produced hazelnut milk but was eventually forced to close when a fitting manufacturer could not be found.
“But then I got recruited to this job at RAIN two and a half years ago and have been working with small businesses ever since,” said Ruben. With a broad range of experience to draw on, she said the resources available within the organization are boundless. RAIN has several years of experience stimulating the business communities in numerous other cities in the state.
In Florence, for instance, RAIN held an entrepreneurial activation event in November 2019 with a turnout of more than 200 people. Local businesses tabled their goods and services and shared their stories on stage.
“I’ve also been helping two high schoolers start a delivery service in Florence — a food delivery service like an Uber Eats,” said Ruben.
In the last six years, RAIN has worked with at least 70 entrepreneurs from the Florence area. Entrepreneurs have begun more than 30 startups, created more than 30 jobs and generated nearly $500,000.
RAIN has also helped jumpstart shops in Veneta, where the city set up shipping containers in conjunction with its farmers market, providing new businesses the experience of holding retail space.
In Oakridge, the nonprofit worked with a high school teacher to bring business education to students.
“She was actually the business class teacher and she had never taught business class or entrepreneurship before,” recalled Ruben. “And she reached out to us and she was like, ‘What am I doing? Please help.’ And so we actually helped her develop the entrepreneurship curriculum for the entire year.”
Because each city is characterized by its own particular challenges and opportunities, the RAIN approach in a new community is to listen and observe before implementing plans.
“It’s really about connecting at first and getting to know folks. Shaking hands. And then we start by doing some activation events and meet-ups,” Ruben said. “We’re investigative, not prescriptive. So that means that we’re ears-to-the-ground listening, like what does the community need?”
Through the investigative process, Ruben hopes to identify potential within the community and build programs around what she learns.
In the beginning of September, Ruben will be launching meet-ups to begin networking and eventually hold a larger activation event where participating companies can show off their products or services and take the stage to share their stories.
And beginning Aug. 12, Ruben and Lane Small Business Development Center Director Robert Killen jointly launched a Startup Bootcamp, an eight-week online program which will occur every Thursday night from 6 – 8 p.m. until Sept. 30.
The program aims to teach new skills and enhance business strategies for participants in a 16-hour startup training course which is free to rural participants in Lane County.
Even as these first steps are being taken, Ruben said she has already noticed a potential avenue in Cottage Grove.
“One of my passions is getting youth involved with entrepreneurship and businesses,” she said, “and I know that the schools are excited about potentially working together and having some type of entrepreneurship club or like a young person’s entrepreneurial gathering.”
As the project moves forward, Ruben added she is sensitive to the idea that growth and preserving the spirit of community can seem contradictory to some.
“This really is a long game,” she said. “And it’s also community-led, so we’re here to just start those conversations and say, ‘Hey, what does the community want?’”
Part of the notion of a community-led project is growing sustainably in a way which promotes local collaboration, she noted, pointing to the education, business and farming communities as possible intersections.
Locals will have a chance to participate in the process in a direct way as well. One way RAIN promotes this is the hiring of a local to the part-time position of “entrepreneur in community” — a role which makes use of an on-the-ground networker who can funnel others into the program.
In the meantime, Ruben invited those interested to take part in future events to help begin establishing connections.
“I would say that any type of early-stage business who’s interested, we would love to see you come and we would love to hear about your idea,” she said. “And then if you’re an existing business, we would love to know who you are and understand what your needs are around growth, maybe progress within your community, and if there’s any connections that we can help make.”
More information about RAIN can be found on its website at www.oregonrain.org.