Rogue Valley News, Thursday 9/2 – Protest at Asante Three Rivers Against Vaccine Mandates, Medford Mcdonald’s Makes National News by Using Banner Asking ’14 And 15-Year-Olds’ To Apply

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

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Rogue Valley Weather 

Air Quality Alert

Today– Widespread smoke. Sunny, with a high near 88. Light and variable wind.

Friday– Widespread smoke, mainly before 3pm. Sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Saturday– Areas of smoke. Sunny, with a high near 94. Light and variable wind.

Sunday– Areas of smoke. Sunny and hot, with a high near 96.

Monday *Labor Day– Areas of smoke. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 97.

Medford Mcdonald’s Makes National News by Using Banner Asking ’14 And 15-Year-Olds’ To Apply

A McDonald’s in Medford is pushing towards a new business model: Hiring 14-year-old and 15-year-olds to help offset a shortage of workers in the COVID era.  The fast food industry has long relied on teen workers, mainly 16-and up, but this store in Medford put out a large banner to advertise directly towards potential teen workers even younger. 

McDonalds in Oregon solution to worker shortage... recruiting 14 and 15  year olds with huge banner - Democratic Underground

That has brought attention nationwide and hitting many news sources and social media. The banner is still out front of the store, store manager Ashley Fincher confirmed to USA TODAY on Wednesday morning.

Restaurant operator (owner, basically) Heather Coleman told Business Insider that staffing has never been
this bad in her family’s four decades of operating McDonald’s franchises. But once management opened the floodgates to the younger teens, Coleman said she received 25 applications in two weeks.

“There are always staffing issues, but this is unheard of,” she said. “(14-year-old and 15-year-old workers) have been a blessing in disguise. They have the drive and work ethic. They get the technology. They catch on really quickly.”

Protest at Asante Three Rivers Against Vaccine Mandates

Hundreds gathered outside Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass on Wednesday evening to protest vaccine mandates for employees. The group is in support of medical freedom and the ability to make their own decisions about what they are putting into their bodies.

“I hope everybody comes to their senses and comes up with a different solution because this isn’t a solution. They need the nurses, and the patients need them,” said rally attendee Debra Wallace, who also said her daughter lost her job as a nurse in Eugene after refusing the vaccine.

“As of today, they said they wouldn’t schedule her anymore. It’s a shame. They’re getting rid of these great nurses,” she said.

In addition to the presence on the ground, numerous cars drove by throughout the rally on Union Ave in Grants Pass honking and showing their support. The rally followed similar events earlier this week at AllCare in Grants Pass, as well as last week in front of Asante Rogue Regional in Medford.

“They need to come up with a different solution. They need to have it to where they can be tested. My daughter doesn’t mind – they can test her every day if they want. But not lose her job,” Wallace said.

Inside Asante Three Rivers, health officials painted a grim picture as COVID cases continue to skyrocket. Patients are overflowing out of the hospital with no space available, and some wait for hours to receive any treatment. The hospital says 110 nurses are on their way from other states to address staffing shortages.

“None of this makes any sense, and I can tell you right now the city will be hearing from my attorney. I can assure you of that,” said rally attendee Mike Pelfrey, who was also upset over mask mandates during meetings of the Josephine County Board of Commissioners.

Josephine County is 25th out of 36 Oregon counties in vaccination rate for people 18 and older, at 53.8%. Public Health has requested a morgue truck to be able to handle the surge of bodies, which is set to arrive later this week.

Oregon Department of Forestry Responds to Fires in Jackson and Josephine Counties

Oregon Department of Forestry initially responded to an estimated 4-acre fire northeast of Trail near Board Mountain and Highway 227. Jackson County Fire District 4 was on the scene, and multiple ODF engines and additional resources including a bulldozer and a 20-person crew.

May be an image of fire, nature and tree

The #BoardMountainFire, located northwest of Trail off of Highway 227, is now 100% lined and plumbed, following excellent progress during Wednesday’s dayshift. The fire, GPS mapped at 36 acres, is burning on private and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. Despite windy conditions, all lines held strong and the fire didn’t grow in size.

Those resources remained on scene overnight, with additional personnel assigned to take over in the morning, depending on conditions and progress made overnight.

There are currently no homes threatened at this time. The cause will be under investigation following an aggressive initial attack tonight.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, firefighters also responded to two fires in Josephine county that were reported at the same time. ODF responded alongside Williams Rural Fire Protection District, Rural Metro Fire – Josephine County, Illinois Valley Fire District and Applegate Valley Fire District.

May be an image of outdoors

The first one was reported on Millie street in Cave Junction; responders were able to catch this fire at just under a quarter-acre. The second, on Cedar Flats road outside of Williams (pictured), was caught at just under an acre and a half. Both of these fires are under investigation.

In observance of National Preparedness Month, Office of Emergency Management issues call to action for Oregonians to prepare for disasters

Honor those impacted by the 2020 wildfires by proactively preparing for future disasters

One year after severe drought and extreme winds fueled the most destructive wildfires in the state’s history, Oregon continues to recover and rebuild – while preparing for the next disaster. September is National Preparedness Month, a timely opportunity to emphasize the importance of being prepared.

“The depth of loss from the 2020 wildfires was extraordinarily profound for so many. In acknowledgment of these impacts throughout our state, we’re calling on Oregonians to ‘honor with action’ this National Preparedness Month,” said OEM Director Andrew Phelps. “It’s important Oregonians feel empowered to take actions right now to help keep themselves, their families and their communities safe. Together, we can honor those who have lost so much with actions that mean so much.” 

These actions can be as simple as signing up for emergency alerts, reviewing community evacuation routes, or talking with a neighbor who may need some extra help during an emergency – all are measures that can mean the difference between being a disaster survivor or a disaster victim.

Over the past year, Oregonians have faced historic ice storms, tragic heat events and yet another severe wildfire season. The seemingly endless cycle of emergencies and disasters is not only an indicator of what’s to come – but also of the collective lack of readiness to face it. Phelps noted that one of the most difficult hazards to mitigate against is the hazard of apathy and the notion that so many people think emergencies won’t happen to them or that they have time to prepare later.

“Disasters don’t wait for us to be ready, and when they strike, the time to prepare has passed. We know disasters affect Oregonians in different ways, and that each of us can be impacted by fires, floods, utility outages, severe weather and other hazards. As we work to build a culture of preparedness in Oregon, we have a shared responsibility to ensure we are actively reducing our risk.”

The words preparedness and readiness can sound overwhelming, especially during a time of such uncertainty. The good news is, many Oregonians may be more prepared than they think. Governor Brown has declared September to be National Preparedness Month in Oregon: Taking steps throughout this month to stay informed, be ready and mitigate risk can make the difference between being a disaster survivor or a disaster victim. 

OEM suggested taking the following actions to prepare and pay tribute to the 2020 wildfire survivors: 

  • Be informed by signing up with OR-Alert for area emergency alerts
  • Consider a donation to or volunteering with a disaster-relief organization like the American Red Cross
  • Help start or join an existing Community Emergency Response Team or Neighborhood Emergency Team
  • Check in on neighbors and loved ones before and during severe weather, utility outages or other emergencies
  • Identify evacuation routes from home, work or school and the surrounding neighborhood
  • Make and practice an emergency plan
  • Pack a go kit – make sure it’s current and includes copies of important documents, medications and phone chargers

When a disaster occurs, it’s unrealistic to expect first responders will be able to reach everyone within hours or even days. OEM actively encourages Oregonians to plan on being self-sufficient for at least two weeks following any type of disaster: This takes pressure off first responders so they can triage effectively and attend to life-threatening situations; ensures individuals can survive without help or additional supplies if roads are impassable; and encourages neighbors to care for one another, along with other vulnerable populations.

OEM’s 2 Weeks Ready program recommends citizens be informed and know about the hazards where they live; make an emergency plan for themselves and their loved ones; and build an emergency kit with at least two weeks’ worth of food, water and other necessities. The 2 Weeks Ready program offers several resources – including brochures, short videos and family-friendly activities – to help people prepare to be 2 Weeks Ready following a disaster.

Oregon’s recovery from the 2020 wildfires is far from over; survivors have experienced exceptional stresses and trauma over the last year, including the added challenges brought by COVID-19 impacts while navigating access to public services, transitional housing and remote schooling while sheltering. There is no standard timeline for recovering from a wildfire or disaster. There are numerous resources available for those struggling with these trials; Oregonians are encouraged to contact organizations like the Disaster Distress Helpline or Safe + Strong Oregon to learn ways to adapt to ongoing events and situations. 

“For everyone else, now is the time to take action,” said Phelps. “Too many Oregonians are unprepared, but they can be: It takes each of us to make Oregon stronger – and safer – together. Doing so is the ultimate way to honor those impacted by the wildfires of 2020.” 

You can get this document in other languages, large print, braille, or a format you prefer. For assistance, call 971-719-1183 or email We accept all relay calls, or you can dial 711. Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Oregon reports 2,827 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 23 new deaths

There are 23 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 3,221. The Oregon Health Authority reported 2,827 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 279,086.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (13), Benton (21), Clackamas (286), Clatsop (24), Columbia (21), Coos (57), Crook (19), Curry (27), Deschutes (209), Douglas (154), Grant (5), Harney (14), Hood River (20), Jackson (251), Jefferson (22), Josephine (120), Klamath (45), Lake (6), Lane (223), Lincoln (53), Linn (141), Malheur (85), Marion (254), Morrow (7), Multnomah (263), Polk (93),Sherman (5), Tillamook (26), Umatilla (79), Union (20), Wallowa (7), Wasco (18), Washington (184) and Yamhill (55).

—– Douglas County’s emergence as an epicenter of the delta variant outbreak was indelibly illustrated Monday when it reported 12 new COVID-19 deaths, which represented 30% of all deaths tallied over the weekend across the state.

That’s a county with 2.5% of Oregon’s population with a third of all the fatalities reported to the state. The dead from Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s counts included younger residents — a 43-year-old man, a 50-year-old man and a 52-year-old man, though the state has yet to release whether they had any underlying medical conditions.

Schools can register now to test students and staff for COVID-19

Students returning to Oregon’s classrooms this fall may have ready access to COVID-19 testing, but schools wishing to participate must register for the programs now for the 2021-22 school year. This applies even if they participated last school year.

Robust testing programs are offered through the Oregon Health Authority, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Education.

Opt-in programs include:

  • Diagnostic testing: For students or staff with symptoms of COVID-19 or an exposure to COVID-19, the program uses Abbott BinaxNOW rapid testing kits. This essential access to free testing can help diagnose COVID-19 infection early and, when recommended by the local public health authority, may shorten the duration of quarantine for exposed students.
  • Weekly screening testing for unvaccinated K-12 staff: Staff may opt in to this program. These tests are self-collected at home and sent to a regional laboratory for processing. Testing is confidential and enrollment forms can be found here.
  • Weekly screening testing of unvaccinated students[i]: Schools must opt in to the program. Then, households may opt in through their schools for testing performed in collaboration with a regional laboratory partner. Program details vary by region and school.

The testing program is a component of the revised “Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School Year”, which was released in June 2021.

Regular and reliable screening testing can identify COVID-19 infections early and help slow transmission in K-12 settings.

For more details on testing and testing options for students, teachers and staff, please visit here. You may also go to the Oregon’s COVID-19 Testing in K-12 schools web page.

[1] The K-12 student screening testing program is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as part of a financial assistance award to the State of Oregon. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HHS or the U.S. Government.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,178, which is 16 more than yesterday. There are 358 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is 36 more than yesterday.

There are 52 available adult ICU beds out of 680 total (8% availability) and 326 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,314 (8% availability). 


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.

Note: Please do not visit an emergency department for COVID-19 testing, unless you require emergency care for your symptoms.

Emergency departments in Oregon are under significant strain responding to the current surge in COVID-19. You can find a test here.  

If you have a medical condition that doesn’t require emergency care, contact your provider. An urgent care center may also help you get the care you need and will save emergency departments from added strain.  More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

The Conquer Covid in Klamath campaign Announces it’s First Weekly Winner

The Conquer Covid in Klamath campaign announces its first weekly winner is a 17 year old student from Bonanza, Oregon. Elizabeth Gaxiola won the first weekly prize of a 65” Big Screen TV along with a Home Theater System and $500 in Pizza Gift Certificates.

Elizabeth was selected in a random drawing of all Klamath County residents that have entered at

Each week the prize changes and this week it is a $6,000 Grocery Gift Certificate from Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. The drawing for this week’s prize will take place on Monday morning.

There is a different prize each week along with the Grand Prize which is the winner’s choice of a new Dodge RAM pickup or a new Dodge Durango SUV. There are numerous runner-up prizes as well. To enter Klamath County residents can go to The site also lists all prizes, rules, and vaccination sites.

Most of the geographic area experienced clear skies through the day with the exception of northern Washington where partly cloudy conditions were observed that delivered a few traces of moisture. The temperatures were below average and humidities still trended low east of the Cascade Mountains with the lowest levels recorded around the Harney Basin. Some weather stations in central Oregon and Washington recorded below freezing temperatures. With the cooler conditions fire growth on existing large fires was light.

When a wildfire is burning in steep and difficult terrain where it may be unsafe for firefighters to work, strategic burning is used to limit the fire’s progression and minimize its intensity. Lines are prepared in safer areas, such as along ridges and road systems, then, when conditions are right, the area between the lines and the fire is burned. Those conditions are primarily weather‐related, including wind, temperature and humidity, that ensure lower intensity burning.

After the vegetation in between has burned, the main fire is less likely to progress through the strategically burned area. Firefighters can then safely enter “the black” to monitor for any hot spots and work on extinguishing heat using water and hand tools. Firefighters are also addressing spot fires in several areas with support from aviation, and building and preparing lines that may hold the fire on their own, or be used for future strategic burning, depending on fire activity.

Weather: Warmer, drier weather is returning, bringing with it the likelihood of more active fires.

Closures: With the Labor Day holiday coming up, many people look to the national forests for recreation
opportunities. A number of recreation sites and roadways on the Willamette National Forest are impacted by fire‐
related closures. Before heading out to enjoy the outdoors this weekend, check current closures at and be aware of fire restrictions.

Here are links to be able to see updated info on the larger fires still burning in Oregon:

This public lands link is super helpful to check before you head outdoors. The Keep Oregon Green website carries ODF’s public use restrictions. Click the link for up-to-date information:

FBI in Oregon Launches Statewide Hate Crimes Awareness Campaign: FBI Releases Statewide and National Hate Crime Report for 2020

Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities. Hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim—they are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community. 

We know that, historically, hate crimes are underreported. To help our community recognize the importance of the issue and to encourage people to report incidents to law enforcement, the FBI in Oregon is launching a hate crimes awareness campaign. This campaign starts September 1st

“Those who traffic in hate target the most vulnerable in our community based on how they look, what they believe, and who they love. The FBI has an important role in investigating these cases, but we know that we need help from our community partners both to encourage victims to come forward and to help identify these criminals,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

The FBI has been coordinating efforts with various leaders within diverse communities to identify and engage vulnerable populations through the channels and platforms that are most effective for any given organization. The campaign also includes paid advertising:

  • Digital billboards (by Lamar and Pacific Outdoor) running in Beaverton, Clackamas, Milwaukie, Salem, Corvallis, and Medford.
  • Bus benches (Tri-Met) in Portland
  • Radio ads (Jam’n 107.5 and Z100)
  • TV ads (Univision/KUNP)
  • Web ads
  • Social media ads (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)

This Oregon effort ties with a national FBI awareness campaign that hopes to drive education efforts and increase reporting: “Protecting Our Communities Together: Report Hate Crimes”. 

We are asking people to report potential federal hate crime violations by contacting us at one of the national tipline options: 1-800-CALL-FBI or

2020 Hate Crime Statistics

This week, the FBI released the 2020 Hate Crime Report as part of its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. In Oregon, 207 of 234 agencies voluntarily submitted data for this current 2020 report.

The UCR program specifically defines a hate crime as a criminal offense motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias or biases against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.

In Oregon, there were 271 single bias incidents reported in 2020, and170 single bias incidents reported in 2019.In Oregon, there were 360 reported victims in 2020, and242 reported victims in 2019(Note: These victim numbers include both single bias and multiple bias incidents.)

Nationally, there were 7,554 single bias incidents reported in 2020, and7,081 single bias incidents reported in 2019Nationally, there were 10,528 reported victims in 2020, and8,812 reported victims in 2019. (Note: These victim numbers represent single bias incidents.)

Key Takeaways from 2020 Hate Crimes Report

The bias motivator in about 70% of Oregon incidents was race/ethnicity/ancestry. Victims perceived as Black were the racial group targeted most frequently. 

Religion was the motivator in about 10% of cases. Victims perceived as Jewish were the religious group targeted most frequently. 

Sexual orientation was the motivator in about 10% of reported Oregon incidents.

Gender identity was the motivator in about 3% of reported Oregon incidents.

Raw UCR reporting is available on and through the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer.

FBI Role in Investigating Hate Crimes

There are a number of federal laws that give FBI the ability to investigate hate crimes. Those laws generally require some kind of criminal act AND a finding that the person committing the act did so because he/she was motivated by bias. The criminal act can include offenses such as murder, assault, arson, and it generally requires the use or threat of force or violence.

For an incident to qualify as a federal hate crime, the subject(s) must have acted wholly or in part based on the victim’s actual or perceived status. This is generally consistent with state law.

Under federal law, bias motivators include:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation

Anyone who has information about or believes they are a victim of a federal hate crime should contact the FBI by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at

(Note: the UCR definition of a hate crime used by local/state/federal agencies to report such crimes to the FBI and the definition under federal law in terms of the FBI’s authority are similar but slightly different.) FBI – Oregon

Oregon approved to issue an additional $167 million in Pandemic EBT food assistance to 430,000 children

Need to know:  

  • Current recipients of P-EBT benefits for the 2020 – 2021 school year will automatically receive an additional $389 per child in food assistance that will be received as two payments in September and October. There is no need to apply.  
  • If your child has not applied and been approved for free or reduced price meals at school, you can still receive P-EBT food assistance for the summer if you apply online at the Oregon Department of Education website by September 4.
  • Oregon will provide approximately $591 million in food assistance for children from July through October 2021.
  • P-EBT is a benefit program separate from meals currently provided at no charge to children and students. These meals do not impact P-EBT eligibility or benefits.

(Salem) – The State of Oregon received approval from the federal government to expand the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program and provide an additional $167 million in food assistance to approximately 430,000 children in Oregon.

 Oregon was previously approved to provide approximately $424 million in food benefits to children in Oregon. Combined with the summer expansion of the program, Oregon will provide approximately $591 million in food assistance to children from July through October 2021.  

P-EBT provides food benefits to families whose children were eligible for free or reduced priced meals at school or daycare, but did not have access to these free meals because of COVID-19 closures.  

Children currently receiving P-EBT benefits for the 2020 – 2021 school year will automatically receive an additional $389 per child in food assistance that will be received as two payments in September and October.  

Eligibility for additional P-EBT food assistance

  • Students eligible to receive P-EBT benefits for the 2020 – 2021 school year will receive additional P-EBT food assistance for the summer of 2021. There is no need to apply.  
  • Children age six or younger whose families participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will receive P-EBT food assistance for the summer of 2021. There is no need to apply.
  • If your child has not applied and been approved for free or reduced price meals at school, you can still receive P-EBT food assistance for the summer if you apply online at the Oregon Department of Education website by September 4.  

Two ways children receive P-EBT food assistance

There are two ways children receive benefits:  

  • If the child’s household currently participates in SNAP or TANF, their P-EBT benefits will be deposited into the household’s EBT account.  
  • Children who already have a P-EBT card will continue to receive food assistance on their current card.  
  • Children new to the P-EBT program whose household does not participate in SNAP or TANF will receive a P-EBT card in the mail at the address on file with their school.

P-EBT cards look different than the Oregon Trail EBT cards issued to SNAP households.  

Visit for more information about the P-EBT program.

P-EBT does not replace any child nutrition program already offered and families are encouraged to continue to participate in meal programs in their communities.  

P-EBT is separate from SNAP benefits including emergency allotments that are also being issued due to the impact of COVID-19. P-EBT benefits are not considered in a public charge test.

Resources to help meet basic needs

About SNAP

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 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.

About the Oregon Department of Education  

The Oregon Department of Education fosters equity and excellence for every learner through collaboration with educators, partners, and communities. ODE oversees the education of over 560,000 students in Oregon’s public K-12 education system. While ODE isn’t in the classroom directly providing services, the agency (along with the State Board) – focuses on helping districts achieve both local and statewide goals and priorities through strategies such as:

  • Developing policies and standards
  • Providing accurate and timely data to inform instruction
  • Training teachers on how to use data effectively
  • Effectively administering numerous state and federal grants
  • Sharing and helping districts implement best practices 

Oregon Department of Human Services 

Labor Day Boating Fun and Friendly Reminders

Polk County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol deputy doing a compliance check with a paddler for the Waterway Access Permit

Labor Day Weekend is always popular outdoors, and to keep things fun and safe, the Oregon State Marine Board suggests taking the time to plan your water getaway and stay safe with the following tips: 

Wear your life jacket. Each boat (including canoes and kayaks, inflatable boats, stand up paddleboards) must have a properly fitting life jacket for each person on board and at least one sound-producing device. Life jackets need to be in good shape and readily accessible – not under a hatch or in its packaging. All youth younger than 13 must wear a life jacket when in a boat that’s underway. This season, most of the victims of recreational boating fatalities were not wearing a life jacket. 

Know your waterway. “Be familiar with your surroundings and always watch where you are going,” says Randy Henry, Boating Safety Program Manager for the Marine Board. “Stumps, deadheads and sand and gravel bars are prevalent this year and water levels are really low in a lot of locations. Start out slow and get your bearings.” Find out where there are reported obstructions and the recommended actions for safe navigation. 

Know what rules apply. “There are all types of watercraft on the market; some are considered boats and others are pool toys. Boats are designed differently, and by state law, have specific equipment requirements such as having enough properly fitted life jackets and a sound-producing device, like a whistle. Attach the whistle to your life jacket and you’re set.” Henry adds. “If you plan to float in a river, keep in mind that pool toys are designed for use in a swimming pool, have no directional control, and can puncture easily. If you are planning a relaxing river float, do so in a watercraft designed for a river; one which won’t easily puncture and comes properly equipped with a paddle so you can maneuver away from obstructions.” Any boat with a motor -even temporarily mounted, must be titled and registered. Paddlecraft 10 feet and longer are required to carry a Waterway Access Permit. 

Boat Sober. Boating is a great social activity, but the Marine Board encourages boaters and persons floating on the waterways, to leave the alcohol on shore. It’s safer for everyone. If arrested for Boating Under the Influence of Intoxicants (BUII), violators can be fined up to $6,250; can lose boating privileges for up to three years and even serve jail time. Intoxicants include marijuana, illicit drugs, and even some prescriptions. 

Sit on the seat inside the boat. Many boaters are tempted to ride on the swim platform, stern, sides and the bow of unenclosed boats. The stern can be a dangerous place for exposure to carbon monoxide and a prop-strike safety hazard. It is illegal to ride on the bow, decks, gunwales or transoms of a motorboat when the boat is underway. Sitting on designated seats is the safest option –especially when the boat is towing someone. Just because new boats have seats on the transom or swim step doesn’t make them legal for use when the boat is underway. 

Slow down and keep scanning. Know the boating regulations for your area of operation. Always obey the “slow-no wake” buoys or signs. Boaters, including PWCs, are responsible for damage caused by their wake. Remember to slow down within 200 feet of a dock, launch ramp, marina, moorage, floating home or boathouse, pier or swim float. Be courteous with one another and share the waterway. Paddlers should stay closer to shore, crossing busy channels at right angles only when it is safe and allow motorboats to pass in deeper water. 

Marine officers will be enforcing slow-no wake zones and other boating laws. The top boating violations this summer include expired motorboat registration, no life jackets or sound signaling devices, not carrying a waterway access permit for nonmotorized boats over 10’, and not carrying a boating safety education card. So far this year, there have been 10 recreational boating fatalities involving six motorized boats and four, nonmotorized boats. Only one of the victims was wearing a life jacket.

For more information about equipment requirements, boating regulations, and ideas on where to go boating, visit the Marine Board’s website and ways to reduce your risk with these boating safety guidelines during COVID-19

Grants Available for Veterans and War Memorials

Oregon Heritage of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is offering grants for the construction or restoration of veterans and war memorials.

Local governments and federally recognized Tribes are eligible to apply for work on monuments on public owned properties.

New monuments should acknowledge veterans and wars not already recognized in the community. Grants for restoration may be used for broken monuments, missing elements of monuments, or the related design elements of monuments for veterans or wars. Grants may also fund the addition of elements to existing monuments.

Projects must include the active participation of a veteran organization. 

A free, online workshop about the grant applications will be September 29, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Registration is required. The grant application deadline is December 10, 2021. 

Past funded projects include repair to the Doughboy monument in Astoria, a women veteran monument in Springfield, a new monument in Malin, and additions to the large memorial in Washington County.

For more information about the Veterans and War Memorials grant and other grant programs, visit or contact Kuri Gill at“> or 503-986-0685.  — Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. 

Tina Kotek Announces Run for Governor

Tina Kotek, the Speaker of the Oregon House, announced Thursday she is running for governor. Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat like Kotek, cannot run for re-election in 2022 due to term limits.

Kotek, a Portland lawmaker, has led the state House since 2013. “Oregonians are living through a devastating pandemic, the intensifying impacts of climate change, and the economic disruptions that leave too many behind,” Kotek said in a statement. “We must get past the politics of division and focus on making real, meaningful progress for families across our state.”

She said as governor she would focus on issues like affordable housing, access to health care, racial and economic justice and climate matters.

Warrants Served at Illegal Grow in Beatty

Law enforcement raided several large, allegedly illegal marijuana growing operations in Beatty on Tuesday.

These two warrants were secured and served by members of the Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, made up of the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and the Klamath Falls Police Department.

No arrests were made, as of Wednesday morning, but criminal charges were referred to the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Both operations were purported to be hemp, but none of the growing operation were licensed or permitted and on site testing during the search warrant services revealed the plants were high THC marijuana, according to the Klamath Falls Police Department. Unlawful use of groundwater is also being investigated as part of the inquiry.

Additional Rules Extended to Protect Steelhead in Rivers

In response to extremely low returns to date of Columbia Basin upriver summer steelhead, ODFW is adopting additional emergency rules to increase protections for wild summer steelhead in certain Oregon Columbia River tributaries.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife  has closed summer steelhead fishing in parts of Central Oregon for the entire month of September, including sections of the Deschutes River.

The department says it’s an emergency measure prompted by extremely low returns, and say it will offer the best chance for the fish populations to rebound. The part of the Deschutes impacted by the steelhead restriction is from the lower end of Moody Rapids upstream to Sherars Falls. Fishing of any kind is prohibited during September from the lower end of Moody Rapids downstream to the mouth of the River at the I-84 bridge.

Effective Sept. 1 the following emergency regulations are in place:

Deschutes River

  • From markers at lower end of Moody Rapids upstream to Sherars Falls, closed to angling for steelhead from Sept. 1-30. (This area remains open for trout thru Oct. 31, bass when trout or salmon fishing is open, fall Chinook thru Oct. 31 and coho salmon thru Dec. 31. Bag limit is two adult salmon – either coho or Chinook – and five jack salmon.)
  • From markers at lower end of Moody Rapids downstream to the mouth at Interstate 84 Bridge closed to angling (all species) from Sept. 1-30.

Managers will monitor the return and consider whether the fishery can reopen in October or whether further restrictions are needed.

Umatilla River

  • From Hwy 730 Bridge upstream to Threemile Dam, closed to retention of steelhead Sept. 1-Dec. 31. (This area remains open for trout fishing thru Oct. 31, bass thru Nov. 30 or while salmon fishing open, fall Chinook and coho salmon fishing thru Nov. 30.  Bag limit for salmon is three adult fall Chinook and coho, in aggregate, with five jack salmon per day. “Hoot owl “regulations that close fishing at 2 p.m. in effect thru Sept. 30.)

John Day River

  • Upstream of Tumwater Falls, closed to angling for steelhead from Sept. 1-Dec. 31. (This area remains open for trout and bass fishing thru Oct. 31. “Hoot owl” regulations that close fishing at 2 p.m. are in effect thru Sept. 30.)

Walla Walla River

  • Upstream of the Oregon/Washington state line, closed to retention of steelhead Sept. 1-Dec. 31. (This area remains open for trout and bass fishing thru Oct. 31. “Hoot owl” regulations closing fishing at 2 p.m. in effect thru Sept. 30.)

Anglers are reminded that several previously adopted emergency rules in the Columbia River Zone and certain adjacent tributary mouths, including the Deschutes and John Day rivers, remain in place. Always check the angling zone report at MyODFW recreation report for the latest regulations,

Regional fishery managers will continue to monitor passage counts and fisheries and will make further adjustments to fisheries as warranted as the fall progresses. –

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