Rogue Valley News, Tuesday 11/16 – Medford Bank Robbery, Fire at Temporary Shelter Motel for Almeda Fire Survivors

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Rogue Valley Weather

Today– Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 51. Light northwest wind.

Wednesday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 55. Calm wind.

Thursday– Showers likely, mainly after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57. Light south southeast wind. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday- Showers likely, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday– Areas of fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 55.

Medford Bank Robbery

Medford Police are currently investigating a bank robbery at First Interstate Bank located at 2646 E Barnett Rd in Medford and the suspect is still at large.

According to Medford Police, the suspect robbed the bank at 5:26 p.m. on Monday, did not display a weapon, and demanded cash. He left with an undisclosed amount.

Medford Police posted a photo to Facebook from the bank’s video surveillance camera of the suspect. He is described as a white male, unknown age, wearing a green shirt with the words “STARTER” in white lettering. His face was covered and he was wearing sunglasses.

If anyone saw someone matching the description in the area, MPD asks that you please call dispatch at 541-770-4783.

Fire at Temporary Shelter Motel for Almeda Fire Survivors Sends 2 to Hospital

Two people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation after an overnight fire at a Medford hotel room converted into a shelter for Almeda fire survivors.

Fire at Inn at the Commons photo 3

The building had been used as a temporary shelter for Almeda fire survivors.

The room was “severely damaged,” fire officials said.

The fire at 200 N. Riverside Ave. — site of the former Inn at the Commons, which is being redeveloped into an apartment complex known as The Merrick at the Commons — was reported at 12:27 a.m. Monday, according to Medford Fire Department Deputy Fire Marshal Mark Shay.

Firefighters knocked down the fire 12 minutes after the first call, and contained the fire to a single room, according to Shay.

Four nearby units are out of commission due to smoke damage, but Shay said “there was no fire intrusion.” The remainder of occupants in the building are back inside.

Police Arrest Man for Firing Gun During Disturbance


On Monday, November 15, 2021, at approximately 1:45 AM, Josephine County 911 received an emergency phone call from a resident in the 400 block of NE D St.  The female caller reported two men, one known to her, were physically fighting inside her home. The caller also reported one of the male subjects was armed with a gun. Grants Pass Police were immediately dispatched to the scene. Police officers arriving at the incident location reported hearing several gunshots coming from the direction of the residence.  

In the driveway of the residence, officers encountered the female caller who was loading her two small children into her vehicle. Officers evacuated the woman and both children to a safe location nearby. One of the male subjects involved in the fight was contacted at the residence and detained for questioning. The second male involved in the fight was unaccounted for and was identified as 32-year-old Matthew Bryan. Through the investigation that followed, it was believed Brian was armed and was the individual that fired several shots during the disturbance.  It was unknown if Brian fled the residence as police were arriving. Police established a perimeter around the home to contain the situation.

Detectives and members of the Crisis Negotiations Team from the Grants Pass Police responded to assist at the scene. At 4:40 AM, police officers assigned to securing the scene’s perimeter contacted Bryan walking along the canal near NE C St. Bryan was taken into custody without incident. Bryan was subsequently lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Assault 2 and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. 

Oregon reports 1,935 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 53 new deaths

There are 53 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 4,803, Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported 1,935 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 380,091.

The 53 new deaths and 1,935 new cases reported today include data recorded by counties for the three-day period between Nov. 12, Nov. 13 and Nov. 14.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (39), Clackamas (168), Clatsop (10), Columbia (21), Coos (29), Crook (23), Curry (12), Deschutes (210), Douglas (59), Gilliam (2), Harney (6), Hood River (8), Jackson (79), Jefferson (44), Josephine (56), Klamath (53), Lake (1), Lane (115), Lincoln (18), Linn (87), Malheur (19), Marion (198), Morrow (8), Multnomah (308), Polk (38), Sherman (6), Tillamook (14), Umatilla (31), Union (14), Wasco (23), Washington (180) and Yamhill (53).

Oregon reports 1,094 confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Nov. 12, 426 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Nov. 13 and 415 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Nov. 14.

Note: More information about the cases and deaths will be provided in an updated news release.

Due to a technical issue that affected the electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) server, COVID-19 test counts and percent positivity for Nov. 13 and Nov. 14 are currently unavailable. Case counts from the weekend are accurate as local health departments were able to process positive ELRs received over the weekend. We anticipate that the server issue will be resolved today; however, data dashboards will not be updated with test counts and percent positivity until tomorrow.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations  

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine situation in Oregon, visit our web page (English or Spanish), which has a breakdown of distribution and other information.

Portland School District staff will recommend this week that the school board wait six months to decide whether a COVID-19 vaccine mandate is necessary.

They say case numbers are declining and three out of four students ages 12 to 17 are vaccinated. There has also been a large number of families with kids ages 5 to 11 who are getting students vaccinated. Tuesday night, the school board will continue to discuss the vaccination requirement, but they’re not expected to make a decision.

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The Ford Family Foundation’s ‘Growing Rural Oregon’ Advances Rural Economic Development in John Day, Independence, Klamath Falls, and Florence

The Ford Family Foundation is proud to announce the launch of a new framework for supporting rural entrepreneurs called ‘Growing Rural Oregon’ — GRO. Four Oregon cities will participate in GRO’s first cohort: John Day, Independence, Klamath Falls and Florence. Community leaders will work with a coach to build a local entrepreneurial ecosystem, follow an evaluation plan and collaborate as a learning community for a five-year period.

GRO is an economic development framework that aims to foster more prosperous and resilient rural cities and towns across Oregon through entrepreneur-centered development. Starting with the recognition that every community already has entrepreneurial talent, GRO helps identify the tools needed to support and uplift rural entrepreneurs. GRO strategies aim to leverage unique community assets that can stimulate innovation and sustainable economic vitality.

“Klamath IDEA is proud to be a part of the first GRO cohort in partnership with The Ford Family Foundation,” shared Kat Rutledge, director of Klamath IDEA in Klamath Falls. “We’ve been working hard on our entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it’s exciting to have the Foundation come alongside us to demonstrate what entrepreneurship can do for our rural communities.”

“The Foundation is proud to catalyze GRO because it is a community-centered and community-driven framework,” said Kathleen Flanagan, director of Community Economic Development. “GRO is not a service provider or a stand-alone program — it is an intensive journey to jumpstart entrepreneurial behavior. This framework engages the broader community in growing prosperity together over time.”

The GRO framework’s approach is consistent with the Foundation’s community-led approach to supporting vital rural communities in Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif. “This is a long-term investment in the health and livelihood of entrepreneurs in rural Oregon,” explained Foundation president, Anne Kubisch. “From lenders to economic development organizations to government officials and community residents — GRO takes all of us collaborating together.”

GRO has been developed in partnership with national experts from NetWork Kansas and e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. Oregon-based partners include Oregon Economic Development.

UPDATE: Shooting in Chiloquin

Two people died and two others were injured in a Sunday night when a man shot into a residence north of Chiloquin.

According to court documents, Bryan Reynolds and Tianna Reynolds, who were living on the rural property bordering the Williamson River, died at the scene. Tina Smith and Andrew Reynolds, who also lived on the property, were transported to area hospitals with gunshot wounds.

Andrew Lee Noe, 30, was arrested near the scene and booked on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and unlawful use of a weapon.

According to police, the shooting took place Sunday evening at 990 Bronco Lane. A home, barn and trailers are
located on the rural property located north of Chiloquin, south of Collier State Park on the east bank of the Williamson River.

According to Klamath County Deputy District Attorney Cole Chase, all of the victims — and the suspect — lived on the property. A probable cause statement filed at the Klamath County Circuit Court claimed that Noe was outside the home when he began firing, killing two people inside the residence and wounding two others.

Sheriff’s deputies, Oregon State Police and Klamath Falls Police were dispatched to the scene about 6:30 p.m. Sunday. While en route and driving north on Highway 97, a Klamath County Sheriff’s Office deputy crashed into another vehicle near milepost 268, about two miles north of Klamath Falls.

The deputy was transported via ambulance to Sky Lakes Medical Center and remains hospitalized with moderate injuries. The occupants of the other vehicle reported no injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.

UPDATE: Wasco County Charges Man who Fired Shots at Deputy

Wasco County District Attorney Matthew Ellis announced that Logan Cantwell is being charged with Attempted Murder in the First Degree, Attempted Assault in the First Degree, Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, and Attempt to Elude.

—On Saturday, November 13th, Logan Cantwell fired shots at a Wasco County Sheriff’s Deputy near Shaniko, OR in an attempt to elude arrest along Highway 97. No one was injured in the fire exchange, but Cantwell escaped and is still at large. The investigation is still ongoing and involves several law enforcement agencies throughout the Columbia River Gorge region. Cantwell is a white, 23‐year‐old male, 5’04”, short strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes,
and approximately 140 lbs. Cantwell is considered armed and dangerous. If he is seen, the public should not approach him, but contact law enforcement immediately. Cantwell is believed to be in the Columbia River Gorge and may be on either the Oregon or Washington side. He may be going by an alias, Logan Taylor or Kendall Myers. Tips
should be directed to 911 or the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 800‐442‐0776 or OSP (677) from your mobile phone.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has announced $2.7 million in funding for projects aimed at helping coho salmon in the Klamath River basin

The species is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and has seen its numbers dwindle amid rising river temperatures and reduced water flows. The grant announced Monday will be administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, with help from federal and state agencies, and will prioritize projects that improve salmon habitat and fish passage in the lower part of the river and its tributaries, according to a Reclamation news release.

The Klamath River spans the border between Oregon and California. Reclamation plans to award $1.2 Million in fiscal year 2021 and up to $500,000 per year in fiscal years 2022 through 2024. Tribes, non-profits, local government agencies, schools and universities can apply.

Contest promoting young worker safety in Oregon opens to high school students

Win cash for creative videos, graphic design pieces

Salem – High school students across Oregon are invited to let their video or graphic design skills stand out in service of a good cause: increasing awareness about workplace safety for young workers. 

The 2022 media contest, organized by the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]), is now open for submissions.

The contest calls on participants to inspire young workers to reflect on their personal health and safety at work, and the reality that they could be hurt on the job. They may do so either by creating a video that is between 30 to 90 seconds in length or by crafting a graphic design piece.

Either way, the project must highlight the tagline “Work. It can be more dangerous than you think.” For this year’s contest, participants must also incorporate the theme: “Young Worker Mental Well-Being.”

In developing the theme, participants may consider such factors as the workplace stressors that young workers sometimes experience and how employers can support the mental well-being of young workers.

The top three entries in each of the two media categories will take home cash prizes ranging from $300 to $500. In each category, the first place winner’s school, club, or organization will receive a matching award. 

Some participants may dream up a bold, splashy graphic design to get their message across. Others may grab a smartphone or camera and develop a video that captivates their audience with documentary-style seriousness.

Along the way, participants are encouraged to share or build on their personal experiences – whether positive or negative – to highlight the importance of teen well-being while on the job.

While they carry out their projects, participants need to ensure the personal health and safety of their team. That includes avoiding endangering anyone during the creation of their project; ensuring entries do not depict unsafe behavior or show participants not following COVID-19 guidance; and following Oregon Health Authority guidance for COVID-19

The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. 

Participants are encouraged to submit entries online. Submissions may also be mailed on a USB thumb drive. All participants will be invited to a live-streamed event in which all finalist submissions will be shown and the top three winners in each category will be revealed.

For more information about the entry form and rulescontest expectations, and resources – including graphic design and video examples, and the entries that won in 2021 – visit the O[yes] online contest page.

The contest sponsors are local Oregon chapters of the American Society of Safety Professionals, Construction Safety Summit, Central Oregon Safety & Health Association, Hoffman Construction Company, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU, Oregon OSHA, SafeBuild Alliance, SAIF Corporation, and Oregon SHARP Alliance.

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to

The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) is a nonprofit dedicated to preventing young worker injuries and fatalities. O[yes] members include safety and health professionals, educators, employers, labor and trade associations, and regulators. For more information, go to

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