Rogue Valley News, Friday 1/28 – Child Abuse Arrests in Medford and Eagle Point; Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Make Arrest in Kidnapping and Find Missing Child

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

Friday, January 28, 2022

Rogue Valley Weather

Air Stagnation Advisory until January 30, 10:00 AM PST

Today– Sunny, with a high near 60. Calm wind.

Saturday– Sunny, with a high near 58. Calm wind.

Sunday– Partly sunny, with a high near 55. Light and variable wind.

Monday– Partly sunny, with a high near 49.

Tuesday– Patchy freezing fog before 10am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 46.

UPDATE: Joint Task Force Arrests Medford Couple For Multiple Child Sex Abuse Crimes

UPDATE

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) joint inter-agency task force arrested a Medford couple Thursday afternoon on multiple child sex abuse charges. The suspects, Timothy Wray Guss, 62, and Breanna Leann King, 28, were arrested on 10 felony counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse. Guss was additionally charged with five misdemeanor counts of private indecency. King was additionally charged with one felony count of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct. All known child victims have been identified and contacted.

SOCET along with Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Patrol deputies and Central Point Police Department, arrested King at an apartment complex on the 200 block of South Haskell Street in Central Point. JCSO Patrol deputies and detectives arrested Guss at an apartment complex on the 1600 block of Coker Butte Road in Medford. Both suspects are lodged in the Jackson County Jail. The bail has been set for Guss at $125,000, and for King at $120,000.  

The case started after SOCET received tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that numerous images of child exploitation were uploaded from the suspects’ residence. On November 17th 2021, SOCET served a search warrant at the Coker Butte Road address in Medford. During the warrant multiple digital devices were seized. While forensically examining those devices, Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force detectives discovered more images of child exploitation, leading to the additional charges. 

The search warrant team consisted of personnel from JCSO, Oregon State Police (OSP), Medford Police Department (MPD), Grants Pass Police Department (GPPD), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and high-tech crimes examiners. 

SOCET is a joint inter-agency task force that started in June of 2020 to combat child exploitation and human trafficking. The task force consists of investigators from JCSO, MPD, GPPD, OSP, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and HSI; as well as prosecutors from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Jackson and Josephine County.

All further updates will come from the Jackson County District Attorney’s office.

Original Release 11/17/21

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) joint inter-agency task force served a search warrant Wednesday morning at an apartment complex on the 1600 block of Coker Butte Road in Medford. Investigators discovered numerous images of child pornography were uploaded from a residence in the apartment complex. Investigators are interviewing possible witnesses and involved parties, and investigations are ongoing.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) tips started the investigation, which led to subpoenas, followed by the search warrant at the apartment. Digital devices were seized, and will be forensically examined by the Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force (SOHTCTF) for evidence of child exploitation.

The search warrant team consisted of personnel from Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), Oregon State Police (OSP), Medford Police Department (MPD), Grants Pass Police Department (GPPD), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and high-tech crimes examiners. 

SOCET is a joint inter-agency task force that started in June of 2020 to combat child exploitation and human trafficking. The task force consists of investigators from JCSO, MPD, GPPD, OSP, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and HSI; as well as prosecutors from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Jackson and Josephine County.

Eagle Point Man Arrested for Numerous Child Sex Crimes, Detectives Believe He Had Access to Other Juveniles

Carini Mugshot

JCSO Case 22-0053

EAGLE POINT, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) detectives arrested an Eagle Point man Tuesday after developing probable cause for seven sex crime charges against two juveniles.

The suspect, John Michael Carini, 53, of Eagle Point, was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on six counts of first-degree Sexual Abuse, and one count of first-degree sodomy. Bail was set at $1.75 million.

On January 4th, JCSO detectives responded to a report of a sexual assault in the Eagle Point area involving two juveniles. Based on information gathered in the investigations, detectives believe Carini had access to numerous other unidentified children. Anyone with information can call Detective Tobias at (541) 774-6800 and reference case 22-0053. The case is still under investigation. Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Make Arrest in Kidnapping and Find Missing Child

On January 26, 2022, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office received information from California of a missing 4-year-old child that was possibly in the area. Details revealed that the father of the child, Jonathan Rios, had taken the child out of state and was refusing to return the child to the custodial mother. Deputies and Detectives with the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office worked together to locate a possible address for Rios, in the 5000 block of Cloverlawn Drive.   

Rios was later seen leaving the residence on Cloverlawn Drive and was arrested without incident on Beacon Drive near the Grants Pass Parkway.  The child in question was located and arrangements were made for the custodial mother to regain physical custody 

Jonathan Rios was arrested and lodged in the Josephine County Jail for Kidnapping, and later transported back to California for the crimes involved.     

At the time of this press release, no further details are being released. Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Office 

Armed male subject in crisis placed in custody without incident in Grants Pass

On January 27th, 2022 at approximately 1057 hours, the Grants Pass Police 911 Dispatch received a call of a 34 year-old male subject who was said to be in crisis. The male subject was said to be in a parked vehicle, near the corner of SW M and SW 5th Streets. As Grants Pass Police units responded, it was reported the male subject had a firearm in the vehicle and was wanting to take his own life. There was a struggle over a handgun by the caller and the male subject.  

Additional Police units responded along with resources from Grants Pass Fire/Rescue and AMR medical personnel. The roadway was blocked in the area for the safety of the public. Information was obtained at the scene, the male was believed to have a spear gun and there was possibly additional firearms. Police units formed contact teams utilizing both lethal and multiple less lethal options. A Grants Pass Police negotiator began communication with the male who was still seated in his vehicle. One handgun was located near the drivers door to the vehicle and was secured by officers in order to prevent the male from accessing the weapon and harming himself or anyone else. Officers were able to utilize Police vehicles to block the male’s vehicle from driving away while the negotiations continued.  

After a brief standoff and continued negotiations, the male subject agreed to exit his vehicle and was taken into custody without incident for a mental health evaluation.  At the time of this incident, additional police resources were immediately available as there was a swearing in ceremony taking place for two recently hired police officers at the main police station. Traffic was rerouted from the area for approximately 40 minutes while officers handled the incident. 

There were inaccurate reports circulating via social media of an active shooting incident in this area.  None of these reports were true and no shots were fired during this entire event. The Grants Pass Police would like to thank our citizens for their cooperation during this tense and rapidly evolving event. Grants Pass Police Department

Tickets To 2022 Jackson County Fair Go On Sale Today

This week, Expo organizers announced that tickets would go on sale this Friday for the event in July — and a full list of Concert headliners have already been announced. The 2022 Bi-Mart Amphitheater stage at the fair is bringing the fun to you in ’22 with performances by Nelly, Chris Lane, Sawyer Brown, and Five for Fighting.

“In spite of the evolving pandemic some traditions permeate our county.  Since 1859, people have traveled from throughout the region and beyond to attend the Jackson County Fair,” organizers said.

“They come to be a part of attractions like the Jackson County Junior Livestock Auction that showcases our local 4-H, FFA youth and their market animal projects.  They also come to show off their talent and skills in the Open Class Competitions for best photography, amazing food creations, expressive arts, horticulture and technology.”

FOR MORE INFO: https://attheexpo.com/fair/

Oregon reports 7,871 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 19 new deaths

PORTLAND, Ore. — There are 19 new COVID-19-related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 6,067, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

OHA reported 7,871 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 613,221.

OHA hosts media availability

OHA will host a media availability at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, featuring Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer and state epidemiologist. Members of the media can participate by joining this Zoom link.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (34), Benton (59), Clackamas (522), Clatsop (71), Columbia (76), Coos (151), Crook (106), Curry (47), Deschutes (454), Douglas (216), Grant (2), Harney (31), Hood River (35), Jackson (395), Jefferson (88), Josephine (144), Klamath (140), Lake (4), Lane (869), Lincoln (96), Linn (350), Malheur (96), Marion (989), Morrow (34), Multnomah (1,101), Polk (174), Sherman (5), Tillamook (35), Umatilla (179), Union (85), Wallowa (25), Wasco (44), Washington (936) and Yamhill (278).

A new study is revealing the road to “super immunity” has multiple paths as researchers are comparing the antibody response from both COVID-19 vaccination and natural infection.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) studied people who were first vaccinated then infected or infected and then got the vaccine. They discovered that, regardless of the route, the immune response revealed antibody levels that were at least 10-times more potent than just the immune response from vaccines alone.

OHSU experts are suggesting the new findings are pointing to the end of the pandemic getting closer and closer as, over time, the virus will run into an ever-expanding pool of human immunity. The latest study of ‘super immunity’ was performed before the recent emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant. It was published online Tuesday in the journal Science Immunology.

OHA infographic features two chat bubbles and an illustration of a person wearing a mask and holding a test in one hand and a test tube in the other. Text explains that both rapid antigen and molecular (PCR) tests can detect the Omicron variant. While COVID-19 tests won't tell you which variant you have, they will tell you if you have SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in your body.

Oregon Health Authority: With so much information out there about COVID-19, it can be hard to keep track of what’s true and false. For instance, you may have heard that COVID-19 tests can’t detect the Omicron variant. Thankfully, that’s false! If you do test positive and have questions, visit our Test Positive page (govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-covid-19-positive-test) or call our COVID-19 Case Support Hotline at 866-917-8881.

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Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day is January 28 — See if you qualify for up to $6,728

(Salem) – As the Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day approaches on Friday, January 28, the Oregon Department of Revenue and the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) are encouraging all workers with income in 2021 to check their Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility.

The Earned Income Tax Credit, which may give families up to $6,728 back when they file taxes, is a federal and state tax credit for people making less than $57,414 per year. Many Oregonians miss out because they simply don’t know about it, especially those that aren’t required to file taxes.

Even if you aren’t required to file taxes, you may still qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you do, you will need to file a federal and state return in order to get this refundable credit.

Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day is a nationwide effort to increase awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit and free tax preparation sites. There are volunteer organizations, such as Metropolitan Family Services and AARP that can help you file your taxes for free or at a reduced cost. More information can be found on the Oregon Department of Revenue website.

Basic qualifications for EITC include:

  • All filing statuses are eligible, but some have specific requirements that must be met in order to qualify.
  • You, your spouse, or any qualifying child must have a Social Security number.
  • Your earned income in 2021 must be below certain limits based on your number of qualifying dependents.
  • You may be eligible even if you do not have a qualifying child.

The Department of Revenue and ODHS are working with other state agencies and community partners to encourage taxpayers to learn more about this credit and find out if they’re eligible.

Taxpayers can use the IRS EITC Assistant to check their eligibility further. The assistant is available in English and Spanish.

CASH Oregon provides free or low-cost, in-person tax preparation services throughout Oregon. To see its locations, visit www.cashoregon.org. People can also dial 2-1-1 to find free tax return preparation sites.

For more information on the EITC, visit https://www.eitc.irs.gov/. For questions about Oregon taxes, call the Department of Revenue at 503-378-4988. 

Employment Department Mailing 1099G Tax Forms

Jan. 26, 2022 (Salem, OR) — This month, the Oregon Employment Department will mail 1099G tax forms to the nearly 400,000 people who received unemployment insurance benefits in the 2021 tax year. 

The 1099G form is used for filing both federal income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state income taxes to the Oregon Department of Revenue. 

People can expect to receive the 1099G form by Jan. 31, 2022. Starting Feb. 1, the form will be on the Online Claims System under the tab “1099G Tax forms” toward the bottom of the page.

Sara Cromwell, unemployment insurance division deputy director for benefits, urges people to inform the Employment Department if they receive a 1099G and did not claim benefits in 2021. 

“If you didn’t file a claim last year, this means someone may be trying to steal your ID. Please complete our online ID theft form or call 503-947-1995, so we can review the claim for possible fraud,” she said. 

More information on the 1099G form is at unemployment.oregon.gov. For more information on what to do if your identity has been stolen, visit the IRS website and the department’s fraud resources web page.

OregonHealthCare.gov sees highest number of enrollees in years

OHIM Logo

Salem, Ore. – During the 2022 open enrollment period, 146,602 Oregonians enrolled in health insurance coverage, the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace announced today.

The federal government extended the open enrollment period for 2022 health coverage from 45 to 76 days (Nov. 1, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022). This extra window of time enabled more Oregonians to enroll in health coverage than either of the past two years (141,089 people in 2021 and 145,264 people in 2020).

In addition, the American Rescue Plan Act (2021) has made health insurance purchased through the Marketplace more affordable than ever. Individuals and families will pay less for health insurance thanks to financial help available through OregonHealthCare.gov.

“I am elated to see more Oregonians taking advantage of the tremendous savings available on health coverage through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace,” says Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “Health coverage is essential to helping Oregonians seek the care they need to stay healthy. We are encouraged to see the benefits the American Rescue Plan Act and extended open enrollment period will have on the ability for people to seek the care they need.” 

People who missed the open enrollment deadline may still have an opportunity to get health coverage through the Marketplace if they experienced a qualifying life event such as moving, involuntarily losing health coverage, having or adopting a child, marriage, a change in citizenship, and being released from incarceration. Enrolled tribal members and Alaska natives can enroll in health coverage at any time throughout the year.

Oregonians can preview plans and savings available to them by answering a few short questions at OregonHealthCare.gov. The website is also the best place to find a health insurance experts who can give one-on-one help with the application and enrollment process by phone, email, or in person. Visit OregonHealthCare.gov today to get started. 

The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov. For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.

Oregon Army National Guard soldiers have returned from a nine-month deployment in Poland.

They were working in support of the European Deterrence Initiative as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. They arrived on Tuesday at the Portland Air National Guard Base and were part of nearly 130 soldiers that were formally mobilized in April of 2021. On January 2nd, about 120 Oregon Army National Guard soldiers deployed to Poland
to support the same mission.

Oregon Zoo Unveils A New Plan To Save The Polar Bears

The Polar Bear Research Council (PBRC), composed of zoo professionals and polar bear researchers, released its 2022 master plan, developed to help protect polar bears through advanced research, according to an Oregon Zoo press release.

The PBRC 2022 Polar Bear Research Masterplan consists of research strategies and field techniques to collect data on polar bear health and welfare, physiological and behavioral ecology, and reproduction. 

The Oregon Zoo stated that the collaboration between the council, zoo, and other scientists is imperative and urgent, “as climate change reduces Arctic Sea ice, polar bears struggle to find and catch seals, making it harder for them and their cubs to survive.”

U.S. Endangered Species Act classifies polar bears as a threatened species, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission reports the species is “at high risk of global extinction.”

“We still have gaps in understanding how climate change is affecting polar bears, so it’s essential that the bears in our care help scientists learn more about their species,” said Amy Cutting, interim director of animal care and conservation at the Oregon Zoo. 

Cutting said that zoo bears are perfect candidates for research as they have helped scientists advance animal care. According to the Oregon Zoo, “In 2012, polar bears Conrad and Tasul became the first of their species to voluntarily give blood.”

According to an article from the Oregonian, zoo crews would traditionally need to hit polar bears with a tranquilizing dart to draw blood, as zoo experts say polar bears do not like to be touched. The Oregon Zoo said they designed a cage and trained the polar bears to lay their paw in a specific location, so it was easier for researchers to take blood samples while another zookeeper distracted the bear with treats. 

After hearing about their research successes, polar bear scientist Karyn Rode said she contacted the zoo and asked Oregon Zoo for assistance. 

The Oregon Zoo said in a press release that “polar bears are extremely difficult to observe in the wild, and Dr. Rode, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Changing Arctic Ecosystems initiative, believed the zoo’s training advances presented a unique opportunity to fill critical knowledge gaps.”

The polar bear named Tasul has been very helpful in finding how climate change affects wild polar bears by wearing “a high-tech collar to help calibrate tracking collars deployed on wild bears,” according to officials at the Oregon Zoo. 

Nora and Amelia Gray, two polar bears, welcomed back in 2021 to the Oregon Zoo, have also helped scientists in their endeavors. 

The Oregon Zoo said Nora helps scientists understand caloric requirements for polar bears in the wild by swimming in a chamber designed to measure oxygen. “Amelia Gray was outfitted with a “Burr on Fur,” a prototype tech innovation designed by 3M to give conservation scientists a better way to monitor wild bears,” according to an Oregon Zoo press release. 

 “We’re excited to be continuing our collaborations with our conservation science partners. And it’s a great way for zoo guests to see that important work in action,” Cutting said. 

According to the Oregon Zoo, “many of the habitat’s features in the Polar Passage where Nora and Amelia Gray live were funded through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation from the community.” This Foundation states that it supports the zoo’s animal welfare, conservation, and education efforts. To learn more about the Oregon Zoo and its research, visit oregonzoo.org/recovery.

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Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Asks for Public’s Help in Search For Trucker Suspect

The first real clue to come in on all the missing person cases in the area. Help Klamath Falls Oregon Sheriff Office ID this trucker. He was the last to see this woman alive and could be the key to not only solving this woman’s disappearance but a number of the hundred other women missing in PNW. IF you have any information, please call (541) 883-5130

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A 17-year-old was reported missing in Salem and detectives say the teen might be the victim of an online catfishing scheme.

Ezra Mayhugh, 17, was last seen on October 15, 2021 after being dropped off in downtown Salem by a friend, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said. He was reported as a runaway the following day when he did not return home.

Investigators say he might be in Washington or California. They hope to reunite Ezra safely with family members.

He’s described as about 5-foot 11-inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, with blonde hair and brown eyes.

If you have had contact with Mayhugh since October 15 or have other helpful information on his whereabouts, the sheriff’s office asks you to contact Detective M.J. Sphoon at 503-588-6808 or to submit a tip by texting TIPMCSO and your tip to 847411.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Have-You-Seen-Me-Southern-Oregons-Missing-People-161249961222839/posts/

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