Rogue Valley News, Tuesday 3/29 – Texas Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Arrested In Southern Oregon Thanks to Tip, More Affordable Housing Approved for Medford

The latest news stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the digital home of Southern Oregon, Wynne Broadcasting’s RogueValleyMagazine.com

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Rogue Valley Weather

Today– Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 68. Calm wind becoming north northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Wednesday– Partly sunny, with a high near 60. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 61. North northwest wind 3 to 8 mph.

Friday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.

Saturday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.

Texas Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Arrested In Southern Oregon Thanks to Tip

Update: At approximately 4:50 Monday afternoon Bishop was taken into custody without incident in the Conde Creek area by US Marshals and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies. The PNVOTF were able to locate Bishop through an anonymous tip that came from this morning’s Facebook post. Great job to all involved in safely arresting a dangerous fugitive. The vehicle was not in Bishop’s possession and is no longer of interest.

ORIGINAL: JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – The Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force (PNVOTF) is on the lookout for one of Texas’ 10 most wanted fugitives after he was recently spotted in the Southern Oregon area. James Mark Bishop, a noncompliant registered sex offender, is currently wanted out of Texas for continuous sexual assault of a child, and in Oklahoma for probation violations for an original charge of knowingly downloading child pornography.  

Bishop is a former law enforcement officer with prior military experience and extensive martial arts training. He is considered armed and dangerous and has made previous statements that he will not go back to prison. Bishop is likely using an alias. He is a 50-year-old white male 6’1” and 245 lbs. with a bald head and blue eyes. 

Bishop has no known ties to Oregon, but PNVOTF investigators believe he may be working security or other jobs for a marijuana grow or processing facility in Southern Oregon or Northern California. He was last known to be driving a red 1999 Chevrolet Suburban with Texas plate HLW6688. The vehicle has been fortified with a grill guard and other accessories to assist in eluding law enforcement and living off the grid. It is possible that he has switched license plates and or painted the vehicle. 

If you know of Bishop’s whereabouts, do not approach. Call the JCSO tip line at (541) 774-8333. If your tip leads to an arrest a reward is being offered of up to $8500.

PNVOTF includes personnel from the United States Marshals Service, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Central Point Police Department. The task force specializes in locating and arresting fugitives wanted for offenses including, but not limited to, murder, assault, sex crimes, failure to register as a sex offender, firearm violations, and probation violations. Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

More Affordable Housing Approved for Medford

The Medford Urban Renewal Agency has approved financing for the new development to bring more affordable housing to the city’s Liberty Park neighborhood.

The Rogue Valley faced housing shortages even before the Almeda and South Obenchain fires of 2020. More than 2,300 units were lost in the fires tightening access to affordable housing.

conceptual drawing

“This is a regional issue. This is not simply what happened in Talent and Phoenix. They bore the brunt of the destruction itself,” says Harry Weiss, the agency’s director. “But being able to house all these people is something that we have to accommodate within the entire Rogue Valley.”

He says the agency was lucky to find three plots of land up for sale, big enough for a large apartment complex.

“The truth is, finding sites to do multi-family housing in the center-city is a hard prospect, mainly because you need a certain amount of land,” says Weiss. “Land is so parcelized in our center-city that it’s hard to assemble property where you can do a significant amount of multi-family.”

Daniel Bunn is the president of Medford-based Rubicon investments, one of the developers chosen for the project. “Different parts of the state, different economic brackets, different cultural groups need different types of housing,” Bunn says. “We’re really focusing in the design phase on making sure not only that the housing is ultimately affordable, but that it’s meeting the needs of the community that we’re targeting.”

Bunn says they’ve already gotten community feedback, such as a greater need for family housing, community kitchen space and play areas for children. He says the group is especially focused on addressing the needs of the Latinx community.

Rubicon investments is teaming up with Portland-based Edlen & Co. on the project. Bunn says this is the first time his company has worked on an affordable housing project, whereas Edlen & Co. has prior experience in this space.

He says Rubicon’s history of working on government projects will help the team get through the red tape that comes with financing low-income housing.

The expected $48 million for construction will be raised primarily through state and federal low-income housing grants, with approximately $5 million coming from the City of Medford.

Applications for the state grants are due in April, with awards expected in August, Bunn says. If the project is approved for state funds, the federal money is included. Construction could finish by the end of 2024.

And this isn’t the only project in the works. Weiss says the agency is also working on another proposed 62-unit complex in downtown. This other property wouldn’t be low income, but would be targeted towards “workforce housing” for middle income individuals.

He says this middle section of housing, designed for those who make 80-120% of the region’s median income, is a challenging type of project, since units don’t benefit from low-income subsidies, nor do they generate as much revenue as high-end apartments.

Weiss says all of these initiatives are about bringing more people into downtown to create a more vibrant Medford.

Investigation Ongoing in Shooting Incident Riverside Park

On Monday, March 28th, 2022, at approximately 1245 AM, several calls were received by 911 dispatchers reporting gunshots being heard at Riverside Park.  Callers reported hearing screams coming from the park near the 6th and 7th street bridges.  Within three minutes of receiving the  911 call, police officers arrived and contacted several witnesses who were resting inside their vehicles.  Responding officers confirmed shots had been fired during the disturbance.

Grants Pass Police Detectives responded to the scene and initiated a criminal investigation. Detectives determined nobody had been injured during the shooting.  The incident is an open and active investigation.  Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective Heather Yerrick at 541-450-6260.  Grants Pass Police Department

Cyclist Hit By Car in Downtown Medford

A cyclist has been taken to the hospital after being struck by a car that was turning from East Main onto Almond Street in Medford.

“About 12:14 this afternoon, we received a report of a motor vehicle accident: it was a vehicle versus a bicyclist. Once medical personnel and initial responding officers were on scene they determined that the cyclist had serious physical injur[ies,]” said Stephen Furst Medford Police Department’s Sergeant.

Furst stated that they believe the car made too wide of a left turn.

“With the serious physical injury comes the activation of our Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) team. Right now the patient has been stabilized and transported to a local hospital and is being treated for their injuries, I do not have an update at this time,” said Furst.

Almond Street was closed until 6 pm. Medford Police Department was on the scene, along with Medford Fire Department, Mercy Flights, and Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR).

“We’re working with detectives who are with the driver and are cooperating with the investigation at this time. Traffic officers are with the STAR team at this time doing a diagram reconstruction of the scene so we can better understand what occurred today,” said Furst. Incident is still under investigation.

Oregon reports 541 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 39 new deaths

PORTLAND, Ore. — There are 39 new COVID-19-related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 7,074, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

OHA reported 541 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 703,132.

The 39 new deaths and 541 new cases reported today include data recorded by counties for the three-day period between March 25 and March 27.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (23), Clackamas (39), Clatsop (3), Columbia (5), Coos (1), Crook (1), Curry (8), Deschutes (35), Douglas (9), Grant (2), Hood River (2), Jackson (24), Jefferson (1), Josephine (9), Klamath (3), Lane (62), Lincoln (3), Linn (14), Malheur (1), Marion (23), Multnomah (167), Polk (9), Tillamook (5), Umatilla (4), Wallowa (2), Wasco (3), Washington (79) and Yamhill (4).

Oregon reports 270 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on March 25, 155 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on March 26 and 116 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on March 27.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AROUND-OR.png

Oregon Funding Expansion of Wildfire Detection System

State lawmakers have awarded $4.5 million to the ALERTWildfire camera network system, which is run in part by the University of Oregon.

“Alertwildfire.org is a set of mountaintop pan-tilt zoom cameras for early fire prevention and suppression,” said Doug Toomey, a earth sciences professor at the university.

It’s an online network of cameras allowing you to see or even spot fires in real time.

Toomey said the ground the cameras cover will be expanding thanks to the millions of dollars on the way to the program.

“What it’s going to go towards — it’s approximately 35 camera sites. It’s a very amazing system; it allows people to see what’s happening in real time. In fact, there was a fire in California that was almost reported by someone in New Zealand because they were watching the cameras.”

Toomey said considering the recent fire seasons and how dry it has been this year, the timing of these funds could not have come at a better time.

“It takes time to put up cameras; it will probably take us a year or more to go through these funds. I anticipate the major build will probably occur next year. But we are going to pull out all the stops to get up as many as we can as quickly as we can,” Toomey said.

You can access the cameras by going to https://www.alertwildfire.org

Prineville Woman Arrested For Fentanyl Trafficking

A Prineville woman faces controlled substance trafficking charges as the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team continues to pursue sources of fentanyl that have been flooding the region. 

On March 13th, 2022, at approximately 7:00 PM, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team concluded a long-term investigation with the arrest of Bryanna Nelson, age 26, of Prineville, Oregon.  

During a concurrent investigation, drug Agents identified Bryanna Nelson as fentanyl traffickers in the central Oregon area. The initial investigation alleges Ms. Nelson have been importing large quantities of fentanyl pills from the Portland area into central Oregon where she distributes it primarily in the Prineville area.

After a multi-day surveillance operation throughout the metropolitan Portland area, CODE Detectives, the assistance of Oregon State Police Troopers, stopped Bryanna Nelson on Highway 26 between Madras and Prineville. She was detained at the scene with an un-involved male passenger and toddler. The male passenger was later released without charges. The toddler was released to Oregon DHS-Child Welfare.

Based on the investigation, CODE Detectives applied for and obtained a Search Warrant for her home and her Nissan Rouge.  

A subsequent search of Nelson’s Nissan Rouge located a commercial quantity of counterfeit Oxycodone tablets made of fentanyl. These counterfeit tablets have been linked to an ongoing overdose epidemic in Central Oregon and contain fentanyl or methamphetamine and can be deadly to an unsuspecting user. In addition to the fentanyl, drug agents seized a large amount of currency that was also seized.  

Ms. Nelson was lodged in the Crook County Sheriff’s Jail with the following criminal charges.

Unlawful Possession, Manufacture, and Attempted Distribution of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl) 

Child Neglect I

Crook County District Attorney, Kari Hathorn, provided the following comment, “My office supports a public safety surge to address the alarming increase in the availability of these fentanyl-laced fake pills. It is the Crook County District Attorney’s Office goal to work with our law enforcement partners and the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team to protect the safety and health of our Crook County community from the harm, crime and overdoses driven by these criminal drug networks.”

Criminal complaints contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

CONTACT FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:   Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp, 541-550-4869 or kentv@deschutes.org 

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program and the following Central Oregon law enforcement agencies:  Bend Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Redmond Police Department,  Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Madras Police Department, Oregon State Police, Sunriver Police Department, Black Butte Police Department, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Warm Springs Tribal Police Department, Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson County District Attorney’s, and the Oregon National Guard.

The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement task forces to disrupt or dismantle local, multi-state and international drug trafficking organizations.

Salem Police Arrest Driver in Homeless Site Crash

Salem Police arrested 24-year-old Enrique Rodriguez, Jr. who they said is the driver involved in a crash at a homeless site early Sunday morning. The crash happened around 2 a.m. in the area of Front and Division Streets NE.

Police said four people were killed as a result of the crash. Two people sustained life-threatening injuries, according to police.

Rodriguez is lodged at Marion County Jail facing multiple charges including first-degree manslaughter, DUII and reckless endangerment.

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse For Sale

The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse off the northwest coast of Oregon is for sale for $6.5 million.

The island’s isolation, impossible boat landings and extreme weather as well as the lighthouse crews’ dislike of their months-long stays where they were cold, wet and constantly reminded of their dangerous job, earned the tower the nickname “Terrible Tilly.”

Investors had paid $50,000 in 1980 to buy the deteriorating lighthouse, Oregon’s only offshore light station. The structure sits a mile from Tillamook Head between Seaside and Cannon Beach.

The owners converted the structure, which has been brutalized for a century and a half by crashing waves, into the Eternity At Sea columbarium. About 30 funeral urns were interred there before the columbarium’s license was not renewed in 1999 by the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board.

The private Tillamook Rock property, which is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, can only be reached by helicopter with the owners’ permission.

The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, designed to guide ships on their treacherous ocean journey to the Columbia River, played a critical role in the development of the Pacific Northwest and World War II shipbuilding.

High Desert Museum to Welcome This Thursday Three Indigenous Artists of “Imagine a World”

2022-03/6924/153334/artist_Frank_Buffalo_Hyde.jpg

BEND, OR — Entering the High Desert Museum’s original exhibit Imagine a World, visitors are greeted by two life-size, brightly painted astronauts hovering over a mural with blue bison running over a moonscape and flying saucers in the sky above. The display is the artwork of Frank Buffalo Hyde (Onondaga Nation Beaver Clan and Nez Perce).

The Museum will welcome Hyde as well as two other Indigenous artists featured in Imagine a World–Camas Logue (Klamath, Modoc, Northern Paiute) and Brutis Baez (Wasco, Paiute, Warm Springs)—for the panel event “A Future That’s Indigenous” on Thursday, March 31 at 6:00 pm. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.

The three Native artists will explore a concept called Indigenous futurism and discuss their artwork in Imagine a World. Indigenous futurism envisions alternative worlds and recognizes the ways that cosmology, science and futurism have long been part of Indigenous worldviews and oral traditions. Artwork imagines Native people well into the future, including in the realms of science fiction and outer space.

Frank Buffalo Hyde was born in Sante Fe, New Mexico and raised on his mother’s Onondaga reservation in New York. Hyde returned to New Mexico to attend the Santa Fe Fine Arts Institute and Institute of American Indians Arts. His artwork, he says on his website, combines modern culture and technology with Indigenous themes and tradition using “overlapping imagery to mimic the way the mind holds information: nonlinear and without separation (sic). I don’t need permission to make what I make. Never have… no artist should.”

Camas Logue is a weaver, carver, fine woodworker, painter, illustrator, printmaker and musician who lives in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in northwest 

Washington with his family. Logue’s artwork has been shown at the Portland Art Museum, Northwest Marine Ironworks and Abrons Arts Center in New York City.

Brutis Baez hails from California and Warm Springs, Oregon and has created music since 2002. In 2015, he released “More Than Music,” an autobiographical DVD. His short film Indians on the Moon featured in Imagine a World was also on exhibit in The Museum at Warm Springs 26th Annual Tribal Member Art Exhibit.

The original exhibit Imagine a World will be open at the High Desert Museum through September 25. It examines efforts over the decades to create ideal societies throughout the Western United States from the glass domes of Biosphere 2 to Rajneeshpuram. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/imagine-a-world.

Tickets for “A Future That’s Indigenous” are $10 (members receive 20 percent discount) and can be purchased online at highdesertmuseum.org/future-thats-indigenous

 ABOUT THE MUSEUM:

THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is missing-in-oregon-tab.png
May be an image of 2 people and text that says 'MISSING PERSON VINTAGE 1940 LEt. Donald Stockwell Donald Stockwell 80 yrs old, grey hair and beard. Weight 240, height 6' Vehicle: White 2019 GMC 4 door crew cab. Oregon License no. 851LVC Missing from Grants pass Oregon. Last seen in Goldhill, Oregon February 3, 2022 If seen contact Josephine County Sheriffs Office at (541)474-5123 X3'
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is missing-toni-grants-pass7-22.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-57.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shane.png

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-111.png

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

Must Read

Sports, Jan. 2 – Oregon Ducks and Justin Herbert Win Rose Bowl Over Wisconsin, 28-27

Brian Casey

Rogue Valley News, Wednesday 2/10 – FEMA Denied Most Oregonians Seeking Wildfire Disaster Assistance, Federal Authorities Uphold Oregon Denial of Permit For Jordan Cove LNG Terminal

Renee Shaw

Oregon News Update – BPA Says Energy Tight Throughout State

Brian Casey