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, May 10, 2022
Rogue Valley Weather
White City Man Arrested for Attempting to Create Child Exploitation Images of Local Girl
Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) joint inter-agency task force and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies arrested a suspect Monday for attempting to use a local victim to create child exploitation images. The suspect, Jesse Ray Hawkinson, 62, of White City, has been charged with two counts of attempting to use a child in the display of sexually explicit content.
JCSO arrested Hawkinson around 7:00 Monday morning at his residence on the 8300 block of 24th Street in White City. SOCET served a search warrant at the location on April 28 after the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Welfare division received a report of a possible sex abuse of a local juvenile girl. During the warrant detectives located evidence, and further investigations led to the arrest.
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, Oregon State Police, Medford Police Department, Grants Pass Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and Homeland Security Investigations; as well as prosecutors from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Jackson and Josephine County.
Due to Hawkinson’s previous contact with children, investigators believe he may have other victims. If anyone has additional information on the suspect, please call the JCSO tip line at (541) 774-8333. Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office
Jackson County District Attorney’s office will prosecute the case. JCSO Case 22-1852 – Further information will come from the DA’s office.
Woman Rescued After Being Stranded for Several Days up East Evans Creek
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Search and Rescue (SAR) responded on a lone female stuck deep in the forest off East Evans Creek road.
The woman was stranded for two nights and three days before she was able to text out for assistance. She was very cold and slightly injured from exposure to the elements.
The woman became stuck on a muddy road, then it snowed four inches over the past few days making an attempt to walk out too dangerous. She did the right thing by staying put with her vehicle.
Please stay on main roads and plan for an unexpected night out. Due to the continuation of winter storms, many forest roads are still snowed in and inaccessible.
Medford Pedestrian Safety Operation Results
On Friday May 6th, 2022, officers from the Medford Police Department Traffic Team, Patrol along with Deputies from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Team conducted a joint agency Targeted Pedestrian Safety Operation on E. Jackson Street at Olwell Road in the City of Medford.
Prior to the operation the City of Medford had received complaints about this intersection in regards to pedestrian safety at the unmarked crosswalk. This intersection has an unmarked crosswalk and is in a 20 MPH speed school zone. The operation focused on drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians in the unmarked crosswalk across from Hedrick Middle School.
Several days prior to the operation the Medford Police Department sent out a press release announcing this operation. The press release included information in regards to a driver’s responsibility at marked and unmarked crosswalks. On Thursday signs were posted at the crosswalk advising of the operation scheduled for Friday May 6th, 2022.
This operation was conducted to raise awareness and increase pedestrian safety through the enforcement of pedestrian right of way laws with the use of a decoy pedestrian. During the Targeted Pedestrian Safety Operation 2 citations, 4 warnings were issued for Failure to Stop and Remain Stopped for a pedestrian. There were also several citations for many other violations and traffic crimes. The results of the entire operation are listed below.
Please be reminded of the Oregon laws that require a driver must stop and remain stopped if a pedestrian is walking in your lane of traffic or the lane adjacent, remembering this applies on single and multi-lane roadways. Oregon law also prohibits passing a stopped vehicle at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection if the vehicle is stopped to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway.
Addition traffic Citations Issued: 11 – Violation of the Posted Speed Limit, 3 – Cell Phone Violations, 3 – Failure to Use Seatbelt, 3 – Violation Suspended, 10 – Other Violations, 1- Arrest, 14 – Warnings for Miscellaneous Violations Medford Police Dept.
Nationwide gas-price tracker GasBuddy says gasoline costs are rising nationally, with an even higher price increase in Medford, Klamath Falls, and other spots in Southern Oregon.
It says average gasoline prices in Medford rose 15.5 cents per gallon in the past week to $4.86 per gallon today, “according to GasBuddy’s survey of 64 stations in Medford.
Prices in Medford are 23.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand $1.48/g higher than a year ago.
The price of diesel has risen 22.6 cents nationally in the past week and stands at $5.518 per gallon.” Similar numbers are noted for Klamath Falls. GasBuddy says the lowest gas price in Medford or Klamath was $4.45 per gallon yesterday while the most expensive was $5.30. That 85 cents per gallon difference was less than the statewide variation in gasoline pricing at $1.49.
GasBuddy says Oregon’s lowest gas price state yesterday was $4.25 per gallon while the highest was $5.74. In Oregon, the average price is $4.77/g, up 9.5 cents per gallon from last week’s $4.67.
We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently.
This report covers the three-day period from May 6 to May 8, 2022. Visit our dashboard, linked below, and hover over the new cases graph to view new presumptive and confirmed case numbers reported to OHA by date. For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/sP3n50J3ct3
Oregon is receiving an additional 16-million dollars in emergency rental assistance funds from the federal government.
The money comes from states that didn’t use their funds. Oregon Housing and Community Services won’t reopen the website to new applicants. They will distribute the funds to current tenants who need additional support. Those tenants will be contacted starting this week.
Oregon State Hospital to submit corrective action plan to state, federal regulators
Response follows CMS report on deficiencies at OSH’s Junction City campus
PORTLAND, Ore. – Administrators at the Oregon State Hospital (OSH) have 10 days to submit a corrective action plan or risk losing certification to be reimbursed for federal Medicare payments after state regulators filed a report that identified a range of supervision and reporting deficiencies at the hospital’s Junction City campus.
The findings stem from an inquiry into the supervision of a patient who went on unauthorized leave, known as “elopement,” during an outing in the community late last year. However, the investigation’s scope broadened after the initial incident uncovered additional deficiencies.
OSH provides psychiatric treatment for adults from throughout the state who need hospital-level mental health treatment. The hospital provides care at two campuses: a main campus in Salem and a second campus at Junction City. The state hospital is eligible to receive federal Medicare and Medicaid payments under Conditions of Participation issued by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and, like other health care facilities, must remain in compliance with federal requirements – including meeting state licensing obligations – to continue to receive federal reimbursement.
The federal inquiry focused on operations at the Oregon State Hospital’s Junction City location in December 2021 and January 2022. The review was conducted by surveyors in the Health Facility Survey and Certification Program in the Health Care Regulation and Quality Improvement (HRQI) Section, which is part of the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division. One of HRQI’s primary roles is to conduct reviews of complaints at hospitals and other health care facilities in Oregon on behalf of federal regulators.
The hospital is also a division of OHA. HCRQI regulators conducted the review following standard processes and protocols used in similar investigations into complaints at other psychiatric hospitals and programs in the state.
In their investigation report, HCRQI surveyors identified federal and state compliance issues in several categories reflecting deficiencies under CMS Conditions of Participation. Oregon State Hospital is making the CMS report available to the public as part of its commitment to transparency and ensuring accountability to its patients and their families.
Surveyors cited issues ranging from the lack of a permanent, onsite administrator to manage the Junction City campus on a daily basis, to episodes in which Junction City staff lost visual contact with patients while on outings, to shortcomings in documenting follow-up reviews after patient-to-patient altercations.
Administrators at OSH must submit a corrective action plan to CMS (through state regulators in the HRQI program), by May 15, which marks the 10-day deadline from the date of the federal agency’s notification.
State hospital Superintendent Dolly Matteucci said, “Our staff at the Oregon State Hospital want to provide the highest quality care to our patients so they can recover and return to live healthy and productive lives in their communities. We look forward to addressing each of the administrative, documentation and supervision issues highlighted in this report.”
OHA Director Patrick Allen said, “I appreciate the rigor and thoroughness of our state health care regulatory surveyors, who in their role of acting on behalf of CMS, took the opportunity to conduct a broad review of state hospital administrative structures and procedures. The state hospital will act promptly and transparently to fix these gaps.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service awarded NRCS Oregon $6,765,000 for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP-ALE). The program helps landowners protect their working lands.
In 2022, four entities representing eight landowners applied to the ACEP-ALE program. After seeing this significant interest, NRCS Oregon requested additional funds over their initial request of $590,060 to meet the high demand. These funds will allow landowners to protect 14,917 acres of farm and ranch land across the state. This federal funding matches newly appropriated state funds from the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program (OAHP), multiplying conservation benefits resulting from agricultural land easements.
The OAHP program provides voluntary incentives to farmers and ranchers to support practices that maintain or enhance both agriculture and natural resources such as fish and wildlife on agricultural lands. The Agricultural
Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) helps landowners, land trusts and other entities protect, restore, and enhance wetlands, grasslands, and working farms andranches through conservation easements. These programs benefit participants and the American public by creating cleaner air, water and open American public by spaces.
The May Primary is the first statewide election since implementation of a new Oregon law allowing ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted, if they’re postmarked by Election Day.
A new campaign by the Secretary of State’s Office reminds Oregonians last-minute voters now have the option to mail their ballot:
“Drop it in your mailbox or a USPS collection box. Just make sure it’s postmarked on or
before Election Day,” the new ad says, “Some mail-in ballots will arrive after Election
Day, even if they were cast on time.”
Ben Morris, with the Secretary of State’s Office, says the goal is to combat the misinformation seen in other states, where people thought late ballot increases were evidence of fraud. “We’re going to see the total number of votes go up on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday following Election Day.
Those are valid votes that were cast on time, and they’ll count.” There is still a deadline mailed ballots postmarked on time must be received within seven days of Election Day. There’s more information at the state’s Elections website. Oregon’s Primary is May 17th.
The countdown is underway for Oregon residents to meet national Real ID requirements for domestic air travel.
The Real ID deadline arrives one year from this week. Starting May 3, 2023, travelers need more than a standard state driver’s license or identification card at airport security checkpoints to board flights within the U.S. That’s the day people need a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card, or a passport or other federally acceptable identification.
The federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a full list of identity documents it will accept for air travel at TSA.gov. Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) Administrator Amy Joyce says, “A year may
sound like a long time, but it isn’t when it comes to issuing secure identification such as driver licenses, ID cards and passports. It can take weeks to gather the documents you need to qualify for a type of ID that the TSA will accept at airports.”
DMV says its offices in Oregon and across the country are busy, and the U.S. Department of State has a backlog for passport applications and renewals. That’s why the DMV insists people get the Oregon Real ID option or a passport now.
Oregon State Fair Tickets Now on Sale
Tickets for the Oregon State Fair are now on sale. That includes General Admission, Carnival Ride, FairLift, and the Columbia Bank Concert Series tickets. Some of the performers this year include Shaggy, Nelly, and The Beach Boys. Concert tickets range from 40 to 100 dollars. The Fair runs August 26th through September 5th.
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