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, May 27, 2022
Rogue Valley Weather
Another Marijuana Search Warrant Served by Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Office
INCIDENT DATE AND TIME: May 25, 2022 at 6:00 AM
REPORTING DEPUTY: Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET)
ARRESTED: 1- James Filomeo, 28 years-old
2- Sheridan Westin, 24 years-old
CHARGES: 1- Unlawful Manufacturing of Marijuana
2- Unlawful Possession of Marijuana
On May 25, 2022, the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) executed a search warrant in the 1200 block of Pickett Creek Road regarding an illegal marijuana grow site.
During the execution of the warrant, approximately 4,300 marijuana plants and approximately 500 pounds of processed marijuana were located inside multiple greenhouses and an indoor growing area on the property. The marijuana plants and processed marijuana were seized and destroyed. Multiple firearms and pieces of equipment were also seized along with approximately $40,000.
28 year-old James Filomeo and 24 year-old Sheridan Westin were taken into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Manufacturing and Possession of Marijuana.
At the time of this press release the investigation is ongoing and no further details are being released. Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Office
Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent hosting an Event on June 1st at Noon to Celebrate Receiving a $200,000 Competitive Grant Award for the Malmgren Garage Rebuild
The Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent is excited to share that it was selected to receive a competitive $200,000 Main Street Revitalization Grant award to help fund the reconstruction of the Malmgren Garage, located at 111 Talent Avenue. The Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent was selected for the award after the Agency was recently approved to join the Oregon Main Street Network as an Associate Member. The Agency is excited to continue to jumpstart economic development and revitalization within its downtown corridor through competitive grant applications and partnerships with property owners located within the current urban renewal plan area.
Malmgren Garage was built in 1924, part of the second phase of 20th-century commercial structures built in downtown Talent. During the early 1900s, the opening of the Pacific Highway brought new customers streaming through the center of the community. The major north-south route was shifted to the east in 1938, with the opening of what is now Highway 99/South Pacific Highway, and the old Pacific Highway (what is now Talent Avenue) ceased its role as the primary commercial corridor in the Talent area.
Malmgren Garage was the most substantial of Talent’s second-generation commercial structures and remains one of the few concrete structures in the city. It is considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A for its association with the historic development of Talent, Oregon, and the role and impact of the Pacific Highway in the community’s history. In collaboration with a historical consultant, George Kramer, and the architectural team, the property owner is committed to retaining the property’s historical character and listing the property on the National Historic Register.
To celebrate the grant award, the Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Talent will be hosting an event at the Malmgren Garage on June 1st at noon. At the event, Talent Community members can learn more about Learn about the Malmgren Garage, the Talent Maker City future concept plan, and business outreach and assistance programs. Local artists will also display impressions of the Almeda Fire during the event, and free food and beverages will available in partnership with Ackee Tree Bento. We look forward to seeing you there.
I-5 Siskiyou Pass Construction Continues During Memorial Day Weekend
Drivers on Interstate 5 between Ashland and the California border should expect delays due to construction on Siskiyou Summit, including this weekend.
While ODOT will suspend most statewide highway lane restrictions during the Memorial Day weekend, the single lane of traffic in each direction on I-5 south of Ashland will continue. ODOT says that reconstruction of the southbound slow lane continues into next month so, “Drivers should give themselves more time and extra following distance for safety.”
ODOT said today it will suspend most scheduled highway closures in the Portland area during the Memorial Day weekend as drivers travel for the first of the summer holiday weekends. It expects a busy holiday weekend on Oregon roads, noting AAA Oregon predicts that 530,000 Oregonians will travel during this Memorial Day weekend, Thursday, May 26 through Monday, May 30.
ODOT advises drivers to check travel routes on Tripcheck.com and to be careful as, “Last year in Oregon, cars were the number one source of summer wildfires.”
ODOT also reminds drivers to follow Oregon’s Move Over Law and move to another lane if an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road with lights flashing; otherwise, slow down as, “ODOT Incident Responders are on the road to respond to incidents with other first responder partners. Brush up on the rules of the road in the 2022-2023 Oregon Driver Manual.”
It says some upgraded charging stations along Interstates 5 and 84 and U.S. 101 are part of the West Coast Electric Highway with upgraded plug types to connect to more EV models. ODOT says, “Oregon has about 2,100 public EV charging stations and we’re about to get a lot more along major roads, courtesy of ODOT’s pledge of $100 million for EV charging infrastructure.”
The 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls will conduct Memorial Day flyovers for ceremonies at locations throughout Oregon.
F-15 Eagle fighter jets are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following community locations at, or around, the designated times on Monday, May 30.
11:00 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, Klamath Falls, Ore.
11:10 a.m. Eagle Point National Cemetery, Eagle Point, Ore.
11:20 a.m. Brookings Harbor Port, Brookings, Ore. 11:25 a.m.
Collier H Buffington Memorial Park, Gold Beach, Ore.
11:40 a.m. Roseburg National Cemetery, Roseburg, Ore.
12:00 p.m. Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, Medford, Ore.
12:05pm Memory Gardens Memorial Park, Medford, Ore.
12:15 p.m. Riverside Park, Grants Pass, Ore.
All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be cancelled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational issues.
The Oregon Air National Guard has been an integral part of the nation’s air defense since 1941. The 173rd FW is home to the sole F-15C pilot training facility for the United States Air Force.
We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently.
For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/5vmp50Jj6pX
Note: Along with most state offices, we’ll be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. This means there will be no COVID-19 data update until OHA resumes regular hours on Tuesday, May 31.
Oregon to Provide 12 Months of Continuous Postpartum Medical Coverage to Individuals
Federal decision ‘critical to ensuring health and well-being of mothers and their babies’
PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has approved Oregon’s request to expand Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, known as Oregon Health Plan (OHP), to one year postpartum.
The change, approved and announced Wednesday, will allow individuals to maintain continuous OHP coverage and access medically necessary physical, oral and behavioral health services for 12 months after childbirth.
Currently, most states continue pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage for only 60 days after childbirth. The expansion of coverage was made possible by a new state plan opportunity included in the American Rescue Plan.
Medicaid covers 42% of births in the nation. A report published by the HHS Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) highlights the inequity that rates in pregnancy-related deaths are two to three times higher among black non-Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native populations compared to white populations. The report further explains that one in three pregnancy-related deaths occur between one week and one year after childbirth. The extension of coverage is aimed at advancing Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) goal of eliminating health inequities by 2030.
The postpartum period is an important time for physical recovery; addressing pregnancy spacing and family planning needs; managing chronic conditions that may have been exacerbated during pregnancy; providing breastfeeding support; and ensuring mental health.
“Providing postpartum support and care is critical to ensuring the health and well-being of mothers and their babies,” states Interim State Medicaid Director Dana Hittle.
State announces timelines to release more than half a billion dollars in funding to support behavioral health treatment, workforce retention and support services; $132 million in funding to be distributed to treatment programs starting this week
State health officials at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) have announced a plan to distribute a package of $517 million in investments aimed at improving behavioral health services in Oregon. This includes $132 million which will flow to treatment providers starting this week.
The investments will be used to bolster the behavioral health workforce and expand treatment services. The state also will distribute funds to provide housing and other support services to people with mental health and substance use issues.
Key elements of the new grants are designed to eliminate health inequities.
The funding includes:
- Approximately $132 million in one-time grants to stabilize a behavioral health workforce that was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which are currently being distributed to treatment providers.
- Approximately $155 million in behavioral health provider rate increases to sustain and support behavioral health services, some of which would begin to take effect July 1, 2022 (pending legislative and federal approval).
- Approximately $230 million for supportive housing and residential treatment programs, which they will begin to receive later this summer.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Legislature and to Governor Brown for providing these critical investments,” Steve Allen, OHA’s behavioral health director said.
“These resources are intended to provide immediate support to behavioral health workers and give programs a sustainable base of funding they can count on to make behavioral health treatment more accessible and equitable in Oregon.”
Workforce – OHA is issuing grants to 159 organizations across the state to recruit and retain employees for behavioral health service providers. These funds are beginning to be distributed directly to treatment programs this week. The funds were allocated by the Legislature through House Bill 4004 to supplement staffing losses exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The median award is approximately $334,000.
Providers must use at least 75 percent of the funding for wages, benefits and bonuses and the remainder for non-compensatory forms of retention or recruitment. To ensure accountability and that these dollars are spent on bolstering the behavioral health workforce, OHA will get reports about how and where these dollars will be spent. Lean more about the workforce stability grants.
“Rarely does an email bring tears, but this one did,” said Janice Garceau, behavioral health director for Deschutes County Health Services in response to receiving notification of the workforce investments for programs in her county. “This will make a meaningful difference.”
Rate increases – OHA is also proposing increasing provider payment rates to better coordinate access to care, incentivize culturally and linguistically specific services, invest in workforce diversity and support staff recruitment. The legislature allocated $42.5 million last year, which is expected to bring approximately $112 million in matching federal Medicaid funds.
The $155 million in rate increases will not only increase funding for treatment programs, it will also increase access for people who need mental health and substance use treatment. In total, this increase would put an extra $109 per Medicaid member into the behavioral health system.
Under the proposed fee-for-service rate increases for providers:
- Programs providing children with intensive psychiatric treatment would receive rate increases of approximately 37 percent.
- Substance use disorder residential treatment services would receive rate increases of approximately 32 percent.
- Adult residential mental health treatment programs would receive rate increases of 30 percent.
- Some providers will receive an over 20 percent bump for providing culturally and linguistically specific services.
- Adult outpatient mental health treatment programs would receive rate increases of approximately 28 percent.
OHA is working on getting federal approval for these increases, and providers that bill OHA directly through Medicaid on a fee-for- service basis this summer.
These fee-for-service increased payments will be retroactive to July 1, 2022. In addition to the fee-for-service increases, OHA will be providing increases to coordinated care organizations that should be passed along to behavioral health providers beginning Jan. 1, 2023.
Supportive housing and residential treatment – The funding for supportive housing and other residential options includes $100 million in direct awards to Oregon’s counties which will be issued by the end of summer. In addition, a competitive grant program totaling $112 million will expand housing and residential services for mental health treatment and substance use disorders.
These grants follow two earlier rounds of funding.
In the fall of 2021, OHA awarded $5 million in planning grants to 100 community organizations and four Tribes. In addition. OHA awarded $10 million earlier in 2022 to projects that could expand residential treatment capacity in the short-term, resulting in the availability of 70 additional beds.
The $112 million grant program will support longer-term projects, including new construction and renovation to further expand licensed residential and supportive housing services.
The remaining $20 million has specifically been identified to support Oregon’s federally recognized Tribes for funding housing and residential treatment projects. Qualifying programs will receive awards in late summer and funding would continue through spring 2023.
The county funding will be used to develop housing options, expand residential treatment capacity and increase access to low and no-barrier shelter options.
The goal of the competitive grants is to create substantially more capacity in Oregon’s continuum of community-based residential and housing services for people with behavioral health needs, offering culturally responsive, person-centered programming.
This will ensure that people are supported in settings that best meet their needs and will create more equitable and effective housing alternatives for people with serious and persistent mental illness, requiring a higher standard of care.
New funds are separate from M110 grants — These investments are separate from, and in addition to, the Measure 110 grants that are currently being awarded to Behavioral Health Resource Networks (BHRNs) around the state to expand substance use treatment.
Grants Awarded for Main Street Projects Throughout the State
Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, awarded 28 matching grants worth $5,000,000 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state for building projects that encourage economic revitalization. Projects range from façade improvement to basic facilities and housing with awards ranging from $23,850-$200,000.
The department funded applications that best conveyed the ability to stimulate private investment and local economic development, best fit within the community’s long-range plan for downtown vitality, and community need.
Funded projects include:
- Several projects will bring long-vacant buildings back into use including projects by the Chiloquin Vision In Progress, City of Malin, Oregon Frontier Chamber of Commerce (project in Spray), Dallas Downtown Association, Downtown Cottage Grove, Harney County Opportunity Team, Klamath Falls Downtown Association, Milton-Freewater Downtown Alliance, and Sheridan Revitalization Movement, Sutherlin Downtown Development, Inc.
- Several projects were for housing increases or improvements including projects in Beaverton, La Grande, and Lebanon.
- Two former local government properties will be refurbished to support local business in Independence and Maupin.
- Roof and electrical improvements will be made to six commercial buildings in downtown Reedsport.
- Several communities were selected for work to repair or restore their historic theaters: Marquee and façade repairs at the Alger Theater in Lakeview; sign restoration and façade repair at the Liberty Theatre in North Bend; and structural work for the Orpheum Theatre restoration in Baker City.
- Restoration of the Malmgren Garage in downtown Talent following near destruction in the 2020 Almeda fire.
Other communities awarded grants include Albany, Moro, Stayton, Gold Beach, Oregon City, and Monmouth.
The grant program was created during the 2015 legislative session, and placed with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. The legislation established a permanent fund for the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant, and provided an initial infusion of funds from the sale of lottery bonds. The legislature included the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant in the lottery bond package approved in 2021. An additional grant round will occur in 2023. The funds must be used to award grants to participating Oregon Main Street Network organizations to acquire, rehabilitate or construct buildings to facilitate community revitalization. The program also requires that at least 50 percent of the funds go to rural communities as defined in the bill.
To learn more about the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant or the Oregon Main Street Network, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at email@example.com“>Kuri.firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-986-0685. — Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
An exhibit of ag-related artwork will tour the state this summer, as part of Oregon State University’s annual Art About Agriculture program.
This year’s exhibition theme is Sustainable Feast. OSU received 290 submissions from artists in Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. A jury then whittled it down to the best of the best.
The touring “Sustainable Feast” art exhibit is in Corvallis through June 15. Then, July 1-30, it’s in Baker City, and in Newport in August and September. You’ll find the full schedule online: https://agsci.oregonstate.edu/art/art-about-agriculture
Boating on Oregon’s Waterways — Plan, Pay Attention, Share
There’s something magical and alluring about boats – and such a wide variety on the market. Regardless of what’s calling you to the water and the type of boat you’re in, be sure to plan ahead, pay attention and share the water so everyone can have a fun time.
The Oregon State Marine Board invites boaters to explore the Boat Oregon Online Map, where you can find a boat ramp near you. Take a few minutes to plan ahead and check out the Marine Board’s interactive boating access map with all of the public boat ramps and data layers including local rules for boat operations. Check the weather forecast, water levels or tides, see if there are any reported obstructions, and have the right gear for the activities you’re doing. Boaters can also check the Marine Board’s website to find out what equipment is required based on the size and type of boat.
“Be sure to keep a sharp lookout by paying attention to your surroundings, continually scanning port to starboard and keeping a close eye on what’s ahead,” says Brian Paulsen, Boating Safety Program Manager for the Oregon State Marine Board. “Brush up on the rules of the road, start out slow because of debris in the water from this past winter, and whatever you do – don’t text and drive. Taking video and pictures, along with social media texting can be fun, but the operator needs to maintain focus and awareness to what’s going on around them,” says Paulsen. “The captain is responsible for the safety of everyone on board, but everyone needs to pitch in and be an active, alert crew, working together.”
High water levels in some areas this spring cover many wing dams (also known as pile dikes) on rivers and bays and are just below the surface. Paulsen adds, “Motorized boaters need to keep their distance from the shoreline up to several hundred feet out, so they don’t inadvertently hit one of the piles.” Boaters are encouraged to learn where the wing dams are located based on the waterbody where they’re boating from NOAA Charts. The navigation charts can be downloaded for free.
The Marine Board also recommends boaters play it safe by:
- Boat Sober. Abstain from consuming marijuana, drugs or alcohol, which impair judgment, reaction time, and coordination and cause dehydration. Instead, take along a variety of non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of water. Impairment can lead to a BUII arrest. Every boat operator needs all their senses on high alert because conditions change quickly. Swift currents, changing weather and debris require boat operators to be focused and skilled to avoid an accident. Waterway congestion with other river recreators also demands sharp situational awareness.
- If you are feeling tired, take a break on land and return to the water when you are re-energized and alert. Wind, glare, dehydration and wave motion contribute to fatigue. Continually monitor the weather because it changes quickly.
- Operators and passengers should wear properly fitting life jackets. Learn more about life jacket types, styles and legal requirements. Anyone boating on Class III whitewater rivers is required to wear a life jacket, and all children 12 and under when a boat is underway. The water temperature for most waterways is below 50 degrees this time of year and wearing a life jacket is the most important piece of equipment for surviving the first few seconds of cold water immersion. What’s the downside to wearing one?
- Never boat alone – especially when paddling. Always let others know where you are going and when you’ll return. Print out a downloadable float plan✎ EditSign to leave with friends and family.
- Be courteous to other boaters and share the waterway. Congestion is a given in many popular locations, especially with nice weather. By staying in calmer water near the shore, paddlers can help ease conflict with motorized boats and sailboats that need deeper water to operate. Non-motorized boats are encouraged to use the shoreline adjacent to the ramp to help ease congestion and operate closer to shore where there are larger motorboats nearby. Regardless of your boat type, stage your gear in the parking lot or staging area prior to launching your boat. This makes launching faster and everyone around you, happier.
- In Oregon, all boaters must take a boating safety course and carry a boating safety education card when operating a powerboat greater than 10 horsepower. Paddlers of non-motorized boats 10’ and longer are required to purchase and display a waterway access permit. The Marine Board also offers a free, online Paddling Course for boaters new to the activity. Boaters engaged in towed watersports in the Newberg Pool on the Willamette River between river miles 55 (confluence of the Yamhill River) and 26.6 (Willamette Falls) need to also take a Towed Watersports Education Course and boat owners need to apply for a Towed Watersports Endorsement verifying the maximum load weight for the boat is under 5,500 pounds.
For more information about safe boating in Oregon, visit Boat.Oregon.gov.