Rogue Valley News, Tuesday 6/21 – Fire in Wolf Creek Contained Quickly, Two Inmates Overdose at Jackson County Jail

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, June 21, 2022

Rogue Valley Weather

Fire in Wolf Creek Contained Quickly

Rural Metro Fire along with Glendale Fire District and Oregon Department of Forestry responded to a fire in Wolf Creek just after 1 a.m. Monday.

When crews arrived, they found a storage shed fully-engulfed with the flames just inches from the building housing the Wolf Creek Community Center and Post Office.

According to Rural Metro fire, one window on the Post Office was damaged, but the fire did not make it inside.

The flames did spread to nearby grass and trees, but crews were able to contain the fire to one-hundredth of an acre.

The cause is under investigation. If you have any information, you’re asked to call the Wolf Creek Fire District at (541) 866-2584 or Rural Metro Fire at (541) 474-1218.

Two Inmates Overdose at Jackson County Jail

Two Jackson County Jail Adults-In-Custody (AIC) are in a local hospital today after an apparent overdose. At 11:25 this morning, a Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Corrections deputy was nearby when an AIC began suffering from an apparent medical emergency. The deputy responded with Jail medical to begin treatment and a second AIC also began exhibiting signs of an apparent overdose.

Multiple agencies responded to assist including Medford Police Department (MPD), Medford Fire, JCSO Corrections and Patrol deputies, and Mercy Flights ambulances. In total, five doses of Narcan were administered between the two patients and they were both responsive as they were transported to a local hospital. At this time, the patient’s condition is unknown.

JCSO and MPD are conducting a joint-agency investigation to determine the source of the contraband. No further information is available at this time. Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

Pollinator Anthology Publishing Event Benefitting Pollinator Project Rogue Valley

WHAT: Pollinator Anthology Publishing Events and Gallery Show, Saturday, June 25th at Catalyst Ashland Gallery, benefitting the Pollinator Project Rogue Valley. This is the first chance to see and purchase the Pollinator Anthology. 

The Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology is a new 312-page book featuring 65 local artists and nearly 350 art pieces focused on pollinators and our local ecology.  The Pollinator Anthology book debuts during June at two publishing events that will showcase the artwork and share interactive presentations from the Anthology’s contributors. The artistic work includes poetry, painting, photography, public sculpture, educational articles, and even a song!  All proceeds from the Anthology will go to Pollinator Project Rogue Valley (PPRV), a local 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Phoenix. The Anthology can be purchased on June 25th during the Publishing events for $40 for a regular book or $70 for a special signed edition. The Anthology is also available to purchase at Catalyst Ashland Gallery from June 18 – 27th. And then at the PPRV office in Phoenix until Dec. 31, 2022.

The community events in June are free and open to the public. The events will allow guests to learn more about the art and the subject matter in a meet and greet format, with some artists giving presentations or selling various items, with kids activities, and more. Schedule for June 18th available here and June 25th here. These community events will be the first opportunity for the public to see a copy of the printed Anthology, while exploring the fascinating world of our local pollinators through the eyes of the artists featured in the Anthology. Free tickets for June 25th can be reserved through the links to eventbrite below.

Saturday, June 18th Gallery Show & Publishing Event, 1-5 p.m. at Catalyst Ashland Gallery

Saturday, June 25th Gallery Show & Publishing Event, 5-9 p.m. at Catalyst Ashland Gallery

WHEN: The two Publishing Events will be held on June 18th from 1 – 5 p.m. and on June 25th from 5 – 9 p.m.  The art is currently on display at Catalyst Ashland Gallery through June 27th. 

WHERE: The Catalyst Ashland Gallery in Ashland, located at 357 E. Main Street, Ashland, OR 97520

WHO:  The Anthology and the two Publishing Events are the vision and collaboration of two local artists, Eden Orlando and Rebeca Ramm, who invited the arts community to be part of this project. The Anthology raised over $5,000 for the printing and publishing of 200 copies of the Anthology and supporting the two Publishing Events. Twenty businesses and organizations joined in as sponsors of the Anthology: Catalyst Ashland Gallery, Herb Pharm, Biologic Crop Solutions, Klamath Siskiyou Native Seeds, ProPack and Ship Medford, Vesper Meadow, Dreamosophy, Selberg Institute, Crooked Mile Gallery, Synergy Restorative Center, Ashland Food Coop, Indigo Creek Outfitters, Karen Layfield CPA LLC, Mystique Misha Psychic Boutique, Phoenix Industrial Studios, Valley View Orchard, The Nature Conservancy, Opa Gardens, Bee Sweet Blooms, and Shooting Star Nursery. 

WHY: To highlight the intricate and beautiful relationship that we have with our local pollinators, artists Eden Orlando and Rebeca Ramm teamed up with Pollinator Project Rogue Valley (PPRV) to create the Pollinator Anthology, a community literary arts project. As both a published softcover book and a 2-month long gallery show, this event will serve to highlight pollinators and the community. “This Anthology and gallery show is designed to honor our pollinators and their importance in our local ecology,” stated Eden Orlando, the visionary behind this project. “We hope to provide education, celebrate progress, and highlight opportunities for stewardship in our beloved community.” Pollinator Project Rogue Valley is a volunteer-led Oregon-registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, envisioning communities and landscapes working together, supporting diverse ecosystems rich with native plants and thriving wild pollinators.

HOW: Information on the Pollinator Anthology Publishing Events, purchasing the Anthology and much more is available at

Outdoor gatherings offer an extra layer of protection against COVID-19. If you or any of your guests are at high risk for serious COVID-19 illness, consider moving your gathering outdoors. If you are indoors, wearing the highest quality mask you can find offers additional protection. Open windows and turn on fans for extra airflow to improve ventilation.

 With summer arriving and many of us enjoying the warmer weather, events such as Juneteenth and Pride will bring people together.In Oregon, COVID-19 cases appear to be leveling. However these numbers are likely an undercount because many people are using at-home tests and not reporting the results. We also know many others are not getting tested.If you’re out and about, you’ll likely be exposed to COVID-19.

If you are gathering this weekend, consider moving the gathering outdoors.It’s also a good idea to consider the risk level of people you live or spend time with.If you are indoors, wearing the highest quality mask you can find offers additional protection.

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Oregon’s Minimum Wage Set To Increase July 1st

Minimum wage workers in Oregon will see an increase in pay starting July 1st.

In 2016, Oregon lawmakers created a three-tiered minimum wage. That means while many of Oregon’s minimum wage workers will see a new rate of $13.50 an hour, employees in the Portland area will get an increase to $14.75. Those are both increases of 75 cents per hour. Meanwhile, the minimum wage in rural parts of the state will jump by 50 cents to $12.50 an hour.

The Oregon Employment Department says roughly five percent of Oregon’s hourly workers earn the minimum wage.

This is the seventh and final increase that was written into the 2016 law. Next year, minimum wage increases will once again be indexed to inflation, though urban and rural areas will still have different rates.

“It’s not going to be a fixed (increase) like it has been for the last several years,” said Bob Uhlenkott, a researcher with the Oregon Employment Department. “Now it will float, based on the Consumer Price Index.”

Oregon’s rate remains among the highest minimum wages in the nation.

Effort Continues to Move Idaho/Oregon Border

The most recent leader of Oregon’s “State of Jefferson” movement, Bob Chard, has endorsed the “Greater Idaho” movement.

According to organizers with the Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to move the border and make a number of Oregon counties part of Idaho, Chard said that the effort might have a better chance of success than movements that attempt to create an entirely new state out of a part of Oregon.

Both plans would require the approval of the Oregon Legislature, but creating a new state would add two Republicans to the US Senate. Chard agreed the Democrat controlled Oregon Legislature is more likely to approve the Greater Idaho plan because it would not affect the US Senate.

Chard had been the main volunteer for the State of Jefferson movement in Oregon since he revived the movement in 2015. He gathered thousands of signatures at county fairs around southern and eastern Oregon. However, he decided to cease his efforts when he understood that California state legislators and judges had completely ignored California’s state of Jefferson movement, where more progress had been made. He said that without a path to success, the movement in Oregon is now at an impasse. No one has taken his place at the helm of the movement.

Bend Police Warn Public Of ‘Very Dangerous’ Escapee From Psych Unit 

A patient facing criminal charges in Oregon and California escaped from the psychiatric unit at St. Charles Medical Center Monday morning.

Jeremy Allbritton, 41, was last seen around 8:45 a.m. on NE Courtney Drive in Bend.

“At that time he had taken off his reddish-pink hospital scrub short-sleeved top but was still wearing his green hospital scrub bottoms,” according to Bend Police. “He was not wearing any shoes.”

Police said Allbritton faces arrest warrants – and is wanted for new crimes.

“He has recently assaulted hospital staff and should be considered dangerous,” according to police. “He was not armed at the time he left the hospital.”

Authorities described Allbritton as 6-feet tall and 220 pounds with very short or shaved brown hair and numerous tattoos.

Bend Police ask the public to report any sightings or interactions with Allbritton. — “Please do not approach Allbritton, but call 9-1-1 to report his whereabouts,” according to police. “If you have already had contact with Allbritton today (Monday, June 20, 2022) please contact non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 so we can obtain further information from you.”

Senator Wyden Sponsoring New Gas Bill

Gas prices are at record high levels and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is sponsoring a bill to limit excess profits, stock buybacks and big bonuses for executives. Wyden says oil companies would be allowed to reinvest profits to make their operations more efficient.

If they use profits to reward stockholders or executives they would face a surtax. Stock buybacks would be taxed 25-
percent and profits over 10-percent would be taxed 21-percent.

Wyden says oil companies would also be prohibited from reducing their profits through accounting methods.

Coquille Indian Tribe Release Juvenile Chinook Into Coquille River In Effort To Renew Salmon Spawning

BANDON, OR – The Coquille Indian Tribe released 1,000 salmon into the Coquille River Wednesday, the first of thousands more expected to be released by the tribe and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Tribal Council member Don Garrett, Chairman Brenda Meade and Health Hampel, president of the Coquille River STEP volunteers, open an acclimation box to free 1,000 juvenile salmon in Lampa Creek near Bandon.
(Courtesy Coquille Indian Tribe)

According to the tribe, the fall Chinook run in the tribe’s namesake river was nearing extinction. The tribe partnered with ODFW to produce “pre-smolts” to be released into the river.

“This is the first of many more generations of fish that will go into their native system from Coquille Tribal lands,” said Brenda Meade, the tribe’s chairman.

Those juvenile salmon will head out to sea, and the hardiest of them will return to the Coquille River system to spawn.

“They’re on their journey, and I hope they have a safe trip and they come back to see us,” said Don Garrett, a member of the Coquille Tribal Council.

Meade looks forward to a time when local residents can resume fishing for Coquille River salmon. “We can’t be the generation that lets this go,” she said.

Trolley-Ride Tours Of Historic Theater Sites In Downtown Klamath Falls

A trolley-ride tour of historic theater sites in downtown Klamath Falls will be offered on various dates through the summer.

The tour program is co-sponsored by the Klamath County Museum and the Ross Ragland Theater. The cost is $15 per person for the two-hour tour, which will be offered on the Saturday mornings of June 25, July 2, and July 9.

Space is limited to 10 people per tour. To reserve space, contact the Museum at (541) 882-1000.

Movie houses still standing include the old Pine Tree and Liberty theaters, now serving as an office or retail space.
The event will conclude with a backstage tour of the Ross Ragland Theater led by Executive Director Samantha Burris, with a discussion of the building’s earlier existence as the Esquire Theater.

Refreshments will be served during the tour. For more information, call the museum at 541-882-1000.

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