Rogue Valley News, Monday 10/3 – Fires Near Ruch and Kerby, Fatal Crash on Hwy 234 in Sams Valley, 45th Annual Clayfolk Show & Sale

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

Monday, October 3, 2022 

Rogue Valley Weather

Fire East of Ruch Near Griffin Gap

Several fire crews with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are responding to a grassfire southeast of Ruch in the hills near the Griffin Gap. Firefighters on scene engaged in an aggressive initial attack. The fire is burning on steep ground, creating additional challenges for resources. It’s currently estimated to be 10 acres.

Two Type 1 helicopters are currently working the incident with ground resources and they’ll continue to do water drops as long as necessary. VIDEO on FACEBOOK:

Five 20-person hand crews are working overnight digging line and mopping up. We’ve ordered five 20-person hand crews that will work overnight digging line and mopping up. No homes are threatened. The cause is under investigation. This will be the final update tonight unless conditions significantly change.

Fire Along Hwy 199 Near Kerby

Crews responded to a grassfire along the 280000-block of Redwood Highway near Kerby on Saturday. It’s currently estimated to be a quarter of an acre. Multiple engines are on scene engaged in an aggressive initial attack, and more are en route. We’ll update this post when more information is available.

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The fire is no longer spreading and is now 100% wet lined and knocked down. Firefighters will remain on scene mopping up.This will be the final update unless conditions significantly change. The cause is under investigation.

Fatal Crash on Hwy 234 in Sams Valley

On Friday, September 30, 2022 at approximately 5:32 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a multiple vehicle accident on Hwy 234 near milepost 10.

Preliminary investigation revealed a Ford F150, operated by Richard Dionne (65) of Rogue River, pulled out onto Hwy 234 from Old Sam’s Valley Road and collided with two westbound motorcycles. Dustin Small (36) of Pendleton was operating a Harley Davidson and Matthew Small (32) of Gresham was operating a Honda. Intoxication is being investigated as a contributing factor to the crash.  

Dustin Small sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Matthew Small was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Dionne was transported with non-life-threatening injuries to an area hospital also. 

Hwy 234 was affected for approximately 4 hours while OSP Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the scene. 

OSP was assisted by Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Mercy Flights and ODOT.  Oregon State Police

United Airlines Suspending Service Between Los Angeles And Eugene / Medford

United Airlines is going to be suspending route service to two Oregon airports. According to a report on, United will stop service between:

  • Los Angeles and Eugene
  • Los Angeles and Medford

Service between Chicago and Eugene had already been suspended according to United.

The route changes are among a bigger group of cuts and changes coming to America’s second-largest carrier.

“These are primarily seasonal changes and we plan to resume most of these routes at a future time,” said Maddie King, United spokeswoman. King added “We regularly adjust our schedule for a variety of reasons, including demand and the broader needs of our network.”

United says the changes will take place in January 2023.

45th Annual Clayfolk Show & Sale November 18-20, 2022

Always the weekend before Thanksgiving, this holiday event features an incredible range of ceramic art, along with live entertainment, ceramic demonstrations, and a chance for adults and children to “get into the mud.”

The Clayfolk Show and Sale highlights the work of more than 60 clay artists, many renowned throughout the Pacific Northwest, each with a unique style. The public is encouraged to interact with the artists, adding to the popularity and success of our annual show.

Since 1976, the annual Clayfolk Show and Sale has continued to support local and regional potters, and to make the art of clay accessible to our community. We address this mission by annually selling our creations and awarding a college scholarship.

In addition, we sponsor clay workshops both for our members and the public, donate art-related books and videos to our county libraries, and work with both Jackson and Josephine County Empty Bowls programs to raise money to feed the less fortunate in our communities. MORE INFO:

"Navigating Long COVID" webinar features experts Dr. Aluko Hope, Medical Director at OHSU Long COVID Clinic; Dylan Morgan, Manager for Employer Assistance, Bureau of Labor and Industries; Emily Cooper, Legal Director, Disability Rights Oregon. OHA welcomes all participants. For any questions about accommodations call 971-352-5658 (voice/text) or email or

Nearly one in five adults who’ve had COVID-19 report persistent symptoms, a condition known as long COVID-19. In the last two years, researchers have been studying long COVID to find out why it occurs and how to help those who live with it.

Join a free webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to learn about the symptoms, treatments and advocacy tips for long COVID:

Experts will discuss and answer questions about the latest research surrounding long COVID as well as workplace rights for those with long COVID under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

If you have questions about long COVID for the experts, submit them in advance here:

The webinar will offer Spanish translation, live captions/CART and American Sign Language interpretations. A recording will be available.

Oregon Roads Ranked 10th Among the Most Dangerous in the Country

Traffic deaths are on the rise in the United States, according to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An estimated 20,175 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes from January through June 2022, the most in the first half of any year since 2006.

The latest increase in traffic fatalities comes as Americans are spending more time on the road. U.S. drivers traveled 43.2 billion more miles in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.

The recent increase in traffic fatalities is a continuation of a troubling long-term trend. Deaths on American roads rose for seven consecutive quarters, from mid 2020 to early 2022. A recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the trend is partially the result of rising instances of risky behavior among motorists – including speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Some states stand out for having especially high traffic fatality rates so far this year. According to the NHTSA, there were an estimated 250 traffic fatalities in Oregon in the first half of 2022, the 23rd fewest among states.

After adjusting for vehicle miles traveled, however, Oregon has the 10th highest traffic fatality rate in the country – with 1.45 roadway deaths for every 100 million miles traveled. For context, there were an estimated 1.27 deaths per 100 million miles nationwide in the first half of the year.

RankStateTraffic deaths per 100M VMT, first half of 2022Total traffic deaths, first half of 2022
1South Carolina1.71517
6New Mexico1.58210
11North Carolina1.44806
12West Virginia1.43121

Oregon Senators Announce More Than $1.1 Million Coming To Oregon For Emergency Preparedness

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have announced that Oregon will receive a combined more than $1.1 million in Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration funds for emergency preparedness.

Wyden said, “The past few years of raging wildfires, floods, hail storms, power outages and ice have only reinforced the need to prepare our communities for emergencies like a pipeline incident threatening Oregonians and our homes, neighborhoods and small businesses”.

Merkley said, “This funding will provide critical support to enhance GIS mapping and training, as well as educating the public to help keep everyone safe”.

A release said the funds will be allocated with:

*Over $99,000 going to the City of Irrigon to develop ways to reduce risk of pipeline emergency incidents and the impact of a possible pipeline failure, and advance safety, public health and environmental sustainability.

*Nearly $43,000 to the City of Umatilla to help identify and evaluate the safety risks, develop and enforce standards for design, construction, operations and maintenance near hazardous pipelines.

*Over $669,000 to the Oregon Public Utilities Commission to reimburse the State for pipeline safety programs.

*Nearly $346,000 to the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal to design and implement emergency preparedness planning and training programs.

More information on the allocation is linked:

Pacific Power Offers a New Low-Income Discount Program to Help Manage Costs

Eligible customers will see power bill discounts ranging from 20% to 40% 

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sept.30) – Pacific Power is helping customers manage costs with a new low-income discount program, set to debut in October.  

Starting October 1, customers receiving energy relief from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Oregon Energy Assistance Program (OEAP) will automatically receive a 20% discount on their Pacific Power bills. The program will also give these participants the opportunity to qualify for a 40% discount if they meet additional income requirements.  

 “Our customers count on us every day for the energy they need, and we’re working to keep that power affordable, especially for customers experiencing income restraints,” said vice president of customer and community solutions Cory Scott. “The Low-Income Discount program will provide relief to customers who qualify on their power bills.” 

Eligible customers will receive the following discounts: 

  • A 20% discount if their income is between 21% and 60% of state median income
  • A 40% discount if their income is between 0% to 20% of state median income

To learn more about the program and see if they qualify, customers can visit starting October 1. Customers can also reach out to our customer care team at 1-888-221-7070 in English or 1-888-225-2611 in Spanish. Translation services are available in several additional languages.  

About Pacific Power  

Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 764,000 customers in Oregon, Washington, and California. The company supplies customers with electricity from a diverse portfolio of generating plants including hydroelectric, thermal, wind, geothermal, and solar resources. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 2 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit  

National Public Lands Day Event Removes 1.7 Tons Of Metal From Public Lands Near Hart Mountain

The Bureau of Land Management Lakeview District and U.S. Forest Service Fremont-Winema National Forest announced recently that more than 1 ton of metal was removed from publics lands during the 29th annual National Public Lands Day.

Volunteers work together to remove a truck cab from a dumpsite adjacent to Anderson Lake near the Warner Wetlands during National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 24.Bureau of Land Management Lakeview District

On Saturday, Sept. 24, volunteers worked at a dumpsite adjacent to Anderson Lake near the Warner Wetlands.
According to a press release, “The site located north of the Warner Wetlands Day Use Site on Hart Mountain Road contained a plethora of old metal cans, junk, wire, trash and a truck frame.

Ten volunteers spent four hours collecting and sorting items in the site and recycling the metal. A total of 1.7 tons of metal was recycled, in addition three truck loads of trash was removed.”

The work of those volunteers, the press release states, will help restore the public lands to their natural state. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. The day was established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September.

Cedar Creek Fire Update

#CedarCreekFire October 3rd Morning Operational Briefing. Northwest Team 7 Operations Section Chief Scott Coulson gives a detailed look at the tactics being used on the East Zone of the Cedar Creek Fire as well as today’s planned operations.

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Photo of the Day -Monday, October 3, 2022:
An aerial look at the successful structure protection of Waldo Lake Lookout. 📸 Eric Hendrickson, Public Information Officer

Firefighters are working to keep the fire west of the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway and Cultus Lake recreational area and north of Highway 58 and Charleton Lake Road.

As of 5:30 AM, there are currently 896 firefighting personnel working to contain the #CedarCreekFire. The fire is now 120,694 acres and 32% contained. Resources assigned include: 17 Engines 14 Handcrews 3 Dozers 14 Masticators 7 Helicopters 1 Air Attack Platforms

Cedar Creek Fire Information —

New Online Portal Gives Access To Half Million Northwest Records And Photos

A digital portal is now online which gives people instant access to more than half a million records and historical photos from northwest history, the State Library of Oregon announced last week.

The project is a collaboration between the State Library of Oregon, Oregon Heritage Commission and Washington State Library, featuring archives from more than 150 institutions in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Anyone can browse the site for documents, photos, maps, oral histories and more. Search options allow users to narrow their results across a variety of categories.

Evan Robb, project coordinator at the Washington State Library, said the platform is a unique, regional slice of the nationwide Digital Public Library of America. “Researchers can discover online historical materials and government documents from a variety of sources, some of which don’t rank prominently, or display at all, in search engine results,” Robb said.

Katie Henry with the Oregon Heritage Commission said she looks forward to how the tool will be an asset to anyone interested in the past. “Helping to make Oregon and Washington’s unique cultural heritage collections accessible to researchers, the public, and other organizations,” Henry said.

Study Shows Oregonians Watch Most Hours of Netflix In US

Oregonians watch more Netflix than any other state, with the average viewer watching 798 hours a year, according to numbers released by Netflix on Friday.

While residents of this state may win in the watch-hours category, Oregon ranks 11th for password sharing – 48% of Netflix users admit to sharing their login credentials with others. The winner of this dubious honor goes to Ohio, with 59% of subscribers saying they do it.

That, of course, assumes people are answering honestly.

The U.S. states that follow Oregon in watch hours are Utah, Arizona and Hawaii, with residents watching an average of 782, 777, and 777 hours respectively.

North Dakotans watch the least amount of Netflix, with an average of 662 hours per person.

People can explore more state’s numbers in an interactive map Netflix has released here.

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This is just a small compilation of missing women and their pictures in the area. There are of course women missing all over Oregon and men and children missing too. We don’t mean to dismiss that, however, there is an inordinate amount of women who go missing each week and there could possibly be a connection with an anomaly or two here and there. Sadly most of them never get any attention. Family and friends must keep any information going and lead investigations so that they aren’t just forgotten. 

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