Rogue Valley News, Wednesday 3/29 – Human Remains Found Near Glide Positively Identified, Southbound I-5 Closed At Oregon-California State Line

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2023 

Rogue Valley Weather

Human Remains Found Near Glide Positively Identified, Major Crimes Team Investigating

Megan Wendel

GLIDE, Ore. – The human remains found in the middle of February near Glide have been positively identified. 

 On Thursday, February 16, 2023, the Sheriff’s Office was notified by a caller that his son, who had been antler shed hunting, located what were believed to be human remains in the Thunder Mountain area of Glide. 

Deputies located the area described and confirmed the presence of skeletal human remains. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division and Medical Examiner were notified and have been investigating the incident since the discovery. 

The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office has positively identified the remains of those belonging to Megan Dyanne Wendel of Roseburg. Wendel was previously reported missing to the Roseburg Police Department in July of 2022. She was 36-years-old at the time of her disappearance. 

The Douglas County Major Crimes Team is continuing the investigation into her death, which is considered suspicious. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 440-4471 referencing Case #23-0618.

Original Story at Rogue Valley Magazine https://roguevalleymagazine.com/2023/02/24/rogue-valley-news-friday-2-24-all-of-oregon-effected-by-the-weather-detectives-investigate-human-remains-found-near-glide-dispatcher-recruiting-event-in-grants-pass-2-25/

The Douglas County Major Crimes Team consists of investigators from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Roseburg Police Department and Oregon State Police working in consultation with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

Southbound I-5 Closed At Oregon-California State Line, Northbound Lanes Closed In Redding

It happened again yesterday, the California Department of Transportation closed Interstate 5 from Redding to Weed because of heavy snow and blizzard conditions.

CalTrans also requested the Oregon Department of Transportation to close Southbound lanes of Interstate 5 from Ashland to Weed because of blizzard conditions.

CalTrans has closed Interstate 5 multiple times this winter between Redding and Weed always citing winter hazardous driving conditions. It is unclear why CalTrans snow plows and sanding equipment cannot keep Interstate 5 open.

Closing Interstate 5 has traditionally been a very rare occurrence but this year it has been the norm with any adverse winter weather. Interstate 5 was reopened to traffic between Ashland and Redding late yesterday afternoon.

Benefit for Justine Siemens on Sunday April 2nd

The community will come together to show support and love for our friend Justine Siemens. (In case you don’t know, she is Benjamin Foster Assault Victim Survivor and she needs our help.)This is a family-friendly all ages event. Silent auction and raffle will be held. Free entry at The Sound Lounge 2-8pm. Sunday April 2nd

May be an image of flower and text that says 'A benefit for the Soud Founge Justine Siemens The John Dough Boys Suckerpunch Rose Moon Motel Honeymoon Killers Silent Auction Family Friendly All Ages Sunday, April 2nd YUPORT OUR Benefit Shirts also available 2pmto8pm 225 se H st Grants Pass'
The community will come together to show support and love for our friend Justine Siemens. (In case you don’t know, she is Benjamin Foster Assault Victim Survivor and she needs our help.)This is a family-friendly all ages event. Silent auction and raffle will be held. Free entry at The Sound Lounge 2-8pm. Sunday April 2nd

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Seeking Artist-In-Residence Applications

Medford Ore. — Officials with the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument are accepting applications for its summer Artist-in-Residence program. Selected artists receive a one to two-week residency at CSNM during early summer. Artists will create while immersed in a beautiful environment, and share their works with the public. All artists are encouraged to apply, and there is no preference given to any particular style or medium.

“Each year we celebrate new perspectives,” said Joel Brumm, Assistant Monument Manager. “Artists have a unique viewpoint on these special areas, and they provide a fascinating window into our relationship with public lands.”

The Artist-in-Residence program is in its eighth year and has translated the monument’s natural and cultural resources into images, objects and performances.

“These artists have brought enjoyment to others and forged a deeper understanding of our nation’s treasured places,” said Brumm.

During their stay, artists share their vision in one public presentation. Following their residency, artists donate at least one digital copy of their completed artwork to CSNM. CSNM holds a publishing copyright to donated digital artwork for promotional use to advance the residency program. The artist retains a non-exclusive use copyright.

Two artists and one alternate will be selected based on the following criteria: entry materials, residency proposal, professionalism, and creative vision.

Interested artists can learn more information and an application at the Artist-in-Residence website, by e-mailing jduwe@blm.gov, or by calling CSNM at 541-618-2320. Detailed instructions are on the application form. Applications must be submitted by April 17, 2023. Application materials and sample artwork should be submitted in a single email with attachments or links to John Duwe at jduwe@blm.gov.

Those wishing to learn more about the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument can do so on the CSNM’s website: https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/national-monuments/oregon-washington/cascade-siskiyou


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

U.S. Department Of Housing Sending $50 Million To Oregon To Address Homelessness

The federal government is sending nearly $50 million to Oregon nonprofits, counties and other entities to address homelessness.

The money – from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – adds to a $200 million investment approved by the state Legislature this month to help hundreds of Oregonians find housing. At least 18,000 Oregonians are homeless, according to the U.S. housing department and many more live precariously, struggling to make rent or mortgage payments on unaffordable homes. Addressing the crisis is one of Gov. Tina Kotek’s top priorities.

A tent is anchored with shopping carts off of Lancaster Drive in Salem, Oregon on Thursday, March 24, 2023. The U.S. Department of Housing estimates that at least 18,000 people in Oregon are unsheltered. (Amanda Loman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

The federal funding program supports efforts by nonprofits and state and local governments to get homeless individuals and families quickly into homes. The program also aims to help homeless individuals and families gain access to support programs in an effort to get them stabilized.

Oregon’s two Democratic senators – Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden – announced the funding in a release.

“This funding will provide critical support for communities and individuals across the state struggling to find affordable housing,” Merkley said. 

Wyden added: “Quality of life for Oregonians or anybody else in America requires people to have a roof over their heads and a floor under their feet.”

Earlier this month, Wyden reintroduced a bill that died in a previous congressional session to get people on the streets into housing and make homes more affordable by increasing the supply and making the purchase of a new home easier through a tax credit. The bill has been referred to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, which Wyden chairs.

In Oregon, Home Forward, a Portland-based nongovernmental housing authority that relies on the federal government for funding, will get the biggest grant from the federal government, more than $7 million, followed by $4.6 million to the Washington County Department of Housing Services. The housing department awarded Central City Concern, a Portland-based nonprofit, $4 million.

Nine other entities got at least $1 million:

  • Housing Solutions, Inc.: $3.5 million
  • Multnomah County: $3.2 million
  • Lane County: $2.5 million
  • Transitions Projects, Inc.: $2.4 million
  • Self Enhancement, Inc.: $2.3 million
  • Cascadia Health: $1.5 million
  • Clackamas Department of Health, Housing & Human Services: $1.4 million
  • Urban League of Portland: $1.2 million
  • Clackamas Women’s Services, Inc.: $1.1 million

The department awarded another 42 grants to nonprofits and governments, including $245,666 for the city of Portland. The smallest grant – $14,696 – is going to Oregon Housing and Community Services, the state housing agency. (SOURCE)

Scientists Pursue Project In Eastern Oregon To Stem Climate Change

Scientists and energy executives are pursuing capturing carbon emissions produced in Oregon and storing them underground, a novel process that could someday reduce the effects of climate change. 

The Hermiston-based project would involve capturing carbon dioxide emitted by the town’s natural gas facility and storing it in rock thousands of feet below the Earth’s surface. Putting carbon dioxide below-ground instead of releasing it into the air would help bring Oregon and Washington closer to their carbon reduction goals to fight climate change, project leaders said. 

The university is leading the project in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the oil company Oxy Low, and the natural gas company Calpine, which runs the Hermiston facility. The facility burns natural gas to create energy, which is sold to power companies in Oregon, Washington and California. The Department of Energy has awarded researchers $10.5 million to determine how feasible it would be to store the facility’s carbon emissions underground. 

The Hermiston area is rich in basalt, a type of rock that can store carbon. When carbon dioxide is injected into basalt, it solidifies and turns into a rock, a process that takes about two years. Officials would insert carbon emissions from the Hermiston natural gas facility through wells drilled deep into the basalt layer. 

If greenlit by the Department of Energy, the Hermiston project would be the first location in the country to offer carbon-emitting industries the option to store carbon dioxide in basalt on a commercial scale, project leaders said. 

Storing carbon in basalt would keep the emissions from entering the atmosphere, a primary cause of climate change. Project leaders are still estimating the amount of carbon dioxide that could be stored at the site. 

The project has been lauded by energy executives as a way for Oregon to reach its carbon reduction goals. 

The Hermiston project is currently in the second of a four-phase implementation process. A 24-month long study will begin this summer to determine its feasibility. 

Researchers will drill a well into the basalt to understand what would happen if millions of tons of carbon dioxide were injected into the rock. Researchers will also determine whether the project could affect the area’s groundwater or overlap with earthquake fault lines. 

Once the study is completed, Department of Energy officials will decide whether next steps should be taken. If the project moves forward, the social and economic impacts of carbon storage in Hermiston would be studied, and meetings and webinars would inform the public of the project’s purpose, its impacts and why it’s needed, according to the project’s leaders. 

Upon approval and funding from the Department of Energy, the fourth and final phase would establish the project’s infrastructure and require obtaining a permit for injecting carbon dioxide into deep rock formations. In the U.S., this type of permit has never been issued to a project using basalt to store carbon. 

“We might be one of the first that ever gets to do that,” Schaef said. “I would love to be one of the first that does it right, and sets that precedent for ‘here’s the bar you have to meet.’”  Officials said the project would likely span 30 years. (SOURCE)

Oregon Lawmakers Discuss New Gun Control Bill As Measure 114 Remains In Legal Limbo

Senate Bill 348 would enact a gun permitting system and raise the minimum age to purchase a gun as Measure 114 faces multiple legal challenges.

Oregon lawmakers are discussing a new bill that both mirrors and expands upon Measure 114, the stalled gun control measure which faces multiple legal challenges after voters passed it in November.

Senate Bill 348 would raise the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21, with some exceptions for hunting rifles and shotguns.

It reflects parts of Measure 114 including banning high-capacity magazines and establishing a permit-to-purchase system for guns, but it would also postpone this permitting process until July 2024.

Under SB 348, gun permits would be more expensive, up from $65 to $150 for new permits and $110 for renewals – an increase that supporters said would give law enforcement more resources to run background checks and regulate sales.

The bill would also establish waiting periods for gun transfers and require gun safety courses.

Measure 114, Oregon’s landmark gun control legislation that narrowly passed with voter approval in November 2022, currently faces multiple legal challenges at the state and federal levels.

Oregon Rep. Kim Thatcher, a Republican from Keizer, said SB 348 feels like a way to sidestep the ongoing lawsuits.

“The constitutionality of the provisions of [Measure 114] have been challenged and are being challenged and yet this bill will short-circuit that process, as it’s in the courts right now,” Thatcher said. “[SB348] will cost the state a lot of money to implement for no real return.”

At a public hearing for SB 348 on Monday night, a majority of speakers shared their opposition to the gun regulation bill.

“This amendment goes beyond ballot measure 114’s already unconstitutional requirements, like the increase in fees, time, delays, age restriction increases and retroactive magazine bans,”said Aoibheann Cline, NRA State Director.

Some supporters of the bill at the hearing — including representatives for Everytown for Gun Safety, Mom Demand Action, and the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety — said the bill needs adjustments but it would create a safer system for gun permits and background checks with the structure to make it work.

“Senate Bill 348 makes some important changes to aid in the implementation of the new permit system and ensures law enforcement has the tools and resources they need to implement the measure,” an Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety spokesperson testified.

Most of the speakers at the Monday’s public hearing opposed the bill, saying this bill could also face legal challenges if passed.

“These measures are disenfranchising Oregonians and making them feel as if they have no voice in their government, I pray you will let Senate Bill 348 die,” said John McDonnell of Salem.

And hundreds of people have submitted written testimony via OLIS – mostly in opposition.

“I had a customer come into my store and she was scared, she had a threatening neighbor,” said Jeremiah Kaufman of Tualatin. “Police couldn’t do anything because he hadn’t harmed anybody yet. With this bill going through, she’d have to wait days and she didn’t have days.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee is accepting written testimony on SB 348 through Wednesday night at 5 p.m. It will then hold a work session on Thursday. (SOURCE)

Another Quake off the Coast West of Coos Bay

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake rumbled out in the Pacific Ocean Sunday night, the United States Geological Survey reported. The temblor occurred shortly before 10 p.m. about 124 miles west of Bandon, 132 miles west of Coos Bay, at a depth of about 6 miles.

There are no reports of injuries or damages, and no tsunami warning was issued. Small earthquakes are common off the Oregon coast. A magnitude 3.3 quake struck last Wednesday in the same general area in the ocean. A magnitude 2.8 quake registered two days before that, and a magnitude 4.3 quake hit on March 17.

Experts say there’s about a 40% chance a large quake — up to magnitude 9.0 — from the Cascadia subduction zone will uncork sometime in the next 50 years. January marked the 323rd anniversary of the last major quake along the 600-mile fault off the Pacific Northwest coast.

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