Rogue Valley News, Monday 8/28 –Weather and Wildfire Updates, Community Meeting Tonight In Cave Junction For Smith River Complex Fires, Oregon Caves National Monument Closed Due to Wildfire Danger

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

Monday, August 28, 2023

Rogue Valley Weather

May be an image of umbrella and text that says 'Mon 8/28 91°|58F 58°F Tue 8/29 |56°F Wed 8/30 85° 55°F Thu 8/31 76° 58°F Fri9/1 74° 56°F Sat 9/2 58'F AM Clouds/PM Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Sun 0in Sun 9/3 79° 57°F Mon 9/4 77' 54°F /// PM Showers 0in Showers 0in PM Showers 0.24in 0.08 in Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy 0.05 in 0in 0in' ———–  As August 2023 nears its end, Oregon residents can anticipate a cooler week ahead. While potential air pollution remains a concern due to ongoing haze, relief is in sight. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality warns several areas about air pollution caused by ongoing fires. However, the upcoming week brings a silver lining with forecasts of sporadic showers and lowered temperature. 

AIR QUALITY ALERT ISSUED: 1:41 PM AUG. 27, 2023 – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE …AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM PDT TUESDAY… Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Air Pollution Advisory…in effect until 5 PM PDT Tuesday. Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecast conditions will cause air quality levels to fluctuate and could be at unhealthy levels. This alert may likely be further extended beyond Tuesday, but wind patterns are expected to change Monday night, and the area of the alert may change. Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on the weather. People at risk include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant people. For additional information…please visit the web site at https://oregonsmoke.org —  AIR QUALITY ADVISORY for central and southern OR, including Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, and Klamath counties, until Tuesday afternoon. For more information, visit www.oregonsmoke.org. Fire — In addition to Smith River Complex, multiple active fires across OR are contributing smoke to the forecast area, including Chilcoot Fire, Ridge Fire, Salmon Fire, Dinner Fire, Lookout Fire, Tyee Ridge Complex, Bedrock Fire, Flat Fire, and Brice Creek Fire. For more information, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ Smoke — For today, smoke will be broadly transported toward the east under a persistent W flow regime. This pattern should shift on Tuesday, with prevailing wind direction changing to NW. National smoke models are predicting more smoke dispersion for Tuesday, however, conditions can change at any time. If you see smoke and smell smoke, you’re breathing smoke. For near real-time air quality information, visit the Fire and Smoke Map at https://fire.airnow.gov./ Road Cameras — For road information, visit ODOT Road Cameras at https://tripcheck.com/
 

Community Meeting Tonight In Cave Junction For Smith River Complex North

There will be a public meeting held on Monday, August 28 at 6:00 p.m. at the Illinois Valley High School: 625 River St. Cave Junction, OR 97523 The meeting will also be simulcast on the Smith River Complex North 2023 Facebook page. Fire managers and cooperators will present fire updates and be available to answer questions.  https://www.facebook.com/smithrivercomplexnorth No photo description available. Firefighters installing hoses and sprinklers around structures off Lone Mountain Road to the north of Kelly Road, August 25, 2023

Just south of the Oregon border along Hwy 199, the Diamond, Holiday, Kelly, and Prescott fires along with multiple other fires in the area have been grouped together in the “Smith River Complex.” The fires have now spread into Southern Oregon. This is along the route from Grants Pass to the coast.

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Smith River Complex North Weather Update 8/28 : https://www.facebook.com/smithrivercomplexnorth/videos/193695153721482

Red Cross Opens Shelter For Smith River Complex Fire

May be an image of text that says 'American Red Cross Wildfire EVACUATION CENTER OPEN'

The Red Cross has set up a shelter at Rogue Community College, Redwood Campus in Grants Pass for people evacuated by the Smith River Complex Fire southwest of Obrien in Josephine County.

Anyone who needs shelter from this wildfire should go to the college at 3345 Redwood Hwy, Grants Pass, OR 97527 or call 1-800-Red Cross.

Preparedness info can be found here:  https://redcrossblog.org/disaster/

Josephine County Emergency Management

  · Notice from Josephine County Sheriff:

Level 1 – BE READY Smith River North Complex FireNotice from Josephine County Sheriff. Level 1 – BE READY notice for: Forested area from Lone Mountain Road to Buckskin Peak.Monitor conditions. Find preparedness resources at RVEM.org. Act early if there is any reason you might need extra time. Leave right away if you feel you are in immediate danger.If conditions change quickly, this may be the only alert you receive.For more information, visit: www.rvem.org

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (RRSNF), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) resources continue to be proactive by reopening old fire containment features and identifying areas of opportunity in protection of life and property.

Oregon Caves National Monument Closed Due to Wildfire Danger  

We are sorry to inform you that due to the increased risk of wildfire, Cave Creek Campground is closed until further notice.  —   In addition to the campground being closed, we have posted safety notices at all of our trailheads. Because of the air quality and wildfire activity, it is highly recommended that visitors do not hike the trails at this time.

Interstate 5 southbound traffic appears to be back to normal after it was severely backed up to traffic north from the South Medford interchange this morning.

I-5 at Medford Viaduct Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) information showed a crash hazard at I-5 southbound mile post 28.5 and closure of the southbound lanes.  At 8:09 a.m., ODOT wrote, “A crash has closed the road. Use an alternate route.” It warned about delays up to two hours. With ODOT’s update at 8:59 a.m., it was advising drivers to expect delays of 20 minutes. A driver reported a van was lying on its side from a collision with another vehicle, with first responders on location including police and fire department staff. Since that initial ODOT post at 8:09 a.m., it reported two “minor crashes” for I-5 southbound in Medford by 8:20 a.m.  Image below is from ODOT’s Medford camera at mile post 28.5 approximately 8:15 a.m.

Oregon State Police Investigating Officer Involved Shooting- Josephine County

Grants Pass, Ore. – On August 24, 2023, at 8:52 AM, Grants Pass Police Officers responded to the scene of a shooting near the M Street Market in the 1000 block of SE M Street. Officers located a victim, Robert Mills (63) of Grants Pass, who had sustained gunshot wounds. Officers quickly located the suspect, Dennis McGuire (69) of Grants Pass, who was armed with a firearm. The incident quickly escalated and culminated in an officer-involved shooting.

Both the Mills and McGuire were transported to the hospital with gunshot wounds and were last reported in serious but stable condition.

None of the responding officers were injured, and there is no further danger to the community from this incident. Names of involved officers are not being released at this time.

The Josephine County Major Crime Team was activated and the Oregon State Police are leading the investigation into the initial shooting as well as the officer-involved shooting. The completed investigation will be referred to the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.

UPDATED RELEASE- The Douglas County Major Crimes Team continues to seek information from the public regarding the homicide of 78-year-old Terry Lea Deane.

Deane was found deceased in a residence in the 400-block of Coltrin Lane on Saturday, August 12, 2023. Since that time, the Douglas County Major Crimes Team has been actively investigating the case as a homicide. Investigators are making a second appeal to members of the community to come forward with any information which may help them to further the investigation. Specifically, they are interested in information about individuals or vehicles seen in the area between August 11 and August 12. Detectives are also encouraging residents to be aware of suspicious people or vehicles in their neighborhoods and to report anything to law enforcement by calling (541) 440-4471. ### ORIGINAL RELEASE 08/14/2023 5:00 PM OAKLAND, Ore. – The Douglas County Major Crimes Team is investigating the homicide of an Oakland woman. On Saturday, August 12, 2023, around 1:30 p.m., 9-1-1 dispatchers were notified of a suspicious death at a residence in the 400-block of Coltrin Lane in Oakland. Deputies and officers from the Sutherlin Police Department responded to the scene and determined the death to be the result of an apparent homicide. The victim was identified as 78-year-old Terry Lea Deane of Oakland. The Douglas County Major Crimes Team was activated. The Sheriff’s Office assigned as the lead investigating agency. Investigators are urging anyone who may have information to call (541) 440-4458 referencing case #23-3096. “Sometimes community members observe things in their neighborhoods and may not find them significant at the time, but to an investigator those details can make all the difference in solving cases and obtaining justice,” Lt. Kelley Bean said. “I would encourage anyone who has information to contact the detectives and allow them to vet the significance as it relates to the investigation.” Tips can be made by calling 541-440-4458. 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. The investigation is ongoing and, in an effort to protect the integrity of the investigation, additional details are not expected to be released at this time.

Man Accused Of Kidnapping Seattle Woman Caught Trying To Break Out Of  Jackson County Jail

Adult-In-Custody Caught Attempting to Break Through Jail Window Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office – 08/24/23 4:50 PM JCSO Case 23-4860

MEDFORD, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Corrections deputies caught an Adult-In-Custody (AIC) attempting to break through the glass in his cell window at the Jackson County Jail Tuesday afternoon. Negasi Zuberi, 29, an AIC in Jail on a federal hold, is charged with second-degree attempted escape and first-degree disorderly conduct. The Jail’s exterior windows are made of reinforced glass so Zuberi was only able to damage the interior layer of the window. Around 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, a Jackson County Maintenance worker outside the building notified deputies that a suspicious noise was coming from inside one of the cells. Deputies responded to investigate and discovered Zuberi standing on his bunk bed near a chipped window in his cell. Deputies detained Zuberi, sent him through the full-body scanner, and moved him to a hard cell with no exterior windows. While searching the cell further, deputies found an improvised tool that was suspected to have been used to damage the window. This case is under further investigation and there is no additional information available for release. Robbery/Shots Fired —  Josephine Co. Sheriff’s Office 

Press Release
Press Release
INCIDENT DATE AND TIME: August 24, 2023 at 11:10AM REPORTING DEPUTY: Detective Sergeant Henrich ARRESTED: Robert Linville, 32 years-old CHARGES: 1- Unlawful Use of a Weapon 2- Felon in Possession of a Firearm 3- Menacing DETAILS: On August 24, 2023, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Oregon State Police, and Grants Pass Police Department, responded to a call for service in the 3000 block of Highland Avenue.  The call was reported as a robbery where shots were fired during an altercation. When officers and deputies responded, they initially met with a victim/witness who had exited the property and called for help. While speaking to the victim/witness in a safe location, she reported that a male subject, later identified as Robert Linville, had fired a shotgun at a vehicle and was threatening to shoot another individual at the location along with threatening suicide. Deputies created a hasty plan to address the threat and a potential rescue if needed based on the rapidly evolving situation. When law enforcement arrived at the incident location, Robert Linville and others exited the residence.  They were all detained for officer safety until deputies could complete the investigation. Robert Linville was arrested and lodged in the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Use of a Firearm, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Menacing. At the time of this press release no further details are being released.

Jackson County Sheriff Oregon

Reminder – SCHOOL SPEED ZONES

Schools are coming back in session all around the County and speed zones will be in effect. The school zone speed limit is 20 mph, but each zone may have different requirements.May be an image of text
 
Some of the speed zone requirements include:
– SCHOOL DAYS 7 AM – 5 PM
– WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT
– WHEN FLASHING
 
Please be cautious when driving in school zones and help keep kids safe.
 

The restoration project for the Butte Creek Mill is entering its last push.

As part of the final fundraising efforts, Jim Belushi, brother of the famous John Belushi and star of the TV show “according to Jim”,, is putting on Comedy on the Rogue at Belushi Farms.

Tickets went on sale today at http://comedyontherogue.com. The night will include Jim Belushi’s Board of Comedy and music from Belushi’s band. Volunteer Jay O’Neil said they need about $300,000 to finish the restoration project. Most of the work that needs done still is repairing the basement that was damaged by water during the fire. Tickets will be on sale until late September, or until they sell out. Belushi owns property in the Rogue Valley and has settled there.

In a Strange IncidentTwo Trucks Fall Into The Columbia River Near Biggs Junction in Same Spot at Separate Times Prompting Monday Closure Of I-84

Interstate-84 westbound is set to close from early Monday morning at Biggs Junction. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced this closure. It follows two semi-trucks, at separate times, falling into the Columbia River. Drivers are advised to consider other routes during this scheduled closure, starting from 7 A.M and stretching from Biggs Junction to Celilo.
The first semi-truck, carrying two trailers, hit a deserted vehicle parked on the freeway before plunging into the river late Friday. Miraculously, the driver swam to safety without injuries. Another semi-truck, carrying empty fuel tankers, slipped off the freeway into the river as emergency responders attended the previous incident. Authorities believe driver fatigue possibly contributed to this second accident, with the driver also escaping injury. Efforts are underway to extract the trucks from the river. Still, it is unclear how long this process will take considering the demanding nature of the operation. ODOT calls on drivers to stay alert and consider alternative routes, such as Old Highway 30/OR 206, during the recovery period.

Lightning storms swept through the state from northern California all the way to southern Washington since Thursday. These storms have started over 50 fires in the region, but thankfully Oregon’s Department of Forestry, the U.S Forest Service and local agencies have extinguished most of the fires before they can spread.

“We’ve got lots of partners in the community,” said ODF public information officer, Bryan Longoria, “we’ve got a lot of folks out here and we’re out working hard trying to keep these fires as small as we can.” The fires are more difficult to fight due to the nature of lightning fires. Many lightning fires occur in remote areas that would otherwise be left out of the way. This makes it harder for firefighters to try to extinguish fires. Engines don’t typically reach them and it can be a hike for them with all of their gear to even reach the edge of the fire. With the smoke from surrounding pre-existing fires there has been a struggle with aviation helping to fight the blazes due to low visibility.

Oregon State Fire Marshal mobilizes resources to the Tyee Ridge Complex after conflagration is declared

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor Tina Kotek invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act for the Tyee Ridge Complex on Friday evening to allow the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to mobilize resources to protect life and property. The OSFM firefighters and equipment will provide structure protection for homes on two of the 19 fires that comprise the Tyee Ridge Complex. The two fires are estimated at 1,000 acres. Level 3 evacuation orders are in place through the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for homes near the Cougar Creek and Rattlesnake Ridge fires. With the declared conflagration, OSFM will mobilize five structural firefighting task forces and the Red Incident Management Team. “Oregon received a significant amount of lightning over the past 36 hours, starting many fires,” said Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. “With Oregon in the heart of fire season, this conflagration declaration allows the OSFM to mobilize structural firefighting resources through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) to help protect the communities impacted by the Tyee Ridge Complex.” In accordance with ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Kotek determined that the fire poses a threat to life, safety, and property, and the threat exceeds the firefighting capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment. The governor’s declaration cleared the way for the state fire marshal to mobilize structural firefighters and equipment to assist local resources in battling the fire and further support a coordinated response. The OSFM’s Red Incident Management Team will be briefed and assume unified command of the two fires on the Tyee Ridge Complex at 10 a.m. on August 26th. The structural task forces come from Lane, Linn, Lincoln, Washington counties, and Central Oregon through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System.
Wildfire Prevention | National Interagency Fire Center

As Oregon fires rage, US Rep Chavez-DeRemer joins push for higher firefighter pay

Federal wildland firefighters received temporary raises last year that are set to expire at the end of September

As fires rage in Oregon, U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer joined a bipartisan group of senators and representatives pushing to permanently boost pay for wildland firefighters.
Field observers monitor the Bedrock Fire’s progress in early August. (Inciweb)
Federal wildland firefighters received temporary pay boosts through the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law of 2021, which ensured they make at least $15 per hour – wildland firefighters work a base 40 hours. They also received temporary raises of $20,000 or 50% of their base pay a year, whichever was less, in 2022. But those raises are set to expire on Sept. 30. Legislation proposed in the U.S. House and Senate aim to permanently increase pay for wildland firefighters and provide supplemental pay boosts for each day a firefighter is deployed to a fire. “I’m honored to join this bipartisan effort in support of our wildland firefighters, who run towards danger to keep our communities safe,” Chavez-DeRemer said in a statement. “Unfortunately, time is running out to ensure they continue receiving the pay they deserve.” The Senate version of the bill, spearheaded by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Arizona, received a favorable vote out of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in July and is expected to be considered by the full Senate after it returns from its August recess. The House version, led by Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado, was introduced last week and hasn’t yet been considered by any committees. So far, Chavez-DeRemer is the only member of Oregon’s congressional delegation signed on to either bill.

Oregon’s first evacuation assembly point (EAP) equipment successfully tested in Tillamook

(Tillamook) – Earlier this week leaders from the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Office of Resilience and Emergency Management (OREM) and Tillamook County, along with volunteers, set up and tested Oregon’s first set of evacuation assembly point (EAP) equipment.
OREM designed this emergency preparedness exercise to train Tillamook leaders to set up the equipment without assistance. “Coastal communities like Tillamook are prioritized to house these supplies because data shows they are likely to be cut off from the rest of the state during the Cascadia earthquake,” said Ed Flick (he/him), director of the ODHS Office of Resilience and Emergency Management. “ODHS has primary responsibility for mass care and shelter following disasters, so helping local communities access critical supplies that can quickly be used to serve their local community is important to us.” OREM budgeted eight total hours for equipment set up. The team had 15 tents set up in just four hours. 38 OREM staff, Tillamook County staff and volunteers spent Tuesday night in the tents to test the equipment. The team also ate meals ready to eat (MREs) for lunch because that’s what people who use the EAP will eat. “The exercise proved that Tillamook is definitely getting prepared for Cascadia and other types of emergencies. It was a great exercise. It showed how the different community partners come together, work together and can accomplish tasks as a team,” said Randy Thorpe, Tillamook County Emergency Manager. Evacuation assembly points are short-term locations for people to gather while emergency responders work to access the impacted area. They are not intended to be long-term shelters but are places people can register, receive nourishment and short-term shelter, get essential medical care and be scheduled for transport out of the area when needed. The ability to provide immediate support and transportation to people is especially needed in areas with large tourist populations, like Oregon’s coast. “As the most disaster rich county in the state, Tillamook County was thrilled to partner with Oregon Department of Human Services’ Office of Resilience and Emergency Management in the Able Readiness 4 exercise at the Port of Tillamook Bay on August 22 and 23. We are grateful to the State of Oregon for the investment in resiliency of Oregon communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters. We are very much heartened by our partnership with OREM and our enhanced ability to provide for the needs of our citizens in future disasters,” said Mary Faith Bell, Tillamook County Commissioner OREM plans on deploying more of these supplies to other coastal cities, but the locations have not yet been determined. About the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Office of Resilience and Emergency Management — ODHS holds three distinct roles through its Office of Resilience and Emergency Management, all of which reduce the impact of disasters on people. In its most foundational role, OREM staff work every day with ODHS programs, offices and affiliated agencies, to ensure the safety of the people served by our programs, and our staff. The second role is as the lead agency for cooling, warming and cleaner air centers to protect the public from life-threatening weather and related events. The third role is as the primary agency for mass care and social services recovery, as outlined in Oregon’s comprehensive emergency operations and recovery plans. In this role, ODHS supports the evacuation, sheltering, feeding, emergency assistance, family reunification, distribution of emergency supplies and human services needs of people impacted by disasters. Across all these roles, ODHS develops and relies on partnerships and coordination with public and private organizations at the local and regional levels and with our state and Tribal Nation partners.

State Offers Help To The 552,000 Oregonians With Student Debt

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has released the state’s first analysis of residents’ student loan debt, and recommendations for how the governor and Legislature could help lighten the burden for current and former college students. The report was conducted following the passage of Senate Bill 485 in 2021. The law called for changes to loan service renewal, declared an emergency and required an annual report. The first of those annual reports states that the U.S. Department of Education owns $1.48 trillion in debt, which is 84% of the total student loan market, and guarantees an additional $143 billion of Federal Family Education Loan Program and Perkins loans. Since 2007, the federal student loan portfolio has grown more than 300%. About 44 million Americans currently have student loan balances, compared to 28 million in 2007. In Oregon, the report found, about 552,000 residents are student loan borrowers, with an average debt of $37,900. Ombuds offers help, answers – SB 485 required the Department of Consumer and Business Services to appoint a student loan ombuds who could help members of the public with complaints or inquiries about student loans. The department’s first ombuds began working in June 2022. As of June 1, 2023, the ombuds had received 34 complaints and 104 contacts from the public. Borrowers most commonly asked the ombuds about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which forgives the remaining balance of student loans for full-time employees of governments or nonprofits who have been making qualifying payments for 10 years. In March 2020, as part of a COVID-19 response, the U.S. Department of Education paused federal student loan repayment and collections. Interest was not accrued. These paused payments also counted toward PSLF, earning credit as though monthly payments were made. This pause will end Sept. 1. In addition, there have recently been several announcements and changes to student loans that have caused some confusion.
  • In April 2022, the U.S. Department of Education announced “Fresh Start,” an executive action to pull seven million student loan borrowers out of default.
  • In August 2022, the Biden administration announced a plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for eligible Pell Grant recipients. In November, the Sweet v. Cardona lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education led to a settlement, resulting in the promise that it must approve about $6 billion in debt forgiveness for 200,000 borrowers.
  • The Federal Student Loan Literacy Act, which was introduced in 2022 but did not receive a vote, would have created a federal funding source for community groups to apply toward their work with student loan borrowers.
In 2022, the Oregon ombuds started a PSLF waiver awareness campaign. As of March 31, 8,770 Oregonians had been forgiven more than $557 million in student loan debt. This is up from $216 million for 3,480 Oregonians nine months earlier. The ombuds expects PSLF will continue to be a common topic for loan borrowers who reach out. For more information on PSLF, visit studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service. Other common inquiries over the past year to the ombuds were about misinformation from debt loan servicers, collection mistakes and referrals from the Oregon Department of Justice. Plans for next year – The ombuds’ first goal for the upcoming year is to continue building out the state’s borrower education program, which is intended to offer information and resources to those with student loans. “The lack of funding sources for coaching leaves many borrowers not knowing where to turn,” the report states. “To further borrower education, the student loan ombuds is hoping to expand the range of available presentations, record short videos, and gather more short-term and long-term policy recommendations.” The ombuds will also be recommending policy changes to the Legislature. Short-term policy change goals include:
  • More specific regulations for loan servicing.
  • More protections for borrowers.
  • Requiring people to be notified when they are eligible for loan forgiveness.
Long-term policy change goals include:
  • Increasing supports to reduce the cost of college.
  • Holding student loan servicers accountable for misinformation.
  • Push for more student loan advocates at the university level.
For more information about the Student Loan Servicing Program, visit: dfr.oregon.gov/help/student-loan-help. For more information on federal student aid, visit studentaid.gov/. — (SOURCE)

Three Illegal Grow Busts in Klamath County

A 57-year-old Bonanza man was arrested Thursday after police discovered an illegal marijuana grow site on Golden Eagle Drive. According to a news release from the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, police destroyed 32 marijuana plants and 42.5 pounds of processed marijuana. “Evidence indicated that two greenhouses which had been used to grow marijuana were empty and recently harvested. The estimated value of the plants and dry marijuana combined was $308,000,” the release said. “(Perez) was charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Marijuana and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.” On Aug. 23 and 24, police also discovered two more illegal grow sites in Klamath County — neither of these additional two had suspects on the property when police raided them. One of the sites, according to the release, was near Highway 140 and 38 Mile Road and discovered on Aug. 23. About $5.4 million worth of marijuana — 1,888 plants — were destroyed. On Aug. 24, police discovered a site on Gaur Lane near Bonanza, with 528 marijuana plants estimated at $3.05 million destroyed. “(For the sites on Golden Eagle Drive and Gaur Lane), it appeared water had been trucked into the locations due to no water source being located on either property,” the release said. “Anyone with information concerning illegal water deliveries is encouraged to report this to mjtipline@klamathcounty.org.”

Up to $50,000 Reward for Information About Eugene Post Office Armed Robbery

U.S. Postal Inspection Service | Washington D.C. DC
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect who robbed the Southside Post Office, located at 30 E 33rd Ave, Eugene OR 97405. On August 16, 2023, at approximately 5:00 p.m., an unidentified male entered the Southside Post Office, brandished a firearm, and demanded money. The subject was described as a white male, around his mid 50s, approximately 5’8″ to 6′ tall, weighing around 250 lbs. with several black painted fingernails. He was described as wearing a dark long sleeve shirt/jacket, dark baggy pants, and a gray baseball hat, with a white/beige bandanna covering his face. TAKE NO ACTION TO APPREHEND THIS PERSON YOURSELF If you have any information about this incident, please contact the: U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455 (say “Law Enforcement”) Reference Case No. 4101064 All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Portland Man Wins $3.3 Million Oregon Megabucks Jackpot

Salem, Ore. – Carl Meinig, 80, of Portland, is the latest winner of Oregon’s Game Megabucks, claiming a ticket for the $3.3 million jackpot. The winning ticket was sold on August 1, 2023 for the drawing the following day.
Oregon Lottery staff were on hand to present Plaid Pantry with a commission bonus for selling a $3.3 million Megabucks ticket. Photo credit: Sproutbox
Oregon Lottery staff were on hand to present Plaid Pantry with a commission bonus for selling a $3.3 million Megabucks ticket. Photo credit: Sproutbox
Meinig purchased the ticket at Plaid Pantry on 11010 SE Foster Road in Portland. The store earned a $33,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. Plaid Pantry employees were presented with a check from Oregon Lottery to celebrate the win on Friday. “Plaid Pantry is thrilled to learn one of our most popular stores in SE Portland sold the recent $3.3 million Megabucks ticket,” said Plaid Pantry CEO Jonathan Polonsky. “Profits from the sale of lottery tickets are reinvested back into our locally owned business for growth and to better support our associates. It’s one of the ways we stay true to our vision of being ‘Employee Built, Customer Inspired.’ Congratulations to the winner from our team of more than 700 Plaid associates!” Oregon’s Game Megabucks has some of the most favorable big prize jackpot game odds in the world. The jackpot resets to $1 million after someone wins. The Oregon Lottery recommends that you sign the back of your ticket to ensure you can claim any prize. In the event of winning a jackpot, players should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Players have a year to claim their prize. Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $15.5 billion for economic development, public schools, outdoor school, state parks, veteran services, and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org

The Oregon Employment Department provided updates on the new Paid Leave Oregon program.

Paid Leave Oregon aims to give workers and employers opportunities to take time for their families and personal needs. Applications opened earlier this month and the meeting, today gave more insight into how it works. The program recognizes three types of leave: Family, Medical and Safe leave. If you’re eligible, you can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave, over a 52-week period. It works through paying into the program, that’s called your ‘contribution rate’ which is one percent of your gross wages. If you work for a large employer, they are required to help you pay 40 percent of this amount. At the meeting, staff behind the program say they are making sure each application is thoroughly reviewed.
Paid Leave Oregon director, Karen Humelbaugh said, “We received 4,631 applications and we have approved two thus far, which might seem small but it’s due to ramping up of processing, ID verification behind the scenes and thoroughly making sure we’ve trained our staff with real and complex claims.
Those who are eligible, can take paid leave as soon as September 3rd. You can see specific qualifications and the step-by-step process on their website: https://paidleave.oregon.gov

 

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