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Rogue Valley News, Wednesday 11/29 – Reported Robbery Leads to Standoff in East Medford & Other Local and Statewide News…

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, November 29, 2023

Rogue Valley Weather

No photo description available.

AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY ISSUED – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
...AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST
THURSDAY...

* WHAT...Poor mixing and weak winds mean that stagnant air is
expected, which may lead to deteriorating air quality.

* WHERE...Valleys of southern Oregon and northern California.

* WHEN...Until 10 AM PST Thursday.

* IMPACTS...Air stagnation is likely to result in diminishing
air quality with time, especially in and near areas with
significant sources of air pollution. Diminished air quality
is likely to cause health issues for people with respiratory
problems if precautions are not taken.

* View the hazard area in detail at
https://www.wrh.noaa.gov/map/?wfo=mfr

 

Reported Robbery Leads To Standoff In East Medford

Medford Police state they got a call to come to a market on the corner of Crater Lake Avenue and Roberts Road around 3:30 pm on November 27th. The caller reported a man stealing beer and acting especially strange. The suspect ran towards the Grandview apartments while officers chased.

North Medford High School was put into “Secure status” during the standoff.

Lt. Kirkpatrick told news staff that the suspect eventually left the apartment, but wouldn’t show his waistband. When the suspect tried to re-enter the apartment, officers used two non-lethal rounds to subdue him. The suspect is receiving medical treatment and is in custody.

As of November 28, the suspect has confirmed to be Levi Steven Cortez. MPD booked him on charges of robbery and felony possession of a weapon along with others. Cortez also had several warrants out for his arrest. No trial dates have been confirmed yet.

Several police agencies in Jackson County are investigating after getting reports of plastic bags containing sand and anti-Semitic messages being dropped throughout neighborhoods.

Similar bags have been dropped on driveways contains sand and a QR code linking to a Telegram page of a video with anti-semitic messaging, including footage of Adolf Hitler.

Lieutenant Geoff Kirkpatrick with the Medford Police Department states there have been more than 20 reports of similar incidents to the Medford, Ashland, Phoenix and Central Point police, and estimates hundreds of bags have been distributed. These incidents are still under investigation.

Homicide Suspect at Large, Detectives Renew Request for Information

RIDDLE, Ore. – Detectives are renewing their request for information as to the whereabouts of a homicide suspect who killed A Grants Pass man last Monday.

Gauge Douglas James Main of Riddle is wanted in connection to the homicide of 20-year-old Devonte Lovell Clark of Grant Pass. A felony warrant has been issued for his arrest. Main was last known to be in the Northern California area following the homicide.

On Monday, November 20, 2023, shortly after 11:30 p.m., 9-1-1 dispatchers received information about a shooting which had taken place in the area of Main Street / E. Third Avenue in Riddle, Oregon.

Deputies arrived on scene to discover Clark had died at the scene. A second victim, 29-year-old Killian Mavity of Grants Pass, sustained a gunshot wound to the arm.

Main fled the scene of the homicide after stealing a silver 2017 Honda Civic 4-door sedan bearing Oregon license plate 276PAT, which has since been recovered in California.

Detectives say Main is to be considered armed and dangerous. Sheriff John Hanlin has officially enlisted the assistance of the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Taskforce in apprehending Main. Anyone with information which may lead to Main’s arrest is urged to contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 440-4471 referencing case #23-4651.

Eagle Point Couple Arrested for Child Sex Crimes, Special Victims Unit Detectives Looking for Other Underage Victims 

Flyer

JCSO Case 23-6341

EAGLE POINT, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Special Victims Unit (SVU) detectives arrested an Eagle Point couple last Thursday, November 16th for multiple sex crimes involving a child under the age of 12. The suspects are Colton Joseph Thornton, 28, and Elizabeth Nicole Shockey-Rydall, 31, both of Eagle Point. Thornton is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sexual penetration, first-degree sodomy, and first-degree sexual abuse. Shockey is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. They are both lodged in the Jackson County Jail.

JCSO SVU detectives believe Thornton may have other juvenile victims. Anyone with information about the pictured suspect is asked to call SVU Detective Jill Wenzel at (541) 770-8928.

This case is under investigation with SVU detectives working additional leads. Further information will come from the Jackson County District Attorney’s office.

Correction: Fatal Crash – HWY 99 – Jackson County

Correction: The location should read Elk St- not Oak St.


On Saturday, November 25, 2023, at 2:39 p.m., the Oregon State Police responded to a vehicle versus motorcycle crash on Hwy 99, at the intersection with Oak St, in Jackson County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a Hyundai Elantra, operated by Melissa Dolmage (38) of Medford, was stopped on Oak St, at the intersection with Hwy 99, when it turned left onto Hwy 99 southbound. The Hyundai entered the path of a northbound Harley Davidson motorcycle, operated by Kevin L. Norman (69) of Central Point, causing a side impact collision.

The operator of the Harley Davidson (Norman) was declared deceased at the scene.The operator of the Hyundai (Dolmage) and passenger, a male infant, were not injured.

The highway was impacted for approximately 2.5 hours during the on-scene investigation. The operator of the Hyundai was cooperating with investigators.

OSP was assisted by the Central Point Police Department, the Medford Police Department, and ODOT.

The Medford Library’s Promotional Game “Downtown Quest” 

The Medford Library is trying to boost local businesses with a promotional game called the Downtown Quest. In this two-week quest, guests can visit one of the 24-partnered businesses, getting a “quest card” or getting their card signed by each one they visit. Once five businesses have signed the quest card, people can bring the card back to the Medford Library to get a coupon to the Friends of the Library Bookstore and their name put into a raffle for a grand prize.

Businesses range from knick-knack shops and art supply stores, to bars and experiences. The operations manager of Crunch Time Wreck and Escape Rooms, Rhyon Ingalls, says an event like this helps bring light to the local businesses that give the town its flair. He says, “These are neighbors, friends, people who are pursuing dreams and ideas and ways of making Medford a better place. These are people who are in your community and A lot of them have incredible things to offer, but the problem is no one knows about them.” he hopes that this quest can showcase these businesses.
Businesses will be decorated with balloons and posters, and some will even be offering a discount or special in the duration of the Downtown Quest. The two-week promotion, sponsored by the Friends of the Medford Library starts Monday November 20 and ends on December 4.

Shop With a Cop, Josephine County 2023!

May be an image of text that says 'Shop with a Cop Josephine County 2023 Hosted by your local Walmart GRANTS PASS OREGON STATE POLIGE December 10, 2023 @ 12pm Grants Pass Walmart Looking for Child nominees for this Holiday Season' shopping event. The nominees must be ages 6-13. attend Josephine County school, have faced a hardship recently. (Family financial due job loss, loss housing, Divorce, death, Military deployment Please nominate by filling out the Google Form Application, Not all nominees will be chosen. Walmart'
Hosted by Grants Pass Walmart
December 10, 2023 at 12:00pm
We are looking for child nominees for this holiday season’s shopping event. The nominees must be ages 6 -13, attend a Josephine County school, and have faced a hardship recently (i.e., family financial problems due to job loss, loss of housing, divorce, death, military deployment, etc.) Please nominate a child by filling out an application. Not all nominees will be chosen.
For participation, nomination forms or donation inquiries, please email tiffany@josephinecountyshopwithacop.org or call AP Team Lead, Tiffany at 541-471-2822.

PART 2 – Newsweek Podcast Focusing on The Disappearance of Fauna Frey From Lane County

Here One Minute, Gone the Next —– PART 2 – Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel joins investigative journalist Alex Rogue to speak with Here One Minute, Gone the Next about the disappearance of Fauna Frey, the growing friction between citizen investigators and law enforcement, and the lack of resources in missing persons cases. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-disappearance-of-fauna-frey-pt2-feat-sheriff/id1707094441?i=1000630100040

PART 1 – John Frey joins Newsweek to discuss exclusive details about the case of his missing daughter that until now have been unavailable to the general public.

READ MORE HERE: https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-what-happened-fauna-frey-new-clues-uncovered-1827197?fbclid=IwAR3Z3Glru5lIgqiYXbs_nA1Fj8JuCIzM11OHSVHfwIucfq2f_G5y9y5bnmQ

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Fauna Frey, call the anonymous tip line at 541-539-5638 or email FindFaunaFrey@gmail.com.

Help Find Fauna Frey #FindFaunaFrey FACEBOOK GROUP

Governor Tina Kotek plans to seek $600 million more for housing, homelessness in 2024 session

Governor Tina Kotek plans to ask the Legislature to spend another $600 million on housing and homelessness next year, building on record investments over the past few years as the state continues to grapple with a housing crisis.

She laid out some of her budget priorities during a Tuesday press conference in Salem, a little more than two months before lawmakers return to the Capitol for a 35-day dash to pass new laws and allocate money. Kotek and legislative leaders from both parties generally agree that housing, homelessness, addiction and public safety are top priorities.

Kotek’s biggest request, $500 million, will be tied to housing production. She set a goal of building 36,000 homes each year – nearly double the average number of homes built in Oregon in recent years. A 2022 state report estimates that Oregon needs to build more than 550,000 homes in the next 20 years to make up for years of underbuilding and keep pace with population growth.

“I’m really urging the legislators to be bold with one-time money to make sure we can move forward on our housing production goals here in the state,” Kotek said.

The state’s most recent point-in-time count indicates that at least 18,000 Oregonians are homeless. Shrinking that number will require not only more homes, but also more affordable housing, experts say.

Members of her Housing Production Advisory Council have suggested using state funding to train construction workers and create or expand loans, tax rebates and grants for developers building homes for low-income and middle-income families. Cities have also indicated they’ll need state help with infrastructure funding to build the streets, sewers, sidewalks and other infrastructure necessary to build new homes across the state.

Along with money to spur housing production, Kotek said she’ll ask for about $65 million to keep existing homeless shelters open and another $33 million for rent assistance to keep Oregonians who fall on tough times from losing their homes.

Lawmakers allocated almost $34 million this spring to help nearly 9,000 households avoid homelessness. By Sept. 30, the most recent date for which data is available, Oregon Housing and Community Services had spent a little more than $11 million and helped more than 3,800 households.

Kotek also plans to ask for money for summer learning, child care and road maintenance. Districts scaled back summer learning programs this summer after the Legislature failed to provide funding ahead of an April deadline. The $50 million Kotek will ask lawmakers to provide for summer learning this spring is far below the $240 million lawmakers approved in 2021 and the $150 million provided in 2022, when federal funding tied to the COVID pandemic gave the state and school districts more money to spend.

She’ll seek $59 million to maintain the state’s Employment Related Day Care program, which helps low-income families pay for child care and now has a waitlist. The program, which is facing a $123 million shortfall and indefinite waiting lists,  allows families earning up to twice the federal poverty level – just less than $40,000 annually for a single parent with one child or $60,000 for a family of four – to have most of their child care costs covered and pay only a small monthly copay.

Other priorities — Kotek is also asking legislative leaders to commit to spending $19 million for the Oregon Department of Transportation to schedule overtime and equipment to meet winter road maintenance needs. The department announced in October that it planned to cut back on plowing and sanding this winter because of staff shortages, inflation and decreased revenue from gas taxes related to more fuel-efficient vehicles. The Legislature will take up a large transportation funding package in 2025, eight years after passing a $5.3 billion transportation package that was intended to cover needs for the next decade.

And other spending proposals could be coming. Kotek said she’ll work with lawmakers to review and revise the state’s methodology for providing school funding, as well as come up with a plan to provide funding for minimum teacher salaries. A teachers’ strike just wrapped up in Portland and other large districts, including Bend-La Pine and Salem-Keizer, are in negotiations as school districts around the state face budget shortfalls.

Kotek, who opposed the city of Salem’s failed payroll tax that she and about 21,000 other state employees based in Salem would have paid, also said she was open to legislation that would have the state make payments in lieu of taxes for state property within city limits. The capital city faces an estimated $15 million budget shortfall by 2026, and city officials estimate the untaxed state property within city limits would generate about $7.25 million annually if it were taxed.

Other capitals, including Olympia, Washington, receive such payments from their state governments. Kotek said she would likely sign such a bill if it arrived on her desk.

“Having state government in Salem is a benefit, and there are also costs to provide public safety services,” Kotek said. “I think there is a place for the state to do more to support Salem because of the number of properties we have here, but it will be up to the city of Salem and Salem legislators to bring something in the session.” (SOURCE)

Governor Kotek Outlines Next Steps Following Resolution of PPS Strike

Following the tentative agreement reached to resolve the teacher strike at Portland Public Schools, Governor Tina Kotek today announced the next steps she will lead on to address core issues that educators have raised to improve outcomes for students across Oregon.

“The strike was a reflection of larger challenges that districts across the state are facing,” Governor Kotek said. “From salaries not staying competitive with the market, to backlogs in facility maintenance, to classroom disruptions related to the behavioral health needs of students, we clearly have work to do.

“I commit to continuing the work. As your Governor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, I commit to partnering with educators across the state to tackle the systemic issues that contributed to this strike. We all have an opportunity to do our part to ensure our schools are safe, successful places for students, teachers, and school employees.”

To address many of the underlying structural needs facing our schools, Governor Kotek will take the following steps:

1. Develop a statewide action plan, with the help of a multidisciplinary group of leaders, to support the social-emotional health needs of students in school settings and strengthen resources and capacity of school staff to meet these needs.
2. Partner with the legislature on their work to establish minimum teacher salaries and review funding for schools.

Salary Schedules: The Governor will closely monitor and review the recommendations of the legislature’s Task Force on Statewide Educator Salaries. She wants to see a proposal for minimum teacher salary schedules that make Oregon competitive with our neighboring states, mitigate competition between neighboring districts, and reflect local cost of living. She also wants to see a plan to fund that proposal over the next several years.

Funding: While the legislature ultimately adopts the budget, the Governor’s office must be a partner to ensure the methodology makes sense for today’s realities. The Governor will direct the Chief Financial Officer and the Oregon Department of Education to partner with the legislature and education stakeholders to review and revise the methodology for school funding.

3. Create the Office of Transparency within the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to make budget information that the State already collects from districts more accessible and easier to understand. This is intended to ensure labor and district partners and the public have the same budget information that the State does and strengthen transparency and improve customer service to Oregonians. ODE will include data about future estimated revenues that districts may have, the share of district funding that comes from State sources compared to local sources, and the share of district expenditures spent on administration. This work will draw from the work of states such as Arizona,Illinois and Michigan, and from ODE’s ESSER dashboard.

A full document outlining Governor Kotek’s commitments can be found here.

Demand for food aid spikes in past year as many Oregonians struggle with hunger 

After the pandemic ended, the demand for food  continued to increase in Oregon, with the need for  millions more pounds of produce, pasta and other staples at meal sites and food pantries.

The Oregon Food Bank distributed more than 104 million pounds of food in the fiscal year from July 2022 through June 30, an 11% increase from the prior year. High housing and fuel costs coupled with inflation have contributed to the hunger of tens of thousands of Oregonians.

Farmworker Francisca Aparicio washes lettuce in July 2023 as part of an Oregon Food Bank ambassador program that helps diverse communities across the state. (Oregon Food Bank)

U.S. Rep. Andrea Salinas, who represents Oregon’s 6th Congressional District, has noticed the surge in demand. Earlier this month, she introduced a bill that would double the amount of federal funding for the program that keeps Oregon pantries stocked with items.

The Oregon Food Bank, which distributes food to more than 1,400 locations throughout Oregon and southwest Washington, has seen demand grow over the past three years.

Before the pandemic, about 860,000 people annually visited the food bank’s partners in Oregon and southwest Washington, said Morgan Dewey, a spokesperson for the nonprofit food bank. This year, the food bank is on track to serve more than 1 million people, Dewey said.

“We’re just continuing to try to keep up with how much food folks are needing on the ground,” Dewey said.

Get help — The Oregon Food Bank, state agencies and other organizations, including pantries and churches, provide food for hungry Oregonians. For help:

The needs have increased as extra pandemic-related food benefits from the government have stopped. During the pandemic, most families received 70% more in their monthly allotment of federal food aid, called the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. The extra aid ended in March, with the average household allotment falling from $450 a month to about $300. The state also paid out the last of the pandemic-related extra food benefits for low-income families with young children in October.

“Those supports – when they ended it – really, really put folks in a dire situation,” Dewey said.

The food bank has five warehouses throughout the state that deliver to 21 regional food banks and more than 1,400 other points, including meal sites, delivery programs and pantries. Those sites are critical for rural and frontier areas in Oregon with food insecurity that are not near a large regional pantry, Dewey said.

The operation puts out fresh produce and dairy products, with an eye toward offering nutritional food that aligns with the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of Oregonians.

“Being able to partner with local fishers and ranchers and farmers and other growers really has been advantageous to supplying fresh produce to our communities,” Dewey said. “You know, this is not a warehouse where you walk in and it’s just all Ramen.”

Efforts in Congress — Oregon’s congressional members are looking for ways to keep produce in pantries. Earlier this month, Salinas announced she has introduced a bill to help food banks and local farmers by allowing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase more food directly from producers, including Oregon farmers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture purchases food products that are sent to the Oregon Food Bank as part of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Essentially, the bill would cut back on red tape and allow the federal government to consider other factors beyond simply the lowest price when considering bids from food producers. This, in turn, would set the stage for smaller family farms to get more contracts that put their products in Oregon pantries.

Salinas, a Democrat, is sponsoring the bill with U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-California.

“The pandemic caused higher rates of food insecurity in Oregon and across the country, and food banks have struggled to keep up with the increased demand,” Salinas said in a statement. “The Farmers Feeding America Act will address this problem by providing more funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, ensuring our local food banks are fully stocked.”

The bill also would double the federal funding for the program, which was about $20 million for Oregon in 2022.

“With increased funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program and new resources for food distribution and storage, this legislation will help our communities procure fresh produce and dairy products and address food deserts – especially in under-resourced and remote areas,” Oregon Food Bank President Susannah Morgan said in a statement. “No one should be hungry, and this investment will have a resounding impact for millions of people facing food insecurity.”

For the long-term, it’s important to look for ways to address the economic circumstances driving hunger, Dewey said. Those can include unaffordable housing and a lack of access to health care.

“We can serve everyone who is standing in line for a meal or standing in line to get a grocery bag full of food,” Dewey said. “We can serve all those people today, but hunger still won’t go away tomorrow.” (SOURCE)

Judge To Decide Whether Oregon’s Process For Taking Back Unemployment Benefits Is Unconstitutional

An Oregon judge will hear arguments Thursday that the state has been acting unconstitutionally when trying to claw back unemployment benefits from more than 60,000 people since 2020.

A lawsuit filed last year argues that the Oregon Employment Department has a convoluted and chaotic process for notifying people when the agency believes it has paid them too much. Many faced claims that they owed the state thousands of dollars. In some cases, the state sought $10,000 or more from people who reported losing their jobs during the pandemic. (SOURCE)

Temporary Hold On Ruling That Would Release Defendants From Jail

A ruling from a federal judge that would allow criminal defendants to be released from jail after 10 days without a lawyer has received a temporary stay from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge Michael McShane’s ruling was scheduled to go into place on Nov. 23. While the Oregon Department of Justice works on an appeal to the ruling, it will remain on hold.

A new ruling out of Washington County orders that criminal defendants be released from jail if they aren’t given an attorney seven days after their first court appearance.

“I just worry about people’s faith in the justice system,” said Patrick Green, Chief Deputy District Attorney with Jackson County.

While it’s important for defendants to receive a lawyer as soon as possible, Green told news outlets he’s worried about seeing serious offenders potentially get released back onto the streets.

“I also have to focus on the public safety risk,” Green said. “The threat to victims, the threat to future victims, the threat to the community at large, so it is a little bit of a rock and a hard place.”

Moving forward, Green said he’s hopeful for the future. A team of public defenders will be arriving in Douglas County early next year. Green is hoping they will be able to help out in Jackson County, amid an ongoing public defender shortage.

But, when it comes to solving the issue of having too many people in jail and not enough lawyers to represent them, Green said the solution is a systemic one.

“I think it is a million-dollar question,” he said. “How do you solve it? I think probably in the short term, you have to reform the system.” (SOURCE)

Governor Kotek Announces Alan R. Gronewold Sworn in as Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard

Governor Tina Kotek announced that Alan R. Gronewold has been officially sworn in as The Adjutant General (TAG) of the Oregon National Guard, following an investiture ceremony on Tuesday, November 28. Governor Kotek appointed Gronewold to the position…

The ceremony took place in Salem, Oregon among family, Oregon National Guard representatives, including former Adjutants General Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, and Maj. Gen. Mike Stencel, a member of U.S Representative Andrea Salinas’ staff, State Senator James Manning and State Representatives Rick Lewis and James Hieb.

Governor Kotek provided remarks and then administered the oath with assistance from Brig. Gen. Gronewold’s spouse. Governor Kotek then did a Presentation of Personal Colors with the assistance of Command Sergeant Major Lee G. Smith, followed by remarks from Brig. Gen. Gronewold.

“The Oregon National Guard has distinguished itself many times over in its service to our state in times of need, dedication to supporting federal missions, and commitment to continued excellence in training and readiness for the greatest of challenges,” Governor Kotek said. “I am confident that Brig. Gen. Gronewold will continue and expand upon this legacy.”

“The Oregon National Guard is prepared to face any challenge to ensure the safety and security of our great state,” Brig. Gen. Gronewold said. “We find fulfillment and pride in our service, knowing that we are making a difference to our fellow Oregonians. I am honored to lead the Oregon National Guard.”

Portland Man Who Claimed to be a Foreign Exchange Currency Trader Indicted for Wire Fraud

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland man, who for more than a decade claimed to be a successful foreign exchange currency trader to solicit millions of dollars in investments, has been indicted in federal court for wire fraud.

William Bennington, 52, a resident of Portland, has been charged with five counts of wire fraud.

According to the indictment, from March 2012 until at least October 2022, Bennington is alleged to have knowingly and intentionally devised and carried out a scheme wherein he purported to be a wealthy foreign exchange currency trader to solicit investments in WBFX LLC, a foreign currency investment company Bennington incorporated in Oregon in 2010. Bennington promised his investors annual returns of up to 80 percent and repayment terms as short as six months. He further falsely claimed to have written a proprietary trading algorithm, which he alleged was the source of his wealth.

Over the course of his scheme, Bennington is alleged to have caused at least five individual victims to pay him more than $2 million. Instead of investing his victims’ money in foreign exchange currency markets as promised, Bennington spent it on various personal expenses.

Bennington appeared in federal court Monday before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and released pending a five-day jury trial scheduled to begin on January 9, 2024.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison per count of conviction.

This case was investigated by the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Robert S. Trisotto, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Get $5 off annual Oregon State Park parking permit in December

Give the gift of the outdoors and save this season with the Oregon State Parks 12-month parking permit sale during the month of December.

The permit hangtag once again features whimsical designs from Portland artist El Tran. Holiday shoppers can buy the annual parking permits for only $25, which is a $5 savings starting Dec. 1 and running through Dec. 31. The permit is good for 12 months starting in the month of purchase.

Purchasing permits is easy. Buy them online at the Oregon State Parks store (use the drop down menu to pick your favorite design). Parking permits are also sold at some state park friends’ group stores and select local businesses throughout the state. For a complete list of vendors, visit stateparks.oregon.gov.

Parking costs $5 a day at 25 Oregon state parks unless you have a 12- or 24-month parking permit or a same-day camping receipt. The 24-month pass is $50 and is also available at store.oregonstateparks.org. The permits are transferable from vehicle to vehicle.

FDA Issues Recall Alert for Dog and Cat Foods Sold in Oregon Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

The Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners to a recall of certain pet foods that could be contaminated with Salmonella. TFP Nutrition and the FDA said all dry dog food and all dry cat food manufactured in one of TFP’s Texas facilities is contaminated and should be disposed of.

Brands affected by the recall include Exclusive Signature Dog and Cat Food and Feline Medley Formula Cat Food. The recalled food was sold at several pet and animal supply stores in Oregon.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said babies and young children can get sick from contaminated pet food if they have access to pet food bowls on the floor, put pet food in their mouths, or if caregivers don’t wash their hands after feeding pets.

Pet owners are urged to throw away recalled pet food and clean any surfaces that might have come in contact with the pet food.

Suppliers who may have sold the recalled pet food include:

  • Wilco stores all over Oregon
  • H and E Feed in Eugene
  • Junction City Farm and Garden
  • Old Mill Farm Store in Cottage Grove
  • Country Farms and Ranch Supplies in Creswell
  • The Farm Store and J and S Supply in Veneta
  • Sweet Home Feed and Supply
  • Out West Farm and Ranch in Philomath
  • Scio Farm Store
  • Central Feed and Supply in Sutherlin
  • Douglas County Farmers Co-op in Roseburg
  • Tractor Supply Co. in Junction City and Creswell

More information on the recall, including a comprehensive list of the pet foods affected by the recall, can be found at TFP’s website and the FDA’s website.

Unusual Respiratory Illness Effecting Oregon Dogs

Veterinary laboratories in several states are investigating an unusual respiratory illness in dogs and encouraging people to take basic precautions to keep their pets healthy as veterinarians try to pin down what’s making the animals sick.

Oregon, Colorado and New Hampshire are among the states that have seen cases of the illness, which has caused lasting respiratory disease and pneumonia and does not respond to antibiotics.

Symptoms of respiratory illness in dogs include coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge and lethargy. Some cases of the pneunomia progress quickly, making dogs very sick within 24 to 36 hours.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has documented more than 200 cases of the disease since mid-August. It has encouraged pet owners to contact their vet if their dog is sick and told state veterinarians to report cases as soon as possible. The agency is working with state researchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory to find out what is causing the illnesses.

Dogs have died, said Kurt Williams, director of the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University. But without a clear way to define the disease or test for it, he said it’s hard to put a number on how many died from a severe form of the infection.

Williams had a simple message for dog owners: “Don’t panic.” He also said dog owners should make sure that their pets are up to date on vaccines, including those that protect against various respiratory illnesses.

Labs across the country have been sharing their findings as they try to pinpoint the culprit.

David Needle, senior veterinary pathologist at the University of New Hampshire’s New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, has been investigating the mysterious disease for almost a year.

His lab and colleagues at the university’s Hubbard Center for Genome Research have looked at samples from dogs in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and more will be coming from Oregon, Colorado and possibly other states.

He said his team has not seen a large increase in dogs dying from the illness but still encouraged pet owners to “decrease contact with other dogs.” (SOURCE)

Douglas County Celebrates the 50th Annual Christmas Craft Fair

(Douglas County, Ore.) The kick off for the 2023 Christmas holiday season is fast approaching and in Douglas County that means it’s time for our annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Courthouse on November 26, followed by the Annual Christmas Craft Fairat the Douglas County Fairgrounds December 1-3.  This year the Douglas County Commissioners are excited to join with the Douglas County Fairgrounds staff in promoting the long-standing Christmas craft tradition a half-century in the making.  That’s right, this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Christmas Craft Fair at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

The Christmas Craft Fair at the Douglas County Fairgrounds will run from Friday, December 1, 2023, through Sunday, December 3, 2023.  Hours are Friday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm; Saturday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Santa will make appearances in the Exhibit Building on Friday: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm; Saturday: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm & 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Sunday: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Admission is $5.00 for adults and kids under 12 are free.  The Craft Fair is also helping to stock local food pantries and provide pajamas for local foster care kids by accepting donations at the door.  Entrants donating canned food will receive a $1.00 discount at the door. There will be vendor donated door prizes drawn every hour, and a special drawing for a big door prize package to celebrate our 50th year.  For more information check out the attached flyer or visit their website at www.douglasfairgrounds.com.

Silver Falls State Park hosts Winter Festival Dec. 9 and 10

Enjoy guided nature hikes, seasonal crafts and educational activities at the Silver Falls State Park Winter Festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10.

Visitors will have a chance to learn about the park in winter including the changing landscapes and habitats for resident and migratory birds and animals.

Activities include guided walks and talks; building bird nest boxes; making bird feeders and paper bird crafts; creating wreaths and decorating gingerbread and sugar cookies.

Schedule of Activities:

  • Make a wreath at the Evergreen Picnic Shelter (South Falls day-use area)
  • Build a bird nest box at the Creekside Shelter (South Falls day-use are)
  • Make a bird feeder or paper bird craft in the Stone Kitchen Shelter (South Falls day-use area)
  • Attend a short educational talk or guided walk at the South Falls Theater (South Falls day-use area unless otherwise noted)
    • 11 a.m.: Winter Hibernators Walk (45-minute walk at Smith Creek Village)
    • 12 p.m.: Mushroom ID hike (1-hour hike)
    • 1 p.m.: Winter Tree ID hike (1-hour hike)
    • 2 p.m.: Learn to Love a Lichen (20-minute talk)
    • 3 p.m.: Winter birds of Silver Falls (20-minute talk)
  • Visit a discovery table near South Falls to learn about the waterfalls in winter or learn about the winter solstice (South Falls day-use area)
  • Decorate a cookie, make a paper bird craft or learn about winter animal tracks (Smith Creek Village, 1.5 miles from the South Falls day-use area)
  • Earn a commemorative Silver Falls ornament from taking part in at least five of the above activities

All activities are free, but a day-use parking permit is required. Permits cost $5 per day; annual permits, normally $30, are on sale for $25 in the month of December and are available at the park. For more information, visit the event page on our calendar at stateparks.oregon.gov or call 503-874-0201.

https://www.oregon.gov/osp/missing/pages/missingpersons.aspx

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