Rogue Valley News, Wednesday 2/28 – $11.5 Million Suit Alleges Asante Hospital Nurse Replaced Fentanyl With Tap Water Killing Patient, Oregon Chocolate Festival Starts Friday in Ashland & 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,  February 28, 2024

Rogue Valley Weather

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$11.5 Million Suit Alleges Asante Hospital Nurse Replaced Fentanyl With Tap Water Killing Patient

The estate of a 65-year-old man who died while hospitalized at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center sued the hospital system and a nurse on Monday, alleging the nurse replaced his prescribed fentanyl with tap water.

The wrongful death suit is the first to be filed against the Medford hospital since the shocking disclosure by Medford police last month that they were investigating potential crimes against patients involving the theft of “controlled substances,” which may have led to “adverse” outcomes for some.

It’s not clear how many people were affected; Medford police and Asante representatives have declined to say. Medford Lt. Geoffrey Kirkpatrick on Monday declined to answer any questions. “We’re holding off on releasing anything because a lot of it is really unclear,” he said.

Justin Idiart, a southern Oregon lawyer representing the estate of Horace E. Wilson, said he has nine clients whose medication was swapped out. He said another five have reached out for possible representation. He said the clients include loved ones of those who died as well as people who survived.

The lawsuit was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of the estate of Wilson, who was treated at the hospital after he fell off a ladder and died of an infection. Wilson, a founder of a cannabis company called Decibel Farms in Jacksonville, was known as “Buddy.”

Schofield lives in Medford and has not been charged. On Nov. 22, Schofield voluntarily agreed to refrain from practicing nursing “pending the completion of an investigation,” Oregon Board of Nursing records show.

Neither Schofield nor Asante could immediately be reached for comment.  State records show Schofield started working at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center on Dec. 31, 2015, after working at a rehabilitation center between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1, 2015.

The lawsuit seeks $11.5 million in damages.  Idiart said patients who were deprived of medication suffered as a result of the medication diversion. In Wilson’s case, his family believed “he was in pain” even though he was “supposed to be sedated,” Idiart said.

He said the cases involve patients who were treated for health concerns that were survivable. He accused the hospital system of failing to be transparent with patients and their loved ones.

The suit names the hospital and nurse Dani Marie Schofield as defendants. Idiart said Schofield helped care for each of his clients.

“Their frustration is the lack of communication,” he said. “They saw loved ones in the hospital for conditions that usually seem like they could have recovered from.”

On Feb. 3, Wilson’s condition deteriorated, prompting three operations to “treat a breakdown of his surgical repair, requiring him to be intubated again during the third procedure,” the suit states.

He remained in intensive care and showed signs of suffering from an infection, including sepsis, according to the suit. A blood culture tested positive for bacterial growth later identified as Staphylococcus epidermidis, the suit states.

While Wilson was treated in the intensive care unit, Schofield was directed to administer the opioid fentanyl through his central line. The medication was to be given through a “hang bag,” according to the suit.

Schofield noted in Wilson’s medical charts that she administered the potent drug to Wilson on several occasions beginning Jan. 29, the suit states.

The lawsuit alleges Schofield replaced the medication with tap water, “thus reintroducing new inoculums of the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis into Horace Wilson’s bloodstream via his central line each time she administered the solution.”  When their conditions deteriorated, the hospital and staff failed to communicate what had happened, he said.

The suit states that Asante last December contacted Medford police regarding a former employee “that they believe was involved in the theft of fentanyl prescribed to patients resulting in some adverse patient outcomes.”

That month, hospital representatives “began contacting patients and their relatives telling them a nurse had replaced fentanyl with tap water causing bacterial infections.”

Wilson had sought care at the hospital on Jan. 27, 2022, after falling 10 feet from a ladder. He complained of abdominal and shoulder pain; a subsequent test revealed broken ribs and internal bleeding from his spleen, according to the suit.

The following day, Wilson’s spleen was removed, the lawsuit states. He seemed to improve between Jan. 29 and Feb. 2; the lawsuit alleges hospital staff “continued to administer multiple potent medications through a central venous catheter” to maintain safe blood pressure.

On Feb. 12, medical staff noted Wilson suffered from high fevers and other indications of serious infection. He developed “treatment-resistant sepsis,” leading to organ failure.

The lawsuit notes that Wilson was at one point weaned from sedation and “recovered enough mental function to communicate to the ICU staff that he no longer wished to live this way.”

Wilson was surrounded by his grown children and family and friends when he died on Feb. 25, according to his obituary.

According to the lawsuit, Asante reported three central line-associated bloodstream infections in 2021. The following year, another 12 cases were reported, the suit states.

Last April, Asante “acknowledged” that the bloodstream infections were linked to bacteria but the hospital system did not report any water contamination at its facilities, the suit states.

Wilson was born and raised in Texas, went on to travel the world for work in the high tech industry. In 2016, he started a cannabis company, Decibel Farms, in Jacksonville.

His obituary noted his devotion as a father, noting that “never missed a game” or theater performance by his children when he wasn’t on the road for work.

He loved Irish pubs, live music, brewing beer and Texas Longhorn football. “He played horseshoes with a mean backhand toss,” his obituary noted. “He made the best pancakes in the world and loved his children and grandchildren more than anything.”  (SOURCE)

The 20th annual Oregon Chocolate Festival is this Friday, March 1st through Sunday at the Ashland Hills Hotel

May be an image of macrame and text that says '20THANNUAL OREGON CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL MARCH 1ST 2ND 3RD 2024 Celebrating 20th Anniversary One Day Ticket $25 Two Day Pass $40 2525 Ashland Street Ashland, OR Children and under enter FREE OREGONGHOCOLATEFESTIVAL.COM VENDORS MARKETPLACE March 2 & March 3 11AM 4PM Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites: Unique vendors including chocolatiers, winemakers, food artisans •Chocolate Product Competition •Expert speakers, demos •Family activities Additional Festival Happenings: •Chocolate Maker's Wine Dinner •Charlie's Chocolate Run •Chocolate Sunday Brunch •Chocolate Decadence Spa Specials CHOOSE FROM OVERNIGHT CHOCOLATE PACKAGES SAVE! @oregonchocolatefestival #ORChocoFest'

There’s something for everyone including a Chocolate Brunch at the Stardust Lounge where you get to enjoy a delicious buffet-style menu by Ashland’s award-winning Executive Chef, David Georgeson, and savor a variety of chocolate-infused delights, from savory to sweet.

There are also vendors to explore, the First Friday Art Walk, or you can participate in the Charlie’s Chocolate Run taking place at Emigrant Lake. Race distances include a 1-mile fun run, a 5K and a 10K. All participants will receive a chocolate bar at the end of the race with the potential of finding that one and only golden ticket.

You can purchase tickets for the events and find out more information at the Oregon Chocolate Festival website. https://www.oregonchocolatefestival.com/schedule/

Southern Oregon Homeowners Face Soaring Premiums And Few Property Insurance Options Over Wildfires

A fire burns close to a home near the Rogue River. Many lobbyists in Oregon are advocating policies on behalf of groups responding to and preventing fire and other disasters exacerbated. Some of those same lobbyists also work for fossil fuels companies, an analysis from lobbying watchdog group F Minus found. (Oregon Department of Forestry/Flickr)
A wildfire burns close to a home near the Rogue River. (Oregon Department of Forestry/Flickr)

Homeowners in central, southern and eastern Oregon who have faced higher annual premiums or had their policies canceled when they came up for renewal, with some insurers no longer writing new policies. That change came after the 2020 Labor Day Fires destroyed more than 4,000 homes, becoming the state’s most expensive natural disaster in history, according to state and federal emergency response agencies.

Since then, insurance markets in parts of Oregon have begun to look more like those in California, where some of the largest insurance companies in the country are no longer renewing or writing new policies, and where the number of people turning to a state-backed insurer of last resort has doubled in recent years.

“If you want to know what the next five years look like in Oregon, look at southern California,” said Perry Rhodes, who has sold property insurance policies for Farmers in Bend for the last two decades. “If you want to know what this looks like if things get even worse, look back east to Florida,” he added. Farmers announced last year it would limit new property insurance policies in California and no longer sell any new property policies in Florida.

Rhodes said it used to be extremely rare to find a customer whose property was at such a high risk that he had to refer them to other companies. Now, he said, he sends about half of potential customers to other insurers because Farmers won’t cover them.

“The only homes that we know for sure are going to be eligible are the ones that are, so to speak, right in the middle of town, and right next to the fire department,” he said.

Oregon’s insurance commissioner, Andrew Stolfi, told the Capital Chronicle the exodus of companies offering coverage in parts of Oregon is not as severe as in California, which has been driven by high payouts for recent wildfire losses and state consumer protection laws that previously capped annual insurance premium hikes.

In Oregon, premiums are up an average of nearly 30% since 2020, according to the state’s Department of Consumer and Business Services. It reflects nationwide increases, according to several insurance marketplace reports. But in Bend, Ashland, Medford and Hood River, agents said premiums for most people have doubled or quadrupled due to the wildfire risk, and policies under $1,000 per year have become extremely rare.

Agents said policies on some homes near Ashland have risen as much as 600% in the last four years. (READ MORE)

 

.BODYCAM VIDEO: Sheriff’s Deputies Rescue Infant and Toddler Abandoned in Woods by Suspect On-the-Run; Grand Jury Indicts Today on All Charges

BODYCAM Available for Download Here: https://vimeo.com/915796109?share=copy

JCSO Case 24-0935  —-   MEDFORD, Ore. – A Jackson County Grand Jury indicted a man today wanted on charges stemming from multiple incidents involving domestic violence and child endangerment. The suspect, Justin Ryan Trompeter, 24, of Trail is wanted for two counts of second-degree child neglect, felony fourth-degree domestic violence assault, third-degree robbery, first-degree theft, harassment, and two counts of reckless endangerment.

The suspect remains on-the-run with Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies continuing their investigation. If you know of the suspect’s whereabouts, call ECSO Dispatch at (541) 776-7206. Trompeter is known to frequent Jacksonville, Shady Cove, Eagle Point, and Trail.

JCSO deputies were originally searching for Trompeter in connection with a February 7 domestic violence assault call where he fled the scene at a high rate of speed with the children. On Friday, February 16, JCSO deputies received information that Trompeter was hiding with the children, ages 6 months and 1.5 years, deep in the surrounding Jacksonville woods.

Deputies quickly located a vehicle at the top of Wagon Trail Drive around 1:30 p.m on Friday, February 16. JCSO deputies approached the car with caution, but Trompeter had fled the scene before deputies’ arrival. Deputies found the two young children abandoned and alone in the car. Deputies believe the children may have been left alone in the vehicle for up to two hours. Further investigations revealed suspected fentanyl and meth in the car with the children.

Mercy Flights medics checked the children on scene then turned them over to Department of Human Services (DHS) personnel. After the incident, the children were treated at a local hospital and remain in DHS care. This case is open and ongoing with deputies following additional leads. If you know of the suspect’s whereabouts, call ECSO Dispatch at (541) 776-7206.

 

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Hearts with a Mission, a program to help local seniors who need assistance, is seeking volunteers.

The volunteer-based program — which started in January 2023 — has 90 volunteers ready to help, but more than 100 seniors who need assistance.

Stephanie Miller, the Hearts For Seniors Program Manager, said that it’s a heartwarming job and fulfilling volunteer work.  Residents can apply here.

David Grubbs’ Murder Investigation Remains Active

Community still looking for answers in violent 2011 murder of David Grubbs on Ashland, Oregon bike path

The Ashland Police Department’s investigation into the murder of David Grubbs on November 19, 2011 remains open and active. Recently two new detectives have been assigned to look into new leads that have come in.

This case remains important to David’s family, the community, and the Ashland Police Department. As detectives continue to pursue these new leads, anyone with additional information is encouraged to reach out to the Ashland Police Department at 541-488-2211.

The reward for information leading to an arrest on this case remains at over $21,000.

Fauna Frey, 45, disappeared in Oregon on a road trip, June 29, 2020, following her brother’s death  —

https://original.newsbreak.com/@ada-e-1668135/3304227455096-fauna-frey-45-disappeared-in-oregon-on-a-road-trip-june-29-2020-following-her-brother-s-death

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

The Oregon Employment Department’s website will be going offline for several days. The Employment Department says starting at 5:00 Wednesday night (2/28/24) the website will go offline until 8 a.m. on Monday, March 4.

OED says this is in preparation for the new system for unemployment benefits, which includes claims and questions for Paid Leave Oregon.

The new system, Frances Online, is scheduled to go live on March 4. People will not be able to file, restart, check, or make changes to claim information until next Monday. Customer service, along with making payments or ID verification will also be unavailable. https://www.oregon.gov/employ/pages/default.aspx

Oregon Senate Passes Anti-Book-Ban Bill Over Republican Objections

The measure would prohibit banning books because the author or subjects are part of a protected class

Oregon school districts would be unable to ban books simply because authors or characters are immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ+, disabled or from other protected classes under a bill passed by Senate Democrats on Tuesday.

Sen. Lew Frederick, D-Portland, describes Senate Bill 1583 as a “simple” defense of free speech and a way to guarantee that all children in Oregon have the ability to see themselves represented in books they find in school libraries and classrooms. But it quickly became one of the most controversial issues of the five-week legislative session, with more than 1,600 Oregonians submitting written testimony about it.

“I want to see kids reading and getting books out of their libraries, and I lament that this bill has been politicized,” Frederick said. “This bill is not about politics for me. It’s about kids reading.”

The bill passed the Senate on a 17-12 party line vote on Tuesday after a heated hour-long debate that included one Republican accusing his Democratic colleagues of wanting to encourage pedophilia and another saying racism is “insignificant.” The bill now heads to the House, where Frederick said he expects it will soon pass out of the House Rules Committee and the full House.

It comes amid a sharp increase in school book bans in Oregon and nationwide. The Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse, run by the Oregon State Library, tracked attempts to remove 93 separate titles from schools and libraries between July 2022 and June 2023. Nationally, the free speech advocacy group PEN America reported nearly 3,400 instances of book bans in the 2022-23 school year, up from 2,500 in the 2021-22 school year.

In Oregon, more than 70% of the challenged titles were about or written by people of color, LGBTQ+ people, women, people with disabilities and other underrepresented groups, according to the state library.

It’s a personal issue for Frederick: His sharecropper grandparents left Mississippi almost exactly 100 years ago because they were threatened with arrest if they continued trying to teach Black children to read. They moved to the boot heel of Missouri, where they taught his father and other children with free books thrown out by white schools and established an expectation in Frederick’s family that children should learn more than their parents.

“I tell that story because in some places in this country, that story would not be allowed in a school,” Frederick said. “That story would not be allowed in a book in a school, and that story and stories like it are banned from books in schools across the country.”

Sen. Kayse Jama, a Portland Democrat who came to the U.S. as a refugee from the Somali civil war, said passing the bill sends a message to people like him and his children that they’re Oregonians and their culture and history matter.

“There is such a limited selection of books talking about my culture, my religion and my background,” Jama said. “And I want my children to have access to see their culture and their religion reflected through the materials that are in our libraries and our schools.”

Attempt at amendment — Sen. Art Robinson, R-Cave Junction, rejected the premise that books are excluded for discriminatory reasons, saying no Oregon community would remove books because of the author’s race.

“Despite claims made for political reasons, actual racism in America is insignificant,” Robinson said. “There is no community in Oregon that is going to accept removing books just because they were written by minority authors. It is an insult to tell our communities that a law is needed to protect this.”

Republicans tried to introduce their own amendment to replace the bill with a new measure creating a task force that would recommend legislation to “better establish standards for age-appropriate curriculum” and limit books that “contain graphic violence, are sexually explicit, contain vulgar language or lack literary merit or educational value.”

Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp, R-Bend, said the Republican amendment was necessary because Frederick’s bill would eliminate parental rights and local control.

“I think we all know that across the nation there have been different states that have handled this in different ways, but we think Oregon should take a little more time and make sure that the values or our communities are being respected,” Knopp said.

The Republican proposal also included a number of statements indicating the Legislature’s intent, including declarations that the Legislature believes that some unnamed books should not be in schools and that Canby “exhibited the best of Oregon” when it temporarily removed 36 books from school libraries.

Sen. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, questioned whether lawmakers consider pedophilia a sexual orientation. He described how the Canby School District ultimately removed just one book from its library: Vladimir Nabokov’s polarizing 1955 novel “Lolita,” narrated by a middle-aged professor who kidnaps and sexually abuses a 12-year-old girl.

“This book paints this man as somebody that is empathetic,” Bonham said. “Is that something we want to teach to our children, that we should empathize with someone who has sexual attraction to a minor?”

Pedephilia is not a sexual orientation, which is defined in Oregon law as “an  individual’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.”

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner, D-Portland, recalled how one of her sixth grade classmates left the classroom every time the class read from a book about the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in Africa because the book included references to menstruation that her classmate’s parents didn’t want her to know about. Parents still would be able to keep their own children from reading certain books.

“Parents still, under this bill, will have the right to make decisions about their own children and promote their own personal values about what they want their children to read or not read,” she said. “But what they won’t have is the right for a very small number of people to make decisions for any other group about how they parent their children and what values they convey to their children.”  (SOURCE)

Nearly 300,000 Oregon Kids Await Approval Of Summer Food Benefits

A program that would provide food benefits to kids during the summer still needs funding approval from the Oregon Legislature.

Oregon lawmakers have two weeks left in the session to approve funding for the Summer EBT program that helps feed children when school’s out. (Lindsay Trapnell/Oregon Food Bank)

The state has already approved the Summer EBT program, but needs to agree to pay for half the administrative costs in order to get access to federal funds.

It would help the families of nearly 300,000 kids receive about $40 for food each month over the summer.

Charlie Krouse, a community organizer with Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, said child hunger spikes during the summer months.

“When they’re fed throughout the school year and they have access to meals throughout the school year, it’s only fair that they have access to food throughout the summer,” said Krouse. “Their income level doesn’t drastically change in the summer – they still need access to support, and access to food.”

Krouse said there have been bipartisan calls to fund the program. The state would get access to about $35 million a year from the federal government for benefits.

The legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on March 10.

Matt Newell-Ching, senior policy manager with Oregon Food Bank, said Summer EBT benefits would be especially helpful for families in rural areas.

“While we love and are big proponents of summer meal sites, we also know that a lot of them are inaccessible,” said Newell-Ching. “And so, this new program was meant specifically to address gaps like that.”

Newell-Ching said everything else is in place – they just need the final piece from lawmakers.

“Ensuring that Oregon contributes its share of the administrative funding makes this all happen and builds on that groundwork,” said Newell-Ching. “And so, basically we’re asking legislators to do the right thing for 294,000 kids, make sure that that funding is there, so we can get this across the finish line and kids can get the support during the summer.” (SOURCE)

Campaign To Open Oregon Primaries Suspends Signature Gathering

Yet again, the campaign to open Oregon’s party primaries to all voters has foundered.

All Oregon Votes, the political campaign behind a ballot measure on open primaries, announced Monday that it is suspending signature gathering on Initiative Petition 26 due to a lack of resources. The initiative would have asked voters to approve a constitutional amendment requiring all voters to receive primary ballots with all candidates running for office, regardless of the voter’s political affiliation.

About 1.3 million voters in Oregon cannot cast ballots in either the Democratic or Republican primaries because they are not registered with those parties. About 80% of them are nonaffiliated voters who represent the biggest voting bloc in Oregon. In Oregon, as in many states, most races are effectively decided in the primary.

The campaign has been trying since 2020 to get an open primary initiative on the ballot. The current effort dates to September 2022, but backers didn’t like the ballot title written by the attorney general’s office. Ballot titles, a crucial part of the process, can make or break an initiative because many voters don’t read the summaries or media stories on initiatives, analysts say. The group felt the title muddied the intent of the initiative and appealed to the state Supreme Court, which upheld the title.

Last April, the group came up with the current initiative. Michael Calcagno, a working dad who joined the effort in 2022, told the Capital Chronicle the repeated failures are frustrating.

“It’s incredibly disheartening,” Calcagno said. “To silence 1.3 million legal eligible registered voters is absurd.”

Survey data released last week by the nonpartisan Oregon Values and Beliefs Center found that 63% of respondents, including a majority of Democrats and Republicans, agree with opening primaries.

The suspension announcement comes about three months  before Oregon’s primary election and just over four months before the deadline for turning in signatures for an initiative to make it on the November ballot. As a proposed constitutional amendment, the campaign would need about 160,000 valid signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. That means it would have had to collect 200,000 signatures to ensure it had enough, Calcagno said.

“The validity rate is around 80%,” Calcagno said. The campaign is made up of individuals, including many retirees, Calcagno said, and lacks big donors needed to pay signature gatherers.

“No ballot measure can qualify without paid signature gathering,” Calcagno said. “Unless you’ve got a special interest group or a wealthy donor who’s willing to pay for signature gathering to happen, then you have to rely on volunteers.”

The last time an open primary ballot measure made it onto the Oregon ballot was Measure 90 in 2014, which would have eliminated the Democratic and Republican primaries and replaced it with a nonpartisan primary open to all voters. The top two vote getters would have battled it out in the general election.

Voters trounced it by 70%. A similar effort in 2008 also failed. Nevertheless, Calcagno said the campaign is not giving up and will try again in another two years.

“We are not stopping,” he said. “What’s wrong yesterday will be wrong tomorrow. We will talk to state lawmakers, political donors, philanthropic groups outside the state and see if we can’t move the needle.”

In a release, the campaign urged voters to contact their state lawmakers, voicing support for open primaries. The campaign also asked supporters to follow the group on social media.

Oregon is among nine states nationwide that have closed primaries. Calcagno said he’s been heartened by some recent successes. Alaska eliminated closed primaries in 2020, and Nevadans voted in favor of opening primaries in 2022. In November, voters there will vote again, confirming the choice. “Nationally, the wind is at our backs,” Calcagno said. (SOURCE)

Milwaukie Man Wins $8.4 Million Oregon Megabucks Jackpot

David Schultze of Milwaukie claimed his $8.4 million jackpot Megabucks prize on Monday.

– A Milwaukie retiree is the latest winner of Oregon’s Game Megabucks, with a winning ticket worth $8.4 million.

David Schultze, 68, said he didn’t know he was sitting on millions until he checked his ticket last Friday morning. The winning numbers were drawn back on January 24, 2024. He spent the whole weekend in shock and claimed his prize on Monday at Oregon Lottery’s Wilsonville office.

He doesn’t play much, but when he sees the jackpot “getting up there,” he can’t help but buy a ticket – just in case. Schultze purchased the ticket at Safeway in Gladstone. The store earned a $84,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

When asked about his plans for the winnings, Schultze said he will invest most of it. There are no plans for any big splurges.

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

Oregon State Parks recruiting about 250 seasonal park rangers and assistants for 2024

Ranger at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area
Ranger at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area

SALEM, Oregon— Oregon State Parks is not just a beautiful place to visit – it’s also a spectacular place to work.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is recruiting 250 seasonal park rangers and assistants for positions across the state that range anywhere from four to nine months. The peak season is from April to September, but some of the positions start as early as March and run as late as December.

Seasonal staff help visitors access world-class experiences and ensure clean and safe park areas for everyone to enjoy. Duties include janitorial work, landscape maintenance, visitor education and visitor services.

Salaries start at $17.34 per hour for seasonal assistants and $20.06 for seasonal rangers. Both positions include comprehensive medical, vision and dental plans for employees and qualified family members. The positions also include paid sick leave, vacation, personal leave and 11 paid holidays per year. Student workers, ages 16 and older, start at $17.32 or more per hour depending on experience (no benefits).

OPRD promotes from within and several of our top leaders started as seasonal employees.

“We love what we do at Oregon Parks and Recreation Department,” said Director Lisa Sumption. “We get to preserve and share some of Oregon’s most treasured landscapes and resources. Whether you’re here for a season or your entire career, you’re part of that OPRD family.”

For more information about current openings, visit stateparks.oregon.gov. If you have any questions or need additional assistance in accessibility or alternative formats, please email Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Recruiting D.Recruiting@oprd.oregon.gov“>OPRD.Recruiting@oprd.oregon.gov.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, committed to diversity and pay equity.

Oregon Blue Book Cover Photo Contest Underway

The front cover of the 2023-2024 Oregon Blue Book showcases a hillside covered in beautiful balsam root and lupine flowers at Rowena Crest, captured by Oregon photographer Micah Lundsted of Eugene. The book’s back cover shows an image of three rockfish made at the Oregon Coast Aquarium by Dale George of Grants Pass.

A hillside covered in flowers of purple and yellow. In the sky is a scattering of clouds reflecting sunlight in blue and purple.

Which images will cover the 2025-2026 Oregon Blue Book? The Oregon Blue Book cover photo contest kicks off today, giving amateur photographers the chance to submit their photos to answer that question. Photo contest winners will be selected in October 2024 by Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade.

“Choosing the cover photos for the Oregon Blue Book is an honor,” said Secretary Griffin-Valade. “The images are a chance to see our beautiful state through the lens of the many talented amateur photographers who live in Oregon.”

The contest is open to Oregon residents of any age who earn less than half their income from photography. Images must be Oregon related and should be submitted in the portrait, rather than landscape, orientation. Two images will be selected for the cover: one for the front and one for the back. Visit the Oregon Blue Book Photo Contest guidelines for more information: https://sos.oregon.gov/blue-book/Pages/about-conte…

Images can be submitted through the Oregon Blue Book website portal or via U.S. mail. The deadline to submit photos for consideration is October 27, 2024. Contact the Oregon Blue Book Managing Editor at Oregon.Bluebook@sos.oregon.gov with questions or for additional information.

DETAILS

What: 2025-2026 Oregon Blue Book Cover Photo Contest
Who: Amateur photographers who live in Oregon
When: February 7, 2024-October 27, 2024
Where: Submit online or through U.S. Mail
Why: Photo on the cover of the 2025-2026 Oregon Blue Book

ODFW Announces Stamp Art Competitions

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is making a call to area artists to compete in one, or all three, of ODFW’s 2025 stamp art competitions.

The winning artist in each contest receives a $2,000 award and their winning artwork is used to produce collector’s stamps and other promotional items, sales of which benefit Oregon’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

For more information on contest rules and to order stamps and art prints, visit: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/stamp_contest/index.asp.

Entries will be accepted beginning Aug. 30 through Sept. 27 by 5 p.m., at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr., SE, Salem, OR 97302.

Entries can be mailed or hand delivered. If you hand-deliver your entry, call ahead to make arrangements at 503-947-6314.

Here’s a look at the three categories:

Habitat Conservation Stamp

Art entries must feature a “Strategy Species” identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy in its appropriate habitat. Not all species in the strategy are eligible, so use the qualifying list of species.

See contest rules and entry form for more information and a list of eligible species at

https://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy/habitat_conservation_stamp.asp.

Waterfowl Stamp Contest

Art entries must feature one of the following species in its natural habitat setting: Ring-necked Duck, White-winged Scoter, or Barrow’s Goldeneye.

See contest rules and entry form for more information at

https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/waterfowl/contest/index.asp.

Upland Game Bird Stamp Contest

Art entries must feature California Quail in its natural habitat setting.

See contest rules and entry form for more information at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/upland_bird/contest/index.asp

Artists should not the highlighted new for 2025 information in the contest rules and the final page for packaging tips.

A panel will judge artwork based on artistic composition, anatomical accuracy of the species and general appeal.

Collector’s stamps, art prints and other promotional materials are produced from first-place artwork. Proceeds from product sales are used for habitat improvement, research surveys and conservation projects.

Interested artists are encouraged to visit ODFW’s stamp art competition website for more information on the contests and to view entries from previous years. https://www.dfw.state.or.us/stamp_contest/index.asp

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1109674113319848

 

Call us at 541-690-8806.  Or email us at Info@RogueValleyMagazine.com

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