Rogue Valley News, Friday 5/24 –Boatnik Festival Kicks Off, Crater Lake National Park Seeking Public Input & 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

Friday,  May 24, 2024

Rogue Valley Weather

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Boatnik Kicks Off in Grants Pass

May 23, 2024 – May 27, 2024 — Those making the 65th annual Boatnik festival happen are well into preparations for the weekend of festivities the tradition brings. This preparation comes from not just vendors and festival organizers but also local police, ensuring the safety of everyone at the event.

Boatnik is an annual festival held in Riverside Park in Grants Pass, Oregon over Memorial Day Weekend for more than 60 years. There is no admission to attend Boatnik and there are many activities and shows for all ages. There are additional activities available for purchase including the Davis Shows Carnival, concert, and Boatnik Brewfest. The best part…ALL of the proceeds from the event are donated throughout the year to children and youth-based organizations in Josephine County!

The activities start Thursday evening with the Davis Shows Carnival featuring food, rides, games and family fun. The excitement continues Friday with the concert, a spectacular fireworks display on the river, midway vendors, and the carnival. Saturday morning features the well-known Boatnik parade that travels through downtown Grants Pass and ends at Riverside Park. Throughout the weekend the festivities continue in the park where there are a whirlwind of activities that include: Sprint and Drag boat racing, carnival rides, arts and crafts, children’s activities, Bingo, food vendors, Monday Sundaes, the Boatnik Brewfest, the Chevy Drive It Home Golf Shoot Out and a second night of patriotic fireworks. Monday is the highlight of Boatnik featuring the World Famous Tom Rice Memorial White Water Hydroplane Race, and the Memorial Day Service including a jet flyover.

Thousands of locals and visitors from around the world come to share the tradition and unique experience of Boatnik. MORE INFO: https://www.boatnik.com

Boatnik 

It’s 2024 Boatnik week! Here are a few quick tips to help you enjoy an amazing weekend.
1. Get your pre-sale tickets before Thursday. All pre-sales at boatnik.com and Pinnacle 365 by Power Market locations will end Wednesday at 10:00 pm. $6 off carnival armbands, $5 off tickets to see FireHouse at Boatnik and $5 off Boatnik Brewfest tickets! You’re going anyway, save some money 😉 If you purchase them online, you will receive an email confirmation that will be used at the will-call booths. Be sure to check your spam/junk folder for the email confirmation because it comes through immediately after your purchase.
2. Plan your transportation and parking. There is parking all around the event that is either pay-to-park or free, depending on where you go. BUT, don’t forget about our free parking and shuttle from GPHS or the Josephine County Fairgrounds.
3. Visit our website for everything you need to know. www.boatnik.com has the schedule, prices, FAQ and so much more.
4. Remember that this is a GIANT fundraiser for kids in our community! #itsallaboutthekids   
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Boatnik Rogue River Closure 

PRESS RELEASE

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

During the Boatnik Races, the Rogue River will be closed in designated areas and during designated times (refer to the schedule below).  All spectators will remain off the water until the races are over.  All spectators will remain 50 feet from the waterway at all times.

Movement on the water is restricted to Law Enforcement, Rescue Personnel  and Authorized Race Officials during the closures.  Private boats are not allowed to assist with crash or rescue operations for safety purposes.

Boats can be anchored on the shoreline if it is deemed safe by Race Official and Law Enforcement. All users shall be OFF the water and in an approved area 1 hour prior to the start of the race.  Any unauthorized boats on the water during the closure may be cited for Reckless and Unsafe Operation (ORS 830.315 & 305) and are subject to a $440 fine.  Law Enforcement will be patrolling the waterways during race events.

RIVER CLOSURES:

CLOSED Friday, May 24, 2024 6:00pm – 10:15pm from Baker Park to Sixth Street Bridge.

CLOSED Saturday, May 25, 2024 12:00pm – 8:00pm from Baker Park to Sixth Street Bridge.

CLOSED Sunday, May 26, 2024 12:00pm – 10:15pm from Baker Park to Sixth Street Bridge. 

CLOSED Monday, May 27, 2024 9:00am – 12:00pm Baker Park to Sixth Street Bridge and 12:30pm – 3:00pm from Baker Park to Robertson Bridge. 

 

Crater Lake National Park is seeking public input on a draft accessibility self-evaluation and transition plan. Public comment on the plan is being sought through June 14

The National Park Service (NPS) is dedicated to serving all visitors to help them find meaning in the resources of the national park system and its stories. Recently, park staff embarked on a process to ensure that key park experiences are available to all visitors, regardless of race, nationality, socioeconomic status, or ability. Park staff conducted a self-evaluation of the accessibility of park facilities, services, activities, and programs. Based on these findings, staff then drafted a transition plan that identifies opportunities and critical steps for improving accessibility parkwide.

This draft accessibility self-evaluation and transition plan resulted from the work of an interdisciplinary team of NPS staff, including planning, design, and construction professionals; and interpretive, resource, visitor safety, maintenance, and accessibility specialists. The draft plan identifies key visitor experiences at the park and existing barriers to accessing these experiences for people with disabilities.

The plan provides recommendations for removing barriers at priority park areas, including specific actions, example site plans, and anticipated time frames for implementation. It also addresses park policies, practices, communication, and training needs.

The goals of the plan are as follows:

1) Document existing park barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities.
2) Provide an effective approach for upgrading facilities, services, and programs.
3) Instill a culture around creating universal access.

All recommended actions will be subject to funding, consultation with other agencies, consultation with Tribes, and compliance with federal laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Moving forward, the National Park Service will use this plan as a guide to obtain funding and plan and implement projects that will improve accessibility throughout the park.

Your input on the draft plan will help us as we work to ensure that Crater Lake National Park is more accessible to all visitors. To review the draft plan and send online comments, click on “Document List” or “Open for Comment” on the left side of the web page. The plan will be open for comment for 37 days, from May 8, 2024, to June 14, 2024. —- https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=123216

 

𝙈𝙚𝙙𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙙 𝙋𝙤𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝘾𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩 𝙏𝙖𝙧𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙋𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙣 𝙎𝙖𝙛𝙚𝙩𝙮 𝙀𝙣𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙊𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣: On 𝗙𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟮𝟰𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝟳:𝟯𝟬 𝗔𝗠 𝘁𝗼 𝟭𝟮:𝟬𝟬 𝗣𝗠

MPD with assistance from Jackson County Sheriff Oregon and Oregon State Police will be conducting a joint Targeted Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation on E. 4th Street and Bartlett Street. The operation will focus on drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk and for vehicles that fail to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian. This location has a marked crosswalk, but it is important for drivers to remember that the same rules apply for unmarked crosswalks.
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These operations are conducted to raise pedestrian safety awareness through enforcement of pedestrian right of way laws with the use of a decoy operation at targeted locations. Violators may be cited for ORS 811.028 “Failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian in a marked or unmarked crosswalk” or ORS 811.020 “Passing a stopped vehicle at a marked or unmarked crosswalk.” Both violations carry a presumptive fine of $265.00.
We’d like to remind drivers that 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗰𝗿𝗼𝘀𝘀𝘄𝗮𝗹𝗸 𝗮𝘁 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗶𝗳 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗿 𝘂𝗻𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗲𝗱. Please also keep in mind:
🚗 Oregon law requires that a driver must stop and remain stopped if a pedestrian is in a marked or unmarked crosswalk in your lane of traffic (this applies on single and multi-lane roadways).
🚗 Oregon law also prohibits passing a stopped vehicle at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection if the vehicle is stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway.

 

Wyden Announces Four Town Halls in Southern Oregon

Open-to-all town halls on will be May 28-29 in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties

Portland – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced he will hold in-person town halls in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties on May 28-29.

Heading into these four town halls, Wyden will have held 1,081 town halls throughout Oregon – including 16 so far this year — in fulfillment of his pledge to hold at least one town hall each year in each of our state’s 36 counties. The town halls in these four counties originally had been scheduled for April, but had to be postponed because of Senate votes in Washington, DC.

“I’m glad to be able to reschedule these town halls so quickly. I’ll always keep my promise of annual open-to-all town halls in each of our state’s 36 counties because it’s crucial that all Oregonians get the opportunity in their community to ask questions, offer suggestions and share ideas,” Wyden said. “As I approach my 1,100th town hall, these direct town hall discussions remain vital, and I very much look forward to the upcoming discussions with Oregonians in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties.”

·       Josephine County, 12:45 pm, Tuesday, May 28, South Middle School gym, 350 W. Harbeck Rd., Grants Pass

·       Curry County, 5:30 pm, Tuesday, May 28, Gold Beach Jr/Sr. High School gym, 29516 Ellensburg Ave., Gold Beach

·       Coos County, 10 am, Wednesday, May 29, North Bend High School gym, 2323 Pacific Ave., North Bend (Parking available in lot behind football stadium)

·       Douglas County, 1 pm, Wednesday, May 29, Reedsport Community Charter Jr/Sr. High School, Pacific Auditorium, Reedsport (Enter at the Pacific Auditorium entrance. Please park on Longwood Drive as school will be in session.)

 

Possible Missing Person — Rogue River Trail 

Press Release

Press Release

DETAILS: On Friday May 17, 2024 at approximately 4:44 pm, Josephine County Sheriff’s Office received a citizen report of a backpack and dog leash that was found on the Rogue River Trail and there appeared to be no sign of a person or dog in the area.  The reporting party stated that they noticed the backpack on their way down the trail. Upon seeing the backpack and belongings still in place later that afternoon on their way out, the citizen made a report to the Sheriff’s Office.

On Saturday May 18, 2024, a Josephine County Sheriff’s Office deputy hiked the trail and located the backpack on the trail approximately 1 mile south of the Grave Creek Boat Ramp. A search with verbal callouts did not locate a person or dog.  Additionally, a drone was utilized to try to locate the owner. Further investigation revealed the backpack has possibly been in that location since Wednesday May 15, 2024. The contents of the backpack suggested the owner was preparing to start a multi-day camping trip and items in the pack did not appear to have been used. There was also no identifying information located in the pack. The Sheriff’s Office is concerned the owner of the backpack may have become injured or lost. No missing persons reports have been filed that match the situation nor is there any evidence of foul play.

The Sheriff’s Office is actively trying to locate the owner of the backpack.   If you have any information regarding the backpack or who the owner may be, please contact the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office 541-474-5123.

State Holding Open House Meetings on Community Wildfire Programs in Central Point and Grants Pass

— A series of six open houses about the state’s new community wildfire risk reduction programs are scheduled June 3 through July 1 across Oregon. These events will offer opportunities to learn about new defensible space and home hardening standards, as well as the draft wildfire hazard map.

Oregon Department of Forestry

The resource-fair style open houses are being held in the communities that have some of the greatest levels of wildfire hazard within the wildland-urban interface. Each open house will begin with a short presentation and introductions, but visitors may stop in at any point during the event to get questions answered about the draft hazard map and associated community wildfire programs.

Representatives from multiple agencies will be present to have one-on-one or small group conversations to help people understand Oregon’s statewide wildfire programs.

  • Oregon Department of Forestry representatives will address questions on administrative rules and hazard zone assessment appeals.
  • Oregon State University representatives will address questions on wildfire hazard science, statewide data sources, and updates to the draft hazard map made over the last two years.
  • Oregon State Fire Marshal representatives will address questions regarding defensible space standards, code adoption process and implementation.
  • Building Codes Division representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home hardening construction standards, related code provisions, and implementation.
  • Division of Financial Regulation representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home insurance market and requirements of insurers under Senate Bill 82 (2023).
  • Wildfire Programs Advisory Council members will address questions on statewide policy direction for wildfire programs and council business.

Meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Redmond—Monday, June 3, Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center, South Sister Hall, 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond, OR 97756
  • La Grande—Tuesday, June 4, Union County Fairgrounds, Mount Emily Building, 3604 N 2nd St., La Grande, OR 97850
  • Central Point—Monday, June 17, Jackson County Fairgrounds, Mace Building, 1 Peninger Rd., Central Point, OR 97502
  • Grants Pass—Thursday, June 20, Grants Pass High School, 830 NE 9th St., Grants Pass, OR 97526
  • Klamath Falls—Monday, June 24, Klamath County Event Center, Hall #2, 3531 S 6th St., Klamath Falls, OR 97603
  • The Dalles—Monday, July 1, Oregon Military Department Armory, 402 E. Scenic Dr., The Dalles, OR 97058

Find more information on ODF’s wildfire hazard webpage.

To subscribe to information related to updates on the statewide wildfire hazard map, visit the ODF website.

Background: The 2021 Legislature passed Senate Bill 762 that required the Oregon Department of Forestry to develop and maintain a comprehensive statewide map of wildfire risk that included wildland-urban interface boundaries and five fire risk classes by June 30, 2022, in collaboration with Oregon State University. After the initial version of the map was rescinded August 4, 2022, ODF and OSU began gathering feedback and incorporating it into future mapping efforts.

The 2023 Legislature passed Senate Bill 80 that made several changes to the map including changing the name from a “risk” map to a “hazard” map, reducing the number of hazard classes from five to three, and changing the appeal and notification requirements.

Written comment or questions about any aspect of the implementation of Senate Bill 762 and Senate Bill 80 may be submitted by email at any time to ehazardmap@odf.oregon.gov“>odf.wildfirehazardmap@odf.oregon.gov.

Community Engagement Related to the Upper Rogue River from Gold Ray Dam to Lost Creek Dam

After several years of hearing from some community members about conflicting uses of the Rogue River in a stretch roughly between the now-removed Gold Ray Dam and Lost Creek Dam, a collaboration of four state agencies–Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB), and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD)–have come together to learn more about the community’s values, needs, and concerns related to this stretch of the river.

 

The agencies have partnered with Oregon’s Kitchen Table, a statewide community engagement program, to give Jackson County residents and visitors a clear way to express their values, beliefs, and expectations related to this stretch of the river. That input will inform the agencies’ decision-making now and in the future.

Community engagement opportunities in multiple languages and multiple venues (including online) will be available between mid-May and late June. This will include regional and culturally specific conversations, a survey available in five languages, and hosting materials so that anyone can hold their own Kitchen Table Conversation. By the end of July, a report summarizing the values, beliefs, and expectations shared in the community engagement process will be shared with the agencies and community members. Project manager Eliot Feenstra lives in Josephine County and will lead the effort. If you have questions or know of engagement opportunities and community events late this spring or summer the project team should consider attending, contact Eliot Feenstra, at feen@pdx.edu.

Community members and visitors are encouraged to share their viewpoints about the Upper Rogue River. Opportunities include a survey available in five languages, hosting materials so anyone can hold a Kitchen Table Conversation and regional and culturally specific community conversations. Food provided at in-person events.

 

Child Exploitation Task Force Arrests Eagle Point Man for Victimizing Children Online Nationwide, Investigators Looking for Additional Victims

JCSO Case 22-4129 EAGLE POINT, Ore. – The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) joint inter-agency task force arrested a Medford man on multiple child sex crime charges at 2:28 p.m. today in Eagle Point. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) and Eagle Point Police Department assisted with the arrest at a business near the intersection of Hwy 62 and West Linn Road.

During their investigation, SOCET discovered the suspect was communicating nationwide with at least five underage victims through several social media sites. SOCET investigators identified a 13-year-old victim from Kansas City, Missouri, and are attempting to identify the additional underage victims.

The suspect, Zachary Elijah Bowen, 22, of Medford, Ore., was arrested on 12 felony charges including using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct, 10 counts of second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, and luring a minor. He was booked and lodged in the Jackson County Jail.

SOCET started investigating Bowen after more than a dozen National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) cyber tips led to multiple residences where he lived in Portland and at a licensed marijuana farm in Trail, Ore. SOCET served a search warrant on February 7, 2023, at the marijuana farm in the 4700 block of Highway 227 in Trail. Investigators seized digital devices for forensic examination by Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force (SOHTCTF).

Investigators found evidence of Bowen communicating nationwide with at least five underage victims through social media sites such as SnapChat, Instagram, Kik, and Google under the username “zach_grant2152.” If you have any information on Bowen, contact investigators through the Sheriff’s App “Submit a Tip” feature. Download the App here: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a72997501. You can also call the JCSO Tip Line at (541) 774-8333 and reference case number 22-4129.

SOCET is a joint inter-agency task force that started in June of 2020 to combat child exploitation and human trafficking. The task force consists of investigators from JCSO and Homeland Security Investigations with some collaboration from Oregon State Police and Medford Police Department; as well as prosecutors from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Jackson and Josephine County.

This case is under further investigation with detectives following additional leads and attempting to identify other victims. Jackson County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case. There is no further information available for release.

 

These are pretty good odds: About 1 in every 4 students who apply for an RCC Foundation scholarship will receive one. Most awards are $1,000-$6,000 per year. 💵💰
But you can’t receive a scholarship if you don’t apply! The deadline to apply for 2024-25 scholarships is June 1.  —-   Visit roguecc.edu/scholarships to get started.

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

 

OSP to Recognize National Missing Children’s Day May 25th

– In recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, May 25, 2024, the Oregon State Police Missing Children/Adults Clearinghouse is sponsoring an awareness event to provide resources for parents, guardians, and caregivers.

The event, which coincides with Missing Children’s Day, will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at the north end of Capitol Mall Park in Salem (Center Steet NE between Winter and Capitol Streets). From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., OSP representatives and partner agencies will be on hand with activities and giveaways.

The event will include informational booths from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Safe Oregon, OSP’s Missing Children/Adults Clearinghouse, and Marion County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue. Attendees can pick up free identification and DNA kits, visit with a police search and rescue K-9, and tour OSP’s new command vehicle.

Julie Willard, OSP’s Missing Children/Adults Clearinghouse coordinator, said, “National Missing Children’s Day is an opportunity to remember the thousands of children who go missing each year. We work to educate parents about how to keep their kids safe, and we teach children about the “4 Rules for Personal Safety” that they can learn about on Kid Smartz.”

Kid Smartz is a child safety program that educates and empowers grades K-5 to practice safer behaviors. Please visit the Kid Smartz website for more information.

About National Missing Children’s Day:
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25, 1983, the first National Missing Children’s Day in memory of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy who disappeared from a New York City street corner on May 25, 1979. Etan’s killer was convicted in February 2017, but the case remains active because his body has never been recovered. National Missing Children’s Day is dedicated to encouraging parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority. The commemoration serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite missing children with their families.

Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs to Host Statewide Memorial Day Event in Salem May 27th

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs will host Oregon’s annual Statewide Memorial Day Ceremony in person at 11 a.m., Monday, May 27, at the Oregon World War II Memorial, located at the intersection of Cottage and Court Street NE on the grounds of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

This event honors Oregon’s fallen service members from all eras of service and will include remarks from ODVA Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels and Oregon Adjutant General Alan R. Gronewold, along with other veteran leaders and state dignitaries.

The event will also feature a color guard ceremony, a performance of the national anthem by West Salem High School’s award-winning a cappella group Soundscape, and other ceremonial elements. The theme of this year’s Memorial Day event is “Oregon Remembers.” ODVA Strategic Partnerships Division Director and Navy veteran Sheronne Blasi will serve as emcee.

“Memorial Day, established following the Civil War, is a day when we all pause and remember the more than 1 million men and women throughout history who have given their lives in defense of our nation,” said ODVA Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels. “Those of us who volunteer to serve in our nation’s Armed Forces come from a diverse tapestry and understand when we take the oath to defend and preserve our Constitution, and our nation’s highest ideals, we do so on behalf of ourselves, our families, and every person that calls America their home. On Memorial Day, Oregon will remember all our fallen and honor their service and their greatest sacrifice. Thank you for joining us in remembering.”

Limited seating will be available. Attendees are welcome to bring their own seating for the park setting and are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather.

For those unable to attend in-person, the event will also be livestreamed beginning at 11 a.m. on ODVA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/odvavet and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAQVavs9KmvDeJ42ySFtY8A.

Established in 1945, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is dedicated to serving Oregon’s diverse veteran community that spans five eras of service members. ODVA administers programs and provides special advocacy and assistance in accessing earned veteran benefits across the state. Learn about veteran benefits and services, or locate a local county or tribal veteran services office online at oregon.gov/odva

OSP traffic stops result in seizure of illegal drugs

LINN, MARION, & DOUGLAS COUNTIES, Ore. 23 May 2024 – Four Oregon State Police traffic stops along Interstate 5 (I-5) have yielded significant drug seizures in the last month. Oregon State Troopers seized fentanyl, methamphetamine, PCP, and other illegal drugs bound for Oregon streets. The targeted operations are a collaboration among Oregon State Police patrol, K-9, HIDTA Investigation Team (HIT), and Criminal Apprehension through Patrol Enforcement (CAPE) programs.

OSP Capt. Kyle Kennedy said, “Oregon State Police is diligently working to stop the flow of illegal drugs to our communities. Fentanyl continues to have devasting effects on Oregon’s communities, and we hope the constant pressure will deter and prevent the transportation of illegal drugs to and through our state.”

Linn County
On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at 9:50 a.m., an OSP K-9 trooper stopped a vehicle on I-5 in Linn County for a traffic violation. During contact with the driver, the trooper suspected possible criminal activity. A K-9 was deployed around the outside of the vehicle and alerted to the presence of illegal substances.

During a search of the vehicle, the trooper located 10,000 pills suspected to be laced with fentanyl in the vehicle’s trunk.

OSP detectives interviewed the vehicle occupants. The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.

Marion County
On May 14, 2024, at 1:13 p.m., an Oregon State Trooper from the Salem Patrol Office stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on I-5 near milepost 256 in Marion County. During the stop, the trooper observed contraband in the vehicle and suspicious behavior by the vehicle occupants.

During a consent search of the vehicle, the trooper located 4.6 pounds of fentanyl, 1 pound of phenylcyclohexyl piperidine (PCP), 84 grams of suspected methamphetamine, and 14.2 grams of cocaine.

The driver, Edgar Izaguirre Torres (33), whose city of residence is unknown, and the passenger, Marvin Fabian Oseguera Escoto (19) or Auburn (WA), were arrested for distribution of a controlled substance. Once the investigation is complete, additional charges will be referred to the prosecuting agency.

Oseguera Escoto was additionally arrested on a California warrant for distribution of a controlled substance.

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.

Douglas County
On May 21, 2024, at 8:40 a.m., an OSP K-9 Trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on I-5 northbound at milepost 148. The trooper contacted the vehicle occupants and noticed signs of criminal activity. The driver and passenger fled from the vehicle on foot. The trooper caught and detained both suspects a short distance from the vehicle.

The K-9 was deployed around the outside of the vehicle and alerted to the presence of illegal substances. A search warrant was granted, and 42,000 suspected fentanyl-laced pills and approximately 8 pounds of fentanyl powder were found inside the vehicle.

The driver, Lauro Parra Moreno (25) of Pittsburgh (CA), was arrested for misdemeanor elude, criminal trespass II, Possession of a controlled substance II, and Delivery of a controlled substance I. The passenger, Jesus Acosta Parra (20), of Pittsburgh (CA), was arrested for criminal trespass II, delivery of a controlled substance II, and possession of a controlled substance II.

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.

Linn County
Today, May 23, 2024, at approximately 11 a.m., an Oregon State Police K-9 Trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on I-5 near milepost 225 in Linn County. The vehicle was occupied by an adult couple and their 6-month-old infant.

During a consent search of the vehicle, the trooper located 136 grams (about one-third of a pound) of fentanyl powder and mannitol, which is a common cutting agent for fentanyl. The fentanyl was located in the trunk of the vehicle near the baby’s formula and clothing.

The driver, Meslin Danexi Gamez Barrientos (30) of Oakland (CA), was arrested for possession and delivery of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a minor. The passenger, Maryori Estefani Ochoa Chapas (30) of Oakland (CA), was arrested for possession and delivery of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a minor.

The infant was placed in protective custody by the Oregon Department of Human Services.  The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.

# # # OSP Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative
The Oregon State Police-Domestic Highway Enforcement (OSP-DHE) Initiative is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates with and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement initiatives, including the OSP-DHE Initiative.

Dr. Emma Sandoe Named as Director of the Oregon Health Authority’s Medicaid Division

Emma Sandoe, PhD, MPH, has been appointed as the permanent director of Oregon’s Medicaid program, effective July 24, 2024. Since 2019, Dr. Sandoe has served in North Carolina Medicaid most recently as the Deputy Director of Medicaid Policy. In her current role, Sandoe has been the state’s primary liaison to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), overseen the state’s Medicaid Plan and its Medicaid waivers, and taken a lead role in developing and implementing new policies to improve health equity in North Carolina’s Medicaid-funded health care system. Dr. Sandoe also serves as Medicaid liaison to Tribal nations in North Carolina.

In North Carolina, Dr. Sandoe helped lead the passage and implementation of the state’s Medicaid expansion, which took effect in December 2023 that will bring health coverage to more than 450,000 people. She also has led efforts to expand the health care workforce under North Carolina’s Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) program. In addition, she has assisted in developing and implementing the state’s Healthy Opportunity Pilots program, leveraging Medicaid dollars to address food, transportation, and housing insecurity, as well as toxic stress.

OHA Director Dr. Sejal Hathi, MD, MBA, said, “Dr. Sandoe brings a track record of expertise, innovation and experience putting health equity into practice in vital Medicaid programs. She brings both vision and pragmatism to this role, as well as strong relationships with our federal partners, which will enable Oregon to continue to set the pace in implementing vanguard Medicaid coverage and benefits that address the major health issues facing our communities, such as homelessness and climate change. I’m excited to welcome Dr. Sandoe to Oregon.”

Dr. Sandoe said, “I’m delighted to come to Oregon, a state that’s always been at the forefront of health policy. I’m excited to collaborate with Medicaid staff and partners to expand access to care, improve peoples’ lives and eliminate health inequity.”

Dr. Sandoe was selected for the position of Oregon’s Medicaid director following a national search. Before serving joining North Carolina Medicaid, Dr. Sandoe worked as a press secretary at CMS and budget analyst at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Sandoe has taught health policy classes at Harvard University and Duke University. Dr. Sandoe received a PhD in Health Policy, Political Analysis from Harvard University in 2019 and an MPH from George Washington University in 2010.

Vivian Levy, Oregon’s interim Medicaid Director, will serve as deputy director for the Medicaid Division. Dr. Hathi said, “Vivian Levy has brought transformational leadership to Medicaid at a critical time for the past two years. She’s led our temporary Medicaid expansion, protected health coverage for people undergoing eligibility redeterminations in the wake of the pandemic and overseen our ongoing implementation of new Medicaid benefits under Oregon’s groundbreaking 1115 Medicaid waiver. I’m grateful for the direction she’s brought to Medicaid and for the important role she’ll continue to play in Oregon’s Medicaid program.”

Oregon’s Medicaid program currently provide medical, dental and behavioral health coverage for approximately 1.4 million people in Oregon (or more than 1 in 4 state residents) through the Oregon Health Program (OHP) and other programs. The Medicaid program has a biennial budget of $28 billion.

Five companies will offer health insurance in every Oregon county next year as health insurers file 2025 rate requests for individual and small group markets

DFR logo

Oregon consumers can get a first look at requested rates for 2025 individual and small group health insurance plans, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

In a major win for Oregonians, Moda will become the fifth company to offer health insurance in every single county in Oregon after expanding into Benton, Linn, and Lincoln counties. Moda joins BridgeSpan, PacificSource, Providence, and Regence as health insurance companies who provide coverage in all parts of Oregon. It is the first time that five insurers have offered plans in every county.

In the individual market, six companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.0 percent to 11.6 percent, for a weighted average increase of 9.3 percent. That average increase is higher than last year’s requested weighted average increase of 6.2 percent.

In the small group market, eight companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.7 percent to 16.3 percent, for a weighted average increase of 12.3 percent, which is higher than last year’s requested 8.1 percent average increase.

The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to help stabilize the market and lower rates. Reinsurance lowered rates by 8.4 percent.

See the chart for the full list of rate change requests: https://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/1073/172523/5-23-24_health-insurance-coverage.pdf

“Oregon’s health insurance market remains competitive, with five carriers planning to offer plans next year in every Oregon county, up from only one statewide plan in 2018,” said Oregon Insurance Commissioner and DCBS Director Andrew R. Stolfi. “Unfortunately, inflation – both medical and nonmedical – as well as prescription drug costs, are driving prices higher than last year. Oregonians still have a lot of options to choose from and the Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to allow them to find reasonable rates.”

Virtual public hearings about the 2025 requested health insurance rates will be held July 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. A web address to watch the public hearings will be posted at OregonHealthRates.org. At the hearings, each insurance company will provide a brief presentation about its rate increase requests, answer questions from Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) staff, and hear public comment from Oregonians. The public also can comment on the proposed rates at any time at OregonHealthRates.org through July 1.

“We look forward to putting these rate requests through a rigorous public review, and we encourage the public to join the virtual public hearings and provide feedback on their health insurance plans,” Stolfi said. “This public process not only helps keep insurance companies accountable, but it gives people the opportunity be part of the process.”

The requested rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer.

Over the next two months, the division will analyze the requested rates to ensure they adequately cover Oregonians’ health care costs. DFR must review and approve rates before they are charged to policyholders.

Preliminary decisions are expected to be announced in July, and final decisions will be made in August after the public hearings and comment period ends.

### About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation protects consumers and regulates insurance, depository institutions, trust companies, securities, and consumer financial products and services. The division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency. Visit DFR.Oregon.gov and DCBS.Oregon.gov.

Oregon State Forests campgrounds can offer great outdoor experiences without the crowds

—If you want to get out in the woods this Memorial Day weekend, try one of Oregon’s state forests.  There are several campgrounds that often have openings or if you are just looking to go for a hike there is free parking at trailheads.

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) manages all recreation facilities in state forests.  In northwest Oregon this includes the Clatsop, Santiam and Tillamook State Forests.

There are three types of camping offered: developed campgrounds, designated campsites outside of regular campgrounds, and dispersed camping.

State forest campgrounds offer a true forest experience without the crowds since most have less than 20 campsites at each location.

“Developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and often have other amenities like hand pump wells,” said John Mandich, a recreation specialist at ODF’s Northwest Oregon Area office.  “Also, most of our campgrounds are first come, first served.  So, if you are a last-minute type of camper, you should try one of our campgrounds.”

To see a complete list of state forests camping opportunities, visit the  ODF recreation webpage. The page lists the name, location, amenities, number of camp sites, fees and more information.

Coastal community meetings on proposed offshore wind leases to be held

The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) will be hosting a series of community meetings along the Oregon coast related to a proposal by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to lease areas of the ocean off Oregon’s coast to explore possibilities for wind energy development.

 

The proposed BOEM leases would authorize companies to study the areas off Oregon’s coast for potential offshore wind energy development projects. After obtaining leases, companies would perform activities in the ocean that may include placement of scientific buoys and collection of data about seafloor conditions, ocean habitats, and wildlife.

More information on the proposed leasing actions can be found at https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/Pages/Offshore-Wind-Energy-Leasing.aspx.

BOEM’s proposed leasing action is not a proposal to permit the construction of an offshore wind project. A BOEM decision whether to approve a Construction and Operations Plan for a wind energy facility would be subject to a separate federal consistency review by the state, after some years of additional site assessment and project design.

As part of the state’s federal consistency review authority under the Coastal Zone Management Act, DLCD’s Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP) staff will review the proposed BOEM actions for consistency with current, enforceable Oregon coastal zone policies. The result of this review would be either to agree with BOEM’s proposed leasing actions, agree with conditions, or object to BOEM’s proposed actions. Enforceable policies in the coastal zone are existing state and local policies that have been approved by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management for use in federal consistency reviews, consistent with national Coastal Zone Management standards.

During the community meetings, OCMP staff will provide information about the proposed activities that are being reviewed and the applicable state policies and

authorities related to a consistency review. Community members are encouraged to provide comments on the consistency review during the 45-day comment period, which ends on June 15, 2024.

The community meetings will be an opportunity to provide comments in person which will be recorded by OCMP staff. The meeting program is as follows:

• Open House 5:30 p.m.

• Presentations 6:00 p.m.

• Public Comment 6:30 p.m.

• Next Steps and Adjourn 8:00 p.m.

May 29, 2024 (Wednesday) Noon to 3:00 p.m Virtual – join information will be available on our web page .

June 3, 2024 (Monday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Brookings-Harbor High School

8293, 625 Pioneer Rd., Brookings, OR 97415

June 4, 2024 (Tuesday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunset Middle School

245 S Cammann St., Coos Bay, OR 97420

June 6, 2024 (Thursday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Siuslaw Middle School

2525 Oak St., Florence, OR 97439

June 7, 2024 (Friday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Newport High School

322 NE Eads St., Newport, OR 97365

All ages and families are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.

Comments will be accepted through June 15, 2024.

Email or written comments: Please be sure to address the enforceable policies you believe are relevant in your comments. OCMP staff may review comments on proposed actions for alignment with enforceable policies and potential conditions to enhance consistency. For more information on the federal consistency review and how to comment, visit https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/Pages/Offshore-Wind-Energy-Leasing.aspx

Online comments: Comments may be submitted online through a webform here: https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/Pages/Federal-Consistency-Review.aspx

In-Person comments: Community members wishing to comment in person should plan to limit comments to three minutes per person. If many people wish to comment, staff may need to limit comment time further as we want to hear from as many community members as possible.

### About The Oregon Coastal Management Program Oregon is one of 34 states to have a nationally recognized Coastal Management Program established by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. The Oregon Coastal Management Program aims to protect coastal and ocean resources, and ensure livable, resilient communities on the Oregon coast. The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development is the lead agency in the coastal program network, which also includes 11 state agencies and 42 city and county governments. Financial assistance for the Oregon Coastal Management Program is provided by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, administered by the Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Oregon’s statewide land use planning program – Originated in 1973 under Senate Bill 100, Oregon’s land use program protects farm and forest lands, conserves natural resources, promotes livable communities, facilitates orderly and efficient development, supports coordination among local governments, and enables community engagement.

The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) administers the program in partnership with cities and counties. The Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC), a seven-member volunteer board, guides DLCD.

The land use planning program affords Oregonians predictability in the development process and the ability to plan and invest in the long-range by allocating land for industrial, commercial, and housing development, as well as transportation, other urban services, and farm and forest lands.

Under the program, all cities and counties have adopted comprehensive plans that meet mandatory state standards. The standards are based on the 19 Statewide Planning Goals that deal with land use, development, housing, transportation, and conservation of natural resources. Technical assistance in the form of expertise and grants for local jurisdictions are key elements of the program. https://www.newsbreak.com/news/3459593684750-coastal-community-meetings-on-proposed-offshore-wind-leases-to-be-held

Oregon 2024 Primary Election Ballot Return Numbers Low — Primary Election Results

https://results.oregonvotes.gov/

Statewide – https://results.oregonvotes.gov/

Nominations Open for AARP Oregon Volunteer Making Impact In Their Community

AARP Oregon has opened up nominations for its prestigious award for volunteerism. For the Andrus Award for Community Service, the organization will select a person or couple age 50 or older who performs services without pay in their communities.

Michael Schultz, state volunteer president of AARP Oregon, noted that Oregonians do a lot of volunteering. According to an AmeriCorps study from 2021, more than 970,000 volunteered, contributing an estimated $2.6 billion economic impact through their volunteer hours.

“That is a huge impact on our communities, on our economy and on the lives of Oregonians throughout the state,” he said.

The Andrus Award for Community Service is named after the founder of AARP, Doctor Ethel Percy
Andrus. Schultz noted that the nominator and the award winner will each receive $1,000 to donate to the nonprofit of their choice.

The 2023 winner of the award was Anne Bellegia, a founding member of the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the Livable Ashland Alliance. She has volunteered for many years with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Oregon University.

“This was someone who had really invested a lot of energy and effort to make a positive impact on her community down in southern Oregon, and the selection committee felt that she definitely deserved this award,” Schultz noted.

The deadline for Andrus Award nominations is July 15th. —- Find your state’s deadline and participation status on the nomination form

Oregon Consumer Justice Finds Colorful Way To Educate Used-Car Buyers

The Consumer Confidence Comic helps consumers get the best bang for their buck when purchasing a used car. (Oregon Consumer Justice)
The Consumer Confidence Comic helps consumers get the best bang for their buck when purchasing a used car. (Oregon Consumer Justice)

Buying a used car can be a risky proposition, but a new consumer guide can help people avoid common pitfalls.

The nonprofit Oregon Consumer Justice just released the first edition of its free resource, called the Consumer Confidence Comics. The unique guide doubles as an interactive comic book with coloring pages.

Michelle Luedtke, communications director for Oregon Consumer Justice, describes it as a fun way to learn how to ask the right questions.

“When you get promises from a dealer, where do you capture those to make sure that they’ll be part of your final contract?” Luedtke asked. “We have a checklist of different questions to ask at a dealer about purchasing a used car. You can also download as a resource on our website.”

The guide is available in English and Spanish.

Used car prices shot up during the pandemic but have come down a bit in the last year, with the average used car selling for about $31,000, according to iseecars.com.

Luedtke also recommended taking the time to read the fine print on any contracts. The guide goes through the process from start to finish.

“Whether or not you should be looking for financing beforehand, or what dealer financing looks like? What are scams that are common around purchasing a vehicle,” Luedtke outlined. “And then also, what to do if things go wrong.”

In Oregon, used car dealers have 14 days to finalize the financing, so you could drive it off the lot and then have to return it if the loan falls through. Consumers are advised not to make any changes to the car until they get a welcome letter from their lender. In 2022, Americans purchased about 39 million used vehicles. (SOURCE)

Registration Open For Inaugural Oregon Native Trout Challenge

Anglers, grab your favorite fishing rig and a map, as registration is now open for the inaugural Oregon Native Trout Challenge.

Basalt to Breakers, an Oregon nonprofit with fiscal sponsorship by the Oregon Wildlife Foundation, is launching the Oregon Native Trout Challenge to encourage anglers to explore new waters, celebrate the diversity of Oregon’s native trout fisheries and support projects that conserve our native trout species.

“The challenge is intended to be a celebration of Oregon’s native trout species and the ecosystems that support their populations. We intentionally made this challenge different from other native trout challenges to encourage people to explore the diverse ecosystems that Oregon offers,” said B2B Founder Max McCool. “Completing the challenge consists of catching and taking a picture of any native trout species caught in each of Oregon’s eight ecoregions and submitting the location, date, and species through our online form,” continued McCool.

The Challenge is catch-and-release. “We want to ensure that each participant follows ODFW regulations throughout the challenge and isn’t putting additional pressure on any vulnerable species,” said McCool.

Each catch must be documented according to the Challenge rules to count. A one-time entry fee of $35 offsets the administrative costs of the challenge with net proceeds used for habitat restoration, trout conservation, and education projects. Beyond learning more about Oregon’s native trout species and our diverse ecoregions, the Oregon Native Trout Challenge seeks to encourage advocacy for local fisheries.

“In Oregon, salmon get the lion’s share of attention, but Oregon has stellar trout fishing throughout our state. What I like most about the Oregon Native Trout Challenge is that it encourages anglers to explore more of what Oregon has to offer,” said Tim Greseth, Oregon Wildlife Foundation’s executive director.

Participants can register at https://owhf.tofinoauctions.com/b2bchallenge24/homepages/show. For more information, visit www.basalttobreakers.org.

Basalt to Breakers — is a nonprofit corporation registered in the State of Oregon. The mission of Basalt to Breakers is to inspire, educate and engage all anglers throughout Oregon in native trout conservation projects. Basalt to Breakers is sponsored by the Oregon Wildlife Foundation. https://basalttobreakers.org/

Oregon Wildlife Foundation — is an apolitical operating charitable foundation dedicated to increasing private and public funding support for wildlife conservation projects in Oregon. Since 1981, OWF has directed tens of millions of dollars in private and public support to a broad range of projects throughout Oregon. For more information, visit www.myOWF.org.

 

Oregon Offers Electric Car Rebates Again – Apply Now Until June 3rd

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Due to high demand and limited funding, OCVRP will be open for a short time in 2024. Vehicles must be purchased or leased between April 3, 2024, to June 3, 2024, to be eligible for a rebate. Applicants have six months from their date of purchase or lease to apply. Low- and moderate-income households can prequalify for the $5,000 Charge Ahead rebate by completing the application now at https://apps.oregon.gov/DEQ/Voucher/apply.

 

 

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