Rogue Valley News, Monday 6/3 – Sheriff Deputies Arrest Suspect in Rural Shady Cove Homicide, Man Arrested After Taking Children Hostage in Ashland Apartment in Multi-Hour Standoff & 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

Monday,  June 3, 2024

Rogue Valley Weather

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Sheriff Deputies Arrest Suspect in Rural Shady Cove Homicide 

SHADY COVE, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies responded to a potential homicide call today, June 1st at 11:03 a.m. in rural Shady Cove. ECSO Dispatch received the 911 call for a possible homicide with an armed suspect on scene at a property in the 23000 block of Highway 62 north of Shady Cove. JCSO Deputies arrived with the SWAT Bearcat to locate the armed suspect.

ECSO Dispatch received another 911 call for the potential suspect at the Trail market in Trail, Ore. JCSO deputies responded to the market and took the suspect into custody without incident. The victim’s name will be released pending next-of-kin notification.

JCSO Medical Examiners arrived to the scene of the crime to begin the death investigation. Cause of death is pending the autopsy by an Oregon State Police forensic pathologist. Detectives from JCSO and Central Point Police Department responded to the scene to assume the homicide investigation.

The suspect, Travis Clayton Driver, 34, of Shady Cove, is in custody charged with second-degree murder. He is lodged in the Jackson County Jail.

This case is open and ongoing with detectives continuing their investigation. Jackson County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case. There is no further information available for release at this time.

Man Arrested After Taking Children Hostage in Ashland Apartment Leading to Multi-Hour Standoff 

 

ASHLAND, Ore. – Two children are safe, and a Central Point man is in jail today after Ashland Police Department (APD) responded to a call for a suicidal, potentially armed man taking children hostage in an Ashland apartment last night. The call came into ECSO Dispatch at 5:53 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 with information the man was holding two children, ages 4 and 7, hostage in an apartment in the 300 block of Engle Street in Ashland. After a nearly 7-hour standoff with police, the man is in the Jackson County Jail, and the children are safe.

APD lodged the suspect, Erik Macias, 36, of Central Point, on charges of felony fourth-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence menacing, coercion, and driving while suspended. Macias also had two outstanding felony warrants including fourth-degree domestic violence assault, and driving under the influence of intoxications (DUII).

 

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) SWAT and Crisis Negotiators Team (CNT) responded to assist APD just before 9 p.m. The SWAT team and APD surrounded the apartment while detectives applied for a search warrant. CNT made phone contact with the suspect and attempted to negotiate for approximately three hours. When negotiations failed, the SWAT team used a diversionary device (flash bang) outside the apartment along with JCSO K9 announcements, and made entry into the apartment. SWAT arrested the suspect without incidence, and rescued the children at 12:42 a.m. The children are safe and were returned to their mother.

This case is open and ongoing, with APD following additional leads. There is no further information available for release at this time.

 

Drowning 06/01/24 Illinois River

Press Release

 

DETAILS: On June 1, 2024 at 11:53am, a report was made to 911 of a drowning in the Illinois River at Forks State Park in Cave Junction.

The Sheriff’s Office along with OSP, IV Fire, and AMR responded to find Zeke Grant, 39, of Cave Junction had drowned while swimming at a popular swimming hole accessed from the park.

Witnesses at the park had seen Grant swimming in the water but then found him submerged approximately 15 minutes later.  There were no witnesses when the drowning occurred.

Next of kin have been notified and no further information will be released by the Sheriff’s Office at this time.

Please remember, despite outside temperatures, it is still early in the year.  The rivers can remain cold, swift, and dangerous. 

 

 

Fire Season Begins in Jackson and Josephine Counties

Fire Season on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest Oregon District begins Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 12:01 a.m. The fire danger level will be “Low” (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be I (one). Lands affected by this declaration include 1.8 million acres of state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

Spring rain, snow and cooler weather patterns allowed for a fairly fire-free spring in southern Oregon up until mid-March; since then, the ODF Southwest Oregon District has responded to 14 fires, all human-caused. These fires were stopped at just over 10 acres accumulatively. The beginning of fire season and Low fire danger brings regulations; these activities are known to cause fires and will be prohibited with the start of fire season:

  • No debris burning, including piles and debris burned in burn barrels.
  • No fireworks on or within 1/8 of a mile of ODF-protected land.
  • Exploding targets and tracer ammunition, or any bullet with a pyrotechnic charge in its base, are prohibited.
  • Campfires are allowed in designated campgrounds, and on private land with the landowner’s permission. Portable stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels may be used in areas clear of vegetation at any time.
  • Smoking while traveling will only be allowed in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water and other specifically designated locations.
  • Any electric fence controllers must be approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or be certified by the Department of Consumer and Business Services and be installed and used in compliance with the fence controller’s instructions for fire safe operation.

The start of fire season also means regulations on industrial activities. Under IFPL I (one), fire season requirements are in effect, in addition to the following:

  • A Firewatch is required at this and all higher levels unless otherwise waived.

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Fire Season regulations, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:

Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point – (541) 664-3328

Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass – (541) 474-3152

Additional information about fire season is also available at www.swofire.com, Facebook page, @ODFSouthwest and X account, @swofire https://jacksoncountyor.gov/news_detail_T10_R489.php

Fire Season Restrictions go into effect June 1st within the City of Grants Pass 

Fire Season begins Saturday, June 1st, at 12:01 a.m. The fire danger level will be “Low” (green). The adopted City Municipal Code 9.15 Regulated Closure Fire Restrictions will take effect then.

Beginning Thursday, the following restrictions will take effect within the City of Grants Pass:

  • Smoking in areas of flammable vegetation is prohibited.
  • Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, cooking fires, and warming fires, except at locations designated by the Fire Marshal. Still allowed will be natural gas, propane, and charcoal BBQ’s, smokers as well as natural gas and propane ornamental fires.
  • Power saw use is permitted all day during low fire danger. Each power saw is required to have one shovel and one fire extinguisher of at least 8-ounce capacity. A Firewatch of at least one hour is required following the use of each saw.
  • Cutting, grinding, and welding of metal in areas of flammable vegetation is permitted all day during low fire danger.
  • The mowing of dry, cured grass is permitted all day during low fire danger.
  • Motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, are only allowed on improved roads free of flammable vegetation, except for the culture and harvest of agricultural crops.
  • Any other spark-emitting internal combustion engine in areas of flammable vegetation not specifically mentioned is permitted when conducted in a cleared area and a charged garden hose or one 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher is immediately available.
  • The City Fire Marshal or an authorized representative may, in writing, approve a modification or waiver of these requirements.

For more information about the City of Grants Pass Fire Season regulations, please call the Fire Prevention Division at 541-450-6200

Popsicle Patrol – Saturday June 8th

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The Medford Police Department will be helping residents stay cool this summer by handing out free popsicles and water to kids and adults during their Popsicle Patrols.
901 Rossanley Dr, Medford, OR 97501     2pm to 4pm
The popsicles and waters will be handed out while supplies last.  https://www.facebook.com/events/2762383037252144/?ref=newsfeed

 

May be an image of text that says 'CAфToлRTTB CИTO ARTISTS! Grants GrantsPass Pass MUSEUM OFART ART inthe in the ART GARDEN June 8 & 9 Tickets Available Diamond- Greenleaf Kitchen Company Grants Pass Museum of Art Gallery One Redwood Nursery Explore eight gorgeous private gardens, enjoy and purchase art on display at each scenic location. wấk A OPPORTUNITY To EXHIBIT!'

MORE INFO:  https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=122141453636237917&set=a.122117639702237917

 

 

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

 

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

 

Governor Kotek, Senator Wyden, Congresswoman Bonamici, Other Leaders Kick Off Clean Tech Manufacturing Task Force

Governor and Senator Wyden co-convene Clean Tech Manufacturing Task Force to advance Oregon’s transition to a clean energy economy

Last Thursday, Governor Tina Kotek, Senator Ron Wyden, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, and leaders in the public and private sectors kicked off the first meeting of the Clean Tech Manufacturing Task Force.

The Clean Tech Task Force, which is co-chaired by Governor Kotek, Senator Wyden and Daimler Truck North America president and CEO John O’Leary, seeks to galvanize Oregon’s competitiveness in attracting, expanding, and sustaining new and existing clean energy technology manufacturers. This task force will work to leverage opportunities from the federal Inflation Reduction Act, which includes roughly $60 billion in tax credits, direct loans, and grants for domestic manufacturing across the clean energy supply chain.

Founding organizations include the Oregon Business Council, Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon BlueGreen Alliance, Oregon Business for Climate, and Technology Association of Oregon.

“Oregonians understand the challenges and opportunities ahead of us in the face of accelerating climate change, and Oregon is a leader in manufacturing,” Governor Kotek said. “We have the know-how and commitment to grow our role in clean tech manufacturing. This task force will be the catalyst to get us there.”

“There’s a lot of green in blue-collar domestic manufacturing jobs now and in the future,” Senator Wyden said. “And this week’s successful kickoff of Oregon’s clean tech task force begins the path for our state to best take advantage of the historic clean energy investment credits I worked to pass into federal law. I’m proud to co-chair this task force and confident it will succeed, given the proven road map for achievements made by a similar task force on semiconductors.”

“Climate change means temperatures are rising and weather events are more severe, but Oregon has what it takes to justly transition to a clean energy economy – innovative advanced technologies, great public universities, strong workforce partnerships, and bold leadership,” Congresswoman Bonamici said. “The new Clean Tech Manufacturing Task Force will help Oregon attract, expand, and sustain clean energy jobs and grow the clean energy workforce by leveraging investments through the Inflation Reduction Act. I look forward to working with Task Force members toward a cleaner, healthier, and brighter future.”

“What we do here in the near future has the potential for huge impact on the state’s job market and economy, and could firmly establish Oregon as a leading state for clean technology development,” said John O’Leary, president and CEO of Daimler Truck North America. “I’m truly excited at what we stand to achieve here together in this Clean Tech Task Force.”

“We are still in the early stages of the growth curve of the energy storage market with immense opportunity ahead,” said Joseph Lu, founder of Powin Energy and CEO of QPO Energy. “This task force will be a great opportunity for the local cleantech business community to influence policy making and appropriation of IRA funds, in order to maximize job growth and to establish Oregon as a cleantech powerhouse.”

The Task Force will propose solutions to addressing barriers to expanding Oregon’s leadership in clean technology manufacturing, including:
• Industrial land and infrastructure;
• Incentives and procurement;
• Workforce development and job creation;
• Research, innovation, and entrepreneurship;
• Transmission capacity; and
• Regulatory environment.

The findings will be consolidated into a final Oregon Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing Report later this year.

 

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a ruling that Oregon defendants must be released from jail after seven days if they don´t have a defense attorney.

In its decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called Oregon’s public defense system a “Sixth Amendment nightmare,” OPB reported, referring to the part of the U.S. Constitution that guarantees people accused of crimes the right to a lawyer. The opinion said Oregon is responsible for upholding legal protections for criminal defendants.

Oregon has struggled for years to address its public defender crisis. As of Friday, more than 3,200 defendants did not have a public defender, a dashboard from the Oregon Judicial Department showed. Of those, about 146 people were in custody, but fewer people were expected to be impacted by Friday’s ruling, according to OPB.

An Office of Public Defense Services draft report from March found that Oregon needs 500 additional attorneys to meet its obligations, OPB reported. State officials have sought to address the issue, including by taking such steps as providing additional funding, but structural issues remain.

Sharp rise in Oregon pertussis cases prompts public health warning

Vaccine-preventable disease known as whooping cough can be deadly for infants

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon health officials are concerned about a sharp increase in cases of pertussis – known as whooping cough – across nine counties and are encouraging people to get vaccinated against the disease.

As of May 29, 178 pertussis cases have been reported to Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division. That’s a 770% increase from the 20 cases reported by that date in 2023. However, the 2024 numbers are roughly in line with those seen during similar time frames in the immediate pre-pandemic years, including 2019, when there were 93 cases, and 2018, which saw 248 cases.

Pertussis is cyclical, and before the COVID-19 pandemic – when restrictions that included masking requirements and school closures were in effect – pertussis peaked every three to five years. In 2012, 910 cases were reported, the highest annual count since 1953.

“Our concern is with how quickly we jumped to such a high number of pertussis cases, which tell us that the disease is doing what it does best: spreading fast and taking a greater toll on undervaccinated persons,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the Public Health Division.

Among the nine counties with reported pertussis to date in 2024, Lane County leads with 64 cases, followed by Multnomah (41), Clackamas (33), Deschutes (15), Washington (13), and Jefferson (8). Three other counties have also seen cases. School-aged children and adolescents account for 92 (52%) of cases. Among them, only 51 (55%) are up to date with recommended pertussis vaccinations.

Infants are at highest risk of pertussis-related complications and death, and they have the highest reported incidence rate. Between 2003 and 2023, infants accounted for 12% of cases and 76% of pertussis hospitalizations. And Oregon pertussis deaths have been limited to infants – five have occurred since 2003.

Babies too young to have been fully vaccinated are most likely to be hospitalized with pertussis. Cieslak said that pregnant people can protect their young babies by getting Tdap vaccine – which protects a person against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis – at 27–36 weeks’ gestation. The mothers will make antibodies and pass them to their babies across the placenta, protecting them from birth. Among 16 infant cases reported in Oregon to date in 2024, only one mother had a documented dose of Tdap during the pregnancy.

When an infant or pregnant person is in the household of someone with pertussis, all household members should receive a course of antibiotics effective against Bordetella pertussis – typically, a five-day course of azithromycin.

Vaccination against pertussis is routinely recommended for infants, children, adolescents and adults. Children should receive the DTaP vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis at 2, 4, 6 and 15 to 18 months, and again at age 4 to kindergarten age.

All persons ages 10 and older should receive a single dose of Tdap.

An urgent health warning has been issued by the Oregon Health Authority: Do NOT eat mussels harvested from Oregon’s coast.

May be an image of text that says 'DANGER ΟΧΙΣ MUSSELS DO NOT EAT The sport harvest of mussels is CLOSED from Seal Rock to the Washington border for high levels of paralytic shellfish toxin. PublicHealth Public Health Prevent.Pro Prevent.Promote, Prevent.Promote.Protect. Preven -Promote, Proteet, LincolnCounty Lincoln County'

At least 20 individuals have fallen ill due to a dangerous biotoxin found in mussels harvested in Oregon. Symptoms of poisoning include numbness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and, in severe cases, difficulty breathing or irregular heartbeat.

What You Need to Know: 👉Affected Areas: Mussels harvested since May 15, 2024, from beaches between Seal Rock State Park and the Washington border should be discarded immediately. 👉Symptoms: If you or anyone you know experiences symptoms after eating mussels, seek medical attention promptly. 👉Preventive Measures: Avoid consuming shellfish from beaches with biotoxin closures.

📞 If you have concerns or need advice, contact the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222. Your safety is our top priority! For more information, visit: Oregon Department of Agriculture Recreational Shellfish Biotoxin Closure: https://www.oregon.gov/…/Pages/ShellfishClosures.aspx…Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Shellfish and Biotoxins: https://myodfw.com/articles/shellfish-and-biotoxins…Oregon Health Authority Fish and Shellfish Consumption Resources: https://www.oregon.gov/…/pages/seafood-shellfish.aspx…

OHA asking people who harvested, ate any Oregon Coast shellfish to complete survey

PORTLAND, Ore.—State health officials are asking people who recently harvested or ate any shellfish from the Oregon Coast to complete a survey as part of an investigation of illnesses linked to shellfish biotoxins.

On May 28, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) urged people to throw out mussels gathered from beaches between Seal Rock State Park north to the Washington border after cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning were reported to the agency. The shellfish were harvested at beaches in Lincoln, Tillamook and Clatsop counties.

OHA is now asking people who harvested or ate Oregon shellfish since May 13 to take a short survey to help investigators identify a possible cause of the outbreak and how many people became sick. Responses are secure and confidential, and will help OHA Public Health Division investigators learn more about the sources and size of this outbreak.

Those who already completed an interview with their local public health agency do not need to complete the survey.

Contact Rosalie Trevejo (osalie.trevejo2@oha.oregon.gov“>rosalie.trevejo2@oha.oregon.gov) or June Bancroft (ancroft@oha.oregon.gov“>june.e.bancroft@oha.oregon.gov) of OHA’s Public Health Division with any questions or concerns about the survey.

On May 23, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) closed a stretch of Oregon Coast to mussel harvesting from Seal Rock State Park north to Cape Lookout due to high levels of PSP. The mussel harvest closure was extended from Seal Rock State Park north to the Washington border on May 26.

People who experience any symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) – numbness of the mouth and lips, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and in severe cases, shortness of breath or irregular heartbeat – should immediately contact a health care provider. They can also get advice by calling the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222.

PSP is a foodborne illness caused by saxitoxins produced by marine algae and caused by eating shellfish contaminated with the naturally occurring biotoxin, including scallops, mussels, clams, oysters and cockles, as well as some fish and crabs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There is no antidote for PSP – treatment involves supportive care and, if necessary, respiratory support.

For additional information:

OSU and Two California Universities Will Research Potential Impacts of Offshore Wind Energy Projects

Three West Coast universities located near future offshore wind energy sites are joining forces to undertake research and to help inform the public about the benefits and potential impacts of the new industry.

An auction expected to take place later this year for two wind energy sites off the southern Oregon coast has stirred both excitement about the potential for clean energy development and concern from nearby residents, tribes and the seafood industry amid a push by the Biden administration for the development of offshore wind energy.

The federal government has a goal of producing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 and has called for the development of university “centers of excellence” to help drive that development.

The new Pacific Offshore Wind Consortium is made up of three university research centers in Oregon and California. The goal is to combine resources and expertise to garner more funding and to undertake more collaborative information sharing and research with state and federal agencies, tribes and towns on the West Coast.

“We can be that sort of trusted neutral third party to try and tell them what the state of the industry is, and to help create capacity in the community so they can negotiate, discuss, communicate, with some of these wind developers,” said Bryson Robertson, director of Oregon State’s Pacific Marine Energy Center, one of the three university research centers participating.

The other two participating institutions are the northern California Schatz Energy Research Center at Cal Poly Humboldt in Arcata and the Center for Coastal Marine Sciences at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. The two universities are the closest to five lease areas off the California coast that were auctioned off last year to international wind energy companies.

The two wind energy areas being auctioned off Oregon’s coast later this year are near Coos Bay and Brookings, and they could add up to 2.4 gigawatts of clean power to the grid – enough to power about 830,000 homes – with installations covering more than 195,000 acres in total. Each wind energy area identified is 20 to 30 miles offshore.

BOEMMap shows size and location of two wind energy farms proposed off the coast near Coos Bay and Brookings.

Seafood industry groups along with five Oregon and California tribes are opposed to the wind development plans off the coasts of both states. In November, the Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians passed a resolution opposing offshore wind energy development, in part, they said, because federal officials had failed to engage them or respond to their concerns.

“There’s a lot of community-based concerns and questions out there, and there’s been a dearth of proper, data-driven knowledge and information dissemination to help people make decisions,” Robertson of Oregon State said.

“As Oregonians we should be looking at: How do we maximize the benefit of those lease sales if they’re going to happen? How do we make sure that they have stipulations that require union labor? Whether it has distinct community benefits written into it? There are a whole slew of opportunities where the state could apply or impose needs and requirements on a lease sale,” he said

The state is attempting to develop offshore wind energy standards via House Bill 4080, which was signed by Gov. Tina Kotek earlier this year. The law directs the Oregon Department of Energy to develop a roadmap for state policies on offshore wind energy development that include community input and labor guidelines. READ MORE: https://yachatsnews.com/osu-and-two-california-universities-will-research-potential-impacts-of-offshore-wind-energy-projects/

OHA kicks off 2024 Oregon beach monitoring season

Agency shares list of monitored beaches for May-September

—The Oregon Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) is kicking off the 2024 beach monitoring season by announcing the list of coastal recreation areas it will be keeping an eye on for bacteria during summer and early fall.

The 24 beaches on the list that the OBMP, based at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division, is publishing includes some of the most frequently visited beaches in Oregon. It also includes beaches where the program has found bacteria present, or beaches for which local partners and the public have requested monitoring due to potential pollution concerns.

The following are Oregon beaches being monitored during 2024, including beach name, and the city and county in which they are located:

Beach monitoring season runs from mid-May to mid-September. Beach advisories are only issued for beaches that are actively being monitored within this sampling window. Other beaches will be investigated for inclusion in the next beach monitoring season.

OBMP works with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to identify beaches that need monitoring based on several established criteria. These criteria include: pollution hazards present; previous beach monitoring data that identify water quality concerns; type and amount of beach use; and public input.

As part of an adaptive sampling plan, beaches and sampling locations are routinely re-evaluated to ensure available resources best protect public health. A copy of DEQ’s beach evaluation is available upon request.

For more information and current beach monitoring conditions please visit: www.healthoregon.org/beach, or contact OBMP at each.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov“>Beach.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov or 971-673-0400.

Oregon has the highest rate of vehicle collisions on the West Coast.

The Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have developed a project to identify the deadliest roads. The iNaturalist Roadkills of Oregon project asks you to take photos of animals killed by cars.

The picture will be uploaded into an app, so biologists will be able to track areas where the most collisions occur. Currently, only large animals like deer and elk are tracked. This project will monitor all animals that are killed.

Roadways and vehicular traffic are a significant contributor to fragmentation of habitat and impacts to wildlife, including injury and mortality. The purpose of this project is to improve our understanding of the impacts of roads on Oregon’s wildlife, and to identify roadkill hot spots and vulnerabilities among a diversity of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. This information can help reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and make roadways safer. Please go to: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/roadkills-of-oregon/journal

Study Finds Oregonians With Addiction And Mental Health Problems Face Difficulty Finding Care 

Many Oregon providers don’t integrate the two treatments in their practice

People who simultaneously suffer from mental health conditions and drug addiction face difficulties in Oregon finding providers who can treat both, a state study has found.

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health study, commissioned by the Oregon Health Authority, determined that people with both conditions – called a co-occuring disorder – often have to surmount barriers to treatment, from long waits for care to a lack of providers that accept Medicare, which mostly covers seniors, or Medicaid, which covers low-income Oregonians.

The study — drawn from provider data — found that 82% of mental health providers and 40% of addiction treatment providers can treat people for co-occurring disorders. The study did not analyze the number of people in treatment or who are unable to access care, but noted that gaps exist throughout the system.

Beyond the study’s overall figures, it found differences among providers.

They include:

  • Only half of mental health providers offer combined treatment for mental illness and addiction with the same clinician or treatment team.
  • Treatment for both conditions is least likely in a hospital or substance use residential treatment facility, which often serve those with more severe illness.
  • Only about half of the treatment providers treat gambling disorders.
  • Many practices don’t accept Medicare or Medicaid, which could mean that patients can’t pay for treatment.

The study also found that workforce shortages are partly to blame for the lack of dual-trained professionals. READ MORE: https://oregoncapitalchronicle.com/2024/05/29/study-oregonians-with-addiction-and-mental-health-problems-face-difficulty-finding-care/

SUMMER ALERT: Blood and platelet donors needed now — American Red Cross – Cascades Region

Red Cross provides support to communities devastated by recent storms

— The American Red Cross critically needs blood and platelet donors now following a concerning decrease in donations as the country has experienced an increase in severe weather systems and historic travel.In fact, over the past month about 20,000 fewer blood donations were collected than needed to maintain the Red Cross-national blood supply.

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), five of the busiest travel days ever happened this month and more record-breaking travel is expected this summer — a busy time when many regular donors may be unable to give. Additionally, as the U.S. approaches what AAA calls the “100 deadliest days” of summer for auto accidents, it is critical hospitals have lifesaving blood products on hand for all trauma and accident victims who count on transfusions when there is no time to waste. In some of the most-dire situations, medical teams may need to use hundreds of blood products to save a life.

“Emergencies take many forms – some arising in a hospital and others arising as relentless and devastating storms,” said Priscilla Fuentes, regional executive of the Red Cross Cascades Region. “Unfortunately, our community has been no stranger to emergencies these past few years, but when I witness communities come together – at a blood drive or after a disaster – I see us growing stronger and becoming more resilient. Together, we can provide help and hope that is very much needed right now.”

Storm response efforts: The holiday weekend brought the busiest severe weather day of the year so far, with 26 reported tornadoes across 10 states.

With the most active year for tornadoes since 2017, hundreds of Red Cross disaster workers, including more than 20 from our region, are working around the clock with partners across multiple states to make sure people affected by this severe weather have a safe place to stay, food, relief supplies and emotional and spiritual support. Emergency shelters are open in some of the hardest hit areas. Red Cross disaster workers are helping assess the damage where it is safe to do so with preliminary reports indicating nearly 3,000 homes either destroyed or with major damage across the country.

The Red Cross is monitoring the weather and standing by to open additional shelters if needed. Should new communities be impacted, the organization will be on the ground providing help in the days and weeks to come.

How to help: Individuals are urged to help those facing emergencies – whether they need a lifesaving blood transfusion or shelter from the storm.

  • Make a blood donation appointment by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years old and younger must meet certain height and weight requirements.
  • Featured blood drive: Saturday, June 8, Portland Chapter Building 3131 N. Vancouver Ave. Go to RedCrossBlood.org for times or other dates and locations.
  • Help people affected by disasters like flooding and countless other crises by making a financial donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief today at redcross.org or via 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
  • Put on a red vest and join us as a volunteer today to provide relief and hope when it matters most. Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to sign up for local opportunities, like our Disaster Action Team, or Bood Donor Ambassador Program.

The Red Cross has teamed up with Tetris, creators of the iconic, best-selling video game, to celebrate their 40th anniversary and build the blood supply for patients in need. In commemoration, all who answer the call to help May 20-June 9, 2024, will get an exclusive Tetris® + Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, plus be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for two to New York to meet Tetris creator, Alexey Pajitnov. See RedCrossBlood.org/Tetris for details.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross provides shelter, food and comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow us on social media.

Come to the World Beat Festival to Experience Global Cultures: Ukraine is the 2024 Featured Country

Salem Multicultural Institute is excited to celebrate Ukraine as the 27th annual World Beat Festival’s featured country. World Beat is one of Salem’s premier community traditions, offering a vibrant two-day program of international music, dance, song, theater, food, crafts, customs, rituals, and folklore. This year’s festival will begin Friday evening, June 28, and run through Sunday, June 30, at Salem’s Riverfront Park.

Kathleen Fish, Executive Director, emphasizes that this is the only festival of its kind honoring the Salem/Keizer community’s rich tapestry of cultures. “There are 107 languages spoken in our school district. The festival recognizes and explores the cultures of many of these families.”

The festivities kick off Friday, June 28, from 5 to 10 p.m. with “Friday Night at the Beat,” featuring vocal performances and fire dancing on the Main Stage.

The festival opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, with the Children’s Parade. Kids who want to participate in the parade will assemble at the Pavilion at the North End of the park.

Each child who attends will receive a passport at the entrance gate to collect stamps from each World Village. Village tents will feature kid-friendly cultural games and activities. This year’s activities include making cherry blossoms in the Asian Pacific Village, Pysanky (traditional egg decorating) in the European Village, Arpilleras (traditional Chilean textile art) in the Americas Village, and crafting Nguni Shields in the Africa & Middle East Village.

Adults can enjoy beverages in the beer garden while listening to live music. Boating enthusiasts can cheer on their favorite teams during the World Beat Dragon Boat Races.

“We had over 25,000 guests attend last year, enjoying performances on seven stages representing more than 50 different countries and cultures. Our visitors come from all over the Northwest and even Canada,” added Fish.

Organized by the volunteer-driven Salem Multicultural Institute, the festival requires 400 volunteers annually to manage setup, stage operations, and cleanup. Volunteers contributing at least four hours receive an event T-shirt and free entry to the festival.

Admission to the festival is $10/1-day pass/adult or $15 for the weekend. Children 0-14, SNAP card holders, and Veterans are free.

You can view a complete schedule and vendor list or sign up to volunteer atwww.worldbeatfestival.org or call (503) 581-2004.

About the World Beat Festival: The World Beat Festival originated in the late 1990s and was conceived by two young mothers, Mona Hayes and Kathleen Fish, who wanted a space to celebrate cultural heritage. Starting with a small gathering in 1998, the festival has grown into Oregon’s largest multicultural event of its kind. www.WorldBeatFestival.org, 503-581-2004.

About the Salem Multicultural Institute (SMI): The vision of the Salem Multicultural Institute and the purpose of the World Beat Festival and World Beat Gallery are to create an environment of openness for all people. In all our activities, SMI aims to be family-friendly, economically inclusive, and culturally authentic. Visit the gallery located at 390 Liberty ST SE, Salem. www.salemmulticultural.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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