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Medford/Klamath Falls/Grants Pass News Releases for Mon. May. 29 - 3:59 pm
Mon. 05/29/23
Memorial Day Message from Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Kelly Fitzpatrick (Photo)
Ore. Department of Veterans' Affairs - 05/29/23 8:00 AM
ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick
ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick

On Memorial Day, we as a nation pause to honor and pay respects to those who gave their lives in service to this county, in service of freedom, in service of a more peaceful world. We remember their sacrifice, their valor, and their grace. 

For while we may see their sacrifices immortalized on monuments of stone, we must never forget that each of the names forever etched in granite — those known and unknown — represent a precious, valiant life. They are our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, t our spouses, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors.

To those who mourn a loved one today, I assure that Oregon will never forget the lives lost in service to our country. We will never fail to honor your sacrifice, nor the sacrifices made by a long line of American service members. We are free, and our nation is safer because of their courage and devotion.

Memorial Day’s origins lie in the wake of the Civil War — a war for the soul of our nation, for freedom and justice for all. A war for union. A war for liberty and for the preservation of the founding ideals memorialized in the Constitution. 

Since the Civil War, nearly 6,000 Oregonians made the ultimate sacrifice in service to this nation, and today we honor them and the more than 1.2 million service members nationally who have sacrificed everything to preserve this nations democracy and the freedoms that democracy affords each of us.

It’s the greatest idea in the long history of humankind. An idea that we’re all created equal. That we’re all entitled to dignity, respect, decency, and honor. They’re not empty words, but the vital, beating heart of our nation. 

And that democracy is defended at all costs by those who serve and those we’ve lost, for democracy makes all this possible. Democracy is the soul of America.

Each of Oregon’s fallen service members had a story, and many faced challenges beyond the tribulations of war. Some were poor and some uneducated, some were privileged with college or advanced degrees. Some were working men and women with spouses and families, and some were 15- and 16-year-olds who lied about their dates of birth just to enlist and fight for what they believed to be right.

Some volunteered to serve a country that did not afford them rights or opportunities equal to those of their fellow countrymen and service members at the time of their service. Those who served before the Korean War served in segregated units, and many endured prejudice and bigotry from their own country even as they risked their lives and freedom to protect it.

Some of the courageous Oregonians who served and gave their lives in service to our country and whose memories we honor today were women — who would not even be recognized as veterans of the United States Armed Forces until the 1970s. 

Others were transgender, gay, lesbian, or queer, who grappled with the pain of giving their all to a country that did not want every part of them, that did not allow them to serve as their true, authentic selves.

We as a nation and, especially, as veterans who followed in their footsteps, owe an additional debt of gratitude to the brave soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, Guardians and Coast Guard members who served under these policies and conditions. Their courage, selflessness, dignity, and exceptional service did much to sway public opinion and pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future.

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the state of Oregon, are proud to honor and recognize all who have served our country with honor and dignity. 

As we observe this Memorial Day, we also acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For those veterans who returned home from the front lines of the Iraq War, and for the family members and loved ones of the courageous service members who did not, their wounds are fresher than most.

Oregon played a unique role in the nation’s most recent conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Not since World War II had so many Oregon National Guard members been called to federal duty by order of the President. 9,268 Oregon National Guard members deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between the years 2003 and 2011, many serving multiple year-long tours.

The names of the more than 140 Oregonian service members who lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are etched on the Afghan–Iraqi Freedom Memorial Wall located on the campus of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Salem. 

If you are able, I encourage you to visit this memorial site and remember the names, stories and ultimately — the sacrifices made by these Oregonians during the longest and consecutive wars of our nation’s history.

Today, ODVA and the statewide network of county and tribal Veteran Service Offices accessible in every county across Oregon serves these Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, helping them access care provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

In recent years, veteran services and benefits have expanded in many ways to provide treatment for healing and compensation for those whose lives have been irreparably altered by a disability incurred in service. To find services near you, visit our website at Oregon.gov/odva and click “Locate Services.”

This Memorial Day, I ask that you keep in the forefront of your mind the sacrifices that neither words nor the grandest gestures can repay. Express gratitude and appreciation for the brave Oregonians who willingly made these sacrifices for the idea of America — the land of the free. 

The enormity of their courage humbles and inspires us. This day reminds us to be better as individuals, as a community, and as a nation. 

As long as we remember — their sacrifices are not in vain. 

Kelly Fitzpatrick is the director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Gov. Kate Brown’s policy advisor on veterans’ issues. She is a retired U.S. Army officer. Her military awards and decorations include multiple awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Army Parachutist Badge.

Attached Media Files: ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick

OSU ROTC Cadets honor veterans with flag raising at historic Benton County cemetery (Photo)
Benton County Government - 05/29/23 1:00 AM

This Memorial Day, Benton County would like to thank our Veterans and honor those who served and sacrificed their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. On May 23, Oregon State University Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine ROTC Cadets raised U.S. flags on the grave sites of those who served and were laid to rest at the Crystal Lake Cemetery in Benton County, Ore. 

View the photo album here: Crystal Lake Cemetery Flag Honoring | Flickr

“I think it’s very important to remember our Veterans, they fought and died for our country and for us to be here today—so everything we can do to remember them and honor them is very important,” said Shale Paulson from Corvallis, Ore., an Oregon State University (OSU) ROTC Air Force Cadet.

The Crystal Lake Cemetery is a Pioneer Cemetery. American pioneers founded such cemeteries during the territorial expansion of the United States, with founding dates spanning from the late 18th to early 20th centuries.

“It’s a historic cemetery with almost every aspect of our county’s history represented including the Veterans who were laid to rest here,” said Shane Galloway, Benton County’s Natural Areas Parks and Events (NAPE) Maintenance Manager. “We manage this with a very small budget, and it takes quite a bit of work to maintain it. We have volunteers who spend hundreds of hours here each year trying to keep up the cemetery.” 

The land for the Crystal Lake Cemetery was deeded to Corvallis Masonic Lodge #14 in 1860 and cemetery operations and management were transferred to Benton County in 2001. A walk through the Cemetery reveals some of the most prominent names known to Benton County, Oregon State University, and Corvallis including Joseph Avery, General Thomas Jones Thorp, Benjamin Lee Arnold, among other Veterans being honored this Memorial Day.

“There’s so much history here for our region, some of the most prominent families in Benton County history are represented here,” said Jesse Ott, NAPE Deputy Director.

Thanks to the hard work of County employees and volunteers the site has been well maintained preserving a connection to Benton County’s past, and this Memorial Day it is the Veterans resting at Crystal Lake Cemetery receiving a symbolic honor with U.S. flags raised at their burial sites.

“I believe in honoring and respecting the fallen and the people that have served. It is a big reason why I wanted to serve” said John Leong, a First Year OSU Army ROTC Cadet.


Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please contact Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or pioinfo@bentoncountyor.gov.

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/4171/163699/52920541316_83445dd8f2_o.jpg , 2023-05/4171/163699/52920705679_b7a17b7d6f_o.jpg , 2023-05/4171/163699/52920705684_0f5086f8cb_o.jpg , 2023-05/4171/163699/52920541461_68e5ed56bc_o.jpg , 2023-05/4171/163699/52919962462_1d16d747eb_o.jpg , 2023-05/4171/163699/52920929990_1918514591_o.jpg

Sun. 05/28/23
Family of Four Rescued from Rogue River After Canoe Flip (Photo)
Grants Pass Fire/Rescue - 05/28/23 8:34 PM

Grants Pass, OR – On May 27, 2023, at approximately 5:37 PM, multiple units from Grants Pass Fire, Rural Metro Fire, AMR-Josephine County, and the Josephine County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a family of four who had flipped over in a canoe on the Rogue River near Chinook Park, east of Grants Pass. 


All four occupants were thrown into the current and ended up in different spots along the river. A rescue boat from Grants Pass Fire’s Parkway Fire Station was able to launch from Chinook Park and safely extract the occupants to shore. The Sheriff's Office Marine Deputy provided support to the operation. 


The four occupants were not wearing life jackets and were subsequently transported to the hospital due to exposure to the cold-water temperature. 


This incident serves as a reminder to all who seek recreation on local rivers to be mindful of the strong currents and cold water. Life jackets should be worn whenever boating in case of a mishap like this where you unexpectedly find yourself in the water, especially in potentially unstable crafts such as canoes or kayaks. 


Here are some additional safety tips to keep in mind when boating on the Rogue River: 

Always wear a life jacket. 

Check the weather forecast before you go and be aware of the river conditions. 

Never boat alone. 

Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. 

Be aware of your surroundings and avoid hazards such as rocks, trees, and other boats. 

Be prepared for the unexpected.

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/6917/163808/IMG_4754.jpg , 2023-05/6917/163808/IMG_4750.jpg , 2023-05/6917/163808/Attach0.jpg

UPDATE: LOCATED Missing Person - ATL Hoover, Hope
Josephine Co. Sheriff's Office - 05/28/23 6:39 AM



Case #: 23-12169

Name: Hope Hoover

Age:  31 

Sex:  F                     

Race:  Caucasian

Height: 5’07”       

Weight:   130          

Hair: Blonde     

Eyes: Blue



Hope Hoover was last seen by her family on 4/08/23 on Jerome Prairie Rd. She has not checked in with her family since.

Please contact the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office with any information.

Please reference case #23-12169

Office: 541-474-5123

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/6607/163657/Hope_Hoover_Located.pdf

Sat. 05/27/23
Officer Involved Shooting 5/27/23
Medford Police Dept. - 05/27/23 10:55 PM

On Saturday evening, May 27th, 2023 at about 6:45 PM, the Medford Police Department received a call from residents in the area of the 1500-block of Angelcrest Drive advising of a burglary in progress. The caller reported that an unknown male was armed with a firearm and was entering and removing property from a home that was unoccupied. Multiple Medford Police Officers responded to the area and the first officer was on scene within 6 minutes of the initial call. 11 minutes after officers arrived, it was announced over the radio that shots had been fired by officers. Substantial aid was rendered to the suspect by officers on scene before medical personnel could arrive. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he is being treated for his injuries. The Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) was activated and responded to the scene. This team is comprised of investigators and attorneys from the Medford Police Department, Oregon State Police, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson County District Attorney’s Office. Per protocols, the Oregon State Police will be the lead investigation agency on this case. Currently, the names of the officers and the suspect are not being released.

Any media inquiries in regards to the criminal investigation should be made to the Oregon State Police.

Oregon State Penitentiary reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 05/27/23 3:28 PM
Keane K. Lloyd
Keane K. Lloyd

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Keane Koleson Lloyd, died the evening of May 26, 2023. Lloyd was incarcerated at Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) in Salem and passed away in the infirmary. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified. 

Lloyd entered DOC custody on May 19, 2022, from Linn County with an earliest release date of April 17, 2025. Lloyd was 64 years old. Next of kin has been notified.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of approximately 12,000 individuals who are incarcerated in 12 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

OSP is a multi-custody prison located in Salem that houses approximately 2,000 adults in custody. OSP is surrounded by a 25-foot-high wall with 10 towers. The facility has multiple special housing units including disciplinary segregation, behavioral health, intermediate care housing, and an infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care. OSP participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including the furniture factory, laundry, metal shop, and contact center. It provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, work-based education, work crews, and pre-release services. OSP was established in 1866 and, until 1959, was Oregon’s only prison.



Attached Media Files: Keane K. Lloyd

Fri. 05/26/23
Multiple Police Agencies Arrest Suspect After Serving Search Warrant
Medford Police Dept. - 05/26/23 7:11 PM

Today Medford Police detectives, Oregon State Police, HSI, and members of the Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Task Force and Southern Oregon High Tech Crime Task Force executed a search warrant in the 1400 block of Poplar Drive in Medford.

Police contacted 44-year-old Tyson Blake Sidwell at the location, and he was arrested on the following warrants:

Rape I
Sex Abuse I

Sidwell is currently lodged at the Jackson County Jail.

Any other witnesses or victims are encouraged to call Detective Rogers at 541-613-6805. Case number is 23-4115.

Housing Stability Council Monthly Agenda - June 2, 2023
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 05/26/23 3:03 PM

May 26, 2023

The next Housing Stability Council meeting will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Friday, June 2, 2023. The meeting will be held electronically due to the current COVID-19 health crisis. You can find all updated meeting materials on our website.

Webinar Meeting Only

Register in advance for this webinar:




9:00: Meeting Called to Order - Roll Call 

9:05: Public Comment

9:35: Report of the Chair

9:45: Report of the Director (pg. 04)

  • Introduction: Outreach and Engagement Team

10:00: Homeownership Division (pg. 06)

           Keeble Giscombe, Director of Homeownership Division

  • Homeownership Development Incubator Program Rules: Talia Kahn-Kravis, Operations & Policy Analyst
  • Tribal Homeownership Grant Recommendations: Talia Kahn-Kravis, Operations & Policy Analyst

10:45: Affordable Rental Housing Division (pg. 23)

           Natasha Detweiler-Daby, Director of Affordable Rental Housing

  • MF Housing Transaction Recommendations: Tai Dunson-Strane, Production Manager  
    • Albina One
    • Dartmouth Crossing
    • Francis + Claire
    • Spencer Court
  • Preservation Framework Discussion: Michael Parkhurst, Senior Preservation Program Analyst; Roberto Franco, Assistant Director Development Resources and Production

       Housing Stabilization Division (pg. 74)

          Jill Smith, Director of Housing Stabilization

  • Reference memo in packet (not prioritized for discussion): 
    • Rent Guarantee Program / Rent Well Update

12:00: Meeting Adjourned

Attached Media Files: June HSC Agenda

ODVA Advisory Committee to Hold Next Meeting in June, Virtually and In Person
Ore. Department of Veterans' Affairs - 05/26/23 2:05 PM

The next meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs will be held Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in person at Rogue Community College, 3345 Redwood Highway in Grants Pass, Conference Room H-2, and via Zoom. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.

The committee is made up of veterans appointed by the governor to provide counsel on veteran issues and represent veteran concerns across Oregon. Its nine members serve in a vital advisory role to the director and staff of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

ODVA’s June 2023 Report to the Advisory Committee is available to the public online here: https://issuu.com/odva/docs/june_2023_ac_report 

This meeting is being held both in person and virtually. The public is invited to attend.

To attend by Zoom:

You will need to pre-register using this link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAucu2hpz4oGtC0nE6b06UImjyHcgMSbxQe

Pre-registration is required. Once pre-registered, you will receive the meeting link.

Join by Zoom via Telephone: Dial 1 (253) 215-8782. When prompted, enter the meeting ID 843 5499 5204# and password/participant ID: 570698#

Town Hall:

There will be a Town Hall at the end of the business meeting in which participants will be invited to ask questions of the committee and director. This time is set aside for individuals to bring up broader veteran community issues. Members of the community are also invited to submit written public comments to the committee by emailing vaac@odva.state.or.us.

More information can be found online at www.oregon.gov/odva/connect/pages/advisory-committee.aspx or to contact the Advisory Committee, please email vaac@odva.oregon.gov.


This meeting will be recorded and placed on ODVA’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/channel/UCAQVavs9KmvDeJ42ySFtY8A/videos.

Governor's Commission on the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Meeting Scheduled 6-13-23
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 05/26/23 1:46 PM





Notice of Regular Meeting

The Governor’s Commission on the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor will hold a teleconference meeting on June 13, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST or Department) located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, Oregon. For further information, please contact Shelby Wright at (503) 378-2191 or via email at y.wright@dpsst.oregon.gov">Shelby.wright@dpsst.oregon.gov.


1. Minutes for January 18, 2023, and April 21, 2023, Meetings

     Approve minutes

2. Tyler Morrow, DPSST No. 52967; Marion County Sheriff’s Office - Nomination for Medal of Honor

     Presented by Phil Castle

3. Next meetng – TBD


Administrative Announcement

This is a public meeting, subject to public meeting law, and will be digitally recorded.

Two Portland Area Drug Traffickers Sentenced to Federal Prison
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 05/26/23 11:59 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.—On May 25, 2023, two Portland area drug traffickers were sentenced to more than ten years in federal prison for their roles in a Mexican drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine in and around Portland and elsewhere.

Rodrigo Diaz-Lopez, 53, of Gresham, Oregon, and Jonathan Avila-Suarez, 31, of Portland, were sentenced to 135 and 120 months in federal prison, respectively. Both men must also complete five-year terms of supervised release following the completion of their prison sentences.

According to court documents, Diaz-Lopez and Avila-Suarez were part of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) led by two brothers based in Nayarit, Mexico. Diaz-Lopez, who has three prior felony drug trafficking convictions and has been repeatedly removed from the United States following those convictions, served as a sub-distributor in the DTO responsible for receiving illegal narcotics from couriers and other distributors and brokering local sales. Avila-Suarez was a sub-distributor and stash house operator.

In early February 2021, as part of a long-term investigation into the DTO’s operations, special agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) obtained information that Avila-Suarez had arranged for the delivery of 400 grams of heroin to a Portland hotel room. Agents observed the delivery and seized the heroin from Avila-Suarez’s customer. The next day, agents executed a federal search warrant on Avila-Suarez’s Portland apartment. They located and seized large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl packaged for distribution and two firearms.

Around the same time, agents identified Diaz-Lopez and arranged for a controlled purchase of methamphetamine from him. On March 12, 2021, they executed a federal search warrant on Diaz-Lopez’s Gresham residence and seized several kilograms each of methamphetamine, heroin, and counterfeit Oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. Agents also located and seized $30,000 in cash, an assault rifle, and a handgun.

On February 21, 2021, Avila-Suarez was charged by criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances, using communications facilities in the commission of drug trafficking offenses, and maintaining drug involved premises. On March 15, 2021, Diaz-Lopez was charged by criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances. Both men were later indicted on related charges.

On January 25, 2023, Avila-Suarez pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine. One month later, on February 21, 2023, Diaz-Lopez pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute heroin.

These cases were investigated by DEA. They were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

These prosecutions were the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the U.S. by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Forest Practices Act changes require steep slopes certification training: registration now open
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/26/23 10:56 AM

SALEM, Ore.—Forest Practices Act (FPA) rule changes aim to provide regulatory certainty and to protect fish and wildlife. On January 1, 2024, the steep slopes rules go into effect. In 2022 the Oregon Legislature directed the Board of Forestry to make about 110 FPA rule changes. Part of those rule changes address harvesting on steep slopes. These rules require foresters and those planning timber harvests to receive steep slopes certification training. 

This specialized training will focus on the Western Oregon steep slopes model outputs and how to determine the no harvest boundaries for steep slopes. The Oregon Department of Forestry will hold the following certification classes:

June 14, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Roseburg

June 16, Holiday Inn, Wilsonville

June 20, Comfort Suites, Albany

Please register on the Oregon Department of Forestry website.

The new laws require this certification for large forestland owners, those who own 5,000 or more acres of forestland. Qualifying small forestland owners don’t need this certification. The goal is to help people follow the rules intended to improve fish and wildlife habitat in and around streams.

The main reason to keep trees on certain steep slopes is to allow natural landslides to deliver large wood and sediment to streams over time and ultimately improve aquatic habitat. Human activities on the landscape can influence the timing and size of landslides, the amount of large wood that is available for future delivery to streams, and can increase the amount of sediment delivered to a stream. 

Increased amounts of sediment can adversely impact fish and other species. Sediment can fill in gravel beds for spawning, reduce food availability and impact a fish’s ability to see prey. Large wood from landslides creates vital habitat and protection for fish and other creatures.

The steep slopes rules only apply to Western Oregon, which informed the selection of training locations. If there is more demand than seats available, the department will offer more classes to meet the need.

Thu. 05/25/23
FOUND! Have You Seen Bob Stern? He's a Missing Person (Photo)
Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office - 05/25/23 5:11 PM
Bob Stern has been located safe
Bob Stern has been located safe

UPDATE 05/25/2023 5:10 PM

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. - Douglas County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue crews have located Mr. Stern and he is safe. The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the public for their assistance and awareness regarding this case. No further details are available at this time.


ORIGINAL RELEASE 05/25/2023 10:05 AM

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. - A Milwaukie, Oregon man believed to be at risk has been reported missing the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

71-year-old Robert “Bob” Anthony Stern of Milwaukie, Oregon was last heard from at approximately 1030 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. At that time, he indicated he was going turkey hunting in the Umpqua Unit. He has not been in contact with anyone since that time. His cell phone is currently powered off or out of service range. Deputies located an image of his vehicle taken in Myrtle Creek, Oregon the same day he was last heard from around 2:50 p.m.

Stern who is 6'01", 300 lbs with white hair and hazel eyes. He is believed to have been wearing camo clothing and dark boots. There are concerns that Stern may be suffering from a medical condition or event. He should be driving his 2008 Red Dodge Dakota extended cab pickup with Oregon license plate 787EKB. There are white stickers depicting ducks on the back window and a silver toolbox in the bed of the pickup.

Anyone with information which may help in locating Stern is asked to contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at 541-440-4471 referencing case #23-1916.

Attached Media Files: Bob Stern has been located safe

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council terminates grant for noncompliance with grant terms
Oregon Health Authority - 05/25/23 4:34 PM

May 25, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,


Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council terminates grant for noncompliance with grant terms

The Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) voted Wednesday to terminate its grant agreement with a Klamath Falls provider found to be out of compliance with financial and data reporting requirements.

Red is the Road to Wellness in Klamath Falls was approved for more than $1.55 million in Measure 110 funding last August to provide screening and assessment services, substance use disorder treatment, peer support services, housing and supported employment services. The organization has so far received slightly more than $1.08 million.  

Detailed information on funding for the statewide service networks can be found on the Measure 110 Behavioral Health Resource Network (BHRN) dashboard.

OHA received a complaint in November that the organization provided supported employment services that did not conform to operational standards established by the OAC. Follow-up inquiries raised additional concerns.

OHA received a second complaint about supported housing services and a report of financial irregularities including allegations of “misexpended funds.”

Additionally, the organization has not submitted completed expenditure reports or data reports for the first two reporting periods in December 2022 and in March 2023.

The OAC vote empowers OHA to recover the grant funds that have been already allocated, “if it is determined that there have been misexpended funds.”

The OAC authorized OHA to negotiate with other partners in the network to fill any service gaps resulting from the grant termination. If that is not possible, OHA can contact Measure 110 providers outside of the Klamath County network to provide any missing services.

“The action taken by the OAC shows that the OAC is holding grantees accountable.  We will continue to focus on accountability in Measure 110 oversight,” said OHA Behavioral Health Director Ebony Clarke.

“OHA will continue to provide robust support and will continue to work closely with the OAC and our Measure 110 providers to ensure that the statewide networks are providing services and supports to people who seek them,” she said.


Memorial Day Travel advisory (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 05/25/23 4:00 PM

This Memorial Day Weekend, whether you are headed to the beach, camping, visiting family, or just commuting to work, remember highways are going to be filled with people doing the same. No matter what your plans are on this Memorial Day weekend, we can guarantee that there will be a rise in the number of cars on Oregon’s highways.

The Oregon State Police takes these historically high-traffic weekends to have what we call an “All Patrol Day”. All Patrol Day for OSP is the day that all sworn members travel the highways to increase our patrol presence during these busy weekends.

The Oregon State Police has a wide range of programs and specialties our sworn ranks are in charge of, such as major crimes, tribal gaming, lottery security, arson, collision reconstruction, fish & wildlife, explosives, K-9, aviation, and more. OSP leadership makes it a priority that at the end of the day, all sworn members need to stay in tune and up-to-date with why the Oregon State Police was founded to keep our highways safe.

OSP is one of many Law Enforcement agencies that will be out in force trying to ensure that all travelers are getting to their destination safely.  

We want everyone to be safe when they are traveling, so we suggest that you follow these simple tips.  Please, plan ahead, be prepared, and above all else be patient.

- Timing your departure can make all the difference. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination without getting frustrated when heavy traffic puts a pause on your travels.

- Know your routes and options if you come across detours or construction. OSP likes to encourage all drivers in Oregon to use the Oregon Department of Transportation www.tripcheck.com.

- Ensure your vehicle is properly equipped and in good working order to avoid maintenance emergencies

- If you are traveling with children, have something to keep them occupied. Games, snacks, and pillows for sleeping will not only keep them occupied, but they will keep your attention where it is needed, on the road.

Oregon State Troopers will be focusing on maintaining the flow of traffic as well as enforcing all traffic laws but especially the Fatal 5. These 5 major categories of driving behaviors contribute to most fatal or serious injury crashes.


If you will be one of the many traveling this weekend, remember that OSP will be out in force. 

Drive safe!

Additional Safety Messaging in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation. The month of May highlights many national transportation safety messages. The big takeaway from all the campaigns is to drive, bike, and ride thoughtfully. Watch out for fellow road users and our maintenance and construction crews. Remember to slow down and move over to give our emergency responders space to safely do their jobs.  

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/1002/163754/My_Post-1.png

Fatal Crash- HWY 101- Coos County
Oregon State Police - 05/25/23 3:02 PM

On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at approximately 12:16 P.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 101, near milepost 252, in Coos County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a black Nissan Titan, operated by Heriberto Morado Ledesma (35) of Coos Bay, was traveling north on Highway 101. The Titan was negotiating a curve, drifted into the southbound lane (for unknown reasons), and struck a southbound blue Jeep Cherokee, operated by Vera Lee Belcher (76) of Cottage Grove, head-on. 


The three occupants- Ledesma (operator), Hector Mireles Gallo (35) of Coos Bay and Alberto Ramirez Vazquez (40) of Coos Bay- of the Titan were transported by ambulance to the hospital for treatment and further medical evaluation. 


The two occupants- Vera Lee Belcher (operator) and Clayton Gene Belcher (78) of Cottage Grove- of the Cherokee were pronounced deceased at the scene. 


The highway was impacted for approximately 5 hours during the on-scene investigation.  The investigation is on-going at this time.


OSP was assisted by the Coos County Medical Examiner, the Coos County District Attorney, two Southern Oregon Public Safety Chaplains, Bandon Fire Department, North Bend PD, Coos Bay PD, Coos County SO, Bay Cities Ambulance, and Amling-Schroeder Funeral Service. 

Fatal Crash - Interstate 5 - Jackson County
Oregon State Police - 05/25/23 2:50 PM

On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at approximately 8:30 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Interstate 5, near milepost 21, in Jackson County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a black Chrysler Town and Country, operated by Ruben Nanez (69) of Yreka (CA), was traveling south on the interstate, when for unknown reasons, it drifted off the roadway and impacted a ditch embankment. The van overturned and landed in a small creek. 


Fire and Medical personnel extricated the single male occupant and attempted life saving measures, however the subject was pronounced deceased at the scene.


The roadway was not impacted during the on-scene investigation.


OSP was assisted by Jackson County Fire, ODOT, Phoenix PD, and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

ONA Statement on Oregon Senate Republican Walkout: Do Your Jobs for Nurses and All Oregonians
Oregon Nurses Assn. - 05/25/23 1:48 PM

The Republican walkout at the Oregon Senate, denying quorum needed to pass any bills, threatens a crucial, life-saving safe staffing bill that would help address Oregon’s ongoing nurse staffing crisis by protecting both nurses and patients. 

HB 2697, the Oregon Nurses Association’s landmark safe staffing bill, (along with millions of dollars in health care workforce development funds), has bipartisan, bicameral support, and no stakeholder opposition. This hospital staffing package would not only improve patient care during a time when Oregonians are deeply concerned about the quality of their health care services but would also address decades-long concerns related to working conditions for nurses, recruitment of new nurses to the field, and retention of our state’s existing nursing workforce. 

Hundreds of other bills on housing, education, health care access, infrastructure and more are in threat of dying because senators are not doing the jobs we elected them to do. These issues are, by definition, matters of life and death. They are simply too important for Senate Republicans to ignore. 

ONA and our 16,000 represented nurses and allied health workers across the state call upon Senate Republicans to return to the Senate floor immediately to do their jobs for nurses and their patients, and to protect our vital democracy.

Fatal Crash - HWY 140E - Klamath County
Oregon State Police - 05/25/23 11:06 AM

On Monday, May 22, 2023, at approximately 6:21 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 140E, near milepost 16, in Klamath County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a Toyota Sienna minivan, operated by Guy Robert Attride (51) of Klamath Falls, was westbound when the vehicle went off the roadway for an unknown reason, overcorrected back onto the roadway, and rolled several times before coming to rest on its tires. 


The operator was declared deceased at the scene. 


A female passenger was ejected from the vehicle and transported via Airlink with serious injuries.  The passenger has not been identified at this time.


OSP was assisted by Klamath County Fire District 1 and Bonanza Fire.

OHCS Agricultural Worker Housing Study makes key recommendations to increase wages and housing for farmworkers
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 05/25/23 9:00 AM

SALEM, Ore. — An Oregon Housing and Community Services Agricultural Worker Housing Study substantiates that most of the state’s farmworkers earn very low wages, and many farmworker households are in poverty. Due to low wages and a lack of affordable housing, Oregon’s farmworkers have few housing options and often live in poor and overcrowded conditions.  

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“Farmworkers have long been an essential backbone to our state. Centering their humanity, dignity, and well-being, requires we continue advancing safe and healthy farmworker housing—as we do in service to all people of Oregon,” said OHCS Director Andrea Bell. “It’s important to acknowledge that migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and their families are the foundation of Oregon’s large agricultural sector. Lack of housing options leads to health disparities that leave generational impacts. This is not abstract. Seeing ourselves in one another requires that we take care of those that sustain our food system.” 

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There are more than 531,000 jobs connected to Oregon agriculture, food, and fiber, and agriculture contributes $42 billion to Oregon’s economy each year. As of 2017, there are an estimated 100,122 farmworkers in Oregon, doing the skilled and difficult work of growing, picking, and packing food.  

The report is the culmination of almost four years of work. In December 2017, the Data and Research Subcommittee of the Agricultural Workforce Housing Facilitation Team (AWHFT) recommended OHCS commission the in-depth study. The goal was to update statewide information on agriculture workforce housing to better understand the current needs and barriers to help inform future program decisions, funding opportunities, and policy decisions.  

OHCS commissioned Stamberger Outreach Consulting to conduct the study in Hood River, Marion, Morrow, and Yamhill counties. The report focuses on how to optimize the use of available resources, review current housing, as well as understanding what policies and funding options encourage employers to offer housing, and increase innovation in the provision of housing. 

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“A central goal of this study was to hear the experiences and recommendations of farmworkers and agricultural employers to ensure their voices were included in this process,” said Jamie Stamberger, author of the study and research director at Stamberger Outreach Consulting. “We interviewed 80 farmworkers and nine agricultural employers, as well agency experts. Through these interviews and our analysis of available data, our team identified eight critical issues for farmworker housing. These issues must be addressed in order to meet the need for farmworker housing.” 

Some of the key recommendations of the study include the following: 

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  • Increase farmworker incomes.
  • Provide direct rental assistance to farmworkers.
  • Increase the supply of housing that farmworkers can afford.
  • Develop programs to provide special clearance and/or requirements, or co-signers, for farmworkers to satisfy rental application and mortgage loan requirements.
  • Support lower-cost alternative homeownership models including community land trusts and housing cooperatives that provide ownership opportunities for farmworkers.

Read the executive summary and full report on the OHCS website 

Un estudio de vivienda para la fuerza laboral agrícola recomienda incrementar sus sueldos y opciones de viviendas   

SALEM, Ore. — Un estudio de Viviendas para Trabajadores Agrícolas del Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios de Oregón corrobora que la mayoría ganan salarios muy bajos y se encuentran en la pobreza. Debido a los bajos ingresos y la falta de vivienda de bajo costo, los trabajadores agrícolas tienen muy pocas opciones de vivienda y a menudo viven en condiciones inadecuadas y hacinados.

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“Durante mucho tiempo los trabajadores agrícolas han sido esencial para nuestro estado. Centrar su humanidad, dignidad y bienestar requiere que sigamos construyendo viviendas seguras y saludables para los trabajadores agrícolas, al igual que hacemos al servicio de todos los habitantes de Oregón,” dijo la directora de OHCS Andrea Bell. “Es importante reconocer que los trabajadores migrantes y los de temporada son la base del sector agrícola de Oregón. La falta de opciones de vivienda genera problemas de salud que dejan secuelas generacionales. Esto no es abstracto. Vernos reflejados en los demás exige que cuidemos de los que sostienen nuestro sistema alimentario.”    

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Existen más de 531,000 puestos de trabajo relacionados con la agricultura, los alimentos y las fibras; y la agricultura aporta $42,000 millones a la economía de Oregón cada año. Se calcula que, desde el 2017, hay 100,122 trabajadores agrícolas en Oregón que realizan trabajo de mano de obra especializada y de mayor dificultad del cultivo, cosecha y empaquetamiento de los alimentos. 

El informe es la culminación de casi cuatro años de trabajo. En diciembre del 2017, el Subcomité de Datos e Investigación del Equipo de Facilitación de Viviendas para la Fuerza Laboral Agrícola (AWHFT, por sus siglas en inglés) recomendó a OHCS realizar el estudio. Se buscaba actualizar la información a nivel estatal de viviendas para la fuerza laboral agrícola, para así mejor comprender las necesidades y barreras actuales. El propósito es ayudar a informar las decisiones futuras del programa, las oportunidades de financiación y las decisiones políticas. 

OHCS comisionó a Stamberger Outreach Consulting para realizar el estudio en los condados de Hood River, Marion, Morrow y Yamhill. El informe se centra en cómo mejor utilizar los recursos disponibles, examinar las viviendas actuales, así como entender qué pólizas y opciones de financiación animan a los empleadores a ofrecer viviendas, y aumentar la innovación en la provisión de viviendas. 

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“La meta central de este estudio fue escuchar las experiencias y recomendaciones de los trabajadores y empleadores agrícolas para incluirlos en el proceso,” dijo Jamie Stamberger, autora del estudio y directora de investigación de Stamberger Outreach Consulting. “Nosotros entrevistamos a 80 trabajadores agrícolas y nueve empleadores, al igual que expertos en diferentes agencias. Por medio de estas entrevistas y nuestro análisis de los datos disponibles, nuestro equipo identifico ocho temas importantes en cuanto la vivienda para la fuerza laboral agrícola. Estas cuestiones deben abordarse para satisfacer la necesidad de vivienda de los trabajadores agrícolas”. 

Algunas de las recomendaciones principales del estudio son las siguientes: 

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  • Aumentar los ingresos de los trabajadores 
  • Proporcionar ayuda directa a los trabajadores agrícolas para la renta o alquiler. 
  • Aumentar el suministro de viviendas que los trabajadores agrícolas puedan pagar. 
  • Desarrollar programas para proporcionar autorizaciones especiales o codeudores, para que los trabajadores agrícolas cumplan con requisitos para solicitudes de vivienda de alquiler o préstamos para comprar una vivienda.
  • Apoyar modelos alternativos de vivienda de menor costo, incluyendo fideicomisos de tierras comunitarias y cooperativas de vivienda que ofrezcan oportunidades de compra a los trabajadores agrícolas.

Lea el resumen ejecutivo y el informe completo en el sitio de internet de OHCS. 

Board of Forestry to meet in Sisters on June 7 and 8, with community social
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/25/23 8:18 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet in Sisters, with a public meeting and community social scheduled on Wednesday, June 7, and the public meeting reconvenes on June 8. All events are open to the public.

The public meetings will be held at FivePine Lodge, South Sister Room – 1021 Desperado Trail, Sisters, OR, 97759. The June 7 meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. and the June 8 meeting begins at 8 a.m. There will not be a virtual option for the community social, but the meetings will be livestreamed on the department’s YouTube channel.

The board’s business agenda includes:

  • Forest patrol assessment hearings for Jackson County
  • Forest Protection Association budgets
  • Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee testimony
  • 2023 Legislative session update
  • Fire season readiness
  • 20-Year Landscape Resiliency Strategy update
  • Forestry Program for Oregon planning work session
  • Board and agency organizational governance work session

The full agenda is available on the board’s webpage. Live testimony is available for item #1, state forester and board member comments, and item #3, Forest Protection Association budgets. Sign-up is required and instructions to provide live testimony are available online. Sign-up closes Friday, June 2 at 5 p.m. Written public testimony will also be accepted. Written comments can be submitted before or up to two weeks after the meeting day to oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov with the appropriate agenda item included with the submission.

On June 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the board and department will host a community social. This informal event is open to the public for in-person attendance at the Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Department, Community Room – 301 South Elm Street, Sisters, OR, 97759. An RSVP is not required, but encouraged, as spacing and parking are limited. Please RSVP to oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov. 

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200 or by email at estryinformation@odf.oregon.gov">forestryinformation@odf.oregon.gov.

The Oregon Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the State Forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base. Read more information about the board.

Six tips to keep campfires safe and enjoyable this season (Photo)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 05/25/23 8:13 AM
Campfire at Minam State Recreation Area
Campfire at Minam State Recreation Area

SALEM, Oregon – Gathering around the campfire is a highlight for many visitors at Oregon State Parks. If you follow some basic guidelines, you can enjoy this tradition safely and reduce the risk of injury and wildfires. 

Wildfire is a real danger in Oregon despite the wet and snowy spring. That’s why the No. 1 precaution you can take is to follow posted fire restrictions. At times, campfires and other open flames may be banned in campgrounds or on the beach.  

Restrictions can happen at any time and with little warning, depending on conditions. Be sure to research conditions for the area near where you’re camping just before you head out. Fire restrictions may be in place at the park, county or state level. The Oregon State Parks website will post the latest information about campfires in state parks.

Restrictions may be in place even though the park is far from any wildfires. When wildfires rage, emergency responders and firefighters need to be on the front lines. We ask campers to do their part to make sure an emergency at the campground doesn’t pull resources from the statewide firefighting effort. 

“If you’re camping with children or others who are new to outdoor recreation, it’s particularly important to review campfire safety practices,” said Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) associate director. “If you have a question or a concern, talk with a park ranger or camp host.”

OPRD offers these six tips for a safe and enjoyable campfire:

  1. Maintain campfire flames at knee height (no more than 2 feet high). A smaller flame helps prevent embers from rising into the trees or dry vegetation. If you see the wind stirring up embers, play it safe and put the fire out. 
  2. In a state park campground, only build campfires in the existing fire ring in your campsite. Fire rings are placed in areas with buffer zones and away from vegetation. 
  3. Always keep plenty of water on hand to safely put out the campfire. Douse the flames with water and stir the embers to make sure everything is wet. The stirring step is important: ash and wood debris often maintain heat. Repeat these steps until the fire no longer emits heat.
  4. Beach campfires should be on open sand and away from driftwood or vegetation and use only natural wood, rather than pallets or anything else that might have hidden nails or screws. Slowly pour water on your beach fire to put it out. Pouring water too quickly can cause hot sand to fly up. Don’t use sand to put out a beach fire. Covering the fire with sand will insulate the coals, keeping them hot enough to burn someone hours or days later. 
  5. For propane fire rings, follow the same safety precautions you would with a log-based campfire. The use of propane fire rings may be restricted depending on local conditions.
  6. Make sure everyone in your campsite is familiar with campfire safety, including children. Always keep an eye on your campfire; many accidental fires are started because campers left their fire unattended for “just a minute.” 

In addition to keeping your campfire safe, it’s also important to make sure your wood is free from invasive insects to keep our forests safe from the deadly emerald ash borer and other pests. Please do not bring firewood from outside the local area. Buy local firewood within 10 miles of your destination or buy certified heat-treated firewood.

During May, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, the Office of Emergency Management, Keep Oregon Green, the U.S. Forest Service, OPRD and other federal, state and local emergency and response agencies are encouraging the public to work together in their local communities to prevent the risk of wildfire.

Information about recreation and wildfire safety is at keeporegongreen.org. Visit stateparks.oregon.gov for information about Oregon State Parks including fire restrictions and safety guidelines


Attached Media Files: Campfire at Minam State Recreation Area

Wed. 05/24/23
Committee for Emergency Fire Cost meets June 6
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/24/23 5:02 PM

SALEM, Ore. — The Emergency Fire Cost Committee will meet in the Tillamook Room, Building C, Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street in Salem on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at 10 a.m. A virtual option will be available via Zoom video conference, which can be found on the agenda. To provide public comment, please contact ystal.bader@odf.oregon.gov">Chrystal Bader at 503-945-7220.

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Financial status of the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund
  • Annual audit report
  • Weather update
  • Update on status of large fire cost collection efforts
  • Strategic investments
  • Administrative Branch/Fire Protection Division reports
  • EFCC Administrator report

The meeting is open to the public to attend either in-person or virtually via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the end of the meeting as noted on the agenda. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 72 hours before the meeting by contacting ystal.bader@odf.oregon.gov">Chrystal Bader at 503-945-7220.

The Emergency Fire Cost Committee oversees the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund (OFLPF), established by the Oregon Legislature as an insurance fund with the purpose of equalizing emergency fire suppression costs among the various Oregon Department of Forestry protection districts. The emergency funding system is designed to operate as an insurance policy whereby all districts contribute (pay premiums) into the fund so that money will be available to any individual district to pay fire suppression costs on emergency fires. View more information on the EFCC webpage.

Local Entrepreneur Sentenced to Federal Prison for Covid-Relief Fraud
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 05/24/23 4:34 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland entrepreneur was sentenced to federal prison today for fraudulently applying for and obtaining loans intended to help small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Peter Peacock Blood, 59, was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison and 5 years’ supervised release. He was also ordered to forfeit more than $600,000 to the United States and to pay more than $590,000 in restitution to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Chase Bank.

On March 25, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide emergency financial assistance to American employers suffering the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting shutdowns. According to court documents, in early April 2020, less than two weeks after the CARES Act was passed, Blood began submitting fraudulent applications for Covid-relief benefits on behalf of his two solar energy companies, Cycle Power Partners, LLC and Cycle Holdings, LLC.

Previously, Blood filed tax returns in 2019 and 2020 on behalf of Cycle Power Partners claiming the company had two or fewer employees, including Blood himself, and paid less than $9,600 in quarterly wages and other compensation. No quarterly tax returns were filed for Cycle Holdings during the same time period. Despite this, in two separate Paycheck Protection Program loan applications he submitted in April 2020, Blood claimed his companies had 10 employees and an average monthly payroll exceeding $116,000.

The first application resulted in a loan of more than $332,000 and the second, a loan of more than $290,000. Blood spent more than half of the funds received on a custom, military-style truck he outfitted into a camper and another $14,000 on home improvements.

On July 8, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging Blood with two counts of loan fraud and, on December 16, 2022, he pleaded guilty to both counts.

This case was investigated by the SBA Office of Inspector General, U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), and the FBI. It was prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds and Meredith D.M. Bateman, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Undercover Operation Arrests Cyber Predators Luring Local Children Online (Photo)
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office - 05/24/23 3:29 PM

Arrest Video Available: https://vimeo.com/829999676?share=copy


JCSO Key Case 23-1309


JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – A three-month long undercover operation to identify adults victimizing children online has led to arrests of seven suspects throughout Oregon. The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) joint inter-agency task force launched the operation to identify and arrest dangerous cyber predators using the internet to meet with local juveniles to have sex. 


The SOCET led operation consisted of undercover law enforcement officers posing as minors on various online websites waiting for suspects to proposition them into having sex. Even after the acknowledgement of the child’s age, suspects sent sexually explicit messages, photos, and detailed requests of sexual activities they wanted to perform with the child.   


This complex undercover operation involved dozens of law enforcement officials including detectives, investigators, and support personnel from Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Marshals Service, Oregon State Police, Sutherlin Police Department (SPD), Grants Pass Police Department (GPPD), Jackson County Parole and Probation, and Central Point Police Department; as well as prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office. Due to the complexity of this operation and the dangers involved in the arrests, SOCET also enlisted assistance from other local police task forces including the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team and Pacific Northwest Violent Offenders Task Force.


The latest arrest came May 19th, when SOCET investigators assisted Corvallis Police Department in arresting Manjunath Kareppagoudr, 35, of Corvallis. Kareppagoudr was charged with first-degree online sexual corruption of a child, three counts of second-degree online sexual corruption of a child, and three counts of luring a minor. He was booked and lodged in the Benton County Jail.


The first arrest came March 17th when Paul Robert Raney, 28, of Grants Pass, attempted to meet and have sex with a juvenile. Raney is charged with first-degree online sexual corruption of a child, two counts of second-degree online sexual corruption of a child, two counts of luring a minor, and two counts of attempted using a child in the display of sexually explicit content. He was booked and lodged in the Jackson County Jail. 


The next arrest on March 17th was Emanuel Cisneros, 22, of Klamath Falls, when he attempted to meet with a juvenile to have sex. Cisneros is charged with first-degree online sexual corruption of a child, two counts of second-degree online sexual corruption of a child, two counts of luring a minor, and two counts of attempted using a child in the display of sexually explicit content. Cisneros was booked and lodged at the Jackson County Jail. Investigators have reason to believe Cisneros may have victimized additional children throughout Oregon and the United States. If you have any information, call the JCSO Tip Line at (541) 774-8333.


The third arrest on March 17th was Reuben Phillip Harvey, 29, of Seneca, Ore. SOCET arrested Harvey as he attempted to meet with a juvenile to have sex.  Harvey is charged with two counts of first-degree online sexual corruption of a child, two counts of second-degree online sexual corruption of a child, two counts of luring a minor, and two counts of attempted using a child in the display of sexually explicit content. Harvey was booked and lodged in the Jackson County Jail. Investigators have reason to believe Harvey may have victimized additional children throughout Oregon and the United States. If you have any information, call the JCSO Tip Line at (541) 774-8333.


The following day on March 18th, Jose Anthony Babb, 30, of Medford, was arrested attempting to meet with a juvenile to have sex. Babb was charged with first-degree online sexual corruption of a child, second-degree online sexual corruption of a child, luring a minor, and attempted using a child in the display of sexually explicit content. He was booked and lodged in the Jackson County Jail. Babb pled guilty to Class B Felony first-degree online sexual corruption of a child on May 11th and was sentenced to 28 months in the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility with three years of post-prison supervision. Upon his release he will be required to register as a sex offender.


On April 11th Carlos Orellana, 34, of Portland, was arrested by SPD in Sutherlin and charged with first-degree online sexual corruption of a child, second-degree online sexual corruption of a child, and luring a minor. He was booked and lodged in the Douglas County Jail.


Another arrest came as a result of the operation as Leonard Allen Weedman, 64, of Medford, communicated with an undercover officer, violating the conditions of his parole for first-degree online sexual corruption of a child. Weedman was arrested last year during a similar SOCET operation. He was booked and lodged in the Jackson County Jail by a Parole and Probation officer on March 22nd. 


Investigators have reason to believe the suspects pictured may have other victims. If anyone has additional information on these suspects, please call your local law enforcement agency or the JCSO tip line at (541) 774-8333.


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, GPPD, and HSI; as well as prosecutors from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Jackson and Josephine County.



Attached Media Files: 2023-05/6186/163727/SOCET_Mugshot_Convicted_BABB.jpg , 2023-05/6186/163727/SOCET_Mugshot_Arrested_Cisneros.jpg , 2023-05/6186/163727/SOCET_Mugshot_Arrested_4x6_REuben.jpg , 2023-05/6186/163727/IMG_1803~photo.jpg , 2023-05/6186/163727/IMG_1764~photo.jpg , 2023-05/6186/163727/IMG_1763~photo.jpg , 2023-05/6186/163727/IMG_1759~photo.jpg , Arrest Harvey , Arrest Babb , Arrest Cisneros , Arrest Raney

Boatnik Rogue River Closure (Photo)
Josephine Co. Sheriff's Office - 05/24/23 2:22 PM

TO: Waterway Users

FROM: Josephine County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol

DATES:  May 26 – 29, 2023

RE: Water use regulations and race event schedule during Boatnik               


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 crashes 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. 


CLOSED Friday, May 26, 2023 6:30pm – 10:15pm from Baker Park to Sixth Street Bridge.

CLOSED Saturday, May 27, 2023 10:00am – 1:00pm from Baker Park to Robertson Bridge AND  1:00pm – 5:00pm from Baker Park to Sixth Street Bridge.

CLOSED Sunday, May 28th, 2023 7:00am – 1:00pm from Baker Park to Robertson Bridge AND 1:00pm – 10:15pm from Baker Park to Sixth Street Bridge. 

CLOSED Monday, May 29, 2023 12:00pm – 3:00pm from Baker Park to Robertson Bridge. 

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/6607/163725/23_BOATNIK_.png

Make the Most of Your Vacation with Budgeting Tips from Southern Oregon Bank Manager
Umpqua Bank - 05/24/23 2:00 PM

Create a solid saving and spending plan for your upcoming travels this season

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the unofficial start to summer: a time for outdoor activities, evenings spent grilling with friends and family and, of course, summer vacations. Whether you’re planning to hit the road or take to the skies, there are some important financial considerations when planning your next trip. As you dream about your next vacation, Umpqua Bank is offering tips to help you make the most of your trip with a solid plan to save and spend this summer season—and avoid falling victim to a vacation scam.

“We all deserve to take time to rest, relax and rejuvenate when the weather gets warmer,” says Neal Brown, Southern Oregon & Siskiyou Market Region Manager at Umpqua Bank. “But to make the most of your time away, it’s important that you create a plan and stick to it so you stay on budget, maximize your trip and return without vacation guilt.” 

Here are Neal’s top tips heading into travel season:

  1. Set a budget and plan your trip around it. Take a good look at your finances and set realistic expectations for what you can afford without accruing vacation debt. For example, if you have your heart set on a specific location, consider traveling in the “shoulder season” (outside of peak travel times, typically in spring or early fall). Or, if you’re just looking to get away, research destination options that may help you save. Remember: Your budget should include everything—not just the flight and hotel. Think about costs for meals, transportation at your destination and any excursions you’d like to go on. This will give you a far more realistic expectation of the total cost.
  2. Start a dedicated vacation fund. It’s never too late to start saving for your next vacation—even if it’s already booked. If your travel fund is mixed in with your general savings account, it can be tempting to dip into the fund for other expenses. Consider opening a separate savings account specifically for your vacation fund, which will help you keep an eye on exactly where you’re at financially. You can even set up recurring automatic payments from your checking account to this savings account to contribute regularly. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it adds up!
  3. Use credit sparingly—but to your advantage. It can be easy to fall into the trap of using your credit card to pay for a vacation without paying it off right away, but that sets you up for fees and interest that add up long after your trip is over. You can, however, use a credit card to your advantage. Many credit cards offer perks such as earning rewards for everyday purchases that can be redeemed for airfare, hotels and more. And, a credit card often offers additional (and significant) advantages like trip cancellation coverage or no foreign transaction fees. Just be sure to read the fine print of what a credit card offers!

And, with these tips in mind, it’s also more important than ever to keep an eye out for scammers trying to take advantage of the increased interest in hotel, flight and vacation bookings. 

“Scammers are incredibly opportunistic, and increasingly savvy,” says Jon Stockton, Umpqua Bank’s Director of Fraud. “They are always inventing new ways to make something seem legitimate when it’s not—which means it’s important to stay extra vigilant.” 

Here are some helpful tips to avoid turning your dream trip into a nightmare—and a big headache—due to a vacation scam:

  1. Verify Your Booking Site: Before you book your ticket, do some research. Does the website have a verifiable physical address and phone number? Do they have any Better Business Bureau complaints that might make you pause? When in doubt, booking directly from an airline or hotel is your safest bet—but remember, scammers are getting more and more clever, so double check that the website URL is the verified site of the company you are intending to book from.
  2. Use Reputable Vacation Rental Services: Scammers often fabricate or even steal real rental property information to create fraudulent booking sites in an attempt to steal your information. If possible, call ahead to confirm a rental’s availability and speak to an actual person. And, use reputable vacation rental services that offer fraud protection.
  3. Utilize Your Credit Card: Using a credit card often offers you more peace of mind because they have additional built-in protections against fraud, including things like vacation protection. Be wary of the payment methods your booking site is requesting; if they require you to wire the funds or provide a cashier’s check, it’s likely a scam.
  4. Protect Yourself While You’re Out: Always keep your purse or wallet on you and in your possession when you’re traveling. Even a quick stop at a gas station or rest area is an invitation for an opportunistic scammer to snatch it. And, be sure to take note of any numbers or records you may need in the event you have to report a stolen or lost card to your financial institution. Remember: If you find yourself a victim (or suspected victim) of a scam, be sure to call your financial institution right away to start the process of reporting a stolen card or compromised account.

“Every year, we see scammers taking advantage of people trying to find a good deal,” Stockton says. “Just remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is—whether it’s a flight deal or an ultra-cheap vacation rental. Be extra careful and perform your own due diligence to verify their authenticity.” 

With these tips in mind and a plan in place, you can be confident that you’re maximizing your next big trip—and feeling good that you won’t come back with vacation-related guilt. 

OHA encourages mpox vaccination as state marks Pride Month in June
Oregon Health Authority - 05/24/23 1:34 PM

May 24, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA encourages mpox vaccination as state marks Pride Month in June

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon public health officials want to raise awareness that getting vaccinated with both doses of the mpox vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves and their community, especially in advance of Pride and related summer gatherings and travel.

Tim Menza, M.D., Ph.D., senior health adviser for Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) mpox response, said that while the number of mpox cases in the state has decreased dramatically since last summer, the outbreak that began in June 2022 is not over.

“There are reports of increases in cases in the United States (Chicago) and across the globe, including in France and South Korea,” Menza said.

Oregon still sees one to three mpox cases reported per month, although that’s a significant drop from the 10 to 15 cases reported per week when the outbreak peaked in early August 2022. The state’s total count of mpox cases now stands at 280 in 12 counties since the start of the outbreak, including 278 adult cases and two pediatric cases. There have been no deaths.

That the mpox outbreak is not yet over is a sentiment shared recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On May 15, the agency issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) advisory, warning health care and public health partners of ongoing mpox community transmission in the United States and internationally. The HAN informs clinicians and public health agencies about the potential for new clusters or outbreaks of mpox cases, and provides resources on clinical evaluation, treatment, vaccination and testing.

“We have the tools to prevent a resurgence in Oregon, including testing, vaccination, treatment, strong community partnerships and data to guide our response,” Menza emphasized. “As we gather and travel for Pride celebrations in Oregon and around the country next month, we can use these tools now to help us avoid repeating the outbreak of 2022.”

The JYNNEOS mpox vaccine is free and readily available to anyone in Oregon who wants to be vaccinated. As of May 15, 20,972 doses of JYNNEOS have been administered in Oregon, including 13,084 first doses and 7,703 second doses. Menza believes there are many more people who could benefit from vaccination who have not yet received their first dose and that there are about 5,381 people who remain eligible for a second dose but have not yet received it.

The JYNNEOS vaccine is highly effective. According to a study published Friday (May 19) in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the vaccine was found to be 75% effective for those receiving one dose and 86% effective for those who had two doses.

“People with two doses of the vaccine can feel confident in their protection, but breakthrough cases are possible, so if you've been vaccinated and notice a new spot or rash, talk to your health care provider,” Menza explained. “We are still learning how long vaccination protection lasts, but we know that vaccines make getting and spreading mpox less likely, and help make symptoms less severe.”

Mpox spreads primarily through close, skin-to-skin contact. Most often, it has occurred through intimate or sexual contact, and during contact with the lesions of an individual with mpox through a caregiving relationship, such as a parent caring for a child or an adult caretaker of another person.

Infection rates are highest among people living in Multnomah County, those ages 30 to 39, and members of the Latino and Black/African American communities. Most cases were men who reported having sex with men, and most identified as gay or bisexual men.

People who suspect they have mpox should contact their health care provider to let them know before going in to be seen. The provider may recommend testing for mpox. Those who don’t have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 or their local public health authority for help finding a clinic or health care provider.

For more information about mpox in Oregon, visit OHA’s mpox website. Vaccination clinics can also be searched by ZIP code with an mpox vaccine locator tool at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Monkeypox/Pages/vaccine.aspx or at https://mpoxvaxmap.org/.



OSP Grants Pass Office Leading a Patrol Saturation on Highway 199 -- Josephine County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 05/24/23 12:54 PM

Update from the Grants Pass Area Command Saturation Patrol. 

For two days, May 18 & 19, 2023, roughly 23 OSP Troopers were on Highway 199 between Grants Pass and the California border to target OSP’s “Fatal Five” which are 5 dangerous driving behaviors known to be contributing factors to serious injury and fatal crashes.

OSP refers to the Fatal Five as 𝐒𝐎𝐋𝐈𝐃- Speed, Occupant Safety, Lane Safety, Impaired Driving, and Distracted Driving. During that patrol, of the over 500 traffic stops that were initiated the following warnings/citations were issued:

𝐒peed 311 

𝐎ccupant Safety 33 

𝐋ane Safety 36

𝐈mpaired Driving 1 

𝐃istracted Driving 12 

And all other 231

Immediately following this high visibility Patrol, Troopers over the weekend noticed a significant change in driving behavior including decreased number of drivers speeding. 

The Oregon State Police stays ever so diligent in keeping drivers safe in Oregon. Be a 𝐒𝐎𝐋𝐈𝐃 driver by ensuring you are mindful of the Oregon State Police’s Fatal Five and obey all traffic laws for your safety as well as the safety of everyone else on the highways. 

The Oregon State Police will be leading a saturation patrol on Highway 199 (Redwood Highway) as we are approaching the highly traveled summer months. On May 18 and May 19, 2023, Oregon State Police Troopers, Grants Pass Police Officers, and Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies will be enforcing those driving behaviors most commonly contributing to fatal crashes, which we refer to as the FATAL 5. OSP’s Fatal 5 are Speed, Occupant Safety, Lane Usage, Impaired Driving, and Distracted Driving. These categories of traffic violations have been proven to be the primary contributors to serious injury/fatal crashes. These enforcement activities will be focused on the entirety of Highway 199, from the California border to the Grants Pass City Center.

The Oregon State Police would like to remind drivers that the Oregon Department of Transportation has designated Highway 199 as a Safety Corridor from milepost 20 to milepost 27.5. Under ORS 811.483, fines for traffic offenses committed in safety corridors are doubled and fines for certain traffic crimes are greatly enhanced.

These heavy enforcement activities will continue to occur throughout the summer months of June, July, and August. 

The Oregon State Police, in conjunction with our agency partners, encourage drivers to drive within the posted speed limits and allow themselves sufficient time to arrive safely at their destination. The primary goal is to ensure that you and your family enjoy a safe commute on Oregon’s highways.

OSP will be posting real-time updates on our Twitter account https://twitter.com/ORStatePolice (@ORStatePolice) on Thursday, May 18 in the evening and Friday, May 19 in the morning.

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/1002/163489/My_project-1.png , GP Sat Patrol US199

UPDATE - Oregon Department of Human Services announces that Julian Matney has been found
Oregon Department of Human Services - 05/24/23 12:10 PM

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, is thankful for the community support to find Julian (Jayce) Matney. 

Jayce, age 14, is a child who went missing from Portland on May 16. He was found May 23. 

Sometimes when a child is missing they may be in significant danger and ODHS may need to locate them to assess and support their safety. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and assess their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. 


Celebrate Oregon! artwork to come to life on Portland Rose Festival float (Photo)
Oregon Cultural Trust - 05/24/23 9:38 AM
A rendering of the Celebrate Oregon! Rose Festival float
A rendering of the Celebrate Oregon! Rose Festival float

Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Cultural Trust’s Celebrate Oregon! artwork will be brought to life on a float in the 2023 Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, Cultural Trust Executive Director Brian Rogers announced today.  

Current donors to the Cultural Trust can enter to win a chance to ride on the float with artist Liza Mana Burns, who created the Celebrate Oregon! artwork. Donors will also be entered to win one of three pair of reserved tickets to the Memorial Coliseum viewing of the Grand Floral Parade, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 10. The deadline for entries is midnight on Monday, June 5.

Designed for the Cultural Trust license plate, the Celebrate Oregon! artwork is a vibrant tapestry of Oregon geography into which are woven 127 symbols that reflect and respect the diversity of Oregon’s people and cultural traditions. The artwork, a celebration of Oregon arts, heritage and humanities, has also been displayed on full-scale murals at Oregon’s four largest airports and in a custom “wrap” of the Oregon Coast Art Bus.

“When the artwork was finalized, we realized its power to unite Oregonians,” said Rogers. “Everyone who views the artwork finds a personal connection, making them feel included and part of the Oregon story. That is why we continue to seek out new public platforms for the artwork and partnered with the Portland Rose Festival.”

While not all 127 symbols could be included on the float, signage will guide viewers to the artwork’s interactive key to see and learn about other symbols. In addition, the float will be accompanied by parade entries that reflect symbols, including Ballet Papalotl – a folklórico dancing group – and the White Lotus Foundation Lion and Dragon Dancers’ 100-foot long Chinese dragon.

“The Cultural Trust float will be the cornerstone of a whole section of the parade that will celebrate Oregon,” said Marilyn Clint, Rose Festival CEO.

The Cultural Trust is currently in the midst of a spring fundraising campaign in response to a record number of grant applications for FY2024 funding. Donations received in advance of the new fiscal year (July 1) will increase the pool of grant funds available for distribution this summer.

“We received a record 194 applications to our Cultural Development Grant Program this year,” said Rogers. “That reveals the incredible need that arts, heritage and humanities nonprofits are experiencing. Our hope is to support as many of these projects as possible this summer.”

Taxpayers who make donations to arts, heritage or humanities nonprofits – and a matching donation to the Cultural Trust – qualify for Oregon’s Cultural Tax Credit as long as both donations are made in the same tax year. Tax credit limits are $500 for an individual, $1,000 for a couple filing jointly and $2,500 for Class-C corporations.

More than half of the money raised by the Cultural Trust is distributed directly to Oregon’s nonprofit cultural community; the remainder grows the Cultural Trust permanent fund. Cultural Trust grants are distributed through five Statewide Cultural Partners – Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Humanities and the Oregon State Office of Historic Preservation – as well as to 45 County/Tribal Cultural Coalitions, who regrant the funds in their communities, and directly to cultural nonprofits via Cultural Development Program grant awards. 

Donate to the Cultural Trust.

Enter the Cultural Trust Donor/Rose Festival Drawing.

See a full list of Trust-funded projects in FY2023.

# # #

The Oregon Cultural Trust was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2001 as a unique means to reward Oregonians who invest in culture. Oregonians who donate to a cultural nonprofit and then make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust receive a 100% state tax credit for their gift to the Trust.

Attached Media Files: A rendering of the Celebrate Oregon! Rose Festival float

Department seeks scientific articles about salvage logging (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/24/23 9:24 AM
Salvage harvest in the Santiam State Forest from the 2020 wildfire.
Salvage harvest in the Santiam State Forest from the 2020 wildfire.

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) seeks peer-reviewed scientific journal articles about post-disturbance timber harvest — also known as salvage logging. ODF will use relevant articles to conduct a literature review.

Oregon Senate Bill 1501 directed ODF to make rules related to post-disturbance harvest. A disturbance could be a wildfire, a natural disaster, an extreme weather event, an insect infestation, or a disease outbreak. As part of the process, the Board of Forestry will determine if current post-disturbance harvest rules meet the requirements of Oregon Revised Statue (ORS) 527.714(1)(c) and the Private Forest Accord report.

The literature review will help inform the board about post-disturbance harvest rulemaking needs. As part of the literature review, the department is: 

  • Reviewing the best possible science.
  • Reaching out to experts in the field for additional information.
  • Ensuring the public has an opportunity to provide relevant scientific information.

The three main topics ODF is asking the public to send peer-reviewed journal articles about are:

  • The effects of post-disturbance harvest on streamside areas and aquatic systems.
  • Post-disturbance ecology.
  • Post-disturbance natural regeneration.

The public can submit articles from June 2 through June 22 via email at drules@odf.oregon.gov">odf.frdrules@odf.oregon.gov or via postal mail to: Attn: Elise Chiba, Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street, Salem, OR 97310. 

After completing the literature review, ODF will report the findings to the board in early 2024. The board will then determine whether to start drafting rules or decide that the current rules suffice.

See ODF’s webpages for more information on the Private Forest Accord and Forest Practices Act.

Attached Media Files: Salvage harvest in the Santiam State Forest from the 2020 wildfire.

Tue. 05/23/23
Early numbers show nearly 70% of Oregonians to keep benefits in first round of renewals
Oregon Health Authority - 05/23/23 4:56 PM

May 23, 2023

Media contacts:

Erica Heartquist, Oregon Health Authority,

ica.J.Heartquist@oha.oregon.gov">Erica.J.Heartquist@oha.oregon.gov,  503-871-8843

Jake Sunderland, Oregon Department of Human Services,

land@odhs.oregon.gov">Jake.Sunderland@odhs.oregon.gov, 503-877-0170

Early numbers show nearly 70% of Oregonians to keep benefits in first round of renewals

State to send updates third week of the month

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) are committed to transparency and will be sending monthly information about medical coverage among Oregonians as the agencies continue to track the state's progress in determining eligibility for medical programs.


When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the federal government allowed states to keep people on Medicaid once they became eligible and did not require annual eligibility renewals. During this historic health emergency, the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), Oregon’s Medicaid program, grew to nearly 1.5 million people.

In April, Oregon began the process of redetermining eligibility for everyone on OHP.  While most people will continue to qualify for existing benefits, OHA is required to review eligibility for all OHP and Medicare Savings Program (MSP) members by mid-2024.

OHP redeterminations started in April

In April, Oregon began processing eligibility redeterminations for all 1.5 million members receiving OHP and other Medicaid-funded services and supports. The federal government requires Oregon to disenroll any members who are no longer eligible or fail to respond to renewal notices.

All OHP households will receive a renewal notice over the next 10 months. People are encouraged to check that their contact information is up to date so that they can be contacted by the state and receive renewal notices.

Oregon will be able to process many renewals automatically. This means that every OHP member will receive a renewal notice, and the notice will explain whether the member needs to provide additional information or take action to keep their coverage.

OHP members encouraged to respond quickly

Although the state has taken many steps to prepare, the large number of OHP redeterminations, along with renewals of long-term services and supports, is expected to cause greater wait times, delays, and possible interruptions to people’s OHP benefits. OHP members are encouraged to respond as quickly as possible after they receive a request for information to avoid any possible delays. The fastest way members can provide an update is by going to benefits.oregon.gov and logging into their ONE account.

Members losing OHP coverage have other coverage options and will receive at least 60 days advance notice. Many people will be eligible to enroll in health plans through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM) with financial help. Other people may be eligible for Medicare or employer coverage.

April OHP redeterminations data

  • April was the first month Oregon began processing medical renewals, during this reporting period: 133,232 individuals, or 75,436 cases have had their OHP renewed.
  • 46,894 individuals, or 29,072 cases needed to provide more information to complete the process.
  • 13,208 required individuals to review, sign and send back their renewal packet.
  • 8,394 people were ineligible and received a 60-day notice of termination of coverage. When people are ineligible, they are referred to the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace for other options for health care coverage.

Early data for May shows 66% of people will retain benefits.

Members losing coverage should report changes to their income or household information immediately if any of the information used to make the decision is inaccurate. They also should apply for other health coverage as soon as they know their coverage ending date to prevent a gap in coverage.

Data dashboards in place for tracking progress

Two new dashboards became available in April 2023 for the public to track Oregon’s progress.

  • Medical Redeterminations Dashboard for tracking the state's progress in determining eligibility for medical programs. This dashboard is updated daily. The types of data in this dashboard will expand over the next few months.
  • ONE Customer Service Center Dashboard for monitoring the customer service experience for people calling the ONE Customer Service Center to apply for or ask for help with medical, food, cash and child care benefits. The ONE Customer Service Center Dashboard is updated every day.

Extending health coverage

To get help, people can also:

Get help finding other health coverage at OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp

OHCS Director Bell joins first annual Bridge Builder Breakfast in honor of National Foster Care Awareness Month  (Photo)
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 05/23/23 3:04 PM

May 23, 2023

Media Contact:  



OHCS Director Bell joins first annual Bridge Builder Breakfast 
in honor of National Foster Care Awareness Month  

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services Director Andrea Bell joined Bridge Meadows and the Department of Human Services (ODHS) along with others at the World Forestry Center for the first annual Bridge Builder Breakfast.

The panel of experts from multiple sectors helped to educate guests on issues related to foster care and housing while elevating innovative solutions at work across Oregon. The event was emceed by Bank of America with the panel moderated by Derenda Schubert, Executive Director of Bridge Meadows and included two panelists with lived experience with the foster care system representing the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center.  

During her remarks, Director Bell elevated that May is National Foster Care Awareness Month and remarked on how OHCS remains committed to addressing the root causes of our affordable housing shortage, including tearing down institutional silos, forming new partnerships and launching innovative initiatives with housing providers across Oregon.  

“The progress we make as a state tomorrow hinges on the well-being of Oregon’s youth today. Statewide housing investments are one of the most critical ways we directly support youth in fulfilling their limitless potential facilitating family unification”, said Director Bell. “What we’ve heard here today is that these developments represent what multigenerational housing models for positive change can look like. When we invest in community solutions, we change lives for the better.”

Read more about Bridge Meadows at their website: https://bridgemeadows.org/.



23 de mayo de 2023

Contacto para medios de comunicación:  


La directora del Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios participa en evento que conmemora el Mes Nacional de Concientización sobre el Cuidado de Crianza

PORTLAND, Ore. — Hoy se celebró el primer desayuno anual, Bridge Builder, en el cual participo Andrea Bell, la directora del Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios de Oregón (OHCS, por sus siglas en inglés). Ella se unió a Bridge Meadows, entidad que organizó el evento, al Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Oregón (ODHS) y otras personas en el Centro Forestal Mundial.

La directora Bell formó parte del panel de expertos que ayudó a educar a los invitados en temas relacionados con el cuidado de crianza y la vivienda. Además, también destacaron soluciones innovadoras llevándose a cabo en Oregón. El panel fue moderado por Derenda Schubert, directora ejecutiva de Bridge Meadows, e incluyó a dos panelistas quienes formaron parte del sistema de cuidado de crianza y que representaron al Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center.

Durante su discurso, la directora Bell recordó a los presentes que mayo es el Mes Nacional de Concientización sobre el Cuidado de Crianza e hizo hincapié en cómo su agencia sigue comprometida a abordar las causas de la escasez de viviendas de bajo costo, incluida la eliminación de barreras, la formación de nuevas asociaciones y el lanzamiento de iniciativas innovadoras con proveedores de viviendas en Oregón.

"El progreso que realicemos como estado mañana depende del actual bienestar de los jóvenes de Oregón. Las inversiones en la vivienda en el estado son una de las formas más impactantes en como apoyar a los jóvenes para que cumplan su potencial ilimitado y facilitar la unificación familiar", dijo la directora Bell. "Lo que hemos escuchado hoy aquí es que para lograr un cambio positivo debemos continuar desarrollando modelos de vivienda multigeneracional. Cuando invertimos en soluciones comunitarias, cambiamos vidas para mejorarlas".

Más información sobre Bridge Meadows en su sitio de internet:  https://bridgemeadows.org/.



Attached Media Files: 2023-05/1810/163686/Bridge_Builder_Breakfast.jpg

Bureau of Land Management announces Pacific Northwest fire restrictions to protect local communities
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 05/23/23 2:35 PM

Portland, Ore. – Fire restrictions go into effect on May 23 for all Bureau of Land Management public lands throughout Oregon and Washington. The BLM encourages all visitors to be aware of active restrictions and closures as warmer, drier weather sets in around the Pacific Northwest. 

Starting May 23, the use of fireworks, exploding targets or metallic targets, steel component ammunition (core or jacket), tracer or incendiary devices, and sky lanterns will be prohibited. These fire restrictions will help reduce the risk of human-caused fires.

“Although we had a wet winter, we must still be careful with activities that can cause a spark to keep our first responders, local communities, and public lands safe from accidental wildfires,” said Anita Bilbao, BLM Oregon/Washington Associate State Director. “We are seeing more invasive grass due to the wet weather, which dries out quickly without rain. Everyone can help by following fire restrictions and practicing fire safety while out on your public lands.”

Those who violate the prohibition can be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a prison term of up to one year. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression.

May is also ‘Wildfire Awareness Month’. Visit NIFC.GOV for wildfire prevention tips: https://www.nifc.gov/fire-information/fire-prevention-education-mitigation/wildfire-prevention.

For more information on Bureau of Land Management Oregon/Washington seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, please see www.blm.gov/orwafire. To learn more about fire careers with BLM Oregon-Washington, please see https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire/state-info/oregon-washington/careers


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/5514/163684/BLM_OR_WA_Fire_Prevention_Order_May2023_SIGNED_508.pdf

Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division investigates unlawful take/possession of big game animals-Clackamas County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 05/23/23 11:14 AM

On June 23, 2022, the Oregon State Police executed a search warrant at the residence of Norman Jones. The warrant stemmed from information gathered in a previous search warrant of a co-conspirator which linked Jones to poaching several deer using a rifle. Jones has a prior felony conviction. During the execution of the search warrant the following firearms were seized as evidence; a Winchester model 88, .308 caliber rifle with mounted scope and a Marlin model 550, .22 caliber rifle with a mounted scope which also included a flashlight taped to the barrel.  

In addition to the firearms, Jones possessed a variety of wildlife parts including numerous sets of deer and elk antlers that were still attached to the skull. Jones was unable to provide documentation to show the majority of the antlers or other wildlife parts were lawfully possessed resulting in the seizure of the following wildlife as evidence:

  • 3 spike deer
  • 17 Forked-horn deer (2pt)
  • 19 Three-point deer
  • 18 Four-point deer
  • 2 Bull elk (5x5 and a 4x4)
  • Owl parts, including wings and legs

Prior to being indicted on the previous charges, OSP received additional information that Jones was again in possession of a firearm.

On April 6, 2023, OSP executed another search warrant at Jones's residence. Seized as evidence during the search warrant was a Savage model 111, .300 Win Mag rifle with scope. 

Jones was subsequently lodged in the Clackamas County Jail.

On April 11, 2023, Jones was indicted by the Clackamas County grand jury on the following charges:

  • Unlawful Possession/Take Big Game Mammal (Class A Misdemeanor) 38 counts
  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm (Class C Felony) 4 counts

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/1002/163676/Jones_PR-Rifle.jpg , 2023-05/1002/163676/Jones_PR-Antlers.jpg

OHA investigating 4 Salmonella infection cases linked to Papa Murphy's cookie dough
Oregon Health Authority - 05/23/23 10:21 AM

May 23, 2023

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA investigating 4 Salmonella infection cases linked to Papa Murphy’s cookie dough

PORTLAND, Ore. — Recent cases of Salmonella infection are being linked to the consumption of Papa Murphy’s cookie dough, Oregon health officials announced today.

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) epidemiologists investigated a cluster of four cases with identical strains of Salmonella bacteria. The cases range in age from 20 to 57 and reported onset of symptoms between April 1 and April 21. None of the cases were hospitalized, and there have been no deaths. The Washington State Department of Health has reported matching cases of Salmonella as well.

Eating raw cookie or S’mores Bar dough sold by Papa Murphy’s restaurants was significantly associated with contracting this strain of Salmonella. Papa Murphy’s, headquartered in Vancouver, Wash., sells uncooked or “take-and-bake” pizzas and cookie dough that are intended to be baked at home.

"People should contact a health care provider if they believe they’ve had symptoms of salmonellosis, including diarrhea, after eating raw cookie dough," said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the OHA Public Health Division. "It’s important to remember, though, that most people with salmonellosis will recover without needing medical care or antibiotics."

He added: "We recommend anyone who has any of the potentially contaminated cookie or S’mores Bar dough to discard it and wash your hands afterward." People who have eaten cookie or pizza dough but not gotten sick do not need to notify a health care provider.

OHA epidemiologists are working closely with the Washington State Department of Health, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate the outbreak. Efforts to trace the source of the Salmonella are ongoing.

During 2013–2022 — the most recent 10-year period — Oregon averaged 459 (range, 337–585) reported cases of salmonellosis per year. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps one to seven days after exposure. The illness usually lasts four to seven days.

Although most people recover without treatment, some have severe infections. Infants, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness. Salmonella may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and, in rare cases, can be deadly.

For general information, visit OHA’s salmonellosis page, or the CDC’s Salmonella page.

Other resources:

  • CDC’s Salmonella FAQ.
  • gov’s Salmonella and Food page and Salmonella page.

# # #

Boating on Oregon's Waterways - Pay Attention, Be Prepared (Photo)
Oregon Marine Board - 05/23/23 10:00 AM
Stand up paddler interacting with the Oregon State Police on Lake Billy Chinook
Stand up paddler interacting with the Oregon State Police on Lake Billy Chinook

There’s something magical about being on the water and Oregon offers incredible boating opportunities. Regardless of what’s calling you to the water and the type of boat you’re in, be aware of your surroundings, be prepared, and make good decisions.             

“Inexperience and solo operation continue to be a growing trend of boating fatalities in Oregon. Planning ahead, boating with others, always keeping a sharp lookout, and wearing a properly fitted life jacket for your boating activity should be at the top of all boaters’ focus,” says Brian Paulsen, Boating Safety Program Manager for the Oregon State Marine Board. “The Marine Board has many resources to help boaters have a safe and enjoyable experience on all of Oregon’s waterways,” adds Paulsen.

The Oregon State Marine Board advises boaters to plan ahead and check out the Marine Board’s interactive boating access map. The map displays public boat ramps and local rules for boat operations. Also, check the weather forecast, water levels, and tides. See if there are any reported obstructions, and have the right gear for your boating activity. Boaters can also check the Marine Board’s website to find out what equipment is required based on the size and type of boat. 

The Marine Board would like to remind boaters:

  • Boat Sober. Abstain from consuming marijuana, drugs, or alcohol, which impair judgment, reaction time, and coordination and cause dehydration. Boating demands sharp situational awareness.
  • All children 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket when underway on all boats (motorized and nonmotorized). All boaters on Class III whitewater rivers are required to wear a life jacket.
  • Be courteous to other boaters and share the waterway. Stage your gear in the parking lot or staging area regardless of your boat type. This makes launching faster and everyone around you happier.
  • In Oregon, all boaters must take a boating safety course and carry a boating safety education card when operating a powerboat greater than 10 horsepower. Paddlers of non-motorized boats 10’ and longer are required to purchase a waterway access permit. The Marine Board also offers a free, online Paddling Course for boaters new to the activity.

For more information about safe boating in Oregon, visit Boat.Oregon.gov.


Attached Media Files: Stand up paddler interacting with the Oregon State Police on Lake Billy Chinook

Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities' Members Generate $3.5 Billion Annual Economic Impact for Oregon
Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities - 05/23/23 10:00 AM

TUALATIN, OR – The Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities' (The Alliance) members annual economic impact to the state of Oregon is $3.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2020-21, according to a new report by Lightcast. Additionally, students' average annual rate of return is 12.5%.

The Alliance’s twelve member colleges and universities are committed to providing high-quality education to their students, but the impact extends far beyond the classroom and the benefit to individual students. “In Oregon, we know instinctively that our private, nonprofit colleges and universities are crucial for our economy, with these institutions helping to define what it means to learn, work, and live in the state,” said Brent Wilder, President of The Alliance. “This analysis of the economic impact and return on investment of education of The Alliance member institutions provides meaningful data that quantifies just how crucial private, nonprofit education is to Oregon’s economic success. Across this state, our member institutions are the economic engines for their communities and their regions. Collectively, they are one of the most important anchors of our robust and vibrant knowledge-based economy.”

In FY 2020-21, Oregon invested $1.1 billion to support The Alliance member institutions. In turn, the Oregon economy will grow by $7.3 billion over the course of students’ working lives. Further report highlights include: 

  • a total impact on the Oregon economy of $3.5 billion in added income, which equates to 43,396 jobs supported. For perspective, the activities of the member institutions and their students support one out of every 59 jobs in Oregon.
  • a cumulative present value of $3.1 billion in increased earnings over student’s working lives. This translates to a return of $3.50 in higher future earnings for every dollar students invest in their education.
  • in total, taxpayers gain $929.4 million in added tax revenue and public sector savings.
  • a net impact of $2.9 billion in added income from The Alliance’s former students currently employed in the state workforce.
  • the expenditures of relocated and retained students added $114.1 million in income to the Oregon economy.
  • brought $26 million of added income to the state of Oregon through visitor spending impact.

In addition, the investment analysis revealed that for every $1 students gain $3.50 in lifetime earnings and society gains $6.90 in added income and social savings.

“The Alliance’s members are vital contributors to Oregon’s economy, with a larger impact than the entirety of Oregon’s utilities industry,” said President Miles K. Davis of Linfield University and chair of The Alliance. “Private, nonprofit colleges and universities play a crucial role in the education landscape by offering diverse academic programs, smaller class sizes, and specialized resources that contribute to a well-rounded learning experience. Their economic impact matters as it fuels job creation, generates revenue, and fosters innovation, benefiting not only students but also making a significant contribution to the state's economy. This report underscores the remarkable return on investment Oregon receives from The Alliance member colleges and universities.”

This economic value study was conducted by Lightcast, the global leader in labor market analytics. The Alliance member institutions included in the study are as follows: Bushnell University, Corban University, George Fox University, Lewis & Clark College, Linfield University, Multnomah University, Pacific University, Reed College, University of Portland, Warner Pacific University, Western Seminary, and Willamette University.

To view the full results of The Alliance’s economic value report, please visit oaicu.org/impact or contact Alliance President Brent Wilder at 503.342.0004 or brent@oaicu.org with questions.

About The Alliance
The Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (“The Alliance”) is comprised of 12 private, nonprofit, independent colleges and universities in the state of Oregon. These institutions deliver high-quality experiential learning with high-impact teaching strategies. The Alliance is the collective voice of Oregon’s independent, nonprofit higher education sector. For more information, visit www.oaicu.org.

Museum Kicks Off Summer with Return of Raptors of the Desert Sky Flight Program (Photo)
High Desert Museum - 05/23/23 8:45 AM

BEND, OR — The High Desert Museum’s signature outdoor flight program, Raptors of the Desert Sky, returns beginning Saturday, May 27. The demonstration takes place daily during the summer at 11:30 am through Labor Day. 

 Hawks, owls, falcons and even turkey vultures soar from perch to perch directly over the crowd seated in a natural amphitheater nestled in the Museum’s ponderosa pine forest. A Museum expert narrates the action, sharing the hunting strategies and natural behaviors of these spectacular birds of prey, as well as what we can do to help preserve them in the wild.

“The outdoor flight program is a highlight of the High Desert Museum summer season,” says Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “For so many visitors, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the power of these extraordinary birds up close while learning about their incredible adaptations from wildlife staff and volunteers.”

The program takes place weather and air quality permitting. The Museum website will be updated to reflect any time changes, such as an earlier start time to accommodate for high temperatures that might stress the birds.

Tickets are separate from Museum entry ($5 for members, children 3-12 and seniors, $7 for non-members, free for children 2 or younger) and must be purchased at Admissions by 11:00 am. They are not available online. Tickets often sell out before 10:00 am. The Museum strongly recommends that visitors arrive when the Museum opens at 9:00 am to secure tickets from Admissions.

Raptors of the Desert Sky is made possible by Fly Redmond with support from Bigfoot Beverages. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/raptors-of-the-desert-sky.

In addition, the Museum’s summer schedule of daily talks begins Saturday. Visitors can meet a mammal in the popular Desert Dwellers talk at 3:00 pm, and they can also learn about wolves, raptors and other High Desert species in other talks. Daily talks are free with admission. Talk details are at highdesertmuseum.org/daily-schedule.

The historic High Desert Ranger Station will be open weekends from 10:00 am — 3:00 pm starting Saturday, as well. The U.S. Forest Service ranger station was built east of the Sierra Nevada in 1933 and moved to the Museum in 2008 in partnership with the Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association of Forest Service retirees (known as the Old Smokeys). Old Smokeys staff the station to engage with Museum visitors. The ranger station will be open daily starting July 1. The building’s history is at highdesertmuseum.org/high-desert-ranger-station.

And an immersive art exhibition that evokes the High Desert history of vaqueros and braceros, Vistas del Cielo, Views from the Sky in Spanish, also opens May 27. Artist Justin Favela uses piñata paper to create immense, colorful murals. The exhibition is open through November 26. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/vistas-del-cielo. The exhibit is made possible by Gold 107.7 with support from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.

Learn more about visiting the Museum at highdesertmuseum.org.


THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


Attached Media Files: 2023-05/6924/163649/HDM_Raptors_of_the_Desert_Sky.jpg , An original exhibition by artist Justin Favela,