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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Sun. Mar. 26 - 3:37 pm
Sat. 03/25/23
Fatal Crash - Interstate 5 - Douglas County
Oregon State Police - 03/25/23 4:45 PM

On Friday, March 24, 2023, at approximately 5:58 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a two vehicle crash on Interstate 5 (southbound), near milepost 166, in Douglas County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a Freightliner CMV and semi-trailer, operated by Joel Lockhart (29) of White City (OR), was southbound and lost control striking the center barrier where it came to rest. A Nissan Murano, operated by Karen Sweesy (46) of Monroe (WA), was southbound and came upon the disabled CMV and semi-trailer. The Nissan crashed into the left rear corner of the semi-trailer. Sweesy was pronounced deceased at the scene by EMS. 

A passenger in the Nissan, Shari Landerville (59) of Monroe (WA), received serious injuries and was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend. The operator of the CMV was uninjured.


The highway was impacted for approximately 2.5 hours while the on-scene investigation was conducted.


OSP was assisted by North Douglas Fire & EMS, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Cottage Grove PD, and ODOT.

Fri. 03/24/23
Cherry blossoms illuminated at the State Capitol State Park March 25-April 1 (Photo)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 03/24/23 4:39 PM
Cherry blossom at night
Cherry blossom at night

SALEM, Ore— Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will host a “Yozakura,” a night viewing of the cherry blossoms March 25 through April 1 at the State Capitol State Park. 

Parks staff will illuminate the cherry blossoms with Japanese lanterns and lights from 6 to 9 p.m. Visitors can bring blankets, camping chairs or even a nighttime picnic to enjoy under the canopy of the illuminated trees. 

“The lanterns and lights create a striking and beautiful scene inside the park at night,” said Operations Manager Kevin Strandberg.

On opening night March 25, Koto player Masumi Timson will fill the park with music and staff from Focal Point Photography in Dallas will share how to take nighttime photos and macro photos of the blossoms.

Alcohol is not allowed in State Capitol State Park (without permits) and the park closes at 10 p.m. The Oregon State Capitol Foundation is the presenting sponsor of this event. For more information on the foundation, visit https://oregoncapitolfoundation.org/

For more information on events at the Capitol, call Visitor Services at 503-986-1388 or visit the events page: www.oregoncapitol.com.

Attached Media Files: Cherry blossom at night

53 organizations share $265,000 in Arts Build Communities awards to address community need through the arts (Photo)
Oregon Arts Commission - 03/24/23 2:37 PM

Salem, Ore. – Fifty-three organizations addressing a community issue or need through the arts have been awarded $5,000 FY2023 Arts Build Communities grants totaling $265,000 from the Oregon Arts Commission. The Arts Build Community program is committed to promoting arts access for underserved audiences and targets broad geographic impact throughout Oregon. 

The grant-funded projects include the “Pony Xpress Journal" – a digital publication for writers who are incarcerated – by Bridgeworks Oregon; “A Reflection of Life,” a full-length documentary film by World Muse that explores water issues and features Indigenous voices from five Northwest tribes  as well as public policy makers and scientists; and BODY/LANGUAGE, a free, full-day festival by Cascadia Composers that explores how music and movement provide cultural understanding, identity, unity and healing. 

“These grants help arts and other community-based organizations address a local community problem, issue or need through the arts," said Arts Commission Vice Chair Harlen Springer, who led one of three review panels. “It enables local citizens to employ creative thinking and a collective response to strengthen and enrich their community.”

The grants also spark and leverage many other investments and resources, serving as a catalyst for greater economic and civic impact, said Springer. 

In recent years the Arts Build Communities program has generated more than $600,000 in additional community investment, much of it representing salaries paid as well as products and services purchased in the funded communities. These grants are made possible through a funding partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

The FY2023 recipients are:

Anima Mundi Productions, Phoenix

To support "Among Sisters," a music project comprising two concerts of professional women musicians performing works by women composers, two new world premiere commissions, and a 10-day residency for the Uptown String Quartet, a legendary all-female, all-Black ensemble. This residency will offer free community events in Southern Oregon. Funds will cover the costs of this residency, which include artist fees and travel expenses.

Art in Oregon, Oregon City           

To support Arts in Oregon’s work with Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts to curate an exhibition of Oregon-based indigenous artists at the Chehalem Cultural Center, Parrish Gallery. The exhibit includes eight artists from the Crow’s Shadow permanent collection. The artists will have the opportunity to contribute additional artwork and be compensated with a stipend of at least $500. The goal is to further their artistic practice by sharing recent work and supporting the creation of new work.

Artist Mentorship Program, Portland    

To support the Artist Mentorship Program’s drop-in space for youth ages 15-25 in the Portland metro area to help them navigate the trauma of homelessness by building healthy, relationship-centered communities through music and art. Funds will be used for music equipment, art supplies and staffing. AMP believes that youth experiencing homelessness are resilient, creative and deserving of a dynamic support system and nurturing environment where they can heal from trauma.

BEAT Children’s Theater, Bend

To support BEAT’s Community Outreach Educational Program. Funds will be used for artist fees, supplies (costumes, makeup, music, set pieces, etc.), royalties, printing and transportation.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Lane County, Florence

To support the Unlock Future Success with Art Education initiative to foster creative self-expression bolstered by art education so that by Dec. 31, 2023, 50 low-income, rural Florence youth will have experienced 12 months of innovative, high-yield arts education experiences. The initiative is designed to stimulate learning, inspire creativity and encourage self-expression. Funds will be used for art education fees and art supplies.

Bridgeworks Oregon, Portland

To support the “Pony Xpress Journal," an annual digital publication for Oregon writers who are incarcerated. Funds will be used to run 14 writing workshops, including travel costs to Oregon prisons.

Caldera, Portland

To support a Youth Arts Mentoring Program that provides ~250 youth/year in Portland and Central Oregon with year-round arts-based mentoring that integrates nature and is grounded in positive youth development; and to support Artist in Residency Programs that provide ~25 artists/year with opportunities to build skills, relationships and creative projects at Caldera’s Arts Center in Central Oregon. Funds will support artist fees and program supplies and materials.

Cascadia Composers, Portland

To support BODY/LANGUAGE, a free, full-day summer festival of concerts and workshops combining new art music with multicultural dance at Toast Studios. This interactive event unites several artistic/cultural forces active in Portland’s Cully neighborhood and beyond with local composers to explore how music and movement provide cultural understanding, identity, unity and healing. Funds will be used for artist fees, tech, venue, production and admin costs, and publicity.

Centro Cultural del Condado de Washington, Cornelius

To enrich three major cultural celebrations and traditions: Dia del Nino in April, El Grito in September, and Dia de los Muertos in November with diverse and engaging arts-based programming and activities aimed at furthering accessible arts in Washington County. Funds will be used for artist fees and to purchase arts supplies and materials.

City of Toledo, Toledo

To support the ART Toledo Youth Initiative, which engages youth in public art activities in rural Toledo, providing opportunities for emerging artists and exposing youth and young adults to different art medians. Funds will be used for purchasing art supplies and targeted outreach materials for youth.

Clackamas County Arts Alliance, Oregon City

To support Youth Arts for Change, which provides vulnerable and underserved youth with unique opportunities for personal exploration and creative expression. Funds will be used to compensate teaching artists and provide youth with supplies for hands-on projects, as well as take-home art supply bags to further develop their voice through the arts.

Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, Corvallis

To support Mundus Imaginalis, a community-based collective muralism project, led by immigrant and English-learner youth. The project will uplift collective and individual voices, stories of heritage and current multiculturalism while promoting self-expression, confidence and cooperation. Funds will be used for supplies, advertising, facilitator stipend, staff time, an unveiling ceremony and community engagement.

Dallas Arts Association, Dallas

To support Dallas On Stage – Live Community Theater. Funds will be used to purchase microphones, lighting and stage equipment for the new theater group. 

Deschutes Public Library Foundation, Bend

To support the community read program, “A Novel Idea,” where residents are encouraged to read, discuss, create and explore the selected books together. The Library Foundation is seeking to bridge the socio-economic and cultural differences and foster a sense of community. Funds will be used to pay for bilingual author María Amparo Escandón’s honorarium, Spanish-speaking cultural experts and books in Spanish.

Drexel H. Foundation, Vale

To support Public Art Enhances Malheur Co. to fill a community need to enrich our county with public art created by all sectors of the community and locating it throughout the county visible from the roadways. Funds will be used to pay for artists fees, marketing, and purchase supplies.

Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras, Eugene

To support the ESYO String Academies, which provide beginning strings instruction to 3rd-5th graders for free or at very low-cost at several Eugene 4J Public Elementary Schools. Funds will be used to support bringing these classes back into school buildings after two seasons of online programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fishtrap Inc, Enterprise

To support the winter program “Fishtrap Reads,” where community members read a shared book and engage in free programming to explore the selected book. Events include a kick-off, book discussions, lectures, celebrations and film screenings. Hundreds of free books will be distributed to local schools and libraries. Funds will be used to purchase 400 copies of this year’s selected book, cover a keynote presenter honorarium and purchase related support materials.

Friendly House, Portland

To support a new project: Art Therapy Group at Friendly House. Funds will be used for instructor/therapist fees, art supplies, food and refreshments for participants during this 4 to 6 session series planned for 2023, aimed at reducing isolation and providing therapeutic workshops with a trained art therapy counselor to address impacts of trauma, abuse, violence and mental illness through art and community.

Friends of The Historic Union Community Hall, Union

To support the Music Education: Catherine Creek Community Center Program. Funds will be used to initiate an all-age music program in Union Oregon. The program will invite interest in Old Time Fiddle music, bridge a gap between generations of performers and support local culture via music education.

Global Works Community Fund, Portland

To support the Unity Through Arts Program, which engages 15 BIPOC and low-income youth annually through 36 weeks of programming for ~140 hours of engagement. The civic engagement project focuses on creating impact in essential change-making spaces, and art is a way of expressing the times, needs of the community, and the voices of individuals. Funds will support the mural creation aspect programming, including artist fees, supplies and materials.

Grande Ronde Symphony Association, La Grande

To support the Chamber and Small Ensemble Series. The requested funds will be used to provide concerts in creative, historic venues and employ regional performers to engage a diverse audience in northeastern Oregon. Funds will be used to provide honorarium for performers, marketing and venue facility fees.

Heart of Cartm, Manzanita

To support the Transforming Marine Debris Creative Retreat in January and November of 2023. Each event will include three days of art, creative writing and a shoreline survey and collection. Funds will pay for skilled artist instructors and accommodations for participants to engage in reflection together. 

Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Portland

To support Behind These Bars, a project to raise awareness of the contributions of civil rights activist Minoru Yasui and to celebrate the State of Oregon’s Minoru Yasui Day. Funds will produce a staged reading of Yasui’s writings by a racially diverse cast, a dedication of his jail cell at JAMO and a community performance at the Soul Restoration Center to deepen relationships between communities of color and focused outreach to youth.

Josephy Center for Arts and Culture, Joseph

To support "Chronicles of Change," a community-based exploration through art, science and storytelling, of how local communities and landscapes are transforming due to climate change and consequent cultural shifts. JCAC will host the exhibits in collaboration with five other community nonprofits that will present coordinated talks, field trips and activities germane to their foci.

La Grande Arts Commission, La Grande

To support the installation of a multi-panel concrete image sculpture display on the bulkhead in front of the 4th street entrance of the Cook Memorial Library in downtown La Grande. The sculpture will be free-standing but bolted to the platform and have four murals that can be viewed from different perspectives with the theme "Honoring the Past; Celebrating the Present; Embracing the Future." Funds will be used to pay the artist.

Lane Arts Council, Eugene

To expand cultural programming by partnering with Black/African American artists to develop and produce content for the July and August First Friday ArtWalks 2023. Funds will support production and artist fees, equipment rental, supplies and materials, permits and staff time for project management and administration.

Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland

To support Dress Han: A Celebration & Re-Imagining of Hanfu. Dress Han is a two-month celebration showcasing original hanfu fashion and hanfu-inspired music by local Asian American artists, plus a master workshop series, original cultural programming, a talk series focused on hanfu as a cultural product, and multi-disciplinary activities led by AANHPI cultural groups. Funds will be used for engagement activities, marketing, outreach and staffing.

Literary Arts Inc, Portland

To support Woodburn High School’s participation in Literary Arts’ Youth Program activities. Funds will be used to cover ticket costs for students to attend Portland Arts & Lectures author talks, fees surrounding Writers in the Schools residencies and other Youth Programs activities.

MetroEast Community Media, Gresham

To support “Food Foray,” a community-focused television program highlighting the role of ethnic groceries in addressing food security in East Multnomah County. Funds will be used for video production and editing, translation services, community engagement, food and supplies.

Miracle Theatre Group, Portland

To support Teatro Milagro, the educational outreach program of Milagro. Funds will be used for teaching artists fees, supplies and transportation.

My Voice Music, Portland

To support two new satellite programs in Harmony Academy, for youth recovering from substance abuse disorders, and Pioneer School, for students with significant behavioral and/or emotional needs. Funds will be used to pay teaching artist fees and transportation costs.

Northwest Museum of Cartoon Arts, Portland

To support “Improved literacy with comics study and creation,” which will educate youth who are below grade level in reading about comics creation and reading. Each student will meet with comics authors and artists, create their own comic with drawing tablets, and be presented with a set of graphic novels upon completion of the class. Funds will be used for a classroom teacher, expert guest teachers and a paraeducator.

Oregon ArtsWatch, Portland

To support a series of stories published on orartswatch.org that will profile essential cultural hubs, especially in rural areas, and how they uniquely serve and reflect their communities. These stories will reach 25,000 people, giving the hubs greater visibility, building audiences and generating economic revenue. As traditional media continue to decline dramatically, creating news deserts, cultural communities have a difficult time spreading the word about their work.

Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland

To support the OBT After School program during the 2023 school year. Funds will be used to support salaries and teaching artist wages as OBT partners with four low-income Title 1 schools to offer weekly extra-curricular ballet and creative movement classes throughout the school year.

Oregon Children's Theatre Company, Portland

To support OCT’s fifth annual Intergenerational Queer Theater Project, a devised theater production featuring stories, reflections, poems and songs from 18 members of the regional queer community, ranging in ages from 14 to 80. The cross-generational dialogue among artists seeks to explore the diversity of queer experience, history, outlook across generations and aspirations for the future. Funds will be used for development and production costs.

Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival Association, Newport

To support the Festival’s activities, revitalize high school orchestra programs and expand the size of the Festival’s statewide music community. Funds will be used to pay expenses (food, housing, etc.) for the students and their teachers. The high school orchestras only pay for bus transportation to and from Newport.

Out Central Oregon, Bend

To support the inaugural Winter Pride LGTBQ Film Festival in partnership with The Tower Theatre Foundation. Funds will be used for artist fees and staffing.

Pelican Bay Arts Association, Brookings

To support the Youth Summer Art Camp. Funds will be used for teacher stipends, background checks, snacks, program coordination, scholarships and indirect costs for three one-week camps at the Manley Art center. Funds will be used to engage 30 children in learning and making art, three work study assistants in learning art and teaching skills, and to provide a stipend to three art teachers.

Portland Playhouse, Portland

To support programming that creates space for Black and Brown Portlanders to reflect on a range of issues in conjunction with the theatrical run of WHAT I LEARNED IN PARIS: Pearl Cleage’s witty play about Black feminism, love and breaking racial barriers in 1970s Atlanta (Feb 8-March 26, 2023). Funds will be used to cover costs of trauma-informed facilitators, speakers, workshop leaders and the two PPH producers at the helm of the project.

Portland Street Art Alliance, Portland

To support ongoing efforts to create a vibrant public art in Portland via the innovative Community Art Program. The goal is to facilitate inclusive community involvement in the process of mural-making and partner with Ground Score and the City of Portland to paint murals with diverse artists on chronically vandalized properties. Funds will be used for mural wall preparation, painting, community outreach and ongoing mural maintenance.

Portland Taiko, Portland

To support PEOPLE OF THE DRUM, a free summer concert at Gateway Discovery Park on Saturday, July 22. The program will showcase percussion-based performances and dances by Hula Halau ‘Ohana Holo’oko’a (Hawaiian), MexicaTiahui (Mexican/Aztec), Alex Addy Drummers (West African), and Portland Taiko (Japanese/Asian American). Each group will perform for approximately 20 minutes. Free drumming and dance workshops will be offered between performances.

Profile theatre Project, Portland

To support In Dialogue, a season-long partnership between Profile Theatre and culturally specific organizations throughout the Portland metro area that engages a wide range of community members with digital and in-person arts programs. Funds will be used for presenter fees, marketing and outreach expenses.

push/FOLD, Portland

To support the fifth annual Union PDX - Festival of Contemporary Dance (Union PDX - Festival:23) at the Hampton Opera Center in November 2023, featuring artist-talks, low-cost masterclasses, free professional development workshops, and public (paid) and student (free) performances from local, national and international artists creating contemporary work in any dance genre. 

Redfish Music Festival, Port Orford

To support the festival’s operating expenses. Funds will be used to cover insurance costs, venue rental, musician fees, musician transportation, advertising, postage and music camp costs (Including student housing and meals, staffing fees and rental car for student transportation during festival).

Roots and All Theatre Ensemble, Portland

To support Ritual Treatment, a surreal, bilingual piece of dance theatre about a queer Latina teen working through trauma from growing up with domestic violence and entering into a series of abusive relationships. It breaks stigmas around mental illness by cultivating empathy and dismantling taboos. It serves as a catalyst for healing for survivors, and a cautionary tale of the ways we trap ourselves in cycles of violence, even where we think we are safe.

Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis

To support the Youth Program in providing hands-on, ecology-inspired, in-school and summer art education to over 1,300 Pre-K-8 grade youth through partner school districts in Tillamook and Lincoln Counties. Funds will be used for art supplies, instructor wages, guest arts/ecology instructors and direct administrative expenses to run and grow the program.

Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Portland

To support a workshop series, “Mental Health for Music Educators,” designed to equip music teachers with resources to support students navigating mental health issue. The series is linked to Third Angle’s winter concert, SELF PORTRAIT, which will create a public platform for addressing the mental health challenges that many musicians face. Funds will be used for workshop fees and outreach to partner organizations that represent music educators.

Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg

To support PAINT Umpqua Valley, a collaborative art installation project combining youth art education, public transportation and local history. UVA’s Youth Digital Art Residency Program provides an after-school graphic design mentorship for teens. Students prepare designs to submit for an art installation at local bus shelters to celebrate Roseburg’s 150th birthday. Funds will be used to buy a large-format vinyl printer and supplies to support this project and future art installations.

Unlock the Arts, Portland

To support the Expressive Writing Program, which centers on the healing and therapeutic platform of expressive writing for participants aged 14-24 who are currently incarcerated at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility within the Oregon Youth Authority. Funds will be used for artist fees, booklet publication, transportation, purchase of notebooks, pens and folders, stipends for guest speaker(s) and refreshments for open mic sessions.

Western Oregon University Development Foundation, Monmouth

To support El Bardo en el Valle: Milagro Theatre at Western Oregon University, Valley Shakespeare’s collaboration with Milagro Theatre to perform a Spanish Translation of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). Funds will be used to hire professional Latinx/Spanish-speaking artists. A half-day symposium with local arts leaders to address the subject of how to increase accessibility to underserved communities will be featured.

Willamette Jazz Society, Eugene

To support The Jazz Station Educational Programs Grant for clinician and venue jam staff fees for two community music programs: In-School Jazz Station House Band Clinics (four musicians) and Jammin with the Pros, a bi-weekly in-venue jam (three rhythm section musicians and two part-time staff positions).

World Muse, Bend

To support the production of "A Reflection of Life," a full-length documentary film focusing on water issues and featuring Indigenous experiences and voices from five Northwest tribes as well as public policy makers and scientists. Funds will be used for artist fees.

Write Around Portland, Portland

To support the production of a 60th anthology and book launch in spring 2023. Funds will be used for printing expenses, book design costs, event rental and supply costs, postage for mailing free copies to participants, and related personnel and infrastructure expenses.



The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development. 

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at:  www.oregonartscommission.org.


Attached Media Files: 2023-03/1418/162210/IMG_1429.JPG , Push/FOLD dancers. Photo by Jingzi Zhao. , A Portland Taiko park performance. , Saxophonist Rob Scheps performs at a 2022 Grande Ronde Symphony Association Chamber and Small Ensemble Series concert. , A Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center Pottery Class

Fatal Crash - HWY 138W - Douglas County
Oregon State Police - 03/24/23 2:00 PM

On Thursday, March 23, 2023, at approximately 12:36 P.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 138W, near milepost 19, in Douglas County.


The preliminary investigation indicated an International Box Truck, operated by Jose Cortez Hurtado (68) of Salem, was eastbound on Hwy 138W, when for unknown reasons, it went across the roadway and partially onto the westbound shoulder. The truck veered back across the roadway and onto the eastbound shoulder where it crashed into a tree. Hurtado was pronounced deceased at the scene by first responders. 


The highway remained open during the on-scene crash investigation.


OSP was assisted by Sutherlin Fire, Kellogg Fire, Umpqua Valley Ambulance, ODOT, and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Medical Examiner.

Missing child alert -- Jerrica Landin is missing and is believed to be in danger (Photo)
Oregon Department of Human Services - 03/24/23 9:29 AM
Jerrica Landin
Jerrica Landin

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, asks the public to help find Jerrica Landin, age 16, a child in foster care who went missing from Portland, Oregon on March 7. She is believed to be in danger.

ODHS asks the public for help in the effort to find Jerrica and to contact 911 or local law enforcement if they believe they see her.

Jerrica may be in Portland, there is also a chance that she is traveling to the area around Seattle and Kirkland, Washington or to Northern California. 

Name: Jerrica Landin
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: Oct. 24, 2006
Height: 5-foot-5
Weight: 130 pounds
Hair: Reddish brown
Eye color: Brown
Other identifying information: Jerrica has a tattoo of a heart on her neck
Portland Police Bureau Case #23-9912
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #1472515

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. 


Attached Media Files: Jerrica Landin

Thu. 03/23/23
Portland Man Caught Transporting Drugs to Central Oregon Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 03/23/23 4:31 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland drug dealer with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison today after he was arrested transporting methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl to Redmond, Oregon.

Jason Robert Melcado, 51, a Portland resident, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and four years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, in June 2021, the Bend Police Department received information that Melcado was delivering methamphetamine and heroin to Deschutes County from Portland. Officers soon learned Melcado had an active felony arrest warrant and had recently been investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

On July 12, 2021, Bend police determined that Melcado was traveling to Redmond. Upon his arrest, officers found Melcado to be carrying a loaded 9mm pistol with an obliterated serial number and approximately one dozen counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. The next day, after obtaining a search warrant, officers found 217 grams of methamphetamine, nearly 1,000 counterfeit pills, and smaller quantities of heroin and cocaine in Melcado’s vehicle.

On August 19, 2021, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned a three-count indictment charging Melcado with possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

On November 22, 2022, Melcado pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

This case was investigated by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) Team and DEA. It was prosecuted by Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

The CODE team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. CODE includes members of the Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Madras, Sunriver, and Black Butte Police Departments; the Warm Springs Tribal Police Department; the Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson County Sheriff and District Attorney’s Offices; the Oregon State Police; the Oregon National Guard; DEA; and the FBI.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Town of Talent rises from the ashes to become Oregon's Tree City of the Year (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 03/23/23 2:45 PM
Talent has boosted tree plantings in the wake of devastating wildfires that killed many of its urban trees in 2020.
Talent has boosted tree plantings in the wake of devastating wildfires that killed many of its urban trees in 2020.

TALENT, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry has selected the southern Oregon town of Talent to be Oregon’s Tree City of the Year. Only one community is chosen each year from across the state. Cottage Grove was last year’s honoree.

To be eligible for Tree City of the Year honors, a community must be a Tree City USA. To become a Tree City USA, communities must meet requirements of the national Arbor Day Foundation for having basic tree-care policies and management in place. Talent has held that status for 23 years. Last year was also the fourth time the City earned a Growth Award for significant improvements to its urban forestry program.

A fast-moving wildfire in 2020 destroyed about 40 percent of the city, leaving thousands without homes and killing a heart-breaking number of its trees. Before the fire, Talent did not have an accurate inventory of its urban trees. With help from ODF urban forestry grants, Talent has gained access to inventory software from PlanIt Geo (Treeplotter). The City inventoried 1,500 street and park trees throughout the community – about one-third of the estimated public trees in Talent. From this data Talent is able to figure out the size, diversity, ecosystem services, and economic loss resulting from the destroyed portion of its urban forest. 

“After being devastated by the 2020 wildfire, Talent has rallied as a community, becoming very invested and committed to their urban forest. In the face of traumatic and devastating loss, they still managed to outscore all of our other growth award applicants,” said ODF Urban and Community Assistance Forester Brittany Oxford. “Most notably, they have been mapping their canopy with an equity-informed focus guiding their reforestation efforts. The City is working hard to ensure the historically underserved in Talent are the starting point from which they begin to reforest and recover.”

“This recognition was earned by the hard work of so many dedicated people in Talent, from elected city commissioners, Tree Board, volunteers and city staff, such as our new Hazard Mitigation Coordinator Mike Oxendine,” said Talent Mayor Darby Ayres-Flood. “It shows the resilience and determination of our town to come back even better than we were before the wildfire.”

A certified arborist, Oxendine has been helping Talent with its citywide hazard tree assessment and removal. He has also been staff liaison to the Talent Urban Forestry Committee and is project lead on drafting a master plan for the City’s urban forest. This is in addition to seeking out and overseeing grant funding for hazard mitigation and canopy restoration, including tree plantings.

“Post-fire grants have allowed us to hire a GIS professional contractor Nikki Hart-Brinkley, who is the owner and principal of Green Top Planning, Development, and Research,” said Oxendine.

He said Hart-Brinkley has been working on a series of maps detailing canopy coverage before and after the wildfire of 2020. 

“The maps are the basis for our Urban Tree Canopy Assessment. They show that within Talent city limits (total 851 acres) before the wildfire we had 142 acres of canopy coverage and post-fire we have 104 acres. That’s a drop in tree canopy coverage from 16.7% to 12.3%. That’s roughly a loss of one tree in four,” explained Oxendine.

“This canopy assessment is also informing our decisions about achieving equity in our reforesting efforts. We are analyzing heat islands and overlaying that data layer with socioeconomic data to show where our heat islands intersect with historically underserved populations. We can see where there is lots of asphalt and concrete and where shade trees are most needed,” said Oxendine.

Oxford said Talent is also adding to knowledge about tree performance in southern Oregon conditions, reporting data on 10 common urban trees’ growth rates in their community.
                                                          # # #

Attached Media Files: Talent has boosted tree plantings in the wake of devastating wildfires that killed many of its urban trees in 2020.

Mobile Audiology Clinic Coming to Schools in Southeast Washington (Photo)
ESD 123 - 03/23/23 2:01 PM
ESD Director of Audiological Services, Betsy Schluge
ESD Director of Audiological Services, Betsy Schluge

PASCO, WA – Educational Service District (ESD) 123 is excited to announce the launch of a mobile audiology clinic for children experiencing hearing loss in southeastern Washington. The mobile clinic, provided in partnership with the Washington Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth (CDHY), will meet the need for increased access to pediatric audiological services by bringing comprehensive hearing evaluations and treatment to schools in 23 school districts across the region.

Due to a shortage of pediatric audiologists who accept public health insurance, getting timely diagnosis and intervention for deaf and hard of hearing children can be challenging for families in eastern Washington. The ESD 123 mobile audiology clinic aims to relieve the bottleneck restricting access to care for those families and children.

School districts in the ESD 123 region with students on an active Section 504 or Individualized Education Program (IEP) plan will have access to utilize the mobile clinic for continuing audiology services at no cost. Initial comprehensive hearing evaluations for newly identified students are also available at cost to districts should the student not have access to an audiologist. Families interested in audiology services can submit an inquiry through the ESD’s Audiology web form or request a referral from their medical provider.

Beginning in April, the mobile clinic will be available Monday through Wednesday to travel to schools and community sites as requested. On Thursdays, the clinic will be stationed at the ESD 123 main campus at 3924 West Court Street in Pasco, with the exception of one Thursday each month when it will travel to different locations across the region.

More information on audiology services at ESD 123 can be found at www.esd123.org/services/special_services/audiology or by contacting Molly Curtiss, Director of Communication, at 509.544.5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org.


About ESD 123:  Educational Service District 123, based in Pasco, WA, is one of nine ESDs in Washington. Dedicated to delivering collaborative solutions that promote learning, ESD 123 serves 23 school districts in seven counties of Southeastern Washington. Under Superintendent Steve McCullough and its board of directors, this legislatively mandated, not-for-profit educational organization provides efficiency of educational systems and equity of learning opportunities for over 70,000 Washington students. For more information about ESD 123, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit www.esd123.org.

Attached Media Files: ESD Director of Audiological Services, Betsy Schluge , 2023-03/1212/162177/IMG_2267.JPG , Local youth receiving hearing evaluation , Audiology mobile clinic

Rules Advisory Committee to discuss updating Scenic Bikeways rules March 29
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 03/23/23 12:37 PM

SALEM, Ore— Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) formed a committee to begin the process of amending the Oregon Administrative Rules guiding the Scenic Bikeways.

A Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) will hold a virtual meeting 10 a.m. to noon March 29 to review and discuss proposed changes to administrative rules. The agency intends to update definitions regarding biking and surfaces on the scenic bikeways, increase seating on the program committee and clarify meeting process and quorum. 

The public can view a livestream of the meeting at https://www.youtube.com/@oprddirectorsoffice5783/streams . After the committee review, the rule will open for public comment. Details will be posted on the Proposed OPRD Rule web page.

The Scenic Bikeways program was established in 2009 by OPRD, Cycle Oregon, Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation. It now includes 17 of the state’s best designated mostly-roadway bicycle routes that showcase Oregon’s breathtaking landscapes, cultural treasures and western hospitality. 

OPRD and Cycle Oregon appointed members to the advisory committee. Members include representatives of the biking community, officials from state and federal land management and recreation agencies, local government representatives, small business owners, destination marketing organizations and other impacted groups.

Individuals who require special accommodations to view the meetings should contact Jo  Niehaus at least three days in advance of the meeting at jo.niehaus@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-881-4637.

Comprehensive study outlines how far behind most district outdoor athletic and activity facilities are
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 03/23/23 12:19 PM

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla High School Athletic Director Chris Ferenz, several coaches and parent representatives unveiled a comprehensive report three years in the making to school board members Tuesday night detailing significant inadequacies of most of the district’s outdoor athletic and activity facilities. Since 2019, WWPS coaches and staff have been meeting regularly to review current school amenities, research league and regional facilities, and prioritize improvements necessary for Walla Walla students. A comprehensive analysis of facility comparisons and research has been performed of all district schools in the Mid-Columbia Conference. The study finds most of Walla Walla Public Schools’ exterior athletic components are in need of substantial renovations or improvements in order to maintain safe and adequate facilities.

The report noted Walla Walla High School is the only school in the Mid-Columbia Conference without a multi-sport, turfed stadium. Despite multiple, costly maintenance resurfacing projects, Garrison Middle School and Walla Walla High School tennis courts are crumbling away. Grass soccer fields can’t hold up to the hundreds of athletes now participating and softball and baseball facilities do not have lights causing Walla Walla students to miss a combined 100 days of school during the spring alone.

“Over the last two decades, through community donations and district maintenance funds, we have tried our best to make improvements to our sixty-year-old courts and ballfields,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “Despite the generosity from many and our school board, we have fallen significantly behind every other school in our league, and are continuing to fall even further behind.”

The current state of district outdoor athletic and activities facilities has been years in the making. The last time any bond or levy dollars were used for outside athletic improvements on any campus was when Walla Walla High School was originally constructed over 60 years ago. Rather than asking for voter-approved bonds or levies to improve outdoor athletic facilities, WWPS has leveraged community donations, Booster Club support and basic education maintenance dollars to try and keep up with extra-curricular facility improvements. Superintendent Smith says that improvement like Murr Park, constructed over 20 years ago, and the high school track, now eight years old, were examples of incredible community support. However, remaining outdoor fields, courts and amenities are in need of significant capital improvements to match todays programming needs.

“Ever other school in the MCC boasts state-of-art outdoor athletic and activities facilities for their student athletes,” said Superintendent Smith. “As promised, our highly successful 2018 bond program focused on taking care of classrooms, science labs, performing arts, fine arts, and other indoor critical facility needs across the district. This is what our voters told us to focus on and that is exactly what we did. However, that does not mean the need to address outdoor amenities went away.”

Comprehensive Study Findings of Current WWPS Outdoor Facilities:
• Walla Walla High School is the only school in the league without a multi-sport, turfed stadium where football, soccer, track, marching band, PE and other community use can practice and perform. The district pays $100,000 per year to access Borleske for 4-5 evening football games. Visiting teams dress down on the bus or in batting cages (the locker rooms were condemned over 40 years ago), and baseball improvements to the stadium over the years have made it even more problematic for football players and spectators.
• Walla Walla High School’s 60+ year old tennis courts are on the verge of being unplayable as the substructure has completely failed. Despite the board investing nearly $100K in a new topcoat surface on the high school courts three years ago, large cracks as wide as a tennis ball in some areas have already returned across all five courts. Garrison Middle School tennis courts, also a half-century old, are in a similar state.
• Walla Walla High School’s soccer program is the only one in the Mid-Columbia Conference that doesn't have access to a lighted, turf field. Most MCC schools maintain two, lighted soccer complexes for their programs. Without turf and access to a lighted complex, parents are forced to choose which of their children to watch as junior varsity and varsity are forced to play at the same times, and fields quickly deteriorate due to overuse. 
• Walla Walla High School is the only school that does not have lighted baseball and softball fields, which would allow the school to start its games in the after school afternoon and end in the early evening. As a result, Walla Walla students miss hundreds more class hours than their league counterparts.  
• Pioneer Middle School is the only middle school in the entire league still running on a cinder track. All 15 middle schools in Tri Cities boast all weather tracks.
• Without access to artificial turf fields, WIAA rules will require home playoff games in sports such as soccer and football be played in the tri-cities rather than on our home site. 
• Walla Walla High School’s JROTC program desperately needs a Raider Obstacle Course so students can compete with other schools in this important event.
• Porta-pottys often double as changing rooms as outdoor facilities and lockers do not exist on any site.

A link to the full presentation can be found here: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/FileViewerOrPublic/997?file=e36dcbaa-71d5-4534-9f55-8b69b84ca521&isFromMeeting=True

Next Steps:
• Develop an Outdoor Athletic and Activity Facility Community Advisory Committee consisting of parents, community members and stakeholders
• Review, research and prioritize needs
• Identity costs to make improvements
• Investigate and propose funding options
• Provide committee progress update to the district in April with a final recommendation in May

“We have a lot of work ahead of us and are in the process of developing an independent Outdoor Athletic and Activity Community Advisory Committee,” said Superintendent Smith.  “Our focus will be to develop pragmatic improvement solutions that attempt to deliver equitable and comparable outdoor athletic and activity facilities with similar-sized schools to maximize student access, safety, engagement and pride.”


Community Wildfire Defense Grant Oregon Awardees Announced
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 03/23/23 9:00 AM

Salem, OR—Ten project proposals in Oregon, including one by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), have been selected to be funded by the Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG). The proposals focus on assisting communities in developing Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP), and funds immediate actions to reduce wildfire risk for communities that already have an active CWPP, key roadmaps for addressing wildfire risks locally. 

Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CWDG program helps communities, tribes, non-profit organizations, state forestry agencies and Alaska Native corporations plan for and mitigate wildfire risks as the nation faces an ongoing wildfire crisis. Scoring priority was given to project proposals that are in an area identified as having a high or very-high wildfire hazard potential, benefit a low-income community or are located in a community impacted by a severe disaster within the previous 10 years that increased wildfire risk.  

Of those that applied, the states with the largest dollar amount for their communities were Oregon, California and Washington.

Examples of proposals that have been selected for funding include:

  • Oregon Department of Forestry, John Day; Grant County Defensible Space
    $681,041 to focus on 300 acres of fuels reduction treatments for Grant County landowners in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), installation of Firewise Communities, and outreach and education in the high-risk communities of John Day, Mt. Vernon, Prairie City, Dayville, Granite, Monument, Canyon City, Long Creek and Seneca.
  • Klamath Watershed Partnership, Chiloquin Wildfire Risk Reduction and Education
    $616,404 to implement 165 acres of defensible space treatments over five years; to develop and implement a "Brush Dump" program; to design, purchase, and deploy a multi-use wildfire education trailer for community education and outreach events, and a mobile information distribution point during a wildfire as needed; and to build capacity and sustainability within Chiloquin Fire and Rescue through development of a part-time Mitigation Specialist position to coordinate the activities of this project and to plan future projects.
  • Douglas Electric Cooperative Fuels Treatments, Vegetation Management, and Other Mitigation
    $9,151,505 to reduce fuel buildup in high-risk wildfire areas, enhance the utility right-of-way's ability to function as fire breaks, increase forest health, and minimize the probability that Douglas Electric's transmission and distribution system may be the origin or contributing source for the ignition of a fire. Funding from this program will enable DEC to reduce its vegetation management program to a 3-to-4-year cycle while addressing hazard trees (snags and cycle busters) not in the traditional utility space.

ODF has partnered with other organizations around the state whose applications have been selected for funding and will provide support for their proposals through various avenues.

For more information on funded proposals, visit www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/grants/funded-proposals. The Forest Service will announce the second round of funding later in 2023. 

The 2023 application period for additional grant awards is planned to open spring of 2023. Revised guidance for 2023 will be posted when received from the USDA Forest Service. The ​​2022 eligibility​​ flowchart and 2022 CWDG Program fact sheet remain helpful tools to plan for the upcoming 2023 application process.

Wed. 03/22/23
Bureau of Land Management seeks proposals to fund natural resource projects
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 03/22/23 3:21 PM

Portland, Ore. – About $3 million in funding is available for natural resource projects that restore and improve public lands across western Oregon. The Bureau of Land Management encourages individuals, organizations, and local governments to submit funding applications for consideration. 

Project funding is available through Title II of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. Proposed projects should restore land health, improve water quality, or maintain existing infrastructure. Projects must benefit Oregon and California Grant (O&C) lands and resources. O&C lands are located in the 18 western Oregon counties, including: Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties. 

“Title II funds are used to make investments in public lands and create employment opportunities,” said Heather Whitman, Roseburg District Manager. “These projects are vital because they improve cooperative relationships among the people that use and care for public lands.”  

BLM officials encourage applicants to discuss their project proposals with them prior to submission. Please contact the BLM District representative where the project would be implemented:

The application forms, criteria, and instructions are available through grants.gov. The grant is under the heading Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcement L23AS00283 BLM OR/WA Secure Rural Schools, Title II Grants. 

Applications are due by May 15, 2023. 

Examples of previously funded projects include noxious weed treatments, trail maintenance, garbage removal, and stream restoration. 

The Western Oregon Resource Advisory Committee will review the applications at their fall 2023 meeting.

Information about the BLM’s Western Oregon Resource Advisory Committee is available at: blm.gov/get-involved/resource-advisory-council/near-you/oregon-washington/western-oregon-rac

ESD 105 Will Host Free Community Healthy Youth, Healthy Families Event on Thursday, March 23rd!
ESD 105 - 03/22/23 2:40 PM


Educational Service District 105

33 S. Second Avenue, Yakima, WA  98902


DATE OF EVENT: Thursday, March 23, 2023, beginning at 5:30 p.m. 

LOCATION OF EVENT: Franklin Middle School (410 S. 19th Ave., Yakima, WA)


RE: Educational Service District 105 will host a FREE COMMUNITY EVENT: Healthy Youth, Healthy Families! Families from across the Yakima Valley are invited to join. Dinner and childcare will be provided. Participating adults will walk away with free Narcan kits.


ESD 105 invites families from across the south central region of Washington State to join us for a night of family fun and learning about how to support and protect kids from dangerous substances like Fentanyl! 


Dinner and childcare for students in grades K-5 is provided at this FREE FAMILY EVENT!


Parents will participate in an interactive Hidden In Plain Site experience, receive Narcan training and walk away with FREE Narcan kits. Door and raffle prizes will be available. 


All programming is provided in both English and Spanish.



About ESD 105:

ESD 105 supports 25 public school districts and more than 20 state-approved private and tribal schools in South Central Washington.  The agency serves the expressed needs of those schools in coordinating and conducting cooperative programs to benefit the approximately 68,000 K-12 students who are served in Kittitas and Yakima counties and portions of Grant and Klickitat counties.  As one of nine ESDs in the state, ESD 105 carries out liaison activities between local school districts, the Washington State Office of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education. 


OHA providing vouchers for free well testing, water treatment
Oregon Health Authority - 03/22/23 1:21 PM

March 22, 2023

Media contacts: Jonathan Modie, Oregon Health Authority, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA providing vouchers for free well testing, water treatment

Umatilla, Morrow residents in Groundwater Management Area can submit applications through May 15

PORTLAND, Ore.— Oregon Health Authority is urging private well users in Umatilla and Morrow counties to take advantage of free water testing and treatment so well users in those counties can know their risk of exposure to nitrate and other contaminants.

Domestic (private) well users who live in parts of Umatilla and Morrow counties that are within the Lower Umatilla Basin Groundwater Management Area, or LUBGWMA, are eligible to apply for water testing vouchers. To be eligible for a free voucher the well water must be used for drinking, bathing, cooking and washing dishes, and the well is not part of a public water system.

“It’s important that everyone in this area of concern who relies on a domestic well finds out whether they are exposed to high nitrates and other common contaminants in their drinking water,” said Gabriela Goldfarb, OHA’s Environmental Public Health Section manager. “Testing is an essential first step that allows OHA to provide well users in Umatilla and Morrow counties access to treatment systems or other alternative sources of water for daily living.”

Testing voucher applications are accepted through May 15 and expire June 7. They cover testing for nitrate, arsenic, bacteria, lead, iron, manganese and hardness. Applications are available at http://bit.ly/3xzx1cp. They also can be accessed from OHA’s LUBGWMA page in both English and Spanish.

As of today, 38 testing vouchers have been distributed in Morrow County and one in Umatilla County. Most were submitted following a March 11 event organized by Morrow County Public Health and community-based organization Oregon Rural Action. Volunteers went door to door to promote well water testing, distribute OHA well testing voucher applications and collect water samples.

Morrow County conducted extensive water testing after issuing a June 2022 domestic well water emergency declaration; Umatilla County has also made testing available to residents. OHA is working closely with the counties to use existing test results to identify households at risk and offer treatment and, where treatment is not adequate, provide alternative water supplies with support from the Oregon Department of Human Services. End-of-tap treatment systems are not effective when nitrate levels are above 25 milligrams per liter (mg/L), or may not produce enough water to meet the needs of larger households.

There are an estimated 4,500 wells used for drinking water in the LUBGWMA. Some wells serve multiple households. OHA estimates about 80% of the wells are in Umatilla County and 20% are in Morrow County.

OHA’s testing and treatment effort is funded through June 2023 by a $881,987 Legislative Emergency Board allocation, which pays for 800 tests and 84 reverse-osmosis treatment systems. Gov. Tina Kotek’s budget request this year includes resources that would extend funding for this work into the 2023-2025 biennium.

OHA will soon begin providing vouchers for in-home treatment systems for certain households with private well water. Those that have tested at or above 10 mg/L, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) maximum recommended contaminant level for the compound in drinking water, may be eligible for treatment or provision of water for household use.

The LUBGWMA is an area that spans the northern portions of Morrow and Umatilla counties along the Columbia River, and encompasses the cities of Hermiston, Boardman, Irrigon, Stanfield, Echo and nearby unincorporated areas. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) designated the LUBGWMA in 1990 under Oregon’s groundwater Quality Protection Act of 1989 due to regional nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in groundwater that exceeded 7 mg/L.

Here is what different nitrate levels mean: The federal Safe Drinking Water Act defines high nitrate as a level exceeding 10 mg/L.

  • Nitrate up to 10 mg/L is SAFE for all uses.
  • Nitrate between 11 mg/L and 40 mg/L is NOT SAFE to drink for infants who rely on baby formula, children younger than 3, or women who are or may become pregnant, or to use for tooth brushing in children younger than 3. It is SAFE to drink short term, up to a year, by people 3 and older (except pregnant women), pets and livestock. It is SAFE for other domestic uses, including bathing, washing dishes, laundry and garden irrigation.
  • Nitrate above 40 mg/L is NOT SAFE for drinking. It is SAFE for other domestic uses, including bathing, washing dishes, laundry and garden irrigation.

OHA has additional information about nitrate in a fact sheet posted on its website in English and Spanish.


Officer Involved Shooting- Cascadia - Linn County
Oregon State Police - 03/22/23 12:45 PM

On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, the Oregon State Police Major Crimes Section and the Linn County Major Crimes Team responded to Linn County to investigate an officer involved shooting.  


At approximately 2 P.M., Linn County Deputies responded to the area of Cascadia to investigate a reported disturbance.  Upon arrival at the reported location, Deputies confronted an armed male and the incident resulted in two Deputies discharging their duty weapons.  Deputies rendered emergency medical aid to the suspect, Noah David Colgrove (30) of Sweet Home, however he was declared deceased at the scene.  The Deputies were uninjured during the incident. 


The Deputies involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave; per agency policy and practice.


At this time, no further information is available for release.  This is on-going investigation and future updates will come from the Oregon State Police or the Linn County District Attorney’s Office.

Yakima School District and Northwest Harvest Partner to Improve Student Meal Efficiencies (Photo)
Yakima Sch. Dist. - 03/22/23 10:31 AM

Please enjoy this co-authored press release by Northwest Harvest (NWH) and the Yakima School District (YSD). Should you have questions, please reach out to Kirsten Fitterer, Executive Director of Communications and Engagement for the Yakima School District at er.kirsten@ysd7.org">fitterer.kirsten@ysd7.org or 509-573-7000 or Jeanie Chunn, Director of Community Engagement for Northwest Harvest at jeaniec@northwestharvest.org or 206-255-4562.


On Tuesday, March 21, the Yakima School District and Northwest Harvest signed a contract to work together to receive, organize, store, and prep-for-delivery the food needed to make student meals, moving this service from the district warehouse on North 4th Avenue to the new Northwest Harvest cold storage facility off of Fruitvale Blvd.

The Yakima School District makes breakfast and lunch available free of charge for our 16,000 students. We identified a need to improve the daily operations of preparing the student meals. Our warehouse is aging and is too small to receive, organize, store, and distribute food efficiently.  Moving these operations to the state-of-the-art Northwest Harvest facility is exciting as it will improve efficiencies that will likely reduce waste and costs.

The contracted partnership between the two organizations, which was signed on March 21, 2023, creates efficiencies for the Yakima School District in receiving, organizing, and preparing for the delivery of the food needed to their 22 schools that serve breakfast and lunch, free of charge to all families, daily.

(NWH) Northwest Harvest is proud to partner with the Yakima School District. This will be the first organization we are partnering with for their food storage needs.

"We see and deeply respect the role that the Yakima School District plays in reducing hunger in Yakima. When organizations are better able to provide nutritious meals to kids, we see this as creating more equity in the food system." (Thomas Reynolds)

When Northwest Harvest made the decision to move the center of our operations to Yakima, we intentionally built infrastructure to help support our local small and mid-size farmers and other food system organizations.  It is our hope to be good neighbors and provide a sliding scale model for cold food storage and transportation to the Yakima Valley.



More information about Northwest Harvest:

Northwest Harvest is a food justice organization striving to end hunger in Washington state.  Part of a justice-centered movement, we advocate to change ineqitable policies, practices, and institutions that perpetuate hugner and pverty.  We partner with over 400 community organizations, food banks, and schools to operate an emergency food supply chain in every county in Washington.  We run two no-cost grocery markets, one in Seattle and one in Yakima to open April 5th. Together, we ensure communities across our state can access the nuturious food they want and need to thrive.

# # # # 

Attached Media Files: 2023-03/3536/162130/Northwest_Harvest_Contract_Signing_Pic_3.jpg , 2023-03/3536/162130/Northwest_Harvest_Contract_Signing_Pic_2.jpg , Dr. Trevor Greene and Thomas Reynolds sign agreement March 21, 2023

Oregon Psilocybin Services issues state's first licenses
Oregon Health Authority - 03/22/23 9:00 AM

March 22, 2023

Contact: Afiq Hisham, 971-273-3374, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Oregon Psilocybin Services issues state’s first licenses

PORTLAND, Ore. –Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has issued the state’s first psilocybin license as part of the nation’s first regulatory framework for psilocybin services. The manufacturer license was issued to a woman-owned business, Satori Farms PDX LLC, owned by Tori Armbrust. As the nation celebrates Women’s History Month, this woman-owned business will bring communities one step closer towards accessing psilocybin services in Oregon.

“We congratulate Tori Armbrust of Satori Farms PDX LLC for being issued the first psilocybin license in Oregon’s history and for representing women leading the way for the emerging psilocybin ecosystem,” says Oregon Psilocybin Services Section Manager Angie Allbee. “We are committed to fostering an inclusive partnership with our regulated community to ensure safe, effective and equitable psilocybin services throughout the state.”

The role of Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) is to license psilocybin facilitators, manufacturers, service centers and laboratories, while ensuring that those licensees and their workers comply with Oregon law. OPS began accepting applications for the four license types on January 2, 2023. OPS expects to issue additional licenses to laboratories, service centers and facilitators in the coming months.

Anyone interested in accessing psilocybin services can find service centers and facilitators once they are licensed on the OPS Licensee Directory website. The directory will contain licensee names and contact details for all licensees that have requested to have their information published. This may also provide opportunities for licensed psilocybin businesses to connect.

Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) has also begun publishing a Weekly Report on Applications for Licenses and Worker Permits. The new weekly report includes information about total number of applications received by type and status. OPS will update the report on a weekly basis.

OPS encourages the public to visit the OPS website for more information and to sign up for updates on the section’s work.

For the latest updates, subscribe to the Oregon Psilocybin Services distribution list at: oregon.gov/psilocybin 


Tue. 03/21/23
New residency program helps aspiring special education teachers get certified
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 03/21/23 7:11 PM

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools is partnering with the Walla Walla Valley Education Association and Washington Education Association on an innovative residency grant program to provide aspiring special education teachers a local pathway to realizing their dreams of teaching.

“This innovative program provides successful candidates with a full-year of residency in various Walla Walla Public Schools special education classrooms,” said Human Resources Director Mindy Meyer. “This partnership creates the opportunity for someone with a bachelor’s degree to earn a salary and full benefits while gaining instructional skills, pedagogy and a teaching endorsement.”


Residents will begin their learning this summer with in-person and hybrid classes. In August when teachers return to their classrooms, residents will begin working with their mentor teachers.

“One of the unique aspects of this program is that residents will get four quarters of experience in both elementary and secondary schools,” said Meyer. “Many special education teaching experiences, like most teaching experiences, often give student teachers exposure to only one or two types of classrooms or grade levels.”

This new residency provides candidates with four unique learning experiences: resource room, intensive support, behavior, and general education. Not only does this give residents a wide experience, it also prepares them for any potential special education positions in the future in Walla Walla Public Schools, according to Meyer. Residents will be part of a WEA cohort and will be able to learn from other residents and teachers in the Mukilteo and Federal Way school districts. 

The residency provides opportunities for district staff to be instructors and potentially serve in other roles. The grant also provides additional supports so a resident who might not be able to receive a teaching certificate through other routes due to potential barriers, like finances and program access, has the opportunity to become a certified teacher. Residents also get a full-year of residential experience. The WEA Residency Grant also provides a majority of the tuition and other supports.

“This provides residents with customized training and WWPS with new special education teachers who have more preparation, both in the classroom and in the Walla Walla way.”

The WEA program’s first cohort began accepting applications on March 20. Admitted residents begin summer coursework in June 2023 and will enter the classroom in September 2023. For more information, visit www.WashingtonEA.org or contact the Walla Walla Public Schools Human Resources Department at (509) 527-3000.




DPSST Telecommunications Policy Committee Meeting Cancelled
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 03/21/23 4:01 PM




Notice of Meeting Cancellation

The Telecommunications Policy Committee of the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training meeting scheduled for May 3rd, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. has been cancelled due to lack of agenda items.

The next Telecommunications Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for August 2nd, 2023, at 9:00 a.m.


UPDATE - Oregon Department of Human Services announces that Mia Macias has been found
Oregon Department of Human Services - 03/21/23 3:12 PM

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

Mia, age 16, is a child who went missing from Salem on Nov. 29, 2022. She was found March 17, 2023. 

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. 


Two beach campgrounds to close temporarily this fall and winter (Photo)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 03/21/23 12:50 PM
Bullards Beach Yurt Village
Bullards Beach Yurt Village

OREGON COAST, Ore—Two popular coastal campgrounds will temporarily close this fall and winter for construction projects. 

Bullards Beach, two miles north of Bandon, and Beverly Beach, seven miles north of Newport, will close their campgrounds temporarily for construction projects. 

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department understands that it takes time to plan a trip and wanted to give potential visitors enough notice to find alternative parks for their fall and winter visits.

  • Beverly Beach campgrounds will be closed Sept. 5, 2023 through May 24, 2024 to upgrade the park and campground power and water lines as part of the Go Bond projects, which include improvements at 11 parks around the state
  • Bullards Beach campgrounds will be closed Oct. 15, 2023 through March 15, 2024 for a main sewer line upgrade. 

While the campgrounds will be closed at Bullards Beach, visitors can still enjoy the day-use area, boat ramp, lighthouse and horse camp, which will remain open. 

All facilities will be closed at Beverly Beach.

OPRD knows that these campgrounds are well loved places that will be missed this fall and winter season. The closures will allow crews to improve the parks for seasons to come. 

“Thank you for your patience as we make improvements to the campground that will enhance the park experience for all of our visitors,” said Bullards Beach Park Manager Nick Schoeppner.

Attached Media Files: Bullards Beach Yurt Village , Beverly Beach

Gresham company recalling frozen strawberry products linked to hepatitis A cases in Washington
Oregon Health Authority - 03/21/23 10:10 AM

March 21, 2023

Media contacts:

Gresham company recalling frozen strawberry products linked to hepatitis A cases in Washington

Oregon health officials are working with federal partners to determine whether product has caused any illnesses in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore.— Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham is recalling frozen "Organic Strawberries” sold at Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets, and frozen “Organic Tropical Fruit Blend” sold at Trader Joe’s, due to an outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses.

Five outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Washington since March 13. The five cases occurred between November 11 and December 27, 2022, and two individuals required hospitalization. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone reported eating frozen organic strawberries.

Although no patients with hepatitis A in Oregon have been definitively linked to the consumption of these products, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) officials are monitoring the outbreak in Washington. In addition, OHA is interviewing persons diagnosed with hepatitis A to determine if any have consumed frozen berries.

“Since these products were available in Oregon stores, we want to let people know about them so they can take steps to protect themselves and their families,” said Ann Thomas, M.D., M.P.H., a public health physician in OHA’s Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section. “At this point, OHA is carefully investigating any new cases of hepatitis A virus to determine if they are associated with the outbreak, but we have not yet been able to link any Oregon cases to these products.”

The following products are subject to this recall:

Brand Name

Product Name

Net Weight


Best By Date

Distributed in States

Simply Nature

Organic Strawberries

24 oz.





Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin


Vital Choice

Organic Strawberries

16 oz.







Kirkland Signature

Organic Strawberries

4 lbs.





Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington


Made With

Organic Strawberries

10 oz.





Illinois, Maryland


PCC Community Markets

Organic Strawberries

32 oz.



29/10/2024 (as printed on package)




Trader Joe’s

Organic Tropical Fruit Blend Pineapple, Bananas, Strawberries & Mango


16 oz.



04/25/24, 05/12/24, 05/23/24, 05/30/24, 06/07/24




The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the company continue their investigation into what caused the problem. In addition, the company is removing all inventories of the affected lot from sale.

“The company is voluntarily recalling the affected products and cooperating with the FDA,” said Karel Smit, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Program manager. “The purpose of the recall is to remove the products from commerce and prevent the public from consuming potentially affected products.”

Although no hepatitis A virus has been found in the products, consumers should stop eating the product, and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund, or throw it away. Consumers with questions may contact the company at .service@scenicfruit.com">customer.service@scenicfruit.com.

Thomas said, “People who believe they’ve gotten sick from consuming frozen strawberries purchased at Costco or Trader Joe’s should contact a health care provider.”

Since 2014, Oregon has seen an average of 20 cases a year, with 2020 having the highest number at 29. Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), tiredness, stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (frequent watery bowel movements), dark urine, and light-colored bowel movements.

The disease varies in severity, with mild cases lasting two weeks or less and more severe cases lasting four to six weeks or longer. Hepatitis A infection can result in hospitalization. Some individuals, especially children, may not develop jaundice and may have a mild illness that can go unnoticed. However, even mildly ill people can be highly infectious. People with symptoms suggestive of hepatitis should consult a physician immediately, even if symptoms are mild.

For information about the national hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen strawberries, visit the CDC website. General information about hepatitis A is available on OHA’s and CDC’s websites.


Press Release: Oregon's Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Changed Little in February
Oregon Employment Department - 03/21/23 10:00 AM

March 21, 2023 

umenauer@employ.oregon.gov">Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist (971) 301-3771 
Video and Audio available at 10 a.m. 

Oregon’s Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Changed Little in February 

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment declined by 100 jobs in February, following a gain of 9,600 jobs in January. Job losses in February were largest in manufacturing (-1,300 jobs) and financial activities (-1,000). Gains were largest in construction (+1,400 jobs), private educational services (+1,000), and government (+700). 

Nondurable goods manufacturing experienced more job cuts than normal in both January and February. The industry employed 57,800 in February, which was close to its February totals of the prior two years. Food manufacturing comprises about half of nondurable goods manufacturing employment and, at 27,800 jobs in February, was close to its February totals of each of the past seven years. Meanwhile, durable goods manufacturing hasn’t gained much ground lately, as it has hovered close to 137,000 jobs during the past eight months. Recent gains in machinery manufacturing have been offset by declines in computer and electronic product manufacturing

Construction employment rose sharply in February, reaching another record high of 122,700. The industry added 7,500 jobs, or 6.5%, over the past 12 months. Since February 2022, all published components of construction are up between 3.8% and 9.3%. The component that grew the fastest was building equipment contractors, which added 3,000 jobs, or 9.3%, in that time. Both components within construction of buildings grew close to 4%, with residential building construction up 800 jobs, or 3.8%, and nonresidential building construction up 500 jobs, or 4.3%. 

Government employment rebounded above to its pre-pandemic high of early 2020, as it rose to 302,100 jobs in February. Local government education rose to 139,100 jobs in February, which was 6,500 jobs above its year-ago figure, and is now nearly back to its February 2020 total of 141,900. Local government, excluding education slowly expanded over the past eight months; it employed 97,700 in February. 

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.7% in February, little changed from 4.8% in January. Oregon’s unemployment rate averaged 4.8% over the past six months. In February, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, from 3.4% in January. 

Next Press Releases 
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the February county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, March 28, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for March on Wednesday, April 19.


Attached Media Files: 2023-03/930/162101/employment_in_Oregon_--_February_2023_--_press_release.pdf

Fatal Crash - HWY 97 - Deschutes County
Oregon State Police - 03/21/23 9:05 AM

On Monday, March 20, 2023, at approximately 7:45 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 97, near milepost 151, in Deschutes County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a 2005 Toyota 4Runner, operated by Leland Daniel Angier (31) of Bend, was traveling northbound on Hwy 97, near MP 151, when it lost control on icy road conditions, slid off the roadway and rolled several times before coming to a stop. The single occupant of the vehicle was declared deceased at the scene.


The roadway was impacted for approximately 4 hours during the on-scene investigation of the crash.


OSP was assisted by the Deschutes County Sheriffs' Office, Sunriver PD, Sunriver Fire, and ODOT.

MEDIA INVITE: Richland Police Department Reveals New Police Badge & Patch
City of Richland - 03/21/23 8:59 AM

Members of the media and public are invited to attend the official launch of the new Richland Police Department (RPD) brand identity. This launch will include a new design of the current RPD badge and patch. 


Thursday, March 23, 2023

10:00 a.m.


Richland City Hall Council Chambers

625 Swift Blvd. 

Richland, WA 99352

“The RPD is excited to honor some of the greatest heroes in Richland’s history by incorporating their story into our new brand identity,” states Police Chief Brigit Clary. “Our officers will wear these emblems with pride, as we look forward to displaying them for years to come.”

Historical artifacts will also be on display with representatives from the Hanford History Project in attendance. 

Media please arrive at 9:45. 

Fatal Crash - Interstate 5 - Linn County
Oregon State Police - 03/21/23 8:26 AM

On Saturday, March 18, 2023, at approximately 3:05 P.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Interstate 5, near milepost 210, in Linn County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a 2022 Freightliner (CMV) and trailer, operated by Branden Hamilton (50) of Buffalo (NY), went off the roadway and impacted the guardrail and bridge cement barrier on Interstate-5 southbound, near milepost 210. Hamilton was pronounced deceased at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash. 


The highway was closed for approximately 6 hours during the on-scene investigation. The cause of the crash is unknown, however investigators believe the operator may have suffered a medical event prior to the crash.


OSP was assisted by the Halsey/Shedd Fire Department and ODOT.

2023 ESD 105 Regional High School Art Show Winners Announced - Awards Ceremony Scheduled for Tuesday, March 21, 2023 @6:00PM
ESD 105 - 03/21/23 8:16 AM

For Immediate Release  

This year marks the 50th Year Anniversary of our Regional High School Art Show. Our 2023 show features 90 unique pieces by students from across the south central region of Washington State.  Judge Choice Award winners will advance to OSPI’s statewide Superintendent’s High School Art Show. Submissions in this juried show fall within three categories: 2-D, 3-D, and Photography. All of this year’s submissions will remain available in our online art gallery for the duration of the school year.   https://www.esd105.org/academic-suppport/art/2023-regional-art-show/virtual-gallery

From the collection of submissions, 14 students received special accolades for their pieces. These students will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023 @ 6:00 p.m.. This ceremony will take place at our ESD offices (33 S. 2nd Ave, Yakima, WA 98902). Winning art pieces have been compiled into an online folder for your convenience. 

  • Nine student pieces were recognized with Judge Choice Awards and will be advancing to OSPI’s statewide Superintendent’s High School Art Show that is expected to occur sometime later this spring.
  • Two pieces were selected as winners of the ESD 105 Board Choice Award and will be purchased to join the permanent display of student artwork in the agency’s Greenough Conference Center.
  • Nine of the students in this year’s show were selected by members of the arts faculty at Central Washington University for CWU scholarships in recognition of their entries in the 2023 show.
  • Four student pieces were awarded with Regional Photography Awards.

Judge Choice Award Winners: All winners were selected from the 2-D art category. These winners will advance to OSPI’s statewide Superintendent’s High School Art Show.

  • “Painful Shards”  by Camile Tetreault of Yakima School District
  • “Last Candle” by Lesli Badillo of Yakima School District
  • “American Gothic” by Emily Morales of Yakima School District
  • “Butterfly Girl” by Rose Clark of Goldendale School District
  • “Within Arms Reach” by Claria Tuning of Goldendale School District
  • “Victor” by Talitha Adams of Goldendale School District
  • “Life In Line” by Mia Sanchez of Grandview School District
  • “Young John Lydon” by Eron Malton of Toppenish School District
  • “Rainy Day” by Maribel Gonzales of Wapato School District
  • “Grasp of Compliance” by Lily Kinloch of West Valley School District

2023 Regional Photography Awards:  

  • “Mystery Door” by Cassandra Vargas of Yakima School District
  • “Musical Architecture” by Sierra Downes of Yakima School District
  • “Spring Thaw” by William Chandler of Yakima School District
  • “Final Glimpse” by Isabelle Ehlis of Yakima School District

ESD 105 Board of Directors’ Choice Award Winners: Two entries in the ESD 105 Regional Show were selected for the ESD 105 Board Choice Award.  These pieces were chosen to be purchased for a cash award from the ESD 105 Board of Directors and will join previous year Choice Award winners in a collection that is on permanent display at the ESD 105 Greenough Conference Center in Yakima.

  • “Internal Eternity” by Marlene Martinez of Yakima School District (2-D Category)
  • “Tidal Wave” by Marley Goodwin of Yakima School District (Photography Category)

Central Washington University Scholarship Recipients: Nine students have been selected to receive scholarship awards to Central Washington University in recognition of their artwork in this year’s local show.  These awards, collectively totaling $18,000, were determined by members of the CWU art faculty to be used toward enrollment in art classes at the university.

  • “Painful Shards”  by Camile Tetreault of Yakima School District (2-D)
  • “American Gothic” by Emily Morales of Yakima School District (2-D)
  • “Within Arms Reach” by Claria Tuning of Goldendale School District (2-D)
  • “Victor” by Talitha Adams of Goldendale School District (2-D)
  • “Life In Line” by Mia Sanchez of Grandview School District (2-D)
  • “Rainy Day” by Maribel Gonzales of Wapato School District (2-D)
  • “Grasp of Compliance” by Lily Kinloch of West Valley School District (2-D)
  • “Repulsive Division” by Marlene Martinez of Yakima School District (2-D)
  • “Musical Architecture” by Sierra Downes of Yakima School District (Photography)



About ESD 105:
ESD 105 supports 25 public school districts and more than 20 state-approved private and tribal schools in South Central Washington.  The agency serves the expressed needs of those schools in coordinating and conducting cooperative programs to benefit the approximately 68,000 K-12 students who are served in Kittitas and Yakima counties and portions of Grant and Klickitat counties.  As one of nine ESDs in the state, ESD 105 carries out liaison activities between local school districts, the Washington State Office of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education. 

Mon. 03/20/23
OHA issues statement on Legacy Mount Hood waiver request
Oregon Health Authority - 03/20/23 5:06 PM

March 20, 2023

Media contacts: Jonathan Modie, Oregon Health Authority, 971-246-9139, 


OHA issues statement on Legacy Mount Hood waiver request

PORTLAND, Ore.— Oregon Health Authority is issuing the following statement regarding Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center’s request for a waiver that would allow it to discontinue maternity services at its Family Birth Center:

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is highly concerned about reports that maternity patients at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center are being redirected to other Legacy hospitals such as Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. OHA has not granted Legacy’s waiver and is in the process of reviewing Legacy’s responses to the many questions OHA posed to Legacy about its waiver request. OHA received Legacy’s responses late on Friday, March 17. OHA has been very clear with Legacy that it cannot cease providing required maternity services at its Family Birth Center without receiving OHA approval of a waiver.

OHA will be investigating reports that Legacy has ceased providing maternity services. 


Oregon State Penitentiary reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 03/20/23 10:43 AM

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, William M. Blanscet, died the evening of March 19, 2023. Blanscet was incarcerated at Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) in Salem and passed away in the infirmary while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified.

Blanscet entered DOC custody on April 9, 2004, from Josephine County with an earliest release date of April 2, 2032. Blanscet was 53 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 men and women 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: William M. Blanscet

Clackamas Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison for Armed Robbery of Local Pub
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 03/20/23 10:38 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Clackamas, Oregon man was sentenced to federal prison today for robbing a local pub with a gun.

Dustin Lee Henderson, 42, was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, on November 22, 2019, Henderson robbed the Lighthouse Pub, a public house and deli located on 82nd Avenue in Clackamas. In video surveillance of the robbery, Henderson was seen handing the pub clerk a bag, brandishing a firearm, and taking five cartons of cigarettes. The pub’s owner chased Henderson through the parking lot when Henderson discharged a single round from his firearm, prompting the owner to stop the chase. Law enforcement later recovered a .22 caliber cartridge case near the site of the shooting.

Law enforcement later observed Henderson in a nearby mobile home lot and arrested him. Investigators executed a state search warrant on a mobile home where Henderson resided and recovered the stolen cigarette cartons, clothes worn by Henderson during the robbery, and a .22 pistol. DNA analysis later linked Henderson to the seized firearm.

On March 17, 2022, Henderson was charged by superseding indictment with interfering with commerce with threats or violence, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. 

On April 27, 2022, after a three-day trial, Henderson was found guilty on all counts.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from Oregon State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cassady Adams, Craig Gabriel, and Suzanne Miles prosecuted the case.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Othello Woman Sentenced to 46 Months in Federal Prison for Firearm Offense
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 03/20/23 10:21 AM

Spokane, Washington – United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Alondra Yanez, age 25, of Othello, Washington, to 46 months in federal prison after Yanez had pleaded guilty on December 14, 2022 to being a Felon in Possession of Firearms. Judge Rice ordered that Yanez’s 46 month federal sentence be served consecutively to a 12 month sentence for theft in the second degree imposed by the Adams County, Washington, Superior Court. Yanez will also serve three years of supervised release after her release from confinement.

According to court documents, on February 24, 2021, a co-defendant, Guillermo Valdez, participated in a residential burglary in Spokane County, Washington, during which Valdez stole eleven firearms. Yanez helped Valdez traffic the stolen firearms by advertising the firearms for sale using Facebook Messenger. One of the stolen firearms sold by Yanez was used during the homicide of a four-year-old child in Othello, Washington, during a domestic dispute on February 27, 2021. 

United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref, who is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the Eastern District of Washington, stated, “Ms. Yanez endangered our community by trafficking in stolen firearms. Her conduct directly led to the tragic homicide of a four-year-old child. I’m grateful for the joint efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement, who helped bring Ms. Yanez to justice and who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe and our neighborhoods strong.”

“Ms. Yanez’s brazen conduct clearly warranted this significant sentence,” said ATF Resident Agent in Charge Sterling Nixon. “ATF is committed to keeping members of our communities safe from individuals who provide firearms to dangerous criminals.”

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Othello Police Department, the Moses Lake Police Department, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, and the Washington State Patrol. This case was prosecuted by Michael J. Ellis, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.


2023 National Earthquake Program Managers meeting strengthens earthquake preparedness and collaboration (Photo)
Oregon Department of Emergency Management - 03/20/23 8:00 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 20, 2023 – The 2023 National Earthquake Program Managers (NEPM) meeting will take place March 21-23 at the Duniway Hotel at 545 SW Taylor St. The event aims to provide information sharing and capacity-building opportunities for state, federal, non-profit and private sector members of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).

This year's NEPM meeting is co-hosted by the Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW). OEM Geological Hazards Program Coordinator and 2023 NEPM Chair Althea Rizzo will lead the meeting, alongside 2023 NEPM Vice-Chair Scott Gauvin, who also serves as manager of strategic operations and preparedness with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

“It’s a privilege to work with people from across the country so passionate about improving earthquake safety,” said Rizzo. “Earthquake preparedness and mitigation is a vital investment in our collective resilience, safeguarding our communities and securing the future against nature's unpredictable upheavals."

The NEPM group is primarily composed of state emergency management agency representatives who actively plan and prepare to reduce earthquake-related losses in their states. While some states have a dedicated earthquake program manager, in others, the responsibility is shared. Collectively known as the National Earthquake Program Managers, the group holds annual meetings to develop programs, share best practices and foster relationships.

The NEPM group first began holding annual meetings in the early 1990s, and after a brief hiatus, resumed meeting in 2004 at the National Earthquake Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Since then, the group has met yearly to continue building resilience against the high-consequence hazard of earthquakes.

For more information, visit EQProgram.net.

# # #

Attached Media Files: 2023-03/3986/162053/OEMLogo_2022_FullColor_NoBackground_PNG.png

15 Young Artists Win "Share Your Art -- Share Your Culture!" Contest (Photo)
ESD 123 - 03/20/23 7:53 AM
Coloring book
Coloring book

PASCO, WA – Congratulations to the 15 winners of the Educational Service District (ESD) 123 “Share Your Art – Share Your Culture!” Youth Art Contest. Their incredible artwork will be featured on a set of stickers and a coloring book promoting substance use prevention, mental health awareness, mindfulness, and reflection, as well as resources from Teen Link and You Can Washington.

Funded by the Department of Health Youth Cannabis and Commercial Tobacco Prevention Program (YCCTPP), the Youth Art Contest was open to youth ages 12-20 to submit artwork celebrating Hispanic/Latino culture and promoting substance-free spaces and lifestyles. Congratulations to the following amazing winners:

  • Featured in both the coloring book and stickers set:
    • Amiyah Campos, Kennewick
    • Ivorie Zepeda, Pasco
  • Featured in the coloring book:
    • Aubrie Peachey, Richland
    • Eileen Lopez, Pasco
    • Elizabeth Brown, Kennewick
    • Eva Thornton, Benton City
    • Inara Mullen, Pasco
    • Jessie Rodriguez, Pasco
    • Mackenzie Gonzalez, Prosser
    • Sequoia Flores, Connell
  • Featured in the stickers set:
    • Maximus Martinez, Prosser
    • Rafael Hernandez, Grandview
    • Jaylyn Wilson, Benton City
    • Jazlyn Chavez, Prosser
    • Noemie Copado-Trujillo, Prosser

In addition, materials will feature artwork by local artist Hollie Zepeda and ESD 123 Marijuana/Tobacco Prevention and Education Specialist Briseida Chavez.

The coloring books and stickers will be distributed to local schools and at community events throughout southeast Washington beginning in April. Organizations interested in requesting electronic and/or printed coloring books and stickers can contact Briseida Chavez at chavez@esd123.org">bchavez@esd123.org or Monica Garcia at cia@esd123.org">mgarcia@esd123.org.

Contact Molly Curtiss, Director of Communications, at tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org or 509.544.5787 for more information.


About ESD 123:  Educational Service District 123, based in Pasco, WA, is one of nine ESDs in Washington. Dedicated to delivering collaborative solutions that promote learning, ESD 123 serves 23 school districts in seven counties of Southeastern Washington. Under Superintendent Steve McCullough and its board of directors, this legislatively mandated, not-for-profit educational organization provides efficiency of educational systems and equity of learning opportunities for over 70,000 Washington students. For more information about ESD 123, please call 509-544-5700 or 888-547-8441 or visit www.esd123.org.

Attached Media Files: Coloring book , Stickers

Media Availability: Oregon Department of Emergency Management hosts Oregon Prepared Conference at Sunriver (Photo)
Oregon Department of Emergency Management - 03/20/23 6:00 AM

The Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is hosting its Oregon Prepared Conference for the emergency management community this week in Sunriver. The workshop provides training and information on programs, current issues, and a place to discuss lessons learned and best practices related to all phases of emergency management in Oregon. This marks the return of the event following a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

OEM will host a media availability from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. on March 21. OEM Deputy Director Matt Marheine will be available for one-on-one interviews about the state of emergency management in Oregon. Visit the workshop session discussing evacuation planning for B-roll footage.

Media Availability: 9:45-10:45 a.m. on March 21
Conference: March 21-23

Homestead Ballroom at Sunriver Resort, 56924 Meadow Rd.

Workshop attendees (450) include tribal, county, city, special district, state and federal emergency management, public safety and health preparedness staff, DHS/FEMA preparedness grant recipients, and non-profit and private sector partners with a role in preparedness, response, recovery and resilience.

Oregon Emergency Preparedness Workshop

Please contact Chris Crabb, OEM Public Affairs Officer, at 971-719-0089 or is.crabb@oem.oregon.gov">chris.crabb@oem.oregon.gov in advance to make arrangements.

Attached Media Files: 2023-03/3986/162057/ORPreparedLogo.png , 2023-03/3986/162057/OEMLogo_2022_FullColor_NoBackground_PNG.png