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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Sat. Dec. 16 - 9:50 pm
Sat. 12/16/17
Red Cross Responds To Home Fire In Pendleton Affecting Five
American Red Cross - Cascades Region - 12/16/17 2:45 PM
Disaster responders with the local American Red Cross responded to a residential fire that occurred  in the  2000 block of Riverside Ave NE in Pendleton, OR. This single-family fire affected 2 adults and 3 children
The Red Cross provided resources to help address the immediate basic needs of those affected such as temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services, and health and mental health services. Additional information about this incident, if available, may be obtained from the local first responding agency/fire department.
The Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington (the Cascades Region) helps an average of three families affected by disasters, like home fires, every day. The Red Cross advocates emergency preparedness and offers the installation of free smoke alarms in our community. Residents may call (503) 528-5783 or complete an online form at www.redcross.org/CascadesHomeFire to schedule

Bend Man Loses his life in Rollover Crash on Hwy 22E near Idanha in Linn County (Photo) **Correction and Update**
Oregon State Police - 12/16/17 1:38 PM
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Correction and Update

The fire engine that rolled over was incorrectly identified in the previous release. The engine that rolled over was from the Idanha-Detriot Fire Protection District. The driver was uninjured as a result of the crash.

The updated information is that the fuel tank was loaded with over 11,000 gallons of fuel. It is unclear how much of the fuel that spilled was burned or was lost into the ground or river. DEQ is on scene and coordinating the containment and cleanup with ODOT. The roadway was damaged in the crash and there still is no estimate for reopening. Additional daytime photos were added to the release.

End of update



On Friday, December 15th at approximately 11:00PM, Oregon State Police responded to the report of a crash on Highway 22E near milepost 64 involving a 2001 Kenworth Central Petro fuel truck. Preliminary investigation revealed the vehicle lost traction on the icy road and rolled over coming to a stop blocking the highway. The fuel tank ruptured and caught fire, spreading to nearby brush. A Idanha-Detriot Fire Protection District fire engine that was responding to the scene also lost control on the icy road and rolled onto its side. There were additional collisions in the area that resulted in no injuries. The driver of the fuel truck was identified as 58 year old, Ronald Edward SCURLOCK from Bend. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

This is an ongoing investigation and we have no additional information at this time. Highway 22E remains closed and travelers are urged to use alternate routes. OSP was assisted by the Marion County Sheriff's Office, Idanha Fire Department, Gates Fire Department, Salem Regional HazMat and ODOT. www.tripcheck.com



Attached Media Files: 2017-12/1002/110508/20171216_011105_resized.jpg , 2017-12/1002/110508/20171216_010736_resized.jpg , 2017-12/1002/110508/20171216_010912_resized.jpg , 2017-12/1002/110508/IMG953207.jpg , 2017-12/1002/110508/IMG953203.jpg , 2017-12/1002/110508/IMG953209.jpg , 2017-12/1002/110508/IMG953204.jpg

Fri. 12/15/17
Summary: Wapato Schools Safety Situations on Dec. 15th
Wapato Sch. Dist. - 12/15/17 3:06 PM
Afternoon all,

Please see the attached release for a summary of the two separate and unrelated safety concerns the District has been handling today.

If you are wanting any specifics about either of these two cases you need to contact law enforcement.



Attached Media Files: Wapato Schools Summary Dec. 15th Safety Situations

Icy conditions ahead, slow down
ODOT: East. Ore. - 12/15/17 2:42 PM
Hey folks, it is wintertime, so be prepared. Travelers are reminded to drive with extra caution throughout the eastern Oregon region. Several crashes along Interstate 84 have occurred between Ontario and Huntington where icy conditions are reported. Ice is also reported in Umatilla County and other areas. Expect possible delays. Give yourself extra travel time, slow down and allow extra space between you and fellow motorists. Also, turn off cruise control when rain, snow or spots of ice may be present. Chains or traction tires may be required at times. Always check TripCheck.com or call 511 before heading out.

Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting & Executive Session: December 19, 2017
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 12/15/17 1:26 PM
Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting & Executive Session: December 19, 2017

Supporting documents are available via the following link: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835

Richland Community Center Closed for Annual Maintenance
City of Richland - 12/15/17 1:20 PM
The Richland Community Center (RCC) located at 500 Amon Park Drive in Richland, will be closed for annual maintenance beginning Monday, December 18 through Friday, December 22.

There will be no scheduled classes or activities during this time.

Questions can be directed to 942-7529.

Talent Man Loses Life In Crash On Interstate 5-Jackson County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 12/15/17 12:14 PM
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On December 14, 2017, at approximately 4:00 PM, Troopers from the Central Point Area Command responded to a reported motorcycle crash on Interstate 5 near milepost 26 northbound. This location is in Jackson County and is just south of Medford.

The preliminary investigation has determined that 65 year old Raleigh RODRIGUES, from Talent, Oregon was operating a 2001 Chevrolet pickup, and 25 year old Kevin MAYO, also from Talent, Oregon was operating a 2009 Yamaha motorcycle, both were traveling north on I-5. The Troopers determined RODRIGUES and MAYO were engaged in a road rage incident that started several miles prior to the crash and RODRIGUES intentionally swerved, forcing MAYO off the roadway. MAYO was transported to a local hospital, where he died as a result of his injuries.

The Oregon State Police was assisted by Fire District 5, Mercy Flights, Phoenix Police Department, the Jackson County District Attorney's office and the Oregon Department of Transportation. RODRIGUES was lodged in the Jackson County Jail and charged with Manslaughter I and Manslaughter II.



Attached Media Files: 2017-12/1002/110483/fatal.jpg

Josephine County Man Shot- Serious Injuries
Oregon State Police - 12/15/17 12:08 PM
On December 14, 2017, at approximately 10:30pm, Troopers from the Grants Pass Area Command responded to the Murphy area in Josephine County for a male indicating he had been shot.

When Troopers arrived at the Circle K in Murphy they contacted the male victim. The male had serious, but none life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital in Jackson County for treatment. The Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division responded to conduct the investigation.

The detectives developed a suspect and arrested 29 year old Terence DALEY from Murphy, Oregon. DALEY was lodged in the Josephine County Jail on Attempted Murder, Assault 1, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Felon in Possession of a Weapon.

This is an active investigation and no further information is available at this time.

2018 Department of Human Services Child Welfare Action Plan Community Forum
Oregon Department of Human Services - 12/15/17 11:49 AM
Make plans to attend a DHS Child Welfare Action Plan Community Forum in January or February.

You are invited to provide input to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) on Oregon's child safety system. DHS would like to hear directly from the people and communities it serves around child safety.

The community forum will include:
Pre-forum session for current or former foster youth
Caregiver networking
Updates from DHS leadership
In-depth roundtable discussions to provide solutions to child safety barriers
Opportunity to network and ask questions of DHS leadership and staff

Your participation is extremely valuable to us as we move forward, so make plans to attend a meeting in your local area!

Wednesday, January 3
BEND:
Deschutes Services Building, 1300 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Current and former foster youth session / Current and former foster parent networking
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm - Community Forum
Please let us know if you plan to attend: child.safety@state.or.us -- Use subject line BEND

Tuesday, January 16
OREGON CITY:
Oregon Department of Human Services, 315 S Beavercreek Rd, Oregon City, OR
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm - Current and former foster youth session / Current and former foster parent networking
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm - Community Forum
Please let us know if you plan to attend: child.safety@state.or.us -- Use subject line OREGON CITY

Thursday, January 18
BEAVERTON:
Oregon Department of Human Services, 15425 NW Greenbrier Pkwy, Beaverton, OR
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm - Current and former foster youth session / Current and former foster parent networking
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm - Community Forum
Please let us know if you plan to attend: child.safety@state.or.us - Use subject line BEAVERTON

Wednesday, January 24
ROSEBURG:
Oregon Department of Human Services, 738 W Harvard Ave SE 120, Roseburg, OR
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Current and former foster youth session / Current and former foster parent networking
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm - Community Forum
Please let us know if you plan to attend: child.safety@state.or.us - Use subject line ROSEBURG

Thursday, January 25
KLAMATH FALLS:
Oregon Department of Human Services, 700 Klamath Ave, Suite 500, Klamath Falls, OR
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Current and former foster youth session / Current and former foster parent networking
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm - Community Forum
Please let us know if you plan to attend: child.safety@state.or.us - Use subject line KLAMATH FALLS

Thursday, February 1
LA GRANDE:
Integrated Services Building, 1607 Gekeler Lane, La Grande, OR
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm - Current and former foster youth session / Current and former foster parent networking
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm - Community Forum
Please let us know if you plan to attend: child.safety@state.or.us - Use subject line LA GRANDE

For more information, contact:
Pamela Heisler, Public Engagement Project Manager, 503-910-7422 | PAMELA.L.HEISLER@state.or.us.

The Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division is asking for the public's help to identify the person(s) responsible for the unlawful taking of two "trophy" mule deer in both Deschutes and Jefferson County. (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 12/15/17 11:44 AM
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On December 2nd, 2017, OSP was notified of a mule deer found south of Pine Mountain in Deschutes County. OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers responded and found the buck deer on BLM land in Kotzman Basin. The animal had been shot with only the head and back straps taken, and the rest of it was left to waste. Investigation revealed the deer was most likely killed around October 29th.
On December 3rd, 2017 OSP was notified of a second mule deer that was found dead in the Three Rivers community near Lake Billy Chinook in Jefferson County. The evidence at the scene revealed the deer was most likely shot by a center fire rifle at an unknown location, and later died in the yard of one of the residents. At this time, troopers believe the two incidents are not related.

A reward of up to $500 is offered for information leading to the issuance of a citation to a person(s), or and arrest made in this case. The reward is comprised of $500 from the Oregon Hunters Association Turn-In-Poacher (TIP) program.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact OSP Senior Trooper Scott Sogge or Senior Trooper Aaron Roth through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or 541-388-6213.

Report Wildlife and Habitat Law Violators

Poaching wildlife and damaging habitats affects present and future generations of wildlife, impacts communities and the economy, and creates enforcement challenges.

The Turn-In-Poachers (TIP) reward is paid for information leading to the arrest/conviction of person(s) for the illegal possession, killing, taking, and/or waste of deer, elk, antelope, bear, cougar, wolf, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, furbearers and/or game birds.

TIP rewards can also be given for the illegal taking, netting, snagging, and/or dynamiting of salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and/or large numbers of any fish listed in Oregon statute as a game fish.

In addition, a reward may be issued for information that results in an arrest/conviction of a person who has illegally obtained Oregon hunting/angling license or tags. People who "work" the system and falsely apply for resident licenses and/or tags are not legally hunting and/or angling and are considered poachers.

Increasing damage to wildlife habitat by off-road vehicles prompted the Oregon Hunters

Association (OHA) in 2009 to create the Natural Resources Reward Program that offers a $300 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone causing natural resources damage by the illegal use of motorized vehicles and is similar to its highly successful TIP program.

$1,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose

$500 Elk, Deer and Antelope

$300 Bear, Cougar and Wolf

$300 Habitat Destruction

$100 Game Fish and Shellfish

$100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl

$100 Furbearers

How to Report a Wildlife and/or Habitat Law Violation or Suspicious Activity:

TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 (24/7)

TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us (Monitored M-F 8:00AM - 5:00PM)

(Please use the TIP Hotline for Weekend and Evening Reporting)



Attached Media Files: 2017-12/1002/110479/IMG_20171203_135805.jpg

Oregon OSHA awards 3 training grants
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 12/15/17 9:18 AM
(Salem) -- The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has awarded three grants totaling more than $103,000 to help develop workplace safety and health education and training programs.

The recipients are:

Northwest Forest Worker Center: Chemical Safety for Latino Forest Workers

The nonprofit group will develop a training program to help Latino forest workers and their spouses in Jackson and Josephine counties protect themselves against exposures to toxic chemicals.

The program, using videos and interactive exercises, will engage trainees in discussions that connect to their own workplace experiences. The program will equip trainees with best practices in the safe handling of pesticides and gasoline.

The effectiveness of the training program will be measured in several ways, including debriefing sessions with trainers to gauge whether improvement is needed and follow-up interviews with workers to assess the effects of the training on their work practices.

Grant award: $40,000

Oregon State University: Safe Design of Anchoring Systems in Logging Operations

Oregon State University will create safe design guidelines for anchoring systems used as part of logging operations. The goal is to improve the safety of forestry workers.

Anchoring systems are used in hauling logs by cable to landing areas. But as the industry moves into logging smaller trees, it has become more difficult to find large stumps to serve as reliable anchors. As a result, loggers must use multiple stumps or alternative anchoring methods.

The program developed by OSU will provide step-by-step guidelines for the use of these methods, including stump selection, and information about soil and site conditions. The program also will address emerging technologies, including tethered logging systems.

The university will develop the program with support from Associated Oregon Loggers and other industry representatives.

Grant award: $38,618

SafeBuild Alliance: Educating Construction Workers on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

The nonprofit group will develop and distribute information to raise awareness about the impact of mental health issues and suicide in the construction industry. People working in the construction and extraction industries had the second-highest rate of suicide, according to a recent analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of SafeBuild Alliance's project is to help the industry identify mental health issues, and to provide resources for prevention and treatment of mental health issues and suicide.

Through this project, the group will provide information to construction workers and their families about how to get help and how to intervene. That information will include materials distributed on thumb drives, flyers, posters, hard-hat stickers, wallet cards, and online links. Several industry forums also will be held.

Grant award: $24,910

The Oregon Legislature launched the Occupational Safety and Health Education and Training Grant Program in 1990. Award recommendations are made by Oregon OSHA's Safe Employment Education and Training Advisory Committee, an advisory group with members from business, organized labor, and government.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Thu. 12/14/17
OSP Responds to two crashes on Hwy 58 within a short time period (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 12/14/17 3:54 PM
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The first crash occurred on December 14th at approximately 9:30AM and involved a commercial motor vehicle towing an empty tanker on Hwy 58 near milepost 60 east of Oakridge. No hazardous materials were released. The driver stated he lost control on the icy road and left the roadway, damaging a substantial amount of guardrail. He was uninjured

While investigating this crash, OSP was dispatched to another single vehicle, rollover crash at 10:40AM less than a mile from the first crash near milepost 59. This crash involved an SUV that had been operated by a female driver, who was the sole occupant, who also indicated she had lost control on the icy road and rolled over. The female was entrapped and extricated by fire personnel. She suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported by ground ambulance to the hospital for treatment.

OSP was assisted on scene by ODOT, the Oakridge Fire Department, Northwest Hazardous Materials, and Dowell's Towing on these crashes. Traveling at speeds too fast for conditions was a contributing factor in both of these collisions which occurred within a short time of each other. We ask the public to be cognizant of the road conditions for the area you are traveling in and slow down. The posted speed may not be the appropriate speed for the road conditions at the time.



Attached Media Files: 2017-12/1002/110452/3.jpg , 2017-12/1002/110452/2.jpg , 2017-12/1002/110452/1.jpg

New taxes going into effect in 2018
Oregon Dept. of Revenue - 12/14/17 3:16 PM
SALEM, Ore.--The Oregon Department of Revenue is reminding Oregon businesses and employers, out-of-state businesses with employees or customers in Oregon, and vehicle and bicycle buyers to make sure they're ready for four new taxes starting in 2018.

The 2017 Legislature created four tax programs to help fund a statewide transportation package: the bicycle excise tax, the vehicle privilege tax, the vehicle use tax, and the statewide transit tax.

"We're communicating directly with affected sellers about new taxes relating to some bicycles and vehicles, which begin January 1, 2018," said Eric Smith, Business Division administrator for the department. "There will be more outreach to employers about the new statewide transit tax as we approach its start date of July 1, 2018," he said.

Bicycle excise tax

Oregon's bicycle excise tax is a flat tax of $15 paid by the consumer at the point of sale. To be taxed, a bike must meet all of the following criteria:

Be a new bicycle.
Have two or more wheels that are 26 inches or larger.
Be exclusively human powered and designed for use on the ground.
Have a retail purchase price of $200 or more.

Sellers must provide an invoice, receipt, or other proof-of-sale document that has a separate line showing the amount of tax paid by the consumer. They must also report and remit the taxes collected from sales of taxable bicycles to Revenue at the end of each calendar quarter. The first return, covering sales from January through March, will be due by April 30, 2018. Consumers who don't pay the tax at the time of purchase must report the purchase and pay the tax directly to the Department of Revenue by the 20th of the month following the month of purchase.

Vehicle privilege tax

Oregon's vehicle privilege tax applies to dealers selling new vehicles in Oregon. The tax is on the privilege of selling and equals one-half of one percent (.005) of the retail sales price of the new vehicle. Sales of new vehicles, which must not have been previously registered in Oregon, include:

Vehicles with 7,500 miles or fewer and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 lbs. or less.
Recreational vehicles and motorcycles.
Lease sales of new vehicles.

Dealers must report and pay the tax based on their sales at the end of each calendar quarter. The first return, covering sales from January through March, will be due by April 30, 2018. Although a lawsuit has been filed in relation to distribution of the vehicle privilege tax, it doesn't change a dealer's responsibility to report and pay the privilege tax on their sales beginning January 1, 2018.

Vehicle use tax

Oregon's vehicle use tax applies to vehicles purchased outside of Oregon by Oregon residents or for use in Oregon. It applies to any vehicle which, if purchased in Oregon, would qualify for the vehicle privilege tax. The tax may be paid by the out-of-state dealer or the consumer, and it equals one-half of one percent (.005) of the retail sales price of the taxable vehicle.

Only some out-of-state dealers will be required to collect and remit the use tax. Others will choose to do so. If a dealer doesn't collect the tax from the consumer at the point of sale, the consumer must report and pay it directly to Revenue. Upon payment, the consumer will receive a certificate showing they paid the tax, which the DMV will need to register or title the vehicle in Oregon. The deadline for reporting and paying is the 20th day of the month following the month of purchase. Dealers who collect the tax must report and remit it at the end of each calendar quarter. Their first returns, covering sales from January through March, will be due by April 30, 2018.

Statewide transit tax

The statewide transit tax takes effect on July 1, 2018. It will be one-tenth of one percent (.001) of the wages of Oregon residents--regardless of where they're working--and non-residents who work in Oregon. Payers of annuities and other periodic payments under ORS 316.189 also must withhold one-tenth of one percent (.001) of these payments. Employers who fail to deduct, withhold, and remit the tax to the department will be subject to standard penalties. In addition, employers who knowingly fail to deduct and withhold the tax are subject to an additional penalty of $250 per employee, up to $25,000. Oregon residents working for certain out-of-state employers must self-report and pay the tax when they file their personal income tax return, if their employer chooses not to withhold it.

All new taxes

More information about the transportation-related taxes can be found at www.oregon.gov/dor.

Affected sellers and employers can register, report taxes, and make payments through the department's new web application, Revenue Online. They can visit www.oregon.gov/dor for more information and to sign up for a Revenue Online account.

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State fines Florida resident for million dollar investment scheme
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 12/14/17 8:30 AM
Salem -- The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Division of Financial Regulation issued a cease-and-desist order against a Florida woman and her company for violating Oregon securities law as part of a nationwide investment fraud scam. The division fined Judith Jackson and her company -- Becker, Jackson and Reed (BJR) -- $60,000 for illegally selling shares of stock in a company called Alpine Family Entertainment Parks.

The scheme used high-pressure sales to obtain more than $1 million from victims across the U.S., including $150,000 from one Oregon resident. Victims were pressured into purchasing shares of stock in Alpine Family Entertainment Parks for the development of a new amusement park in San Diego. There were no plans to develop an amusement park.

The investigation revealed that 80 percent of investors' funds were routed to bank accounts in Mexico while the remaining funds were used to maintain the investment scam. Oregonians should beware that Jackson and BJR may still be soliciting investments.

"Do your homework before making investment decisions, no matter how urgent the opportunity seems," said Jean Straight, acting DCBS Director. "One of your first steps should be checking the license of any company offering investments to Oregon residents."

The division encourages residents to check the license (http://dfr.oregon.gov/gethelp/Pages/check-license.aspx) and recognize the signs of investment fraud:

High rate of return, especially better than similar investments
Guarantee that investment will not fail
Pressure to invest immediately

Your best defense to avoid an investment scam is to ask a lot questions and contact the Division of Financial Regulation at dfr.oregon.gov or call 866-814-9710 (toll-free in Oregon) for more information.

To view the cease-and-desist order: http://dfr.oregon.gov/AdminOrders/enf-orders-2017/20171129-alpinebjr-s-17-0135.pdf
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The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and www.insurance.oregon.gov.

Wed. 12/13/17
Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program graduates 54th class (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 12/13/17 8:31 PM
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REDMOND, Oregon - The Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (OYCP) graduated its 54th class on Dec. 13, 2017, at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon. The ceremony drew hundreds of family members, friends and community supporters of the graduating cadets from across the state.

OYCP is a statewide, accredited alternative high school that serves all of Oregon. The program, which is operated by the Oregon Military Department out of Bend, Ore., helps students who are struggling in school or have dropped out to recover their credits through a rigorous military style residential program. In addition to academics, the students learn other core strengths such as personal fitness, good citizenship, job skills and self discipline. The students will return home and continue with one year of active mentorship following their graduation.

About OYCP:
OYCP is one of 37 nationwide National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Programs and has been recognized as one of the premier programs in the country. The OYCP program is cost-free to cadets and their families and has successfully graduated more than 4,600 cadets since its inception in 1994. The voluntary, 17-and-a-half-month program provides youth who are at risk of not completing their high school education, both male and female, ages 16 to 18, from urban and rural areas of Oregon, with another opportunity to succeed.

Cadets work through a two-phase program, beginning with an intensive five-and-a-half-month residential program during which they develop life-coping skills, perform volunteer community service work and attend academic classes. While in the program, cadets continue their education, develop life skills and create a plan, outlining clear and organized steps to keep them along the path of success following graduation. The second phase of the program consists of one year of mentorship. During this phase, cadets receive encouragement and support as they implement their plans to re-enter their home environments.

Details about the Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program are available at www.oycp.com.

Photo Captions:
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Dave Stuckey, Deputy Director of the Oregon Military Department, conveys his pride in the Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (OYCP) and the students' accomplishments during a graduation ceremony in Redmond, Oregon, on Dec. 13, 2017. The OYCP program, which is run by the Oregon National Guard, helps students recuperate high school credits and learn valuable life skills in a military training environment. (Photo by Christopher L. Ingersoll, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

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The Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (OYCP) drill team performs with their rifles during a graduation ceremony in Redmond, Oregon, on Dec. 13, 2017. The OYCP program, which is run by the Oregon National Guard, helps students recuperate high school credits and learn valuable life skills in a military training environment. (Photo by Christopher L. Ingersoll, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

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Cadet Ali Alhejab, gives a before and after picture of his life and the difference the Oregon National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (OYCP) has made during opening remarks at the graduation ceremony in Redmond, Oregon, on Dec. 13, 2017. The OYCP program, which is run by the Oregon National Guard, helps students recuperate high school credits and learn valuable life skills in a military training environment. (Photo by Christopher L. Ingersoll, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)



Attached Media Files: 2017-12/962/110431/171213-YP317-Z-0012.JPG , 2017-12/962/110431/171213-YP317-Z-0010.JPG , 2017-12/962/110431/171213-YP317-Z-0009.JPG

Bend Man Loses his life in two-vehicle crash on Hwy 20 near Hamby Road east of Bend (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 12/13/17 4:55 PM
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On December 13, 2017 at approximately 9:35AM, OSP responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Hamby Road and Highway 20 just east of Bend. Preliminary investigation revealed a 2006 GMC Sierra truck was westbound on Hwy 20 when eastbound 2017 Ford Transit van turned into its path as it attempted to turn onto Hamby Road.

The driver and sole occupant of the GMC truck was identified as 59 year old Michael Francis DELEONE from Redmond who was uninjured. The driver and sole occupant of the Ford van was identified as 48 year old Mark Douglas PRICE from Bend who was deceased as a result of the crash. Both drivers were properly utilizing their safety restraints and the airbags deployed in the GMC truck.

PRICE failed to yield to oncoming traffic and is the contributing factor in this crash. DELEONE is cooperating with the investigation and is not suspected in any wrongdoing. Hwy 20 was shut down or limited to one lane of travel for nearly four hours while this investigation was completed. OSP was assisted by ODOT, Bend Fire and Rescue, the Deschutes Medical Examiner, the Deschutes District Attorney's Office and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.



Attached Media Files: 2017-12/1002/110426/26402.jpeg , 2017-12/1002/110426/Resized952017121395104014.jpg

***Update - Public's Assistance Needed*** Two-Vehicle Crash Takes the Life of a Bend Man on Highway 97 at Milepost 151 - Deschutes County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 12/13/17 4:29 PM
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OSP is asking for the public's assistance with the investigation that killed a Bend man last week. Shannon ROGERS, from Goldendale, Washington, is believed to have been driving in a reckless manner prior to the crash that took the life of a Bend man.

Investigators believe ROGERS was traveling from Fresno, CA to Goldendale when the crash occurred. Any persons who may have witnessed the vehicle in the attached photographs driving in an unsafe manner is urged to contact Senior Trooper Toni Raugust at 503-375-3555.

ROGERS is still at Saint Charles Bend receiving medical care. No further information at this time.

End Release


Previous Release:
On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, at about 10:15 a.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two-vehicle crash on Highway 97 at Milepost 151 (near Sunriver).

Preliminary investigation revealed that a silver 2006 Nissan Quest, operated by Shannon Ray ROGERS, age 55, of Goldendale, Washington, was traveling northbound when for unknown reasons, struck the rear of a northbound white 1981 Toyota pickup, operated by Brian Jay HARRIS, age 56, of Bend. The Toyota veered off the road and impacted into a tree and the Nissan continued northbound and then veered off the road and also impacted into a tree.

HARRIS was pronounced deceased at the scene and ROGERS received non-life threatening injuries and was transported to the local area hospital for treatment.

Highway 97 was closed for about 30 minutes until one alternating lane was opened for traffic. OSP was assisted at the scene by Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Sunriver Fire Department, Bend Fire and Rescue, and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Alcohol and speed are being investigated as possible contributing factors in the crash. This is an ongoing investigation and more information will be released when available.



Attached Media Files: Photo1 , 2017-12/1002/110195/SP17-442696_008_(Medium).JPG , 2017-12/1002/110195/SP17-442696_020_(Medium).JPG

Construction safety summit coming to central Oregon
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 12/13/17 3:31 PM
(Salem) -- The safety and health of workers in the residential, commercial, and industrial construction industries will take center stage during a two-day training conference in central Oregon.

Topics covered during the Jan. 29-30 Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit will include ladder safety, excavation rules, electrical safety, construction-related health hazards, and elimination of fall hazards.

Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA), a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, encourages employers and workers to attend the 17th annual summit at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes Convention Center in Bend.

The summit's keynote speaker is Russ Nicolai, safety director for Snyder, a commercial roofing contractor with offices in Oregon and Washington. During his Jan. 30 presentation, "Changing One's Perspective," Nicolai will discuss how innovations can create successes in protecting workers and boosting company performance.

The summit also offers opportunities for attendees to earn continuing education credits through Oregon's Construction Contractors Board and Landscape Contractors Board. Moreover, certification and re-certification will be offered for first aid personnel and workzone flaggers.

The two-day summit's other workshops include:
Construction A-Z. This session reviews the many hazards found in construction and demolition, and the best practices -- and requirements -- for correcting them.
General excavation safety.
Electrical safety and you.
Understanding and implementing the new silica standard for construction.
Defensive driving strategies for central Oregon.
Hand/power tools and personal protective equipment.

Registration for pre-conference workshops (Monday, Jan. 29) is $50. Conference registration (Monday, Jan. 30) is $85. Registration for the OSHA 10-hour training for construction is $140 for both days.

To register, go to http://safetyseries.cvent.com/events/2018. If you have questions or need help registering, call the Oregon OSHA Conference Section, 503-947-7411.

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About Oregon OSHA:
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

Sheronne Blasi appointed to head the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs (Photo)
Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs - 12/13/17 2:43 PM
Sheronne Blasi
Sheronne Blasi
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2017-12/1082/110414/thumb_Director_Sheronne_Blasi_1.jpg
Gov. Kate Brown announced today the appointment of Sheronne Blasi (pronounced "Share-ON Blaze-ee"), a 14-year Navy veteran, to serve as the next director of the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs, pending Senate confirmation in February. Once confirmed, Blasi will become the first woman veteran to head the agency in its 72-year history.

Prior to joining ODVA as its assistant director of Statewide Veteran Services in 2017, Blasi worked as a performance auditor for 15 years with the Secretary of State Audits Division. She managed performance audits which looked at the efficiency and effectiveness state agencies and their programs, and made recommendations for improvements to programs and services for Oregonians.

Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Blasi served 10 years as an enlisted sailor before accepting a commission as a Supply Corps officer through the Enlisted Commissioning Program. Upon leaving active duty, she earned a Master of Public Administration from Portland State University.

Blasi replaces Cameron Smith, who has served as director of ODVA since 2013 and was appointed the new director of Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

"Cameron Smith's tenure as director has been a very transformational period in ODVA's history," Blasi said. "Under his leadership and with the passion and dedication of the ODVA team, the agency has reinvigorated and expanded its core programs and mobilized broad community partnerships to assure our veterans' health, education and economic opportunity. I am honored to continue building upon our work and the trust placed in me by Governor Brown, the ODVA team and the veteran community in Oregon."

Blasi is a longtime resident of Salem, where she is very active in the community. She serves on the Salem-Keizer School Board, the Salem Planning Commission and is a board member for the Mid-Valley Habitat for Humanity. She also co-founded a nonprofit that throws birthdays parties for children living in local homeless shelters.

"It has been a privilege and honor to serve Oregon's veterans and to work with the amazing team at ODVA for the past four and a half years," Smith said. "Sheronne Blasi is a proven leader and a tremendous advocate for veterans and their families, and she has my and our Advisory Committee's full confidence and support to lead our team and mission forward."

Blasi's first day as acting director of ODVA will be Dec. 21, 2017.



Attached Media Files: Sheronne Blasi

Portland man wins $1,000 a week for life
Oregon Lottery - 12/13/17 12:00 PM
Dec. 12, 2017 - Salem, Ore. -- Cyril Osborne had a little fun before claiming his Win for Life win.

Osborne, from Portland, matched all four numbers on his Win for Life ticket to win the game's top prize of $1,000 a week for life.

However, Osborne has a history of playing pranks on his wife of 47 years. So when he told his wife he won, she wouldn't believe him.

"I didn't tell her when I first got home. I just smiled a lot. She knew something was up. When I told her, she thought I was playing around," he said. "I had to get my iPad out and show her the numbers on the website before she would believe me."

Osborne purchased his winning quick pick ticket at the Safeway on Highland Drive in Gresham.

"I do the grocery shopping and I pick up a ticket every so often," Osborne said. "I bought the Win for Life because it has more numbers than other tickets. When I went back to the store, I realized I won the top prize!"

Osborne opted to take $52,000 per year as an annual payment, rather than the $1,000 a week option. He also said the money was going toward his retirement.

"That $2 ticket is paying out rather handsomely!" he said.

Proceeds from Oregon Lottery sales help fund public education, parks, economic development and watershed projects. During the 2015-17 biennium, more than $22 million of Lottery dollars went to economic development projects in Multnomah County.

The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 are advised to contact the Lottery office and schedule an appointment to claim their prize.

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $11 billion for economic development, public education, state parks and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org

Consumer Warning: As Health Care Enrollment Ends, Beware of Non-Traditional Health Plans
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 12/13/17 9:46 AM
Media Alert:
Consumer warning: As health care enrollment ends, beware of nontraditional health plans that are not available on HealthCare.gov

Complaints are on the rise from Oregonians being lured into purchasing nontraditional health insurance plans.

As the enrollment deadline nears, consumers are encouraged to purchase their health coverage only from a trusted source.

Nontraditional plans typically offer low-cost coverage, but are not available at HealthCare.gov. These plans often lead to high cost of care and a high tax penalty.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services encourages consumers to:
Beware of cold calls offering low-cost health coverage
Purchase health insurance only from a trusted source, such as an agent you trust or HealthCare.gov.
Do not sign any document stating the policy is not subject to Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements

If you believe a low-cost, time-sensitive policy will meet your specific health care needs, follow the steps above, carefully review the exclusions under the policy, and understand your own financial risk.

For more information about ACA-compliant plans available in Oregon, visit OregonHealthcare.gov.

Tue. 12/12/17
North Franklin School District Hires Superintendent
North Franklin Sch. Dist. - 12/12/17 3:44 PM
NORTH FRANKLIN SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES SUPERINTENDENT
Connell, WA -- At their regular meeting on Monday, December 11th, the Board of Directors for the North Franklin School District hired Jim Jacobs as superintendent, effective July 1st, 2018.

Mr. Jacobs has been part of the North Franklin School District for the last 21 years. During this time he has served in a variety of positions. Mr. Jacobs started his career in education as a multi-age teacher at Camp Outlook. After three years he transferred to Connell High School and worked as a librarian for one year. Mr. Jacobs earned his principal certification in 2000 and moved into administration working as principal of Mesa Elementary, Palouse Junction High School and Camp Outlook. In 2003, Mr. Jacobs transferred to the position of principal at Basin City Elementary where he worked for four years before becoming principal at Robert L. Olds Junior High in 2007, where he will finish out the school year. Mr. Jacobs received his superintendent certification in spring, 2017. He also served in the U.S. Army/Oregon National Guard from 1988 -- 2009.

The board feels that Mr. Jacobs possesses the skills and qualifications that will carry the district forward and continue to provide quality leadership for the students, staff and community. On behalf of the school board, Chairperson Kara Booker stated, "Being a part of both our school district and our community for over two decades is of huge benefit to us. He understands our area and knows the people that live here. We are confident that he will not only continue the good work already taking place in our schools, but will improve upon it. We look forward to working with Jim."

In response to being hired as superintendent, Mr. Jacobs stated, "I am humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to lead the North Franklin School District. For the last two decades I have treasured being a part of a community that is solidly focused on providing students a quality education and always puts kids first. I hope to help the district build on that solid foundation by working with the community to continually improve our district and the services that we provide our families."

Economic impact of Oregon State Parks tops more than $1 billion per year
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 12/12/17 2:30 PM
Visitors to Oregon state parks in 2016 contributed $1.1 billion to the state's economy and supported 16,000 full- and part-time jobs, according to a report released today by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD).

The report, Economic Activity from Recreation Use of Oregon State Park Properties -- System Report, measures how communities near parks benefited economically from the 54 million-plus visits to state parks in 2016. Visitor spending supported 16,000 full-and part-time jobs statewide, equating to a combined salary of $550 million.

"The report clearly shows that Oregon's state parks are more than great places to visit, but also a vital economic engine for local economies across the state," said OPRD recreation planner Terry Bergerson.

OPRD's analysis of the report found that each dollar invested in the Oregon State Parks system generates $30.50 in related economic activity.

OPRD commissioned economist Eric White, a research social scientist with the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, to prepare the report at a cost of $45,697 over a six year period. White analyzed survey responses from more than 18,000 visitors from 84 park properties. OPRD conducted the surveys from 2011-2016.

"We wanted to measure the economic benefits state parks bring to the state," said OPRD Director Lisa Sumption. "The findings are clear: when state parks succeed, so do Oregon communities. We want to keep it that way, so we continue to look at what we can do to improve visitors' experiences."

The report provides information by region and by park. Coastal parks had the greatest number of visits and slightly higher levels of average spending, accounting for about half of the total statewide spending.

Silver Falls State Park provided the largest economic boost, with 1.4 million visits contributing $58.4 million to the local economy. Fort Stevens State Park followed with $40.1 million, and Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site with $34.8 million.

"State parks are also an important side trip during many recreation outings," White said. "We estimate visitors spend about $245 million in local communities during those side trips."

Other key findings include:

>> Visitors spend an average of $25 for a day trip within 30 miles from home to $390 for an overnight camping trip more than 30 miles from home.

>>Visitors most often spend money on gasoline, groceries and purchases in restaurants and bars.

>> More than half ($619 million) of visitor spending across all state parks was generated by visitors who traveled more than 30 miles from home, and who stayed overnight on the property or in a nearby community.

The full report is available at http://bit.ly/OPRDRecreationEconomicReport.

Housing Stability Council - Special Meeting - Thursday, December 14, 2017 from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 12/12/17 11:44 AM
MEETING LOGISTICS:
Thursday, December 14, 9-10 a.m.
Teleconference only: Call-In: 1-877-273-4202; Participant Code: 4978330

AGENDA:
9:00 a.m. - Meeting called to order - Roll call taken
9:05 a.m. - Multifamily Funding Decision
- River Place, Parcel #3
10:00 a.m. - Meeting adjourned

All times listed on this agenda are approximate and subject to change. Agenda items may also be taken out of order and addressed at different times than listed. The agenda may be amended by the Council at the time of the meeting.

FBI Tech Tuesday - Building a Digital Defense Against the Internet of Things (IoT)
FBI - Oregon - 12/12/17 10:00 AM
Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week, building a digital defense against "Internet of Things" - or "IoT" attacks.

If you were thinking about asking Santa for something from the "Internet of Things" world this year -- you have plenty of options. The possibilities include everything from devices that control your lights and thermostat to security systems to gaming systems and music players. There are wearables such as fitness trackers and tech-connected clothes. Or, how about a new Internet-enabled fridge or stove?

Once you get your wish list together, don't forget to ask for a hub to control all of your other "things" through a single app on your phone. We will all be living like the family of the future in no time! In fact, the FBI estimates that the number of "Internet of Things" or "IoT" devices will increase from 5 million last year to anywhere from 20 to 50 million in the year 2020.

But, before the sleigh and eight tiny reindeer show up on your roof, make sure you are ready for the reality of what you are bringing into your home.

Bad actors have been taking advantage of the lack of security, manufacturers' difficulty in patching vulnerabilities, and consumers' inexperience to exploit these devices. In many cases the devices are just using default usernames and passwords, which make them easy targets for the cyber thieves. Criminals can use that open door to force your device into service as part of a botnet -- or to access other connected systems that have sensitive personal or business info.

It can be difficult to know if your IoT device has been compromised, but there are simple steps you can take to help secure your things:

Change default usernames and passwords. Many default passwords are collected and posted on the Internet. Do not use common words and simple phrases or passwords containing easily obtainable personal information, such as important dates or names of children or pets.

If you can't change the password on the device, make sure your wireless Internet service has a strong password and encryption.

Invest in a secure router with robust security and authentication. Most routers will allow users to whitelist, or specify, which devices are authorized to connect to a local network.

Isolate IoT devices on their own protected networks.

Turn off devices off when not in use.

Research your options when shopping for new IoT devices. When conducting research, use reputable Web sites that specialize in cyber security analysis and provide reviews on consumer products.

Look for companies that offer firmware and software updates, and identify how and when these updates are provided.

Identify what data is collected and stored by the devices, including whether you can opt out of this collection, how long the data is stored, whether it is encrypted, and if the data is shared with a third party.

Ensure all IoT devices are up to date and security patches are incorporated when available.

Santa may want to give you the future at your fingertips -- just make sure you are ready for it. For more tips about IoT devices, check out the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Coming up next week: how to protect your kids when Internet-connected toys show up under the Christmas tree.



Attached Media Files: TT - IoT - English Audio , TT - IoT - Spanish Audio , TT - IoT - Spanish Written , TT - IoT - Russian Audio , TT - IoT - Russian Written

MEDIA ALERT - Retirement Celebration for ESD "Legend" (Photo)
ESD 123 - 12/12/17 7:23 AM
Gloria Cartagena
Gloria Cartagena
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PASCO, WA -- Educational Service District 123 staff, regional educators, and community members will say farewell to Gloria Cartagena at her retirement reception tomorrow, December 13, from 3:00-4:30 PM at the ESD 123 in Pasco. After more than 41 years as the Clock Hour and Certification Specialist, Gloria is the longest-standing employee ESD 123 has ever had.

Countless local educators and people across the state have come to Gloria for help in earning and maintaining their teaching certifications. Tomorrow's event is open to the public and media is encouraged to attend. The reception will be held in the Blue Mountain Room at ESD 123, located at 3924 W. Court St., in Pasco, WA. For more information, contact Molly Curtiss at 509.544.5787 or mcurtiss@esd123.org.

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Attached Media Files: Gloria Cartagena

Mon. 12/11/17
Update on Oregon strike teams assisting with the California wildfires
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 12/11/17 3:00 PM
The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, activated its Agency Operations Center Wednsday, December 6th and deployed 15 strike teams with equipment and personnel who are now actively engaged in assisting with the wildfires in California.

All Oregon resources are assigned to assist with the Thomas Fire burning near Ventura, California. The California Office of Emergency Services reports that the Thomas Fire is at 230,500 acres and is 15% contained.

"Oregon resources are doing great work and their morale is good," said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. "We continue to be proud of our firefighters professionalism and effective intergration with California resources during these difficult fires."

In addition to OSFM's deployed resources, the Oregon Department of Forestry has also deployed 60 personnel and 25 engines to assist with the California wildfires.

Be sure to follow the OSFM on Facebook/Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Twitter @OSFM for regular updates.

California made the request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to Oregon Emergency Management who contact and coordinate with the appropriate Oregon agency to fulfill the requests.

Anglers remove 191,000 salmon-eating pikeminnow from Columbia and Snake rivers
Bonneville Power Administration - 12/11/17 2:46 PM
Portland, Ore. -- The numbers are in and they're impressive. In 2017, anglers caught and removed more than 191,000 northern pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers, protecting young salmon and steelhead from predation.

Approximately 1,100 people registered to be part of the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Program. All together anglers removed 191,483 of the salmon-eating predators from the two rivers, and were paid nearly $1,542,000 for their efforts. The program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, runs from May 1 through Sept. 30.

The anglers' successes mean BPA is also successfully meeting its program goals.

"The program's goal is to reduce the number of pikeminnow that prey heavily on juvenile salmon," said Makary Hutson, BPA project manager. "Annual harvest rate estimates, which are calculated using data from tagged fish caught by anglers, indicate the 2017 season met our program targets, which directly benefits juvenile salmon making their way to the ocean."

The reward program pays registered anglers $5 to $8 per fish, nine inches or longer. The more fish an angler catches during the season, the more each pikeminnow they reel in is worth. State fish and wildlife biologists also release more than 1,000 specially tagged northern pikeminnow, each worth $500.

This year the top 20 fishermen registered with the Sport Reward Program earned an average of nearly $30,000 each. The top angler earned nearly $84,000, reeling in more than 10,000 fish over the five-month season.

Northern pikeminnow are voracious eaters, consuming millions of young salmon and steelhead every year. Since 1990, anglers paid through the program have removed more than 4.8 million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers. The program has reduced predation on young salmon and steelhead by up to 40 percent since it began.

The BPA-funded program is administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. The 2018 season is scheduled for May 1 through Sept. 30, 2018. For more information about the program call 800-858-9015 or visit www.pikeminnow.org.

About BPA
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 143 electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 260 substations to 511 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region's high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov

Oregon Department of Forestry engines and personnel are helping wildfire suppression efforts in Southern California
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 12/11/17 11:30 AM
SALEM, Ore. -- Some 25 engines and over 60 firefighting personnel from Oregon Department of Forestry districts and forest protective associations are in Southern California helping battle the 230,500-acre Thomas Fire.

The Oregon firefighters traveled from various points around the state to California on Friday and Saturday. All arrived over the weekend at the California Southern Region Prado Mobilization Center in Chino, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles.

The ODF firefighters are assigned to the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara County. As of this morning, Cal Fire was reporting that close to 6,400 firefighters and more than 850 fire engines were engaged in fighting the fire, which is threatening a number of communities.

The five ODF task forces, each made up of five engines, were requested by California fire officials through an interstate resource-sharing system known as ROSS (Resource Ordering and Status System). They are in addition to over 300 other Oregon fire service personnel sent to fight Southern California fires by the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office and fellow entities.

"California and Oregon have a longstanding relationship with mutual reciprocation when suppression resources are needed," said Oregon State Forester Peter Daugherty. "California was there for us during our challenging fire season this year and Oregon is fortunate to have the opportunity to return the favor."

Severe fire weather is expected to continue, promoting significant fire growth in Santa Barbara County, where a number of communities are under mandatory evacuation orders. For the latest information about the Thomas Fire, visit Cal Fire's incident information page at http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents.
# # #

Holiday planning needs to include fire prevention and safety
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 12/11/17 10:18 AM
With the holiday season in full swing, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker urges citizens to remember fire prevention when decorating and entertaining.

From 2012 through 2016, Oregon fire agencies reported there were 3,510 residential fires during the holiday period from November 22 through January 15. These fires were reported to have resulted in 14 deaths, 194 injuries, and more than $61.2 million in property loss.

"This season is a busy and exciting time of year, but don't let that distract you from keeping your family and friends safe from fire," says Walker. "By following a few important prevention tips for Christmas trees, decorations, and candles, you can help ensure your holidays remain happy."

Tree care and decorating tips:
Choose a fresh, healthy tree with a deep-green color and flexible needles.
When you get the tree home, cut off the bottom two inches of the trunk. This creates a fresh, raw cut for the tree to soak up water.
Water your tree daily. A tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day.
Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source such as a fireplace, woodstove, space heater, heating vent, baseboard heater, or radiator.
Use only noncombustible or flame resistant materials to trim a tree.
Always unplug tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
If using a woodstove or fireplace, keep it screened at all times. Keep ribbons, boughs, and other decorative materials at least three feet away.
After the holiday season or whenever your tree dries out, promptly dispose of it and other dry greenery. Burning a tree in a stove or fireplace is extremely dangerous; proper disposal includes recycling or pick-up by a disposal service.
Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace or wood stove. Wrapping paper burns at higher temperatures than wood and can cause a chimney fire.

Electrical safety
Maintain your holiday lights. Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, and broken or cracked sockets.
Do not overload electrical sockets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the manufacturer's directions indicate it is safe.
Protect electrical cords from damage. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, placed under rugs, located near heat sources or attached by nails or staples.
Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations used outdoors are marked for outdoor use.

Candle safety
Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look and smell like real candles.
Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish candles when you go to bed, leave a room, or before leaving the house.
Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Keep candles at least one foot from combustibles including clothing, curtains, upholstered furniture, greenery, and decorations.
Always use a sturdy non-combustible (metal, glass, or ceramic) candleholder. If a sturdy non-combustible candleholder is not available, the candle can be placed on a non-combustible plate.
Place candles out of reach of small children and pets.
Avoid candles with items embedded in them such as twigs, flowers, or leaves. These items can ignite or even explode.
Always use a flashlight -- not a candle -- for emergency lighting.

General fire safety
Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources.
For increased protection, have working smoke alarms on every level of your home (including the basement), in each bedroom, and in the hallway outside each bedroom.
Make a home fire escape plan and practice it with your family and any overnight guests.
Keep escape routes clear of clutter so you can escape quickly in case of fire.

For more information on fire safety visit: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/pages/com_ed_section.aspx

Final five days: the HealthCare.gov deadline is this Friday
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 12/11/17 9:57 AM
(Salem) -- Friday, Dec. 15, is the last day to get 2018 health insurance during open enrollment. Oregonians who do not get coverage through their job or another program should go to HealthCare.gov and choose a plan before time runs out. HealthCare.gov is the only place to get help paying for coverage.

"People who need coverage and haven't enrolled at HealthCare.gov could be leaving money on the table," said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. "They should go to HealthCare.gov by Friday and see if they qualify for financial assistance."

In 2017, more than 70 percent of Oregonians using HealthCare.gov qualified for financial assistance, and they received an average of $346 per month to help pay for coverage. This year, individuals making less than about $48,000 annually or families of four making less than about $98,000 annually may qualify.

A recent analysis estimated that many Oregonians who were eligible to use HealthCare.gov and receive financial assistance did not enroll last year, including more than 78,000 men and more than 33,000 people ages 25 to 34.

"Enrollment this year has been strong so far, but as the deadline approaches, it's essential to take action if you need coverage or, if you've already signed up, remind your friends and family that it's time to enroll and see if they can get help paying for coverage," Flowers said.

To start shopping for plans, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 (toll-free) (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

After the Dec. 15 deadline, people will be able to get 2018 coverage only in special circumstances, like when they move or lose job-related coverage.

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The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. DCBS houses both the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace and the Division of Financial Regulation, among other divisions. For more information, go to dcbs.oregon.gov.