The Oregon State Marine Board conditionally approved two Cycle One boating facility grants and approved standardizing and reorganizing administrative rule language during their quarterly Board meeting, held on January 25, in Salem.
Pending legislative approval of the agency’s 2023-2025 budget, the Board conditionally approved a boating facility grant for Mayer State Park. After several years to obtain the required permits, this improvement project will include design, engineering, and technical assistance by Marine Board facility engineers. The project will replace the boat ramp and boarding docks and include better circulation for parking and maneuvering. The parking area will be expanded with defined trailer and single-car spaces. Additionally, the vault toilet will be relocated to improve accessibility, to and from the parking area and launch ramp. The project also includes adding a swale for stormwater runoff. These facility improvements will greatly improve safety, launching and retrieving times, and vehicle circulation. The Board approved $342,000 in Boating Facility Grant funds, from the 2023-25 Boating Facility Grant funding, combined with $1,687,011 in cash and administrative match for a total project cost of $2,029,011.
The Board also conditionally approved a Cycle One grant application for the Port of Bandon’s Marina and boat ramp improvements. This is a complex, multi-faceted project to replace the boat ramp, boarding docks, abutment, and piling. Additionally, the marina will be replaced and reconfigured with a breakwater dock, short and long-term moorage docks, new piling, gangway, utilities, and a nonmotorized launch dock. The pumpout and dump station will be reinstalled on new docks. The Board approved $1,020,899.31 in Boating Facility Grant funds, $145,100.59 in Waterway Access Grant funds, $762,283 in federal Boating Infrastructure Grant funds and $61,827 in federal Clean Vessel Act funds, for a total of $1,990,109.90 from the 2023-25 Boating Facility Grant funding. These funds, combined with $7,397,389.10 of applicant resources and administrative match for a total project cost of $9,387,499. The Board and Director Warren expressed their gratitude to the Port Manager, Jeff Griffin, for his diligent effort in working with the community and other partners on a significant funding match for this comprehensive project.
In its final agenda item, the also Board approved a staff proposal to reorganize administrative rules and standardize rule language with very few substantive changes. Nearly all the revisions are part of a reorganization and standardization effort and make no functional changes to local boating laws. Staff will file the proposed rules with the Secretary of State’s Office in February.
For more detailed information, please see the meeting materials linked on the Marine Board’s Public Meetings page.
Salem, Oregon – Leading a group of seven Oregon performing artists awarded 2023 Individual Artists Fellowships, jazz musician and educator Darrell Grant is the recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission’s honorary 2023 Joan Shipley Award. The other artists awarded 2023 Fellowships are David Bithell, Laura Cannon, Crystal Cortez, Samuel Hobbs, Gitanjali Hursh and Joe Kye. All 2023 Fellows receive $5,000 awards.
The Joan Shipley Award is named for Oregon arts leader Joan Shipley, who passed away in 2011. Shipley was a collector, philanthropist and supporter of many arts and humanities organizations. In 2005, she and her husband John received an Oregon Governor’s Arts Award. Many in the arts community also counted her as a mentor and friend.
The Arts Commission’s Fellowship program is open to more than 20,000 artists who call Oregon home. Applicants to the program are reviewed by a panel of Oregon arts professionals who consider artists of outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work(s). The Arts Commission reviews and acts on the panel’s recommendations for fellowship recipients. A total of 62 applications were received for 2023 Fellowships. Performing and visual artists are honored in alternating years.
The review panel for 2023 Fellowships was Meagan Iverson, executive director, Sunriver Music Festival; Lydia Van Dreel, UofO professor of horn and previous Fellowship recipient; Scott Lewis, executive director, NW Dance Project; Michael Cavazos, theater maker, visual artist and previous Fellowship recipient; Akiko Hatakeyama, UofO assistant professor of music technology; and Evren Odcikin, associate artistic director and director of artistic programming, Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The panel chair was Roberta Lavadour, an Arts Commissioner from Pendleton.
David Bithell is an interdisciplinary artist, composer and performer exploring the connections between visual art, music, theater and performance. Utilizing new technologies and real-time interactive environments, his work blends the precision and structure of contemporary music and audio practices with an understanding of performance, narrative and humor drawn from recent theater, live cinema and performance art. His output ranges from interactive installations, sound art and generative animation to live performance and experimental music.
Bithell’s works have been presented at major venues in the United States, Europe and Asia. Highlights include: the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Canada); the Portland Biennial; the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland); SPARK Festival of Electronic Music and Art (Minneapolis); Ghent International Film Festival; Pixilerations [v.6]; the Seoul International Computer Music Festival; the MANCA Festival (France); the IS ARTI Festival (Lithuania); and at numerous colleges and universities in the United States. He has received grants and commissions from Meet the Composer Commissioning Music / USA, the American Composerʼs Forum, the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology and the Oregon Arts Commission.
He currently is a Professor of Art and Emerging Media at Southern Oregon University, where he chairs the Creative Arts Department and is a core faculty member of the Center for Emerging Media and Digital Arts (EMDA).
Laura Cannon is a dancer, choreographer and educator who has spent more than 20 years exploring site-specific work and innovative ways to create dance beyond the traditional boundaries of a stage. As the director of ProLab Dance, she is currently engaged in a multi-year site-specific performance study titled “Break to Build: Mapping Portland’s Landmark Shipyard at Zidell Shipyards” on Portland’s southwest waterfront. For this project Cannon has brought together a team of collaborating artists from various disciplines to explore and interpret the past, present and future of this historic site and turn those creative findings into an immersive Virtual Reality experience.
Cannon holds a BFA in Dance from the University Texas at Austin. She has performed with Sharir+Bustamante Danceworks, Deborah Hay and Blue Lapis Light among others. A prolific creator, she has received numerous awards for her choreography, performance, costume design and short films, including the prestigious John Bustin Award for Conspicuous Versatility in the Arts from the Austin Critic’s Table in 2006. With her wealth of experience in aerial harness dance techniques she launched the Echo Theatre Company’s robust harness dance programming in 2015.
Cannon founded ProLab Dance in 2019 with a mission to create and foster cross-disciplinary site-specific performances. Her short dance film, “Medusa” (2021), received an honorable mention at the Mobile Dance Film Festival at Harkness Dance Center in New York. “Garden Bed” (2021), a dance self-filmed during quarantine, has traveled the world and recently won Best Dancers at the Vesuvius International Film Festival in Italy and Best Film Shot on a Mobile Device at the Inspire International Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.
Crystal Cortez is a sound, installation artist and programmer based out of Portland, Oregon. They are also a professor of Creative Coding & Sonic Arts at Portland Community College. Under their performance moniker Crystal Quartez, they create "Restorative Noise" by organizing drones and rhythms of mechanical life, natural voices and digital timbres into texture rich electronic music. Their sonic realms are windows into shared networks of reality, often separated by borders, time and perception. Recently, their work has involved translating live biodata from plants and static data from climate change into sound as well as building custom wearable instruments. Their work has been presented at NIME, La MaMa (NYC), Southern Exposure (SF), PICA, Navel (LA), On the Boards (Seattle) and more.
Darrell Grant has risen from the pianist in vocalist Betty Carter’s trio to an internationally recognized performer, composer and educator who channels the power of music to foster community, sustainability and social justice. Having performed with jazz luminaries including Frank Morgan, Tony Williams, Brian Blade, Esperanza Spalding and Nicholas Payton, he followed his 1994 New York Times Top 10 Jazz Album Black Art with seven albums receiving critical acclaim from The Village Voice and DownBeat Magazine. He has toured as a bandleader and solo artist throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe as well as in Turkey and Japan in venues from Paris’s La Villa jazz club to the Havana Jazz Festival.
Dedicated to themes of hope, community and place, Grant’s compositions include his 2012 “Step by Step: The Ruby Bridges Suite” honoring the civil rights icon. Also in 2012, he won a Chamber Music America grant for his composition “The Territory,” which explores the geographic and cultural history of Oregon. Committed to civically engaged art, Grant has driven pianos deep into state forests to support the environment, arranged protest anthems and shared the stage with Bishop Desmond Tutu.
Grant lives in Portland, Oregon, where he was inducted into the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2017, he received a Northwest Regional Emmy for his composition in the Oregon Public Broadcasting special “Jazz Town” and was also named Portland Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association. In 2019, he was named Portland Jazz Master by PDX Jazz and was awarded a MAP Fund grant for his 2022 jazz chamber opera Sanctuaries. In 2020, he received the Governor’s Arts Award, Oregon’s highest arts honor. He has served as Vice President of the board of Chamber Music America and is a Professor of Music at Portland State University where he directs the Artist as Citizen Initiative.
Samuel Hobbs is an Oregon-born multidisciplinary artist, educator, presenter and manual therapist, and is the founder and Artistic Director of the push/FOLD dance company (www.pushfold.org) and the Union PDX - Festival of Contemporary Dance. In the US and internationally, Samuel works to develop Dance, Art and movement education around concepts of Strength and Power, investigating the sensations of identity, relationships, self and gender dynamics. Working with professional artists and companies (recently Oregon Ballet Theater), immersive moodscapes, abstract storytelling and athletic dance performance with original sound compositions are the hallmarks of Samuel's body of work. As a choreographer, Hobbs draws from their training in athletics and dance (Track, Swimming, Martial Arts, and West African, Street, Contemporary Dance and Ballet) and integrates their background in Osteopathy, creating the movement method called Visceral Movement Theory™ (VMT). Reframing functional movement via visceral biomechanics, VMT focuses on increasing career longevity and power and efficiency in athletics, dance and everyday movement.
As an arts advocate, Hobbs works with audiences, councils, foundations, directors, artists, students and educators, seeking to generate abundance-thinking that centers service and reframed leadership with the understanding that everyone is fed when we all give more than we receive. Hobbs’ generative practice grows from stewardship, challenge and the discovery of Power in simple messages.
Gitanjali Hursh is an artist who has been working in Portland since the 1990s. She made her public debut as DJ Anjali in December of 2000. Her work is primarily concerned with connecting our collective memory through songs, dance and imagery while pushing forward a working class, immigrant feminist agenda on the dance floor. She is a dancer and choreographer, blending her influences as the daughter of a classically trained Indian Kathak dancer with the powerful folk dance styles of Panjab, mainly Bhangra and Giddha. She moves between two styles of performance, from behind the decks as a DJ to the front of the stage as a dancer, all the while exploring her own identity through the power of sound and dance. She uses the dance floor as a place to build solidarity between communities of color. Music and movement have long been her tools to explore and share her unique identity as a mixed Desi immigrant daughter. With her partner, The Incredible Kid, she hosts TROPITAAL! A Desi Latino Soundclash & ANDAZ, two of the Northwest's longest running dance parties. She also teaches weekly at The Viscount Dance Studio. Archives of her years spent as a radio host on XRAY & KBOO can be found online.
Portland-based violinist-looper, vocalist and community organizer Joe Kye discharges worlds of emotion with his lush string loops and eclectic style. From viral TikTok jingles skewering microaggressions to delivering keynote speeches about creativity, community and identity, Kye’s work taps into an inner core, inspiring audiences to compassion and empathy. Drawing upon his immigrant upbringing, Kye weaves together electronic and acoustic textures, catchy melodies and vocals to uplift and empower listeners. His band, Joe Kye & the Givers, features some of Portland’s most acclaimed musicians, supercharging Joe’s music with intensity and power. Kye’s children’s music project Hi Joe Kye! introduces families to his story of hope and joy with an electro-pop sound, embracing the creative power of looping with songs inspired by the audience. In 2022, Kye launched Tiger Tiger PDX, a festival featuring Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander artists, performers and chefs. Kye has opened for Yo-Yo Ma, recorded a Tedx Talk, and been featured on NPR.
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.
EDITORS: State and local health officials will answer questions during a media availability today from 11 to noon through Zoom; members of the public can view a livestream on YouTube. Samples of contaminated products will be displayed and photos available for download.
January 26, 2023
Jonathan Modie, OHA, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov
Health officials warning parents about skin cream product
PORTLAND, Ore.—High levels of lead have been found in two tubes of a skin cream known as Diep Bao that’s advertised as treatment for eczema in young children. State and local health officials are warning parents to avoid using the product while its safety is investigated.
Two Portland-area children were recently found to have elevated blood lead levels. The children, one in Washington County and one in Multnomah County, are both younger than a year old. During investigations by state and local lead experts, parents of the children pointed to Diep Bao as the product they recently used on their babies’ faces to treat eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, a condition common in young children that causes dry, itchy and inflamed skin.
Ryan Barker, Oregon Health Authority’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program coordinator, said laboratory tests on samples of the product provided by the families showed the product in the Washington County case contained 9,670 parts per million (ppm) lead, while the Multnomah County sample contained 7,370 ppm lead. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been alerted and is investigating. Only the two tubes of the cream have been tested so far, so whether lead is present in other tubes of Diep Bao is still being investigated.
Downloadable video clips of Barker discussing this investigation as well as photos of the product are available on OHA’s Media Resources page.
Clips of an interview with Hai, the mother of the Multnomah County child, are available on the county’s YouTube page: with Vietnamese interpreter, https://youtu.be/Izy5JvtjEqw (viewers should adjust the volume to hear the interpreter’s voice, which is in the background); without interpreter, https://youtu.be/ExhPIoSAw-Q.
Diep Bao is promoted primarily by online retailers in Singapore and Vietnam, with one seller advertising it as “a cream that supports skin problems such as eczema, heat rash, rash, redness, dry chapped skin, skin care, skin cooling, skin healing.” Health investigators say the product is manufactured in Vietnam.
OHA, Washington County Public Health and the Multnomah County Health Department are jointly investigating the cases. They are asking families who have the product to avoid using it while its safety is investigated. Parents can help the investigation by providing tubes of Diep Bao in their possession to investigators so the product can be tested. They also are asking parents to learn about the risks of exposure to other lead-tainted products and make sure children’s blood levels are tested if they have been exposed to them.
“We are concerned this product caused or significantly contributed to the elevated blood lead levels in these children,” Barker said. “Any product containing high lead levels should be considered extremely dangerous and parents should immediately stop using it on their children or any other family member.”
There is no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory limit on lead in medications, but for cosmetics it’s 10 ppm. This means the two creams that were tested contained nearly 1,000 times the maximum allowable amount of lead in cosmetics. It’s unclear whether Diep Bao is considered a cosmetic under federal law.
The Washington County case was found to have a blood lead level of 11.8 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), while the Multnomah County case had a blood lead level of 7.3 µg/dL. Oregon's case definition for lead poisoning has been a blood lead level of 5 µg/dL or greater, which is when public health agencies investigate and provide case management to families. However, out of an abundance of caution – and to align with lead poisoning definitions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA – public health agencies in Oregon have recently begun investigating cases with blood lead levels above 3.5 µg/dL.
People with high blood levels of lead may show no symptoms, but the condition may cause damage to the nervous system and internal organs. Acute lead poisoning may cause a wide range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloody or decreased urinary output.
Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning. If a child is exposed to enough lead for a protracted period (e.g., weeks to months), permanent damage to the central nervous system can occur. This can result in learning disorders, developmental defects, and other long-term health problems.
“If your child has a skin condition like eczema, consult with your health care provider about prevention and treatment options,” said Christina Baumann, M.D., Washington County health officer. "If you have been using this Diep Bao cream, please talk to your provider about getting a blood lead test for your child.”
Perry Cabot, senior program specialist at Multnomah County Health Department and an investigator on the lead exposures, said the lead poisoning cases were discovered through a combination of regular pediatric check-ups, parent engagement, and public health follow-up to “connect the dots.”
“All these factors highlight the importance of staying engaged in your children's health, whether it's you, your medical provider, or your local or state health program,” Cabot said.
OHA and county health officials are working with the FDA to investigate the cases and test more products as they become available. Until the source and scope of the lead contamination are better understood, local health officials are also asking anyone selling these products to stop selling them and remove them from their websites to protect their customers.
Local health officials are working with culturally specific community groups and other partners to warn residents of potential risks associated with the eczema cream. People who have a tube of Diep Bao, or other concerns about lead, can contact the following:
Oregon health care providers and laboratories are required by law to report certain diseases and conditions, including lead poisoning, to local health departments. On average, 270 Oregonians are diagnosed with lead poisoning each year; about a third are children younger than 6. The most common cases are due to ingesting paint and paint dust containing lead, but exposures from traditional cosmetics and informally imported spices have been identified.
For more information, visit the CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program page.
(Salem, OR) – As Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day approaches on Friday, January 27, the Oregon Department of Revenue and the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) are encouraging all workers with income in 2022 to check their Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility.
The Department of Revenue and ODHS are working with other state agencies and community partners to encourage taxpayers to learn more about this credit and find out if they’re eligible. Many Oregonians miss out because they simply don’t know about it, especially those that aren’t required to file taxes.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal and state tax credit for people making less than $59,187 in 2022. Families may be eligible for a maximum refundable credit of $6935 on their federal tax return, and a maximum Oregon Earned Income Credit of $807 on their state tax return. Certain taxpayers without children may also be eligible for these credits.
Individuals may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, even if they are not required to file. To receive the refundable credits, however, they must file a federal and state tax return.
Basic qualifications for EITC include:
Taxpayers can use the IRS EITC Assistant to check their eligibility further. The assistant is available in English and Spanish.
Many of the basic qualifications for the Federal EITC are the same as those for the Oregon EIC, but Oregon also allows taxpayers who use an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) to file their taxes, or have a qualifying child with an ITIN, to claim the Oregon EIC. If you have an ITIN, claim the Oregon EIC using schedule OR-EIC-ITIN.
Taxpayers can visit the Earned Income Credit page of the Revenue website for more information on the Oregon EIC, as well as more information about their eligibility
Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day is a nationwide effort to increase awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit and free tax preparation sites. There are volunteer organizations, such as CASH Oregon and AARP, that can help you file your taxes for free or at a reduced cost. CASH Oregon provides free or low-cost, in-person and virtual tax preparation services throughout Oregon. For more information, visit www.cashoregon.org.
People can also dial 2-1-1 or visit the Oregon Department of Revenue website to find free tax return preparation sites by using our interactive map. For more information on the EITC, visit https://www.eitc.irs.gov/. For questions about Oregon taxes, call the Department of Revenue at 503-378-4988.
To get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments, visit www.oregon.gov/dor or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing- or speech-impaired), we accept all relay calls.
January 25, 2023
Media contact: Amy Coven, 503-943-0164, email@example.com
(Salem) – During the 2023 open enrollment period, 141,963 Oregonians enrolled in health insurance coverage, the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace announced today.
The open enrollment period was from Nov. 1, 2022 to Jan. 15, 2023 for 2023 health coverage. People who missed the open enrollment deadline may still have an opportunity to get health coverage through the Marketplace if they experienced a qualifying life event such as moving, involuntarily losing health coverage, having or adopting a child, marriage, a change in citizenship, and being released from incarceration. Enrolled Tribal members, Alaska natives, and people who have lower income can enroll in health coverage at any time throughout the year.
Oregonians can preview plans and savings available to them by answering a few short questions at OregonHealthCare.gov. The website is also the best place to find a health insurance expert who can give one-on-one help with the application and enrollment process by phone, email, or in person. Visit OregonHealthCare.gov today to get started.
The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov. For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.
PORTLAND, Ore.—A Honduran man residing in Portland is facing federal charges after he was arrested moving two kilograms of rainbow-colored fentanyl and several firearms between two Portland-area motels.
Jose Isidro Zuniga Torres, 47, has been charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl.
According to court documents, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Tigard Police Department are engaged in an ongoing investigation into the suspected trafficking of illegal narcotics from Mexico for distribution and sale in Oregon and Washington state. To date, law enforcement officials have charged or arrested eight individuals with connections to an international drug trafficking organization and seized more than five kilograms of powdered fentanyl, four and a half kilograms of heroin, three kilograms each of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, 45,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, and 12 firearms.
As part of this investigation, on January 23, 2023, investigators were surveilling a motel in Portland when they observed two men, one later identified as Zuniga, exit a room carrying multiple boxes. The two men loaded the boxes and several additional bags into a vehicle and began driving toward another area motel. The investigators followed the vehicle and observed the two men unload the boxes and bags into a room at the second motel.
The next day, on January 24, 2023, investigators executed a federal search warrant on the second motel room. After making entry into the room, Zuniga was arrested without incident. Investigators located and seized more than 2 kilograms of hard, rainbow-colored fentanyl packaged for distribution, 417 grams of counterfeit oxycodone pills (M30s) containing fentanyl, 393 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 49 grams of cocaine, and eight firearms.
Zuniga admitted to possessing most of the drugs found in the motel room. He further told investigators the firearms were to be shipped to Honduras and were wrapped in tinfoil and clothing to avoid detection by law enforcement.
Zuniga made his first appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jolie A. Russo. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.
This case is being investigated by the DEA, HSI, and Tigard Police Department. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
PUC ENCOURAGING OREGONIANS TO SUBMIT INTERNET DATA TO FASTER INTERNET OREGON CAMPAIGN
Speed test, survey will inform future broadband funding and planning to improve internet access
SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is encouraging Oregonians to report their home internet speed data or lack of internet service as part of Faster Internet Oregon’s internet speed test and broadband mapping survey. This information will help secure infrastructure funding and ensure it is allocated so every Oregon resident has access to fast, affordable internet service.
Congress’s bipartisan broadband infrastructure funding bills are distributing billions to the states with the goal of making equitable internet access for all Americans a reality. These broadband funding programs present an unprecedented opportunity to overcome the enormous challenges that have kept reliable, affordable Internet service out of reach for many rural and Tribal communities due to low household incomes, low population density, remote locations, difficult terrain, among other roadblocks. Having accurate data to identify where broadband service is and is not available is an important first step in helping state and local decision-makers determine how to allocate funding to deliver broadband services equitably.
The Faster Internet Oregon speed test and survey, offered in both English and Spanish, is easy, free, and safe to complete. In addition to running the internet speed test, respondents are asked whether they have home internet service, an estimate of the monthly cost, and address where the speed test is taken. This data, which is protected from use for any other purpose, will be mapped to identify gaps in service and used to estimate project costs for future broadband expansion.
“We encourage all Oregonians to take part in the Faster Internet Oregon effort. The data provided will be invaluable as our state looks to make significant improvements in broadband infrastructure connectivity for all Oregon residents, improving access to healthcare, jobs, education, and numerous community resources,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair.
To start the speed test and survey, visit: www.fasterinternetoregon.org/#speed-test. Additionally, inform Oregon-based friends, family, and colleagues to help ensure greater participation across the state in this effort.
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Faster Internet Oregon was launched in 2022 by a partnership of non-profit and public organizations including Oregon’s Economic Development Districts, Onward Eugene, SpeedUpAmerica, and Link Oregon, among others. The project's partners will use this data, along with software that assists in mapping as well as in designing and budgeting for broadband infrastructure builds, to prepare compelling grant proposals for funding. For more information, visit www.FasterInternetOregon.org or email info@FasterInternetOregon.org.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities, including Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, Pacific Power, Avista, Cascade Natural, and NW Natural. The PUC also regulates landline telephone providers and select water companies. The PUC’s mission is to ensure Oregonians have access to safe, reliable, and fairly priced utility services that advance state policy and promote the public interest. We use an inclusive process to evaluate differing viewpoints and visions of the public interest and arrive at balanced, well-reasoned, independent decisions supported by fact and law. For more information about the PUC, visit oregon.gov/puc.
January 25, 2023
Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139,
OHA gives nod to Home Forward in testing plan for multifamily buildings
PORTLAND, Ore.— In 2017, Home Forward began testing its Portland public housing buildings for radon to prepare for a major rehabilitation project. The agency discovered some buildings had elevated levels of radon, but guidance on addressing it was limited.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had issued recommendations for radon testing in 2013, but there was no requirement specific to testing public housing properties.
So, Home Forward took a proactive approach to addressing elevated radon levels, creating a policy to test, mitigate where necessary, and re-test all the properties it owns – more than 100 buildings. That spawned the Home Forward Radon Procedures Manual.
“The only way of knowing if a property or a unit has high levels of radon is by testing,” said Carolina Gomez, Home Forward’s director of Integrated Facilities Services and Safety who helped draft both the policy and the procedures manual. “We don't know where we're going to find it until we test, so we are in the process of testing all our properties.”
Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is recognizing National Radon Action Month during January to highlight the dangers of the colorless, odorless and invisible radioactive gas. Winter is the best time to test for radon because windows and doors are closed tight, and HVAC systems can create interior pressure differences that cause more radon to be sucked up through a home’s foundation.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States.
The Home Forward Radon Procedures Manual lays out detailed procedures for initial testing, mitigation, post-mitigation testing and ongoing testing, as well as requirements for notifying residents about testing and mitigation, and procedures for procurement of radon contracting services, ensuring safety, and maintenance. The manual also describes each Home Forward department’s responsibility regarding radon testing and mitigation.
Home Forward is now on track to completing testing and abatement at all its properties – home to some 14,000 households – by the end of 2023.
OHA took notice of Home Forward’s success in developing its radon policy and procedures manual. In late 2022, OHA published its own Radon Testing for Multifamily Buildings guide – available on OHA’s Radon Resources page – to help multifamily building owners and managers in the state accurately test their buildings for elevated radon.
“What inspired us was the Oregonian’s “Cancer Cloud” article, and then learning about Home Forward’s commitment to test their buildings for radon,” said Jara Popinga, OHA’s Radon Awareness Program coordinator. “It was clear that local housing authorities could use more support and encouragement for radon testing.”
OHA had recently finished the protocols and procedures document for testing radon levels in schools – as part of ORS 332.341 and 332.345 – and a risk communication tool kit. It was an opportunity for the agency to reconstruct those resources to make something geared toward property owners and tenants. Because Home Forward has experience with radon testing in multifamily buildings and communicating with tenants, “we thought they would be a great partner to work with to build these resources. Lucky for us, they agreed to provide support and input on our materials,” Popinga said.
HUD points to a document created by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), Protocol for Conduction Measurements of Radon and Radon Decay Products in Multifamily Buildings, for recommendations on how to test larger properties. But it’s technical, and copies are expensive.
“We wanted to make a document that stuck to the AARST protocols but was less technical, easier to digest and free to use,” Popinga said. “Our goal is to create a packet of useful information that’s easy to read, contains AARST standards for testing multifamily buildings, has fillable documents that help to organize and plan for testing, and materials to help communicate with tenants. We want to remove barriers and make it easier for property owners to test for radon.”
The guide, developed with funding from the EPA, follows national guidelines for measuring radon in multifamily apartment buildings. It provides step-by-step instructions and other tools to help property owners and managers plan and carry out radon testing.
“It’s not a requirement for private housing rental companies to test for radon. In addition, it’s not a requirement for them to fix high levels of radon, if detected. However, we hope that the document will encourage such companies to seek radon testing and make it easier to take action when testing a property,” Popinga said.
Having a guide for multifamily building owners and managers is important because radon levels can vary widely from building to building, as many parts of Oregon remain at risk of high radon. For example, one multifamily apartment building can have low or no elevated radon levels, while the building next door can have dangerously high levels.
For Home Forward, regular communication with residents was paramount to developing and successfully implementing its Radon Procedures Manual.
“Now we have a policy in place where we have timelines in which we are going to notify residents as soon as we can” about testing and abating at their properties, Gomez said. “It’s active communication. There is less stress on residents in that they know we are taking care of the problem.”
For more information on areas of the state at moderate to high risk of elevated radon levels, radon testing and mitigation or to order a test kit online, contact the Radon Awareness Program at firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com or visit its webpage.
Visit Home Forward’s radon page for information about the housing authority’s work, policy and manual, and links to resources.
January 25, 2023
Media Contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov
Jan. 1 effective date follows three-year grace period for food cart operators
PORTLAND, Ore.— New statewide mobile food unit rules officially went into effect Jan. 1, following a three-year grace period to give operators time to come into compliance.
The new rules for mobile food units, or food carts, were established Feb. 1, 2020, so counties statewide could strengthen enforcement and protect the public.
OHA and local public health agencies continue to be supportive and are ready to work with operators on compliance schedules to give them more time. Mobile units will not be closed immediately if they are not in compliance with these new rules if they are actively working on a solution that has been approved by the Local Public Health Authority.
Mobile food units make up a diverse and thriving industry that Oregon is nationally known for. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) supports their growth statewide. The agency is unique in that it does not automatically require a unit to have a commissary – a licensed kitchen where dishes can be washed, food is prepared in advance, and food and equipment are stored – if operators can show their units can be self-sufficient. Operators must, however, keep everything “integral” to the unit and operate within the capacity of the unit.
Integral means that all equipment associated with a mobile unit is rigidly and physically attached to the unit without restricting the mobility of the unit while in transit.
In the state, there have been challenges with non-integral items sitting on the ground around mobile units, which creates gathering places for insects and rodents. Because of this, OHA has strengthened enforcement for violations with the support of the Rule Advisory Committee.
All mobile food units must be designed with integrated, on-board potable and wastewater tanks. A mobile unit may also connect to water and sewer if available at the operating location, but the tanks must always remain on the unit. One exception applies to mobile food units licensed prior to Feb. 1, 2020, in which the water tanks and associated plumbing were removed prior to that date. Those units are not required to reinstall the tanks and associated plumbing if the unit is still connected to an approved water and sewer system in its original licensing location.
A mobile food unit may not connect to a freshwater system without also connecting to an approved sewer system.
Because all operations and equipment must be integral parts of the mobile food unit, those that use potable and wastewater storage tanks that are not integral to the unit must discontinue the use of these tanks. Properly sized tanks may need to be installed on the unit to meet their current needs for fresh and wastewater.
A mobile food unit may use folding shelves or small tables that are integral to the unit for display of non-potentially hazardous condiments and customer single-use articles, such as disposable utensils and napkins. The shelves or small tables must be designed and installed so they do not impede the mobility of the unit when retracted.
Off-unit items such as refrigerators, freezers and water/wastewater tanks have never been allowed, and there is no change to the requirements. These violations are now a higher priority in the Food Sanitation Rules, allowing county inspectors greater ability to enforce them. Additionally, off unit water tanks become a public health problem when wastewater spills or there is improper disposal on site.
In 2018, the OHA Foodborne Illness Prevention Program formed a Rules Advisory Committee that included mobile food unit operators, interested parties, industry association representatives and regulators. The following year, OHA conducted informational meetings, inviting every mobile unit operator statewide to attend. The meetings – in Bend, Medford and Salem – included presentations and discussions about the proposed rules, the timeline of the rulemaking process and a question-and-answer session.
After hearing formal testimony on the proposed rules during a public meeting, OHA created a document outlining the major rule changes. These rule changes have been available online for the public since 2019 and the significant changes document was given to operators by local environmental health inspection staff during inspections.
Operators and the public can learn more about the food and safety rules for mobile food units here: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/FOODSAFETY/Documents/foodsanitationrulesweb.pdf
A link to the significant changes document can be found here: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/FOODSAFETY/Documents/musignifchangenglish.pdf
January 25, 2023
Media contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843 firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents must provide schools, child care facilities with kids’ vaccine records
Portland, Ore. – The third Wednesday of February (Feb. 15) is School Exclusion Day, and the Oregon Immunization Program reminds parents that children may not be able to attend school or child care that day if their records show missing immunizations.
Under state law, all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities must have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations or have an exemption.
“Immunization is the best way to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough and measles,” said Stacy de Assis Matthews, school law coordinator at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division.
“Just a few years ago, we saw several measles cases in the Northwest, and Central Ohio just experienced a severe measles outbreak with more than 30 unvaccinated children hospitalized,” Matthews said. “There also were recent polio cases in New York state. We don’t want another disease outbreak in Oregon of on top of COVID-19. Immunizations are the most effective way to stop the spread of measles and other diseases, to keep kids and school communities healthy and safe.”
If a child’s school and child care vaccination records are not up to date by Feb. 15, the child will be sent home if they don’t have an exemption. In 2022, local health departments sent 26,149 letters to parents and guardians informing them that their children needed immunizations to stay in school or child care.
A total of 5,118 children were kept out of school or child care until the necessary immunization information was turned in to the schools or child care facilities. This year, reminder letters to parent will be mailed by Feb. 1.
COVID-19 vaccinations are not required for students in Oregon schools or child care. OHA strongly recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 immunizations. Parents can check with their health care provider or pharmacist about current COVID-19 recommendations.
Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their child’s pediatrician or local health department, or contact 211Info by dialing 211 or visiting to 211info.org. No one can be turned away from a local health department because of the inability to pay for required vaccines. Many pharmacists can immunize children 7 and older; parents can contact their neighborhood pharmacy for details.
Additional information on school immunizations can be found at the Immunization Program website.
Personal stories on why people in Oregon are deciding to vaccinate can be viewed by visiting OHA’s Facebook and Twitter pages. OHA also invites people to join the conversation and share why they vaccinate by using the hashtag #ORVaccinates on social media.
As a parent, Dr. Choo talks about why she vaccinates her children: https://youtu.be/aDy7sseKs24
Reverend Dr. Currie discusses whether there are legitimate reasons for religious exemptions: https://youtu.be/D6XnPm1N4iQ
Hear how Sarah’s powerful conversations changed her mom’s long-held views on vaccinations: https://youtu.be/dPB2sfySwJQ
SALEM, Ore.— The Oregon Legislature will be considering a number of recommendations for changes related to the statewide wildfire risk map during the 2023 session, some of which would substantively change the map itself. Following conversations last week with the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Programs Advisory Council, the state has decided to postpone the release of an updated draft of the map, which was planned for March 2023.
“As we’ve been working with Oregon State University on technical adjustments to the map and planning for community outreach and engagement, we’ve also been keeping a close eye on the policy conversations happening in different venues,” explained Cal Mukumoto, Oregon State Forester and director of the Oregon Department of Forestry. “There were some great recommendations that came out of the Wildfire Programs Advisory Council’s first annual report and opportunities identified by Wildfire Programs Director Doug Grafe related to the map that I hope the Legislature gets the opportunity to explore during this session.”
Those recommendations are in addition to several bills proposing a variety of changes ranging from which areas are assigned a risk classification to abolishing the map entirely. “We want to avoid expending resources on work that may not align with new direction that may come from the Legislature this session,” Mukumoto said. Without knowing what decisions will be made by the Legislature, the department does not yet know how long it will take to implement that direction.
Members of both the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and the Wildfire Programs Advisory Council have expressed support for continued mapping of wildfire hazards to identify where to direct investments in wildfire mitigation activities including fuels reduction and building defensible space.
“Our goal this session is to get resources and expertise to Oregonians already doing good work on the ground to protect their properties and neighborhoods,” said Sen. Jeff Golden (D), Ashland. Golden chairs the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and was the chief sponsor of SB 762. “It’s important to get that done and to do all we can to ease the homeowner insurance challenges that the era of megafires has brought us before moving forward with any map.”
There is also broad recognition of the need for increased outreach, education and engagement with communities. “We need an integrated, coordinated and robust communications and outreach effort across all Senate Bill 762 programs to help property owners understand what their classification means, how they can better protect their homes and what resources are available to help them with that work,” said Mark Bennett, chair of the Wildfire Programs Advisory Council.
OSU, ODF’s partner in the development of the map, will lend technical expertise to upcoming educational efforts related to wildfire risk and hazard. "We are prepared to support state agencies in education plans and will help develop and implement an operational plan as needed,” said Tom DeLuca, dean of OSU’s College of Forestry. Other state agencies with SB 762 responsibilities that have a nexus to the map are Office of the State Fire Marshal, Department of Consumer and Business Services – Building Codes Division and the Department of Land Conservation and Development.
“The success of this whole program depends on strong collaboration between state government, local leaders and property owners in wildfire-prone areas. Building that partnership has to be job number one over the coming months,” Golden explained. “When we feel like we’re pulling in the same direction, we’ll be ready for a much better conversation about the map.”
While the Legislature is in session, the department will:
January 25, 2023
Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, email@example.com
SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is partnering with the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers to pay the licensing application fees for aspiring social workers.
The license is required for anyone seeking to enter the behavioral health field as a social worker in Oregon.
The license ensures that clinical social workers have received the appropriate education and professional experience. Applicants also undergo a criminal background check.
Fees run between $200 and $460 depending on the license.
The program is intended to remove barriers for potential applicants. Approximately $620,000 has been set aside to pay application fees starting Feb.1, 2023, through Feb. 19, 2024.
Applicants will see the benefits of this program when they submit their licensing application for payment and see zero balance due.
This program is offered in conjunction with a similar program announced earlier this month to pay the testing fees for social worker candidates over the same period.
The program is part of a larger effort to rebuild and retool a behavioral health workforce that was decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding comes from $60 million allocated by the Oregon Legislature under House Bill 4071 (2022) to develop a diverse behavioral health workforce in licensed and non-licensed occupations through scholarships, loan repayment, professional development, other incentives, and peer workforce development.
More about this program can be found on the Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative web page.
General questions about the application fee waiver program can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com. Technical questions about how the benefit works can be directed to the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oregon State Hospital is looking to hire psychiatric social workers at its Salem and Junction City campuses.
PORTLAND, Ore.—On January 24, 2023, a Willamette Valley grass seed marketing and distribution company pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court for its role in a scheme to defraud the J.R. Simplot Company and its former subsidiary the Jacklin Seed Company.
Ground Zero Seeds Int’l, Inc. (GZI) pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of felony and was sentenced to one year of probation. The Yamhill, Oregon company was also ordered to pay a $40,000 fine and $516,000 in restitution to Simplot.
According to court documents, GZI and its president, founder, and owner, Gregory McCarthy, maintained longstanding commercial relations with the Jacklin Seed Company, a subsidiary of Simplot based in Liberty Lake, Washington. GZI and McCarthy routinely contracted with Jacklin for the purchase and sale of grass seed. These contracts were typically negotiated with Richard Dunham, a former Jacklin employee who oversaw the company’s order-fulfillment and warehousing operations in Oregon and had the authority to purchase grass seed from certain Oregon growers over others.
Beginning in April 2015, McCarthy and Dunham agreed that GZI would pay Dunham a per pound kickback for grass seed purchased by Jacklin. These kickbacks were built into the prices reflected on GZI’s invoices to Jacklin. Dunham artificially inflated the price Jacklin paid GZI for seed or reduced the price at which Jacklin sold seed to GZI. To help conceal the scheme from Jacklin, Dunham registered a separate business entity through which he purported to offer consulting and grass seed brokering services. Dunham used the company and a checking account in the company’s name to accept kickbacks from GZI, McCarthy, and others.
Between April 2015 and September 2019, McCarthy caused GZI to pay Dunham approximately $191,790.
Prior to GZI pleading guilty and being sentenced, a one-count superseding criminal information was filed charging the company with misprision of felony.
On April 29, 2022, Dunham was charged by criminal information with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and on July 7, 2022, he pleaded guilty to both charges. Dunham will be sentenced on June 21, 2023.
This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
PORTLAND, Ore.—On January 24, 2023, an Illinois-based company that operates an aluminum processing facility in The Dalles, Oregon, pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act by negligently releasing a hazardous air pollutant from its facility, endangering employees and nearby community members.
Hydro Extrusion USA (Hydro), a limited liability corporation based in Rosemont, Illinois, pleaded guilty to negligent endangerment by discharging a hazardous pollutant.
“No cost savings or competitive advantage are worth the risk posed to the health and safety of Hydro’s workers or members of the community,” said Ethan Knight, Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “We will continue working closely with our partners at the EPA to ensure all businesses play by the rules.”
“By illegally melting contaminated scrap metal, the defendant knowingly and unlawfully violated environmental regulations and in doing so exposed their workers and the local community to hazardous air pollutants,” said Special Agent in Charge Scot Adair of the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal investigation program in Oregon. “EPA, along with its state partners, are committed to holding companies accountable when they endanger the health of their employees and local communities.”
According to court documents, Hydro operates a secondary aluminum processing facility in The Dalles where it melts aluminum scrap in induction furnaces to produce reusable aluminum billets. While operating, air emissions from the company’s furnaces were open to the interior of the building and did not pass through any pollution control devices before reaching employees or being vented to ambient air.
Under the Clean Air Act, secondary aluminum production facilities are only permitted to use “clean charge,” aluminum scrap free of paints, coatings or lubricants. Despite this requirement, from July 2018 through June 2019, Hydro acquired and melted scrap aluminum coated in a mineral-oil based mixture that, when combusted, produced hazardous smoke. Hydro saved approximately $466,000 purchasing the unclean charge. During this time, Hydro employees noticed excessive smoke in the facility. Despite being notified by inspectors from EPA and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (Oregon DEQ), Hydro continued melting the unclean charge.
On August 23, 2022, after fully cooperating with the government’s investigation of this matter and agreeing to plead guilty, Hydro was charged by federal criminal information with one count of negligent endangerment.
Negligent endangerment under the Clean Air Act is punishable by a fine of up to $200,000 or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense. As part of its plea agreement, Hydro has agreed to pay $550,125 prior to sentencing. The company will be sentenced on April 24, 2023, by U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.
This case was investigated by the EPA Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID) with assistance from Oregon DEQ. It is being prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
Spokane – On January 24, 2023, Senior United States District Judge William Fremming Nielsen sentenced Ronald Craig Ilg, 56, of Spokane, Washington, to 96 months in federal prison for hiring hitmen on the dark web to kidnap and assault multiple victims. It was the highest sentence available under the terms of Ilg’s plea agreement. In addition to ordering Ilg to spend eight years in federal prison, Judge Nielsen ordered him to pay more than $25,000 in restitution and a $100,000 fine. Ilg will also spend three years on federal supervision following his release from prison. Judge Nielsen described Ilg’s conduct as “really egregious, and even evil,” and highlighted that “not only were there numerous communications, you spent a lot of money to hire these people to ensure what you asked them to do would be done.” Finally, Judge Nielsen emphasized that Ilg’s crimes were all the more egregious given his career as a doctor: “A doctor’s goal in life is to protect people, keeping people alive – not taking overt steps to do the opposite.”
According to court documents and information from the sentencing hearing, Ilg, a former neonatologist in Spokane, transmitted dozens of messages in early 2021 through the dark web as part of a plot to injure a former professional colleague and to have his estranged wife kidnapped. Using the moniker “Scar215” and password “Mufassa$$” to conceal his identity, Ilg sent more than $60,000 in Bitcoin in furtherance of his nefarious schemes.
With respect to the first victim, Ilg directed the purported hitmen to assault a Spokane-area doctor, specifying that the victim “should be given a significant beating that is obvious. It should injure both hands significantly or break the hands.” As part of this scheme, Ilg paid more than $2,000 in Bitcoin, sent the purported hitmen the victim’s address, and provided the hitmen with a link to the victim’s picture. In followup messages, Ilg directed “I would like to see evidence that it happened. If this goes well, I have another, more complicated job” for “[a]n entirely different target with entirely different objectives.”
Ilg also solicited purported hitmen to kidnap a second victim: his estranged wife. Specifically, Ilg directed that she be kidnapped and injected with heroin – all so she would drop divorce proceedings that were pending at the time and return to a failed relationship with Ilg. Even though Ilg was subject to a no-contact order, he devised a bonus structure if the victim was in fact kidnapped and certain goals were achieved. Ilg again promised the hitmen that he had “other jobs worth quite a bit to accomplish in the near future. So, if all goes well, then we can work together on a few other things also.” In all, Ilg paid more than $60,000 in Bitcoin so the hitmen would kidnap this victim.
After the FBI obtained copies of Ilg’s dark web messages, he also obstructed justice. First, during a voluntary interview with the FBI, Ilg falsely claimed he paid the hitmen to kill him, rather than his victims. Second, Ilg sent a letter to a key witness against him, begging the witness to marry him so he could control whether she testified. He even offered to pay tuition for the witness’s children to attend St. Aloysius Catholic School and Gonzaga Preparatory School. Ilg also directed the witness to destroy evidence by burning Ilg’s letter. More recently, and after pleading guilty to his crimes, Ilg sought “a book or movie deal” so that Ilg could obtain “a lot of financial gain” from his crimes.
“This case demonstrates how violent offenders exploit cyberspace and cryptocurrency to further their criminal agendas,” said Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. “Mr. Ilg solicited and paid for multiple dark web hitmen to target the two victims in this case. Mr. Ilg even stated he would target additional victims if the hitmen followed through with the plan to harm these first two victims.” U.S. Attorney Waldref continued: “The amount of money Mr. Ilg paid to advance his schemes and his efforts to obstruct justice in this case indicate Mr. Ilg would stop at nothing to maintain control over his victims. Thankfully, the FBI learned of Mr. Ilg’s scheme and prevented him from following through on his plans to harm another doctor and kidnap his estranged wife. I am grateful to the tremendous investigative agents and Assistant United States Attorneys Richard Barker and Patrick Cashman, who spent significant time and resources to ensure that our community continues to be safe and strong, and that individuals who perpetrate violent and cyber crimes are held accountable.”
“Mr. Ilg’s actions read like plot of a true-crime show, but his intentions had real-life consequences,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “Despite his efforts to remain anonymous and subsequently cover up his activities, our investigators were able to prevent innocent people from being harmed. This case demonstrates that even the anonymity of the dark web will not prevent the FBI from identifying and disrupting individuals who are intent on engaging in criminal activity. I am thankful for our partnership with the US Attorney’s Office, which brought Mr. Ilg to justice.”
“The victims in this case demonstrated incredible courage,” stated Assistant United States Attorney Richard Barker, who led the prosecution. “Even before Mr. Ilg sent his terrifying messages through the dark web and paid more than $60,000 to multiple purported hitmen, Mr. Ilg sought to manipulate and maintain control his victims – sending them harassing text messages, placing GPS trackers on their cars, and even subjecting them to domestic abuse. Following his arrest, Mr. Ilg even tried to thwart the case against him by obstructing justice. Incredibly, he even attempted to profit from his crimes by offering to sell his story to the media.” AUSA Barker continued, “I’m grateful for the victims’ willingness to stand up to Mr. Ilg. As a result of their courage and the incredible work of the FBI, Mr. Ilg – who was a doctor and had a clean criminal history – will spend the better part of the next decade in federal prison.”
This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Richard R. Barker and Patrick J. Cashman, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington, prosecuted this case. Brian M. Donovan, Civil Chief for the United States Attorney’s Office, assisted with seeking restitution and the imposition of a fine against Ilg.
PORTLAND, Ore.—Dennis “Denny” Doyle, the former mayor of Beaverton, Oregon, was sentenced to federal prison today for illegally possessing child pornography.
Doyle, 74, a Beaverton resident, was sentenced to six months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release. Doyle was also ordered to pay $22,000 in restitution to his victims.
According to court documents, in late January 2022, the Beaverton Police Department was notified by a local business that a USB thumb drive containing possible child pornography had been found. The business provided the thumb drive to law enforcement, and it was determined that did indeed contain child pornography. Additionally, the drive contained personal photographs that appeared to belong to Doyle. Law enforcement also determined the images of child pornography were downloaded onto the thumb drive between November 2014 and December 2015, while Doyle was serving as the Beaverton mayor.
After the Beaverton Police Department referred the case to the FBI, special agents from FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) contacted Doyle at his home. Doyle was immediately truthful with the agents, admitting the drive was his and that he had personally downloaded child pornography from his home computer. No further evidence of child pornography was located on Doyle’s digital devices.
This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s CETF with assistance from the Beaverton Police Department. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. Child sexual abuse material depicts actual crimes being committed against children. Not only do these images and videos document victims’ exploitation and abuse, but when shared across the internet, child victims suffer re-victimization each time the image of their abuse is viewed. To learn more, please visit the NCMEC’s website at www.missingkids.org.
FBI Portland’s CETF conducts sexual exploitation investigations, many of them undercover, in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering and assisting victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
January 24, 2023
Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov
What: The Public Health Advisory Board is holding a meeting.
Agenda: Approve January meeting minutes; discuss PHAB subcommittees and workgroups; hear legislative updates; plan for public health vision development; hear from local public health authorities about public health modernization implementation.
When: Thursday, Feb. 9, 3-5:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.
Where: Zoom https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1614044266?pwd=ekpYekxaMm92SHN0dngzTW9ZeldsUT09 or conference call: (669) 254-5252, participant code 1614044266#.
The Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan.
# # #
Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
If you need help or have questions, please contact Cara Biddlecom: at 971-673-2284, 711 TTY, or email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org, at least 48 hours before the meeting.
24 de enero de 2023
Las agencias estatales, OHCS y ODHS, se unen para apoyar a jóvenes sin hogar
(Salem) – El Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios (OHCS) recientemente realizo una transferencia de fondos con un valor de $9 millones a los Programas de Autosuficiencia del Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Oregón (ODHS), para apoyar las necesidades de vivienda de jóvenes en Oregón.
El Programa de Jóvenes que Experimentan la Carencia de Hogar de ODHS se encarga de la coordinación a nivel estatal de servicios para jóvenes sin hogar que son menores de 25 años. El programa trabaja en conjunto con jóvenes afectados, organizaciones comunitarias y otras agencias estatales para apoyar y otorgar fondos a iniciativas dentro del sistema para servir a jóvenes que carecen hogar.
ODHS utilizará los fondos para apoyar a programas locales en el estado, al igual que a nuevas iniciativas y servicios de apoyo para jóvenes que carecen de hogar al invertir en:
La inversión también apoyará al Programa de Alquileres Asequibles para Estudiantes Universitarios de College Housing Northwest, el cual está pagando el alquiler por un año de 25 estudiantes experimentando carencia de hogar. El programa es conocido en inglés como Affordable Rents for College Students Program (ARCS). Además de vivienda, cada estudiante en el programa recibirá amplios servicios de atención por medio de New Avenues for Youth y Native American Youth Association. Ambas organizaciones apoyarán y ayudarán a los estudiantes a conectarse con otros servicios que necesiten para prosperar y lograr su potencial. También se refuerza un convenio entre ODHS y ARCS, en el cual se reservan 21 viviendas para jóvenes a un precio de bajo costo por 25 años.
Este tipo de colaboraciones innovadoras en la vivienda son posibles gracias a la transferencia institucional de fondos.
"En Oregón, no aceptamos la carencia de hogar como un hecho, y la realidad es que demasiados de nuestros jóvenes viven en las calles o en situaciones inestables y no deseadas”, dijo la directora de OHCS Andrea Bell. "La magnitud de este asunto requiere que nuestras agencias estatales y lideres comunitarios aporten soluciones—es nuestra responsabilidad colectiva unirnos y resolver la carencia de hogar que enfrentan los jóvenes de Oregón. Nuestra inversión en apoyar la juventud que carece vivienda es una manera pequeña de cómo podemos apoyar esta importante labor”.
"A todos nos interesa tener una comunidad donde la juventud tiene acceso a viviendas estables y seguras para que puedan alcanzar sus objetivos y desarrollar todo su potencial”, dijo el director de ODHS Fariborz Pakseresht. “La experiencia de jóvenes sin hogar no siempre sigue una trayectoria lineal y los servicios de apoyo disponibles a ellos deben ser flexibles para encontrarlos y apoyarlos donde se encuentren. Es nuestra responsabilidad como comunidad unirnos para apoyar a los jóvenes y proporcionarles oportunidades de vivienda. Cuando hacemos esto, les daremos la estabilidad y seguridad que necesitan para que aprendan, crezcan, y ayuden a nuestra comunidad a prosperar. Las colaboraciones de naturaleza intencional entre agencias estatales pueden llegar muy lejos cuando son usadas de manera creativa y esta inversión lograra justo esto”.
En 2021, ODHS completo la primera evaluación de necesidades estatal enfocada en la experiencia de jóvenes sin hogar. Por medio de evaluación, se calculó que hay más de 8,200 individuos sin hogar menores de 25 años quienes probablemente necesiten una vivienda segura y de costo económico, al igual que servicios para mantener la estabilidad. Viviendas de largo plazo fue una de las necesidades identificadas y de acuerdo con la evaluación, se calcula que el costo sistemático para cubrir las necesidades de vivienda es de aproximadamente $154 millones.
Acerca del Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Oregón
La misión del Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Oregón es ayudar a residentes en sus propias comunidades conseguir su bienestar e independencia por medio de oportunidades que protegen, capacitan, respetan la elección propia y preservan la dignidad.
Acerca del Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios
El Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios de Oregón proporciona recursos a residentes del estado para reducir la pobreza e incrementar el acceso a una vivienda estable. Nuestro enfoque intencional en la vivienda y servicios comunitarios nos permite servir a los residentes de una manera holísticamente, incluyendo prevenir y eliminar la carencia de hogar, asistir con servicios públicos, proporcionar apoyos de estabilidad para la vivienda, otorgar fondos para la construcción de vivienda multifamiliar de bajo costo y fomentar la compra de viviendas.
Jan. 24, 2023
OHCS and ODHS partner to support youth experiencing homelessness
(Salem) - Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) recently completed a $9 million interagency funds transfer to the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Self-Sufficiency Programs, Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program to support the housing needs of young people across Oregon.
The ODHS Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program is tasked with coordinating statewide planning for delivery of services to youth experiencing homelessness under the age of 25. It partners with impacted youth, community organizations and other state agencies to support and fund initiatives and programs within the youth homelessness system.
ODHS will use the $9 million to support local programs across the state, as well as newer initiatives and supports for youth experiencing homelessness across Oregon by investing in:
The investment will also support College Housing Northwest’s Affordable Rents for College Students program (ARCS), which pays rent for up to one year for 25 college students experiencing homelessness. In addition to housing, each student in the program will receive case management services through New Avenues for Youth and Native American Youth Association that will support them and help them connect with other services they need to thrive and reach their full potential. It also solidifies an agreement between ODHS and ARCS that holds up to 21 housing units specifically for youth at an affordable rate for 25 years.
This type of innovative housing partnership is possible thanks to the interagency funds transfer.
"In Oregon, we do not accept homelessness as a fact of life and the reality is far too many of our youth are living outside as well as in unstable or undesirable situations," said OHCS Director Andrea Bell. "The magnitude of this issue requires our state agencies and local community leaders to bring solutions to the table—it is our collective responsibility to come together and solve the issues facing youth in Oregon. Our investment in supporting young people who are experiencing homelessness is just a small way we can assist in this critical work."
"We all have an interest in a community in which young people have access to stable and safe housing so that they can pursue their life’s goals and reach their full potential,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “A young person’s experience with homelessness does not always follow a linear path and the supports available to them need to be flexible to meet and support them where they are. It is our responsibility as a community to come together to support young people and provide housing opportunities. When we do this, we will give them the stability and safety they need to learn and grow and help our community thrive. Intentional partnership between state agencies can go a long way when used creatively and this investment will do just that."
In 2021, ODHS completed the state's first needs assessment focused on youth experiencing homelessness. The assessment estimated that there are over 8,200 unhoused individuals under 25 who are likely to need safe, affordable housing and services to maintain stability. Long-term housing was identified as one of the greatest needs, and based on the assessment, an estimated system cost to meet the need would total approximately $154 million.
About the Oregon Department of Human Services
The mission of the Oregon Department of Human Services is to help Oregonians in their own communities achieve wellbeing and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity.
About Oregon Housing and Community Services
Oregon Housing and Community Services provides resources for Oregonians to reduce poverty and increase access to stable housing. Our intentional focus on both housing and community services allows us to serve Oregonians holistically across the housing continuum, including preventing and ending homelessness, assisting with utilities, providing housing stability support, financing multifamily affordable housing and encouraging homeownership.
Notice of Regular Meeting
The Fire Policy Committee (FPC) of the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training (BPSST) will hold a regular meeting at 9:00 a.m. February 22, 2023, in the Governor Victor G. Atiyeh Boardroom at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST or Department) located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, Oregon. For more information, please contact Julia Budlong at (503) 378-2408.
The Fire Policy Committee meeting will be live streamed on the DPSST Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/DPSSTOregon
2. Approval of Minutes of November 30, 2022 Meeting
3. Cantelon, Nicholas E. DPSST #32751
Presented by Brooke Bell-Uribe
4. Moore, Skyler DPSST #42135
Presented by Brooke Bell-Uribe
5. Proposed Rule Changes for Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 259-009-0120
Presented by Jennifer Howald
6. Agency Updates
7. Next Fire Policy Committee Meeting- May 24, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law and it will be recorded. Deliberation of issues will only be conducted by Fire Policy Committee members unless permitted by the Chair. Individuals who engage in disruptive behavior that impedes official business will be asked to stop being disruptive or leave the meeting. Additional measures may be taken to have disruptive individuals removed if their continued presence poses a safety risk to the other persons in the room or makes it impossible to continue the meeting.
The Police Policy Committee of the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training will hold a regular meeting at 9:00 a.m. February 16, 2023, in the Governor Victor G. Atiyeh Boardroom at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST or Department) located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, Oregon. For further information, please contact Shelby Wright at (503) 378-2191.
2. Approve the October 5, 2022, and November 17, 2022, Meeting Minutes
3. Administrative Closures (The following items to be ratified by one vote)
Presented by Melissa Lang-Bacho
a. Richard Beal; DPSST No. 38240
Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Police Certifications
b. Thomas Harrison; DPSST No. 33424
Basic Police Certification
4. Changes to the Basic Police Firearms Assessment
Presented by Noel Aher - Information Only
5. Police Policy Committee Bylaws Proposed Revisions
Presented by Suzy Herring
6. Agency Update
7. Next Police Policy Committee Meeting – May 18, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law and it will be recorded. Deliberation of issues will only be conducted by Police Policy Committee members unless permitted by the Chair. Individuals who engage in disruptive behavior that impedes official business will be asked to stop being disruptive or leave the meeting. Additional measures may be taken to have disruptive individuals removed if their continued presence poses a safety risk to the other persons in the room or makes it impossible to continue the meeting.
January 24, 2023
Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, email@example.com
What: Public meetings of the Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council.
Agenda: Agendas will be posted on the Oversight and Accountability Council web page prior to each meeting.
Virtual meetings are Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Feb 8 – https://youtu.be/uAMUJurYpyg
Feb 22– https://youtu.be/fKMhD0XgOC8
Purpose: The Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) oversees the establishment of Behavioral Health Resource Networks throughout Oregon.
Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
Salem Police Department Use of Deadly Force Incident
Salem, Ore. — At approximately 9:00 a.m., on January 23, 2023, Salem Police Department officers were involved in a deadly use of force incident resulting in the death of a suspect.
Officers responded to the Walmart parking lot, located at 5250 Commercial Street SE. Initial dispatch information indicated that there was an armed robbery and carjacking in progress at that location. Additional information was then relayed that the suspect was now north of Walmart at the Planet Fitness parking lot and that he attempted to steal another vehicle at that location. As officers responded, the suspect then fled Planet Fitness on foot and ran across Commercial Street to Napa Auto Parts.
Responding officers pursued the suspect, who matched the description from the calls, to the parking lot of the Napa Auto Parts Store, located at 5105 Commercial Street SE. A confrontation ensued and the suspect fired at least once at officers. At least one patrol vehicle was hit in the windshield. Officers also fired and the suspect was struck and died at the scene.
A black handgun was later located under the suspect and a loaded magazine was located inside his pocket.
No bystanders, citizens, or officers were injured in the incident. The Salem Police Officers involved in the incident were:
The suspect has been identified as Michael James Compton, 27 years old. Next of kin have been notified. A Family Services Coordinator from the Marion County District Attorney’s Office has been made available to the decedent’s family to answer their questions and communicate appropriate information from the investigation.
Compton was found to have multiple warrants for his arrest out of Clackamas and Lane counties.
Pursuant to Marion County SB 111 protocols, the Marion County District Attorney’s Office appointed the Oregon State Police to investigate this incident. Investigators from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Keizer Police Department assisted with the investigation. The involved Salem Police Officers have been placed on paid administrative leave as is standard in these situations. Like every incident of officer use of deadly force in Marion County, the circumstances of this investigation will ultimately be presented to a Marion County Grand Jury to determine whether the officers’ use of deadly force was lawful.
This incident remains an active investigation. The scene is still being processed and additional investigation is occurring. Therefore, no additional information will be released to preserve a grand jury’s objective analysis of the incident.
An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Thomas James Kjersten, passed away January 23, 2023. Kjersten was incarcerated at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) in Pendleton and passed away at the facility. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the State Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.
Kjersten entered DOC custody on October 4, 2018, from Yamhill County, with an earliest release date of January 30, 2031. Kjersten was 62 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.
EOCI is a multi-custody prison located in Pendleton that houses over 1,550 adults in custody. The institution is known for its Oregon Corrections Enterprises industries, including a garment factory that produces Prison Blues©, whose products are sold in and outside the United States. Other industries are its embroidery and laundry facilities. EOCI provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, drug and alcohol treatment, mental health treatment, religious services, and work crews. The buildings that make up EOCI were constructed in 1912 and 1913 and were originally used as a state mental hospital. After two years of renovation, EOCI received its first occupants in June 1985.
SAIF visited workplaces across the state to create a new YouTube series, Oregon Odd Jobs. The series showcases uniquely Oregon jobs and how they’re done safely.
“While safety is everyone's responsibility, we all go about it differently depending on the job we do,” says SAIF safety consultant Dawn Jacobs. “Oregon Odd Jobs highlights the weird and wonderful while giving us a look at how Oregonians stay safe.”
Among other things, the videos teach how these businesses find safety success as they combat complacency, stay alert to surrounding hazards, keep up with safety innovations, and put safety redundancies in place.
The first three episodes feature Homestead Log Homes in Central Point, Oregon Potato Company in Boardman, and Oaks Park Amusement Park in Portland. Host Corey Jenkins, SAIF’s creative services supervisor, tries his hand at building log homes, grinding potatoes, and inspecting roller coasters.
SAIF will publish new episodes every two weeks. Future episodes include wrangling llamas, blowing glass, and feeding sharks.
SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company. Since 1914, we've been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work. For more information, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com.
Come to give in January for chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona
Portland, OR (Jan. 23, 2023) — As National Blood Donor Month continues this January, the American Red Cross celebrates those who give blood and platelets to help save lives − especially now, as we work to ensure a stable blood supply amid the threat of icy winter weather and severe seasonal illness. Donors of all blood types – particularly type O blood donors, the most needed blood group by hospitals – and platelet donors are needed daily to meet demand.
The start of the new year is one of the most challenging times to collect enough blood products, despite the constant demand. One in 7 patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion – yet only 3% of the public gives blood.
In partnership with the National Football League (NFL), those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma through Jan. 31, 2023, will be automatically entered to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona, including access to day-of, in-stadium pre-game activities, tickets to the official Super Bowl Experience, round-trip airfare to Phoenix, three-night hotel accommodations (Feb. 10-13, 2023), plus a $500 gift card for expenses.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Jan. 23-31
Hotel Vance, 1455 SW Broadway, Portland, OR, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Bateman Carroll, 520 W Powell Blvd, Gresham, OR, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Big Pink, 111 SW 5th Ave., Portland, OR, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Abernathy Grange 346, 15745 Harley Ave., Oregon City, OR, 1:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Northwest Medical Homes, 2644 Suzanne Way, Eugene, OR, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Fred Meyer, 11565 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard, OR, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Happy Valley Library, 13793 SE Sieben Park Way, Happy Valley, OR, 10:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, 701 Black Oak Dr., Medford, OR, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lloyd Center Mall, 2201 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR, 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 255 Maxwell Rd., Eugene, OR, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Starbucks, 16798 SW Edy Rd., Sherwood, OR, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
US Digital, 1400 NE 136th Ave., Vancouver, WA, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
City of Bend Police Dept., 555 NE 15th St., Bend, OR, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Vancouver Toyota, 10455 NE 53rd St., Vancouver, WA, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Even Hotel, 2133 Centennial Plaza, Eugene, OR, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Lausmann Annex, 200 S Ivy St., Medford, OR, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Visit RedCrossBlood.org and put in your zip code to find a donation site near you.
Click here for b-roll of people giving blood.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
Oregon and Washington still require face masks be worn at all blood drives and donation sites.
Amplify your impact − volunteer!
Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.
Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for either position, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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Terms apply. Visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for details.
Reduce the risk of tax ID fraud with a few simple, proactive steps
With the 2022 tax filing season officially open as of Jan. 23, it’s an opportune time to take some basic security measures to avoid becoming a victim of tax identity fraud.
Tax ID fraud is one of many types of general tax scams, which keeps government enforcement agencies very busy. Late-last year, the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division announced it identified $5.7 billion in tax fraud for fiscal year 2022, versus $2.3 billion from two years earlier.
Tax ID fraud occurs when a perpetrator uses the Social Security number (SSN) and other personally identifiable information (PII) of an individual to file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund. Other PII could include key items such as W-2 tax forms, addresses, and date of birth. The criminals will attempt to file a refund early in the filing season before the real taxpayer files their own return.
What Criminals Are Doing
Criminals resort to different methods to illegally obtain PII and perpetrate the tax fraud. Once they obtain PII, it’s off to the races. In one case, a man was convicted for filing more than 30 fraudulent income tax returns in the names of 12 different trusts, according to the IRS Criminal Investigation's report for the fiscal year 2022 (ended Sept. 2022). In another scam, a computer consultant wrote a program to store stolen identities and automatically file tax returns, with refunds deposited onto prepaid debit cards. Another perpetrator was sentenced for stealing the PII of 65,000 employees of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, then selling the data on the dark web to conspirators, who promptly filed hundreds of false 1040 forms in 2014.
Often, victims of such scams find out only after their taxes have been filed either by themselves or a hired preparer, only to receive a letter of rejection from the IRS due to multiple filings. This happens year after year, notes Kathryn Albright, Global Payments and Deposits Executive with Umpqua Bank, a Portland, Ore.-based institution with $32 billion in assets.
“Criminals unfortunately will aggressively prey on sensitive information they can use to perpetrate identity theft, and filing early tax returns at this time of year is one ruse they keep coming back to,” Albright notes. “Consumers, businesses, trusts, non-profits – basically anybody who has to file – could end up being a victim.”
Tips to Avoid Tax ID Fraud
Here are some ways you can help protect yourself from tax ID fraud for this and future tax seasons:
“Start preparing your taxes as soon as possible so that when you do have all of the documents, you’ll be ready to file much earlier than the April deadline,” Albright says. “Use checklists to help keep track of all of the incoming documents. Throughout the tax season, keep an extra watchful eye on your credit reports and bank account details to make sure there’s no unexpected or unusual activity that could be linked to fraud. It’s a little bit of extra work that will help you feel more secure, and less stressed.”
What to Do if You Become a Victim
If you make the unfortunate discovery that somebody stole your identity to file your taxes, consider performing the following actions as soon as possible:
Salem, OR— All Oregon resident taxpayers preparing their own returns in 2023 can file electronically at no cost using one of Oregon’s free file options, the Oregon Department of Revenue announced today. The department will begin processing 2022 state income tax returns today, the same day the IRS will begin processing federal returns.
Free electronic filing options
Several free file options are available on the department’s website www.oregon.gov/dor. Free guided tax preparation is available from several companies for taxpayers that meet income requirements. Using links from the department’s website ensures that both taxpayers’ federal and state return will be filed for free.
Free fillable forms
Taxpayers that don’t meet the income requirements for guided preparation can file for free using Oregon Free Fillable Forms. Free Fillable Forms performs basic calculations and are ideal for taxpayers who don’t need help preparing their returns and want the convenience of filing electronically. A detailed series of steps for using free fillable forms are available on the agency’s electronic filing page. The IRS offers a similar option for filing federal taxes electronically.
Other free options
The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals. Low- to moderate-income taxpayers can also access preparation services through AARP and CASH Oregon. United Way also offers free tax help through their MyFreeTaxes program. More information on these options is available on the department’s website.
E-filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. On average, taxpayers who e-file their returns and request their refund via direct deposit receive their refund 34 days sooner than taxpayers who mail their paper return and request paper refund checks.
Refunds will be issued starting February 15. A refund hold is part of the department’s tax fraud prevention efforts and allows for confirmation that the amounts claimed on tax returns matches what employers report on Forms W-2 and 1099.
To check the status of your refund or make payments, visit Revenue’s website. You can also call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), we accept all relay calls.
On Saturday, January 21, 2023, at approximately 2:10 P.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 47, near milepost 87, in Washington County.
The preliminary investigation indicated a Dodge Avenger, operated by Glennard Devon Purvee (28) of Banks, was involved in a minor rear-end style collision just north of Banks. The vehicle fled the scene and traveled southbound on Hwy 47 through the city of Banks. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it drove off the shoulder of the roadway and collided with a tree on westbound side of the roadway, near milepost 87. The operator of the vehicle was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash.
The roadway was impacted for approximately 3 hours while the on-scene investigation was being conducted.
OSP was assisted by the Washington County Sheriffs' Office, Banks Fire, Forest Grove Fire, and ODOT.
KENNEWICK, WA – A new ballot box just made access to voting much easier for residents living in Finley. On Friday, January 20, the Benton County Auditor’s Office oversaw the final installation of a new ballot drop box in front of Finley Middle School. The ballot box is the first and only drop box in the Finley community, with the next nearest box located ten miles away in downtown Kennewick.
Finley School District Superintendent Lance Hahn said the district was excited for the opportunity to partner with the Benton County Auditor’s Office to bring in a drive-up ballot box just off the main highway that runs through the town.
“Community members drive by our middle school every day, including parents and families dropping off and picking up their kids at school,” says Superintendent Hahn. “Even though voters can mail their ballots, having a drive-up drop box right here makes it even easier. And it’s a visual reminder when you’re driving by to think, ‘Oh yeah, I need to get that ballot returned.’”
Registered voters in Finley will be able to put the new drop box to use in the upcoming February Special Election. Ballots for the February 14th election will be mailed by the County on January 25th. A complete list of ballot drop boxes (including the new one located in front of FMS at 37208 S Finley Road) can be found on the Benton County Elections website at www.bentonauditor.com/Accessibility.
For more information, please contact Lance Hahn at 509-586-3217.
At 3:50 pm on January 21, Bend Fire & Rescue crews responded to a report of a small camper on fire on Hunnell Road just north of Cooley Road. Arriving units found the pickup-style camper fully engulfed, but were able to quickly extinguish the fire without it spreading to other vehicles or adjacent brush. Total loss is estimated at $1,500.
The occupant of the camper, who was unidentified, left the scene prior to fire department arrival. On investigation, the fire was determined to be accidental in nature, and related to smoking inside the camper.
When the first fire crews arrived, they found that another motorhome was parked directly in front of the fire hydrant. Bend Fire & Rescue would like to remind drivers to never park blocking a fire hydrant; in fact, Oregon law prohibits parking within 10 feet of a fire hydrant. Please help your first responders by keeping hydrants clear and unobstructed at all times. For more safety tips, visit our website at https://www.bendoregon.gov/government/departments/fire-rescue/education-safety-tips.
On Thursday, January 19, 2023, at approximately 4:30 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two vehicle crash on the Hwy 18 Bypass near milepost 57, west of Dundee Landing Rd, in Yamhill County.
The preliminary investigation revealed a black 2020 Toyota Rav4, operated by John William McKevitt (71) of Lincoln City, was traveling westbound on the Hwy 18 Bypass, when for unknown reasons the vehicle crossed into the eastbound lane and collided head-on with a red Subaru Outback, operated by Kimberly Yost Champawat (60) of Gresham. McKevitt suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene. Champawat suffered critical injuries and was transported to the hospital by air ambulance.
The Hwy 18 Newburg-Dundee Bypass, Hwy 219 to Hwy 99W, was closed for approximately four hours for the on-scene investigation.
OSP was assisted by the Newberg Dundee PD, Yamhill Co. S.O., TVF&R, and ODOT.