Preliminary investigation revealed that Jordan Cutts (24) of Forest Grove was northbound on Glencoe Rd. operating a silver Mazda Protege. He crossed into the southbound lane to make a turn onto Wren Rd. and struck a Washington County Sheriff's car being operated by Deputy Frank Ward head on.
Both drivers were transported to Legacy Emmanuel Hospital with serious injuries.
The intersection was closed for approximately 3.5 hours.
OSP was assisted by North Plains Police Department, Hillsboro Police Department, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Washington County Land Use and Transportation, and Oregon Department of Transportation
Oregon State Police and emergency personnel are on scene of a two vehicle crash at the intersection of Glencoe Rd / Wren Rd in Washington County.
The crash occurred at approximately 3:00 PM.
Operators of both involved vehicles have been transported to area hospital with injuries.
Investigation is continuing.
• Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8RRXNKR
WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools is conducting a survey to get input on the school board’s Elementary Consolidation Review and Early Learning Expansion study. This comprehensive study is centered on potential elementary consolidation by the 2020-2021 school year and an assessment of early learning program needs and the potential development of an early learning center. This brief survey asks participants to share views and ideas on these topics. The survey remains open until May 1.
School board members will make site visits to elementary schools, conduct surveys, review enrollment data, analyze district finances and study preschool program options as part of the study. School board members will make a decision in early November. Visit the district website and click on the Elementary Consolidation Review and Early Learning Expansion tab to take the survey and learn more about the study.
Es el momento de retarte a ti mismo a tener una carrera con una misión: ¡Proteger a los estadounidenses y defender la Constitución! El FBI busca candidatos que hasta hoy no hayan considerado un futuro como Agente Especial del FBI. Según el Agente Especial en Jefe de la oficina del FBI en Oregon, Renn Cannon: “Sabemos que somos más fuertes como organización cuando representamos mejor a la población que servimos. La diversidad puede representar muchas cosas tales como raza, género, religión, orientación sexual. También puede representar a personas que aportan diferentes vivencias, aptitudes laborales y formación académica. Si quieres un cambio y enfrentar un reto ¡aquí está tu oportunidad!”
El FBI diseñó el evento de Reclutamiento de Agentes con Diversidad Cultural (DAR—siglas en inglés) para motivar a las comunidades poco representadas - en especial a las mujeres y a las minorías – a que consideren una vida dedicada al servicio público. Con las amenazas cambiantes que los Estados Unidos enfrenta, la Oficina le ha dado prioridad a la necesidad de contratar a aquellas personas que están altamente calificadas y que a la vez sean representativas de la comunidad en general. De manera particular, el FBI busca candidatos bilingües, aquellos con aptitudes de razonamiento analítico, y aquellos que tengan experiencia en los campos de la ciencia/computación/tecnológica.
El evento de Reclutamiento de Agentes con Diversidad Cultural (DAR—siglas en inglés) en Portland les brindará a los posibles aspirantes la oportunidad de conocer más de cerca las oportunidades de trabajo en esta Institución. Los interesados(as) tendrán la oportunidad de escuchar y hacer preguntas relacionadas con:
La vida como agente (incluyendo el entrenamiento en Quántico)
Como mantener el equilibro entre un trabajo muy exigente y la familia
Un día típico en la vida de un Agente Especial del FBI (una pista: ¡No existe!)
El trabajar casos que hacen la diferencia en tu comunidad
Las oportunidades de viajar por el mundo
Evento de Reclutamiento de Agentes con Diversidad Cultural (DAR—siglas en inglés)
Los aspirantes a Agentes Especiales del FBI deben tener entre 23 y 36 años de edad; deben contar por lo menos con un título universitario; deben tener un mínimo de dos años de experiencia laboral (o un año con maestría universitaria) y deben ser ciudadanos(as) de los Estados Unidos.
Now is the time to challenge yourself to a career with a mission: protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution! The FBI is looking for candidates who may not have, until now, considered a future as an FBI Special Agent.
“We know that we are stronger as an organization when we better represent the people we serve,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Diversity can mean a lot of different things – race, gender, religion, sexual orientation. It can also mean people who bring different life experiences, job skills and educational backgrounds. If you want to make a change and take up a challenge – here’s your chance!”
The FBI created the Diversity Agent Recruiting (DAR) event program to encourage underrepresented communities – especially women and minorities – to consider a life of public service. With the evolving threats that the United States faces, the Bureau has prioritized the need to hire those who are both highly skilled and representative of the wider community. In particular, the FBI is looking for applicants who are fluent in a second language; who have the ability to think critically; and who come from a science/computer/technological background.
The FBI’s DAR event in Portland will allow potential applicants the opportunity to learn more about job opportunities inside the Bureau. They will have the opportunity to hear about and ask questions related to:
Life as a new agent (including training at Quantico)
Balancing a high-energy job with family
Typical day in the life of an FBI Special Agent (hint: there isn’t one!)
Working cases that make a difference in your community
Opportunities to travel the world
FBI Special Agent applicants must be between the ages of 23 – 36; hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree; have a minimum of two years work experience (one year with a Master’s Degree); and be a U.S. citizen.
PORTLAND, Ore.—Gloria Harris, 48, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced today to 39 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for operating a fraudulent tax return business. Harris was also ordered to pay more than $548,000 in restitution.
As part of the scheme, Harris prepared more than 100 fraudulent tax returns requesting nearly $600,000 in fraudulent refunds from the IRS.
According to court documents, between 2012 and 2016, Harris operated a covert tax preparation scheme whereby she would file client tax returns as “self-prepared” returns to mask her participation in the filings. Harris would increase the size of the fraudulent returns by falsely claiming that unrelated children were dependents to qualify clients for various tax breaks including the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Harris began to raise suspicion among certain clients by refusing to provide copies of file returns, chastising them for asking questions in writing, and withholding refunds. On one occasion, Harris delivered a $1,400 “refund” in cash to a client in a parking lot. Investigators later learned that this client was a due a refund of more $8,500 from the IRS.
Harris previously pleaded guilty to one count each of making false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims against the U.S. and aggravated identity theft on July 18, 2018.
This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Quinn P. Harrington, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
# # #
Three Oregon university students will present their research findings on April 25 at the Oregon Heritage Summit in Medford. The presentations will begin at 4:00 p.m. at the Inn at the Commons, 200 N Riverside Ave, Medford OR, and are free and open to the public.
The emerging scholars will present on the public interpretation of the “Pioneer Father” statue at the University of Oregon, an analysis of War Code housing permits issued in Portland, and research on the practices of charitable medicine in Oregon.
The three students have been named Oregon Heritage Fellows by Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, based on the strength of both their scholastic achievement and their research topics. The fellowships encourage the thoughtful inquiry of Oregon's heritage by emerging scholars.
"The Fellows conduct original research into the diverse history of Oregon, often on topics that have drawn less attention from more-experienced historians," explains Chrissy Curran, Oregon’s deputy state historic preservation officer. "We believe it is important that their research is presented to the public."
The Fellows, their schools, and topics are:
--Marc Carpenter, University of Oregon graduate student in History: “Reconsidering the ‘Pioneer Statue,’ 100 Years Later”
--Kerrie Franey, University of Oregon graduate student in Historic Preservation: “America’s Adventure in Hospitality: Portland, Oregon and War Code Housing”
--Isaiah Silvers, Reed College undergraduate student in History: “From Dispensary to Hospital: Charitable Medicine in Oregon, 1900-1929”
Laura Ferguson, curator of Western History at High Desert Museum, will moderate the session.
The Oregon Heritage Summit April 25-26 brings together staff and volunteers from historical societies, historic landmark commissions, schools and universities, humanities groups, local and state agencies, museums, tourism and economic development organizations, federal agencies and tribal governments.
To find more information and register for the Heritage Summit, visit www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/OHC/Pages/Conference.aspx.
The Newberg store sold the winning $1 million Raffle ticket
WHO: Oregon Lottery officials
WHEN: 1 p.m., Thursday, April 18, 2019
WHERE: Newberg Safeway, 1140 N. Springbrook Road, Newberg, OR
WHAT: Oregon Lottery officials will present an over-sized display check to representatives of Safeway for selling the winning Raffle top prize ticket. Lottery officials will also be handing out a limited number of free promotional Scratch-it tickets at the event. Safeway will recieve a 1-percent selling bonus for selling the $1 million winning Raffle ticket.
BACKGROUND: Steven and Shirley Seaquist of Newberg purchased the winning $1 million Raffle ticket at the Newberg Safeway. The couple claimed their prize on March 20 and said they are regular Raffle players. The Seaquists also said they were talking with a financial planner before spending any of the $680,000 they received after taxes. The 2019 Oregon Lottery Raffle had a total of 1801 winning tickets.
The Seaquists said they plan on attending the event Thursday.
During the 2015-17 biennium more than $14.4 million lottery dollars were directed to Yamhill County’s state parks, school districts, watershed enhancement projects and economic development. Of that, the Newberg School District received $3.86 million of Lottery proceeds.
VISUALS: Oregon Lottery officials will present an over-sized ceremonial check to representatives of the Newberg Safeway and will also distribute a limited amount of free promotional Scratch-it tickets to patrons of the store.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $12 billion for economic development, public education, state parks and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org
April 17, 2019
Avoid getting sick from chicks, ducklings during Easter celebrations
Easter planning is in full force as many families prepare to celebrate the holiday this weekend. Going to events that offer chicks and ducklings for petting might be on the itinerary, but health experts say people may want to think twice before taking home one of these Easter-themed animals.
Oregon Health Authority infectious disease experts say the fluffy animals, no matter how cute and cuddly, can carry bacteria that can make people sick. Children often pick them up, hold them close to their faces, and even kiss them. And children often don’t wash their hands after handling the pets.
“Chicks and ducklings don’t make good Easter gifts,” cautions Emilio DeBess, public health veterinarian at OHA. “Children younger than 5 can get very sick from Salmonella contamination because their immune systems at that age are not fully developed.”
Salmonella infections can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever symptoms lasting three to seven days, DeBess said. People with compromised immune systems could become very ill and die of the infection. The last major salmonellosis outbreak, in 2018, occurred after people handled, kissed and kept poultry inside the home.
For those attending events where animals will be present, these tips can help prevent infection:
Salmonella, a Twitter account personifying the salmonella bacteria using humor, has reappeared just in time for Easter. The Salmonella social media campaign kicked off last year during the holidays to bring attention to this important public health issue.
For more information about baby birds and Salmonella, visit the OHA Salmonella webpage.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kBHgAyXwS4
PORTLAND, Ore.—On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, Mark Aaron Culp, 56, of Columbia City, Oregon, pleaded guilty to knowingly trafficking counterfeit, Chinese-made Leupold-branded rifle scopes online. Leupold & Stevens, Inc., an Oregon company, manufactures its rifle scopes in Beaverton, Oregon.
According to court documents, between May and July 2015, Culp sold rifle optics bearing various Leupold trademarks and design features online via at least two commercial websites: GunBroker.com and eBay. Culp sold 13 counterfeit rifle scopes that he had imported from China, generating approximately $3,700 in revenue.
Culp’s sales were discovered by Leupold & Stevens personnel. They purchased a scope from Culp online, confirmed that it was counterfeit, and referred the matter to the Beaverton Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Culp faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $2 million fine and 3 years of supervised release. He will be sentenced on July 18, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Anna J. Brown.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It is being prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
# # #
WALLA WALLA – Demand for Walla Walla Public Schools’ successful Dual Language program continues to grow fueling an expansion of two new kindergarten classes at Green Park Elementary next fall. The additional interest in the program was uncovered during a series of parent informational nights explaining the two-way Dual Language Program. Bilingual Department staff followed-up the informational meetings with interviews of prospective families with kindergarten students. Following the interview process, a total of 130 kindergarten students surfaced expressing interest in participating in the two-way Dual Language program next school year. Currently the district can only serve 80 kindergarteners at Edison Elementary, the district’s magnet school for Dual Language programming, prompting the move to expand offerings at Green Park.
“Our families understand language is power,” said Dr. Victor Vergara, Director of Bilingual Education and Latina/o Outreach. “The Bilingual Education Committee’s recommendation in 2017 stated if program interest outpaces what Edison can accommodate, then expansion to additional sites should be considered.”
The district’s Dual Language Program begins in kindergarten where students will spend the majority of the day learning through Spanish instruction. The percentage of English instruction increases as students progress through the program. The program model at Green Park will be identical to Edison in support of the district’s aligned and coherent direction. The Dual Language program utilizes the buddy system where native Spanish speakers are paired with native English speakers to advance their knowledge and skill set. This also promotes cultural diversity and respect among all students. Research shows Dual students typically outperform English-only students in the classroom by the end of their elementary years.
“Green Park Elementary has a rich history of bilingual education and has the physical space available to allow for four classrooms at every grade level,” said Vergara. “The size of the school permits for two classrooms to be dual and two classrooms to be traditional English-only. In addition, 29 of 130 students who showed interest already reside within the Green Park attendance area.”
The district is in the process of notifying families to secure their spot in the program. Human Resources is beginning the process to staff the Green Park Dual Language program. Those interested in learning more about the Dual Language Program are encouraged to contact the district’s Bilingual Education Department at (509) 526-6784.
April 16, 2019 - Salem, Ore. – As a former public works director, Michael Faught can tell you the Ph of municipal wastewater, or the perfect angle a roadway needs to be to deal with stormwater run-off. After winning $150,000 playing Powerball, he can also tell you what a Power Play is.
Faught and his wife, who now live in Lebanon, were on a road trip with their travel trailer when they stopped to get Powerball tickets at a Food for Less in Medford which turned into a big win.
“The customer service clerk wanted to know if I wanted to purchase the $3 per line ticket,” Faught said. “I had no clue what she was talking about as we rarely purchase lottery tickets, so I just said yes. That decision ended up tripling our win from $50,000 to $150,000!”
Faught ended up matching four numbers and the Powerball for the Saturday, March 23 drawing. Since he purchased Power Play multiplier option, and the multiplier drawn for that drawing was three, Faught tripled his prize for the $1 extra he paid. The winning numbers were 24-25-52-60-66 with a Powerball of 05. The jackpot for that drawing was $625 million. Faught said winning $150,000 was surreal when he checked the ticket at a gas station on his way home and couldn’t believe his luck.
“My wife and I were excited, elated, giddy and soooo happy!” Faught said. “We feel so blessed that we were able to pay off some major bills as a result of the win.”
Faught also said the couple was talking to a financial advisor and were going to put new wood floors in their Lebanon home. In addition, he said he may do some minor upgrades to his motorcycle. The family had already planned a trip to Disneyland, and Faught said they used some of the prize to “enhance” the trip.
During the 2015-17 biennium, more than $42.1 million in Oregon Lottery proceeds were directed to economic development, parks, education and watershed enhancement in Linn County, where Faught lives. Since 1985, Oregon Lottery players have won more than $38 billion in prizes.
The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 are advised to contact the Lottery office and schedule an appointment to claim their prize.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $12 billion for economic development, public education, state parks, Veterans services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org
SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry has named Kyle Abraham to head the agency’s Private Forests Division. Abraham, who grew up in Salem and still lives there, has been the Division’s deputy chief since 2017. He’ll assume his new responsibilities officially when the current chief, Lena Tucker, moves into her new role as Deputy State Forester on July 1.
Abraham will be leading several programs within the Private Forests Division to help protect and maintain Oregon’s forests and the services they provide. The Division is responsible for forest health, urban and community assistance forestry and helping Oregonians follow the Forest Practices Act governing timber harvesting and replanting.
“I’m very excited and humbled to have this opportunity to serve as the Private Forests Division Chief,” Abraham said.
After graduating from Oregon State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in fisheries science, Abraham in 1988 began working with ODF in the field in several capacities. Those experiences included doing electrofishing surveys, evaluating fish passage through culverts, and collecting water samples after aerial herbicide applications. He worked as a Stewardship Forester for several years in ODF’s Santiam, Molalla and the Dallas offices. He also worked in ODF’s Salem headquarters as a monitoring specialist, developing and leading scientific monitoring projects designed to test the effectiveness of Oregon’s Forest Practices Act.
From 2010-2012, Abraham worked for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board as their Effectiveness Monitoring Coordinator. He returned to ODF in late 2012 and began serving as the Water Quality Specialist for the Private Forests Division, leading the agency’s discussions on water quality and forestry interactions.
# # #
(Salem) – A two-day event in Pendleton will offer employers and workers a variety of opportunities to sharpen their workplace health and safety programs. Topics covered include safety committees, safety leadership, root cause analysis, and chemical safety.
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, is one of several partners presenting the June 3-4 Blue Mountain Occupational Safety and Health Conference at the Pendleton Convention Center.
On Tuesday, June 4, keynote speaker Rob Fisher will present “How Personality Impacts Risk.” Fisher, president and director of operations for Fisher Improvement Technologies in Concord, N.C., will show how different personalities see risk differently and how to manage risk from that standpoint.
Fisher said it’s important to be aware of and manage the personality tendencies that can blind people to risk. When we account for certain tendencies, he said, we increase our chances of being safer. “There is more to being safe than just managing the physical hazards,” he said.
Other conference topics include:
The event features a Forklift Round-Up on Monday, June 3, which spectators are welcome to enjoy. Conference registration for Tuesday, June 4, is $85, which includes lunch. On the afternoon of June 3, the Oregon SHARP Alliance will hold a no-cost workshop to discuss how to sustain a strong safety program despite personnel changes. The nonprofit SHARP Alliance promotes safety and health management by encouraging teamwork among people, employers, and organizations to improve on-the-job health and safety for Oregon workers.
For more information about the two-day event or to register, go to: https://osha.oregon.gov/conferences/blue-mountain/Pages/index.aspx
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.
The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.
The Gilbert Elementary PTA is hosting their Second Annual STEAM Family Night on Thursday, April 18 from 6 to 8 pm in the Gilbert gymnasium. Families can participate in interactive activities centered around Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Enjoy pizza for $1 per slice.
This fun, engaging night will also champion science and art projects that Gilbert Elementary students have worked on this school year, as well as allow families to participate in science experiments and create art projects. Students participate in, and learn about Comedy Improv! Some of the exhibits include Bricks for Kidz, Wild Horse Solar and Wind, Wenas Mammoth Dig Box, CWU Planetarium, CWU Reptiles, PNWU Medical Department, YV-Tech and more.
MEDIA: This is a public event, so you are welcome to attend without prior approval from the district. However, if you could give Kirsten Fitterer and heads up that you plan to attend, interviews can be more easily coordinated.
Oregon Adds 5,700 Jobs in March
Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose 5,700 jobs in March, following a decline of 1,200 jobs in February. Five major industries each added close to 1,000 jobs in March: professional and business services (+1,300 jobs), government (+1,100), health care and social assistance (+900), other services (+800), and leisure and hospitality (+700). None of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in March.
Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in March, unchanged from 4.4 percent in February. For 29 consecutive months, dating back to November 2016, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in both February and March of this year.
Job gains in recent months are an indication of continued moderate economic expansion in Oregon, despite the tight labor market as was evident from the near-record low unemployment rate.
Since March 2018, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment increased by 32,600 jobs, or 1.7 percent. This was a slight acceleration from annual growth rates averaging 1.5 percent over the prior nine months. Over the past 12 months, the U.S. expanded at the same rate as Oregon: 1.7 percent.
Over the past 12 months, transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+3,400 jobs, or 5.3%) grew at the fastest rate of Oregon’s major industries, due to growth at warehouses, fulfillment centers, and package delivery firms. Construction employment grew by 4,400 jobs, or 4.2 percent, as growth in the industry moderated from rapid expansion in recent years. Manufacturing added 5,500 jobs, or 2.8 percent, led by computer and electronic product manufacturing, which has added 1,800 jobs in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, six of the major industries were relatively flat over the year, with none gaining more than 700 jobs.
Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the March county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, April 23rd, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for April on Tuesday, May 14th.
All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted except for the jobs in computer and electronic product manufacturing.
The Oregon Employment Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work cooperatively to develop and publish monthly Oregon payroll employment and labor force data. The estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources.
The PDF version of the news release, including tables and graphs, can be found at www.QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit www.QualityInfo.org, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.
For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state's WorkSource Oregon centers or go to: www.WorkSourceOregon.org.
Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.
Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: we continue our series on building a digital defense against frauds targeting senior citizens.
Over the past few weeks, we have been highlighting fraud schemes that target the elderly… and for good reason. A national law enforcement sweep over the course of the past year has shown that seniors are prime targets for criminals. Why? Because they tend to be financially stable, to be trusting and to be reluctant to say “no.”
As Americans grow older, it is common to want to solidify the financial nest egg you have or to tap into the equity you’ve built up to keep you and your family in a comfortable lifestyle.
That’s where today’s topic comes in - real estate fraud. Reverse mortgage frauds, also known as home equity conversion mortgages, are one of the most popular real estate scams we see.
A legitimate home equity conversion mortgage is insured by the Federal Housing Authority or FHA. It allows eligible homeowners to access to the equity in their homes by providing funds without the homeowner having to make a monthly payment.
When a fraudster finds a senior who is not familiar with the requirements or the process – or who is in desperate need of a steady stream of cash – the results can be devastating. Unscrupulous professionals in a variety of real estate, financial services and related companies will work to steal the equity in your home.
Another kind of real estate scam involves using seniors as straw buyers. The criminal wants to buy a house, but – for whatever reasons – says he can’t get approved for the purchase. Maybe you agree to sign the papers for him as a favor, or maybe you think you will earn a few thousand dollars bonus. The criminal could be a real estate agent, lender, appraiser, investor or new friend. In the end, the bad guy often ends up skimming the equity and leaving you holding a hefty 30-year mortgage with potential criminal liability.
In other related real estate scams, the criminals may offer the victims free homes, investment opportunities or foreclosure and refinance assistance. The result is often the same – you lose that cherished nest egg and your credit history is in ruins.
Here’s how you can protect yourself and family members:
Next week, we will wrap up our series on elder fraud with telemarketing fraud and sweepstakes scams.
If you have been victimized by an online scam, report your suspicious contacts to the FBI. You can file an online report at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.
A threatened Northwest frog that lost habitat to development, agriculture and invasive species has found refuge in what may seem like an unlikely place: beneath the high-voltage power lines of the Bonneville Power Administration.
Oregon spotted frogs lay eggs in the shallow water provided by wetlands, such as those that exist within many BPA transmission line corridors. Because high-growing vegetation poses a risk to power lines, BPA works to cultivate low-growing native plants that protect wetlands and maintain open-water habitats, all of which are beneficial to frogs.
BPA works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies to ensure it protects suitable habitat for the Oregon spotted frog and other wildlife living beneath its transmission lines. Methods include reducing the unintentional injury of frogs from equipment, hand mowing or cutting non-native vegetation and carefully planning spot herbicide use.
The agency’s practice of maintaining healthy plant communities along its rights-of-way and limiting the use of herbicides decreases maintenance costs and improves power system reliability.
The Oregon spotted frog isn’t the only species that thrives in the improved habitat. BPA’s techniques promote the growth of low-growing shrubs and flowering plants that are critical for imperiled honey bees and other pollinators.
The Oregon spotted frog is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It once lived in open wetlands, lakes, ponds, streams and occasionally slow-moving rivers from northern California to British Columbia.
Today, the threatened frog can still be found in some river basins in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, but scientists have not documented the animal in northern California for more than a century.
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 142 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 261 substations to 475 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region’s high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov
(SALEM, Ore.) – Today the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) was named a defendant in a lawsuit from Disability Rights Oregon and A Better Childhood. The lawsuit calls for an increase in the foster care system capacity to ensure every child has an appropriate placement and to ensure foster children - particularly those with intellectual or developmental disabilities or identifying as LGBTQ - receive the services and supports that meet their needs.
DHS shares the same vision of a foster care system where all children are safe, have the customized supports they need to heal, and are cared for in stable, loving families where they thrive. We take the care of our foster children seriously and work with urgency and diligence to achieve this goal. Over the past 18 months we’ve been building the foundation needed to balance staff workload, so they can spend more time with children and families and add supports to serve children and families holistically in their communities.
Many efforts are underway to further the same goals of the lawsuit, including:
We will continue to work purposefully with our system partners in addressing the gaps in the foster care system to create a better future for Oregon’s children.
The City of Richland City Hall, City Annex and Development Services Buildings will close to the public on Thursday, April 18, from 10:00 a.m. to noon for a staff meeting. This temporary closure will affect public access to Customer Service, Communications & Marketing, the City Manager’s Office, the City Attorney’s Office, Public Works Administration, Development Services including planning, permitting, housing and economic development, and Richland Energy Services.
Social-Emotional Family Engagement Night
Ridgeview Elementary is hosting the first annual Social Emotional Family Engagement Night at Ridgeview (609 W Washington Avenue) on April 25th from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm. The event will present social-emotional resources that are available in our community.
Several community resources including NAMI of Yakima, Yakima Valley Farmworkers, Community Health of Central Washington, Comprehensive, Behavioral Health Services, Yakima Pediatrics, Yakama Nation Behavioral Health, and Catholic Charities, will be attending. The event will kick off with a dinner at 6:00 pm after which, there will be a short presentation and then families will be able to talk with the agencies.
Please join us as we explore important community resources that help our community.
MEDIA: This is a public event so you are welcome to attend without prior approval from the district. However, if you could give Kirsten Fitterer and heads up that you plan to attend, interviews can be more easily coordinated.
April 15, 2019
Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee meets April 25 in Portland
What: The Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC) is holding a public meeting.
When: Thursday, April 25, 1-3 p.m.
Where: Join the meeting in person at the Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1C, in Portland. Please note that space is limited.
Agenda: Tobacco 21 Evaluation overview, mass-reach communications update, legislative efforts check-in.
Background: The Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee is appointed by the Governor and comprised of both private organizations and state agencies dedicated to the reduction of the harmful impact of Oregonians’ tobacco use.
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:
If you need help or have questions, please contact Trisha Brennan or Brad Beauchamp at 971-673-0984, 711 TTY, or isha.L.Brennan@dhsoha.state.or.us">Trisha.L.Brennan@dhsoha.state.or.us or radley.M.Beauchamp@dhsoha.state.or.us">Bradley.M.Beauchamp@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.
WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools announces Mindy Meyer and Kim Doepker have been named finalists for the Garrison Middle School Principal position following an extensive applicant screening process from a vast pool of qualified candidates. Parents and staff are encouraged to meet candidates Thursday, April 18 from 4 to 5:00 p.m. during public meet and greet sessions at the Garrison Middle School Library. Attendees are asked to complete candidate feedback cards and be present, if possible, for both candidate sessions (translation services will be available).
Mindy Meyer is currently serving as assistant principal at Walla Walla High School. Meyer was Project Director for the Center for Strengthening the Teacher profession in Tacoma, WA. She was also a Wa-Hi English teacher for 14 years.
Kim Doepker is currently serving as the Principal of Blue Ridge Elementary in Walla Walla. She was assistant principal at Pioneer Middle School prior to her leadership role at Blue Ridge. Doepker also has classroom teaching experience, was a learning specialist and literacy coach.
Meet and Greet Sessions (Thursday, April 18 - Location: Garrison Middle School Library):
Current Principal Robert Elizondo has accepted the Touchet School District superintendent position. His last day as Garrison Middle School Principal is June 30, 2019. The new principal will report July 1.
An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Tammara Upton, died yesterday morning, April 14, 2019. Upton was incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) and passed away in the infirmary while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified.
Upton entered DOC custody on November 4, 1991, from Douglas County with no parole. Upton was 55 years old. Next of kin has been notified. No other details are available at this time.
DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,900 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 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.
CCCF is a multi-custody prison located in Wilsonville accommodating 1,260 adults in custody. The prison has cell and dormitory housing, work programs, skills training, treatment programs, health services, religious services, physical plant, a central records unit, and administrative areas. CCCF participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises, including a contact center, auto CAD, and document scanning. In addition, CCCF houses the state’s intake center, which provides intake and evaluation of all individuals committed to state custody by the courts. The intake center houses approximately 400 adults in custody. CCCF’s minimum facility opened in 2001, and the medium facility opened in 2002.
KENNEWICK, WA - Despite this year's heavy winter, Finley's FFA students are prepared to host their 28th Annual Plant Sale this weekend. The Finley FFA Chapter of River View High School invites the public to attend their 28th annual plant sale on Friday and Satuday, April 19-20. The Plant Sale takes place from 11:30am-5:00pm on the 19th, and 9:00am-5:00pm on the 20th at the RVHS greenhouses. Bedding plants, vegetables, hanging baskets, color bowls, annuals, perennials, and much more are available for purchase.
This annual event is one that agricultural students and FFA members prepare for all year. It all starts in October when the greenhouses are set up. From that point on, the students in the horticulture class plant, propagate, pinch, fertilize, arrange, transplant and so on until the event. There are many students involved in the classes who help perform these various tasks.
At the sale, students are able to interact with customers in real life situations learning valuable customer relations and selling skills. Each individual who walks though the door receives personal customer attention by students. Students involved in this activity take home knowledge that can be applied to their life later on.
This annual event is the main fundraiser for the Finley FFA Chapter, which has over 35 members. Money made goes toward student FFA activities and expansion of the agriculture program at River View High School. This is a check or cash only transaction. For more information, contact the RVHS agricultural department at 586-7279 from 8AM to 3PM on weekdays
The Office of State Fire Marshal has mobilized an incident management team (IMT) to support ongoing coordinated efforts in response to flooding in the Pendleton area. Tom Williams of Portland Fire & Rescue is the incident commander.
The OSFM late Saturday received a request from the Oregon Emergency Response System to send the IMT to the Umatilla County Emergency Operations Center to unify with the City of Pendleton, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the Umatilla County Sheriff Office and assist with responses to flooding issues. The OSFM’s “Green team” arrived in Pendleton for a briefing at 1 p.m. today.
The OSFM IMT will support efforts to address sewer back up and health concerns, public safety, and evacuations issues if needed.
The U.S. National Weather Service issued a flood warning on April 12 for northwest Umatilla County, specifically southwest Pendleton, along McKay Creek. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation increased flows out of McKay Creek Reservoir to accommodate possible future precipitation or other circumstances such as a continued wet weather conditions.
Umatilla County has activated a Type Three Command Team, and the Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter at the Pendleton Convention Center.
For real-time McKay Creek flow information from McKay Dam, check https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/rtgraph.html?list=mcko%20q&daily=mcko%20qd. Also follow updates from the City of Pendleton at https://pendleton.or.us/.
The OSFM runs three IMTs that provide comprehensive incident command to manage ongoing emergency operations. Teams respond with resources mobilized by the Governor for a conflagration or other emergencies that exceed the control and resources of local emergency responders.
The IMTs provide enhanced coordination among responding agencies during incidents such as floods, fires, earthquakes, structural collapse, tsunamis, the spilling of hazardous materials, and other natural or human-caused incidents.
On Friday, April 12, 2019, at approximately 9:40 P.M.. Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of single vehicle commercial motor vehicle collision on Interstate 82 near milepost 10.
The preliminary investigation revealed a commercial motor vehicle was eastbound on Interstate 82 when it left the roadway and overturned.
The driver sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The passenger was transported by Life Flight to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, WA.
Interstate 82 was closed for approximately 5 hours.
OSP was assisted by the Umatilla County Fire Department, Life Flight, Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, Morrow County Sheriff's Office, Stanfield Police Department, and ODOT.
The Red Cross Cascades Region will open a shelter today, Saturday, April 13, at 10 a.m. in Pendleton, Oregon for those affected by flooding.
The shelter is located at:
Pendleton Convention Center
Pendleton, OR 97801
Individuals and families affected and in need of shelter assistance are encouraged to simply show up at the shelter for help.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Cascades or find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/RedCrossCascades, Twitter at @RedCrossCasc and find us on Instagram at @RedCrossCascades.
Tom Gauntt, PacifiCorp
PacifiCorp commits $20 million in Lewis River salmon and steelhead habitat improvements under preliminary federal decision announced April 12
PORTLAND, Ore.—April 12, 2019— Under the terms of preliminary decisions issued today by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), PacifiCorp will commit more than $20 million over the next decade to improve salmon and steelhead habitat in the Lewis River watershed.
“These decisions which are based on extensive scientific studies will have significant and long-lasting benefits for salmon and steelhead that call the Lewis River drainage home,” said Mark Sturtevant, managing director, PacifiCorp Renewable Resources. “Conserving fish habitat and enhancing fish populations in the Pacific Northwest is important to our communities. Our mission is to conserve this fish habitat and enhance salmon and steelhead populations while producing the low-cost, emission-free electricity our customers count on and care about.”
The decisions from NMFS and USFWS come 10 years after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a 50-year federal license to operate the Lewis River Hydroelectric project, which generates enough electricity to supply about 300,000 average Northwest homes annually. The license resulted in more than $100 million in fish passage investments at Swift and Merwin dams by PacifiCorp, all dedicated to opening up more than 100 miles of historic salmon and steelhead habitat upstream of Swift dam.
In 2012, PacifiCorp and other parties commenced environmental studies to determine appropriate next steps to conserve salmon and steelhead in the Lewis River. With today’s preliminary decisions, the federal agencies have indicated that PacifiCorp should develop a plan to implement habitat improvements in the Lewis River basin in lieu of installing additional fish passage facilities into Merwin Reservoir. The agencies will review and approve these plans prior to their implementation. The agencies will consider whether to require additional fish passage facilities into Yale Reservoir in the future.
The agencies notified PacifiCorp and other parties through letters sent to the parties on April 12, 2019, that habitat improvements in the Lewis River, in combination with the existing successful fish passage facilities already in operation, should proceed. PacifiCorp and the agencies will monitor and evaluate habitat improvements over the coming decade to determine the best course of action for the Yale reservoir area.
These additional investments in habitat conservation will include habitat restoration projects such as creating and improving spawning beds; creating refuge for juvenile fish to grow and mature; and improving and protecting riparian areas that generate food and provide shade.
PacifiCorp will develop a plan to implement required habitat improvements that will be reviewed and approved by the agencies. PacifiCorp will then submit this plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its consideration. After final decisions are issued by the federal agencies on the plan, PacifiCorp will establish a process with local stakeholders to identify and select projects in conjunction with the federal agencies.
“Environmental stewardship is one of PacifiCorp’s highest values,” said Sturtevant. “Working under this decision will allow us to continue making the kind of strategic investments that mean so much to the ecosystems we value and the communities we serve.”
PacifiCorp is one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, serving more than 1.9 million customers in the West. PacifiCorp operates as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington and California, and as Rocky Mountain Power in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho.
The City of Richland has been gathering public feedback since December to assist with establishing a vision for the park system, and to provide guidance for parks, trails, recreation facilities and programs through 2025.
A draft of the final Master Plan is now ready for public review and comments. The document can be found on Richland’s Parks and Recreation website, www.ci.richland.wa.us/parksmasterplan, or from the links posted on Facebook and twitter.
Citizens can provide comments during an Open House on April 17, in the Richland Community Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., or by sending them to Julie Jackson at the Richland Community Center. They can be mailed or delivered to 500 Amon Park Drive or sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments are due by April 30.
On Friday, April 12, 2019 at approximately 12:42 A.M. Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report or a motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian on Interstate 5 near milepost 235.
Preliminary investigation revealed a gray Mazda CX5, operated by Terry Rohse (72) of Tangent, was traveling southbound on Interstate 5 in the slow/right lane when he struck an adult male pedestrian who was in the center of the lane for unknown reasons.
The adult male sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
I 5 southbound was closed for 90 minutes following the crash.
OSP was assisted by Albany PD, Albany Fire, and ODOT.
SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet in Salem on Wednesday, April 24, to receive updates on several continuing topics. Oregon Department of Forestry staff will present the forest ecosystem carbon report, summarizing current board policy and previous work to integrate climate change into the agency’s business. ODF staff will also present for board approval the final technical report for marbled murrelets. The board will also hear updates on the Western Oregon State Forests Habitat Conservation Plan and Forest Management Plan projects. The public meeting is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and run through approximately 3:30 p.m., followed by a one-hour executive session.
In addition to the staff reports, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute will provide to the board an overview of the 2019 values and beliefs survey. The Forest Trust Lands Advisory Committee, which advises the board on state forests policy, will provide comments to the board. The public meeting will be held in the Tillamook Room, Building C, at the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters, located at 2600 State St., in Salem.
Public comment will be accepted on agenda topics, as well as during the start of the meeting for topics not on the agenda. A sign-up sheet will be available for public comment on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure the Board has the opportunity to conduct all business on the agenda, public testimony will be limited to 30 minutes per agenda item. Written comments may be submitted to email@example.com">Boardofforestry@oregon.gov in advance of the meeting.
A livestream option will be available for those who wish to view the meeting remotely. For more details, visit https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/BOFMeetings.aspx.
Meeting materials are available at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/BOFMeetings.aspx.
Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200.
The Oregon Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the State Forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base. More information about the Board is available at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/AboutBOF.aspx.
Supporting documents are available via the following link: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835
April 12, 2019
CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet April 19
What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) Metrics and Scoring Committee.
When: April 19, 9 a.m. to noon.
Where: Five Oak Building (formerly Lincoln) (421 SW Oak St., Portland, OR, 97204) Suite 775, Transformation Training Room. The public also may join remotely through a webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/3895887851300669185 and listen-only conference line at 888-204-5984, access code 1277166.
Agenda: Welcome, consent agenda, and general updates; public testimony 9:20-9:30 a.m.; Metrics & Scoring feedback on equity measure; continue individual measure review (childhood immunization status; adolescent immunization status; Emergency Department (ED) utilization; disparity measure – ED utilization among members with mental illness); review 2020 Health Plan Quality Metrics Committee (HPQMC) menu; continue individual measure review; adjourn.
For more information, please visit the committee's website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Metrics-Scoring-Committee.aspx.
# # #
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:
Please help the Yakima School District congratulate the following Davis High School Students who competed in March at the Washington State Technology Student Association Conference.
The first place winners are now invited to attend the National TSA Conference in Washington D.C. from June 27th - July 3rd
1ST PLACE CAD 3D, Engineering
2ND PLACE Future Technology Teacher
2ND PLACE Essays on Technology
1ST PLACE Promotional Design
JORDYN WEARIN & ISABELLAROSE LUTGEN
3RD PLACE Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Cristian Berber, Eva Bush, Daniel Gonzalez,
Leo Martinez, Kate Pizano, Elian Silva
5TH PLACE On Demand Video
Denilson Antonio Ruiz, Alejandro Delgado Bustos,
Brian Garibay-Sanchez, Jose Rico Gonzalez
5TH PLACE Robotics Challenge
6TH PLACE CAD 2D, Architecture
Daniel Gonzalez, Leo Martinez, Kate Pizano
8TH (TIE) Digital Video Production
Cristian Berber, Eva Bush, Anayeli Hermoso, Elian Silva
8TH (TIE) Digital Video Production
8TH PLACE Dragster Design
9TH PLACE Extemporaneous Speech
Isabellarose Lutgen, Wendy Oceguera
9TH PLACE Fashion Design
ABOUT Washington Technology Student Association (WTSA) State Conference
The Technology Student Association is a non-profit national career and technical student organization. Its mission is to inspire its student members to prepare for positions in a technology-driven economy and culture.
WTSA relates class activities to local, regional, state, and national technology-related competitive events. At the state conference students have the opportunity to demonstrate their technical & leadership skills, network with others, and learn about career and training opportunities. Students compete on two levels: middle school and high school. Competitions include Computer Aided Engineering Design, Architectural Design, Software Development, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Digital Video Production, and Robotics, to name a few.
In Washington, TSA serves more than 150 middle and high schools and more than 7,000 students.
Please help the Yakima School District congratulate the following Eisenhower High School students who competed this past weekend at the Washington State TSA Conference.
PATRICK BUSHMAN as a first place winner is now invited to attend the National TSA Conference in Washington DC on June 27th – July 3rd.
COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN - ARCHITECTURE
1ST PLACE PATRICK BUSHMAN
3RD PLACE ANDREW BOUCHER
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN (Team Event)
4TH PLACE PATRICK BUSHMAN and ANDREW BOUCHER
COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN - 3D ENGINEERING
4TH PLACE HAYDEN NYBERG
COMPUTER INTEGRATED MANUFACTURING (Team Event)
4TH PLACE JESUS BARRON-BARAJAS and KYLE JANG
7TH PLACE JACOB COCHRAN and HAYDEN NYBERG
BOARD GAME DESIGN (Team Event)
9Th PLACE - JESUS BARRON-BARAJAS, JACOB COCHRAN, KYLE JANG, HAYDEN NYBERG, and LEE VERA
ABOUT Washington Technology Student Association (WTSA) State Conference
The Technology Student Association is a non-profit national career and technical student organization. Its mission is to inspire its student members to prepare for careers in a technology-driven economy and culture.
WTSA relates class activities to local, regional, state, and national technology-related competitive events. At the state conference students have the opportunity to demonstrate their technical & leadership skills, network with others, and learn about career and training opportunities. Students compete on two levels: middle school and high school. Competitions include Computer Aided Engineering Design, Architectural Design, Software Development, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Digital Video Production, and Robotics, just to name a few.
In Washington, TSA serves more than 150 middle and high schools and more than 7,000 students.
Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WFFC7P5
WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools has opened a survey seeking community input on the types of glass and paneling for the Walla Walla High School renovation. The district will be replacing the original windows throughout the campus to improve energy efficiency and safety. Safety experts recommended tinting the top panels and incorporating non-transparent bottom panels to improve safety. The district has assembled a demonstration mock-up featuring four different top window options, with varying levels of tinting. In addition, four different bottom panels are also included for input. The survey is available on the district’s website and closes May 3.
NOTE: It is recommended survey-takers visit the window mock-up located near the Walla Walla High School main entrance on Abbott Road, in person prior to taking the survey, as pictures/images in the survey do not accurately reflect the window options.
(SALEM, ORE.) – The Oregon Department of Human Services encourages all Oregonians to support building strong and thriving families during National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April 2019.
This month promotes developing the social and emotional well-being of children and recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. The Department participates in events, promotes increased awareness, and works to support to families all over Oregon.
“We know that children who enjoy strong and caring relationships with their parents, siblings, caregivers, educators and other community members will grow up in loving and supportive families,” said Oregon Child Welfare Director Marilyn Jones. “Let’s all work together to prevent child abuse.”
Last week, DHS staff joined with partners from Prevent Child Abuse Oregon to plant a blue pinwheel garden in front of the Human Services Building in Salem to celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month. The blue pinwheel reminds us that every child deserves a great childhood.
Department officials, community leaders and volunteers are participating today (April 12, 2019) in the 2nd Annual Safe Families Oregon Collaborative Conference in Salem.
Child Welfare caseworkers will be among those attending the Child Abuse & Family Violence Summit, hosted by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Child Abuse Team and the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team, from April 16-19 in Portland. Information is available at this Web site. National Child Abuse Prevention Month information can be found here.
April 12, 2019
OHA hires third-party contractor to review chronic pain proposal
The Oregon Health Authority today announced it has hired Washington-based Aggregate Analytics Inc. to conduct a third-party review of a policy proposal to cover more services for Oregon Health Plan members with certain chronic pain conditions.
The proposal, which is under consideration by the Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC), would add new coverage for five conditions: chronic pain due to trauma, other chronic procedural pain, other chronic pain, chronic pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
It would expand access to prescription opioids for four of these conditions. In addition, it would add coverage for alternative therapies such as acupuncture, physical therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Finally, the proposal would cover supportive, individualized opioid tapers if the patient has fibromyalgia or their opioid prescribing is not aligned with the statewide opioid prescribing guidelines.
OHA Director Patrick Allen asked the HERC to pause deliberations when, in March, agency leadership became aware of potential conflict of interest concerns by a contracted medical consultant to the HERC. He also directed Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dana Hargunani to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the HERC’s conflict of interest policies and procedures.
The scope of Aggregate Analytics’ work will be limited to reviewing whether the OHA proposal reasonably aligns with the clinical evidence that was reviewed during its development. The findings of the analysis will be shared with the HERC at its May 16 meeting. If the HERC adopts the proposal in May, it would be effective Jan. 1, 2020.
“Transparency and integrity are at the core of OHA’s policy-making processes,” Hargunani said. “We need to have confidence that policy recommendations that we make to the HERC were developed objectively and in alignment with the best available evidence. Aggregate Analytics are experts on this body of evidence and are best suited to critically assess this work.”
Dr. Catherine Livingston is a family medicine physician who serves as a contracted medical consultant to the HERC. In her role, she helps develop evidence-based policy recommendations for consideration by the HERC. In addition, she is a co-investigator on two studies evaluating the impact of HERC’s previous decision to expand pain management coverage for people suffering from back pain.
The proposal currently in question, while separate from the back-pain policy, shares a similar framework.
Livingston is not a voting member of the HERC.
About the HERC
The Health Evidence Review Commission reviews medical evidence to prioritize health spending in the Oregon Health Plan and to promote evidence-based medical practice statewide through comparative effectiveness reports, including coverage guidances and multisector interventions, health technology assessments and evidence-based practice guidelines.
The commission consists of 13 governor-appointed and senate-confirmed volunteer members, including five physician representatives (one of whom must be a doctor of osteopathy and another a hospital representative), a dentist, a public health nurse, a behavioral health representative, a provider of complementary and alternative medicine, a retail pharmacist, an insurance industry representative and two consumer representatives.
# # #