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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Mon. Jul. 15 - 8:29 am
Sun. 07/14/24
OSFM sending firefighters, incident management team to Falls Fire in Harney County
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 07/14/24 12:38 PM

SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon State Fire Marshal is sending its Blue Incident Management Team and four task forces to the Falls Fire burning 20 miles northeast of Riley in Harney County. 

Hot, dry, and windy conditions caused the fire to grow rapidly on Saturday, pushing it to 55,000 acres with zero percent containment. 

“Within the last week, we mobilized three incident management teams to fires across Oregon. This highlights the substantial fire danger we are seeing,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “With dry lightning expected to hit east of the Cascades on Sunday, I can’t stress enough the importance of taking action to prevent sparking another wildfire.”

The Grant and Harney County sheriffs' offices have evacuation orders in place. A map of Harney County evacuations can be found here. Grant County evacuations can be found here.

A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for Sunday with temperatures in the mid-90s and very low relative humidity. Afternoon thunderstorms are predicted for the area that may produce gusty outflow winds reaching 20-25 mph. Little to no precipitation is expected from these isolated thunderstorms.

For fire information, please follow the Falls Fire Facebook Page or the Falls Fire InciWeb page.


OSFM sends task force to Lone Rock Fire through Immediate Response
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 07/14/24 8:10 AM

The Oregon State Fire Marshal is mobilizing resources to assist locals battling the Lone Rock Fire in Gilliam County.  A task force from Linn County and a division supervisor were mobilized early this morning. The fire sparked Saturday afternoon and burned about 4,200 acres by evening. The Gilliam County Sheriff has Level 2 (Be Set) evacuation notices in place for the community of Lone Rock.  

For evacuation information, follow the Gilliam County Sheriff. 

This task force is an added resource for the local fire agencies that responded to protect the community of Lone Rock and the region. Firefighters from Gilliam County, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and the Prineville Bureau of Land Management have been fighting the fire since it sparked. 

“We are seeing critical fire danger across the state. It’s urgent, now more than ever, to take this threat seriously. I am calling on all Oregonians and visitors to be aware of the dry conditions and help us by preventing any new fire starts,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “The weather predicted through the next week is extremely concerning, not only with these new starts but with lightning in the forecast. Our resources will continue to be challenged. These fires and the forecast add strain to the system.” 

The OSFM is constantly assessing needs across the state and will proactively respond as needed. 

In these dry conditions, a single spark can cause a lot of damage. Learn how you can prevent wildfires by visiting the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s wildfire prevention page. 

About Immediate Response 

Immediate Response is made possible through the OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon program created through Oregon’s wildfire omnibus bill, Senate Bill 762, signed into law in 2021.  


Sat. 07/13/24
Kids with disabilities make memories at the 24th annual Merwin Day of Fishing - (PHOTO)
Pacific Power - 07/13/24 1:40 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: 503-813-6018

 

NOTE TO MEDIA: BROLL, INTERVIEWS AND PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE FOR USE, DOWNLOAD VIA THIS LINK.  (CREDIT: PACIFIC POWER): 

B-Roll - interviews 

  1. Parent – Dawn Harper
  2. Ryan Flynn – President of Pacific Power
  3. Jesse Cody, Hatchery Manager, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  4. Parent- Karen Pariagua

 

Kids with disabilities make memories at the 24th annual Merwin Day of Fishing

Pacific Power and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife create lasting memories for children with disabilities at the Merwin Fish Hatchery near Woodland, Wash.

 

WOODLAND, Wash., (July 13, 2024) — Today, Pacific Power and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife joined together to host a memorable fishing event for children with disabilities at the Merwin Fish Hatchery near Woodland, Washington. The event brought together over 200 children, who enjoyed a unique opportunity to experience the joy of fishing in a supportive and inclusive environment. 

Throughout the day, children caught fish specially raised for the event, with many experiencing the excitement of fishing for the first time. When the kids arrived at the hatchery, they were given t-shirts, fishing rods, tackle and other items. Then volunteer coaches helped them catch up to five fish, which were cleaned and put on ice while families enjoyed a barbecue. The event not only provided a fun recreational activity, but also fostered connections among participants and volunteers.

Volunteers from Pacific Power, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and several recreational fishing organizations generously contributed their time and expertise to ensure each child had a fulfilling experience. Corporate sponsors also played a crucial role in supporting the event, providing necessary equipment and resources.

For over 23 years, Pacific Power has proudly sponsored this event with the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The company provides volunteers and essential support for the event held at the hatchery near Merwin Dam, a vital source of hydroelectric power for customers in the region. Pacific Power employees take great joy in ensuring the children have a memorable day.

"It's truly remarkable to witness the joy on their faces as kids with disabilities gain access to fishing in our hatchery ponds to provide them with a memorable and inclusive outdoor experience, fostering joy and connection through the sport of fishing,” expressed Jesse Cody, hatchery manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “This is the very essence of why we're here." 

"We are grateful for the collaboration with Pacific Power and other partners who helped make this event possible," said Britton Ransford, communications specialist with the Department of Fish and Wildlife. "Events like these not only introduce children to the joys of fishing but also promote outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship.” 

"Fishing can be challenging for kids in terms of cost, access to rivers, and overall accessibility, which can be barriers," explained Ryan Flynn, president of Pacific Power. "Witnessing the sheer delight and astonishment on the kids' faces when they reel in sizable catches ranging from nine to 12 inches, some even weighing up to eight or nine pounds, is truly rewarding."

The event unites young patients from Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Legacy Emanuel Children's Hospital, Kaiser Kids and other facilities, including those managing conditions such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy and cancer. 

"Today is about creating cherished memories and fostering joy through the simple yet fulfilling act of fishing. Seeing the smiles and excitement on these kids' faces as they reel in their catches reminds us all of the magic and inclusivity that outdoor experiences can bring," said Diana Knous, regional business manager for Pacific Power, who volunteered at the event.

The event is a precious occasion, not just for the children and their families who create lasting memories, but also for the volunteers who joyfully arrange this unforgettable day each year and derive as much satisfaction from the event as the participants themselves.

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About Pacific Power

Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 800,000 customers in 243 communities across Oregon, Washington and California. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, serving nearly two million customers in six western states as the largest regulated utility owner of wind power in the West. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.

 

 


Fri. 07/12/24
Missing child alert -- Marianna Bahena is missing and believed to be at risk (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 07/12/24 4:38 PM
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(Salem) – Marianna Bahena, age 2, went missing with her mother Gabrieal Mendez from Portland on July 11. Marianna is known to the State of Washington and the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division. Marianna is believed to be in danger and has an injury that is in need of urgent medical care. ODHS is searching for Marianna to assess her safety.

ODHS asks the public to help in the effort to find Marianna. Anyone who suspects they have information about the location of Marianna or Gabrieal Mendez should call 911. 

They are believed to be in Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, Washington or Battle Ground, Washington. 

Name: Marianna Bahena
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: Aug. 25, 2021
Height: 40 inches
Weight: 29 pounds
Hair: Brown
Eye color: Brown
Other identifying information: Marianna is with her mother Gabrieal Mendez. It is likely that they are also with Gabrieal Mendez’s 6-year-old son. 

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

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

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Attached Media Files: 2024-07/973/173771/Gabrieal_Mendez.jpg , 2024-07/973/173771/Marianna_Bahena_2.jpg , 2024-07/973/173771/Marianna_Bahena.png

Oklahoma Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Sexually Exploiting a Child
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 07/12/24 3:30 PM

EUGENE, Ore.—An Oklahoma City man was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday for sexually abusing a child and capturing the abuse on video.

Jeremy Lee Peterson, 44, was sentenced to the statutory maximum sentence of 360 months in federal prison and a life term of supervised release. 

According to court documents, on February 18, 2022, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding a video depicting child sexual abuse. Agents reviewed the video’s file data and suspected it was created in a specific apartment in Eugene, Oregon. The agents identified distinctive physical characteristics of the abuser in the video, including a scorpion tattoo on the man’s chest.

On February 24, 2022, investigators searched the apartment and identified furniture and bed sheets consistent with those appearing in the abuse video. Investigators also found photos of Peterson on social media and obtained a booking photo from a previous arrest, both of which matched the likeness and physical attributes, including the scorpion tattoo, as depicted in the abuse video. During their investigation, agents learned the minor victim and the victim’s parent had recently moved to a residence in Oklahoma that matched Peterson’s most recent address. 

On February 28, 2022, agents in Oklahoma executed a search warrant on Peterson’s address and found the minor victim and parent living there. Peterson was arrested and the child was rescued. Soon after, agents learned that Peterson had recently helped the victim and the victim’s parent move to his residence in Oklahoma.

On March 15, 2022, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a one-count indictment charging Peterson with sexually exploiting a child and producing child pornography. 

Months after Peterson was charged, his minor victim contacted law enforcement to discuss the abuse in Oregon and disclose additional abuse in Oklahoma.

On March 27, 2024, Peterson pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting a child.

This case was investigated by HSI in the District of Oregon and the Western District of Oklahoma, with assistance from the Eugene Police Department. It was prosecuted by William M. McLaren, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to contact HSI at (866) 347-2423 or submit a tip online at report.cybertip.org.

Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. It is important to remember child sexual abuse material depicts actual crimes being committed against children. Not only do these images and videos document the victims’ exploitation and abuse, but when shared across the internet, re-victimize and re-traumatize the child victims each time their abuse is viewed. To learn more, please visit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at www.missingkids.org.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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Attached Media Files: Sentencing_Peterson

Closure Notice: Claybell Park Pickleball Court Resurfacing (Photo)
City of Richland - 07/12/24 3:28 PM
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The Claybell Park Pickleball Courts located at 425 Broadmoor Street in Richland will temporarily close for resurfacing work beginning Monday, July 15. The closure is necessary to enhance the quality and safety of the courts for all users. During this period, the courts will be inaccessible to the public.

The resurfacing project is expected to be completed within two weeks, weather permitting. We understand the inconvenience this may cause and appreciate the community's patience and cooperation as we strive to improve this popular recreational amenity.

Updates on the progress of the resurfacing project will be shared soon. We encourage residents and pickleball enthusiasts to stay informed about the reopening schedule.

For more information visit richlandparksandrec.com.




Attached Media Files: 2024-07/5957/173766/Claybell_Image.png

Public hearings scheduled for wildfire prevention and certified burn manager proposed rules
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/12/24 1:09 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Public hearings are scheduled July 30 to gather feedback on administrative rules packages expanding and updating wildfire prevention restrictions, the Certified Burn Manager Program, and establishing the Prescribed Fire Liability Pilot Program.

Public hearings scheduled for wildfire prevention and certified burn manager proposed rules

SALEM, Ore. — Public hearings are scheduled July 30 to gather feedback on administrative rules packages expanding and updating wildfire prevention restrictions, the Certified Burn Manager Program, and establishing the Prescribed Fire Liability Pilot Program.

The Board of Forestry approved the public hearing process for the proposed rule packages during their June 5 meeting: 

  • 629-025-0040 to 629-025-0050
  • 629-042-1005 to 629-042-1065
  • 629-042-2000 to 629-042-2060
  • 629-043-0020 to 629-043-0030
  • 629-047-0010 to 629-047-0100

See the agency’s rules website to access notices of proposed rulemaking for draft rule language. The department consulted a Rulemaking Advisory Committee representing a wide variety of stakeholder interests while drafting the proposed rules. 

The prevention rules align fire prevention, equipment requirements for fire suppression and use of fireworks on public lands to increase wildfire prevention efforts. Certified Burn Manager proposed rules intend to advance the maturity of the Certified Burn Manager Program. Proposed rules also establish the Prescribed Fire Liability Pilot Program described in Senate Bill 80 (2023) and HB 4016 (2024).

Comment can be made at the virtual public meeting below:

Comments can also be sent to yan.miller@odf.oregon.gov">ryan.miller@odf.oregon.gov until 5 p.m. on Aug. 15. Please clarify which rule your comments pertain to in your email.


Public hearings scheduled for statewide wildfire hazard map rules
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/12/24 10:14 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Public hearings are scheduled July 31 and Aug. 1 to gather feedback on a rules package establishing the contested case appeals process, designating properties in wildfire hazard zones, and identifying the wildland-urban interface, as required by Senate Bill 762 (2021) and Senate Bill 80 (2023). 

The Board of Forestry approved the public hearing process for the proposed rule package, Oregon Administrative Rules 629-001-0001 to 0057 and 629-044-1000 to 1041, during their June 5 meeting. See the notice of proposed rulemaking for draft rule language. The department consulted a Rulemaking Advisory Committee representing a wide variety of stakeholder interests while drafting the proposed rules. 

The rules will be used by Oregon State University to address irrigated agriculture as a mitigating factor to assessing wildfire hazard in the statewide wildfire hazard map, which includes assigning one of three hazard zones to individual properties. The rules also establish the process to appeal assignment of a hazard zone or classification.

Comment can be made at any of the virtual public meetings below:

Comments can also be sent to ules@odf.oregon.gov">maprules@odf.oregon.gov until 5 p.m. on Aug. 15. Please clarify which rule your comments pertain to in your email.


Cow Valley Fire in Malheur County declared a conflagration, OSFM sending additional resources
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 07/12/24 10:12 AM

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon State Fire Marshal is mobilizing several task forces and its Red Incident Management Team to the Cow Valley Fire in Malheur County to protect people and property. Overnight Thursday, the agency sent two task forces from Umatilla and Multnomah counties through Immediate Response. These task forces will be joined by two others from Lane and Marion counties.  

“The weather conditions we are seeing across Oregon are extremely concerning. The forecast over the weekend for much of Eastern Oregon will not be doing us any favors,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “The state has seen numerous human-caused wildfires over the last few weeks, and I am asking everyone to be careful and aware of the extreme fire conditions, especially with lightning in the forecast.” 

According to the Vale Bureau of Land Management District, the fire is being pushed by gusty winds, triple-digit temperatures, and low humidity, causing substantial fire growth in the last 12 hours. An infrared flight is happening this morning to get an accurate size of the fire. That information will be shared once it is available. Weather for this fire is expected to be challenging over the next few days with a Fire Weather Watch in place by the National Weather Service for abundant lightning and wind this weekend.  

The OSFM’s Red Incident Management Team will be in unified command with Northwest Team 6, a federal complex incident management team.  

Malheur County Emergency Management and the Red Cross have a shelter in Girvin Hall at the Malheur County Fairgrounds. Those who have questions about the shelter should call 208-519-6675. 

Evacuation notices will be issued by the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office. A Facebook page is set up to share fire information. 

On Friday morning, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act for the fire which allows the state fire marshal to mobilize state resources to protect life and property. 

Following ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Kotek determined that threats to life, safety, and property exist because of the fire, and the threats exceed the capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment.  


Thu. 07/11/24
Oregon State Fire Marshal sends two task forces to Cow Valley Fire (Photo)
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 07/11/24 9:20 PM
Courtesy: Oregon Dept. of Transportation
Courtesy: Oregon Dept. of Transportation
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-07/1062/173744/thumb_ODOT_COW_VALLEY.jpg

SALEM, Ore. – A fast-moving wildfire Thursday evening in Malheur County prompted the Oregon State Fire Marshal to mobilize two structural task forces to the Cow Valley Fire burning near the town of Brogan. The task forces from Umatilla and Multnomah counties are being sent through Immediate Response, a tool the state fire marshal uses to mobilize task forces outside of a conflagration. 

“The east side of the state has faced challenging fire conditions over the last week. The Cow Valley Fire is being pushed by gusty winds and low humidity,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “We are using an essential tool and the power of the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System to provide added resources to the Cow Valley Fire. Firefighters funded through the 2024 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant allowed a quicker response for the local agencies.”

The fire is rapidly changing and estimated to be about 16,000 acres according to the Vale Bureau of Land Management District and threatening 30 to 50 homes. 

According to the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, the Cow Valley Fire changed direction early Thursday evening and headed east toward the town quickly. The sheriff’s office is advising those in Brogan and the surrounding areas to be prepared to leave their home if an evacuation order is made. Follow the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office for information about evacuations. 

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed a stretch of Highway 26 in the area of the fire. The agency says the highway is expected to remain closed through the night. 

The Umatilla County task force is made up of local fire agencies from Umatilla, Baker, Gilliam, Morrow, and Union counties. 

The task force from Multnomah County was previously assigned to the Larch Creek Fire. The Oregon State Fire Marshal will continue to monitor the fire and is ready to provide more support if needed.

About Immediate Response
Immediate Response is made possible through the OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon program created through Oregon’s wildfire omnibus bill, Senate Bill 762, signed into law in 2021.




Attached Media Files: Courtesy: Oregon Dept. of Transportation

Missing child alert -- Anna Gabriella Villarreal is missing and is believed to be in danger (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 07/11/24 3:24 PM
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(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, asks the public to help find Anna Gabriella Villarreal, age 15, a child in foster care who went missing from Ontario on June 30. Anna is believed to be in danger.

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

Anna is suspected to be in Ontario or San Diego, California. 

Name: Anna Gabriella Villarreal
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: Nov. 19, 2008
Height: 5-foot-5
Weight: 126 pounds
Hair: Brown with a reddish tint
Eye color: Brown eyes
Other identifying information: Anna has a pierced left eyebrow and nose. She has small tattoos on her hands and ankles. 
Ontario Police Department Case #24P05094
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #2025440

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

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

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Attached Media Files: 2024-07/973/173729/Anna_Gabriella_Villarreal.jpg , 2024-07/973/173729/Anna_Gabriella_Villarreal_2.png

Cow Valley fire moving toward U.S. 26 between Ironside and Brogan (Photo)
ODOT: East. Ore. - 07/11/24 2:08 PM
Fire near U.S. 26 on July 11, 2024.
Fire near U.S. 26 on July 11, 2024.
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-07/1204/173723/thumb_Fire_near_U.S._26-2_071124.jpg

The Cow Valley Fire is currently moving south toward U.S. 26 and is expected to affect the highway between milepost 239 and milepost 247 within the next few hours. If necessary, we will close U.S. 26 between Ironside (milepost 231) and Brogan (milepost 254). Please drive with caution and check TripCheck for the latest road status updates.




Attached Media Files: Fire near U.S. 26 on July 11, 2024.

Wapato Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Violent Assault
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 07/11/24 1:50 PM

Yakima, Washington - Chief United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian sentenced Nicholas Dean Elwell, age 40, of Wapato, Washington, to 46 months in federal prison on one count of Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. Chief District Judge Bastian also imposed 3 years of federal supervision after Elwell is released from prison.

According to court documents and information disclosed at sentencing, on June 3, 2023, the victim, who is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation, went to Elwell’s home in Wapato, Washington. Elwell accused the victim of cheating on her and became upset. Elwell, who was wearing steel toed boots, repeatedly kicked the victim in her face and torso, grabbed the victim by her hair and punched her several times. Elwell also stomped on the victim’s stomach. The victim told investigators she could not eat for a week because of the pain from that injury. The victim was eventually able to escape out a bathroom window. 

When law enforcement encountered the victim later that night, investigators observed one of the victim’s eyes was almost swollen shut, there was swelling on the victim’s forehead and both sides of her face. Additionally, there was blood on her lips. Law enforcement also observed dried blood on Elwell’s clothing, left boot, and bedsheets. 

“I want to commend the courage of the victim in this case for coming forward and engaging with law enforcement to hold her abuser accountable,” stated United States Attorney Vanessa Waldref. “By working with our tribal and federal law enforcement partners, we can continue to build trust and foster safer and stronger communities on Tribal lands and throughout Eastern Washington.” 

“Without the cooperation of the victim in this case, Mr. Elwell may not have been held accountable for his horrific actions.” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “Fortunately, the victim was able to escape the extreme violence of the attack. I want to commend the efforts of our investigators and partners to help reduce violent crime against our state’s indigenous population.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Yakama Nation Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Courtney R. Pratten. 


Student loan ombuds focusing on helping borrowers navigate shifting rules, changes in repayment laws (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 07/11/24 12:38 PM
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Salem – Student loan borrowers faced significant confusion and frustration this past year in navigating the shifting landscape of loan repayment and forgiveness programs, according to a new report issued by Oregon’s student loan ombuds. Part of the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, the student loan ombuds is tasked with helping guide borrowers through their options and navigate the confusing road that has become the world of student loans.

As part of the position, the legislature requires an annual report that highlights the work of the student loan ombuds. Lane Thompson, who has been in the position for more than two years, recently posted the second annual report.

Thompson said the past year has been challenging.

“After federal student loan payments were paused during the pandemic, the return to repayment last September was really messy,” she said. “There has been a lot of confusion, because the courts struck down some of the (Biden) administration’s attempts at a loan forgiveness program, complicating federal agencies ability to produce consistent messaging leading up to repayment.”

She said because the rules continue to change, it leads to frustration and confusion for both borrowers and servicers. 

“The good news is that student loan cancellation is more available than ever and people are getting resolution through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and the one-time account adjustment,” Thompson said. “This is especially true for those who have been making payments for a long time.”

Going into year three, Thompson said she is excited that her work will be able to help more people get clarity on their options and eligibility for student loan repayment programs.

“I think that’s the biggest impact I’m having on a day-to-day basis is that people can get help or answers from me,” she said. “We have more resources available and I am out doing more presentations to different organizations.”

The other area Thompson said where her office is having an impact is in helping student loan borrowers avoid scams.

“We are doing more outreach to help Oregonians protect themselves,” she said. “Fewer people are getting scammed and I think that’s because we have the licensing requirements, examinations taking place, and our advocates helping people navigate through difficult situations.”

Thompson said during this past year, she has sent information to borrowers in a much clearer way whether through more experience, online resources, brochures, and relationship building.

“They see me and know that there is a real person here to help them and that really helps,” she said.

Thompson said more relief could be coming.

“I was on a federal rulemaking committee  that worked on specific debt forgiveness rules under the higher education act, and there is some debt relief coming out for people who really need it in the near future,” she said. “There will continue to be changes to the rules and I feel confident that our office will continue to be a good resource as circumstances continue to shift.”

If you have questions about your student loans or issues with your loan providers, contact Thompson at 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or .bankingproducthelp@dcbs.oregon.gov">Dfr.bankingproducthelp@dcbs.oregon.gov

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About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation protects consumers and regulates insurance, depository institutions, trust companies, securities, and consumer financial products and services. The division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and dcbs.oregon.gov.




Attached Media Files: 2024-07/1073/173719/DFR-logo-blue.jpg

Annual Ombudsman report urges greater priority on providing culturally responsive health services and eliminating closed behavioral health networks 
Oregon Health Authority - 07/11/24 12:32 PM

July 11, 2024  

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov 

Annual Ombudsman report urges greater priority on providing culturally responsive health services and eliminating closed behavioral health networks  

SALEM, Ore. –Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has realized gains in providing access to culturally responsive health services, according to a 2023 year-end report issued by OHA’s Ombuds program.  

But the report also urges OHA to take more steps to further broaden access to these programs and to expand the Ombuds program’s capacity to more effectively respond “to the complexity of current multi-system casework that reflect statewide gaps in mental health and substance abuse care” for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members.  

“OHA must work collaboratively with coordinated care organizations (CCOs) while also acting on equity-centered Oregon Health Plan member policy solutions for our statewide behavioral health crisis,” said Sarah Dobra, OHA Ombuds program manager. 

"OHA must ensure in the next CCO’s procurement that CCOs contract with all willing and licensed behavioral health providers,” she added.   

The report is based on Ombuds Program data, member stories and experiences, along with other statewide data.   

The 2023 report “presents no new concerns” but continues to elevate concerns from previous years. (Annual reports since 2020 can be found on the OHA website.)

The report called for more efforts in two categories:

  • Providing language access and culturally responsive services, and

Eliminating closed behavior health networks.  

Language access and culturally responsive services

While the report lists successes over the past four years to increase accessibility to culturally responsive care, it also raised numerous concerns about existing challenges.  

OHP members who prefer a language other than English, or seek culturally responsive care, still experience service gaps, and are often overwhelmed by the complexities of the system, which sometimes results in poorer quality of care.  

The report recommends adding enhanced payments to physical and dental services providers who provide culturally responsive services. This is already done within behavioral health.  

Eliminate closed behavioral health networks

The complexities of the system take a toll on Ombuds program resources. Over the four years, the program’s casework, and advocacy for OHP participants experiencing substance use disorders or mental health concerns increased by 87 percent.  

This requires improved coordination and a need for shared solutions between OHA’s Medicaid and Behavioral Health Divisions, according to the report.  

Other concerns include:

  • Insufficient statewide capacity for residential substance use disorder services, resulting in OHP members struggling to find those services in their CCO networks.
  • Member access is further limited by CCO provider networks that either lack availability by specialty or may not work with all inpatient facilities willing to accept OHP members.
  • Lack of real-time updates to OHP provider directories, resulting in “ghost networks” that presume there is provider availability, when there is not.
  • Inadequate access to substance use provider networks. On average, CCOs, contract with only nine of Oregon’s 47 licensed facilities, meaning that a CCO member’s ability to gain timely access to treatment is dependent on which CCO they are in.
  • Limited CCO mental health networks for mental health clinicians which leads to OHP members being unable to access mental health providers contracted with their CCO.

The Ombuds program supports Oregon’s efforts to advance better health, lower costs, and better care for everyone in Oregon.   

OHP members encountering barriers or challenges to accessible care are encouraged to work directly with their CCO to resolve their concerns. All members have the right to ask for a care coordinator.   

CCOs and Care Coordinators are often best equipped to support and resolve OHP member access to care and quality of care concerns in a timely manner.    

OHP members who have not received the support they need from OHA or from a CCO can contact the Ombuds program for support udsOffice@odhsoha.oregon.gov">by email or by phone (1-877-642-0450).   

Contact information and a phone message line are available in 14 languages and can be found on the OHA Ombuds program website.  

###


Public Safety Memorial Fund Board Meeting
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 07/11/24 11:12 AM

PUBLIC SAFETY MEMORIAL FUND BOARD

MEETING SCHEDULED

 

Notice of Regular Meeting

The Public Safety Memorial Fund Board will hold a regular meeting on July 25, 2024, directly following the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training meeting that begins at 9:00 am. at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE Salem. For further information, please contact Juan Lopez at (503) 551-3167.

 

Agenda Items

1. Introductions

2. Approve June 10, 2024, and June 17, 2024, Meeting Minutes

3. Budget Update

   Presented by Shelby Wright

4. John Christopher Kilcullen (DPSST #35147); Eugene Police Department; Supplemental Application for Discretionary PSMF Benefits

    Presented by Shelby Wright

5. Public Safety Memorial Fund Board Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) Change Update 

    Presented by Jennifer Howald

6. Next meeting – October 24, 2024, directly following the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training meeting at 9:00 a.m.

 

Administrative Announcement

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


Better weather helps progress on Larch Creek Fire, ODF Incident Management Team 2 will transition into unified command with OSFM Green Team
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/11/24 10:48 AM

Dufur, Ore. – Throughout the evening winds subsided and the Larch Creek Fire growth slowed. Dozers working through the night made good progress putting in control line and engines patrolled near homes in the fire area.  

Today structure task forces will continue to mop up and secure around homes in the fire area. Firefighters will be putting in hose lays and working with engines and water tenders to strengthen control lines. Dozers and crews will work on establishing line around the fire footprint on the east side of Highway 197. Air resources continue to be available and will engage as needed throughout the day.  

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Incident Management Team 2 will shadow the Central Oregon IMT today. This evening at 6 p.m. ODF Team 2 and OSFM Green Team will officially transition into unified command. A huge Thank You to the Central Oregon Type 3 Interagency IMT for their coordination and efforts on this quickly emerging incident. 

The weather will moderate today with temperatures in the low 90’s with afternoon winds that should moderate into the evening. The next few days should see temperatures continuing to decrease and less substantial winds in the fire area, a very welcome forecast for firefighters. Yesterday there was one firefighter with heat related injuries who was transported to a local hospital. 

Stay informed on updated evacuation alerts here: 

https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff?ref=embed_page

A Red Cross shelter is open at Maupin High School for all community members effected by the current evacuations.

 Sherman County Fairgrounds is open for evacuation of livestock and pets. Hood River Fairgrounds is also open to displaced animals. Hwy 197 is being closely monitored and may be closed or have traffic control, check Trip Check for updates. Road & Weather Conditions Map | TripCheck - Oregon Traveler Information

Be aware of the extreme fire danger we are currently experiencing! Know Before You Go and check for Fire Restrictions in your area. 


Local Government Grant Advisory Committee to review grant applications July 22-25
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 07/11/24 10:26 AM

SALEM, Oregon— The Local Government Grant Program Advisory Committee will hold public meetings to review grant applications from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 22-25 via Zoom. 

Applicants to the Local Government Grant Program (LGGP) will present their proposed projects for acquiring, planning, developing and rehabilitating outdoor recreation facilities. The committee will evaluate and score all applications and create a priority ranking list of projects to be funded. The list will be forwarded to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission for final review and approval. 

A schedule listing applicants and their specific presentation times is posted on the Local Government Grant Program web page at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/GRA/pages/GRA-lggp.aspx#2 . A link to register for the Zoom meeting is also posted at the site: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SdcrlnlBSSmLGtLPLvuTlw

The LGGP Advisory Committee consists of eleven members who represent cities, counties, park and recreation districts, port districts, people with disabilities and the general public. They also represent various geographic areas of the state. 

The LGGP was established in 1999 to direct a portion of state lottery revenue to award grants to eligible applicants for outdoor park and recreation projects. The program is administered by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). 

For more information about the LGGP, visit oprdgrants.org


Press Release: Oregon's Labor Force: What Slower Population Growth and Increasing Retirements Mean for the Workforce
Oregon Employment Department - 07/11/24 10:00 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
July 11, 2024

CONTACT INFORMATION:
umenauer@oregon.gov">Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist
(971) 301-3771
Podcast available at 10:00 a.m. 

Oregon’s Labor Force: What Slower Population Growth 
and Increasing Retirements Mean for the Workforce

The youngest members of the large Baby Boom Generation, born between 1946 and 1964, turn 60 years old in 2024. Workers in this age group have been, and are expected to continue, shifting into retirement and taking their skills and experience with them. 

  • In 1990, one out of 10 Oregon job holders was age 55 or older. By 2022, that share grew to 24%.
  • In 2023, the number of Oregonians not in the labor force due to retirement reached 786,000, an all-time high. Over the past decade, the number of Oregonians not in the labor force due to retirement grew by 160,000 or 26%.

The workforce is aging nationally as well, but Oregon has been at a workforce advantage in boosting its labor force. Decades of population growth – driven primarily by net in-migration – has helped fuel labor force growth, even as the workforce has aged and overall labor force participation rates have generally declined. 

  • Oregon's population grew by 40% between 1993 and 2023, compared with 30% for the U.S.
  • Oregon’s natural increase in population turned negative in 2021 and 2022, with fewer births than deaths, as the COVID-19 pandemic met the long-term trends of an aging population and lower birth rates.
  • In 2021, for the first time in almost four decades, population estimates showed negative net migration, and an overall decline in Oregon’s population.

The declines in natural increase, net migration, and population have contributed to slower labor force growth. Slower gains may be somewhat offset by greater labor force participation among the existing population. 

  • Oregon’s labor force participation rate was 62.4% in 2023, the highest in a decade. That’s still well below the peak of 68.9% in 1998.

During periods like the past couple of years, where low unemployment and relatively large numbers of job openings are paired with slow labor force growth, that creates a tighter labor market for Oregon employers. That makes it harder for employers to find enough workers to fill all their job openings. 

These dynamics may have also contributed to Oregon’s slower job growth in recent years compared to the U.S. Nationally, total nonfarm payroll employment expanded by 3.4% between 2019 and 2023, while Oregon's expanded jobs by 1.2%. This is a change; typically Oregon’s job (and labor force) growth exceeds the nation’s over business cycles. If recent labor force and unemployment trends continue, they might further limit Oregon’s growth potential relative to historic norms and the nation. More details are available in the full report at QualityInfo.org

###




Attached Media Files: 2024-07/930/173675/07.09.24_Aging_Workforce_Slower_Labor_Force_Growth_in_Oregon_News_Release[68].pdf

U.S. 30 between Huntington and I-84 is now open (Photo)
ODOT: East. Ore. - 07/11/24 9:55 AM
Fire near Huntington night of July 10, 2024.
Fire near Huntington night of July 10, 2024.
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-07/1204/173704/thumb_Fire_near_Huntington_071024.jpg

U.S. 30 between Huntington and I-84 at the Port of Entry, Exit 354 is now open. The I-84 westbound Exit 354 off-ramp is also open. The highway and off-ramp were closed last night due to a wildfire.




Attached Media Files: Fire near Huntington night of July 10, 2024.

Public comment sought on program serving older adults and people with disabilities
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 07/11/24 9:51 AM

Salem, OR – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), along with the Oregon Health Authority, will hold a forum to receive feedback from the public on implementation of Oregon Project Independence - Medicaid (OPI-M).

OPI-M is being launched by the ODHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities this year as a result of an 1115 Demonstration Waiver. This forum for public input is referred to as a Post-Award Public Forum by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and is required by federal regulations. It will provide information on the implementation of OPI-M since the waiver was approved by CMS on Feb. 13, 2024, in addition to providing an opportunity for the public to provide feedback. OPI-M operates under the authority of section 1115(a) of the Social Security Act. The waiver is in effect from Feb. 13, 2024, to Jan. 31, 2029.

The forum will be held as a video conference on Zoom on Aug. 5, 2024, from 3 to 4:30 ​p.m. Pacific Time​. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Real-Time Captioning (CART) will also be provided. To request other accommodations, please contact Max Brown by email at rown@odhs.oregon.gov">Max.Brown@odhs.oregon.gov or by phone at 971-707-1019 no later than 48 hours prior to the forum.

Meeting: OPI-M Post-Award Public Forum

When: Aug. 5, 2024, 3 to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Where: Video conference meeting on Zoom

  • To join by video conference: Join Zoom Meeting​
  • To join by phone: dial 669-254-5252; meeting ID: 161 701 1754; passcode: 664575

Additional resources and information about OPI-M:


Fatal Crash - HWY 101- Coos County
Oregon State Police - 07/11/24 8:26 AM

Coos County, Ore. 9 July 24- On Tuesday, July 9, 2024, at 12:27 p.m., Oregon State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy-101, near milepost 243, in Coos County.

The preliminary investigation indicated southbound Honda HRV, operated by Richard Swartling (85) of Coos Bay, attempted to turn left onto Coos-Sumner Lane when it was struck by a northbound Range Rover Evoque, operated by Icel Marie Bair (45) of Nampa (ID), in a side impact collision.

The operator of the Honda (Swartling) was transported to an area hospital where they were later declared deceased.

The operator of the Range Rover (Bair) was seriously injured and transported to an area hospital.

The highway was impacted for approximately five hours during the on-scene investigation. The suspected cause of the crash is speed and impairment.

OSP was assisted by ODOT.

 

# # #

About the Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) is a multi-disciplined organization that is charged with protecting the people, wildlife, and natural resources in Oregon. OSP enforces traffic laws on the state’s roadways, investigates and solves crime, conducts postmortem examinations and forensic analysis, and provides background checks, and law enforcement data. The agency regulates gaming and enforces fish, wildlife, and natural resource laws. OSP is comprised of more than 1,400 staff members – including troopers, investigators, and professional staff – who provide a full range of policing and public safety services to Oregon and other law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon.


Larch Creek Fire evacuation levels increase with substantial fire growth to the east
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/11/24 6:41 AM

Dufur, Ore. – With a Red Flag warning across the fire area yesterday the high winds, high temperatures and low relative humidity moved the Larch Creek Fire across Highway 197 and continued its fast-moving growth to the east Wednesday evening. The Wasco County Sheriffs Office and the Incident Commanders of the Unified Command, Central Oregon Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team and Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Green Team worked together to quickly elevate the evacuation levels. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Team 2 has been ordered and will be arriving this morning. They will be in unified command with OSFM Green Team starting tomorrow evening.

Air resources, structure task forces, dozers, engines and handcrews worked tirelessly throughout the day.  Resources will remain engaged throughout the night, protecting structures and building fireline. 

Stay informed on updated evacuation alerts here: 

https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff?ref=embed_page

A Red Cross shelter is open at Maupin High School for all community members effected by the current evacuations.

 Sherman County Fairgrounds is open for evacuation of livestock and pets. Hood River Fairgrounds is also open to displaced animals. Hwy 197 is being closely monitored and may be closed or have traffic control, check Trip Check for updates. Road & Weather Conditions Map | TripCheck - Oregon Traveler Information

Local fire danger levels are “extreme”, everyone is strongly encouraged to realize the current danger of how quickly a fire can start; it only takes one spark. Please do your part, do not park or drive on dry grass, know the current fire restrictions and prepare yourself with a shovel, water and fire extinguisher when outdoors.


Wed. 07/10/24
More people and resources fighting Larch Creek Fire now at 7,100 acres (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/10/24 8:51 PM
Larch Creek Fire photo
Larch Creek Fire photo
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-07/1072/173682/thumb_IMG_1109.jpg

This update is just for photos from today's fire--all copy/text remains the same

 

Dufur, Ore. – Initial attack crews worked through the night putting in dozer line and burnouts along the east and west flanks from the north down to the unsecured south. The Central Oregon Type 3 Interagency Fire Management Team as well as the Green Incident Management Team from the Oregon State Fire Marshal are in place at the Dufur High School. 

Today, resources from state, local, and federal agencies will work on transitioning night shift crews to day shift while slowing progression towards Highway 197 and nearby Shadybrook community to the south. Some spot fires have been identified in the southern Oak Creek area. Air attack remains a primary resource for day operations. The fire is burning mostly in open grass fuel types. 

The Emergency Conflagration Act was invoked Tuesday night around 8 p.m. which allows the State Fire Marshal to mobilize structural fire resources to protect life and property. Many arrived this morning to assist with structure protection. Three task forces from Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties arrived at 7 a.m. and three additional task forces are arriving later this afternoon. 

Unified Incident Commanders Cason McCain and Lance Lighty, among other officials gave gratitude to the crews on initial attack, as well as local landowners who worked in extreme conditions to set the day shift crews up for success. Red flag warnings remain in place throughout Wednesday from 2-11 p.m. 

Local fire danger levels are now set to “extreme” with expected wind. Stay informed on updated evacuation alerts here: 

https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff?ref=embed_page

A Red Cross shelter is open at Maupin High School for anyone evacuated. 

More information is on the official Larch Creek Fire Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61562163967129

The Larch Creek Fire is located 5 miles southwest of Dufur, OR and was first reported July 9, just after 2 p.m. The cause was human activity and is under investigation.

 

FIRE AT A GLANCE 

Estimated Size: 7,100 acres 

Containment: 0% 

Cause: Under investigation, human caused 

Evacuations: 

Level 3 GO NOW – Remains in place for residences from Friend Rd, East to Elliott Rd and Hwy 197, South to Badger Creek Rd, West to Mc Corkle Grade Rd. 

Level 2 GET SET - Remains from Fairgrounds Rd, East to Hwy 197, North to Shadybrook Rd, South to Fairgrounds Rd. Areas east of Hwy 197, east to the Deschutes River, north to Hulse Rd and south to Hwy 216 

Level 1 GET READY - Remains from Badger Creek Rd/Fairgrounds Rd, South to Rock Creek Dam Rd/Wamic Market Rd, West to Threemile Rd, East to Hwy 197. NEW AREA Elliott Rd, East to Kingsley Rd./Dufur Gap Rd., North to Friend Rd. and South to Level 3 border.




Attached Media Files: Larch Creek Fire photo , Larch Creek Fire photo , Larch Creek Fire photo , Larch Creek Fire photo

Spokane Bank Manager Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stealing more than $345,000
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 07/10/24 5:12 PM

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Jessica Ann Marshall, age 28, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Theft and Embezzlement by Bank Employee. United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice imposed a sentence of 24 imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, as well as restitution of $345,664.66 to be paid to the victim, the Bank of Idaho.  Judge Rice ordered Ms. Marshall to be taken into custody immediately following the sentencing hearing. 

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, between June 2023 and September 2023, Marshall was working as a Bank Manager at the Bank of Idaho’s downtown Spokane, Washington branch. Using her position as a manager, Marshall stole and embezzled at least $345,664 in cash from the bank vault, ATM, and her cash drawer.

Marshall falsified documents to reconcile the cash and directed bank employees to sign falsified count sheets in order to hide her theft and embezzlement. Marshall also used her position as Bank Manger to make fraudulent deposit transactions into her spouse’s account. These fraudulent transactions reflected that money was being deposited into the account; however, no funds were deposited.

When Bank of Idaho inquired about the deposits into her spouse’s account, Marshall attempted to conceal her conduct by using a co-worker’s email account to send an e-mail with false information. Marshall then accessed the computer of another co-worker to delete an email from Bank of Idaho inquiring about the deposits.

“Ms. Marshall abused her position of extraordinary trust to enrich herself. When her conduct was discovered, Ms. Marshall attempted to obstruct the investigation into her actions,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “I want to especially commend the FBI’s exceptional investigative work on this important case.  Crimes like those committed by Ms. Marshall erode public confidence in financial institutions. By holding those accountable who commit theft, we restore trust and help keep Eastern Washington safe and strong.” 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Spokane Resident Agency. Assistant United States Attorney Dan Fruchter prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Case No. 2:24-CR-00040-TOR


Spokane Man Sentenced to More Than 22 Years in Prison Following Seizure of Large Quantity of Fentanyl-Laced Pills in Spokane Valley, Washington (Photo)
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 07/10/24 4:46 PM
2024-07/6857/173683/deboer_4.jpg
2024-07/6857/173683/deboer_4.jpg
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-07/6857/173683/thumb_deboer_4.jpg

Spokane, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Jordy Scott Deboer, age 32, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Actual (Pure) Methamphetamine and one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute 400 Grams or More of Fentanyl. United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice imposed a sentence of 272 months imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, on March 30, 2023, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force executed several federal search warrants at the Motel 6 in Spokane Valley, Washington. The Task Force seized approximately 24.7 pounds of fentanyl-laced pills (approx. 83,000 pills), 2 pounds of methamphetamine, 1 pound of cocaine, as well as 2 firearms, and more than $13,000 in US Currency. Deboer and Matthew Sailors (a.k.a. Rabbit) were arrested. 

Prior to this incident, Deboer was previously arrested and federally indicted for trafficking in large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl pills from the Tri-Cities, Washington area to the Spokane, Washington area. After his indictment, Deboer was released from federal custody to attend inpatient drug treatment.

A short time after Deboer’s release from custody to attend inpatient treatment, the Safe Streets Task Force received information he had re-engaged in drug trafficking activities, this time with Sailors. Deboer and Sailors were located at the Motel 6 in Spokane Valley engaging in drug trafficking activities, to include selling fentanyl pills. Law enforcement acted quickly, obtaining multiple federal search warrants.  During the execution of the search warrants, Deboer was encountered in a hallway of the motel.  When he saw law enforcement approaching him, Deboer took out a loaded firearm out of his waistband and threw it. Deboer also dropped a large black duffle bag that contained a large amount of controlled substances and tried to run away. He was quickly caught.

On September 6, 2023, Sailors pleaded guilty to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute 400 Grams or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing Fentanyl.  On December 13, 2023, Sailors was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. 

“The significant amount of illicit drugs seized in this case demonstrates the need for law enforcement intervention to address the fentanyl crisis. I am grateful for the quick actions of the Safe Streets Task Force and the prosecutors in my office, who have worked to stop Mr. Deboer’s drug trafficking activities, including after he was released from custody after his initial indictment,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “My office will continue to relentlessly remove deadly fentanyl and other narcotics from Eastern Washington communities and will hold accountable those who seek to profit from the illicit sale of illegal drugs.” 

“Mr. DeBoer’s previous time in custody did not deter him from engaging in the same type of activities which resulted in his prior incarceration.” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “Each Fentanyl pill that remains on the street has the potential to destroy the life, not only of the person taking it, but also of the people who loved and cared for them. The FBI and our partners will continue the work of removing these dangerous drugs off our streets.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of agents of the FBI and United States Border Patrol, as well as detectives for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the Spokane Police Department, the Spokane Valley Police Department, and the Washington State Department of Corrections. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Caitlin Baunsgard.

A video statement from U.S. Attorney Waldref can be viewed here. 




Attached Media Files: 2024-07/6857/173683/deboer_4.jpg , 2024-07/6857/173683/deboer_3.jpg , 2024-07/6857/173683/deboer_2.jpg , 2024-07/6857/173683/deboer_1.jpg

Missing child alert -- Nevaeh Rohrbach is missing and is believed to be in danger (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 07/10/24 4:18 PM
Nevaeh Rohrbach
Nevaeh Rohrbach
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-07/973/173681/thumb_Nevaeh_Rohrbach_hires.jpg

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, asks the public to help find Nevaeh “Rihanna” Rohrbach, age 15, a child in foster care who went missing from Clackamas on June 21. Nevaeh is believed to be in danger.

ODHS asks the public for help in the effort to find Nevaeh and to contact 911, local law enforcement or the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233) if they believe they see her.

Nevaeh is suspected to be in the SE Portland area.                        

Name: Nevaeh “Rihanna” Rohrbach
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: Sept. 6, 2008
Height: 5-foot-7 
Weight: 125 pounds
Hair: Light brown or blonde. Nevaeh frequently dyes her hair. 
Eye color: Bluish-green
Other identifying information: Nevaeh has a tattoo of a cross on her left finger, a tattoo of a half-moon on her left hand, and a sad face tattoo on her right ankle. She also goes by Rihanna sometimes times. 
Clackamas County Sheriff Office case #24-12779
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #2025507

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

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

###




Attached Media Files: Nevaeh Rohrbach

Oregon Heritage Commission to meet July 21-22 in Coos Bay and online
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 07/10/24 3:14 PM

SALEM, Oregon – The Oregon Heritage Commission will meet July21-22 in Coos Bay and online. The agenda includes a report from the University of Oregon Institute for Policy Research and Engagement project team on the 2024 Oregon Heritage Vitality Study, a summary and discussion of a report on addressing harmful content in collections, an application for the Heritage Tradition designation, and recommendations for the Commission’s FY25 Oregon Cultural Trust Partner Funds Grant. 

This meeting is open to the public and there is an opportunity at the beginning of the meeting for public comment in person and online. For online attendance, registration is required. To view the full agenda and/or to register for the virtual meeting option visit here

Special accommodations for the meeting – including translation services – may be made by calling (503) 986‐0690 or y.Newcomb@oprd.oregon.gov">Mary.Newcomb@oprd.oregon.gov at least 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting.

There are three governor appointed positions currently vacant on the Oregon Heritage Commission. The Heritage Commission is especially seeking members with knowledge and experience related to community institutions, heritage tourism, or education/higher education and who have experience working with diverse cultural groups. The Commission seeks applications from those that live in the Southern, Willamette Valley, and Central Oregon area. 

The Heritage Commission’s nine members represent a diversity of cultural, geographic, and institutional interests. The Commission is the primary agency for coordination of heritage activities in the state. This includes carrying out the Oregon Heritage Plan, increasing efficiency and avoiding duplication among interest groups, developing plans for coordination among agencies and organizations, encouraging tourism related to heritage resources, and coordinating statewide anniversary celebrations.

The group meets four-six times per year in changing locations around the state and will offer virtual options to attend meetings. Commissioners are also asked to occasionally participate in meetings or events in their regions and work on other projects outside of meeting time. Appointed Commissioners are reimbursed for their travel and related expenses while conducting official commission business.

More information about the Oregon Heritage Commission is available online at www.oregonheritage.org and from Commission Coordinator Katie Henry at 503-877-8834 or katie.henry@oprd.oregon.gov

To request appointment, go to Governor Kotek’s Boards and Commissions webpage at https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/board-list.aspx


Portland Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Fraud Scheme
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 07/10/24 1:51 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland man was sentenced to federal prison today for his role in a scheme to steal large quantities of mail and use victims’ personal and financial documents and information to fraudulently obtain apartment leases, open bank accounts without authorization, and acquire other goods and services.

Cody Joel Stewart, 43, was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release. Stewart was also ordered to pay $211,831 in restitution to his victims.

According to court documents, between April 2020 and April 2023, Stewart worked with multiple accomplices, including Portland residents Felicia Lynn Hawkins and Patrick Dorin Balan, both 35, to carry out a fraud scheme whereby the group would steal large quantities of mail to obtain victims’ personal and financial information.

Throughout the conspiracy, Stewart and Hawkins used and distributed stolen personally identifiable information and counterfeit identity documents and checks. In December 2022, during a search of their shared residence, investigators located and seized various counterfeit identification and financial documents, stolen financial documents and mail, paper used to make counterfeit checks, U.S. Treasury checks, counterfeit U.S. currency, and drugs.

Stewart was arrested in May 2023 after leading police on a high-speed chase reaching speeds of more than 100 mph. After safely ending the pursuit, officers located additional stolen identification and financial documents in Stewart’s possession.

On April 11, 2023, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 12-count indictment charging Stewart, Hawkins, and Balan with conspiracy to commit bank fraud; bank fraud; using or trafficking an unauthorized access device; producing, using, or trafficking a counterfeit access device; aggravated identity theft; and possession of stolen mail.

On March 27, 2024, Stewart pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

On January 29, 2024, Hawkins also pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud. She was later sentenced to time served in federal prison and five years’ supervised release. Balan is on pre-trial release pending a four-day jury trial scheduled to begin on August 6, 2024.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), U.S. Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG), and U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). It was prosecuted by Rachel K. Sowray, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: 2024-07/6325/173666/SENTENCING-Stewart-Final.pdf

Road Closures Planned for See3Slam Basketball Tournament (Photo)
City of Richland - 07/10/24 1:23 PM
SEE3SLAM Map
SEE3SLAM Map
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-07/5957/173671/thumb_See3Slam-Site-Map-2022-web_(002).jpg

The Seventh Annual See3Slam 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament is taking place this weekend in Richland, Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14, 2024. The event will close a section of George Washington Way, beginning Friday, July 12 at 6:00 p.m., through Sunday, July 14, at 7:00 p.m.  

The road closures on George Washington Way are between Newton and Knight Streets with business only access from Swift Blvd. to Newton Street. Please use caution if traveling near the area. Road detours and signage will be in place. Event participants are encouraged to park at the Federal Building Parking lot or at the corner of Lee Blvd. and Jadwin Avenue.

See3Slam is a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for all ages that is organized by the Tri-Cities Sunrise Rotary to support local charities and to provide the gift of sight to others. There will be food vendors, entertainment, exhibition games, and incredible center court contests for the entire family. 

For more information, visit www.see3slam.com.  




Attached Media Files: SEE3SLAM Map

Applicant Review Committee Meeting
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 07/10/24 12:55 PM

APPLICANT REVIEW COMMITTEE

MEETING SCHEDULED

                           

Notice of Regular Meeting

The Applicant Review Committee of the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training will hold a regular meeting at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24, 2024, at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, Oregon. For further information, please contact Juan Lopez (503) 551-3167.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training will be live streaming all public meetings via YouTube. Meetings will no longer be streamed on Facebook. To view the Applicant Review Committee's live-stream and other recorded videos, please visit DPSST’s official YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/@DPSST.

Agenda Items:

1. Introductions

2. Approve June 26, 2024, Meeting Minutes

3. Dalton Cable, DPSST No. 65167; Oregon State Police
    Presented by Cindy Park

4. Inquiry Closure Memos – Information Only
    Presented by Cindy Park

5. Next Applicant Review Committee Meeting – August 28, 2024, at 11:00 a.m.

 

Administrative Announcement

This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law and it will be recorded. Deliberation of issues will only be conducted by Applicant Review 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.

Stay Connected with the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training:

Nine Cultural Attractions Offer Free Admission and Special Events to Oregon and Washington Educators July 28--August 10
Oregon Historical Society - 07/10/24 11:39 AM

Portland, OR — From July 28–August 10, Oregon and Washington educators are invited to visit Aurora Colony Museum and Historical Society, Five Oaks Museum, Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Maryhill Museum of Art, Oregon Historical Society, Pittock Mansion, Portland Art Museum, and Portland Chinatown Museum for free as well as take part in educator-focused events and tours. 

Educators can let staff at each institution’s admissions desk know that they are an educator to access free admission (no school identification required).

Local cultural attractions are powerful resources for educators, offering resources and programs to support educators’ work in classrooms. From professional development workshops to state standards-aligned curriculum and lesson plans to digital resources, educators can access a wide range of tools to enhance their teaching at no cost. Educators are encouraged to take advantage of these free admission weeks to learn about the unique resources available at each institution as well as participate in special events and tours created specifically for teachers.

Participating Institutions & Program Schedule:

Please note that while some institutions request reservations to attend these programs, any educator who would like to attend will be welcomed. 

Aurora Colony Museum and Historical Society
15018 2nd Street NE
Aurora, OR 97002
Hours: Monday–Saturday, 10am5pm; Sunday, 12pm5pm

Aurora Colony Museum Stauffer-Will Farm Educator Tour and Overview
Wednesday, July 31, 1pm3pm
Please RSVP to han@auroracolony.org">siobhan@auroracolony.org if you plan to attend.

Five Oaks Museum
Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus
17677 NW Springville Road
Portland, OR 97229
Hours: Thursday–Saturday, 12pm–4pm

Five Oaks Museum Educator Tour and Resource Share
Saturday, August 10, 10:30am–12pm
Please register here if you plan to attend.

Japanese American Museum of Oregon
411 NW Flanders Street
Portland, OR 97209
Note: Use the entrance around the corner on 4th
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday, 10am–4pm; Sunday, 11am–4pm

Japanese American Museum of Oregon Educator Tours and Resource Sharing
Tuesday, July 30, 1pm–2:30pm
Tuesday, August 6, 1pm–2:30pm
Please RSVP to info@jamo.org if you plan to attend one of the tours.

Lan Su Chinese Garden
239 NW Everett Street
Portland, OR 97209
Hours: MondaySunday, 10am6pm 

Lan Su Chinese Garden Educator Tour 
followed by resource sharing and tea 
Friday, August 2, 1pm2:30pm
Please register here if you plan to attend.

Maryhill Museum of Art
35 Maryhill Museum Drive
Goldendale, WA 98620
Hours: Monday–Sunday, 10am–5pm (from March 15–November 15)

Maryhill Museum of Art Educator Tour and Refreshments
followed by resource discussion
Saturday, August 10, 1pm
Please register here if you plan to attend.

Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
Hours: Monday–Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 12pm–5pm

Oregon Historical Society Educator Tours and Overview of Educator Resources 
Tuesday, July 30, 10am–12pm 
Tuesday, August 6, 10am–12pm
Please register here if you plan to attend one of the tours.

Pittock Mansion
3229 NW Pittock Drive
Portland, OR 97210
Hours: Tuesday 12pm–5pm, Wednesday–Monday 10am–5pm

Pittock Mansion Educator Tour and Resources
Wednesday, August 7, 10:30am–12pm 
Please RSVP to kwilliams@pittockmansion.org if you plan to attend.

Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
Hours: Thursday and Friday 10am–8pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am–6pm

Portland Art Museum Educator Welcome and Tour
Thursday, August 8 at 1pm–2:30pm
Please register here if you plan to attend.

Portland Chinatown Museum
127 NW Third Avenue, Portland
Hours: Thursday–Sunday 11am–3pm

Portland Chinatown Museum Educator Tour
Friday, August 2, 11am–12:30pm
Please RSVP to info@portlandchinatown.org with your first and last name if you plan to attend.


Media Advisory: 142nd Wing to host F-15EX Eagle II Unveiling Ceremony
Oregon Military Department - 07/10/24 11:19 AM

for planning purposes only – not for print or air

The 142nd Wing out of the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Oregon will host a ceremony unveiling the F-15EX Eagle II fighter jet at its first operational unit in the U.S. Air Force this Friday, 12 July 2024. Attending this ceremony will be the Governor of the State of Oregon and Commander in Chief of the Oregon National Guard, Honorable Tina Kotek and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Media is asked to RSVP by Thursday, 11 July. Interviews with distinguished visitors to include Maj. Gen. Duke Pirak, Acting Director of the Air National Guard and former Oregon Air National Guardsman, will be available between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. Please arrive at the base main gate, 6801 NE Cornfoot Rd, Portland, Ore. 97218, no later than 8:00 a.m. if you would like to conduct interviews. 

The F-15EX is a replacement for the F-15C/D fleet that complements Combat Air Forces with affordability, speed, range, payload and rapid technology paths. The USAF currently operates six F-15EX aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida for testing, and the Air National Guard has received their first two at Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Oregon. The 142nd Wing is the first unit in the USAF to operate the F-15EX for real-world missions. 

-30-

Footage of the arrival of the first F-15EX at Portland can be downloaded at the following link: DVIDS - Video - First Aircraft Arrival F-15EX at the Portland Air National Guard Base (dvidshub.net)

About the 142nd Wing:

The Portland Air National Guard Base employs 1,500 Airmen who provide an economic impact of nearly $500 million to the region. The 142nd Wing defends our homeland with F-15 Eagle fighter jets, guarding the Pacific Northwest skies from northern California to the Canadian border through their Aerospace Control Alert mission as part of Air Combat Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Their mission is to provide unequalled, mission-ready units to sustain combat aerospace superiority and peacetime tasking any time, any place in service to our nation, state and community.


LUBGWMA well users encouraged to retest water for nitrates, OHA to continue offering free well testing
Oregon Health Authority - 07/10/24 10:48 AM

July 10, 2024 

Media Contact: Larry Bingham, 971-239-6499, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov 

LUBGWMA well users encouraged to retest water for nitrates, OHA to continue offering free well testing   

Latest effort is the next step following summer 2023 campaign that offered free testing, treatment 

PORTLAND, Ore. — People in the Lower Umatilla Basin Groundwater Management Area (LUBGWMA) who had their well water tested for nitrates in 2023 are encouraged to take advantage of free retesting to make sure their water remains safe.  

The LUBGWMA is an area spanning northern Morrow County and northwestern Umatilla County designated by the state due to high nitrate levels in groundwater that supplies domestic wells. 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA), in partnership with Morrow and Umatilla counties and a coalition of community-based organizations, mailed a letter in English and Spanish on May 15 to about 1,600 households that completed initial well water tests in 2023. The mailing included a brochure in English and Spanish that encourages people to take advantage of free retesting of their well water.  

On June 12, the same households received letters with individual results of their past tests and a brochure to help them understand the results, as well as instructions, time frame and frequency for retesting their well based on their previous results. 

Retesting of households with well water close to the health action level of 10 milligrams nitrate per liter (mg/L) of water is especially important because nitrate levels can fluctuate during different seasons of the year. Nitrate in well water is a potential health hazard, and levels above 10 mg/L are considered dangerous for human consumption. Pregnant people and babies face the greatest risk.  

Anyone who lives in the LUBGWMA can get a free laboratory analysis of their well water by visiting the website testmywell.oregon.gov or emailing Domestic.Wells@odhsoha.oregon.gov. They can also call the OHA Domestic Well Safety Program at 541-952-9254. 

Households with a laboratory nitrate test result above 10 mg/L can receive free water delivery. For households whose well water tests higher than 10 mg/L but under 25 mg/L, the state will pay for installation and maintenance of one in-home reverse-osmosis system that is certified to reduce nitrate levels to safe for drinking (treatment systems are not certified to remove nitrate at levels above 25 mg/L). Households with a laboratory nitrate test result higher than 25 can receive free water delivery. 

OHA is coordinating the re-testing outreach effort in close partnership with Morrow County Public Health Department, Umatilla County Public Health Department, Oregon Department of Human Services, and many community organizations: Doulas Latinas, Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living, Euvalcree, National Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, Oregon Rural Action and Water for Eastern Oregon (H2OEO). These organizations can help connect domestic well users to the safe water services offered by the state through OHA. 

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State CIO named Chair of the Board of Directors for Link Oregon (Photo)
State of Oregon - 07/10/24 10:27 AM
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Salem, OR – On June 24, 2024, Oregon’s State Chief Information Officer Terrence Woods assumed the role of Chair of the Board of Directors for Link Oregon, the middle-mile broadband service provider for Oregon’s non-profit and public sectors. Woods, who leads Oregon’s Enterprise Information Services, will serve as chair for the fiscal year 2025, which began July 1, following his service as vice chair for the fiscal year 2024.

Woods resumes the role, which he previously held for fiscal year 2023, from Andrea Ballinger, Vice Provost for University Information and Technology and Chief Information Officer for Oregon State University. Ballinger was the chair for the fiscal year 2024. Abhijit Pandit, Vice President and Chief Information Officer for University of Oregon assumed the role of vice chair and chair-elect.

The change in roles was announced at Link Oregon’s annual member meeting, also on June 24, which brought together a diverse community of members and partners in the broadband ecosystem from Oregon and across the country highlighting insights about broadband and digital equity efforts. Panelists included local, statewide, and regional leaders from Oregon K-12, public libraries, and local government, as well as broadband leaders from Nevada and Utah. The full recording of the Annual Member Meeting is available here.

Woods has provided support since the formation of Link Oregon, which is a consortium led by five founding entities: Oregon Health & Sciences University, Oregon State University, Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and Oregon’s Enterprise Information Services

“As we move into our new fiscal year, I am proud of the work we have accomplished and am excited to continue with our mission and meeting the needs of Oregon’s public sector and non-profit organizations across the state.” Woods said.

Established to consolidate and enhance efforts to develop a high-speed, middle-mile network serving the unique needs of public service, research, and education entities, Link Oregon’s services are available for state offices, higher education, K-12 schools and education service districts (ESDs), libraries, public healthcare facilities, Oregon Tribes, and other public and non-profit organizations across the state. The non-profit organization is also involved in a number of research computing and digital equity efforts across the state.




Attached Media Files: 2024-07/838/173652/Terrence_Woods.jpg

Smoke Management Advisory Committee meets on July 17
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/10/24 9:57 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Smoke Management Advisory Committee will meet Wednesday, July 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the ODF Headquarters, Building C, Tillamook Room, 2600 State Street, Salem. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Welcome and roll call
  • Committee business
  • Committee & agency reports
  • Smoke Management Unit FY24 budget
  • Rulemaking process - Update/planning/recommendations
  • Spring burning overview

The meeting is open to the public to attend either in person or virtually. There will be a period for public comment in the morning. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting by contacting y.berry@odf.oregon.gov">Shelby Berry at 503-949-5181.

View more information on the SMAC webpage.

Created by the Legislature in 1989, the five-member committee assists and advises the Oregon Department of Forestry in carrying out its Smoke Management Program. Members are appointed by the State Forester to serve a two-year term, which is renewable.


Telecommunications Policy Committee Meeting Scheduled (08/07/2024)
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 07/10/24 8:15 AM

TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY COMMITTEE

MEETING SCHEDULED

                                   

Notice of Regular Meeting

The Telecommunications Policy Committee of the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training will hold a regular meeting on August 7, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. in the Governor Victor G. Atiyeh Boardroom at the Oregon Public Safety Academy located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, Oregon. For further information, please contact Juan Lopez at (503) 551-3167.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training will be live streaming all public meetings via YouTube. Meetings will no longer be streamed on Facebook. To view the Telecommunications Policy Committee's live-stream and other recorded videos, please visit DPSST’s official YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/@DPSST.

Agenda Items

1. Introductions

2. Approve May 1, 2024, Meeting Minutes

3. Administrative Closures Consent Agenda (The following items to be ratified by one vote)

     Presented by Melissa Lang-Bacho

     a. Tabetha Daugherty; DPSST No. 53558

     Basic Emergency Medical Dispatcher and Basic and Intermediate Telecommunicator Certifications

     b. Cassandra Griffith; DPSST No. 43266

     Basic Emergency Medical Dispatcher and Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Supervisory Telecommunicator Certifications

4. Matthew Olson; DPSST No. 58203; Willamette Valley Communications Center

     Presented by Jennifer Levario

5. Agency Updates

6. Next Telecommunications Policy Committee Meeting: November 6, 2024, at 9:00 a.m.

 

Administrative Announcement

This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law and it will be recorded. Deliberation of issues will only be conducted by Telecommunications 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.

 


Tue. 07/09/24
Firefighters and local resources respond to Larch Creek Fire in Wasco County
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/09/24 9:50 PM

The Dalles, Ore. – Firefighters from the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District, U.S. Forest Service, local fire districts and landowners have quickly responded to a wildfire near Friend, OR. Firefighters are under initial attack and will continue operations into the night. The fire is currently burning with moderate-to-high spread, estimated at 3,500 acres in grass and timber fuel types. Containment is at 0%. 

The Larch Creek Fire is located 5 miles southwest of Dufur, OR near Friend, OR. It is burning southeast of Winslow Road in Township 2S Range 13E, which is west of Highway 97.

Last reported resources: 8 engines, 20-person hand crew from USFS Mt Hood, 4 dozers, local landowner resources, and multiple air resources. A Type 3 Central Oregon Fire Management Service team has been ordered and is in route. 

With high temperatures, low humidity, and difficult terrain, suppression efforts are requiring diverse methods of attack, prioritizing safety while protecting life and structures. Increased winds are playing a significant factor in fire behavior. No structures have been reported lost.

Evacuations: Level 3 - GO NOW - Evacuate from Clark Miller Road east to Hix Rd, North to Kingley-Friend Market Rd., South to Badger Creek Rd.

Level 2 - BE SET to evacuate from the following areas: Mc Corkle Rd south to Happy Ridge Rd, East to J Hix Rd, West to FS Rd 2700.

Level 1 - BE READY in Tygh Valley, Pine Hollow, and Wamic.

The Wasco County Fairgrounds is a temporarily designated evacuation point for livestock. A Red Cross Evacuation Shelter is opening at Maupin High School.

https://www.facebook.com/WascoCountySheriff or the Wasco County Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wascocounty/ 

The fire started sometime around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. The cause is under investigation. 


OSFM mobilizes resources to Larch Creek Fire in Wasco County
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 07/09/24 9:23 PM

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon State Fire Marshal is mobilizing four structural task forces and its green incident management team to the Larch Creek Fire burning in Wasco County, 16 miles south of The Dalles.

The fire sparked between Dufur and Tygh Valley around 3 p.m. Tuesday and has quickly grown. The fire is estimated at 2,500 acres. The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office has levels 1, 2, and 3 evacuations in place. 

The area remains under a Red Flag Warning for critical fire weather. On Tuesday, temperatures reached 107 degrees. Gusty winds are expected to continue into Wednesday.

Three structural task forces will be briefed at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday morning with another task force joining later in the afternoon. 

“The heat wave that has gripped Oregon significantly increased the fire danger across the state. The continued hot, dry conditions, and gusty winds are a dangerous combination,” Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Travis Medema said. “I am asking everyone to do what they can to prevent sparking a wildfire.” 

Tuesday night, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act for the fire which allows the state fire marshal to mobilize state resources to protect life and property.

Following ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Kotek determined that threats to life, safety, and property exist because of the fire, and the threats exceed the capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment. 

For the latest on evacuations, follow the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office.


Survey of Oregonians: Artificial Intelligence
Oregon Values and Beliefs Center - 07/09/24 3:09 PM

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

OREGONIANS BY THE NUMBERS AND IN THEIR OWN WORDS

KEY FINDINGS

AND COMMENTARY BY PROFESSOR REBEKAH HANEY, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON SCHOOL OF LAW

SUMMATION QUOTES

Amaury Vogel, Executive Director:

  • “While some Oregonians note potential benefits of AI, many of us feel like we’re not quite up to speed on how to really tap into its potential.”
  • “Oregonians are hopeful about AI’s potential to advance research and medicine, but they’re worried about negative impacts on education, jobs, politics, and art. They’re concerned enough about the impact on jobs, they want to make sure people who lose their jobs due to advances in AI receive unemployment benefits.”
  • When discussing necessary measures in response to AI development, seven out of ten Oregonians support incentivizing technology that gives low- and middle-income residents more affordable access to necessities, like food, housing, and utilities. Oregonians also generally support international cooperation with allies to try to prevent AI being used for weaponry and cyberwarfare.” 
  • “When it comes to making decisions about artificial intelligence, the scientific community is seen as the most trustworthy, but even ordinary people are seen as more trustworthy than the government.” 

FULL RESEARCH SUMMARY CAN BE FOUND ON OVBC WEBSITE, INCLUDING GRAPHS AND WORD CLOUDS, AND ALL DATA FILES: Artificial Intelligence - Oregon Values and Beliefs Center (oregonvbc.org)

COMMENTARY BY PROFESSOR REBEKAH HANEY

Comment on OVBC AI Survey Findings and Generative AI

Rebekah Hanley

 

Generative artificial intelligence (“AI”) is older than many realize; indeed, OpenAI introduced its first GPT (short for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer”) in 2018.  Still, the November 2022 public launch of ChatGPT 3.5 brought widespread access to the tool.  That access shined a bright light on the power, possibilities, and perils of large language models (“LLMs”), AI tools capable of quickly generating polished prose that seems like it was carefully crafted by humans.  As a legal writing professor at the University of Oregon, I have been contemplating the profound implications of LLMs’ fluency, range, and speed since the first time I saw one “write.”  And, like other educators (and students and parents); private-sector leaders and workers; and government officials, I am laboring to stay current in a rapidly shifting landscape, to adjust longstanding policies and practices, and to plan for the future of writing in an AI-enhanced world.

The launch of ChatGPT 3.5, with its accompanying media coverage of related technology, impacted Oregonians’ views about all AI.  Oregon Values and Beliefs Center’s August and December 2023 statewide studies captured the AI-related hopes, fears, and concerns of Oregonians; those findings may help the Oregon legislature consider how AI affects the state’s economy and social well-being.  The surveys show that Oregonians’ greatest concerns about AI center on control, safety, security, and malicious use, with almost three of every four respondents worrying about unintended, unmanageable consequences and exploitation for destructive purposes.  In the short term, Oregonians view the social, political, and economic effects of AI as materially more threatening to humanity than climate change, though in the long term they regard those two types of threats as about equal.  On balance, over a quarter of those surveyed think that AI’s benefits do not outweigh its risks in the short and long term; an additional eleven percent of respondents believe that even AI’s short-term benefits do not outweigh its risks.

But Oregonians’ opinions on these matters are to some extent uninformed.  As of August 2023, only thirty percent of respondents reported having personally experienced ChatGPT, which had been freely available to the public for over eight months.  Almost as many respondents did not know that ChatGPT was an example of AI; many respondents did not realize that AI has long been integrated into numerous commonly used digital platforms and tools.

The survey results reflect a sense of urgency around responding—in some way—to the shifting landscape.  In August 2023, almost sixty percent of respondents wanted both the federal and state governments to issue regulations ensuring that AI research and development serves the public interest, though fewer than twenty percent of respondents trusted government entities to make AI-related decisions.  Perhaps surprisingly, respondents trusted AI creators and marketers to self-regulate more than they trusted governments to regulate AI.  Four months later, that had shifted: The suggestion that corporations developing AI products should self-regulate enjoyed half as much strong support as the call for government regulation.  And while two-thirds of Oregonians believed that state officials lack the necessary expertise to regulate AI, over a third thought the state should move forward with regulation regardless of its expertise deficiency.

Oregonians expressed mixed opinions about how the state should respond to generative AI’s utility and risks.  Some Oregonians see opportunity and hope that the state will capitalize on it, becoming a leader in the sector by recruiting AI companies and research organizations.  At the same time, one in five Oregonians suggests that the state ban the use of new AI models by government employees.  With its diverse positions, Oregon mirrors the nation: the Pew Research Center has recently documented divergent views and uncertainty among teachers (about AI tools’ benefits and harms to K-12 education) and among the general public (about whether AI tools should cite source materials).

 

Overall, Oregonians recognize that AI is here to stay. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed agreed that K-12 AI literacy programs are necessary, likely in part to prepare students for the jobs of the future.  This vision of the future triggers financial concern: Almost three-fourths of those surveyed agreed that unemployment benefits should be available for workers whose jobs become obsolete due to AI.  These are logical reactions to the pace of generative AI improvement: Corporations are investing aggressively in this technology, and new products are being tailored for specific contexts and to minimize known risks and weaknesses. While simply ignoring the technology is not a viable strategy, specifically how educators and others should react to generative AI’s growth raises open—and challenging—questions; finding answers will require creativity and cautious, but bold, experimentation.

 

Professor Rebekah Hanley has been a faculty member at the University of Oregon School of Law since 2004.  She teaches foundational lawyering skills to first-year law students; she also teaches professional responsibility and advanced legal writing courses.  As Oregon Law’s current Galen Scholar in Legal Writing, Professor Hanley is studying generative AI and its implications for law school teaching and the practice of law.

 




Attached Media Files: Dec-Jan Verbatims , Dec-Jan Annotated Questionnaire , Dec-Jan Crosstabs , July-Aug Verbatims , July-Aug Annotated Questionnaire , July-Aug Crosstabs , Research Summary - AI , Prof. Haney Commentary - AI

Oregon among 27 states with illnesses linked to mushroom-derived candies
Oregon Health Authority - 07/09/24 3:06 PM

July 9, 2024

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

Oregon among 27 states with illnesses linked to mushroom-derived candies

Prophet Premium Blends in California recalling Diamond Shruumz products

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon is one of 27 states with cases of a severe acute illness associated with a brand of candies that contain a potentially harmful chemical found in mushrooms, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified epidemiologists at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division July 5 that Oregon is now part of a nationwide FDA outbreak investigation involving products manufactured by Prophet Premium Blends of Santa Ana, Calif.

The company has issued a recall of chocolate bars, cones and gummies sold under the brand Diamond Shruumz, including “Micro- and Mega/Extreme-Dose” versions of the products. According to the FDA, the products contain muscimol, a chemical found in mushrooms of the genus Amanita, and which could cause symptoms consistent with those observed in persons who became ill after eating Diamond Shruumz products. These products are not regulated for consumer safety.

Reported symptoms that may be related to the recalled products have included those linked to seizures, agitation, involuntary muscle contractions, loss of consciousness, confusion, sleepiness, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rates, and hyper/hypotension.

Oregon has one case. The individual has recovered from the illness. CDC reports there now are 58 cases across the country, with 30 hospitalizations. One death also is being investigated.

The FDA says Diamond Shruumz-brand products should no longer be available for sale. The products were previously available online and in person at a variety of retail locations nationwide, including smoke/vape shops. They also were available at retailers that sell hemp-derived products such as cannabidiol (CBD) or delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC).

OHA and FDA are making the following recommendations:

  • Consumers should not eat, sell or serve any flavor of Diamond Shruumz-brand chocolate bars, cones or gummies.
  • Consumers should check their homes and discard these products, or return them to the company for a refund.
  • These products may appeal to children and teenagers. Parents and caregivers should consider discussing the information in this advisory with their children and take extra care to prevent children from eating them.
  • Retailers should not sell or distribute any flavor of Diamond Shruumz-brand chocolate bars, cones, or gummies, and should hold the product in a secure location and contact Diamond Shruumz to initiate the return and refund.
  • Those who become ill after consuming these products should contact their health care provider and/or call the Oregon Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. Let Poison Center staff know you have recently consumed the Diamond Shruumz-brand chocolate bars, cones, and/or gummies.
  • Health care providers should report these illnesses to the Oregon Poison Center.

For more information:

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Oregon State Fire Marshal announces first deliveries of type 6 fire engines to Jefferson and Lebanon fire districts (Photo)
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 07/09/24 2:14 PM
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SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon State Fire Marshal is thrilled to announce the delivery of the first type 6 fire engines to the Jefferson Fire District and Lebanon Fire District. These deliveries are a milestone in the OSFM Engine Program, enhancing firefighting capabilities across Oregon.

The OSFM Engine Program purchased 76 new apparatus, including 26 Type 3 engines, 20 Type 6 engines, and 30 water tenders. So far, eight Type 3 engines and eight water tenders have been delivered to local agencies throughout the state. Ongoing deliveries of these apparatus will continue as the agency receives them. 

"We are excited to see the first type 6 engines arrive at Jefferson and Lebanon fire districts,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “This program represents a significant investment in the safety of our communities and the effectiveness of our firefighting efforts.”

The OSFM Engine Program, funded through Senate Bill 762, signed into law in 2021, is modernizing the equipment available to Oregon's structural fire service. This program ensures that local fire agencies have the necessary tools to effectively combat wildfires and protect lives and property.

For more information about the OSFM Engine Program and the ongoing efforts to improve wildfire response, please visit the OSFM Engine Program webpage.




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Marine Board Meeting in Salem July 24
Oregon State Marine Board - 07/09/24 2:00 PM

The Oregon State Marine Board will convene its quarterly meeting in Salem on July 24, 2024. The meeting will be held at the Marine Board office, 435 Commercial St., NE. in Salem, beginning at 8:30 am. 

The Board agenda includes the following items:

  • Director’s Report
  • Public Outreach Discussion
  • Outfitter Guide Legislative Concept Discussion, for Board Approval
  • 2025-2027 Agency Budget, for Board Approval
  • Oregon’s Kitchen Table, Upper Rogue River Process Update

Public comments for this meeting will be accepted in writing or by attending the public comment portion at the beginning of the hybrid meeting. To provide written or oral testimony, register with Jennifer Cooper no later than 5 pm on July 21, 2024. Register to speak or send written comments to .cooper@boat.oregon.gov">jennifer.cooper@boat.oregon.gov or by U.S. Mail to Oregon State Marine Board, Attn: Jennifer Cooper, 435 Commercial St NE Ste 400 Salem, OR 97301. 

To view the agenda and board materials and for a link to the meeting live stream, visit the agency’s Public Meetings page. Meetings are conducted using Microsoft Teams and viewing may require the installation of a free Teams app for mobile devices.

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Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution hosting graudation for successful completion of Roots of Success program
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 07/09/24 1:59 PM
What:

Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) is hosting a graduation for successful completion of Roots of Success. A peer led program helping adults in custody make positive choices, on their path to rehabilitation. 

For information about the Roots of Success program visit Home - Roots of Success.

When:  

July 15, 2024

Check in at 12:00 PM

Event 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Where:

Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution

2500 Westgate 

Pendleton, OR 97801 

RSVP:

RSVP to Chris Scarr, via email no later than 3:00 PM on Thursday, July 11, 2024. A background check is required for access into the facility. A list of equipment, tripods, batteries, microphone, cameras, etc. will be required.

 

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.

The Oregon Department of Corrections is responsible for the care and custody of approximately 12,000 men and women who are incarcerated in 12 institutions across the state. 


Event to Support Those in Need at Union Gospel Mission (Photo)
City of Richland - 07/09/24 12:44 PM
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Community partners are holding a Community Support and Dinner dedicated to connecting with those in need on Wednesday, July 17 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Union Gospel Mission, 221 S. 4th Avenue in Pasco.

This event will allow attendees to meet with local agencies and learn about the services available within our community. Free services include transportation to St Vincent de Paul Food Bank, showers, haircuts, hygiene kits, and cooling kits. Dinner will be served at 5:00 p.m.

Please share this information and encourage those in need to join us in support, connection, and care. We aim to provide immediate assistance and foster connections that can lead to longer-term support and stability.

For more information, contact Toni Lehman at 509-942-7580, or by email at tlehman@ci.richland.wa.us




Attached Media Files: 2024-07/5957/173621/Community_Support_Flyer_for_07-17.jpg

Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 07/09/24 11:51 AM
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An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Corey Allen Sanders, died July 9, 2024. Sanders was incarcerated at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) in Ontario and passed away at the institution. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the State Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.

Sanders entered DOC custody on September 19, 2022, from Yamhill County with an earliest release date of November 8, 2033. Sanders was 49 years old. Next of kin has been notified.

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

SRCI is a multi-custody prison in Ontario that houses approximately 3,000 adults in custody. SRCI has multiple special housing units including disciplinary segregation, intensive management, infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care, and an administrative segregation unit. SRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including a contact center, laundry, and sign shop. SRCI specializes in incentive housing, specialized housing, individuals with mental health/medical vulnerabilities, education and trades programs, cognitive and parenting programs, and institution work programs. SRCI opened in 1991 and is the largest correctional institution in the state.

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Attached Media Files: 2024-07/1070/173619/Sanders_C.jpg

Los hogares del condado de Deschutes que reciben SNAP y perdieron alimentos debido a los incendios forestales tienen hasta el 25 de julio para solicitar beneficios de reemplazo
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 07/09/24 10:59 AM

(Salem) – Las personas que viven en el condado de Deschutes y perdieron alimentos comprados con beneficios del Programa de Asistencia Nutricional Suplementaria (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP por sus siglas en inglés) debido a los recientes incendios forestales tienen hasta el jueves 25 de julio de 2024 para solicitar los beneficios de reemplazo al Departamento de Servicios humanos de Oregon (Oregon Department of Human Services, ODHS por sus siglas en español).

El ODHS recibió la aprobación federal para extender el plazo normal de 10 días para solicitar beneficios de reemplazo con el fin de apoyar a los hogares del condado de Deschutes afectados por los incendios actuales. Los hogares fuera del condado de Deschutes deben seguir el proceso habitual y solicitar los beneficios de reemplazo dentro de los 10 días siguientes a la pérdida.

Cualquier persona que haya desechado alimentos comprados con beneficios de SNAP que fueron destruidos debido a un desastre puede solicitar beneficios de reemplazo por el costo de los alimentos perdidos. La cantidad máxima del reemplazo es igual al beneficio mensual normal de SNAP del hogar.

Los solicitantes deben estar preparados para proporcionar una lista de los alimentos perdidos, el costo de reemplazarlos, y puede que tengan que proporcionar pruebas del evento que destruyó los alimentos.

Puede solicitar sus beneficios de reemplazo de SNAP de las siguientes formas:

Una vez que hayan sido aprobados, los beneficios de reemplazo se agregarán a la tarjeta Oregon Trail/de transferencia electrónica de beneficios (Electronic Benefits Transfer, EBT por sus siglas en inglés) existente del hogar.

Solicitudes de reemplazo para los beneficios de EBT de Verano 

Las familias que participan en el nuevo programa de EBT de Verano para niños en edad escolar también pueden solicitar beneficios de reemplazo. No hay fecha límite para solicitar beneficios de reemplazo para el EBT de verano. 

Para solicitar beneficios de reemplazo de EBT de Verano, llame al Centro de Llamadas de EBT de Verano al 1-833-673-7328. El centro de llamadas está abierto de lunes a viernes de 8:00 a.m. a 5:00 p.m., hora del Pacífico. Si su hogar recibe tanto beneficios de SNAP como beneficios de EBT de Verano, el centro de llamadas puede ayudarle a solicitar beneficios de reemplazo para ambos al mismo tiempo.

Recursos para ayudarle a satisfacer sus necesidades básicas

  • Encuentre una despensa de alimentos: Visite oregonfoodbank.org/es
  • Obtenga más información acerca de los programas del gobierno y los recursos de la comunidad para adultos mayores y personas con discapacidades: Llame al 1-855-673-2372 o visite adrcoforegon.org.
  • Encuentre más recursos cerca de usted: Marque 211, envíe un mensaje de texto con su código postal al 898-211, o visite 211info.org

Administrado por el ODHS, el SNAP es un programa federal que brinda asistencia de alimentos a aproximadamente 1 millón de familias y personas elegibles de bajos recursos en Oregon, incluyendo a muchos adultos mayores y personas con discapacidades. Cualquier persona de Oregon que lo necesite puede solicitar beneficios, incluyendo SNAP, cuidado de niños, asistencia en efectivo y Medicaid. Obtenga más información en beneficios.oregon.gov.

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Deschutes County households who receive SNAP and lost food due to wildfires have until July 25 to request replacement benefits
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 07/09/24 10:54 AM

(Salem) – People who live in Deschutes County and lost food purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits due to recent wildfires have until Thursday, July 25, 2024 to request replacement benefits from the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS).

ODHS received federal approval to waive the usual 10-day replacement benefit request deadline to help support Deschutes County households impacted by ongoing fires. Households who live outside Deschutes County must follow the usual process and request replacement benefits within 10 days of the loss.

Anyone who disposed of food bought with SNAP benefits that was destroyed due to a disaster can request replacement benefits for the cost of the lost food. The maximum replacement amount is equal to the household's normal monthly SNAP benefit.

Requestors should be prepared to provide a list of the lost food, the cost to replace it, and may have to provide proof of the event that destroyed the food.

Replacement SNAP benefits may be requested by:

Once approved, replacement benefits are added to the households’ existing Oregon Trail / Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

Summer EBT replacement benefit requests 

Families participating in the new Summer EBT program for school-aged children can also request replacement benefits. There is no deadline for requesting replacement Summer EBT benefits. 

To request replacement Summer EBT benefits, call the Summer EBT Call Center at 1-833-673-7328. The Call Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time. If your household receives both SNAP and Summer EBT food benefits, the Call Center can help you with replacement requests for both at the same time.

Resources to help meet basic needs

  • Find a food pantry: Visit oregonfoodbank.org
  • Learn about government programs and community resources for older adults and people with disabilities: Call 1-855-673-2372 or visit adrcoforegon.org.
  • Find more resources near you: Dial 211, text your zip code to 898-211, or visit 211info.org

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at benefits.oregon.gov.

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Oregon youth suicide data shows action needed to close equity gaps
Oregon Health Authority - 07/09/24 10:11 AM

July 9, 2024 

Media contact: Dean Carson, 503-348-9233, son2@oha.oregon.gov">dean.carson2@oha.oregon.gov 

Oregon youth suicide data shows action needed to close equity gaps 

Despite culturally responsive suicide prevention efforts, racial inequities remain 

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available 24/7. Call or text 988 or chat online at 988Lifeline.org. Specialized support is also available through the Veterans Crisis Line (press 1 or text 838255), in Spanish (press 2 or text “AYUDA” to 988) and for LGBTQIA2S+ youth and young adults (press 3 or text “PRIDE” to 988). 988 is also available for individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing through American Sign Language videophone services.  

Salem, Ore.—Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) Youth Suicide Intervention and Prevention Plan (YSIPP) annual report, which contains new analysis of 2022 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) death by suicide data, shows the risk of youth suicide continues to be a concern in Oregon, particularly for youth of color. 

In 2022, the most recent year of finalized data from the CDC, 109 Oregon youth ages 24 and younger died by suicide, Oregon’s first year-to-year increase since 2018. Despite the 2022 increase (up from 95 deaths in 2021), there were 16% fewer youth deaths in 2022 compared with a peak of 129 deaths in 2018. Moreover, preliminary data, which will not be finalized until spring 2025, suggest that 2023 will not see a further year-to-year increase in youth suicide rates. 

The 2022 data show that Oregon had the 12th highest youth suicide rate in the U.S. Suicide remains the second-leading cause of death in Oregon among this age group.  

The YSIPP annual report also highlights Oregon’s investments in this area, including support for statewide programming in youth suicide prevention, intervention and postvention services. The report details important advances in youth suicide prevention in Oregon, such as the addition of 343 suicide prevention trainers in the state, including 67 who speak languages other than English.     

In a letter to Oregonians accompanying the report, OHA Behavioral Health Director Ebony Clarke notes, “We have made some progress to create a system of suicide prevention that is better connected and better resourced. Yet, the tragedy of youth suicide remains. We need to do more, particularly for young people of color.”  

Data highlighted in the report show that stark racial disparities remain, both in Oregon and nationwide. Oregon deaths by suicide for youth identified as white have decreased overall since the overall peak in 2018, but the number of suicides for youth of other races and ethnicities either remained similar to 2018 or have increased.  

OHA’s suicide prevention team, along with the hundreds of suicide prevention trainers, advocates, community members and champions around the state, including the Oregon Alliance to Prevent Suicide, are working to implement key initiatives for youth suicide prevention discussed in the YSIPP. This includes programming that supports young people to find hope, help and strength, training programs to teach youth-serving adults how to recognize warning signs of suicide, and advanced skills training for providers to be equipped to help clients heal from thoughts of suicide.   

OHA and its partners are also working hard to launch culturally specific initiatives to increase protective factors that support youth in Oregon. In 2023-24, these efforts have included: 

  • Tribal prevention programs amplifying “culture as prevention” and hosting train-the-trainers for OHA’s “Big River” youth suicide prevention programming, which is available across the state at low or no cost. 
  • Black, African and African American youth-serving adults creating and sustaining the Black Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition, which is helping to bring healing to Black communities and creating spaces for young people to gather and feel a sense of belonging. Oregon also was one of eight states invited to participate in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Black Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative Policy Academy, which was highlighted as a key “Health Equity in Suicide Prevention” strategy in the federal government’s recently released 10-year 2024 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
  • OHA infused an additional $500,000 of funding to increase the availability of suicide prevention training and trainers who are Latino/a/x, Spanish-speaking or both. 
  • Oregon’s suicide prevention leaders are also working with Joyce Chu and Chris Weaver of the Culture & Suicide Prevention Institute, to infuse their cultural theory and model for suicide prevention into existing trainings, policies and programming. This work, which will increase attention to culturally specific risk and protective factors in Oregon’s suicide prevention efforts, is also an equity initiative highlighted in the 2024 National Strategy. 

Alfonso Ramirez, interim director of OHA’s Equity & Inclusion Division, reflected on the power of suicide prevention that centers connections to culture and belonging. Ramirez said, “Thanks to our community partners and leaders, we’ve recognized how important it is to also focus on the cultural strengths and wisdom that have been passed on for generations across communities. As we do work in this way, we experience a bit of healing ourselves.”  

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Okanagan Woman Indicted in Connection with Theft of Colville Tribe Funds from Family Member
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 07/09/24 10:07 AM

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that a federal grand jury has indicted Nina Rae Tatshama-Marchand, of Okanagan County, Washington, for bank fraud in connection with the unauthorized withdrawal and transfer of funds belong to a developmentally-disabled member of the Colville Tribe.

The Indictment announced today charges Nina Rae Tatshama-Marchand, of Okanagan County, Washington, with five counts of bank fraud. The Indictment alleges that Tatshama-Marchand opened a checking account with a developmentally-disabled minor and that after the victim, an enrolled member of the Colville Tribe, turned 18, he received tribal funds  due to his tribal membership. The indictment alleges that Tatshama-Marchand diverted the vast majority of the funds intended for the victim into her own accounts and converted it for her own personal use.  According to the indictment, Tatshama-Marchand fraudulently obtained at least $34,900.00 in this manner.

“Protecting vulnerable members of the community and safeguarding precious and limited tribal funds are top priorities of our office,” said United States Attorney Waldref. “My office will work closely with our law enforcement partners to hold fraudsters accountable when they prey on innocent members of the community in order to line their own pockets.”

The fraud charges carry sentences of up to 30 years in federal prison as well as restitution for fraudulently-obtained funds. This case was investigated by the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frieda K. Zimmerman.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Case No:         2:24-CR-81-TOR


Man Who Attempted to Shoot and Kill A Spokane Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Federal Drug and Firearm Charges
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 07/09/24 9:47 AM

Spokane, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Ray Anthony Wynecoop pleaded guilty on June 26, 2024, to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl, one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute 40 Grams or More of Fentanyl, one count of Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime, and one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke accepted Wynecoop’s guilty plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 25, 2024, in Spokane, Washington. 

In the plea agreement accepted by the court, and in information disclosed during court proceedings, Wynecoop was involved in two separate incidents.  First, on December 11, 2021, an officer with the Spokane Police Department (SPD) observed Wynecoop, who was driving a white Dodge Charger with no license plates, fail to use a turn signal. SPD attempted to conduct a traffic stop using the patrol car’s lights and siren. Instead of stopping, Wynecoop began driving erratically in attempt to elude SPD, including driving at excessive speeds on residential streets. SPD stopped following the vehicle when it became too dangerous. 

A short time later SPD located the Dodge Charger and observed that it had been involved in a crash. Wynecoop attempted to run from the scene but was arrested.

During a search of the Charger, law enforcement located a loaded 9mm pistol with a black laser mounted on the end of the barrel, a backpack with Wynecoop’s ID and two more lasers for the pistol. Officers also located a .380 semi-automatic pistol inside the vehicle, as well as a fanny pack that contained once ounce of heroin and fentanyl laced pills. 

The second incident occurred on June 26, 2022, when Wynecoop was armed with a .22 caliber pistol that had a loaded drum-style high-capacity magazine seated in the firearm. Wynecoop, along with another man, were involved in multiple drive-by shootings.  Based upon video evidence, they intentionally set out to locate a police officer and kill them. Wynecoop and his passenger began to follow a SPD officer and when a second officer came to their aid, Wynecoop opened fire, shooting the officer in the leg and the head. The other man with Wynecoop, videotaped it. The officer thankfully recovered from his injuries. 

During a search of the vehicle used by Wynecoop in the shooting, detectives located thousands of fentanyl pills, a small quantity of heroin, and other drug related items. 

On April 5, 2024, Wynecoop was sentenced in Washington State Court to more than 65 years in prison on multiple charges in connection to the shooting. The federal case was brought during the pendency of those state charges. 

“The violence in this case is shocking. Mr Wynecoop, a felon who was not allowed to possess firearms, went on a violent criminal spree that included a premeditated attempt to kill a police officer. His blatant disregard for the law and the safety of our community put all of us at incredible risk,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “I am grateful for the brave men and women of law enforcement who place themselves in harm’s way every day to keep us safe from individuals taking dangerous actions like Mr. Wynecoop.”

“This case highlights the importance of our collaboration with federal, state, and local partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington, the Spokane Police Department, and the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office, to find innovative solutions to take violent offenders off the street,” said Ron Deist, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DEA Spokane District Office.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, and the Spokane Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Van Marter. 


Grants awarded to historic property and archaeology projects across the state
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 07/09/24 7:25 AM

Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, awarded 18 grants totaling $299,999 for historic properties and archaeology projects. Six of the grants were awarded in the Diamonds in the Rough category. This grant funds façade enhancements that restore the historic character of the property. The other 12 grants were in the Preserving Oregon category for properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places and for archaeology projects.

Funded projects:

  • Façade restoration grants in Baker City, Independence, Lebanon, The Dalles, Union, and Malheur County.
  • One archaeology project:
    • Southern Oregon University Lab for study of the Maxville site in Wallowa County. 
  • Preservation of 11 historic properties:
    • Elks Lodge building, Medford
    • Butler Perozzi Fountain, Ashland
    • Giesy Store, Aurora
    • Masonic Lodge building, Baker City
    • Antelope School building, Antelope
    • Eltrym Theater, baker City
    • Santiam Pass Ski Lodge, Linn County
    • Gordon House, Silverton
    • Rock Creek Cemetery, Clackamas County
    • Hanley Farm, Jackson County
    • Old Post Office building, Weston

These grants are approved by the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation, a nine-member group that reviews nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. The members are professionally recognized in the fields of history, architecture, archaeology and other related disciplines.

For more information about the grant program, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at i.gill@oprd.oregon.gov">Kuri.gill@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-986-0685. 




Attached Media Files: 2024 Preserving Oregon Grant award list , 2024 Diamonds in the Rough award list