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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Wed. Sep. 20 - 2:04 am
Tue. 09/19/17
OHA concludes review of Youth Marijuana Use Prevention Pilot Campaign
Oregon Health Authority - 09/19/17 2:50 PM
September 19, 2017

More young people identify social norms around youth marijuana use, understand the legal consequences of use

PORTLAND, Ore. -- An Oregon Health Authority (OHA) education campaign aimed at youth and young adults raised awareness among its target audience of the risks associated with marijuana use, an independent evaluation has found.

"Stay True to You," OHA's youth marijuana use prevention campaign, was launched in July 2016 in two pilot communities--the Portland metro area (Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties) and Southern Oregon (Josephine and Jackson counties). RMC Research Corp., contracted by OHA to evaluate the campaign, found that after one year a statistically significant higher proportion of youth and young adults in the pilot areas correctly identified that only one in five Oregon high school juniors use marijuana.

The evaluation also showed that a significantly higher proportion of youth and young adults in the pilot areas correctly identified that possession of marijuana by persons under age 21 can result in a steep fine, community service or court-ordered drug treatment.

"We know that social norms and perceived risk of use are known predictors of substance use behavior," said Kati Moseley, OHA policy specialist at the OHA Public Health Division. "In the face of increased marijuana industry advertising, this campaign communicated those two crucial messages effectively to our audience."

The final evaluation is available on the Oregon Public Health Division website at http://healthoregon.org/marijuana under "Publications."

OHA launched the pilot campaign in the summer of 2016 in the midst of increased marijuana advertising and access to retail marijuana--recent changes that may promote underage marijuana use. Although the magnitude of marijuana advertising in Oregon is unknown, marijuana retail locations are more common than Starbucks in Oregon.

Youth and young adult attitudes--including intent to delay marijuana use until age 21--have held steady in this environment. The effects of the campaign on youth marijuana use are limited in the absence of coordinated education, support and services implemented in collaboration with counties, tribes, coordinated care organizations and schools in Oregon. Evidence shows media campaigns are most effective when started in the context of these community-wide supports for youth, parents and families.

OHA recommends adopting policies to track marijuana advertising; limit marijuana marketing and promotion; prohibit the sale of flavored products; and maintain local control to protect Oregon's youth and young adults from the potential negative health effects of marijuana use.

Background on Stay True to You campaign and evaluation

After the legalization and ongoing rollout of recreational marijuana, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 4014 and SB 1597, which provided OHA with $3.97 million to develop, pilot and evaluate a youth marijuana use prevention campaign in a rural and urban area of the state. Legislative intent guided OHA in choosing the Portland metro area and southern Oregon as the locations for the pilot campaign.

OHA developed the campaign using extensive audience research and focus groups. OHA conducted 28 focus groups in Portland, Bend, Medford and Pendleton featuring 260 youth and young adults ages 14 through 20. Participants from the African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, white, American Indian/Alaska native and Latino communities were included. DHM Research conducted groups in English and Spanish between October 2015 and March 2016.

OHA announced in July 2017 that the campaign would expand to the rest of the state.

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Direct report download: http://bit.ly/2xNfwsk
Committee for Family Forestlands meets September 25
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 09/19/17 2:30 PM
Date: September 19, 2017

Nick Hennemann, Public Affairs Specialist, Salem, 503-910-4311
Kyle Abraham, Deputy Chief Private Forests Division, Salem, 503-945-7473

The Committee for Family Forestlands will meet Monday, September 25 from 9 to 11 a.m. The meeting will be via conference call hosted in the Sun Pass Room, Building D, Oregon Department of Forestry Headquarters, 2600 State Street, Salem. The committee will:
Receive a general update from the Private Forest Division
Learn about Oregon Forest Practices Act streamside buffer and bald eagle rule changes and implementing the rules
Review its 2017 Work Plan

This is a public meeting, everyone is welcome. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. 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. For more information about attending the meeting please contact Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.

The 13-member committee researches policies that affect family forests, natural resource and forestry benefits. The committee recommends actions to the Oregon Board of Forestry and State Forester based on its findings. You can find more information at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/CFF.aspx.

FBI's Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense for College Students - Part 1 (employment)
FBI - Oregon - 09/19/17 10:00 AM
Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense for college students.

Parents -- this time of year is tough, there's no doubt about it. Your kids are headed to college, and whether you are excited or just relieved that they will finally be out of your hair, the stress is real. Beyond the emotional toll this can take, your wallet is about to take a hit, too. Tuition, books, room and board not to mention the mini-fridge, midnight pizza runs and more can break the bank.

Time for this kid to get a job, right ?! Yes -- with some caveats. College students are particularly vulnerable to getting suckered by scammers offering great jobs with good pay. They often advertise around college campuses or even send emails to their student accounts.

It's easy to apply -- simply fill out an online application, complete with personal info such as full name, date of birth and Social Security number. The scam artist now has everything he needs to steal the student's identity. He can open fraudulent bank accounts, credit cards and the like with ease.

In some cases, the fraudster will send the student a check as a signing bonus or first paycheck. The student is asked to cash the check, take a bit out for himself and send the rest to a specified vendor for supplies or needed software. The check, of course, is bogus, and the fraudster actually controls the bank account of what your student thought was a legitimate business vendor.

The bank may close your student's account due to the fraudulent activity, and he is now responsible for reimbursing the bank for the counterfeit check. His credit history takes a hit, too.

So how can a student protect himself from such a scam?

Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account or wiring portions of such checks to other individuals or accounts.
Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers. Look for poor use of the English language in e-mails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses.
Forward suspicious e-mails to the college's IT personnel.

Employment scams are not the only concern for college students these days. Next week, we will look at other ways fraudsters are going after your kids.

In the meantime, if you have been victimized by an online scam, report your suspicious contacts to the FBI. You can file an online report at the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.

Attached Media Files: TT - College Kid Employment - ENGLISH Audio , TT - College Kid Employment - SPANISH Written , TT - College Kid Employment - SPANISH Audio , TT - College Kid Employment - RUSSIAN Written , TT - College Kid Employment - RUSSIAN Audio
Two Weeks Remain for Othello Employers to Register: 1st Annual Career Showcase
Othello Sch. Dist. - 09/19/17 9:16 AM
OTHELLO, WA -- Othello School District is partnering with the Adams County Development Council to host its 1st Annual Career Showcase on Thursday, October 12 from 7:45 AM to 3:30 PM in the Othello High School gymnasium. Employers in the Othello area are encouraged to register by September 29 to host a FREE booth at this year's fair.

The 2017 career fair has a STEAM theme, focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. As students browse exhibitor booths, they will learn more about local companies and job opportunities, what high-tech and highly-skilled career fields are available, and begin establishing relationships with future employers. Participating employers will have the opportunity to interact with nearly 1,500 students from grades 9-12 in Othello High School.

Amy Parris, Othello School District Director of School to Career, has been working to connect the District to the Othello Industry Council, which is charged with populating the local workforce from entry level to managerial jobs.

"One of the first ideas from the council was to find a way to expose our middle and high school students in Othello to the local industries," Parris states. "After more than eight months in planning, the OIC and Othello School District partnership has resulted in this showcase."

Registration for the Othello Career Showcase is due by Friday, September 29 and may be mailed to the Adams County Development Council at 425 E. Main St., Ste. 300, Othello, WA 99344. Registration forms may also be submitted via email to stephenm@co.adams.wa.us. (See attached form.)

For more information about the career showcase, contact Amy Parris at 509.488.3351 Ext. 1030.


Attached Media Files: Career Showcase Poster , Exhibitor Form
Wrong way driver dies in head-on I-84 crash with Semi. (Gilliam County) (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 09/19/17 7:25 AM
At about 7:40 p.m. on September 18, 2017, Oregon State Police Dispatch received a call of a green 2003 Ford Windstar van traveling the wrong way on I-84 near milepost 141, east of Arlington. Minutes later at milepost 137, the van was reported to have crashed head-on into a semi tractor-trailer carrying vehicles in the eastbound lanes.

The preliminary investigation revealed the van had traveled westbound in the eastbound lanes and according to witness statements, had been traveling at 55 to 60 mph. The van crashed into the semi head on and came to a rest on top of the concrete center-line divider. The semi caught fire and became fully engulfed in flames, completely blocking the entire interstate for several hours.

The driver and sole occupant of the van was pronounced deceased at the scene and his identity is being withheld pending notification to the family. The driver of the semi, identified as 24 year old California resident, Santos Colunga, was treated for non-life threatening injuries at the scene.

OSP was assisted on-scene by Gilliam County Sheriff's Office, ODOT, North Gilliam Fire and the Department of Environmental Quality.

Attached Media Files: 2017-09/1002/108031/output.jpg , 2017-09/1002/108031/IMG955438.jpg
Mon. 09/18/17
Hospital Financial Performance in Q2 2017 Below Historic Levels
Oregon Assn. of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) - 09/18/17 2:26 PM
September 18, 2017 -- In the second quarter of 2017, community hospitals across Oregon saw low operating margins compared those of prior years, continuing the trend from the previous several quarters. The median operating margin at an Oregon hospital was 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2017 -- significantly down from the 5.3 percent recorded for the same period in 2016.

"Oregon hospitals are continuing to face difficult financial decisions," said Andy Davidson, president and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. "But hospitals remain committed to their staff, their patients, and the communities they serve as they navigate this troublesome period."

While the number of self-pay patients has continued to remain stable at just under two percent, charity care totaled $99.8 million in the second quarter of 2017, up 9.3 percent from $91.3 million in Q1. This shows that despite increased coverage, hospitals are seeing increasing numbers of patients who lack the ability to pay because they are uninsured or have high deductible health plans.

Notably, outpatient visits continued to increase, and indeed the increase in this quarter was significantly higher than before, up by 4.5 percent from Q2 2016. Inpatient volumes remained stable. At the same time, emergency department visits decreased 1.5 percent as compared with the same quarter in 2016, with 336,624 total visits in the second quarter of 2017.

The continued low margins came before the implementation of a new legislatively-mandated 0.7 percent tax on the largest hospitals to shore up the finances of the state's Medicaid program. Hospitals are very concerned about the impact of this tax combined with other payment cuts passed by the Legislature this past session.

"While the uncertainty around health care at the national level seems to have leveled out, there is still considerable question about Oregon's system and its long-term sustainability," added Davidson. "Hospitals are devoted to a fully-funded, sustainable Medicaid system in Oregon, but the Legislature must consider the impact of taxes and cuts on hospitals' ability to provide the care Oregon communities expect. Today's report shows we must continue to watch closely to ensure they stay financially viable as core funders of the Medicaid program."
To read the entire report, click here.


About OAHHS: Founded in 1934, OAHHS is a statewide, nonprofit trade association that works closely with local and national government leaders, business and citizen coalitions, and other professional health care organizations to enhance and promote community health and to continue improving Oregon's innovative health care delivery system.

Apprise Health Insights is the premier resource for hospital and health system data and analytics in the Pacific Northwest. As the data subsidiary of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, Apprise is uniquely positioned to collect hospital and health system data, and provide the meaningful analysis essential for informed decision-making.

Attached Media Files: Full Report , PDF version
Local Red Cross Sends 25 Disaster Responders to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma Relief Operations (Photo)
American Red Cross - Cascades Region - 09/18/17 12:38 PM
Boats thrown from water - Key West
Boats thrown from water - Key West
Red Cross responders from Oregon and Southwest Washington have deployed to the Southeast following two unprecedented hurricanes with another storm on the horizon.

PORTLAND, Ore., September 18, 2017 -- Disaster responders from the American Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington (Cascades Region) are on the ground in Texas and Florida helping communities devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma with shelter, food, water, cleanup supplies and recovery assistance.

Responders from Saint Helens, Grants Pass, Williams, Portland, Bend, Eugene, Keizer, Junction City, Dallas, Salem, Florence, Tigard, Medford, Vernonia, Springfield, Monmouth and Camas, Washington, are assisting affected communities by working in disaster relief shelters, delivering food and water to affected neighborhoods, providing emergency financial assistance, helping with family reunification, and delivering health and mental health services to people in need.

Southwest Oregon Chapter Executive Director, Carisa Hettich traveled from her home in Eugene to Houston where she started out helping at a 2,000 person relief shelter and is now traveling in an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to deliver food, water and cleanup supplies in communities that need help.

"There is extreme devastation here. People's possessions are piled on the side of the road, destroyed by floodwaters," said Hettich. "They have nothing and are grateful for all we are doing to help. I can't erase the damage but I can give people a warm meal, water and a hug to let them know it's going to be ok."

Red Cross volunteer responder, Judy Kimmons drove from her home in Medford across the country in an ERV to help people affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida.

"Thousands of people are without power, billboards are ripped down and strewn across the highway and boats have been thrown from the water and onto the shore," Kimmons said. "We've been focused on getting food to people without electricity and are bracing for other storms on the horizon."

The American Red Cross has launched a wide-ranging relief effort to provide safe shelter, food and comfort to people affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Red Cross is part of a large team of agencies and organizations responding to provide help to those in need.

In the last three weeks, the Red Cross and community partners have provided more than 934,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters due to hurricanes. Shelters were opened in eight states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Red Cross has served more than 3 million meals and snacks to people in need.
More than 6,400 Red Cross disaster workers and almost 300 emergency response vehicles are on the ground right now, helping thousands of people affected by these storms.
More than 73 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Overnight, more than 4,600 people stayed in 25 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas and Louisiana. To date, there have been nearly 394,000 overnight shelter stays provided for Hurricane Harvey.
Along with our partners, we have served more than 2.3 million meals and snacks in Texas and Louisiana.
More than 3,500 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground in Texas and Louisiana, with almost 280 more on the way.
More than 170 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help deliver meals and relief supplies across the hardest hit areas of Texas and Louisiana.
Mental health and health services professionals have provided nearly 76,000 contacts to provide support and care to people in Texas and Louisiana.
We've distributed nearly 655,000 relief items, such as diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items, in Texas and Louisiana.
The Red Cross has already distributed $45 million in financial assistance to more than 100,000 qualified households who needed immediate help. This assistance has helped more than 365,000 people including more than 10,000 households headed by military veterans.

Overnight, almost 3,600 people were provided refuge in 55 government and Red Cross shelters across Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes:
In Florida, more than 3,200 people in 47 evacuation shelters.
In Georgia, 24 people in one shelter.
On the U.S. Virgin Islands, 162 people in four evacuation shelters.
In Puerto Rico, more than 182 people in three evacuation shelters.
To date, evacuation centers have provided more than half a million (541,000) overnight stays to people needing a safe place to go.
Along with our partners, we have served more than 747,000 meals and snacks across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
We've distributed more than 88,000 relief items, such as diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mental health and health services professionals have provided more than 16,000 contacts to provide support and care to those affected across six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Nearly 3,000 Red Cross workers are responding to Irma now, with more than 300 more volunteers on the way.
More than 120 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help.

The Red Cross has launched massive responses to these devastating storms and needs financial donations to be able to provide immediate disaster relief for those affected.
Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Help people affected by Hurricane Irma by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS.

Attached Media Files: Local Red Cross Sends 25 Disaster Responders to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma Relief Operations , Boats thrown from water - Key West , Naples, Florida Relief Shelter , Meals Inside Cambro Containers to be Distributed in Neighborhoods - Beaumont, TX , Carisa Hettich - Hurricane Harvey Response
Eagle Creek Fire Morning Update 18 September 2017
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 09/18/17 9:52 AM
Eagle Creek Fire Size: 48,387 acres
Eagle Creek Fire Containment: 32%

Archer Fire Size: 260 acres
Archer Fire Containment: 100%


Rain began falling across the fire late Sunday afternoon, reducing fire activity. Earlier in the day gusty west winds did increase fire behavior in some areas, especially on the east side of Shellrock Mountain where bucket drops were used to cool hot spots. A column of smoke was also visible as fire burned slowly south in the Herman Creek drainage.

Firefighters were ready to engage where necessary, but spent most of the day preparing fire lines for rains predicted this week. Work included removing unneeded equipment and building water bars to mitigate erosion along fire lines.

Lines are well secured on the southwest corner and along the I-84 corridor to Wyeth. All contingency lines along the south and east sides remains in place, though no significant additional growth is expected on the fire given predicted weather. Even with rain, smoldering and creeping fire can be expected within the fire perimeter for some time. Smoke will continue to be visible.

Resources will be released from the fire over the next several days, but an adequate number of crews will be retained to continue patrols and other work along the fire line. Fire managers will monitor conditions to ensure they are safe for firefighters. Crews may be moved from the line to safe locations if conditions warrant.

Both the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Mt. Hood National Forest have issued signed closure orders for areas within and surrounding the Eagle Creek Fire. We want to emphasize the importance of adhering to these closures and not attempting to enter a closed area. Rolling rocks, falling trees, and loose soil resulting from the rain make it hazardous to travel within these areas. You put yourself and first responders at risk if you breach a closure.

The Archer Mountain fire in Skamania County, Washington is 100% contained. Equipment back-haul and fire line repair will continue today.

A cold front moved over the fire Sunday night, bringing significant precipitation. Showers, heavy at times, are predicted Monday and Tuesday, with another significant front moving over the fire Wednesday. As precipitation falls across the fire new hazards may emerge, including falling rock and trees on steep slopes and cliffs. If heavier precipitation hits later this week, debris flows are possible in smaller streams and channels.

Resources Assigned: 16 crews (1-Type 1, 8-Type 2, 7-Type 2 Initial Attack); 23 Engines; 7 Helicopters; 2 Dozers; 3 Water Tenders; 626 Personnel

Additional fire, closure and evacuation information can be found at:

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5584/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EagleCreekandIndianCreekFires2017/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eaglecreekfire
Oregon Smoke Information: https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
Multnomah County Sheriff Flash Alert: https://www.flashalert.net/id/MCSO
Hood River County Sheriff: http://www.hoodriversheriff.com/news/breaking-news/
Road Closures: https://tripcheck.com
Firewise Information: http://www.firewise.org/
New 'Promise' video debuts celebrating high school graduation
Ore. School Boards Assn. - 09/18/17 9:38 AM
A new video celebrating the importance of high school graduation debuted today on "The Promise of Oregon" website at www.promiseoregon.org.

The video can also be seen on YouTube at https://youtu.be/CMF0ad6T6Uk

The video was filmed at 2017 graduation ceremonies at Bethel SD (Eugene), Reynolds SD (Portland), Astoria SD and Eagle Point SD (north of Medford). It captures the excitement of seniors graduating from high school and celebrating with their families and friends.

The video is the first in a series of Promise efforts in 2017-18 that will focus on improving graduation rates at Oregon high schools statewide. Look for more in coming weeks, including debut of a longer graduation video in November.

The Promise of Oregon debuted in 2014 as a public awareness campaign by OSBA. Its goal is to celebrate the achievements of Oregon students and their public schools, and ensure that we invest adequately in education so they can achieve their potential.

OSBA is a member services organization for more than 200 locally elected boards serving school districts, education service districts and community colleges. It also provides services to charter schools and their boards.

Website: promiseoregon.org
Twitter and Instagram: @PromiseOregon
Facebook and YouTube: ThePromiseofOregon
Sun. 09/17/17
Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports inmate death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 09/17/17 5:04 PM
Kenneth Allen
Kenneth Allen
An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) inmate died unexpectedly Sunday Morning at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla. As with all unanticipated deaths of state prison inmates, the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation.

TRCI staff were attending to complaints from Kenneth Allen, 23, when he became unresponsive. Security and medical staff immediately began life-saving efforts which continued until Umatilla Emergency Medical Technicians arrived and pronounced Allen deceased at 11:09 a.m.

Allen entered DOC custody on January 14, 2016, on three counts of theft and one count of possession of heroin out of Jackson County. His expected release date was December 22, 2017.

Next of kin has been notified. No other details are available at this time.

TRCI is a multi-custody prison in Umatilla that houses approximately 1,800 male inmates. TRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including institution and industrial laundry, mattress manufacturing, and sewing. Other institutional work programs include reparation and cleaning of irrigation ditches, maintenance of local baseball fields, and work with local cities and the Hermiston School District. The facility provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, religious services and behavioral health services. TRCI opened in 2000.


Attached Media Files: Kenneth Allen
Sat. 09/16/17
Eagle Creek Fire Morning Update 16 September 2017
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 09/16/17 8:27 AM
Eagle Creek Fire Size: 45,579 acres

Eagle Creek Fire Containment: 32%

Archer Fire Size: 260 acres
Archer Fire Containment: 100%

A community meeting is scheduled for 12 PM on Saturday, September 16 at the Hood River Valley High School to share information on the Eagle Creek Fire.


Firefighter control efforts focus on the outer perimeter of the fire. Smoke and flames may be visible as pockets of unburned fuel are consumed within the interior of the fire.

Temperatures remain seasonable with a high of 72 degrees with east, northeast winds at 15-25 mph. The relative humidity remains low ranging from 20-30 percent. Saturday evening into Sunday winds are expected to begin shifting to the southwest, as a cold front moves into the area bringing cloudy conditions, a chance of precipitation, higher humidity and lower temperatures.

Active fire behavior is expected primarily on the southern and western edge of the fire with dry conditions and east, northeast winds. Firefighters will be reinforcing and holding lines along the west side of the fire. The Bell Creek drainage is expected to receive windy conditions and active fire behavior. Aerial operations will support firefighters with direct water drops to assist holding and firing operations as conditions allow. Mop up continues along the Interstate 84 corridor and reinforcement of lines on the east side of the fire. Work to stabilize fire lines in advance of possible precipitation will be occurring all over the fire area.

Today Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) task forces will continue work making structures better prepared against wildfire. Weather and fire conditions will be monitored to ensure that fire crews are best positioned to protect structures in the event of increased fire behavior.

The Archer Mountain Fire is 100 percent contained with crews on site continuing mop-up, patrol and rehabilitation of fire lines.

Resources Assigned: 27 crews (5-Type 1, 14-Type 2, 8-Type 2 Initial Attack); 61 Engines; 12 Helicopters; 9 Dozers; 18 Water Tenders; 1,060 Personnel.

Additional fire, closure and evacuation information can be found at:

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5584/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EagleCreekandIndianCreekFires2017/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eaglecreekfire
Oregon Smoke Information: https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
Multnomah County Sheriff Flash Alert: https://www.flashalert.net/id/MCSO
Hood River County Sheriff: http://www.hoodriversheriff.com/news/breaking-news/
Road Closures: https://tripcheck.com
Firewise Information: http://www.firewise.org/
Fri. 09/15/17
Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: September 19, 2017
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 09/15/17 5:08 PM
Walla Walla School District Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: September 19, 2017

Supporting documents are available via the following link: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835
Kiona - Benton City School Board Scheduled a Special meeting for 9/18/2017 at 6:00 PM in the Board room.
Kiona-Benton City Sch. Dist. - 09/15/17 11:54 AM
Kiona - Benton City School Board will have a special meeting to discuss personnel matters at 6:00 pm on 9/18/2017 in the Board room.
Richland Hotel Motel Tax Money Available
City of Richland - 09/15/17 11:15 AM
Each year the City of Richland receives funds from the room tax imposed upon hotels and motels located within the City. These funds can be retained by the City or can be expended for a narrow range of projects and activities established by State law. Projects should encourage tourism. Applications for 2018 funds are due by October 13.
For criteria and other detailed information, visit www.ci.richland.wa.us/hotelmotel
If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Ayers, jayers@ci.richland.wa.us or by calling 942-7381.
New Richland City Hall Ground Breaking Next Friday (Photo)
City of Richland - 09/15/17 10:21 AM
The public is invited to a historic ground breaking celebration for the new Richland City Hall as a component of the City's Swift Corridor initiative. The event is scheduled for Friday, September 22nd at 10:00 a.m. at the corner of Jadwin and Swift, west of the current City Hall on the northeast corner of the Federal Building parking lot.

The current City Hall was built in 1958 when the City was first incorporated. The aging infrastructure continues to be a challenge to maintain and residents must visit multiple city buildings for services. The new facility will combine three services into one and provide a "one stop shop" for better citizen and customer access. The existing City Hall site will be cleared and made available for additional exciting economic development opportunities.

Please join us in this celebration.

Attached Media Files: 2017-09/5957/107958/city_hall_drawing.png
Insurance agencies and community groups poised to help Oregonians enroll in health insurance this fall
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 09/15/17 10:12 AM
(Salem) -- The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace has awarded outreach and consumer-assistance grants to six nonprofit groups and 31 insurance agencies. The awardees will use the grants, totaling $645,135, to publicize the upcoming health insurance open enrollment period and help Oregonians enroll in coverage through HealthCare.gov and other programs. Open enrollment this year runs from Nov.1 through Dec. 15.

"Open enrollment is just six weeks this year, so having a network of skilled, trusted professionals help people sign up for coverage is more important than ever," said Jean Straight, acting director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. "The Marketplace grants support this network."

The state selected grantees after a competitive application process. Applicants were judged on multiple criteria, including their demonstrated ties to community networks, ability to reach underserved populations, and capacity to serve consumers whether they are eligible for HealthCare.gov plans or other programs, such as the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare.

The nonprofit groups -- called community partners -- receiving grants are:

Asian Health and Service Center
Cascade AIDS Project
Northeast Oregon Network (NEON)
Performance Health Technology (PH TECH)
Project Access NOW
The Rinehart Clinic

Insurance agencies -- called partner agents -- receiving grants are:

Aaron Michael Burns Insurance Services
Abel Insurance
Bancorp Insurance
Barlow Insurance LLC
Boone Insurance Associates
Bredimus Insurance Agency
Carney Insurance
Central Financial Services of Oregon
Country Financial
Exchange Insurance Services
FG Insurance
HE Cross Company
Health Insurance Place
Health Plans in Oregon
Health Plans NW
Healthwise Insurance
Healthy, Wealthy & Wise
High Desert Insurance
iCover Oregon
Insured by Gallegos
Linda Dugan Insurance
Matthew Woodbridge Insurance
Pfaff-Karren Insurance
Reinholdt & O'Harra Insurance
Revell Coy Insurance
RJS & Associates
Secure Tomorrow Insurance
The Health Insurance Store
Thippayaphorn Om Sukheenai
Tina VanPhung
Tomlin Benefit Planning

The grant award term is 12 months, with the community partners and partner agents serving consumers both during open enrollment and throughout the year.


The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. DCBS houses the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, along with other divisions. For more information, go to dcbs.oregon.gov.
Eagle Creek Fire Morning Update 15 September 2017
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 09/15/17 8:24 AM
Eagle Creek Fire Size: 41,550 acres

Eagle Creek Fire Containment: 28%

(Archer Fire Size: 260 Acres -Archer Fire Containment: 100%)

A community meeting has been scheduled for noon on Saturday, September 16 at the Hood River Valley High School to share information on the Eagle Creek Fire.


Interstate 84 opened to westbound traffic last night. Crews have worked hard for more than a week to reinforce fire line, remove hazard trees, and address other public safety concerns. Fire line has been completed along I-84 from Bridal Veil to Cascade Locks. Drivers are reminded to obey posted speed limits, be aware of changing visibility and watch out for other hazards. All exits between Hood River and Troutdale will remain closed. Drivers are not to stop along the highway.

Yesterday, aircraft dropped nearly 100,000 gallons of water on the fire. Today, resources will be focused on the northeast corner of the fire to help protect the communities, infrastructure, and other values at risk there as burnout operations continue from Cascade Locks east to Mitchell Point. If conditions permit, helicopters may be used to assist with burnout operations west of Wyeth to bring fire down to the powerline corridor in a controlled manner. Crews will also be reinforcing line from Mitchell Point south to Wahtum Lake.

On the west side, fire is most active in the Bell Creek area. Crews will be constructing direct hand line and bucket drops may be used to cool hotspots in that area. Indirect dozer line will be connected to the powerline corridor near Larch Mountain to form a continuous line to the south.

Oregon State Fire Marshal crews will continue to patrol residences near the eastern edge of the fire. Two additional task forces have arrived to support the structural assessment and preparation work being performed in Hood River.

Command of the Archer Mountain Fire transferred to the Eagle Creek Unified Command at 0600 this morning. The Archer Mountain Fire is 100 percent contained. Crews will continue to mop-up and patrol.

Weather is expected to remain cooler with light winds. Friday evening and Saturday may bring lower relative humidity and a shift to light northeast winds. Significant precipitation is still forecast for early next week.

Resources Assigned: 26 crews (5-Type 1, 14-Type 2, 7-Type 2 Initial Attack); 54 Engines; 12 Helicopters; 9 Dozers; 16 Water Tenders; 967 Personnel

Additional fire, closure and evacuation information can be found at:

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5584/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EagleCreekandIndianCreekFires2017/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eaglecreekfire
Oregon Smoke Information: https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
Multnomah County Sheriff Flash Alert: https://www.flashalert.net/id/MCSO
Hood River County Sheriff: http://www.hoodriversheriff.com/news/breaking-news/
Road Closures: https://tripcheck.com
Firewise Information: http://www.firewise.org/
Thu. 09/14/17
Prosser School District Statement
Prosser Sch. Dist. - 09/14/17 5:30 PM
Dr. Tolcacher is on paid leave. The parties are currently negotiating regarding Dr. Tolcacher's contract and retirement. These negotiations are private and privileged. Any other reports regarding this matter are inaccurate and without factual basis.
Richland Energy Services Proposes Increase in Electrical Rates
City of Richland - 09/14/17 1:35 PM
On Tuesday, September 19, the Richland City Council will consider new electric rates during a public hearing presented by Richland Energy Services. The proposed 6.5% increase would become effective January 2018 and is necessary primarily due to Bonneville Power Administration's wholesale power increase effective October 1, 2017. Even with the increase, Richland Energy Services' rates will remain very competitive compared to other regional utilities.
If Council approves the first reading of the ordinance for the increase, approval of the second ordinance reading is required and planned for October 3. If approved by Council, the new rates will be effective with the first utility bill customers receive in January and apply to all electrical services for the billing period.

Customers can access a bill calculator and more information at www.ci.richland.wa.us/EnergyServices.
Eagle Creek Fire Morning Update 14 September 2017
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 09/14/17 8:23 AM
Winds, which pushed the fire beyond Nick Eaton Ridge in the northeast corner yesterday, calmed overnight and are anticipated to remain light today. The fire still is expected to continue growing, mainly to the south and to a lesser extent the east, but at a slower rate. Air resources may also be used to help slow the fire's spread. Line is in place along the I-84 corridor from Herman Creek east to Mitchell Point and if conditions permit, firefighters will conduct burn out operations to strengthen that line.

Mop-up is almost complete along the I-84 corridor from Bridal Veil to Warrendale. Crews will now begin focusing their mop-up efforts east toward Cascade Locks. On the southwest and southeast perimeters, contingency line, which primarily follows powerline corridors and roads, is nearly complete. The fire is expected to continue its low intensity burn in Tanner and Big Cedar Springs.

Powerlines serving Cascade Locks from the west have been re-energized following operations to remove snags and complete repairs.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal continues to maintain four structural protection task forces (two working during the day and two at night). These crews are working along with our wildland partners to improve containment lines by supporting burnout operations and patrolling residential areas. As conditions change, these firefighters will be positioned to provide the best protection for homes and other buildings.

Weather is predicted to remain cooler with higher relative humidity and light winds through this evening. Friday and Saturday may present some challenges, with a potential for light east winds and lower relative humidity. A significant rain event is still predicted for Sunday evening and Monday.

Contact Information: Fire Information 541-392-1632 (8 a.m.-8 p.m.) or eaglecreekfire2017@gmail.com

Location: Hood River and Multnomah Counties, Oregon; originated 1 mile south of Cascade Locks, Oregon

Start Date: September 2, 2017, 4:02 p.m. Size: Approximately 37,567 acres

Cause: Under Investigation Percent Contained: 17

Resources Assigned: 26 crews (5-Type 1, 14-Type 2, 7-Type 2 Initial Attack); 46 Engines; 12 Helicopters; 9 Dozers; 15 Water Tenders; 934 Personnel

Additional fire, closure and evacuation information can be found at the following sites:

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5584/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EagleCreekandIndianCreekFires2017/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eaglecreekfire

Oregon Smoke Information: https://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

Multnomah County Sheriff Flash Alert: https://www.flashalert.net/id/MCSO

Hood River County Sheriff: http://www.hoodriversheriff.com/news/breaking-news/

Road Closures: https://tripcheck.com

Firewise Information: http://www.firewise.org/