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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Mon. Oct. 3 - 1:59 pm
Police & Fire
Bend Fire & Rescue Open House Event celebrating National Fire Prevention Week (Photo)
Bend Fire & Rescue - 09/30/22 10:25 AM
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Bend Fire and Rescue Open House

Bend Fire Station North

63377 Jamison Street

Bend, Oregon

 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

10am – 3pm

 

Join Bend Fire & Rescue in celebrating National Fire Prevention Week!

Meet your firefighters and emergency responders

Tour the fire station and climb aboard a fire engine

K9 Bite Demonstration from the Bend Police Department

Watch our Rescue team perform special operations

Learn about wildfire and home safety

Emergency Preparedness from the American Red Cross

Health and Wellness from Saint Charles Health System

See an Airlink Helicopter land and meet their flight medics

 Learn Hands Only CPR and how to stop bleeding emergencies

Plus, delicious Eberhards Ice Cream for everyone!

 

For more information call (541) 322-6300 or visit us at www.bendoregon.gov/fire

 

FREE FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!




Attached Media Files: 2022-09/6802/157942/FPW22_socialcard1_300.jpg

Plan, Practice, Be Prepared with a Home Fire Escape Plan (Photo)
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 10/03/22 1:19 PM
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SALEM, Ore. – You and your family may have less than two minutes to safely escape your home during a fire. Each year in Oregon, an average of 32 people die in home fires. These statistics are just a few reasons why the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is urging Oregonians to create and practice a home fire escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Month this month.

The OSFM is kicking off a campaign called “Plan, Practice, and Be Prepared with a Home Fire Escape Plan” to educate and highlight the importance of having and practicing a plan.

To support the OSFM’s campaign, Oregon Governor Kate Brown proclaimed October as Fire Prevention Month.  

“Home fire escape plans save lives,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “This October, we ask everyone to create a plan and practice it with all household members to be prepared if there is a fire inside their home.”

There are some simple steps to plan and prepare your safe home fire escape:

  • Ensure your home has working smoke alarms and check alarms monthly.  
  • Make an escape map showing every window and door and share it with everyone in your home.  
  • Have two ways out of every room.  
  • Designate an outside meeting place a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.
  • Plan for everyone: If you have children, elderly, or differently-abled people in your home, plan for their escape. Consider other challenges like second-story bedrooms.
  • Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year during the night and day.  
  • Get out and stay out if your smoke alarm sounds; never go back inside for others or pets.  
  • Call 9-1-1 when you’re safely outside.  

For more resources about home fire escape plans and a social media campaign to help educate and prepare Oregonians, visit our website.  




Attached Media Files: 2022-10/1062/158004/Fire_Prevention_Month_October_2022.pdf , 2022-10/1062/158004/OSFM_Fire_Prevention_Month_Proclamation.jpg

VIDEO: OSFM interview with IMT member in Florida
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 09/30/22 8:25 PM

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Incident Management Team (IMT) sent to help with the response to Hurricane Ian in Florida arrived in Hardee County on Friday. The team met with emergency managers and went straight to work. They have been challenged with limited cell service, connectivity, and damaged infrastructure. The OSFM was able to get a brief interview this evening with OSFM IMT PIO Brett Deedon with Eugene Springfield Fire. The interview is linked below for our media partners to use. Because of the limited service the team has, at this point we can’t facilitate interview requests on the ground. We are working to make sure you all are able to share their story.

OSFM Interview: Brett Deedon 9-30-2022

As the team gets settled in over the coming days, we anticipate more pictures and videos. We’ll keep you posted on their work in Florida.


VIDEO: Interview with OSFM IMT member headed to support Hurricane Ian
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 09/28/22 8:25 PM

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) conducted a brief interview (linked below) for our media partners Wednesday evening before members of the incident management team (IMT) left for Florida. OSFM IMT member Brett Deedon with Eugene Springfield Fire talks about being mobilized to support the hurricane response efforts in Florida. Deedon and 12 others (13 total) from the OSFM’s three all-hazard incident management teams were mobilized Wednesday and are traveling to Tallahassee, Florida. After arrival, they will receive their mission in supporting those impacted by Hurricane Ian.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Brett Deedon OSFM IMT PIO


Oregon Sends Team to Support Hurricane Ian Response
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 09/28/22 11:32 AM

SALEM, Ore – The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is sending help to Florida to assist with the response to Hurricane Ian. Today, 13 team members from the OSFM’s three incident management teams are leaving Oregon to work in Florida for up to 14 days.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management requested aid through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), administered by the Oregon Department of Emergency Management. The OSFM immediately went to work to fulfill the request. The team is led by Incident Commanders Ted Kunze and Ian Yocum. Specific work sites for the team will be determined as they travel and as Hurricane Ian continues to push across Florida. They’ll be working in communities impacted by the storm.

“We are thankful to the Oregon fire service and our all-hazard IMTs for answering the call to help Floridians,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “I want to extend a thank you to the team members, their families, and the Oregon fire service for supporting this mission. Our IMT members train year-round to be prepared to assist in any kind of emergency or disaster, including hurricanes. Our office stands ready to help protect lives and communities. We are keeping those in Florida impacted by this storm in our thoughts.”

ABOUT THE OSFM IMT PROGRAM

The OSFM administers three all-hazard incident management teams, primarily made of members of the Oregon structural fire service. 

The OSFM all-hazard IMTs offer a wide range of emergency support services to develop plans to safely respond to and improve the lives of those impacted by the incident. The teams work to effectively coordinate with responding agencies to provide structure, support, and oversight during emergencies.  They specialize in safety, public information and community engagement, operations, plan development, logistics, and communications. 

The teams primarily mobilize to wildfires that threaten lives, homes, and critical infrastructure. This summer the OSFM’s three IMTs supported five wildfire conflagrations across Oregon. Learn more about OSFM’s IMTs here.


Fatal Crash on Hwy 101-Tillamook County
Oregon State Police - 10/03/22 12:29 PM

On September 29, 2022 at approximately 5:27 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 101 near milepost 70.

Preliminary investigation revealed a southbound black Toyota 4Runner, operated by Tysa Marie Judd (37) of Tillamook, turned onto South Prairie Road into the path of a northbound Harley Davidson FIS motorcycle, operated by Carl Anderson (73) of Tillamook. The Harley Davidson collided with the side of the Toyota and Anderson was thrown from the motorcycle. 

Anderson sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Judd was uninjured. 

Hwy 101 was affected for 4 hours while the OSP Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the scene. 

OSP was assisted by Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office and ODOT. 


Fatal Crash on Hwy 101-Douglas County
Oregon State Police - 10/03/22 11:56 AM

On Thursday, September 29, 2022 at approximately 2:21 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Highway 101 near milepost 209. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a southbound Dodge Ram 1500, operated by Ryan Davidson (40) of Reedsport, struck a southbound cyclist, identified as Nathalie Friese (29) of Germany. 

Friese was transported to area hospitals with critical injuries and was pronounced deceased on September 30, 2022.

OSP was assisted by Reedsport Police Department, Gardiner Fire and Rescue, Lower Umpqua Ambulance and ODOT. 


Fatal Crash on Interstate 5-Marion County
Oregon State Police - 10/03/22 11:47 AM

On Friday, September 30, 2022 at approximately 12:51 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Interstate 5 near milepost 270.

Preliminary investigation revealed a Toyota 4Runner, operated by Katharine Deluca-Carroll (58) of Salem, was on the northbound shoulder and began to merge into northbound traffic when the vehicle went off the roadway, struck a guardrail and rolled. 

Deluca-Carroll sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. 

OSP was assisted by Woodburn Fire Department and ODOT. 


Triple Fatal Crash on Hwy 99E-Marion County
Oregon State Police - 10/03/22 9:26 AM

On Sunday, October 2, 2022 at approximately 2:46 AM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 99E near milepost 36. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a southbound gray Toyota Corolla, operated by Epifanio Jose Ruiz (21) of Beaverton, crossed over into the northbound lane and collided head-on with a silver Honda Accord, operated by Gabriel Hernandez Ortiz (36) of Woodburn.

Epifanio Jose Ruiz was life-flighted to an area hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. A passenger in Ruiz’s car, Jorge Valencia Cortez (22) sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Gabriel Hernandez Ortiz also sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased and the passenger in his vehicle, Omar Jeu Pastor Martinez (26) of Woodburn, was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Hwy 99E was affected for approximately 4 hours while the OSP Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the scene. Alcohol is being investigated as the contributing factor to the crash as Ruiz’s BAC was determined .24% at the hospital. 

OSP was assisted by Woodburn Fire Department, Woodburn Ambulance, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and ODOT. 


Fatal Crash on Hwy 234-Jackson County
Oregon State Police - 10/02/22 4:47 PM

On Friday, September 30, 2022 at approximately 5:32 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a multiple vehicle accident on Hwy 234 near milepost 10.

Preliminary investigation revealed a Ford F150, operated by Richard Dionne (65) of Rogue River, pulled out onto Hwy 234 from Old Sam’s Valley Road and collided with two westbound motorcycles. Dustin Small (36) of Pendleton was operating a Harley Davidson and Matthew Small (32) of Gresham was operating a Honda. Intoxication is being investigated as a contributing factor to the crash.  

Dustin Small sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Matthew Small was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Dionne was transported with non-life-threatening injuries to an area hospital also. 

Hwy 234 was affected for approximately 4 hours while OSP Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the scene. 

OSP was assisted by Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Mercy Flights and ODOT. 


Fatal Crash on Hwy 126E-Lane County
Oregon State Police - 10/02/22 4:36 PM

On Friday, September 30, 2022 at approximately 6:00 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 126E near milepost 50.

Preliminary investigation revealed an eastbound blue Nissan VRS, operated by Vanessa East (45) of Mckenzie Bridge, was stopped waiting to turn left into a residential driveway when an eastbound Freightliner, operated by Joseph Garcia (62) of Junction City, rear-ended the Nissan. 

East and a male juvenile passenger were transported with injuries to an area hospital. The front passenger in the Nissan, Shaney Howard (52) of McKenzie Bridge, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Garcia was uninjured. 

Hwy 126E was affected for approximately 6 hours while the OSP Reconstruction Collision Unit investigated the scene. 

OSP was assisted by Mckenzie Fire Department, Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Coburg Police Department and ODOT. 


Fatal Crash on Interstate 5-Marion County
Oregon State Police - 09/30/22 3:41 PM

On Friday, September 30, 2022 at approximately 12:45 AM, Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 5 near milepost 279, south of Wilsonville. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a black Honda motorcycle, operated by Tyler Bratton (24) of Santa Rosa, California, was travelling southbound in the northbound fast lane and collided head-on with a black Jeep Cherokee, operated by Usach Sisach Nelson (22) of Corvallis. 

Prior to the collision a witness observed the motorcycle northbound, make a U-turn and proceed southbound on the Interstate. It is unknown why Bratton was traveling the wrong direction. Additionally, during the investigation it was determined Nelson showed signs of impairment and was subsequently arrested for DUII. His BAC was determined to be .10%. 

Bratton sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. 

Interstate 5 was affected for 4.5 hours while the OSP Collison Reconstruction Unit investigated the scene.

OSP was assisted by Aurora Fire Department, Woodburn Ambulance and ODOT. 


Fatal Crash on Hwy 97-Deschutes County
Oregon State Police - 09/30/22 11:33 AM

On Thursday, September 29, 2022 at approximately 7:39 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 97 near milepost 117, north of Redmond.

Preliminary investigation revealed a southbound gray Honda Accord, operated by Micah Borden (23) of Madras, crossed into the northbound lane and collided head-on with a red Ford F150, operated by Jon Moore (37) of Redmond. 

Borden sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Moore was injured and transported to an area hospital. 

OSP was assisted by Redmond Fire and Rescue, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and ODOT.  


OSP Fish & Wildlife seeking public assistance with poached Elk - Columbia County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 09/29/22 7:00 AM
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On September 23, 2022, at approximately 6:40 a.m., OSP Fish & Wildlife Troopers received information that a large bull elk was shot and killed with a rifle on private property off Stoney Point Road in Vernonia. 

OSP Fish & Wildlife Troopers are seeking public assistance identifying the person(s) who shot the bull elk and left it to waste. 

OSP Fish & Wildlife Division is urging anyone with information about this case to call the Oregon State Police Tip-line at 1-800-452-7888, OSP (677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov. Please reference case number SP22256433.

 

Report Wildlife and Habitat Law Violators

The Turn In Poachers (TIP) program offers preference points or cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation, to a suspect, for the unlawful killing of wildlife, and or waste of big game. Cash rewards can also be awarded for turning in people who destroy habitat, illegally obtain licenses/tags, and for the unlawful lending/borrowing of big game tags. Learn more: https://www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/fw/Pages/tip.aspx

 PREFERENCE POINT REWARDS:

5 Points-Mountain Sheep

5 Points-Rocky Mountain Goat

5 Points-Moose

5 Points-Wolf

4 Points-Elk

4 Points-Deer

4 Points-Antelope

4 Points-Bear

4 Points-Cougar

 

 Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) Cash Rewards:

$1,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, and Moose

$500 Elk, Deer, and Antelope

$300 Bear, Cougar, and Wolf

$300 Habitat Destruction

$200 - Illegally obtaining Oregon hunting or angling license or tags

$200 - Unlawful Lending/Borrowing Big Game Tag(s)

$100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl

$100 Game Birds or Furbearers

$100 Game Fish and Shellfish

 

Oregon Wildlife Coalition (OWC) Cash Rewards:

Birds
$500 Hawk, Falcon, Eagle, Owl, Osprey
All other protected avian species: see category below for listed species 

Mammals
$500 Cougar, Bobcat, Beaver (public lands only), Black bears, Bighorn Sheep, Marten, Fisher, Sierra Nevada Red Fox

Species listed as “threatened" or “endangered" under state or federal Endangered Species Act (excludes fish) 

$1,000 (e.g. wolf, wolverine, kit fox, red tree vole, Canada lynx, sea otter, Columbian white-tailed deer, California brown pelican, western snowy plover, California least tern, northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, short-tailed albatross, streaked horned lark, yellow-billed cuckoo, leatherback sea turtle, olive ridley sea turtle, Oregon spotted frog, green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle)

 




Attached Media Files: 2022-09/1002/157882/Poached_Elk_Vernonia.jpg

Fatal Crash on Hwy 101-Lincoln County
Oregon State Police - 09/28/22 1:12 PM

On Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at approximately 8:24 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 101 near milepost 162. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a southbound gold Toyota SR5 pickup, operated by David A. Stendal (61) of Yachats, crossed over the northbound lane and went into the ditch on the northbound shoulder. 

Stendal was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased. It is presumed a medical event precipitated the crash. 

OSP was assisted by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, PACWEST Ambulance and Yachats Fire Department. 


UPDATE-Sentencing in Fatal Crash on Hwy 58 - Lane County
Oregon State Police - 09/28/22 11:32 AM

Sentencing James Cam Johnson IV

On September 15, 2022, James Cam Johnson IV was sentenced for his actions involving a multiple fatality collision in May of 2021. 

Johnson pleaded to all counts-DUII (.18%), Criminal Mischief 2, Assault 3, Assault 4 x2, and three counts of Manslaughter 2. The Honorable Vogt sentenced Johnson to a total of 225 months with the Department of Corrections and 3 years of Post Parole Supervision. All 225 months will be served pursuant to Ballot Measure 11. He will not be eligible for release until 2040.

Families of the deceased attended the proceedings via simultaneous electronic transmission from the country of India.  Court interpreter services were provided to the families in both the Hindi and Tamil languages and all were able to provide a statement to the Court. 

The collision resulted from Johnson attempting to pass a long line of westbound vehicles on Hwy 58 in a do not pass zone. Johnson was unable to pass all the vehicles and when attempting to reenter westbound lanes, sideswiped another westbound vehicle before then colliding head-on with an eastbound vehicle. 

The collision resulted in the death of three of the four occupants in the eastbound vehicle.  A fourth occupant sustained serious injuries including broken leg, broken hip, and a broken spine.  The occupants of the side-swiped vehicle also sustained injuries, but not to the extent of the other victims.    

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Arrest of James Cam Johnson IV

On Friday, December 17, 2021, James Cam Johnson IV (31) was arrested and lodged in the Lane County Jail in connection with a May 30, 2021 motor vehicle crash that resulted in a triple fatality. Johnson was charged with Manslaughter 2nd x 3, Assault 3rd, Assault 4th x 2, Criminal Mischief 2nd and DUII. 

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Oregon State Police is requesting the public’s assistance with witnesses to yesterday’s triple fatality crash.

A fourth vehicle, possibly a blue pickup was involved in the crash but left the scene without providing information. 

OSP is seeking information on the involved pickup.  If you were a witness to the crash, have any video/pictures around the time and area of the crash, or any information please contact the Oregon State Police Northern Command Center at 1-800-442-0776 or OSP and leave information for Trooper Phillips regarding OSP case # SP21-144382.

Names of operator and occupants of Mazda M3

Mazda M3 was operated by Jagadish Chandrasekaren (31) of Washington sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Passengers:

Adharsh Murali (25) of Washington sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Jignesh Modi (27) of Washington sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Puneeth Gattikoppula (24) of Washington transported by air ambulance to the hospital with serious injuries.

OSP is/was being assisted by the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Oakridge Fire Department, Goshen Fire Department, Dexter Fire Department, Lane County District Attorney’s Office, and ODOT.

On Sunday, May 30, 2021 at approximately 10:15 A.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a vehicle collision on Hwy 58 near milepost 27.

Preliminary investigation revealed a Ford Taurus, operated by James Johnson (31) of Oakridge, was westbound passing in a no passing zone when it collided with a also westbound Chrysler Town and Country, operated by Michael Cary (63) of Oakridge, the Taurus then collided with a eastbound Mazda 3. 

Three occupants in the Mazda 3 sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased.  A fourth occupant was transported by air ambulance to the hospital with serious injuries.

Cary was not transported but later went to the hospital for treatment.

Johnson was transported to the hospital.

Investigation is continuing and names will be released when appropriate.


OSP Traffic Stop leads to arrest and illegal drugs off the street- Clackamas County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 09/27/22 12:25 PM
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On September 2, 2022, around 5:00 P.M., an OSP Trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation in Clackamas. During the traffic stop, the driver displayed signs of impairment and after a subsequent investigation was taken into custody for DUII. The driver identified as Thomas James Freeman (37) of Portland was detained by his Probation Officer. During a search of the vehicle, the Trooper noted several signs of recent drug activity along with locating a loaded pistol. The vehicle was seized and searched on probable cause and exigent circumstances. The vehicle and several lock boxes seized from inside were taken as evidence, pending a search warrant application. 

The search warrants were served on September 14, 2022, and the following items were seized.

  • 3946.25 Grams Methamphetamine
  • 42.9 Grams Psilocybin
  • $14,131 US Currency
  • 10 Guns
  • 6 unknown pills

This is an ongoing investigation with no further information being released.

OSP Troopers were assisted during the investigation by Detectives from the OSP-Criminal Investigations Division-Drug Enforcement Section (Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative) and the Major Crimes Section.        

The Oregon State Police-Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates with and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement initiatives, including the OSP-DHE Initiative.    




Attached Media Files: 2022-09/1002/157832/HIDTA_22233745.jpg

Utilities
EDIT: Pacific Power Offers a New Low-Income Discount Program to Help Manage Costs
Pacific Power - 10/01/22 9:42 AM

Eligible customers will see power bill discounts ranging from 20% to 40% 

 

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sept.30) – Pacific Power is helping customers manage costs with a new low-income discount program, set to debut in October.  

Starting October 1, customers receiving energy relief from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Oregon Energy Assistance Program (OEAP) will automatically receive a 20% discount on their Pacific Power bills. The program will also give these participants the opportunity to qualify for a 40% discount if they meet additional income requirements.  

 “Our customers count on us every day for the energy they need, and we’re working to keep that power affordable, especially for customers experiencing income restraints,” said vice president of customer and community solutions Cory Scott. “The Low-Income Discount program will provide relief to customers who qualify on their power bills.” 

Eligible customers will receive the following discounts: 

  • A 20% discount if their income is between 21% and 60% of state median income
  • A 40% discount if their income is between 0% to 20% of state median income

To learn more about the program and see if they qualify, customers can visit http://pacificpower.net/LID starting October 1. Customers can also reach out to our customer care team at 1-888-221-7070 in English or 1-888-225-2611 in Spanish. Translation services are available in several additional languages.  

 

About Pacific Power  

Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 764,000 customers in Oregon, Washington, and California. The company supplies customers with electricity from a diverse portfolio of generating plants including hydroelectric, thermal, wind, geothermal, and solar resources. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 2 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net 

 

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Pacific Power's Blue Sky Participants Receive National Recognition
Pacific Power - 09/28/22 4:32 PM

Green power adoption rate draws US Department of Energy ranking

 

PORTLAND, Ore. – September 28, 2022—Pacific Power’s popular Blue Sky renewable energy program has landed a second place ranking in the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) national study. 

NREL recently released its ranking of leading utility green power programs based on 2021 data. For the 20th consecutive year, PacifiCorp’s Blue Sky program – which includes Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power customers – is being recognized. 

“Customers are choosing to make an impact by supporting additional renewable energy and local community projects through Blue Sky,” said Cory Scott, vice president of customer & community solutions. “We’re immensely proud of our Blue Sky participants for achieving this national recognition.”

Pacific Power Blue Sky participation consistently increases about six percent year over year. Continued participation growth is anticipated as increasing numbers of customers choose to support renewable energy.

“Our Blue Sky participants voluntarily support this program to help bring renewable energy awareness into the forefront of everyday life and lead the way toward a more robust renewable energy future,” said Scott. 

PacifiCorp scored second in the top 10 list by green power sales and customers based on December 2021 data. 

How Blue Sky works

Blue Sky allows participants to match their energy usage with the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs). It’s an effortless way for participants to support renewable energy in the West, above and beyond Pacific Power’s substantial and growing commitment to renewables.

In addition to supporting renewable energy in the west, funds from Blue Sky participants’ support has allowed Pacific Power to partner with community organizations to fund more than 145 local renewable energy projects over the years. These projects have helped community organizations save money on electricity costs and reinvest those funds to support their missions in the communities we serve. 

Pacific Power customers who want to participate in Blue Sky may call toll free at 1-888-221-7070 or visit Blue Sky Renewable Energy (pacificpower.net).

The Top 10 utility green pricing program listing is compiled by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the following categories: total sales of renewable energy, total number of customer participants, customer participation rate, green power as a percentage of overall sales, price premium and percentage of solar energy.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory green power rankings are available at www.nrel.gov

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About Pacific Power 

Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 764,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. The company supplies customers with electricity from a diverse portfolio of generating plants including hydroelectric, thermal, wind, geothermal and solar resources. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 2 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net

 


Pacific Power Incentives Charge Customers' Shift to EVs as National Drive Electric Week Approaches
Pacific Power - 09/27/22 10:35 AM

Electric vehicle charging equipment rebates, power cost discounts, and infrastructure investments reduce barriers to adoption 

PORTLAND, OR—September 27—Pacific Power is supporting customers making the shift to electric vehicles with valuable incentives as National Drive Electric Week approaches.  

Drivers looking to go gas-free can access discounts on the price of electricity for vehicle charging, newly available home charging equipment rebates, and a larger array of EV infrastructure across the Pacific Power service territory.  

“When you look over the life of a car, the total cost of ownership is now lower for an EV than a gas-powered vehicle," said Kate Hawley, Senior Product Manager at Pacific Power.  

Drivers electrifying their vehicles can take advantage of the following incentives: 

  • Residential Pacific Power customers can get $500 to $1,000 toward installing an at-home charger, depending on income level 
  • Business and multifamily property owners (apartment complexes) can get up to $3,000 per port 
  • We also offer EV drivers deep discounts in the way they pay for electricity through an incentive called Time of Use. 

We’re also investing big dollars in electric vehicle mobility for Oregon communities, especially in underserved and rural regions  — more than $2.5 million to date. Pacific Power E-Mobility Grants have helped communities purchase e-bikes in Corvallis, electric tractors in Prineville, an electric school bus in Bend, an EV and charger for a health clinic in Portland. We’ve also installed fast charging stations in Bend, Klamath Falls, Madras, Otis, and Mill City. 

"With our work in expanding our service territory’s charging infrastructure, we are making EV ownership and operation more accessible to customers,” Hawley said.  

How much would going electric save you? See what savings are available in your area based on your average mileage, energy use, budget and rebate availability with our WattPlan tool at pacificpower.wattplan.com/ev . 

National Drive Electric Week raises awareness of the benefits of electric and hybrid vehicles including trucks, motorcycles, and cars. The 12th annual celebration takes place September 23–October 2, 2022. It is organized by Plug In America, Electric Vehicle Association, Sierra Club, and EVHybridNoire. 

 

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About Pacific Power

Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 764,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. The company supplies customers with electricity from a diverse portfolio of generating plants including hydroelectric, thermal, wind, geothermal and solar resources. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 2 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.


Military
Former Army Depot officially renamed in honor of retired general Raymond F. Rees (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 09/30/22 6:33 PM
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SALEM, Ore. - The Umatilla Chemical Depot located in Umatilla, Oregon, was officially renamed the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees, during a ceremony on September 29, 2022, highlighting the current transformation and development of the historic installation. 

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, providing the state of Oregon and the United States with a ready force of Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen. Rees also held various high-level leadership positions in the National Guard Bureau. After he retired from military service in 2013, he served at the Deputy Secretary of the Army as a civilian. 

Several distinguished guest and local elected officials were in attendance for this ceremony, which will also impact the economy of Eastern Oregon for the foreseeable future. 

In 2017 a license was signed by the Oregon Military Department (OMD) to secure 7,500 of the depot’s former 17,055 acres as a training site for the Oregon National Guard. The Raymond F. Rees Training Center will be the home of the 249th Regional Training Institute, providing a premiere joint and inter-agency training facility. 

Since OMD received the property, over $60,000,000 has been invested in Construction, Modernization and Restoration. Projects have ranged from barracks, dining facilities, electrical and water infrastructure, waste water treatment facility, and a STARBASE Academy. Within the next three years, an additional $40,000,000 will be invested in modernized ranges, new ranges, and additional barracks.

Biography for Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_F._Rees

Full length recording of the ceremony: https://youtu.be/VUDasDwq9QQ

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Released images:

220929-Z-CM403-101: Maj. Gen. Michael Stencel, Adjutant General, addresses guests at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation in his honor on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CM403-141: Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Chief, National Guard Bureau, gives remarks to guests at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation in his honor on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CM403-157: State Senator, Bill Hansell, gives remarks to guests at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation in his honor on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army.(Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CM403-161: State Representative, Greg Smith, gives remarks to guests at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation in his honor on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army.  (Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CM403-202: (From L to R on stage) Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Chief, National Guard Bureau, Maj. Gen. Michael Stencel, Adjutant General and Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, watch as a Chinook helicopter flies over the new front gate at the Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0033: Members of the Oregon Army National Gaud 234th Army Band participate in the ceremony for the official renaming service at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0130: Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau (left), Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon (center) render a hand salute to Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees (right), as Gen. Hokanson deferred 'Ruffles and Flourishes' to honor Rees to being the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0356: Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, delivers remarks as the Keynote Speaker to guest and local officials during the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0227: Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon, addresses guests and local officials as the host during the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0238: Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees listens to remarks by Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau during the renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0639: Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau (right), Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon (center) and Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees (left) share a private moment off-stage following the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0568: (From Left to Right) Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon, friend of Mrs. Rees, Mrs. Mary Len Rees, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees, Oregon State Senator, Bill Hansell, Oregon State Rep. Greg Smith and Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau pause for a group follow the Christening and Flyover for the renaming ceremony for Raymond F. Rees Training Center,, at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0461: Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees, Oregon, addresses guests and local officials during his formal remarks  for the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0060: Oregon Army National Guard Color Guard members render colors during the National Anthem to begin the renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

 

Additional images: 

Group One:

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/7444432/former-army-depot-officially-renamed-honor-retired-general-raymond-f-rees

Group Two: 

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/7444130/former-army-depot-officially-renamed-honor-retired-general-raymond-f-rees




Attached Media Files: 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CM403-202.JPG , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CM403-161.JPG , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CM403-157.JPG , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CM403-141.JPG , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CM403-101.JPG , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CH590-0461.jpg , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CH590-0033.jpg , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CH590-0568.jpg , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CH590-0639.jpg , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CH590-0238.jpg , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CH590-0227.jpg , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CH590-0356_60.jpg , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CH590-0130.jpg , 2022-09/962/157948/220929-Z-CH590-0060.jpg

Army Depot to be renamed after former Oregon General (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 09/28/22 1:04 PM
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http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-09/962/157872/thumb_front-gate.jpg

SALEM, Ore. - The Umatilla Chemical Depot located in Umatilla, Oregon, will be renamed the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a ceremony at the installation on Sept. 29, 2022. 

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, providing the state of Oregon and the United States with a ready force of citizen Soldiers and Airmen. Rees also held various high-level positions in the National Guard Bureau and Pentagon during his military service and as a civilian.

The depot originally opened in 1941 as the Umatilla Army Ordnance Depot, used to store munitions and conduct supply operations. In 1962, the installation began storing and maintaining chemical munitions. In 2011 the disposal of all chemical agents at the site was complete and in 2012 the U.S. Army officially closed the installation. 

In 2017 a license was signed by the Oregon Military Department to secure 7,500 of the depot’s former 17,055 acres as a training site for the Oregon National Guard. The Raymond F. Rees Training Center will be the home of the 249th Regional Training Institute, providing a premiere joint and inter-agency training facility. 

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For more information regarding this press release, please contact:

Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Holden

Public Affairs, Oregon Military Department

1-971-355-2076

Zachary.l.holden.mil@army.mil




Attached Media Files: 2022-09/962/157872/front-gate.jpg , 2022-09/962/157872/9281300464_63349d6e81_o.jpg

Federal
Rebuilding Salmon and Steelhead in the Columbia River Basin
NOAA Fisheries - 09/30/22 10:00 AM

https://www.noaa.gov/news-release/rebuilding-salmon-and-steelhead-in-columbia-river-basin

NOAA Fisheries, with input from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has finalized the Rebuilding Interior Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead report. It identifies a comprehensive suite of actions with the greatest likelihood of making progress toward rebuilding Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead to healthy and harvestable levels. The final report follows the draft, which was released in July, and incorporates feedback from state and tribal fishery co-managers.

The recommended suite of actions to rebuild Columbia Basin stocks include: increasing habitat restoration, reintroducing salmon into blocked areas, breaching dams, managing predators, reforming fish hatcheries and harvest and reconnecting floodplain habitat.

“This is a crucial time for the Columbia Basin’s salmon and steelhead. They face increasing pressure from climate change and other longstanding stressors including water quality and fish blockages caused by dams,” said Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries and acting assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere at NOAA. “The report identifies goals for the recovery of salmon and steelhead that will require a sustained commitment over many decades.”

The actions reflected in the report convey the urgency behind the Columbia Basin Partnership’s 2020 recommendations that merely avoiding extinction of native salmon and steelhead is not enough. Instead, the Partnership called for healthy and harvestable numbers that contribute fully to the culture, environment and economy of the region. The report is not a regulatory document, but rather is intended to inform and contribute to regional conversations and funding decisions.

The Columbia Basin Partnership expressed the hope that in 20 years, the people of the Columbia Basin would view the Partnership's work and the resulting efforts as “a turning point for the return of healthy and abundant salmon and steelhead to the Columbia River.” The report represents one step toward that important goal. 

The final report will inform ongoing dialogues about salmon restoration and decisions regarding allocation of resources for recovery actions. The rebuilding actions can also help restore fish populations to meet long standing commitments to Columbia Basin tribes.

Resources: 

Final Report: Rebuilding Interior Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead 

A Vision for Salmon and Steelhead: Goals to Restore Thriving Salmon and Steelhead to the Columbia River Basin


 


Full Restitution Payment Obtained from Three Former Portland-Area Strip Club Operators Convicted of Fraud
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 10/03/22 12:59 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced today that full restitution of over $600,000 was obtained from the former operators of two Portland-area strip clubs who were convicted at trial in 2016 for conspiring to defraud the IRS and Oregon Department of Revenue out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in business taxes owed.

On Sept. 23, 2022, the Clerk of the Court for the District of Oregon received a payment of $608,217, which was full payment of the outstanding restitution balance of David, George, and Daniel Kiraz. The Kirazes previously had paid less than ten percent of their original $657,243 restitution order.

 “I am proud of our Financial Litigation Program for their hard work in securing this full restitution payment, and for their commitment to helping crime victims by diligently investigating these cases,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“Today’s restitution payment is the culmination of many years of dogged effort made by our agency and by our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This is a success we can all share in, as the funds secured today will be used for the benefit of our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Bret Kressin, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS:CI), Seattle Field Office.

According to court documents, David Kiraz, 40, of Happy Valley, Oregon, along with his father and brother—George Kiraz, 62, and Daniel Kiraz, 37, both of Portland—operated two Portland-area strip clubs, the Cabaret Lounge on West Burnside Street in Portland and Cabaret Lounge II on Southeast Stark Street in Gresham, Oregon. From 2007 through 2010, these clubs collected more than $1.5 million in cash for cover charges and dancer stage fees.

To conceal their total business income from the IRS, the Kirazes maintained a set of books at their clubs that did not include their cash payments, while maintaining a second set of books at David Kiraz’s home that tracked their actual receipts in full. The Kirazes reported their business activity on David Kiraz’s personal income tax return and provided their tax return preparers with only a two-page business financial summary compiled from their manipulated records. Together, these actions resulted in David Kiraz intentionally underreporting more than $1.5 million in taxable income and causing a combined state and federal tax loss of more than $649,000.

On April 8, 2015, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a seven-count indictment charging the Kirazes with conspiring with one another to defraud the United States, filing false income tax returns, and aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns. On May 26, 2016, after a six-day trial, they were found guilty

On Tuesday, October 25, 2016, David and George Kiraz were sentenced to three years in federal prison and three years of supervised release. Daniel Kiraz was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison.

This case was originally investigated by IRS:CI. It was prosecuted by Quinn Harrington and Seth Uram, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon, and Leslie Goemaat, Trial Attorney for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. 

Enforcement of the Kirazes’ restitution order was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessie D. Young and the staff and investigators of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Financial Litigation Program.

The District of Oregon’s Financial Litigation Program (FLP) is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Division. The mission and goal of FLP is to fairly achieve the maximum recovery of civil and criminal debts consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and Justice Department policies. FLP attorneys and support staff work with individuals subject to restitution orders to bring closure for crime victims and recoup losses incurred by United States taxpayers.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Oregon Man Charged with Sexually Exploiting Minor on Discord, Additional Victims Sought
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 10/03/22 10:57 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.—An Oregon man has been charged with federal child exploitation crimes after he persuaded a child to engage in a sexually explicit video chat with him on Discord, a popular instant messaging social platform.

Jason Kroeskop, 40, of The Dalles, Oregon, has been charged by criminal complaint with enticing and sexually exploiting a child online.

According to court documents, in August 2022, special agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Tulsa, Oklahoma were contacted by local law enforcement to request assistance with an investigation involving the online exploitation of a child under 12. Investigators discovered that Kroeskop pretended to be an Oregon teenager to convince the child to engage in sexually explicit acts during a video chat on Discord. He also recorded the video chat without the victim’s knowledge.

Investigators tracked Kroeskop’s Discord account, “Noctis Lucis #7347,” to an internet protocol address registered to his residence in The Dalles. On September 29, 2022, HSI special agents from Portland contacted Kroeskop at his place of employment. Kroeskop agreed to talk with the agents and admitted to having engaged in sexually explicit communications with multiple children online since at least 2021 using Discord, Snapchat, and Omegle. He was later arrested without incident.

On September 30, 2022, Kroeskop made his initial appearance in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Armistead. He was detained pending further court proceedings.

This case was investigated by HSI Portland and The Dalles Police Department with assistance from HSI Tulsa. It is being prosecuted by Mira Chernick, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Anyone who has information about other crimes committed by Kroeskop, or the physical or online exploitation of any 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: PDF Release

Drug Dealer Targeting Portland High School Students Faces Federal Charges
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 09/30/22 1:01 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A 42-year-old Portland man is facing federal charges for targeting and selling drugs to local high school students.

Jonathon Ash Clark aka “Jonathan Ash Clark” has been charged by federal criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance, distributing a controlled substance to a person under the age of 21, and using a minor in drug operations.

According to court documents, on September 28, 2022, Portland Public Schools officials contacted the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) to request assistance locating a missing student. School officials received word that the student was last observed with Clark, a suspected supplier of drugs for students. To quickly locate the student, responding PPB officers requested the assistance of the bureau’s Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit (NOC), the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Interdiction Task Force (HIT), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Investigators soon located the missing student with Clark in Powell Park in southeast Portland. Officers contacted Clark and learned that he had an outstanding arrest warrant in Clackamas County for violating a protective order. During his arrest, officers searched Clark’s backpack and located small amounts of cocaine and MDMA, and a digital scale covered in white powder residue. Clark later admitted to selling drugs to minors.

Clark will make his initial appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Armistead. The government will seek pre-trial detention.

This case was investigated by HIT, PPB NOC, and HSI. It is being prosecuted by Scott Kerin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Willamette Country Music Concerts President Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Money Laundering
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 09/28/22 3:34 PM

EUGENE, Ore.—The former president and minority owner of Willamette Country Music Concerts, LLC, who planned, managed, and promoted the annual Willamette Country Music Festival in Linn County, Oregon, pleaded guilty today after she falsified bank statements and financial summaries to influence the sale of her stake in the company.

Anne Hankins, 53, a resident of Springfield, Oregon, pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud and money laundering.

“With today’s guilty plea, Ms. Hankins has proven herself to be a serial fraudster,” said Craig Gabriel, Criminal Chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Falsifying bank statements and laundering money to fraudulently inflate the value of a company are serious federal crimes.”

“Ms. Hankins blatantly deceived her business associate and stole money that never belonged to her. However, today the curtains have come down and Ms. Hankins is facing the music for her fraud,” said Special Agent in Charge Bret Kressin, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS:CI), Seattle Field Office.

According to court documents, as former minority owner of Willamette Country Music Concerts (WCMC), Hankins owned 49% of the company. As president of WCMC, Hankins was responsible for preparing monthly financial statements which she provided by email to the company’s majority owner who was based in Beverley Hills, California.

Beginning in September 2016 and continuing until March 2018, Hankins provided altered banks statements and false financial summaries to the majority owner to conceal WCMC’s true financial condition. In November 2017, the majority owner approached Hankins about purchasing her stake in the company and having Hankins continue to serve as the company’s president.

On or about February 7, 2018, Hankins sent an updated financial summary to the majority owner falsely reporting that the company had approximately $1.1 million in its operating account. In reality, there was only $16,000 in the company’s account. Based on these false financial statements, on March 1, 2018, the majority owner purchased Hankins’ stake in the company for $1.5 million.

After receiving the majority owner’s payment, Hankins directed her credit union to issue a cashier’s check from her account to the Clerk of the Court for the District of Oregon to satisfy a restitution order on a previous bank fraud conviction from 2001. Hankins thereby laundered the proceeds from one crime to pay her restitution on another.

On September 12, 2022, Hankins was charged by criminal information with one count each of wire fraud and money laundering.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and money laundering by up to 10 years in federal prison. Both charges also may result in fines of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense, and three years’ supervised release.

Hankins will be sentenced on January 5, 2023, by U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane.

As part of her plea agreement, Hankins has agreed to pay restitution as identified by the government and ordered by the court.

This case was investigated by IRS:CI and the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Umatilla County Drug Dealer Faces Federal Charges
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 09/28/22 11:40 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal grand jury in Portland has returned an indictment charging an Eastern Oregon man with distributing large quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine in and around Umatilla County, Oregon.

Edain Laurel Lozano, 35, of Umatilla County, Oregon has been charged with possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to court documents, between May and September 2022, special agents from the FBI and officers from the Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team (BENT) set up, conducted, and surveilled multiple controlled purchases of methamphetamine and fentanyl-laced pills from Lozano. Each subsequent controlled purchase involved requesting and purchasing increasing quantities of the narcotics from Lozano. By the final controlled purchase, Lozano had agreed to sell multiple pounds of methamphetamine and several thousand counterfeit pills containing fentanyl.

On September 7, 2022, Lozano was arrested and consented to a search of his vehicle. Investigators located and seized over four pounds of methamphetamine, more than 5,000 counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, drug packaging materials, a digital scale, and a stolen handgun.

On September 23, 2022, Lozano was arraigned on the indictment and pleaded not guilty. Over the government’s objection, he was released on conditions pending a three-day jury trial scheduled to begin on November 8, 2022.

If convicted, Lozano faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum, five years’ supervised release, and a $10 million fine.

This case was investigated by the FBI and BENT. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

BENT is a regional drug task force founded in 1986 by the Pendleton Police Department and Oregon State Police. In 2005, BENT was designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking (HIDTA) task force by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Current BENT member agencies include the Pendleton Police Department, Oregon State Police, FBI, Morrow County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon National Guard, Boardman Police Department, Milton-Freewater Police Department, Hermiston Police Department, and Umatilla Tribal Police Department.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Renton Doctor Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Accept Kickbacks in Connection with Fraudulent Genetic Testing Scheme
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 09/27/22 5:31 PM

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Christopher B. Bjarke, M.D., age 61, of Renton, Washington, pled guilty to conspiring to accept kickbacks in connection with a fraudulent genetic testing scheme that targeted elderly Medicare beneficiaries throughout Washington and in other states. Senior District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson accepted Dr. Bjarke’s guilty plea, and set sentencing for January 10, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. in Spokane, Washington. 

The Medicare program provides health insurance coverage for elderly and disabled Americans.  Medicare generally provides coverage for diagnostic laboratory testing only if the test is ordered by a physician who is treating the beneficiary for a specific medical problem, and uses the test results to treat the patient for that specific problem.  According to the Plea Agreement and information disclosed in court proceedings, Dr. Bjarke engaged in a conspiracy and scheme through which he placed orders for Medicare for genetic testing for Medicare beneficiaries in the Eastern District of Washington and elsewhere that he was not treating and with whom he had no physician-patient relationship.  According to the Plea Agreement and other court documents, Dr. Bjarke’s sole contact with these patients was when he was connected with the beneficiaries for a telephone call for a few minutes through telemarketers. After Dr. Bjarke had ordered the tests, the laboratories then billed Medicare for the test, while another company billed Medicare for a purported “telemedicine” visit, sometimes for as much as tens of thousands of dollars. 

According to the Plea Agreement, through this scheme and conspiracy, Dr. Bjarke’s orders were responsible for more than $18.6 million paid by Medicare.  In return for his participation in the scheme, between December 2020 and September 2021, Dr. Bjarke received $167,996.73 from his co-conspirators, which Dr. Bjarke admitted were kickbacks because they constituted payment in return for ordering medically unnecessary genetic testing and other services for patients that he was not treating and with whom he had no physician-patient relationship. 

“Health care fraud and kickback schemes are serious public health and safety problems,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref.  “They divert precious public funds away from treating patients, drive up the cost of health care services, and undermine trust in our health care system, often putting quality health care beyond the reach of those who need it the most.  Telemarketing schemes that target and exploit the elderly are especially pernicious because they prey on those who are often most in need of a doctor’s independent judgment that is not tainted or biased by the doctor’s own personal financial interest.” 

“Dr. Bjarke placed making money above the welfare of patients and preyed upon elderly and vulnerable members of the community,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office. “This conspiracy not only victimized taxpayers via Medicare, but also impacted the patients, who underwent unnecessary medical screenings, thereby affecting their peace of mind. Medicare ultimately paid over $18 million for medically unnecessary testing, a fact that should outrage every law-abiding taxpayer.”

“I am grateful for, and commend, the stellar investigative work on this case performed by HHS OIG and the FBI,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref.  “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to make our communities safer and stronger, by aggressively pursuing telemedicine kickback schemes, healthcare fraud, and elder abuse.”

The conspiracy offense carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in federal prison.  The case was investigated by HHS OIG and the FBI.  Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Fruchter and Tyler H.L. Tornabene are prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.  

Case No. 2:22-cr-00123-RMP


State
October 4-5 Northwest Power & Conservation Council F&W and Power Committee meetings
Northwest Power and Conservation Council - 09/28/22 1:13 PM

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council will hold its Fish and Wildlife Committee meeting on October 4, and Power Committee meeting on October 5, both by webinar.

See the agenda and how to attend.


Los beneficios adicionales de emergencia de SNAP continuan en Octubre
Oregon Department of Human Services - 09/28/22 11:53 AM

Lo que debe saber

  • La mayoría de los habitantes de Oregon que reciben beneficios de alimentos de SNAP continuarán recibiendo los beneficios adicionales temporales de emergencia en Septiembre
  • Aproximadamente 432,000 hogares que reciben SNAP recibirán aproximadamente $69 millones en beneficios de alimentos adicionales además de sus beneficios regulares de SNAP
  • Estos beneficios de emergencia son un apoyo temporal que Oregon puede dar debido a la emergencia de salud pública federal por el COVID-19
  • Encuentre recursos para cubrir sus necesidades básicas: marque al 2-1-1 o envíe un mensaje de texto con su código postal al 898-21, www.211info.org 
  • Centro de ayuda para el COVID-19 del Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Oregon

(Salem) – La mayoría de los habitantes de Oregon que reciben beneficios de alimentos del Programa de Asistencia Nutricional Suplementaria (SNAP) recibirán pagos de emergencia en Octubre.

El gobierno federal ha aprobado pagos de emergencia todos los meses desde marzo del 2020. Esto da a los beneficiarios de SNAP apoyo adicional durante la pandemia de COVID-19. Estos beneficios de emergencia son un apoyo temporal que Oregon puede dar debido a la emergencia de salud pública federal por el COVID-19.

Debido a que el gobierno federal aprobó estos beneficios de emergencia para Octubre, Oregon también podrá darlos en Noviembre. Sin embargo, se espera que los beneficios de emergencia terminen cuando la emergencia de salud pública federal llegue a su fin.

En Octubre, aproximadamente 432,000 hogares que reciben SNAP recibirán aproximadamente $69 millones en beneficios de alimentos adicionales además de sus beneficios regulares de SNAP.

“Sabemos que muchos dependen de estos beneficios adicionales de alimentos de emergencia para tener suficientes alimentos saludables para ellos y sus familias”, dijo Jana McLellan, Directora Interina de los Programas de Autosuficiencia del Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Oregon (ODHS). “También sabemos que muchos habitantes de Oregon todavía tienen dificultades para cubrir sus necesidades básicas y los alentamos a que se comuniquen con nuestros socios en el 211, el Banco de Alimentos de Oregon y su Agencia de Acción Comunitaria local para recibir apoyo durante este momento difícil”.

Los hogares que actualmente reciben SNAP recibirán el pago de emergencia el 11 de Octubre. Los hogares que no recibieron beneficios en ese primer depósito mensual recibirán el pago de emergencia el 29 de Octubre o el 2 de Noviembre.

Las personas que reciben SNAP no tienen que tomar ninguna acción para recibir estos beneficios adicionales ya que se depositarán directamente en sus tarjetas EBT.

Más información sobre los pagos de emergencia en https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/Emergency-Allotments.aspx.

Si tiene preguntas sobre sus beneficios de alimentos de SNAP comuníquese con el Centro de Servicio al Cliente de ONE al 1-800-699-9075.

Si su hogar recibe SNAP y sus ingresos o la cantidad de personas que viven en su hogar ha cambiado, eso podría afectar sus beneficios. Es importante asegurar que ODHS tenga su información más reciente.

Puede notificar cualquier cambio en sus ingresos o en su hogar de muchas maneras:

  • En línea: ONE.Oregon.gov
  • Por correo: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309
  • Por fax: 503-378-5628
  • Por teléfono: 1-800-699-9075 or TTY 711

Recursos para ayudar a cubrir sus necesidades básicas

Administrado por ODHS, SNAP es un programa federal que brinda asistencia de alimentos a aproximadamente 1 millón de familias y personas elegibles de bajos ingresos en Oregon, incluyendo muchos adultos mayores y personas con discapacidades. Los habitantes de Oregon que lo necesiten pueden pedir beneficios como SNAP, cuidado infantil, asistencia en efectivo y Medicaid. Obtenga más información en https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/benefits/Pages/index.aspx.

Para información sobre recursos locales en su área, como alimentos o refugio, llame al 2-1-1 o comuníquese con la Conexión para Recursos de Envejecimiento y Discapacidad (ADRC por sus siglas en inglés) del estado al 1-855-ORE-ADRC o al 1-855-673-2372 .

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Increased emergency SNAP benefits continue in October
Oregon Department of Human Services - 09/28/22 9:40 AM

Need to know

  • Most Oregonians who receive SNAP benefits will continue to receive temporarily increased emergency food benefits in October
  • Approximately 432,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $69 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits
  • These emergency benefits are a temporary support that Oregon can provide because of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Find resources to meet your basic needs: Dial 2-1-1, or text your zip code to 898-211, www.211info.org 
  • Oregon Department of Human Services COVID-19 help center 

(Salem) – Most Oregonians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive emergency allotments in October.

The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since March 2020. This gives SNAP recipients additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic. These emergency benefits are a temporary support that Oregon can provide because of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency.

Because the federal government approved these emergency benefits for October, Oregon will also be able to issue them in November. However, the emergency benefits are expected to end when the federal public health emergency ends.

In October, approximately 432,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $69 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits.

“We know that many rely on these additional emergency food benefits to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families,” said Jana McLellan, interim director of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Self-Sufficiency Programs. “We also know that many Oregonians are still struggling to meet their basic needs and we encourage them to contact our partners at 211, the Oregon Food Bank and their local Community Action Agency for support during this difficult time.”

Current SNAP households will receive emergency allotments on Oct. 11. Emergency allotments will be issued Oct. 29 or Nov. 2 for households who did not receive benefits in the first monthly issuance.

SNAP recipients do not have to take any action to receive these supplemental benefits as they will be issued directly on their EBT cards. 

More information about emergency allotments is available at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/Emergency-Allotments.aspx.

Questions about your SNAP benefits should be directed to the ONE Customer Service Center at 1-800-699-9075.

If your household receives SNAP and your income or the number of people in your household has changed, it could impact your benefits. It is important to make sure ODHS has the most up-to-date information. 

You can report any changes to your income or household in many ways: 

  • Online at: ONE.Oregon.gov
  • By mail at: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309
  • By fax at: 503-378-5628
  • By phone at: 1-800-699-9075 or TTY 711

Resources to help meet basic needs

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 https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/benefits/Pages/index.aspx . For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month events highlight equity in workforce
Oregon Department of Human Services - 09/27/22 4:21 PM

(Salem) – The Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) is hosting a series of virtual weekly lunch and learn events for the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October. These events are an opportunity to learn about employment experiences from people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). 

Governor Brown proclaimed October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The NDEAM 2022 theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.” This recognizes the important role people with disabilities have in making the nation’s workforce diverse and inclusive.

“NDEAM observance and these events give us an opportunity to celebrate the successes that Oregonians with I/DD have had in the workforce,” Statewide Employment First Coordinator Acacia McGuire Anderson said. “Each year, more Oregonians with I/DD are finding employment in our communities, which is benefitting both individuals and employers.” 

The NDEAM lunch and learn events will take place on Tuesdays at noon throughout October.

  • October 4 – Celebrating Employment Champions (hybrid event)
    • Join the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services and Central Oregon Employment First to celebrate employment successes in the region. The celebration will include meeting Christian Brigham who used to work in sheltered workshop settings and now works at the Comfort Suites in Redmond, plus award presentations. The in-person portion of this event begins at noon at the Madras Performing Arts Center. Food is provided and resource tables are available. Please RSVP for the in-person event. The online portion of the event begins at 12:30.
  • October 11 – Continuing the Climb
    • This session will involve stories of people that have continued to move forward in their employment journey after they started their first positions. The stories will be told by the people themselves, as well as some of the people that provided along the way.
  • October 18 – Past, Present and Future in Transition
    • Please join us as we hear from three young people sharing about their employment journeys. They will share their goals, dreams and experiences in regard to employment. Each one of them is at a different point of their journey.
  • October 25 – Maintaining Supports While Employed
    • One of the most significant barriers to employment can be the uncertainty around how benefits will be affected by earnings from work. This session will cut through some of the myths and misinformation about how employment affects benefits.

All four events are held online via Zoom with an exception being the October 4 event, which is hybrid. Registration and accessibility information is available on the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) website. These events are hosted by the ODHS, the Oregon Commission for the Blind and the Oregon Department of Education.

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Support a National Call to Action for Truth and Reconciliation on the impacts of Indian Boarding Schools by wearing an orange shirt on Sept. 30
Oregon Department of Human Services - 09/27/22 1:34 PM

(Salem) – Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30, 2022 is a day for truth and reconciliation on the impacts of the Indian Boarding School system. It opens the door for a global conversation about all aspects of the Indian boarding school system and how it forced Indigenous populations to lose their cultural identities. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of these schools and the legacy they have left behind.

Staff at the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) will be wearing orange to honor the survivors and victims of the federal Indian Boarding School System. ODHS’ commitment to dismantling all forms of systemic racism is led by reconciliation and collaboration with all Tribal communities within Oregon and is strengthened by our Equity North Star, which is our agency wide vision that leads to a more equitable Oregon for all. 

“Orange Shirt Day represents an Indigenous movement throughout the United States and Canada,” said Adam Becenti, ODHS Office of Tribal Affairs Director. “Orange Shirt Day is a call to action, but more importantly is an opportunity to honor the lives that were lost and those who survived this atrocity.”

“We will be wearing orange to honor the survivors and victims of the Indian Boarding School system and to recognize the trauma it caused for generations of Tribal families and children,” said Rebecca Jones Gaston, ODHS Child Welfare Director. “In Oregon our Child Welfare Division’s Vision for Transformation commits us to dismantling the structures, underlying mindsets, and biases that contribute to racialized and disparate outcomes for Tribal children and families. We honor the sovereignty and self-determination of the Nine Tribes of Oregon and are committed to reconciliation, healing and government-to-government collaboration when working with Oregon Tribes to support the needs of Tribal children and their families.”

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s 2022 investigation report, between 1819 and 1969, the federal Indian boarding school system operated more than 400 schools across 37 states or then-territories. During this time thousands of Indigenous children were separated from their families and placed in the school system, many did not survive. The investigation identified marked and unmarked burial sites at approximately 53 different schools across the school system. 

The federal Indian boarding school system deployed systematic militarized and identity-alteration methodologies in an attempt to assimilate American Indian and Alaska Native children through education, including but not limited to renaming Tribal children English names; cutting the hair of Tribal children; discouraging or preventing the use of Tribal languages, religions and cultural practices; and organizing children into units to perform military drills.

As early as 1874, a boarding school was built at Warm Springs in Oregon, and others were later constructed at Siletz, Grand Ronde, Klamath, and Umatilla. Today, Chemawa Indian School, located in Salem, Oregon is an accredited high school that serves American Indian and Alaska Native students. Chemawa is the oldest continuously operated off-reservation boarding school in the United States.

About the ODHS Office Tribal Affairs 

The Office of Tribal Affairs within the ODHS Director’s Office is a team committed to all Oregon Tribal communities thriving mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Tribal Affairs works with all five ODHS programs to create and provide Tribally appropriate programming, services, policies and support. Through Tribal consultation with Nine Federally Recognized Tribes of Oregon, O​DHS ensures programming, services, and policies meet the needs of Oregon Tribal communities. 

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People with disabilities and older adults can, and should, take concrete steps to prepare before the next disaster for a better recovery
Oregon Department of Human Services - 09/27/22 10:24 AM

Note: This press release is available in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali, Arabic, Chuukese, Korean, Hmong, Marshallese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Traditional Chinese and American Sign Language online here.

(Salem, Ore.) – “From a house fire to major earthquakes, taking simple steps to be prepared can be the difference between survival and recovery from a disaster,” said Ed Flick, director of the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Office of Resilience and Emergency Management. “Unfortunately, older adults, people with disabilities, and those on fixed incomes are the ones we often read about who weren’t able to prepare for emergencies or evacuate. We aim to change that as soon as possible.”

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) joins the national observation of Preparedness Month during September by encouraging older adults and people with disabilities to prepare for disasters. 

LeAnn Ivers is the Co-chair of Disability Emergency Management Advisory Council (DEMAC). She’s also hard of hearing and experiencing vision loss. Those lived experiences, and her time on the DEMAC, have taught her that people don’t understand that emergency responders won’t be as available during a large casualty situation. “We all need to prepare as if no one is coming to rescue us,” says Ivers. “We can take control by creating our own plan and how we respond to disasters.”

Ivers recommends these tips for older adults and people with disabilities, although many are relevant to everyone:

  • If you have access and functional needs and are in an area preparing for possible evacuation, consider evacuating early, instead of waiting until your area is at level three, the “go” level. Medical needs, transportation challenges and more can make it hard to get out at the last minute.
  • Have extra supplies for your specific medical conditions, such as special diets, durable medical equipment, batteries, oxygen, catheters, extra eyeglasses and hearing aid batteries. 
  • Also prepare extra supplies for your service animal.
  • Keep your prescriptions and essential over-the-counter medication handy, as well as contact information for your medical providers. Build up an emergency supply of prescriptions by ordering as soon as you can each time and check with your insurance company to explore emergency supply options. Be aware of potential hazards in the area and sign up for emergency alerts.
  • Be “2 Weeks Ready” with at least two weeks’ worth of food, water and critical supplies. Learn how to assemble an emergency supply kit at Ready.gov or American Red Cross. “Putting together these supplies does not have to be accomplished all at once or at a high cost,” Ivers said. “A helpful way to accumulate these supplies can be to simply add one or two of the items into your shopping and then reserve the extra items for your emergency kit.” 
  • Reach out to your local support groups or others in your community who have gone through emergencies to learn from their experience.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Even if you have family, your neighbors will be the first ones available to help. 
  • If you have an older adult or person with a disability in your neighborhood, get to know them and how you can help in an emergency.

“Each person’s needs are unique to their circumstances, so it’s important that each of us create our own plan to ensure we are ready and can take quick action in a disaster,” Flick said. “ODHS is committed to helping people be prepared and ready for the next disaster.

About the DEMAC:  The Disability Emergency Management Advisory Council was created to apply the experiences and knowledge of people with disabilities, as subject matter experts, to guide statewide emergency management in developing and implementing inclusive practices through all planning, response, and recovery activities. The DEMAC is jointly funded by the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, ODHS, and the Oregon Health Authority.

About ODHS and disasters:  Oregon’s emergency and recovery plans give ODHS responsibility to support impacted individuals and families during emergencies and recovery, at the request of and in partnership with local and tribal governments. This is in keeping with the agency’s primary role to assist people in meeting their basic needs while moving toward independence.  

The ODHS Office of Resilience and Emergency Management (OREM) focuses on the needs of people before, during and after disasters, reducing disaster impacts in times of crisis and investing in communities year-round to ensure greater resilience. OREM carries out ODHS’ roles in Oregon’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan as the primary agency for mass care, food and water in disaster situations and social services during recovery, and coordinates efforts among local and Tribal governments and nongovernmental organizations. The office centers equity in its work, ensuring that the goals and needs of vulnerable communities directly inform resilience plans and that response systems effectively address disproportionate disaster impacts. OREM also assists other ODHS programs in preventing, mitigating, responding to and recovering from natural, technical and human-caused hazards.    

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Attached Media Files: Ed Flick audio quote

Division of Financial Regulation warns student loan borrowers about scams
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 09/29/22 10:14 AM

SALEM – The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is warning people about the uptick in student loan scams. With recent changes to federal student loan programs, scammers are bombarding borrowers with fraudulent offers for loan forgiveness and refinancing.

The division reminds people to ignore phone calls, emails, social media messages, and other unsolicited messages from people claiming they can help you get your student loans forgiven faster or telling you that you should refinance your loan. Do not accept these unexpected offers without first checking to see if the offer is legitimate. Chances are it is a scam. Scammers may use the phrases such as “pre-enrollment for all loan forgiveness” or “you must apply within the next 24 hours.”

“There are no fees associated with signing up for student loan forgiveness, so don’t fall for these scams,” said TK Keen, administrator for DFR. “Everyone will have the same opportunities and there are no ways to cut in line and get loans forgiven faster.” 

There are recent and upcoming changes to federal student loans and forgiveness of loans, as well as the Biden Administration’s one time cancellation. With those changes, unfortunately, there are people who will prey on those seeking help.

“There is not yet an application available for President Biden’s relief plan,” said Lane Thompson, Oregon student loan ombuds. “People can get alerted once the program is live by visiting the U.S. Department of Education website and check the box title ‘NEWII Federal Student Loan Borrower Updates.’”

One helpful reminder is that if it is not a .gov website, it is not an official site of the federal government. The key signs to watch out for are if they tell you there is an urgency, a guarantee, and any secrecy.

“Any time the Department of Education announces changes to the student loan program, scammers come out of the woodwork,” Thompson said. “The advice remains the same: if it seems too good to be true, it likely is.”

If you have questions regarding your student loan’s eligibility, it is best to go to studentaid.gov. If you believe you received incorrect information from your servicer, email .bankingproducthelp@dcbs.oregon.gov">dfr.bankingproducthelp@dcbs.oregon.gov or call our consumer hotline at 888-877-4894 (toll-free).

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About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and dfr.oregon.gov.​​


Heavy Equipment Operator Certification offered to Adults in Custody
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 10/03/22 7:51 AM
Who:    

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in partnership with Baker Technical Institute 

 

What:

Observe and discuss certification opportunity for adults in custody (AICs)

 

When:  

October 12 and 19, 2022

9:00 – 10:00 AM

 

Where:

24499 SW Grahams Ferry Road
Wilsonville, OR 97070

 

RSVP:RSVP to Amber Knight via email no later than October 7, 2022
Contact Information:    

Amber Knight, 503-507-3567

er.N.Knight@doc.oregon.gov">Amber.N.Knight@doc.oregon.gov

 

Additional Information:

Members of the media are invited to observe the virtual training opportunity being offered to AICs for Heavy Equipment Operator Certification. Those attending must be on site by 8:30 AM for processing and directions. Further instructions will be given at check in. 

 

Background:

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) received a three-year grant totaling $900,000 through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Second Chance Act. This grant allows DOC to offer a virtual heavy equipment operation, industry recognized certification program through Baker Technical Institute (BTI) to several DOC facilities, including Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF). BTI placed a trailer on-site at CCCF with virtual reality technology to train AICs on heavy equipment as well as offering First Aid and CPR, Flagger Certification, and Forklift Certification. Wraparound services will also be offered such as resume writing, job search assistance, and connections to WorkSource Oregon. Programs started at CCCF on Sept 26 and will move to Powder River Correctional Facility in Baker City and Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario in November.

 

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Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 10/02/22 1:30 PM

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Richard Wayne Godwin, died the morning of October 2, 2022. Godwin was incarcerated at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) in Ontario and passed away in the infirmary while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified.

Godwin entered DOC custody on September 20, 1979, from Lane County with an earliest release date of March 11, 2026. Godwin was 77 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: Richard W. Godwin

Board of Forestry hosts a planning retreat on Oct. 12 and 13
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 09/30/22 8:06 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet on Oct. 12 and 13 for a planning retreat. The annual retreat offers the board and department leadership the opportunity to connect and explore policy issues in an informal setting. No public comment or testimony will be accepted during the retreat. The public can attend in-person at Matt Dishman Community Center Auditorium, 77 NE Knott Street, Portland, OR 97212 or observe both days of the retreat via a livestream on the department’s YouTube page.

During this informal annual retreat, board members will reflect on the past year of work together and begin their work on creating the next generation Forestry Program for Oregon. They will focus on: 

  • Discussing the outcomes of the annual self-evaluation.
  • Exploring the Board business approach for the current biennium including work plans, organizational level governance, and public engagement.
  • Expanding upon the relationship between the Board and agency leadership.
  • Hearing from a local urban forestry community voice.
  • Setting the stage to begin substantive work on the Forestry Program for Oregon.

View the agenda and retreat details. 

On Oct. 12, as part of the planning retreat, the Department will host an evening Community Spotlight and Board social to focus on Urban Forestry as part of their planning effort of revisioning Oregon’s forests. This informal event is open to the public and can attend in-person at the McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97211. An RSVP is not required, but a courtesy as spacing and parking is limited. RSVP to oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200 or by email at estryinformation@odf.oregon.gov">forestryinformation@odf.oregon.gov.

The Oregon Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the State Forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base. Read more information about the board.


Regional Forest Practice Committees for Eastern Oregon meets Oct. 6
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 09/28/22 3:25 PM

SALEM, Ore. – The Regional Forest Practice Committees for Eastern Oregon will meet at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 in the ODF conference room, 3200 Delap Road, Klamath Falls, OR 97601. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda. To provide public comment, please email estresources.committees@odf.oregon.gov">forestresources.committees@odf.oregon.gov. 

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Forest Resources Division update
  • Operator of the Year selection
  • Forest Practices Act rule change
  • Emerald ash borer update
  • Fire season update

The public may attend online via Zoom or in-person. Public comments will be accepted. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 72 hours before the meeting by emailing estresources.committees@odf.oregon.gov">forestresources.committees@odf.oregon.gov.

Regional Forest Practices Committees are panels of citizens – mandated under Oregon law – that advise the Oregon Board of Forestry on current forestry issues and forest management approaches. In 1971, the legislature enacted Oregon’s Forest Practices Act which includes three Regional Forest Practices Committees, serving the Eastern, Northwest and Southwest regions of the state. Under Oregon law, a majority of the committees’ members must be private forest landowners and logging or forest operations companies.

Oregon’s forests are among the state’s most valued resources, providing a balanced mix of environmental, economic and social benefitsView more information on the RFPC webpage.


Committee for Family Forestlands meets Oct. 13
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 09/28/22 9:43 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Committee for Family Forestlands will meet virtually on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Forest Resources Division update
  • Wildfire risk map update
  • Emerald ash borer update
  • Legacy Program update
  • Update on the changes to the Forest Practices Act
  • Round table discussion

The meeting is open to the public to attend online via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the start of the meeting. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 24 hours before the meeting by emailing estlands@odf.oregon.gov">committee.of.family.forestlands@odf.oregon.gov.

The 13-member committee researches policies that affect family forests, natural resources and forestry benefits. Based on its findings, the committee recommends actions to the Oregon Board of Forestry and the State Forester. View more information on the CFF webpage.


Oregon Cannabis Commission meets via Zoom Oct. 11
Oregon Health Authority - 10/03/22 1:47 PM

October 3, 2022

Media contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843,

PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets via Zoom Oct. 11

What: A Zoom meeting for the Oregon Cannabis Commission.

Agenda: The full agenda will be available at www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

When: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 1-4p.m.

Where: Zoom Meeting. Members of the public may join remotely by phone at 1-669-254-5252; Meeting ID: 161 976 4473 Passcode: 742926

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight member-panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the senate. The commission provides advice to Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission regarding Oregon Administrative Rules that govern medical cannabis as well as retail cannabis as it pertains to patients and caregivers.  Additionally, the commission is tasked with developing a long-term strategic plan for ensuring that cannabis will remain a therapeutic and affordable option for patients and monitoring federal laws, regulations, and policies regarding cannabis.

Visit www.Healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission for more information.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Megan Lockwood at 971-673-0620, 711 TTY or .lockwood@dhsoha.state.or.us">megan.r.lockwood@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.


Oregon Cannabis Commission's Patient Equity and Governance Frame Working subcommittees meet via Zoom Oct. 10
Oregon Health Authority - 10/03/22 1:14 PM

October 3, 2022

Media contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843,  PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Oregon Cannabis Commission's Patient Equity and Governance Frame Working subcommittees meet via Zoom Oct. 10

What: A combined Zoom meeting for the Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Patient Equity and Governance Frame Working subcommittees.

Agenda: The full agenda will be available at www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

When: Monday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. to noon.

Where: Zoom Meeting. Members of the public may join remotely by phone at 1-669-254-5252; Meeting ID: 161 696 9297 Passcode: 538725

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight member-panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the senate. The commission provides advice to Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission regarding Oregon Administrative Rules that govern medical cannabis as well as retail cannabis as it pertains to patients and caregivers. Additionally, the commission is tasked with developing a long-term strategic plan for ensuring that cannabis will remain a therapeutic and affordable option for patients and monitoring federal laws, regulations, and policies regarding cannabis.

Visit www.Healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission for more information.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Megan Lockwood at 971-673-0620, 711 TTY or .lockwood@dhsoha.state.or.us">megan.r.lockwood@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.


Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council to offer Measure 110 grant extensions through June 2025
Oregon Health Authority - 09/30/22 2:33 PM

September 30, 2022

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,

timothy.heider@dhs.oregon.gov

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council to offer Measure 110 grant extensions through June 2025

The Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) on Wednesday approved several proposals intended to protect continuity of services for individuals seeking treatment under Measure 110 and to ensure operational and financial stability for Measure 110 service networks ramping up across Oregon.

The OAC approved a proposal to offer current Measure 110 Behavioral Health Resource Network (BHRN) grantees an option to receive an 18-month grant extension through June 2025. The current grants are due to expire in December 2023. The OAC also approved a process for how to handle Measure 110 service providers that may drop out of service networks.

Offering the potential extensions ensures individuals seeking treatment and services under Measure 110 won’t face a disruption in care in December 2023.

“It also allows providers the predictability and certainty they need to become fully operational,” said Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Behavioral Health Director Steve Allen. “Approving these extensions and the process for replacing service providers further demonstrates our commitment to serving individuals seeking treatment and to working with the OAC and our community partners to provide a stable source of funding needed to fully implement Measure 110,” he said.

Starting in November OHA will ask BHRN service providers whether they are interested in continuing to provide services through June of 2025, with a deadline of expressing an interest in an extension of December 15, 2022.  

Beginning in January, OHA will work on grant extension documents and work with service providers to adjust budgets. The deadline for finalizing grant extensions is June 2023.

The OAC has established and funded 44 Behavioral Health Resource Networks (BHRNs) under Measure 110. These networks now exist in every Oregon county.

Each one offers a comprehensive array of community-based and culturally specific services for people seeking treatment for drug use and substance use disorders, without regard to their ability to pay.

Replacing service providers

The OAC also approved a process for replacing network providers who wish to stop providing services, if the loss of the provider would leave a service gap. Grantees opting to leave a network must get approval from the OAC and before agreeing to the termination of a grant agreement OAC wants to ensure all required BHRN services are covered. If there is another network partner providing the same service or services as the provider that is dropping out, the OAC has authorized OHA to agree to terminate the grant, but no replacement provider will be sought.

If a BHRN partner’s departure would leave a gap in services for the BHRN, OHA will look to other BHRN partners in the county to provide the additional, service.  If a network partner in the county cannot provide the service, OHA will look to any BHRN provider, and only if no current Measure 110 grantee can provide the service, will OHA look to a new provider to fill the gap. OHA will not agree to the termination of a grant until all required services in a BHRN are provided.

More detailed information on the grant extensions and the process for replacing providers, along with implementation progress updates can be found on the Measure 110 web page. Notices for future OAC meetings can be found here.

OHA has developed a statewide map visualization that shows the BHRNs that have been established, along with a robust dashboard showing the funded services within each service network. OHA has also developed a Measure 110 resources page, which includes contact information for each of the BHRNs.

Read more about Measure 110

Background: In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act of 2020, which became effective Dec. 4, 2020, to better serve people actively using substances or diagnosed with a substance use disorder. In July 2021, the legislature passed SB 755, which amended the act and made it more feasible to implement.

People who provide drug treatment and recovery services and advocates for criminal justice reform wrote Measure 110 in response to the high rate of drug addiction and overdoses in Oregon, and the disproportionate impact of those outcomes on Oregon’s communities of color.

Their goal was to establish a more equitable and effective approach to substance use disorder. OHA is working with the OAC to develop a first-in-the-nation health-based approach to substance use and overdose prevention system, which is more helpful, caring and cost-effective than punishing and criminalizing people who need help.

###


OHA lifts health advisories for Short Sand, Rockaway beaches Sept. 29
Oregon Health Authority - 09/29/22 5:13 PM

September 29, 2022

Media contacts: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

OHA lifts health advisories for Short Sand, Rockaway beaches Sept. 29

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today lifted public health advisories for contact with ocean water at Short Sand and Rockaway beaches, both located in Tillamook County.

The health authority issued the advisories on Sept. 27 for Short Sand Beach and Sept. 28 for Rockaway Beach, after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.

Results from follow-up tests taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels at these beaches. Contact with the ocean water in these areas no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk. Officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.

Since 2003, state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are OHA, DEQ and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0440, or call OHA toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

###


Oregon Health Policy Board Behavioral Health Committee to hold public meetings in October
Oregon Health Authority - 09/29/22 3:57 PM

September 29, 2022

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

Oregon Health Policy Board Behavioral Health Committee to hold public meetings in October

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board’s Behavioral Health Committee

When: October 10, and 24, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where: Virtual:

https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1615920136?pwd=UnVjMGxIZzRucGtxN0U2ekl6UWhhQT09

Join by phone: 669-254-5252

Zoom Meeting ID: 161 592 0136

Zoom Passcode: 734636

Agenda: Committee members continue to develop metric concepts.

The meeting will include time for public comment. Comments may also be sent ahead of time to HC@dhsoha.state.or.us">BHC@dhsoha.state.or.us

Purpose: In 2021, the Oregon State Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 2086, which included multiple provisions and called for the establishment of the Behavioral Health Committee of the Oregon Health Policy Board. The committee’s purpose is to increase the quality of behavioral health services and transform Oregon’s behavioral health system through improved outcomes, metrics, and incentives. The committee will direct this work for the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and will be supported by staff from OHA’s Office of Behavioral Health Services

The Behavioral Health Committee will use a health equity lens. It will center the voices of those with lived experience, community members impacted by health inequities, and members of the community with behavioral healthcare knowledge.

Read more about the Behavioral Health Committee.

Questions? Email questions to:  HC@dhsoha.state.or.us">BHC@odhsoha.state.or.us

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please call 503-784-3737, 711 TTY, or HC@dhsoha.state.or.us">BHC@odhsoha.state.or.us or at least two business days before the meeting.

###


Opioid overdoses increased in 2021, OHA report shows
Oregon Health Authority - 09/29/22 12:24 PM

September 29, 2022

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Opioid overdoses increased in 2021, OHA report shows

Fentanyl and methamphetamine help fuel rise in deaths and hospitalizations

PORTLAND, Ore.—Methamphetamines and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl helped drive an increase in opioid overdoses and related deaths in 2021, according to a new Oregon Health Authority (OHA) report.

The report, Opioids and the Ongoing Drug Overdose Crisis in Oregon, shows that overdoses involving multiple drugs – known as polysubstance overdoses – also rose during 2021 and now account for more than half of all fatal overdoses. In addition, hospitalizations increased in 2021 following decreases between 2018 and 2020. Charges for drug overdose-related hospitalizations reached $170 million and overdose-related emergency room charges reached $50 million.

“What this report tells us is that, even as prescription opioids were on the decline in Oregon over the last decade, misuse of synthetic and prescription opioids and other drugs continues to take a heavy toll on everyone in our state,” said Tom Jeanne, M.D., M.P.H., deputy health officer and deputy state epidemiologist at OHA’s Public Health Division, who served as an advisor on the report. “We need to continue our efforts focused on enhanced prevention across the continuum of drug use.”

The report also describes those at highest risk for unintentional drug overdose death in 2021, which were non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives, non-Hispanic Blacks, and males. At lowest risk were people of Hispanic ethnicity and non-Hispanic Asians and Pacific Islanders.

“These are populations that have been unfairly affected by systemic racism, socioeconomic and political injustices and bias, which through multiple pathways can worsen health outcomes and increase the risk of experiencing a drug overdose,” Jeanne said.

The report noted some trends that presented opportunities for intervention with those at risk of overdoses.

For one, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel administered naloxone, a drug that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose, during 5,556 encounters in 2021, which is up from 3,758 encounters in 2019. In most of these cases the patient was transferred to a medical care facility for treatment.

In addition, there were almost 73,000 emergency department visits and more than 17,000 hospitalizations related to substance use disorder or intoxication issues other than an overdose in 2021. Such health care interactions represent opportunities to connect patients to treatment, prescribe naloxone – a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose – and provide other supports to reduce their risk for experiencing future overdoses, the report explains.

Providing comprehensive, non-stigmatizing harm-reduction services for people who use drugs is among a number of response strategies the report points to. Others include education for people who have never used drugs; resilience building and support to strengthen protective factors among those at higher risk for drug use and for developing substance use disorder; ensuring universal access to culturally sensitive treatment; and maintaining strong support for people in recovery, including peer support workers.

“Each non-fatal overdose and medical or behavioral health care visit has the potential to be a touch point with prevention, treatment and recovery services to support recovery and reduce the risk of a future fatal overdose,” according to the report.

An overdose is always a medical emergency. Individuals should call 911 before administering naloxone. Oregon’s Good Samaritan Law protects the caller and the person who has overdosed against possession and paraphernalia charges.

OHA’s Naloxone Rescue for Opioid Overdose webpage contains naloxone frequently asked questions and a map showing Oregon pharmacies that distribute the medicine. In Oregon, naloxone is available without a prescription. Anyone actively using opioids, or other illicit substances, can get naloxone and other harm-reduction materials at no cost through syringe service programs. Syringe service programs are available to anyone who uses drugs, regardless of whether they inject them. Here is OHA’s list of syringe and needle exchange services available in Oregon.

OHA has developed the following guidance for people who use drugs:

  • Unless a pharmacist directly hands you a prescription pill, assume it is counterfeit and contains fentanyl.
  • Assume any pills obtained from social media, the internet or a friend are counterfeit and contain fentanyl.
  • If you are using pills, don’t use alone and always have naloxone on hand and visible.
  • Test your drugs with fentanyl test strips before you use them. Fentanyl test strips can often be accessed at local harm-reduction sites.

###


OHA seeking applicants for peer run respite programs in Oregon. Deadline is Oct.6
Oregon Health Authority - 09/29/22 11:57 AM

September 28, 2022

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,

timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

OHA seeking applicants for peer run respite programs in Oregon. Deadline is Oct.6

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has issued a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) seeking state-based organizations to operate peer-run respite programs for people who experience a mental health crisis or emotional distress that may lead to a higher-level of care.

The program, established under House Bill 2980, will distribute $6 million in grants to operate up to four peer-run centers in four geographic regions: The Portland-Metro area, central or eastern Oregon, southern Oregon and the Oregon coast. At least one of the centers must offer culturally specific services.

Peer-run respites are voluntary, non-clinical, short-term residential programs operated in home-like settings for people experiencing emotional distress. The respites are staffed by people with lived experience and run independently of other behavioral health support providers.

The program is being operated through OHA’s Office of Recovery and Resilience. More about the grants and the program can be found here.

Eligibility is limited to peer-run organizations currently operating in Oregon. Information on how to apply for the programs, including the RFGA can be found here. The deadline for RFGA applications is Thursday, Oct. 6.

###


Oregon Resource Allocation Advisory Committee meets Sept. 30, via Zoom
Oregon Health Authority - 09/29/22 11:33 AM

Sept. 30, 2022

Contacts: Liz Gharst, 971-666-2476, eth.a.gharst@dhsoha.state.or.us">Elizabeth.a.gharst@dhsoha.state.or.us (media inquiries)

Lisa Bui, esourceallocation@dhsoha.state.or.us">oha.resourceallocation@dhsoha.state.or.us or contact by phone at 503-576-9321 (meeting information or accommodation)

Oregon Resource Allocation Advisory Committee meets Sept. 30, via Zoom

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Resource Allocation Advisory Committee (ORAAC).

When: Sept. 30, 2022 noon to 2:00 p.m

Join meeting by computer or video link:

https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1604980686?pwd=RmVTVk5aTU0rNkpyWkhQM3JjYUZIdz09

Join meeting by phone:

Phone # 669-254-5252

Meeting ID: 160 498 0686

Passcode: 828115

Agenda: Welcome; Health Justice vs Health Equity, Community Systems and Health Justice, Healthcare Systems and Health Justice.

Oregon Resource Allocation Advisory Committee (ORAAC) meeting. Meeting materials are posted to the ORAAC website. https://www.oregon.gov/oha/Pages/Resource-Allocation-Advisory-Committee.aspx

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation)
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

Everyone is welcome to the meetings. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please call 971-304-6236 or write esourceallocation@dhsoha.state.or.us">oha.resourceallocation@dhsoha.state.or.us


Rockaway Beach health advisory issued Sept. 28
Oregon Health Authority - 09/28/22 9:49 AM

September 28, 2022

 

Media contacts: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Rockaway Beach health advisory issued Sept. 28

High bacteria levels prompt OHA warning to avoid water contact

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is issuing a public health advisory today for unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters at Rockaway Beach in Tillamook County. People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted.

Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children, elderly and those with a compromised immune system should use extra caution as they are more vulnerable to illness from waterborne bacteria.

Visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Levels of fecal bacteria tend to be higher in these types of water sources.

Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources including:

  • Stormwater runoff.
  • Sewer overflows.
  • Failing septic systems.
  • Animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

Even if there is no advisory in effect, avoid swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Ocean waters are re-tested after an advisory is issued. Once bacteria levels are at a safe level, OHA will notify the public that the advisory is lifted.

While this advisory is in effect at Rockaway Beach, state officials continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory.

For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).


Federal Government Approves Oregon Medicaid Waiver, Including First-in-Nation Medicaid Funding for Food and Housing
Oregon Health Authority - 09/28/22 9:35 AM

September 28, 2022

Media Contact: Liz Gharst, eth.a.gharst@state.or.us">elizabeth.a.gharst@state.or.us, 971-666-2476

Note to reporters: Oregon health officials will hold a media briefing at 11AM. Interested reporters can join via Zoom at this link.

To watch today’s media availability, click here.

Federal Government Approves Oregon Medicaid Waiver, Including First-in-Nation Medicaid Funding for Food and Housing

Agreement also expands health coverage for children and provides $1.1 billion in new federal funding

SALEM, Ore. -  Today, Oregon received federal approval to pilot first-in-the-nation changes to the state’s Medicaid program over the next five years. Under the agreement, Oregon would receive $1.1 billion in new federal funds to address inadequate food, housing and other root-cause issues that lead to poor health for people and families struggling to make ends meet. As part of the agreement, the federal government also approved expanded Oregon Health Plan (OHP) coverage for young children, as well as extended eligibility for youth and adults.

The Oregon Health Plan, which is Oregon’s Medicaid program, provides comprehensive health coverage to approximately 1.4 million Oregonians, more than one in three state residents. States may request federal approval to test innovations in their Medicaid programs. Today’s agreement between Oregon and the federal agency Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) renews Oregon’s current section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver for the next five years (covering 2022 – 2027) and provides federal sign-off and funding to implement the new changes.

A state must apply for a Medicaid waiver when it wants to make changes from normal federal guidelines. States can request flexibilities in who is eligible for Medicaid, what benefits they receive and how health care is delivered.

 “I’m proud to work alongside Oregon to advance policies to expand access to high-quality health care, particularly for those most in need,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Thanks to this demonstration, for example, eligible children in Oregon will be able to keep their Medicaid coverage continuously until age 6, eliminating potential gaps in coverage and care. The demonstration also invests in the services that people need to address their health-related social needs, such as medically tailored meals and housing supports. That is transformational change – as are many of the other components included in Oregon’s 1115 demonstration. We encourage all states to follow Oregon’s lead supporting a whole-person approach to care.”

Extended health coverage for children, special needs youth and adults

Oregon’s renewed waiver will allow the state to keep children enrolled in Medicaid up to age 6 — preventing gaps in coverage that can cause children to lose access to needed care in their formative early years. Oregon is the first state in the nation to receive federal approval for continuous health coverage for children under 6 years old.

Also, all OHP members age 6 and older will have two years of continuous OHP enrollment. Establishing longer continuous coverage periods will keep more Oregonians enrolled in OHP with consistent access to health, dental, and behavioral health care.

Medicaid coverage to address hunger, homelessness and climate change

In another first-in-the nation innovation, Oregon will expand health-related social needs coverage for certain food assistance, housing supports and other interventions that are medically appropriate for individuals experiencing certain life transitions, including individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

This package of services, called health-related social needs, includes food and housing supports (including rental assistance) for up to six months for groups who have been marginalized such as youth in foster care, people who are homeless and low-income older adults. State health officials sought federal approval to cover housing and nutritional support services to reduce health inequity and stabilize the circumstances of OHP members who are at-risk of worsening health during major life disruptions. In addition, Oregon will provide devices – air conditioners, air filters, generators - to people with a high-risk clinical need who reside in regions experiencing extreme weather events that place the health and safety of residents in jeopardy as declared by the federal government or the governor of Oregon.

“Oregon is committed to eliminating health inequity and ensuring that our health care system provides optimal health and well-being for everyone in Oregon,” said OHA Director Pat Allen. “This agreement gives us more tools and resources to tackle the problems in people’s lives that undermine their health such as lack of housing, food or consistent health coverage. We’re excited to work with partners in every corner of the state to help more people in Oregon live healthier lives, hold down the growth of health care costs and strengthen communities across our state.”

Expanding health services for children and youth with special needs

Under the new five-year Medicaid waiver, Oregon will cover early periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment (EPSDT) services for to all children and youth up to age 21 and for youth with special health care needs up to age 26, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Under the new waiver, the federal government will allow Oregon to expand Medicaid eligibility and benefits for youth with special health care needs up to the age of 26 if their income levels are at or below 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL). This will ease their transition to adulthood, with fewer disruptions in health care and services.

Federal government commits $1.1 billion to address health-related services, expand coverage and improve care

Oregon also received significant federal support through Designated State Health Programs (DSHP) totaling $1.1 billion in federal funds over the waiver period. Under the waiver, Oregon will use these funds to address health-related special needs (such as housing, food and climate related supports), increase health coverage, achieve better health outcomes and improve the efficiency and quality of care.

In addition, the new waiver sets a timeline to move Oregon’s prioritized list of services from a demonstration to the State Plan as part of standard benefits and services.

Pending decisions

Along with today’s waiver approval, Oregon and CMS will continue to discuss Oregon’s proposals to have new Community Investment Collaboratives (CIC) throughout the state manage community-led health equity interventions. State and federal health officials also will continue to discuss OHP coverage for youth in detention and adults in jails, as well as 90-day transitional pre-release coverage for adults in prison or psychiatric facilities.

Oregon health officials also requested authority to remove prior authorization requirements for American Indians/Alaska Natives on OHP, convert the Special Diabetes Program for Indians to a Medicaid benefit, reimburse tribal-based practices and extend coverage of new health-related social need services to tribal members not enrolled in a Coordinated Care Organization. Federal officials are continuing to evaluate Oregon’s request.

To learn more about all the changes being implemented in the Medicaid waiver and other related efforts in Oregon to transform our health system, visit here.

2022 – 2027 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver Policy Summary

Oregon Health Plan Section 1115 Demonstration Approval


 


Media briefing on Medicaid tomorrow at 11 a.m.
Oregon Health Authority - 09/27/22 4:33 PM

September 27, 2022

Media contact: Elizabeth Gharst, 971-666-2476, eth.a.gharst@state.or.us">elizabeth.a.gharst@state.or.us

Media briefing on Medicaid tomorrow at 11 a.m.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority officials will host a Zoom media briefing at 11 a.m. tomorrow – Wednesday, September 28 – to discuss updates to the state’s Medicaid program.

Pat Allen, OHA Director, will join Danielle Sobel, Policy and Governmental Affairs Senior Director at the Oregon Primary Care Association, Mercedes Elizalde, Public Policy Director at Central City Concern, Sarah Sullivan, Executive Director at Gorge Grown Food Network representing Oregon Community Food Systems Network, and Erin Fair-Taylor, Vice President of Medicaid Programs at PacificSource to give an update on the state’s Medicaid program, and take questions.

Interested reporters can join via Zoom at this link. A livestream also is available via YouTube at this link.


Oregon Health Policy Board meets October 3, via Zoom
Oregon Health Authority - 09/27/22 3:55 PM

September 27, 2022

Contacts: Liz Gharst, 971-666-2476, eth.a.gharst@dhsoha.state.or.us">Elizabeth.a.gharst@dhsoha.state.or.us (media inquiries)

Tara Chetock, 971-304-9917, a.a.chetock@dhsoha.state.or.us">tara.a.chetock@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Oregon Health Policy Board meets October 3, via Zoom

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board.

When: October 3rd – 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Virtual meeting only. The public can join remotely via Zoom or a conference line.

To join via Zoom: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1604737337?pwd=WEJFeWJick9oVCsrT0RwcjEwaWdWZz09

To call in to the meeting on a mobile device, use the following number:

+16692545252,, 1604737337#,,,,,,0#,, 136235#

Proposed topics for the meeting agenda are listed below. The final meeting agenda and supporting materials will be posted on the OHPB website prior to the meeting. 

Agenda:

Agenda and meeting materials will be uploaded to the website prior to the October 3rd meeting, to find materials please follow the link below

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/OHPB-meetings.aspx

To provide public comment, please submit your request for public comment at least 48 hours prior to the meeting at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OHPB-Public-Comment

For more information and meeting materials, please visit the OHPB meeting webpage at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/index.aspx

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation)
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Tara Chetock at 971-304-9917, 711 TTY, a.a.chetock@dhsoha.state.or.us">tara.a.chetock@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.


$913,000 in grants for nonprofits and insurance agents to help Oregonians with health coverage enrollment
Oregon Health Authority - 09/27/22 2:33 PM

September 27, 2022  

Media contact: Amy Coven, 503-943-0164, amy.coven2@dhsoha.state.or.us

$913,000 in grants for nonprofits and insurance agents to help Oregonians with health coverage enrollment

(Salem) – Figuring out health insurance was complicated, even before facing a global pandemic. To help Oregonians sort through health insurance plans and programs, the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace has awarded grants to nonprofit community groups and insurance agents.

“Choosing the best health plan can be a daunting process,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “Applying for health coverage and financial help and then sorting through plan options can be stressful. Insurance agents and community partners throughout the state are available to take the stress out of the process and help Oregonians enroll in the best coverage for their situation.”

The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace runs OregonHealthCare.gov and helps people get insurance when they do not have coverage available through work and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan, Medicare or another program.

“Everyone in Oregon should have access to the high-quality coverage that works for their health needs,” said Flowers. “Insurance agents and community partners can help you figure out the programs, plans, and financial help available to make insurance more affordable for you.”

Grants totaling $913,000 will be awarded to 14 community groups and 29 insurance agents. Awardees use these grants to spread awareness of the upcoming Marketplace health insurance open enrollment period, and to help Oregonians enroll in coverage through the Marketplace.

For many people, open enrollment is the only time of the year to sign up for a private health plan or switch plans. Open enrollment will run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15 for health coverage for 2023.

Grantees 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. Grantees represent and serve Oregon’s diverse populations and offer services in multiple languages, including Arabic, Asian languages, Russian, and Spanish.

Community partner groups who will receive grants are:

  • ADAPT Integrated Health Care, Roseburg
  • Asian Health & Service Center, Portland
  • Cascade AIDS Project, Portland
  • Centro Latino Americano, Eugene
  • Grand Ronde Tribal Health Clinic, Grand Ronde
  • Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Portland
  • Interface Network, Salem
  • Mosaic Medical, Bend
  • Northeast Oregon Network, La Grande
  • One Community Health, The Dalles
  • Project Access Now (PANOW), Portland
  • Unete Center for Farmworker Advocacy, Medford
  • Urban League of Portland, Portland
  • Waterfall Community Health Center, North Bend

Insurance agents – also called partner agents – who will receive grants are:

  • Aaron Michael Burns Insurance Services, Eugene
  • Abel Insurance, Coos Bay, Florence, Gold Beach, and Newport
  • Bancorp Insurance, La Pine
  • Boone Insurance Associates, Eugene
  • Country Financial, Sisters
  • FG Insurance, Forest Grove and Portland
  • Gordon Wood Insurance, Roseburg
  • Grace Insurance Services, Portland
  • HE Cross Company, Portland
  • Health Plans in Oregon, Portland
  • HealthMarkets Insurance, Canby
  • Healthwise Insurance Planning, Portland
  • Healthy, Wealthy & Wise, Tigard
  • High Desert Insurance, Bend
  • Hillock Insurance Agency, Enterprise
  • iCover Oregon, Albany
  • Insurance By Design, Wilsonville
  • Insurance Marketplace, Medford
  • K Insurance Group, Independence
  • Klamath Insurance Center, Klamath Falls
  • Linda Dugan Insurance, Astoria
  • Matthew Woodbridge Insurance, Salem and Woodburn
  • Premier NW Insurance, Oregon City, Salem, and Sandy
  • RJS & Associates, Philomath
  • Shanon Saldivar Insurance, Hood River and The Dalles
  • Thippayaphorn Om Sukheenai, Newberg
  • Tomlin Health Insurance, Eugene
  • Valley Insurance, La Grande

To make an appointment with a partner or agent, go to OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp or call 855-268-3767 (toll-free).

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov. For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.


Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council holds public meetings in October
Oregon Health Authority - 09/27/22 11:30 AM

September 27, 2022

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,

timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council holds public meetings in October

What: Public meetings of the Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council.

Agenda: The council will discuss next steps following the establishment of BHRNs. Agendas will be posted on the Oversight and Accountability Council web page prior to each meeting.

When/Where:

Virtual meetings are Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 – https://youtu.be/lw3MWMQsH6Y

Oct. 12 – https://youtu.be/P3uwwrNHRNA

Oct. 19 – https://youtu.be/Fd0c1k_Desk

Oct. 26 - https://youtu.be/PoZV5ulnkHw

Purpose: The Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) oversees the establishment of Behavioral Health Resource Networks throughout Oregon.

Read more about the OAC. Read more about Measure 110.

Questions? Contact e110@dhsoha.state.or.us">OHA.Measure110@dhsoha.state.or.us

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Jessica Carroll at 503-580-9883, 711 TTY or roll@dhsoha.state.or.us">jessica.a.carroll@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

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Public Health Advisory Board meets Oct. 13
Oregon Health Authority - 09/27/22 9:10 AM

September 27, 2022

Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Public Health Advisory Board meets Oct. 13

What: The Public Health Advisory Board will hold a meeting.

Agenda: Approve September meeting minutes; discuss PHAB subcommittees; review Strategic Data Plan subcommittee charter; review PHAB charter and bylaws; discuss prioritization for public health modernization funding in the 2023-25 biennium.

When: Thursday, Oct. 13, 3-5:30 pm. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Zoom https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1602414019?pwd=MWtPYm5YWmxyRnVzZW0vZkpUV0lEdz09 or conference call:

(669) 254-5252, participant code 1602414019#.

Background: Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters.
  • Written materials in other languages.
  • Braille.
  • Large print.
  • Audio and other formats.

If you need help or have questions, please contact Cara Biddlecom: at 971-673-2284, 711 TTY, or lichealth.policy@dhsoha.state.or.us">publichealth.policy@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.


Housing Stability Council Meeting - October 7, 2022
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 09/30/22 3:31 PM

September 30, 2022

The next Housing Stability Council meeting will be from 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Friday, October 7, 2022. The meeting will be held electronically due to the current COVID-19 health crisis. You can find all updated meeting materials on our website.

 

Webinar Meeting Only

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0gaTLc20SYSFgConBPN2kw 

 

AGENDA:

9:00: Meeting Called to Order - Roll Call 

9:05: Public Comment

9:30: Report of the Chair

9:45: Report of the Director (pg. 04)

  • Modernize the HSC Administrative Structure: Caleb Yant Deputy Director

10:15: Legislative Planning Team (pg. 6)

          Nicole Stingh, Assistant Director of Government Relations

  • 2023-25 Agency Request Budget & Integrating Feedback: Nicole Stingh & Chelsea Bunch, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer

11:15: Disaster Recovery & Resilience (pg. 8)  

          Ryan Flynn, Assistant Director, Disaster Recovery & Resilience

  • Wildfire Recovery: State Funding Update and Sub-allocation to Counties:  Chelsea Catto Chief Policy Officer, Ryan Flynn, Assistant Director, Disaster Recovery & Resilience

11:45: 15 min break 

12:00: Affordable Rental Housing Division (pg. 12)  

          Natasha Detweiler-Daby, Interim Director, Affordable Rental Housing 

  • Transaction Approvals: Tai Dunson-Strane, Production Manager    
    • Sequoia Crossing
  • Preservation Pool Project Recommendations: Martin Jarvis, State Tax Credits Program Analyst; Amy Cole, State Development Resources Manager
  • PuSH Acquisition Pool Project Recommendation: Martin Jarvis, State Tax Credits Program Analyst; Amy Cole, State Development Resources Manager
  • Affordable Rental Housing Rural Investments; Verbal Update & Presentation:  Mitch Hannoosh, interim Senior Policy Analyst
  • HOME American Rescue Plan (ARP) Update: Andrea Matthiessen, HOME and Housing Trust Fund Program Manager; Roberto Franco, Assistant Director Development Resources and Production

1:00: Housing Stabilization Division (pg. 41) 

          Jill Smith, Director, Housing Stabilization

  • State Plan for the Department of Energy (DOE) Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) Draft:  Tim Zimmer, Assistant Director of Energy Services, Dan Elliott, Senior Policy Analyst, Steve Divan, Weatherization Program Manager
  • HB2100 Interim Report: Mike Savara, Interim Chief Programs Officer, Mary Frances, Jennifer Parrish Chair of the TF

1:30: Homeownership Division (pg. 48)

          Emeses Perfecto, Director, Homeownership

  • Oregon Bond Loan Approvals: Cheryl Lyons, Loan Specialist Homeownership Programs

 2:00: Meeting Adjourned




Attached Media Files: Oct HSC Meeting Agenda

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department accepting public comments on proposed changes to local government grant rules
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 09/30/22 9:09 AM

SALEM, Oregon – Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is accepting public comments on proposed changes to Oregon administrative rules for its Local Government Grant Program.

The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. Nov. 3 for proposed changes to rules on grants to local jurisdictions for acquiring or developing outdoor recreation facilities.

The proposed changes include increasing grant award amounts, updating definitions and updating administrative processes. A copy of the proposed amendments is available on the OPRD Rules web page.

A virtual public hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 1 for anyone who would like to provide comment or learn more about the proposed rule change. Registration is required to participate at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NcskSJx0TOWxc8faPgiYbQ.

Comments may also be submitted by 5 p.m. Nov. 3 via:

After reviewing public comments, agency staff will present a final amended rule for consideration by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission at a business meeting.

The Local Government Grant Program, created after the passage of Measure 76, has awarded over $90 million in grant funding to local governments in Oregon for parks, trails and other outdoor recreation facilities since the program began in 1999.  More information is on the local government grant program website.

Individuals who require special accommodations to view the meetings should contact Katie Gauthier, at least three days in advance of a meeting, by calling (503) 510-9678.

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Oregon PUC Approves Revised Rules to Better Protect Customers at Risk of Utility Service Disconnection
Oregon Public Utility Commission - 09/27/22 1:37 PM

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) recently approved rule revisions intended to strengthen protections for low-income energy customers at risk of service disconnection due to nonpayment. These rules are specific to Oregon’s investor-owned energy utilities, including Portland General Electric, PacifiCorp, Idaho Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural, and Avista. The PUC approved the following:

  • Changes to the rule defining disconnection of service to ensure vulnerable populations are protected 
  • Adjustments to the language defining what actions a utility has to take before disconnecting a customer that offers to pay cash at the door
  • Waiving select charges for low-income customers
  • Extension of the period of time required to notify customers of a disconnection of service due to nonpayment 

Disconnection of Service -- The PUC approved changes to the rule to postpone the disconnection of service any time a temperature of less than 32 degrees is forecasted during the colder months of November through March or when a winter storm warning is in effect. The previous rule required a pause in disconnection only if a high temperature of less than 32 degrees was forecasted, which did not take into account very cold days that may have a high that reaches 32 degrees. The rule now also indicates utilities are unable to disconnect service for nonpayment when a customer is under certain wildfire evacuation notices and when the air quality index is at or above 100. Utilities can now only disconnect service between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to allow for same-day reconnection of service for customers.

Paying Outstanding Bills to Avoid Disconnection – The previous rule allowed energy utilities, when arriving at a home to disconnect service due to an outstanding bill, to collect a reasonable partial payment of the overdue balance at the door to prevent disconnection. The rule now requires that any energy utility with a policy not to accept payment at the door be required to notify customers of the options available to pay the outstanding balance and be provided at least 24 hours to make the payment.

Waiving Select Charges for Low-Income Customers – The PUC approved changes to the rule to prohibit utilities from imposing late payment charges and collecting deposits. Additionally, select reconnection fees will also now be waived for qualifying low-income customers.

Disconnection Notice Extension – Utility customers at risk of disconnection are now required to receive notification from their utility service provider at least 20 days in advance of a disconnect. This change to the rule provides customers more time to prepare for a pending disconnection and ability to pay the outstanding balance to avoid disconnection. 

“We appreciate the efforts of PUC Staff, utilities, and stakeholders who were very involved in the process of updating these rules,” noted Mark Thompson, PUC Commissioner. “This is a good step forward in improving the protections that are afforded customers experiencing financial and other difficulties. These updates reflect the need to change business as usual to better recognize the fact that people rely on their utility services to sustain life, while still providing for an orderly way to terminate services only where that becomes absolutely necessary.”

Customers with questions about billing or utility service can contact the PUC’s Consumer Services Team at 800-522-2404 or puc.consumer@puc.oregon.gov

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The PUC regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities, including Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, Pacific Power, Avista, Cascade Natural, and NW Natural. The PUC also regulates landline telephone providers and select water companies. The PUC’s mission is to ensure Oregonians have access to safe, reliable, and fairly priced utility services that advance state policy and promote the public interest. We use an inclusive process to evaluate differing viewpoints and visions of the public interest and arrive at balanced, well-reasoned, independent decisions supported by fact and law. For more information about the PUC, visit oregon.gov/puc            


Cities
The City of Richland is now accepting applications for 2023 Hotel/Motel (Lodging) Tax grant funds (Photo)
City of Richland - 09/30/22 1:53 PM
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http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-09/5957/157960/thumb_Hotel_Motel_Grant_Fund_webrotating.png

Each year the City of Richland receives funds from the room tax imposed upon hotels and motels located within the City. Also referred to as Lodging Tax, a portion of these funds can be retained by the City and/or be expended for use by organizations that promote tourism projects and activities established by State law (RCW 67.28.1815). 

The City operates this as a grant fund. Applicants who can successfully demonstrate how their event, activity or project will result in an increase in tourism in Richland, resulting in overnight hotel lodging, will be strongly considered. 

Applications will be reviewed by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. The Committee will meet to review the applications and ultimately make a recommendation to the City Council. 

The application period is open now through October 14, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

More information and applications are available at www.ci.richland.wa.us/hotelmotel




Attached Media Files: 2022-09/5957/157960/Hotel_Motel_Grant_Fund_webrotating.png

Richland Police Department Kicks off Community Awareness Campaigns (Photo)
City of Richland - 09/28/22 2:11 PM
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http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-09/5957/157881/thumb_Chief_Clary.jpg

The Richland Police Department (RPD) is committed to supporting our community and bringing awareness to issues that impact our community members. October is known nationally as both Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

This October, Chief Clary, and the Richland Police Department have chosen to support and advocate for these important missions, department-wide. 

Breast cancer affects friends and family members of many in our community and our goal is to encourage awareness and early screenings. In addition, the department is bringing attention to the importance of Domestic Violence Awareness. Domestic violence is prevalent in our community and the goal is to remind everyone that ending domestic violence starts with just one small action. Local resources and fundraisers are available in our community for both campaigns and RPD will be sharing these throughout the month. 

To reinforce the effort, RPD has also partnered with several local sponsors and businesses who have generously contributed to wrapping some of our police vehicles to highlight these efforts. You will see two squad cars that have been wrapped in pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness and one car that has been wrapped in purple in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness. 

“The cost of these wraps was 100% funded by our community partners. We could not have accomplished this effort without the support of our generous sponsors. A special thanks to McCurley Honda, Mustang Signs, Fast Signs, Bookwalter Winery, Legacy Jiu-Jitsu Academy, LaPierre Homes, Tri-Cities Cancer Center (Kadlec Foundation), and the RPD Foundation for recognizing our passion and helping us raise awareness throughout our community,” states Chief Clary. “These partnerships are vital for sharing information that could save a life of a family member, friend, or neighbor.” 

In addition, the RPD launched its first pink patch this month. The mission of the national Pink Patch Project resonates with RPD staff - to bring attention to the fight against breast cancer.  RPD pink patches are currently for sale through the Richland Police Department Foundation. 

RPD will be sharing more information on its Facebook page through October. Citizens are encouraged to engage and share their stories of survival. 




Attached Media Files: 2022-09/5957/157881/Chief_Clary.jpg

Colleges & Universities
Discover resources for working with disabilities and connect with professionals at the WSU Tri-Cities' disabilities resource and networking fair
WSU Tri-Cities - 09/30/22 3:38 PM

Richland, Wash – Washington State University Tri-Cities along with other community partners have joined forces to host the Working with Disabilities Resource and Networking Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 3:30 – 5 p.m. in room 120 of the CIC building on the WSU Tri-Cities campus. The fair will provide an opportunity for students and the community to talk and network with those who provide resources related to disabilities in the workplace.

The Working with Disabilities Resource and Networking Fair coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month and serves to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

A panel discussion comprised of employers, including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and employees will open the event and include time for questions from the audience. Attendees will hear employer and employee testimonials that highlight how talents and skills are recognized and supported with accommodations and other supports. There will also be time available to network with panelists and employers, and community organizations linked to disability resources. 

The local businesses and organizations involved in the event include: ACCESS Tri-Cities, Benton County Accessible Community Advisory Committee, Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council Outreach for Historically Disadvantaged Communities, Comprehensive Health Care New Journeys Program, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Tri-Cities Regional Chamber of Commerce, Washington River Protection Solutions, Washington State Department of Services for the Blind, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Home and Community Services, and WorkSource Washington.

The public is invited to attend. WSU Tri-Cities is located at 2710 Crimson Way, Richland. Questions related to the event or to request accessible materials, furniture, services, or assistance to attend the event can be sent to WSU Access Services, by calling (509) 372-7352 or emailing TriCities.AccessServices@wsu.edu.


Soroptimist International of Three Rivers funds a women's wellness lounge to support WSU Tri-Cities students, faculty and staff (Photo)
WSU Tri-Cities - 09/29/22 9:51 AM
WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor, Sandra Haynes (left) and current Past-President Soroptimist International of Three Rivers, Mary Dover (right) hold the dedication plaque for the WSU Tri-Cities women's wellness lounge donated by Soroptimist International of Thre
WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor, Sandra Haynes (left) and current Past-President Soroptimist International of Three Rivers, Mary Dover (right) hold the dedication plaque for the WSU Tri-Cities women's wellness lounge donated by Soroptimist International of Thre
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-09/6937/157902/thumb_Womens_wellness_lounge_dedication.jpg

RICHLAND, WASH – The women of Washington State University Tri-Cities now have a wellness lounge thanks to a donation from Soroptimist International of Three Rivers. The new space that promotes self-care for students, faculty and staff was formally dedicated on Sept. 27.

“The Soroptimist mission to improve the lives of women and girls by sponsoring and implementing programs that lead to social economic empowerment and the advancement of the status of women deeply aligns with our goal to foster student success through providing a safe and welcoming environment and offering holistic support,” said WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor, Sandra Haynes.

The women’s wellness lounge is in the East building. It offers privacy and comfort and is equipped with supplies that support women in their various roles.

Mary Dover, current past president of Soroptimist International of Three Rivers commented, “For our club, this is a physical demonstration of our partnership with WSU Tri-Cities. It’s really exciting.”

Soroptimist International Three Rivers has been a strong campus partner for many years. The Scholars Excellence Fund for Scholarships has given $66,000 in scholarships that have enabled recipients to continue pursuing their dream of having a degree. 

Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. It was formed in 1921 in Oakland, California, at a time when women were not permitted to join service organizations. The name, loosely translated from the Latin, means “best for women”. Today, Soroptimist has about 30,000 members and supporters in countries across North America, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. There are five federations that make up Soroptimist International, which has clubs in more than 120 countries throughout the world.

 




Attached Media Files: WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor, Sandra Haynes (left) and current Past-President Soroptimist International of Three Rivers, Mary Dover (right) hold the dedication plaque for the WSU Tri-Cities women's wellness lounge donated by Soroptimist International of Thre

WSU Tri-Cities to offer workforce training opportunities under expanded programming in collaboration with Port of Benton, City of Richland, and Visit Tri-Cities
WSU Tri-Cities - 09/28/22 8:00 AM

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities is offering workforce training opportunities under an expanded professional development learning program with initial collaboration offered by the City of Richland, Port of Benton, and Visit Tri-Cities.

The courses in these certificate programs are designed for professionals at varying levels, including entry level workers, early-career supervisors, mid-level employees and managers, and business owners across organizations and industries. Professionals in non-business roles such as healthcare and those without an undergraduate or business degree can also benefit. Designed to enhance professional growth, these courses develop skillsets for an ever-changing workforce landscape.

Joan Giese, associate professor of marketing and director of Lifelong Learning at WSU Tri-Cities Carson College of Business said, “The over-arching goal of these programs is to offer a professional development pathway to prepare, upskill and reskill employees. For employers, this program can help enhance employee experience, satisfaction and retention while resulting in organization-wide growth and stability.” 

“These courses offer a practical resource that can quickly address worker training and growth in a constantly evolving economy,” said Miles Thomas, director of economic development and government affairs at the Port of Benton. “Effective career skills result in job fulfillment, recruitment and promotion that the Port sees as a clear nexus for community investment.” 

“Many of our hospitality related businesses are struggling to find and retain qualified candidates to support the services they provide. The courses offered under this program will help strengthen the industry and the visitor experience and will improve job satisfaction for tourism professionals,” said Kim Shugart, senior vice president of Visit Tri-Cities. “We appreciate the funding we received from the City of Richland through their Business License Reserve program which allowed us to participate.” 

Each course has been designed interactively with industry professionals starting with a needs assessment, development of topics and outcomes and finally testing the course. This fall, three professional development certificates will be offered: Wine Tasting Room Server certificate, Fundamentals of Business certificate, and Cultivating Service Excellence certificate. These certificate courses are delivered entirely online and can be completed whenever convenient. In addition, a course specifically designed for managers or owners, Financial Well-Being of the Organization, is scheduled for fall. This course will be delivered online with scheduled live training sessions and organization-specific application activities. Other courses specific to wine business and senior living are also offered. 

Individuals or businesses interested in career advancement can view upcoming course offerings and register through Washington State University Tri-Cities website at: https://tricities.wsu.edu/continuing-education/.

Scholarships for specific courses and series will be offered throughout the year by partner organizations. To determine eligibility and apply for scholarships as they are offered, please visit  https://www.visittri-cities.com/about/careers/wsu-workforce-training-opportunities. Public and private organizations are invited and encouraged to join the initial group in extending workforce benefits by contacting Joan Giese at joan.giese@wsu.edu.


Tri-Cities-area School Districts
Wa-Hi students named National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 09/29/22 9:38 AM
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WALLA WALLA - Congratulations to Walla Walla High School seniors Lily Franklin and Erin Iverson. They join 16,000 students across the nation to be named semi-finalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. These students rank in the top 1% in Washington state. About 95 percent of the semi-finalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

Congratulations as well to students Jackson Adams, Marcus Christopher, Danielle Schmode and Kai Sinnott for being named National Merit Commended Scholars.

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Attached Media Files: 2022-09/1288/157898/2023_Merit_Scholar_Semi-finalists.JPG

Organizations & Associations
Red Cross Cascades is Seeking Additional Disaster Volunteers as More Deploy
American Red Cross - Cascades Region - 09/30/22 1:00 PM

Informational events for the public to be held in Portland and Salem

 

Portland, Ore (September 30, 2022)Our hearts go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Ian’s catastrophic damage. We know this is a challenging time, and the American Red Cross is working around the clock with our partners to offer support and comfort to people in need. 

Wednesday night, more than 33,000 people sought refuge in approximately 260 evacuation shelters across Florida to escape Hurricane Ian. As conditions slowly improve over the coming days, response efforts will expand as evacuation centers transition to emergency shelters with more robust services requiring more volunteers.

Some 730 trained Red Cross disaster workers are supporting this relief effort and hundreds more are on the way. So far, Red Cross Cascades Region has sent 30 volunteers from Oregon and SW Washington to Florida, and we anticipate more to deploy in the coming days. In addition, we have volunteers in Puerto Rico to assist people affected by Hurricane Fiona. 

With back-to-back disasters resulting in lengthy recoveries, the Red Cross Cascades Region is looking to add new disaster volunteers. There will be five informational events in the coming week. These events will cover the deployment process and are open to the public. 

 

Volunteer Deployment Info Session – Virtual 

Monday, 10/3 6pm-7pm 

Tuesday, 10/4 10am-11am 

 

Volunteer Deployment Info Session – In Person 

American Red Cross Cascades Regional Office, 3331 N. Vancouver Ave., Portland, OR 97227

Saturday, 10/1 10am-11am 

Monday, 10/3  2pm - 3pm

 

Volunteer Deployment Info Session – In Person

American Red Cross Cascades Salem Office, 1860 Hawthorne NE, Salem, OR 97301

Monday, 10/3  11am - 12pm

 

In-person events have a capacity of 25 people so please RSVP here.

If you can’t attend one of the informational events but are still interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer, apply at redcross.org/volunteer

 

Click here for b-roll of the Red Cross response in Florida.

 

Visit our Flickr page for pictures of our local volunteers in Florida.

 

Media opportunity this evening (9/30) as a husband & wife volunteer team depart PDX Airport for Florida. Please use media contact information for details.

 

How else can I help?

Donate Blood

To help patients in Florida, the Red Cross Cascades Region has sent around 300 units of blood products to ensure blood remains available for patients in areas impacted by the storm. The storm’s second landfall is currently threatening to cancel more than 130 Red Cross blood drives this weekend in Georgia and the Carolinas possibly causing more than 2,700 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. We stand ready to send additional support as needed, but we can’t do it without our donors. Please make your appointment to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Oregon and Washington still require face masks be worn at all blood drives and donation sites.

Make a Financial Donation

Our work is just beginning. We will be working side-by-side with our partners to help people in need for weeks and months to come. To help people affected by Hurricane Ian, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word IAN to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

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Local Red Cross Volunteers Depart for Florida Ahead of Hurricane Ian
American Red Cross - Cascades Region - 09/27/22 8:18 PM

Nearly Two Dozen Volunteers from Oregon and Southwest WA Deploy to Florida or are on Standby To

 

Portland, Ore (September 27, 2022) - Trained disaster volunteers from the American Red Cross Cascades Region are headed to Florida in advance of hurricane Ian. Experts predict Florida could see as much as 15 inches of rain throughout this week which, combined with a dangerous storm surge, may trigger flooding across the state. 

The Red Cross is monitoring the situation closely and working with our partners to shelter and support people who could be impacted by this storm. Hundreds of trained disaster workers are being deployed to Florida and more relief supplies are on the way to support people in the path of Hurricane Ian. Seven volunteers from Oregon are either in Florida or on their way. Another 14 volunteers, including some from SW Washington, are on standby ready to respond if needed. 

The Red Cross is working with local officials and preparing to open hurricane evacuation shelters if requested. We help anyone in need after a disaster, and everyone is welcome in our shelters. 

Visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/redcrosscascades for photos from our local volunteers in Florida. 

How can you help?
Help people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The disaster recovery effort continues in Puerto Rico. More than 270 American Red Cross disaster workers, many with no power or water themselves, are working around the clock with our partners to provide comfort and support. The Red Cross also is deploying disaster teams by plane to rural areas of Alaska where Typhoon Merbok devastated a thousand-mile stretch of the western coast last weekend, damaging homes, seawalls, roads and airport runways as well as water systems in as many as 40 towns and villages.

The Disaster Action Team needs you
These specialized volunteers provide emotional support, access to financial assistance, and valuable information to help families begin to recover. They offer immediate compassion and care when it is needed most. Additional Disaster Action Team volunteers are needed in Nevada and nationwide to ensure that there is always someone ready to answer the call when a disaster strikes. The Red Cross provides training and support. Learn more: redcross.org/volunteer.

Download our free apps
The Red Cross Emergency app can help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, shelter locations, and safety advice. The Red Cross First Aid app provides instant access to information on handling the most common emergencies. Download these free apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or visit redcross.org/apps.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

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Hospitals Concerned About Access As Record Financial Losses Mount
Oregon Assn. of Hosp. and Health Systems (OAHHS) - 09/30/22 9:00 AM

Q2 2022 was the worst financial quarter of the pandemic, exceeding record Q1 losses

Lake Oswego, Ore. – September 30, 2022 – Nearly two-thirds of Oregon’s hospitals lost money in the second quarter of 2022, with margins plunging to depths below the lockdown phase of 2020 when all but basic operations ceased, according to new analysis released by Apprise Health Insights. 

The full report is attached. 

Driven by sharply increasing labor and other costs combined with flat revenue, hospital losses from operations collectively reached $111 million in the second quarter. Through the first six months of 2022, hospitals have lost $215 million from operations.

“The wheels have come off the financial model that keeps hospital doors open to patients,” said Becky Hultberg, OAHHS President and CEO. “This dismal financial picture calls into question the ability of some hospitals to provide essential and life-saving care for patients in their communities now and in the future. This should be a wakeup call to all of us who rely on functioning hospitals to take care of our loved ones and neighbors. The system can break, and we are getting ever closer to that breaking point.”

Median Operating Margin continued to decline sharply in Q2, to -4.7%, following the Q1 margin of -2.5%. Both numbers are below where they were at the early stages of the pandemic. Once again, hospital revenue is not covering the cost of patient care. Net Patient Revenue (NPR) fell short of Total Operating Expenses in Q2 2022, and the gap continues to be considerable. Labor costs, hospitals’ largest expense, have risen 16% compared to last year. Labor accounts for at least half of a hospital’s cost, so even a small increase in labor cost has a big impact. 

Oregon’s system is breaking down across the care continuum, from ambulances to hospitals to post-acute, and creating a capacity crisis in hospitals.  The capacity crisis, which threatens patient access to care, is adding to the strain on hospital staff and finances. Around 500 patients per day are ready to be discharged from hospitals into a care setting that better meets their needs, but there is nowhere for them to go. Meanwhile, hundreds more wait in the ED, “boarding” and waiting for a staffed bed to open. Emergency departments are often full, which can mean long wait times for ambulance companies and our community members. 

“A local hospital with an open front door and a closed back door does not work even with the best efforts of our teams,” said Hultberg. “These numbers should create a sense of urgency in addressing the significant challenges in our health care system, like the inability of hospitals to discharge patients.” 

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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 most reliable and complete source of hospital data in Oregon. As the data subsidiary of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS), Apprise staff have gathered and analyzed data about Oregon hospitals and health systems since 1985. We strive to provide data, tools, and expertise to help hospitals understand the healthcare landscape in the Pacific Northwest. 




Attached Media Files: 2022-09/1635/157933/Q2_2022_HUFA_Report.pdf

The Oregon Historical Society's Research Library Resumes Pre-Pandemic Hours; Now Open to the Public Five Days A Week, No Appointment Needed (Photo)
Oregon Historical Society - 09/27/22 1:07 PM
Photo by Andie Petkus
Photo by Andie Petkus
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-09/2861/157834/thumb_OHSLibrary22-393.jpg

Portland, OR — September 27, 2022 — The Oregon Historical Society is pleased to announce that its research library resumes pre-pandemic hours on Tuesday, September 27. While appointments have been required to visit the library’s downtown reading room to promote social distancing, researchers are now welcome to visit the library on Tuesdays from 1pm to 5pm and Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, no appointment needed. 

The Oregon Historical Society’s research library is an invaluable resource for learning about the past and providing context on the present. The library preserves the world’s largest collection of Oregon-related materials, documenting the people, places, and events that have shaped Oregon’s history. All are welcome to visit the library, both in the newly renovated reading room and online through OHS’s digital collections and digital history resources.

“Through a multi-year renovation and a global pandemic, OHS’s library staff have continued to serve researchers and make our collections accessible through remote services and individual appointments,” said OHS Library Director Shawna Gandy. “After nearly three years, we are excited to once again resume regular hours and open our doors to curious researchers from around the world looking to our collections to gain knowledge and perspective.”

Renovated in 2021, the new library space features a modernized reading room, with enhancements for researchers including a reconfigured reference desk, a viewing station for maps and architectural plans, a tech hub, and physical improvements that promote accessibility and inclusion for all users. A highlight of the new space is the Pietro Belluschi Architectural Resource Center, which provides a focal point to highlight the library’s architectural collections and a well-equipped meeting space for instruction.

OHS’s expert librarians and archivists are eager to support researchers of all types and skill levels. There is no cost to visit the library, which is located on the fourth floor of the Oregon Historical Society (1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland, 97205). While appointments are not required, researchers are encouraged to contact the library in advance to be sure the materials they need are on site during their visit. Visit OHS’s website for more tips on how to make the most of a visit to OHS’s research library. 


About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view. 




Attached Media Files: Photo by Andie Petkus , Photo by Andie Petkus , Photo by Andie Petkus , Photo by Andie Petkus , Photo by Andie Petkus , Photo by Andie Petkus , Photo by Andie Petkus , Photo by Andie Petkus

Betsy Johnson Lies About Planned Parenthood PAC in Gubernatorial Debate
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon - 09/27/22 7:42 PM

Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon Executive Director An Do issued the following statement in response to flagrant lies spread by gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson in tonight’s debate:
 

As confirmed by the state’s largest newspaper last month, Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon invited Betsy Johnson to participate in our endorsement process. We didn’t receive a reply, nor did her campaign proactively reach out to us to inquire about our endorsement process. Yet tonight, she decided to lie to Oregon voters.
 

“These are not the actions of someone Oregon voters can trust to protect and expand access to essential reproductive health care. Tina Kotek is the only candidate who has sought and earned the endorsement of Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon after a rigorous and comprehensive process.
 

“Betsy Johnson has taken a number of concerning actions that do not align with reproductive freedom. In 2015, she voted against legislation to help patients keep their reproductive healthcare choices private. In 2021, she voted against legislation to make sure reproductive health services are protected during healthcare mergers. And in 2022, she spoke out against the Reproductive Health Equity Fund, which is helping Eastern Oregonians access essential care in the wake of Idaho’s cruel ban on abortion. 
 

“In 2022, governors are either pursuing every avenue to protect and expand abortion access, or they’re falling short. In opposing the Reproductive Health Equity Fund, Johnson has shown that she is found wanting.
 

“Instead of pursuing our endorsement, Johnson was more interested in garnering the approval of anti-abortion extremist and former gubernatorial candidate Bridget Barton. As reported by Oregon Capital Chronicle, Johnson appointed Barton to lead the ‘Republicans for Betsy’ group. Barton admitted, ‘[Christine] Drazan and Johnson are virtually identical on this issue.’”


Organizations
Interested in a Career as a Police Officer or Correctional Officer?
Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council - 09/27/22 8:57 AM

Are you interested in a becoming a Police Officer or Correctional Officer? These are growing career fields with great pay and benefits. You won’t want to miss this opportunity!

 

Join us for this hiring event on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, from 10am-2pm at the Richland Library, located at 955 Northgate Drive Richland, WA 99352.

 

Human Resources team members, recruiters, local police, and correctional officers will be available to assist you with the application process and answer any questions you have. You can also learn more about the process to become a Police Officer or Correctional Officer. 

 

If you’re interested in Police or Correctional Officer careers, these agencies are looking for you:

  • City of Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco Police Departments
  • Benton and Franklin County Sheriff’s Offices
  • Two River Correctional Institute (Umatilla, OR)
  • Coyote Ridge Correction Center (Connell, WA)
  • Washington State Patrol



Attached Media Files: 2022-09/6679/157813/Police_Hiring_Event_8.5x11.pdf