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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Wed. Apr. 8 - 11:11 am
Police & Fire
Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense with Education Technology during COVID-19 (Photo)
FBI - Oregon - 04/07/20 9:00 AM
TT - EdTech - GRAPHIC - April 7, 2020
TT - EdTech - GRAPHIC - April 7, 2020
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2020-04/3585/133171/thumb_Slide1.jpeg

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense with education technology as Oregon students start heading back to school in an online environment. Today we are talking about how cyber actors are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to exploit increased use of virtual environments.  

School districts across the United States are working to address a dynamically changing learning environment. The FBI acknowledges everyone is adjusting to these demands, but the FBI encourages parents and families to: 

Do: 

  • Closely monitor children's use of edtech and online services. 

  • Research edtech service user agreements about data breach notifications, marketing, and/or selling of user data, data retention practices, and whether users and/or parents can elect to have student data deleted by request. 

  • Conduct regular internet searches of children's information to monitor the exposure and spread of their information on the internet. 

  • Consider credit or identity theft monitoring to check for any fraudulent use of their child's identity. 

  • Research parent coalition and information-sharing organizations available online for those looking for support and additional resources. 

  • Research school-related, edtech, and other related vendor cyber breaches, which can further inform families of student data and security vulnerabilities. 

Don't: 

  • Provide exact information on children when creating user profiles (e.g., use initials instead of full names, avoid using exact dates of birth, avoid including photos, etc.) 

If you have evidence your child's data may have been compromised, if you are the victim of an internet scam or cyber crime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at?www.ic3.gov

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Attached Media Files: TT - EdTech - AUDIO - April 7, 2020 , TT - EdTech - GRAPHIC - April 7, 2020

Fatal Crash on Hwy 97 - Klamath County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 04/08/20 7:37 AM
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http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2020-04/1002/133235/thumb_IMG_6854.JPG

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at approximately 7:30 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two vehicle crash on Hwy 97 near milepost 259.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a Nissan Versa, operated by Austin Wills (29) of Sacramento, CA. was southbound when it drifted into the northbound lanes and into the path of Perterbilt semi truck operated by Robert Hall (75) of Klamath Falls.  

Wills sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Hall was not injured.

Hwy 97 was closed for approximately 3 hours with being reduced to one lane for another hour.  

OSP was assisted by the Klamath Falls Sheriff's Office, Chiloquin Fire Department, and ODOT




Attached Media Files: 2020-04/1002/133235/IMG_6854.JPG

UPDATE - Oregon State Police Investigating Fatal Shooting in Josephine County
Oregon State Police - 04/03/20 3:30 PM

The deceased male - Preston Sweaney (29) of Grants Pass.

On Thursday, April 2, 2020 at approximately 11:00 A.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and Josephine County Deputies responded to a report of a shooting in the 2700 block of Speaker Road in Josephine County.

Responding officers located a deceased male in a vehicle on the property. 

OSP Major Crimes Detectives responded to conduct an investigation and were assisted by the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives learned that the property owner had called 911 to report he had confronted a man in a vehicle that was shooting on his property.  The man in the vehicle shot at the property owner who then returned fire. 

OSP, working with the Josephine County DA, has determined this to be self-defense and no criminal charges are expected.


Oregon State Police Requesting Public's Assistance with unlawful take of cow elk - Yamhill County
Oregon State Police - 04/01/20 8:20 PM

The Oregon State Police is seeking the public’s assistance regarding the waste of a cow elk in Yamhill County outside of Sheridan.

The elk was located on Thursday, March 25, 2020 near the intersection of Thomson Mill Road and Rock Creek Road several days after it was killed.  No meat was taken from the elk.  

The Oregon State Police is requesting that any person with information about this waste contact 1-800-442-0776 and leave information for  Trooper Tayler Jerome.

Individuals wishing to remain anonymous may also contact the Oregon State Police through the Turn in Poachers line at;

TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or OSP(677)

TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us (Monitored M-F 8:00AM - 5:00PM)

The TIP program offers preference point rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of big game mammals.

Preference Point Rewards:

5 Points-Mountain Sheep

5 Points-Mountain Goat

5 Points-Moose

5 Points-Wolf

4 Points-Elk

4 Points-Deer

4 Points-Antelope

4 Points-Bear

4 Points-Cougar

 

The TIP program also offers cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of Mountain Sheep, Mountain Goat, Moose, Elk, Deer, Antelope, Bear, Cougar, Wolf, Upland Birds, Waterfowl, and Furbearers. Cash rewards can also be awarded for the unlawful take of Game Fish and Shellfish and for Habitat Destruction.

CASH REWARDS:
$1,000 Mountain Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose 
$500 Elk, Deer and Antelope 
$300 Bear, Cougar and Wolf 
$300 Habitat Destruction 
$100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl 
$100 Furbearers 

$100 Game Fish and Shellfish 

How to Report a Wildlife and/or Habitat Law Violation or Suspicious Activity: 

TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or OSP(677)

TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us (Monitored M-F 8:00AM - 5:00PM)


Utilities
Kids and parents are invited to watch and learn with Ollie and Olga -- resident osprey -- for a unique distance-learning event
Pacific Power - 04/07/20 11:18 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Drew Hanson: 971-940-4596

April 7, 2020

 

Kids and parents are invited to watch and learn with Ollie and Olga – resident osprey – for a unique distance-learning event   

The City of Independence, Pacific Power and The Independence Hotel team up for live, weekly Q&A events with avian and wildlife experts answering questions during a streaming video feed of the nesting osprey pair

INDEPENDENCE, Ore. — As families across Oregon continue to stay at home, high atop a 95-foot tall pole just off the Willamette River a different kind of family is also hunkering down. A pair of osprey – affectionately known as Ollie and Olga – only leave their nest for essential supplies (mainly sticks and fish) and are expecting eggs any day now. A bird’s eye view in stunning hi-definition of their humble habitat and daily activities is now available from the comfort of your home.

The City of Independence and Pacific Power invite children and parents to participate in a unique distance-learning event through weekly, live question and answer sessions with avian and wildlife experts each Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon, beginning April 9. Although the webcam is streaming 24-7, the live events will give participants a chance to maintain social distancing while engaging in a robust conversation and learning experience. The weekly learning sessions and live stream can be accessed at http://ospreycam.online.

“We’re all in the same situation right now with schools closed and stay-at-home orders in place,” said Courtney Williams, Downtown Manager for the City of Independence. “This is a great way for us engage with each other and to experience these fascinating osprey while learning about their habitat, their important place in the food web and why year-after-year they make their home and raise their family in Independence’s Riverview Park.”

Osprey, never too far from a body of water, build their nests high off the ground away from predators. Sometimes confused for bald eagles, osprey are also considered skilled hunters often diving from heights of 30 to 100 feet to catch fish, which is their primary food. Osprey populations were once threatened due to the use of a then common pesticide, DDT. In the 1970s use of this chemical was banned and osprey populations made a recovery. Manmade structures similar to Ollie and Olgas’ nesting pole have also helped by providing a safe place for the birds to make a home.  

Ollie and Olga’s current nesting pole was installed by Pacific Power with help from the City of Independence and The Independence Hotel as a safe place for the osprey to build a nest and raise their chicks during their seasonal stay, according to Eric Kasprzak, senior environmental analyst with Pacific Power.

“We worked closely with the city of Independence to identify a suitable location for the Osprey” said Kasprzak. “This osprey nest platform is a great example of partnership in action and seeing these birds return year after year has given us a direct way to learn a lot about their species in the Willamette Valley.”

Event Details

Who: City of Independence, Pacific Power, The Independence Hotel and avian and wildlife experts

What: Osprey watch and learn event

When: Weekly beginning Thursday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Where: http://ospreycam.online

Why: For kids and parents to engage with subject matter experts about a unique bird species and its habitat and nesting habits  

# # #


Call 8-1-1 and stay safe during home digging projects
Pacific Power - 04/06/20 10:40 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media hotline: (800) 570-5838

 

April 6, 2020

 

Call 8-1-1 and stay safe during home digging projects

April is National Safe Digging Month. Call 8-1-1 before you dig to find any underground utilities that could endanger you

 

PORTLAND, Ore. — Homebound residents may be tempted to get their exercise with yard work and long put-off projects. Pacific Power urges customers to call 8-1-1 two days before doing any digging in their yards, even for something as simple as planting a tree.

 

Even during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, the nationwide 8-1-1 hotline is working. With a simple call, utility location professionals will come and identify any underground utilities that could prove hazardous to your work.

 

A national survey recently found that 45 percent of residents planning a digging project fail to call 8-1-1. That means thousands will put themselves and their communities at risk by not calling 8-1-1 a few days beforehand to learn the approximate location of underground utilities.

 

The national public opinion survey of homeowners conducted in March by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the people who dig near them, also revealed the most popular planned projects cited among surveyed homeowners who plan to dig include:

 

  • Planting a tree or shrub (47 percent)
  • Building a patio or deck (24 percent)
  • Building a fence (21 percent)
  • Installing a mailbox (8 percent)

 

Pacific Power and its sister utility in the mountain states have approximately 20,000 miles of underground cable in the West. There are nearly 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the United States. These buried facilities, including gas, water, sewer, cable TV, high-speed Internet, landline telephone, provide the services Americans depend on for their basic everyday needs. But if you don’t know where they are buried before you dig, you are in danger. Even if you are lucky enough to not be harmed, you could be responsible for causing a service outage in your neighborhood—and potentially be responsible for the substantial repair costs.

 

If you are planning a job that requires digging, even if hiring a professional, a call to 8-1-1 is required before work begins. The 8-1-1 service is free and couldn’t be easier. It’s a Federal Communications Commission-designated national one-call number that connects a caller from anywhere in the country to the appropriate local one-call center. The one-call center then alerts local underground facility owners so they can mark the approximate location of their lines with paint or flags.

 

To learn more about electrical safety or to order free electrical safety materials, call Pacific Power’s public safety department at 800-375-7085 or visit pacificpower.net/safety.

 

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About Pacific Power

Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 770,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Our goal is to provide our customers with value for their energy dollar, and safe, reliable electricity. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 1.9 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.


Pacific Power Foundation offers support for community organizations responding to COVID-19
Pacific Power - 04/03/20 8:18 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Hotline: 800-570-5838

April 2, 2020

 

Pacific Power Foundation offers support for community organizations responding to COVID-19

The utility is encouraging businesses and individuals to support community organizations, now facing extraordinary demands for services, to ensure those in need continue to receive support

PORTLAND, Ore. — Community organizations are facing unprecedented challenges and demand for vital services. Pacific Power’s charitable arm, the Pacific Power Foundation, has committed $250,000 for immediate support to critical community-serving organizations in Oregon, Washington and California.

From providing free meals for children during school closures to deploying resources and support to small businesses and care for seniors, community-based groups throughout the West have put out a call for assistance to support local COVID-19 initiatives.

“Food banks and other critical organizations serve the most vulnerable populations in our communities and are under tremendous strain,” said Stefan Bird, president and CEO. “The Pacific Power Foundation is committed to supporting vital community organizations that depend and survive on contributions like this.” 

Agencies include the Oregon Food Bank, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Oregon Community Foundation, Portland Rescue Mission, Oregon Energy Fund, Salvation Army divisions in California and Washington and the Northwest Community Action Center.

Oregon Food Bank CEO Susannah Morgan underscored the importance of community partnerships, especially in times of crisis. “With the strong support of allies like Pacific Power, Oregon Food Bank can ensure nutritious food reaches hard-hit communities throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. By working collectively, our network of more than 1,400 partners across Oregon and SW Washington stands ready to meet this crisis head-on. Together, we can ensure hunger is not a symptom of COVID-19 — and help us all emerge stronger.”  

"Oregon families are facing the triple crisis of public health, closed schools and lost wages during this pandemic,” said Annie Kirschner, executive director for Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. “Though many of us have to stay home, we are still coming together to make sure everyone has enough food to eat. We're grateful to partners like Pacific Power for responding quickly to help make sure our neighbors, especially those most vulnerable across the state, are connected to resources."                                                                                                                                      

Looking for ways to help? Follow the links to support these organizations’ vital work.

Oregon Food Bank

Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon

Oregon Community Foundation

Portland Rescue Mission

Salvation Army

Northwest Community Action Center

# # #

About the Pacific Power Foundation

The Pacific Power Foundation is a subsidiary of the PacifiCorp Foundation, one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. The foundation was created in 1988 by PacifiCorp, an electric utility serving 1.9 million customers in six Western states as Pacific Power (Oregon, Washington and California) and Rocky Mountain Power (Utah, Wyoming and Idaho). The foundation’s mission, through charitable investments, is to support the growth and vitality of the communities served by Pacific Power. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net/foundation.


Pacific Power crews practice social distancing and request cooperation of the public
Pacific Power - 04/02/20 10:10 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Hotline: (800) 570-5838

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 2, 2020) — As an essential service provider, Pacific Power employees are practicing social distancing while continuing to provide reliable power to all customers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Although our field employees always appreciate a friendly wave, the company reminds the public of the importance of keeping a safe and social distance while they work to maintain critical electrical networks.

During this unprecedented time, our business plans may be modified to meet compliance obligations, customer requests and power restoration. We are taking steps to minimize any interruptions of service. However, at infrequent times, planned interruptions may be required to improve network performance. In these situations, the company will make every effort to provide advance notification in an effort to keep the community safe and to practice social distancing. The company will also continue to suspend disconnections for non-payment, as previously announced.

While our field personnel are the most visible employees, they are not alone in serving you during this time of crisis. They are backed up by thousands of employees who are working in the six western states served by Pacific Power and its sister utility, Rocky Mountain Power, based in Utah. 

If you have questions about your electric service or your account, call us 24/7 at 888-221-7070.

As part of PacifiCorp, Pacific Power is part of a broad geographic footprint that serves nearly 2 million customers in six states, operates the largest grid in the West that crosses ten states and coordinates with neighboring utilities and grid operators to plan for, prepare, and respond to all hazards that could potentially impact the energy grid—including a pandemic—with our partners in government at the local, state and federal levels. The company is following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and coordinating with state and local emergency management leaders.

We are dedicated to serving you in this crisis and know that working together we will get through this uncertain time.

# # #


Military
142nd Fighter Wing redesignated to 142nd Wing (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 04/06/20 3:19 PM
2020-04/962/133172/161106-Z-QV347-008.JPG
2020-04/962/133172/161106-Z-QV347-008.JPG
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PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing has redesignated to the 142nd Wing effective March 6, 2020.

Colonel Adam Sitler, 142nd Wing Commander, said the redesignation highlights the prestige of becoming a Wing. “The Wing redesignation is an important step to recognize the diverse mission sets within the 142nd Wing.  The governing Air Force Instruction specifies that the nomenclature of a Wing reflect what it is designed to do.  In our case, we are fortunate to have a Special Warfare Mission, and a Fighter Aircraft Mission.  When a Wing has multiple mission areas, the proper designation is “Wing” which reflects both the Special Operations, and the Fighter mission.”

Sitler went on to clarify that the name change does not change the unit’s mission.

“We are still fully committed to flying fighters, and we’ll continue to excel in that mission area.  We are fortunate to have one the two Air National Guard Special Tactics Squadrons. The 125th Special Tactics Squadron will continue to thrive, now, and into the future.”

A ceremony planned for April 5, 2020 was canceled due to considerations with Oregonians practicing health and safety standards regarding the ongoing COVID-19 response.

In commemoration with the 142nd Wing redesignation, the unit has produced a retrospective video to celebrate our history and current mission.

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/746052/142nd-fighter-wing-re-designates-142nd-wing 

The 142nd Wing has redesignated numerous times since the unit was founded. Our past designations are posted below.

- July 1943 - 371st Fighter Group

- May 1946 - 142nd Fighter Group

- April 1951 - 142nd Fighter-Interceptor Group

- August 1961 - 142nd Fighter Group

- October 1972 - 142nd Fighter-Interceptor Group

- March 1992 - 142nd Fighter Group

- October 1995 - 142nd Fighter Wing

- March 2020 - 142nd Wing

 

-30-

 

About the 142nd Wing:

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

Photo Caption:

Oregon Air National Guard members of the 142nd Fighter Wing are assembled prior to the start of the unit's Change of Command ceremony held Nov. 6, 2016, Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore. (U.S. Air National Guard photograph by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Contact Info:

Steven Conklin

Email: Steven.l.conklin2.mil@mail.mil

Phone: 503-440-4434




Attached Media Files: 2020-04/962/133172/161106-Z-QV347-008.JPG

Federal
BLM extends comment period on greater sage-grouse analysis
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 04/06/20 11:48 AM

The Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period on six draft supplemental environmental impact statements for the resource management plans that guide management of greater sage-grouse habitat on public lands in seven Western states. 

The comment period is being extended until May 21, 2020. The documents remain available online, with information on methods for submitting comments, including “no-touch” online submission, alongside the documents in the BLM’s ePlanning system.

“The current draft SEISs draw on environmental analysis of the range of alternatives in both the 2019 and 2015 plans, to illustrate how best available science was used and to clarify the BLM’s approach to compensatory mitigation,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management Casey Hammond. “We anticipate robust comments to result from these multiple tiers of analysis, which demonstrate the broad scope and thoroughness we’ve brought to this effort.”

“Completing the SEISs is one of Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt’s highest resource management priorities,” Hammond added. “The BLM has worked with our neighbors at the state and local levels of government since 2017 to ensure long-term greater sage-grouse conservation and to ensure the viability of local communities across the West. This collaborative approach has continued during development of the SEISs.” 

The BLM will use comments received on the draft SEISs to help determine whether there is a need to amend the 2019 plans, which were adopted to better align BLM plans for managing habitat with state plans for conserving the species, acknowledging the circumstances and needs of each individual state. The 2019 plans received bipartisan support from the governors who sought changes to the 2015 plans for their respective states.

States primarily manage wildlife species, and federal agencies like the BLM manage wildlife habitat. The BLM manages tens of millions of acres of sage-steppe landscapes on which some 350 species of plants and wildlife depend and where many people find livelihood and recreation. 

The BLM continues to prioritize efforts to conserve greater sage-grouse by restoring sagebrush habitat, and the agency has increased the number of acres treated in every Fiscal Year. Since 2013, nearly $294 million has been spent on habitat treatments across 2.7 million acres of BLM-managed lands. For FY2020, treatment of another 316,000 acres is planned, at a cost of $38.6 million.

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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.


BLM releases draft plan to further efforts to conserve and restore sagebrush communities in the Great Basin
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 04/03/20 10:36 AM

Draft plan builds on fuel breaks construction in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington

 

BOISE, Idaho – Today, the Bureau of Land Management released the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Fuels Reduction and Rangeland Restoration in the Great Basin. This Draft PEIS is intended to further efforts to conserve and restore sagebrush communities within a 223 million-acre area that includes portions of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah. This plan works in tandem with the BLM’s efforts to construct up to 11,000 miles of fuel breaks in the Great Basin that was finalized by the publication of a Notice of Availability of a Record of Decision on Thursday, April 2.

 

“Conserving and restoring sagebrush communities in the Great Basin that people rely on for their livelihoods and recreation, and that wildlife depend on for habitat, is a top priority of the BLM,” said Deputy Director, Policy and Programs, Bureau of Land Management William Perry Pendley. Constructing fuel breaks and reducing fuels to decrease the risk of large and severe wildfires, and implementing rangeland restoration treatments, is critical to maintain the remaining sagebrush communities in the region.”  

 

The Trump Administration has prioritized active management of the nation’s public lands as provided in Executive Order 13855 and Secretary's Order 3372, which establish a meaningful and coordinated framework for ensuring the protection of people, communities, and natural resources. Implementation of both Orders is a priority for reducing the risks of deadly and destructive wildfires.

 

Sagebrush communities in the Great Basin are a vital part of Western working landscapes and are home to over 350 species of plants and wildlife. Intact sagebrush communities are disappearing within the Great Basin due to increased large and severe wildfires, the spread of invasive annual grasses, and the encroachment of pinyon-juniper. The Great Basin region is losing sagebrush communities faster than they can reestablish naturally. Approximately 45% of the historical range of sagebrush has been lost. Fuels reduction and rangeland restoration treatments can reduce fire severity, increase sagebrush communities’ resistance to invasive annual grasses and improve their ability to recover after wildfires.

 

The Preferred Alternative outlined in the Draft Fuels Reduction and Rangeland Restoration PEIS analyzes a full suite of manual, chemical and mechanical tools, including prescribed fire, seeding, and targeted grazing to reduce fuels and conserve and restore sagebrush communities. When finalized, the PEIS will not authorize any specific fuels reduction or rangeland restoration projects. Instead, it will analyze common elements of fuels reduction and rangeland restoration projects. Local offices can use this information to comply with National Environmental Policy Act requirements when planning and analyzing specific projects, allowing for more rapid implementation.

 

An electronic copy of the Draft PEIS and associated documents is available for public comment for 60 days on the BLM Land Use Planning and NEPA register at https://go.usa.gov/xdfgV

If you are unable to access the documents online and would like a paper copy, please contact the project staff by email at LM_PEIS_Questions@blm.gov">BLM_PEIS_Questions@blm.gov or phone at (208) 373-3824.

 

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the BLM will provide opportunities for the public to gain additional information, and ask questions, about the Draft PEIS virtually instead of through in-person public meetings. Links to virtual public meeting materials will be available on the BLM Land Use Planning and NEPA register by April 18 at https://go.usa.gov/xdfgV

Members of the public will be able to access the material at their convenience and can email questions to the project staff at LM_PEIS_Questions@blm.gov">BLM_PEIS_Questions@blm.gov

 

-BLM-

 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals. 


BLM announces availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 04/03/20 9:40 AM

Vale, Ore. and Boise, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management is announcing the availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project, an effort to reduce flammable vegetation adjacent to roadways. Fuel breaks provide safe anchor points for firefighters and strategic opportunities to more effectively limit the spread of wildfires.

 

This project is part of a larger national wildfire reduction strategy guided by President Trump’s Executive Order 13855 – Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and Other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk, as well as Secretary’s Order 3372 – Reducing Wildfire Risks on Department of the Interior Land through Active Management.

The project area consists of about 3.6 million acres of land within Malheur County, Oregon, and Owyhee County, Idaho. Wildfires are the primary threat to this region’s sagebrush-steppe habitat, one of the largest strongholds for Greater sage-grouse. This landscape-level project supports both sagebrush-dependent wildlife and traditional land uses, such as ranching and recreation. This strategic system of fuel breaks will integrate with existing fuel breaks in northeastern Nevada to improve firefighting efficiency. 

“The Tri-state Fuel Breaks Project will provide wildland firefighters with additional opportunities to contain wildfires and reduce impacts to working landscapes and wildlife habitat,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley. “These fuel breaks will also improve safety for first responders, including Rangeland Fire Protection Associations and others in the firefighting community.”

The Final EIS outlines five alternatives, including a No Action Alternative (no fuel breaks). Under the four action alternatives, fuel breaks would only be implemented alongside existing roads and would extend up to 200 feet on both sides of roadways on BLM-administered lands.  Fire suppression experts identified roads based on their strategic importance for accessing and responding to wildland fires.

The Final EIS introduces the preferred alternative, Alternative 5, which proposes a strategic fuel break network that addresses impacts to wildlife and cultural resources based on the analysis in the Draft EIS and comments received during the comment period. This alternative modifies the fuel break network from routes analyzed in the Draft EIS under Alternatives 2, 3, and 4. The preferred alternative would result in a fuel break network of 47,213 acres along 987 miles of existing roads.

The 30-day availability period in which the public can review the Final EIS begins April 3, 2020, with the EPA’s publication of a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The Final EIS and supporting information is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xPruu (case sensitive). If you are unable to access the documents online and would like a paper copy, please contact the BLM Boise District Office at 208-384-3300.

-BLM–

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs. 


Department of Justice Makes $850 Million Available to Public Safety Agencies to Aid COVID-19 Response
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 04/03/20 10:14 AM

PORTLAND—This week, the Department of Justice announced that it is making $850 million available to help public safety agencies respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19. State, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in Oregon are eligible to receive nearly $10 million in supplemental funding.

The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation passed by the Congress and signed by President Trump, will allow eligible state, local and tribal governments to apply immediately to receive these critical funds. The department is moving quickly to make awards, with the goal of having funds available within days.

“In a matter of weeks, I have seen countless examples from across our state and country of law enforcement officers and other public safety professionals going far above and beyond their regular duties to serve our communities in this time of great need,” said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. “I’m pleased to join the department in announcing this much needed funding and will do everything in my power to expedite its distribution to eligible law enforcement agencies here in Oregon.”

“This is an unprecedented moment in our nation’s history and an especially dangerous one for our front-line law enforcement officers, corrections officials, and public safety professionals,” said Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “We are grateful to the Congress for making these resources available and for the show of support this program represents.”

The solicitation, posted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), will remain open for at least 60 days and be extended as necessary. OJP will fund applicants on a rolling basis as applications are received. Funds may be used to hire personnel, pay overtime costs, purchase protective equipment and supplies, address correctional inmates’ medical needs and defray expenses related to the distribution of resources to hard-hit areas, among other activities. Grant funds may be applied retroactively to Jan. 20, 2020, subject to federal supplanting rules.

2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program recipient agencies are candidates for direct emergency funding. A complete list of jurisdictions eligible for direct funding and their allocations can be found at https://bja.ojp.gov/program/fy20-cesf-allocations.

Jurisdictions not eligible for direct funding are advised to contact the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to determine how they can receive funding through the state distribution.

For more information about the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, please visit https://bja.ojp.gov/funding/opportunities/bja-2020-18553. For more information about the Office of Justice Programs, please visit https://www.ojp.gov/.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

# # #




Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Gresham Man Indicted for Portland Area Identity Theft Crimes
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 04/02/20 4:33 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that a Gresham, Oregon man has been indicted for stealing financial and identification documents from dozens of people throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area.

Robert Loren Finanders, 39, is charged in a nine-count indictment unsealed today with aggravated identity theft, counterfeit access device fraud, illegal possession of device-making equipment, and felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, for at least the last year, Finanders is alleged to have stolen financial and identification documents for approximately 100 people in order to steal money from them and from local businesses. Investigators believe Finanders spent tens of thousands of dollars using stolen credit cards and other personal information. Some of the stolen identities appear to have been obtained by breaking into cars to steal wallets and purses.

The Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) East Precinct Street Crimes Unit began investigating Finanders in late September 2019 after a fraudulent Oregon driver’s license in the name of an adult victim was found during an arrest. The license had Finanders’ photo on it in place of the named victim. Investigators learned that around the same time, police officers in Bend, Oregon had arrested Finanders and a co-conspirator after receiving a report of a person ordering food at restaurant using a stolen credit card.

Bend police searched a vehicle being driven by Finanders’ co-conspirator and found a passport, W2s, and a retail credit card matching the name of the victim whose stolen driver’s license was recovered by PPB. While searching a Bend hotel room shared by Finander and his co-conspirator, officers recovered W2s in the name of another victim and a victim profile notebook.

As the investigation continued, PPB officers linked Finanders to additional identity theft crimes in Portland, Gresham, and Lake Oswego, Oregon. On January 22, 2020, a search warrant was executed at a residence shared by Finanders and his co-conspirator. Officers seized stolen profiles for more than 80 individuals; dozens of stolen and fraudulent identification and personal documents including passports, government-issued identification cards, and driver’s licenses; an embosser; a card reader; stolen mail; additional victim profile notebooks; three handguns; a dismantled AR-15; body armor; evidence of drug trafficking; and other items.

On March 12, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland indicted Finanders in a sealed nine-count indictment. On April 1, 2020, he was arrested by PPB. Finanders made his first appearance in federal court today. A three-day jury trial scheduled to begin on June 2, 2020. The magistrate court took under advisement the issue of whether to detain Finanders pending trial.

This case was investigated by the PPB East Precinct Street Crimes Unit with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S Postal Inspection Service. 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.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of the department at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

The Dalles Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison for Transporting and Possessing Child Pornography
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 04/02/20 2:51 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—Jonathan David Murphy, 42, of The Dalles, Oregon, was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison and five years’ supervised release for transporting and possessing child pornography.

According to court documents, in 2017, local and federal law enforcement conducted undercover investigations of online peer-to-peer file sharing programs being used to exchange images of child pornography. Three separate investigations led investigators to an internet protocol (IP) address registered to a home Murphy shared with his fiancée in The Dalles.

In June 2018, investigators executed a federal search warrant at the residence and Murphy consented to an interview. Murphy admitted to using uTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network, to download and share child pornography.

On February 27, 2020, Murphy pleaded guilty to one count each of transportation and possession of child pornography. After his release from prison, Murphy will be required to register as a sex offender.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and was prosecuted by Natalie Wight, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

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

U.S. Attorney Invites Local Nominations for Attorney General's Distinguished Service in Policing Award
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 04/02/20 11:22 AM

PORTLAND—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that the Department of Justice is requesting local nominations for the fourth annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing. The nomination period is open now and will close on Friday, April 24, 2020 at 5pm PDT.

The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing recognizes state, local, or tribal sworn, rank-and-file police officers, deputies, and troopers for exceptional efforts and innovations in community policing, criminal investigations, and field operations.

“Law enforcement is the toughest job in America. The challenges our officers face on a daily basis are more complex, more difficult, and more extensive than ever before,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “We are grateful for every man and woman in blue for their dedication and sacrifice. Among those who have answered the call of public service, several individuals in the past year performed in ways that surpassed even the highest expectations of the profession. I look forward to recognizing these individuals with the fourth annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing.”

“Serving alongside state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers, deputies, and troopers in Oregon has been the highest honor of my career,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “It is entirely fitting that we should recognize the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to keep our communities safe and protect the rights we hold dear as Americans. I look forward to joining Attorney General Barr in recognizing the recipients of this distinguished award.”

Nominations may be submitted by the potential recipient’s supervisors, coworkers, or members of their local community. Nominations may include references and URL links to news sources and promotional or other materials that describe or substantiate the activity, program, or initiative for which the nominee is being nominated. Please note: nominees must have been in a non-supervisory position at the time the nominated event, activity, and/or program occurred to be an eligible candidate for this award.

Nominations must be submitted through an online form. The online application will direct the nominating individuals to complete the following fields:

  1. Name and rank of nominee(s) (must be rank-and-file officers, deputies, or troopers in a nonsupervisory position), the lead agency name, and the size of population served by the agency
  2. Name and affiliation of the nominating individual
  3. Nomination category for the action(s), program(s), or initiative(s) for which the nominee(s) is being nominated (Criminal Investigations, Field Operations, or Innovations in Policing)
  4. A detailed description of the specific action(s), program(s), or initiative(s) of the nominee(s) for which s/he is being nominated
  5. Agency point of contact information

Nominations must be submitted by 5pm PDT on Friday, April 24, 2020. In the event that agencies or other nominating parties are unable to access the online nomination form, nomination letters may be sent via email. The nomination letter should be no longer than three pages and should include all of the fields listed above. Nominations submitted in letter format must be sent via email to ds@usdoj.gov">dojpolicingawards@usdoj.gov by 5pm PDT on Friday, April 24, 2020.

Detailed information regarding the nomination process for this award is available at www.justice.gov/ag/policing-award.

Please direct all general inquiries to ds@usdoj.gov">dojpolicingawards@usdoj.gov.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

IRS: Do Not Fall Victim to a COVID-19 Scam
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 04/02/20 8:59 AM

Beware of scammers trying to get your personal information or your COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment!

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin to distribute COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments in a matter of weeks. For most Americans, this will be a direct deposit into your bank account. For the unbanked, elderly or other groups that have traditionally received tax refunds via paper check, they will receive their economic impact payments in this manner as well.

With any good news story from the IRS, comes an opportunity for criminals and scammers to take advantage of the American public.

  • Scammers may try to get you to sign over your check to them.
  • Scammers may use this as an opportunity to get you to “verify” your filing information in order to receive your money, using your personal information to file false tax returns in an identity theft scheme.

Between these two schemes, everyone receiving an economic impact payment is at risk.

The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) is working tirelessly alongside our civil counterparts and law enforcement partners to identify scams and halt wrongdoers from taking advantage of the American people. “Taxpayers should be extra vigilant for unsolicited phone calls or emails concerning their economic impact payments,” said Justin Campbell, Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Office for IRS-CI. “The IRS will not call or email you about your payment. IRS-Criminal Investigation is stepping up our efforts in coordination with the Department of Justice to aggressively investigate anyone that seeks to defraud our community members during this crisis.”

“We are aware of instances of consumer fraud stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency. While Americans work to protect themselves and their loved ones from the threat of COVID-19, some individuals are actively trying to profit off of this emergency,” said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. “If you or someone you know believe you’ve been the target or victim of an outbreak-related fraud scheme, please contact law enforcement immediately.”

Top Line Message from the Internal Revenue Service


The IRS will deposit your economic impact payment into the direct deposit account your previously provide on your tax return (or, in the alternative, send you a paper check). The IRS will not call and ask you to verify your payment details. Do not give out your bank account, debit account, or PayPal account information – even if someone claims it is necessary to get your economic impact payment. Beware of this scam.

If you receive a call, do not engage with scammers or thieves. Just hang up. If you receive texts or emails claiming that you can get your money faster by sending personal information or clicking on links, delete them. Do not click on any links in those emails.

Reports are also swirling about bogus checks. If you receive a “check” in the mail now, it’s fraud – it will take the Treasury Department a few weeks to distribute the payments. If you receive a “check” for an odd amount (especially one with cents), or a check that requires that you verify the check online or by calling a number, it’s fraud.

Beware of Scams and Schemes


IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scams

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, have been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.

With COVID-19 scams, they may urge you to pay this fake “debt” with your economic impact check. For those who receive an actual check, they may ask you to endorse it and forward to them for “payment of past debts.”

Remember:  Scammer Change Tactics – Variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue year-round and they tend to peak when scammers find prime opportunities to strike – like the new economic impact check being sent.

Surge in Email, Phishing and Malware Schemes

Scam emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS, tax industry professionals or tax software companies. These phishing emails ask taxpayers about a wide range of topics – related to refunds, filing status, ordering transcripts, and verifying PIN information – in order to steal your personal information or file tax returns.

When people click on links from these phishing emails, they are taken to sites designed to imitate an official-looking website, such as IRS.gov. The sites may also carry malware, which can infect people’s computers to steal their files or record their keystrokes.

Also be aware of email phishing scams that appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between “IRS” and “gov”). Don’t get scammed. These emails are not from the IRS.

Don’t be a victim! Visit www.irs.gov or www.irs.gov/coronavirus

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

State
2020 Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 04/07/20 10:37 AM

To the families, co-workers, and friends of Oregon’s fallen law enforcement officers,

Each year at the beginning of May, Oregon pauses to honor and remember 187 fallen law enforcement officers, and the families and co-workers they left behind.  The Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Ceremony is a significant event that the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is proud to host each year in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and Oregon's various statewide law enforcement associations.  The memorial honors 187 fallen Oregon law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since the 1880s. This includes officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies who have served as law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and parole and probation officers.

The current COVID-19 crisis that our state, nation and the world is facing has resulted in the cancelation of public gatherings. The Oregon law enforcement community wants you to know that this crisis will not deter us from honoring Oregon’s fallen.  On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, we plan to honor our fallen as planned, but through a modified ceremony that will be closed to the public.  During the closed ceremony we will have a live reading of names of the 187 fallen Oregon officers and honor guard members will place flowers at the memorial.

While this year’s ceremony may be closed to the public, you have our commitment that Oregon’s fallen will not be forgotten. Oregon’s Law Enforcement Memorial Wall will be available for visitation as soon as the Oregon Public Safety Academy Campus is re-opened to the public.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you for your understanding and to each of our active law enforcement officers who continue to risk their own health and wellbeing for the safety and wellness of others.

With respect,

Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund

Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation

Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police

Oregon State Sheriff’s Association

Oregon Peace Officers Association

Oregon State Police

Oregon Department of Corrections

Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training


DPSST Board on Public Safety Standards and Training MEETING SCHEDULED
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 04/03/20 10:35 AM

For Immediate Release                                        

April 23, 2020

Contact:                Theresa Janda
                                503-373-1553

Notice of Regular Meeting

The Board on Public Safety Standards & Training will hold a regular meeting at 9 a.m. on April 23, 2020.  The meeting will be held by Video/Teleconference.  The meeting is accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the deaf or hearing impaired or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made before the meeting by calling the contact listed above. 

 

Please call the number above to request teleconferencing information.

 If you dial-in for the meeting, please mute your phone unless you are addressing the group.  Doing so will enable you to hear the meeting more effectively.

1.  Introductions

2.  Minutes

       Approve minutes from the January 23, 2020 Meeting.

3.  Fire Policy Committee

a. Fire Policy Committee Update – James Oeder, Chair

A. Wyatt Bruckner DPSST#F37318 (Lowell RFPD) - Revoke

        Recommended to the Board by a vote of 8/3 by the FPC on October 24, 2019.

B. Damon H. Faust DPSST#F35483 (Estacada RFPD #69) – Revoke and Deny Certifications

Recommended to the Board in a vote of 9/2 by the FPC on October 24, 2019.    

C. Andrew Flood DPSST#F38423 (Jefferson County Fire District #1) – Deny

     Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the FPC on October 24, 2019.

D. David Lloyd DPSST#F16832 (Portland Fire & Rescue) – Revoke

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the FPC on October 24, 2019.

E. Trenton McGahan DPSST#F38189 (Charleston RFPD) – Not Deny

Recommended to the Board in a vote of 7 to 4 by the FPC on October 24, 2019.

F. Bjorn Petersen DPSST#36309 (Hines Fire Department) – Deny

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the FPC on October 24, 2019.

G. James T. Poore DPSST#F16053 (No Agency affiliation) – Revoke

 Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the FPC on October 24, 2019.

H. Nickolus V. Stanger DPSST#F36220 (Netarts-Oceanside RFPD) – Deny

 Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the FPC on October 24, 2019

I. Jesse K. West DPSST#F18744 (Lane Fire Authority) – Revoke

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the FPC on October 24, 2019

4.  Criminal Justice Policy Committees

a. Police Policy Committee Update – John Teague, Chair

b. Telecommunications Policy Committee Update – Kelly Dutra, Chair

c. Corrections Policy Committee Update – Nadine Purington, Chair

d. Consent Agenda (The following items to be ratified by one vote)

A. Geremy Shull DPSST#43985 (Sherman County Sheriff’s Office) – Revoke

Recommended to the Board in a vote of 10/2 by the PPC on February 20, 2020.

B. Dixon Andrews DPSST#14829 (Gold Beach Police Department) – No Action

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the PPC on February 20, 2020.

C. Dezi Meza DPSST#41232 (Albany Police Department) – Revoke

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the PPC on February 20, 2020.

D. Matthew Morberg DPSST#40597 (Eugene Police Department) – Revoke

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the PPC on February 20, 2020

E. Caleb Saulo DPSST#59701 (Warm Springs Police Department) – No Action

Recommended to the Board in a vote of 10/2 by the PPC on February 20, 2020.

F. Dustin Watson DPSST#34225 (Newport Police Department) – No Action

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the PPC on February 20, 2020.

G. Andrew Jackson DPSST#54783 (Polk County Sheriff’s Office) – No Action

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the CPC on February 12, 2020.

H. Devon Lindsey DPSST#56903 (Douglas County Sheriff’s Office) - Revoke

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the CPC on February 11, 2020.

I. Lucas Randleas DPSST#60182 (Grant County Sheriff’s Office) – Deny

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the CPC on February 11, 2020.

J. Timathy Thomason DPSST#54396 (Department of Corrections – TRCI) – Revoke

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the CPC on February 11, 2020

K. Trent Ingram DPSST#60342 (Department of Corrections – EOCI) – No Action

Recommended to the Board in a vote of 11/2 by the CPC on February 11, 2020

L. Christopher Matson DPSST#60104 (Department of Corrections – TRCI) – No Action

Recommended to the Board in a vote of 11/3 by the CPC on February 11, 2020

M. Juan Ruiz DPSST#60370 (Department of Corrections – OSP) – No Action

Recommended to the Board in a vote of 11/1, plus one recusal by the CPC on February     11, 2020

N. Christopher Vines DPSST#60273 (Department of Corrections – SRCI) – No Action

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the CPC on February 11, 2020

O. Andrea Parker DPSST#38688 (Prineville Police Department) – Revoke

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the TPC on February 5, 2020

P. Kinsey Coyne DPSST#55676 (Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency) – Suspend

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote minus one recusal by the TPC on February 5, 2020

Q. Michael Downing DPSST#49155 (Baker County Sheriff’s Office) – Revoke

 Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote minus one recusal by the TPC on February 5, 2020

R. Heidi Elliott DPSST#59214 (American Medical Response) – Deny

Recommended to the Board in a 7/1 vote minus two recusals by the TPC on February 5, 2020

S. Angela Haltom DPSST#53236 (Harney County Sheriff’s Office) – No Action

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the TPC on February 5, 2020

T. OAR 259-008-0064 – Proposed Rule change – Approve

Adds First Aid & CPR Certification Requirements to DPSST Telecommunicator and EMD Maintenance.

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the TPC on February 5, 2020

U. OAR 259-008-0064 – Proposed Rule Change – Approve 

Housekeeping Amendments for Telecommunicator and EMD Maintenance

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the TPC on February 5, 2020

V. OAR 259-008-0005, 259-008-0020, 259-008-0025 and 259-008-0085 – Proposed Rule Changes – Approve

Establishes a firearms training requirement for armed parole & probation officers.

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the CPC on February 18, 2020

W. Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Wall Nomination, Hansford “Harry” Greenfield – Approve

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the PPC on February 20, 2020.

X. Committee Appointments

  • Lee Eby, Appointment to the CPC to replace Matthew Frohnert representing the OSJCC; 1st term effective 4/28/20.

5.  Private Security/Investigator Policy Committee

1.  Private Security Investigator Policy Committee Update – Thomas Thomas, Chair

A. OAR 259-060-0135 – Proposed Rule Change - Approve

Clarifying law enforcement experience applicable to the qualifications for certification as a Private Security instructor.

Recommended to the Board in a unanimous vote by the PSIPC on February 18, 2020.        

6. Annual Director’s Evaluation – Chair Patrick-Joling

7.  Director's Report - Director Gabliks

8.  Next Meeting Date:  July 23, 2020

Administrative Announcement

This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law and it will be recorded. Deliberation of issues will only be conducted by the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training members unless permitted by the Chair. Individuals who engage in disruptive behavior that impedes official business will be asked to stop being disruptive or leave the meeting. Additional measures may be taken to have disruptive individuals removed if their continued presence poses a safety risk to the other persons in the room or makes it impossible to continue the meeting.

## Background Information on the DPSST ##

The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) operates the Oregon Public Safety Academy which spans more than 235 acres in Salem. The Academy is nationally recognized for its innovative training programs and active stakeholder involvement. Eriks Gabliks serves as the Director, and Patricia Patrick-Joling, public member serves as the Chair of the Board. The department implements minimum standards established by the Board for the training and certification of more than 40,000 city, tribal, county and state law enforcement officers, corrections officers, parole and probation officers, fire service personnel, telecommunicators, emergency medical dispatchers and private security providers.

DPSST provides training to more than 25,000 students each year throughout Oregon and at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem: certifies qualified officers at various levels from basic through executive; certifies qualified instructors; and reviews and accredits training programs throughout the state based on standards established by the Board.


Liora Sponko of Lane Arts Council named Community Arts Coordinator (Photo)
Oregon Arts Commission - 04/02/20 10:04 AM
Liora Sponko
Liora Sponko
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2020-04/1418/133032/thumb_Liora-Headshot-8x10.jpg

Salem, Oregon – Liora Sponko, the executive director of the Lane Arts Council, is the new Community Arts Coordinator for the Oregon Arts Commission. Sponko rose above a highly competitive field of candidates to succeed Brian Wagner in the position, responsible for supporting the statewide arts community in ensuring access to the arts for Oregonians.

“We are extremely proud to have Liora join our team,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Arts Commission. “Over the past nine years she has transformed the Lane Arts Council from a small arts services shop into a vibrant and flourishing force for the arts in Lane County. We are excited about the potential she brings to our statewide efforts to build capacity and support for arts organizations, especially during these times as communities plan to reconnect, hopefully in the near future.”

During her tenure at Lane Arts Council, Sponko has tripled the organizational budget, developed inclusive programming (Fiesta Cultural) and increased partnerships with the public and private sectors. Her responsibilities include major donor development and corporate sponsorships, grant oversight, budget management, partnership development, board development and community leadership. Lane Arts Council currently serves thousands of youth and community members through arts education, the First Friday ArtWalk, services for artists and building the arts and creative sector.

“As an arts administrator and grassroots community-builder for over two decades,” said Sponko, “I know the arts are essential to building thriving communities. I am eager to connect with communities throughout Oregon and support your work. The Community Arts Coordinator position is the exact combination of all of my passions and the perfect way for me to make a difference across the state.”

Sponko’s previous experience includes serving as a programs coordinator for the University of Oregon and development work for the nonprofits Community Center for the Performing Arts/WOW Hall and Womenspace. She has a master’s in International Peace and Development from Universitat Jaume I (Castellón, Spain) and a bachelor’s in sociology and Spanish from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has received multiple certifications and awards, including a 2015 20 under 40 Blue Chip Award from the Eugene Register Guard recognizing young rising stars in the Lane County business community.

As Community Arts Coordinator, Sponko will manage the Arts Build Communities and Small Operating Support grant programs, in addition to providing counsel and technical assistance to arts organizations.

Sponko will join the Arts Commission team on Monday, April 20.

                   

The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development. 

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at:  www.oregonartscommission.org.

 




Attached Media Files: Liora Sponko

Construction Industry and State Agencies Partner to Keep Workers Safe Amid COVID-19
Oregon Construction Contractors Board - 04/06/20 8:55 AM

Industry leaders and regulators champion workplace safety guidelines to protect public health

Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA) has partnered with the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) and the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) to develop a comprehensive list of COVID-19 jobsite safety recommendations.

The recommendations, which incorporate and build on the workplace safety recommendations issued by Gov. Kate Brown, include on-site checklists for construction workers, social distancing guidelines, and information about the importance of identifying site-specific safety captains.

“Every industry has a responsibility during this time of crisis to abide by the governor’s ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ order and deploy their own enhanced workplace safety procedures,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “We appreciate the active role the construction industry has taken in educating its workforce regarding jobsite best practices and in striving for 100 percent compliance with social distancing requirements. These efforts are critical to protecting public health and the safety of construction workers.”

In addition to developing a common set of jobsite safety recommendations, OHBA has developed a COVID-19 safety class available to contractors through Home Builders University. The class can be taken by contractors to earn continuing education credits in accordance with licensing requirements.

“The construction industry has been an active partner in sharing COVID-19 safety information and providing opportunities for construction workers to stay up to date on mitigation strategies,” said Chris Huntington, CCB’s administrator. “The construction industry’s responsiveness will go a long way toward making sure jobsites in Oregon remain safe.”

Earlier this year, OHBA and AGC partnered together to share best practices and discuss the latest COVID safety information while working proactively with CCB and OSHA. AGC has a well-established safety program and newly developed COVID-19 safety protocols and information specific to commercial construction.

Mike Salsgiver, executive director for Associated General Contractors (AGC), said his organization appreciates the partnerships.

“We have had a long-standing and positive working relationship with these agencies and OHBA,” he said, “and we recommit to making them even stronger going forward – especially during this time of sudden and substantial challenge in our industry.”

Both Oregon OSHA and CCB have published construction-specific COVID-19 response information on their websites to keep contractors up to date and ensure all workers on the jobsite follow COVID-19 safety procedures.

“I cannot imagine trying to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak without the support of these partnerships,” said Justin Wood, VP Fish Construction NW. “As president of OHBA, I appreciate the resources this partnership brings to the construction industry. The safety materials OHBA has developed helps my business continue to support affordable housing and provides a single place to get information that is unique for our residential builders.”

The OHBA has made all of its COVID-19 response resources available online at www.oregonhba.com. The resources are free to members and non-members. OHBA’s COVID-19 safety class is also available online at the Home Builders University website.

For more information about construction industry COVID-19 response measures, visit:

###

About the CCB

The CCB is the state agency licensing over 40,000 contractors. Anyone who is paid to repair, improve or build a home must be licensed. Learn more at www.oregon.gov/ccb.


Today: Infection Preventionist to Offer Facebook Live Demonstration of PPE in Use at Lebanon Veterans' Home
Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs - 04/02/20 12:00 PM

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, has become a major topic of conversation on the local, state and national levels as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to develop.

PPE is simply the gloves, masks, gowns and other equipment that nurses, doctors and care providers use to protect their patients and themselves from the spread of an infectious illness.

At 2 p.m. today, April 2, Infection Preventionist Monica Claflin will offer a live-streamed demonstration and explanation of the PPE used by care staff at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon, which has seen 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases since March 11.

This demonstration will be staged at the Home, but attendance by the public and media will be virtual only due to the social distancing guidelines and lock-down protocols currently in place. It will be streamed live on the Lebanon Veterans’ Home Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lebanonveteranshome.

Media questions may be sent in advance to Tyler Francke at .francke@state.or.us">tyler.francke@state.or.us. Media questions during the live event, which is expected to last only 15 minutes, may be texted to 971-239-6640.


Don't be fooled by scams involving job safety inspections related to COVID-19 (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 04/02/20 3:44 PM
DCBS logo
DCBS logo
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2020-04/1073/133052/thumb_DCBS_Logo_-_RGB.jpg

(Salem) – As Oregon OSHA evaluates and inspects complaints about potential workplace hazards related to the coronavirus outbreak, the division wants employers and workers to keep an important message in mind: Do not be fooled by scammers.

The division has received multiple reports of fraudulent activity. The activity includes people showing up at job sites and pretending to be division compliance officers. The fraudsters attempt to issue thousands of dollars in fines and demand immediate cash payments.

That is not how Oregon OSHA operates.

“It is deeply troubling and unfortunate that scammers see such challenging times as opportunities to take advantage, and hurt people and businesses,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “We strongly urge employers and workers to take all precautions. When something seems off, it likely is.”

Here are some things to keep in mind about how Oregon OSHA operates:

  • At the beginning of an inspection – when compliance officers introduce themselves to owner representatives, operators, or agents in charge at workplaces – they present their credentials. 
  • If the division conducts an inspection and identifies violations, its normal citation processing takes at least two weeks following the closing of an inspection. The actual penalties for any particular violation involves a number of factors. There is never a demand for immediate cash payment of a proposed fine.

If you are unsure if someone showing up at your job site is an Oregon OSHA employee, call 503-378-3272 or 800-922-2689 (toll-free) (inside Oregon only).

For more information, contact Oregon OSHA: https://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/contactus.aspx

For more information about Oregon OSHA workplace guidance and resources related to the coronavirus outbreak, visit https://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/re/covid-19.aspx

If you believe you have been a victim of a COVID-19 scam, visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus to report it to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/dcbs/.  

 




Attached Media Files: DCBS logo , Oregon OSHA logo

DOC's First Adult in Custody Tests Positive for COVID-19
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 04/02/20 9:23 PM

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) today announced the first adult in custody (AIC) within the Oregon state prison system to test positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The patient is in stable condition and is being treated on-site.

The patient is at Santiam Correctional Institution in Salem, Oregon, and will soon move to an institution with 24-hour nursing care.  The positive test result was received April 2. Additional details cannot be shared about his protected health information.

If an AIC is showing signs and symptoms of influenza or COVID-19, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, they will be tested. DOC uses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance on appropriate criteria for testing. Those being tested and/or awaiting results are on respiratory isolation. 

“We have been preparing for the spread of COVID-19 into our institutions, worksites and Community Corrections offices since the beginning of March,” said Director Colette S. Peters. “Even with all of our preventative measures, like restricting visiting, social distancing, and suspending any programs, we knew the first case was inevitable because our institutions are microcosm of our communities. Our agency has focused on this virus and how best to reduce the impact inside our institutions. The necessary protocols are in place to protect our employees and the adults in our custody as best we can. This is a difficult time for all Oregonians, including those in our care. I know the family and friends of the adults in custody are extremely concerned for their loved ones. I can assure you, we are taking all necessary measures to operate safe and secure institutions where people can work and live and stay healthy.”

SCI has taken several steps to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. These actions include: suspension of visiting and volunteer services, canceled group activities, house vulnerable AICs together, slowed down meal line in order to social distance. 

DOC is now contacting all people who entered the institution in the last seven days. All AIC’s will be screened and any presenting with symptoms will be tested for COVID-19. 

As people are tested and test results are returned, DOC will provide updated numbers on the DOC website. DOC is collaborating with our local public health officials, coordinating with the OHA, and following the CDC recommendations to prevent the spread COVID-19. DOC is following OHA’s guidance on long-term care facilities and law enforcement recommendations and CDC’s interim guidance on management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in correctional and detention facilities.   

SCI is a minimum-security prison in Salem that houses approximately 480 AICs who are within four years of release. The facility concentrates on work opportunities, most of which are in the form of work crews contracting with state agencies, local organizations, and private industries within a 60-mile radius of Salem.


Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 04/02/20 11:33 AM
Steven P. Merry
Steven P. Merry
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2020-04/1070/133039/thumb_Merry_S.jpg

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Steven Paul Merry, died the evening of April 1, 2020. Merry was incarcerated at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) in Ontario and passed away in the infirmary, where he’d been on hospice since January. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified. 

Merry entered DOC custody on January 19, 2017, from Douglas County with an earliest release date of February 3, 2027. Merry was 73 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 14,500 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

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: Steven P. Merry

Committee for Family Forestlands meets April 14 via Zoom
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 04/07/20 4:28 PM

Committee for Family Forestlands meets April 14 via Zoom

 

(Salem, Ore.) - The Committee for Family Forestlands will meet virtually Tuesday, April 14 from 9 a.m. to noon. To join the call or provide public comment at this virtual meeting please contact Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.

The committee’s agenda includes: 

  • Private Forest Division update
  • CFF fact sheet for woodland owners
  • Forest Health overview
  • Vacancies/ Committee merger/ Future meeting topics

The meeting is open to the public to attend online via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the start of the meeting after approval of the minutes. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting by calling Susan Dominique at 503-945-7502.

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. You can find more information at 

https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/CFF.aspx

# # #


Public invited to comment on draft rules governing wildlife food plots in Oregon forestland
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 04/07/20 4:07 PM

Public invited to comment on draft rules governing wildlife food plots in Oregon forestland

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Forestry is inviting the public to comment on rules the agency has drafted to regulate wildlife food plots on private forestlands in Oregon. A virtual public hearing on the rules will also be conducted online on the Zoom platform on Thursday, April 30. For instructions on attending, please go to https://www.oregon.gov/odf/AboutODF/Pages/ProposedLawsRules.aspx

Comments may also be submitted until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1 by email to ivateforests.publiccomment@oregon.gov">privateforests.publiccomment@oregon.gov or by mail to:

Attention: Nate Agalzoff, Building D

Oregon Department of Forestry

2600 State Street

Salem, OR 97310

The Oregon Legislature in 2015 passed a bill directing the Board of Forestry to write rules to allow owners of up to 5,000 acres of private forestland to designate a small portion of those lands as wildlife food plots. Depending on the amount of land owned, plots could range from a maximum of 12.5 acres to 50 acres.

Landowners wishing to manage those plots specifically for wildlife nutrition would need to maintain appropriate vegetation to nourish the wildlife species desired.

After receiving input from advisory committees, a tribal cultural resource group and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, ODF has drafted those rules. They are posted at oregon.gov/odf/Working/Pages/FPA.aspx

Once all public comments have been received, they will be reviewed and any changes to the rules made before they are presented to the Board of Forestry for adoption this summer. If adopted, the rules would go into effect this fall.

                                                                                          # # #


Department of Revenue warns of scams related to COVID-19
Oregon Dept. of Revenue - 04/07/20 9:52 AM

The Oregon Department of Revenue is warning taxpayers of calls and email phishing attempts related to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic and federal government relief payments. These scams can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.

Taxpayers should watch not only for emails but text messages, websites, and social media attempts that request money or personal information.

“Oregon taxpayers should take extra precaution to guard their personal information from these unscrupulous scam attempts,” said Oregon Department of Revenue Director Nia Ray. “Most people who qualify to receive a stimulus check do not need to sign up, apply, or verify any personal information, online or else where.”

The Oregon Department of Revenue and the IRS remind taxpayers that scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text, or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
  • Suggest they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

Taxpayers should look out for phishing emails asking them to verify their personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking taxpayers’ private information in order to send them money. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to:

  • Charitable contributions.
  • General financial relief.
  • Airline carrier refunds.
  • Fake cures and vaccines.
  • Fake testing kits.

The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information. People should be alert to scammers posing as the IRS to steal personal information. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

Reporting coronavirus-related or other phishing attempts
Those who receive unsolicited emails, text messages, or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), should forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

Taxpayers are encouraged not to engage potential scammers online or on the phone. Learn more about reporting suspected scams by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on IRS.gov.

Official IRS information about the COVID-19 pandemic and economic impact payments can be found on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov. The page is updated quickly when new information is available.

For more information on taxpayers protecting themselves, or what to do if they’re a victim of identity theft, taxpayers can visit:

You can visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get forms, check the status of your refund, or make payments. You can call 503-378-4988 or 800-356-4222 (toll-free) or email questions.dor@oregon.gov for additional assistance. For TTY for hearing- or speech-impaired, call 800-886-7204.


State Land Board to meet by teleconference April 14
Oregon Dept. of State Lands - 04/08/20 8:57 AM

SALEM, Ore. – The State Land Board will meet by teleconference on Tuesday, April 14 at 10 a.m.

Agenda items include:

  • Sale of the subsurface mineral and geothermal rights for 34 acres in Tillamook County to the North Coast Land Conservancy. The surface property is currently being purchased by the conservancy.
  • Easements for a bridge crossing over the John Day River in Clatsop County and for fiber optic cables and conduits in the territorial sea in Lincoln County.

The full meeting agenda and materials are available here.

Teleconference audio will be livestreamed to the Department of State Lands YouTube channel and public testimony will be accepted by email to support the public’s ability to attend and comment while staying home to slow the spread of coronavirus. Testimony is accepted regarding consent and action agenda items and may be submitted before or during the meeting to oard.testimony@state.or.us">landboard.testimony@state.or.us. Guidelines for providing testimony are available here.

If you need assistance to participate in the meeting due to a disability, please notify Arin Smith at 503-986-5224 or in.n.smith@state.or.us">arin.n.smith@state.or.us at least two working days prior to the meeting.

About the State Land Board and the Department of State Lands: The State Land Board consists of Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Bev Clarno and State Treasurer Tobias Read. Established by the Oregon Constitution in 1859, the Land Board oversees the state’s Common School Fund. The Department of State Lands is the administrative arm of the Land Board, managing the lands and resources that help fund Oregon’s public schools and protecting the state’s waterways and wetlands for the many benefits they provide.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Record Initial Claims for Unemployment Benefits Continue in Oregon
Oregon Employment Department - 04/02/20 10:00 AM

During the week starting March 22, the Oregon Employment Department received 92,700 initial claims for Unemployment Insurance benefits. That represented a 21 percent increase from the previous record during the week starting March 15. By comparison, the agency received 4,900 initial claim filings during the week starting March 8. The Employment Department continues to take proactive steps to meet the unprecedented need for unemployment benefits, which is largely due to reduced hours and layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initial Claims

The Employment Department has detailed information for 45,800 of the claims processed during the week starting March 22. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants, saw the greatest number of initial claims for unemployment benefits (15,500). This reflects impacts of additional public health and safety measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many initial claims also came from workers in health care and social assistance (7,600) and retail trade (4,600).

Multnomah (10,900), Washington (5,300), and Lane (4,200) were the counties with the largest number of claims. The largest percentage increases in initial claims over the week occurred in Harney and Tillamook counties. More initial claims data by industry and area can be found on the QualityInfo.org COVID-19 page (also see tables on next page).

Helping Oregonians

Over the past two weeks the Employment Department doubled the number of staff dedicated to taking claims, and is in the process of tripling it. The agency employees processing claims are doing so at a record rate. We also continue adding secure phone lines to take more calls while also protecting the personal information of those filing claims. Still, the truly unprecedented and sudden level of initial claims has caused delays and frustration for Oregonians who need our help, especially by phone.

The Employment Department encourages anyone who can file an online claim to do so. The agency’s website includes a video with step-by-step instructions for filing online claims specific to COVID-19 situations. Filing an initial or weekly claim online helps those who must file their claim by phone. Calls to follow up on the status of successfully filed claims also allows fewer new initial claims, which require the most time and work, to be received by phone. The Employment Department has started sending automatic confirmations for successfully filed claims with an e-mail address provided. Other automatic fixes and guidance, discussed in this video conversation, have been implemented to address common online claim errors and reduce the need for follow-up.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

To file an online claim for unemployment benefits, go to Oregon.gov/employ or call 1-877-FILE-4-UI. For help finding jobs and training resources, contact your local WorkSource Oregon center or go to WorkSourceOregon.org.

Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.




Attached Media Files: 2020-04/930/133029/Press_Release_4.2.2020_63.pdf

Oregon reports 4 new COVID-19 deaths, 49 new COVID-19 cases
Oregon Health Authority - 04/07/20 4:26 PM

April 7, 2020

Media contacts: OHA Joint Information Center (JIC) Staff, 503-373-7872, media.COVID-19@state.or.us

Oregon reports 4 new COVID-19 deaths, 49 new COVID-19 cases

PORTLAND, Ore.— COVID-19 has claimed 4 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 33, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 49 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 1,181. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (7), Clatsop (1), Deschutes (4), Klamath (1), Lane (1), Linn (1), Marion (6), Multnomah (15), Polk (2), Washington (11). To see more case and county-level data, Oregon Health Authority updates its website once a day: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 30th COVID-19 death is an 83-year-old female in Marion County, who tested positive on March 28 and died on April 5 at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 31st COVID-19 death is a 98-year-old female in Marion County, who tested positive on April 1 and died April 5 in her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 32nd COVID-19 death is a 71-year-old female in Marion County, who tested positive on March 30 and died April 2 in her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 33rd COVID-19 death is a 91-year-old female in Washington County, who tested positive on March 27 and died April 6 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.

New weekly report on COVID-19 cases in Oregon

Starting today, OHA will begin posting a weekly report that represents a snapshot of COVID-19 risk factors, clinical and demographic characteristics, and includes data on cases with pending investigations. You can review the report here.


Stay informed about COVID-19:

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.


Oregon reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths, 64 new COVID-19 cases; New dashboard to help visualize COVID-19 data in Oregon
Oregon Health Authority - 04/06/20 2:06 PM

April 6, 2020

Media contacts: OHA Joint Information Center (JIC) Staff, 503-373-7872, media.COVID-19@state.or.us

Oregon reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths, 64 new COVID-19 cases

PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 29, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (6), Columbia (2), Curry (2), Deschutes (1), Douglas (1), Jackson (6), Josephine (3), Klamath (3), Lane (2), Linn (1), Marion (11), Multnomah (10), Polk (2), Umatilla (1), Washington (12). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 28th COVID-19 death is a 93-year-old male in Washington County, who tested positive on March 30 and died April 4, at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 29th COVID-19 death is a 70-year-old female in Marion county, who tested positive on April 1 and died April 2, in her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Update: The COVID-19 case data OHA publishes once a day on its website and shares once a day with the media are provisional and subject to change. A case reported yesterday as a Yamhill County case was later determined to be a Washington County case. The total number of new cases in Washington County is 12 to reflect this change. However, the case that moved from Yamhill County to Washington County is not reflected in the total of new cases statewide for today.

New dashboard to help visualize COVID-19 data in Oregon


OHA today unveiled a new dashboard to help visualize COVID-19 data and trends in Oregon. The two graphs show Oregon’s epidemiological curve and the number of Oregonians who have been tested for COVID-19.

These data are provisional. Our team of epidemiologists continues to review and verify data, so our reported numbers will change. As we get more information, we update the data from previous days.

You can find a link to our data dashboard on OHA’s main COVID-19 web page at http://healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Watch this video for an overview of the dashboard.


Stay informed about COVID-19:

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.


Oregon reports 1 new COVID-19 death, 69 new COVID-19 cases
Oregon Health Authority - 04/05/20 2:17 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 26 to 27, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 69 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (6), Columbia (3), Klamath (1), Lane (3), Linn (2), Marion (10), Multnomah (24), Polk (2), Sherman (1), Umatilla (2), Washington (12), Yamhill (3). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 27th COVID-19 death is a 62-year-old female in Multnomah County, who tested positive on April 2, 2020, and died on April 2, 2020, in her residence. It is unknown at this time if she had underlying medical conditions.


Oregon reports 4 new COVID-19 deaths, 100 new COVID-19 cases
Oregon Health Authority - 04/04/20 3:53 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed four more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 22 to 26, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 100 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today, bringing the statewide total to 999. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (12), Columbia (2), Deschutes (3), Douglas (2), Jackson (6), Josephine (1), Klamath (1), Lane (3), Linn (3), Marion (10), Multnomah (34), Polk (2), and Washington (19). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 23rd COVID-19 death is a 65-year-old man in Marion County, who tested positive on March 26, 2020, and died on April 2, 2020, at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 24th COVID-19 death is a 59-year-old man in Multnomah County, who tested positive on March 24, 2020, and died on April 3, 2020, at his residence. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 25th COVID-19 death is a 77-year-old woman in Multnomah County, who tested positive on March 30, 2020, and died on April 2, 2020, at her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 26th COVID-19 death is a 64-year-old woman in Multnomah County, who tested positive on March 23, 2020, and died on April 1, 2020, at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center. She had underlying medical conditions.


Oregon reports 1 new COVID-19 death, 73 new COVID-19 cases
Oregon Health Authority - 04/03/20 2:17 PM

April 3, 2020

Media contacts: Oregon COVID-19 Joint Information Center (JIC) staff, 503-373-7872, media.COVID-19@state.or.us

Oregon reports 1 new COVID-19 death, 73 new COVID-19 cases

PORTLAND, Ore. — COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 22, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 73 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (5), Clatsop (1), Crook (1), Deschutes (4), Klamath (5), Malheur (1), Marion (14), Morrow (1), Multnomah (15), Polk (2), Washington (17), Yamhill (5). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s 22nd COVID-19 death is a 71-year-old man in Polk County, who tested positive on March 19 and died April 2 at Salem Hospital. He had underlying medical conditions.

OHA: Non-medical masks can supplement but not replace Stay Home, Save Lives.

With recent news that federal authorities may recommend wearing masks in public, Oregon Health Authority is reminding Oregonians that staying home and avoiding all non-essential contact with others continues to be the most important thing all of us can do to stay healthy and keep others healthy. And during moments where people must go out of the house, they should stay at least 6 feet apart from others at all times.

Before deciding whether to wear a mask, Oregon Health Authority recommends people keep two considerations central:

  • Medical masks should be reserved for health care providers who are on the front lines working with patients most likely to have COVID-19. We have had shortages of those masks – and it's critically important that our health care workers have the equipment they need to do their jobs.
  • Non-medical mask use (e.g., homemade fabric masks) does not replace the need to follow guidance to stay home and limit our contact with others. It does not replace frequent handwashing, avoiding touching the face, and staying away from people who are ill. These are the most important steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 illness.

“We continue to stress that medical masks are essential for health care workers who are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19," said Paul Cieslak, MD, medical director for communicable diseases, OHA Public Health Division. "We need to preserve supplies of medical masks for our health care workers so they can stay safe as they work to keep all of us healthy. For the general public, homemade fabric masks, especially if well-made and well-fitting, may provide some benefit."

Wearing a fabric mask can help prevent the spread of infection to others when the mask is worn by someone who already is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, particularly if the person is coughing. The mask may block some infectious droplets from spreading when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes and, to a lesser degree, speaks.

"The data do not tell us how much protection homemade cloth masks provide to the person wearing a homemade mask. For this reason, homemade and fabric masks should not be considered reliable protection; but they may provide some benefit," said Cieslak. “Above all, we continue to stress that the reliable tool we have right now to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is strict social distancing – as outlined in Governor Brown’s ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ orders.”

Everyone, even people who are young and healthy, must stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more here about Governor Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” orders. Read more here about OHA’s social distancing guidelines.

Changes in hospital reporting

COVID-19 hospital capacity data on today’s Daily Update, formerly labeled the Situation Status Report, or Sit Stat, is listed as “pending” due to data quality issues. OHA is working with its partner hospitals to improve the COVID-19 data reporting process so we can ensure the accuracy, consistency and timeliness of the underlying data. The state has paused our public reporting so OHA can provide additional technical assistance to hospital staff. OHA will resume public reporting of COVID-19 hospital capacity data as soon as we have achieved full compliance and consistency in data reporting across all sources.

Stay informed about COVID-19:

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management lead the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

 

 


Medical marijuana program Rules Advisory Committee cancels April 13 meeting
Oregon Health Authority - 04/03/20 7:53 AM

April 3, 2020

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, phd.communications@state.or.us

Medical marijuana program Rules Advisory Committee cancels April 13 meeting

What: A rules advisory committee meeting to discuss changes to the cannabis testing rules in Division 7 and 64 scheduled for April 13 is canceled. It will be rescheduled on a date to be determined.

Background: The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is responsible for cannabis testing rules that apply to both medical and retail markets. All marijuana items intended to be sold at a dispensary or retail shop must have been sampled and tested according to the testing rules set by the Oregon Health Authority.

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Oregon reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths, 90 new COVID-19 cases
Oregon Health Authority - 04/02/20 2:16 PM

April 2, 2020

Media contacts: OHA Joint Information Center (JIC) Staff, 503-373-7872, media.COVID-19@state.or.us

Oregon reports 2 new COVID-19 deaths, 90 new COVID-19 cases

PORTLAND, Ore.— COVID-19 has claimed 2 more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 19 to 21, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority also reported 90 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today bringing the statewide total to 826. The new COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (2), Clackamas (5), Deschutes (5), Hood River (1), Jackson (5), Josephine (2), Klamath (3), Lane (3), Lincoln (1), Marion (13), Union (2), Multnomah (26), Washington (22), and Yamhill (1). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Oregon’s twentieth COVID-19 death is a 61-year-old man in Washington County, who tested positive on March 21, 2020, and died on April 1, 2020 at Tuality Healthcare. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s twenty-first COVID-19 death is a 91-year-old woman in Marion County, who tested positive on March 31, 2020, and died on April 1, 2020 at her residence. She had underlying medical conditions.

Update: The COVID-19 case data OHA publishes once a day on its website and shares once a day with the media are provisional and subject to change. A case reported yesterday as a Douglas County case was later determined to be a Lane County case. The total number of new cases in Lane County is 3 to reflect this change. However, the case moved from Douglas County to Lane County is not reflected in the total of new cases statewide for today.


Stay informed about COVID-19:

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.


Oregon COVID-19 Daily Update April 7, 2020
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 04/07/20 1:35 PM

Today the State Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) in Salem, distributed the Oregon COVID-19 Daily Update. This attached report provides a summary of combined information from the State ECC and Oregon Health Authority Agency Operations Center. The document details COVID-19 cases in Oregon, hospital capacity and PPE supply inventory. It also offers a summary from each of the state’s 18 emergency support functions.

 

This report was previously distributed by OHA.




Attached Media Files: 2020-04/3986/133209/2020-0178_Oregon_COVID-19_Daily_Update__007_040720_Final.pdf

Oregon COVID-19 Daily Update April 6, 2020
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 04/07/20 1:35 PM

Today the State Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) in Salem, distributed the Oregon COVID-19 Daily Update. This attached report provides a summary of combined information from the State ECC and Oregon Health Authority Agency Operations Center. The document details COVID-19 cases in Oregon, hospital capacity and PPE supply inventory. It also offers a summary from each of the state’s 18 emergency support functions.

 

This report was previously distributed by OHA.




Attached Media Files: 2020-04/3986/133179/2020-0178_Oregon_COVID-19_Daily_Update__006_040620_FINAL_(002).pdf

MEDIA ADVISORY: OEM Director Andrew Phelps to provide PPE supply and distribution updates and underscores social distancing for frontline workers
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 04/07/20 11:14 AM

 

WHAT

Andrew Phelps, director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM), will hold a virtual press conference today about the status of the state’s supply and incoming donations of PPE. Director Phelps will encourage Oregonians to maintain social distance practices to protect first responders and front line workers.

 

WHO

Director Phelps is directing Oregon’s response to COVID-19 from the Emergency Coordination Center in Salem. Within the ECC there are 18 emergency support functions from Oregon’s 33 state agencies that provide necessary resources during emergencies.

WHEN

Tuesday (Today) April 7, 2020

1:50 p.m.

WHERE/how

Please register for the Press Conference webinar here:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/774771274600824333

Note: Please email any prepared questions you may have to Media.COVID-19@state.or.us.

WHY

To report the status of state agencies’ efforts and the management of Oregon’s COVID-19 response.

LEARN MORE

Updated information on the State’s response to COVID-19 is available at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19.

 

 


State agencies ask Oregonians to voluntarily refrain from outdoor burning while communities respond to COVID-19
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 04/03/20 6:18 PM

(SALEM, Ore.) — In response to the "Stay Home, Save Lives" Executive Order to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 virus, a coalition of Oregon state agencies are asking Oregonians to voluntarily refrain from conducting outdoor burning. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office (OSFM), Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recognize that many Oregonians use fire as a necessary tool to manage their lands, including industrial forest landowners, farmers, small woodland owners, and rural residents. However, it’s important to weigh possible effects on the wider community before choosing to burn. Please be a good neighbor. Smoke from fires during the current pandemic may result in the following negative consequences for the public and first responders:

  • Smoke inhalation can cause upper respiratory symptoms, which could be incorrectly attributed to COVID-19, leading to unnecessary testing or self-isolation.
  • Exposure to smoke and other forms of air pollution can increase the risk of contracting infectious respiratory disease such as COVID-19, increase the severity of existing respiratory infections, and worsen underlying chronic respiratory conditions.
  • There is a severe shortage of personal protective equipment to reduce smoke exposure at this time.
  • First responders and other emergency services are operating at a reduced capacity and have limited resources to respond to out-of-control burns.

COVID-19 affects the respiratory system. Fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms. While some people with COVID-19 are hospitalized, most patients recover at home, where smoke from a nearby outdoor burn could worsen their condition. To avoid additional health impacts, all people in Oregon are asked to voluntarily refrain from conducting outdoor burning activities until further notice.

Burning that can be delayed includes:

  • Debris burning around one’s property
  • Burn barrels
  • Industrial burning
  • Slash and forest burning
  • Agricultural burning that would impact neighbors and can be delayed

Local officials may already have prohibited outdoor burning in your area. If you must conduct outdoor burning, please first check with your local fire agency to see if outdoor burning is still allowed. If it is, please follow best burn practices, which can be found on the website of the Office of the State Fire Marshall.

DEQ, ODF, OSFM, and ODA encourage the public to use the following alternatives to burning when available:

  • Recycle paper products when possible
  • Compost or chip yard debris on site
  • Haul to a yard debris composting or recycling site
  • Reuse old lumber

For more information, visit:

ODF - https://www.oregon.gov/odf/Fire/pages/Burn.aspx

DEQ - https://www.oregon.gov/deq/aq/Pages/Burning.aspx

ODA - https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/NaturalResources/Pages/Burning.aspx

OHA COVID-19 website - https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19

This is a rapidly evolving situation. The latest COVID-19 response and protocols information is available at the Oregon Health Authority | COVID 19 Updates webpage. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

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Attached Media Files: 2020-04/3986/133119/multi_agency_release_04032020.pdf

Stay Home, Save Lives is working in Oregon
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 04/02/20 4:40 PM

SALEM, Ore. — New projections from health researchers show there is “strong evidence that measures currently in place in Oregon are reducing transmission,” but these measures need to be maintained to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections in Oregon.

During a virtual press briefing this afternoon, Oregon Office of Emergency Management director Andrew Phelps, along with Dr. Dean Sidelinger of Oregon Health Authority, discussed projections of the disease’s spread in the state. Go to https://oregon-coronavirus-geo.hub.arcgis.com/ to view video from the briefing. Dr. Sidelinger is a specialist in epidemiology and immunization.

“By staying home, Oregonians are doing their part to flatten the curve,” said Andrew Phelps. “When Oregonians stay home, we limit contact with sick people, protect first responders and frontline workers, preserving hospital space, and extend the life of the state’s supply of personal protection equipment, such as masks and gloves.”

 

Phelps clarified that the briefings will be occurring regularly and that media advisories will be sent out on the days there are webinars. The Oregon Joint Information Center (JIC) may be reached at media.COVID-19@state.or.us or 503-373-7872 with any immediate questions.

 

Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 

Stay informed about COVID-19:

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management lead the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

 




Attached Media Files: 2020-04/3986/133056/Press_Release_Director_Phelps_4-2-20.pdf

Andrew Phelps does a deep dive into flatten the curve & case projections with state public health officer and epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 04/02/20 11:18 AM

MEDIA ADVISORY: Andrew Phelps does a deep dive into flatten the curve & case projections with state public health officer and epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger

WHAT

Andrew Phelps, director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Dean Sidelinger, M.D., state health officer of the Oregon Health Authority, will hold a press conference today about the status of the State’s response to COVID-19 and the state’s efforts to flatten the curve.

WHO

Director Phelps is directing Oregon’s response to COVID-19 from the Emergency Coordination Center in Salem. Within the ECC there are 18 emergency support functions from Oregon’s 33 state agencies that provide necessary resources during emergencies.

Dr. Sidelinger is the state’s health officer and epidemiologist with the OHA Public Health Division.

WHEN

Thursday (Today), April 2, 2020

1:50 p.m.

WHERE/how

Please register for the Press Conference webinar here:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8228163786602102285

Note: Please email any prepared questions you may have to Media.COVID-19@state.or.us.

WHY

To report the status of state agencies’ efforts and the management of Oregon’s COVID-19 response.

LEARN MORE

Updated information on the State’s response to COVID-19 is available at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19.




Attached Media Files: 2020-04/3986/133037/2020-04-02-Media-Advisory-Phelps-Sidelinger.pdf

Cities
Richland's Mayor Lukson Shares a Message
City of Richland - 04/02/20 6:30 PM

Richland's City Mayor Ryan Lukson provides a video message to the community at https://youtu.be/iE6CFZzDTT4


Tri-Cities-area School Districts
District Receives Excellent Annual Financial Audit (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 04/06/20 11:23 AM
2020-04/1288/133154/Audit.png
2020-04/1288/133154/Audit.png
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2020-04/1288/133154/thumb_Audit.png

WALLA WALLA - This week, district officials received word the annual financial and accountability audit for the 2018-19 fiscal year was strong. Issued by the State Auditor, who is required to review school district financial statements every year, the report noted that there were no significant deficiencies, materials weaknesses, and no instances of noncompliance in the district's internal controls over financial reporting.

Additionally, reviews of major Federal programs within the district's jurisdiction also noted the same. As a result, an unmodified opinion was issued with no findings identified. Called out by the auditors, and reiterated by Board president Sam Wells during the audit exit conference with the district's financial team, "this audit is as good as it gets." 

According to Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith, "this free and clear audit confirms our continued efforts around fiscal accountability and transparency under Director Nancy Taylor's leadership. With a total combined budget in excess of one hundred million dollars, it is critical that our taxpayers and community maintain trust in our financial controls and accountability."

Director of Fiscal Services, Nancy Taylor, who oversees the business department for the district, credits her staff for their tireless efforts, as well as the school board for their established policies and financial controls.

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Attached Media Files: 2020-04/1288/133154/Audit.png

Local contractors secure more bond work
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 04/02/20 12:08 PM

WALLA WALLA - Continuing to deliver on bond promises made to maximize the opportunity for local contractor involvement, Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith was pleased to report more than $2M in additional bond work related to Walla Walla High School civil infrastructure improvement phase were all awarded to local Walla Walla contractors.

• Premier Excavation secured the excavation and earthwork (headquarters in Pasco with a local Walla Walla workforce of 6 to 8 employees)
• Cutting Edge Plumbing will complete the plumbing elements
• Walla Walla Electric is doing the electrical work
• Nelson Construction Inc. is supporting concrete flatwork need

Work has already begun this week on-site and is allowed to continue consistent with the Governor's proclamation that school construction is exempt from the stay-at-home order. Social distancing and strong safety measures are in place to ensure the well-being of all workers on site.

“We’re thrilled to see $2M going right back into Walla Walla pockets,” said Smith. “Work has already begun on the civil infrastructure project that includes underground utilities across the campus to replace aged and failing infrastructure as well as necessary utilities to support the campus renovations. Improvements includes upgraded sewer, domestic water and fire supply to meet code requirements, replacing outdated electrical transformer infrastructure, and fiber connectivity for communications and technology.”

The district maintains a growing list of local contractors and vendors involved in the bond program. Click here to see the list: https://www.wwps.org/bond/contractors-and-vendors

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Stone Soup donates gift cards to district staff (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 04/02/20 8:23 AM
2020-04/1288/133026/Aaron_Leen.jpg
2020-04/1288/133026/Aaron_Leen.jpg
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2020-04/1288/133026/thumb_Aaron_Leen.jpg

WALLA WALLA - Stone Soup Café and Souper Supper owner Aaron Leen, along with his father Dave Leen, have donated 240, $15 gift cards to the restaurant for school district employees.

Aaron Leen said they felt it was important to give back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The gift cards will be distributed to nutrition services staff, those working in childcare and others filling critical roles during this health crisis.   

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Attached Media Files: 2020-04/1288/133026/Aaron_Leen.jpg

Organizations & Associations
Murdock Trust announces latest round of COVID-19 emergency support grants
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust - 04/08/20 8:13 AM

Murdock Trust announces latest round of COVID-19 emergency support grants

 

Includes $1.85 million investment in Washington communities

 

 

April 8, 2020

 

For Immediate Release

 

Vancouver, WA - This week, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust announced our most recent round of grants providing emergency support related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Trustees approved $5,016,000 through 38 grants to nonprofits serving the Pacific Northwest. This includes $1.85 million in Washington state.

 

  • Our primary focus for investments with this round of grants has been in three areas:
    • Basic Human Need Serving Organizations ($4,075,000)
    • Cultural Influencers & Faith?Based Organizations ($241,000)
    • Community Foundations ($700,000)

 

To date, the Trust has awarded $10,516,000 through 86 grants. This includes $4.775 million in Washington State.

 

  • Previous grant awards have included:
    • Medical Research. ($1.4 Million)
    • Front Line Healthcare Needs. ($2.7 Million)
    • Community Impact Funds/Community Foundations. ($1.4 Million)

 

The Murdock Trust funding philosophy has always been to listen to the individuals and nonprofit organizations who are on the front lines of the communities we serve, and we continue to follow that guidance through this crisis.

 

We remain in discussion with nonprofits and leaders across our community to help inform future grantmaking into areas of emerging need. We know that this is not a time for “business as usual” and we will remain a dedicated partner to these groups as we all work to weather this storm together.

 

The specific steps we are taking to live up to this role of community partner and investor in capacity building infrastructure and resources include:

  • Maintaining an expedited grants program to deliver immediate financial investment to nonprofits to help address the needs raised by the COVID-19 pandemic head on. (To facilitate the most efficient review of proposals, grants are currently focused on existing partnerships. The previously established Murdock Trust Grants program continues to welcome Letters of Inquiry)
  • Providing increased flexibility to our current grantees who may have projects impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Continuing to engage leaders from across the sectors and region we serve to best understand the immediate and anticipated needs facing individuals, families and nonprofits.
  • Connecting nonprofits and their leaders with additional resources and guidance so that they can best serve their constituents (full list on our website).

 

Finally, we remain inspired by and grateful for all of the individuals and nonprofits who are putting their own safety at risk to help deliver medical care, food, shelter and other vital resources to those in need. To all who are doing their part to help serve the common good and “flatten the curve” we say THANK YOU!

 

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