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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Sun. May. 26 - 6:04 pm
Fri. 05/24/24
Open house to hear concerns, share information on domestic well safety in Crook County
Oregon Health Authority - 05/24/24 5:11 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is joining other state agencies and Crook County Commissioners for an open house on domestic well safety Thursday, May 30.

Staff from OHA, along with the Oregon Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), will be on hand to gather and share information on services agencies can provide and raise awareness about options for well owners. The agencies want to hear concerns from county well users and discuss individual and community health consultations. 

The event is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crook County Public Library, 175 NW Meadow Lakes Drive in Prineville. 

Health information shared with OHA at the meeting will be used for internal purposes and kept confidential by law. Information shared with DEQ and ODA will be considered a public record and subject to public records requests. 

Those who can’t attend the open house in person can email EHAP.Info@odhsoha.oregon.gov or call 877-290-6767 to speak with an OHA Environmental Public Health toxicologist. 

For more information, visit Oregon.gov/crookcowells.

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Attached Media Files: Flier for May 30 Crook Co. open house on well safety

Board of Forestry to meet on June 5 and 6 in Troutdale
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/24/24 3:04 PM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet for a field tour on Wednesday, June 5, and a public meeting on Thursday, June 6, in Troutdale, Oregon. The field tour will be open to the public for in-person participation and recordings of the tour’s highlights will be posted on the board’s meeting page after. The meeting will be livestreamed on the department’s YouTube channel.

The board’s business agenda for June 6 includes:

  • Forest protection association budgets 
  • Vision for Oregon’s Forests
  • Advancing wildfire prevention
  • Wildfire hazard map and procedural rules
  • Jefferson County forest patrol assessment appeals
  • Western Oregon State Forests Forest Management Plan draft
  • Oregon State University’s College of Forestry report

On Wednesday, the tour starts at 8 a.m. in the McMenamins Edgefield located at 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale, OR 97060, in the west parking lot. Members of the public wishing to join the tour are asked to RSVP by emailing oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov by end of day, Friday, May 31. Those attending the tour should bring their own lunch and PPE gear, including hardhat, reflective vest, and appropriate footwear. The field tour will highlight the 20-Year Resiliency Strategy, the Federal Forests Restoration Program and provide an opportunity to view an active timber sale.

On Thursday, the meeting will be held at 8 a.m. in the McMenamins Edgefield, Blackberry Hall, 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale, OR 97060.

The full agenda is available on the board’s webpage. Live testimony, both in person and virtual, is available on the second day. Sign-up for live testimony is required as spots are limited. Written public testimony will also be accepted. Written comments can be submitted before or up to two weeks after the meeting day by mail to the Board Support Office, 2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310 or email to oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov with the appropriate agenda item and topic included with the submission. Tips for providing testimony to the board are available online.

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

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


Fire restrictions protect Pacific Northwest communities, BLM announces
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 05/24/24 2:59 PM

Portland, Ore. – On May 24, fire restrictions will go into effect for all Bureau of Land Management public lands throughout Oregon and Washington. BLM leaders encourage all visitors to be aware of active restrictions and closures as warmer, drier weather sets in around the Pacific Northwest. 


These fire restrictions help reduce the risk of human-caused fires. Starting May 24, the use of fireworks, exploding targets or metallic targets, steel component ammunition (core or jacket), tracer or incendiary devices, and sky lanterns will be prohibited. 


“Although we had a wet winter, we must still be careful with activities that can cause a spark,” said Anita Bilbao, BLM Oregon/Washington Associate State Director


Wet weather supports the growth of invasive grasses, which then dry out quickly in the summer months.
 

“Everyone can help to keep our first responders, local communities, and public lands safe by following fire restrictions and practicing fire safety while out on public lands,” she continued.
 

Those who violate the prohibition may be fined up to $100,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 12 months. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression. 
For the complete order and more information on seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, please see www.blm.gov/orwafire.

May is also ‘Wildfire Awareness Month’. Visit NIFC.GOV for wildfire prevention tips: https://www.nifc.gov/fire-information/fire-prevention-education-mitigation/wildfire-prevention. 

To learn more about fire careers with BLM Oregon-Washington, please see https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire/state-info/oregon-washington/careers.

This Press Release is also available on: https://www.blm.gov/press-release/fire-restrictions-protect-pacific-northwest-communities-blm-announces. 

-BLM-

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

 


ESD 105 is handing out FREE BOOKS FOR KIDS every month at the Downtown Yakima Farmers Market!
ESD 105 - 05/24/24 2:22 PM

[Yakima, Washington] In the last three years, Educational Service District 105 has hosted a variety of free book giveaways for students, handing out more than 50,000 books to kids in south central Washington. Supported by the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grant which has provided nearly $4 million in funding stretched over five years, these book giveaways represent one unique way ESD 105 is encouraging families to engage with young learners at home through the love of reading. 

 

ESD 105 plans to hand out more free books every month this summer at the Downtown Yakima Farmers Market beginning this Sunday, May 26th!! 

📚 Books available for kids of all developmental levels from baby to high school

📚 English, Spanish and dual language titles will be available 
📚 Up to 3,000 books available at each giveaway

📚 Free bookmarks to help mark your spot!

 

We will have a booth at the Downtown Yakima Farmers Market open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day... We hope to see you there!

📚 May | Mayo 26
📚 June | Junio 30
📚 July | Julio 28
📚 August | Agosto 25
📚 September | Septiembre 29
📚 October | Octubre 20


 




Attached Media Files: 2024-05/3661/172561/IMG_0130_(1).HEIC

Criminal Justice Moral Fitness Workgroup Meeting Scheduled 6-5-2024
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 05/24/24 1:36 PM

CRIMINAL JUSTICE MORAL FITNESS

WORKGROUP MEETING

SCHEDULED

 

Notice of Scheduled Meeting

The DPSST Criminal Justice Moral Fitness Workgroup will meet at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Conference Room A235 at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, Oregon. For further information, please contact Jennifer Howald at 503-551-3258 or .howald@dpsst.oregon.gov">jennifer.howald@dpsst.oregon.gov.

The meeting will be live streamed on the DPSST YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/@DPSST

Agenda Items 

1.     Introductions

2.     Administrative Closure Criteria

Carried over from May 6, 2024

3.     Policy Committee Case Review Processes

Carried over from May 6, 2024

4.     Applicant Review Committee

5.     Follow-up on Pending Action Items or Discussions from Past Meetings

6.     Next Workgroup Meeting: TBD

Administrative Announcement

This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law. This meeting is being streamed live on the DPSST YouTube page and will be recorded in the form of minutes. Discussion of issues will only be conducted by workgroup members. Please be mindful of comments and side conversations.


Liberty Lake Man Sentenced to Federal Prison and Ordered to Pay $60,000 in Victim Restitution for Child Pornography Crime
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 05/24/24 12:24 PM

Spokane, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Rick Lynn Johnson, age 69, of Liberty Lake, Washington, was sentenced after pleading guilty to Receipt of Child Pornography. United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice imposed a sentence of 60 months imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Judge Rice also ordered Johnson to pay $60,000 in restitution to seven of his victims, as well as $10,000 in special assessments under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act and the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act. 

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, between May 30, 2021, and June 16, 2022, federal law enforcement successfully downloaded numerous child pornography files from Johnson. In November 2022, federal agents executed a search warrant at Johnson’s home in Liberty Lake and seized a phone, computers, and hard drives. Forensic analysis of these devices revealed approximately 2,506 images and approximately 97 videos of child pornography. The images and videos included depictions of minors younger than 12 years old. Johnson later admitted to using his phone and computer to download and share child pornography with others online during the last year. 

“All children should be safe from sexual predators. Protecting children from harm, especially online exploitation, remains a priority of my office and is critical to building a safe and strong Eastern Washington community, stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “I am grateful for the excellent work by Homeland Security Investigations and AUSA Ann Wick in securing justice for these victims. While nothing can undo the harm these victims endured, the restitution order provides a mechanism to provide these victims the support they rightfully deserve.” 

“Child pornography, or Child Sexual Assault Material (CSAM) perpetuates the exploitation and abuse of children, inflicting lifelong trauma that HSI along with our investigative partners are combating every single day,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “Any image or video that depicts the exploitation of a child acts like a digital scar and encourages an economy of abuse that can only be deflated by protecting our children from child predators, while ensuring those who have been harmed receive justice.”

The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018 (AVAA), enacted on December 7, 2018, created new penalties and made a number of changes to existing child pornography laws, specifically providing that restitution must be ordered for all child pornography trafficking offenses in an amount of no less than $3,000 per victim.  The AVAA also established a new reserve fund that will be funded by assessments imposed under the Act, and victims of child pornography may be entitled to a one-time payment from the fund if they have not otherwise received restitution covering their losses.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) created a mandatory $5,000 special assessment that applies to “non­indigent” defendants for each count of conviction of certain offenses, including child pornography offenses.  The assessment is contributed to the “Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund,” which is used to support victims of trafficking.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov 

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ann Wick.


OHA kicks off 2024 Oregon beach monitoring season
Oregon Health Authority - 05/24/24 11:16 AM

May 24, 2024

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

OHA kicks off 2024 Oregon beach monitoring season

Agency shares list of monitored beaches for May-September

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Oregon Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) is kicking off the 2024 beach monitoring season by announcing the list of coastal recreation areas it will be keeping an eye on for bacteria during summer and early fall.

The 24 beaches on the list that the OBMP, based at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division, is publishing includes some of the most frequently visited beaches in Oregon. It also includes beaches where the program has found bacteria present, or beaches for which local partners and the public have requested monitoring due to potential pollution concerns.

The following are Oregon beaches being monitored during 2024, including beach name, and the city and county in which they are located:

Beach monitoring season runs from mid-May to mid-September. Beach advisories are only issued for beaches that are actively being monitored within this sampling window. Other beaches will be investigated for inclusion in the next beach monitoring season.

OBMP works with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to identify beaches that need monitoring based on several established criteria. These criteria include: pollution hazards present; previous beach monitoring data that identify water quality concerns; type and amount of beach use; and public input.

As part of an adaptive sampling plan, beaches and sampling locations are routinely re-evaluated to ensure available resources best protect public health. A copy of DEQ’s beach evaluation is available upon request.

For more information and current beach monitoring conditions please visit: www.healthoregon.org/beach, or contact OBMP at each.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov">Beach.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov or 971-673-0400.


Committee for Emergency Fire Cost meets June 4
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/24/24 10:08 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Emergency Fire Cost Committee will meet in the Tillamook Room, Building C, Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street in Salem on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 10 a.m. A virtual option will be available via Zoom video conference, which can be found on the agenda. To provide public comment, please contact istine.r.klossen@odf.oregon.gov">Kristine Klossen at 971-446-0065.

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Financial status of the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund
  • Weather update
  • Update on status of large fire cost collection efforts
  • Guidelines for eligibility of firefighting costs
  • Administrative Branch/Fire Protection Division/Administrator reports

The meeting is open to the public to attend in-person or virtually via Zoom. Public comments will be accepted near the end of the meeting. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 72 hours before the meeting by contacting istine.r.klossen@odf.oregon.gov">Kristine Klossen at 971-446-0065.

The Emergency Fire Cost Committee (EFCC) oversees the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund (OFLPF), established by the Oregon Legislature as a fund with the purpose of equalizing emergency fire suppression costs among the various Oregon Department of Forestry protection districts and forest protective associations. All districts/associations contribute to the fund so that money will be available to any individual district/association to pay fire suppression costs on eligible emergency fires. View more information on the EFCC webpage.


142nd Wing to conduct Memorial Day flyovers (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 05/24/24 9:28 AM
2024-05/962/172550/190813-Z-CH590-0055.JPG
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http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/962/172550/thumb_190813-Z-CH590-0055.JPG

The 142nd Wing out of Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Oregon will conduct Memorial Day flyovers for ceremonies at locations throughout northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.

“We support the Memorial Day flyovers to honor the great men and women who have given their all in defense of this great nation,” said Lt. Col. Brad Young, 142nd Wing instructor pilot and 142nd Operations Support Squadron Commander. “We hope that conducting the requested flyovers from community organizations is additive to their ceremonies commemorating those who have lost their lives in service to this nation.”

The F-15 Eagle fighter jets are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following community locations at, or around, the designated times on Monday, 27 May: 

10:25 a.m. Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Ore.          

10:38 a.m. Wasco, Ore.         

10:51 a.m. Forest Lawn Cemetery, Gresham, Ore.          

10:53 a.m. Glenmoore Gracious Living, Happy Valley, Ore.          

10:54 a.m. Mt. View Cemetery, Oregon City, Ore.          

10:57 a.m. Calvary Cemetery, Mount Angel, Ore.  

11:00 a.m. World War II Memorial, Salem, Ore.                 

11:01 a.m. Restlawn Memory Garden & Funeral Home, Salem, Ore.                     

11:03 a.m. Timber Linn Memorial Park, Albany, Ore. 

11:05 a.m. Corvalis, Ore.

11:15 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, Beaverton, Ore.

11:16 a.m. Fir Lawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home, Hillsboro, Ore.

11:17 a.m. Forest View Cemetery, Forest Grove, Ore.

11:17 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, North Plains, Ore.

11:21 a.m. Vancouver National Historic Reserve, Vancouver, Wash.

11:38 a.m. Depoe Bay, Ore.

All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be canceled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies.

-30-

Aerial b-roll: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/752272/142nd-wing-f-15-flight-gopro-footage

About the 142nd Wing:

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

Photo Caption:

Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagles, assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing prepare for an afternoon training mission as part of dissimilar aircraft combat training (DACT) on Aug. 13, 2019, at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore. The Oregon Airmen are training with U.S. Navy F-18F Super Hornet from VFA-41 squadron, based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., during two-weeks of DACT exercises. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)




Attached Media Files: 2024-05/962/172550/190813-Z-CH590-0055.JPG

Oregon Wildfire Funding Workgroup convenes to address sustainable wildfire funding
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 05/24/24 8:32 AM

SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon State Fire Marshal are convening a workgroup to discuss solutions for sustainable wildfire mitigation and suppression funding to address the growing wildfire crisis.

The Legislature tasked the two agencies with establishing the workgroup through House Bill 5701 in the 2024 legislative session. The group is meeting for the first time in June.

The need for a sustainable and equitable funding structure for wildfire response and mitigation has never been more urgent. The way response and mitigation are currently funded is inadequate to address the growing complexity and cost of wildfires Oregon faces today, which impacts public health and safety, community well-being, and the state's economy.

Workgroup members represent a wide range of partners and will work closely with the Governor’s Wildfire Programs Advisory Council.

Workgroup members include:
• Alan von Borstel, Oregon Wheat Growers League
• Anne-Marie Storms, Oregon Fire Marshals Association
• Armando Martinez, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw
• Barry Bushue, Bureau of Land Management
• Bill Boos, Special Districts Association of Oregon
• Bill Terry, Consumers Power Inc.
• Branden Pursinger, Association of Oregon Counties
• Brennan Garrelts, Oregon Department of Forestry’s Emergency Fire Cost Committee
• Brian Stewart, Oregon Fire Chiefs Association
• Carrie Nyssen, American Lung Association
• Casey Kulla, Oregon Wild
• Chris Edwards, Oregon Forest Industries Council
• Dylan Kruse, Sustainable Northwest
• Eric Kranzush, Giustina Land & Timber Co.
• Frank Day, Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association
• Genoa Ingram, Oregon Fire District Directors Association
• Lauren Poor, Oregon Farm Bureau
• James Hall, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
• Jim McCauley, League of Oregon Cities
• John Davis, Green Diamond
• Jonathan Fink, Portland State University
• Karl Koenig, Oregon State Fire Fighters Council
• Kenton Brine, NW Insurance
• Kyle Smith, The Nature Conservancy of Oregon
• Lon Matheny, Coquille Indian Tribe
• Mari Kramer, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
• Mark Bennett, Wildfire Programs Advisory Council
• Matt McElligott, Cattlemen's Association
• Monte Bryan, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
• Patrick Skrip, Operating Forest Protective Association
• Roger Beyer, Oregon Small Woodlands Association
• Scott Spaulding, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation
• Steve Warden, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
• Suzanne Seattle, Burns Paiute Tribe
• Tim Sexton, Klamath Tribes

Ex-officio attendees include:
• Andrew Stolfi, Department of Consumer & Business Services, Division of Financial Regulation
• Doug Denning, Higher Education Coordinating Council
• Jim Kelly, Oregon Board of Forestry
• Michael Grant, Public Utilities Commission
• Representative Bobby Levy, Oregon State Legislature
• Representative John Lively, Oregon State Legislature
• Senator Fred Girod, Oregon State Legislature
• Senator Jeff Golden, Oregon State Legislature

The agencies will report on the group’s progress to the Emergency Board in December and during the 2025 legislative session. People will be able to view the workgroup meetings virtually. Details will be provided on both the ODF’s and the OSFM’s websites before each meeting.

Learn more about the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon State Fire Marshal and their efforts to meet the rising challenges of wildfire.


Settlement Reached in Oregon Foster Care Class-Action Lawsuit: Parties Agree to Transform System for Thousands of Children in its Care
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 05/24/24 8:30 AM

Eugene, OR– Today, Governor Tina Kotek, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Agency Director Fariborz Pakseresht, and Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner entered into a settlement agreement with Disability Rights Oregon, A Better Childhood, Rizzo Bosworth Eraut PC, and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, attorneys representing thousands of children and young adults experiencing foster care in Oregon. This settlement agreement stemmed from a class-action lawsuit, Wyatt B. et al. v. Kotek et al., that sought to improve Oregon’s foster care system. 

The settlement agreement stipulates, in part:

  • The State will contract with a mutually agreed upon Neutral Expert to address important foster care system outcome areas including maltreatment of children; quality of appropriate placements; re-entry rates; timeliness of case planning and age-appropriate mental, physical and dental health care assessments and referrals; notification and delivery of required reports of child maltreatment; and up to two (2) additional findings by the Neutral Expert within two (2) years that are actionable under the U.S. Constitution or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
     
  • The Neutral Expert’s Initial Review shall occur by April 20, 2025 (extendable up to 90 days at request of Neutral Expert) and be followed by annual reviews assessing improvements.
     
  • The Governor shall provide support to ODHS toward its efforts to achieve outcomes by assisting ODHS’s collaboration with other state agencies and by reviewing the Initial Review and annual reviews.
     
  • The Settlement Agreement ends when the Neutral Expert determines ODHS is in substantial compliance with terms or within 10 years (whichever is sooner). If, after 10 years, the Neutral Expert determines additional time is needed, the Neutral Expert may recommend an extension of no more than two (2) years.

“This case has always been about providing children in the foster care system what they need to recover from trauma and thrive—stability, safety, and nurturing from the adults in their life,” said Jake Cornett, Executive Director and CEO of Disability Rights Oregon. “After more than five years, we’re grateful Governor Kotek and the Department of Human Services see the promise of working collectively to improve Oregon’s foster care system.”

“We are grateful for the willingness of all involved in this litigation to come together to find ways to achieve our mutual goal of improving outcomes for Oregon children and families,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “This agreement is a testament to the progress we have made in child welfare over the past several years and allows us to focus on the important work ahead.”

“We are very pleased that this case has settled,” said Marcia Lowry, Executive Director of A Better Childhood. “We have seen that a collaborative approach to reform in other lawsuits has produced excellent results in other child welfare systems, and we hope the same will happen in Oregon. It takes both sides being committed to actual progress, measurable outcomes, and real results, which we are committed to seeing happen in Oregon.” 

“This settlement gives us the opportunity to continue our efforts to transform the child welfare system by supporting and preserving families – while focusing on continuous improvements that will yield better outcomes for families we serve,” said ODHS Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner. “We appreciate the hard work by both parties in reaching an agreement that is positive for Oregon children and families.”

Resources

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Oregon Department of Human Services(ODHS) is Oregon's principal agency for helping Oregonians achieve well-being and independence. It provides direct services to more than 1 million Oregonians each year. These services are a key safety net for people in diverse communities across Oregon.

Disability Rights Oregon upholds the civil rights of people with disabilities to live, work, and engage in the community. Serving as Oregon’s Protection & Advocacy system since 1977, the nonprofit works to transform systems, policies, and practices to give more people the opportunity to reach their full potential.

A Better Childhood is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that uses the courts to reform dysfunctional child welfare systems around the country. 

Rizzo Bosworth Eraut PC is a litigation firm with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. We work primarily on complex civil matters representing individuals, businesses, and insurers in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm with more than 600 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world.


Thu. 05/23/24
OSP traffic stops result in seizure of illegal drugs (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 05/23/24 5:09 PM
Marion County_5-14-24
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LINN, MARION, & DOUGLAS COUNTIES, Ore. 23 May 2024 – Four Oregon State Police traffic stops along Interstate 5 (I-5) have yielded significant drug seizures in the last month. Oregon State Troopers seized fentanyl, methamphetamine, PCP, and other illegal drugs bound for Oregon streets. The targeted operations are a collaboration among Oregon State Police patrol, K-9, HIDTA Investigation Team (HIT), and Criminal Apprehension through Patrol Enforcement (CAPE) programs. 

OSP Capt. Kyle Kennedy said, “Oregon State Police is diligently working to stop the flow of illegal drugs to our communities. Fentanyl continues to have devasting effects on Oregon’s communities, and we hope the constant pressure will deter and prevent the transportation of illegal drugs to and through our state.” 

Linn County
On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at 9:50 a.m., an OSP K-9 trooper stopped a vehicle on I-5 in Linn County for a traffic violation. During contact with the driver, the trooper suspected possible criminal activity. A K-9 was deployed around the outside of the vehicle and alerted to the presence of illegal substances. 

During a search of the vehicle, the trooper located 10,000 pills suspected to be laced with fentanyl in the vehicle’s trunk. 

OSP detectives interviewed the vehicle occupants. The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time. 

Marion County
On May 14, 2024, at 1:13 p.m., an Oregon State Trooper from the Salem Patrol Office stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on I-5 near milepost 256 in Marion County. During the stop, the trooper observed contraband in the vehicle and suspicious behavior by the vehicle occupants. 

During a consent search of the vehicle, the trooper located 4.6 pounds of fentanyl, 1 pound of phenylcyclohexyl piperidine (PCP), 84 grams of suspected methamphetamine, and 14.2 grams of cocaine. 

The driver, Edgar Izaguirre Torres (33), whose city of residence is unknown, and the passenger, Marvin Fabian Oseguera Escoto (19) or Auburn (WA), were arrested for distribution of a controlled substance. Once the investigation is complete, additional charges will be referred to the prosecuting agency. 

Oseguera Escoto was additionally arrested on a California warrant for distribution of a controlled substance. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.

Douglas County
On May 21, 2024, at 8:40 a.m., an OSP K-9 Trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on I-5 northbound at milepost 148. The trooper contacted the vehicle occupants and noticed signs of criminal activity. The driver and passenger fled from the vehicle on foot. The trooper caught and detained both suspects a short distance from the vehicle. 

The K-9 was deployed around the outside of the vehicle and alerted to the presence of illegal substances. A search warrant was granted, and 42,000 suspected fentanyl-laced pills and approximately 8 pounds of fentanyl powder were found inside the vehicle. 

The driver, Lauro Parra Moreno (25) of Pittsburgh (CA), was arrested for misdemeanor elude, criminal trespass II, Possession of a controlled substance II, and Delivery of a controlled substance I. The passenger, Jesus Acosta Parra (20), of Pittsburgh (CA), was arrested for criminal trespass II, delivery of a controlled substance II, and possession of a controlled substance II. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.

Linn County
Today, May 23, 2024, at approximately 11 a.m., an Oregon State Police K-9 Trooper stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on I-5 near milepost 225 in Linn County. The vehicle was occupied by an adult couple and their 6-month-old infant. 

During a consent search of the vehicle, the trooper located 136 grams (about one-third of a pound) of fentanyl powder and mannitol, which is a common cutting agent for fentanyl. The fentanyl was located in the trunk of the vehicle near the baby’s formula and clothing. 

The driver, Meslin Danexi Gamez Barrientos (30) of Oakland (CA), was arrested for possession and delivery of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a minor. The passenger, Maryori Estefani Ochoa Chapas (30) of Oakland (CA), was arrested for possession and delivery of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a minor. 

The infant was placed in protective custody by the Oregon Department of Human Services. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available for release at this time.
 

# # #

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

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




Attached Media Files: Marion County_5-14-24 , Linn County_5-23-24 , Linn County_5-8-24 , Douglas County_5-21-24

UPDATE (5-23-24): OSP seeks public assistance - Marion County
Oregon State Police - 05/23/24 4:44 PM

Update 2: 5-23-24

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, the Oregon State Police was notified by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office that the body of Gurjinder Singh Grewal was recovered from the Willamette River at 10:37 a.m. Grewal was found by a fisherman between Oregon City and West Linn. Grewal was positively identified, and there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the recovery at this time.

Mr. Grewal’s family was notified yesterday evening by Oregon State Police. 

The investigation is ongoing, and no additional information is available at this time.

 

Update 1: 2-8-24

Body of news release updated to reflect correct incident date of February 8, 2024.

 

Marion County, Ore. 8 Feb 24 - Oregon State Police requesting public assistance locating a missing person.

On Thursday, February 8, 2024, Oregon State Police responded to the St Paul bridge on Hwy 219, near milepost 24, in Marion County. Gurjinder Singh Grewal (48) was last observed walking on the bridge at approximately 11:00 a.m.. His vehicle, a black Honda Pilot, was located just south of the bridge. 

Any person with dash-cam footage or who may have witnessed him in the area on 2 Feb. between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. is encouraged to contact the Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888 or OSP (677).

Reference case number SP24042821.


 


Dr. Emma Sandoe Named as Director of the Oregon Health Authority's Medicaid Division
Oregon Health Authority - 05/23/24 3:32 PM

May 23, 2024

Media Contact: Amy Bacher, 503-405-5403, acher2@oha.oregon.gov">Amy.Bacher2@oha.oregon.gov

Dr. Emma Sandoe Named as Director of the Oregon Health Authority’s Medicaid Division

Emma Sandoe, PhD, MPH, has been appointed as the permanent director of Oregon’s Medicaid program, effective July 24, 2024. Since 2019, Dr. Sandoe has served in North Carolina Medicaid most recently as the Deputy Director of Medicaid Policy. In her current role, Sandoe has been the state’s primary liaison to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), overseen the state’s Medicaid Plan and its Medicaid waivers, and taken a lead role in developing and implementing new policies to improve health equity in North Carolina’s Medicaid-funded health care system. Dr. Sandoe also serves as Medicaid liaison to Tribal nations in North Carolina.

In North Carolina, Dr. Sandoe helped lead the passage and implementation of the state’s Medicaid expansion, which took effect in December 2023 that will bring health coverage to more than 450,000 people. She also has led efforts to expand the health care workforce under North Carolina’s Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) program. In addition, she has assisted in developing and implementing the state’s Healthy Opportunity Pilots program, leveraging Medicaid dollars to address food, transportation, and housing insecurity, as well as toxic stress.

OHA Director Dr. Sejal Hathi, MD, MBA, said, “Dr. Sandoe brings a track record of expertise, innovation and experience putting health equity into practice in vital Medicaid programs. She brings both vision and pragmatism to this role, as well as strong relationships with our federal partners, which will enable Oregon to continue to set the pace in implementing vanguard Medicaid coverage and benefits that address the major health issues facing our communities, such as homelessness and climate change. I’m excited to welcome Dr. Sandoe to Oregon.”

Dr. Sandoe said, “I’m delighted to come to Oregon, a state that's always been at the forefront of health policy. I’m excited to collaborate with Medicaid staff and partners to expand access to care, improve peoples' lives and eliminate health inequity.”

Dr. Sandoe was selected for the position of Oregon’s Medicaid director following a national search. Before serving joining North Carolina Medicaid, Dr. Sandoe worked as a press secretary at CMS and budget analyst at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Sandoe has taught health policy classes at Harvard University and Duke University. Dr. Sandoe received a PhD in Health Policy, Political Analysis from Harvard University in 2019 and an MPH from George Washington University in 2010.

Vivian Levy, Oregon’s interim Medicaid Director, will serve as deputy director for the Medicaid Division. Dr. Hathi said, “Vivian Levy has brought transformational leadership to Medicaid at a critical time for the past two years. She’s led our temporary Medicaid expansion, protected health coverage for people undergoing eligibility redeterminations in the wake of the pandemic and overseen our ongoing implementation of new Medicaid benefits under Oregon’s groundbreaking 1115 Medicaid waiver. I’m grateful for the direction she’s brought to Medicaid and for the important role she’ll continue to play in Oregon’s Medicaid program.”

Oregon’s Medicaid program currently provide medical, dental and behavioral health coverage for approximately 1.4 million people in Oregon (or more than 1 in 4 state residents) through the Oregon Health Program (OHP) and other programs. The Medicaid program has a biennial budget of $28 billion.

Download Dr. Sandoe's headshot here.


Missing child alert -- Odin E. Grant, age 1, is missing and is believed to be in danger (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 05/23/24 3:07 PM
Odin with Cecilia and Jimmie
Odin with Cecilia and Jimmie
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/973/172534/thumb_odin-cecilia-jimmie.PNG

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, asks the public to help find Odin E. Grant, age 1, a child who was last seen in Hood River and The Dalles, May 3, 2024, with his mother, Cecilia Grant aka Cecilia Gomez. Odin is believed to be in danger. 

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

Odin and his mother may be in Hood River or The Dalles. They may be with be with Jimmie Champion.

Name: Odin E. Grant
Pronouns: He/him 
Date of birth: Nov. 21, 2022
Height:  2 feet, 8.68 inches
Weight: 29 pounds
Hair: Light brown
Eye color: Blue
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #2022100
Hood River Police Department Case #P240429

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

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

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Attached Media Files: Odin with Cecilia and Jimmie , Odin with Cecilia , Odin

OHA encourages mpox vaccination
Oregon Health Authority - 05/23/24 2:39 PM

May 23, 2024

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

OHA encourages mpox vaccination

PORTLAND, Ore. – As people gather and travel to celebrate Pride Month in June, health officials are reminding Oregonians about the importance of protecting themselves and their community by getting the mpox vaccine.

Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist at Oregon Health Authority (OHA), said the number of mpox infections in the state has dropped significantly since an outbreak in June 2022. However, the virus continues to circulate at low levels, with occasional increases in case counts.

“Mpox activity has generally remained low, but by no means has this virus gone away in Oregon or other parts of the country,” Sidelinger said. “Pride is a great time for people in the LGBTQIA2S+ community to show support for themselves, their partners and their community by getting both doses of the mpox vaccine.”

Oregon saw between 10 and 15 mpox cases reported each week when the outbreak peaked in August 2022. Since then, weekly case counts have ranged between no cases to two or three cases. There were 270 mpox cases in 2022, 30 cases in 2023 and, as of April 30, eight cases so far in 2024. There have been no deaths.

The JYNNEOS mpox vaccine is highly effective. According to a May 2023 study published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the vaccine was found to be 75% effective for those receiving one dose and 86% effective for those who had two doses.

Until last month, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) distributed JYNNEOS to vaccine providers at no cost. On April 1, JYNNEOS manufacturer Bavarian Nordic launched the vaccine on the commercial market, so providers will now bill health insurance to cover the cost. HHS will continue to make JYNNEOS vaccine available as needed; the vaccine remains free to Oregon Health Plan members, and Oregon law requires vaccine’s cost to be covered for others with commercial insurance.

Mpox spreads primarily through close, skin-to-skin contact. Most often, it has occurred through intimate or sexual contact, and during contact with the lesions of an individual with mpox through a caregiving relationship, such as a parent caring for a child or an adult caretaker of another person.

Infection rates are highest among people living in Multnomah County, those ages 30 to 39, and members of the Latino/a/x/e and Black/African American communities. Most cases were men who reported having sex with men, and most identified as gay or bisexual men.

People who suspect they have mpox should contact their health care provider to let them know before going in to be seen. The provider may recommend testing for mpox. Those who don’t have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 or their local public health authority for help finding a clinic or health care provider.

For more information about mpox in Oregon, visit OHA’s mpox website. Vaccination clinics can also be searched by ZIP code with an mpox vaccine locator tool at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Monkeypox/Pages/vaccine.aspx or at https://mpoxvaxmap.org/.


Five companies will offer health insurance in every Oregon county next year as health insurers file 2025 rate requests for individual and small group markets (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 05/23/24 12:01 PM
DFR logo
DFR logo
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/1073/172523/thumb_DFR-logo-blue.jpg

Salem – Oregon consumers can get a first look at requested rates for 2025 individual and small group health insurance plans, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

In a major win for Oregonians, Moda will become the fifth company to offer health insurance in every single county in Oregon after expanding into Benton, Linn, and Lincoln counties. Moda joins BridgeSpan, PacificSource, Providence, and Regence as health insurance companies who provide coverage in all parts of Oregon. It is the first time that five insurers have offered plans in every county.  

In the individual market, six companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.0 percent to 11.6 percent, for a weighted average increase of 9.3 percent. That average increase is higher than last year’s requested weighted average increase of 6.2 percent.

In the small group market, eight companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.7 percent to 16.3 percent, for a weighted average increase of 12.3 percent, which is higher than last year’s requested 8.1 percent average increase.

The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to help stabilize the market and lower rates. Reinsurance lowered rates by 8.4 percent. 

See the attached chart for the full list of rate change requests.

“Oregon’s health insurance market remains competitive, with five carriers planning to offer plans next year in every Oregon county, up from only one statewide plan in 2018,” said Oregon Insurance Commissioner and DCBS Director Andrew R. Stolfi. “Unfortunately, inflation – both medical and nonmedical – as well as prescription drug costs, are driving prices higher than last year. Oregonians still have a lot of options to choose from and the Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to allow them to find reasonable rates.”

Virtual public hearings about the 2025 requested health insurance rates will be held July 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. A web address to watch the public hearings will be posted at OregonHealthRates.org. At the hearings, each insurance company will provide a brief presentation about its rate increase requests, answer questions from Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) staff, and hear public comment from Oregonians. The public also can comment on the proposed rates at any time at OregonHealthRates.org through July 1.

“We look forward to putting these rate requests through a rigorous public review, and we encourage the public to join the virtual public hearings and provide feedback on their health insurance plans,” Stolfi said. “This public process not only helps keep insurance companies accountable, but it gives people the opportunity be part of the process.”

The requested rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer.

Over the next two months, the division will analyze the requested rates to ensure they adequately cover Oregonians’ health care costs. DFR must review and approve rates before they are charged to policyholders.

Preliminary decisions are expected to be announced in July, and final decisions will be made in August after the public hearings and comment period ends.

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

 




Attached Media Files: Health insurance rate requests for 2025 , DFR logo

Riverside Elementary School Employee Indicted on Child Pornography Charges
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 05/23/24 10:52 AM

Spokane, Washington - On May 22, 2024, a federal grand jury for the Eastern District of Washington returned a three-count indictment charging Dallas Michael Shuler with one count of Production of Child Pornography, one count of Distribution of Child Pornography, and one count of Receipt of Child Pornography.

If convicted, Shuler faces 30 years in prison on the charge of Production of Child Pornography, 20 years in prison for the count of Distribution of Child Pornography, and 20 years in prison for the count of Receipt of Child Pornography. Shuler would also have to register as a sex offender. 

According to a complaint filed on May 13, the FBI and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office contacted Shuler, who worked at Riverside Elementary School, about a snapchat video that depicted minors engaged in sexual conduct. Shuler allegedly recognized the video and admitted he contacted the minors online and offered explicit images in exchange for their participation in the video. 

The complaint alleges Shuler told investigators he enjoyed looking at sexually explicit images of children as young as ten. Shuler also allegedly admitted to conversing with more than two dozen minors regarding sexual content, including sharing and trading sexually explicit pictures and videos. 

Shuler allegedly had sexual contact with two juveniles at two separate times. According to the complaint, in both cases, Shuler allegedly recorded the sex acts and distributed the videos online. Shuler allegedly admitted he made multiple attempts to solicit other youth to meet him and engage in sex acts. 

“My office and our law enforcement partners stand ready to respond with thorough investigations, aggressive prosecutions, and determined advocacy in pursuing those who seek to abuse children, whether it occurs behind a keyboard or closed doors,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. 

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.

This case is being investigated by the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca Perez. 

An indictment and a complaint are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.




Attached Media Files: 2024-05/6857/172522/Shuler_Indictment.pdf

Oregon State Forests campgrounds can offer great outdoor experiences without the crowds (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/23/24 10:02 AM
Developed state forest campgrounds have signage with area highlights and maps. In addition, most of the developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and other amenities.
Developed state forest campgrounds have signage with area highlights and maps. In addition, most of the developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and other amenities.
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/1072/172519/thumb_Horsecampsign.JPG

GATES, Oregon—If you want to get out in the woods this Memorial Day weekend, try one of Oregon’s state forests.  There are several campgrounds that often have openings or if you are just looking to go for a hike there is free parking at trailheads. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) manages all recreation facilities in state forests.  In northwest Oregon this includes the Clatsop, Santiam and Tillamook State Forests.

 There are three types of camping offered: developed campgrounds, designated campsites outside of regular campgrounds, and dispersed camping.

State forest campgrounds offer a true forest experience without the crowds since most have less than 20 campsites at each location.

“Developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and often have other amenities like hand pump wells,” said John Mandich, a recreation specialist at ODF’s Northwest Oregon Area office.  “Also, most of our campgrounds are first come, first served.  So, if you are a last-minute type of camper, you should try one of our campgrounds.”

Some campgrounds get used less than others.  One of those is the Santiam Horse Camp in the Santiam State Forest near Gates, Oregon.

“This is up the mountain side at 1,200-1,400 foot elevations, so it has great views of the Santiam Canyon,” said Mandich.  “There is a 10-mile loop trail that is muti-use for horses, hikers and mountain bikers.  There are nine sites with corrals, parking for large vehicles to accommodate horse trailers—these can be reserved, but you must have a horse. So far only three of those sites are reserved for Memorial Day weekend.”

There is a day-use area with a pavilion, picnic tables, parking, restrooms and running water at a hand-pump well.

“There are only two designated camping spots for those without horses,” said Mandich.  “We hope to expand that in the near future. However, Rock Creek Campground is close by too and they have five spots.”

Whether visiting for the day or camping there are many recreational opportunities nearby.

“The recently reopened Shellburg Falls recreation area is within a 30-minute drive of the horse camp,” said Mandich.  “Popular Detroit Lake is also about the same distance too.”

Another unique aspect of the area around the Santiam Horse Camp  (See the guide)  is you can see all the phases of forest management on the trail.

“There are recent clearcuts from salvage logging after the 2020 fires,” said Mandich.  “These have recently been replanted.  Then you can walk a ways and see 10-15 year old trees and finally you can see old stands with trees that have three-to-four foot diameters.  It’s a unique experience in a compact area.” 

There are also designated campsites outside of developed campgrounds.  These are numbered and offer a fire ring for campfires. The last type is dispersed camping with no amenities offered. 

 “There are rules for dispersed camping the most important being—pack out what you take in, practice good campfire safety (keep fires small, attended, and make sure they are out), and practice good sanitation (bury your poop). And, camping this way it’s free for up to 14 days.”

Fees at state forest campgrounds range from $5 – $20 per night depending on the type of site. For Memorial Day and July 4 active-duty military get to stay for free with a valid military ID card. Also, the state forest campgrounds honor the Oregon state parks disabled veterans access pass

Although openings can be found on weekends, weekdays have the best availability.  “If you shift your camping trip to a weekday you have a very good chance of getting a spot at most of our campgrounds,” said Mandich.

If you want an outdoor experience further west than the Santiam, try the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests.  If you are going through the Tillamook State Forest, be sure to stop in at the Tillamook Forest Center to see displays about the history, sustainable forest management and wildlife in Oregon’s state forests.  They also have hiking areas including a 250-foot suspension bridge behind the center that crosses the Wilson River and nearby is the Jones Creek Campground.

These are typically under used campgrounds in the Clatsop and Tillamook state forests:

Clatsop State Forest

  • Northrup Creek Horse Campground (Equestrian)

Tillamook State Forest

  • Morrison Eddy Campground
  • Jordan Creek Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Campground
  • Reehers Camp Campground (Equestrian)
  • Keenig Creek Campground
  • Stagecoach Horse Campground (Equestrian)

To see a complete list of state forests camping opportunities, visit the  ODF recreation webpage. The page lists the name, location, amenities, number of camp sites, fees and more information. 




Attached Media Files: Developed state forest campgrounds have signage with area highlights and maps. In addition, most of the developed campgrounds have restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and other amenities. , There is a day use area at the horse camp with a pavilion and picnic tables. , Santiam Horse Camp has a 10-mile loop trail, Monument Peak Trail, that horse riders, hikers and mountain bikers can use. , The Santiam Horse Camp has nine spaces for campers with horses. They include these log corrals. There are also two tent camping spaces.

Draft of Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan is available online for public review
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 05/23/24 9:00 AM

SALEM, Oregon— The public is invited to comment on the draft 2025-29 Oregon Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) titled Balance and Engagement: Sustaining the Benefits for All Oregonians. A copy of the draft SCORP document and support documents are posted online for public review.  The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will accept comments until June 28, 2024.

The five-year plan is a comprehensive look at Oregon’s outdoor recreation needs and priorities based on a representative population survey of more than 3,000 residents and recreation providers. The research was conducted in collaboration with Oregon State University. 

Results help guide federal, state, and local government, as well as the private and nonprofit sectors, in making policy and planning decisions. The primary purpose of the plan is to provide guidance for the Land and Water Conservation Fund grant program and other OPRD grant programs. The SCORP also provides up-to-date, high-quality information to assist recreation providers with park system planning in Oregon.

Comments can be submitted directly through a comment feature on the SCORP webpage or by mail to Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, 725 Summer Street NE, Suite C, Salem, OR 97301, Attn: Caleb Dickson.

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Boating on Oregon's Waterways - Prepare to Play (Photo)
Oregon State Marine Board - 05/23/24 9:00 AM
Picture of a Grandfather and Granddaughter on a boat wearing life jackets
Picture of a Grandfather and Granddaughter on a boat wearing life jackets
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/4139/172500/thumb_PapaMaddyBoating.jpg

Is the water calling? The Oregon State Marine Board wants to remind boaters to be aware of their surroundings, have all the required gear, and let others know their recreation plans.

“Inexperience and solo operation continue to be a growing trend of boating fatalities in Oregon. Planning ahead, boat with others, always keeping a sharp lookout, and wearing a properly fitted life jacket for your boating activity should be top of mind for all boaters,” says Brian Paulsen, Boating Safety Program Manager for the Oregon State Marine Board. “The Marine Board has many resources to help boaters have a safe and enjoyable experience on all of Oregon’s waterways.”

The agency advises boaters to plan ahead and check out the Marine Board’s interactive boating access map. The map displays public boat ramps and local rules for boat operations. Also, check the weather forecast, water levels, and tides. See if there are any reported obstructions, and have the right gear for your boating activity. Boaters can also check the Marine Board’s website to find out what equipment is required based on the size and type of boat.

The Marine Board would like to remind boaters:

  • Boat Sober. Abstain from consuming marijuana, drugs, or alcohol, which impair judgment, reaction time, and coordination and cause dehydration. Boating demands sharp situational awareness.
  • All children 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket when underway on all boats (motorized and nonmotorized). All boaters on Class III whitewater rivers are required to wear a life jacket.
  • Be courteous to other boaters and share the waterway. Stage your gear in the parking lot or staging area regardless of your boat type. This makes launching faster and everyone around you happier.
  • In Oregon, all motorboat operators with propulsion greater than 10 horsepower must take a boating safety course and carry a boating safety education card when operating the boat. Paddlers of nonmotorized boats 10’ and longer are required to purchase a waterway access permit. The Marine Board also offers a free, online Paddling Course for boaters new to the activity. 
  • Fill out a float plan and leave it with friends and family. This way they can call for help if you are overdue.
     

For more information about safe boating in Oregon, visit Boat.Oregon.gov.
 

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Attached Media Files: Picture of a Grandfather and Granddaughter on a boat wearing life jackets

ODF Grants $14 Million to Help Protect Water and Reduce Wildfire Risk
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/23/24 8:00 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and its local, state, and federal partners have started implementing the 20-year Landscape Resiliency Strategy. The strategy prioritizes areas at high-risk for wildfires. This year through mid-2025, the three programs paid for by the state’s General Fund will invest about $14 million into local, state, federal, and private partners’ projects. The investment will expedite work on over 100,000 acres. The partners will implement these landscape resiliency strategy projects to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk.

As 2024 continues, ODF builds on prior investments. This means leading partner work to reduce wildfire risk, which includes creating wildfire buffers around communities in the wildland-urban interface or WUI. To do some of this work ODF has 13 programs that leverage 27 funding sources. The three state-funded programs are the Landscape Resiliency Program, Small Forestland Grant Program, and Federal Forest Restoration (FFR) Program.

“The state’s leaders have seen how strategic forestry investments can leverage state funds to reduce wildfire risk, bolster the economy, and protect water sources,” said State Forester Cal Mukumoto. “Thoughtful planning makes this happen; that’s what ODF does. Today we’re highlighting some strategic investment vehicles — the Landscape Resiliency, Small Forestland Grant, and Federal Forest Restoration Programs.” 

The Landscape Resiliency Program funds large projects across property ownerships to prioritize work that provides value to nearby communities. The 2023–25 $10 million investment will help improve wildlands and reduce wildfire risk on about 29,000 acres.

  • Northern Blues Central Grande Ronde River Fuels Project in Union County (925 acres). Remove brush and dead trees to connect with private and public lands that have already been similarly managed to reduce wildfire risk to communities.
  • Oakridge-Westfir Landscape Resiliency Project in Lane County (300 acres). Will reduce brush and wood debris and invasive pests; thin; and may use goats to manage brush.  
  • Reduce Wildfire Risk in SE Oregon in Harney and Malheur Counties (22,745 acres). Reduce invasive grasses and western juniper, primary carriers of fire in sagebrush steppe.
  • Klamath Tribes Fuel Reduction & Fire Resiliency on Klamath Tribal Land (3,500 acres). Eliminate brush, small trees, and dead wood using prescribed fire; thin and clear the wood debris. It will reduce wildfire risk for federal, tribal, private lands, and communities.
  • River in Southwest Oregon (950 acres). Will reduce fuel on private lands and Medford Water Commission Lands using crews, contracts, and prescribed burns by the Rogue Valley Prescribe Burn Association to show benefits of using non-wildfire to manage forests.

The 2023–25 Small Forestland Grant Program has awarded $2.5 million to forestland owners for 14 projects on about 1,300 acres. This program helps improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk around communities. The awards invest in the following counties through various local partners.

  • Benton including a project led by Grand Oaks Summit Owners Association.
  • Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson led by Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council with the Heart of Oregon Corps. The Heart of Oregon Corps project will include parts of Jefferson and Crook Counties.
  • Grant, Lane, and Umatilla coordinated by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s District and Unit Foresters for multiple groups of landowners.
  • Hood River under Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District’s leadership.
  • Jackson and Josephine through the Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council, Department of Forestry, Sun Ridge Estates Homeowners Association, and the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative.
  • Morrow through a project led by the Morrow Soil and Water Conservation District.

Every two years the Oregon Legislature decides whether to fund the Landscape Resiliency and Small Forestland Grant Programs. If the programs receive funding for the 2025–27 cycle, project leaders can apply in mid-2025. 

The FFR Program improves forest federal forest health and resilience. As part of the 20-year Strategy, the program helps the state work across property lines to reduce wildfire risk, improve forest and watershed health, and sustain jobs in rural, forest dependent communities. To reach these goals the program invests in two key areas, forest collaboratives and environmental reviews.

Forest collaboratives bring together diverse stakeholders to build trust to responsibly thin forests and use prescribed fire. FFR uses two grant programs to do this – Forest Collaborative Grants (FCG) and Technical Assistance and Science Support (TASS) grants. FCGs help increase the number, acreage, and complexity of collaborative projects. TASS grants give collaboratives access to current science. 

  • FCG investments in 2023-25 provided $410,000 to nine forest collaboratives that include the Blue Mountains Forest Partners, Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project, Hood River Forest Collaborative, Northern Blues Forest Collaborative, Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative, Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative, Southern Willamette Forest Collaborative, Wasco County Forest Collaborative, and Wild Rivers Coast Forest Collaborative
  • TASS grants in 2023-25 provided $400,000 to eleven technical assistance providers supporting ten forest collaboratives on the Willamette, Rogue River-Siskiyou, Mt. Hood, Deschutes, Ochoco, Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla, and Siuslaw National Forests.

Environmental review investments help federal agencies create shovel-ready projects at the pace and scale necessary to respond to the need. The Planning Assistance and Categorical Exclusion (PACE) grants speed up planning through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. PACE investments in 2023-25 total $2 million ($600,000 state; $1.4 million federal) and will expedite planning for about 70,000 acres across the Rogue River-Siskiyou, Fremont-Winema, Deschutes, Mt. Hood, Wallowa-Whitman, Umpqua, and Umatilla National Forests.

ODF leads the 20-Year Landscape Resiliency Strategy to identify environmental and wildfire risks. Then the partners focus investments on priority areas. 

# # #


Wed. 05/22/24
System updates help pave the way for upcoming renewals, ensuring health coverage retention
Oregon Health Authority - 05/22/24 5:03 PM

May 22, 2024 

Media contacts: 

Erica Heartquist, Oregon Health Authority, ica.J.Heartquist@oha.oregon.gov">Erica.J.Heartquist@oha.oregon.gov, 503-871-8843 

Jake Sunderland, Oregon Department of Human Services, land@odhs.oregon.gov">Jake.Sunderland@odhs.oregon.gov, 503-877-0170 

System updates help pave the way for upcoming renewals, ensuring health coverage retention 

SALEM, Ore. — With over 91 percent of the state’s 1.5 million renewals complete, more than four out of five Oregonians are keeping their Oregon Health Plan (OHP) or other Medicaid benefits.  

An update this month to the ONE Eligibility system will enable Oregon to use an improved process for the remaining renewals. These changes are a substantial set of small adjustments to the renewal process that together will make it easier for the people of Oregon to keep their medical benefits. 

During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), which ended in April 2023, the federal government allowed states to keep people on Medicaid benefits. This ended when the pandemic emergency ended, so over the last year Oregon has been making sure everyone on OHP is still eligible. 

At this point in the PHE unwinding process: 

  • Just 443 members, about 0.03 percent, still need to respond to renewal requests. 
  • 7,473 members, about 0.5 percent, have responded to their renewal but are awaiting state action on the response. 
  • The remaining renewals, about 8.3 percent of the total, will occur over the summer. 

Oregon’s 82 percent renewal rate continues to be the third highest in a national comparison of state renewal rates by KFF, a nonpartisan health policy organization. Oregon’s high renewal rates are due to proactive efforts by the state to keep people covered, including extended response timelines, and the upcoming launch of OHP Bridge for adults with higher incomes. 

Members who have not received a renewal yet should: 

  • Keep their address and contact information up to date. 
  • Check their mail or ONE Online account for their renewal letter. 
  • Do what the renewal letter asks as soon as possible. Anyone concerned they missed their letter should get help with their renewal using one of the options listed below. 
  • Members who did not respond to renewals can still re-open their case three months after it closes if they are still eligible, and they can reapply at any time. 

Although most people are keeping coverage, approximately 240,000 people will lose or have reduced medical benefits and need to consider other coverage options. 

  • People who do not have coverage through an employer or Medicare may be able to enroll through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace and get financial help. Most people who enroll through HealthCare.gov qualify for this help. 
  • The Marketplace is sending information to people who are no longer eligible for OHP benefits, advising of other potential coverage options. 
  • People who have recently lost OHP benefits can enroll anytime until November 30, 2024, or within 60 days of their benefits ending. 
  • For more information and ways to get help signing up for Marketplace, Medicare, or employer coverage, see “What to do if OHP is ending” below. 

Remaining renewals

Renewal letters will be sent to members in four waves between June and September. Members will still have 90 days to respond, and 60 days’ advance notice before any termination or reduction in benefits. This means the final responses would be due in December 2024, and the final closures will happen in February 2025. 

Data about pandemic unwinding renewals appears in the Medical Redeterminations Dashboard.  The dashboard data and these press releases will not include renewals for OHP members who have already renewed early in the unwinding process, who are coming up for renewal again. Over time, Oregon is switching to renewing most OHP members every two years instead of annually. 

May OHP renewal data

As of May 17, 2024, 1,323,772 people have completed the renewal process. This represents 91.2 percent of all OHP and Medicaid members. 

  • 1,085,635 people (82 percent) were renewed and kept their benefits. 
  • 224,014 people (16.9 percent) were found ineligible. 
  • 14,123 people (1.1 percent) had a reduction in their benefits. Most of these members lost full OHP but were able to continue Medicare Savings Programs that help pay their Medicare costs. 

Need help renewing your benefits?

  1. Learn more about how to renew your Oregon Health Plan medical coverage.  You can log into your online portal and complete your redetermination work at benefits.oregon.gov.  
  2. Call the ONE Customer Service Center at 800-699-9075. All relay calls are accepted, and help is available in multiple languages. Wait times are lowest between 7 and 8 a.m., PST. 
  3. Visit or call a local Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) office. People can find their local office at https://www.oregon.gov/odhs/Pages/office-finder.aspx
  4. Visit a community partner for free, in-person help. To find one near you visit OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp (English) or orhim.info/ayuda (Spanish). 
  5. Download the ONE Mobile application via the app store to keep track of your renewal, find a local office, or upload a document. 

What to do if your OHP is ending:

  • First, review the case summary in your letter to make sure the information used to make the decision was correct. If that information has changed, notify the state via one of the options above If the information on file for you is correct and you disagree with the decision, you can request a hearing. Learn more about hearings
  • Explore options through an employer. If you, your spouse or a parent are working, you may be eligible for health coverage through that employer. Talk to your manager or Human Resources department to see if you qualify. You will have a special enrollment period to enroll mid-year due to loss of OHP benefits. 
  • If you have or are eligible for Medicare: For help understanding and choosing the right Medicare options, go to https://OregonHealthcare.gov/GetHelp to find an insurance agent or a counselor at the Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program (SHIBA). You can also call SHIBA at 800-722-4134. 

If you need to sign up for Medicare for the first time, contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 800-772-1213 to enroll by phone or find a local office. You can also enroll in Medicare online at ssa.gov/medicare/sign-up

  • Nearly 80 percent of Oregonians qualify for financial help through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. Visit OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop to answer a few quick questions, find out how much you can save and find out how much coverage may cost you. You can also call the Marketplace Transition Help Center at 833-699-6850 (toll-free, all relay calls accepted). 
  • Need free local help finding other coverage? Visit OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp to find professional help near you. 

OHA and ODHS are committed to transparency and will continue to send monthly information about medical coverage among Oregonians. Check our ONE Eligibility Operations Dashboards for more frequent updates on medical renewal data and wait times for callers to the ONE Customer Service Center. 

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Armed Fentanyl Trafficker Sentenced to Federal Prison
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 05/22/24 3:30 PM

Spokane, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Sean James Edwards, age 34, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute 40 Grams of Fentanyl. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke imposed a sentence of 84 months imprisonment to be followed by 4 years of supervised release. 

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, early on the morning of November 3, 2022, Spokane Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area of 515 S. Farr Road for a report of a shooting. The reporting party said he heard a gunshot and saw a bullet hole in his window. 

When deputies arrived, they observed a black Kia Rio crashed into a parked vehicle. Deputies could see a rifle and a loaded magazine on the passenger seat, as well as a spent silver casing on the floorboard of the Kia Rio. A neighbor told deputies that following the crash, he looked at his security camera and saw two people, a man, later identified as Edwards, and a woman, running away from the crash. Deputies had the Kia Rio towed to the police impound lot. 

On November 4, investigators executed a search warrant on the Kia Rio. In addition to the rifle, investigators located a loaded pistol, several loaded magazines, dozens of rounds of ammunition, Edwards’s Montana State ID, two iPhones, methamphetamine, more than 1,400 fentanyl pills divided into several small bags, and a backpack with drug paraphernalia. 

“This case demonstrates the dangerous nexus of drug trafficking and violent crime. A resident called law enforcement because someone had fired a shot into his home. Mr. Edwards ran from the scene, leaving behind fentanyl he planned to distribute and weapons he was not legally allowed to possess,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “I’m grateful for the excellent work of investigators and prosecutors to identify Mr. Edwards and hold him accountable. By removing sources of illicit fentanyl from the streets, we can make our communities safer and stronger.” 

“Every one of the fentanyl pills discovered in the vehicle had a potential to destroy lives, and it is a relief law enforcement was able to find them first and remove them from the community,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle field office. “Our Safe Streets Task Force members and prosecutors are committed to fighting back against the illegal drugs and unlawfully possessed firearms that bring violence and fear into our neighborhoods.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit Justice.gov/PSN.

This case was investigated by the FBI Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Cashman. 


Fatal Crash- HWY 126- Lane County
Oregon State Police - 05/22/24 12:25 PM

Lane County, Ore. 19 May 24- On Sunday, May 19, 2024, at 2:30 p.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Hwy-126, near milepost 21.5, in Lane County. 

The preliminary investigation indicated an eastbound Honda CRV, operated by Joella Ann Ewing (83) of Eugene, left the highway for unknown reasons, struck a tree, and landed in an adjacent creek.

The operator of the Honda (Ewing) was injured as a result of the crash and transported to an area hospital.

A passenger in the Honda, Ruth Anne Romoser (80) of Springfield, was declared deceased at the scene.

The highway was impacted for approximately 6 hours during the on-scene investigation. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

OSP was assisted by the Lane County Sheriff's Office, Eugene Police Department, Western Lane Medics and Fire, Lane Rural Fire, and ODOT.

# # #

 

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


Walla Walla Public Schools names the 2024 Partners of the Year (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 05/22/24 11:40 AM
2024-05/1288/172504/2024_Partners_of_the_Year.jpg
2024-05/1288/172504/2024_Partners_of_the_Year.jpg
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WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools has named Communities in Schools of the Blue Mountain Region, the Walla Walla Public Schools Foundation, Whitman College Friends Program and Chyrsler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla its 2024 Partners of the Year. Walla Walla School District established the month of May as Partners in Learning Month 14 years ago. The district's Vision 2030 Strategic Plan challenges WWPS in Goal 4 to maximize the support of our community partners. These agencies, businesses and organizations help Walla Walla Public Schools navigate and support its staff, students and parents to ensure students graduate prepared for today’s competitive world, whether college or career bound.

“It truly takes a village to support our children and affirm the community’s collective expectation for a world-class education for all students,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “The support of WWPS partners has helped the district achieve its vision of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.”

Communities in Schools of the Blue Mountain Region
Communities in Schools of the Blue Mountain Region is represented by Executive Director Ruben Alvarado.  With a mission to surround students with a community of support, Communities in Schools of the Blue Mountain Region empowers students to stay in school and achieve in life. Communities In Schools brings resources and volunteers into the school to help struggling students get back on track. To provide these services, Communities In Schools assigns a site coordinator in a school to assess needs, make a plan, and coordinate intensive interventions for the kids most at risk for dropping out. The site coordinator also plans events and activities aimed at serving the entire school. The site coordinator works with local community service partners such as social service agencies, businesses, health care providers and volunteers to connect students with needed resources. These services are making a tremendous difference in our schools. Thanks to Communities in Schools for your support!

The Walla Walla Public Schools Foundation
The Walla Walla Public Schools Foundation, led by Executive Director Elsa Watson, has been named a Partner of the Year. The mission of the Walla Walla Public Schools Foundation is to raise funds to enrich and enhance the educational experiences of students in the Walla Walla Public Schools. It's the foundation’s goal to fund a field trip for every K-8 student as well as outdoor, overnight experiences for students at both high schools. Thanks to the Foundation, Walla Walla Public Schools students can explore the great outdoors, spend a day on the farm, and build memories that last a lifetime. Thanks to the Foundation, Into the Blue, a revival of the popular Big Blue Weekend, provided an opportunity for every Wa-Hi 9th grade student to take an overnight trip to Camp Wooten in the scenic Blue Mountains. Students learn about teamwork, make friends and develop positive relationships with staff. Lincoln High School students also visit Camp Wooten for their Leadership Academy. Kindergarten through 8th grade students have had opportunities to visit a variety of exciting local attractions for unique learning opportunities. Thank you for making these memories possible for WWPS students.
  
Whitman College Friends Program
Whitman College Friends Program, represented by Abby Juhasz, Director for Community Engagement and student Natalie Lundberg, is making a difference in district schools. The Whitman Friends Program, under the student leadership of Natalie Lundberg and Katherine Harris, builds strong and lasting friendships between Whitman students and Walla Walla elementary school students. The program’s mission is planting the seeds of confidence in young students through sustained relationships with Whitman friends. Whitman students join their friend at recess once a week. Friends also visit Whitman College each spring for a day-long carnival called Friends to Campus Day. The Whitman College Friends Program, which is part of the college’s Community Engagement Program, allows students to volunteer and connect to the Walla Walla Community on a regular basis. Each year a cohort of current students lead these programs with support from the Career and Community Engagement Center. Thank you Whitman College Friends Program and congratulations on being named a Partner of the Year.

Chyrsler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla
Chyrsler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla, represented by Joel Olsen, is being honored this year. In 2022, the district was able to bring its Traffic Safety Program back to Walla Walla High School. This course is available, at no cost, during the school year and summer. Chyrsler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla quickly came on board to support the program by offering safe, high quality vehicles for lease. They equip the vehicles with a passenger side safety brake for the instructor. They also service the vehicles as needed to ensure they are reliable and in safe working order. Chyrsler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla also sponsors the Student of the Month video series on Spectrum cable. These well-produced commercials spotlight the accomplishments of the students and showcase the schools they attend. Congratulations to Chyrsler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla for being named a Partner of the Year for 2024.

Thank you to all the 2024 Partners of the Year for supporting Walla Walla Public Schools staff and students. Your contributions are having a positive impact on the school district and the entire community.  

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Attached Media Files: 2024-05/1288/172504/2024_Partners_of_the_Year.jpg

Oregon Lottery Launches State Parks Themed Scratch-its, Free Parking Permit Program (Photo)
Oregon Lottery - 05/22/24 11:08 AM
Oregon Lottery is capturing the spirit of the outdoors with State Park themed Scratch-its.
Oregon Lottery is capturing the spirit of the outdoors with State Park themed Scratch-its.
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/4939/172501/thumb_2024_VisitStateParks-2.jpg

Salem, Ore. – Summer is when the outdoors truly start calling to Oregonians. Oregon Lottery is capturing the spirit of the campers, hikers, adventure seekers, and anglers with a new, Oregon State Park themed Scratch-it. The $5 tickets feature three nostalgic scenes of park landscapes and fishing, have a top prize of $50,000, and are on sale now at Oregon Lottery retailers. 

Lottery game play helps ensure that our state parks are continuously maintained and improved, with State Parks receiving more than $1 billion in Lottery funds since 1999. One example is Champoeg State Heritage Area, a site with a project underway to add more RV campsites and cabins.  

“Oregon State Parks truly put our state on the map, with some of the most scenic, special places in the country,” said Oregon Lottery Director Mike Wells. “We’re proud to support State Parks and their impact in our communities across Oregon.”    

The unique tickets also coincide with State Parks Day – celebrated on June 1 with free parking for the 25 parks that charge a parking permit and free RV and tent site camping at all Oregon State Parks. State Parks Day has been a tradition since 1998 to thank Oregonians for their support of the state park system over many decades.

Oregon Lottery is also sponsoring a new program allowing residents to check out a State Parks parking permit from their local library. The passes are currently available in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties, with more coming online in the summer months. The permits can be checked out physically or digitally. 

“Our collaboration with the Oregon Lottery began in 1999 when Oregonians voted to support Oregon State Parks with lottery proceeds,” said Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director Lisa Sumption. “We've worked together throughout the years to bring unique recreation opportunities to our visitors and are excited this parking permit program will encourage more people to see our state's beautiful and historic areas without worrying about parking fees.”

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $15.5 billion for economic development, public education, outdoor school, state parks, veteran services, and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery, visit www.oregonlottery.org




Attached Media Files: Oregon Lottery is capturing the spirit of the outdoors with State Park themed Scratch-its. , Oregon Lottery's new State Park Scratch-it tickets feature nostalgic scenes of park landscapes and fishing and are on sale now.

Tue. 05/21/24
Oregon Housing and Community Services' Annual Report highlights significant statewide housing outcomes (Photo)
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 05/21/24 3:54 PM
Willet Apartments, Tillamook
Willet Apartments, Tillamook
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SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) releases the 2023 Annual Report, “Building Oregon’s Future,” to show and highlight outcomes achieved throughout the state to meet the housing needs of Oregonians with low to moderate incomes.  

“Building Oregon’s Future describes the progress that OHCS has made in delivering results on the strategic goals and challenges facing our housing system,” said OHCS Executive Director Andrea Bell. “The public has placed great trust in OHCS, and we are honoring that trust by delivering results that aim to make everyday life better for the people of Oregon.”  

As the state’s housing agency, OHCS works across the housing continuum to help reduce poverty among Oregonians and increase access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. Some highlights from 2023 include: 

  • Over $436 million was allocated to create more than 4,000 affordable rental and homeownership opportunities across the state.  
  • OHCS surpassed all three housing goals helping more than 10,000 households and creating over 1,000 shelter beds. 
  • OHCS launched seven new data dashboards and reports to show the continued progress. 

“Even as we celebrate the many milestones highlighted in this report, we continue to work tirelessly to create new programs and policies and get funding out to communities as swiftly and efficiently as possible. Working together with our partners across Oregon, we remain relentless, through the lens of humanity, to deliver effective housing solutions for all,” said Bell. 

The report features stories from Oregonians who have received housing assistance through OHCS and its housing partners, like Howard. Howard is an older adult who was able to receive a new manufactured home through the Manufactured Home Replacement Program. His new home is more energy efficient and structurally sound, ensuring he has a safe place to enjoy and live for many years to come.  

The 2023 Annual Report includes many other key data points, stories, program and policy updates, photos, and more. You can read the full report on the OHCS website. 

El comunicado de prensa en español




Attached Media Files: Willet Apartments, Tillamook , Lincoln City Habitat for Humanity, single-family home

Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee meets May 24
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 05/21/24 11:08 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee meets May 24 at 10 a.m. at ODF headquarters in Salem, with a virtual option.

The public meeting will be held in the Tillamook Room, Building C, at the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Salem headquarters, 2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310. To join virtually, please use the Zoom video conference information found on the agenda.

The committee’s agenda includes:

  • Forest Management Plan (FMP) performance measures
  • Prepare testimony for June Board of Forestry meeting

Public comment is scheduled at the beginning of the meeting. To submit written comment, email ftlac.comment@odf.oregon.gov. Written comments sent at least 48 hours before the meeting will give the FTLAC time to review and consider information. Comments submitted after that window of time will be sent to the FTLAC after the meeting, entered into the record and posted online. Comments are not accepted after the meeting concludes.

The Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee is comprised of seven county commissioners representing 15 Oregon counties where state forestlands are located. The FTLAC is a statutorily established committee that advises the Board of Forestry on matters related to forestland managed by ODF. View more information on the FTLAC webpage.

Questions about accessibility or special accommodations can be directed to the Oregon Department of Forestry at least 24 hours prior to the meeting at 503-945-7200.


Mon. 05/20/24
OHA Director's Visit to Hood River, The Dalles Provides Insight into Local Health Priorities
Oregon Health Authority - 05/20/24 4:47 PM

May 20, 2024

Media Contact: Amy Bacher, acher2@oha.oregon.gov">amy.bacher2@oha.oregon.gov

OHA Director’s Visit to Hood River, The Dalles Provides Insight into Local Health Priorities

Hood River, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Sejal Hathi, MD, MBA, met with health leaders and partners on Thursday in Hood River and The Dalles as part of a series of visits around the state to hear about community health needs.

Key themes heard in meetings with local public health and mental health authorities, a federally qualified health center and the local coordinated care organization (CCO), included difficulties surrounding health workforce shortages, the need for comprehensive behavioral health supports, and concerns about the loss of COVID-19 pandemic federal funding.

“From this visit, I heard loud and clear that we need creative solutions to bring more people into the health care workforce - especially in areas where the cost of living is high,” said Dr. Hathi. “In speaking with health leaders, advocates, and providers in this region, it was evident that there is a true collaborative spirit and a lot of care for people in our communities. I look forward to working on solutions to all the challenges we discussed.”

OHA is using feedback received during the regional visits to inform current and future policy initiatives. Later this year, OHA will share a summary of themes heard across all regional visits and examples of specific partner recommendations that agency staff plan to pursue.

The visit to Hood River and The Dalles marks the sixth in a series across the state for the new director to learn about the challenges, needs and priorities of individual communities.

A video recap of Dr. Hathi’s visit is available here. A full schedule of all of Dr. Hathi’s regional listening visits are posted on her web page.


Yakima School District Updates on Certified Staff Recall Process
Yakima Sch. Dist. - 05/20/24 3:25 PM

Yakima, WA — The Yakima School District today issued an update regarding the ongoing Reduction in Force (RIF) and staff recall process, sharing that all certified staff members affected have been offered positions for the upcoming school year. This announcement precedes a detailed recall report to be given at this afternoon's school board meeting.

A Reduction in Force (RIF) occurs when a school district must reduce its number of staff due to budget constraints, declining student enrollment, or other fiscal pressures. The recall process follows a RIF, allowing for the rehiring of staff as positions become available based on specific criteria set forth in collective bargaining agreements and district policies.

The Process Explained:

The RIF and recall processes are governed by Washington State law, particularly RCW 28A.400.300, which mandates that school districts must adopt policies for the employment and discharge of staff, including procedures for rehiring employees who have been impacted by the reduction in force. These procedures ensure that rights are protected under the terms of collective bargaining agreements and are strictly adhered to by the district.

Superintendent Dr. Trevor Greene emphasized, "Our commitment to ensuring the solvency and future stability of our district guides these difficult decisions. We are dedicated to supporting every member of our team through this transition while maintaining one of the lowest district office overhead costs in the state. This strategic financial management is crucial as we continue our efforts to direct as many resources as possible towards classroom and student services."

Background for the Community:

It is important for the public to understand that a RIF is not merely about reducing personnel but ensuring the district can operate within its financial means while still providing quality education. To meet a $20 million budget shortfall for the 2024-25 school year, the district has reduced 62.5 certificated positions (plus ten certificated administrator positions) and programmatic reductions, classified staff reductions and other miscellaneous savings. The recall process allows districts to rehire staff as opportunities arise, maintaining continuity and stability in our schools. At this point, all certified staff members impacted by the RIF and Recall have been offered positions for the 2024-25 school year. A few have elected to decline first offers as they await potential future opportunities.

Today’s Board Meeting:

Details from today's update have already been shared with all district staff earlier today and will be further elaborated upon during this afternoon's school board meeting, ensuring transparency and community involvement.

Additional Resources:

For more detailed information on the district's budget realignment and the procedures involved in the RIF and recall processes, please visit YSD7.org/budget.


OSP seeking public assistance regarding wolf shot and killed in Grant County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 05/20/24 3:22 PM
Google map of location
Google map of location
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Wolf shot and killed in Grant County
OSP Fish & Wildlife seeking public assistance to identify the person(s) responsible

GRANT COUNTY, Ore. 20 May 2024 – The Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division is seeking the public’s help in identifying the person(s) responsible for shooting and killing a wolf in Grant County. 

On Monday, May 19, 2024, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) notified OSP’s Fish & Wildlife Division a mortality signal had been received from a collared wolf from the Logan Valley Pack. 

OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers responded to the scene with ODFW personnel and found a deceased yearling male wolf which died from an apparent gunshot wound. The deceased wolf was found on private property adjacent to County Road 62 near milepost 11, approximately 11 miles southeast of Prairie City. 

The preliminary investigation indicated the wolf was likely shot from the roadway between the late evening on May 18, 2024, and the early morning hours of May 19, 2024. 

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact OSP Fish and Wildlife Senior Trooper Khris Brandon through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or dial OSP (mobile). TIPs can remain anonymous.

Report Wildlife and Habitat Law Violators 

The Turn In Poachers (TIP) program is a collaboration between the Oregon State Police, Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Wildlife Coalition, Oregon Outfitter and Guides Association, and the Oregon State Marine Board. 

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: Bighorn Sheep
5 Points: Rocky Mountain Goat
5 Points: Moose
5 Points: Wolf
4 Points: Elk
4 Points: Deer
4 Points: Pronghorn 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 the following fish and wildlife species. Cash rewards can also be awarded for habitat destruction, illegally obtaining hunting or angling licenses or tags, lending or borrowing big game tags, spotlighting, or snagging.

Cash Rewards

Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) cash rewards:
$2,000 Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, or Moose 
$1,000 Elk, Deer, or Antelope 
$600 Bear, Cougar, or Wolf
$300 Habitat destruction 
$200 Illegally obtaining Oregon hunting or angling license or tags
$200 Unlawful lending/borrowing big game tag(s)
$200 Game Fish & Shellfish
$200 Game Birds or Furbearers
$200 Spotlighting
$200 Snagging/Attempt to Snag

Oregon Wildlife Coalition (OWC) Cash Rewards:
$500 Hawk, Falcon, Eagle, Owl, Osprey
$500 Cougar, Bobcat, Beaver (public lands only), Black bears, Bighorn Sheep, Marten, Fisher, Sierra Nevada Red Fox
$1,000 Species listed as “threatened" or “endangered" under state or federal Endangered Species Act (excludes fish)

Oregon Outfitters & Guides Association (OOGA) Cash Rewards:
$200 Acting as an Outfitter Guide for the Illegal Killing of Wildlife, Illegally Obtaining Oregon Hunting or Angling Licenses or Tags, or Illegally Offering to Act as an Outfitter Guide as defined in ORS 704.010 and 704.020.

How to Report a Wildlife and/or Habitat Law Violation or Suspicious Activity: 
TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or OSP (677)
TIP email: TIP@osp.oregon.gov (monitored Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
For more information, visit: www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/fw/Pages/tip.aspx

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




Attached Media Files: Google map of location , Location where wolf was found

National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center reopening May 24, BLM announces (Photo)
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 05/20/24 12:22 PM
National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, BLM Photo.
National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, BLM Photo.
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/5514/172443/thumb_NHOTIC_announcment_image.png

Renovated interpretive center now represents a best-in-class example of a net-zero emissions building

BAKER CITY, Ore. — Pioneers of all ages and backgrounds are invited to celebrate the May 24 reopening of the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City, Ore. After a three-year closure for renovations, the center will reopen to the public at 1 p.m. Friday, May 24, and offer free admission through Sunday, May 26. 
Beginning Saturday, May 25, summer hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including holidays. 
 

Admission is $8 for ages 16 and up, $6 for seniors. The center also accepts America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands passes.


Since opening in 1992, the center has drawn an estimated 2.5 million visitors to the area. In order to maintain some services during the closure, the BLM partnered with Baker County to install and staff an Oregon Trail exhibit at the Baker Heritage Museum, and with the City of Baker City to launch a new event — Oregon Trail Days at Geiser-Pollman Park — which will take place June 7-8 this year.


“It was very important to us to continue offering Oregon Trail experiences to visitors during the renovations,” said BLM Vale District Manager Shane DeForest, whose office oversees the center. “Additionally, this partnership has strengthened our bond with the museum and the community, and we look forward to continuing to work together.”
 

The renovation, which included $1 million from the Great American Outdoors Act, represents a best-in-class example of a net-zero emissions building: it is all-electric, it meets the Biden-Harris Administration’s Federal Building Performance Standard by eliminating the on-site use of fossil fuels, and it is highly efficient, having reduced the facility’s energy consumption by 73 percent thanks to new windows, doors, siding, insulation, roofing, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. 


The Biden-Harris Administration is leading by example to tackle the climate crisis through President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan, which establishes an ambitious path to achieve net-zero emissions from federal buildings by 2045.
“President Biden set bold goals for Federal sustainability, and this project helps us achieve those goals,” said Andrew Mayock, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer in the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Upgrading our federal buildings to be more efficient and sustainable also means healthier communities.” 
For more information about the center, visit www.oregontrail.blm.gov or call 541-523-1843.


-BLM-


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
 




Attached Media Files: National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, BLM Photo.

Two River Correctional Institution (TRCI) Meet & Greet (Photo)
Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council - 05/20/24 10:55 AM
2024-05/6679/172440/Oregon_DOC_Two_Rivers_Flyer_5-29-2024_(1).png
2024-05/6679/172440/Oregon_DOC_Two_Rivers_Flyer_5-29-2024_(1).png
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/6679/172440/thumb_Oregon_DOC_Two_Rivers_Flyer_5-29-2024_(1).png

Two River Correctional Institution (TRCI) Meet & Greet

Kennewick, WA., May 7, 2024

Make a Difference – Be the Difference! Join us for an Open House event at WorkSource Columbia Basin on Wednesday, May 29th, 2024, from 9 am – 12 pm and start your career at Two River Correctional Institution (TRCI). 

We are hiring several Correctional Officers and want you to be one of them!

Apply and chat with our staff. The recruitment team will be available to discuss the hiring process and assist with the online application process. Applicants will be provided with a voucher code to cover the NTN reactive test.

What you need:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of appointment
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • U.S. Citizen or obtain within 1 yr.
  • Pass a criminal background check, health screening, drug screening and psychological evaluation

What to bring

  • A valid photo ID

What you get

  • $5,139/month
  • Health insurance
  • Paid holidays and leave
  • Retirement plan

This is an in-person event at: 

WorkSource Columbia Basin – 815 N. Kellogg, Ste D, Kennewick, WA, 99336.

Questions about the event?

Contact Officer Espinoza at 541-922-6161




Attached Media Files: 2024-05/6679/172440/TRCI_Meet__Greet_5-29-2024_Press_Release.pdf , 2024-05/6679/172440/Oregon_DOC_Two_Rivers_Flyer_5-29-2024_(1).png

OSFM Community Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant application period opens May 20
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 05/20/24 10:28 AM

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon State Fire Marshal is pleased to announce the opening of its Community Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant. This funding is designed to enhance wildfire defensible space across the state, supporting wildfire mitigation projects led by structural fire protection agencies, counties, and cities. 

The $3-million grant will significantly reduce wildfire risks by funding projects to create and maintain defensible space around buildings and critical infrastructure. Grant awards will range between $50,000 and $75,000. 

The grant focuses on two project types: 

Defensible Space Projects: The goal is to protect the first 100 feet around buildings, constituting approximately 70% of grant funds. 

Community Protection Projects: These projects extend beyond 100 feet to create fire breaks or lessen wildfire risks community wide.  

Applications will be prioritized based on fire risk, social vulnerability, and project clarity. 

“By supporting local projects that lessen wildfire risks, we are working together to create a prepared and resilient Oregon,” Oregon State Fire Marshal, Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “This grant works in concert with our other wildfire programs to move us closer to our goal of keeping fires small and away from communities.” 

More information, including the application and a grant manual, can be found on the OSFM’s grants webpage 

About the Oregon State Fire Marshal: The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s mission is to protecting people, property, and the environment from fire and hazardous materials. Through its programs, the OSFM enhances public safety and promotes community resilience across Oregon. 


New Research Reveals Uneven Treatment Landscape for People with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
Oregon Health Authority - 05/20/24 10:10 AM

May 20, 2024

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

timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

New Research Reveals Uneven Treatment Landscape for People with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

SALEM, Ore. — A study from the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, commissioned by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), shows that people living with co-occurring disorder (COD) experience a complex and uneven treatment landscape in Oregon.

The study—based on self-reported provider data— found that overall, 82 percent of mental health providers and 40 percent of substance use providers in Oregon offer treatment for co-occurring disorder, defined as treatment for co-occurring substance use plus either serious mental health illness in adults or serious emotional disturbance in children.

However, the study showed that availability and types of COD treatment can vary substantially:

  • Only half of mental health providers offer integrated treatment (combined treatment for mental illness and substance abuse from the same clinician or treatment team) and special groups for clients with COD.
  • COD treatment is least likely to be offered in hospital and substance use residential settings.
  • Only half of the treatment providers treat gambling disorders.
  • Only about a third of providers offer programs for young adults or LGBTQ+ clients. Just over one third of the programs offer services in Spanish, and half offer services in sign language.

The study found that acceptance of public insurance—especially Medicare—is low in some settings, which may be a barrier to access.

The study noted that workforce shortages remain a key barrier to spreading and scaling co-occurring disorder treatment across the state.

Oregon has made concerted efforts over the years to support the uptake and availability of holistic behavioral health care, including treatment for those living with co-occurring disorders.

In 2021, the Legislature directed OHA to develop payment models for increasing access to integrated treatment, which led to the establishment of the Integrated Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment program.

Oregon was also one of the first states to open Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics as part of a federal demonstration program that began in 2017.

Participating providers receive a single payment model for treating COD (including co-occurring intellectual and developmental disabilities and problem gambling), and receive training, technical assistance, and other resources to support provision of COD treatment.

They are required to provide nine core services, ranging from crisis services to peer support and counseling. They must also provide 20 hours of primary services per site.

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Oregon Community Foundation Awards $5.3M to 281 Nonprofits Making an Impact in Every Corner Oregon (Photo)
Oregon Community Foundation - 05/20/24 10:08 AM
Constructing Hope Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation
Constructing Hope Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/6858/172437/thumb_Constructing_Hope_Courtesy_of_Oregon_Community_Foundation.png

May 20, 2024 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Colin Fogarty, Director of Communications, Oregon Community Foundationty@oregoncf.org">cfogarty@oregoncf.org 

 

COMMUNITY GRANTS STRENGTHEN LOCAL SOLUTIONS, OPPORTUNITIES WITH FLEXIBLE OPERATIONS FUNDING

Oregon Community Foundation Awards $5.3M to 281 Nonprofits Making an Impact in Every Corner Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. – Nonprofit and community leaders throughout Oregon are seeing their work strengthened through new grants that provide important operational support. The funding is flexible, allowing organizations to direct it to where it is needed most. The 2024 Spring Cycle of Community Grants from Oregon Community Foundation has awarded $5,266,908 to 281 nonprofits making an impact across the state. 

For 27 years, OCF’s Community Grants program has supported nonprofits, tribal organizations and government agencies in all 36 counties of Oregon. Grants in this cycle support responses to community needs in the areas of food insecurity, housing, health, environmental stewardship, arts and culture, community development and more. This year’s grants prioritized small rural nonprofits and organizations that are culturally specific and responsive. 

"As a statewide foundation, we rely on the wealth of local expertise our communities show in finding solutions and opportunities,” said Marcy Bradley, Chief Community Engagement and Equity Officer, Oregon Community Foundation. 

“We know our nonprofit partners find flexible operating funding increasingly useful. These grants support Oregon’s smallest communities – such as Tygh Valley, with a population of 54 – to our largest in the Portland metropolitan area and everywhere in between. This is what responsive grantmaking looks like.” 

Fun Fact: OCF Community Grants are distributed so widely that if you were to travel to all four corners of the grants map for this cycle – east, west, north and south - it would take 25 hours to drive 1,432 miles. 

A full list of grantees can be found on the OCF website. The list below of representative grants from each region of Oregon demonstrates the breadth of impact these grants have on nearly every aspect of life for Oregonians. The funding is possible because of donors to Oregon Community Foundation. 

The 2024 Fall Cycle of Community Grants will focus on capacity building, small capital and new or expanding projects. Program applications will open June 24, 2024. Grants will be awarded in November.

 

Madras Community Food Pantry: $20,000 Community Grant

MCFP is a USDA/Oregon Food Bank that manages a shopping style pantry at their primary location, three school pantries in Jefferson County. They are piloting a home delivery program for individuals with limited mobility. Services are provided in both Spanish and English, and they are intentional about requesting culturally specific foods when they place orders and when necessary, they use grant funding to shop for culturally specific staples at local stores. 

 

Black United Fund of Oregon: $20,000 Community Grant

The mission of the Black United Fund of Oregon (BUF-OR) is to assist in the social and economic development of Oregon's underserved communities and to contribute to a broader understanding of ethnic and culturally diverse groups. Primary activities include culturally congruent one-on-one postsecondary mentorship; culturally specific workshops and professional development for BIPOC youth and young professionals; postsecondary scholarships for students of color; and support for small businesses and grassroots and BIPOC-led nonprofits via sponsorship, fiscal sponsorship, and workplace giving.

 

Condon Arts Council: $20,000 Community Grant

The Condon Arts Council plays a critical role in the community and has gained a reputation for providing unexpected and unique activities. Whether it is a haunted house built by youth, a music concert at the historic Liberty Theatre, or a ceramics class for seniors - the Condon Arts Council is helping to improve livability and cultural enrichment to local people. In addition, the Condon Arts Council has been working with the Oregon Arts Commission on a project to create an Arts and Culture District through the Oregon Legislature. Condon was selected as one of six cities for the pilot project. Their work in advocacy helped bring this issue to the Oregon Legislature and to educate elected officials on the power of arts and culture in underserved communities. 

From the Condon Arts Council Board of Directors: "With the support of Oregon Community Foundation's Community Grant, the Condon Arts Council will continue to bring creative and cultural engagement opportunities to our frontier community. Condon is a town of 716 people, but our programming and activities stack up with larger towns and cities. We have big goals for 2024, and this grant puts us one step closer to making them a reality."

 

Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society$20,000 Community Grant

The mission of the Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society is to support and promote the practice, conservation, and restoration of the tribal cultures of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. The Siletz Tribe possesses a rich and vibrant culture, woven from 38 bands of Tribes. Yet, decades of displacement and assimilation have threatened the vitality of these traditions. The Crooked River Coffee Shop & Boutique project aims to bridge this gap through community outreach providing a space that will enrich the lives of the community by providing a platform to teach and learn history, language and cultural practices of the Siletz Tribe. 

 

Compass House: $20,000 Community Grant

Compass House offers adults living with mental illness purposeful opportunities to rebuild lives, hope and self-respect. Through the Clubhouse International Recovery Through Work model, Compass House fosters a sense of community among members and staff, while providing insight to offer appropriate member support. The Clubhouse model encourages teamwork and cooperation, exposing each other to a wide variety of attitudes, beliefs and life choices, thereby promoting a culture of acceptance and inclusion for everyone.

“Members of the Compass House courageously walk through our doors because they belong,” said Compass House Executive Director, Anna Wayman. “As they pursue recovery, they set foot on a path of self-discovery, dignity and connection. Every engagement in the clubhouse leads to the achievement and purpose needed to pursue personal and professional goals for an empowered life.” 

 

Constructing Hope$40,000 Community Grant

Constructing Hope’s mission is to rebuild the lives of community members by encouraging self-sufficiency through skills training and education in the construction industry. Constructing Hope helps people of color, returning citizens (formerly incarcerated), and low-income adults enter careers with middle-class wages and defined benefits to support themselves and their families through quarterly, no-cost, ten-week construction skills and life skills pre-apprenticeship training programs, placement services and career advancement support. The youth summer program provides skills, motivation, awareness and access for construction career pathways.

 

Safe Shelter for Siuslaw Students: $20,000 Community Grant

Safe Shelter for Siuslaw Students works to mitigate the effects of homelessness and poverty, by supporting school success through the provision of temporary shelter, support services and community awareness. The organization aids student households facing housing crises with prevention/diversion programs: rent/mortgage assistance, crisis lodging and diversion support.

"This grant is essential for our organization's mission as it provides crucial flexible funding and continues our client/community-led approach in addressing housing crises in the Siuslaw region,” said Jennifer Ledbetter, Associate Director of Safe Shelter for Siuslaw Students. “With this support, we can expand our efforts of creating temporary housing solutions and continue serving families with students and youth within the Mapleton and Siuslaw School District boundaries."

 

Gold Beach Main Street$15,000 Community Grant

Gold Beach Main Street’s mission is to enhance the livability and safety of the community while restoring and preserving the town of Gold Beach. The team partners with citizens and partner organizations to promote economic development, enhance quality of life and achieve shared community goals.

"We are excited that OCF’s grant support will help us continue the transformation of our small town’s main street to a thriving and inviting tree-lined street, with benches, banners, and someday underground power,” said Linda Pinkham, Business Coordinator, Gold Beach Main Street. “This grant will help our growing organization expand into a larger office space to accommodate new staff for many of the larger projects currently underway, such as daycare, facade improvements, way finding signs and development of community gathering places." 

 

Fortaleza Atravez Barreras: $30,000 Community Grant

A first-time OCF grant recipient, Fortaleza Atravez Barreras provides peer support, trainings, support groups, community activities, and advocacy to underserved and underrepresented populations in Marion and Polk Counties, with a focus on Hispanic, Chicano, Latino and Indigenous people of all ages who identify or experience emotional, behavioral, physical and/or risk behaviors or have lived experience.

 

About OCF’s Community Grants Program 

For 27 years, OCF’s Community Grants program has invested in community livability and vitality by listening and responding to people closest to innovating opportunities they want to advance. As Oregon has grown, so too has the complexity of issues facing so many Oregonians. Compounding these challenges is a history of systems that have not benefited everyone equitably. OCF recognizes this reality. The Community Grants program continues to provide flexible funding for nonprofits addressing the pressing needs of communities across Oregon, informed by the voices of people who know their communities the best.

 

About Oregon Community Foundation

Since 1973, Oregon Community Foundation has worked to improve the lives of all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. In partnership with donors and volunteers, OCF strengthens communities in every county in Oregon through grantmaking, scholarships and research. In 2023, OCF distributed $225 million in grants and scholarships. Individuals, families, businesses and organizations can work with OCF to create charitable funds to support causes important to them. To learn more, please visit oregoncf.org. 

 

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Attached Media Files: OCF Community Grants Spring 2024 Grants List , Oregon Community Foundation Awards $5.3M to 281 Nonprofits Making an Impact in Every Corner Oregon Press Release , Constructing Hope Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation , Safe Shelter for Siuslaw Students Bike Giveaway Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation , Madras Community Food Pantry Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation , Madras Community Food Pantry 3 Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation , Gold Beach Main Street Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation , Constructing Hope 2 Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation , Condon Arts Council Haunted House Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation , Condon Arts Council Childrens Theatre Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation , Compass-House-Courtesy-of-Oregon-Community-Foundation