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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Mon. Mar. 18 - 11:10 pm
Mon. 03/18/19
Single Vehicle Fatal Crash on Hwy 99 - Jackson County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 03/18/19 4:16 PM

On Monday, March 18, 2019 at approximately 12:18 A.M. Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to the report of a single vehicle crash on Hwy 99 near milepost 10.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 1987 Toyota pickup truck failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road, and came to rest in Birdseye Creek. 

The male driver sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

OSP was assisted by Rogue River Fire District, Rogue River PD, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, and ODOT.

Attached Media Files: 2019-03/1002/122942/20190318_014641.jpg , 2019-03/1002/122942/20190318_014627.jpg

Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Youth and Families Workgroup meets March 22
Oregon Health Authority - 03/18/19 3:50 PM

March 18, 2019

Media contact: Saerom England, 971-239-6483, om.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us">saerom.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us

Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Youth and Families Workgroup meets March 22

What: A public meeting of the Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Youth and Families Workgroup.

Agenda: Update on OHA statewide work related to peer-delivered services; brainstorming and discussion of workgroup goals and strategies; identification of peers and peer groups that can provide expertise and input on tentative goals.

When: March 22, 9-11 a.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building Room 1A, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland.

Details: The Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative brings together multiple sectors across the Portland metro area to collectively address and prevent behavioral health challenges. Its focus is on peer-delivered services and substance use disorder activities that can make an impact in 12 to 24 months.

For more information, see the RBHC website at https://www.oregon.gov/OHA/HSD/BHP/Pages/Regional-Collaboratives.aspx

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

•           Sign language and spoken language interpreters

•           Written materials in other languages

•           Braille

•           Large print

•           Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Summer Boslaugh at 503-753-9688, 711 TTY or email .h.boslaugh@dhsoha.state.or.us">summer.h.boslaugh@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Update: Fatal Vehicle crash at the intersection of Hwy 99W and Airlie Road- Polk County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 03/18/19 11:23 AM
Hwy 99W and Airlie Rd-Polk County
Hwy 99W and Airlie Rd-Polk County

Update: Corrected Date of March 16, 2019

On March 16, 2019, OSP investigated a fatal crash involving 2 vehicles in the intersectoin of Hwy 99W and Airlie Road. 

A white 2017 Toyota Camry driven by Kayla Marie Carter, 30-years-old, was eastbound on Airlie Road approaching the stop sign at Hwy 99W, when for unknown reasons the driver did not stop at the stop sign.  A blue 2006 Subaru Legacy, driven by Jessica Renee Cornett, 21-years-old, was traveling northbound on Hwy 99W, when she struck the Camry. 

The 13-year-old passenger of the Camry was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The investigion is still on-going.

OSP was assisted by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Polk County Fire, and Oregon Department of Transportation.

Attached Media Files: Hwy 99W and Airlie Rd-Polk County

Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports inmate death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 03/18/19 11:09 AM
Eugene Sweigart
Eugene Sweigart

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Eugene Sweigart, died the evening of March 15, 2019. Sweigart was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla and passed away at an outside medical facility. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. 

Sweigart entered DOC custody on September 5, 2002, from Yamhill County with an earliest release date of May 18, 2041. Sweigart was 75 years old. Next of kin has been notified.  No other details are available at this time.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,900 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

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


Attached Media Files: Eugene Sweigart

Grandview organizes one big kindergarten registration event
Grandview Sch. Dist. - 03/18/19 10:46 AM

If you have a student who will be five-years old before Aug. 31, 2019, be sure to get ready for Grandview School District's Kinder Quick Start.

The kindergarten registration main event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, at the Grandview School District Office, 913 W. Second St. in Grandview.

Kinder Quick Start is your one-stop kindergarten registration shop. Be sure to bring your child's immunization record, birth certificate, proof of home address, parent picture ID, and your child must be five before Aug. 31, 2019. Also bring your child for testing. The district will also be accepting preschool sign-ups during the event. A child must be four-years old before Aug. 31, 2019 to take part in the district's preschool program.

Attached Media Files: 2019-03/3526/122927/Kinder_Quick_Start_Flyer.pdf

Single Vehicle Fatal Crash Hwy 30 milepost 92- Clatsop County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 03/18/19 10:41 AM
Hwy 30-Clatsop 2
Hwy 30-Clatsop 2

On March 15, 2019, the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 30 near milepost 92 in Clatsop County.

A 2008 black Jeep Liberty, driven by Windy Olive Jenkins, 47-year-old, was traveling eastbound on Hwy 30, when she left the roadway for an unknown reason and continued down the embankment into a tree.  The driver sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. 

The investigation is ongoing.

OSP was assisted by John Day Rural Fire Department, Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office, Astoria Police Department, Medix Ambulance, and Oregon Department of Transportation.

Attached Media Files: Hwy 30-Clatsop 2 , Hwy 30-Clatsop

Oregon's state art collection featured on new Oregon Arts Commission website (Photo)
Oregon Arts Commission - 03/18/19 10:21 AM
Garrick Imatani, “Plank House,” 2018. Archival pigment print. Detail from installation “Lessons from a Falling Star.” University of Oregon.
Garrick Imatani, “Plank House,” 2018. Archival pigment print. Detail from installation “Lessons from a Falling Star.” University of Oregon.

Oregon’s public collection of more than 2,400 artworks acquired and commissioned since 1975 is now featured on a searchable website for all to view. The State of Oregon Percent for Art Collection includes paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, mosaics, murals, textiles and both site-specific and structurally integrated art installations by over 800 artists. A number of commissioned temporary works can also be found on the website.

The artworks, installed across the state, can be found in public buildings from La Grande to Corvallis and Medford to Portland, including on campuses of higher education at University of Oregon, Portland State University, Oregon State University, Southern Oregon University, Eastern Oregon University, Western Oregon University and Oregon Institute of Technology.

The new online interface allows Oregonians or visitors to experience the state’s art collection remotely or to plan visits to view art in person. Robust search capabilities allow tailored searches—for a teacher creating class curriculum, a student doing research or a curious member of the public.

Highlights of the collection include:

  • Two- and three-dimensional works by seminal Oregon artists including Louis Bunce, Sally Haley, Manuel Izquierdo, George Johanson, James Lavadour and Lucinda Parker.
  • Temporary artworks, including “Information Studio” (2008) by Tahni Holt, an interactive dance installation created during a month-long residency at Portland State University. The site-specific work transformed a glass enclosed meeting room at the Smith Memorial Student Union into a stage where performers followed directions via headphones to realize Holt’s choreography.
  • Integrated works like Henk Pander’s “The Road” (2006), a largescale painting of an imagined traffic accident based on the artist’s experiences riding along with various Oregon police, sheriff and fire departments. The painting was commissioned for the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.
  • Memorials, such as Lead Pencil Studio’s “OSH Patient Memorial” (2014) at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem, which respectfully commemorates more than 3,400 individuals who passed away in Oregon state institutions from 1913 to 1970. The memorial includes a building displaying the historical metal canisters that held the ashes of individuals not claimed by family members. Facing this, a columbarium wall holds newly created ceramic urns with the inscribed names and living dates of the remains represented within.
  • Recent commissions include “Lessons from a Falling Star” (2018) by Garrick Imatani, installed at the University of Oregon. This project traces the legacy of “Tomanowas” (The Willamette Meteorite), which came to Oregon via the Missoula Floods approximately 15,000 years ago. The artist worked with the Clackamas tribe (part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde), who consider “Tomanowas” a sacred object, to 3D scan the meteorite and photograph current tribe members with a 3D printed replica in response to archival images showing the meteorite as discovered. A second aluminum replica of the meteorite is suspended in the atrium of Straub Hall in front of a mural showing water levels during the Missoula Floods.

Oregon was one of the first states in the nation to pass Percent for Art legislation, setting aside no less than 1 percent of funds for the acquisition of public-facing artwork in all state building construction projects with budgets over $100,000. Since 1975, the Percent for Art program has placed high-quality, accessible and mostly permanent art in public places. Over 275 state construction projects have qualified for Percent for Art funds and more than 2,000 Oregonians have taken part in the selection of artwork for their state's higher education campuses and government facilities. The program, managed by the Oregon Arts Commission, remains dedicated to the enhancement of public environments and the improvement of the character and quality of state buildings.

Link to State of Oregon Percent for Art Collection website: http://state-of-oregon-art-collection.org/final/Portal.aspx


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

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

Attached Media Files: Garrick Imatani, “Plank House,” 2018. Archival pigment print. Detail from installation “Lessons from a Falling Star.” University of Oregon. , Lead Pencil Studio, “OSH Patient Memorial,” 2014. Concrete, rebar, stainless steel, brass, basalt, wood, hot rolled steel, landscaping. Oregon State Hospital, Salem. Photo Steve Hanson. , Lucinda Parker, “A Glade of Many Ages,” 2011. Acrylic on canvas. University of Oregon Ford Alumni Center. , Tahni Holt, “Information Studio,” 2008. Dance performance, video, sound. Portland State University. , George Johanson, “Manuel Izquierdo,” 1977, paint on canvas and Manuel Izquierdo’s “Moonblades,” 1975. Steel installation view, State Capitol Building. Photo Frank Miller.

Madras Man Found Guilty of Discharging Firearm During Road Rage Altercation on Warm Springs Indian Reservation
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 03/18/19 8:51 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.—On Friday, March 15, 2019, a federal jury found Dat Quoc Do, 28, of Madras, Oregon, guilty of two counts of unlawful use of a weapon for discharging a firearm during a road rage altercation on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in September 2017.

“There is simply no excuse for this sort of violence in our community. Mr. Do’s actions are very serious and could have critically injured or killed an innocent motorist,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “The jury clearly saw this case for what it is: an egregious and preventable overreaction to an otherwise ordinary event on the highway.”

“These acts are shocking.  Handguns are not video games and this is not a movie,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “By shooting towards another car, Mr. Do put lives in danger and traumatized the occupants including a child inside the vehicle.”

According to court documents and information shared during trial, on September 14, 2017, Do was riding in the front passenger seat of a vehicle driven by his girlfriend, Thao Bich Tran. The two were driving at night eastbound on Highway 26 on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation when they came upon another eastbound vehicle being driven by an adult member of the tribe. Also in the second vehicle were the driver’s adult daughter and 12-year-old niece.

Tran was tailgating the vehicle when the other driver motioned for her to pass. At some point in the encounter, the other driver’s adult daughter threw a water bottle at, but did not hit Tran and Do’s vehicle. In response, Do fired several shots out the front passenger window of their vehicle, but did not hit the other driver’s vehicle. After the initial shooting, Tran raised the passenger window and continued to the follow the other vehicle. When Tran had a clear lane to pass, she moved to change lanes.

As Tran began to overtake the other vehicle, Do extended his hand holding a handgun out of their vehicle’s front passenger window. Believing that Do was pointing the gun in her direction, the other driver rapidly applied her brakes. Do fired several additional rounds as Tran drove away.

The other driver called Warm Springs Tribal Police to report the incident while continuing to follow Tran and Do’s vehicle. A patrol officer later stopped their vehicle and ordered Tran and Do out at gunpoint. Both were taken into custody. Officers recovered a Springfield Armory XD .45 caliber handgun in the front-passenger door pocket of the vehicle and a .45 caliber magazine partially loaded with five rounds in the center console.

Do faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He will be sentenced on Monday, June 10, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Warm Springs Tribal Police Department and prosecuted by Paul T. Maloney and Lewis S. Burkhart, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: 2019-03/6325/122919/VERDICT-Do-Final.pdf

UPDATE #2 -Death Investigation - Interstate 5 near exit 123 - Douglas County
Oregon State Police - 03/18/19 8:46 AM

The victim in this case has been identified as Edward Lanier (53) of Myrtle Creek, Oregon.

Oregon State Police is requesting that anyone who may have seen an altercation between the victim vehicle, a beige 1992 Honda Accord, the suspect vehicle, a late model silver four door sedan (possibly a Ford) with no license plates, and possibly a third vehicle with no description. 

The three vehicles were observed traveling westbound on Harvard Ave. just east of I-5 and then turning onto the southbound onramp to I-5 from Harvard Ave.

Oregon State Police is asking anyone that may have observed this altercation with the three vehicles or with any information regarding this incident to contact Oregon State Police at OSP.

On Sunday, March 17, 2019 at approximately 12:00 P.M. Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to the report of a shooting that had occurred on Interstate 5 southbound near milepost 124.  

Witnesses reported a subject in a late model silver four door sedan, possibly a Ford, with no license plates shot a male subject in another vehicle while traveling southbound at that location.

The victim was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg for treatment of a gunshot wound. He was pronounced deceased at the hospital. 

The suspect vehicle continued on Interstate 5 southbound from milepost 123.

A witness described the driver of the silver car as a male in his 30's wearing a red baseball cap. 

Oregon State Police is asking anyone who sees a vehicle and subject matching that description to call 911 and do not attempt to contact as we consider the suspect armed and dangerous.

Anyone that may have witnessed the shooting or anyone with any information regarding the shooting is asked to call the Oregon State Police at - OSP - and refer to case # SP19095157.

Investigation is continuing and no further information is available for release at this time.

A lucky month for Win for Life players (Photo)
Oregon Lottery - 03/18/19 8:42 AM
Lottery Logo
Lottery Logo

March 18, 2019 - Salem, Ore. – Oregon Lottery Win for Life players have reason to celebrate this spring, as three top prizes were awarded in less than a month.

The top prize for Win for Life is $1,000 per week for the rest of the life of the winner. Drawings are held on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Prior to these most recent top prize winners, there was a three-year drought from 2014-2017 with no top prize winner. However, already in 2019, three of the top prizes have been awarded.

It started on February 12, when Robert East of Fairview won the top prize. East took the prize as a weekly $1,000 payment. He said he will use the prize for retirement and purchased the ticket at CJs Pub in Fairview.

Then in March it was an incredibly lucky month for Win for Life players, with two top prizes being awarded within three days of each other. On March 5, Sondra Lundy of Springfield claimed her top prize from a ticket she purchased at The Pour House Tavern.

Three days later, on March 8, Steven Henning of Eugene hit the third Win for Life prize. He purchased his ticket from Dari Mart in Eugene. All three winners opted to take their jackpots as weekly, $1,000 prizes, for the rest of their lives.

“If this keeps up, Win for Life is going to be the game to play in 2019,” said Patrick Johnson, Lottery spokesperson. “Normally there is a Win for Life top prize winner that comes every now and then, but sometimes the random nature of the Lottery will surprise you, just ask our winners!”

The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 are advised to contact the Lottery office and schedule an appointment to claim their prize.

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $12 billion for economic development, public education, state parks, Veterans services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org

Attached Media Files: Lottery Logo

Local High School Students Seeking Donations for Domestic Violence Victims (Photo)
Finley Sch. Dist. - 03/18/19 8:28 AM

KENNEWICK, WA – In partnership with their school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group, two students at River View High School in Finley are leading a Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign March 18-22.  Community members are encouraged to drop off donations for local victims of domestic violence between 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM at the high school each school day this week.

Deisy Herrera and Sandy Estrada are Finley juniors with a passion for bringing an end to domestic violence.  According to DoSomething.org, 25% of women worldwide will experience domestic or dating violence in their lifetime.  “Boys who witness domestic violence are two times as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.”

Donations of the following items may be dropped off at River View High School in Finley:  cell phones, toothpaste, deodorant, laundry detergent, and other household items.  Finley’s SADD group will deliver the donations to Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties.

Resources and data about domestic violence prevention can be found on the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website at ncadv.org.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1−800−799−7233.  For more information about Finley’s awareness campaign, contact RVHS Counselor, Rebekah Duty, at duty@finleysd.org">rduty@finleysd.org.


Attached Media Files: 2019-03/1823/122916/domestic-violence.jpg

Forestry department invites public comment on state forest management activities
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 03/18/19 8:00 AM

Salem, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Forestry is inviting public comment on planned projects, timber sales and other management activities in state-owned forests in fiscal year 2020.

Starting today, March 18, through 5 p.m. on May 2, 2019, Oregonians can weigh in on draft Annual Operations Plans (AOPs) for state forests, which lay out on-the-ground activities expected to take place in the coming fiscal year. State forests by law must provide economic, environmental and social benefits to Oregonians, and are managed under long-range Forest Management Plans and Implementation Plans. Annual Operations Plans implement activities towards goals and strategies laid out in these longer-range plans. The draft AOP summary documents can be viewed online at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Working/Pages/StateForests.aspx and are also available at district offices upon request.

Common topics included in an Annual Operations Plan include:

  • Timber harvest operations
  • Recreation improvement and maintenance projects
  • Forest road construction, maintenance, and improvements
  • Reforestation/replanting and young stand management activities
  • Habitat improvement for native species
  • Invasive species management

The most useful input speaks to these specific activities and whether they are consistent with longer-range plans, offers suggestions to improve efficiency or effectiveness, corrects errors, provides additional information, and is solution-oriented, understanding that state forests are working forests and by law must provide a variety of economic, environmental and social benefits. Activities that affect fish and wildlife habitat are reviewed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, while operations that may influence threatened and endangered species are shared with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  

ODF is offering several convenient avenues to comment on AOPs:

Fri. 03/15/19
Oregon Historical Society Announces 2019 History Makers; Gala Celebration Set for October 6
Oregon Historical Society - 03/15/19 4:52 PM

Portland, OR – The Oregon Historical Society (OHS) is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Oregon History Makers Medal. First awarded in 2009, the History Makers Medal is regarded as one of Oregon’s most prestigious honors and is presented annually by OHS to individuals and organizations that are positively shaping the history, culture, and landscape of Oregon.

The 2019 Oregon History Makers Medal recipients are:

Andy Bryant: Tech industry visionary

Andy’s nearly 40-year career at Intel includes serving as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, and his current position as Chairman of the Board. Since establishing operations in Oregon in 1974, Intel has invested more than $40 billion in the state to develop advanced high-tech manufacturing capacity. Intel’s operations in Oregon are the company’s largest concentration of facilities and talent in the world.

Gale Castillo: Path breaking business and community leader

As the co-founder and long-time president of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber (the largest Hispanic chamber in the Northwest) and the co-owner and president of Cascade Centers, Inc. (one of the country’s largest privately held companies that provide Employee Assistance Programs), Gale has earned a reputation as one of Oregon’s most eloquent and effective voices for minority business development and the economic advancement of minority communities.

Colin O’Brady: Athlete, adventurer, educator

Colin O’Brady is an adventurer and explorer who made history in December 2018 as the first person to complete an unassisted solo crossing of Antarctica. In 2016, he conquered The Explorers Grand Slam in a world record shattering 139 days. Colin summited the tallest peak on each of the seven continents including Mt. Everest and skied the last degree to the North and South Poles.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival: World-renowned Oregon theater

Founded in Ashland in 1935, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival offers annual productions from March through October each year to a total annual audience of about 400,000. The Festival welcomed its millionth visitor in 1971, its ten millionth in 2001, and its twenty millionth in 2015.

“For over a decade, the Oregon Historical Society has had the pleasure of highlighting the accomplishments of the business leaders, philanthropists, artists, and cutting-edge thinkers that have shaped our communities,” said OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “Oregon would not be where it is today without the individuals and organizations that continue to innovate and push boundaries across every industry.”

The Oregon History Makers Medal will be presented at a dinner at the historic Montgomery Park building in Portland on Sunday, October 6, 2019. Table sponsorships and individual tickets are available; for more information, please contact Alexis Borges-Silva at 503.306.5266 or alexis.silva@ohs.org.

About the Oregon Historical Society

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


Governor's Commission on Senior Services meets March 28 in Salem
Oregon Department of Human Services - 03/15/19 4:27 PM

(Salem, Ore.) – The Governor’s Commission on Senior Services (GCSS) Executive Committee will meet from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, at the Department of Human Services, 500 Summer St. N.E., Room 164, Salem, Oregon, 97301.

The meeting is open to the public. Agenda items include regular GCSS business, legislative updates, recruitment efforts, and determining the topics for the April 11, 2019, full commission meeting. Those who can’t attend in person may call into the meeting using this conference line and access code: 1-888-808-6929, 4517555.

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility, or to request an accommodation, please contact Lori Watt at Lori.C.Watt@state.or.us. Requests should be made at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. For questions about the meeting, please contact: Deb McCuin, program analyst, at Debbie.Mccuin@state.or.us.

About the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services

The Governor’s Commission on Senior Services is dedicated to enhancing and protecting the quality of life for all older Oregonians. Through cooperation with other organizations, and advocacy, the commission works to ensure that seniors have access to services that provide, choice, independence, and dignity.

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Oregon Cannabis Commission meets by conference call March 21
Oregon Health Authority - 03/15/19 2:19 PM

March 15, 2019

Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-239-6483, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets by conference call March 21

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Cannabis Commission (OCC).

Agenda: Refresher: Robert's Rules of Order; overview of data collection; patient survey update; previous public comment review; OCC mission statement; legislative session update; commission next steps: working within framework; statute rules and report assignments; public comment.

When: March 21, 1-4 p.m.

Where: By conference call only at 877-848-7030, access code 753428.

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. Along with this, they advise the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with respect to the statutes governing medical and retail cannabis. For more information, please visit the commission's website at http://www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Shannon McFadden at 971-673-3181, 711 TTY or shannon.m.mcfadden@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee meets March 20
Oregon Health Authority - 03/15/19 1:56 PM

March 15, 2019

Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-239-6483, PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee meets March 20

What: The quarterly public meeting of the Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee (HAIAC).

Agenda: Logistics update; general HAI Program updates; multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) toolkit: content and implementation; antimicrobial stewardship in long-term care facilities (LTCFs); OHA National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) reporting requirement review; discussion on topics for future meetings and reports; and public comment.

When: March 20, 1-3 p.m., with a 10-minute public comment period at 2:55 p.m.; comments are limited to five minutes.

Where: Portland State Office Building Room 1B, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. A webinar is available at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7176971287507746817.

OHA provides oversight and support for the mandatory reporting of health care-associated infections in Oregon via the HAI Program. The HAI Program convenes its advisory board on a quarterly basis. The purpose of the board is to make recommendations to OHA regarding infection measures reportable by health care facilities.

Meeting materials including the agenda are available on the advisory board's webpage at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/COMMUNICABLEDISEASE/HAI/PREVENTION/Pages/meetings.aspx.

Program contact: Roza Tammer, 971-673-1074, oza.p.tammer@dhsoha.state.or.us">roza.p.tammer@dhsoha.state.or.us

# # #

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Diane Roy at 971-673-1093, 711 TTY or oy@dhsoha.state.or.us">diane.m.roy@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

HERC Evidence-based Guidelines Subcommittee meets April 4 in Wilsonville
Oregon Health Authority - 03/15/19 1:13 PM

March 15, 2019

Contacts: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@dhsoha.state.or.us (media inquiries)

Daphne Peck, 503-373-1985, c.info@dhsoha.state.or.us">herc.info@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

HERC Evidence-based Guidelines Subcommittee meets April 4 in Wilsonville

What: A public meeting of the Health Evidence Review Commission’s Evidence-based Guidelines Subcommittee.

When: April 4, 2-5 p.m.

Where: Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room 210, 29353 SW Town Center Loop E, Wilsonville. The public also may attend via a listen-only conference line at 888-204-5984, participant code 801373; or by webinar. Register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/8469821036548113923.

Agenda includes: Review the draft coverage guidance on temporary percutaneous mechanical support devices after being referred back to the subcommittee by HERC; review public comments on the draft coverage guidance on community health workers for patients with chronic disease; review the evidence for the draft coverage guidance on planned out-of-hospital birth.

For more information about the meeting, visit the committee’s website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/DSI-HERC/Pages/Meetings-Public.aspx. The meeting agenda and materials will be available one week before the meeting.

# # #

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Daphne Peck at 503-373-1985, 711 TTY or c.info@dhsoha.state.or.us">herc.info@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the event. Written comments are also welcome at c.info@dhsoha.state.or.us">herc.info@dhsoha.state.or.us.

Conference of Local Health Officials meets March 21 in Portland and Salem
Oregon Health Authority - 03/15/19 12:39 PM

March 15, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7174phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Conference of Local Health Officials meets March 21 in Portland and Salem

What: The monthly public meeting of the Conference of Local Health Officials (CLHO).

When: March 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 1E, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland; and Local Government Center, 1201 Court Street NE, Salem. No conference call option is available for the public.

Agenda: Public Health Advisory Board (PHAB) Incentives and Funding Committee update; active transportation public health metric data; Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP) funding; Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Education Program (ADPEP) program element; Sexually Transmitted Infections program element funding, Foodborne Illness Prevention Program remittance factor; OHA updates.

The agenda is subject to change. It will be posted with meeting materials on the Conference of Local Health Officials website at http://www.oregonclho.org/ before the meeting.

Background: The Conference of Local Health Officials provides recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority on the foundational capabilities and programs and any other public health program or activity under ORS 431.147. (ORS 431.340)

Program contact: Danna Drum, 503-957-8869, um@dhsoha.state.or.us">danna.k.drum@dhsoha.state.or.us

# # #

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Danna Drum at 971-673-1223, 711 TTY or um@dhsoha.state.or.us">danna.k.drum@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Wapato Middle School 37th Annual Cultural Unity Fair
Wapato Sch. Dist. - 03/15/19 12:13 PM

Happy Friday all,

Attached is a release about the upcoming 37th Annual Wapato Middle School Cultural Unity Fair.  The event is on Thursday, March 28th from 4:30-7:00pm and advance ticket sales start on Monday, March 18th.   All the details are included in the release.

I’ve also attached this year’s event poster in case you can use it anywhere.

It’s not a fundraiser.  The price of admission just helps cover the cost of the event.  The intent is to bring people together from all over the Valley in order to recognize and celebrate the diverse cultures that make up our region.

If you have any interest in coming out to cover the Cultural Unity Fair just let me know. 

Thanks for helping get the word out about this popular annual event. 




Attached Media Files: Wapato Middle School Cultural Unity Fair Poster , Wapato Middle School 37th Annual Cultural Unity Fair

Finalists named in high school safety video contest
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 03/15/19 10:35 AM

(Salem) – High school students across the state created videos that are full of drama, music, humor, and captivating characters to boost awareness about workplace safety – all with the central message, “Speak up. Work safe.” The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) sponsors the annual video contest to engage teen workers, who are twice as likely to be injured on the job, according to federal studies.

The top five finalists are now posted on YouTube for viewing:


The finalists are:

  • “Safety Joe: Pizza Time” – Crescent Valley High School, Corvallis
  • “Touch & Go” – South Salem High School
  • “70 & Counting” – South Salem High School
  • “Anytime, Anyplace” – Summit High School, Bend
  • “The Safety Bros” – Parkrose High School, Portland

The top three entries will take home cash prizes ranging from $300 to $500 and will earn a matching amount for their school. O[yes] organizes the contest, which is sponsored by Oregon OSHA, SAIF Corporation, local Oregon chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU, Hoffman Construction, Central Oregon Safety & Health Association, the SHARP Alliance, the Construction Safety Summit, Northern Lights Theatre and Pub, and SafeBuild Alliance.

The contest, open to all high school students in Oregon, tasked students with creating a 90-second or less video based on the concept of speaking up about hazards at work. Participants were encouraged to get creative while emphasizing ways to protect themselves – and their co-workers – from getting hurt on the job. The videos were judged on originality, youth appeal, overall production quality, and effective use of the “Speak up. Work safe” message.

Contest winners will be announced during a video-viewing and awards event to be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, at Northern Lights Theatre and Pub in Salem.

For contest information, go to http://youngemployeesafety.org/contest.


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

The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) is a nonprofit dedicated to preventing young worker injuries and fatalities. O[yes] members include safety and health professionals, educators, employers, labor and trade associations, and regulators. For more information, go to http://youngemployeesafety.org/.


Smokey Bear Low Plate Numbers: Bid it to Win it! (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 03/15/19 9:40 AM

A new Smokey Bear license plate is coming to Oregon on August 1, 2019! Using Ebay, Keep Oregon Green (KOG) will soon auction off low numbers SB 00002 through SB 00020. KOG will start the bidding on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at noon with SB 00020. The next number (SB 00019) will be auctioned the following Sunday, March 24th. KOG will conduct these low number auctions each week until the last low number (SB 00002) is sold in July. The funds generated from the auction will benefit the Keep Oregon Green Association, whose mission is to promote healthy landscapes and safe communities by educating the public of everyone’s shared responsibility to prevent human-caused wildfires.


If you plan to bid on a low number, please keep in mind that the bidder must qualify for Oregon registration. The plate has to be issued to a passenger vehicle. You do not need to have purchased a Smokey Bear voucher to participate in this auction.


Keep Oregon Green cannot technically auction the plate itself, only the low number that appears on the plate. DMV issues the Smokey Bear plate, so any association with DMV fees, requirements, etc. are kept completely separate from this auction. The $40 surcharge or any other DMV plate-related fees are not a part of the auction amount. If winners get a low number and already have a voucher, DMV has your information and will send a letter indicating what is needed to apply and pay for the plate once they are available for purchase. DMV will also send similar letters to winners who have not pre-paid for a voucher. 


DMV is not involved in the auction, but the list of winners will be turned over to DMV and accounted for in their system. Once the auction is complete, Keep Oregon Green will provide DMV with the names, addresses, license, and vehicle information to include on the list. DMV will handle all tasks related to issuance of the plate, including sending a letter to the “winners” with the fees and application information.


To reiterate, Keep Oregon Green is not auctioning Smokey Bear plates, but rather a chance to reserve a low plate number from 00002-00020. Aside from these 19 numbers, all other plate numbers are first-come, first-served. Keep Oregon Green and DMV do not reserve any other configurations, only the 19 numbers that Keep Oregon Green has designated.


For further information about the low number auction and questions, please visit www.keeporegongreen.org.


Attached Media Files: 2019-03/1072/122866/IMG_8071_(2).JPG

Winning $1 million Oregon Lottery Raffle number (Photo)
Oregon Lottery - 03/15/19 5:00 AM
Lottery Logo
Lottery Logo

Winning $1 Million Top Prize Number: 098200

The complete list of all 1,801 winning 2019 Raffle numbers can be found on the Lottery’s website at oregonlottery.org/raffle. Players can also check their Raffle tickets at any Oregon Lottery retail location.

 Prizes for the Raffle include:

  • One $1 million top prize
  • 300 prizes of $500
  • 1,500 prizes of $100

The $500 and $100 prize winners can claim their prizes at any Oregon Lottery retail location. The $1 million prize winner must come to the Lottery office in Salem to claim their prize.

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $12 billion for economic development, public education, state parks, Veterans services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org



Attached Media Files: Lottery Logo

Thu. 03/14/19
Preliminary schematic designs for new Walla Walla High School science building released (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 03/14/19 4:33 PM

WALLA WALLA – Preliminary schematic designs released today for the new Walla Walla High School science building provide a sneak  peak  to the significant facility improvements that are right around the corner for students and faculty. Approved by voters in the November 2018 bond program, the new science building will feature eight, 1400 sq. ft, lab classrooms fully equipped to support all disciplines of science offered at Walla Walla High School. The new science building design conforms to best practice recommendations for laboratory sciences, allotting nearly 50 sq. ft, per student, with state of the art amenities and fully equipped lab spaces.

“This is a major milestone for the school district following months of research, including site visits to various high school campuses,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Since the bond passed in November, we’ve conducted multiple meetings with science faculty, architects and consultants to develop these proposed plans.”

New Science Project Summary Facts:

  • Groundbreaking - Fall 2019 / Project Completion - Summer 2020
  • 18,000 sq. ft, facility includes:
    • 8 identical fully-functional laboratory classrooms
    • 1 general education science classroom
    • 4 science prep rooms
    • Flexible seating and classroom arrangements to accommodate the various disciplines and teacher preferences
    • Student lobby
    • Fully ADA accessible site
    • Built-in display casework
    • Architecture to match existing campus
    • Energy efficient heating/cooling systems
    • 10 foot ceiling height
    • Natural light considerations

“Our students will have the modern learning spaces they need to gain the skills necessary to meet state graduation standards and post high school requirements,” said Smith. “We heard loud and clear from our community science education is a priority, and we have developed a facility to deliver on this promise.”

More online: http://www.wwps.org/bond/projects/walla-walla-high-school-renovation/new-science-addition


Attached Media Files: 2019-03/1288/122857/WaHi_Science_Bldg_rendering.jpg

Des Moines, Iowa Man Sentenced to Prison for Threat to Baker County Sheriff
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 03/14/19 2:58 PM

The below release is distributed on behalf of the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa – On March 13, 2019, Freddie Armando Butler, age 31, of Des Moines was sentenced to 24 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for making a false bomb threat to the Baker County, Oregon Sheriff, announced United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum. Butler was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

In March of 2016, Butler used a cell phone to leave an anonymous message for the Baker County, Oregon Sheriff. Butler stated a package that had been placed behind the Sheriff’s residence was going to explode. As part of his guilty plea, Butler admitted to leaving the message for the purpose of frightening, scaring or impeding law enforcement. In 2011, Butler was convicted of state charges involving similar conduct toward a school in Baker County.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baker County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office, and the West Des Moines Police Department. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

# # #

Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Wapato High School Competing In Robotics Competition at the Sundome
Wapato Sch. Dist. - 03/14/19 1:44 PM

Good afternoon all,

You may have already heard that the Washington FIRST Robotics Competition is taking place at the Yakima Sundome tomorrow and Saturday (March 15 & 16).   Wapato High School is fielding a team if you are looking for a local angle to that event.

Please see the attached release for details.

Thanks for your interest.




Attached Media Files: Wapato High School Competing in Robotics Competition

Making Up Snow Days in Finley (Photo)
Finley Sch. Dist. - 03/14/19 11:21 AM

KENNEWICK, WA – Like many districts across the Mid-Columbia, Finley School District is in the process of determining plans to make up required instructional hours lost due to weather.  Snow days resulting in late starts or closures this winter have greatly impacted the state-required 1,027 hours of instructional time that all schools must meet.  During the month of February and March, there have been four (4) two-hour delays and six (6) closures in Finley schools due to weather.  

On Monday, March 18, the Finley School Board will discuss the district’s proposal to meet state requirements.  Finley’s proposal would include the following changes:

  • The last day of school would move from June 7 to June 13
  • High school graduation would move from May 31 to June 7
  • Early-release Wednesdays originally scheduled for May and possibly June (depending on any other delays) would become full school days.

Schools cannot apply for a state waiver for the required 180 days until they have used make up days that go past June 14th.  Districts are also required to meet an average of 1,027 hours for the school year regardless of wavier or make up days. Those hours cannot be waived.

Finley School District invites any interested community members to attend our upcoming school board meeting on March 18 beginning at 7PM.  We appreciate the patience and understanding of our staff, students, and families.  Any decisions or actions taken by the school board will be communicated following the board meeting.

For more information, please contact Superintendent Lance Hahn at 509.586.3217.


Attached Media Files: 2019-03/1823/122831/shutterstock_224817898.jpg

Klamath County Man Found Guilty of Stealing Missing Mother's Social Security Benefits
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 03/14/19 10:50 AM

MEDFORD, Ore.—On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, a federal jury found Theodore Martin Kirk, 64, of Klamath County, Oregon, guilty of stealing more than $30,000 in Social Security benefits dispersed in the name of his elderly mother, Nadine Kirk. Ms. Kirk has been missing since March 2010 and is presumed to be deceased.

“This case began with a single tip from an observant community member and led to the discovery of a multi-year scheme to exploit the Social Security program—a critical tax payer-funded program supporting the nation’s elderly. Tips play an important role in law enforcement and help to reveal crimes that might otherwise go undiscovered,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

According to court documents and information shared during trial, in July 2015, a concerned community member contacted the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office regarding the whereabouts of Ms. Kirk as she had not been seen for multiple years. At the time of this call, Ms. Kirk would have been 98 years old. Shortly thereafter, a sheriff deputy visited the residence shared by Ms. Kirk and her son, Theodore, in Bonanza, Oregon. Mr. Kirk claimed his mother had left with friends to travel to California two months prior, but would not permit the deputy to enter his property to confirm his mother was not there.

In an August 2015 interview with a detective, Mr. Kirk again told law enforcement he believed his mother was in California with friends. He added that it had been “quite some time” since his mother had seen a doctor despite having suffered from multiple strokes. Mr. Kirk claimed to be suspicious of his mother’s medications and reported previously removing her from them. Further, he acknowledged that he shared a joint checking account with his mother, into which her monthly Social Security payments were deposited.

Later in August, the Social Security Administration suspended payments to the Kirk’s joint checking account based on Ms. Kirk’s unknown whereabouts. A Social Security investigator reviewed Ms. Kirk’s bank records and found that the last transaction bearing her signature was dated January 2010. From January 2010 until August 2015, over $1,000 in benefits were deposited monthly into the joint checking account and nearly every month, Mr. Kirk would withdraw the entire amount in cash. All of the withdrawals from the account occurred in Oregon, not in California were Ms. Kirk was purported to be.

In August 2017, investigators conducted a search of the Kirk property and recovered a detailed calendar kept by Mr. Kirk. Prior to 2010, the calendar included activities for both Mr. Kirk and his mother. The calendar revealed a series of strokes experienced by Ms. Kirk beginning in 2004 and continuing into the beginning of 2010, where the calendar showed she experienced two strokes in three days. Following the multiple strokes, there were no additional calendar entries for Ms. Kirk’s activities.

Mr. Kirk faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. He will be sentenced on Thursday, June 27, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General with the assistance of the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Adam E. Delph and Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

# # #

Attached Media Files: PDF Release

2019 Oregon Emergency Preparedness Workshop scheduled in Bend (Photo)
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 03/14/19 10:43 AM
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians Emergency Management Director Tracy DePew and Oregon Health Authority Liason Beth DePew pause for a photo at the 2018 Oregon Prepared Emergency Preparedness Workshop in Bend, Ore.
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians Emergency Management Director Tracy DePew and Oregon Health Authority Liason Beth DePew pause for a photo at the 2018 Oregon Prepared Emergency Preparedness Workshop in Bend, Ore.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in coordination with the Oregon Health Authority is scheduled to welcome emergency managers, volunteers and responders throughout Oregon to the 6th annual Oregon Emergency Preparedness Workshop, March 18-22, at the Riverhouse in Bend, Ore. The workshop is an opportunity to network and share knowledge that supports Oregon’s emergency preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery capabilities.

“This year’s workshop focuses on re-defining emergency management asking participants to explore innovative approaches for preparing communities with limited resources as evolving hazards cause emergencies to become more frequent and severe.” said OEM Director Andrew Phelps. "This is an excellent opportunity for emergency management professionals from all levels of government as well as private organizations to come together, share ideas, and strengthen our efforts to build a statewide culture of preparedness.”

Phelps says Oregon emergency managers are uniquely positioned to redefine their evolving discipline as many are looking to see how the Pacific Northwest is preparing for a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami.

“We have already established ourselves as leaders in the emergency management community by becoming the first state in the nation to shift from a 72-hour preparedness message and adopt a “2-Weeks Ready” recommendation supported by our Governor,” Phelps added.

The 2-Weeks Ready resources help, recommend, and encourage individuals and families to have two-weeks of emergency supplies. To learn more about emergency management in Oregon and the 2-Weeks Ready campaign visit https://www.oregon.gov/oem or email public.info@state.or.us.

Attached Media Files: Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians Emergency Management Director Tracy DePew and Oregon Health Authority Liason Beth DePew pause for a photo at the 2018 Oregon Prepared Emergency Preparedness Workshop in Bend, Ore. , A service dog was on display at the 2018 Oregon Prepared Emergency Preparedness Workshop in Bend , A Warm Springs Honor Guard presents during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Oregon Prepared Emergency Preparedness Workshop in Bend. , Oregon Office of Emergency Management and Oregon Health Authority employees welcome guests to the 2018 Oregon Prepared Emergency Preparedness Workshop in Bend, Ore.

Website provides more tools to help Oregonians with gambling issues (Photo)
Oregon Lottery - 03/14/19 9:54 AM
OPGR Spanish homepage
OPGR Spanish homepage

The Oregon Problem Gambling Resources website has undergone a remodel to help connect those who may have gambling problems with services and resources to help them. 

The new website provides a clean un-cluttered modern design that incorporates improved functionality and enhanced content. The updated site serves as a platform to highlight resources available for the gambler themselves as well as for others who may be affected by someone else’s gambling. The website offers many ways for visitors to access resources in their communities, as well as text or chat online with someone regarding help available or call directly by using the 1-877- MY-LIMIT phone number to talk with a trained professional. 

The OPGR.org website remodel was a collaboration between the Oregon Health Authority, local community problem gambling treatment and prevention providers, Oregon Council on Problem Gambling, Voices of Problem Gambling, and the Oregon Lottery.

“The goal of the OPGR.org website is to educate the public about the risks associated with gambling behaviors,” said Oregon Lottery Associate Program Manager Krystal Smith. “Additionally, the website helps improve the awareness of free treatment and recovery services available around the state of Oregon.”

The Oregon problem gambling helpline was established in 2001 and receives about 1,000 calls each year. Trained professional staff members are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to listen, educate, answer questions and refer people to free and confidential services. In 2015, the Oregon Problem Gambling Resources website, OPGR.org, was introduced as an additional resource and a way for people impacted by gambling behavior to find information and access to treatment options in their community.

To provide multi-cultural support, the website and other materials continue to be supported in Spanish and provide direct access to resources via the Spanish helpline number 1-844-TU VALES or by visiting opgr.org/es.

Along with this website remodel, there will be a cohesive look and feel among all problem gambling resource materials developed such as, posters, brochures, outdoor advertising, digital and other printed support pieces.

Visit http://www.OPGR.org and scroll through the newly remodeled website for more information and options available.


Attached Media Files: OPGR Spanish homepage , OPGR English homepage

OHA director pauses review of chronic pain benefit changes in Medicaid program pending independent review, in light of potential conflicts of interest by staff
Oregon Health Authority - 03/14/19 8:49 AM

March 14, 2019


Contact: Saerom England, 971-239-6483, om.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us">saerom.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us

OHA director pauses review of chronic pain benefit changes in Medicaid program pending independent review, in light of potential conflicts of interest by staff

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen asked a key policy committee to table review of proposed changes in Medicaid benefits for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members with chronic pain, so the agency could seek independent review of the recommendation, after potential conflicts of interest surfaced on the part of a contracted medical expert who was involved in formulating the proposal.

In recent days, agency leadership became aware the contracted expert is receiving compensation for her role in a long-term study on the effects of previous changes relating to back pain benefits for OHP members.

In response to this new information, Allen released the following statement:

Objectivity, integrity and transparency are the foundation of Oregon’s unique health evidence review process. This week I received information that a medical consultant to the Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) is a paid researcher on a study evaluating the impact of back pain benefit changes previously authorized by the HERC. As a result, I have requested the HERC to remove a chronic pain management proposal from today’s agenda to allow OHA time to seek independent review to ensure no potential conflicts of interest compromised the way the chronic pain benefit proposal was developed for the HERC’s consideration. In addition, I’ve asked Dr. Dana Hargunani, OHA’s chief medical officer, to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the conflict of interest disclosure process for all staff, contractors and members associated with the HERC.

It is vital for the Oregon Health Plan to cover safe and effective therapies to help people reduce and manage chronic pain. Yet it is also vital that Oregonians have full confidence in the decisions the HERC makes to assess the effectiveness of health care procedures. The independent review will ensure the HERC can consider this proposal knowing that the outcome fully upholds the committee’s long-standing commitment to making decisions that are based on the best available scientific evidence and the highest ethical standards.

Today the Health Evidence Review Commission (and its Value-based Benefits Subcommittee) was scheduled to deliberate on a proposal that would have allowed coverage of pain management benefits for people on OHP suffering chronic pain from five conditions: chronic pain due to trauma, other chronic procedural pain, other chronic pain, chronic pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia. None of these conditions are currently covered by OHP.

The proposal would have expanded access to prescription opioids for four of these conditions. In addition, it would have added coverage for alternative therapies such as acupuncture, physical therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. In addition, the proposal would cover supportive, individualized opioid tapers if the patient has fibromyalgia or their opioid prescribing is not aligned with the statewide opioid prescribing guidelines.

Dr. Catherine Livingston is a family medicine physician who serves as a contracted medical consultant to the HERC. In addition, she is a co-investigator on two studies evaluating the impact of HERC’s previous decision to expand pain management coverage for people suffering from back pain.

Dr. Livingston serves as a paid consultant for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), in collaboration with the Kaiser Center for Health Research and OCHIN, which is a three-year large-scale study that compares the impact of Oregon’s back pain benefits in its Medicaid program to benefits for back pain in California. She is also a paid co-investigator for a study funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), in which she has teamed with researchers from Oregon Health & Science University and Health Insight to examine the impact of Oregon’s back pain policy changes.

These studies were not under HERC consideration at today’s scheduled vote on the chronic pain benefit recommendation.

About the HERC

The Health Evidence Review Commission reviews medical evidence in order to prioritize health spending in the Oregon Health Plan and to promote evidence-based medical practice statewide through comparative effectiveness reports, including coverage guidances and multisector interventions, health technology assessments and evidence-based practice guidelines.

The commission consists of 13 governor-appointed and senate-confirmed volunteer members including five physician representatives (one of whom must be a doctor of osteopathy and another a hospital representative), a dentist, a public health nurse, a behavioral health representative, a provider of complementary and alternative medicine, a retail pharmacist, an insurance industry representative and two consumer representatives.

# # #

Spring Whale Watch Week runs March 23 -- 31 (Photo)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 03/14/19 7:00 AM
Gray whale dive 2
Gray whale dive 2

The Spring Whale Watch Week event returns to the coast March 23 - 31 to celebrate the more than 20,000 Gray whales expected to migrate north past Oregon over the next few months.

Trained volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. each day at 24 sites along the coast, ready to help visitors spot the migrating mammals. A map of the volunteer-staffed sites is available on whalespoken.org.

The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will be open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily. Visitors to the center can enjoy interactive whale exhibits and take in the panoramic ocean views. Binoculars are provided. Rangers from Oregon State Parks will also be on hand to answer questions about the whales.

An online live stream of whale activity in Depoe Bay returns this spring too; watch it on the Oregon State Parks YouTube channel during the event.

Gray whales migrate north along the coast of the western U.S. annually during spring; they return to Alaskan waters after wintering in the warm lagoons off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Many of the Gray whales will be accompanied by their new calves, born during the winter. The first large groups of whales pass by Oregon mid-March and the migratory stream typically continues into June. 

For more information about coast parks and campgrounds, visit oregonstateparks.org.

Attached Media Files: Gray whale dive 2 , Gray whale dive , Drone shot of Gray whale , Whale watching at Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area , Whale watching at Cape Disappointment, WA

Wed. 03/13/19
All Payer All Claims Rules Advisory Committee meets March 21 in Portland
Oregon Health Authority - 03/13/19 4:18 PM

March 13, 2019

Contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@dhsoha.state.or.us (media inquiries)

Pete Edlund, 503-559-2216, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

All Payer All Claims Rules Advisory Committee meets March 21 in Portland

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s All Payer All Claims Rules Advisory Committee.

When: March 21, 1:30-3 p.m.

Where: Five Oak Building, Suite 850 Abraham Room, 421 SW Oak St., Portland. The public also can join remotely through a webinar and listen-only conference line. Register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5647465951473315339. Call the conference line at 877-810-9415, access code 1773452#.

Agenda: The OHA Office of Health Analytics is preparing to amend the All Payer All Claims (APAC) data reporting program rules in OAR 409-025. OHA will convene a rules advisory committee (RAC) to provide feedback on the rule changes from content experts and those who are likely to be affected by the rule. Following the RAC meeting, OHA will consider the committee’s recommendations and the OHA executive staff will approve text for submission to the Oregon Secretary of State for public hearing and comment.

For more information about the All Payer All Claims reporting program, see the program's webpage at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/hpa/analytics/Pages/All-Payer-All-Claims.aspx.

# # #

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Pete Edlund at 503-559-2216, 711 TTY, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

DPSST NFPA Fire Fighter and Fire Instructor Task Forces Meeting Scheduled
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 03/13/19 2:48 PM

For Immediate Release                                        

March 13, 2019

Contact:                Kayla Ballrot

Notice of Regular Meeting

The DPSST NFPA Fire Fighter and Instructor Task Forces will hold a regular meeting at 0800 on March 19, 2019.  The meeting will be held in the Boardroom. The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the deaf or hearing impaired or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made before the meeting by calling the contact listed above. 

Teleconference number: 1-888-398-2342 and Access Code: 4256088

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

Agenda Items:

This is a rough guide. Depending on the decisions and directions of the Task Force, this agenda is subject to change at the discretion of the Chair and Task Force Members.

  • Meeting called to order at 0800                                                                      
  • Rules of Engagement
  • Establish the Chair and Vice Chair of the committee
  • Discussion identifying changes between the 2013 Edition of NFPA 1001 and the 2019 Edition of NFPA 1001 as well as the 2012 Edition of NFPA 1041 and the 2019 Edition of NFPA 1041
  1.     Does the Task Force want to adopt the 2019 Editions into permanent Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR)?
  • Discuss NFPA Fire Fighter and Instructor Applications for Certification
  • Discuss NFPA Fire Fighter and Instructor Task Books
  • Discuss NFPA Fire Fighter Guide to Certification, Suggested Guide for Entry Level Fire Training, and NFPA Fire Instructor Guide to Certification
  • Discuss OAR as related to NFPA 1001 and NFPA 1041

Administrative Announcement

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

Berney Elementary roofing and HVAC project released for public bid (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 03/13/19 1:49 PM

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools reached a major milestone following its successful November 2018 bond election by releasing the first major project for public bid for infrastructure improvements at Berney Elementary. The $3.5 million project includes a heating and cooling system upgrade and new roof, replacing the aged 41-year-old systems. Construction will begin this summer. Bids are due back to the school district April 2.

“This is the first of several projects slated for this summer to be released for public bid in the coming weeks,” said Superintendent Wade Smith. “Once we determine the successful contractor, we will be finalizing construction schedules and working closely with staff and parents to coordinate and communicate proactive safety measures.”

Considerable time and effort was put into the bid package, instructions, and detailed scope of work to ensure that the district communicated their level of expected craftsmanship. In addition, a third party commissioning agent and roof consultant has also been involved to ensure the district maximizes roof longevity and heating/cooling efficiencies.

According to Smith, "we spent considerable time investigating roofing and HVAC systems to maximize our community's investment in Berney. We were able to stretch the current roof and HVAC system out for four decades and are striving to reach that same level of longevity with these improvements as well." 


Attached Media Files: 2019-03/1288/122806/Berney.jpg

The simple safety step everyone should know [video]
SAIF - 03/13/19 9:41 AM

Summary: During Ladder Safety Month, learn the “belt buckle rule” and other tips for preventing painful falls.


Nearly every home and workplace has a ladder lying around someplace. So you’d think most people would know how to use them safely, right?


“Falls are one of the top three causes of serious workplace injuries,” said Leigh Manning, senior safety management consultant at SAIF. “And ladders are a leading culprit.”

One easy tip everyone can try at home is “the belt buckle rule”: always keep your belt buckle (or belly button) between the rails of the ladder.

“This ensures you aren’t overreaching or throwing off your balance,” explains Manning.

Manning offers these additional tips to stay safe on a ladder:

  • Do make sure you have the right ladder for the job. Don’t use boxes, milk crates, chairs, or similar items in place of a ladder.
  • Do inspect ladders before each use. Don’t use a broken ladder.
  • Do set up a ladder on a stable, level surface. Open stepladders fully and engage the locking mechanism. Secure the ladder, if necessary, to prevent movement.
  • Don’t use a stepladder as a straight ladder.
  • Do maintain three points of contact (both feet and one hand, or both hands and one foot) when climbing. Don’t carry tools in your hands when climbing. (Wear a tool belt, or haul them up with a rope.)
  • Don’t stand on the cap or top rung of a stepladder, or on the top three rungs of an extension ladder. (Make sure extension ladders extend at least 3 feet past the step-off.)
  • Do wear slip-resistant footwear and keep the ladder free of mud and grease. 
  • Don’t use a ladder if you are light-headed, dizzy, on medication, fatigued, or otherwise impaired.

To learn more about preventing slips, trips, and falls, visit saif.com/falls. Join us for a free live webinar on ladder safety at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19. Register here.

About SAIF

SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company. Since 1914, we've been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work. For more information, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com.

Tue. 03/12/19
Oregonians say it's time to end age discrimination
AARP Oregon - 03/12/19 4:27 PM

Oregonians 40+ say it’s time to stop age discrimination



Older Oregonians often hear, “Your Help NOT wanted,” when they are in the job market, according to a new survey commissioned by AARP Oregon.


To determine the breadth and scope of age discrimination in the workplace, AARP Oregon surveyed 1000 adults ages 40 plus and found that:


  • More than three in five Oregonians ages 40+ (62%) have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace.  Of them, about 90% believe age discrimination is very or somewhat common.
  • Older workers in Oregon are being asked for age-related information in the job application and interview processes.
  • The majority say they would report age discrimination if they experienced it in the next year (62%), but the reality is that official reporting of age discrimination is low (8%), mainly because of concerns about retaliation or that it wouldn’t do any good.

 “One of the most common phone calls that comes in to the AARP Oregon office is from a member who feels they have been discriminated against either in their job, or in their effort to find a job,” said Joyce DeMonnin, AARP Oregon Communications Director. The research released Tuesday confirms that older adults feel at an unfair advantage in the job market.


It is an unfortunate fact today that discrimination based on age is so routinely practiced that it has become acceptable, and indeed commonplace,” said Patricia Garner, State Public Policy Chair for the AAUW of Oregon.  "Older workers aren’t trying to snatch jobs from younger workers — if a worker is qualified, she or he should be able to work the job.  Younger or older.  It’s the qualifications that count.”


AARP Oregon and other advocacy organizations have championed HB 2818 to level the playing field for older workers in Oregon, DeMonnin said. The legislation is sponsored by Representative Piluso, Representative Gomberg, Representative Alonso Leon, Representative Bynum, Representative Doherty, and Representative Holvey, Representative Lively, Representative Marsh, Representative Noble, Representative Nosse, Representative Schouten, Representative Williams, Representative Witt, Senator Dembrow, Senator Knopp, Senator Manning Jr, Senator Monnes Anderson, and Senator Taylor.


HB 2818 will help prevent age discrimination by doing the following:

  1. Ban the Age Box. Prohibit employers from asking age-identifying information on job applications, so older workers aren’t screened out in advance.
  2. Improve the definition of age discrimination in 659A.028. Employment actions based on characteristics closely associated with age would now be considered age discrimination, unless the employer can show that age was not at all a factor in the decision. The legislation ensures that bona fide perks for longer term workers (e.g. seniority system and early retirement) are not disrupted.
  3. Increase victim compensation for those who experience age discrimination in order to deter such behavior by employers. The state statute would now be more in line with federal age discrimination statutes (ADEA) in this regard.


Age discrimination in the workplace has significant consequences both for the individual and for more likely to become impoverished, and end up using government services, such as Medicaid, which is paid by taxpayers.  “As we prepare for a society with longer lifespans, we need to make sure that people who can and want to work are not discriminated of because of their age,” said DeMonnin.


AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members nationwide and 510,000 in Oregon, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more go to www.facebook.com/AARP Oregon or aarp.org/or.

Attached Media Files: Survey Infographic , Summary of HB2818

President proposed $1.2 billion BLM budget to meet energy, other priorities
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 03/12/19 4:06 PM

WASHINGTON – President Trump has proposed $1.2 billion for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Fiscal Year 2020, allocating the resources needed to carry out BLM’s multiple-use and sustained-yield mission under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) by providing funds to promote responsible energy development, enhance opportunities for outdoor recreation, and advance conservation goals.

In addressing key Administration priorities, the budget request also calls for active management of timber and rangeland resources to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildland fire, create resilient landscapes, and protect local communities. The budget also provides funds for improved management of grazing, wildlife habitat, and other programs to better address the public’s needs while striking a regulatory balance.  Finally, the proposed budget includes funds to support BLM’s costs associated with implementing the Department’s reorganization plan.  This funding supports establishing and implementing Interior’s 12 unified regions, relocation of resources closer to customers, and implementation of shared service solutions.

Sustainably developing energy and natural resources

The 2020 budget promotes an “all of the above” domestic energy strategy to promote America’s energy security and generate revenues for Federal and State treasuries and local economies. 

The budget requests $198.4 million in discretionary resources for Energy and Minerals Management programs and reflects the continuation of actions the BLM has taken to streamline responsible impact analysis while consulting with stakeholders associated with such development.  Of that amount, $137.3 million is allocated for Oil and Gas Management, which includes leasing, permitting, inspection, and enforcement.

In order to fulfill the requirements of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (PL-115-97), the BLM will continue to perform the work necessary to facilitate an initial oil and gas lease sale within the Coastal Plain of Alaska.  The law requires leasing to begin within four years of its passage by Congress.

The Administration continues to support development of minerals important to many Western communities by proposing $19.8 million for the Coal Management Program and $12.3 million for programs associated with the mining of other minerals such as precious metals, trona, limestone, phosphates, sand, and gravel.  The funds would be used to streamline program activities, expedite processing of mining permit applications, and provide for more timely inspection and enforcement actions.

The budget proposes another $29.1 million for the Renewable Energy Program, which includes solar, wind, geothermal, and rights-of-way for transmission and other areas that bolster America’s energy infrastructure.

Restoring Trust and Being a Good Neighbor

The BLM promotes shared stewardship across ownership boundaries and efforts to improve the ability to treat additional acres more resourcefully in order to meet its responsibilities under FLPMA. 

In response to President Trump’s Executive Order to promote active management of forests and rangelands, the BLM budget prioritizes active use of forest management to include forest thinning that increases resilience not only to wildfire but also to insects, disease, and drought.

To execute these activities, the budget calls for $10.2 million for forest management on public domain lands.  The $107.0 million request for the Oregon and California Grant Lands appropriation includes $97.0 million for the O&C Grant Lands Management activity, much of which will lay the groundwork to increase the amount of timber offered for sale there to 280 million board (MMBF) in 2021, reflecting the BLM’s commitment to advance timber production and forest health.  Approximately 226 MMBF were sold in 2018.

Conserving Our Land and Water Resources

Rangeland Management Program, which would absorb responsibilities for soil resources from a reorganized Soil, Water, and Air Management Program, would receive $92.0 million.  Responsibilities for this program include processing grazing fees and leases and investing in vegetation management projects to improve rangeland habitats.

The budget also seeks $75.7 million for the Wild Horse and Burro program, which in 2020 will continue to look for innovative ways to lessen the burden that growing wild horse and burro populations put on fragile rangeland resources and taxpayer resources.  The program will continue to increase public/private partnerships to place more animals into private care and reduce the number housed in government-funded long-term holding facilities, and continue working with organizations to create private/public partnerships on pasture/sanctuary lands.  The program will also continue working with academia and Federal partners to enhance existing fertility control vaccines and develop new population controls through research projects, and continue to pursue adoptions and sales, including incentivizing adoptions.

The proposed 2020 budget supports Secretarial Order 3362, Improving Habitat in Western Big-Game and Migration Corridors, by identifying $7.0 million to be used in coordination with States to support big game as well as evaluation and implementation of habitat restoration.

Expanding Outdoor Recreation

The budget proposal will continue to prioritize expanding access for the American public to the vast recreation resources on BLM lands, including hunting, fishing, and many other uses.  It proposes $54.8 million for Recreation Resources Management to meet growing public demand and will focus on areas in need of visitor services at the highest visitation sites.

The budget also includes $37.1 million for National Monuments and National Conservation Areas programs to protect designated historic landmarks, historic, and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest on the public lands, and to support outstanding recreational opportunities and public access for hunting, fishing, and other uses.

Cultural Resources Management, which supports the inventory, protection, and stabilization of BLM cultural sites, will receive $15.6 million. The program will also continue to provide support and guidance on consultation with Indian Tribes and to other BLM programs.

Modernizing the BLM

The budget advances the Department’s priority of modernizing the organization of the BLM in conjunction with the larger reorganization of the Department of the Interior.  For the BLM, this means relocating some staff and other assets to the West.

The new organization aims to reduce bureaucratic redundancy, improve communication between agency experts in the field and leaders in Washington, D.C., and allow the BLM to share its knowledge and resources more effectively among the Department’s field staff and local stakeholders.

# # #

Pacific Power offers new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option
Pacific Power - 03/12/19 3:07 PM

Media Contact:                                                           March 12, 2019

Pacific Power media line                                            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Pacific Power offers new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option

Customers choosing to opt-out of the statewide meter upgrade can now select a new plan to reduce monthly fees

PORTLAND, Ore. — As part of a statewide metering upgrade designed to improve service to customers through shorter outages and hour-by-hour energy usage information, Pacific Power is providing an additional offering for customers who wish to opt out. As part of a final filing to the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Oregon on Monday, March 11, Pacific Power will now offer a commission-approved Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option to help reduce monthly fees starting March 13.

“We’ve heard from customers that the fee to opt out of a smart meter is burdensome, and we have continued to look for new options,” said Pacific Power Vice President of Regulation, Etta Lockey. “This has been a collaborative process with the PUC and the Citizens’ Utility Board, and we are pleased to offer this new option to customers.”

Smart meters wirelessly deliver hour-by-hour energy usage information to customers via their online account, eliminating the need to wait for a manual meter read and a monthly bill. While only around one percent of customers are opting out of the meter upgrade, choosing to do so adds a cost to continue manual meter reads.

The Equal Payment Option reduces opt-out fees for customers from the current $36 a month to $9 a month, by reducing the number of manual reads to three times per year ($36 per reading, spread across 12 months). It also allows customers to pay a level or equal monthly amount based on a historical average of their previous bills.

The standard opt-out plan will continue to be available as well and provides monthly manual $36 meter reads and bills based on monthly usage.

Customers must select the new option by calling 1-866-869-8520. All residential customers with non-standard meters are eligible to participate. Residential customers with net meters,

time of use meters or demand registers would not qualify because it is necessary for the company to obtain routine meter reads to bill customers under those circumstances accurately.

Pacific Power’s upgrade of 590,000 meters began in January 2018 and continues through 2019. Installs are already complete for more than two-thirds of Pacific Power customers in Oregon. An opt-out option was made available during the upgrade to customers who choose to opt-out. In August, Pacific Power removed a $137 fee covering a future replacement of a non-communicative meter with a smart meter to help address the upfront financial impact of the program. This new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option is part of Pacific Power’s continued review of opt-out fees, to ensure costs are fair for all customers.

Additional information on smart meters, including installation updates, are available at www.pacificpower.net/smartmeter. Customers can also call 866-869-8520 for help with any questions.



About Pacific Power
Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 740,000 customers in Oregon, Washington, and California. The company works to meet growing energy demand while protecting and enhancing the environment. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 1.9 million customers in six western states Information about Pacific Power is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via pacificpower.net.

City of Richland Facilities to open at 10:00 am on Thursday, March 14
City of Richland - 03/12/19 1:11 PM

All City of Richland Facilities will open at 10:00 on Thursday, March 14, 2019 for an all staff meeting.

Garbage collection will continue as scheduled. Public Safety and Benton County Emergency Services will operate as normal.

Davis HS Students Donate to Rod's House.
Yakima Sch. Dist. - 03/12/19 12:12 PM

Yakima, WA – Davis High School SkillsUSA members donated meatloaf muffins, mashed potatoes, chocolate peanut butter cookies, oranges and toiletries to Rod’s House, a resource center for homeless youth. The donation was delivered on Friday, March 8th.

Rod’s House has been a resource center for hundreds of homeless and at-risk youth.  Every day, Rod’s House greets its youth with a hot meal provided by community partners. Youth also have the option of accessing free showers and hygiene products, “shopping” in the clothing room, and getting non-perishables from the food pantry for the night.

The SkillsUSA members at Davis High School were happy to help others; they also delivered a meal to Rod’s House in November 2018. 

SkillsUSA is a national leadership organization for students enrolled in career and technical education. Community service is part of our program of work and leadership development objectives, and it enables us to give back to the community.

Prime Your Boating Safety Education and "Spring Aboard"
Oregon Marine Board - 03/12/19 11:10 AM

Spring is right around the corner and March is a great month for brushing up on boating safety education before warm weather calls.  The Oregon State Marine Board encourages all boaters and their passengers, regardless of the activity, to take a boating education course before the boating season gets underway.  The Marine Board is teaming up with other states to promote the “Spring Aboard” campaign before the boating season begins.  The Marine Board also encourages having a “second in command” in case of an emergency, as an important safety intervention.  Many online course providers are offering a 50% off discount for their boating safety courses and many Oregon classroom providers are offering free classes or discounts during the week of March 17-23.

“Educated boaters are safer on the water,” says MariAnn McKenzie, Boating Education Coordinator for the Marine Board.  “There are no lanes to follow, so it’s important to know what to do if a boat is coming at you head on or how to take a wave,” McKenzie adds.  “It’s also important to have another person on board who can take immediate control of the boat if something happens to the operator.  We’re hoping that more than one family member or friend can step in and get educated about safe and responsible boat operation and fill the role of a second in command.  This campaign incentive is a great way to get started.” 

Education courses cover safety for all kinds of boats and what equipment to carry, and also cover boat ramp etiquette, courtesy, navigation rules of the road, and highlight the needs of different water recreationists so everyone can safely share the water.  McKenzie adds, “Education is the best preparation -and the more the merrier.”

Fifty (50) states and U.S. territories require some form of mandatory education courses for operators of some powered boats.  For more information about the Marine Board’s approved courses, visit https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/boater-info/Pages/Boater-Education-Cards.aspx.


Oregon Farm Bureau celebrates National Ag Week (Photo)
Oregon Farm Bureau - 03/12/19 10:58 AM
Did you know that Oregon is the #1 producer of blackberries in the U.S.? Learn about blackberry harvest from family farmers Larry Duyck & Jacque Duyck Jones at OregonFB.org/videos.
Did you know that Oregon is the #1 producer of blackberries in the U.S.? Learn about blackberry harvest from family farmers Larry Duyck & Jacque Duyck Jones at OregonFB.org/videos.



Oregon Farm Bureau celebrates National Ag Week

March 12, 2019, SALEM, OREGON: March 10-16 is 2019 National Ag Week, and March 14 is 2019 National Ag Day, and March is National Ag Month.

Oregon Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general agriculture organization, encourages all Oregonians to take a moment to remember the hard-working farm and ranch families across the state and nation during National Ag Week/Day/Month.

“Agriculture benefits all Oregonians by ensuring food security, providing jobs, preserving the environment, and enhancing our quality of life. It’s particularly impressive when you realize that farmers and ranchers represent less than 1 percent of the state’s population,” said Anne Marie Moss, communications director for Oregon Farm Bureau.

   > See videos featuring an Oregon cherry farmer, mint farmer, blackberry farmer, green bean farmer, broccoli farmer, pumpkin farmer, Christmas tree farmer, grass seed farmer, and more here: https://oregonfb.org/videos/ - or on OFB’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/OregonFarmBureau

   > Help spread the word about National Ag Week/Day/Month with the cool facts below about Oregon agriculture using the hashtag #AgDay19. 

   > Fast facts about Oregon agriculture: Did you know? https://oregonfb.org/agweek/

  • 97% of Oregon’s farms and ranches are family owned and operated.
  • Less than 1% of Oregon’s population are principal operators of farms and ranches.
  • 39% of all Oregon farms and ranches are women, which is one of the highest percentages in the nation.
  • The Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program reports that 1,212 farms and ranches have achieved century status for remaining operational and within the same family for at least 100 years. 41 more boast Sesquicentennial status for reaching the 150-year milestone. Now that’s sustainable by any measure!
  • Oregon farmers, ranchers, and fishers produce more than 225 crops and livestock, making Oregon one of the most diverse agricultural states in the nation.
  • Oregon agriculture represents a diversity of successful operations. That helps keep the ag community resilient. Big or small, organic or conventional, growing for local or export markets, Oregon is home to all types of farms and ranches.
  • Oregon is the No. 1 producer in the United States for blackberries, boysenberries, and hazelnuts, raising nearly 100% of the U.S. supply for these commodities — as well as being No. 1 in the nation for growing Christmas trees, rhubarb, potted azaleas, crimson clover, sugar beet for seed, and a few grass seed varieties.

Find more facts about Oregon agriculture on Oregon Farm Bureau’s website at https://oregonfb.org/agweek/


Note to Editors: “Farm Bureau” is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases.

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit, general farm organization representing the interests of farming and ranching families in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon at the county level in 1919 and the state level in 1932, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties.

Oregon Farm Bureau President Sharon Waterman is an OFB Hall of Fame honoree and operates a Century Ranch raising sheep, cattle, and timber in Bandon. She is OFB’s 16th president.

Attached Media Files: Did you know that Oregon is the #1 producer of blackberries in the U.S.? Learn about blackberry harvest from family farmers Larry Duyck & Jacque Duyck Jones at OregonFB.org/videos.

Bureau of Land Management offers new incentives to encourage more adoptions of wild horses and burros
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 03/12/19 10:51 AM

WASHINGTON — As part of the Bureau of Land Management’s effort to find good homes for wild horses and burros removed from public lands, the agency today began offering new financial incentives to encourage qualified people to adopt one or more of the animals.  The program is part of the BLM’s efforts to confront a growing over-population of wild horses and burros on fragile rangelands and in off-range holding facilities, which cost taxpayers nearly $50 million every year to maintain.

As of March 1, 2018, the wild horse and burro population on public lands was estimated at approximately 81,950 animals, which is now more than triple the size the land can support along with other legally mandated uses.  High costs and a growing number of unadopted and unsold animals in BLM holding facilities have hindered the agency’s ability to reduce over-population in recent years.  Chronic overpopulation increases the risk of damage to rangeland resources through overgrazing, and raises the chances of starvation and thirst for animals in overpopulated herds.

Through the new incentive program, qualified adopters are eligible to receive $500 within 60 days of the adoption date and an additional $500 within 60 days of titling for each animal, which normally occurs one year from the adoption date.  The incentive is available for all animals that are eligible for adoption, including animals at BLM facilities, off-site events or on the agency’s Online Corral website. Adopters will just pay a minimum $25 adoption fee per animal.


“We understand that adopting a wild horse or burro represents a commitment.  The incentive is designed to help with the adopter’s initial training and humane care,” said BLM Deputy Director of Programs and Policy Brian Steed. “I encourage anyone who has considered adopting a wild horse or burro to join the thousands of owners who have provided good homes to more than 245,000 wild horses or burros since 1971.”


Potential adopters are required to complete an application proving they can feed and provide humane care to the animals and that they will adhere to the prohibited acts and titling requirements. In addition, potential adopters must authorize the incentive to be deposited via electronic funds transfers to their preferred account at their financial institution.  Potential adopters should visit the BLM website or call (866) 468-7826 to learn more about the guidelines and requirements for adopting a wild horse or burro.


The BLM manages and protects wild horses and burros under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The Act directs the BLM to address overpopulation by removing excess animals from over-populated herds and offering them to the public for adoption or purchase.

“Finding good homes for excess animals and reducing overpopulation on the range are top priorities for the BLM as we strive to protect the health of these animals while balancing other legal uses of our public rangelands, including allowing for other traditional land uses such as wildlife conservation and grazing,” Steed added.


Owning a wild horse or burro is an extraordinary experience.  They have reached national notoriety through disciplines such as dressage, endurance and therapeutic programs that help veterans fulfill a new mission. Wild horses and burros are routinely preferred by public officials for important tasks such as patrolling the border and local policing. Read stories from recent wild horse and burro adopters and purchasers on the BLM’s Flickr page.




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

Oregon State Penitentiary reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 03/12/19 10:40 AM
William Bonney
William Bonney

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, William Bonney, died March 11, 2019. Bonney was incarcerated at Oregon State Pentientiary (OSP) and passed away in the infirmary while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified.

Bonney entered DOC custody on September 23, 2010, from Marion County with an expected release date of July 11, 2024. Bonney was 49 years old. Next of kin has been notified. No other details are available at this time.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,900 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

OSP is a multi-custody prison located in Salem that houses over 2,000 adults in custody. OSP is surrounded by a 25-foot-high wall with 10 towers. The facility has multiple special housing units including death row, disciplinary segregation, behavioral health, intermediate care housing, and an infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care. OSP participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including the furniture factory, laundry, metal shop, and contact center. It provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, work-based education, work crews, and pre-release services. OSP was established in 1866 and, until 1959, was Oregon’s only prison.




Attached Media Files: William Bonney

Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Car Advertisement Scams - (Photo)
FBI - Oregon - 03/12/19 10:00 AM
TT - Car Wrap Fraud - GRAPHIC - March 12, 2019
TT - Car Wrap Fraud - GRAPHIC - March 12, 2019

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against car advertisement scams.

We all want to make a little extra cash, right? When it looks both easy and legal – all the better. Unfortunately, scammers are more than willing to take advantage of you in your time of need.

Maybe you are looking for a job and have your resume up on an online employment site… which leads to a scammer sending you a direct message or email. Or, you are just poking around on social media and see an ad. Either way, you are offered the opportunity to make a lot of money just by putting a car wrap on your vehicle. $500 a week sounds great, doesn’t it?!

You may get a few questions about where you drive and how often, but don’t worry about your answers - you will quickly get accepted into this program. Oftentimes you are told your car will be shrink-wrapped with an ad for a well-known energy drink, soda or adult beverage company. 

The first step is for your new employer to send you a check – sometimes overnight - for a couple thousand dollars. You take out your first week’s pay and wire the rest of it to the company that will make and install the decal or wrap on your car. Everything sounds good up to this point.

You wait a couple weeks, but hear nothing. Turns out there is no wrap and there are no more paychecks. In fact, the bogus check that you just ran through your bank account bounces… and you are now responsible for the thousands of dollars that you unwittingly wired back to the fraudster. Your bank likely charges you extra fees and may lock down or close your account all together.

Before jumping on what sounds like an easy option to make quick cash – stop and think: Why doesn’t the employer just pay the ad-maker directly? If it is up to me to pay the company producing the ad, why wouldn’t I just pay when the vendor installs the ad?

Beyond that, the biggest warning sign is always when someone sends you a check and asks that you immediately wire or electronically move some or all of that money to an unknown third party. A legitimate business is not going to operate this way.

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

Attached Media Files: TT - Car Wrap Fraud - AUDIO - March 12, 2019 , TT - Car Wrap Fraud - GRAPHIC - March 12, 2019