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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Sat. Jul. 22 - 11:31 pm
Fri. 07/21/17
Red Cross Responds to Home Fire Affecting Two People in Umatilla County
American Red Cross - Cascades Region - 07/21/17 4:46 PM
Disaster responders with the local American Red Cross responded to a home fire disaster on July 21, 2017, at approximately 1:30 p.m. in the 200 block of SW 20th St., Pendleton, Oregon. The fire affected two adults.

The Red Cross provided resources to help address the immediate basic needs of those affected such as temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services, and health and mental health services. Additional information about this incident, if available, may be obtained from the local first responding agency/fire department.

The Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington (the Cascades Region) helps an average of three families affected by disasters, like home fires, every day. The Red Cross advocates emergency preparedness and offers the installation of free smoke alarms in our community. Residents may call (503) 528-5783 or complete an online form at www.redcross.org/CascadesHomeFire to schedule an appointment.
2016 Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year: Trooper Jim Andrews (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/21/17 12:00 PM
2017-07/1002/106282/Tpr_Andrews_Shikar_Internatioal_Award_2016.JPG
2017-07/1002/106282/Tpr_Andrews_Shikar_Internatioal_Award_2016.JPG
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2017-07/1002/106282/thumb_Tpr_Andrews_Shikar_Internatioal_Award_2016.JPG
Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Trooper, Jim Andrews, was presented with the 2016 Wildlife Officer of the Year Award. This award was presented on behalf of the Shikar-Safari Club International by Lynn Loacker. The Shikar-Safari Club International recognizes one wildlife officer per year in each state. They present the prestigious award to the wildlife officer who symbolizes their mission of wildlife conservation and outdoor education. Pictured from left to right is Sergeant James Halsey, Trooper Jim Andrews, Shikar-Safari Club International member Lynn Loacker and Lieutenant Casey Thomas.

What does it take to be a Fish and Wildlife Officer of the Year? It takes a highly motivated individual with an outstanding work ethic as well as a being a leader among their peers and setting a high standard for excellence in their work as a Wildlife Officer. This individual should produce a high volume of self-generated activities while maintaining a heavy case load and provide a breadth of knowledge across all facets of work as an Oregon State Trooper. All of these attributes describe Oregon State Trooper Jim Andrews of the Mid Valley Fish and Wildlife Team.

Trooper Andrews dedication and passion for the enforcement of fish and wildlife laws within the state of Oregon shows consistently on a day to day basis. Trooper Andrews is happy to share his knowledge and assist co-workers with complex investigations. He is recognized by his peers as being well versed in case law as well as search and seizure and is an excellent report writer. In addition, he volunteers his time mentoring and training Oregon State Police Troopers as well as other law enforcement agencies as an instructor during Jet and Drift Boat schools, and as a Patrol Tactics Instructor.

Trooper Andrews has proven that wildlife officers are well rounded and capable of handling a variety of situations. He has done this by completing thorough investigations and follow-up throughout the 2016 year; ranging from wildlife cases to DUII and drug arrests. Trooper Andrews had several lengthy investigations during the 2016 year. One of the investigations started towards the end of 2015 stemming from a turkey case. Trooper Andrews, using all available resources, continued to conduct a thorough investigation into 2016, resulting in a search warrant in a Lincoln County residence where 4 trophy class blacktail shoulder mounts were seized. Two male subjects were charged criminally for multiple violations. Trooper Andrews exemplifies what the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division is all about.


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/1002/106282/Tpr_Andrews_Shikar_Internatioal_Award_2016.JPG
OHA report details paid amounts of medical procedures among Oregon hospitals
Oregon Health Authority - 07/21/17 9:59 AM
July 21, 2017

Data show variations in amounts paid for procedures

Salem -- Reimbursement for the same procedures vary among hospitals operating in the same region and across the state, according to a new report from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The report details the median amounts paid by commercial insurers for the most common inpatient and outpatient procedures that were performed in Oregon hospitals in 2015.

The new 2015 report includes amounts patients paid for each procedure. (The 2014 edition only included amounts paid by insurers. Including patient contributions is more transparent and represents a complete picture of amounts paid.)

The report, "Oregon Hospital Payment Report 2015," (http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Hospital-Reporting.aspx) is mandated by ORS 442.466. The annual report draws on data collected in the All Payer All Claims (APAC) database. The goal is to provide a source of transparency to the public on hospital reimbursement. Inpatient care accounts for as much as 30 percent of health care spending in the state.

"This report is another step forward in our state's commitment to health care transparency and a look at the important services and procedures that hospitals across Oregon provide," said Lynne Saxton, Director of the Oregon Health Authority. "

Highlights of the report include:

--Most procedures show sizable variations in paid amounts, both within and between hospitals.
--Among common outpatient procedures, heart electrophysiology studies were reported to have the highest median paid amount at $36,900.
--Among common inpatient procedures, heart valve replacement surgeries were reported to have the highest median paid amount at $84,700.
--Among common diagnostic and imaging services, nuclear medicine evaluations of the cardiovascular system were reported to have the highest median paid amount at $2,200.
--The procedure with the largest increase in median paid amount from 2014 was coronary bypass surgeries, increasing by $8,700.
--The procedure with the largest percent increase in median paid amount from 2014 was guidance procedures for radiation therapy, increasing 80 percent.

This is the second year OHA has released this report and this year's report includes important updates and improvements.

Reimbursement for a procedure in a hospital depends on a number of factors. These factors should be taken into account when comparing charges between facilities. Here are some reasons that account for variations:

--Rate negotiation: Each hospital negotiates with each insurance provider they accept for the reimbursement rate for a procedure. This paid amount will vary depending on the hospital and the insurance company.
--Case complexity: An insurance company may reimburse a hospital within a range of amounts for a given procedure up to a predetermined maximum. This range is influenced by how sick the patient is, and how many extra services were required in order to perform the procedure.
--Geographic factors: A hospital's location influences paid amounts. Communities with higher costs of living have higher salary, lease, and utilities costs. These differences in hospital operating expenses should be considered when comparing paid amounts.
--Economies of scale: Hospital volume influences the paid amount. Hospitals that perform the procedure hundreds of times will often accept a lower paid amount for each case because they make the difference up in larger volumes.

# # #
Thu. 07/20/17
The Oregon Home Care Commission will meet Thursday, August 3 in Salem
Oregon Department of Human Services - 07/20/17 2:00 PM
The Oregon Home Care Commission (OHCC) is planning to meet Thursday, August 3, 2017, at 10 a.m., 676 Church Street NE in Salem. The meeting is open to the public.

The agenda includes: public testimony; Governor's Commission on Senior Services; Oregon Disabilities Commission; Oregon Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Disabilities, Oregon Self-Advocacy Coalition, Aging & People with Disabilities (APD), Community Advisory Councils and Coordinated Care Organizations updates; OHCC Legislative Committee -- bill reports; OHCC budget update; a quarterly APD update and a quarterly Homecare Worker Benefits Trusts update. There will be a working lunch, which will include: annual workers' compensation report, annual CPR/First Aid report, annual training report, quarterly registry report, quarterly traditional health worker training meeting notes, quarterly STEPS QBR referral and customer satisfaction survey results, bi-monthly STEPS report, monthly Oregon Health Plan Ombuds Advisory Council meeting notes, and monthly training/registry reports. This will be followed by a worker's classification -- workforce development update and the executive director's report.

There will be a short break, followed by an executive session, which is closed to members of the general public. In accordance with ORS 192.660(1)(d), OHCC will hold an executive session for the purpose of discussing labor negotiations with the governing body's representative. The full agenda is attached.

For those who are unable to attend in person, there is a call-in number: 1-888-278-0296; access code: 7999724 #. The commission meets on the first Thursday of every month. Visitors are welcome to these meetings. Persons needing an accommodation due to a disability should contact Joanna DeMeyer at 503-378-4984; joanna.m.demeyer@state.or.us.

About the Oregon Home Care Commission (OHCC):
OHCC ensures high-quality home care services for seniors and people with physical, intellectual/developmental and mental health disabilities. The Commission defines qualifications, manages a statewide registry and trains home care workers (HCWs) and personal support workers (PSWs). OHCC serves as the employer of record for purposes of collective bargaining for HCWs and PSWs receiving service payments from public funds.
Learn more about OHCC at www.oregon.gov/dhs/seniors-disabilities/hc and
"Like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OregonHomeCareCommission.
# # #


Attached Media Files: Full Meeting Agenda OHCC 080317
DCBS posts final rate decisions for 2018 health plans
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 07/20/17 1:00 PM
Salem -- Small businesses and individuals who buy their own health insurance can now see the final approved rates for 2018 health insurance plans. The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Division of Financial Regulation must review and approve rates before they can be charged to policyholders.

These final decisions are the result of the division's rigorous review process, which included public conference calls, public hearings, and public comment. The division published preliminary decisions before the hearings. These hearings provided an opportunity for the public, health insurance companies, and the division to further review and analyze the preliminary decisions.

The final decisions are primarily unchanged from the preliminary decisions, with the exception of Providence Health Plans individual rates, which increased by an additional 2.2 percent to a total increase of 10.8 percent. This final proposed increase is still significantly less than Providence's original request for a 20.7 percent increase. This increase was due to clarifying information provided by Providence during the hearings that justified the change.

In the individual market, the division has issued final decisions for seven companies with average rate changes ranging from a 1.6 percent decrease to a 14.8 percent increase. Under the final decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $355 to $452 a month. These premiums are for plans before financial assistance through Oregon's Health Insurance Marketplace is taken into account.

The rate changes are company-wide averages. Individuals may see different changes in 2018 depending on their specific plan choices.

"Although health insurance premiums will be increasing in 2018, for many Oregonians those increases will be offset by corresponding increases in financial help available through Oregon's Health Insurance Marketplace," said DCBS Director Patrick Allen. "Still, we know a large number of Oregonians who do not receive help will see increased costs. We are committed to continuing to work on reforms that make insurance affordable to more people."

All Oregonians who purchase their own insurance, even those who do not receive financial help in 2017, are encouraged to apply for assistance through the Marketplace in 2018. They might be surprised by what they qualify for. In 2017, Oregonians who received help with the costs of their health insurance paid on average $147 a month.

In the small group market, the division has issued final decisions for nine companies with average rate increases ranging from 3.3 percent to 10.1 percent. Under the final decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $293 to $421 a month.

See the chart at dfr.oregon.gov/healthrates/Documents/2018-fnl-prpsd-rates.pdf for the full list of final decisions. While the decisions on the attached chart are final decisions, Moda Health Plan Inc. still has two pending rate requests that are undergoing review and are open for comment. These rates are for Lane and Tillamook counties. The company did not originally file rates for those counties, but reconsidered and filed rates to expand back into the counties.

Reasons for the rate changes include:
The new Oregon Reinsurance Program. This program reduced individual market rates by 6 percent, and added a 1.5 percent increase to the small group market.
Federal weakening of the individual mandate enforcement. This increased rates by 2.4 percent and 5.1 percent.
Medical costs continue to rise, driven by increased use and the cost of new specialized prescription drugs.
The cost of providing care continues to surpass premiums collected for many carriers.

In 2018, most counties will have at least two carriers both on and off the Marketplace and at least one carrier exclusively off the Marketplace. Two counties, Douglas and Lincoln, have only one carrier on and off the Marketplace and one carrier off the Marketplace.

"We remain concerned about the limited health plan choices some counties are facing, and will work with insurance companies throughout the next year to try to increase competition throughout the state in 2019," said Allen. "An important first step taken by the state is the creation of the Oregon Reinsurance Program. Without this program, we would be seeing counties with no Marketplace plans, and much larger rate increases for those who purchase insurance on their own in 2018."

Developed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and stakeholders, and recently approved by the Legislature, the Oregon Reinsurance Program is designed to stabilize the individual market, reduce rates, and encourage insurance companies to offer plans in more parts of the state. Reinsurance spreads the risk of high-cost claims so that no one carrier takes on a disproportionate share of this risk. The program is partially funded by a portion of a new 1.5 percent assessment on all commercial insurance plans.

Final rates, a summary of the state of the individual market, and the final decision information for each carrier can be found at www.oregonhealthrates.org. Statewide premium comparison tables for ages 21, 40, and 60 will be posted online in August.

###

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


Attached Media Files: 2018 Final Health Insurance Rates
Correction for time: Medicaid Advisory Committee to meet July 26, 2017 in Salem at the Oregon State Library
Oregon Health Authority - 07/20/17 11:09 AM
July 20, 2017

What: The regular monthly public meeting of the Medicaid Advisory Committee

When: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to noon

Where: Oregon State Library, 250 Winter Street NE, Room 102, Salem. The meeting will also be available via webinar. A recording of the meeting will be posted at the Medicaid Advisory Committee's website http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/HP-MAC/Pages/index.aspx

Members of the public can also call in to listen at:
Conference line: 1-888-398-2342 Access code: 3732275 Webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4662689441953504004

Agenda: The MAC will hear a summary of the 2017 legislative session. Staff from the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority will update the committee on Integrated Eligibility efforts. The MAC will discuss and potentially finalize draft guiding principles for Oregon Medicaid (in response to federal Medicaid proposals). Carly Hood from the Oregon Primary Care Association will present an overview on social determinants of health.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. To request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility, or other reasonable accommodations, call the Oregon Health Authority at 1-800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

# # #
Office of State Fire Marshal encourages everyone to follow campfire safety
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 07/20/17 10:55 AM
As Oregon's summer travel season gets in full gear, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker is cautioning all campers to heed campfire safety rules and tips.

"Camping is an excellent way to enjoy all of the outdoor beauty and recreation Oregon has to offer, said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. "However, that beauty can only be maintained if people follow campfire safety."

The OSFM encourages everyone to follow these campfire safety guidelines:
Check if campfires are allowed in the area in which you will be staying.
Keep a shovel and water nearby to extinguish any escaped embers.
Select a site away from grasses, shrubs, overhanging branches, and firewood. Existing fire pits in established campgrounds are best.
Scrape away leaves and debris to bare soil, at least 10 feet on all sides of the fire pit.
Circle your campfire pit with rocks; start your fire with paper or manufactured fire starters, NEVER use gasoline; keep the fire small and add wood in small amounts.
Never leave a campfire unattended.
Before going to bed or leaving the campsite, drown the campfire with water, stir the coals, and drown again. Repeat until the fire is out and the coals are cool to the touch.

For more wildfire prevention information and restrictions, we encourage you to visit Keep Oregon Green at www.keeporegongreen.org and the Oregon Department of Forestry at www.oregon.gov.
Wed. 07/19/17
The Governor's Commission on Senior Services will meet Thursday, July 27 in Salem
Oregon Department of Human Services - 07/19/17 4:55 PM
The Governor's Commission on Senior Services Executive Committee will meet on Thursday, July 27, 2017, from 1 p.m. -- 2:30 p.m. at 500 Summer Street NE, Room 165, Salem, OR. The meeting is open to the public.

The agenda includes regular commission business, new business, a discussion on the 2017 Legislative Session, and creation of the agenda for the full joint commission meeting with the Oregon Disabilities Commission taking place on August 10, 2017.

People can also call into the meeting. Conference line: 888-363-4735 Access code: 3439085.
The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact Rebecca Arce at rebecca.e.arce@state.or.us. Requests should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting.

For questions about the meeting, please contact: Rebecca Arce, Policy Analyst, at Rebecca.E.Arce@state.or.us, or 503-947-5019.
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Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC) to meet July 27
Oregon Health Authority - 07/19/17 3:26 PM
July 19, 2017

What: The Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee is holding a public meeting.

Agenda: Legislative session debrief; proposed TPEP budget overview; TPEP public comment

When: Thursday, July 27, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1C, in Portland.

Background: The Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee is a committee appointed by the Governor and comprised of both private organizations and state agencies dedicated to the reduction of the harmful impact of Oregonians' tobacco use.

Details: The meeting is open to the public. Please note that space is limited.

Individuals requiring accommodation may request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility, or other reasonable accommodations by calling the Oregon Health Authority at 1-800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.
OHA expands Youth Marijuana Use Prevention Campaign
Oregon Health Authority - 07/19/17 2:48 PM
July 19, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore.--The Oregon Health Authority today announced the expansion of a youth marijuana use prevention campaign to a statewide audience.

That expansion will begin immediately. The goal of the Stay True to You campaign is to prevent or delay the initiation of marijuana use among Oregon's 12- to 20-year-old population.

In 2016, the Oregon Legislature instructed OHA to evaluate the effectiveness of youth marijuana prevention messaging by conducting a geographically limited pilot. That campaign lasted from June 2016 to June 2017 and took place in the Portland metro area, and Jackson and Josephine counties. RMC Research, an independent evaluation firm, found that the pilot campaign successfully raised awareness of the legal consequences of underage marijuana use and contributed to a correct perception that only 1 in 5 Oregon teens use marijuana.

"Research shows that our audience was receptive to the Stay True to You campaign," said Kati Moseley, policy specialist at OHA's Public Health Division. "With this expansion, youth and young adults statewide will hear the message that marijuana use should be delayed until adulthood or avoided entirely."

OHA developed the Stay True to You campaign using extensive audience research and focus groups. Twenty-eight focus groups were conducted in Portland, Bend, Medford and Pendleton featuring 260 youth and young adults between 14 and 20 years old. Participants from the African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, white, American Indian/Alaskan native and Latino communities were included. DHM Research (Davis, Hibbitts, & Midghall Inc.), contracted by OHA to facilitate all focus groups, conducted groups in English and Spanish between October 2015 and March 2016.

"Our focus group research showed youth and young adults are eager for more information on the effects of marijuana use," Moseley said. "Though research into marijuana use isn't as extensive as that on alcohol or tobacco, there is sufficient evidence that using marijuana can have a significant effect on developing brains."

The facts cited in the campaign on brain development and marijuana's effects on learning are based on reviews of the current science by OHA's Retail Marijuana Scientific Advisory Committee.

OHA's role following the legalization of marijuana is to educate the public about the health issues related to marijuana use; prevent youth marijuana use; and monitor marijuana use, attitudes and health effects. OHA will publish final research results of the pilot campaign evaluation late this summer.

The statewide campaign will advertise across a variety of media, but the bulk of advertising will take place on digital and streaming video to most effectively reach the youth audience. Other campaign elements include a social media presence (#StayTrueOregon), a website (StayTrueToYou.org) and promotions and outreach to organizations where youth gather.
Fee Change to Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 07/19/17 10:48 AM
Portland, Ore. -- On August 28, 2017 the price of the America the Beautiful -- The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80 as result of the National Park Service Centennial Act P.L. 114-289.

The National Park Service Centennial Act raised the price of the senior pass (currently $10) so that it is on par with the cost of a regular annual pass (currently $80). It also authorizes a $20 annual pass for senior citizens. Increasing the onetime cost for those 62 and older to the current level of the America the Beautiful annual pass is a reasonable way to help insure our parks and federal recreation areas will remain available for future generations. As stewards, the BLM manages public lands for the benefit of current and future generations, supporting conservation.

The Senior Pass, along with five passes included in the America the Beautiful -- The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass program -- provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six Federal agencies. The Senior Pass covers all entrance fees and standard amenity (day use) fees and may provide senior discounts for things such as tours or campsites. The pass also waives the entrance fee for travelling companions.

"The lifetime Senior Pass will continue to give seniors access to parks and public lands nationwide, and even at $80, it is an incredible value," said Jamie Connell, State Director for BLM Oregon/Washington.

Senior passes purchased before August 28 are still good for life. The current $10 Senior Pass will continue to be sold until the $80 senior pass is implemented on August 28.

Additional information about the BLM's recreation program is available online at: https://www.blm.gov/visit.
Tue. 07/18/17
Public Safety Memorial Fund Board Meeting Notice
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 07/18/17 3:06 PM
For Immediate Release
July 18, 2017
Contact: Linsay Hale
(503) 378-2427

Notice of Meeting

The Public Safety Memorial Fund Board will hold a meeting at 10:00 a.m. on July 27, 2017 at the Public Safety Training Academy in Salem, Oregon.

Teleconference Information: (888) 273-3658; Participant Code: 4711910

The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made as soon as possible by contacting Linsay Hale (503) 378-2427.

Agenda Items:

1.Minutes for March 28, 2017
Approve Minutes

2.Discretionary Benefits of the Public Safety Memorial Fund
Determination Criteria

3. Next meeting -- October 26, 2017
Celebrating Your Public Lands during "Made in America" Week
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 07/18/17 2:57 PM
WASHINGTON -- This week, July 17-21, the Bureau of Land Management joins the Department of the Interior in celebrating the Trump Administration's "Made in America" Week. With responsibility for managing more than 10 percent of the nation's land and 30 percent of its subsurface minerals, the BLM supports American-made goods and services in many ways.

"The BLM strives to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve, while providing opportunities for economic growth as well as traditional uses such as ranching, mining, logging, energy development as well as recreational activities like hunting and fishing," said Acting Director Michael Nedd. "Public lands provide valuable, tangible goods and materials we rely on every day to heat our homes, build our roads, and feed our families, among many other activities."

In total, the BLM's management of public lands supported 374,000 jobs and provided $88 billion in economic output throughout the country in FY 2015.

The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the multiple use and enjoyment of present and future generations. This includes a variety of commercial-, recreation-, and conservation-based products and services. In addition to energy-related products such as coal, oil, natural gas, and renewables, examples include:

· Non-energy minerals. Many types of non-energy minerals, including sand, gravel, dirt, and rock, are essential for everyday construction uses. The BLM issued new contract sales and use permits for nearly 20 million cubic yards of such mineral materials in 2015, with a combined value of nearly $28 million.

· Grazing. The BLM administers nearly 18,000 permits and leases held by ranchers who graze their livestock, mostly cattle and sheep, at least part of the year on more than 21,000 allotments. We manage livestock grazing on 155 million acres of public lands.

· Forestry. One-quarter of the 245 million acres managed by the BLM are forest ecosystems. Through responsible management, the BLM ensures the health and resilience of the nation's public forest lands, as well as the availability of forest products like timber. In 2015, the BLM offered 243 million board feet of timber for sale, enough to build approximately 10,500 homes.

· Helium. The Federal Helium Reserve is a resource owned by the American people and managed by the BLM. Crude helium is an important resource for technology development and other important uses related to national defense, energy, medicine, industry, and space exploration. Currently, the BLM's crude helium plant satisfies approximately 42 percent of U.S. helium demand and 15 percent of global demand.

· Recreation. BLM-managed public lands offer more recreational opportunities -- such as hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking -- than those managed by any other federal agency. Lands used for recreation (including the BLM's National Conservation Lands) contribute significantly to local economies, with BLM-managed lands receiving more than 62.4 million recreation-related visits in 2015.


-BLM-

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM'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. In fiscal year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/5514/106206/Made_in_America_Public_Lands_PR_Final_071817.pdf
FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Tech Support Fraud
FBI - Oregon - 07/18/17 1:18 PM
Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against tech support fraud.

In 2016, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received almost 11,000 reports of tech support fraud incidents. In those cases, victims reported losses of more than $7.8 million.

So what is tech support fraud? Imagine you receive a call from someone who says he is with a computer software or security company. Maybe he says he is with a cable or Internet provider. The caller tells you that your software is out of date, and you are vulnerable to a cyber attack. Or, he says your equipment is malfunctioning, and he can fix it remotely -- saving you a service call. All you have to do is to provide the caller with remote access to your computer or device. No idea what he's talking about? No worries -- he will be happy to walk you through all the technical details.

In another variation of the fraud, the bad guy convinces the you that you overpaid for a recent service. He would be happy to refund the overage if you would just give him a few details -- such as your bank account number -- so he can arrange the refund.

In reality, he is either just trying to get into your account to clean it out -- or, he is working for long-term access to launch other frauds. In this second example, he transfers money back and forth between your own checking, savings and retirement accounts to make it appear as though there is a refund when in fact there is none. Eventually, he tells you that he refunded too much and asks you to wire money back to the fraudulent company. Victims often don't figure this out for quite awhile as the losses pile up.

So how do you protect yourself?

Never give a stranger remote access to your computer or other electronics.
If something seems a bit odd, it probably is. Hang up and look up a phone number for that company or provider using a publicly-available resource.
Don't give an unsolicited caller your bank account number or other personal information that he could use to access your accounts.
Don't let someone pressure you into buying a computer security product or subscription. Oftentimes, there are reputable, free products that will do that work for you. Seek out help from someone you trust to ensure that if you do pay for something -- it is worth the cost.

If you have been victimized by this scam or any other 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: Tech Support Fraud - RUSSIAN Written , Tech Support Fraud - RUSSIAN Audio , Tech Support Fraud - SPANISH Written , Tech Support Fraud - SPANISH Audio , Tech Support Fraud - ENGLISH Audio
2016 Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division - Team of the Year: Mid-Columbia Team (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/18/17 11:12 AM
2017-07/1002/106202/2016_Team_of_the_Year_For_Public.jpg
2017-07/1002/106202/2016_Team_of_the_Year_For_Public.jpg
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2017-07/1002/106202/thumb_2016_Team_of_the_Year_For_Public.jpg
The Oregon State Police (OSP), Mid-Columbia Fish and Wildlife Team (The Dalles) was recently awarded with the OSP Fish and Wildlife Division Team of the Year award for 2016 accomplishments. The Mid-Columbia Team consists of highly motivated, dedicated and tenacious troopers who enforce fish and wildlife laws and protect Oregon's natural resources, citizens and visitors in five counties; Hood River, Gilliam, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler.

Together, the Mid-Columbia Team proved that through perseverance, dedication and quality investigations their collaborative work enabled them to successfully hold person(s) accountable for the following cases during 2016: Team members initiated an ongoing multi-state major serial poaching investigation where several individuals unlawfully killed up to 30 animals throughout several counties in Oregon and up to 50 animals throughout several counties in Washington. Troopers are continuing to work closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sharing information and coordinating conclusion of this investigation.

A team member investigated a serious boat collision occurring in the Columbia River between two boats which caused serious injury to several occupants. The investigation resulted in a guilty plea by one boat operator for BUII, two counts of Assault IV and reckless boating.
Team members responded to a report of the possible poaching of bighorn sheep along Interstate 84 in Gilliam County. The suspects were located, identified, arrested and lodged in jail after two bighorn sheep were located with their heads removed and placed in garbage bags. Upon a thorough investigation, the hard work of the troopers led to the successful prosecution of the two suspects.

They conducted several boat patrols during the fall commercial fishing season, making several arrests and seizures of fish and gill nets used while fishing illegally; primarily by unlawful drift netting through river mouth sanctuaries.

Team members also worked closely with Patrol Division Troopers, assisting with traffic crashes and other calls for service. Additionally, they work well with other local and county law enforcement partners within five counties to provide the best service to the citizens of Oregon.

In addition to their normal Fish and Wildlife Division duties and activities, the Mid-Columbia Team members performed an array of other assignments ranging from being members of, or instructors in various fields including the Oregon State Police Critical Incident Response Team providing support to law enforcement officers who have been involved in critical incidents, to instructing recruit troopers in the enforcement of fish and wildlife laws, as well as, providing quality instruction to other Department members in firearms training, defensive tactics and boat operations to name a few.

The Mid-Columbia Fish and Wildlife Team is commended for a job well done and for their commitment to protecting people, property and Oregon's natural resources.

Photo: Pictured from left to right; Back row -- Senior Trooper Swede Pearson, Senior Trooper Justin Frazier, Sergeant Les Kipper. Front Row -- Senior Trooper Mark Jubitz, Senior Trooper Brent Ocheskey, Trooper Jason Walters and Senior Trooper Thad Routson. Not present: Senior Trooper Craig Gunderson.


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/1002/106202/2016_Team_of_the_Year_For_Public.jpg
Employment in Oregon June 2017 News Release
Oregon Employment Dept. - 07/18/17 10:00 AM
Oregon Adds 8,500 Jobs in June

In June, Oregon's nonfarm payroll employment grew by 8,500 jobs, following a gain of 2,600 in May. The June increase was the largest gain since February 2016 when 9,600 jobs were added. Gains were widespread among the major industries, with 11 of the 14 industries adding jobs. Leisure and hospitality added the most, increasing by 2,100 jobs. In addition, strong hiring occurred in construction (+1,600 jobs) and manufacturing (+1,400). Financial activities was the only major industry to cut substantially, as it shed 800 jobs.

Over the past 12 months, Oregon's payroll employment rose 47,300, or 2.6 percent. This rapid pace was an acceleration from earlier in the year when over-the-year growth was hovering around 2.0 percent.

Oregon's unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent in June. The rate remained near its all time low of 3.6 percent reached in May. Oregon's rate was significantly below its year-ago rate of 5.1 percent in June 2016 and well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.4 percent in June 2017.

Other signs of a tight labor market in Oregon include fewer long-term unemployed and falling measures of labor underutilization. The number of Oregonians who have been unemployed for more than six months dropped to 10,700 in June, the lowest on record dating back to 2002. In contrast, the long term unemployed reached a peak of more than 100,000 in 2010, during the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, U-6--the broadest measure of labor underutilization, which includes the unemployed, those who have stopped looking for work within the last year but still want a job, and those who are working part-time but would prefer to work full-time--dropped to 7.4 percent in June. This was by far Oregon's lowest U-6 since comparable records began in 2002, and was a continuation of its downward trend since reaching a peak of 21.1 percent in May 2009. In recent months, Oregon's labor market tightened so rapidly that Oregon's U-6 dropped below the national U-6 of 8.6 percent in June 2017.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the June county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, July 25th, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for July on Tuesday, August 15th.



Notes:
All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted.

The Oregon Employment Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work cooperatively to develop and publish monthly Oregon payroll employment and labor force data. The estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources.

The Oregon Employment Department publishes payroll employment estimates that are revised quarterly by using employment counts from employer unemployment insurance tax records. All department publications use this Official Oregon Series data unless noted otherwise. This month's release incorporates the October, November and December 2016 tax records data. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS.



The pdf version of the news release, including tables and graphs, can be found at www.QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit www.QualityInfo.org, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.

For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state's WorkSource Oregon Centers or go to: www.WorkSourceOregon.org.

Equal Opportunity program -- auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.


Attached Media Files: Employment in Oregon June 2017 News Release
Mon. 07/17/17
Health advisory updated July 17 for areas of Lake Billy Chinook
Oregon Health Authority - 07/17/17 4:33 PM
July 17, 2017

Reduced blue-green algae and toxin levels confirmed in areas except Perry South Cove, where continued caution recommended

The Oregon Health Authority has updated the health advisory issued June 30 for Lake Billy Chinook, located about 12 miles west of Madras in Jefferson County.
The update lifts the advisory on those areas of the Deschutes and Crooked River of Lake Billy Chinook arms affected by the advisory, and confines the advisory on the Metolius Arm to Perry South Cove.
Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of blue-green algae toxins are below guideline values for human exposure. However, OHA recommends that people remain cautious when using the lake, particularly with pets because toxins are still well above the very low exposure levels established for dogs.
Oregon health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of algae blooms in all Oregon waters, because only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are sampled for blue-green algae by state, federal and local agencies. People and their pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water column. If you observe these signs in the water you are encouraged to avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities.

For health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms, or to ask questions about a news release, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0400. For information about advisories issued or lifted for the season, contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 1-877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select "Algae Bloom Advisories."
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House Bill Offers Comprehensive Approach to Improve Safety and Quality
Oregon Department of Human Services - 07/17/17 4:13 PM
During the 2017 session, the Oregon Legislature passed a number of measures that strengthen quality and safety in long-term care settings. The passage of House Bill 3359 (HB 3359) provides a comprehensive approach to improving safety and quality in licensed long-term care settings. The bill provides much-needed updates in many areas around oversight, penalties, quality and provision of care for individuals residing in licensed care facilities. A special emphasis was given to the improvement of training for those who care for people with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia.

With more than 1,000 Oregonians experiencing abuse in licensed long-term care settings in a year, the bill addresses a wide variety of areas. The following list offers a brief overview of some of the topics covered. It is only a summary and not a complete list.

Oregon HB 3359:
Establishes that administrators of residential care facilities, including assisted living and memory care, will be licensed by an independent board by July 2019 following a process to establish this new requirement.
Updates amounts and caps, set in the 1970s, for civil monetary penalties for elder or adult abuse and harm within licensed long-term care settings. For incidents categorized as serious harm, the fines were raised from a maximum of $500 up to $2500.
Adopts new penalties for facilities, specifically a penalty for "Failure to report suspected abuse" and "Failure to perform corrective action noted during a survey or inspection."
Updates licensing fee amounts for residential care/assisted living facilities and nursing facilities.
Gives the Department the ability to impose an immediate suspension in residential care facilities when there is critical health, safety or welfare issue -- without waiting 10 days for a hearing.
Requires the Oregon Department of Human Services (Oregon DHS) to develop an enhanced oversight and supervision program for residential care facility oversight.
Asks for the development of a technology-based, acuity-based staffing tool for use by providers and Oregon DHS, which allows providers to determine staffing patterns based on current residents' needs.
Establishes a variety of training and certification requirements for care staff in long-term care facilities.
Adds new safety requirements, licensing options and establishes new quality metrics.
Establishes the Quality Measurement Council with representatives from the Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman, Alzheimer's advocacy, elder rights advocate, academics with data/metrics expertise, member of Oregon Patient Safety Commission, provider association, and Oregon DHS.

The described changes and additions to existing statutes provide the legal framework to improve the quality of care and better ensure the safety and dignity of residents who reside in licensed long-term care settings. The bill is set to become law once signed by the Governor.

The main focus for the Oregon DHS Aging & People with Disabilities (APD) program is on the safety of the Oregonians we serve. APD Program Director Ashley Carson Cottingham said, "We are looking forward to working with providers and all other parties impacted by these changes to ensure high-quality care and protection for some of our most vulnerable citizens."
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Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports inmate death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 07/17/17 3:29 PM
Richard Bradbury
Richard Bradbury
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2017-07/1070/106184/thumb_Bradbury.jpg
An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) inmate died unexpectedly early Saturday morning at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla. As with all unanticipated deaths of state prison inmates, the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation.

At approximately 3:38 a.m. on Saturday, July 15, 2017, Richard Bradbury, 61, was found unresponsive in his cell. Medical staff immediately began life-saving efforts to no avail. He was pronounced deceased at 4:16 a.m.

Bradbury entered DOC custody on March 15, 1994, on one count of aggravated murder and one count of arson in the first degree out of Marion County. He was serving a life sentence.

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

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

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Attached Media Files: Richard Bradbury
OHA sets webinar to inform new State Health Assessment Steering Committee July 31
Oregon Health Authority - 07/17/17 3:26 PM
July 17, 2017

What: OHA and the State Health Assessment Steering Committee will hold an informational webinar.

Agenda: Provide an overview of public health modernization; review findings from the 2016 public health modernization assessment; discuss how understanding of Oregon's public health system can be used to inform the state health assessment.

When: Monday, July 31, 2-4 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A 10-minute public comment period is at 3:50 p.m.; comments are limited to three minutes.

Where: Join the webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/762040006992861187 . For audio dial the conference call line: 1-877-848-7030, access code 2030826#.

Oregon's revised State Health Assessment is one of three prerequisites for public health accreditation. The assessment describes the health of the population and identifies areas for improvement, contributing factors that impact health outcomes, and assets and resources that can be mobilized to improve population health.

See the following reference documents:
--Public health modernization at http://www.healthoregon.org/modernization
--2016 public health modernization assessment at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/ABOUT/TASKFORCE/Documents/PHModernizationFullDetailedReport.pdf
--State Health Assessment at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/ABOUT/Pages/state-health-assessment.aspx

Program contact: Christy Hudson, 971-673-2284, Christy.j.hudson@state.or.us
Richland Closes Access to Bateman Island Until Further Notice (Photo)
City of Richland - 07/17/17 2:37 PM
Bateman Island 7_17_17
Bateman Island 7_17_17
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2017-07/5957/106179/thumb_Bateman_9.jpg
Richland Fire & Emergency Services have mostly contained and are continuing to monitor the weekend fire on Bateman Island. The fire was reported on 7/16/16 at approximately 6:00 p.m. Currently, there are several fire lines that are still uncontained however, fire crews from Richland Fire & Emergency Services as well as the US Fish & Wildlife Services remain on the scene to work on containment.

Crews from four agencies were on hand Sunday night through Monday am to fight the blaze. Fire personnel from Richland, Kennewick and Benton County Fire Districts 1 and 2 as well as Franklin County Fire District 3 worked throughout the night to extinguish most of the flames that left approximately one half of the 160 acre natural area affected.
The exact cause of the fire remains undetermined, however it is believed to be human caused. Once ignited, it spread quickly through the dry, heavy underbrush. No injuries have been reported.

The public are instructed to avoid the Bateman Island area indefinitely as the native low lying vegetation and undergrowth is expected to continue to smolder for up to several weeks. There is also extensive damage to burned out trees which pose a risk of collapsing and causing injury. The closure may last throughout the summer.

"We understand Bateman Island is a popular destination and valuable resource for our citizens," states Richland Fire & Emergency Services Chief, Tom Huntington. "However, at this time the safety of our community is our utmost priority. This closure is in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers."

The property is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers and is managed / leased by the City of Richland. Updates will be shared via the City's Facebook page at @richlandWA and at www.ci.richland.wa.us.


Attached Media Files: Bateman Island 7_17_17 , Bateman Island 7_17_17
Renewing Community with Green Projects
Pacific Power - 07/17/17 11:07 AM
Media Contact: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tom Gauntt, Pacific Power July 17,2017
503-813-7291

Renewing Community with Green Projects
Deadline is Sept. 29 for getting your community's project considered
PORTLAND, Ore. -- For more than a decade, Pacific Power's Blue SkySM customers have made a big difference on the green power map by personally choosing to support renewable energy. This includes partnering with community-focused organizations to put more than 100 new renewable energy projects to work in Oregon, Washington and California -- adding more than eight megawatts of renewable power capacity to the grid.
The competitive application process to select new projects is now open for this year's funding cycle. The amount of funding awarded is limited and varies each year. Since 2006, more than $10 million of Blue Sky funds have been invested in local renewable energy projects. These projects are intended to further the growth of renewable energy and offer educational and demonstration opportunities that benefit local communities.
Go to pacificpower.net/blueskyprojects for a list of previously funded projects.
To be considered in this competitive application process, interested parties must complete and submit an application form along with supporting materials by 5 p.m. Sept. 29, 2017.
Eligible renewable energy projects may include those that support technologies such as wind, solar, low-emissions biomass, wave, landfill gas, certified low-impact hydro, pipeline or irrigation canal hydropower and geothermal.
The program particularly encourages projects that:
Advance new and emerging technologies, including renewable energy systems tied to electric vehicle charging, energy storage systems or micro grid applications.
Target underserved populations (low income or rural)
Contribute to community energy resiliency and disaster preparedness
Provide robust education and public engagement plans
Are sponsored by a Blue Sky customer and/or community
Use local labor and materials
This funding is available for non-residential customers proposing projects in Pacific Power's service area. They must be locally owned with a generating capacity of less than 10 megawatts of electricity. Additionally, projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2018.
For detailed eligibility requirements, project qualifications and application forms, please go to: pacificpower.net/blueskyfunds.
Materials may be submitted to bluesky@pacificorp.com.
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About Blue Sky
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has ranked Blue Sky fifth or better in the nation for the 13th consecutive year in the number of customers buying renewable power. The Blue Sky Block, Usage and Habitat products are Green-e Energy certified; About 59,000 Pacific Power customers currently participate in the Blue Sky program across Oregon, Washington and California. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net/bluesky.
About Pacific Power
Pacific Power provides electric service to nearly 750,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Our goal is to provide our customers with value for their energy dollar, and safe, reliable electricity. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with almost 1.8 million customers in six western states.