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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Tue. May. 24 - 5:47 am
Mon. 05/23/22
Oregonians get early glimpse of 2023 health insurance rates
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 05/23/22 2:26 PM

Salem – Oregon consumers can get a first look at requested rates for 2023 individual and small group health insurance plans, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services announced today.

In the individual market, six companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average 2.3 percent to 12.6 percent increase, for a weighted average increase of 6.7 percent. In the small group market, nine companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average 0 percent to 11.6 percent increase, for a weighted average increase of 6.9 percent. Our initial review has found that insurers have identified inflation, medical trend, and enrollment changes as factors in the proposed increases. See the attached chart for the full list of rate change requests.

Oregonians will also see an uptick in premiums due to the expiration of temporary enhanced subsidies for on exchange individual market plans. The additional premium support has helped to lower monthly premiums by an average of 46 percent since enactment in 2021. Under the enhanced subsidy structure, people between 151 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level can get a bronze plan for as low as $1 per month, with other plans varying in costs. The loss of subsidies will equate to an approximate $11.9 million increase every month for Oregonians.

Health insurance companies submitted rate requests to the department’s Division of Financial Regulation on May 16. The requested rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer. Every county has at least four companies available for people to buy insurance on the individual market.

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

“Oregon continues to have a strong and competitive insurance marketplace, with four carriers offering plans statewide and Oregonians in most our counties having five or six companies to choose from, ” said Insurance Commissioner and DCBS Director Andrew Stolfi. “The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to allow Oregonians to find reasonable rates.”

The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to help stabilize the market and lower rates. Reinsurance lowered rates by 6 percent for the fifth straight year. 

Virtual public hearings about the 2023 health insurance rates will be held July 27-28. A web address to watch the public hearings will be posted at oregonhealthrates.org. At the hearings, each insurance company will provide a brief presentation about its rate requests, answer questions from the division, and hear public comment from Oregonians.

“We look forward to a thorough public review of these filings as we work to establish next year’s health insurance rates.” Stolfi said. “We encourage all Oregonians to join us for the virtual public hearings and provide feedback on their health insurance plans.”

Oregonians are encouraged to comment on rate change requests during the public comment period, which opens later this month and runs through July 7. The public can submit comments at oregonhealthrates.org and during the public rate hearings.

Preliminary decisions are expected to be announced in early July, and final decisions will be made in early August after public hearings and comment periods end.

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

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


Fatal Crash on Hwy 219-Marion County
Oregon State Police - 05/23/22 2:11 PM

On May 20, 2022 at 4:28 pm, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 219 at French Prairie Rd NE.

Preliminary investigation revealed a Ford Ranger pickup, operated by Harold Crane (79) of Aurora, was northbound on French Prairie Rd NE and failed to stop at a stop sign. The Ford Ranger pickup collided head-on with a Mack CMV, operated by Santana Tadlock (26) of Salem, which was southbound on Hwy 219. 

Crane sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Tadlock was uninjured. 

The roadway was closed for approximately 4 hours.

OSP was assisted by Marion County Sheriff’s Office, St. Paul Fire Department, Gervais Police Department and ODOT. 


CCO Metrics Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to meet May 26
Oregon Health Authority - 05/23/22 1:30 PM

March 24, 2022

Contact: Philip Schmidt, 503-383-6079, philip.schmidt@dhsoha.state.or.us (media inquiries)

Brian Toups, 503-385-6542, rian.m.toups@dhsoha.state.or.us">brian.m.toups@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

CCO Metrics Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to meet May 26

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s CCO Metrics Technical Advisory Group.

When: May 26, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: By webinar and conference line only. The public may join remotely through a webinar and conference line:

  • Join the webinar at

https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1619382642?pwd=OVBzSmF6TDNpclZUWXMveUNBcVA3UT09

  • Conference line: 669-254-5252, meeting ID: 161 938 2642, passcode: 159017.

Agenda: Welcome and introductions (1:00-1:10); Updates (1:10-1:20); TAG periodicity survey (1:20-1:35); Health Equity measure – Language services reporting (Part 2) (1:35-1:55); Open forum: CCO validation questions on 2021 metrics (1:55-2:15); adjourn.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Metrics-Technical-Advisory-Group.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:

  • CART (live captions)
  • 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 Brian Toups at 503-385-6542, or

rian.m.toups@dhsoha.state.or.us">brian.m.toups@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting. OHA will make every effort to provide services for requests made closer to the meeting.


Bureau of Land Management announces Pacific Northwest fire restrictions to protect local communities
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 05/23/22 11:31 AM

Portland, Ore. – Fire restrictions will go into effect on May 27 for all Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands throughout Oregon and Washington. The BLM encourages all visitors to be aware of active restrictions and closures as we continue to see high visitation rates across Oregon and Washington. 

Fire restrictions help reduce the risk of human-caused fires. Starting May 27, the use of fireworks, exploding targets or metallic targets, steel component ammunition (core or jacket), tracer or incendiary devices, and sky lanterns will be prohibited. 

“Fire restrictions help protect our first responders, local communities, and public lands from accidental wildfires,” said Barry Bushue, BLM Oregon/Washington State Director. “We are continuing to see drought conditions across Oregon and Washington. By following fire restrictions, the public can help us focus our fire resources on naturally caused fires.”

Those who violate the prohibition can be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a prison term of up to one year. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression.

May is also ‘Wildfire Awareness Month’. Visit Firewise USA to learn more about how to keep you and your family safe.

For more information on Bureau of Land Management Oregon/Washington seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, please see www.blm.gov/orwafire. To learn more about fire careers with BLM Oregon-Washington, click here.

 

-BLM-

 

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




Attached Media Files: 2022-05/5514/154786/FINAL_SIGNED_BLM_OR_WA_Fire_Prevention_Order_May2022_508ks.pdf

City of Keizer earns workplace health, safety recognition following advancement in Oregon OSHA program (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 05/23/22 11:11 AM
SHARP logo
SHARP logo
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-05/1073/154785/thumb_SHARP-logo-sm.png

Salem – The City of Keizer continues to strengthen its commitment to workplace health and safety, achieving third-year certification as part of Oregon OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

SHARP, primarily set up to help small- and mid-sized businesses, coaches employers on how to effectively manage workplace safety and health. The program encourages Oregon employers to work with their employees to identify and correct hazards and to continuously improve. In turn, companies are recognized for their success in reaching specific benchmarks during the five-year program. An employer may graduate from SHARP after five years of participation. 

The benefits of the program include lower injury and illness rates, decreased workers’ compensation costs, increased employee morale, lower product losses, and community recognition. 

Although departments of other city governments have achieved SHARP certification, the City of Keizer is the first city in Oregon to earn the designation on a citywide – not just department-level – basis. During the City of Keizer’s SHARP journey – formally started in 2018 – the city has engaged in numerous project and process improvements designed to strengthen on-the-job protections for its workers. Examples include everything from installation of eyewash stations at key locations and the completion of training for all new safety committee members to implementation of exhaust and dust collection systems in pump stations and improved training and access to information for emergency evacuation coordinators.

In assessing the city’s efforts as a SHARP participant, Oregon OSHA consultants recently concluded that the city “has consistently followed through with all evaluations, training, programs, and procedures for both the safety and health of all employees.”

Machell DePina, human resources director and safety administrator for the City of Keizer, said the city decided to pursue SHARP after completing a safety manual project and after the city’s safety committee indicated it wanted to “ensure a continued focus on safety, not just a binder that is put on a shelf.”

So, DePina said, the city decided “to go for what hasn’t been done before – certification of a municipality in the SHARP program.”

Putting a focus on workplace safety through SHARP has shown employees the city is committed to proactively addressing their concerns, DePina said. Meanwhile, the SHARP designation has caught the attention of prospective job candidates who have noted the designation shows the city takes safety seriously. 

“It’s hard, but important, work,” DePina said of SHARP. “Our employees are our most valuable asset, and we need to do what we can to ensure they go home as well or better than when they arrived.”

Employers that have been operating for more than a year are eligible to apply for SHARP. Before the process begins, employers must agree to several requirements, including:

  • A comprehensive safety and health assessment of the workplace
  • Significant involvement of employees in the safety and health program
  • Correction of hazards, and improvement of the safety and health management system

Learn more about SHARP.

Learn about Oregon OSHA’s consultation services, offering free help with improving workplace health and safety programs – no fault, no citations, no penalties. 

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

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

 

 



 


 

 




Attached Media Files: SHARP logo , DCBS logo , Oregon OSHA logo

UPDATE - Oregon Department of Human Services announces that Mercedes "Bo" Dunnington has been found
Oregon Department of Human Services - 05/23/22 11:00 AM

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, is thankful for the community support to find Mercedes “Bo” Dunnington. 

Bo, age 16, is a child in foster care who went missing from Bend on May 15. She was found May 21. 

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

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

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Celebrate the Oregon State Parks Centennial on State Parks Day, June 4, with free parking and camping
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 05/23/22 11:00 AM

Free parking, free RV and tent site camping, and special events highlighting the Oregon State Parks centennial are planned for State Parks Day on Saturday, June 4.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will waive day-use parking fees at the 26 locations that charge them and waive camping fees for all tent, RV and horse campsites. 

State Parks Day has been a tradition since 1998 as a way to thank Oregonians for their support of the state park system over many decades.

“State parks are here because Oregonians know our state parks are special. You’ve invested in them, helped care for them and kept them open to all. Thank you.” said OPRD Director Lisa Sumption. “This year’s State Parks Day is even more meaningful in light of our centennial. We hope you will come out and wish Happy 100th Birthday to Oregon State Parks.” 

State Parks Day Events

Several special events and service projects are planned June 4 to celebrate State Parks Day and the Oregon State Parks centennial. 

Monmouth: A free community birthday party is scheduled 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Oregon’s first state park, Sarah Helmick State Recreation Site. The event will feature a dedication, interactive demonstrations and exhibits, a classic car show, giveaways and birthday cake while supplies last. 

Port Orford: Cape Blanco State Park and the Cape Blanco Heritage Society will host a celebration of the state parks centennial and the 150th anniversary of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. The event, scheduled at the lighthouse grounds, will feature live music, raffles, a lighthouse diorama presentation, food by the Rotary Club of Port Orford and a Coast Guard flyover at 2 p.m. 

St. Paul: Champoeg State Heritage Area will host a living history event from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visitors will experience an authentic fur trappers’ encampment that hearkens back to the early 1800’s when fur trappers and their families camped along the Willamette River at this location.

Medford: At Valley of the Rogue State Park, visitors are invited to watch two professional wood carvers create new sculptures they will donate to the park. They will be working 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. June 4 and 5 at the Valley of the Rogue rest area.   

Two volunteer service projects are also scheduled June 4 at Wallowa Lake State Park in Joseph and at Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park in Florence. 

Additional special events and service projects celebrating the centennial will be posted throughout the year on the Oregon State Parks event calendar

About Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

The mission of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. The department manages 254 Oregon State Parks comprising more than 100,000 acres. 

A hundred years ago, state parks were barely an idea in Oregon. A 5-acre donation in 1922 became Oregon’s first official state park. Join us in 2022 to celebrate the places Oregonians hold dear: the viewpoints, the waterfalls, the trails and the historic landmarks. Share photos and memories on social media with the hashtags #oregonstateparks and #oregonstateparks100. Learn more at stateparks.oregon.gov


Applications open to fund Oregon electric mobility projects
Pacific Power - 05/23/22 10:29 AM

Media hotline: 503-813-6018

 

Applications open to fund Oregon electric mobility projects
More than $1.3 million available in grants to help state go electric

 

PORTLAND, Ore. — May 23, 2022--Nonprofits, local governments and other non-residential Pacific Power customers in Oregon are encouraged to apply for the Electric Mobility Grant. Launching in May 2022, more than $1.3 million will be available for electric mobility projects in Oregon.

Grant funding is made possible by the Oregon Clean Fuels Program, which is administered by the state Department of Environmental Quality and aims to reduce the carbon intensity of Oregon’s transportation fuels. Pacific Power raises funds through the sale of Clean Fuels Program credits, which the company aggregates on behalf of customers who charge their electric vehicles at home. 

“Electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure are increasingly in-demand by customers and communities across the state,” said Cory Scott, vice president of community and customer solutions. “This grant program is just one of the ways Pacific Power is helping prepare communities for more electric vehicles on the road.”

Starting in 2020, Pacific Power has awarded more than 20 unique E-Mobility Grants to nonprofits, local governments, hospitals and other non-residential customers served by Pacific Power in Oregon. 

“Pacific Power is unique in that we serve diverse communities throughout Oregon, including large metro areas and rural communities, major corridors and vacation destinations, “said Kate Hawley, senior product manager, electric transportation. “We have supported many innovative projects over the last few years,  and we look forward to seeing what is in store for this year.”

Funding awards will cover up to 100 percent of the project cost. All non-residential Pacific Power customers in Oregon are eligible to apply with preference given to community-focused organizations, such as school and transit districts, 501(c)(3) organizations and city, county, and regional governments. Applications will be accepted up to Aug. 31, 2022 at 5 p.m. Recipients will be announced in November 2022. Grant recipients must complete projects within 18 months from the date of award. 

In addition to the Electric Mobility Grant, Pacific Power is pleased to make Electric Vehicle (EV) grant matching support funds available to non-residential customers in Oregon who plan to secure additional funding to support Pacific Power customers with EV-related projects. Additionally, grant writing support is available  for non-residential customers to apply to EV-related grants to support Pacific Power customers. 

Pacific Power also offers customers an electric vehicle charging station technical assistance program. The program supports non-residential customers interested in installing electrical vehicle supply equipment or electrifying their fleet with technical assistance. The technical assistance program is available at no cost and includes a site visit, analysis of electric vehicle technology options, costs, rates, and best practices for siting, configuring, installing, and managing equipment.

For detailed eligibility requirements, charging station project qualifications, additional technical assistance program details, application forms and more information about the benefits of electric vehicles, please visit pacificpower.net/ev.

Application materials may be submitted to plugin@pacificpower.net.

About Pacific Power

Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 770,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. It is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, providing 2 million customers with value for their energy dollar through safe, reliable electricity. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.

 

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Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council subcommittees meet week of May 23, 2022
Oregon Health Authority - 05/23/22 10:28 AM

May 23, 2022

Media contact: Aria Seligmann, 503-910-9239, ia.l.seligmann@dhsoha.state.or.us">aria.l.seligmann@dhsoha.state.or.us

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council subcommittees meet week of May 23, 2022

What: Public meetings of the Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council and its subcommittees to approve Behavioral Health Resource Network applications.

Agendas: Posted on the Oversight and Accountability web page prior to each meeting.

When/Where:

All meetings are virtual.

Subcommittee #1:  

Tuesday, May 24, 4-7 p.m.  https://youtu.be/7W4yTuthJRw

Thursday, May 26, 4-7 p.m. https://youtu.be/PPO00bwXxTQ

Subcommittee #2:

Thursday, May 26, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. https://youtu.be/Fs3iZFX_b34

Friday, May 27, 12-4 p.m. https://youtu.be/rqKEWariNc4

Purpose: The Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council oversees the establishment of Behavioral Health Resource Networks throughout Oregon. The OAC will hold regular meetings to accomplish the necessary steps to fund and set up the networks.

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

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

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

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

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


New Teaching & Learning Leaders Join ESD 123 (Photo)
ESD 123 - 05/23/22 8:16 AM
Molly Hamaker-Teals
Molly Hamaker-Teals
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-05/1212/154773/thumb_MollyHamakerTeals.jpg

PASCO, WA – Educational Service District 123 is pleased to announce the newest leaders to our Teaching & Learning Department.  Molly Hamaker-Teals has been selected as the new Director of Teaching & Learning, and Kristi Hofheins has been selected as the new Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning.  Both positions begin July 1st and follow the retirement of Mrs. Teri Kessie who has served as the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning since 2017.

Meet Molly Hamaker-Teals, Director

Molly Hamaker-Teals has served as an educator in the Tri-Cities for the past 26 years, including as a classroom teacher and in her current role as principal at Southridge High School. Ms. Hamaker-Teals holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, a Master’s in Education, along with her superintendent’s credentials.

As Director of Teaching & Learning, Ms. Hamaker-Teals will provide leadership with the ESD 123 Educator Growth and Development team to implement coordinated and intentional supports to help transform schools and districts as they work to improve student learning.  Her role focuses on ensuring a cohesive effort that inspires, challenges, prepares and empowers regional and statewide stakeholders to create an equitable education system. 

“I am excited to be part of the ESD 123 Educator Growth and development team,” says Ms. Hamaker-Teals.  “I look forward to supporting schools and districts as they transform the educational experiences that improve student learning, not by accident, but by design.”

Meet Kristi Hofheins, Assistant Superintendent

Coming to ESD 123 from her current position as Executive Director of Teaching & Learning in the Moses Lake School District, Kristi Hofheins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching Secondary Mathematics, a Master’s in Education, Administration, and her superintendent’s credentials. Ms. Hofheins began teaching in 1995 and has served both in the classroom and in principal and assistant principal roles over the years.

The Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning oversees the division operations, specializing in data analysis, clock hour completion, and teacher certification. Ms. Hofheins will analyze needs assessment data and school improvement plan reviews to identify professional learning opportunities both small and large, ranging from paraeducator trainings to regional and statewide events.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve as the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning for ESD 123,” Ms. Hofheins says. “I feel fortunate to be able to work alongside the very capable team of professionals at the ESD, as well as, provide support for the 23 districts in the region.”

Ms. Hofheins and Ms. Hamaker-Teals begin their first day in the ESD 123 Teaching & Learning department on July 1, 2022. For more information, contact Molly Curtiss, Director of Communications, at 509-544-5787 or tiss@esd123.org">mcurtiss@esd123.org




Attached Media Files: Molly Hamaker-Teals , Kristi Hofheins

Sun. 05/22/22
Oregon Nurses Launch 2 New Strikes Votes Against Providence Hospitals (Photo)
Oregon Nurses Assn. - 05/22/22 2:54 PM
Community allies join nurses and elected leaders in a march and informational picket against Providence in downtown Oregon City, Wednesday, May 11.
Community allies join nurses and elected leaders in a march and informational picket against Providence in downtown Oregon City, Wednesday, May 11.
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-05/6931/154768/thumb_Photo_May_11_5_57_31_PM.jpg

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
10 a.m. PT, Monday, May 23, 2022

More than 2,000 Frontline Nurses at 3 Portland Area Hospitals Are Voting or Have Voted to Strike Providence.  

NURSE PRESS CONFERENCE: 
Monday, May 23
10 a.m. PT
Oregon AFL-CIO 
3645 SE 32nd Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) leaders from Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, Providence Milwaukie Hospital and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center will speak and answer media questions along with statewide ONA leaders and labor allies. Contact Scott Palmer or Kevin Mealy to confirm.  

(Portland, OR) – Frontline nurses at Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City and Providence Milwaukie Hospital in Milwaukie are launching simultaneous strike votes Monday against Providence—one of Oregon’s largest companies. The strike votes are to protest Providence’s illegal unfair labor practices (ULPs) and demand fair contracts which improve patient care, raise nurse staffing standards, make health care more affordable and address Providence’s growing staffing crisis.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) represents 233 frontline nurses working at Providence Willamette Falls and 239 frontline nurses working at Providence Milwaukie.

The strike votes will take place from May 23 - June 2. If approved, the nurses would join 1,600 ONA frontline nurses working at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland—one of Oregon’s largest and most profitable hospitals—who voted nearly unanimously to strike Providence on May 3. 

Despite nurses’ sacrifices over the last two years serving on the frontlines of a deadly pandemic, Providence has left hundreds of frontline nurses working without the safety and security of a contract. Providence allowed nurse contracts at major Oregon hospitals including Providence St. Vincent and Providence Willamette Falls to expire in 2021. Providence Milwaukie’s contract will expire this month. 

ONA nurses and community allies are coming together to speak up about safety issues and put patients first in a fair contract. During contract negotiations, ONA frontline nurses are asking Providence for basic safety standards to protect our patients, our coworkers and our families including: 

  • Stronger patient safety standards to reduce future COVID-19 outbreaks and ensure the highest standards of care for all Oregonians.
  • Safe nurse staffing to ensure high-quality care and patient access.
  • Affordable health care and paid leave so frontline nurses can seek care after COVID-19 exposures and afford health care for their own families.
  • A fair compensation package that allows hospitals to recruit and retain the skilled frontline caregivers our communities need to stay healthy and safe. 

Strike vote results are expected to be announced Friday, June 3 after ONA’s Labor Cabinet reviews vote results and determines whether to authorize additional strikes against Providence—one of Oregon’s largest and most profitable health systems.

If ONA members vote to authorize strikes at Providence Willamette Falls and Providence Milwaukie, ONA’s nurse leaders will determine next steps including setting potential strike dates. If strikes are called ONA will provide Providence with a 10-day notice to allow management adequate time to cease admissions and transfer patients or to reach a fair agreement with nurses and avert a work stoppage. ONA’s nurse bargaining team at Providence Willamette Falls is scheduled to meet with Providence management for bargaining sessions on May 25 and June 3. ONA’s nurse bargaining team at Providence Milwaukie is scheduled to meet with Providence management for bargaining sessions on May 26 and June 16 and 23.

ONA represents more than 4,000 frontline nurses working in 10 Providence Health System facilities from Portland to Medford including Providence Willamette Falls, Providence Milwaukie and Providence St. Vincent. ONA nurses at Providence Hood River are also in negotiations over an expired contract. 

Providence St. Joseph Health is the third-largest health system in the US with tens of billions in annual revenue. It is Oregon’s largest health care system and one of the state’s largest corporations. Despite its national reach, Providence regularly collects more than half of its total profits from Oregonians. ONA nurses are asking Providence’s corporate executives to re-invest in safe, high-quality, affordable health care.

“While Oregon’s nurses were running into COVID-19 rooms wearing reused PPE we pulled from paper bags, taxpayers handed Providence and other hospitals billions to ensure our hospitals stayed open during the pandemic. Providence alone collected nearly $1.3 billion in taxpayer bailouts from the CARES Act to add to its $14 billion in cash and investment revenues,” said ONA President Lynda Pond, RN. 

“Frontline nurses have invested in Providence with our blood, sweat, tears and our dollars. Now we’re demanding Providence invest in our communities and put those profits to work as intended. It’s time for Providence to listen to nurses and reinvest in patient safety, safe staffing, and caregiver retention to improve health care for all Oregonians,” Pond said. 

Click here to learn more.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents more than 15,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state, including more than 4,000 nurses working at 10 Providence Oregon health care facilities throughout the state. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.




Attached Media Files: Community allies join nurses and elected leaders in a march and informational picket against Providence in downtown Oregon City, Wednesday, May 11. , More than 700 ONA nurses, community supporters and elected officials rally outside Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon during an informational picket Tuesday, March 15.

Fri. 05/20/22
Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup supports COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose for children ages 5 through 11 years old
Oregon Health Authority - 05/20/22 1:49 PM

May 20, 2022

Contact: OHA External Relations, covid19.media@dhsoha.state.or.us">orcovid19.media@dhsoha.state.or.us

Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup supports COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose for children ages 5 through 11 years old

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup (WSSSRW) has recommended that a Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose be made available to children ages 5 through 11 at least five months after receiving the last dose in their primary vaccine series. The decision comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a booster dose for children ages 5-11.

Boosters are available today for children 5-11.

“This is great news for parents and children, who can be confident in the safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids and the extra protection a booster dose provides,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “Let’s keep working together to keep our friends and families safe. Thank you to the more than 3 million Oregonians who have received a vaccine dose already. I encourage everyone eligible to find a vaccine or booster appointment near you today.”

The WSSSRW reviewed the data presented to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding the waning of immunity after receipt of the two-dose series, the safety of boosters in children 5–11 years of age and the boost in antibody levels produced by boosters. The group concluded that the benefits of a booster in preventing COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths in this age group substantially outweighed the risk. The workgroup also called for additional efforts to provide vaccines to those who have not yet been vaccinated, and eliminating disparities in vaccine coverage.

“The decisions this week follow a careful review of evidence by experts at the FDA and CDC, and experts in the Western states pact with Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada,” said Paul Cieslak, medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at Oregon Health Authority (OHA). “Research has shown vaccines to be safe in this age group. In its recommendation, the FDA had determined that the known and potential benefits of a single booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine for this age group outweighs the known and potential risks and will extend protection against COVID-19.”

With the WSSSRW approval, OHA will now provide guidance and policy to Oregon vaccine providers on the use of a Pfizer booster to children ages 5 through 11.

 “We want to remind all families that the most important step is for children is to get their primary series of vaccines, which can provide significant protection against severe illness,” said Cieslak. “Boosters will benefit vaccinated children who are still at risk for severe disease, and they may help children not to spread it to high-risk adults with whom they have close contact. OHA recommends that families consult their physician or a health care provider if they have questions. For those who do not have a health care provider, please call 211.”

OHA estimates that there are more than 337,000 Oregon children ages 5 through 11. As of Thursday, 36.5% of children in this group had completed their vaccination series.

Earlier this week, the FDA amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, authorizing a  booster dose for children ages 5 –11 years for the Pfizer booster. In its decision, the FDA noted the Omicron wave saw more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and that children may also experience longer-term effects, even following initially mild disease.

On Thursday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky approved the recommendation, made the same day by ACIP by an 11-1 vote, with one abstention, to make the single Pfizer booster available to children in this age group.

In her recommendation, Walensky noted that vaccinations for the primary vaccination series among children this age group have lagged behind those in other age groups, leaving them vulnerable to serious illness. In its statement, CDC also strengthened its recommendation that persons 12 and older who are immunocompromised and those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first.

Additional Information about recommendations for vaccines, boosters and third doses for all groups can be found here. Vaccines are available to people in Oregon through health care providers, local pharmacies and high-volume vaccination and testing sites.


OHA adopts new rules for psilocybin products, testing, training programs
Oregon Health Authority - 05/20/22 12:18 PM

May 20, 2022

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

OHA adopts new rules for psilocybin products, testing, training programs

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has adopted the first set of final administrative rules related to psilocybin products, testing and training programs. The rules were informed by public comments that are summarized in a Hearing Officer Report.

The rules specify curriculum requirements for programs planning to train people interested in facilitating psilocybin services in Oregon. With the adoption of these rules, the Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) at OHA will begin accepting applications for training program approval in June 2022.

The rules also specify requirements related to psilocybin products and testing. With the adoption of these rules, the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP) will set up accreditation criteria for laboratories interested in being accredited before applying for licensure in 2023.

This summer, OPS will hold a series of public listening sessions for partners and the public to share feedback with the section. In addition, OPS will begin to accept applications from individuals who may be interested in serving on Rule Advisory Committees (RACs) that will advise OPS on additional rulemaking later in the fall. The fall rulemaking process will address the remainder of the rules necessary to begin accepting applications for licensure in 2023.

For the latest updates, subscribe to the distribution list at: oregon.gov/psilocybin 

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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 the Oregon Psilocybin Services team at 971-341-1713, 711 TTY, or OHA.Psilocybin@dhsoha.state.gov.


Missing child alert -- Mercedes "Bo" Dunnington is missing and is believed to be in danger (Photo)
Oregon Department of Human Services - 05/20/22 11:03 AM
2022-05/973/154750/Dunnington.jpg
2022-05/973/154750/Dunnington.jpg
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-05/973/154750/thumb_Dunnington.jpg

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, asks the public to help find Mercedes “Bo” Dunnington, age 16, a child in foster care who went missing from Bend on May 15, 2022. She is believed to be in danger.

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

Bo is known to spend time at the local parks and gas stations in Bend. She also goes by the name Katie. 

Name: Mercedes “Bo” Dunnington
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: Jan. 10, 2006
Height: 5-foot-6
Weight: 187 pounds
Hair: Dyed blond 
Eye color: Green
Other identifying information: Bo was last seen wearing a fleece red and black button up jacket with a hood.
Bend Police Department Case #22-26762
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #1450997

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

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

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Attached Media Files: 2022-05/973/154750/Dunnington.jpg

The 6th Annual Run 2 Remember 5K Run/Walk (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 05/20/22 11:00 AM
190518-Z-CH590-004
190518-Z-CH590-004
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2022-05/962/154732/thumb_190518-Z-CH590-004.jpg

The 6th Annual Run 2 Remember will once again be held this year on May 21, 2022 at Salem Riverfront Park beginning at 8:00 a.m.

The Run 2 Remember is held to honor those who have sacrificed everything while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.  It further supports loved ones and Gold Star Families, to provide honor, hope and healing to those grieving any military loss.

Assistant Adjutant General Oregon National Guard and Joint Domestic Operations Commander, Brig. Gen. Mark Crosby is the scheduled guest speaker, along with Gold Star Family Member Mr. Wendall Pelham.

The run will include a 5K run/walk for all august along with a half mile kid’s run (Ages 6-12). A virtual 5k run is also included at part of the Run 2 Remember event. 

“With Honor and Respect to you and your family, we will never forget the sacrifice you and your loved one made for this great Nation,” said Philip Highwood, with Oregon Survivor Outreach Services.

The Oregon National Guard Family Program has partnered with multiple military and veterans organizations to continue this annual event. This event is free to the participants and open to the community. 

Salem Riverfront Park is located at 200 Water Street N.E., Salem, Oregon. For additional information please see the event website: https://runsignup.com/Race/OR/Salem/ORNGRun2Remember

 

Photos from past “Run 2 Remember” events:

190518-Z-CH590-001: Oregon National Guard family members and others took part in the "Run 2 Remember" 2019 at the Salem Waterfront Park, Salem, Oregon, May 18, 2019. The remembrance run/walk is in honor of Fallen Service Members from all branches of the Armed Forces. In addition to the run/walk events, a resource fair will be open for surviving family and Service Members. (Photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

190518-Z-CH590-002: National Guard family members and others took part in the "Run 2 Remember" 2019 at the Salem Waterfront Park, Salem, Oregon, May 18, 2019. The 5K out and back course brought out over 350 participants for the annual memorial run. The remembrance run/walk is in honor of Fallen Service Members from all branches of the Armed Forces. In addition to the run/walk events, a resource fair will be open for surviving family and Service Members. (Photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

190518-Z-CH590-003: Oregon National Guard Brig. Gen. William Edwards (center) and other National Guard family members and others being the kids 1//2 mile fun run as part of the "Run 2 Remember" held at the Salem Waterfront Park, Salem, Oregon, May 18, 2019. Edwards, Assistant Adjutant General Army, ran both the kids fun run (1/2 mile) and the 5K event. (Photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

190518-Z-CH590-004: National Guard family members and others took part in the "Run 2 Remember" 2019 at the Salem Waterfront Park, Salem, Oregon, May 18, 2019. The 5K out and back course brought out over 350 participants for the annual memorial run. The remembrance run/walk is in honor of Fallen Service Members from all branches of the Armed Forces. In addition to the run/walk events, a resource fair will be open for surviving family and Service Members. (Photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

180519-Z-OT568-005: Ann Browning (left) and Oregon Army National Guard 2nd Lt. Elena Miron, with the Oregon National Guard Education Services Office, pose for a photo at their booth providing information to military families about education benefits during the “Run to Remember” 5K run/walk event at Salem Riverfront Park, May 19, 2018, in Salem, Oregon. The Oregon National Guard’s Service Member & Family Support Branch hosted the event in honor of Fallen Service Members and Gold Star Families during Armed Forces Day. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

180519-Z-OT568-006: Participants walk through Salem Riverfront Park during the “Run to Remember” 5K run/walk, May 19, 2018, in Salem, Oregon. The Oregon National Guard’s Service Member & Family Support Branch hosted the event in honor of Fallen Service Members and Gold Star Families during Armed Forces Day. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

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Attached Media Files: 190518-Z-CH590-004 , 190518-Z-CH590-003 , 190518-Z-CH590-002 , 190518-Z-CH590-001 , 180519-Z-OT568-006 , 180519-Z-OT568-005

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council approves first BHRN grant agreement for drug treatment, recovery services in Harney County
Oregon Health Authority - 05/20/22 10:57 AM

May 20, 2022

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

timothy.heider@dhsoha.state.or.us

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council approves first BHRN grant agreement for drug treatment, recovery services in Harney County

The Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) this week approved its first Behavioral Health Resource Network (BHRN) grant, funding drug treatment and recovery services in Harney County.

Symmetry Care Inc., which operates a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic that offers a wide range of support services, will coordinate the BHRN for the Harney County region.

The approved budget is $857,711. Symmetry Care offered an in-kind contribution of $455,000 toward additional staff and reserve funding for contingent additional services over the term of the 18-month contract.

This represents the first award from approximately $265 million in funds allocated through regional BHRNs to support substance use treatment providers across Oregon.

To receive funding, successful applicants within each Oregon county must provide a slate of services through a funded provider network or BHRN.

OAC subcommittees also approved applications for Sherman and Coos counties, bringing the number of approved counties to 29. Additionally, several applications were approved for Lane, Wasco and Multnomah counties, but there are still applications pending.

The subcommittees are expected to review applications from Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties next week.

What has been approved so far

A calendar with an estimated timeline for the OAC subcommittees can be found here.

More information on the approval process for BHRNs can be found here.

Last week, the OAC voted to adopt a new 18-month grant spending timeline that will extend from July 2022 through December 2023. This means that regardless of when a grant agreement is final, the grant will be extended through December 2023.

OHA is hosting welcome and orientation sessions with approved providers and is moving through the negotiation phase as quickly as possible.

Funding will be released no later than 20 days after a BHRN receives full approval and all agreements between OHA and the providers are executed.

OHA will continue to provide frequent updates on the application review, approval and agreement process.

Other M110 funds to be disbursed

A three-month extension will be offered to Access to Care (ATC) grantees through Sept. 30, 2022. The grantees will receive a pro-rated amount based on their prior award, bringing the total funds disbursed to approximately $39.9 million.

These funds will prevent a lapse of funding or interruption of service for grantees while the OAC continues to review and approve applications.

Access to Care grantees comprise 70 substance use treatment programs that provide treatment, housing, vocational training and other life-changing support services.

Read more about Measure 110

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

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

Their goal was to establish a more equitable and effective approach to substance use disorder. OHA is working with the Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council to develop a first-in-the-nation health-based approach to substance use and overdose prevention system, which is more helpful, caring and cost-effective than punishing and criminalizing people who need help.

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Increased emergency SNAP benefits continue in June
Oregon Department of Human Services - 05/20/22 10:20 AM

Need to know

  • Most Oregonians who receive SNAP benefits will continue to receive temporarily increased emergency food benefits in June
  • Approximately 411,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $66 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits
  • These emergency benefits are a temporary support that Oregon can provide because of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Find resources to meet your basic needs: Dial 2-1-1, or text your zip code to 898-211, www.211info.org 
  • Oregon Department of Human Services COVID-19 help center 

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

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

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

In June, approximately 411,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $66 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits.

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

Current SNAP households will receive emergency allotments on June 11. Emergency allotments will be issued June 30 or July 2 for households who did not receive benefits in the first monthly issuance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources to help meet basic needs

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/benefits/Pages/index.aspx . For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

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Thu. 05/19/22
Former Federal Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty for Role in Bribery and Contraband Smuggling Conspiracy
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 05/19/22 4:14 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A former federal correctional officer at the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) in Sheridan, Oregon pleaded guilty today for his role in a bribery and contraband smuggling conspiracy.

Nickolas Carlos Herrera, 32, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, providing contraband in prison, and accepting a bribe as a public official.

According to court documents, from April 2015 until he was placed on administrative leave in December 2019, Herrera was employed as a correctional officer at FCI Sheridan, a federal prison in Yamhill County, Oregon. Herrera used his position to introduce contraband into the facility for the benefit of select inmates including Donte Hunt, 40, who is in custody pending an October 2022 trial on federal drug, gun, and money laundering charges. In the spring of 2019, Herrera began bringing contraband items such as food, clothing, and cigarettes into the facility, which he gave to Hunt in exchange for money. 

Later, Herrera brought Hunt marijuana; Suboxone, a Schedule III narcotic; Yeezy brand designer sneakers, and a cell phone. Herrera obtained the narcotics and other items from Elizabeth McIntosh, 34, a non-incarcerated associate of Hunt’s. On at least one occasion, Herrera allowed Hunt to use a staff phone at the prison to call McIntosh to arrange the delivery of Suboxone to Herrera. Herrera met McIntosh on multiple occasions to obtain the narcotics and other items for Hunt and accepted payment from McIntosh via transfers of cash and transfers using various digital payment services including PayPal, Apple Cash, and Square.

On September 24, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging Herrera, Hunt, and McIntosh with conspiracy and bribing a public official. Herrera and Hunt were additionally charged with providing contraband in prison.

Herrera and McIntosh were arraigned on November 2 and 4, 2020, respectively. Both were released on conditions. Hunt was arraigned on November 19, 2020 and ordered to continue his pre-trial detention.

Herrera and Hunt face maximum sentences of 25 years in prison, a $750,000 fine, and five years’ supervised released. McIntosh faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, and five years’ supervised released.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It is being prosecuted by Ethan Knight and Katherine Rykken, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

The Oregon Military Museum opens Historic Park to the public
Oregon Military Department - 05/19/22 12:00 PM

The Oregon Military Museum (OMM) at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, Oregon is opening its Historic Park to the public on Saturday, May 21, 2022, as part of Armed Forces Day. For the first time in over a decade visitors of all ages are invited to experience the two historic buildings anchoring OMM’s Historic Park, including the Quartermaster Storehouse and Battery-A Field Artillery Horse Barn.

As part of Opening Day events, visitors can take part in the sights and sounds of the Vietnam War era while reenactors showcase period military vehicles and display tents. The Armed Forces Day Holiday pays tribute to men and women who serve across all six branches in the United States military.

OMM’s Historic Park is located at 15300 SE Minuteman Way at Camp Withycombe, and is free and open to the public Thursday-Saturday, 10am-3pm, Armed Forces Day (May 21) through Veterans Day Weekend (November 12). 

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Attached Media Files: Flyer

When in doubt, stay out
Oregon Health Authority - 05/19/22 11:27 AM

May 19, 2022

Contact: Erica Heartquist, 503.871.8843, phd.communications@state.or.us

When in doubt, stay out

Increasing temperatures create potential for toxins in water

PORTLAND, Ore.—As summer approaches, and more communities and recreational areas around the state begin reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reminds people heading outdoors to be on the look-out for cyanobacteria blooms that can produce toxins in Oregon lakes, rivers and reservoirs. 

Cyanobacteria are beneficial bacteria found worldwide in all freshwater. Under the right conditions—when weather, sunlight, water temperature, nutrients and water chemistry are ideal—cyanobacteria can multiply into blooms in any water body. Many blooms are harmless, but some can produce cyanotoxins that make people and animals sick. 

Exposure to cyanotoxins occurs when water is swallowed while swimming, or when water droplets are inhaled during high-speed activities such as water-skiing or wakeboarding. Symptoms of exposure to cyanotoxins include diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, numbness, dizziness and fainting. Although cyanotoxins are not absorbed through the skin, people with sensitive skin can develop a red, raised rash when wading, playing or swimming in or around a bloom.  

Children and pets are particularly sensitive to illness because of their size and activity levels. Dogs can get extremely ill and even die within minutes to hours of exposure to cyanotoxins by drinking the water, licking their wet fur or eating the toxins from floating mats or dried crust along the shore. Similar to dogs, livestock and wildlife can become ill and die after drinking from waterbodies, troughs or other sources of drinking water affected by blooms and potential toxins. 

Only a fraction of freshwater bodies in Oregon are monitored for cyanotoxins. Due to continued staffing and safety concerns related to COVID-19, OHA expects less frequent visual monitoring and sampling of affected water bodies than normal. For this reason, it will be even more important as more recreational areas open and the summer recreation season begins for people to visually observe any water body they choose to recreate in before taking the plunge.  

OHA recommends that everyone stay out of water that looks foamy, scummy, thick (like pea-green or blue-green paint) or where brownish-red mats are present. If you are unsure, follow OHA’s guidance of “When in doubt, stay out.” 

Open recreational areas where blooms are identified can still be enjoyed for activities such as camping, hiking, biking, picnicking and bird watching. By being aware of signs of a bloom and taking appropriate precautions to reduce or eliminate your exposure, you can also enjoy water activities such as canoeing, fishing and boating, as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray and fish are cleaned appropriately. 

To learn if an advisory has been issued or lifted for a specific water body, visit the Harmful Algae Bloom website or call the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767. 

For health information or to report an illness, contact OHA at 971-673-0440. For campground or lake information, call the local management agency. 


Wapato Schools Resgistration Round-Up
Wapato Sch. Dist. - 05/19/22 10:54 AM

Good morning,

Please see the attached release regarding our upcoming registration outreach event taking place next week.  If you have an opportunity to share this with your audiences it would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

 

 




Attached Media Files: Wapato Schools Registration Round-Up

PacifiCorp Customers Encouraged to Comment on Proposed Rate Increase
Oregon Public Utility Commission - 05/19/22 9:41 AM

PACIFICORP CUSTOMERS ENCOURAGED TO COMMENT ON 
PROPOSED RATE INCREASE
Oregon PUC accepting comments at May 24 virtual event, or in writing and by phone through June 22

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is hosting a virtual public comment hearing on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 6 p.m. PST. The event provides PacifiCorp customers an opportunity to speak directly to the Commissioners about the utility’s proposed increase to electricity rates.

PacifiCorp is asking for an increase in its general rates of approximately $84.4 million or 6.8 percent. This would impact customer rates differently depending on usage and customer type -- residential, business, or industrial customers.  For a residential customer using an average of 900 kWh per month, the increase would be $13.01 or 14.16 percent for single family residential customers; and, $6.97 or 11.0 percent in a multi-family home using an average of 600 kWh a month.  

PacifiCorp identifies several factors driving the proposed rate increase, including its plan to close coal plants and transition to more renewable sources of energy and, in particular, the TB Flats Wind Project.  PacifiCorp also points to increased costs associated with its vegetation management programs and expansion of its wildfire mitigation programs. Additionally, PacifiCorp cites inflation and changes to its capital structures as drivers of the increase.  

PacifiCorp’s general rate change request is undergoing a nearly year-long review and will be fully investigated on behalf of electricity customers by the PUC, the Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board, the Alliance of Western Energy Consumers, and others. This public comment hearing is part of that investigation, which will conclude in December when the Commissioners rule on the request. New rates, if approved, are expected to go into effect January 1, 2023.  

Ways to Comment

Pacific Power customers and other interested persons may participate in the public comment hearing to provide verbal comments to the Commissioners and the Administrative Law Judge presiding over this rate case. 

Spanish translation services are available for community convenience at no cost. For those individuals needing translation services, log into the Zoom platform and select English or Spanish on the bottom of the page. Translation services are not available for the meeting phone-in option.

When: Tuesday, May 24, 2022 from 6 – 7 p.m. 

For those unable to participate during the virtual public comment hearing, comments may be submitted through June 22, 2022 in the following ways:

Stay Informed

To stay informed throughout this rate case process, individuals may request to be added to the distribution list to receive publicly available documents. Submit requests by email to ings@puc.oregon.gov">puc.hearings@puc.oregon.gov or by calling 503-378-6678. Please specify docket UE 399 in the request.

The PUC’s mission is to ensure that customers of Oregon’s investor-owned utilities have access to safe, reliable, and high quality utility services at just and reasonable rates. 

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Committees to review historic property and archaeology grant applications
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 05/19/22 7:09 AM

SALEM, Oregon –

Two separate committees will meet to score and rank applications for the Preserving Oregon and Diamonds in the Rough Grant programs. The recommendations from the committees will be forwarded to the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation for final review and approval June 24, 2022. 

Both meetings will be online. 

The Diamonds in the Rough Grant Review Committee will meet June 2, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Please see the agenda for access details. 

The Preserving Oregon Grant Review Committee will meet June 7, 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Please see the agenda for access details. 

Special accommodations for the meeting – including translation services – may be made by calling 503-986-0690 at least 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting. For information about the grants contact Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail:   i.Gill@oprd.oregon.gov">Kuri.Gill@oprd.oregon.gov


Wed. 05/18/22
U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref Announces FBI Sweep Down on Gang Activity, Drug Trafficking, and Violent Crime in Yakima County
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 05/18/22 5:47 PM

Yakama, WA – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that a federal Grand Jury has returned numerous indictments charging multiple individuals with various federal crimes arising in the Yakima area, including on the Yakama Nation Indian Reservation. 

Over the past several years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has dedicated increased resources to addressing violent crime in Yakima County, including on the Yakama Nation. In the past six months, the FBI’s office in Yakima has brought on a number of additional special agents dedicated to investigating violent crime. In addition, the FBI is leading a joint task force, which includes Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, the Washington State Department of Corrections, and the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. The purpose of the FBI Task Force is to disrupt gang activity, weapons trafficking, narcotics distribution, and to eradicate violent crime in Eastern Washington. 

Seven of the indictments announced today charge the following individuals with multiple violations of federal law:

  • Marcelo Anthony Benson, age 25, of Wapato, Washington, an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation.  In State prison on unrelated charges.  Currently charged with felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Dennis William Chapman, age 62, of Toppenish, Washington. Arrested on May 17, 2022, and charged with two counts of distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. 
  • Joseph Wade Clark, age 45, of Yakima, Washington.  In custody at the Yakima County jail on unrelated charges.  Charged with two counts of distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Nicholas Medelez, age 33, of Yakima, Washington.  Arrested on May 17, 2022, and charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine.
  • Sergio Hernan Mendoza, age 47, of Sunnyside, Washington.  Arrested on May 17, 2022, and charged with two counts of distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
  • Tiare Aqua Leilani Miller, age 34, of Toppenish, Washington.  Arrested on May 17, 2022, and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Raymond Holt, age 75, of Wapato, Washington. Arrested on May 18, 2022, and charged with abusive sexual contact of an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation.

Additional fugitives are currently being sought by the FBI Task Force.  More information will be provided upon their arrest. 

U.S. Attorney Waldref commended the FBI Task Force for its dedication to combating drug distribution and pursuing violent offenders in the Yakima area, including on the Yakama Nation. “The opioid epidemic devastating our region is closely linked with an increase in violent crime. The uptick in violence has hit Native American communities especially hard,” she explained. “Native Americans experience some of the highest rates of violence in our country. The FBI Task Force – which focuses its efforts to protect our community from drug trafficking, gang members, violent offenders, and felons who possess firearms – reflects the United States’ commitment to addressing the causes and symptoms of the increased violence in Native American communities and elsewhere.”

“These arrests demonstrate how critical it is for law enforcement to work together,” U.S. Attorney Waldref continued. “By combining the resources of federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement through focused investigation and prosecution, we are able to do more to make communities in Eastern Washington safe and strong. The indictments announced today send a clear message that our community will not tolerate drug trafficking and violence.” 

“The public has been demanding a place to live and work where our citizens feel safe,” said Donald M. Voiret, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle Field Office. “The actions taken today by the FBI and our law enforcement partners demonstrate that we hear you, and we are working to provide our communities with the protection you deserve.”

Yakima County Sherriff Robert Udell stated, “The latest round of FBI Task Force arrests is a fantastic example of the FBI’s commitment to public safety in Yakima County. The FBI and the Yakima County Sherriff’s Office enjoy a strong partnership, which is committed to removing violent criminals from our communities.  I believe the FBI Task Force, coupled with local partners, is a significant step towards ensuring our citizens’ safety.”

“With violent crime on the rise across the country, law enforcement must come together to combat the root causes of this violence more so than ever,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “Today’s arrests demonstrate HSI’s commitment to our daily quest to keep the Pacific Northwest secure by pursuing those who blatantly disregard the health and safety of the community we live in.”

Lloyd Easterling, Chief Patrol Agent for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Spokane Sector, emphasized his agency’s commitment to keeping the communities of Eastern Washington safe:  “The U.S. Border Patrol remains committed to working together with our partners to identify, arrest and remove violent offenders from our communities.” 

As noted above, the cases announced today are being investigated by a Joint FBI Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, the Washington State Department of Corrections, and the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. The cases are being prosecuted by Matthew Stone, Michael Murphy, and Tom Hanlon, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

United States v. Marcelo Anthony Benson: 1:22-CR-2043-SMJ

United States v. Dennis William Chapman: 1:22-CR-2047-SAB

United States v. Joseph Wade Clark: 1:22-CR-2044-SAB

United States v. Nicholas Medelez: 1:22-CR-2050-SAB

United States v. Sergio Hernan Mendoza: 1:22-CR-2046-SMJ

United States v. Tiare Aqua Leilani Miller: 1:22-CR-2048-MKD

United States v. Raymond Holt:  1:22-CR-2060-SAB


OHA monthly media availability provides update on COVID-19
Oregon Health Authority - 05/18/22 5:22 PM

May 18, 2022

Contact: OHA External Relations, covid19.media@dhsoha.state.or.us">orcovid19.media@dhsoha.state.or.us

OHA monthly media availability provides update on COVID-19

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) held its monthly media availability today, providing an update on COVID-19 in Oregon.

Dean Sidelinger, M.D. MSEd, health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA, highlighted the latest data trends, showing increased disease transmission and cases.

Sidelinger said persons with underlying medical conditions or who are immunocompromised should consider contacting their health care providers now to make a plan to get tested and receive treatment —should they become ill.

Here are the talking points from today’s media availability. You can also watch it here.

OHA releases biweekly COVID-19 reports

The COVID-19 Biweekly Data Report, released today, shows an increase in cases and COVID-19-related deaths and a decrease in COVID-19-related hospitalizations since the previous biweekly period.

OHA reported 18,447 new cases of COVID-19 from May 2 to May 15, a 51% rise over the previous biweekly total of 12,234.

There were 208 new COVID-19-related hospitalizations during the biweekly period, down slightly from 218 reported during the previous two-week period.

“Case numbers continue to climb, and we also expect the state will see more than 300 COVID-19-positive patients in Oregon’s hospitals by early June,” said Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at OHA. “The virus continues to spread throughout our state, and those who are getting together outside of their homes will eventually be exposed to it.”

There were 58 COVID-19-related deaths, up from the 50 reported during the previous two weeks.

“Being vaccinated and boosted remains the best way to protect yourself from severe disease,” said Cieslak.

There were 193,475 tests for COVID-19 administered during the weeks of May 1 to May 14, with a test positivity rate of 10.5%.

Today’s COVID-19 Biweekly Outbreak Report shows 104 total active outbreaks in care facilities, senior living communities and congregate care living settings with three or more confirmed COVID-19 cases or one or more COVID-19-related deaths.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations

Vaccines remain the most effective tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19. For more information on where to get a vaccine or your booster dose in Oregon, click here

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine situation in Oregon, visit our web page (English or Spanish), which has a breakdown of distribution and other information.


Richland Removes Overdue Fines from Library Materials
City of Richland - 05/18/22 4:57 PM

The Richland Public Library is now fine free! Returning items past the due date will no longer result in late fines being charged to an account. In addition to this change, all existing late fines will be removed from accounts in the coming days. If patron’s have an overdue item or have an account blocked because of late fines, now is the perfect time to return those library materials and reconnect with the library in a new chapter of library service. 

This approach to “fine free” libraries has been successful in other cities across the country,” states Library Manager, Christopher Nulph. “The Richland Public Library does not rely on revenue generated from overdue fines. In addition, overdue fines can create barriers to using the library for cardholders, especially children and families. We want to avoid reducing access to learning opportunities during periods of critical growth and development. This is great news for our citizens!”

At their April 19, 2022 meeting, Richland City Council approved Resolution No. 2022-55 which amends the Richland Fee Schedule to remove overdue fees for late library materials. 

On May 10, 2022, The Richland Public Library Board of Trustees reviewed and adopted an updated circulation policy which eliminates charging late fines on overdue materials. The policy indicates that patrons will be asked to monitor their due dates and return library materials in a timely manner, but patrons will not be financially penalized for returning items past the due date. 

A final Resolution was approved by the Richland City Council on May 17, 2022. Resolution No. 2022-63 authorizes the waiver of outstanding legacy fines associated with overdue library items that pre-exist the passage of Resolution 2022-55. 

More information can be found at www.myrichlandlibrary.org


Spokane Valley Volleyball Coach Sentenced To 60 Months in Federal Prison for Child Pornography Offense
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 05/18/22 4:31 PM

Spokane, Washington –United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Richard Dale Wright, 50, of Spokane, Washington, to 60 months in federal custody for downloading images of child pornography. Judge Rice ordered Wright to be taken into immediate custody, and also ordered him to serve the remainder of his life on federal supervision after he is released from prison.  Wright pleaded guilty earlier this year to Receipt of Child Pornography.

According to court documents, an undercover FBI Special Agent went online in the Spring of 2019 to identify people in the Spokane community who were sharing large volumes of known or suspected child pornography.  The agent downloaded a number of child pornography files from Wright’s computer, and a subsequent search warrant at his residence in Spokane Valley resulted in the seizure of digital devices containing images and videos of child pornography dating back to 2017.  Wright had been a girls’ volleyball coach in Spokane and the Spokane Valley, including at Lewis & Clark High School, and with Apex, a club youth volleyball program for which Wright served as the director.  He was also on the Board of Directors for the Evergreen Region Volleyball Association.  Although the ages of the victims depicted in Wright’s child pornography collection were consistent with the volleyball players he coached, FBI was not able to positively identify any of Wright’s former players in the child pornography images on his digital devices.

“It is deeply troubling that a coach, entrusted with the safety of teenage – and younger – girls, engaged in child pornography conduct that demonstrated his sexual interest in girls that age,” said Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.  “It is a relief that the FBI did not recover evidence that Mr. Wright recorded child pornography images or videos of any of the players he coached.  Today’s sentence nevertheless serves as a clarion call to anyone who would endanger or exploit children in the Eastern District or elsewhere: law enforcement is actively investigating your online conduct, and the consequences for engaging in child exploitation are severe.”

“As a coach and community role model, Mr. Wright held a position of trust and he should be held to a high standard of conduct,” said Donald M. Voiret, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle Field Office. “Instead, he possessed hundreds of images that revictimize innocent children every time their abuse is viewed.  I commend the investigators and prosecutors who vigilantly protect our youth.”

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:

· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;

· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;

· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;

· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and

· Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the FBI.  The case was prosecuted by David M. Herzog, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. 

2:21-CR-00031-TOR


Spokane Man Sentenced To 12 Years for Sexual Exploitation of a Child
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 05/18/22 4:30 PM

 

Spokane, Washington –United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Fainyan Kain James Kimmerly, 22, of Spokane, Washington, to 12 years in federal prison for persuading a 13-year-old to produce sexual images of the 13-year-old and send the images to Kimmerly.  Judge Rice also ordered Kimmerly to serve the remainder of his life on federal supervision after he is released from prison.  Kimmerly pleaded guilty earlier this year.

According to court documents, in the summer of 2019, Kimmerly used Facebook to communicate with a 13-year-old whom he knew to be a minor.  In a series of Facebook Messenger communications, Kimmerly engaged in a dominant-submissive sexual relationship with the minor.  Among other inappropriate conduct, Kimmerly specifically requested that the minor take sexually explicit images of the minor’s own body and send those images to Kimmerly.  In 2010, Kimmerly sustained a juvenile conviction in Spokane County for Child Molestation in the First Degree, and was a registered sex offender under Washington law when he engaged in the conduct charged in the federal case.

Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, praised the victim’s bravery and commended the FBI’s sensitive and victim-centered approach to its investigation.  “Children must be safe from sexual predators, particularly those who have offended before,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref.  “In this case, the FBI’s Special Agents, victim and witness specialists, and forensic examiners all took care to put the specific needs of the 13-year-old minor at the forefront of their investigation.   Above all, I commend the victim on having the strength to come forward and shine a light on Mr. Kimmerly’s misconduct.  Protecting children from harm, especially sexual exploitation online and IRL (in real life), is critical to building a safe and strong Eastern Washington community.   I am delighted to note that even Mr. Kimmerly’s conduct has not succeeded in silencing or sidetracking the minor’s life; today, on the very day of sentencing, that minor is attending a college fair and looking to the future.”

“This is not the first time Mr. Kimmerly has demonstrated disregard for a vulnerable person,” said Donald M. Voiret, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Seattle Field Office.  “His conduct in this case was particularly egregious, given some of the challenges his victim was already facing.  I applaud the work of our investigators and victim advocates, as well as our colleagues at the United States Attorney’s Office, for standing up for people who deserve support, not victimization.”

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:

· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;

· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;

· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;

· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and

· Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the FBI, with significant assistance from the Spokane Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by David M. Herzog, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. 

2:20-CR-00013-TOR


Prolific Fraudster Sentenced To Statutory Maximum Federal Sentence
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 05/18/22 4:28 PM

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Charice Unruh, 42, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced today in federal court in Spokane.  Senior Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen sentenced Unruh to 48 months in federal prison, the highest sentence available under federal law.  Judge Nielsen also sentenced Unruh to another year of incarceration, to be served concurrently, because she committed this crime while already on federal supervised release for her prior criminal conduct.  Judge Nielsen also imposed 48 months of supervised release, to begin running when Unruh is released from custody.

In February 2022, Unruh pleaded guilty to Unlawful Use of the United States Mails, after an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”).  The investigation began when a keen Postal Inspector noticed a package addressed to Unruh while conducting a routine review of parcels coming into Spokane.  The Inspector recognized Unruh’s name from a previous USPIS investigation in which Unruh was convicted and sentenced to federal prison in connection with her role in an identity theft ring.  The package addressed to Unruh had several indicators consistent with packages that contain contraband, and the Inspector obtained a federal search warrant for it.  The search revealed methamphetamine in the package. 

The Postal Inspector removed the actual methamphetamine and replaced it with a non-contraband substance before setting up a controlled delivery of the parcel to Unruh.  Unruh retrieved the package and was immediately contacted by the Inspector. USPIS then executed a search warrant at Unruh’s Spokane-area apartment, and located multiple devices commonly used to engage in identity theft, as well as personal identification information for multiple individuals across the country.

In imposing the maximum available sentence, Judge Nielsen noted Unruh’s “disturbing” and “terrible” history with this type of crime. In her remarks to the Court, Unruh said she copes with life’s struggles by eating and using methamphetamine, and indicated that she was addicted to both.  Judge Nielsen agreed, but stated Unruh was also addicted to stealing other people’s identities and personal information.  Judge Nielsen noted that he did not believe Unruh properly considered or understood the impact of her actions on all the innocent people whose personal information she compromised.

“Sending drugs through the mail and stealing people’s identities are serious crimes that deserve serious punishment, as today’s sentence demonstrates,” said Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. “Our colleagues at USPIS work tirelessly to ensure not only the safe delivery of mail in this country, but to investigate identity theft, mailboxing, wire and bank fraud, and similar crimes. Identity theft costs victims money, time, stress, and can have lasting negative impacts on people’s lives.  Even if victims of identity theft are made whole by banks, credit card companies, and other institutions, the costs associated with credit card fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft are distributed back across the entire law-abiding population, increasing everyone’s cost of living.  I commend USPIS for their ongoing efforts to stymie both identity theft and the use of the U.S. mails to distribute drugs.”

“The U.S. Postal Service remains one of the most trusted entities in the country, and we work at every turn to protect the communities we serve.  Preventing identity theft remains one of our top priorities,” said Inspector in Charge Anthony Galetti.  “Every time I speak to a victim of identity theft, I am reminded of both the financial and mental toll this crime takes—innocent victims have to spend their time, energy, and resources to close fraudulent bank accounts, correct credit scores, and the like.  A bank may return a victim’s money, but a bank can never give a victim back all the hours it takes to undo an identity thief’s work.  We hope this sentencing brings justice to the victims of Unruh’s criminal activity and serves as a deterrent to others.   I thank the U.S. Border Patrol and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance; it is partnerships across agencies that allow cases like this to be solved.”

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the United States Border Patrol and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney Caitlin A. Baunsgard of the Eastern District of Washington handled this matter on behalf of the United States. 

Case No.: 2:21-CR-108-WFN


Meet the Marine Board's New Boating Safety Program Manager (Photo)
Oregon Marine Board - 05/18/22 4:00 PM
Boating Safety Program Manager Brian Paulsen behind the oars during the Marine Board's 2021 Drift Boat School on the Rogue River
Boating Safety Program Manager Brian Paulsen behind the oars during the Marine Board's 2021 Drift Boat School on the Rogue River
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The Oregon State Marine Board experienced long-time staff retirements this year, who left the decks clean, and the lines well dressed for new crew members to replace them. In March, Brian Paulsen was selected as the agency’s Boating Safety Program Manager after joining the agency in July 2018.

Paulsen is a life-long boater, bouncing around the bottom of a jet sled and drift boat as a toddler. He got hooked in competitive bass fishing tournaments at the age of 11. “I remember driving bass boats during tournaments before boater education cards were mandatory. I also was the one always backing down boat trailers for other boaters at tournaments, so I got lots of practice.” Paulsen adds, “I even based my decision on where to attend college on access to rivers. I’ve been fortunate to have had opportunities to operate a variety of boats across Oregon’s water-etched landscape. This has allowed me to understand the changes in waterway use and see first-hand the demand for more access.”

Paulsen’s formal education background is in Natural Resources, with a focus on molecular biology and water chemistry. Paulsen also has a Merchant Mariner Credential (USCG Captain’s License) in addition to a very diverse boating background which includes experience with rowing rafts, drift boats, catarafts jet boat operations in a river environment, and outboard propeller boats for coastal and offshore fishing. Paulsen is passionate about being on the water and helping others learn boating safety, which makes him a natural fit to serve as the agency’s Boating Safety Program Manager.

Paulsen previously served as the agency’s Waterways Coordinator, managing the statewide waterway obstruction and waterway marker programs, as well as providing technical service and expertise to marine law enforcement partners for boat repairs, training, maintenance, and specifications for boat builds for marine law enforcement. 

Paulsen has an impressive list of accomplishments while serving as the Waterways Coordinator. He initiated a digital mapping project to develop Boating Obstruction Reporting Tools (BORT). 

Since many marine law enforcement partners and outfitter guides are on the water frequently, they are a huge resource when it comes to reporting and helping mitigate obstructions for safe navigation. They are the “eyes and ears” of what’s happening on the water. The BORT platform allows partners to report directly through an application which is then added to a public-facing boating obstruction dashboard. Boating obstructions include logs, root wads, rocks, or other debris that can be dangerous or even prevent navigation downstream. Obstruction risks can be an extraordinary hazard to navigation, and some can become a life-safety issue for boaters. 

During the 2020 straight wind wildfires, several popular rivers were severely impacted, with downed or damaged trees falling into the waterways over time, creating a significant increase in waterway obstructions. Many fire-impacted waterways provide recreation to thousands of boaters annually. The obstructions map helps boaters plan where to put in and take out ahead of time, to avoid any potentially unsafe situations. Paulsen also helped lead bilingual education and outreach with improved access signage, including QR codes to the obstruction map in fire impacted areas. 

Looking toward the future, Paulsen commented, “The mandatory Boater Education Card is over 20 years old now. We see opportunities to get boaters excited about continuing education beyond what’s required for motorized boaters, especially with improved technology. Continuing education is the next leap and even finding ways to improve partnerships to expand on-water learning experiences.” Paulsen adds, “There’s been a dynamic evolution in boating with new user groups, new boat types, activities, and increased demand for access. As an agency, we’re working to navigate the challenges we hear about from boaters and to improve engagement. Our agency’s programs get better when we hear from boaters. Their boating dollars go back to help fund boating facilities and education grants, contracts for marine law enforcement, and many other valuable programs. Our goal is for all boaters to have a safe and enjoyable experience on Oregon’s waterways.”

Learn more about the Marine Board and its programs at Boat.Oregon.gov

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Attached Media Files: Boating Safety Program Manager Brian Paulsen behind the oars during the Marine Board's 2021 Drift Boat School on the Rogue River

Oregon Historical Society Presents Statewide Programs on the History of Oregon's Early Chinese Residents (Photo)
Oregon Historical Society - 05/18/22 3:49 PM
2022-05/2861/154703/Winter_2021.jpg
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Portland, OR — In December 2021, the Oregon Historical Society’s scholarly journal, the Oregon Historical Quarterly (OHQ), published a captivating special issue titled “Chinese Diaspora in Oregon.” In partnership with the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project and guided by guest co-editors Jennifer Fang and Chelsea Rose, this important scholarship makes visible the long, complex, and geographically diverse history of Chinese Oregonians.

Focused on the period beginning in 1850 and continuing through the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943, this heavily illustrated issue offers both new research and new conclusions about the history of Chinese people in Oregon — a subject that has been erased in Oregon’s public memory over the course of 200 years. This popular issue is already in its second printing, having sold out within months of its original release last year.

To further engage the community with this important scholarship, the Oregon Historical Society will present “OHQ on the Road,” a series of public programs across the state where scholars, authors, and knowledge-holders will share insights from the scholarship produced in this special issue. Kicking off in Eugene, Oregon, on May 19, these free, immersive programs will show how early Chinese communities were integral to the shaping of Oregon. These communities existed in every corner of Oregon, in rural and urban areas, and thrived while navigating complex governmental, social, and cultural systems that were often unwelcoming and oppressive. 

These programs are presented in partnership with the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project, a multi-agency partnership that has been excavating sites across the state to better understand and share the history of Oregon’s early Chinese residents. With a focus on rural communities, remote mining camps, and railroad construction, this collaborative project has provided important insight into the Chinese experience and role in the settlement and development of Oregon.

Published continuously since 1900, OHQ brings well-researched, well-written history about Oregon and the Pacific Northwest to both scholars and general readers. OHQ is one of the largest state historical society journals in the United States and is a recognized and respected source for the history of the Pacific Northwest region. The Winter 2021 “Chinese Diaspora in Oregon” special issue and many back issues of the Oregon Historical Quarterly are available for purchase through the Oregon Historical Society’s Museum Store for $10, and a subscription to OHQ is a benefit of Oregon Historical Society membership. 

OHQ on the Road Series Schedule

Longevity: The Archaeology of a Chinese Business in Eugene's Market District
A panel discussion with Jon Krier, Marlene Jamplosky, and Chris Ruiz
Thursday, May 19 at 6pm at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Eugene

This presentation and panel discussion on a recently re-discovered early twentieth century Chinese restaurant and gift store in Eugene’s downtown district illuminates a new chapter of Chinese experience in Oregon.

Oregon’s Early Chinese American History and Portland’s Louie Chung
Presented by Jennifer Fang and Myron Louie Lee
Wednesday, June 1 at 7pm at the Oregon Historical Society, Portland

Louie Chung immigrated to Oregon 1892 and worked as a contract laborer before becoming a wealthy Portland merchant. Join OHS for a discussion of what his story tells us about early Oregon history and the Chinese American diaspora.

Bona Fide Merchants and the Buck Rock Tunnel: Chinese Diaspora in Southern Oregon
Presented by Lisa A. Rice and Chelsea Rose
Wednesday, June 15 at 7pm at Grizzly Peak Winery, Ashland

Discover how researchers used historical-document analysis and landscape-scale archaeological investigation to uncover powerful stories of the Chinese merchants and laborers whose actions left significant marks on southern Oregon.

Tour of Chinese Mining Sites in Malheur National Forest
Led by archaeologists Don Hann and Katee Withee
Friday, June 24 at 9am at Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, John Day

Join two researchers whose work has helped reveal fascinating new information about the businesses, homes, and lifestyles of Chinese gold miners in eastern Oregon on a tour of the sites where Chinese miners lived, worked, and recreated. Please note that this tour is now full, but folks can use the registration link to be added to the waiting list in the event that anyone cancels.

Uncovering the History of Chinese Mining in Eastern Oregon
Presented by Don Hann, William F. Willigham, and Katee Withee
Friday, June 24 at 7pm at Canyon City Community Hall, Canyon City

Learn how the work of the statewide Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project has uncovered histories of Chinese mining partnerships in eastern Oregon — including business records, clothing, tools, and work and home sites — that shift our understanding of Oregon history.

Wing Hong Hai Company Store Open House
Presented by Jacqueline Y. Cheung and Eric Gleason
Sunday, June 26 at 1pm at the Wing Hong Hai Company Store, The Dalles

Discover objects from the Wing Hong Hai Company Store, which played an important role in the maintenance of Oregon’s Chinese diaspora communities in The Dalles. This open house is hosted by the current building owners who are co-authors of an article in the OHQ special issue and are renovating the store and researching early members of the Chinese community in The Dalles.

Searching for Salem’s Early Chinese Community
Presented by Myron Louie Lee, Kylie Pine, and Kirsten Straus
Thursday, June 30 at 7pm at the Willamette Heritage Center, Salem

Learn how community members helped advise an archaeological team in uncovering a funerary table in Salem’s Pioneer Cemetery, one of few physical remnants of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century community, which led to reinstating its use in a revived annual Qingming festival at the cemetery. 


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. 




Attached Media Files: 2022-05/2861/154703/Winter_2021.jpg , Two of Louie Chung's children, Hazel (???) on left and Edward (???) on right, pose for a photograph in their attire for the Chinese Baby contest at the Portland Rose Festival, 1916. Photo courtesy of the collection of Jack Lee and Hazel Lee.

Walla Walla Public Schools names Partners of the Year (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 05/18/22 3:13 PM
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WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools established Partners in Learning Month in May 2010. This month the district sent nearly 200 proclamations and letters of recognition to its Partners in Learning. 

“We so appreciate the individuals, businesses, organizations and agencies who engage with the district throughout the year in support of our students and our mission,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “We simply could not do what we do without their generosity and commitment.”

During the May 17, 2022 school board meeting, Superintendent Smith named Chervenell Construction, Jackson Contractor Group, Big Blue Boosters of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Valley Disability Network Partners of the Year. 

“This school year the district made significant progress in returning to a more traditional learning experience after two years of living through a global pandemic,” said Dr. Smith. “During these difficult times we have relied heavily on the support of our partners to navigate and support our staff, students and parents through the ups and downs of COVID. It truly does take a village to support our children and continue to achieve our vision of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.”

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Attached Media Files: 2022-05/1288/154701/Partners_in_Learning_Year_2022.JPG , 2022-05/1288/154701/Jackson_Rylan_Oakland.jpg , 2022-05/1288/154701/Disability_Network_Angie_Witt__and__Cyndy_Knight.jpg , 2022-05/1288/154701/Chervenell_Larnie_Opp.jpg , 2022-05/1288/154701/Boosters_Casey_Waddell.jpg

Fatal Crash on Miami Foley Road-Tillamook County
Oregon State Police - 05/18/22 2:18 PM

On Tuesday May 17, 2022 at approximately 11:00AM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two-vehicle crash on Miami Foley Road near New Miami River Rd. 

Preliminary investigation revealed that a southbound black Honda 500 motorcycle, operated by Adam Taylor (26) of Warrenton, on Miami Foley Road crossed into the northbound lane, colliding with a Ford F55, operated by Jose Hernandez (32) of Portland. Speed and motorcycle inexperience are being investigated as contributing factors to the collision. 

Taylor sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Hernandez sustained minor injuries. A passenger in the Ford 55, Rosalio Herrera Morelos (54) of Vancouver, WA, was uninjured.  

Miami Foley Road was closed for several hours following the crash. 

OSP was assisted by the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office, Garibaldi Fire, Tillamook Ambulance, and Tillamook County Public Works.


Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Awards Community Grants to 71 Nonprofits (Photo)
Umpqua Bank - 05/18/22 11:22 AM
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First round 2022 grants support community-based nonprofits across five states

In its first of three community grant funding rounds in 2022, the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization of Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ), awarded 71 community grants to local nonprofits across its five-state footprint totaling $392,000.

Umpqua’s community grants support nonprofit organizations across Ore., Wash., Idaho, Calif. and Nev. and are part of the Bank’s overall foundation and corporate giving program that has invested $13.2 million since the Foundation was formed in 2014.

“Nonprofits are evolving their essential services to strengthen communities during challenging times, and we’re honored to partner with and invest in their critical programs,” shared Randy Choy, vice president of community giving and managing director of the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation. “We’re grateful for these nonprofits’ role in expanding access to economic opportunity for all our community members.”

These nonprofits, selected from among hundreds of applicants, in the first of three grant cycles in 2022, demonstrated a steadfast commitment to serving low-to-moderate-income populations in at least one of eight categories: family engagement and resiliency; financial competency; housing stability and home ownership; college, career or technical readiness; entrepreneurship and business expansion; vibrant and equitable neighborhoods; technical and digital connectivity; and small business support and financial guidance.

The next deadline for community grant applications is 5 p.m. PT on Fri., June 3, 2022. Learn more at www.UmpquaBank.com/Community.

The following recipients received grants between $5,000-10,000:

OREGON

OrganizationCounty
Adelante MujeresWashington
Boys & Girls Club of the Umpqua ValleyDouglas
Boys and Girls Clubs of Bend, Inc. Deschutes
Central Latino AmericanoLane
Community Lending WorksLane
Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.Lane
Eastern Oregon Regional Arts Council, Inc.Union
Free GeekMultnomah
Impact NWMultnomah
Junior Achievement of Oregon and SW WashingtonMultnomah
Northwest Housing Alternatives, Inc. Clackamas
Ophelia's PlaceLinn
Oregon Community SolutionsLincoln
Providence Community Health FoundationJackson
Rural Development Initiatives, Inc.Polk
Schoolhouse SuppliesMultnomah
SE WorksMultnomah
SMART ReadingBaker
The Children’s Book BankMultnomah
The ContingentMultnomah
YWCA of Greater PortlandWashington

WASHINGTON

OrganizationCounty
ADA Developers AcademyKing
Boys and Girls Club of the Olympic PeninsulaClallam
Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish CountySnohomish
Ellensburg Downtown AssociationKittitas
Family Promise of Skagit ValleySkagit
Girl Scouts of Western WashingtonKing
Global NeighborhoodSpokane
Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. (Lewis/Clarkston)Asotin
Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. (Tacoma/Pierce)Pierce
Interfaith Hospitality Network (Family Promise of Spokane)Spokane
Junior Achievement of WashingtonFranklin
Ke Kukui FoundationClark
Kitsap Regional Library FoundationKitsap
Mary’s Place SeattleKing
Overlake Service League (Bellevue LifeSpring)King
Pizza KlatchThurston
Summer SearchKing
The Trail YouthKing
Vamos Outdoors ProjectWhatcom
YouthCareKing

CALIFORNIA

OrganizationCounty
Best Buddies International, Inc.Sacramento
Boys and Girls Clubs of the North ValleyButte
Center for Human ServicesStanislaus
College TrackSacramento
Community Action Partnership of Orange CountyOrange
Diablo Valley College FoundationContra Costa
Financial Beginnings CaliforniaMarin
FOTC (Friends of the Children) Los AngelesLos Angeles
Freemont Adult and Continuing Education (FACE)Alameda
Immigrant Legal Resource CenterSanta Clara
Junior Achievement of Southern CaliforniaOrange
Lime FoundationSonoma
North Marin Community ServicesMarin
Opportunity Junction, Inc.Contra Costa
Orange County Community Housing CorpOrange
Project Hope AllianceOrange
San Diego Center for ChildrenSan Diego
Shelter Providers of Orange County, Inc. (HomeAid)Orange
StandUp For KidsOrange
Thomas House Temporary ShelterOrange
Together We Rise CorporationLos Angeles
Yuba Sutter Economic Development CorporationSutter
YWCA Berkeley/OaklandAlameda
Zero8Hundred, Inc.San Diego

IDAHO

OrganizationCounty
Backyard Harvest Inc. Latah
The Jesse Tree of IdahoAda

NEVADA

OrganizationCounty
Nevada HAND, Inc.Clark
Arts For All NevadaWashoe
Junior Achievement of Northern NevadaWashoe
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern NevadaWashoe


About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bankheadquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies to Work For," and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the sixteenth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leasing and financial services to businesses. 




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Applications being accepted for Advance Directive Advisory Committee
Oregon Health Authority - 05/18/22 10:58 AM

May 18, 2022

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

Applications being accepted for Advance Directive Advisory Committee

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Office of Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division are seeking applicants for two positions on the state Public Health Advance Directive Advisory Committee (ADAC).

The Advance Directives Advisory Committee (ADAC) provides guidance to OHA on necessary revisions to Oregon’s Advance Directive form and ensures the form is available and accessible across all Oregon communities. The committee reviews the Advance Directive form every four years.

OHA invites applications from people who meet the following criteria:

  • One member of the Oregon State Bar who has extensive experience in health law.
  • One member with expertise advising or assisting consumers with end-of-life decisions.

Each position serves a term that begins on July 1, 2022. The end dates for the positions listed above is typically four years. Board members are appointed by the Governor. Individuals with lived and/or professional experience related to health, disability, or racial equity are encouraged to apply.

Under Oregon Revised Statutes 292.495, board members may qualify to receive compensation for their service.

To apply, complete the electronic application process by June 17, 2022, at https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/board-list.aspx These recruitments will remain open until filled. Those applying will be asked to provide the following:

  1. A resume.
  2. A short personal biography.
  3. A brief statement of interest, which should include the positions the applicant is applying for.
  4. A brief statement on opportunities the applicant sees for the board to address equity.
  5. A brief statement on the applicant’s understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Those unable to complete the form electronically should contact the Executive Appointments Office at executive.appointments@oregon.gov for assistance.

Information about the Advance Directive Adoption Committee is available on the board’s website at: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/ABOUT/Pages/AdvanceDirectiveAdoptionCommittee.aspx.

For more information, contact Charina Walker, OHA Public Health Division, at 503-314-8605 or ina.walker@dhsoha.state.or.us">charina.walker@dhsoha.state.or.us.

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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 Charina Walker at 503-314-8605 or ina.walker@dhsoha.state.or.us">charina.walker@dhsoha.state.or.us or 711 TTY.


Fatal Crash on Interstate 84-Baker County
Oregon State Police - 05/18/22 10:38 AM

On May 17, 2022 at approximately 4:24 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a motorcycle crash on Interstate 84 near milepost 304. 

Preliminary investigation revealed a westbound Harley-Davidson FLHTCUTG, operated by John Atwood (74) of Island City, exited at the 304 off-ramp, and for unknown reasons lost control, striking the guardrail.

Atwood sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. 

Exit 304 was closed for approximately 3 hours. 

OSP was assisted by Baker City Police Department and ODOT. 


MEDIA RELEASE: Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Shares Memorial Day Message (Photo)
Ore. Department of Veterans' Affairs - 05/18/22 10:36 AM
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Memorial Day is a day when we stand united as one nation to pause and to remember. We pause to honor those service members who died while in service to this nation — in service to us all — to preserve and defend our individual freedoms. 

Since the Civil War, almost 6,000 Oregonians have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to this nation. On Memorial Day, we honor them and the more than 1.2 million service members who have given their lives nationwide.

This year, our agency will, for the first time in three years, have the chance to once again gather for an in-person Memorial Day ceremony at the Oregon World War II Memorial in Salem. This memorial honors the more than 3,700 Oregonians who gave their lives in World War II. We — as veterans and Americans — who came after them, owe so much for their sacrifice and the peace and stability that they helped secure for our nation and the world. 

Each and every one of their names is forever engraved on the granite walls that line this remarkable memorial. If you have the chance, I encourage you to visit this site and spend some time reflecting on their sacrifice. 

And as you walk any veteran memorial and remember those to whom it is dedicated, I urge you to also pause and remember those service members who came before and those who came after. This year’s ceremony is dedicated not to a particular generation of service members or conflict, but to all Oregonians — throughout time — who wore the uniform and, especially, those nearly 6,000 individuals and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms and our way of life.

Every service member had a story, and many faced additional challenges beyond the common trials and tribulations of war. Some were poor and uneducated. Some were privileged, with college or advanced degrees. Some were working men and women, with spouses and families. Some were 15- and 16-year-olds who lied about their dates of birth just to enlist.

Some were Black or mixed race, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian American or Pacific Islander, and they volunteered to serve a country that did not afford them rights or opportunities equal to those of their fellow countrymen and service members at the time of their service. Before the Korean War, our military served in segregated units, and many endured prejudice and bigotry from their own country even as they risked their lives and freedom to protect it.

Some of the courageous Oregonians who served and gave their lives in service to our country and whose memories we honor today were women who would not even be recognized as veterans of the United States Armed Forces until the 1970s. Others were quietly transgender, gay, lesbian or queer, who grappled with the pain of giving their all to a country that did not want every part of them, that did not allow them to serve openly as their true, authentic selves. 

We as a nation and, especially, as veterans who followed in their footsteps, owe an additional debt of gratitude to the brave soldiers, sailors, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard members who served under these policies and conditions. Their courage, selflessness, dignity and exceptional service did much to sway public opinion and pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future. 

On this Memorial Day, let us honor the unique loss and pain of each and every one of the 6,000 Oregonians and their families whose sacrifices we remember today. 

Words cannot express our gratitude and appreciation for the brave Oregonians who willingly made these sacrifices. The enormity of their courage humbles and inspires us. This day reminds us to be better as individuals, as a community and as a nation. As long as we, as one united nation, remember their sacrifices, their loss will not have been in vain. 

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Statewide Memorial Day Celebration will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 30, at the WWII Memorial on the grounds of the Oregon State Capitol Building. For more information or to watch live, visit ODVA’s Facebook page.

Kelly Fitzpatrick is the director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Governor Kate Brown’s policy advisor on veterans’ issues. She is a retired Army officer. Her military awards and decorations include multiple awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Army Parachutist Badge.




Attached Media Files: 2022-05/1082/154691/Kelly_Fitzpatrick.jpg

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Edges Down to 3.7% in April
Oregon Employment Department - 05/18/22 10:03 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2022

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Edges Down to 3.7% in April

Oregon’s unemployment rate edged down to 3.7% in April, from 3.8% in March, reaching its lowest level in more than two years. The rate is now close to Oregon’s record low of 3.4% which occurred in each of the four months of November 2019 through February 2020. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6% in both March and April 2022.

Throughout the past two years, Oregon and the nation have experienced similar trends as their economies and labor markets have recovered from the pandemic recession. Both saw their unemployment rates spike to unusual highs of more than 13% by April 2020, followed by a drop to below 7% six months later. For the past 21 months, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been within a half percentage point of the U.S. unemployment rate.

Payroll employment trends have also been similar for Oregon and the U.S., with both losing roughly 14% of payroll jobs between February and April 2020, then recovering roughly a third of those jobs three months later, followed by a more gradual recovery leading up to April 2022. However, Oregon has slightly lagged the U.S. jobs recovery overall, with the U.S. adding back 95% of jobs lost during the pandemic-induced recession, while Oregon has only recovered 88% of the jobs. 

In April, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4,200 jobs, following a revised gain of 7,000 jobs in March.  Over-the-month gains were largest in health care and social assistance (+1,800 jobs), manufacturing (+1,300), and professional and business services (+1,300). The only major industry to cut at least 1,000 jobs was other services (-1,000 jobs).

Professional and business services has grown rapidly and consistently over the past two years. In April, employment reached 261,700, another record high for the industry. Recent revisions to the jobs tallies boosted the past six months’ employment upward by about 3,000 above original estimates.

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the April county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, May 24, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for May on Wednesday, June 15.

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 2021 tax records data. In addition, data for July through September 2021 were revised by a total of up to 2,600 jobs per month. 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 can be found at QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit 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.

To file a claim for unemployment benefits or get more information about unemployment programs, visit Oregon.gov/employ.

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The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. Everyone has a right to use OED programs and services. OED provides free help. Some examples are: Sign language and spoken language interpreters, written materials in other languages, braille, large print, audio and other formats. If you need help, please call 971-673-6400. TTY users call 711. You can also ask for help at OED_Communications@employ.oregon.gov.




Attached Media Files: Oregon April Unemployment Numbers

California Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison for Kidnapping Former Dating Partner, Illegal Firearm Possession
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 05/18/22 8:13 AM

MEDFORD, Ore.—On May 17, 2022, a Humboldt County, California man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for the armed kidnapping of three adult victims, including a former dating partner, and illegally possessing a stolen firearm as a convicted felon.

George Gene Rose, 45, was sentenced to 300 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

“Mr. Rose’s callous and terrifying kidnapping of his former partner and two other adult victims warrant the lengthy prison sentence imposed today. We hope this sentence will bring some measure of peace and closure for these victims after this harrowing ordeal,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. 

“The physical and emotional toll Mr. Rose subjected his victims to cannot be undone; however, our hope is that today’s sentence begins the healing process for these victims. His actions were cold-blooded and egregious and physical and emotional violence of this kind will not be tolerated,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

According to court documents, on August 3, 2020, Rose entered the apartment of his first victim, a former dating partner, and waited for them to return home from work. Once inside, he stole a shotgun and several shotgun shells belonging to the victim’s landlord. When the victim returned home with a roommate, Rose confronted both individuals and ordered them to the ground at gunpoint. He bound both by their hands and feet and placed duct tape over their mouths and faces. Rose located a third victim in an adjacent bedroom and tied them up in a similar manner at gunpoint. When the third victim tried to break free of the binding, Rose struck them in the head with the butt of the stolen shotgun.

Rose then forced all three victims into a stolen pickup truck and fled. Several hours later, he released his second and third victims in a rural area of Northern California and told them to seek help from a house located two miles away. Rose continued driving north toward Oregon, while his first victim faded in and out of consciousness. Near Talent, Oregon, Rose abandoned the truck and led his first victim, who was not wearing shoes, through a densely wooded area. He repeatedly voiced his intention to kill the victim and himself.

Three days after the kidnapping, Rose’s victim convinced him to turn himself in. Rose eventually allowed the victim to knock on the door of a nearby residence and negotiate the terms of his surrender to police. Rose was arrested in possession of the stolen shotgun and more than two dozen shotgun shells.

On May 20, 2021, a federal grand jury in Medford returned a two-count indictment charging Rose with kidnapping and illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. On September 27, 2021, he pleaded guilty to both charges.

U.S. Attorney Asphaug and Special Agent in Charge Ramsey made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office. It was prosecuted by John C. Brassell, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Domestic violence involving a current or former partner is a serious crime that includes both physical and emotional abuse. Sometimes these crimes are hidden from public view with survivors suffering in silence, afraid to seek help or not knowing where to turn. The traumatic effects of domestic violence also extend beyond the abused person, impacting family members and communities.

If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911.

If you need assistance or know someone who needs help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or texting “START” to 88788. Many communities throughout the country have also developed support networks to assist survivors in the process of recovery.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release