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Medford/Klamath Falls/Grants Pass News Releases for Tue. Jul. 16 - 5:00 am
Mon. 07/15/19
Pedestrian dies while crossing I-205 - Clackamas County
Oregon State Police - 07/15/19 8:06 PM

On Monday, July 15, 2019 at approximately 5:05 A.M. Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to the report of a pedestrian hit by a vehicle on I-205 near mile post 12.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the pedestrian was headed east crossing the northbound lanes of I-205. The pedestrian was struck by a 2019 Ford Cargo Van operated by Steven Stewart (56) of Donald, OR.

The pedestrian sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. He will not be identified until next of kin can be notified.

Stewart remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

OSP was assisted by Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Clackamas County Fire Department, and ODOT

Final health insurance rate decisions lower 2020 premiums by $44 million
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 07/15/19 4:34 PM

(Salem) - The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation issued final rate decisions for small businesses and individuals who buy their own health insurance.

Final health insurance rates for the 2020 individual market have been lowered 1 percent on average from the division’s preliminary rate decisions, and 2 percent from the original requests filed by insurance companies in May. The final rates lower 2020 premiums by approximately $44 million from the original requests submitted by health insurance companies.

“Our collaborative rate review process has been key to building a stable health insurance market that enabled us to limit the individual market rate increase to an average of 1.5 percent,” said Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi. “The Oregon Reinsurance Program has also continued to show its value, keeping individual rates 6 percent lower than they would be without the program. We are grateful to the legislature for passing and our stakeholders for supporting the six year extension of this important program.”

The division’s transparent rate review process brings insurance companies, the division, and the public together to review health insurance rates. The collaborative process ensures all data are thoroughly reviewed and considered before rates are charged to consumers.

Several factors, such as medical costs, federal policy changes, the Oregon Reinsurance Program, and federal risk adjustment payments are considered to make sure rates will adequately cover health care costs.

Individual market 
The division issued final decisions for seven companies in the individual market with average rate changes ranging from a 3.2 percent decrease to an 8.9 percent increase, for an average increase of 1.5 percent. Under the decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $436 to $530 a month.

The preliminary rates included reductions for HeathNet and Kaiser. The final decisions include reductions for Bridgespan (2.8 percent increase lowered to 1.4 percent) and Providence (2.1 percent increase down to 0.0 percent rate hold). Regence was the only company to see a rate increase moving from 3.9 percent to 5.5 percent.

The rate changes are company-wide averages based on premiums for plans before financial assistance through Oregon’s Health Insurance Marketplace is taken into account.

All Oregonians who purchase their own insurance are encouraged to apply for assistance through the Marketplace for 2020, even if they did not qualify last year. In 2019, Oregonians who received help with the costs of their health insurance paid on average $140 a month.

Open enrollment for 2020 plans is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

Small group market 
In the small group market, the division issued final decisions for nine companies with average rates ranging from a 2.3 percent decrease to an 11.7 percent increase. Under the decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $321 to $394 a month.

Final rates include reductions from the preliminary decisions for five of the nine small group insurance companies.

See the chart for the full list of final decisions.  

Insurance companies have 21 days to request a hearing before the final rates are set for 2020.

More information for each insurance company can be found at oregonhealthrates.org. A complete premium comparison table for each county based on ages 21, 40, and 60 will be posted online in August.


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 www.dfr.oregon.gov.


Tool Thefts
Grants Pass Dept. of Public Safety - 07/15/19 3:42 PM

Over the past few months, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety has seen an increase in the theft of tools. Since May 1, we have had 20 such incidents. The value of tools taken in each case varies from $500 to $4,000. The most common locations for these thefts are job sites, unsecured tool sheds, and pickup truck beds. It is unknown at this time if these incidents are related.

We would like to remind citizens to never leave tools unattended, and to ensure areas where tools are kept are secure. It is also a good idea to store pictures and serial numbers of tools and other high-value items. 

Forest Trust Lands Advisory Committee meets July 19 at ODF headquarters in Salem
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/15/19 3:15 PM

SALEM, Ore – The Forest Trust Lands Advisory Committee will meet Friday, July 19 at 9:30 a.m. at the Oregon Department of Forestry Salem headquarters, Tillamook Room, Building C, 2600 State St. Items on the committee’s agenda include the following:

  • Project updates and overview of FTLAC and public engagement processes on Western Oregon State Forests Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Northwest State Forests Management Plan (FMP) revision
  • FTLAC chair topics: Gauging impact on counties of a revised Forest Management Plan, measuring how state forest management affects social and economic well-being of Council of Forest Trust Land Counties, and seeking to understand how selling carbon credits from state forests will impact rural economies
  • Opportunity for public comment

The meeting agenda and materials are posted on the department’s web site at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/FTLAC.aspx.

This meeting is open to the public. Questions about accessibility or special accommodations can be directed to the Oregon Department of Forestry at least 48 hours prior to the meeting at 503-945-7200.

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

Serious Injury Motor Vehicle Crash
Medford Police Dept. - 07/15/19 10:29 AM

On 07/14/19, at approximately 2044 hrs, the Medford Police Department responded to the area of Central and Boyd for a motor vehicle crash.  It was reported as a single motor vehicle crash into a utility pole.  The initial investigation revealed that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and lost control of the vehicle.  At this time it is believed that this event was associated with a race between multiple vehicles.  The vehicle left the roadway and struck a brick wall in the area of Central and Boyd. 

The vehicle was occupied by two individuals who both received serious injuries in the crash.  Both individuals were transported to a local hospital and are in critical condition at this time.  The Serious/Fatal Traffic Accidents Reconstruction (S.T.A.R.) team and a Medford detective responded to assist.  The case is currently under investigation. 


Oregon Heritage Commission to meet July 28-29 in Baker City
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 07/15/19 8:00 AM

The Oregon Heritage Commission will meet in Baker City July 28-29.  

On July 28, Commissioners will gather at 1:00 p.m. to tour heritage sites surrounding the historic downtown.

On July 29 a public business meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Geiser Grand Hotel at 1996 Main Street, Baker City, OR 97814. The agenda includes reports on 2018 grant and MentorCorps programs, long-term planning, approval of Cultural Trust partner funds, and reports by commissioners. 

The Heritage Commission is comprised of nine people representing Oregon's heritage and geographical diversity who have been appointed by the Governor. There are nine advisory representatives from state agencies and statewide organizations. The mission of the Oregon Heritage Commission is to secure, sustain, and enhance Oregon's heritage by ensuring coordination of heritage initiatives by public and private organizations; advocacy on its behalf; education of the public about its extent and value; and promotion and celebration of its diversity.

Commission meetings are open to the public and their agendas include opportunities for public comment. The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. 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 more information and accessibility needs, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Oregon Heritage Commission Coordinator Beth Dehn at 503-986-0696 or eth.Dehn@oregon.gov">Beth.Dehn@oregon.gov.

Sun. 07/14/19
Fatal Crash Highway 30 -- Baker County -- Corrected Date
Oregon State Police - 07/14/19 6:50 PM

Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into Sunday morning’s single vehicle double fatal crash on Highway 30 in Baker County. 

On July 14, 2019 at about 2:30 AM, OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle double fatal crash on Highway 30 near milepost 45.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a Chevrolet Malibu, operated by Jesse Butler, age 30, from Baker City, was traveling eastbound on Highway 30.  The Chevrolet Malibu failed to negotiate a left curve and crashed through the guardrail causing extensive damage to the guardrail. The Chevrolet Malibu rolled several times and traveled approximately 200 feet and struck a utility pole. 

Butler was ejected and died from injuries at the scene.  A passenger, Travis Culbertson, age 36, from Baker City, also died from injuries sustained in the crash. 

Highway 30 was closed for several hours during the investigation.  

OSP was assisted by the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, ODOT, Baker Fire, Haines Fire and Oregon Trail Electric Co-op. 

No photographs for release. 

### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###
Twitter: @ORStatePolice
Facebook: @ospsocial

Missing Person-Charles Levin ***UPDATE*** (Photo)
Grants Pass Dept. of Public Safety - 07/14/19 5:06 AM
Charles Levin
Charles Levin

Over the past week, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety has been searching for missing resident Charles Levin. Grants Pass DPS has been assisted by the Josephine County Sheriff 's (Search and Rescue) and the Oregon State Police. On Friday, July 12th Josephine County Search and Rescue was able to narrow down a search area based on an emergency cellular phone ping requested by GPDPS.  Josephine County Search and Rescue, Grants Pass DPS, and an air asset from the Oregon State Police spent most of the day searching a remote area northeast of Selma.  Charles was not located on Friday however, Search and Rescue continued their efforts on Saturday in the same general area.  At about 8:00 PM  on Saturday, a local Illinois Valley resident located Charles Levin's car in a very remote and almost impassible road. Troopers from the Oregon State Police responded and were escorted to the car by the individual who found it.  Levin's car was off the roadway and was disabled due to terrain.  

Inside Charles Levin's car, Troopers located Levin's Pug dog Boo Bear deceased.  Levin was not in his car, or in the immediate proximity of his vehicle. Josephine County Search and Rescue responded to the area again, along with investigators from GPDPS.  Assisted by the responding Troopers, personnel conducted a grid search of the very steep and rugged terrain.  After several hours of searching, human remains were located.  Based on  the circumstances, there is a high probability that the remains are those of Charles Levin.  The final identification of the remains will be completed by the Medical Examiner.  

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety would like to thank the Josephine County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, the Oregon State Police and the citizens of Josephine County. GPDPS followed up on many leads submitted to us by the public.  

Attached Media Files: Charles Levin

Fri. 07/12/19
Expected Delays at Upper Applegate Road
Jackson County Roads - 07/12/19 4:05 PM

Upper Applegate Road will be chip sealed July 15, 2019, through July 18, 2019, from Hwy 238 to the California state line near Applegate Lake.  Expect 10-15 minute delays.  Motorists and cyclist are encouraged to use alternate routes.  To keep apprised of the roads Jackson County is currently working on, visit http://jacksoncountyor.org/roads/Roads/Current-Projects and click on the link for Daily Projects. 

Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Taskforce to meet July 19 in Portland
Oregon Health Authority - 07/12/19 12:26 PM

July 12, 2019

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

Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Taskforce to meet July 19 in Portland

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Taskforce.

Agenda: Welcome, taskforce purpose and outcomes, agenda review, introductions, background on formation of the Taskforce, principles for guidelines, key components for inclusion in the guidelines, next steps and summary.

When: July 19, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building (PSOB), 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland Oregon Room 1A. The public can also call into a listen-only conference line: 1-888-278-0296 access code: 843163

Program Contact: Lisa Bui, 971-673-3397, ootg.info@dhsoha.state.or.us

For more information, please visit the Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Task Force website.

# # #

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 Lisa Bui, 971-673-3397, 711 TTY, or ootg.info@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.


Missing Oregon State Hospital patient has been found
Oregon Health Authority - 07/12/19 10:29 AM

July 12, 2019

Media contact: Rebeka Gipson-King, 503-945-7141,ebeka.gipson-king@dhsoha.state.or.us">rebeka.gipson-king@dhsoha.state.or.us
Oregon State Police PIO, osppio@state.or.us

Missing Oregon State Hospital patient has been found

The Eugene Police Department has located the patient reported missing yesterday by Oregon State Hospital. Please reference OSP Case Number SP19-246525.

On July 11 at 9:25 p.m., a Eugene police officer took the patient into custody. The patient is currently awaiting transport back to the hospital in Junction City.

Fatal Crash Highway 228 near Brownsville -- Linn County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/12/19 8:57 AM

Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into Thursday afternoon’s two vehicle fatal crash on Highway 228 near Brownsville. 

On July 11, 2019 at about 1:40 PM, OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a report of an injury crash on Hwy 228 near milepost 2.5.

Preliminary Investigation revealed that a Jeep Cherokee operated by, Michael McDaniel, age 69, from Brownsville, was traveling westbound on HWY 228 near milepost 2.   For unknown reasons the Jeep Cherokee drifted over the center line and struck an eastbound fully loaded Kenworth log truck, operated by Bradley Crowson, age 48, from Springfield.

McDaniel died at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.  Crowson received only minor injuries.

Highway 228 was closed for approximately 4 hours during the investigation. 

OSP was assisted by local fire/ems, ODOT and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. 

Photograph provided by OSP. 

### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###
Twitter: @ORStatePolice
Facebook: @ospsocial

Attached Media Files: 2019-07/1002/126046/Highway_228.jpg

Director Ray selected as Henry Toll Fellow for 2019
Oregon Dept. of Revenue - 07/12/19 8:10 AM

Department of Revenue Director Nia Ray has been named a 2019 Henry Toll Fellow. Each year, The Council of State Governments (CSG) names 48 of the nation’s top officials from all three branches of state government as fellows.

The Henry Toll Fellowship, named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, is one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials. Each year, the fellowship gathers state leaders to strengthen their leadership and create a strong national network.

Fellowship alum Representative Janelle Bynum says this about Nia: “Oregon is investing in growing its bench of high-quality leaders and Director Ray fits the bill. Her testimonies before committees and interactions with the Legislature have garnered her an immense amount of respect among members and professional staff.”

Oregon Department of Administrative Services Director Katy Coba said, “Ms. Ray has come to be known as a leader who can advance important initiatives and move organizations forward. Part of this is attributed to her ability to engage and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders, as well as to balance interests while seeking resolution to complex issues.”

Department of Revenue Deputy Director Satish Upadhyay said, “This is a huge testimony to Nia’s leadership and contributions to Oregon State Government. It’s a tremendous honor.”

Director Ray joins an elite group of past Oregon officials to receive this fellowship including judges, state legislators from both chambers, and Governor Kate Brown.

The program runs August 23–27 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Thu. 07/11/19
Fatal Crash Highway 211 near Molalla -- Clackamas County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/11/19 8:36 PM

Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into Thursday afternoon’s two vehicle fatal crash on Highway 211 near Molalla. 

On July 11, 2019 at about 3:20 PM, OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two vehicle crash on Highway 211 near South Mackburg Road. 

Preliminary investigation revealed that a Saturn Ion, operated by Tyler Bracken, age 18 and passeger Eric Santos, age 18, both from Beaverton, were traveling southbound on Highway 211. Bracken attempted to pass several vehicles in the northbound lane on a blind corner.  A Ford F250 pickup, operated by Craig Buche, age 53, from Molalla, was approaching in the northbound lane of travel.  Bracken veered to the right, applied his brakes, overcorrected and lost control.  The Saturn Ion travelled onto a soft shoulder and began sliding across both lanes of travel and was struck by the Ford F250 pickup. 

Bracken was transported by air-ambulance to Oregon Health Science University for life threatening injuries and Santos was pronounced deceased at the scene after life saving measures were perfomed.  Buche did not sustain any injuries during the crash. 

Highway 211 was closed for approximately 4 hours during the investigation. 

OSP was asssited by Clackamas County SO, ODOT, Molalla Fire District and Molalla PD.

The investigation is continuing

Picture courtesy of OSP.

### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###
Twitter: @ORStatePolice
Facebook: @ospsocial

Attached Media Files: 2019-07/1002/126041/20190711_165601.jpg

Oregon State Hospital seeks missing patient (Photo)
Oregon Health Authority - 07/11/19 4:42 PM
Troy Irick
Troy Irick

July 11, 2019

Media contact: Rebeka Gipson-King, 503-945-7141, ebeka.gipson-king@dhsoha.state.or.us">rebeka.gipson-king@dhsoha.state.or.us
Oregon State Police PIO, osppio@state.or.us

Oregon State Hospital seeks missing patient

A 35-year-old Oregon State Hospital psychiatric patient, Troy Irick, was reported missing Thursday. Anyone seeing Irick should call 911 or the Oregon State Police at 800-452-7888. Please reference OSP Case Number SP19-246525.

Irick is not considered to be an imminent danger to himself or others. He is accused of unauthorized departure. The OSP is conducting an investigation to help locate him. Irick should not be approached.

Irick was admitted from Coos County to the Junction City campus of Oregon State Hospital Sept. 9, 2017. Irick was found guilty except for insanity on the charges of unlawful use of a weapon and menacing.

He was last seen at approximately 1:45 p.m., on the grounds of the Laurel Hill Center, 2145 Centennial Plaza, Eugene, where he was attending a group activity. Irick asked to use the restroom and left the immediate area.

Hospital officials, who reported the missing patient to state and local law enforcement agencies, described Irick as a male, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 156 pounds, with short brown hair, a brown beard and blue eyes. When last seen, he was wearing gray sweat pants and a hooded sweat shirt.

Any future news releases will be issued by the OSP.


Attached Media Files: Troy Irick , Troy Irick

Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board meets July 18 in Salem
Oregon Health Authority - 07/11/19 3:35 PM

June 12, 2019

Media contact: Rebeka Gipson-King, 503-945-7141, ebeka.gipson-king@dhsoha.state.or.us">rebeka.gipson-king@dhsoha.state.or.us

Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board meets July 18 in Salem

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board.

When: July 18,1-5 p.m.

Where: Oregon State Hospital Callan Conference Room, 2600 Center Street NE, Salem. The public can also attend via toll-free conference line at 888-278-0296, access code 4294893.

Agenda: After the public comment period, topics will include a legislative update, a hospital capacity update, employment opportunities for patients, diabetic care at OSH and listing OSH policies on its website.

Details:The Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board advises the superintendent, Oregon Health Authority director and legislators on issues related to the safety, security and care of patients. Members include consumers, providers, advocates, legislators, community members, consumer families and OSH union members.

Program Contact: Jacee Vangestel, 503-945-2852, jacee.m.vangestel@dhsoha.state.or.us

For more information, please visit the board's website.

# # #

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 Jacee Vangestel, 503-945-2852, 711 TTY, or jacee.m.vangestel@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Ninth Circuit Denies Emergency Relief from Domestic Gag Rule
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon - 07/11/19 1:58 PM

An en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit today refused to block the Trump-Pence administration from enforcing the dangerous Title X gag rule.

Title X is the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, which serves nearly 50,000 Oregonians each year. Trump’s gag rule makes it illegal for healthcare providers in the Title X program to refer patients for abortion, and it blocks access to care through the program at Planned Parenthood by imposing cost-prohibitive and unnecessary “physical separation” requirements. Planned Parenthood will continue its efforts to restore the nationwide preliminary injunction and fight to protect health care for nearly 4 million patients across the country.

Providers that serve nearly half of the patients who get care through Title X have made it clear that the rule would force them out of program. Title X helps millions of people struggling to make ends meet — the majority of whom are people of color, Hispanic or Latino. 

Statement from Lisa Gardner, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, and Anne Udall, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette:

“This is devastating news for the millions of people who rely on Title X for birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and other critical primary and preventive care. While we are incredibly concerned the panel did not recognize the harm of the Trump-Pence administration’s gag rule, we will not stop fighting for the thousands across the state in need of care. Planned Parenthood will keep fighting to block this dangerous rule that allows the government to censor our doctors and nurses from doing their jobs. Our health centers are open and are continuing to offer our full range of expert care, as always.”

Four district court judges had previously blocked the rule, with two judges blocking it nationwide. On June 20, the 9th Circuit granted the request from the Trump-Pence administration to stay the preliminary injunctions in Oregon, Washington and California, which allowed the gag rule to be enforced. The 9th Circuit agreed to rehear the administration’s request for a stay on July 3. Today’s order makes clear that while the court is rehearing the request for the stay, the stay remains in place, jeopardizing the care of millions of people who access birth control and other reproductive health services through Title X.

In June, the House of Representatives passed a spending package including strong language blocking the Trump-Pence administration’s Title X gag rule from being implemented. Now, the Senate must push for a spending bill that includes protective language to make sure millions of people can continue to access health care through Title X.

It is still unclear when the U.S. Health Department will begin officially enforcing the rule, and Planned Parenthood is monitoring the situation closely. More background and information on the gag rule and the litigation can be found here.

The medical community, public health experts and the general public are against this rule. In addition to the American Medical Association, the gag rule has been opposed by major medical associations, like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Physicians, as well as 110 public health organizations and public health experts such as former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy. A group of 19 different medical organizations, mayors, state lawmakers, more than 200 members of Congress, newly elected Democratic governors and several other governors have opposed this legislation as well.

Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II Opens at the Oregon Historical Society July 12
Oregon Historical Society - 07/11/19 12:17 PM

PHOTOS & PRESS KIT: http://bit.ly/fftrtfpresskit

Portland, OR – On Friday, July 12, the Oregon Historical Society is proud to open a new special exhibit called Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II. Produced by The National WWII Museum, the exhibit features artifacts, photographs, and oral histories that highlight some of the extraordinary achievements and challenges of African Americans during World War II, both overseas and on the Home Front.

In the years before World War II, African Americans in many parts of the country were treated as second-class citizens. The government condoned discriminatory practices and denied African Americans many rights and liberties through laws that kept them in positions of inferiority. Due to the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision in 1896, the United States was a nation where “separate but equal” was law in many states. In addition, many military leaders declared African Americans unfit to serve in combat. However, once the war began, thousands rushed to enlist, determined to fight for freedom, while still being denied equality at home.

On display through January 12, 2020, Fighting for the Right to Fight illustrates how hopes for securing equality inspired many to enlist, the discouraging reality of the segregated noncombat roles given to black recruits, and the continuing fight for “Double Victory” that laid the groundwork for the modern Civil Rights Movement.

“The Oregon Historical Society is very proud to work with The National WWII Museum to ensure that this important and compelling exhibit could be seen and experienced in the Pacific Northwest,” said Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk.

Through myriad interactive experiences, visitors will discover the wartime stories of individual service members who took part in this journey of extraordinary challenge, from unheralded heroes to famous names, including Alex Haley (US Coast Guard); Sammy Davis Jr. (US Army); Benjamin Davis Jr. (US Army Air Forces); Medgar Evers (US Army); and more.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is an original eight-minute video about the famed 332nd Fighter Group (better known as the Tuskegee Airmen), who in many ways became the public focus of African American participation during the war. Television personality Robin Roberts narrates the piece, whose own father flew with the Tuskegee Airmen during the war.

Including personal accounts from members of the 332nd Fighter Group, the video provides an overview of how their success in battle became a great symbol of bravery, helping refute notions that African Americans were inferior performers in the military, especially in roles requiring advanced training. Lieutenant Colonel William Holloman III recalls his leader Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.’s encouragement: “He said, ‘America’s watching you.’ He instilled in us a pride that I don’t think was there before we went in the service.”

Additionally, Fighting for the Right to Fight will feature two medals representing the seven African Americans who were awarded the Medal of Honor in 1997, the bittersweet result of a long investigation by the US military on discriminatory policies in the awarding of combat medals. The exhibit will also provide in-depth coverage of lesser-known events and service, such as that of the USS Mason, the first American ship to have a predominately African American crew.

A national advisory committee, including the late Dr. Clement Alexander Price of Rutgers University, helped frame the exhibition. The committee, led by cochairs Dr. John Morrow of the University of Georgia and Claudine Brown of the Smithsonian Institution, helped advise on the exhibition’s narrative arc and content. To view artifacts and images from the exhibit, and to access educator resources and lesson plans, visit righttofightexhibit.org.

Fighting for the Right to Fight will be on exhibit July 12, 2019 through January 12, 2020. The Oregon Historical Society’s museum is open seven days a week, Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $10, and discounts are available for students, seniors, teachers, and youth. Admission is free every day for OHS members and Multnomah County residents.


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.


About The National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that future generations will know the price of freedom, and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.


Lake Oswego Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Distributing Fentanyl From China Leading to Overdose Death
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 07/11/19 12:01 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—Joseph Richard Caruso, 34, a prolific darknet narcotics vendor residing in Lake Oswego, Oregon, was sentenced today to 87 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for illegally distributing fentanyl that was linked to a 2017 fatal overdose in Wisconsin.

“A highly-coordinated effort by four law enforcement agencies led to Mr. Caruso’s arrest less than two days after his most recent inbound fentanyl package was discovered. It’s this sort of nimble and decisive law enforcement work that’s required to keep synthetic opioids off of our streets and prevent additional overdoses,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “I applaud the tremendous work of everyone involved in this case.”

“This sentence is a significant step forward in eliminating deadly drugs from our community,” said Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Seattle. “Fentanyl is an extremely deadly substance. Blatant disregard for the safety of those who could have come into contact with it will not be tolerated. This case is a testament to the hard work HSI, and our law enforcement partners, do every day to combat these drugs from making it to our streets.”

According to court documents, on November 19, 2017, a U.S. Postal Inspection Service inspector discovered a suspicious package addressed to Caruso at the U.S. Postal Service Portland Air Cargo Center. The package was transported to the Portland Police Bureau’s Drugs and Vice Division for further examination in a safe environment. Wearing a ventilated hood for protection, a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Interdiction Taskforce opened the heat-sealed package and found a clear Ziploc baggie containing a fine powdery substance. A test conducted the following day at the Oregon State Police Laboratory confirmed the substance was cyclopropylfentanyl, a power opioid and Schedule I controlled substance.

Investigators removed the cyclopropylfentanyl from the package and replaced it with an inert powder similar in appearance. On November 21, 2017, they conducted a controlled delivery of the package with the inert powder to Caruso’s residence in Lake Oswego. Shortly thereafter, Caruso was observed retrieving the package from his apartment postal box. HSI agents and other task force officers confronted Caruso and placed him under arrest.

On April 3, 2019, Caruso pleaded guilty to one count of distributing a controlled substance resulting in death. At sentencing, he was ordered to forfeit more than $764,000 and a 2013 Audi A4 sedan.

This case was investigated by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Interdiction Taskforce, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Portland Police Bureau Drugs and Vice Division. It was prosecuted by Scott M. Kerin and Julia E. Jarrett, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

The Oregon HIDTA program was established by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in June of 1999. In 2015 the program expanded into Idaho and was renamed the Oregon-Idaho HIDTA. The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA consists of 14 counties and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Counties in the HIDTA include Oregon’s Clackamas, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Lane, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Umatilla and Washington counties, and Idaho’s Ada, Bannock and Canyon counties.

Drug abuse affects communities across the nation, and opioid abuse continues to be particularly devastating. The CDC reports that from 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdoses. In 2016, 66% of drug overdose deaths involved an opioid. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury or death in the United States. In Oregon, the total number of deaths related to drug use increased 11 percent between from 2013 to 2017, with 546 known drug related deaths in 2017.

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, please call the Lines for Life substance abuse helpline at 1-800-923-4357 or visit www.linesforlife.org. Phone support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also text “RecoveryNow” to 839863 between 8am and 11pm Pacific Time daily.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Deputies See Increase in Vehicle Break-ins
Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office - 07/11/19 11:18 AM

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies are reminding outdoor enthusiasts to be careful when leaving vehicles unattended, especially in remote areas.  Deputies have seen a recent spike in reports of vehicle break-ins, with many occurring near Applegate Lake.

In the period from May 11 to July 11, 2019, deputies responded to 54 calls for thefts from vehicles throughout Jackson County, a 13% increase from the same time period last year.  Of note is a high concentration of thefts in recreation areas.   

“In the last two months, we’ve received three reports of thefts from vehicles at the Table Rock trailheads,” said Sergeant Julie Denney.  “But in the more remote area of Applegate Lake, we’ve had nine theft reports in just the last five weeks.”

Two such thefts were reported on Wednesday, July 10.  In one incident, the victim saw the suspects who broke into his vehicle. 

At 6:40 p.m., the victim was reportedly fishing near a bridge at the south end of Applegate Lake.  He said he saw two suspects smash the window of his pickup and steal his cell phone.  He described the suspects as white male adults in their late 20’s or early 30’s with long, dark hair.  The suspects sped away to the south, toward Seattle Bar, in a blue Audi hatchback.  Anyone with information about the suspects’ identities can call the JCSO tip line at (541) 774-8333.  Refer to case #19-14193.

Deputies remind people to keep prevention in mind when leaving vehicles unattended.  The following are tips to help keep your property safe:

  • Park in a well-lit, visible area. Busy parking lots are less likely to attract thieves.
  • Roll up your windows and lock your doors.  Most thieves are looking for an easy target and don’t want to break a window because the noise attracts attention.
  • Use a car alarm with a visible signal like a blinking light.
  • Don’t leave anything of value in your car. Thieves will break a window to gain entry if they see something they want inside, even if it’s just loose change. 
  • If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, hide them before you arrive.  Thieves often stake out parking areas; they’ll see you putting valuables in your trunk.
  • Never keep a spare key inside your car.
  • If your ID or credit cards are stolen, your identity will likely be next.  Call your financial institutions right away to cancel your accounts.
  • Be vigilant for a home burglary if your house keys or items with your address were stolen.  

Deputies say it’s not uncommon for thefts to go unreported, but they urge people to report them all, no matter how minor they may seem.  The non-emergency dispatch number is (541) 776-7206.

“Even if we are unable to solve a particular case, it helps us to know where crimes are occurring,” said Sergeant Denney.  “Then we can focus our proactive patrols in problem areas.”


Happy Valley Man Sentenced to 57 Months in Federal Prison for Distributing Fentanyl and Possessing a Machine Gun
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 07/11/19 10:09 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.—Johnell Lee Cleveland, 37, of Happy Valley, Oregon, was sentenced today to 57 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for distributing cyclopropyl fentanyl, possessing a machine gun and money laundering.

According to court documents, in March 2018, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), FBI, and IRS executed a series of search warrants on Cleveland’s residence in Happy Valley, his storage unit in Clackamas, Oregon and a stash house in Vancouver, Washington as part of an ongoing investigation of Cleveland, a suspected distributor of oxycodone pills in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.

During the search of Cleveland’s home in Happy Valley, investigators seized $27,372 in cash, seven firearms, a ballistic vest, and more than 300 suspected oxycodone pills wrapped in two plastic baggies. One of the firearms seized was a fully-automatic machine gun with a drum magazine. In Cleveland’s garage, investigators found a white Mercedes-Benz with exterior bullet holes believed to be involved in a December 2017 downtown Portland shooting that left one man critically injured.

In searches of Cleveland’s storage unit and the Vancouver stash house, investigators found an additional $124,040 in cash, more than 900 additional suspected oxycodone pills and more than $100,000 worth of jewelry and Rolex watches. Laboratory tests revealed that the suspected oxycodone were in fact counterfeit pills made with cyclopropyl fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

On March 22, 2019, Cleveland pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute cyclopropyl-fentanyl, one count of possessing a machine gun and two counts of money laundering. As part of his plea, Cleveland agreed to abandon any interest in the seized firearms and forfeit all criminally-derived proceeds as identified by the government.

Cleveland is currently awaiting trial in Multnomah County Circuit Court for attempted murder with a firearm related to the December 2017 shooting in Portland.

This case was investigated by PPB, FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Peter Sax and Benjamin Tolkoff, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Blaze Causes 911 Service Outage for Landline and Verizon Customers in Some Parts of Southern Douglas County (Photo)
Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office - 07/11/19 9:56 AM
DCSO Badge
DCSO Badge

UPDATE 07/11/2019 9:56 AM

The Sheriff's Office has been notified that the communications company has restored service to the affected areas and 9-1-1 can now be reached. Residents should be able to use their telephone and cellular service as normal. Residents should report any service outages directly to their service provider. 


ORIGINAL RELEASE 07/11/2019 6:07 AM

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. - A large fire that broke out on Highway 99 in the Green District Wednesday evening caused damage to a fiber optic communications box which has resulted in the loss of landline telephone service to some parts of Myrtle Creek, Tri-City, and Riddle. The damage is also affecting Verizon Wireless customers south of Green. 

As crews from the affected communications company work to repair the damage, some people may be unable to dial 9-1-1. In the event of an emergency, people should attempt 9-1-1 from any telephone or cellular service available. If still unable to summon assistance, quickly find the nearest location with service or go to a fire or police department. 

Crews expect to have the repairs completed by 10:00 am this morning. 

The fire, which was found to be a stack of railroad ties, was reported on Wednesday at 11:37 PM to 9-1-1 dispatchers. Douglas County Fire District No. 2 and Winston-Dillard Fire Department responded to the blaze.

Attached Media Files: DCSO Badge

Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) Receives Recognition (Photo)
Grants Pass Dept. of Public Safety - 07/11/19 8:50 AM
RADE Award
RADE Award

On Tuesday, July 9th, the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement team received several awards from the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program and the Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association.  Among the awards presented to RADE were: Outstanding Task Force, Outstanding Task Force Commander (Sgt. Doni Hamilton), and Outstanding Prosecutor (DDA Josh Eastman).  RADE was recognized for their aggressive enforcement of drug laws in and for Josephine County. The awards were presented to RADE at the Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond Or. during the annual Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association conference.

RADE is a multi-agency team comprised of members from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, Oregon State Police, Josephine County Community Corrections, and the Josephine County District Attorney's Office.  RADE's mission is to enhance the coordination of effort and resources among the participating agencies to enforce laws and protect citizens from illegal drug activity and related criminal acts; gather and disseminate narcotics related intelligence information; and engage in seizure and forfeiture of assets used in or derived from illegal drug activity as allowed by state and federal law.  

Attached Media Files: RADE Award

Stabbing Investigation
Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office - 07/11/19 8:31 AM

ROSEBURG, Ore. - Detectives are investigating a stabbing which took place on Wednesday night at a transient camp known as "Freedom Camp" in the 1800-block of Mill Street.

Dispatchers received a call reporting the incident at 11:29 PM. Deputies and Officers from Roseburg Police Department responded to the location and found 28 year-old Nathaniel Wayne Creveston suffering from a stab wound. Deputies and Officers provided medical care to Creveston until an ambulance arrived and transported him to Mercy Medical Center. He was later transferred to an undisclosed hospital for further care. 

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office Investigations Division at 541-440-4458. 


Wed. 07/10/19
Quality Measurement Council meets July 17
Oregon Department of Human Services - 07/10/19 6:44 PM

(Wilsonville, Ore.) – The Quality Measurement Council will hold a meeting from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Training Rooms 1 and 2 at the Oregon Child Development Coalition, 9140 S.W. Pioneer Court, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070.  

The Quality Measurement Council was formed with the passage of House Bill 3359 in 2017. The council meeting is open to the public. Agenda items will include a discussion on collecting and reporting metrics.

Sign language interpreters and live captioning will be provided. Those who are unable to attend in person, may join by calling toll-free phone number, 1-888-363-4735, and using Conference ID #3439085.

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact Rebecca Mapes at 1-541-735-0058 or ebecca.Mapes@state.or.us">Rebecca.Mapes@state.or.us. Requests should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting.

For questions about this meeting, please contact: Rebecca Mapes at (541) 735-0058 or ebecca.Mapes@state.or.us">Rebecca.Mapes@state.or.us.

About the Quality Measurement Council

The council was established to create and maintain a system through which community-based, long-term care facilities report reliable and meaningful data that will make possible a system for measuring a facility’s performance compared with other long-term care providers in the state.

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Fatal Crash on Interstate 5 - Josephine County **Deceased Identified**
Oregon State Police - 07/10/19 5:50 PM



The male has been identified as Michael D. Kerrigan, age 61, mainly from Los Angles, California.



On Saturday, June 29, 2019 at approximately 10:24 P.M. Oregon State Police Troopers received multiple calls regarding  a subject walking on Interstate 5 in both northbound and southbound travel lanes. Troopers were actively looking for the subject when a passing motorist advised them a vehicle had struck a pedestrian near milepost 58.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2009 Toyota Camry, operated by Shannon Baldwin (51) of Central Point, was  southbound on I5 when he struck the unidentified male subject in the travel lane.

The unidentified male subject sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Baldwin and his passenger, Hope Sakrison (55) of Central Point, were transported to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

I5 southbound was closed briefly and then reduced to one lane of travel for approximately 2 1/2 hours following the crash. OSP was assisted by ODOT, Grants Pass DPS, Grants Pass Fire, and AMR.

Darknet Drug Dealer Sentenced to 86 Months in Federal Prison
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 07/10/19 4:29 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—Skylaar Daylan Ford, 24, of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced today to 86 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for using the darknet to sell ecstasy to customers across the U.S.

According to court documents, in June 2017, Ford was on post-prison supervision after a previous conviction for possession of a Schedule II controlled substance in Lane County Circuit Court. During a June 9, 2017 visit to and search of Ford’s Northeast Portland home, a Multnomah County Probation and Parole Officer found more than 100 grams of heroin. Upon discovery of the heroin, the probation and parole officer contacted the Portland Police Bureau for assistance. PPB officers and a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent responded.

When the officers and agent arrived, they placed Ford under arrest and received consent to search his residence. During the search, the HSI agent located an unopened parcel addressed to Ford and his dog “Orbit.” The package was opened and found to contain nearly 500 grams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) also known as “ecstasy” or “molly.” Ford admitted to purchasing the ecstasy from a vendor in the Netherlands and reselling on AlphaBay, a darknet marketplace. Investigators were later able to confirm that Ford had been an AlphaBay vendor since November 2016 and had completed more than 500 confirmed sales of ecstasy.

On January 9, 2019, Ford pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute MDMA, a Schedule I controlled substance. As part of his plea agreement, Ford agreed to forfeit any property used to facilitate his crimes as identified by the government.

This case was investigated by HSI and the Portland Police Bureau. It was prosecuted by Scott M. Kerin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Attached Media Files: 2019-07/6325/125998/SENTENCING-Ford-Final.pdf

Last original Oregon Air National Guardsman has passed (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 07/10/19 2:19 PM

PORTLAND, Oregon – The 142nd Fighter Wing is deeply saddened by the loss of Fred Parish, the last remaining original member of the Oregon Air National Guard, who passed away on Sunday, July 7, 2019 in La Grande, Oregon. 

Tech. Sgt. Fred Parish enlisted into the newly formed 123rd Observation Squadron in April, 1941, along with 117 other Oregonians to form Oregon’s first military aviation unit. The 123rd Observation Squadron later became the 123rd Fighter Squadron, which now operates Portland’s F-15 Eagle fighter jets. 

During World War II, Parish served in Oregon and Washington before deploying to the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater as a medic. He was in the military until 1945 when he separated at the rank of Technical Sergeant after the war had ended. 

Fred would have celebrated his 99th birthday this September. 

“The Oregon Air National Guard has been an integral part of the nation's air defense since 1941, and Fred was at the cutting edge of that success,” said Brig. Gen. Donna Prigmore, Commander, Oregon Air National Guard. “He was a brave and motivated man who helped pave the way for our future, and for that, we will always be grateful.”

B-roll of the original Oregon Air National Guard members and a soundbite from Fred can be found at this link: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/695825/fred-parish-soundbite-with-123rd-observation-squadron-b-roll 


Photo caption

190710-Z-IW846-0003 The original members of the 123rd Observation Squadron as they pose for a group photo. Fred Parish, the last remaining original member, passed away Sunday, 7 July, 2019. 

Attached Media Files: 2019-07/962/125996/190710-Z-IW846-0001.jpg , 2019-07/962/125996/190710-Z-IW846-0002.jpg , 2019-07/962/125996/190710-Z-IW846-0003.jpg

Toxic Free Kids Program Rules Advisory Committee extends meeting schedule through August 30
Oregon Health Authority - 07/10/19 1:32 PM

July 10, 2019

What: The Toxic Free Kids Program Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting series has been extended to two additional meeting days: Aug. 9 and Aug. 30. The RAC is holding public meetings to implement requirements set forth by SB 478 of the 2015 legislative session.

Agenda: Provide background information and purpose of RAC; review the rulemaking process; review draft rule language; request input and feedback, discuss next steps.

When: Remaining meeting dates, all 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays, are July 12, July 26, August 9 and August 30.

Where: Portland State Office Building Room 1E, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. Interested persons can call in to the meetings via conference line at 888-363-4735, access code 102-7039.

Who: The Toxic Free Kids Rules Advisory Committee includes representation of these key stakeholder categories: Oregon Environmental Council, The Toy Association, Oregon Business and Industry, American Chemistry Council, Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Multnomah County Department of Health, Metro Regional Government, Washington Department of Ecology.

Program contact: Justin Waltz, 971-673-1217, justin.waltz@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 Justin Waltz, 971-673-1217, 711 TTY, or justin.waltz@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.


Tobacco in Oregon: Cheap, sweet, plentiful and sold at kids' eye level
Oregon Health Authority - 07/10/19 10:25 AM

July 10, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7179, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Tobacco in Oregon: Cheap, sweet, plentiful and sold at kids’ eye level

New report shines light on tobacco industry marketing across Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — A new statewide assessment of Oregon retailers that carry tobacco shows the reach of tobacco industry marketing. The report highlights ads and products designed to appeal to youth, as well as heavy marketing to communities of color and people living with lower incomes.

Oregon Health Authority worked with county health department staff, tribes, community partners and volunteers across the state to conduct the assessment of nearly 2,000 Oregon tobacco retailers. This week it released a report of the findings, along with recommended strategies to make retail outlets healthier for all Oregonians.

"The tobacco industry spends more than $100 million per year to market its products in Oregon communities," said Lillian Shirley, director of the OHA Public Health Division. "It pours most of this money into convenience stores, grocery stores and other retailers where people shop daily. They know that kids who see tobacco marketing are more likely to start smoking and that tobacco ads trigger cravings for people trying to quit."

Read the full statewide Tobacco Retail Assessment Report as well as specific results for each county.

The assessment report included these key findings:

  • Statewide, nine out of 10 tobacco retailers sold fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes or cigarillos. These included e-cigarette flavors such as "Pebbles Donuts" and "Tropical Fusion." Flavored tobacco products appeal to kids and mask the natural harshness of tobacco. Four out of five Oregon youth who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.
  • Menthol is also a flavor, and 96 percent of retailers carried menthol products. The tobacco industry markets menthol products heavily in African American communities. Partly as a result, 60 percent of African American youth prefer Newport (menthol) cigarettes compared to 22 percent of white youth.
  • Statewide, 64 percent of retailers used coupons and other discounts to make tobacco more affordable.
  • Tobacco advertising appeared on the outside of nearly 50 percent of stores in the assessment. Inside the stores, 20 percent of retailers placed tobacco products next to candy and toys. Large tobacco displays at the checkout counter, called "power walls," have been shown to encourage impulse tobacco buys among people trying to quit.

The report comes at a time when communities are increasingly concerned about flavored tobacco use among youth, especially e-cigarette products like Juul. In 2018 Oregon began enforcing a new tobacco minimum legal sales age of 21. Initial results of the law show it may reduce the number of youth who start smoking. The new retail assessment report illustrates that more work remains to be done.

Some cities and counties, like Klamath Falls and Multnomah County, are using tobacco retail licensure to track the sale of tobacco products, ensure retailers comply with the new sales age, and keep tobacco products out of the hands of kids. Clatsop County is considering a similar proposal.

"Clatsop County school officials and public health staff have reported students using e-cigarettes and other nicotine-delivery devices at alarming rates," said Julia Hesse, Clatsop County health promotion specialist. "It seems inconceivable that we need a license to sell Christmas trees and own dogs in Oregon, but not to sell tobacco or nicotine products. We need a better way to hold retailers accountable if they illegally sell to youth."