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Medford/Klamath Falls/Grants Pass News Releases for Tue. Jul. 25 - 1:48 pm
Police & Fire
Man Arrested Following Saturday Pursuit (Photo)
Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office - 07/25/17 8:07 AM
Gerald Gerald Baczkowski
Gerald Gerald Baczkowski
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On Saturday, July 22, 2017, around 6:00pm, the 9-1-1 center received a report of a 2004 Gray Jeep Grand Cherokee driving southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near milepost 108.

A deputy eventually located the vehicle on Pruner Road driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of travel. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop and led deputies on a pursuit into the area of Lower Cow Creek Road. The pursuit continued on BLM land to approximately milepost 13.5 on Union Creek Road where the vehicle stopped in a ditch and the driver fled on foot.

Deputies tracked the male throught the woods where they found articles of his clothing that he had discarded. Eventually, an Oregon State Police Trooper located the driver near milepost 4.5 on Union Creek Road completely naked.

The driver was identified as 21 year old John Gerald Baczkowski of Eugene. Baczkowski was taken into custody without incident and lodged at the Douglas County Jail for Reckless Driving, Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle and Attempt to Elude on Foot.


Attached Media Files: Gerald Gerald Baczkowski
FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Romance Frauds
FBI - Oregon - 07/25/17 10:59 AM
Welcome to the Oregon FBI's Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against romance frauds.

For some people, looking for love online can bring a lifetime of roses and long walks on the beach. But for others, the seemingly perfect boyfriend ends up being perfectly horrible.

Anyone can fall victim to this scammer, but most commonly he is going to target women over 40 who are widowed, divorced or disabled. It usually starts with an innocent-enough-sounding contact online. He's likely been watching your social media accounts or gleaned info out of an online dating profile. Amazingly, he likes what you like -- whether that's books, music, sports or whatever. Over time, he starts communicating with you by email or text. He starts calling, and you have long conversations about your life, your future, your love.

And then comes the kicker -- he asks you for money. It may take weeks or months to get to this point -- but just know that he needs the money desperately. He needs it to finish a job so he can come see you. He needs to buy a plane ticket. He is in the military and getting ready to retire or relocate, but he needs cash for moving expenses. Business partners are trying to steal his company, and he must hire a lawyer. There's always some urgent need -- and then another and another. He promises to pay you back soon, but he never does.

Sometimes he is traveling overseas and can't cash a check. He will send it to you to ask you to cash it and wire the money back to him. Maybe the check is bogus -- or illegal proceeds that you have now laundered for him.

It's hard to give up on the love of your life and the future he promised you, but this fraudster won't stop until you do. So what are some warning signs to watch for? Be wary if:

He presses you to leave a dating website where you met to communicate solely through email or instant messaging.

He sends you a photo that looks like a glamour shot out of a magazine.

He professes love quickly.

He claims to be working and living far away -- whether that's on the other side of the country or overseas.

Makes plans to visit you but then always has to cancel because of some emergency.

He asks for money or your help moving money.

Bottom line: never ever send money to someone you met online. The chance that you will ever get your money back is almost zero. Whether you lose just a few thousand dollars or your entire retirement account -- the results can be devastating.

Online dating can lead to life-long relationships, but go into it with your eyes open and make sure to use and dating websites with nationally-known reputations.

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


Attached Media Files: TT - Romance Scams - RUSSIAN Written , TT - Romance Scams - RUSSIAN Audio , TT - Romance Scams - SPANISH Written , TT - Romance Scams - SPANISH Audio , TT - Romance Scams - ENGLISH Audio
Office of State Fire Marshal encourages everyone to follow campfire safety
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 07/20/17 10:55 AM
As Oregon's summer travel season gets in full gear, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker is cautioning all campers to heed campfire safety rules and tips.

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

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

For more wildfire prevention information and restrictions, we encourage you to visit Keep Oregon Green at www.keeporegongreen.org and the Oregon Department of Forestry at www.oregon.gov.
Serious injury crash south of Redmond injures three. (Deschutes County) (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/24/17 5:56 PM
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On July 24, 2017 at about 12:10 pm, Troopers from the Bend Area Command of the Oregon State Police responded to a three vehicle crash on Highway 97 just south of Redmond near milepost 128.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe being operated by David Nixon, age 80, from Redmond, turned northbound onto Highway 97, from Gift Road and pulled into the travel path of a southbound 2014 Infiniti Q50 being operated by Sondra Vaughn, age 67, also from Redmond. After the Infiniti collided into the Hyundai it crossed into the northbound lanes and struck a 1990 International dump truck being operated by Timothy Duggan, age 55, of Bend.

David Nixon and his female passenger Bonnie Nixon were transported from the crash with minor injuries via ground ambulance to the Saint Charles Hospital in Redmond. Sondra Vaughn was transported via air ambulance, with serious injuries, to the Saint Charles Hospital in Bend.

The Oregon State Police were assisted by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Redmond Fire Department and the Deschutes County Fire Department.


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/1002/106354/sp17261281.jpg
Central Point Man Killed In Highway 140 Crash - Klamath County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/24/17 4:43 PM
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On July 23, 2017 at about 10PM, OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two vehicle crash on Highway 140W near milepost 58 (west of the Running Y Ranch).

Preliminary investigation revealed a 1996 Chevrolet Suburban was traveling eastbound on Highway 140W when it attempted to pass another vehicle in a no passing area. The Chevrolet was unable to complete the pass and collided head-on with a westbound 1994 Ford motorhome. Both vehicles came to rest in the highway.

Upon emergency crews arriving at the scene, they discovered the driver of the Chevrolet, Wally M LARSON, age 79, of Central Point, was deceased. The driver of the motorhome, Kimball L ROUNDY, age 38, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, and his three passengers received minor injuries and were transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center for treatment.

A witness told troopers the Chevrolet had been driving recklessly prior to the crash. Highway 140 was closed for about 4 hours. OSP was assisted by the Klamath County Sheriff's Office, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and Klamath County Fire.

This is an active investigation. More information will be released as it becomes available.


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/1002/106348/22633.jpeg , 2017-07/1002/106348/22635.jpeg
Newport Man Killed In Highway 20 Crash Near Newport - Lincoln County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/24/17 3:51 PM
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On July 24, 2017 at about 8AM, OSP Troopers, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, and other emergency personnel responded to the report of a single vehicle crash on Highway 20 near MP 10 (at Pioneer Trail, east of Newport).

Preliminary investigation revealed a 2005 Nissan Titan pickup operated by Andrew BEAUCHAMP, age 33, of Newport, was traveling westbound on Highway 20 when the vehicle drove off the westbound shoulder and struck a guard rail. The Nissan went airborne and struck a tree, causing BEAUCHAMP to be ejected. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Speed is being investigated as a contributing factor in the crash. It is also believed BEAUCHAMP was not wearing a safety belt.

Highway 20 was completely closed for a short period of time. The westbound lane was closed for several hours during the investigation. More information will be released as it becomes available.


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/1002/106347/20170724_091922.jpg , 2017-07/1002/106347/20170724_091854.jpg
OSP Seeking Public's Assistance In Locating Witnesses of a Serious Injury Crash - HWY 20 - Linn County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/24/17 10:29 AM
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On July 23, 2017 at about 3:25 p.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two-vehicle head-on crash on Hwy 20 near milepost 32.9 (east of Sweet Home).

Preliminary investigation revealed that a Red 2003 Kia Spectra, operated by a 17 year old male and passenger, 16 year old male, both from Sweet Home, was traveling westbound on Highway 20 when the Kia crossed into the eastbound lane. The Kia collided nearly head on with an eastbound 2005 Pontiac Grand Am, operated by Francisco RAMOS RIVERA, age 53, and passengers, 7 year old male and 8 year old female, all from Lebanon. Both drivers received serious injuries as a result of the crash and were transported to the hospital for treatment of their injuries. The 16 year old male was not injured and the 7 year old male and an 8 year old female received minor injuries.

Highway 20 was closed for about 3.5 hours with a detour in place. OSP was assisted by Sweet Home Police Department, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Sweet Home Fire Department and Reach Air Ambulance.

OSP is requesting anyone who witnessed the crash or driving behavior contributing to the crash to contact Senior Trooper Oxenrider or Senior Trooper Youngblood at (541) 967-2026. This in an ongoing investigation and more information will be released when available.


Attached Media Files: Photo
***Update - FEHLHABER in Custody*** OSP Asks Public's Help to Locate Shooting Suspect in Cave Junction - Josephine County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/22/17 3:06 PM
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UPDATE

On July 22, 2017, at about 12 noon, the suspect, Ronald Jedidiah FEHLHABER, age 32, of Cave Junction, turned himself into the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. He was then transported to the Josephine County Correctional Facility and lodged.

This in an ongoing investigation and more information will be released when available.

###

On July 20, 2017 at about 8:57 p.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers responded to the report of a shooting at the Speedy Mart at 305 S. Redwood Hwy, Cave Junction. The victim, Floyd Argus GREENLEE, age 29, of Cave Junction, was transported to Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass with serious injuries.

The suspect, Ronald Jedidiah FEHLHABER, age 32, of Cave Junction, fled the scene prior to law enforcement arrival. FEHLHABER's whereabouts are unknown at this time and should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who identifies FEHLHABER is asked to not approach, use caution and immediately contact law enforcement.

FEHLHABER is described as a white male, age 32, 5'8", 150 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the location of FEHLHABER is asked to call OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at 541-664-4600 or 9-1-1. Refer to OSP case number SP17255970.


Attached Media Files: Photo1 , Photo2 , Photo3
Two-Vehicle Head-on Crash Claims the Life of a Monmouth Woman on Highway 99W at Milepost 67 - Polk County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/22/17 1:35 PM
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On Saturday July 22, 2017 at about 3:54 a.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a head on crash on Hwy 99W at milepost 67 (south of Monmouth).

Preliminary investigation revealed that a red 1990 Honda Civic, operated by Ashlee LEWIS, age 23, and passenger, Cherlyn LEWIS, age 57, both from Monmouth, was traveling southbound on Hwy 99W delivering papers. A blue 2008 Toyota Corolla, operated by Joshua BERRY, age 20, was northbound on Hwy 99W, when, for an undetermined reason, the vehicles collided on the northbound shoulder.

Cherlyn LEWIS suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Ashlee LEWIS and Joshua BERRY were transported to the local area hospital for treatment of their serious injuries.

Hwy 99W was partially closed for approximately 4.5 hours. OSP was assisted at the scene by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Polk County Fire District No. 1.

This in an ongoing investigation and more information will be released when available.


Attached Media Files: Photo1 , Photo2
Drug Seizure Leads To Arrest of a Washington Man on US 97 Near La Pine - Deschutes County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/21/17 8:08 PM
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On July 20, 2017 at about 4:22 p.m., an Oregon State Trooper stopped a northbound 2006 Porsche Cayenne, operated by Moises SANCHEZ ALCARAZ, age 58, of Mattawa Washington, on US 97 at milepost 170 for multiple traffic violations (two miles south of La Pine). During the traffic stop, numerous criminal indicators were observed and a consent search of the vehicle revealed 5.2 pounds of Cocaine.

SANCHEZ ALCARAZ was arrested and lodged in the Deschutes County Jail for Adult Delivery of Cocaine and Adult Possession of Cocaine.

This is a significant recent seizure of illegal drugs in transport by the Oregon State Police. The estimated street values of the drugs are over $67,000 dollars. It is believed that seizures such as this have the capability to make an immediate impact in the safety of communities in the northwest.


Attached Media Files: Photo
Two-Vehicle Crash Claims the Life of a Woodburn Man on Highway 211 at Milepost 1 - Marion County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/21/17 7:16 PM
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On July 21, 2017, at about 12:01 a.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two-vehicle crash on Highway 211 near milepost 1 (at Cooley Road).

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2012 International semi-truck and trailer, operated by Cody J. WORTHINGTON, age 23, of Portland, was travelling eastbound on Highway 211 near milepost 1 when a farm implement/berry harvester, operated by Sergio IXMATLAHUA, age 30, and passengers Antanasio OVCHINNIKOV, age 60, and Genaro Colohua SANCHEZ, age unknown, all three from Woodburn, entered the highway from the adjacent field in front of the path of the semi-truck. The semi-truck impacted the rear of the berry harvester.

SANCHEZ suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. IXMATLAHUA and OVCHINNIKOV were transported to the Salem hospital for treatment of their serious injuries. WORTHINGTON was not injured.

Highway 211 was closed for approximately two hours following the crash with one lane open periodically. OSP was assisted by the Woodburn Police department, Woodburn Fire & Ambulance, and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

This is an ongoing investigation and more information will be released when available.


Attached Media Files: Photo
2016 Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year: Trooper Jim Andrews (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/21/17 12:00 PM
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Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Trooper, Jim Andrews, was presented with the 2016 Wildlife Officer of the Year Award. This award was presented on behalf of the Shikar-Safari Club International by Lynn Loacker. The Shikar-Safari Club International recognizes one wildlife officer per year in each state. They present the prestigious award to the wildlife officer who symbolizes their mission of wildlife conservation and outdoor education. Pictured from left to right is Sergeant James Halsey, Trooper Jim Andrews, Shikar-Safari Club International member Lynn Loacker and Lieutenant Casey Thomas.

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

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

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


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/1002/106282/Tpr_Andrews_Shikar_Internatioal_Award_2016.JPG
Lane County Chief Deputy District Attorney awarded as 2016 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/21/17 7:30 AM
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On July 19, 2017, the Lane County District Attorney's Office Chief Deputy District Attorney, Erik Hasselman, was presented with the 2016 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year award during the Oregon District Attorney's Association summer training conference held in Seaside, Oregon. Chief Deputy Hasselman received the award in front of hundreds of his peers and colleagues.

The 2016 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year Award was presented on behalf of the Oregon Sportsmen's Coalition by Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Captain Jeff Samuels, Lieutenant Dave Gifford, and Sergeant Chris Ashenfelter, along with Director Curt Melcher of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Chief Deputy Hasselman was nominated for the award by the Oregon State Police South Valley Fish and Wildlife Team as he has shown a vested interest in protecting Oregon's natural resources. He is considered a member of the team and is in constant communication with and calls Troopers about fish and wildlife cases he hears about even before the reports arrive at the DA's Office. Mr. Hasselman, as a chief deputy district attorney responsible for handling serious person crimes, has much on his plate though he takes on fish and wildlife cases with enthusiasm and holds violators accountable for their unlawful actions. He actively puts out press releases to inform the community on poaching cases and through his vigorous prosecution has people talking about the penalties for poaching which creates an effective deterrent factor. Mr. Hasselman shares the passion and commitment each of the Troopers have for protecting the fish, wildlife and natural resources of the State.

The Oregon Sportsmen's Coalition, which consists of volunteer outdoor enthusiast organizations opposed to the unlawful and unethical taking of wildlife to include the Oregon Hunters Association, sponsored the award. This is the tenth annual presentation of the Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year Award. Chief Deputy Erik Hasselman is commended for his efforts.

Pictured: Chief Deputy District Attorney Erik Hasselman of the Lane County District Attorney's Office


Attached Media Files: Photo
***Update 2- WEST Captured*** OSP Asks Public's Help to Locate Two Escaped Prisoners from Oregon Youth Authority Facility near La Grande - Union County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/20/17 2:44 PM
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UPDATE 2

Around midnight on July 18, 2017, WEST was detained by the Albany Police Department for shoplifting candy bars. Officers determined he had an active warrant for his arrest and booked him into Linn County Jail. On July 19, he was transferred to the Oregon Youth Authority's (OYA) MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn to await disposition. He may face charges for his escape from OYA's Camp Riverbend Youth Transition Facility as well as other law violations allegedly committed after his escape.

MCAULIFFE is still at large. If anyone sees him, please call OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at 541-664-4600 or 911. Refer to OSP case number SP17211022.

###

UPDATE

On June 24, 2017, Oregon State Police believes either WEST and/or MCAULIFFE stole a white Ford F250 from Oregon State Parks at Emigrant Springs State Park. The truck is marked with the state park emblem on the doors. The original plates on the vehicle were E273867. On the morning of June 24th MCAULIFFE was seen at a pharmacy in Milton-Freewater.

WEST is originally from Salem and MCAULIFFE is from Central Point.

If anyone sees the vehicle or either WEST or MCAULIFFE please call 911.

###

Oregon State Police (OSP) is asking for the public's help to find two Oregon Youth Authority youths that escaped from 58231 HWY 244, La Grande, Camp Riverbend Youth Transitional Facility, at around 7:50 p.m., June 20, 2017.

Escapee #1: Brittain MCAULIFFE, age 18, of Central Point, is described as a white male, 5'10", 220 pounds, stocky build, tattoos on both forearms, one described as "Native Pride". His hair is short on the sides and the top is approximately six inches long with ponytail. He wears glasses and was wearing a white tank top, black shorts with a red stripe on the sides, and black and red mid top shoes.

Escapee #2: Micah WEST, age 18, of Salem, is described as a white male 5'11" 155 pounds, multiple tattoos, one is described as a derringer pistol on one arm. One is an eagle tattoo on his chest and a cross tattoo on left forearm. West is bald and was wearing a dark blue hoodie and blue jeans.

Anyone who identifies them is asked to not approach, use caution and immediately contact law enforcement.

Anyone with information regarding the location of MCAULIFFE and or WEST is asked to call OSP Southern Command Center dispatch at 541-664-4600 or 9-1-1. Refer to OSP case number SP17211022.

OSP is being assisted by Union County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon Youth Authority.


Attached Media Files: Photo2 , Photo1 , 2017-06/1002/105452/truck.jpg
Vehicle Erupts into Flames Following Crash on Highway 138 at Milepost 56 - Douglas County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/20/17 2:10 PM
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On July 19, 2017, at about 8:30 a.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Highway 138 near milepost 56, in Douglas County.

Preliminary information indicates that a 1999 Dodge Durango, operated by Dale Emerald HAHN JR, age 39, and juvenile passenger, both of Chemult, was traveling eastbound when for unknown reasons, exited the roadway and struck a tree. The vehicle burst into flames as a result of the crash and HAHN and the juvenile were able to exit the vehicle without injury.

A US Forest Service engine crew, from the Diamond Lake Ranger Station at Toketee, quickly responded and contained the fire. High Cascades ODOT personnel responded with a water truck and assisted with extinguishing the fire.

The eastbound lane was closed for approximately one hour for firefighting and recovery efforts and HAHN was cited for careless driving. OSP was assisted by US Forest Service and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).


Attached Media Files: Photo1 , Photo2 , Photo3
Single-Vehicle Crash Claims the Life of a Salem Man on Highway 221 at Milepost 11.5 - Polk County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/20/17 1:22 PM
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On July 17, 2017, at about 11:30 p.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Highway 221 near milepost 11.5, in Polk County.

Preliminary information indicates that a 2003 Ford Focus, operated by Ivan Garcia TRAPALA, age 24, of Salem, was located approximately 35 feet off the roadway and not visible from the road. TRAPALA was found deceased and partially ejected from the vehicle. The crash appeared to have occurred several days prior and cause of the crash is under investigation.

Further information indicated that the registered owner reported the vehicle stolen on July 10, 2017 to the Keizer Police Department. One lane was closed for approximately two hours during the scene investigation, until both lanes were reopened.

OSP was assisted by Polk County Sheriff's Office, Salem Fire Department Station 4, and the Polk County Medical Examiner's Office. More information will be released when it becomes available.


Attached Media Files: Photo1 , Photo2
Two-Vehicle Crash Claims the Life of a Salem Man on Highway 20 at Milepost 34.5 - Linn County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/19/17 7:30 AM
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On July 18, 2017, at about 10:30 a.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two-vehicle crash on Highway 20 near milepost 34.5 (east of Sweet Home).

Preliminary investigation revealed that a black 2015 BMW Motorcycle, operated by John Harvey WEEKS, age 65, of Salem, was travelling eastbound on Highway 20 east of Sweet Home when for unknown reasons, the BMW veered into the oncoming lane and struck a green 2016 Kenworth log truck, operated by Kenneth Keil REYNOLDS, age 59, of Sweet Home, that was travelling westbound. The BMW collided into the side of the Kenworth.

WEEKS suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. REYNOLDS was not injured. Witness stated that WEEKS was possibly looking over his shoulder behind him while negotiating the curve.

Highway 20 was closed for approximately three hours following the crash. OSP was assisted by the Sweet Home Fire & Ambulance District and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

This is an ongoing investigation and more information will be released when available.


Attached Media Files: Photo1 , Photo2
Commercial Structure and RV Fire - 2366 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. - 7-19-17 (Photo)
Roseburg Fire Dept. - 07/20/17 8:25 AM
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At 10:01 p.m. on July 19th, the Roseburg Fire Department was dispatched to a grass and RV fire next to a large metal shed in the 2300 block of Diamond Lake Boulevard. A passerby reported flames showing with heavy black smoke. The property included three commercial structures, including multiple vehicles and RV's.

Firefighters arrived on scene to find a fully involved RV fire which had extended to a 40x70 metal commercial structure as well as a grass fire to the west of the building. Upon arrival, firefighters were informed all occupants had evacuated the structures. Firefighters extinguished the fire and were able to protect the surrounding structures from damage.

The fire was contained to the RV and one of three structures on the property. The commercial structure involved in the fire housed numerous race cars, parts, and tools. The commercial building suffered extensive structural damage. The RV was a total loss; however, no one was injured in the fire.

Traffic was detoured on Diamond Lake Boulevard for approximately two hours. A total of 11 firefighters assisted with the firefighting operations. Other agencies assisting with the fire included Roseburg Police Department, Bay Cities Ambulance, Pacific Power, and Avista Gas.

The combined value of structures at 2366 NE Diamond Lake Boulevard is $327,000. The structure and RV involved suffered approximately $100,000 in damage. Fire investigators were on scene and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

For the latest information regarding the City of Roseburg Fire Department, please visit our website at www.cityofroseburg.org or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/roseburgfire.


Attached Media Files: Image 1
Transportation
Photo - Wildfire - I-5 MP 65 near Hugo (Photo)
ODOT: SW Oregon - 07/19/17 4:13 PM
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HUGO - Northbound I-5 traffic is slow and congested due to a wildfire near Hugo, seven miles north of Grants Pass. NB slow lane is closed to traffic to assist fire fighting efforts. Expect delays and watch for fire crews.


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/1202/106241/I-5_NB_MP_65_fire_July19_2017.jpg
Military
USAF To Monitor Oregon Civil Air Patrol Exercise (Photo)
Oregon Civil Air Patrol - 07/20/17 8:28 AM
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http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2017-07/1184/106259/thumb_Airborne-2.jpg
Portland, OR - The USAF will be monitoring the Oregon wing of the Civil Air Patrol as they conduct a state wide exercise this Saturday, July 22nd, with a collection of scenarios to train for, and test, the Oregon Wing CAP's capability and preparedness to respond.

With major natural events happening across the country, we are reminded that Oregon is also no stranger to natural disasters. From floods, windstorms, ice storms to tsunamis and earthquakes. Lately, authorities have been pushing preparedness for these various disasters with even more emphasis on earthquakes and tsunamis following major disasters across the nation and the world. Recent studies suggest that the "Big One," a 9.0+ earthquake along the Pacific Coast, could occur at any time. There is also the always-real possibility of aircraft, vehicles and people going missing in the rugged Oregon forests.

Within Oregon, the main mission incident command center will be located at Aurora State Airport with two additional teams operating out of Rogue Valley International Airport in Medford and Redmond State Airport. The CAP will conduct responses to various natural disasters; air search and rescue; and related operations that could be requested by state, local and federal authorities. CAP members and specially equipped search aircraft from around the state will comprise the Oregon CAP's ground and air crew personnel to conduct various emergency flight operations. These operations could be communications support to local authorities; search operations to locate missing persons, vehicles or aircraft; provide high resolution digital photographs; emergency medical support flights; and transporting of critical supplies, equipment and personnel among other possible responses.

In addition to adult aircrew and ground staff, the CAP will utilize its teen-aged cadet members in various ground support operations such as communications, mission base operations, ground search and rescue operations and aircraft flight line activities under the guidance of an experienced adult member.

"Our cadet members are a crucial force multiplier during our missions," said Lt Col Nick Ham, CAP incident commander for the exercise. "They perform essential tasks that have a tremendous impact on the success of our multitude of operational missions."

"The training we conduct during these monitored tests and more routine training operations during the year are important to keep our skills current, apply new technology and procedures and to train our newer members who are interested in serving their communities and their country in time of emergency," he said.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force's Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP's 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in STEM/aerospace education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP's Cadet Programs. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.
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MEDIA NOTE:
Members of the media are encouraged to visit the CAP mission bases at the Medford Airport and Aurora State Airport (North end) during the exercise. No media flights will be conducted, but there will be opportunities to conduct interviews including with official USAF monitors. Advanced RSVP would be greatly appreciated at thomtra2@gmail.com.


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/1184/106259/Airborne-2.jpg
Federal
Fee Change to Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 07/19/17 10:48 AM
Portland, Ore. -- On August 28, 2017 the price of the America the Beautiful -- The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80 as result of the National Park Service Centennial Act P.L. 114-289.

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

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

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

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

Additional information about the BLM's recreation program is available online at: https://www.blm.gov/visit.
News release: Reservoir drawdowns, dam construction impact McKenzie River recreation
US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District - 07/21/17 1:43 PM
US Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District

Release No: PA 17-023

Contact:
Michelle Helms, 503-808-4517
Jude McHugh, U.S. Forest Service, 541-225-6305
Ashley Massey, Oregon State Marine Board, 503-378-2623

For Release: July 21, 2017

Reservoir drawdowns, dam construction impact McKenzie River recreation

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Increased water releases from Cougar and Blue River dams will limit access to some recreation opportunities in those areas. The McKenzie River will also have higher than normal flows as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reduces reservoir levels behind the dams to support maintenance and rehabilitation of the structures' spillway gates.

The road over Cougar Dam will be closed July 27 to Nov. 30 while spillway gate repairs are underway. Visitors who are accustomed to driving across the dam to get to Echo day use and boat launch and the East Fork lower trailhead will have a long (approximately 2-3 hour) drive to get to those sites. Access is via the Horse Creek (Forest Service Road 2638), spur road 356 and then onto FSR 1993. See https://go.usa.gov/xRb3V. Using FSR 19-500 past Slide Creek campground to access the Echo day use and boat launch sites is highly discouraged as the road is not suitable for passenger cars.

Boat ramps at Cougar Reservoir may not be accessible by Labor Day weekend due to the lower water levels. Saddle Dam boat ramp at Blue River Reservoir will be accessible, but Lookout boat launch will be inaccessible after Sept. 1.

The water flow on the McKenzie River began rising July 15, and is expected to reach levels up to 3,200 cubic feet per second, creating a stronger current than normal. The Oregon State Marine Board reminds boaters to be aware of potential hazards, such as downed trees and other debris. Boaters, especially paddlers, are encouraged to plan ahead and visit www.boatoregon.com to learn about reported navigation obstructions. Boaters should always scout the river ahead of time and keep a sharp lookout. Report navigation obstructions to the Lane County Marine Patrol.

Flows will begin to recede after Sept. 1 as water releases slow from each of the dams. Water flow on the river is expected to be about 1, 500 cfs after Sept. 15.

The Corps is increasing daily water releases gradually from Cougar, with a target daily release of 500 cubic feet per second. Another gradual increase begins Aug. 1, with water releases to eventually reach 1,000 cfs. Normal water release for this time of year is about 580 cfs.

Water managers also will increase daily water releases gradually from Blue River reservoir to reach about 500 cfs by Aug. 1. Normal daily release from the dam is about 300 cfs.

For the most up-to-date information, please view the Corps' "Teacup" diagrams at http://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nwp/teacup/willamette/.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates 13 dam and reservoir projects in the Willamette River drainage system. Each dam contributes to a water resource management system that provides flood damage reduction, power generation, irrigation, water quality improvement, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation on the Willamette River and many of its tributaries. Since their completion, the dams have cumulatively prevented over $20 billion in flood damages to the Willamette Valley. For more information, visit https://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/op/v/home.asp.
State
The Oregon Home Care Commission will meet Thursday, August 3 in Salem
Oregon Department of Human Services - 07/20/17 2:00 PM
The Oregon Home Care Commission (OHCC) is planning to meet Thursday, August 3, 2017, at 10 a.m., 676 Church Street NE in Salem. The meeting is open to the public.

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

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

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

About the Oregon Home Care Commission (OHCC):
OHCC ensures high-quality home care services for seniors and people with physical, intellectual/developmental and mental health disabilities. The Commission defines qualifications, manages a statewide registry and trains home care workers (HCWs) and personal support workers (PSWs). OHCC serves as the employer of record for purposes of collective bargaining for HCWs and PSWs receiving service payments from public funds.
Learn more about OHCC at www.oregon.gov/dhs/seniors-disabilities/hc and
"Like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OregonHomeCareCommission.
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Attached Media Files: Full Meeting Agenda OHCC 080317
The Governor's Commission on Senior Services will meet Thursday, July 27 in Salem
Oregon Department of Human Services - 07/19/17 4:55 PM
The Governor's Commission on Senior Services Executive Committee will meet on Thursday, July 27, 2017, from 1 p.m. -- 2:30 p.m. at 500 Summer Street NE, Room 165, Salem, OR. The meeting is open to the public.

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

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

For questions about the meeting, please contact: Rebecca Arce, Policy Analyst, at Rebecca.E.Arce@state.or.us, or 503-947-5019.
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DCBS posts final rate decisions for 2018 health plans
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 07/20/17 1:00 PM
Salem -- Small businesses and individuals who buy their own health insurance can now see the final approved rates for 2018 health insurance plans. The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Division of Financial Regulation must review and approve rates before they can be charged to policyholders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Attached Media Files: 2018 Final Health Insurance Rates
Five northwest foresters, two from ODF, honored with national Society of American Foresters Fellowship
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/24/17 3:02 PM
Release date: July 24, 2017

Contact: Kate Skinner, District Forester, ODF; 503-815-7001; kate.j.skinner@oregon.gov

Five northwest foresters, two from ODF, honored with national Society of American Foresters Fellowship

The Society of American Foresters announced that five foresters from District 2 in northwest Oregon will receive 2017 Fellowship awards - the highest honor that SAF can bestow on its members.

"District 2 had the most Fellow nominees and Fellows of all the SAF Districts in 2017. I believe this is due to the hard work of the nominators and the high quality of our foresters. It is a real pleasure to be associated with foresters of this caliber," said Mike Cloughesy, SAF District 2 Board member.

The 2017 District 2 Fellows are:
Tamara Cushing, Oregon State University, Corvallis
Tim Keith, Oregon Department of Forestry, Salem
Gary Springer, Starker Forests, Inc., Corvallis
Robin Tucker, Tucker Forestry Consulting LLC, Lebanon
Dave Wells, Oregon Department of Forestry, Tillamook

Each year, the SAF Board reviews fellowship nominations and selects fellows based upon:
Significant number of years of sustained commitment to SAF volunteer activities, performed at two or more of the following SAF organizational levels: local (chapter), state, regional (multi-state or voting district), or national.
Exemplary action and sustained leadership over many years in advancing the forestry profession at two or more of the following organizational levels: local; regional; national; or international. Exceptions may be made for unusually notable contributions to SAF or to the forestry profession over a shorter time frame.

The fellows will be honored at the Fellows Breakfast and Awards Celebration at the SAF national convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Nov. 16 and 17.

SAF is a professional organization of foresters whose mission is to advance sustainable management of forest resources through science, education, and technology; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and to use our knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic to ensure the continued health, integrity, and use of forests to benefit society in perpetuity.

Learn More: Society of American Foresters

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Committee looking at how to balance air quality and controlled burning will meet in Salem on July 27
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/19/17 11:57 AM
SALEM, Ore. -- On July 27 a broad-based committee will meet in Salem to discuss forestland smoke. The Smoke Management Program Review Committee will continue its task of recommending improvements for how the state can use controlled burns to improve forest health and protect nearby residents from wildfire while minimizing smoke impacts on communities to protect public health.

The public is invited to attend. The meeting will be in the Tillamook Room in Building C at ODF's Salem headquarters, 2600 State St. It will last from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with an opportunity for public comment near the end of the meeting. The meeting space is accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting by contacting Chrystal Bader at 503-945-7220.

The 20-person committee was appointed by the Oregon Department of Forestry working with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The committee is made up of forest landowners, public health representatives, the American Lung Association, forest collaboratives and environmentalist groups, county and city elected officials, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and a tribal representative.

The committee is seeking to produce a set of recommendations for the departments of Forestry and Environmental Quality to consider. The committee's work will be presented to the Board of Forestry and the Environmental Quality Commission in late 2017. Committee recommendations will also inform potential updates to the state's Smoke Management Plan. That plan is administered by ODF and approved by the Board of Forestry and the Environmental Quality Commission. The Smoke Management Plan is part of the state's plan for implementing the federal Clean Air Act.

According to ODF records, last year controlled fires were set on 181,800 forested acres in Oregon, above the 10-year annual average of 165,999 acres. Those fires burned an estimated 1.3 million tons of woody debris. Peak burning is in the spring and fall.

The committee is expected to hold two more meetings -- one on Aug. 31 in southern Oregon and on Oct. 4 again in Salem.
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Health advisory issued July 24 for Odell Lake
Oregon Health Authority - 07/24/17 1:36 PM
July 24, 2017

High toxin levels found in Klamath County lake

The Oregon Health Authority issued a health advisory today for Odell Lake, located 75 miles southeast of Eugene off Oregon Route 58 in the northwest corner of Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae and the toxins they produce in Odell Lake. These toxin concentrations can be harmful to humans and animals.

People should avoid swallowing water while swimming or inhaling water droplets as a result of high-speed water activities, such as water skiing or power boating, in areas where blooms are identified. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy, red rash at the affected area.

Drinking water directly from Odell Lake at this time is especially dangerous. OHA Public Health Division officials advise campers and other recreational visitors that toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters.

People who draw in-home water directly from the affected area are advised to use an alternative water source because private treatment systems are not proven effective for removing algae toxins. However public drinking water systems can reduce algae toxins through proper filtration and disinfection. If people connected to public water systems have questions about treatment and testing, they should contact their water supplier. If community members have questions about water available at nearby campgrounds, they should contact campground management.

Oregon health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, as toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. Fillets should also be rinsed with clean water. Public health officials also advise people to not eat freshwater clams or mussels from Odell Lake and that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations do not allow the harvest of these shellfish from freshwater sources. Crayfish muscle can be eaten, but internal organs and liquid fat should be discarded.

Exposure to toxins can produce a variety of symptoms including numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems, and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity. People who bring their pets to Odell Lake for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the lake.

The advisory will be lifted when the concern no longer exists.

With proper precautions to avoid activities during which water can be ingested, people are encouraged to visit Odell Lake and enjoy activities such as canoeing, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray. Although inhalation risk is much lower than ingestion, it can present a risk.

For health information or to report an illness, contact OHA at 971-673-0400. For campground or lake information, call the local management agency.

OHA maintains an updated list of all health advisories on its website. To learn if an advisory has been issued or lifted for a specific water body, visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://www.healthoregon.org/hab and select "algae bloom advisories," or call the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

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OHA report details paid amounts of medical procedures among Oregon hospitals
Oregon Health Authority - 07/21/17 9:59 AM
July 21, 2017

Data show variations in amounts paid for procedures

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

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

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

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

Highlights of the report include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC) to meet July 27
Oregon Health Authority - 07/19/17 3:26 PM
July 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The statewide campaign will advertise across a variety of media, but the bulk of advertising will take place on digital and streaming video to most effectively reach the youth audience. Other campaign elements include a social media presence (#StayTrueOregon), a website (StayTrueToYou.org) and promotions and outreach to organizations where youth gather.
$95 Million Available for Oregonians in Danger of Losing Their Homes
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 07/24/17 11:47 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 24, 2017

CONTACT:
Ariel Nelson
Government Relations and Communications Liaison
Oregon Housing and Community Services
503-986-2079, Ariel.Nelson@oregon.gov

$95 Million Available for Oregonians in Danger of Losing Their Homes

SALEM, OR -- Homeowners falling behind on property taxes or mortgage payments should visit www.OregonHomeownerHelp.org because they may qualify for help from a $95 million program. Help is available through the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative (OHSI) which is run by the state of Oregon. A range of help is available depending on a homeowner's current situation and need. We strongly urge anyone who is struggling to make their mortgage or property tax payments to visit www.OregonHomeownerHelp.org to find out if they qualify for assistance.

Homeowners that have recovered from a hardship but are still behind on mortgage or property tax payments may be eligible for the Loan Preservation Assistance program. This program can bring mortgages, past due property taxes, and reverse mortgage accounts current with a maximum benefit of $40,000. Homeowners can find out more and see if they qualify by visiting www.OregonHomeownerHelp.org and searching for Loan Preservation Assistance.

Oregonians struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments may qualify for the Home Rescue program. This program can provide homeowners with monthly mortgage payments for up to one year with a maximum benefit of $20,000. To qualify, applicants must be able to show that their income has been reduced by at least 10% compared to any tax year between 2009 and 2016. Oregonians who have had their income substantially reduced in recent years should visit www.OregonHomeownerHelp.org to see if they qualify for the Home Rescue Program.

Funding for the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative (OHSI) is provided by the United States Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund, which allocated $220 million to Oregon in 2010 and an additional $94.5 million in 2016 for the administration of foreclosure prevention programs. To date, OHSI has provided more than $230 million in assistance to more than 12,000 homeowners.

OHSI customer service can be reached via email at Homeowner.Help@oregon.gov or by phone at 503-986-2025. OHSI partners with local housing nonprofits throughout the state to provide program delivery.

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Attached Media Files: Press Release
Shark sightings reported off Oregon north coast prompt advisory (Photo)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 07/19/17 2:15 PM
Standard shark sighting sign posted in Oregon
Standard shark sighting sign posted in Oregon
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2017-07/1303/106233/thumb_Warning-Shark-Sighted.jpg
News Release
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2017

Media Contact:
Chris Havel, Director's Office, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Cell: 503-931-2590

Reported shark sightings in Cannon Beach and Seaside prompt advisory

Cannon Beach OR -- A person surfing off the north Oregon coast around Haystack Rock near Cannon Beach, and a visitor in Seaside both reported shark sightings Tuesday, July 18. State park staff have posted advisory signs in both areas. No injuries were reported. The beaches will remain open, and the advisory signs will stay up for several weeks at least.

As a natural, wild place, people coming to the Oregon coast can prepare themselves to enjoy the ocean shore by visiting http://respectthebeach.org/. For people using the ocean offshore, especially surfers, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department recommends consulting fellow surfers for advice since the agency doesn't manage the ocean shore below low tide. In an emergency, beach visitors should call 911 and explain their location in as much detail as possible. Many developed beach accesses have signs with names and numbers to help visitors pinpoint their location.

The size and species of the sightings are unknown, and the reports haven't been verified. More than a dozen shark species live off the Oregon coast.


Attached Media Files: Standard shark sighting sign posted in Oregon
Organizations & Associations
Red Cross Camp Prepare! Encourages Readiness for 'Big One' and Eclipse
American Red Cross - Cascades Region - 07/24/17 9:57 AM
Camp out on the night of August 12 using only the contents of your disaster preparedness kit to test your readiness for a Cascadia earthquake, the eclipse or another emergency.

PORTLAND, Ore., July 20, 2017 -- Emergencies happen when we least expect it. What if you are stuck in traffic for hours and unable to get to food or water because of the influx of people in our region during the eclipse? What if you had no access to necessities after a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake or other disaster? Gather your emergency kit supplies and test your preparedness by camping out in your own backyard on the night of Saturday, August 12, for Camp Prepare!

The Red Cross Camp Prepare! event is a regional coordinated camping experience the whole family can participate in -- at a campground or in your own back yard. It's a chance to prepare your emergency kit and take it on a trial run before the eclipse or the 'Big One'.

Prepare for Camp Prepare! Common items used for camping such as water, non-perishable food, flashlights, extra batteries and first aid supplies are just a few of the items that should be in a disaster preparedness kit. The Red Cross recommends at least a three-day supply of food and water in case of a disaster. Larger disasters, like a Cascadia earthquake, may require supplies for several weeks. Need a kit list? The Red Cross has you covered. Visit redcross.org/PrepareGuide for a full supply list.

How to participate:

1.Camp out and take a photo to document your preparedness. Show your campsite, campers and supplies.

2.Share your Camp Prepare! experience. Tell us if you needed additional supplies or share if you were completely ready. Take a photo/selfie and tag us:
Facebook: RedCrossCascades
Instagram: @RedCrossCascades
Twitter: @RedCrossCasc

3.Win prizes! The best 10 photos win a prize pack valued at more than $200 each. The prize pack includes a Leatherman multi-tool, a Leatherman flashlight and a Red Cross first aid kit.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Cascades or find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/RedCrossCascades, Twitter at @RedCrossCasc and find us on Instagram at @RedCrossCascades.


Attached Media Files: 2017-07/1190/106325/News_Release_-_Camp_Prepare_2017_-_Trial_Run_for_the_Big_One_and_the_Eclipse_7-24-17.pdf
Senate Moves to Imperil Health Care for Millions
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon - 07/25/17 12:45 PM
Today, the Senate voted to move forward with an effort to pass Trumpcare, which would repeal Obamacare and "defund" Planned Parenthood. The move came despite millions of people across the country expressing opposition and outrage at the various pieces of legislation that have been proposed - which would all leave tens of millions uninsured, charge women more for less insurance coverage and prevent millions of people with Medicaid coverage from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers for basic, preventive care. Vice President Mike Pence, who authored the original legislation to "defund" Planned Parenthood as a Congressman, had to cast the tie-breaking vote on the worst bill for women's health in a generation.

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

"In all of its various forms, this bill is the worst bill for women in a generation. From ending maternity coverage and the birth control benefit for millions to blocking women's access to preventive care at Planned Parenthood, every version of Trumpcare has been devastating to women. And at every step of the process, this legislation has only gotten worse as Republican leaders have chipped away at women's health and rights. The Senate must reject Trumpcare, or they will be responsible for putting millions of people's lives at risk. No amount of D.C. wheeling and dealing will change the fact that Trumpcare would leave tens of millions of people stranded without the essential health care they and their families depend on today.

"Make no mistake: This fight is far from over. This Senate bill is on life support because of its deep unpopularity and because of the incredible power of the American people speaking out. Planned Parenthood supporters across the country will keep fighting this bill at every step, at every twist and at every turn. One voice may be easy to dismiss, but together our voices are too loud to ignore. Now - more than ever - is the moment to speak out, call your Senators and demand they vote NO on the final bill. Congress must listen to the vast majority of people in this country and reject Trumpcare."

FACT: No matter what version of Trumpcare the Senate votes on, it's still the worst bill for women's health.
Every version of Trumpcare would take away health insurance from tens of millions of people and make it less affordable for those who will still have insurance. Official estimates say that various versions of Trumpcare would result in anywhere between 22 million and 32 million people losing coverage.
Every version of Trumpcare would "defund" Planned Parenthood by blocking people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers - including birth control, cancer screenings and STI testing and treatment. Unlike other provisions of the bill, this would go into effect immediately.
Every version of Trumpcare would result in people paying more for health insurance coverage, raising out-of-pocket costs significantly - for those who are still left with coverage.
Every version of Trumpcare would gut the Medicaid program, which approximately one in five women of reproductive age rely on to access no-cost, critical reproductive health care such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings and maternity care.
Every version of Trumpcare would dramatically reduce - or eliminate - access to financial assistance that helps 85 percent of people on the marketplace purchase insurance. This will reduce access to no-cost preventive services, including birth control, and lifesaving care, such as prescription drug coverage.
A number of versions of Trumpcare would impose a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion by prohibiting financial assistance from being used to pay for an abortion outside of rape, incest and life endangerment. Plans could be subject to a penalty for violating this provision.
A number of versions of Trumpcare would cut Essential Health Benefits protections, including maternity coverage and prescription drugs, which disproportionately affect women. About 13 million women could lose coverage to maternity care under this bill. The U.S. maternal mortality rate is rising, and considerable racial disparities persist. Maternal mortality rates among black women are four times higher than white women.

FACT: A powerful editorial in The Washington Post underscores the devastating impact of blocking access to care at Planned Parenthood: "Of all the magical thinking that has gone into Republican proposals to replace Obamacare, none has been more fanciful than the argument accompanying efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.... In truth, millions of women would lose access to critical health care."

FACT: Mitch McConnell's $200 billion Medicaid deal is little more than a partisan, political side deal that falls short of helping those who would be hurt by Trumpcare.
The $200 billion fund being proposed to win over Senators concerned about Medicaid is a bad deal. The $200 billion funding will run out in two years and in no way, shape or form will make up for the bill's $1.2 trillion in cuts to health care and the 15 million people losing Medicaid.
The $200 billion only accounts for 17 percent of the bill's $1.2 trillion in cuts to health care.

FACT: The Parliamentarian has ruled that the provision to "defund" Planned Parenthood violates the Byrd Rule and should not be included in the Senate health care repeal bill, or any bill passed through the reconciliation process. Relatedly, the Parliamentarian also determined that abortion restrictions for tax credits also violate the Byrd Rule. This is not surprising news, given that both policies are very clearly motivated by a political agenda and are not primarily budgetary in nature. Targeting Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood provides abortion is an obvious violation of the Byrd Rule because the provision's primary intent is clearly political, and the budgetary impact is "merely incidental" to that purpose. No amount of legislative sleight of hand will change the fact that the primary motivation here is to pursue a social agenda by targeting Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood provides the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion.

There's simply no way to rewrite the defund Planned Parenthood provision to get around the fact that it's rooted in advancing a politically motivated agenda attacking reproductive health. For this reason, it is important to remember that historically, abortion policy hasn't been allowed on reconciliation bills because it is political in nature. As former Senate Parliamentarian Robert Dove said in an NPR interview regarding abortion policy, "It was my view that the provision was not there in order to save money. It was there to implement social policy. Therefore I ruled that it was not in order and it was stricken."

Policy focused on advancing a social agenda (for example, targeting access to Planned Parenthood, birth control or abortion) - no matter how it is written - is always going to violate Byrd, because the intent is clearly political, and not about the budget.

FACT: Planned Parenthood grassroots organizing has been a driving force in opposing Trumpcare and efforts to "defund" Planned Parenthood. For months, an army of pink-clad Planned Parenthood patients, supporters and advocates have taken thousands of actions from coast to coast including attending protest rallies, speaking out at congressional town halls, calling their members of Congress, delivering petitions to congressional offices and hosting field hearings.

Over the past several months, Planned Parenthood supporters have:
Made more than 190,000 phone calls to members of Congress
Organized more than 2,200 events across the country, including rallies, petition drops, phone banks and marches
Delivered more than 1 million petition signatures to members of Congress in opposition to "defunding" Planned Parenthood

FACT: A bipartisan majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood and oppose "defunding."
A Quinnipiac poll shows that 80 percent of voters, including 67 percent of Republicans, oppose efforts to block people from getting care at Planned Parenthood.
The Senate healthcare repeal bill is the most unpopular bill in three decades, and the provision blocking women from Planned Parenthood is one of the most unpopular parts - with 80 percent of voters, including 67 percent of Republicans, opposing.
A NBC News/WSJ poll shows that only 12 percent of voters in "Trump" counties support the House version of Trumpcare. About 41 percent said it was a "bad idea." (NBC News/WSJ polled 439 counties where Trump either significantly outperformed Mitt Romney's vote in 2012 or flipped the vote from President Barack Obama. In these counties, Trump's job approval rating stands at 50 percent - about 10 points higher than in most national polls.)

FACT: The Planned Parenthood provision is still a no-go for key Republican senators.
Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Susan Collins have been clear in their opposition to the "defunding" Planned Parenthood provision in the Senate repeal bill.
Senator Dean Heller publicly said he would "protect Planned Parenthood." Nevadans expect him to keep his word.