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Medford/Klamath Falls/Grants Pass News Releases for Wed. Mar. 29 - 11:34 pm
Police & Fire
Stolen Vehicle Pursuit Ends in Arrest (Photo)
Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office - 03/24/17 9:14 AM
Pruett, Bobbie
Pruett, Bobbie
On Thursday, March 23, 2017, around 2:30 p.m., a deputy in the Reedsport area overheard Oregon State Police looking for a stolen silver Volvo from the Lane County area. A short time later, the deputy spotted the vehicle on Lower Smith River Road near mile marker 7.

The deputy confirmed the vehicle was stolen and attempted to make a traffic stop, however the driver failed to yeild. The deputy pursued the vehicle at varying speeds averaging 45-55 miles per hour.

The driver of the stolen vehicle eventually stopped when she encountered downed trees on a gravel road and was unable to go any further. The deputy was able to take the suspect, 48 year old Bobbie Pruett a transient from the Florence area, into custody without incident.

Pruett was lodged at the Douglas County Jail on charges of Unauthorized use of a Motor Vehicle and Attempting to Elude Police in a Vehicle.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office was assisted by Lane County Sheriff's Office and Reedsport Police Department.

Attached Media Files: Pruett, Bobbie
***Update-Name Released*** Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Interstate 5 at Milepost 33 - Jackson County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 03/29/17 2:31 PM

The deceased pedestrian has been identified at Rip VAN WINKLE, age 46 of Corvallis.

Previously released:

On March 24, 2017, at about 5:28 p.m., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a pedestrian that was struck on Interstate 5, near milepost 33 (Central Point area). Upon emergency crews arriving on scene, they discovered the adult male pedestrian had sustained life threatening injuries.

Preliminary investigation revealed a 2017 Freightliner towing a box trailer, operated by Steve Glenn PEMBERTON, age 52, of Red Bluff, California, was traveling southbound on Interstate 5, in the right lane, when he observed a person run onto the highway. PEMBERTON was unable to avoid colliding with the pedestrian. The pedestrian was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center for treatment and later pronounced deceased at the hospital for injuries sustained during the crash. The pedestrian has not yet been identified.

PEMBERTON was not injured and is cooperating with investigators as they conducted a reconstruction of the crash site. One lane was closed for approximately three hours following the crash until both lanes were reopened.

OSP was assisted at the scene by the Oregon Department of Transportation, Central Point Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Mercy Flights Ambulance, and Fire District Three.

More information will be released when it becomes available.

Attached Media Files: Photo
Fatal Crash on Highway 11 at milepost 8 - Umatilla County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 03/29/17 1:00 PM
Hwy 11 MP 8
Hwy 11 MP 8
On March 28th, 2017 at approximately 1:14pm Oregon State Troopers from the Pendleton Area Command responded to a report of a multi-vehicle crash on HWY 11 near milepost 8.

Preliminary investigation revealed a 2008 Ford Explorer operated by Kalli Rae Thompson, age 27 of Bismarck, North Dakota was traveling northbound near milepost 8 when for an unknown reason, her vehicle entered the southbound lane and sideswiped a southbound, 2016 Commercial Motor Vehicle and trailer operated by Dmitriy L. Ryabchinskiy, age 39 of Vancouver, Washington. During the initial collision with the commercial motor vehicle, the rear dual wheels of the trailer were torn off. A second commercial motor vehicle traveling southbound struck debris from the Explorer. The Explorer then traveled off the south shoulder of the roadway and rolled onto its top.

THOMPSON was partially ejected during the collision and pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of both commercial motor vehicles were uninjured in the collision.

A hazardous materials team responded to the scene of the crash due a diesel spill that occurred during the collision. The roadway was shut down for several hours to allow for scene investigation and removal of the crashed vehicles.

The Oregon State Police was assisted at the scene by the Oregon Department of Transportation, Umatilla Tribal Police, Pendleton Fire and Medics, Helix Fire, and the Hermiston Regional Hazmat Team.

Attached Media Files: Hwy 11 MP 8
***Update - Name Release*** Fatal Beach Accident at South Jetty Park Beach - Coos County
Oregon State Police - 03/27/17 12:13 PM

The deceased female is Aurora GENAI SHEFFEL, age 14, of Eugene.

Previously released:

On March 25, 2017, at about 4:00 p.m., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to South Jetty Park Beach in Bandon, where a log had rolled on top of a juvenile. Upon emergency crews arriving on scene, they discovered the juvenile female that had sustained life threatening injuries.

Preliminary information indicates that a 14-year-old juvenile from Eugene was playing on a log, in the heavy receding tide, when the log rolled on top of her. Witnesses were able to remove the victim from underneath the log after several attempts. Despite the efforts of a responding Bandon Police officer, who administered CPR and the paramedics who performed life saving measures, the victim succumbed to her injuries. The victim was pronounced deceased at South Coos Hospital.

OSP was assisted by Bandon Police Department, Coos County Medical Examiner, Coos County Sheriff Office and Bay Cities Ambulance.

More information will be released when it becomes available.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department: State Parks (Safety Tip)

The ocean is strong enough to pick up even the biggest log and roll it down on top of you. Some logs may look small, but even the tiny ones can be waterlogged and weigh tons.

How to play it safe: If you see a log in the surf or on wet sand, stay off it.

Troopers Arrest a Terrebonne Man during a Rally at the Capitol Mall - Marion County
Oregon State Police - 03/25/17 8:01 PM
On March 25, 2017, at about 11:00 a.m., Oregon State Police Troopers responded to the area just outside the Oregon Capitol where 200 to 300 people of two opposing groups were involved in a disturbance. One person identified as Matthew Curtis HEAGY, age 31, of Terrebonne, used pepper spray and sprayed a trooper. The subject was detained and found to also be carrying a concealed firearm.

It was determined that HEAGY is a convicted felon and was in possession of a Firearm. During the time of the event, the firearm was never displayed.

HEAGY was arrested for the following charges:
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Carry Concealed Weapon - Firearm

This is an active investigation and no further information is available.
Highway 20E Crash Claims the Life of a Yoncalla Woman - Deschutes County
Oregon State Police - 03/25/17 6:36 PM
On March 24, 2017, at about 1:44 p.m., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a two-vehicle crash on Highway 20E near milepost 43, at the Brothers rest area.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2005 Nissan Altima, operated by Amber Dawn WILSEY, age 40, and passengers Teresa Ann HALEY, age 66, both of Yoncalla, and Ross Anthony DENTEN, age 46, of Oakland, was traveling westbound when a 2010 Toyota Rav4, operated by Mary Virginia BOSWELL, age 84, of Seneca, traveling eastbound, attempted to make a left hand turn into the Brothers Rest Area. The Toyota's front passenger side corner impacted the front of the Nissan causing extensive damage. HALEY suffered fatal injuries as a result of the collision. WILSEY, DENTEN and BOSWELL suffered serious injuries and were transported to a Bend area hospital.

The westbound lane of Highway 20E was closed for approximately six hours while Troopers investigated the crash.

OSP was assisted by Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Bend Fire and Oregon Department of Transportation. More information will be released when it becomes available.
Fish and Wildlife Troopers Seek the Public's Help in an Eagle Poaching Case - Curry County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 03/24/17 11:18 AM
On March 20, 2017, an OSP Fish and Wildlife Division Trooper responded to a report of a Bald Eagle that had been killed and dumped at the mouth of the Winchuck River near Brookings. The Bald Eagle's talons had been cut off and illegally taken. An examination of the Bald Eagle showed no sign of visible injuries that would have led to the death of the bird. The taking of the Eagle's talons without a permit is a violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940. Penalties under the Act can include jail time and a fine of $100,000 or more, depending on the circumstances. Bald Eagles are also protected under Oregon's Wildlife Laws.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Senior Trooper Paul Rushton at the number listed below. It should be noted that this incident is unrelated to another press release where an OSP Trooper helped rescue two injured Bald Eagles in the Brookings Area.

Senior Trooper Paul Rushton: 541-531-5896

Anyone with information regarding wildlife violations is encouraged to report the information to the Oregon State Police Turn in Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888. Information can remain anonymous.

TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 (24/7)

TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us (Monitored M-F 8:00AM - 5:00PM)

(Please use the TIP Hotline for Weekend and Evening Reporting)

Information on the T.I.P. Reward Program:

The Oregon Hunters Association offers rewards to persons, through their T.I.P. fund, for information leading to the issuance of a citation to a person(s), or an arrest made of a person(s) for illegal possession, killing, or taking of bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, elk, deer, antelope, bear, cougar, wolf, furbearers and/or upland game birds and water fowl. T.I.P. rewards can also be paid for the illegal taking, netting, snagging, and/or dynamiting of game fish, and/or shell fish, and for the destruction of habitat.

In addition rewards may be paid for information leading to the issuance of a citation to a person(s), or an arrest made of a person(s) who have illegally obtained Oregon hunting/angling license or tags. People who "work" the system and falsely apply for resident license or tags are not legally hunting or angling and are considered poachers.

Bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose $1,000
Elk, deer, antelope $500
Bear, cougar, wolf $300
Habitat destruction $300
Illegally obtaining Oregon hunting or angling license or tags $200
Game fish, shell fish $100
Upland birds, waterfowl $100
Furbearers $100

Attached Media Files: Photo2 , Photo1
Residential Structure Fire - 437 W Hickory (Photo)
Roseburg Fire Dept. - 03/28/17 10:06 AM
Image 2
Image 2
At 8:56 a.m. on March 28th, 2017, Roseburg Fire Department was dispatched to a residential structure fire at 437 W. Hickory Street. Occupants of the residence called 911 after flames were seen coming from the laundry room. Occupants had vacated the residence.

Firefighters arrived on scene to find an active fire in the laundry room that extended to other rooms of the residence. The home sustained structural and water damage. Residents were displaced; however, no one was injured in the fire.

A total of 11 firefighters assisted with firefighting operations. Other agencies assisting with the fire included Bay Cities Ambulance, Pacific Power, and Avista Utilities.

The structure which is valued at $92,000.00 suffered approximately $30,000.00 in damage. A fire investigator was on scene and the exact 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 2 , Image 1
Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon Statement on ACA Repeal Bill
Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon - 03/24/17 4:06 PM
Eugene, OR -- Today, in Washington, DC, Congressman Paul Ryan announced that he will no longer be calling for a vote on the bill to repeal the ACA.

Statement from Lisa A. Gardner, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon:

"Women's voices and Planned Parenthood supporters were heard loud and clear. This is what it looks like to fight for women's health, maternity care, and Planned Parenthood. It mattered that we marched, all across this country, and it mattered that we overwhelmed our legislators' inboxes and voicemail with our messages in support of Planned Parenthood. These doors stay open."


Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon (PPSO) has been dedicated to providing expert reproductive health care and sexuality education in Southwestern Oregon for over 50 years. PPSO provides more than 30,000 patient visits each year at six health centers. PPSO is also the region's most respected provider of medically accurate sexuality education for young people and adults, as well as training programs for professionals who work with youth and families. Education and training programs make over 8,000 contacts each year, transforming the lives of young people in southwestern Oregon. PPSO's essential health services include breast and cervical cancer screenings, well-woman annual exams, birth control, STD prevention, testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, and HPV vaccinations.
For more information, visit www.ppsworegon.org.
Pacific Power plans new substation, 18-mile transmission line to improve reliability in southern Oregon
Pacific Power - 03/28/17 10:02 AM
Contact: Monte Mendenhall, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pacific Power, 541-776-5499 March 28, 2017

Pacific Power plans new substation, 18-mile transmission line to improve reliability in southern Oregon
A public process is now under way to discuss $80 million investment. Plans call for construction during 2019 and projects in service in late 2020

MEDFORD, Ore.--To meet increased usage, improve service reliability and enable further economic development, Pacific Power plans to upgrade its transmission power lines in Josephine and Jackson counties. The project will also require a new substation to be built in Jackson County, near the intersection of Tresham Lane and Oregon State Highway 234.

As part of this effort, which means an $80 million investment in southern Oregon, Pacific Power has filed for a land use approval for the substation in Jackson County. In coming weeks, the county will solicit public comment on the filing. The county review and decision process is expected to take up to 150 days.

"Our goal is to complete this necessary project, which will enhance reliability for more than 70,000 customers, with as little disruption to as few people as possible," said Monte Mendenhall, regional business manager for Pacific Power. "Twenty alternative sites were evaluated before we determined the Tresham Lane location as the preferred one. We looked at land use zoning requirements, environmental impacts, visual impacts, operational efficiencies, and as required by the Public Utilities Commission, costs to customers."

What we are building. Pacific Power plans to build 18 miles of high capacity (230 kilovolt) transmission line from its existing Grants Pass substation in Josephine County to the new substation. As much as possible, the transmission lines will be built within existing property easements to minimize impacts to the community.

An overview is available online at http://www.pacificorp.com/tran/tp/sams-valley.

Why are we building: The new transmission line and substation are necessary to improve system reliability and keep up with growth and increased energy usage since the 1990s when the existing lines were built. During certain unlikely events, it is possible that Pacific Power would be unable to serve large numbers of customers in Jackson, Josephine and Del Norte counties.

Pacific Power views the potential loss of service to tens of thousands of customers, however unlikely, as a serious issue that needs to be addressed to ensure our customers can depend upon their electrical service. Further, the company has a legal obligation to ensure that facilities are in place to prevent such an occurrence.

What is the approval process: The project will undergo a rigorous approval process from the federal, state and local authorities to ensure that the best possible location has been selected and represents the least impact to the greater community. Specifically, the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, Oregon Department of State Lands, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Josephine and Jackson County all will review a portion or the entire project for an approval.

What is the timeline: The project is currently in the permitting phase which is anticipated to last until mid-July 2017. When that process is complete, design and adjusting easements along a one mile section near the City of Rogue River will begin and extend through the end of 2017. Construction of the substation should begin in 2019 with the work completed and the line placed into service in late 2020.


About Pacific Power
Pacific Power provides electric service to nearly 750,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Our goal is to provide our customers with value for their energy dollar, and safe, reliable electricity. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 1.8 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.
Agnieszka Laska honored with Joan Shipley Award; 2017 Individual Artist Fellowships announced (Photo)
Oregon Arts Commission - 03/28/17 3:18 PM
Agnieszka Laska
Agnieszka Laska
Salem, Oregon -- Agnieszka Laska, a Portland-based dancer/choreographer and the founder of Agnieszka Laska Dancers, is the 2017 recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission's honorary Joan Shipley Award. Laska leads a group of seven Oregon artists selected for the Arts Commission's 2017 Individual Artist Fellowships. The 2017 fellowships support artists working in the performing arts; visual artists are reviewed in alternating years.

The Joan Shipley Award is named for Oregon arts leader Joan Shipley, who passed away in 2011. Shipley was a collector, philanthropist and supporter of many arts and humanities organizations. In 2005, she and her husband John received an Oregon Governor's Arts Award. Many in the arts community also counted her as a mentor and friend.

The Arts Commission's fellowship program is available to more than 20,000 artists who call Oregon home. Fellows are recommended by a review panel of Oregon arts professionals who consider artists of outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work(s). The Arts Commission reviews and acts on the panel's recommendations.

The following performing artists were awarded 2017 fellowships: Agnieszka Laska (Joan Shipely Award), Portland; Oluyinka Akinjiol, Portland; Leah Anderson, Ashland; Douglas Detrick, Portland; Ashleigh Flynn, Portland; Eliot Grasso, Springfield; and Lydia Van Dreel, Eugene.

Brief biographies and photos available on request.

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

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

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Attached Media Files: Agnieszka Laska
Oregon Home Care Commission to meet April 6 in Salem
Oregon Department of Human Services - 03/29/17 3:39 PM
Salem, Oregon -- The Oregon Home Care Commission (OHCC) will meet on Thursday, April 6 at 10 a.m., at 676 Church Street NE, Salem. The meeting is open to the public.

The agenda includes public testimony; reports from the Governor's Commission on Senior Services, Oregon Disabilities Commission, DHS Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) program, community advisory councils and coordinated care organizations; budget update; OHCC legislative committee bill reports and a quarterly DHS Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) update.

There will be a working lunch during a brainstorming session/future agenda topics and staff reports, followed by an Executive Director's report. The full agenda is attached.

A call-in number is available for people unable to attend in person: 888-278-0296, dial access code 7999724#.

The commission meets on the first Thursday of every month.

The Oregon Home Care Commission welcomes visitors to its meetings. People who need any type of accommodation due to a disability should contact Joanna Gould at 503-378-4984 or joanna.m.gould@state.or.us 48 hours prior to the meeting.

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

Attached Media Files: Agenda
Snake River Correctional Institution reports inmate death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 03/28/17 3:53 PM
Joseph A. Roden
Joseph A. Roden
An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) inmate died unexpectedly Saturday morning of apparent natural causes at Snake River Correctional Institution. As with all unanticipated deaths in state prisons, the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation.

At approximately 8:20 p.m., Saturday, March 25, 2017, Joseph Roden, 70, was found unresponsive in the shower. Medical staff began life-saving efforts to no avail. He was pronounced deceased at 9:00 p.m.

Roden entered DOC custody on January 8, 2014, on two counts of assault in the first degree and one count of assault in the second degree out of Josephine County. His earliest release date was January 15, 2025.

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

SRCI is a multi-custody prison in Ontario that houses approximately 3,000 male inmates. SRCI has multiple special housing units including disciplinary segregation, intensive management, infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care, and an administrative segregation unit. SRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including a contact center, laundry, and sign shop. SRCI specializes in incentive housing, specialized housing, inmates with mental health/medical vulnerabilities, education and trades programs, cognitive and parenting programs, and institution work programs. SRCI opened in 1991 and is the largest correctional institution in the state.


Attached Media Files: Joseph A. Roden
Rogue River receives grant for Arbor Week celebration
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 03/29/17 10:33 AM

Release date: March 29, 2017

Morgan Holen, Oregon Community Trees, 971-409-9354, morgan.holen@comcast.net
Jim Gersbach, public affairs specialist, 503-945-7425, jim.gersbach@oregon.gov

(ROGUE RIVER, Ore.) -- Rogue River is one of five communities across Oregon to receive a grant from Oregon Community Trees (OCT) to boost Arbor Week celebrations in April.

For the past few years, OCT's grants committee has annually offered the no-match grants for up to $500. These grants are only available to cities which are currently designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and have had that recognition for at least one year. Rogue River has held the designation for 34 years.

This city has several events planned to celebrate Arbor Day: a third grade Arbor Day essay and poster project; an Arbor Day tree planting with several officials and guests attending; two tree walks through Palmerton Park Arboretum; and a staging a booth at the city's annual Rooster Crow weekend. Grant funds will be used for vests and T-shirts for volunteers; a reusable canopy for public tree events; Tree City USA bracelets for essay and poster participants; and Caring for Trees posters for classrooms.

OCT is a non-profit organization. It works with the Oregon Department of Forestry's Urban and Community Forestry Assistance program to promote healthy urban and community forests through leadership, education, awareness, and advocacy. OCT grants typically help Oregon Tree Cities purchase banners, T-shirts, tree-planting equipment, refreshments, trees, and related items to make their celebrations have more impact and reach more people than they would have otherwise.

The four other communities winning grants this year are Central Point, Cottage Grove, LaGrande and Sherwood.

# # #
Central Point receives grant for Arbor Week celebration
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 03/29/17 10:24 AM

Release date: March 29, 2017

Morgan Holen, Oregon Community Trees, 971-409-9354, morgan.holen@comcast.net
Jim Gersbach, public affairs specialist, 503-945-7425, jim.gersbach@oregon.gov

(CENTRAL POINT, Ore.) -- This year, five communities across Oregon have received grants from Oregon Community Trees (OCT) to boost Arbor Week celebrations in April.

For the past few years, OCT's grants committee has annually offered the no-match grants for up to $500. These grants are only available to cities which are currently designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and have had that recognition for at least one year. Central Point has held the designation for four years.

During Arbor Week, third-graders from a local elementary school will be invited to the new Central Point Skyrman Arboretum to participate in light clean-up of litter, tree planting and basic tree care instruction. Grant funds will be used to purchase a commemorative tree, printing of promotional materials for the arboretum, classroom posters and student study sheets.

Land for the new arboretum was donated to the city by Mr. Skyrman, who died in September 2010. He stipulated that the property, which has a diverse mix of trees and shrubs, be used as an educational arboretum for youth and for public enjoyment.

OCT is a non-profit organization. It works with the Oregon Department of Forestry's Urban and Community Forestry Assistance program to promote healthy urban and community forests through leadership, education, awareness, and advocacy. OCT grants typically help Oregon Tree Cities purchase banners, T-shirts, tree-planting equipment, refreshments, trees, and related items to make their celebrations have more impact and reach more people than they would have otherwise.

The four other communities winning grants this year are Cottage Grove, LaGrande, Rogue River and Sherwood.
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Tillamook Forest Center will close Tuesdays this summer
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 03/23/17 12:17 PM
Oregon Department of Forestry's Tillamook Forest Center will change its hours and days of operation for the upcoming summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Summer hours of operation for ODF's popular forest education center will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, closed on Tuesdays. Admission and most programs are offered free of charge to the public.
The move to close on Tuesdays during the peak season represents a reduction in the Center's normal summer schedule from seven to six days per week. The Tuesday closure will affect interactive exhibit spaces, facility access, public programs and tours offered at the Tillamook Forest Center, located one hour from Portland in the heart of Tillamook State Forest.

"We are working hard to achieve our mission of providing forest education and interpretation, and hope to minimize disruptions to services we provide 60,000 visitors each year," said TFC Director Fran McReynolds. Tuesday, she notes, is typically the least busy day of the week.

Fall and spring hours will remain unchanged, with free public access to the center beginning annually on the first Wednesday in March, open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Address: 45500 Wilson River Highway, Tillamook, Oregon 97141. The Tillamook Forest Center is closed December to February.

Public Health Advisory Board ad-hoc subcommittee meets April 11 by webinar
Oregon Health Authority - 03/29/17 3:20 PM
March 29, 2017

What: A special public meeting of the Public Health Advisory Board ad-hoc subcommittee

Agenda: Develop a recommendation for a definition of health equity; review and edit the board's draft health equity policy.

When: Tuesday April 11, 1-2:30 p.m.

Where: By webinar only. The webinar is open to the public at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1017967828287751171. Members of the public also can listen in by conference call at 877-873-8017, access code 767068.

Oregon's Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon's governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon's State Health Improvement Plan. For more information see the board's website at http://public.health.oregon.gov/PROVIDERPARTNERRESOURCES/LOCALHEALTHDEPARTMENTRESOURCES/Pages/ophab.aspx.

Program contact: Cara Biddlecom, 971-673-2284, cara.m.biddlecom@state.or.us

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Oregon Health Policy Board to meet April 4 in Portland at OHSU
Oregon Health Authority - 03/29/17 2:59 PM
March 29, 2017

Contact: Jeff Scroggin, 541-999-6983, jeffrey.scroggin@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodations)

What: The regular monthly public meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board

When: Tuesday, April 4, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Where: OHSU Center for Health & Healing, 3303 SW Bond Ave., third floor, room 4. The meeting will also be available via live web stream. A link to the live-stream and a recording of the meeting will be posted on the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/2017-OHPB-Meetings.aspx. Members of the public can also call in to listen at 1-888-808-6929, participant code 915042#.

Agenda: Welcome, OHPB liaison updates, OHA director's report, 2017 legislative session update, federal health policy update, public testimony, discussion and presentation on high-cost drugs, and discussion and possible action on OHPB committees' charters and membership

For more information on the meeting, visit the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/2017-OHPB-Meetings.aspx.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. To 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.

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OHA announces plans to transform Oregon's behavioral health system
Oregon Health Authority - 03/29/17 2:12 PM
March 29, 2017

Behavioral Health Collaborative recommendations and interactive mapping tool released today

SALEM--Behavioral health touches every Oregonian. Everyone has a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor who has experienced a mental health issue or substance use disorder -- and many Oregonians experience these challenges themselves. While Oregon has made progress related to the behavioral health system, there is still much work to do integrating behavioral health with the physical and oral health systems in the coordinated care model, and making sure that every Oregonian has easy access to the services they need.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) convened the Behavioral Health Collaborative (BHC) last summer to develop a set of recommendations by building on Oregon's coordinated care model to identify and address the system and operational barriers that prevent individuals and their families from getting the right support at the right time. Today OHA is releasing the BHC recommendations. OHA is also unveiling a new interactive mapping tool that provides a comprehensive look at Oregon's current behavioral health system. Together, these resources will help transform Oregon's behavioral health system.

"We can and we must treat behavioral health the same way we treat physical health -- with compassion, quality care and an understanding that behavioral health needs must be addressed," said Lynne Saxton, Director of the Oregon Health Authority. "The recommendations from the BHC and the behavioral health mapping tool provide Oregon with a blueprint for a behavioral health system that works for all Oregonians, and can with appropriate planning, execution and investment produce the results we need."

Oregon's tribes are reviewing the BHC recommendations and working with OHA to create recommendations specific to behavioral health services for the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon and the urban Indian Health Organization.

Behavioral Health Collaborative

The BHC comprised nearly 50 members from throughout the state that represent every part of the behavioral health system. With leadership from the Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center, the BHC worked for more than six months to develop a set of recommendations that will transform Oregon's behavioral health system, move toward a coordinated care model, and create a financially sustainable, results-driven model. The four recommendations include:

Recommendation 1 -- Governance and Finance: A single point of shared responsibility for local communities through a regional governance model. This will help transform the behavioral health system so that all Oregonians will be served by a coordinated care model for their behavioral health needs.

Under this recommendation all organizations in a community that are responsible for behavioral health -- everything from community mental health organizations to hospitals to law enforcement to schools and physical health care -- will be included in the governance structure to ensure that local resources are being used in the most effective way and there is coordination of care with measurable results for the identified investment.

Recommendation 2 -- Standards of Care and Competencies: A minimum standard of care for all behavioral health workers. There are currently inconsistencies in practice throughout the behavioral health system. This recommendation would develop minimum standards so that all Oregonians receiving behavioral health service will have consistency.

Recommendation 3 -- Workforce: A needs assessment of current workforce and a comprehensive plan that results in a well-trained behavioral health workforce, inclusive of certified, licensed and peer support specialists and community health workers throughout the state.

Recommendation 4 -- Information exchange and coordination of care: Strengthen Oregon's use of health information technology and data to further outcome-driven measurement and care coordination across an integrated system; and develop an outcomes-focused, person-centered behavioral health measurement framework to assess the impact of integrated services as well as hold the regional collaborations accountable for clinical and cost targets.

When taken together these recommendations will help transform Oregon's behavioral health system from one that is fragmented and unable to serve everyone in need, to one that is integrated and providing better health and better care at a lower cost.

Behavioral health mapping tool

Thanks to the work of the Farley Health Policy Center, the behavioral health mapping tool is a series of maps used to display interactive information about the behavioral health system in Oregon. This mapping tool:

-- Provides a comprehensive look at Oregon's behavioral health system including identifying behavioral health service locations in each county, the numbers of Oregonians with behavioral health conditions and the state funding being spent on behavioral health in each county.

-- Can be used to identify gaps in Oregon's behavioral health system and help the state and local communities begin to find solutions.

-- Provides information to local services for Oregonians looking for help.

Behavioral Health Maps:
Behavioral Health Profiles: http://oregonhealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=1ebfba48c2bc4c5ea012be22a7d44457

County Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Services: http://oregonhealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=71f24af58ffd42af8d4e5e44d68b64e7

Medicaid, State and Local Funding: http://oregonhealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=abe9de62913847159a8d1ab494ea44c4

Oregon Mental Health Service Areas: http://oregonhealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=b2f00085dea24598af9a1fc60e43e705

You can find out more about the key features of the mapping tool and can access the maps on the Behavioral Health Collaborative website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/bhp/Pages/Behavioral-Health-Collaborative.aspx.

BHC members in their own words:

"There is no debate that the so-called Oregon 'behavioral health system' is fragmented and underfunded. It is also complex and involves many moving parts," said Bob Joondeph, executive director, Disability Rights Oregon. "To find a way forward, the Oregon Health Authority brought together experienced representatives of the various sectors that make up this system. The resulting recommendations manage to be both pragmatic and aspirational. If they succeed, behavioral health services will be more integrated with physical health services, focus more on prevention and health maintenance, have a quality work force, and a financial structure that incentivizes local innovation, achievement of public health goals and prudent use of funds. The result will be better overall health services for Oregonians."

"The Behavioral Health Collaborative recommendations put us on the path to improve behavioral health for all Oregonians," said David Hidalgo, Director of Multnomah County's Mental Health and Addiction Services Division. "The work from these statewide partners will improve outcomes and accountability, and equip us to better manage investments in our community's behavioral health."

"The recommendations of the Behavioral Health Collaborative will help ensure that a single plan of shared accountability will improve access and outcomes for ALL Oregonians in need of mental health and addiction services exists in every region of our State," said Mary Monnat, president and CEO of Lifeworks Northwest. "We will now have a unified system of care everywhere to help our most vulnerable members. There will be no wrong door to care as each system coordinates within the larger plan to deliver care that is effective and efficient and improves the health of all Oregonians."

"The Behavioral Health Collaborative moves us toward a system focused on prevention. Paying attention to the whole person -- connecting mind and body -- and having a system that supports wellness as well as treating symptoms is what people have said they want and need," said Maggie Bennington-Davis, chief medical officer of Health Share of Oregon. "This sort of system requires a change in our fundamental thinking, including a workforce that incorporates people with lived experience and incentivizing outcomes beyond symptom control. People in a system such as this one will focus on what makes and keeps them well."

Dwight Holton, CEO, Lines for Life: https://youtu.be/gnQzQjaRueg

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CMS approves 2017 rates for Oregon's CCOs
Oregon Health Authority - 03/28/17 3:15 PM
March 28, 2017

SALEM--Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the Oregon Health Authority's Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) contracts and capitation rates for 2017. Today's approval by CMS finalizes the 2017 rates for all 16 CCOs that contract with the state of Oregon to manage and deliver health care to Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), the state's Medicaid insurance program. OHA pays these capitation rates to CCOs on a monthly basis to cover OHP members for physical, behavioral and oral health services.

"Oregon has been successful at bending the cost curve and saving over $1.4 billion since 2012 with the coordinated care model," said Lynne Saxton, Director of the Oregon Health Authority. "This is largely because of our commitment to using global budgets and maintaining a sustainable rate of growth. Today's approval by CMS is validation that our CCO rates are actuarially sound and that Oregon's CCOs can continue providing quality care for Oregon Health Plan members."

The rates approved today show that Oregon is on track to meet its cost containment rate of 3.4 percent, with an aggregate 2017 rate increase of 3.2 percent. The 2017 rates take into account several factors, including differences in regional costs, population disease risk and hospital reimbursement. Oregon has pledged to maintain this sustainable rate of growth through 2022 as part of its renewed Medicaid waiver.

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Extremely high lead levels close Salem multi-use commercial building
Oregon Health Authority - 03/24/17 1:35 PM
Resending to clarify lead level measurements and add information on blood lead testing.

March 24, 2017

Extremely high lead levels close Salem multi-use commercial building
State finds levels of the metal were significantly above federal standards, prompting building owner to voluntarily close for air sampling, clean-up

PORTLAND, OR--A multi-use commercial building in Salem that once stored and finished batteries has closed for testing, inspection and clean-up after state regulators confirmed that lead dust levels on several interior surfaces were significantly above national health protection standards.

The owner of the building at 576 Patterson St. NW in Salem, which contains at least six businesses, agreed Thursday to voluntarily shutter the structure at the request of the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Occupational Safety & Health, effective immediately. The agencies had reviewed results of tests on dust wipe samples taken from more than 20 spots around the interior of the building and determined the lead dust levels that were found posed a public health threat to those visiting and working in the building.

The building owner moved immediately to fence the entire facility and personally contact all business owners in the building to inform them of the closure. Among the businesses in the building are a CrossFit gym with a small childcare facility; a home renovation firm; a baseball training facility with indoor batting cages; a catering business; a roller skating rink; and storage and office space. A microbrewery also is under construction in the building.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limits for lead levels at child care facilities are 40 micrograms per square foot on floors, 250 micrograms per square foot for windowsills and 400 micrograms per square foot for window troughs. Many of the samples collected in the 576 Patterson building had lead levels of many thousands of micrograms per square foot--one sample taken from the brewery floor was measured at 2,115.45 micrograms per square foot. A windowsill in the brewery was measured at 6,127.44 micrograms per square foot.

The highest sample in the building was taken from an electrical panel in a batting cage, found at 188,636 micrograms per square foot; and another on a girder above a roller skating rink was at 179,654 micrograms per square foot. Only one sample--on the CrossFit facility floor--was measured at less than 5 micrograms per square foot.

"Chronic, long-term exposure to lead is a serious concern. When we see levels of dangerous contaminants such as lead at extremely high levels that potentially endanger public health, our goal is to stop the source of the exposure," said Katrina Hedberg, MD, state health officer at the OHA Public Health Division. "This is why we encouraged the building's owner to close immediately, and fortunately, the owner acted without delay."

DEQ recommended the owners of the facility test for lead inside the old building on site, which the owners voluntarily agreed to in late February. The owners wanted to see what actions they would need to take for DEQ to lift deed restrictions in place on the site since the 1990s following cleanups to remove concrete flooring and soil contaminated with lead beneath it. In 2016 the owners entered the site into DEQ's Voluntary Cleanup Program, which provides oversight to property owners who want to clean up hazardous-substance sites in a voluntary, cooperative manner.

While the extent of the public's exposure to areas of the building with the highest lead dust levels and the precise degree of the health risks are not known, children are most at risk of long-term health effects because their bodies absorb more lead than adults' and their brains are still developing, according to EPA. Infants and young children are often exposed to more lead than adults because they put their hands and other objects contaminated with lead from dust or soil into their mouths. Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, such as lower IQ and hyperactivity.

Hedberg says there is no evidence of human illness related to exposures at the facility.

DEQ plans to inspect the 576 Patterson building in the coming days, and Oregon OSHA will work with the building owner to conduct air monitoring during and after clean-up of the interior. OHA also is encouraging anyone who is concerned about past lead exposure to see their health care providers and get screened for elevated blood lead levels.

Polk County Public Health is offering free blood lead testing for children ages 1-18 and pregnant or breastfeeding women who may have been exposed to lead while inside the building. Testing will be offered March 28, 4-7 p.m., at Polk County's West Salem location, 1520 Plaza St. NW, Salem. Those interested can call 503-623-8175 for more information.

Other adults and parents of children younger than 1 should seek testing through their primary care provider or pediatrician. The testing, though important, is not considered an emergency and does not need to happen immediately.

For more information on lead exposure and health, visit http://www.healthoregon.org/lead.

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State Search and Rescue Coordinator Reminds Oregonians to stay safe this Spring Break (Photo)
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 03/23/17 2:16 PM
Spring Break is coming up and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management Search and Rescue Coordinator Scott Lucas would like to remind Oregonians to stay safe while enjoying spring break activities. Lucas says the search and rescue community in Oregon stands ready to respond when needed, but that being safe and prepared should always be a priority when getting out to enjoy all Oregon has to offer.

Lucas says a lot of accidents can be avoided by being prepared and knowing where you're going, the weather conditions, what you need, and by bringing extra supplies like water and high protein or other snacks.

"If you are going out, away from the city, you should plan accordingly. Plan for safety and the unexpected," says Lucas. "When you go hiking, dress accordingly. Bring food, a cell phone and other supplies you may need."

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management Search and Rescue program supports the broad spectrum of search and rescue operations in Oregon. That mission includes coordinating activities of state and federal agencies involved in search and rescue, liaising with the Oregon State Sheriffs Association and other organizations, and providing on-scene search and rescue coordination when requested.

"Search and Rescue is a needed asset, especially in Oregon. We live in a large state with so many recreation opportunities," Lucas added. "No one goes out with the intent to get lost or injured so preparing in advance can keep you safe."

He said even though it is spring break, weather conditions still may be harsh, making it even more important to be prepared when heading outdoors. Here are some wilderness safety tips: https://www.nps.gov/isro/planyourvisit/upload/Safety%20Tips%20for%20Hiking-2.pdf

To learn more about the Oregon Office of Emergency Management Search and Rescue Program go to: http://www.oregon.gov/oem/emops/Pages/Search-and-Rescue.aspx

Oregon State Search and Rescue Coordinator Scott Lucas (center) stands with U.S. Coast Guard Pilots, March 2017, at U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Bend Headquarters prior to a capabilities demonstration of the MH-65 Short Range Recovery Helicopter. (Courtesy Photo by U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Bend Headquarters)

A scene at the California-Oregon Regional Search and Rescue Summer Exercise in 2016 shows search and rescue personnel standing near Brim aviation search and rescue helicopters in Ashland, Ore.
Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Scott Lucas)

Corvallis and Eugene Mountain Rescue teams are tested on their basic ground search and rescue rope rescue skills in June 2016 during Oregon Mountain Rescue Council re-certification at Mary's Peak outside of Corvallis Oregon.
(Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Scott Lucas)

Attached Media Files: 2017-03/3986/102916/20170313_112125.jpg , 2017-03/3986/102916/20160604_104420_001.jpg , 2017-03/3986/102916/20160521_160802_(002).jpg
Class of 2017 Oregon Heritage Trees officially honored (Photo)
Oregon Travel Experience - 03/28/17 1:10 PM
The arborist work party last November helped move forward the Grove of the States restoration project.
The arborist work party last November helped move forward the Grove of the States restoration project.
The Oregon Heritage Tree Program is pleased to announce the Class of 2017 Heritage Trees. This year, three groves of significant Oregon trees will be honored. Two groves located in Central Oregon are slated to be recognized during a ceremony in July, while a collection of state trees near Portland will be honored on their 50th anniversary in late August.

###SUB-HEADER### The A.M. Drake Ponderosa Pines

The Huntington Wagon Road Junipers and the A.M. Drake Homestead Ponderosa Pines grow near the City of Bend. Both groves represent Central Oregon history and a connection to the people who settled or passed underneath their branches. Their survival over the last several hundred years makes them the perfect ambassadors to new generations of Oregon history lovers.

Nate Pedersen, a member of the Oregon Heritage Tree Committee and Community Librarian for the Deschutes Public Library, nominated the Central Oregon trees. He described why the two groves are notable in their own communities as well as connected to the rest of the state.

"So much of Bend life centers around Drake Park, which is kind of Bend's shared living room," said Pedersen. "It's humbling to look at the A.M. Drake Homestead old-growth Ponderosas and think about all they have witnessed. These trees were already old when Alexander and Florence Drake arrived in Central Oregon in 1900 to build their homestead, and they stood tall throughout the entire development of Bend, from its population of a few dozen people to the over 81,000 living here today."

The A.M. Drake Ponderosa Pines are approximately 300 hundred years old and shade the spot where the Drake homestead lodge once stood. After the Drakes moved to California, the lodge was owned by a succession of organizations and prominent Bend citizens. When the original home was demolished in the 1950s several other trees in the grove were lost. However, three trees survived and will receive the award.

###SUB-HEADER### The Huntington Wagon Road Junipers

Pedersen also explained the significance of the other Central Oregon honoree, the Huntington Wagon Road Junipers.

"If you've ever spent time in the high desert of Oregon, you soon discover how easy it is to become disoriented in a wilderness of Western Juniper trees," Pedersen noted. "I began to realize how important these old blazed (marked) trees were for early travelers on the Huntington Wagon Road."

Following the line of a very old Native American trail, the Huntington Wagon Road was marked by J.W. Petit Huntington in 1864 as a route between The Dalles and Fort Klamath. When the road was firmly established, it was used by prospectors, homesteaders, soldiers, and tradesman. Warm Springs Indian scouts frequently used the road in skirmishes with the Paiutes between 1865 and 1867. Much of the original road later became OR Hwy 97.

One Juniper along the historic road is particularly meaningful to Pedersen and to visitors trekking a looping two-mile trail that crosses part of the original Huntington Wagon Road. It is a scrappy specimen known as the "Target Tree," primarily for its notches and scars from bullet holes. The bullets were most likely souvenirs from soldiers who camped nearby and who used the tree for target practice.

"For me history really comes alive when you touch the bullet holes on the Target Tree," said Pedersen. "When I think about those unknown soldiers, lost to history... I have to admit that I experience a visceral connection with the past."

The Huntington Wagon Road Junipers and the A.M. Drake Homestead Ponderosa Pines will be honored this July in Bend. More information on the public ceremony will be posted to on the organizational website, at www.ortravelexperience.com.

###SUB-HEADER### The Grove of the States

The third honoree in the Class of 2017 Heritage Trees is a historic arboretum of state trees. The "Grove of the States" is located at the French Prairie Rest Area on southbound I-5.

In 1967 Oregon Attorney General Robert Y. Thornton hosted the 61st annual conference of the National Association of Attorneys General in Portland. As part of a conference event, Thornton planned for the Grove of the States as a homage to First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and her work fostering the 1965 Highway Beautification Act (HBA).

When Thornton created plans for the Grove, he involved two major Oregon partners: The Oregon State Highway Department (today--the Oregon Department of Transportation) contributed the site, and the Oregon Association of Nurserymen (now known as the Oregon Association of Nurseries) provided tree stock for the original collection.

In 2010 the Oregon Travel Information Council (DBA Oregon Travel Experience) undertook long-term management of the French Prairie Rest Area. However, officials recognized that the Grove of the States suffered serious health issues, and began looking for solutions to restore the Grove.

Local companies, Bartlett Tree Experts, General Tree Service, Treecology, and C&R Reforestation donated their time, expertise, and equipment to help remove dead and hazardous trees and pruned others.

Many volunteers joined OTE and Friends of Trees in planting replacement state trees. Their efforts ensured the project moved forward on schedule, and preserved Oregon's historic arboretum for future generations of travelers to the area.

In conjunction with its 50th Anniversary Celebration August 28, 2017, the Grove of the States will be officially honored as an inductee into the Oregon Heritage Tree Program. This designation recognizes the Grove as an important public space that welcomes and encourages students, heritage tourists, and Oregonians to learn more about our state's history and nature.

About the Oregon Heritage Tree Program:The Oregon Travel Information Council (DBA Oregon Travel Experience) Heritage Programs include the Oregon Heritage Tree Program and the Oregon Historical Marker Program. OTE is a semi-independent state agency charged with promoting public safety, preserving the recreational value of public travel on state highways and promoting economic prosperity by directing motorists into nearby communities. This includes preserving the natural beauty and aesthetic features of rest areas, and providing information regarding and maintaining points of scenic, historic, cultural and educational interest.

Attached Media Files: The arborist work party last November helped move forward the Grove of the States restoration project. , The original A.M. Drake Lodge, with several of the old-growth Ponderosa Pine trees
Banks & Credit Unions
Wells Fargo provides $153.8 million for 2,090 affordable housing apartments and mobile home spaces in Oregon in 2016 (Photo)
Wells Fargo - 03/29/17 2:04 PM
Wells Fargo’s John Epstein (right) and Sean Thornton-Jones stand with Jessica Woodruff of REACH Community Development at an affordable housing development opening in Hillsboro last year.
Wells Fargo’s John Epstein (right) and Sean Thornton-Jones stand with Jessica Woodruff of REACH Community Development at an affordable housing development opening in Hillsboro last year.
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Wells Fargo provided $153.8 million to finance the creation of 2,090 affordable housing apartments and spaces in mobile home communities in Oregon in 2016.

The 16 projects funded by Wells Fargo were in Albany, Grants Pass, Gresham, Junction City, Klamath Falls, Milwaukie, Phoenix, Portland, Redmond, Salem, Sublimity and Warrenton. Developers used the funds to either create new affordable housing or rehabilitate and preserve existing units.

"Financing the construction of high quality, safe and clean affordable housing is one of the many ways Wells Fargo supports our communities," said Senior Vice President Nelda Newton of Portland, manager of Wells Fargo's Community Lending & Investment team for Oregon, Washington and four other western states.

"We continue to seek new opportunities to help Oregon address the growing need for more affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents," she said.

Wells Fargo opened an affordable housing financing office in Portland in 1995 and has since become one of the leading lenders in Oregon for this type of housing.

$9 Billion Nationwide Over Five Years
At the national level, Wells Fargo invested more than $9 billion in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which contributed to the construction of more than 180,000 affordable housing units over the last five years. According to a study conducted by accounting firm Cohn Reznick, no other bank provided more such financing in the United States during that same time period.

A report released March 23 by the Mortgage Bankers Association also named Wells Fargo the leading source of affordable housing in the United States for 2016.

"Demand for affordable rental housing continues to be extremely high and has reached the crisis level in many parts of the nation. Too many people are spending a disproportionate percentage of their income on rent," said Executive Vice President John Epstein of Portland, Wells Fargo's National Affordable Housing Debt manager.

"As one of the largest affordable housing lenders in the country, being able to help meet the need for more affordable living options for our customers and communities is a top priority for Wells Fargo," he said.

In addition to its affordable housing financing efforts, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is the No. 1 originator of home loans to residents of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

About Wells Fargo
Serving Oregonians since 1852, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. The firm provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations; 13,000 ATMs; the internet (wellsfargo.com); and mobile banking. Wells Fargo has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy.

# # #

Attached Media Files: Wells Fargo’s John Epstein (right) and Sean Thornton-Jones stand with Jessica Woodruff of REACH Community Development at an affordable housing development opening in Hillsboro last year.
PR Agencies
Oregon's total solar eclipse, where will you be? Tickets/RSVP range for $0 - $2,900. (Photo)
WCI - 03/27/17 9:15 AM
A special vintage release will only be available at the Eclipse Wine Festival
A special vintage release will only be available at the Eclipse Wine Festival
The Aug. 21 total solar eclipse is not likely to happen again in your lifetime. Astronomers say that a partial eclipse will be on October 5, 2108 and the next total solar eclipse will pass over Oregon July 25, 2169. However, room reservations and events at the Eclipse Wine Festival, from Aug. 18 to 21 at Eola Hills Wine Cellars are still available. Reservations are required and tickets for rooms, free campsites and details of entertainment packages are at: http://eolahillswinery.com/.

This rare natural phenomenon is passing directly over the Eola Hills Legacy Vineyard, located just outside of Salem, Oregon.

From Aug. 18 through 21, the winery is offering room and camping reservations paired with entertainment and "day of" packages. Prices for accommodations and a wide variety of entertainment packages range from $0 to $2,900 with group discounts available. The Eclipse Wine Festival include a Field & Vine dinner created by Chef Pascal Chureau with wine parings and a VIP concert with Patrick Lamb. A portion of proceeds of this VIP event will benefit the experimental and educational fermentation programs. The Eclipse Wine Festival accommodations and entertainment packages are offered at several price points and include guided star gazing, live entertainment, concerts, winery hiking and biking trails and amazing astrological, geological and viticulture learning. Free bus transportation is provided. Reservations from as far away as Japan and France are have already been made at Eola Hills and space is extremely limited. Security and safety will not allow any room for last minute additions to the viewing spaces allotted to Eola Hills.

For packages, tickets and additional program information and tickets: http://eolahillswinery.com/

or call

503-623-2405 or 800-291-6730

About Eola Hills

Three decades ago, Eola Hills founder Tom Huggins never imaged his dream of Eola Hills Wine Cellars would reach international attention. That dream is now a worldwide distributed label and Eola Hills is made up of six vineyards, over 300 planted acres, and an annual production of 93,000 cases of pinot noir and other varietals that have won international awards including Best Buy ratings year after year on their Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Eola Hills Wine Cellars prides itself on producing a wine of great quality and consistency. For more information: www.eolahillswinery.com.

Attached Media Files: A special vintage release will only be available at the Eclipse Wine Festival , This NASA map charts the pathway of the total solar eclipse. Willamette Valley is projected to have the longest total eclipse time.
Eola Hills Wine Cellars invests in local fermentation future (Photo)
WCI - 03/24/17 12:57 PM
Tickets: http://eolahillswinery.com/event/pinot-chocolate-barrel-room/
Tickets: http://eolahillswinery.com/event/pinot-chocolate-barrel-room/
Oregon winery funds experimental fermentation program

Eola Hills, first winery in the Pacific Northwest to make a commitment to our region's economic and fermentation future will be the first donor to the experimental vineyard to Clark College at Boschma Farms in Ridgefield, Washington.

Pinot Noir and Chocolate will be hosted in the "Barrel Room" of Eola Hills Wine Cellars from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 22nd. Tickets are $85. The event will feature six pairings of Pinot Noir with chocolates prepared by Fleur Chocolate and select appetizers. A colorful presentation on Clark College at Boschma Farms will be presented at 6 p.m. Total donations from this event are expected to raise between $10,000 and $20,000.

Eola Hills founder Tom Huggins realizes that the wines and breweries of the Pacific Northwest, a sustainable and environmentally friendly economic boon, needs to put down more than roots. Fermentation education and standards drawn from the expertise of the Pacific Northwest's pioneer vintners and brewers needs to be formalized. To do so takes more than education, it requires land combined with resources for curriculum development, equipment and laboratories.

Huggins also believes this event will initiate an on-going coalition of support that includes funding from wine clubs, citizens committed to a sustainable economy, and other vintners and brewers in Oregon and Washington. His dream is that the Pacific Northwest will evolve into the winery and brewery center of the United States.

Mike Sherlock of Fleur Chocolatte of Vancouver, Washington, along with Eola Hill's vintner Steve Anderson will be on-hand to talk about each pairing. The Clark County Food & Wine Society will be pouring at the event and will explain to guests how they may contribute to the future of this experimental winery. Reservations are required, tickets (and group discounts) are available: 503-623-2405, 1-800-291-6730, eolahillswinery.com.

Seating is limited, for tickets http://eolahillswinery.com/event/pinot-chocolate-barrel-room/

About Eola Hills Wine Cellars.

Three decades ago, Eola Hills founder Tom Huggins never imaged his dream of Eola Hills Wine Cellars would reach international attention. That dream is now a worldwide distributed label and Eola Hills is made up of six vineyards, over 300 planted acres, and an annual production of 93,000 cases of pinot noir and other varietals that have won international awards including Best Buy ratings year after year on their Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Eola Hills Wine Cellars prides itself on producing a wine of great quality and consistency year after year. For more information: www.eolahillswinery.com.

Attached Media Files: Tickets: http://eolahillswinery.com/event/pinot-chocolate-barrel-room/
April IDEA Talk to feature Food Entrepreneur Chris Hoss
Klamath Co. Chamber of Commerce - 03/29/17 1:27 PM
The Klamath IDEA (Inspire Development, Energize Acceleration) will host April's IDEA Talk on Monday, April 3, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at MC's on Main. This month's presenter is Chris Hoss, founder and operator of Mac n' Cheese Steaks.

Hoss will share his journey as a local entrepreneur and discuss some of the creative techniques he has employed, such as teaching student interns from Oregon State University Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center.

IDEA Talks are gatherings hosted by the Klamath IDEA, designed as a networking opportunity for those with an entrepreneurial mindset and interested in learning, networking, and being inspired. Each gathering features one or more guest speakers discussing an inspirational or educational entrepreneurial related topic. IDEA Talks bring together entrepreneurs (of all ages), founders, business owners, innovators and support organizations under one roof to hear about and discuss opportunities, needs, and great ideas for starting a business, expanding a business, or getting support in the process.

"We believe embracing and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit has the potential to bring the community together to reshape the economic foundation of our region," said Kat Rutledge, director of the Klamath Community College Small Business Development Center, and leader of the Klamath IDEA.

MC's on Main is located at 617 Main St. in downtown Klamath Falls. Limited food, prepared by MC's on Main, will be available by donation, as well as a no-host bar. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation will start at 6:15 p.m.

Klamath IDEA (Inspire Development and Energize Acceleration) is a community initiative dedicated to supporting the development of resources necessary to drive the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region and encourage their use in the community.
Air Traffic Controller Receives Mentor Award (Photo)
Klamath Co. Chamber of Commerce - 03/28/17 10:56 AM
Pictured: Margot Durand, Nicole Mace, Royce Mace, Ted Abrams & Marilyn Geaney
Pictured: Margot Durand, Nicole Mace, Royce Mace, Ted Abrams & Marilyn Geaney
The Peter R Marsh Foundation of Vancouver, Washington has selected local mentor with Citizens For Safe Schools, Royce Mace, as an award recipient this year. The Marsh Foundation is based on the foundation belief that people who voluntarily and privately serve others in-need are indeed the most valuable citizens of our communities. One initiative of the Peter R Marsh Foundation is to encourage selfless service to others by identifying people who serve, recognizing and awarding them for their service and encouraging them to continue in their important community role -- because they inspire others to experience the fulfillment of living as a Silent Servant.

Royce is an air traffic controller at Kingsley Field. As a member of Citizens for Safe Schools, he not only believes "character counts and mentoring matters", he lives it every day. To date, Royce has mentored two young men, both for over a year. He is still in communication with both of his mentees and continues to meet regularly with one them. As a mentor Royce spends one hour per week taking his mentee to do fun things in the community including playing basketball at the base, rock climbing at The Ledge, going for hikes and much more.

Citizens For Safe Schools staff feel honored to know Royce and can see the difference he is making in his mentees' lives. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a mentor, please email info@citizensforsafeschools.org or call 541-882-3198.

Attached Media Files: Pictured: Margot Durand, Nicole Mace, Royce Mace, Ted Abrams & Marilyn Geaney
Organizations & Associations
Red Cross Assists After Cave Junction Fire
American Red Cross - Cascades Region - 03/26/17 4:08 PM
Disaster responders with the local American Red Cross responded to a home fire disaster this afternoon, March 26, 2017, at approximately 2:30 pm in the 10000 block of Caves Highway in Cave Junction, OR in Josephine County. The single-family fire affected one adult.

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

The Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington (the Cascades Region) helps an average of three families affected by disasters, like home fires, every day. The Red Cross advocates emergency preparedness and offers the installation of free smoke alarms in our community. Residents may call (503) 528-5783 or complete an online form at www.redcross.org/CascadesHomeFire to schedule an appointment.
Oregon Community Hospitals Support 1 in 20 Jobs Throughout State
Oregon Assn. of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) - 03/29/17 9:39 AM
Lake Oswego -- March 29, 2017 -- Oregon community hospitals both directly provided and helped support over 117,000 jobs to Oregon communities in 2015 -- or 1 in 20 jobs, according to the most recent data available in a new study conducted by ECONorthwest and released today by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS).

Over 62,000 Oregonians are directly employed by Oregon's community hospitals and over 55,000 jobs are associated with hospitals, showing that community hospitals continue to be critical economic drivers. These over 117,000 hospital and hospital-related jobs account for 4.9 percent of the state's total employment. From 2013 to 2015, direct hospital employment increased in the state by 2,569 jobs or by 4.3 percent.

"Today's report shows the continued importance of Oregon's community hospitals to the well-being both of Oregonians and Oregon's economy," said Andy Van Pelt, executive vice president of OAHHS. "From Portland to Heppner, hospitals are an important cornerstone within Oregon communities for economic, social, and health reasons. However, proposed health care legislation at the state level creates an uncertain future for both community hospitals and the patients they serve."

"Job growth in the healthcare sector has been robust during the past few years," said John Tapogna, President of ECONorthwest. "Urban and rural communities across the state benefit from healthcare jobs and operations, which support our aging population and provide middle and higher-income jobs."

Other key findings from the report include:

Direct Output.
Oregon hospitals directly accounted for $9.6 billion in economic output in Oregon in 2015, up from $8.4 billion in 2013.

State and Local Taxes.
Hospitals directly generated approximately $258 million in tax and fee revenue for state and local jurisdictions in 2015. State and local governments collected another $295 million in taxes from businesses that supply goods and services to hospitals. This sums to a total tax revenue of about $553 million.

"Oregon communities depend on hospitals for not only essential health care but also for the economic stability that these jobs provide," added Van Pelt. "Community hospitals are a vital source of sustainable, family-wage jobs and ensures that patients across Oregon have access to quality inpatient and outpatient care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

In 2015, Oregon hospitals also provided more than $1.9 billion in community benefit contributions, an increase over 2013's contributions. In Oregon, "community benefit" is defined in statute as health care-related services that nonprofit hospitals provide without the expectation of compensation.

"This data shows that hospitals are not only meeting pledges to maintain their overall community benefit levels--they are exceeding them," said Van Pelt. "This is happening despite a significant drop in charity care due to the Affordable Care Act. Oregon continues to be one of the only states to proactively provide core community benefit to local communities."

The economic impact study --commissioned by OAHHS-- was conducted by ECONorthwest using state-specific data from the American Hospital Association and using the IMPLAN economic modeling tool.

About OAHHS: Founded in 1934, OAHHS is a statewide, nonprofit trade association that works closely with local and national government leaders, business and citizen coalitions, and other professional health care organizations to enhance and promote community health and to continue improving Oregon's innovative health care delivery system.

About ECONorthwest: Established in 1974, ECONorthwest is a consulting firm specializing in rigorous economic, planning and financial analysis with over three decades of experience. At the core of everything we do is applied microeconomics. This perspective allows us to fully understand--and effectively communicate--the benefits, costs, and tradeoffs associated with any decision.

Attached Media Files: 2017-03/1635/103034/2016_Econ_Impact_Study_FINAL-3-29.pdf
Oregon Dairy Farmers Association Invites the Public to the Capitol for Dairy Day (Photo)
Oregon Dairy Farmers Assn. - 03/24/17 5:16 PM
Kortni Ragsdale, 2017 DPA First Alternate (L) and Kiara Single, 2017 DPA (R)
Kortni Ragsdale, 2017 DPA First Alternate (L) and Kiara Single, 2017 DPA (R)
Tuesday, March 28, will be a day of celebration for Oregonians of all ages as we mark the 20th Anniversary of Milk as Oregon's Official Beverage. The festivities will begin at 10:00 am with Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt being served in the Galleria. During the Floor Session of both the House and Senate, the 2017 Dairy Princess Ambassador, Kiara Single and the First Alternate, Kortni Ragsdale, will be introduced by their Senator, Betsy Johnson and Representative Brad Witt.

An Official "Toast to Milk - Oregon's Official Beverage" will take place at 2:15 pm in the Galleria led by the House and Senate Leadership. The public is encouraged and welcome to attend. Ice Cream will be served beginning at 2:30 pm.

Oregon is home to 228 Dairy Farms. Our farms range in size from small to large, organic to conventional. You can be assured that every dairy farm is a family operation and they take the health of their cows and their land very seriously. Every dairy farmer is heavily regulated by State and Federal officials.

The leadership of the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association looks forward to welcoming you to the Capitol on Tuesday, March 28 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Attached Media Files: Kortni Ragsdale, 2017 DPA First Alternate (L) and Kiara Single, 2017 DPA (R)