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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Sun. Jul. 21 - 8:38 pm
Sun. 07/21/19
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Hwy 97 - Sherman County
Oregon State Police - 07/21/19 6:03 PM

On Sunday, July 21, 2019, at approximately 11:33 AM, Oregon State Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a single vehicle crash, involving a motorcycle, on Hwy 97 near mile post 15, approximately two miles north of Moro, Oregon. 

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2005 Kawasaki motorcycle, operated by Vanesa Gunther (55) of Junction City, Oregon, was traveling southbound on Hwy 97 when a wild turkey collided with her after flying into a northbound commercial motor vehicle. After being struck by the turkey, Gunther traveled across the northbound lane and collided with a guardrail.

Gunther sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The northbound lane of Hwy 97 was closed for several hours following the crash.

OSP was assisted by the Sherman County Sheriff's Office, North Sherman Fire, Moro Fire and Rescue, and ODOT. 

Fri. 07/19/19
UPDATE - Bend area resident dies as a result of head on crash on Highway 97. (Klamath County) (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 07/19/19 7:57 PM


The deceased has been identified as 19 year old female Bend area resident Lauren Cantrell. 


On Thursday July 18, 2019 at about 7:30 p.m., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two vehicle head on fatal crash on Highway 97 near milepost 197 in Klamath County. 

The investigation revealed that a white 2005 Jeep Liberty was traveling southbound on Highway 97 and for unknown reasons, drifted onto the southbound shoulder.  The operator of the Jeep reportedly overcorrected, and spun into the oncoming lane colliding with a 2014 grey Dodge Ram truck that was towing a travel trailer.  The 2014 Dodge Ram was operated by 57 year old Janesville, California resident, Clarence Noblet and his passenger and spouse, identified as 55 year old Laraine Noblet.

The driver of the Jeep Liberty was pronounced deceased at the scene as a result of the crash.  Identity of the deceased will be withheld until a notification to the family can be conducted.  Clarence and Laraine Noblet were transported to a Bend area hospital where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Distracted driving and speed are believed to be factors in this crash. 

Highway 97 was closed for approximately 4 hours as a result and OSP was assisted at the scene by ODOT, Chemult Rural Fire District and Crescent Fire District.


Attached Media Files: 2019-07/1002/126207/SP19256579.jpg

Public Notice: Provider rate increases for 2019-2021
Oregon Department of Human Services - 07/19/19 4:10 PM

(Salem, Ore.) — Public notice is provided by the Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Disabilities Services, on a rate change.

The Oregon Legislature provided the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) with $30 million General Fund (approximately $92 million total funds) for provider rate increases. The funding is to bring direct support professionals’ wages as close as possible to $15 per hour by the end of the 2019-21 biennium and implement new rate models over the course of the biennium.

Per legislative direction in Senate Bill 5026 and the related Budget Note ODDS will implement the following actions related to provider rates:

  • Effective August 1, 2019, ODDS will implement a 4 percent increase in provider rates. This increase will total approximately $6.4 million General Fund (about $19.5 million total fund). This rate increase will go to: Adult 24-Hour Residential Services; Agency Attendant Care; Day Support Activities, Community and Facility; Employment Path, Community and Facility; Small Group Employment and Supported Living.
  • Effective September 1, 2019, approximately $4.6 million General Fund (approximately $15.5 million total fund) will go to implement new rate models for Children’s Residential Services (group homes).

Details about the change are available at http://www.dhs.state.or.us/spd/tools/dd/cm/ODDS-Expenditure-Guidelines.pdf


Recreational use advisories issued for Cullaby Lake, Upper Klamath Lake, and South Lake at Tenmile Lakes July 19
Oregon Health Authority - 07/19/19 2:17 PM

July 19, 2019

The Oregon Health Authority issued three recreational use health advisories today due to the presence of cyanobacterial (harmful algae) blooms and cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) above recreational guideline values for human exposure. The lakes are in Clatsop, Klamath, and Coos counties.

Recreational use advisory issued for Cullaby Lake July 19

Recreational use advisory issued for Klamath Lake July 19

Recreational use advisory issued for South Lake at Tenmile Lakes July 19

Video: Dr. Dave Farrer, Toxicologist, gives freshwater advisory safety tips

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7179, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Public Meeting Notice - Governor's Commission on Senior Services meets July 25 in Salem
Oregon Department of Human Services - 07/19/19 10:31 AM

(Salem, Ore.) — The Governor’s Commission on Senior Services (GCSS) Executive Committee will meet from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, 2019, at the Department of Human Services’ Office, 500 Summer St. NE, Room 164, Salem, Oregon, 97301.

The meeting is open to the public. Agenda items include regular GCSS business, updates from legislative committee and recruitment efforts, review of applicants, meeting planning and setting the agenda for the full commission meeting on Aug. 8, 2019. Those who can’t attend in person may call into the meeting using this conference line and access code: (503) 934-1400, 6910 1240#.

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact Lori Watt at i.C.Watt@state.or.us">Lori.C.Watt@state.or.us. Requests should be made at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. For questions about the meeting, please contact: Deb McCuin, program analyst at Debbie.Mccuin@state.or.us.

About the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services

The Governor’s Commission on Senior Services is dedicated to enhancing and protecting the quality of life for all older Oregonians. Through cooperation with other organizations, and advocacy, the commission works to ensure that seniors have access to services that provide, choice, independence, and dignity.

# # #

Americans with Disabilities Act anniversary celebrated with July 23 event
Oregon Department of Human Services - 07/19/19 10:15 AM

(Salem, Ore.) – The Oregon Disabilities Commission will host a day-long informational event on July 23 in Salem in recognition of the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The free event, which is open to the public, will feature presentations, panel discussions and other learning opportunities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Human Services Building, 500 Summer St. NE, Salem. Among the presenters will be members of the Portland Pounders Wheelchair Rugby Team as well as advocates Sherrin Coleman and Gabrielle Guedon.

The day will start with a welcome ceremony followed by concurrent workshop sessions that begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Workshop topics will include:

  • The history of the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Day-to-day challenges for individuals living with disabilities;
  • Living with a hidden disability;
  • Dealing with behavioral health and disability problems; and,
  • A motivational talk on living with a disability.

Featured event speeches will be from noon to 1 p.m. with speakers from the Oregon Disabilities Commission, Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Governor’s Office. Cake and refreshments will follow the speeches.   

Along with the speeches and informational sessions, there will be several showings of the documentary, Lives Worth Living, about the disability rights movement. Screening times are: 9:45 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Groups who will be hosting informational booths include:

  • Employment First;
  • Vocational Rehabilitation;
  • Disability Rights Oregon;
  • Employed Persons with Disabilities;
  • Oregon ABLE Savings;
  • Oregon Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services Advisory Council; and,
  • Veteran’s Employee Resource Group & Oregon Disabled Veterans Association.

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact Lori Watt at Lori.C.Watt@state.or.us  Requests should be made at least 48 hours in advance of the event. There will be American Sign Language interpreters at the event.

If you have questions about the celebration and program, contact: OregonDisabilities.Commission@state.or.us.

About the Oregon Disabilities Commission:

The Oregon Disabilities Commission is charged by state statute to advise the Department of Human Services, the Governor, the Legislative Assembly and appropriate state agency administrators on issues related to achieving the full economic, social, legal and political equity of individuals with disabilities. ODC also acts as a coordinating link between and among public and private organizations services individuals with disabilities.


Thu. 07/18/19
Youth NFL Fall Flag Football Regular Registration Ends on July 21 (Photo)
City of Richland - 07/18/19 3:19 PM

Boys and Girls in grades K-6 can register now for the Richland Parks and Recreation fall NFL Flag Football Program, a premier youth coed flag football league.

This league is geared towards building self-confidence in kids, teaching kids age appropriate skills while staying active and having fun. Participants will love wearing the same gear as the pros, with the officially licensed NFL Jerseys! This league is non-contact, with emphasis on safety. Best of all, everyone plays! 

Late registration will go from July 22 to August 4. Register in person at the Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Drive or online at https://apm.activecommunities.com/richland.

Volunteer coaches are also needed. Please contact the Parks and Recreation office at 942-7529 to see how you can help.

Attached Media Files: 2019-07/5957/126201/flag_football_fall.png

Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Communities of Color Workgroup meets July 25 in Portland
Oregon Health Authority - 07/18/19 2:28 PM

July 18, 2019

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

Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Communities of Color Workgroup meets July 25 in Portland

What: A meeting of the Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Communities of Color Workgroup

Agenda: Review and discuss community survey results; plan for community engagement; explore strategies and identify activities to further goals.

When: Thursday, July 25, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 1E, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland, OR, 97232

Details:The Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative brings together multiple sectors across the Portland metro area to collectively address and prevent behavioral health challenges. Its focus is on peer-delivered services and substance use disorder activities that can make an impact in 12-to-24 months.

For more information, please visit the RBHC website.

# # #

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Summer Boslaugh, 503-753-9688, 711 TTY, or .h.boslaugh@dhsoha.state.or.us">summer.h.boslaugh@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

"Operation Ship Shape" Targets Lapsed Boat Registrations (Photo)
Oregon Marine Board - 07/18/19 2:28 PM

The Oregon State Marine Board, in partnership with 32 county sheriff’s offices and the Oregon State Police, will be out in force August 3-4, looking for expired boat registrations as part of “Operation Ship Shape.” 

“We want boaters to look at their boat’s decals, the registration numbers, and their registration card and make sure they’re up-to-date,” says Randy Henry, Boating Safety Program Manager for the Marine Board.  “Make sure you’ve renewed your registration, and make sure you’ve put the decal on your boat, or you could face a $265 citation.” 

The Marine Board is funded by registration, title fees and marine fuel taxes paid by motorized boaters.  No lottery, general fund tax dollars or local facility parking fees are used to fund agency programs.  These fees go back to boaters in the form of boat ramps, docks, trailered parking spaces, restrooms, construction and maintenance, and for boating safety -marine law enforcement services.

“Any boat that is powered by a motor – electric, gas, diesel or steam, and all sailboats 12 feet and longer -must be currently registered when on the water, even when docked or moored,” said Henry.  This includes inflatable rafts with an electric motor, even a standup paddleboard or float tube with an electric motor.  Henry added, “Each boat registration brings in additional funds from motorboat fuel tax and federal boating dollars.  Registering a 16-foot boat provides $77 of funding, but results in additional matching funds of nearly $190, so that $77 registration fee results in $267 of revenue available to fund facilities and marine enforcement.”

Motorboat registrations are $4.50 per foot, rounded up, plus $5 which fund invasive species inspection stations.  Registration fees will increase to $5.95 per foot, plus $5 in 2020, so Henry suggests that if your boat registration lapsed, register now at the current fee, which is valid for two calendar years.

Boaters can renew their boat registration online at www.boatoregon.com/store, or can visit their local registration agent.  Boaters can print off a temporary permit after successfully completing their transaction online or will be issued a temporary permit through an agent for an additional fee.  If you need assistance renewing online, please contact the Marine Board at ine.board@oregon.gov">marine.board@oregon.gov or 503-378-8587.

For a list of registration agents, visit http://www.oregon.gov/osmb/title-registration/Pages/Where-to-Register.aspx.


Attached Media Files: 2019-07/4139/126197/NPFunActivity.jpg

Fifth annual Oregon Veteran Benefit Expo comes to Pendleton next week (Photo)
Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs - 07/18/19 2:11 PM
Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford.
Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford.

The fifth annual Veteran Benefit Expo, the state’s largest veteran benefit resource event, will be held in Pendleton next week, July 27th at the Pendleton Convention Center.  Doors open at 9 a.m.

Organized by the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and in partnership with Oregon Lottery, the Expo is a one-stop shop for Oregon veterans to learn about and access the full range of their earned benefits and local resources, in areas such as health care, disability claims assistance, finance, home loans, long-term care, mental health, education, business, recreation and more.

Over 65 benefit agencies, nonprofits, service providers and benefit experts will be on hand to assist veterans and their families in learning about the resources available to them.

“One thing we hear from veterans year after year with this event is that they’re blown away by all the benefits and resources they never knew existed,” ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick said. “Most come to the Expo with some idea of a few areas they want information in, but they always walk away with a whole lot more.”

The event moves to a new location each year, and has previously been hosted in Salem, Portland, Redmond and Medford. This year’s event will be its first time visiting eastern Oregon.

The Veteran Benefit Expo is free and open to all. Doors close at 3:00 p.m.

On Friday evening, July 26th at 6 to 7 p.m., ODVA is hosting a veteran’s town hall meeting at the same location. Director Kelly Fitzpatrick will provide a brief update about new veteran services and programs, as well as be available to answer questions and hear concerns from veterans living in Eastern Oregon.

For more information about the Expo, visit www.expo.oregondva.com. 

# # #

Attached Media Files: Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford. , Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford. , Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford. , Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford. , Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford. , Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford.

DPSST Public Safety Memorial Fund Board Meeting Scheduled
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 07/18/19 1:34 PM

For Immediate Release                                        

July 25, 2019

Contact:                Linsay Hale  

Notice of Regular Meeting

The Public Safety Memorial Fund Board will hold a regular meeting at 10:00 a.m. on July 25, 2019. The meeting will be held in the Boardroom The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the deaf or hearing impaired or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made before the meeting by calling the contact listed above. 

Teleconference Information:

Dial-In: 888-273-3658

Participant Code: 4711910

If you dial-in for the meeting, please mute your phone unless you are addressing the group.  Doing so will enable you to hear the meeting more effectively.

Agenda Items:

 1. Minutes for January 24, 2019

Approve minutes

2. David Blann (DPSST #32676) – Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; Application for PSMF


Presented by Linsay Hale

3. Malcus Williams (DPSST #33171) – Ashland Police Department; Supplemental

Application for Discretionary PSMF Benefits

Presented by Linsay Hale

3. Next meeting – TBD

Administrative Announcement

This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law and it will be recorded. Deliberation of issues will only be conducted by Public Safety Memorial Fund Board members unless permitted by the Chair. Individuals who engage in disruptive behavior that impedes official business will be asked to stop being disruptive or leave the meeting. Additional measures may be taken to have disruptive individuals removed if their continued presence poses a safety risk to the other persons in the room or makes it impossible to continue the meeting.

Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Announces Rate Decreases on Home Loans
Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs - 07/18/19 9:50 AM

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs has announced lower interest rates for its home loan products, effective this week.

The rates for Qualified Veterans Mortgage Bond (QVMB) loan products were lowered by 0.125 percent, while the rates for Unrestricted loan products dropped 0.250 percent. Please see the attached rate sheet for a complete list of pricing options. The rates took effect July 17.

The Oregon Veteran Home Loan Program, which provides the state’s veterans with one of the most unique veteran benefits, has been one of ODVA’s core veteran services since the agency’s inception nearly 75 years ago.

ODVA is a lender and servicer of home loans exclusively for veterans in Oregon and has helped nearly 340,000 veterans secure more than $8 billion in home loans since 1945.  A recent lending limit increase allows veterans to borrow up to $484,350 for a single family, owner-occupied residence in Oregon.

The Oregon Veteran Home Loan is a separate and distinct loan product from the federal VA Home Loan Guarantee benefit.  If you have a federal VA guaranteed mortgage and have any questions regarding potential refunds, please contact your loan servicer or the Regional VA Loan Center at 1-877-827-3702.

To be eligible for this Oregon benefit, a veteran must have served on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces, as documented on discharge documents (DD-214), and must meet one of the service criteria outlined on ODVA’s website.

For more information about the Oregon Veteran Home Loan and other eligibility requirements, please visit orvethomeloans.com or call the ODVA Home Loan department at 1-888-673-8387.

Attached Media Files: ORVET_Rate_Sheet_Flyer_07172019

Wed. 07/17/19
State Unveils Mobile Live-Fire Training Unit in Salem:New Tool for Career and Volunteer Firefighter Training (Photo)
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 07/17/19 2:25 PM
Mobile Fire Training Unit
Mobile Fire Training Unit

Oregon is served by more than 13,000 career and volunteer firefighters who are members of more than 300 fire departments and fire protection districts across the state. Approximately 80% of Oregon's firefighters are volunteers.

The Fire Training Program at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) helps support local fire agencies, in every corner of the state, by supporting a variety of training classes.  DPSST also has more than a dozen mobile props that enable firefighters to receive realistic hands-on training. 

One of the most difficult tasks in the fire service is to provide personnel with realistic training to prepare them for field operations. Certainly, providing live-fire training is an important component. For combination and volunteer organizations, especially those in rural areas, the ability to provide live-fire training can be an extremely complex problem.  In the past many fire agencies had access to homes and buildings in their local communities that were going to be demolished that provided excellent hands-on training opportunities for firefighters.  Environmental concerns, neighborhood concerns, building materials, and a variety of other safety considerations have limited this.

This morning, at the City of Salem Fire Department, DPSST unveiled its newest addition of props available to local fire agencies, a 53 foot Mobile Fire Training Unit (MFTU).  The MFTU cost $500,000 and was funded by a Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This unit contains a permanent propane-fired bed prop and rollover simulator. Portable propane-fired pans can be relocated in the unit and covered with other simulated props to provide a variety of live-fire exercises. The unit’s onboard generator makes it totally self-contained and portable, though an optional shore power connection is available.  

Movable interior wall panels enable instructors to change the layout of the unit to present participants with different scenarios. Several panels have mock doors or other moveable components. The integrated smoke generator creates a dark smoke that forces members to crawl and search in realistic type conditions. The collapsible second story provides the means for performing other essential skills like laddering, vertical ventilation, and multistory fire attack. A few individuals can easily erect the second story in approximately 30 minutes

The MFTU contains numerous safety features to minimize participant risk. For propane fires to function, the operator must step on a control pedal while another instructor engages the portable safety pendant. Release of either immediately shuts the unit down. Temperature and propane sensors force operations to occur within safe limits. Should either exceed the allowable range, the unit automatically shuts down, sounds an alarm, and activates ventilation fans.

On an annual basis DPSST provides training to approximately 6,000 career and volunteer firefighters around the state free of charge thanks to the state's Fire Insurance Premium Tax.

The MFTU will remain at Salem Fire for two additional weeks which will allow Salem firefighters to train use it for training and also enable DPSST staff to run the new unit through its paces before scheduling it for travel to fire stations around the state.

## Background Information on the DPSST ##

The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) operates the Oregon Public Safety Academy which spans more than 235 acres in Salem. The Academy is nationally recognized for its innovative training programs and active stakeholder involvement.  Eriks Gabliks serves as the Director, and Patricia Patrick-Joling, public citizen representative, serves as the Chair of the Board. The department implements minimum standards established by the Board for the training and certification of more than 40,000 city, tribal, county and state law enforcement officers, corrections officers, parole and probation officers, fire service personnel, telecommunicators, emergency medical dispatchers and private security providers.

DPSST provides training to more than 25,000 students each year throughout Oregon and at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem: certifies qualified officers at various levels from basic through executive; certifies qualified instructors; and reviews and accredits training programs throughout the state based on standards established by the Board.


Attached Media Files: Mobile Fire Training Unit , Mobile Fire Training Unit , Mobile Fire Training Unit , Mobile Fire Training Unit , Mobile Fire Training Unit , Mobile Fire Training Unit , Mobile Fire Training Unit

Pacific Power's Blue Sky Grant Program brings solar power to Walla Walla High School campus
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 07/17/19 1:39 PM

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla High School’s new Science Building will generate its own clean, renewable power thanks to a $100,000 funding award from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program participants. The grant will support the installation of solar panels at the facility slated to break ground this fall thanks to last November’s voter-approved replacement bond measure. The approximately 50kW array will defer about 5% of the annual power consumption used by the entire Walla Walla High School campus. The system will also offset approximately 33.9 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This is equivalent to 3,819 gallons of gas or 78.6 barrels of oil consumed or 4.3 million cell phones charged per year.

“By generating our own electricity, we’ll save on energy costs allowing us to dedicate more of the school district’s budget to our core vision of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates,” said Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. “This solar project is not only a win for the environment but will also provide an interactive learning tool for our environmental science classes and students interested in renewable energy careers.”

Walla Walla Public Schools joins more than 120 organizations across Pacific Power’s service area that, since 2006, have received awards for community-based renewable projects, including solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy. This project is one of a dozen selected this year through a competitive evaluation process.

Blue Sky is an opt-in program that gives Pacific Power customers an option to match all or part of their energy use with renewable energy -- reducing their carbon footprints and driving demand for new renewable energy in the West. Through the Blue Sky Block option, participants also support qualifying, renewable energy projects for community-serving organizations such as schools, community centers and arts organizations.

“For 20 years, the Blue Sky program has offered Pacific Power customers a simple and powerful way to live their values, reduce their carbon footprint and support renewable energy,” said Bill Clemens, Regional Business Manager at Pacific Power. “Unlike most green power programs, Blue Sky goes beyond the purchase of renewable energy credits to help fund additional smaller energy projects for organizations in our communities. Through projects such as this, Blue Sky participants are powering a better future for local communities.”

For additional information about the Walla Walla Public Schools bond program visit: https://www.wwps.org/bond

To learn more about the Blue Sky program, visit: pacificpower.net/blueskyfunds



Yamhill County Photographer Charged with Producing Child Pornography
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 07/17/19 1:11 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that Robert Arnold Koester, 52, a photographer from Yamhill County, Oregon, has been charged with six counts of production of child pornography.

According to the indictment, beginning in January 2015, Koester is alleged to have knowingly coerced six minor victims in Oregon to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.

Koester is a suspected serial sexual predator who took nude photos of models and is alleged to have sexually assaulted many of these models, some of whom are minors. Koester, also known as Bert Kay, Rhake Winter, and Qitooly, has potentially been engaging in these criminal acts since 1994, continuing until his initial arrest in Carlsbad, California, on November 13, 2018.

Koester faces dozens of additional state and federal charges for related criminal conduct in Yamhill County and Carlsbad. On November 15, 2018, Koester was charged in San Diego County Superior Court with six felony counts involving sex crimes against minors. A week later, 35 additional related state charges were added. On February 6, 2019, Koester was charged with 32 related felony charges in Yamhill County Circuit Court. And finally, on March 7, 2019, Koester was charged in a two-count criminal information with production of child pornography by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California.

Federal law enforcement officials across the country have been working closely with local law enforcement in Carlsbad, Yamhill County and elsewhere to identify potential victims in this case. The FBI has created an online system to collect victim information.

If you have information about this ongoing investigation or believe you or someone you know may have been victimized by Koester, the FBI requests that you complete this secure, confidential online questionnaire. Information and tips from the public may also be submitted confidentially via email to modelcase@fbi.gov.

Identified victims may be eligible for certain services and rights under federal and/or state law. More information is available at fbi.gov/modelcase.

This case was investigated by the FBI in Portland and San Diego, the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office and the Carlsbad Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Ravi Sinha, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

# # #

Attached Media Files: 2019-07/6325/126163/INDICTMENT-Koester-Final.pdf

Oregon Department of Forestry does nighttime aviation testing in Grant County
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/17/19 11:13 AM

JOHN DAY, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is working with CO Fire Aviation, an aerial resource vendor, to test the effectiveness and safety of nighttime use of Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) to fight wildfires in Oregon.

Exploratory testing started Monday night, July 15, at the John Day Airport, and continued Tuesday night. On Wednesday and Thursday nights, testing will transition from the airport to private lands protected by ODF’s John Day Unit in Grant County. ODF and CO Fire Aviation are coordinating with local emergency personnel and dispatch centers to provide current information on the operation.

This testing evaluates the feasibility of using advanced night vision technology to identify firefighters  and any hazards on the ground. Testing operations include on-the-ground firefighters communicating with the pilot via radio, using lights and lasers to identify drop areas. Information gathered during the testing will be used to determine whether night SEAT operations would be a viable tool.

“ODF consistently evaluates advances in technology to support our mission to safely suppress wildfires at the smallest size possible,” ODF State Aviation Manager Neal Laugle said. “Safety is first and foremost, which is why exploratory testing like this is so important. Using SEATs at night would allow firefighters to take advantage of the reduced fire activity typical in the evening hours. These aviation resources could support ground firefighters by slowing the fire’s spread and intensity.” 

Outcomes of this testing phase will determine the next steps in evaluating the potential use of this innovative technology.


Oregon Recreational Trails Advisory Council meets Aug. 1 in Lebanon
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 07/17/19 11:00 AM

LEBANON, Ore. – The Oregon Recreational Trails Advisory Council (ORTAC) will meet 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Samaritan Community Hospital, Health Career and Training Center, Conference Room 3, 525 N Santiam Hwy, Lebanon. The meeting is open to the public.

The agenda includes presentations from local trail advocates and land managers about trail projects and initiatives.

View the agenda online: oregon.gov/oprd/Trail_Programs_Services/Documents/082019ORTACAgenda.pdf.

ORTAC was established by the Legislature in 1971 to advise Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and its partners in the development and promotion of high quality non-motorized trail systems throughout Oregon.

The council is made up of seven volunteer members representing the five congressional districts and two coastal representatives. Members are appointed by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission. The council holds quarterly meetings in different locations across the state.

For more information about ORTAC, visit oregon.gov/OPRD/Trail_Programs_Services/Pages/Advisory-Committees.aspx

The meeting location is ADA accessible. Individuals who need special accommodations to attend should contact Jodi Bellefeuille at 503-986-0716 or ellefeuille@oregon.gov">jodi.bellefeuille@oregon.gov at least three days in advance.

Tue. 07/16/19
State Announces Federal Funding Awards for Affordable Housing
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 07/16/19 5:11 PM

SALEM, OR - Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is excited to announce funding awards of $45,569,423 to build and preserve 636 homes through the awards of federal 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME, and National Housing Trust Fund resources, which leverage local, state, and private investments. Eleven developments were approved by the Oregon Housing Stability Council to receive funding.

“No Oregonian should worry about having a safe, stable place to sleep,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Families need homes that are more than just four walls and a roof, with rents that don’t mean choosing which bill to pay or what to do without this month. I am grateful that these resources will allow 636 families to rest easy in an affordable home.”

This latest round of awards brings OHCS to a record number of homes in the development pipeline – more than 9,800 affordable homes are in progress across the state. Oregon’s Statewide Housing Plan (oregon.gov/ohcs/pages/oshp.aspx) set a five-year goal to triple the development pipeline of affordable rental housing up to 25,000 homes.

“This is a big step toward meeting the ambitious goals of the Statewide Housing Plan,” said OHCS Director Margaret Salazar. “These developments bring us that much closer to closing the affordable rental housing gap and reducing housing cost burden for Oregonians.”

The developments that received awards are listed below, with full details available online: www.oregon.gov/ohcs/DO/docs/07-12-2019-Affordable-Housing-Awards.pdf.

  • Applegate Landing in Lebanon, 36 homes
  • Bridge Meadows in Redmond, 40 homes
  • Carnelian Place & Phoenix Crossing in Bend, 71 homes
  • Colonia Paz I in Lebanon, 24 homes
  • Going 42 in Portland, 55 homes
  • The Mary Ann in Beaverton, 54 homes
  • Oregon City Terrace in Oregon City, 48 homes
  • Patriot Heights in Stanfield, 53 homes
  • River Road Affordable Housing in Eugene, 60 homes
  • Rogue Valley Apartments in White City and Eagle Point, 76 homes
  • Rose Bowl in Portland, 71 homes
  • Snowberry Brook II in Ashland, 71 homes

CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet July 19
Oregon Health Authority - 07/16/19 3:56 PM

July 16, 2019

Media contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@dhsoha.state.or.us

CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet July 19

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee.

Agenda: Welcome, consent agenda, and general updates; public testimony; follow-up to questions from June meeting; select 2020 measure set; adjourn.

When: July 19, 9 a.m. to noon.

Where: Five Oak Building (formerly Lincoln) (421 SW Oak St, Portland, OR, 97204) Suite 775, Transformation Training Room. The public also may join remotely via webinar and listen-only conference line at 888-204-5984, access code 1277166.

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

# # #

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Pete Edlund, 503-931-8873, 711 TTY, or .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Board of Forestry meets July 24 in Salem
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 07/16/19 3:52 PM

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet in Salem on July 24 at 9 a.m. This month’s meeting agenda includes:

  • A presentation on activities of the Committee for Family Forestlands and discussion of key issues and future policy needs.
  • An update on the 2019 fire season.
  • Testimony from the Forest Trust Lands Advisory Committee.
  • Consideration of and determination on the petition for Forest Practices Act rulemaking on protection requirements for coho salmon resource sites.
  • An update on the department’s current fiscal and budgetary status.

The meeting will be held in the Tillamook Room, Administration Building C, at the Oregon Department of Forestry headquarters, located at 2600 State St., in Salem. The meeting is open to the public, with the exception of the executive session scheduled from 11 a.m. until noon.

Public comment will be accepted on agenda topics and at the start of the meeting for topics not on the agenda. Written comments may be submitted to oardofforestry@oregon.gov">Boardofforestry@oregon.gov in advance of the meeting. A livestream option and meeting materials are available online at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/BOFMeetings.aspx.

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200.


The Oregon Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the State Forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base. More information about the Board is available at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/AboutBOF.aspx.

DPSST Parole & Probation Officer Firearms Training Revision Workgroup Meeting Scheduled
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 07/16/19 3:43 PM

For Immediate Release                                        

July 15th, 2019

Contact:                Chris Enquist

Notice of Regular Meeting

The Parole & Probation Officer Firearms Training Revision Workgroup will hold a regular meeting on July 30th, 2019 from 11:00a-2:00p.  The meeting will be held in room A235 at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem, Oregon. The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the deaf or hearing impaired or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made before the meeting by calling the contact listed above. 

Agenda Items:

  1. Welcome
  2. Review of History of Firearms Training for Parole Officers
  3. Discussion of Scope of Revision
  4. Review of Staff Recommendations
  5. Discussion and Decision on September Pilot Program
  6. Workgroup Goals and Future Tasks
  7. Conclusion

Administrative Announcement

This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law and it will be recorded. Deliberation of issues will only be conducted by Parole & Probation Officer Field Training Manual Revision Workgroup members unless permitted by the Chair. Individuals who engage in disruptive behavior that impedes official business will be asked to stop being disruptive or leave the meeting. Additional measures may be taken to have disruptive individuals removed if their continued presence poses a safety risk to the other persons in the room or makes it impossible to continue the meeting.

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes Announces Camp Spark for Children with Visual Impairments in Washington and Oregon
Northwest Assn. for Blind Athletes - 07/16/19 2:12 PM


Billy Henry, Founder, President/CEO Director
Northwest Association for Blind Athletes
703 Broadway St, Ste 600
Vancouver, Washington 98660
Local Phone: 1-360-718-2826

Toll Free: 1-800-880-9837


Northwest Association for Blind Athletes Announces Camp Spark for Children with Visual Impairments in Washington and Oregon


Vancouver, Washington—July 16th, 2019—Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) is excited to announce as of July 9, 2019, NWABA is officially rebranding camp programs to Camp Spark. Formerly known as Camp Abilities Oregon and Camp Abilities Washington, Camp Spark enables NWABA to scale and enhance the camp program and has officially been adopted as NWABA’s sixth core program. Camp Spark will transform lives of individuals who are blind and visually impaired through sport.  Camp Spark offers comprehensive sports programming for individuals of all ages with visual impairments in a camp setting.


In two weeks, we will be hosting our first Camp Spark summer session in Tacoma, Washington.  The purpose is to empower individuals who are blind or visually impaired, break the cycle of dependence and ill health that is unnecessarily associated with visual impairments, and build their self-belief that they can take control of their own quality of life and use their many talents to actively contribute in their communities. Campers will participate in a variety of sports and recreational activities including goalball (a sport specifically developed for individuals with visual impairments), 5-a-side soccer, judo, tandem cycling, kayaking, track & field, and numerous others.


This will be the fourth year that NWABA has offered summer camp for children with visual impairments across the state. These one-week summer sessions will provide 1:2 sport instruction for each camper.  These children vary in socioeconomic status, ethnic background, and level of skills and abilities. Camp Spark in Washington will be hosted at University of Puget Sound’s campus from July 29 to August 3, 2019. Washington’s camp will impact 38 campers from across Washington ages 9-14. Camp Spark in Oregon will be hosted at the Linfield College campus in McMinnville, OR from July 21 to July 26, 2019. Oregon’s camp will impact 36 campers from across the state ages 8-15 years old. This camp is offered at no cost to campers and their families.


"Our Board of Directors is extremely excited to offer these truly transformational programs to children and youth with visual impairments. Camp reaches far beyond participating in sports, and acts as a catalyst to help campers gain the confidence, self-esteem, friendships, and independence they need to achieve success in all areas of life.” said Founder, President/CEO, Billy Henry.


Camp Spark’s Oregon session is partially funded by the Oregon Blind and Visually Impaired Student Fund, and Camp Spark’s Washington session is partially funded by Washington State Department of Services for the Blind. However, additional support is critically needed to deliver a successful camp. Donations to support Camp Spark are accepted by mailing a check to PO BOX 65265, Vancouver, WA, 98665 or making an online gift at www.nwaba.org. Please indicate that your donation is to support camp programs. For more information on Northwest Association for Blind Athletes, please contact Billy Henry at 1-360-718-2826, or visit www.nwaba.org


About NWABA:
The mission of Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) is to provide life-changing opportunities through sports and physical activity to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. A group of students who were visually impaired formed the association in 2007 to ensure that people who are blind were participating in sports and physical activity. Today, NWABA is a rapidly expanding 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides more than 1,500 children, youth, adults and military veterans with visual impairments tailored programming which improves self-confidence and self-esteem, promotes independence, creates an inclusive community of supporters, and builds the skills necessary to succeed in all areas of life including school and employment.


For information: http://www.nwaba.org  or
Contact: henry@nwaba.org">bhenry@nwaba.org
Phone:  1-360-718-2826


Veterans' Town Hall Meeting Set for Next Week at Pendleton Convention Center (Photo)
Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs - 07/16/19 1:35 PM
Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford.
Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford.

Kelly Fitzpatrick, director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, will hold her first veterans’ town hall meeting in Pendleton next week.

“I really look forward to this opportunity to meet members of the eastern Oregon veteran community and learn about the concerns, issues and challenges facing veterans and their families in this part of the state,” Fitzpatrick said.

She will also answer questions and share the latest updates regarding ODVA programs and initiatives, as well as veteran-related developments from the 2019 legislative session.

The Veterans’ Town Hall event will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, July 26, at the Pendleton Convention Center. It will also be recorded and livestreamed on the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Facebook page for the benefit of those who are not able to attend in person.

The following day, and in the same location, ODVA and over 60 partnering organizations and agencies will be joining together for the Fifth Annual Veteran Benefit Expo, the state’s largest veteran resource event, which is being held in eastern Oregon for the first time.

The purpose of the Expo is to provide a one-stop shop for Oregon veterans of all eras and walks of life to learn about and access the full range of their earned benefits. The event will offer resources from many different benefit areas, including health care, claims assistance, finance, home loans, long-term care, mental health, education, business and recreation.

The Expo is free and requires no pre-registration. The event will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at the Pendleton Convention Center.

For more information about the Expo, visit www.expo.oregondva.com

Attached Media Files: Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford. , Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford. , Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford. , Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford. , Scenes from the 2018 Veteran Benefit Expo in Medford.

Area Man Sentenced to 110 Months in Federal Prison for Bank Robbery
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 07/16/19 1:13 PM

EUGENE, Ore.—Dannie Kay Alston, 67, was sentenced today to 110 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for robbing four Oregon and Southwest Washington banks in a four-week period beginning in August 2017. Alston has no known permanent residence.

On February 21, 2019, Alston pleaded guilty in federal court to the following bank robberies:

  1. August 7, 2017; Chase Bank in Vancouver, Washington; collecting $2,300
  2. August 15, 2017; Wells Fargo Bank in Medford, Oregon; collecting $4,690
  3. August 24, 2017; Wells Fargo Bank in Salem, Oregon; collecting $1,317
  4. September 9, 2017; First Interstate Bank in Roseburg, Oregon; collecting $3,441

In each of his robberies, Alston attempted to disguise his identity by wearing sunglasses and some type of ball or ski cap. He communicated with the targeted bank tellers primarily through handwritten notes or signs. At his last robbery, in Roseburg, witnesses were able to provide a description of Alston’s getaway vehicle, leading to his quick arrest by the Oregon State Police. Police recovered the note used in the Roseburg robbery, a starter’s pistol with loaded caps, a Taser, sunglasses, wig and $3,441 cash from Alston’s person and vehicle.

Alston is a career offender with a criminal history spanning five decades and four states. He has previous burglary convictions in California and Texas, robbery convictions in California, Florida and Oregon, as well as assault, theft and narcotics convictions.

During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane ordered Alston to pay $11,748 in restitution.

This case was investigated by the FBI, Clark County Washington Sheriff’s Office, Medford Police Department, Oregon State Police and Roseburg Police Department. It was prosecuted by Pamela Paaso, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

# # #

Attached Media Files: PDF Release

ATF, DEA and U.S. Border Patrol Operation leads to the arrest of 15 people involved in methamphetamine and heroin drug trafficking in Eastern Washington
DEA Seattle - 07/16/19 11:43 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. – Early this morning, the Bureau Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) led a large-scale enforcement action targeting a methamphetamine and heroin drug trafficking organization with ties to a Washington State based street gang identified as the Eastside Familia Norteno (ESF).  Over 300 law enforcement officials, including federal agents and state and local officers executed 19 federal search warrants located in Grant, Yakima and Adams Counties. 

On July 10, 2019, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Washington returned an indictment charging 16 individuals for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. The lead defendants in this case are Luis Manuel Farias-Carendas, 40, of Moses Lake, and Joshua Isaac Stine, 34, of Ephrata, who are accused of being the leaders of the drug trafficking conspiracy. Both were taken into custody today. Twelve others named in the indictment are also in custody pending an initial appearance in federal court in Spokane, Washington. They are: 

Patrick Elliot Pearson, 47, of Moses Lake

Cristian Misael Gomez, 23, of Grant County

Luis Manuel Ramirez, 25, of Moses Lake

Zacarias Martinez-Garza, 23 of Moses Lake

Mariano Ruiz-Balderas, 19, of Moses Lake

Jesse Leon Manion Jr., 55, of Moses Lake

Heather Elaine Keating, 41, of Moses Lake

Leonel Caballero, 62, of Warden

Forrest Walker Herzog, 34, of Moses Lake

Amy Jo Dygert, 33, of Moses Lake

Michael Edward McLaughlin, 59, of Ephrata

Jesus Valenica-Morfin , 31, of Yakima

One additional person, Tomas Gomez, 49, of Los Angeles, Calif., was also arrested during the operation and charged by federal complaint. 

The 15 individuals were arrested in the following cities: 11 in Moses Lake, one in Ephrata, two in Yakima, and one in Warden.  At this time, agents and officers have seized pound quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, over 50 firearms and U.S. currency.

This investigation is a continuation of law enforcement efforts in December 2017, which focused on violent drug traffickers who were operating in Grant County.  The earlier investigation resulted in 24 individuals who have pled guilty in federal court and eight pounds of methamphetamine, 10 vehicles, $25,000 and more than 80 firearms were seized.    

The following agencies provided significant assistance for today’s enforcement action: ATF, DEA, USBP, United States Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Moses Lake Police Department, Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, Washington State Patrol, Idaho State Police, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Law Enforcement Against Drugs, Yakima Police Department, Columbia River Drug Task Force, North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force, Warden Police Department, Ephrata  Police Department and Quincy Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Caitlin Baunsgard, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

An Indictment Contains Mere Allegations That an Individual Has Committed a Crime.  Every Individual Is Presumed Innocent Until and Unless Proven Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt in a Court of Law.

Girl Scouts of the USA Launches 42 New Badges to Mobilize Girls to Change the World
Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington - 07/16/19 11:14 AM

Girl Scouts of the USA Launches 42 New Badges to Mobilize Girls to Change the World

By exploring topics like high adventure in the outdoors, coding, space science, and more, girls take control of their own leadership experiences. 

July 16, 2019—Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) today reveals 42 new badges exclusively for girls in grades K–12 that allow them to make their own choices about how they want to experience and influence the world. The badges enhance the organization’s existing girl-led programming, offering girls everything from adventuring in the snow or mountains to learning how to use coding to solve problems they care about. Girl Scout programming has long promoted independent decision making, which helps girls develop agency, challenge themselves to move beyond their comfort zones, and build confidence in their leadership abilities.

Among the 42 new offerings are Outdoor High Adventure badges that feature, for the first time in Girl Scouts’ history, two distinct activity options, letting girls choose how they want to earn each badge. Giving girls choices is important for developing their sense of self, their own voice, and gender equality—research from the World Bank Group shows that increasing women’s agency and decision-making abilities is key to improving their lives, communities, and the world. And research shows that Girl Scouts are more likely than other girls to take an active role in decision making (80% vs. 51%).

In addition to existing badge offerings, girls in grades 6–12 can now pursue:

  • Nine Cybersecurity badges, through which girls learn about the inner workings of computer technology and cybersecurity and apply concepts of safety and protection to the technology they use every day. Activities range from decrypting and encrypting messages, to learning proper protection methods for devices, to exploring real-world hacking scenarios (funded by Palo Alto Networks).
  • Three Space Science badges, through which girls explore topics such as the universe and their place in it, properties of light, and inspiring careers in space science (funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute).
  • Think Like a Citizen Scientist, a Girl Scout Leadership Journey during which girls participate in interactive activities to practice observation techniques; collect data; and share their findings with real-world scientists through an online network. As with all of Girl Scouts’ Leadership Journeys, girls use their newly honed skills to take action on a community issue of their choosing (funded by Johnson & Johnson and The Coca-Cola Foundation).
  • To prepare girls in grades 6–12 to pursue computer science careers, Girl Scouts will launch the organization’s first Cyber Challenge events in select areas this fall. At these events, which will take place October 19, girls will learn crucial cybersecurity skills by completing challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes (funded by Raytheon).

The new programming for girls in grades K–12 includes:

  • 12 Outdoor High Adventure badges, designed for girls to explore nature and experience exciting outdoor adventures like backpacking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and tree climbing—giving them the confidence to support one another, take healthy risks, and spend dedicated time in nature. These are the first Girl Scout badges that members can earn by choosing one of two self-directed paths (funded by The North Face). 
  • 18 Coding for Good badges, which not only teach girls the basics of coding but also detail how every stage of the coding process provides girls with opportunities to use their skills for good. Girls will learn about algorithms through age-appropriate, creative activities, such as coding positive memes to spread a message about a cause they care about, designing a digital game to educate people about an issue, and developing an app to promote healthy habits. Every Coding for Good badge includes a plugged-in and unplugged version, so that all girls can learn the foundations of coding, regardless of their access to technology (funded by AT&T and Dell Technologies).

“Girl Scouts has ignited the power and potential of girls for over a century, and we are committed to ensuring that today’s girls are the future of American leadership,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Girl Scouts is where girls can explore new subjects, discover their passions, learn to take smart risks, and become their best, most confident selves—whether they want to become a NASA astronaut, an entrepreneur, a rock climber, a coder, or a cybersecurity agent.” 

GSUSA works with top organizations in fields that interest today’s girls. Combined with Girl Scouts’ expertise in girl leadership, these organizations and specialists advise and weigh in on content to provide the most cutting-edge programming available to girls. Content collaborators include codeSpark, the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), SciStarter, and Vidcode. In true girl-led fashion, girls also tested the new offerings.

At Girl Scouts she’ll discover who she is, what she’s passionate about, and what she wants to achieve—both today and in the future. Join or volunteer at www.girlscouts.org/join.


We're Girl Scouts of the USA
We're 2.5 million strong—more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscouts.org.

“Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts” is based upon work supported by NASA Science under cooperative agreement No. NNX16AB90A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

About Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington

In partnership with more than 8,000 adult members, Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington prepares 14,500 girls in grades K-12 for a lifetime of leadership, adventure and success. GSOSW’s programs in civic engagement, financial literacy, the outdoors and STEM serve girls in 37 counties in Oregon, and Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties in Southwest Washington. The Girl Scout mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For more information, please visit girlscoutsosw.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Employment in Oregon June 2019
Oregon Employment Department - 07/16/19 10:00 AM

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate 4.1 Percent in June 

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in June, essentially unchanged from 4.2 percent in May. Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent for 32 months, dating back to November 2016. The U.S. unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent in June.

Oregon’s unemployment rate has been at or near record low levels for nearly three years. Of those unemployed in June, nearly half were either new or returning to the labor force. At 46.9 percent, the share of unemployed who were entrants was the highest since May 1999. Another 38.5 percent were unemployed due to a job loss. The remaining 14.7 percent had voluntarily left their previous job and were looking for work.

In June, Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 900 jobs. The jobs gain in June followed a revised loss of 200 jobs in May. Monthly gains for June were strongest in professional and business services, which added 1,200 jobs, and in manufacturing, which added 900 jobs. Two industries with large losses in June were leisure and hospitality (-1,000 jobs) and retail trade (-900 jobs). Other sectors were close to their usual seasonal pattern of job gains or losses for June.

Looking at longer-term trends, Oregon’s economy continued to grow rapidly. Since June 2018, total nonfarm payroll employment was up 46,100 jobs, or 2.4 percent. Oregon’s job growth rate over the past 12 months was faster than the U.S. job growth rate of 1.5 percent.

The most rapid gains over the past year were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+4,500 jobs, or 6.9%) and construction (+7,100 jobs, or 6.8%). Job gains were widespread, with three other major industries each adding between 2.6 percent and 3.7 percent to their jobs base in the past 12 months. These industries were manufacturing (+7,100 jobs, or 3.7%), professional and business services (+8,800 jobs, or 3.5%), and health care and social assistance (+6,800 jobs, or 2.6%). During that time, none of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs, although three industries showed little change: retail trade; financial activities; and mining and logging.

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the June county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, July 23rd, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for July on Tuesday, August 13th.

All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted.

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

The Oregon Employment Department publishes payroll employment estimates that are revised quarterly by using employment counts from employer unemployment insurance tax records. All department publications use this Official Oregon Series data unless noted otherwise. This month’s release incorporates the October, November and December 2018 tax records data. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS.

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

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

Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

Attached Media Files: 2019-07/930/126114/Employment_in_Oregon--June_2019--Press_Release.pdf

Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against the One-Ring Scam (Photo)
FBI - Oregon - 07/16/19 10:00 AM
TT - One Ring Scam - July 16, 2019
TT - One Ring Scam - July 16, 2019

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment.  This week: building a digital defense against the “one-ring” telephone scam.

It seems like most of us get those annoying calls from telemarketers and scammers these days. Your phone rings and rings and rings. Often, these are calls come from a lovely robotic voice informing you that you “missed an important payment.” Or, perhaps, the voice on the other end of the line is congratulating you on that “expense-free vacation” that you just won. In both scenarios, the scammer will try to get you to pay money to settle the non-existent debt or to pay for a small processing fee for that free trip. Later you discover later that you were taken.

While these kinds of telephone scams are not new, our friends at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are warning the public about a new variation that is popping up across the nation. It’s called the “one-ring” scam. Here’s how it works: you get a phone call from a number you do not recognize, and then the call drops after only one or two rings. The fraudster is counting on your curiosity – and maybe fear that the call you missed is really important. The goal is to get you to call the number back because, in reality, the scammer is calling from an international toll number. If you call back, you will likely receive per-minute toll charges ... and who do you think collects those funds? You are right if you guessed the scam artist.

So what can you do to avoid being a victim of this scam?

  • Do NOT call back numbers that you do not recognize, especially those that appear to come from overseas.
  • If you have received these calls, report the number to the FTC at www.donotcall.gov
  • Frequently check your phone bill for unusual or suspicious charges

As always, if you have been a victim of an online scam, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your local FBI office.


Attached Media Files: TT - One Ring Scam - July 16, 2019 , TT - One Ring Scam - July 16, 2019

Motorcyclist dies in crash on Hwy 101 - Coos County
Oregon State Police - 07/16/19 9:25 AM

On Monday, July 15, 2019 at approximately 10:30 P.M. Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 101 near milepost 279.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2003 Yamaha Motorcycle, operated by Robert Killough (52) of Bandon, OR. was traveling south on Hwy 101 when it left the roadway and crashed.

Killough sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Oregon State Police was assisted by the Coos County Sheriff's Department, Bandon Police Department, Bandon Fire Department, Bay Cities Ambulance, and ODOT.

Mon. 07/15/19
Pedestrian dies while crossing I-205 - Clackamas County
Oregon State Police - 07/15/19 8:06 PM

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

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

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

Stewart remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See the chart for the full list of final decisions.  

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

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


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

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


Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 07/15/19 3:16 PM

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Lindsey Llaneza, died the morning of July 15, 2019.  Llaneza was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla, and passed away in the infirmary at TRCI. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified. 

Llaneza entered DOC custody on April 15, 2004, from Multnomah County with an earliest release date of June 23, 2021.  Llaneza was 65 years old. Next of kin has been notified.  

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,700 individuals who are incarcerated in the 14 institutions across the state. 

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

Attached Media Files: Llaneza

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

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

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

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

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

Commission meetings are open to the public and their agendas include opportunities for public comment. The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. Special accommodations for the meeting – including translation services – may be made by calling (503) 986?0690 at least 72 hours prior to the start of the meeting.

For more information and accessibility needs, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Oregon Heritage Commission Coordinator Beth Dehn at 503-986-0696 or eth.Dehn@oregon.gov">Beth.Dehn@oregon.gov.