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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Fri. Jun. 14 - 3:38 pm
Fri. 06/14/24
Fatal Crash - Interstate 84 - Union County
Oregon State Police - 06/14/24 1:39 PM

Union County, Ore. 13 June 24- On Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 6:43 a.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 84, near milepost 270, in Union County.

The preliminary investigation indicated an eastbound GMC Yukon, operated by Tyree Jourdan Hescock (41) of La Grande, left the roadway for unknown reasons and traveled on the wrong side of a guardrail. The GMC struck the guardrail and began to roll, ejecting the operator who was not wearing a seatbelt.

The operator of the GMC (Hescock) was declared deceased at the scene.

The highway was impacted for several hours during the on-scene investigation. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

OSP was assisted by La Grande Fire, Union County Sheriff's Office, and ODOT.

# # #

About the Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) is a multi-disciplined organization that is charged with protecting the people, wildlife, and natural resources in Oregon. OSP enforces traffic laws on the state’s roadways, investigates and solves crime, conducts postmortem examinations and forensic analysis, and provides background checks, and law enforcement data. The agency regulates gaming and enforces fish, wildlife, and natural resource laws. OSP is comprised of more than 1,400 staff members – including troopers, investigators, and professional staff – who provide a full range of policing and public safety services to Oregon and other law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon.

Pacific Power to host customer forum on wildfire mitigation
Pacific Power - 06/14/24 1:19 PM


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Media Hotline: 503-813-6018


Yakima, WA (June 14, 2024) – Pacific Power will host a public forum in Yakima on Tuesday, June 18 to discuss our efforts to protect customers and communities against the threat of wildfire. During this conversation, company representatives will detail the important steps we take during wildfire season to keep customers and communities safe. This forum is an opportunity to learn about our comprehensive wildfire mitigation plan in Oregon. 


Topics of conversation: 

  • Our ongoing work to strengthen our system.
  • Our advanced weather monitoring capabilities.
  • Our enhanced vegetation management practices.
  • Our enhanced safety settings for wildfire season.
  • How Public Safety Power Shutoffs work – an important tool when wildfire risk makes it necessary to turn off power to ensure customer and community safety.


Event details:   

    Tuesday, June 18 – 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

    1704 W. Nob Hill Blvd.

    Yakima, WA 98902 - Building #38

    Room 103C 





Protecting our customers and communities while providing safe, reliable power is our highest priority. If you have any questions or would like to request a reasonable accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at 1-888-221-7070.


About Pacific Power

Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 764,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. The company supplies customers with electricity from a diverse portfolio of generating plants including hydroelectric, natural gas, coal, wind, geothermal and solar resources. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 2 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.  

Media Availability: Pacific Power to describe wildfire protection efforts
Pacific Power - 06/14/24 1:07 PM


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Media Hotline: 503-813-6018 





In preparation for wildfire season, Pacific Power is inviting members of the media to its customer public forum in Yakima to share key elements of its plans to mitigate the threat of wildfire.

A Pacific Power meteorologist and spokesperson will be available for one-on-one interviews prior to the 5:30 p.m. public forum to discuss the company’s advances in weather modeling and fire forecasting and the company’s efforts to protect communities against wildfire.

Additional footage and photos will be provided upon request.



June 18, 2024     

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 



Yakima Valley College Conference Center

1704 W. Nob Hill Blvd.

Yakima, WA 98902 - Building #38

Room 103C



Pacific Power Representatives




Public Safety Memorial Fund Board Meeting Scheduled 6-17-2024
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 06/14/24 12:40 PM




Notice of Special Meeting

The Public Safety Memorial Fund Board will hold a special meeting on June 17, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE Salem. For further information, please contact Shelby Wright at (503) 378-2191.


Agenda Items

1. Introductions

2. Nicholas Berg (DPSST #16489); Mist-Birkenfield Rural Fire Protection District; Initial Application for Benefits

    Presented by Kathy McAlpine

3. Next meeting – July 25, 2024, directly following the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training meeting at 9:00 a.m.


Administrative Announcement

This is a public meeting, subject to the public meeting law and it will be recorded. 

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: June 18, 2024
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 06/14/24 10:44 AM

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997
Board of Directors Meeting Schedule & Information:  https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule

Thu. 06/13/24
ESD 105 is excited to announce our 2024 Regional Teacher of the Year: Lauren Thomas of Toppenish High School.
ESD 105 - 06/13/24 5:06 PM

This spring we received nominations for more than 53 amazing teachers across the south central region of Washington State to serve as our 2024 ESD 105 Regional Teacher of the Year.  While all of these candidates are special and represent high standards in education, one candidate rose to the top. We are excited to share that Lauren Thomas, a high school ELA teacher from Toppenish School District, has been selected!


As a daughter of two educators, she learned early in life that the role of a teacher  is one of service over self. She shows up to work every day, ready to do just that, putting her needs behind those of her students and her colleagues. Her passion to help students reach their highest aspirations was evident in every question we asked as well as in the moments we were able to observe her with her students . She did not just ask questions hoping for specific answers, but rather she proved to be a master at guiding her students to discovering the answers on their own. The respect her students have for her was evident, as was her love for her students and for her profession. 

Ms. Thomas is an educator who is looking beyond today into what students contribute to our future, always encouraging them to have their own voice and showing them how to use their voice to advocate for themselves and for their communities. She often collaborates with other Toppenish organizations to bring community service projects into the classroom, giving her students real world experiences and connections. 

Schedules are busy, but Lauren finds time to not only teach her students, but to learn from them as well. During her interview with our panel of judges Ms. Thomas stated, “It took me a long time to learn that our kids, many of them, support their family. This was the most eye opening… It has changed how I have seen my own students in the classroom. This showed me the real need to focus on mental health.” Lauren shows her students that they are valued as individuals, always encouraging them to share their stories, while incorporating their cultures into her lesson planning. 

As an advocate for education, Ms. Thomas hopes to support the reformation of our standardized testing practices, ensuring a focus on differentiated learning styles. She also hopes to reach other educators with a simple, but powerful message, “Remember that every student is unique, and there’s always a reason to know about their background. It is our job to find the reason and meet them with what they need.” 

Lauren is a teacher, leader, mentor, advocate and friend to many. We are thrilled to recognize Ms. Lauren Thomas as our 2024 Regional Teacher of the Year award winner. Click here for photos. 


Our top three finalists for this year’s Teacher of the Year award are listed below: 

  • Lauren Thomas | English Language Arts & Homeroom Teacher | Toppenish School District (Toppenish High School)
  • MaryKay Velikanje | Financial Fitness, Career Choices & Marketing Teacher | Yakima Public Schools (Stanton Academy)
  • Stephanie King | English Language Arts & CTE Teacher | Granger School District (Granger High School)



About ESD 105:

ESD 105 supports 25 public school districts and more than 20 state-approved private and tribal schools in South Central Washington.  The agency serves the expressed needs of those schools in coordinating and conducting cooperative programs to benefit the approximately 68,000 K-12 students who are served in Kittitas and Yakima counties and portions of Grant and Klickitat counties.  As one of nine ESDs in the state, ESD 105 carries out liaison activities between local school districts, the Washington State Office of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education. 

Fatal Crash - HWY 101 - Coos County
Oregon State Police - 06/13/24 4:23 PM

Coos County, Ore. 11 June 24- On Tuesday, June 11, 2024, at 7:10 a.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Hwy-101, near milepost 228, in Coos County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a southbound Ford Windstar, operated by David Joseph Babb (54) of Coos Bay, left the roadway for unknown reasons, struck a tree in the southbound ditch, spun, and came to rest on its roof.

The operator of the Ford (Babb) was declared deceased at the scene.

The highway was impacted for approximately two hours during the on-scene investigation. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

OSP was assisted by Haruser Fire and ODOT.

# # #

About the Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) is a multi-disciplined organization that is charged with protecting the people, wildlife, and natural resources in Oregon. OSP enforces traffic laws on the state’s roadways, investigates and solves crime, conducts postmortem examinations and forensic analysis, and provides background checks, and law enforcement data. The agency regulates gaming and enforces fish, wildlife, and natural resource laws. OSP is comprised of more than 1,400 staff members – including troopers, investigators, and professional staff – who provide a full range of policing and public safety services to Oregon and other law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon.

ESD 105 is excited to announce our 2024 Regional Classified Employee of the Year, Erica Aparicio, community health worker for Yakima Public Schools. Ms. Aparicio will advance to OSPI's Statewide recognition program.
ESD 105 - 06/13/24 4:17 PM

This spring, we received nominations for more than thirteen amazing education support professionals across the south central region of Washington State to serve as our 2024 ESD 105 Regional Classified Employee of the Year.  We are excited to share that Erica Aparicio, a community health worker for Yakima Public Schools, has been selected! 

Going above and beyond is her norm. In education, we often recognize individuals for going above and beyond the call of duty when they make home visits or engage outside of school in the greater community. For Erica, this is her norm; she regularly conducts work in the community, meeting families where they are most comfortable.  


She has an impact by showing care and support for displaced families. Recently a family from Venezuela came to our country with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a couple of immunization records. Erica quickly enrolled the students in school, ensured they had the supplies and resources needed, and connected them with housing services. Erica embodies the whole child - whole family approach.  One of the many parents she has supported wrote a letter of recommendation for this award: “Miss Erica is an excellent person because when we arrived, we had nothing… She came to my motel to help by bringing food, coats, blankets, clothes and shoes… She also helped with my daughter’s immunizations and doctor appointments at the clinic… she helped me secure an appointment for housing…I feel very grateful .” 


She is an advocate for community health. During COVID, Ms. Aparicio was assigned to support State mandated COVID-19 testing and contract tracing requirements. While working in this capacity, she recognized a greater need in the community; a need for a community health worker who met families where they were at with what they needed most. Armed with the knowledge and access to essential community resources available to families, Ms. Aparicio has been able to do just that. When COVID relief funding to cover this position was no longer provided, Erica advocated for the continuation of her position to support the whole child through support of the whole family. Yakima Public Schools has continued this investment in their students and community because of the success they’re seeing as a direct result of Erica’s contributions. 

Since assuming her current role, Erica has also been instrumental in developing several free vaccine and sports physical clinics and a community pantry that have benefitted hundreds of Yakima students and families. 


Ms. Aparicio changes the dynamics of entire families.  Before the onset of the pandemic, Erica was working with a student who experienced severe cognitive delays, which made it impossible for her to communicate with others. Erica created a PECS Book (Picture Exchange Communication System) so that this student could communicate her needs, giving her a sense of empowerment and a link to the outside world. After the closing of our nation’s public schools, Erica was very concerned that the progress she had made with this student would be impacted. To ensure this student’s success, Erica translated this machine into the family’s home language and met with the family over Zoom to train them in how to use it. This was the first time the family was able to communicate with their child, knowing precisely what she needed. Erica did not just change the life of this student for the better, she changed the dynamic of an entire family! 


Erica is a leader, mentor, advocate and friend to many. Beyond the examples of excellence provided for Erica are many more stories of connection, innovation and care. We are thrilled to recognize her with our 2024 Regional Classified Employee of the Year award. As our regional recipient, Ms. Aparicio will advance to OSPI’s statewide Classified Employee of the Year competition. We invite you to join us in congratulating Ms. Aparicio! 


Ms. Aparicio was recognized by ESD 105 Superintendent Kevin Chase during a surprise announcement onsite at Yakima Public Schools’ Community Health & Wellness Center on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in a room of her colleagues. Also in attendance were Yakima Public Schools’ Superintendent  Dr. Trevor Greene, ESD 105 Assistant Superintendent Shane Backlund, YSD Chief Communications Officer Kirsten Fitterer, and several panel judges, including last year’s winner Christopher Harris of Selah School District. 

Click here to access photos of today's surprise announcement.

Our top three finalists for this year’s Classified Employee of the Year award are listed below: 

  • Erica Aparicio | Community Health Worker | Yakima Public Schools
  • Sara Colby | Technology Coach | West Valley School District
  • Heather Cooley | Behavior Interventionist | Naches Valley School District



About ESD 105:

ESD 105 supports 25 public school districts and more than 20 state-approved private and tribal schools in South Central Washington.  The agency serves the expressed needs of those schools in coordinating and conducting cooperative programs to benefit the approximately 68,000 K-12 students who are served in Kittitas and Yakima counties and portions of Grant and Klickitat counties.  As one of nine ESDs in the state, ESD 105 carries out liaison activities between local school districts, the Washington State Office of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education.


Press Release: Employment Dept. Announces Weekly Benefit Amounts for Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon
Oregon Employment Department - 06/13/24 4:15 PM

June 13, 2024
Media Contact:
Seth Gordon: communications@employ.oregon.gov

Employment Department Announces Weekly Benefit Amounts for Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon

Salem, Ore. — Today, the Oregon Employment Department announced the 2024-25 minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Paid Leave Oregon.

By law, the department calculates the minimum and maximum benefit amounts once a year. These calculations are based on Oregon’s State Average Weekly Wage and are generally effective from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. The State Average Weekly Wage increased from $1,269.69 to $1,307.17.

The minimum weekly benefit amount is the lowest amount the program will pay a claimant for each week they claim benefits, and the maximum benefit amount is the most the program will pay, regardless of income.

2024-25 Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon weekly benefit amounts

Unemployment Insurance: Minimum weekly benefit amount $196;  Maximum weekly benefit amount: $836
Paid Leave Oregon: Minimum weekly benefit amount $65.36;  Maximum weekly benefit amount: $1,568.60

Unemployment Insurance

Starting June 30, 2024, the minimum weekly benefit amount for new Unemployment Insurance claims will rise from $190 to $196 per week, and the maximum weekly benefit amount will rise from $812 to $836 per week. This increase only affects claims filed June 30, 2024, or later. People who file new Unemployment Insurance claims before June 30 will continue to receive the same benefit amount.

This is an increase of 3.0%. The minimum weekly benefit amount is 15% of the State Average Weekly Wage, and the maximum is 64%. During the most recent quarter, 9.3% of recipients received the minimum weekly benefit amount, and 27.7% received the maximum.

For Unemployment Insurance, the weekly benefit amount is usually 1.25% of what a claimant earned during their “base period,” which is roughly the first 12 of the 15 months before the date they filed their claim.
Visit unemployment.oregon.gov to use OED’s UI benefits calculator.

Paid Leave Oregon

For Paid Leave Oregon, the minimum weekly benefit amount is 5% of the State Average Weekly Wage, and the maximum is 120%. Starting Sunday July 7, 2024, the minimum weekly benefit amount for new Paid Leave benefit years will rise from $63.48 to $65.36 per week, and the maximum weekly benefit amount will rise from $1,523.63 to $1,568.60 per week. This increase only affects benefit years that begin on or after July 7, 2024, or later. People whose Paid Leave benefit year starts before July 7 will continue to receive the same benefit amount.

Paid Leave Oregon calculates weekly benefit amounts based on how much the employee earns on average in a week compared to the state average weekly wage, so the amount is different for every employee. People who earn lower wages will generally receive a higher percentage of their usual wages in benefits than those who earn higher wages.
Paidleave.oregon.gov has fact sheets and guidebooks on its resources page.


The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1794. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to language@employ.oregon.gov.

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1794. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a language@employ.oregon.gov.

Attached Media Files: 2024-06/930/173038/Rates_Update_Press_Release_6-13-24.pdf

Grants Pass company fined $86,149 for job safety violations, including repeatedly exposing workers to fall hazards (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 06/13/24 3:21 PM
Oregon OSHA logo
Oregon OSHA logo

Salem – The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has fined a Grants Pass roofing company $86,149 for workplace safety violations, including repeatedly failing to safeguard workers from fall hazards that could seriously injure or kill them.

The division cited GB Roofing LLC following an inspection of a job site in Eugene where work was being done to replace the roof on a retirement home. The inspection was conducted under Oregon OSHA's prevention-based emphasis program addressing workers exposed to fall hazards.

Employees were working on the roof without fall protection, according to the inspection. They were exposed to a potential fall of about 20 feet to the ground. GB Roofing had violated a rule requiring employers to ensure that fall protection systems are provided, installed, and implemented where employees are exposed to a hazard of falling six feet or more to a lower level.

This was the third time since May 2022 that GB Roofing violated fall protection requirements. Oregon OSHA issued a penalty of $84,996 for the third-repeat violation.

Under the Oregon Safe Employment Act, workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace, and employers must maintain safe and healthy workplaces.

In the construction industry, falls are one of the leading causes of death.

“Employers must provide fall protection to employees who are working at heights,” said Renée Stapleton, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “Providing such protective systems is not an option. It is an essential requirement for keeping workers safe while getting the job done. To repeatedly fail to address the safety of workers first serves only one purpose: to further increase the risk of injury or even death.”

GB Roofing was also cited for failing to provide eye protection to employees who were exposed to flying particles from the use of pneumatic staplers. It was a serious violation carrying a penalty of $1,153.

During the inspection, the company corrected the violations identified by Oregon OSHA.

The total penalty issued against GB Roofing included a standard penalty reduction based on the small size of the company. Under Oregon OSHA’s rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat offenses.

Employers have 30 calendar days after receiving a citation to file an appeal.

In addition to its enforcement activities, Oregon OSHA offers employers free resources to help improve workplace safety and health. These resources include the division's Fall Protection Suite of online video training courses and its A-to-Z topic page about fall protectionThe Fall Protection Suite includes courses addressing fall protection fundamentalsconstructionroofingand ladder safety.

Employers are encouraged to use free resources – available now from Oregon OSHA and involving no fault, no citations, and no penalties – for help protecting their employees:

Consultation services – Provides free help with safety and health programs, including how to control and eliminate hazards, and hands-on training

Technical staff – Helps employers understand requirements and how to apply them to their worksites




About Oregon OSHA: Oregon OSHA enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. The division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency. Visit osha.oregon.gov and dcbs.oregon.gov.

Attached Media Files: Oregon OSHA logo , DCBS logo

This is War: Filmmaker Reflects 20 Years After Historic ORNG Deployment (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 06/13/24 2:57 PM

SALEM, Ore. - In 2007, the documentary "This is War" captured the harrowing experiences of an Oregon National Guard unit deployed to Iraq, where they faced some of the war's heaviest fighting. As the 20th anniversary of the 2004 deployment approaches, it's a time to reflect on the courage and sacrifice of these soldiers and the successes and struggles they've encountered since then.

"This is War" follows the journey of the Oregon National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, known as the "Grim Reapers," during their deployment to Iraq. The film provides an intimate look at the challenges and dangers these soldiers face as they navigate the complexities of war.

Gary Mortensen, President of Stoller Wine Group and the filmmaker behind "This is War," was inspired to create the documentary after witnessing the experiences of National Guard soldiers who leave behind their families, jobs, and more to serve their country. Mortensen's goal was to shed light on the sacrifices made by these men and women and to honor their bravery in the face of adversity.

In an interview, Mortensen reflected on the film's impact and the journeys of the soldiers it portrayed.

"The 20th anniversary of the deployment depicted in 'This is War' is an important reminder of the resilience and dedication of our National Guard members," he said. "Since the documentary was released, many of these soldiers have experienced both triumphs and challenges."

The documentary captured moments of intense combat, camaraderie, and the soldiers' profound sense of duty. It also highlighted the toll that war takes on individuals and their families and the importance of community support in times of need.

As we mark two decades since the deployment depicted in "This is War," it serves as a tribute to the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Oregon National Guard and all those who have served their country. It reminds us of the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring legacy of those who answered the call to duty in the face of adversity.

Watch the documentary here: https://vimeo.com/956192350




Released video interview: https://dvidshub.net/r/6527no

Released photos:

240407-A-FS713-5913 Gary Mortensen pauses for a photo at the Stoller Family Winery in Dayton, Ore., April 7, 2024, after conducting an interview to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the deployment of the Oregon National Guard unit he depicted in the film "This is War".

240407-A-FS713-2762 Gary Mortensen pauses for a photo with Oregon National Guard public affairs officer Maj. Chris Clyne at the Stoller Family Winery in Dayton, Ore., April 7, 2024, after conducting an interview to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the deployment of the Oregon National Guard unit he depicted in the film "This is War".

Attached Media Files: 240407-A-FS713-2762 , 240407-A-FS713-5913

Substance use disorder recovery infrastructure gets $13 million boost from Opioid Settlement Board
Oregon Health Authority - 06/13/24 2:52 PM

June 13, 2024

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Substance use disorder recovery infrastructure gets $13 million boost from Opioid Settlement Board

OHA will administer allocations recommended by State Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Opioid Settlement Prevention, Treatment & Recovery Board (Settlement Board) is directing $13.08 million toward expanding and strengthening the state’s recovery community centers and recovery housing.

The Settlement Board approved an Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission (ADPC) proposal to improve access to recovery community centers and housing by providing $11.75 million to establish centers in counties highly impacted by overdoses, yet with the least access to recovery services, including:

  • $2 million to the Gorge Recovery Center in Wasco County.
  • $2.36 million to the Bay Area First Step Recovery Center in Curry County.
  • $2.39 million to the Painted Horse Recovery Center in Douglas County.
  • $5 million for recovery centers in Josephine and Klamath counties, to be identified by the ADPC Recovery Subcommittee, in collaboration with OHA and relevant partners.

The allocation also includes $500,000 to Oxford House for personnel support, and $830,000 for the expansion of culturally specific and youth services in existing recovery community centers throughout the state.

The funding was awarded to OHA, which will administer the allocations. The Settlement Board’s decision can be viewed in a recording of its June 5 meeting here.

“The Settlement Board is excited to support recovery services across the state,” said Settlement Board Co-Chair Annaliese Dolph. “This investment prioritizes high-need communities lacking access to supports for people in recovery, another step toward an adequate continuum of care in Oregon.”

Prior to awarding any funding, OHA must engage the partners listed in the ADPC proposal and provide a proposed timeline and implementation plan to the Settlement Board for approval no later than Sept. 1, 2024.

Since July 2021, the State of Oregon has reached agreement on national lawsuits against several companies for their role in the opioid crisis. Through these agreements, nearly $600 million will be awarded to Oregon over the course of 18 years. Settlement funds from opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies are divided between the State of Oregon (45%) and local jurisdictions (55%).

The state’s share is deposited as it becomes available into the Opioid Settlement, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (OSPTR) Fund. This fund is controlled by the 18-member OSPTR Board.

Local jurisdictions receiving settlement funds (those with populations greater than 10,000) decide how their funds are used. Cities and counties are required to report to the Oregon Department of Justice annually on how they have allocated their funds.

For state and local spending details from Fiscal Year 2022 – 2023, please refer to the Oregon Opioid Settlement Spending Report: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PREVENTIONWELLNESS/SUBSTANCEUSE/OPIOIDS/Documents/opioid-settlement-report-fy-22-23.pdf

OSPTR Board allocations to date

Throughout the current fiscal biennium that ends in June 2025, about $91.2 million will be deposited into the OSPTR Fund. Prior to the Recovery allocation, the OSPTR Board made the following allocations:

  • $27.7 million to the nine Federally Recognized Tribes in Oregon – this is equivalent to 30% of all funds anticipated this biennium. This 30% set-aside will continue throughout the life of the fund as additional settlement payments are deposited.
  • $4 million to develop a unified and evidence-based state system for collecting, analyzing and publishing data about the availability and efficacy of substance use prevention, treatment and recovery services in Oregon as required by 2022 House Bill 4098.
  • $13.7 million to the Save Lives Oregon Harm Reduction Clearinghouse to distribute naloxone and other life-saving supplies to qualified entities.
  • $13.7 million to build Oregon’s workforce capacity for primary substance use disorder prevention.

The OSPTR Board will next consider additional investments in treatment; research and evaluation; and emerging issues.

To learn more about Oregon’s opioid settlement funds, visit oregon.gov/opioidsettlement.


DPSST Applicant Review Committee Meeting Scheduled 6-26-2024
Ore. Dept. of Public Safety Standards and Training - 06/13/24 12:16 PM




Notice of Regular Meeting

The Applicant Review Committee of the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training will hold a regular meeting at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training located at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, Oregon. For further information, please contact Shelby Wright (503) 378-2191.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training will be live streaming all public meetings via YouTube. Meetings will no longer be streamed on Facebook. To view the Applicant Review Committee's live-stream and other recorded videos, please visit DPSST’s official YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/@DPSST.

Agenda Items:

1. Introductions

2. Approve May 22, 2024, Meeting Minutes

3. Austin Saucier, DPSST No. 65244; METCOM 911
    Presented by Cindy Park

4. Inquiry Closure Memos – Information Only
    Presented by Cindy Park

5. Next Applicant Review Committee Meeting – July 24, 2024, at 11:00 a.m.


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 Applicant Review Committee 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.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 06/13/24 11:13 AM

Salem – In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is asking people to be on the lookout for the financial exploitation of seniors. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization launched recognition of the day in 2006 to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older people.

Financial abuse can happen to anyone at any time, but seniors are often the target, especially those who live alone or are isolated. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, social isolation, loneliness, and elder maltreatment make seniors an easy target for scammers.

According to the National Council on Aging, approximately one in 10 Americans ages 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Some estimates range as high as 5 million seniors who are abused each year. The Southern California Center for Elder Justice estimates that financial elder abuse losses are between $2.6 billion to $36.5 billion each year.

Scammers use several tactics to gain trust from seniors to steal their finances. Unfortunately, some of these offenders are the guardians who are responsible for acting in the person’s best interest. Guardians are often a person the senior trusts and is granted control of the person’s assets. Financial abuse or exploitation often occurs when the guardian improperly uses the financial resources of a senior.

“We need to look out for each other, especially our senior population. To do that, people need to be informed and on high alert for financial fraud,” said TK Keen, administrator for DFR. “I encourage friends and loved ones to help their older family members spot scams. Technology allows bad actors to be a constant threat, which is all the more reason to be on alert for potential financial fraud impacting our loved ones.”

Senior financial exploitation can be difficult to identify. Here are six examples to watch for:

  • A new and overly protective friend or caregiver, especially if the senior is considering surrendering financial control to the person.
  • Fear of someone or a sudden change in feelings about them.
  • A lack of knowledge about financial status or reluctance to discuss financial matters.
  • Sudden or unexplained changes in spending habits, a will, trust, or beneficiary designation.
  • Unexplained checks made out to cash, unexplained loans, or unexplained disappearance of assets (cash, valuables, securities, etc.).
  • Suspicious signatures on the senior’s checks or other documents.

If you believe someone is being financially abused, call Oregon’s toll-free abuse reporting hotline at 855-503-SAFE (7233). You can also visit the division’s protect yourself from fraud website for resources to prevent, report, and recover from financial abuse.

Oregon’s Senior Safe Act makes securities industry professionals mandatory reporters for suspected elder financial exploitation. Securities professionals, such as broker-dealers and investment advisors, should use DFR’s file a suspected financial abuse report webpage when they suspect potential financial abuse of an Oregon senior.

DFR’s consumer advocates are always there to help with questions or to file a complaint. You can reach them at 1-888-4894 (toll-free) or email .financialserviceshelp@dcbs.oregon.gov">dfr.financialserviceshelp@dcbs.oregon.gov


About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation protects consumers and regulates insurance, depository institutions, trust companies, securities, and consumer financial products and services. The division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and dcbs.oregon.gov.

Attached Media Files: 2024-06/1073/173016/DFR-logo-blue.jpg

Spokane Property Management Company Agrees to Pay More Than $300,000 for Fraudulently Claiming Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Rent Assistance During COVID-19 Pandemic
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 06/13/24 10:04 AM

Spokane, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington announced All Star Property Management, LLC (All Star), a property management company located in Spokane, and Arlin Jordan, have agreed to pay $329,196 to resolve claims they falsely and fraudulently claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent assistance intended to benefit struggling renters during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress established an Emergency Rent Assistance program to provide funds through local and tribal governments to benefit struggling renters who had fallen behind on rent due to unemployment or other hardship.  In Washington, the program was known as the Treasury Rent Assistance Program (T-RAP).  Under T-RAP, landlords or property management companies could apply for T-RAP federal funding for a tenant’s past due and projected unpaid rent.  As a material condition of receiving federal funds, landlords were required to certify that the information included in the T-RAP application, including the rent amounts, were truthful and accurate, and to certify compliance with material T-RAP program requirements.  Landlords were further required to apply any funds received for a particular tenant to that tenant’s balance.

According to court documents, during the relevant time period, All Star was a property management company, owned by Gieve Parker, that managed rental properties on behalf of landlords in Spokane, including several properties owned by Arlin Jordin.  Jordin was currently serving a prison sentence at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, Washington, for drugging and raping a tenant, but Jordan continued to own and collect income from Spokane properties managed by All Star, for which All Star and Jordin split the rental income. 

“All-Star Property Management, Ms. Parker, and Mr. Jordin used false and fraudulent information as part of a scheme targeting precious and limited rent assistance funds. As a result, they lined their pockets with money that should have been used to keep people in a safe, secure, affordable home during a deadly pandemic,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “Landlords and property management companies need to play by the rules. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who abuse critically important housing support programs.”

As All Star Property admitted in the Settlement Agreement, All Star Property and Parker certified and submitted T-RAP applications that contained inaccurate information, including, inflated monthly rental amounts, owed rent money for months when the residents were not living at the property, and owed rent money for months where tenants were receiving rental assistance from outside organizations. This inaccurate information resulted in overpayment of federal emergency rental assistance funds for which All Star and Parker were not eligible.  With respect to rental properties managed by All Star Property for Jordin, a management fee was subtracted from received T-RAP funds and retained by All Star Property, and the remaining received T-RAP funds were paid to Jordin.  The result of which was that Jordin received overpayment of T-RAP funds that he was not otherwise entitled to.

United States Attorney Waldref further stated that, “Importantly, this case came out of Washington’s right-to-counsel program for indigent renters facing eviction.  Equal access to justice in eviction defense is helping shine a light on these fraudulent practices in ways that was not possible before this important program existed. We will continue working with community and housing rights organizations like the Northwest Justice Project to hold landlords accountable when they put profits before tenant’s rights.” 

This case was originally brought by the Northwest Justice Project, Washington’s largest legal aid organization, on behalf of Krystal Jeffries, a former tenant in a property owned by Jordin and managed by All Star.  Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers may file an action under seal in federal court. The United States investigates the allegations and determines whether to intervene in the action.  Under the False Claims Act, the United States may recover up to three times the damages caused by the Defendant, plus additional penalties for each false claim or statement.  Over the past decade, False Claims Act recoveries in the Eastern District of Washington have exceeded $400 million.  If the United States obtains a recovery, the whistleblower is generally able to share in a portion of the recovery.  Here, Relator Krystal Jeffries will recover more than $68,000 of the settlement amount, plus additional attorney fees of $18,660 recovered by the Northwest Justice Project. 

A video statement from U.S. Attorney Waldref can be viewed here. 

Assistant United States Attorneys Jake Brooks and Dan Fruchter prosecuted this case on behalf of the United States.  The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Spokane Resident Office. 

Attached Media Files: 2024-06/6857/173012/U.S.Krystal_Jeffries_v_All_Star_Property_Mangement_LLC_222-cv-00067-MKD_Signed_Settlement_Agreement.pdf

College Place Public Schools Announces Children Free Summer Meals Program
College Place Sch. Dist. - 06/13/24 9:55 AM

This summer, children and teens aged 18 and under can enjoy free, nutritious meals through the Free Summer Meals program. If your child receives free or reduced-price meals during the school year, you are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure they continue to eat healthy throughout the summer. 

In College Place, meals will be available at the following locations:

  • John Sager/College Place High School
    • Dates: June 24 - July 25
    • Lunch: 12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
    • Snack: 8:50 AM - 9:00 AM
    • Address: 1755 S. College Ave, College Place, WA 99324
  • Davis Elementary School
    • Dates: June 24 - July 25
    • Lunch: 11:45 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Snack: 8:30 AM - 8:40 AM
    • Address: 31 SE Ash St, College Place, WA 99324

For more information, visit FreeSummerMeals.org. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Umpqua Bank 2024 Business Barometer: U.S. Middle Market Optimism Surges, While Small Businesses Proceed Cautiously (Photo)
Umpqua Bank - 06/13/24 9:00 AM
Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank
  • Middle Market: Optimism soars to 68% and key growth indicators reach six-year high
  • Small Business: Mood and plans hover near pandemic-era lows, even as recession fears subside 

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., (June 13, 2024) – Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Columbia Banking System, Inc. (Nasdaq: COLB), today released the findings of its annual Business Barometer, an in-depth study into the mood, mindset and strategic priorities of small and middle market businesses across the U.S. For the first time in its six-year history, the study shows a widening gap between the outlook and plans of middle market companies and small businesses. Middle market optimism and key growth indicators have surged to six-year highs, while small businesses proceed cautiously as they manage persistent impacts of higher costs for goods and capital.

Since 2019, middle market companies (defined as $10M--$500M in annual revenue) are consistently more optimistic and ready to make a variety of strategic investments than smaller businesses. However, the difference between the two sectors’ optimism—which had been fairly narrow—widened sharply in 2024. This year, 68% of middle market companies rate the economic outlook as excellent or good compared to just 29% of small businesses.

According to Umpqua Bank President Tory Nixon, middle market companies are poised to accelerate strategic investments and plans after a season of caution, while small businesses are even more inclined this year to hold steady as margins remain tight.

“It’s a tale of two economies right now,” said Nixon. “While businesses of all sizes have proven resilient during a remarkable period of uncertainty and disruption, middle market companies have adapted especially well to the economic pressures of the past couple years. They are poised to move forward with the most confidence we've seen since our study began.”

Notable findings from this year’s Business Barometer include the following: 

Growing Middle Market Optimism Sparks Plans for Growth

  • Nearly 7 in 10 middle market companies rank the current economy favorably, surpassing a majority for the first time and 22 points higher than last year. In the next 12 months, more companies than in any previous study expect demand for products and services to increase (70%) and greater profitability (60%). They are also more likely than ever to invest in digitization (88%), finance expansion plans (65%), expand their real estate footprint (60%), add employees (54%) and consider acquiring (52%) or merging (43%) with another business.

Economic Divide Widens Between Middle Market and Small Businesses

  • In contrast to the middle market, small businesses are less optimistic than they’ve been since 2020. Though fewer list recession as a top concern this year (33%), inflation concerns spiked again after declining in 2023. Fewer than ever expect increased demand for goods or services (43%), and expectations for profitability growth also dipped to the lowest level in four years (38%). Small businesses’ current mood is reflected in more limited plans for the next 12 months: fewer than in the last three years are likely to add employees (28%), finance expansion (25%), expand their real estate (23%), make significant changes to products or services (33%), or invest in tools that protect payment systems (40%) and improve efficiency (57%).
  • “Middle market companies have the scale and capital to grow in today’s market. More of them are growth-minded than last year and investing in AI, automation and sophisticated tools to safeguard their operations and customers,” said Richard Cabrera, Head of Commercial Banking at Umpqua Bank. “With fewer resources and tighter margins, smaller enterprises have shifted more of their attention to managing the prolonged financial challenges and risks associated with elevated interest rates and inflation.”

Middle Market Companies Are Rapidly Embracing Generative AI

  • Nearly 8 in 10 middle market companies report either moving forward quickly to implement the technology across their organization (42%) or for at least a few specific tasks or functions (36%). They are also prioritizing adding personnel with generative AI experience, with 86% likely to hire for the skillset in the next 12 months. Investing in AI is also a top strategic priority (56%), which ranks first across 10 other investment options. A strong majority believe AI is having, or will have in the next 12 months, a significant impact on profitability (70%), acceleration of new products (69%), productivity (72%) and their competitive advantage (71%).
  • Small businesses are also adopting generative AI, albeit more slowly, with 28% prioritizing broad implementation or more targeted use across a few tasks.

A Majority of Middle Market Companies Bring Manufacturing and Supply Chains Back to U.S.

  • While supply chain impacts of the past few years have eased significantly for all businesses, most middle market companies continue looking for new routes and partners. In the last 12 months, 51% have moved manufacturing or supply chains back to the U.S., continuing the onshoring acceleration noted last year. Another 73% with operations abroad are likely to move or shift them elsewhere in the year ahead.

Middle Market Companies Safeguard Against Cyber-Attacks and Real-Time Fraud

  • Cybersecurity continues to be a top priority for middle market companies: 41% were the victim or target of a cyberattack in the last year. More than 8 in 10 are likely to invest in financial tools to protect payments systems in the next 12 months. More than 6 in 10 now leverage instant payment technology. Of those, 93% have or are planning to implement corresponding safeguards to protect against real-time fraud. Instant payment adoption rates for small businesses stand at 43%, with 66% of these having already implemented or planning to implement corresponding safeguards in the next year.

Small Business Delays, Middle Market Accelerates Decision-Making Ahead of Election

  • Small and middle market businesses are responding differently to the upcoming congressional and presidential elections in November. Nearly half of middle market companies say they are expediting key decisions before elections, with only 13% delaying them. Meanwhile, small businesses are more likely to delay (23%) than accelerate (14%) key decisions, with more than half indicating no impact on decision-making.
  • Businesses choosing to delay decisions, regardless of size, are most likely to postpone long-term strategic plans (63%), expansion plans (40%) and hiring (39%).



On behalf of Umpqua Bank, DHM Research conducted an online survey of 1,200 owners, executives, and financial decision-makers at U.S. small and middle market businesses during April 22—May 2, 2024. Of middle market respondents, 22% are minority-owned businesses, while 19% of small business respondents are certified woman-owned and 15% minority-owned. The margin of error is: ±2.8%. 

About Umpqua Bank 
Umpqua Bank is a subsidiary of Columbia Banking System, Inc. (Nasdaq: COLB), and a premier regional bank in the western U.S., with offices in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. With over $50 billion of assets, Umpqua Bank combines the resources, sophistication and expertise of a national bank with a commitment to deliver superior, personalized service. The bank supports consumers and businesses through a full suite of services, including retail and commercial banking; Small Business Administration lending; institutional and corporate banking; equipment leasing; and wealth management. The bank’s corporate headquarters are located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Learn more at: umpquabank.com.

Attached Media Files: Umpqua Bank , Positive Economic Outlook Over Time , Nearly Half of Middle Market Fast-Tracking Decision-Making Ahead of November Elections , Economic Optimism Rises Steadily with Business Size

State holding open house meetings on wildfire hazard map and community defense programs
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 06/13/24 8:42 AM

SALEM, Ore. — After two completed sessions in central and northeast Oregon, the state is reminding communities of four remaining open houses about the state’s new community wildfire risk reduction programs. Next week’s scheduled events are in Central Point and Grants Pass. These events will offer opportunities to learn about new defensible space and home hardening standards, as well as the draft wildfire hazard map. 

The resource-fair style open houses are being held in the communities that have some of the greatest levels of wildfire hazard within the wildland-urban interface. Each open house will begin with a short presentation and introductions, but visitors may stop in at any point during the event to get questions answered about the draft hazard map and associated community wildfire programs. 

Representatives from multiple agencies will be present to have one-on-one or small group conversations to help people understand Oregon’s statewide wildfire programs.

  • Oregon Department of Forestry representatives will address questions on administrative rules and hazard zone assessment appeals.
  • Oregon State University representatives will address questions on wildfire hazard science, statewide data sources, and updates to the draft hazard map made over the last two years.
  • Oregon State Fire Marshal representatives will address questions regarding defensible space standards, code adoption process and implementation.
  • Building Codes Division representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home hardening construction standards, related code provisions, and implementation.
  • Division of Financial Regulation representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home insurance market and requirements of insurers under Senate Bill 82 (2023).
  • Wildfire Programs Advisory Council members will address questions on statewide policy direction for wildfire programs and council business.

Meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Central Point—Monday, June 17, Jackson County Fairgrounds, Mace Building, 1 Peninger Rd., Central Point, OR 97502
  • Grants Pass—Thursday, June 20, Grants Pass High School, 830 NE 9th St., Grants Pass, OR 97526
  • Klamath Falls—Monday, June 24, Klamath County Event Center, Hall #2, 3531 S 6th St., Klamath Falls, OR 97603
  • The Dalles—Monday, July 1, Oregon Military Department Armory, 402 E. Scenic Dr., The Dalles, OR 97058

Find more information on ODF’s wildfire hazard webpage.

To subscribe to information related to updates on the statewide wildfire hazard map, visit the ODF website.

Background: The 2021 Legislature passed Senate Bill 762 that required the Oregon Department of Forestry to develop and maintain a comprehensive statewide map of wildfire risk that included wildland-urban interface boundaries and five fire risk classes by June 30, 2022 in collaboration with Oregon State University. After the initial version of the map was rescinded August 4, 2022, ODF and OSU began gathering feedback and incorporating it into future mapping efforts. 

The 2023 Legislature passed Senate Bill 80 that made several changes to the map including changing the name from a “risk” map to a “hazard” map, reducing the number of hazard classes from five to three, and changing the appeal and notification requirements. 

Written comment or questions about any aspect of the implementation of Senate Bill 762 and Senate Bill 80 may be submitted by email at any time to ehazardmap@odf.oregon.gov">odf.wildfirehazardmap@odf.oregon.gov.

Wed. 06/12/24
Toppenish Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Violent Armed Robbery
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 06/12/24 4:37 PM

Yakima, Washington - Chief United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian sentenced Eduardo Valencia, age 42, of Toppenish, Washington, to 162 months in federal prison on charges of Robbery Affecting Commerce and Using, Carrying, or Brandishing a Firearm During a Crime of Violence. Valencia was convicted of those crimes on March 6, 2024, following a jury trial. Chief District Judge Bastian also imposed 5 years of federal supervision after Valencia is released from prison.

According to court documents and information disclosed at trial and sentencing, on November 18, 2020, Valencia and an accomplice walked into the La Milpa Market in Yakima, Washington. Valencia and the accomplice pulled out firearms and demanded money from the clerk, whom they threatened to kill. Valencia and the accomplice then ran behind the counter, fought with the clerk, and ultimately pistol-whipped the clerk.  Valencia and the accomplice ran out of the store with approximately $10,000. Both men were masked during the robbery, and Valencia was later identified through, among other things, DNA on a glove that he dropped during the fight with the clerk.

“All people in Eastern Washington deserve to be safe at work. Mr. Valencia’s violent robbery and assault on a store clerk caused lasting trauma that will continue even after this case concludes,” stated United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref. “My office is committed to safeguarding our neighborhoods and communities by aggressively prosecuting those who resort to violence.” 

“Mr. Valencia’s actions clearly warranted this sentence,” said ATF Seattle Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Blais. “Using a firearm in the commission of an already violent crime only further increases the danger to those involved, and to the public in general.”

This case was investigated by the ATF and Yakima Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom Hanlon. 

2024 Pavement Preservation Project Targets South-Central Richland (Photo)
City of Richland - 06/12/24 4:15 PM

This year’s Slurry Seal pavement preservation project begins on Monday, June 17, and will last through July 10. The project targets the south end of central Richland, between Aaron Drive and Van Giesen Street. City crews are currently preparing the roadway in anticipation of the project. 

Slurry Seal is a mixture of fine aggregate and emulsified asphalt that is applied to residential roads. This preventative maintenance extends the life of existing asphalt while sealing it from the harmful effects of water penetration and sun. Slurry Seal is a cost-effective treatment that provides a new wearing surface that usually lasts five to ten years. The application usually requires a one-day road closure.

Residents will be given notices by the contractor, Doolittle Construction, LLC prior to work being done on their street. Additionally, no parking signs will be in place a few days before, warning about parking on the streets. 

To minimize damage to the slurry seal mix and to avoid tracking oil on cars, bikes, and shoes, residents are encouraged to obey posted construction signs and stay off the street until it is fully open.

This year’s slurry seal project is the largest the city has ever done in one season.

For more information, including a detailed map, visit www.ci.richland.wa.us/ppp.

Attached Media Files: 2024-06/5957/172988/Pavement_Preservation_slurryFB.png

Missing child alert -- Siblings Easton Menear, Raya Menear and Quincy Menear are missing and believed to be at risk (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 06/12/24 3:58 PM
Raya Menear
Raya Menear

(Salem) – Easton Menear, age 4, Raya Menear, age 1, and Quincy Menear, age 10 months, went missing with their parents Hanna Jewel Hamilton and Christian Michael Menear from Corvallis on April 23. The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division believes that they may be at risk and is searching for them to assess their safety.

ODHS asks the public to help in the effort to find Easton, Raya and Quincy. Anyone who suspects they have information about the location of them or Hanna Jewel Hamilton and Christian Michael Menear should call 911 or the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233)

It is possible that they are in the greater Portland Metro Area. 

Name: Easton Menear
Pronouns: He/him
Date of birth: July 24, 2019
Eye color: Brown
Hair color: Brown

Name: Raya Menear
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: Aug. 1, 2022
Eye color: Brown
Hair color: Light brown

Name: Quincy Menear
Pronouns: He/him
Date of birth: Nov. 07, 2023
Eye color: Blue
Hair color: Brown

Washington County Sheriff Cases #50-24-7084, #50-24-7085 and #50-24-7086
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #2023964

Sometimes when a child is missing they may be in significant danger and ODHS may need to locate them to assess and support their safety. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and assess their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

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


Attached Media Files: Raya Menear , Hanna and Quincy , Christian and Easton

Oregon Check Casher Found Guilty for Role in Payroll Tax Scheme
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 06/12/24 3:30 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal jury in Portland found the operator of a local chain of check cashing businesses guilty today for his role in a multiyear scheme to obstruct the IRS from collecting payroll and income taxes on construction workers’ wages.

David A. Katz, 48, of Tualatin, Oregon, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing false currency transaction reports with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

“This defendant’s efforts to help others circumvent their tax responsibilities was thwarted thanks to the dedicated criminal investigators at the IRS. Business owners who abuse the system and help others hide taxable income will be held accountable,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“Our tax system is based on the honesty and integrity of taxpayers who understand that taxes fund the common good. However, there are some, like Mr. Katz, who choose to line their own pockets at the expense of their friends and neighbors,” said Special Agent in Charge Adam Jobes, IRS Criminal Investigation (CI), Seattle Field Office. “Mr. Katz’s conviction by a jury of his peers emphasizes the fact that no one is above paying their fair share, and shows that CI is committed to investigating those who choose to undermine their communities.”

According to court documents and trial testimony, from January 2014 through December 2017, Katz, the compliance officer of Check Cash Pacific, Inc., conspired with others in the construction industry to defraud the United States by facilitating under-the-table payments to construction workers. To carry out the scheme, sham construction companies were created and used to cash more than $177 million in payroll checks at different Check Cash Pacific locations. The cash was used to pay construction workers under-the-table, with no taxes being withheld or reported to the IRS.

Construction companies would notify Katz when they planned to bring checks into one of his check cashing locations so that Katz could ensure he had enough cash on hand to complete the transaction. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of payroll checks were cashed daily and Katz was aware that at least one of his co-conspirators used a false name and social security number.

For his role in the scheme, Katz received a 2% commission on each transaction which, in total, amounted to more than $4 million. Over the course of their conspiracy, Katz and his co-conspirators prevented the IRS from collecting more than $44 million in payroll and income taxes due on the cash wages.

On December 2, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a five-count indictment charging Katz and five others with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Katz was charged in the same indictment with four counts of filing false currency transaction reports with FinCEN.

Conspiracy to defraud the United States is punishable by up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release. Filing false currency transaction reports is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release.

Three of Katz’s co-conspirators have pleaded guilty to felony charges stemming from their roles in the conspiracy. Two are awaiting sentencing and the third was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. Another co-conspirator is awaiting trial and one is a fugitive.

This case was investigated by IRS-CI. It was prosecuted by Robert S. Trisotto and Andrew T. Ho, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

# # #

Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Survey of Oregonians: Common Ground and Clusters of Values and Beliefs
Oregon Values and Beliefs Center - 06/12/24 2:58 PM



Oregon isn't simply one thing or another: Deserts, beaches, mountains, forests.
Oregonians aren't either.

Building on past research from DHM’s Oregon Values and Beliefs Studies, Policy Interactive, and Pew Research, the 2023 Typology Study continues a tradition of high-quality opinion research to engage all Oregonians about the important values we share and embrace.

Rather than adhering to traditional ideas of what (or where, or who) divides us, the OVBC 2023 Typology Study clusters Oregonians into “neighborhoods” of shared values and beliefs. The study offers a clearer understanding of our common priorities and lays a stronger foundation for collaboration, even when we disagree.

Social scientists describe values as individual or cultural mores that set standards and guide behavior by way of a mental compass. But even values regarded as stable may change gradually over time. Values research gives us a window into how, when, why, and to what extent those values evolve. This type of research offers a sense of our commonalities and differences. It also identifies the building blocks for accountability, trust, reciprocity, respect, solidarity, and collaboration in our lives and more broadly, in our community.

Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey

The Typology Topic Summaries page provides an introduction to the findings from the full sample of the survey, segmented by the topics below. Each topic has its own page with general observations and response percentages for the full sample to questions on that topic. The included topics are as follows:

      - Economy and Jobs

      - Environment and Land Use

      - Government and Politics

      - Success and Wellbeing

      - Religion and Faith

A document with response percentages for the full sample for every question in the survey can be found attached to this newswire post. 

An excel file with response percentages stratified by demographic characteristics can be found attached to this newswire post.

Typology of Oregonians: 8 Clusters, or “Neighborhoods” of Shared Values and Beliefs

The Cluster Analysis Overview provides an overview of the cluster analysis used to identify 8 clusters of shared values and beliefs among Oregonians, including basic methodology, how to read, interpret, and understand the tables that display the 8 clusters' responses to the 21 A/B statements used in the cluster analysis, as well as the tables themselves.

Rather than groups characterized by typical qualities thought to divide us (age, geography, political party), cluster analysis was used to group Oregonians based on their answers to broader questions about values, beliefs, and a few key policy issues. 

An iterative process was used to determine a combination of questions and clusters that are the most statistically powerful and accurate in clustering or grouping Oregonians based on values and beliefs. 

While the 8 clusters may tend to lean one way or another, politically, each cluster responds to at least one question in a way that defies its typical placement on a conservative-to-liberal scale.

The Cluster Profiles page gives a down-to-earth explanation of what cluster analysis is, answers to some FAQ's, and an introduction to the profiles of the 8 clusters. The profiles (linked below) include characteristics that are prevalent among each group, such as age group, education, urban/rural, likelihood of voting, etc. Links to the 8 profiles:

       - Cluster 1: Party-Aligned Progressives

      - Cluster 2: Dispassionate Liberals

      - Cluster 3: Alienated Young Left

      - Cluster 4: Green Rural Independents

      - Cluster 5: Diverse and Devout

      - Cluster 6: Disengaged Traditional Conservatives

      - Cluster 7: Free-Market Libertarians

      - Cluster 8: Modern Conservative Loyalists

The Common Ground and Areas of Dissonance page highlights, from among the 21 Typology questions, areas that represent strong common ground, moderate common ground, and areas of dissonance (or what we don't agree on). 12 of the A/B statements represent strong common ground; 4 represent moderate common ground; and 5 represent areas areas of disagreement.

An excel file with response percentages stratified by the 8 clusters can be found attached to this newswire post.

ALSO ATTACHED: an excel file of word-for-word open-ended responses, sortable by demographic characteristics (including County), and with contact information for participants who indicated they are willing to be contacted by a journalist.

Recognizing this is a massive amount of complex information, if you and/or several members of your staff would like to schedule a brief video call to run through the project, please reach out! We can verbally explain and answer questions to get people up to speed pretty quickly. Call, Email, or Text Amaury Vogel at the included phone or email address.

Attached Media Files: Verbatim responses and Contact info - OVBC Typology , Data for full survey, stratified by clusters - OVBC Typology Cluster , Data for full survey, stratified by demographics - OVBC Typology TS Crosstabs , Data for full survey, full sample - OVBC Typology Annotated Questionnaire

Webinar series celebrating 34 years of civil rights for people with disabilities to launch July 9
Oregon Dept. of Human Services - 06/12/24 2:43 PM

The Oregon Disabilities Commission (ODC), Northwest ADA Center and Disability Rights Oregon will co-host a free Lunch and Learn webinar series in July in recognition and celebration of the 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The informational series will launch on Tuesday, July 9.

“The webinar series not only recognizes the crucial breakthrough that the Americans with Disabilities Act represents but provides an opportunity to share information and advance equity for people with disabilities in Oregon,” said Nakeshia Knight-Coyle, director of the Office of Aging and People with Disabilities in the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS).

The series will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesdays throughout July. Members of the public are welcome to participate.

Topics by date are:

  • July 9: History and success of the Olmstead Case
  • July 16: Spotlighting the talents of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing communities
  • July 23: History of the ADA, current wins and ongoing efforts
  • July 30: Boards and Commissions in action: information, awareness and impacts 

Register in advance through the event webpage on Zoom

More information about the series will be shared on the Oregon Department of Human Services ADA event web page.

The series will be accessible to people with disabilities and will be translated into Spanish. Captioning and American Sign Language interpretation will also be provided. For questions about accessibility for the webinar series, or to request an accommodation, contact OregonDisabilities.Commission@odhsoha.oregon.gov.

About the Oregon Disabilities Commission:

The Oregon Disabilities Commission is charged by state statute to advise the Oregon 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 serving individuals with disabilities.


Oregon Housing and Community Services awards over $7 million to create nearly 60 affordable homes across Oregon (Photo)
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 06/12/24 12:54 PM

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) announces the approval of more than $7 million to fund 59 homes, as part of the ongoing effort to narrow the racial wealth gap in homeownership. Broadly, Black homeownership in Oregon is consistent with nationwide trends that show lagging progress. OHCS remains committed to moving our state forward on closing the racial wealth gap, and today gets closer to that reality.

“Awarding these funds just a month after announcing the first round of funding awards in May to build 157 new homes shows the benefit of moving to a rolling application process,” said OHCS Executive Director Andrea Bell. “This new approach allows developers to begin construction sooner, accelerating the delivery of affordable homeownership opportunities. We insist on a better housing future for our state to ensure progress that represents all communities.”

Of the new awards, Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) will receive $1.6 million to develop Abbey Lot Townhomes in the Albina District of Portland. SEI, along with their development partners Community Development Partners and Proud Ground, is seeking to make a lasting impact on the historically displaced community affected by the rapid gentrification of Portland. 

As part of a larger effort to reconnect Black families to the Albina District, the eight 3-bedroom townhomes and a supporting outreach strategy seek to bring families who have been displaced back to the North Portland neighborhood. Homeowners will have access to services through SEI’s Community and Family Programming, including energy assistance, housing assistance, and access to SEI’s in-school services.

"At Self Enhancement, Inc., we believe that the opportunity for homeownership shouldn't be a privilege; it should be a foundation,” said Trent Aldridge, SEI chief program officer. “That's why we are excited to advocate, support, and invest in homeownership in traditionally underserved communities. Owning a home is about more than just having a roof over your head. It's about stability, generational wealth creation, and a sense of belonging. It's about putting down roots and knowing that your success is being invested in your own future."

The remainder of this round of funding will go toward two Central Oregon projects. Thistle & Nest will use the funds to create 38 new affordable two- and three-bedroom homes within the larger Woodhaven development in Bend. Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity is also receiving funding to provide additional support to the Timber Cottages development in Redmond.

More information about each project can be found in the June Housing Stability Council packet.

About Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS)  

OHCS is Oregon's housing finance agency. The state agency provides financial and program support to create and preserve opportunities for quality, affordable housing for Oregonians of low and moderate income. OHCS administers programs that provide housing stabilization. OHCS delivers these programs primarily through grants, contracts, and loan agreements with local partners and community-based providers. For more information, please visit: oregon.gov/ohcs.

Photos courtesy of Thistle & Nest 

Thistle & Nest will receive $5 million from Oregon Housing and Community Services to build affordable homes in the Woodhaven development in Bend. The homes pictured here are part of the project’s Phase 1.

12 de junio de 2024 

El Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios de Oregón otorga $7 millones para crear alrededor de 60 viviendas a precio asequible 

SALEM, Ore. – El Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios de Oregón (OHCS, por sus siglas en inglés) anuncia la aprobación de $7 millones que serán utilizados para crear 59 nuevas viviendas en el estado, como parte de los esfuerzos para reducir la brecha de riqueza racial en cuanta quienes son dueños de viviendas. En términos generales, la propiedad de vivienda por parte de afroamericanos en Oregón es consistente con las tendencias a nivel nacional que muestran un progreso muy lento. OHCS mantiene su compromiso de hacer avances para cerrar la brecha de riqueza racial en nuestro estado, y hoy la agencia se acerca más a esa realidad. 

"El conceder estos fondos tan sólo un mes después de anunciar en mayo que otorgamos la primera ronda de fondos para la construcción de 157 nuevas viviendas demuestra las ventajas del nuevo proceso de solicitud que implementamos", dice Andrea Bell, directora ejecutiva de la OHCS. "Con el anterior sistema donde se entregaban solicitudes una vez al año, los anuncios de fondos de nuevos proyectos se habrían retrasado durante meses. Este nuevo enfoque permite a los desarrolladores de vivienda comenzar la construcción antes, acelerando la entrega de oportunidades para la compra de una vivienda a precio asequible. Insistimos en un futuro mejor en materia de vivienda para nuestro estado, que garantice un progreso en el que todas las comunidades estén expresamente representadas. " 

De los nuevos fondos otorgados este mes, Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) recibirá $1.6 millones para desarrollar Abbey Lot Townhomes en el distrito Albina de Portland. SEI, junto con sus socios communitarios, Community Development Partners y Proud Ground, pretende tener un impacto duradero en la comunidad históricamente desplazada y afectada por el rápido aburguesamiento o gentrificación de Portland. 

Como parte de un esfuerzo más amplio para volver a conectar a las familias afroamericanas con el distrito de Albina, las ocho viviendas adosadas de 3 dormitorios y una estrategia de alcance para ofrecer servicios de apoyo pretenden que las familias desplazadas vuelvan al barrio del norte de Portland.  Los propietarios de las viviendas tendrán acceso a los servicios de la Programación Comunitaria y Familiar de SEI, que incluyen asistencia con los gastos de energía, ayuda para la vivienda y acceso a los servicios escolares de SEI. 

"En Self Enhancement, Inc. creemos que la oportunidad de ser propietario de una vivienda no debe ser un privilegio, sino una base", dijo Trent Aldridge, director de programas de SEI. "Por eso nos entusiasma defender, apoyar e invertir en la propiedad de la vivienda en comunidades tradicionalmente carentes de servicios. Ser propietario de una vivienda es algo más que tener un techo bajo al que refugiarse. Se trata de estabilidad, creación de riqueza para las futuras generaciones y el sentido de pertenencia. Se trata de echar raíces y saber que tu éxito se está invirtiendo en tu propio futuro". 

El resto de esta ronda de fondos se destinará a dos proyectos en la región central de Oregón. Thistle & Nest utilizará los fondos para crear 38 nuevas viviendas a precio asequible de dos y tres dormitorios en la urbanización Woodhaven de Bend. Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity también está recibiendo fondos para proporcionar apoyo adicional al desarrollo Timber Cottages en Redmond. 

Más información sobre cada proyecto se encuentra en el paquete informativo de la junta de junio del Consejo para la Estabilidad de la Vivienda

Acerca del Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios de Oregon (OHCS)  

OHCS es la agencia de financiación de viviendas de Oregón. La agencia estatal proporciona apoyo financiero y de programas para crear y preservar oportunidades de vivienda a precio asequible y de calidad para los habitantes de Oregón con ingresos bajos y moderados. OHCS administra programas que proporcionan estabilización de la vivienda. OHCS ofrece estos programas principalmente a través de subvenciones, contratos y acuerdos de préstamo con organizaciones locales y proveedores comunitarios. Para obtener más información, visite: oregon.gov/ohcs.   

Thistle & Nest recibirá $5 millones en fondos del Departamento de Vivienda y Servicios Comunitarios de Oregón para construir viviendas asequibles en el desarrollo Woodhaven en Bend. Las viviendas de la foto forman parte de la primera del proyecto.

Attached Media Files: 2024-06/1810/172978/Woodhaven_Phase_1-2.png , 2024-06/1810/172978/Woodhaven_Phase_1-1.png

DOGAMI Governing Board to meet on June 25, 2024
Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries - 06/12/24 12:17 PM

The Governing Board of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) will meet on Tuesday, June 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The public portion of the meeting begins at 9:35 a.m. This public meeting will be conducted via teleconference.

The meeting agenda, including call-in information, is available at: https://www.oregon.gov/dogami/about/govboard/boardagenda_6_25_2024.pdf

The DOGAMI Governing Board sets policy, oversees general operations, and adopts a strategic plan every six years. The Board meets at least quarterly. As active members of their communities, Board members provide an important connection between Oregonians and DOGAMI’s mission of providing earth science information and regulation to make Oregon safe and prosperous.


Beverly Beach extends closure through July 31 due to construction delays (Photo)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 06/12/24 11:52 AM
Beverly Beach Construction 2
Beverly Beach Construction 2

NEWPORT, Oregon— Beverly Beach State Park, seven miles north of Newport, will extend its closure through July 31, 2024 due to delays in construction. 

The popular campground and day-use area closed last September for construction. Work included moving power lines underground and replacing aging water lines to help better serve visitors in the future. 

Some of the infrastructure at Beverly Beach is more than 80 years old and presented unexpected challenges and delays. The park is now slated to open Aug. 1, 2024. 

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we finish park improvements that will enhance the park for future visitors. Welcoming campers is one of our favorite parts of the job so we’re eager to open the gate in August,” said Park Manager Burke Martin. 

The park improvements were made possible with GO Bond funds, a $50 million investment from the Oregon State Legislature for projects at several Oregon State Parks. Learn more about GO Bonds at bit.ly/gobonds

Attached Media Files: Beverly Beach Construction 2 , Beverly Beach Construction

Educational Service District 105 (ESD 105) Selects New Assistant Superintendent - Dr. Alicia Jacob of the Selah School District (Photo)
ESD 105 - 06/12/24 10:46 AM

Yakima, WA [June 12, 2024] – The Educational Service District 105 is thrilled to announce the selection of Dr. Alicia Jacob as the new assistant superintendent. Dr. Jacob will replace ESD 105’s current deputy superintendent, Shane Backlund, when he assumes his new role as the agency’s Superintendent on July 1, 2024. 

On Friday, June 7, 2024, Dr. Jacob and four other outstanding candidates met with an interview committee of twelve ESD 105 employees, representing the agency’s various departments and programs. Because of her profound commitment to educational equity, innovation, and student success, Dr. Jacob rose to the top. 

Of her selection, Dr. Jacob stated, "I am excited for the honor to work with our regional districts to ensure the success of all students. I look forward to building relationships and continuing to offer the opportunities provided by the amazing staff of ESD 105 to meet both the common and unique needs of our educational community.”

Dr. Jacob brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout her career, Dr. Jacob has strived to create an educational environment that values diversity, celebrates variability, and holds students to high standards. Beginning her career as a mathematics and special education teacher, she quickly recognized the disparities in learning experiences among students and set out to create meaningful change. 

As she transitioned into leadership roles, Dr. Jacob focused on prioritizing student-centered learning and creating equitable systems of support across all areas of education. Dr. Jacob currently serves as the Executive Director of Student Learning for the Selah School District. Prior to this position, Dr. Jacob held several other leadership positions in Yakima Public Schools including director and assistant superintendent. Dr. Jacob's leadership is characterized by her commitment to data-driven decision-making, relationship building, and clear communication with all stakeholders. Her vision for education is one where every student feels valued and supported, and where diverse learning needs are met with tailored strategies that promote success.

Dr. Jacob embodies ESD 105’s Core Values: embracing transparent two-way communication with active listening, remaining open to change and innovation, and by practicing equity and empathy at the heart of all that she does. ESD 105 is excited for the positive impact Dr. Jacob will bring to the agency and the districts we serve, and we look forward to her innovative leadership in fostering a supportive and equitable educational environment for all. 


Attached Media Files: DrAliciaJacob

Unlock Your Potential: Professional Development Workshop for Veterans and Military Spouses (Photo)
Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council - 06/12/24 10:30 AM

Unlock Your Potential: Professional Development Workshop for Veterans and Military Spouses

Kennewick, WA., June 10, 2024

Are you a veteran or military spouse looking to advance your career? Join us on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM at WorkSource Columbia Basin, 815 N. Kellogg St. Suite D. Kennewick, WA 99336 for a dynamic workshop designed specifically for you! Federal Contractors at the Hanford site have identified a crucial gap: applicants fail to showcase their full skillset when applying for positions. We’re here to bridge that gap and help you stand out.

What You’ll Gain:

  1. Professional Development Insights: Understand what professional development truly means and how it can accelerate your career growth.
  2. Resource Navigation: Discover where to find valuable resources tailored to veterans and military spouses. From job boards to mentorship programs, we’ve got you covered.
  3. Translating Military Experience: Learn how to translate your military activities and achievements into civilian terms. We’ll demystify the jargon and highlight your unique strengths.
  4. Education Transfer: Find out how your military education and training can directly benefit your civilian career. Don’t let your qualifications go unnoticed!
  5. Effective Skills Communication: Master the art of communicating your skills to employers. Whether it’s in an interview, on your resume, or during networking events, we’ll equip you with the right strategies.

Your Path Forward:

  • Gap Analysis: Identify the gap between your current skillset and employer requirements. We’ll empower you to close that gap effectively.
  • Accelerated Employment: Our goal is simple—to help you secure employment faster than going it alone. Let’s build your pathway to success together.


Reserve your seat at www.WorkSourceWA.com or call us at 509.734.5900.

Attached Media Files: 2024-06/6679/172938/Vet_Professional_Development_WS_2.pdf , 2024-06/6679/172938/Vet_Professional_Development.jpg

College Place Public Schools Expands Mental Health Services
College Place Sch. Dist. - 06/12/24 10:12 AM

College Place Public Schools is enhancing its mental health services to better support students. Starting in the 2024-2025 school year, the district will add a full-time Licensed Mental Health Therapist and a second full-time school counselor at Davis Elementary School, following the successful addition of a second counselor at College Place High School.

Recent surveys by the Pew Research Center and the National Center for Education Statistics indicate that over 40% of students feel persistently sad or hopeless, with significant numbers considering or attempting suicide. This underscores the need for comprehensive mental health support in schools.

National Data supported the increase in services in College Place Public School:

  • Parental Concerns: A 2022 Pew survey found that 40% of parents are highly concerned about their children's anxiety or depression.
  • Positive Outcomes: Schools with mental health professionals see reduced disciplinary incidents and improved academic performance (Learning Policy Institute).
  • Positive School Climate: Comprehensive mental health programs foster positive relationships between students and staff, enhancing feelings of safety and connectedness (Learning Policy Institute).

Superintendent Jim Fry stated, "Student mental health has always been a priority in our schools, and with escalating needs, we must match these needs with supports and resources. We are confident that our plan to increase staffing and build on our systems will positively impact student success."

Implementing a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) that includes mental health services is crucial. MTSS frameworks provide a structured approach to support students at various levels of need, ensuring that all students receive the appropriate level of intervention. This system not only addresses immediate mental health concerns but also supports ongoing well-being through programs like social-emotional learning (SEL), fostering a positive school climate and enhancing student engagement.

These additional services will blend well with the district’s existing and planned multi-tiered system of support for enhanced academic, behavioral, and academic supports.  The District successfully implemented a Community Engagement Board in 2023-2024 to confront lagging districtwide attendance post-pandemic and saw a 13.5% improvement this school year.  It is also working on improved systems of behavioral support and accountability for the 2024-2025 school year.

White Swan Woman Pleads Guilty to Murder on the Yakama Nation
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 06/12/24 9:19 AM

Yakima, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Tahsheena Stacy Sam, 35, of White Swan, Washington, pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder in Indian Country for the murder of Destiny Lloyd, who was an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke accepted Sam’s guilty plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 17, 2024, in Yakima, Washington.

In the plea agreement accepted by the court, and in information disclosed during court proceedings, on December 25, 2017, the victim, Destiny Lloyd, who was 23 years old at the time, was socializing with a group of friends. The Defendant, whom Lloyd did not know, also joined the group.  

Later that evening, Sam, and others who were with her, decided to rob Ms. Lloyd. The group drove to an area near Harrah Road and Marion Drain Road on the Yakama Nation Indian Reservation.  There, money was forcibly taken from Lloyd, and Lloyd was then left on the side of the road.

After the assault, members of the group became concerned that Lloyd might report the incident. They then drove back to where they left her and used a flashlight to follow her tracks in the snow. Sam found Lloyd. She then obtained a large wrench from another member of the group and used the wrench to strike Lloyd several times on the head. Sam and the others left Lloyd’s body where it was discovered by a passing motorist a few days later. 

“My heart breaks for the victim and her family. Ms. Lloyd’s loss leaves a hole that cannot ever be filled,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “This case involved a lengthy investigation and witnesses that were not always forthcoming with law enforcement.  Yet, the FBI and Yakama Nation Tribal Police remained undeterred and continued investigating this case – following available leads, which ultimately led to Ms. Sam.  While federal law enforcement often is unable to disclose to the public each step in an investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s office, FBI, and Yakama Nation have remained committed to securing justice for victims of violent crime, including for Ms. Lloyd and her family. We work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to pursue those who cause harm in our community and to address the root causes leading to the crisis of murdered or missing Indigenous people.” 

“It is hard to comprehend the wanton violence of this case,” said Kelly M. Smith, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle field office. “I am grateful that Ms. Sam has now taken responsibility for her role in Ms. Lloyd’s tragic death. Now the process of healing can begin for the loved ones of the victim. The FBI will continue working to ensure the safety of our state’s reservations.”

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Yakama Nation Tribal Police. It has been prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Todd Swensen, Timothy J. Ohms, and Ian Garriques.

Charges remain pending for a co-defendant in this case. Those charges are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Tue. 06/11/24
Oregon State Police- Officer Involved Shooting- Lane County
Oregon State Police - 06/11/24 9:11 PM

Lane County, Ore. 11 June 24- Oregon State Police traffic stop ends in Officer Involved Shooting.

On Tuesday, June 11, 2024, at 4:26 p.m., an Oregon State Trooper conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of River Avenue and State Route 569 (Beltline Highway) in Eugene. During the encounter, the driver exited and attempted to obtain a firearm from the passenger side of the vehicle and a less lethal force option (Taser) was deployed but was not successful. The suspect did not comply with verbal commands and was able to obtain the firearm resulting in the trooper shooting the subject with his department-issued firearm. Emergency medical aid was immediately provided and medical personnel from Eugene-Springfield Fire Department responded; however, the subject was declared deceased at the scene. The trooper was not injured during the incident and has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation by the Lane County Inter-Agency Deadly Force Investigation Team (IDFIT).

Pursuant to the Lane County District Attorney’s Office Deadly Force Plan under Senate Bill 111 of the 2007 Oregon Legislative Session, IDFIT is conducting the investigation with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office assuming the primary role for this officer-involved shooting investigation.  IDFIT is comprised of investigators from the Oregon State Police, Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Eugene Police Department, Springfield Police Department, Cottage Grove Police Department, and Florence Police Department.  Any further information will be released by the Lane County District Attorney’s Office.

State Land Board Appoints Elliott State Research Forest Board of Directors
Oregon Dept. of State Lands - 06/11/24 4:49 PM

The new board will guide management of the nation’s largest research forest, shaping research, conservation, and economic outcomes

SALEM, Ore – The State Land Board today appointed the first voting members of the Elliott State Research Forest Board of Directors. 

The six ESRF Board members appointed are: 

  • Melissa Cribbins of Coos Bay.
  • Peter Hayes of Portland. 
  • Haley Lutz of Coos Bay. 
  • Mike Kennedy of Siletz. 
  • Bob Sallinger of Portland. 
  • Keith Tymchuk of Reedsport.

Brief biographies of the ESRF Board members are available here.

Many volunteer advisory group members have contributed to advancing and shaping the ESRF over the years, bringing diverse perspectives and commitment to the State Land Board’s vision of a research forest

“This has been a remarkable journey toward a remarkable research forest, one that simply would not have been possible without the effort, engagement, compromises, and determination of all those who volunteered their time on past advisory groups,” said Department of State Lands Director Vicki L. Walker. 

Appointment of the ESRF Board will continue to ensure accountability, transparency, and meaningful engagement in operation of the Elliott as a public research forest.  The ESRF Board will guide management of the research forest, with authority to shape research, conservation, economic and social outcomes of relevance at the local, statewide, national, and international level.

The ESRF Board will ultimately consist of seven or nine voting members appointed by the State Land Board and one nonvoting member designated by the ESRF’s lead research entity. DSL will bring additional candidates forward for consideration at a future State Land Board meeting, with the goal of adding additional experience and expertise in areas of forest products or timber operations, research science or research forest management, and Indigenous interests.

The ESRF Board is anticipated to begin meeting later this month. Join DSL’s Elliott State Research Forest email list to receive meeting notices and other research forest updates.

About the ESRF Board of Directors: In April 2024, the State Land Board approved a research forest oversight structure that includes appointment of an ESRF Board of Directors. This oversight structure included the creation of a new ESRF Board of Directors that will: 

  • Provide advice and make recommendations to the Department regarding planning, operational implementation, fiscal and budgetary matters, research and management, reports, and other matters relevant to the effective administration and oversight of the ESRF.
  • Review materials presented by the Department as well as public input, and advance ESRF oversight, advice, and recommendations in a manner that strives to ensure consistency with the ESRF's foundational direction and documents.

About the State Land Board and the Department of State Lands: The State Land Board consists of Governor Tina Kotek, Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade and State Treasurer Tobias Read. Established by the Oregon Constitution in 1859, the Land Board oversees the state’s Common School Fund. The Department of State Lands is the Land Board’s administrative agency, managing the lands and resources that help fund Oregon’s public schools and protecting the state’s waterways and wetlands for the many benefits they provide.




OHA supporting LGBTQIA2S+ youth with list of summer resources
Oregon Health Authority - 06/11/24 4:05 PM

June 11, 2024

Media contacts: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA supporting LGBTQIA2S+ youth with list of summer resources

Agency reaffirms commitment to queer young people as school year ends

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is reaffirming its commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, two-spirit, questioning and (+) (LGBTQIA2S+) youth by sharing resources to promote their well-being, safety, security and inclusion.

“It’s so important that youth have access to the supports from families and community organizations that celebrate the rich diversity of their identities,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA.

Since 2022, OHA has celebrated gender and sexual orientation diversity by highlighting resources available to LGBTQIA2S+ youth during summer. These months can be a challenging time for queer youth and their families as many supports they have access to during the school year are no longer available.

June also happens to be Pride month, Sidelinger noted, when OHA and its public health partners “lift up and celebrate these diverse identities and show our support for LGBTQIA2S+ youth, families and organizations.”

Communities, families and trusted adults play a critical role in contributing to and supporting their LGBTQIA2S+ children’s well-being. Families protect LGBTQIA2S+ young people against potential suicidal behavior, depression and substance use when they promote self-esteem, overall health and strong, affirming relationships.

Many local, state and national resources are available for LGBTQIA2S+ youth and families to help them thrive as summer kicks off:

  • The Oregon Youth Resource Map is designed to help young people ages 16-25 and their allies connect to youth-serving resources, organizations and leadership opportunities. The map centers youth needs and voices, and includes services for health and mental health care, housing, education and more.
  • TransActive Gender Project at Lewis & Clark Graduate School works to empower transgender and gender-expansive children, youth and their families in living healthy lives free of discrimination through a range of services and expertise.
  • PFLAG offers quick tips to parents and caregivers for supporting their LGBTQIA2S+ children during the coming-out process. PFLAG also has eight chapters in Oregon, including in eastern, southern and central Oregon, and the Portland metro area.
  • The Family Acceptance Project works to increase family and community support for LGBTQIA2S+ youth, decrease health and mental health risks, and promote well-being. An Oregon page also is available.
  • The Trevor Project promotes suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQIA2S+ young people. Public education materials are available on its website, as well as the results of its 2024 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People.
  • Outside In (Portland) welcomes and encourages all from the LGBTQIA2S+ community to connect, feel seen and heard, and provides free resources such as counseling, medical services and wraparound support for homeless youth and other marginalized people who meet diagnostic criteria. Call 503-535-3828.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a number of professional development resources to help teachers and school staff create safe schools for LGBTQIA2S+ youth.
  • The Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity at the University of Maryland addresses disparities in mental health and substance use disorder treatment systems that affect the LGBTQIA2S+ community. The center published a short video last year on basic terminology that is important for people to know when working with those of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities.
  • New Avenues for Youth’s Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Center provides culturally specific support for LGBTQIA2S+ youth.
  • The Next Door provides youth outreach in schools, life skills training and mentoring programs such as Gorge Youth Mentoring. It supports a youth advisory council, gender-affirming locker rooms and, in partnership with Columbia Gorge Pride Alliance, promotes 30 Days of Gay events as part of Pride month in June.
  • Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living (EOCIL) provides safe spaces, community building and empowerment for two-spirit and LGBTQIA+ communities, with and without disabilities, and allies in 13 eastern Oregon counties. As one of the largest and oldest two-spirit and LGBTQIA+ service providers and employers in eastern Oregon, EOCIL proudly serves the two-spirit and LGBTQIA+ communities of Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler counties.
  • The Rogue Action Center is a diverse network of LGBTQ+ community members and groups in Josephine and Jackson counties that build community, shift policy and build power, help folks navigate resources and close gaps to accessing basic needs, and lift up leadership in our communities.

OHA works with other state agencies, counties, Tribal nations, communities and advocacy groups across the state to ensure youth in Oregon have access to support and services, including offering links and contact information to help lines and other resources:

  • The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, available 24/7, is for people in any type of behavioral health crisis, such as mental health-related distress, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, or a substance use crisis. People can get help by calling 988, texting 988 or chatting online at 988Lifeline.org.
  • 988 offers specialized support for LGBTQIA2S+ youth and young adults by calling 988 and pressing 3 or texting “PRIDE” to 988.
  • Oregon Alliance to Prevent Suicide is dedicated to preventing youth and young adults in Oregon from dying by suicide.
  • Oregon LGBTQ Support, from Oregon LGBTQ Youth & Family Resources, lists resources that focus on providing services and support to reduce mental health risks and promote well-being for LGBTQ young people.
  • Oregon YouthLine for teen-to-teen support. A 24/7 phone line and texting support are available where trained youth respond from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Pacific Time, daily (adults available by phone at all other times).
    • Call 1-877-968-8491
    • Text teen2teen to 839863

# # #

Sureno Gang Member Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Murder on Yakama Nation Indian Reservation
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 06/11/24 2:09 PM

Yakima, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Jaime Herrera, age 29, of Granger, Washington, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Second-Degree Murder in Indian Country and one count of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Indian Country. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke imposed a sentence of 360-month imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Judge Dimke imposed the 360-month sentence to run consecutively to a 240-month sentence for another murder Herrera committed in Yakima County. Herrera will serve a total of 600 months – or 50 years – in prison.

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, on July 19, 2017, around 3:15 a.m., Herrera, who is a Sureno gang member and not affiliated with the Yakama Nation, was driving his SUV and pulled up alongside two men walking on the road between Garfield Elementary School and Garfield Park, in Toppenish, Washington, within the external boundaries of the Yakama Nation Indian Reservation. Herrera accused the pair of being traitors to the gang, pulled out a rifle and killed one of the men – an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation. The second man – who survived the shooting – is an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe. 

While the investigation into the murder was ongoing, Herrera committed a second, unrelated homicide in the Yakima Valley – arranging an ambush and ultimately shooting the victim. Herrera was arrested shortly after the second murder, pleaded guilty in Washington State Court, and was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment in that case. 

“The victim in this case was a son, a brother, and a new father – his daughter, a toddler at the time of his death, is growing up without a father because of Mr. Herrera’s senseless act of violence. While even the lengthy sentence in this case cannot substitute for the tragic loss of life, today’s sentence demonstrates that those who victimize members of our community – and in particular persons who enter Tribal communities to commit violence– will be held accountable,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “As a result of today’s sentence, the Eastern District of Washington is safer and more secure. I am grateful for the dedication of the FBI and the Yakama Nation who worked closely with prosecutors in my office to hold a double murderer accountable for his actions.” 

“Senseless is the only word to describe this crime.” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “The violence Mr. Herrera displayed in this case, and subsequently in a separate case, indicates prison is where he belongs. I applaud the work of our investigators and partners who work so hard to make our state’s reservations safe for the people who live on them.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit Justice.gov/PSN.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Yakama Nation Tribal Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Earl Hicks and Michael Ellis. 

Yakima Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Federal Prison on Drug Trafficking Charges
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 06/11/24 1:33 PM

Yakima, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Jacob Rodney Penny, age 44, of Yakima, Washington, was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute 400 Grams or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing a Detectable Amount of Fentanyl and one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke imposed a sentence of 192 months imprisonment to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, on May 13, 2022, the victim of a residential burglary saw a Craigslist Ad for ski equipment that matched items that had been stolen. Law enforcement contacted the seller and asked to purchase the skis. After agreeing to price, the seller said his friend would deliver the skis to the Wolf Den in Wapato, Washington and would be driving a newer white Chevy Tahoe. At the arranged time, Penny arrived at the location, driving a white Tahoe. Law enforcement conducted a traffic stop and detained Penny, who told investigators he knew he was being detained because of the “stupid skis.” Penny also stated he was making the delivery because the skis did not fit in his friend’s vehicle. 

Law enforcement executed a search warrant on the Tahoe, locating four large bags that contained hundreds of fentanyl pills, two smaller bags containing between 100 and 200 fentanyl pills each, a small quantity of methamphetamine, a scale with drug residue, two 9mm pistols, and $2,600 in cash. 

“I am grateful for the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office for their tremendous investigation in this case.  What began as an investigation into a set of stolen skis, led to the discovery of deadly fentanyl, which could have claimed the lives of those, who call the Yakima Valley home,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “My office, working with our law enforcement partners, are committed to stopping the spread of illicit narcotics in Eastern Washington. By working together, we can make our communities safer and stronger for everyone.” 

“Sometimes an unexpected break leads to success,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “In this case, a property crime led to sending a drug trafficker to federal prison. The FBI and our partners will continue working to keep these dangerous drugs off the streets and out of our communities.”

This case was investigated by the FBI. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Hanlon. 

Kid- and Family-friendly TRACK Trails opening in Northeastern Oregon (Photo)
Oregon Parks Forever - 06/11/24 12:34 PM

Portland, OR , June 11, 2024 –Kids in Parks (www.kidsinparks.com) is pleased to announce the grand openings of 4 new kid- and family-friendly trails in Pendleton (on June 18), Hermiston, Boardman and the McNary Dam (on June 22nd).  With funding assistance provided by the Wildhorse Foundation and Oregon Parks Forever, the new educational trails offer a series of educational activities designed to engage kids and families with the sites’ natural resources. 

TRACK Trails are a type of environmental scavenger hunt for young children and their families to get unplugged and active outdoors, offering a series of self-guided activities that turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled, discovery-packed adventure. At the TRACK Trail’s trailhead, four brochure-led activities are available that help kids learn about topics such as flowers, trees, insects, salmon, and birds.

Kids who participate in the program can register their TRACK Trail adventures at www.KidsInParks.com to earn a series of prizes designed to make their next outdoor adventure even more fun and meaningful. 

These new TRACK Trails, as well as one that opens June 16th at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, are joining a network of more than 288 TRACK Trail sites in 18 states and Washington, D.C. Collectively, these sites are working across state and agency boundaries to create a national network of trails that get kids excited about spending time in nature. Over the past decade, kids have completed more than 1-million adventures on TRACK Trails.

The trails will be located at Community Park in Pendleton, Riverfront Park in Hermiston, the Riverwalk in Boardman, and at the McNary Dam.

“With each of our TRACK Trails, we hope to engage children in the joys of outdoor exploration,” said Jason Urroz, director of Kids in Parks. “Our ultimate goal is to provide families with fun activities that help them fall in love with nature, discover the value our parks and public lands hold for their lives, and become future stewards of these magnificent places.”

These trails will bring the count of TRACK Trails in Oregon to 19 toward Oregon Parks Forever’s goal of funding 50 TRACK Trails across the state of Oregon. These sites join trails previously established in LaGrande (2), Madras (2), Prineville (3), Estacada (4), Dallas (2), and Newport (2). This statewide network will allow families to travel around the state, learning about Oregon’s amazing natural, cultural, and historic resources.

“We are very excited to add to the growing network of TRACK Trail locations in Oregon,” said Seth Miller, executive director of Oregon Parks Forever. “Our mission is to enhance the experience and accessibility of Oregon’s Parks & Forests, and this is an important project for us.  We hope these trails will allow young kids and their families to get unplugged and active outdoors, and inspire them to become stewards of our public lands”

To learn more about TRACK Trails visit www.kidsinparks.com

To learn more about Oregon Parks Forever visit www.orparksforever.org


Attached Media Files: 2024-06/6096/172945/Track_Trails_Logo.JPG

Drivers encouraged to review auto coverage, practice safe driving habits (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services - 06/11/24 8:35 AM

Salem – Summertime usually means vacations and road trips. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR), now is a good time for a little planning and some safety checks that might spare you from dealing with the consequences of a breakdown – or worse, a highway crash. 

DFR reminds Oregonians of safe driving tips and to check with your insurance agent or company to review your insurance policies. With changes in driving patterns and potential risks during the summer, it is crucial for drivers to understand policy limits and coverages. DFR encourages drivers to have a conversation with their agent or insurance company to explore coverage options and ensure policies are up to date.

Also, it is a good time to ensure vehicles are in good working order by reviewing the following:

Air conditioning: As the temperature rises, your A/C works harder to keep your vehicle cool. Check A/C performance before traveling and don’t forget to check your cabin air filter. A lack of air conditioning on a hot summer day affects everyone and is particularly dangerous for people in poor health or who are sensitive to heat, such as children and older adults.

Belts and hoses: To ensure safe and uninterrupted travel, drivers should regularly inspect their vehicle's belts and hoses. High summer temperatures accelerate the rate at which rubber belts and hoses degrade. Look under the hood and inspect all belts and hoses to make sure there are no signs of bulges, blisters, cracks, or cuts in the rubber. It’s best to replace them now if they show signs of obvious wear. Also, make sure all hose connections are secure.

Tires: Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is listed in your owner’s manual and on a placard located on the driver’s door pillar or door frame, and don’t forget to check your spare if your vehicle is equipped with one. To get an accurate reading, check pressure when tires are cold, meaning they have not been driven on for at least three hours. Do not inflate your tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself – that number is the maximum pressure the tire can hold, not the recommended pressure for your vehicle. A tire doesn’t have to be punctured to lose air. All tires naturally lose some air over time. In fact, underinflation is the leading cause of tire failure.

Some other tips: 

  • Inspect your tires at least once a month and before long road trips. 
  • Look closely at your tread and replace tires that have uneven wear or insufficient tread. 
  • Tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch or more on all tires. Look for the built-in wear bar indicators or use the penny test to determine when it is time to replace your tires. Place a penny in the tread with Lincoln's head upside down. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, your vehicle may need new tires.
  • If you find uneven wear across the tires’ tread, it means your tires need to be rotated, your wheels need to be aligned, or both before you travel. 
  • Check each tire’s age. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing tires every six years, regardless of use.
  • Since electric vehicles are typically heavier than gas-powered vehicles, they require EV-specific tires to bear the weight and maximize performance and electric range, all while minimizing tire noise. Whether the vehicle is gas-powered, electric-powered, or a hybrid, all tires require similar maintenance. Low-rolling-resistance tires for conventional vehicles could also have lower tread life. 

An inspection is not just about checking tire pressure and age. Remember to check: 

  • For any damage or conditions that may need attention.
  • The tread and sidewalls for any cuts, punctures, bulges, scrapes, cracks, or bumps.
  • Your spare tire and car jack kit. 
  • If you find tire damage, take your vehicle to a tire professional. 

Essential vehicle components: Regular maintenance of essential vehicle components is vital to ensure a safe and reliable driving experience. Drivers should regularly check vehicle fluid levels, including engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Also, inspect the cooling system, batteries, and wiper blades to avoid potential breakdowns and maintain clear visibility. It is important to make sure your headlines, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights are all in working order as well.

Essential supplies: In preparation for long journeys or unexpected situations, it is essential for drivers to stock their vehicle with necessary supplies. DFR suggests including items such as a first-aid kit, flashlight, extra water, nonperishable snacks, a roadside emergency kit that includes jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, work gloves, a change of clothes, emergency blankets, towels, and coats. These supplies can be invaluable during emergencies or when stranded on the road. In addition, make sure to have a charged portable cell phone charger, extra windshield washer fluid, and maps.

“We encourage all drivers to prioritize safety during the summer season by following these essential tips,” said Andrew R. Stolfi, insurance commissioner and director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “By practicing responsible driving habits and taking proactive measures, we can collectively contribute to safer roads and a more enjoyable driving experience for everyone. In addition to taking safety measures, and before hitting the road, drivers should make sure their auto insurance coverages are updated and their current proof of insurance is in the vehicle.”

ODOT has published its summer news packet that has a lot of information for people traveling around the state with construction updates, travel tips, and more. ODOT also recommends people check out www.tripcheck.com for road conditions before making any road trip.


About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation protects consumers and regulates insurance, depository institutions, trust companies, securities, and consumer financial products and services. The division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency. Visit dfr.oregon.gov and dcbs.oregon.gov.

Attached Media Files: 2024-06/1073/172934/DFR-logo-blue.jpg

Mon. 06/10/24
Fatal Crash - HWY 230 - Douglas County
Oregon State Police - 06/10/24 4:04 PM

Douglas County, Ore. 9 June 24- On Sunday, June 9, 2024, at 8:00 a.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Hwy-230, near milepost 10, in Douglas County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a southbound Ford F150, operated by Jason Michael Ettenberger (24) of Portland, went off the southbound shoulder of the roadway on a lefthand turn. The Ford overcorrected back across the roadway before rolling several times down an embankment and coming to rest on its passenger side. During the rolling event, the passenger in the vehicle was ejected.

The passenger, Austin Cordell Belford (31) of Eagle Point, was declared deceased at the scene. The passenger did not appear to have worn a seatbelt during the crash.

The operator of the vehicle (Ettenberger) suffered injury and was transported to an area hospital.

The highway was impacted for approximately 4.5 hours during the on-scene investigation. Speed and occupant safety (seatbelt) are considered the primary causes of the crash.

OSP was assisted by Diamond Lake Resort First Responders, Umpqua Valley Ambulance, and ODOT.


# # #

About the Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) is a multi-disciplined organization that is charged with protecting the people, wildlife, and natural resources in Oregon. OSP enforces traffic laws on the state’s roadways, investigates and solves crime, conducts postmortem examinations and forensic analysis, and provides background checks, and law enforcement data. The agency regulates gaming and enforces fish, wildlife, and natural resource laws. OSP is comprised of more than 1,400 staff members – including troopers, investigators, and professional staff – who provide a full range of policing and public safety services to Oregon and other law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon.


Fatal Crash- HWY 224- Clackamas County
Oregon State Police - 06/10/24 3:50 PM

Clackamas County, Ore. 9 June 24- On Sunday, June 9, 2024, at 2:46 p.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Hwy-224, near milepost 16, in Clackamas County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a westbound Chevy 1500 pickup, operated by Jose Luis Arce Tamayo (51) of Portland, left the roadway and struck a telephone pole on the north side of the highway.

A passenger in the Chevy, Rosa Delgado Perez (49) of Portland, was declared deceased at the scene.

The operator of the Chevy (Tamayo) was seriously injured and transported to an area hospital.

The highway was impacted for approximately 4.5 hours during the on-scene investigation. The cause of the crash is ongoing however, impairment is the suspected cause of the crash.

OSP was assisted by Clackamas County Fire, Wilsonville Police Department, and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

# # #

About the Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) is a multi-disciplined organization that is charged with protecting the people, wildlife, and natural resources in Oregon. OSP enforces traffic laws on the state’s roadways, investigates and solves crime, conducts postmortem examinations and forensic analysis, and provides background checks, and law enforcement data. The agency regulates gaming and enforces fish, wildlife, and natural resource laws. OSP is comprised of more than 1,400 staff members – including troopers, investigators, and professional staff – who provide a full range of policing and public safety services to Oregon and other law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon.

Gresham Man Caught Selling Drugs to Minors Online Faces Federal Charges
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 06/10/24 3:38 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Gresham, Oregon man is facing federal charges today after he was caught using Telegram, an encrypted messaging service, to sell various controlled substances to minors.

Timothy Jeffrey Monahan, 31, has been charged by criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

“Drug trafficking has had an alarming impact on children in our communities. We thank the FBI, Clackamas County Interagency Task Force, and all our law enforcement partners for their continued focus on holding accountable individuals that target children,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

According to court documents, early in 2024, law enforcement obtained information that an individual, later determined to be Monahan, was allegedly using Telegram to advertise the sale of various illegal narcotics including cocaine, LSD, ketamine, DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, and various marijuana and vaping products. Monahan is alleged to have used the Telegram usernames “Thepdxyokai” and “Yokai” to advertise and broker the sale of narcotics and used an adult drug runner to deliver the drugs to customers on his behalf. 

On June 7, 2024, investigators executed federal search warrants on Monahan’s residence and vehicle wherein they located and seized quantities of cocaine and psilocybin mushrooms, two loaded firearms, drug packaging materials and scales, and more than $106,000 in cash. After he was placed under arrest, Monahan admitted to operating the Telegram accounts located by investigators to sell narcotics to a customer based composed mostly of minors. Monahan further admitted to trading controlled substances in exchange for sex acts or sexually explicit photos from his customers.

Monahan made his first appearance in federal court today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge and was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force (CCITF). It is being prosecuted by Scott M. Kerin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

CCITF, led by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, works to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations operating in and around Clackamas County, and reduce illegal drugs and related crimes throughout the community. The task force is comprised of members of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Canby Police Department, Oregon State Police, FBI, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). CCITF is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program.

The Oregon-Idaho HIDTA program is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sponsored counterdrug grant program that coordinates with and provides funding resources to multi-agency drug enforcement initiatives.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Fatal Crash- HWY 6- Washington County
Oregon State Police - 06/10/24 2:12 PM

Washington County, Ore. 7 June 24- On Friday, June 7, 2024, at 12:50 p.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Hwy 6, near milepost 33, in Washington County.

The preliminary investigation indicated an eastbound Toyota Camry, operated by Karl Gordon Peters (67) of Forest Grove, drove onto the eastbound gravel shoulder for unknown reasons, crossed back across the lanes of travel into the westbound guardrail, and rolled over the guardrail before coming to rest on its roof.

The operator (Peters) was declared deceased at the scene.

The highway was impacted for 5 hours during the on-scene investigation.

OSP was assisted by the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Banks Fire, and ODOT.


# # #

About the Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) is a multi-disciplined organization that is charged with protecting the people, wildlife, and natural resources in Oregon. OSP enforces traffic laws on the state’s roadways, investigates and solves crime, conducts postmortem examinations and forensic analysis, and provides background checks, and law enforcement data. The agency regulates gaming and enforces fish, wildlife, and natural resource laws. OSP is comprised of more than 1,400 staff members – including troopers, investigators, and professional staff – who provide a full range of policing and public safety services to Oregon and other law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon.

Fatal Crash- HWY 97 - Deschutes County
Oregon State Police - 06/10/24 2:03 PM

Deschutes County, Ore. 7 June 24- On Friday, June 7, 2024, at 8:24 a.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Hwy-97, near milepost 158, in Deschutes County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a northbound Toyota Tacoma, operated by Robert Patrick Conway (53) of Crescent, drifted off the northbound shoulder or the highway for unknow reasons. The Toyota continued down the shoulder, struck a roadway sign, struck several trees, and rolled onto it's roof.

The operator of the Toyota (Conway) was declared deceased at the scene.

The highway was not impacted during the on-scene investigation.

OSP was assisted by Deschutes Fire, Sunriver Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, and ODOT.


# # #

About the Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) is a multi-disciplined organization that is charged with protecting the people, wildlife, and natural resources in Oregon. OSP enforces traffic laws on the state’s roadways, investigates and solves crime, conducts postmortem examinations and forensic analysis, and provides background checks, and law enforcement data. The agency regulates gaming and enforces fish, wildlife, and natural resource laws. OSP is comprised of more than 1,400 staff members – including troopers, investigators, and professional staff – who provide a full range of policing and public safety services to Oregon and other law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon.

Dive into Summer and Meet New Library Mascot on Saturday (Photo)
City of Richland - 06/10/24 1:49 PM

Celebrate the start of summer at the second annual Dive into Summer event in Richland on Saturday, June 15. This celebration combines all the fun the season offers, like recreation, music, book challenges, crafts, big rigs, and information on community-wide activities throughout the summer.

Start the afternoon with a one-dollar ($1) swim session at 1:30 p.m. or the second session at 3:45 p.m. at George Prout Pool, 1005 Swift Boulevard. The festivities move to John Dam Plaza where the band, Groove Principal, (comprised of local school educators) sponsored by the Friends of the Richland Public Library, will provide fun, family entertainment from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. There will be food and beverage vendors, over 11 partner organizations showcasing their summer activities, lawn games hosted by Richland Parks and Recreation, an all-age summer reading program registration, and much more. 

You will not want to miss the exciting announcement and entrance of the long-anticipated library mascot who will emerge at 7:00 p.m.  

John Dam Plaza is located at 815 George Washington Way. This evening event is free.

Attached Media Files: 2024-06/5957/172919/DiveIntoSummer_FBCoverPhoto.png

Outbuilding fire Deschutes Market Rd 6-10-24 (Photo)
Bend Fire & Rescue - 06/10/24 1:33 PM

Bend Fire Department was dispatched to a reported outbuilding on fire on Deschutes Market Rd just north of the city limits at 9:12 this morning. Callers indicated the fire was spreading to out buildings and brush. The outbuilding was being used as a residence for one adult occupant. Occupants from the main home were using garden hoses to help prevent the spread when crews arrived. The fire was quickly stopped by the first arriving fire crews. No one was home in this building at the time of the fire, the occupant was at work and came back when he heard of the fire. 

The fire appears to be caused by an electrical failure in the outbuilding. Power was run to the 12 by 12 building with an extension cord. Due to the fire damage the exact failure point was not determined. The fire consumed the outbuilding and car next to it. The fire spread to adjacent outbuildings but only caused exterior damage to them. Total loss is approximately $25,000. Red Cross was called to assist the adult occupant who lost his home and all belongings in the fire. 

Bend Fire Department reminds everyone to have working smoke alarms in their homes, whether it’s a tiny home, main house or RV. Smoke alarms more than double your chances of surviving a fire with their quick notification especially with the increased speed at which items burn in a home now. For assistance with your smoke alarms call our main number to set up a visit, 541-322-6300. www.bendoregon.gov/smokealarms 

National statics show that a house fire 40 years ago took up to 20 minutes to consume a room during the early stages of a fire and that same room today with modern furniture and decorations takes less than 5 minutes to burn. https://www.nfpa.org/news-blogs-and-articles/nfpa-journal/2021/06/08/1700

Attached Media Files: 2024-06/6802/172918/IMG_8897.JPG

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington Commemorates LGBTQ+ Pride Month
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 06/10/24 1:28 PM

Spokane, Washington - For the month of June, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington (EDWA) will honor the vast contributions and important history of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community during LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

The first presidential proclamation recognizing Pride Month occurred in 1999. On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 13988, directing the heads of every federal agency to take steps to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, both in the federal government itself and in its enforcement of anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII.

“The enforcement and defense of civil rights for everyone is at the core of the Justice Department’s mission. My office is committed to protecting the rights of all individuals to live free from discrimination and persecution based on who they are or whom they love,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “The members of the LGBTQ+ community are our families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We recognize their past struggles to receive equal treatment under the law and will support and defend their efforts to secure justice now and in the future.

In 1969, after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City, members of the LGBTQ+ community engaged in several days of protest of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. The following year, activists organized the first annual Pride March on June 28, 1970, a several-thousand-person march from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park commemorating the riots and protesting discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. Although not the first demonstration against LGBTQ+ discrimination, that Pride March marked the beginning of the galvanizing force that became a national civil rights movement to demand equal rights and protections for LGBTQ+ citizens under the law, ultimately culminating in the creation of the first gay pride parades in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco. Since 1970, the LGBTQ+ community has celebrated every June as Pride Month and held annual Pride Marches in a growing number of cities, including internationally.

On June 8, 2024, Members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington joined with hundreds of others by marching in the Spokane Pride Parade. U.S. Attorney Waldref added, “This was the first time my office joined to march in the Spokane Pride Parade. It is an honor to lead an office committed to enforcing civil rights and ensuring liberty and justice for all.”