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Eugene/Spring/Rose/Alb/Corv News Releases for Tue. Jan. 31 - 5:50 pm
Tue. 01/31/23
Traffic Team to focus on seat belt use awareness
Salem Police Department - 01/31/23 3:29 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: January 31, 2023

Traffic Team to focus on seat belt use awareness

Salem, Ore. — The Salem Police Traffic Team and other law enforcement agencies across the state are focusing of safety education to save lives through the nationally-recognized Click It or Ticket campaign. The safety effort helps bring awareness to drivers and their passengers on the importance of seat belt use to prevent injuries and fatalities in traffic collisions.

“It’s important to take the time to make sure you and your passengers are secure before turning on the ignition to go,” said Lieutenant Michael Bennett who oversees the Traffic Team. “And let’s not forget the kids. Proper use of child safety seats is important.”

The Salem Police Traffic Team also offers assistance with child car seat installation. Several team members and staff are certified technicians. Added Bennett, “If parents, grandparents, or even caregivers, need a little help with proper fit or installation of a car seat, we encourage them to call us to make an appointment.” 

Keeping our city streets safe for pedestrians, bicyclists, as well as motorists and passengers, is an essential component of the Salem Police Department’s 2022-2024 Strategic Plan under the priority area of Safety. The Click It or Ticket campaign and other awareness efforts done by the Traffic Team throughout the year help the department take a comprehensive approach to reducing fatal and injury collisions, as well as increasing community education and outreach.

The focused-enforcement campaign, funded by federal grant monies through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, started Monday, January 30 and runs through February 12.

To make an appointment to have a child safety seat checked, please contact the Salem Police Traffic Team at 503-588-6293. 

Learn more about the work done by the Salem Police Traffic Team in 2022.

# # #

OHCS Director Andrea Bell elevates Governor Kotek's proposed housing investments as a collective path forward
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 01/31/23 3:01 PM

SALEM, Ore. — OHCS Executive Director Andrea Bell released the following statement to commend Gov. Tina Kotek for her mission-focused budget recommendation investments in housing:  

“In her first day of office, Gov. Kotek took swift action to pursue progress on issues of shared concern across the state,” Bell said. “Today, the governor released her budget, which lays out the path forward to meet our state’s greatest housing challenges not only for the year ahead, but for years to come.  

“As we are in community with our partners, we continue to see leaders relentlessly working toward meaningful change that will be felt in the lives of the people they serve. We know the way forward will require all of us and investments at the scale needed to tackle these important issues. For what we know is that our economies and our communities are stronger when all people have access to their basic needs to which housing is fundamental. 

“We know budgets are moral documents and today marks an important day. I am grateful to Gov. Kotek for having the foresight to call for sizeable investments in housing and homelessness solutions. Our state is at an inflection point. Oregonians across the state have increasingly called for more affordable housing. The Governor’s Recommended Budget reflects this priority to increase housing options and access to homeownership not just with words but with action. The work ahead requires statewide galvanization, and we invite you to be part of it.” 

About Oregon Housing and Community Services

Oregon Housing and Community Services provides resources for Oregonians to reduce poverty and increase access to stable housing. Our intentional focus on both housing and community services allows us to serve Oregonians holistically across the housing continuum, including preventing and ending homelessness, assisting with utilities, providing housing stability support, financing multifamily affordable housing and encouraging homeownership.



Fatal Crash - HWY 86 - Baker County
Oregon State Police - 01/31/23 1:57 PM

Correction: This crash occurred on January 30.

On Monday, January 30, 2023, at approximately 4:33 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 86, near milepost 57, in Baker County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a 2015 Ford Edge, operated by Amber Hampton (30) of Halfway, failed to negotiate a curve and crashed into a rock feature. The operator, who was the solo occupant, was ejected from the vehicle during the crash. The highway was closed and the operator was transported to a hospital via Lifeflight. The operator was later pronounced deceased at the hospital. The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.


The Highway was closed for approximately five hours during the course of the investigation.


OSP was assisted by the Baker County Sheriffs' Office, Halfway Rural Ambulance, and ODOT.

Fatal Crash - HWY 18 - Yamhill County
Oregon State Police - 01/31/23 1:55 PM

On Monday, January 30, 2023, at approximately 4:25 P.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a two vehicle crash on Hwy 18, near milepost 52, in Yamhill County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a gray 2003 Dodge Durango, operated by Eric Hall (52) of Newberg, was traveling westbound on HWY 18 when, for unknown reasons, the Durango crossed into the oncoming lane, hitting an eastbound Freightliner tractor-trailer, operated by David Ambriz Jacuinde (34) of Woodburn, head-on. Hall suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Jacuinde was uninjured during the collision.


The roadway was closed for approximately 4 hours during the on-scene investigation.  The cause of the crash is still being investigated.


OSP was assisted by the Yamhill County Sheriffs' Office, McMinnville Fire, and ODOT.

Linn County Sheriff's Office Investigates Fatal Crash Near Lyons
Linn County Sheriff's Office - 01/31/23 1:21 PM

Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan reports on January 30, 2023, at 3:10 p.m., Linn County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call reporting a crash on Lyons-Mill City Drive near the intersection of Mowitch Street outside of Lyons. The caller reported hearing a loud collision and thought a crash occurred.

Deputies arrived minutes later and found two vehicles collided and one of the drivers was unresponsive. The investigation revealed Jesse Guzman, 23, of Stayton, was traveling east on Lyons-Mill City Drive in his 1995 Dodge Intrepid when he crossed into the opposite lane of travel, hitting an oncoming 2013 Honda Civic. Both occupants of the Honda were transported to Salem Hospital with serious injuries. Guzman, the unresponsive driver, was pronounced deceased on scene. It is unknown what caused Guzman to leave his lane of travel. The investigation is ongoing.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Lyons Fire Department and the Linn County Medical Examiner’s Office. 

Law Enforcement agencies throughout Linn County responded to multiple fatal crashes yesterday impacting a significant amount of family, friends and community members. Our thoughts are with all those who suffer in the loss of those close to them. The Linn County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone to drive with care. Any reckless behavior will be investigated fully and those committing criminal acts will be held accountable. 

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council to hold a special meeting
Oregon Health Authority - 01/31/23 12:08 PM

January 31, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,


Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council to hold a special meeting

What: Public meetings of the Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council.

Agenda: Topics covered include an update on Access to Care data reporting and the Secretary of State’s recent audit of Measure 110. A final agenda will be posted on the Oversight and Accountability Council web page prior to the meeting.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 1 from 1:30 to 3:30

Where: Virtual. You Tube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJcTWLMzkNk

Purpose: The Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) oversees the establishment of Behavioral Health Resource Networks throughout Oregon.

Read more about the OAC. Read more about Measure 110.

Questions? Contact e110@dhsoha.state.or.us">OHA.Measure110@dhsoha.state.or.us

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Jessica Carroll at 503-580-9883, 711 TTY or roll@dhsoha.state.or.us">jessica.a.carroll@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.


LCSO Case #23-0615 -- Man arrested for assault with a frying pan
Lane Co. Sheriff's Office - 01/31/23 11:53 AM

On 01/30/2023 at approximately 7:33pm, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received multiple calls about a dispute in the 11700blk of Maple Ave. in Mapleton.  One caller mentioned they overheard what sounded like gunshots during the dispute. 

Deputies arrived and contacted 23-year-old Steen Joseph Hardt.  Hardt stated he had been in a dispute with his father and struck him in the head with a frying pan and replica firearm.  Deputies found a man inside the residence with a laceration on his head consistent with being struck by an object.  Deputies located evidence of the assault including a broken cast-iron frying pan and broken replica firearm. There was no evidence of a firearm being discharged during the dispute. 

The victim was transported to an area hospital.  Hardt was taken into custody and lodged at the Lane County Jail on charges including Assault in the Second Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.   

Nine Legislators form first-ever Oregon Arts and Cultural Caucus; Public launch event scheduled for Monday, Feb. 27 (Photo)
Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus - 01/31/23 11:17 AM
Harlen Springer, vice chair of the Oregon Arts Commission
Harlen Springer, vice chair of the Oregon Arts Commission

Salem, Oregon – Recognizing the vital role arts and culture play in the livability and prosperity of Oregon communities – and in enriching the lives of Oregonians – nine members of the Oregon Legislature have come together in a bi-partisan fashion to form the state’s first-ever Arts and Culture Caucus. The public is invited to meet Caucus members at a launch event scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem.

Coordinated by Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland), the Arts and Culture Caucus’ inaugural membership includes Sen. Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City); Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas); Rep. Maxine Dexter (D-Portland); Rep. David Gomberg (D-Otis); Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena); Rep. John Lively (D-Springfield); Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland); and Sen. Deb Patterson (D-Salem). Caucus membership is expected to expand. 

“Arts and culture are so important to Oregon,” said Rep. Nosse. “All around our state, every day there are concerts, comedy events, public hearings, podcasts, theatrical performances, debates and community events that bring the people of our state together. We must support the cultural and community hubs in our neighborhoods and I hope this caucus will continue to ensure arts and culture thrive in this state.” 

The Caucus will serve as a resource to the Oregon Legislature on key issues impacting the arts and culture sector. Its members will work closely with stakeholders including the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Cultural Trust (and its Statewide Partners) and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon to stay informed on the latest research and issues. It will also set an agenda on priorities for arts and culture legislation, including a sustainable and robust funding mechanism for arts and cultural initiatives.

Rep. Nosse and other members of the Caucus were instrumental in designating more than $100 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds and American Rescue Plan funds to sustain Oregon arts, heritage and humanities organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a survey conducted by Business Oregon, Travel Oregon and the Small Business Development Center Network, only the accommodation industry suffered greater losses. Large cultural organizations continue to feel the impact, with many reporting that ticket sales remain only about 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels. 

Members of the Arts and Culture Caucus are currently considering legislative concepts and bills put forward by the Arts Commission, the Cultural Trust and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. 

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector contributed $8 billion to Oregon’s economy in 2020, representing 3.3 percent of the state’s GDP, 60,994 jobs and total compensation of $4.8 billion. Oregon nonprofit cultural organizations alone contribute at least $687 million and support 22,299 jobs. This adds $53 million to local and state government revenue. 

“Public funding for arts and creativity is a high-return investment that benefits every Oregonian in every city, town and rural community across the state,” said Harlen Springer, vice chair of the Arts Commission. Springer collaborated with members of the Arts Commission Advancement Committee, including Chair Jenny Green, as well as Cultural Trust Chair Niki Price and Sue Hildick, senior advisor to the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon, to support formation of the Arts and Culture Caucus.

“This is a momentous occasion for Oregon’s 1,500+ arts, heritage and humanities organizations, and all who support them,” said Niki Price, chair of the Oregon Cultural Trust. “We applaud the Legislators who immediately signed up, and the Arts Commissioners who initiated the concept.” 

“This year could be transformational for arts and culture in Oregon, making sure every Oregonian has access to creativity in their local community,” added J.S. May, president of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon. “We are honored that the caucus policymakers are elevating the needs of the creative sector both short-term and long-term to help our economy, our mental health and our healing from the pandemic.”

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located on the Willamette University campus at 700 State St. in Salem. RSVP for the Feb. 27 launch event.



Attached Media Files: Harlen Springer, vice chair of the Oregon Arts Commission , Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland) , A recent performance at the Sisters Folk Festival, which received $194,998 in Coronavirus Relief Funds for Cultural Support made possible by the Oregon Legislature.

Reminder: Western Oregon State Forests Management Plan and Habitat Conservation Plan update meeting set for Feb. 7
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 01/31/23 9:25 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry will hold a virtual meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, to learn about forest management planning for state forestlands west of the Cascades. 

This meeting is open to the public and primarily intended for those with an interest in management of Oregon’s state forests. RSVP is requested.

This meeting will provide updates on the Forest Management Plan (FMP), the Western Oregon State Forests Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process focused on that HCP. 

As part of our public engagement process, we invite you to this meeting to hear updates on the Western Oregon State Forests management planning efforts and ask questions. The meeting will be an opportunity to:  

  • Learn about the FMP development process
  • Hear updates on the Western Oregon State Forests HCP 
  • Hear updates on the HCP NEPA process

This meeting is one of many anticipated future opportunities to engage in state forests planning and is meant to provide an update to the process. 

Meeting Documents: The meeting agenda and materials are posted on the FMP project website.

Date and time: Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 1-4 p.m. The meeting will include: 

  • 1 – 3 p.m.: Background information, process updates, presentations, and an opportunity for Questions & Answers discussion.
  • 3 – 4 p.m.: An informal discussion period to provide participants with an open discussion on any topics presented during the meeting. 


Where: Virtual only by Zoom or call-in. We ask that you join the meeting a few minutes early to troubleshoot any issues and to ensure the meeting starts on time. View the meeting instructions, tips, and protocols

  • To view and participate in the meeting, go to: https://odf.zoom.us/j/94877694967
  • Use computer audio or call-in from your phone using the following call-in information: 
    • Dial: 1 (253) 215-8782
    • Meeting ID: 948 7769 4967


Meeting Recording: A post-meeting recording will be posted on the ODF YouTube channel.


State Forests are sustainably managed to provide social, economic, and environmental benefits to all Oregonians. In October of 2020, the Board of Forestry (BOF) directed the State Forests Division to begin the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the draft Western Oregon State Forests Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and continue developing an associated Forest Management Plan (FMP). These parallel planning processes have been closely coordinated to ensure alignment and consistency in management goals, objectives, and strategies. ODF recognizes that public engagement is a key element in developing an HCP and FMP that reflect the values of all Oregonians, and is committed to providing information and engaging in dialogue with those who have an interest in these important planning efforts. 

Please note, the February 7 FMP HCP Meeting Open to the Public will provide updates on the Western State Forests FMP and HCP. This meeting is separate from the February 2 Implementation Plan Public Workshop which will provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the Implementation Plan revisions for six state forest districts. 

More information: More information is available by contacting the project leaders or online: 

Western Oregon Forest Management Plan & Implementation Plans

Jennifer McAdoo



Western Oregon Habitat Conservation Plan

Cindy Kolomechuk 



Online resources:

Mon. 01/30/23
Scenic Bikeways Committee to meet Feb. 8
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 01/30/23 4:08 PM

SALEM, Ore—The Scenic Bikeways Committee will meet Feb. 8 to discuss membership updates, rulemaking updates and route updates in a virtual meeting from 1 to 4 p.m. 

The meeting is open to the public. The agenda and link for the meeting is posted on the Scenic Bikeways website at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/BWT/Documents/BW-Committee-Agenda-Feb-2023.pdf.

The Scenic Bikeways program was established in 2009 by Cycle Oregon, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation. It now includes 17 of the state’s best designated mostly-roadway bicycle routes that showcase Oregon’s breathtaking landscapes, cultural treasures and western hospitality. The program is currently managed under a partnership agreement between Cycle Oregon and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. 

The Scenic Bikeways committee is an advisory group for the management and designation of routes nominated by the public for state scenic bikeways designation. Its members include citizen representatives, tourism organization, local governments and state agencies involved in bicycle recreation or transportation. 

For more information, contact program manager Clint Culpepper at 971-235-5994 or clint@cycleoregon.com

New round of Electric Mobility Grants connects more Oregonians to EVs and their benefits
Pacific Power - 01/30/23 3:29 PM

More than $2 million in funding will help bring EV charging stations, electric trucks and work vehicles, e-bikes and more to rural and underserved communities 


PortlandOre. (January 30, 2023) — Pacific Power recently awarded more than $2 million to 18 cities, small towns, community colleges and nonprofits throughout the state for projects that will connect more Oregonians to the cost-saving, clean-air benefits of electric vehicles and electric mobility — including residents of underserved and rural communities that Pacific Power serves. 

For example, in Sweet Home, Pendleton and Grass Valley, Pacific Power Electric Mobility Grants will help bring EV charging stations to places where few or none exist. In Central Oregon, low-income residents in Bend may receive vouchers for e-bikes, and a community-driven coalition will map out the first EV charging and car share plan for the region. In Multnomah County, the public library, as well as nonprofits that repair homes and improve energy efficiency in diverse and historically underserved communities, will be able to purchase electric trucks and vans to deliver services.

“Pacific Power is hard at work building a safe, reliable, affordable clean energy future. A critical part of that work is helping to ensure that Oregonians at all income levels, in all kinds of communities, have access to electric transportation and the economic growth and vitality it can bring,” says Kate Hawley, electric transportation senior product manager for Pacific Power. “These Electric Mobility Grants are an important way that we can strengthen the communities we serve and help them thrive.” 

Since 2020, Pacific Power has distributed more than $4.5 million in Electric Mobility Grants to Oregon communities. Funding is made possible by the Oregon Clean Fuels Program, which is administered by the state Department of Environmental Quality and aims to reduce the carbon  intensity of Oregon’s transportation fuels. Pacific Power raises funds for the Electric Mobility Grants through the sale of Clean Fuels Program credits. 


Grants are part of bigger e-mobility picture

In addition to electric mobility Grants, Pacific Power is helping Oregonians plug into the benefits of electric mobility by offering valuable customer rebates and other incentives for homeowners, businesses and multifamily property owners who install EV chargers. A free technical assistance program is available for businesses, property owners, and organizations, which provides a feasibility analysis for EV charging options, costs, rates and best practices for siting, installing and managing equipment.

Pacific Power is also expanding Oregon’s EV charging infrastructure beyond big cities with the installation of public fast-charging stations in Klamath Falls, Madras, Otis and Mill City. 

These efforts to help more Oregon drivers choose electric are also helping communities improve air quality by reducing vehicle emissions. Gas-engine cars and trucks are the number one source of air pollution in Oregon, according to the Department of Environmental Quality’s 2022 Biennial Energy Report. EVs with zero tailpipe emissions are key to improving air quality over the long term.


E-mobility: More than electric cars

Previous rounds of Pacific Power Electric Mobility Grants have helped communities purchase electric tractors in Prineville, an electric school bus in Bend, an EV and charger for a Portland health clinic, and a traveling EV educational exhibit that visits rural parts of the state. 

The 2022 grant recipients and projects are similarly creative and wide-ranging:

  • City of Sweet Home. Funds will be used to install the first public chargers in Sweet Home. One or two DC fast charger stations will be installed downtown for public use by residents, commuters and travelers. 
  • First Alternative Cooperative (Corvallis). Funds will be used to install two DC fast chargers, available to the public, at the co-op’s south Corvallis location, a high-traffic area of affordable homes and multifamily properties that is underserved by EV charging infrastructure. 
  • Linn County. Funds will be used to install two Level 2 charging stations in downtown Albany. They will be available to the public, including residents and commuters from surrounding rural areas. The chargers will allow Linn County to convert some other fleet vehicles to EVs. 

For information about the Electric Mobility Grant program and customer rebates for installing EV chargers, please visit pacificpower.net/ev.

Linn County Sheriff's Office Investigates Fatal Crash Near Albany
Linn County Sheriff's Office - 01/30/23 3:10 PM

Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan reports today at 09:22 a.m., Linn County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call reporting a crash on Scravel Hill Road near the intersection of Grenz Lane, outside of Albany. The caller reported a single vehicle struck a power pole and power lines were down throughout the area.  

Deputies responded and found the only occupant and driver, Bradley Freeman, 34, from Lebanon, was deceased. The investigation revealed Freeman was traveling north on Scravel Hill Road, when he crossed the oncoming lane into a ditch and impacting a driveway entrance. His vehicle continued a short distance and struck a nearby power pole, shearing it off at the base and causing downed power lines in the area. 

Freeman was traveling to work in a 2019 Ford pickup. At this time, it is unknown what caused Freeman to leave the roadway. The investigation is continuing to determine the cause of the crash. 

Linn County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Fire Department, Linn County Medical Examiner and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 


01-30-2023 Commissioner Boice Asked to Testify on Oregon House Bill 2253 (Photo)
Douglas Co. Government - 01/30/23 2:18 PM
Commissioner Boice Testifies
Commissioner Boice Testifies


January 30, 2023


Commissioner Boice Asked to Testify on Oregon House Bill 2253 


(Douglas County, Ore.)  Recently, Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice was honored to be selected to testify before the Oregon State Legislature’s House Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water regarding House Bill 2253: Relating to Farm Use Land Used for Illegal Growing of Crops; Prescribing an Effective Date.  The bill’s summary states, “Disqualifies land from farm use special assessments upon final civil penalty or judgment of conviction for the illegal growing of crops against landowner or person in possession and control of land. Provides exception for landowner or other obligated taxpayer who reasonably lacked knowledge of illegal growing of crops or promptly notified law enforcement agency of illegal growing of crops.”


On Thursday, January 19, 2023, Commissioner Boice joined the honorable Senator David Brock Smith (Oregon Senate District 1) and Scott Winkels from the League of Oregon Cities, to testify as witnesses in a Public Hearing for the House Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources & Water, which is chaired by Representative Ken Helm from Oregon House District 27. Both Senator Brock Smith and Commissioner Boice discussed the negative impact and significant amount of resources deployed to combat illegal marijuana crops in Douglas County. Winkels spoke in support of the HB 2253’s intent to penalize landowners who knowingly allow illegal cannabis to be grown on their property by revoking their agricultural tax exemption status for up to five years.


According to Senator David Brock Smith, HB 2253 was written with valuable input from the Oregon Farm Bureau, the Oregon Seed Council, and the Oregon State Association of County Assessors in order to quantify the serious consequences for landowners that knowingly engage in growing illegal cannabis. Senator Brock Smith stated that currently there are over 3,000 active illegal cannabis farms in Oregon necessitating an unprecedented use of local and state resources from County Sheriff’s Offices and the Oregon State Police to combat the problem. HB 2253 is designed so that resources would also flow back to the County’s to help fund public safety and local law enforcement agencies ensuring those farmlands in violation would be disqualified from the special assessment.


Commissioner Boice opened his testimony supporting what the Douglas County’s Interagency Narcotics Team (DINT) contends by reiterating that, “The intent of this bill is to create an opportunity for landowners to think twice before allowing illegal cannabis operations to exist on their land. We love our agricultural producers and we support them in every way we can. We even have tax incentives in place for those who use their land accordingly.”


35 Illegal Grow Sites Investigated by DINT in 2021

  • 351,335 marijuana plants were seized. The previous record high was 27,000 plants seized in a single year. 
  • 68,674 pounds of dried/processed marijuana was seized.
  • Some illegal grows were massive in land area; the largest was approximately 200 acres in size. Other well organized illegal grows packed large amounts of plants into relatively small two acre parcels.
  • The number of affected property owners is difficult to quantify, however here are a few of the issues noted: 
  • It has negatively affected entire rural communities, especially adjacent and surrounding property owners with pollutants such as piles of rotting trash; human waste and sewage; tremendous and often permanent ecological damage to ground, water and air from chemicals, herbicides and pesticides; and rodent infestations.  
  • Nearby properties, who have legal water rights are dealing with super low water levels and have seen the rivers and creeks bled completely dry of water. Due to the misuse and overuse of local water resources, some surrounding properties had wells that went dry for the first time ever.
  • Chemicals, herbicides and pesticide overuse and carelessness is incalculable and not thoroughly investigated.  Grow sites tend to be located adjacent to waterways, making chemical contamination to water resources even more threatening, on top of the damage to the soil.
  • Safety concerns for adjacent landowners, their families and their livestock/animals.
  • A significant spike in crime rates in illegal grow areas where there had been historically low crime issues (including spikes in violent crimes).


52 Illegal Grow Sites Investigated by DINT in 2022

  • 86,757 marijuana plants seized
  • 30,227 pounds of dried/processed marijuana seized.
  • The hemp market remains very low, making hemp production relatively unattractive for illegal growers. This also makes it harder for illegal marijuana growers to hide within the hemp industry. 


Commissioner Boice wrapped up his testimony by noting the significant issues related to illegal crops shared by other affected counties in southern Oregon, “These illegal crops put a real damper on the legal industry, but it goes much deeper than that. The DEQ is now involved because we have serious environmental issues that are related to the way the land is being used and the chemicals being applied. The Bureau of Labor and Industry is involved because of issues with the way that folks are being employed and housed and treated on the sites. There are Building and Planning code violations everywhere. Property values are being lowered at neighboring properties. The hope is to put some teeth into this ag exemption law that creates a situation where someone who knowingly grows illegal cannabis gets busted for it and potentially loses their tax exemption for up to 5 years. There are a lot of things to discuss, but this is what we are shooting for.”


To listen to the complete recording of the January 19, 2023 public hearing on HB 2253 by the Oregon State Legislature’s House Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water, click here. 




Contact Tamara Howell, Douglas County Public Affairs Office | Public Information Officer | Office: (541) 957-4896 office

Cell: (541) 670-2804 |  Email: tjhowell@co.douglas.or.us

Kellie Trenkle, Douglas County Public Affairs Specialist | Office: (541) 440-4493 | Email: kellie@co.douglas.or.us

Photo © KTrenkle/Douglas County Government

Photo Attached: Commissioner Chris Boice testifying in a virtual public meeting concerning HB 2253 with the Oregon State Legislature’s House Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water on January 19, 2023.

Attached Media Files: Commissioner Boice Testifies

LCSO Case #23-0567 -- Robbery (Photo)
Lane Co. Sheriff's Office - 01/30/23 1:43 PM

On 01/28/2023 at 11:29am, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received the report of a robbery that occurred at a business in the 79000blk of Hwy. 99 in Saginaw.  The female suspect departed southbound on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and blue cash drop bag.  The suspect was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants, white tennis shoes, and a white facemask with a printed pattern on it.  The female was described as being in her twenties or thirties with a thin build and standing approximately 5’3”. 

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 opt. 1.

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/6111/160810/Robbery_Suspect.jpg

Solid Waste Process Workgroup "Benton County Talks Trash" delivers draft #3 report (Photo)
Benton County Government - 01/30/23 11:48 AM

The Benton County Planning Commission is scheduled to meet tomorrow, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. for a work session that will include the Solid Waste Process Workgroup “Benton County Talks Trash” draft report #3. Information about in-person and virtual options can be found in the Public Meeting Agenda.

A discussion of draft report #3 will also occur virtually at the Solid Waste Advisory Commission meeting on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. The public can check the County’s online calendar for a virtual link to the meeting once it is posted. 

Draft report #3 is still a work in progress with consensus agreements emerging on several topics, and areas still needing additional discussion.  The Workgroup will be meeting again on Feb. 23 and March 16 with the final report scheduled to be delivered to the Benton County Board of Commissioners on March 24.

The Draft #3 Work Group Report can be downloaded in either PDF or Word Document format from the following links:

  • PDF Format
  • Word Format (Link expires 2/24/23; Do to the large file size, this link goes to a file-sharing platform, requiring the password below)
    • Password: Benton1! 

Community members can provide feedback by emailing entoncountytalkstrash@co.benton.or.us">bentoncountytalkstrash@co.benton.or.us.


Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please contact Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or pioinfo@co.benton.or.us.

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/4171/160805/benton-county-logo-horizontal-full-color-rgb.jpg

North Bend School District Public Meetings -- February, 2023
North Bend Sch. Dist. - 01/30/23 11:16 AM

Below are North Bend School District public meetings currently scheduled for February: 


February 2, 2023

Regular School Board Meeting with Executive Session

North Bend City Council Chamber at 6:00 p.m.
835 California St., North Bend, OR

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81555431722


February 16, 2023

Special School Board Meeting- Work Session 

North Bend District Office at 6:00 p.m.
1913 Meade St., North Bend, OR


The schedule is subject to change. 
Please email mbryan@nbend.k12.or.us or visit www.nbend.k12.or.us for agenda information.

OSP Traffic Stop Leads to Arrest and Drug Seizure -- Klamath County (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 01/30/23 10:29 AM

On January 18, 2023, around 11:26 a.m., an Oregon State Police Senior Trooper stopped an SUV for a lane usage violation on Highway 97, milepost 276, near Klamath Falls.

During the traffic stop, the Sr. Trooper noticed signs of criminal activity, and a search of the vehicle was conducted.  During the search of the vehicle, the Sr. Trooper located approximately 10 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, 3 pounds of suspected heroin, and 1.4 pounds of suspected counterfeit pills containing fentanyl- all concealed within the vehicle. 

The driver was identified as Sergio Luis Salazar-Mercado (30) of Wapato, Washington.  Salazar-Mercado was taken into custody and lodged in the Klamath County Jail.

OSP Troopers were assisted during the investigation by Detectives from the Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (BINET) and Detectives from the OSP-Criminal Investigations Division-Drug Enforcement Section (Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative). 

The Oregon State Police-Domestic Highway Enforcement Initiative is supported by the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

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, including the OSP-DHE Initiative.



Attached Media Files: 2023-01/1002/160801/IMG_3169_20230118_154550_(003).JPG

Project Turnkey 2.0 Delivers Hope and Housing Relief to the Coastal Community of Lincoln City, Oregon; State-funded grant program will stand up approximately a dozen emergency shelters in Oregon in 2023 (Photo)
Oregon Community Foundation - 01/30/23 10:06 AM

Project Turnkey 2.0 Delivers Hope and Housing Relief to the Coastal Community of Lincoln City, Oregon 

State-funded grant program will stand up approximately a dozen emergency shelters in Oregon in 2023 


Portland, Ore. – January 30, 2023 – Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) announced today the first emergency housing site for Project Turnkey 2.0, the second iteration of the state-funded grant program administered by OCF which aims to increase the state’s supply of emergency and transitional housing.  


Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers (Helping Hands) has been awarded $977,000 in Project Turnkey 2.0 grant funding to complete the final phase of renovation to a building donated by the City of Lincoln City in 2019 for the purpose of creating emergency shelter and transitional housing.  


“These services are so vital in every community when addressing the needs of those that are experiencing homelessness,” said Alan Evans, Founder and President of Helping Hands, “It is because of partnerships, that we are able to bring this facility to Lincoln City.”  Mike Davis, CEO of Helping Hands adds “Thank you, Oregon Community Foundation, for selecting Helping Hands to receive the final funds needed to complete this project.” 


Helping Hands will renovate the property to create both emergency shelter space and longer-term transitional housing units. When complete, the “Lincoln City HOPE Center at the LeRoy Benham campus” will provide 69 beds, including 12-14 emergency beds and 55 transitional housing in dormitory style rooms for 3-4 people per room. There are also 2 rooms for participants with children.  


The total cost of renovation is estimated at $1.9 million, with the remaining $600,000 being provided through a 0% interest loan over 20 years from the City of Lincoln City, and $325,000 in grants from foundations.  


This is a unique grant in that it is for the final phase of renovation only, as Helping Hands has already been gifted the building from the City of Lincoln City.  


Project Turnkey 2.0 aims to stand up approximately 10 emergency shelters in the state by identifying appropriate properties. To help meet the unique needs of specific communities, allowable property types expanded in the legislative language ¾ it is no longer just the conversion of hotels and motels. “We are seeing many creative proposals for repurposing existing properties. These include duplexes and triplexes, vacant apartment complexes, and even vacant commercial buildings,” said Megan LoebSenior Program Officer, Economic Vitality and Housing, Oregon Community Foundation. “The flexibility provided in this round of state funding helps to better address some of the unique housing needs of specific communities, including rural places.”  


Properties will be owned and operated by local nonprofit organizations and entities (such as cities, counties, or tribes) that will provide safe housing as well as critical support, including access to medical and social services, computers, laundry facilities, meals and more. Additional Project Turnkey 2.0 sites are expected to be announced in mid-February 2023. 


About Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers (Helping Hands) 

The mission of Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers (Helping Hands) is to provide a helping hand to a sustainable life through Resources, Recovery, and Reentry. Helping Hands provides trauma-informed, data-driven, person-centered homeless services within locations in Clatsop, Lincoln, Multnomah, Tillamook and Yamhill counties in Oregon. To learn more, please visit: https://helpinghandsreentry.org/shelter-services


About Project Turnkey 2.0 (2022-2023) 

Based on the success of the Project Turnkey 1.0, and in the face on ongoing need for emergency shelter, on March 4, 2022, the Oregon Legislature allocated $50 million in new funding for more emergency shelters around the state for Project Turnkey 2.0.  


“Project Turnkey 2.0 is an innovative solution that will help address one of Oregon’s most prolonged challenges — our housing crisis,” said OHCS Director Andrea Bell.  “Our commitment and collective responsibility to the people of Oregon is to find solutions that are real and are proven to work.” 


To learn more: Oregon Community Foundation and Oregon Housing and Community Services Poised to Launch Project Turnkey 2.0 with $50M in State Funding.  


OCF and OHCS Roles 

Oregon Community Foundation serves as the grantor and fiduciary, administering state-funded Project Turnkey 2.0 grants with guidance from a diverse statewide Advisory Committee. OCF offers support for Oregon’s housing needs along a continuum — from shelter to supportive housing to affordable housing to equitable home ownership — through a variety of tools, including research, grants, advocacy, and low-interest loans. OCF’s administration of Project Turnkey 2.0 is one example of the innovative, collaborative approaches launched to help more Oregonians find stable, affordable housing. 


Oregon Housing and Community Services provides advice and support for OCF as the State’s Housing Finance Agency. Additionally, OHCS has received resources to administer funds to the recipients of Project Turnkey 2.0 grants. This includes ongoing monitoring and oversight of these funds and the projects they support. 



In 2020 the Oregon Legislature allocated a total of $65 million for Project Turnkey (1.0), for the purpose of acquiring motels/hotels for use as safe shelter for people experiencing homelessness, at-risk of homelessness or displaced by wildfires. In less than seven months, Project Turnkey 1.0 created 19 new shelters in 13 counties, leading to a 20% increase in the state supply of shelter beds. Each property is locally owned and operated by a local nonprofit organization or entity (such as city or county).  


To learn more, please visit: https://oregoncf.org/assets/PDFs-and-Docs/PDFs/project-turnkey-report.pdf  


About Oregon Housing and Community Services 

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) provides resources for Oregonians to reduce poverty and increase access to stable housing. OHCS focuses on both housing and community services to serve Oregonians holistically across the housing continuum, including preventing and ending homelessness, assisting with utilities, providing housing stability support, financing multifamily affordable housing and encouraging homeownership. To learn more, please visit: oregon.gov/ohcs


About Oregon Community Foundation 

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) was founded in 1973 with a big mission: to improve the lives of all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. In partnership with donors and volunteers, OCF works to strengthen communities in every county in Oregon through research, grantmaking and scholarships. In 2022, OCF distributed more than $180 million, supporting 3,500 grantees and awarding more than 3,000 scholarships. With OCF, individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds that meet the needs of diverse communities statewide. 


2023 marks OCF’s 50th anniversary. Since its founding, OCF has distributed more than $2.2 billion in community investments, including grants to 10,850 nonprofits and 53,375 scholarships to students. Individuals, families, businesses and organizations can work with OCF to create charitable funds to support causes important to them. To learn more, please visit: oregoncf.org. 



Attached Media Files: Project Turnkey 2_First PT 2 Site_OCF_OHCS_FINAL Joint News Release_01 30 2023.pdf , OC50-full-logo-orange-line-blue-type-web.png , Pile Driving Foundation_Helping Hands_Hope Center_Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation.jpg , OHCS Logo.png , Helping Hands Image 2_Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation.PNG , Helping Hands Image 1_Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation.PNG

142nd Wing to conduct night flying training (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 01/30/23 8:59 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Wing will conduct routine F-15 Eagle night training missions on January 30 to February 3 and February 7 to 9.

Night training allows the Citizen-Airmen pilots based at the Portland Air National Guard Base to stay current with mandatory Air Force requirements. Night flying is conducted as an essential training requirement for nighttime maneuvers to support mission and contingency response. Training flights will be completed each evening before 10:00 p.m.

“We must train to defend our state and nation in all types of conditions. While there is an increase of noise and activity during the evening hours, we will do everything possible to minimize the impact on our community,” said 142nd Wing Commander, Col. Todd Hofford. “As citizens of the Portland Metro area, we value your support and patience during this nighttime phase of our training. The safety and security of our nation is our top priority.”

For more information contact Master Sgt. Steph Sawyer, 503-335-4351


FILE PHOTO: 220421-Z-SP755-2004 A 123rd Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagle prepares for take-off during night flying operations at Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., April 21, 2022. Night flying is an essential training requirement for Oregon Air National Guard pilot's nighttime competency maneuvers. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Steph Sawyer)

About the 142nd Wing:

The Portland Air National Guard Base employs around 1,500 Airmen who provide an economic impact of nearly $500 million to the region. The 142nd Wing defends our homeland with F-15 Eagle fighter jets, guarding the Pacific Northwest skies from Northern California to the Canadian border, as part of Air Combat Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Their mission is to provide unequalled, mission-ready units to sustain combat aerospace superiority and peacetime tasking any time, any place in service to our nation, state and community.

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/962/160595/220421-Z-SP755-2004.jpg

Sat. 01/28/23
Residential Structure Fire - 2071 NE Stephens Street, Space #A3 - 1-28-23 (Photo)
Roseburg Fire Dept. - 01/28/23 4:01 PM
Image 1
Image 1

At 6:01 a.m. on January 28, 2023, Roseburg Fire Department personnel responded to a reported residential structure fire at 2071 NE Stephens Street, Space #A3.  Douglas County Dispatch received a report of a living room on fire with smoke and flames seen.  The reporting party stated all residents had evacuated the residential structure.   

Firefighters arrived on scene to find a fully involved doublewide manufactured home with fire venting from the roof and porch area.  Firefighters made an aggressive exterior attack of the structure and quickly extinguished the fire.  They also completed a primary and secondary search as well as overhaul.  Sadly, two family dogs passed away inside the structure.  The primary home sustained extensive structural and water damage.  Two adults and two children were displaced due to the fire; however, none of the adults or children were injured in the fire.  The American Red Cross was notified and is assisting the family.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but believed to be caused by a space heater that was located in the living room of the residenceThirteen firefighters assisted with firefighting operations.  Other agencies assisting with the fire included Douglas County Fire District #2, Umpqua Valley Ambulance, Avista Utilities, Pacific Power, Roseburg Police Department, and the American Red Cross.

The Roseburg Fire Department would like to remind everyone of the following heating safety tips:                      

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified company. 
  • Check the cord on portable heaters to make sure it is not cracked, frayed, or getting hot when in use. Extension cords should never be used with portable heaters as they can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Additional images are available on the Roseburg Fire Department Facebook page at www.facebook.com/roseburgfire

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

Attached Media Files: Image 1 , Image 2 , Image 3 , Image 4

Oregon State Penitentiary reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 01/28/23 11:10 AM

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, John Anthony Duval Jr., passed away January 27, 2023. Duval was incarcerated at Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) in Salem and passed away at the facility. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the State Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. 

Duval entered DOC custody on September 7, 2021, from Jackson County, with an earliest release date of September 19, 2023. Duval was 44 years old. Next of kin has been notified.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of approximately 12,000 men and women who are incarcerated in 12 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

OSP is a multi-custody prison located in Salem that houses approximately 2,000 adults in custody. OSP is surrounded by a 25-foot-high wall with 10 towers. The facility has multiple special housing units including disciplinary segregation, behavioral health, intermediate care housing, and an infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care. OSP participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including the furniture factory, laundry, metal shop, and contact center. It provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, work-based education, work crews, and pre-release services. OSP was established in 1866 and, until 1959, was Oregon’s only prison.




Attached Media Files: Duval

Police Chiefs and Sheriff issue a statement to the residents of Marion County regarding the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee
Marion Co. Sheriff's Office - 01/28/23 10:25 AM


DATE: January 28, 2023

CONTACT:  Marion County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer | mcsopio@co.marion.or.us

                     Salem Police Communications Office | spdmedia@cityofsalem.net


Police Chiefs and Sheriff issue a statement to the residents of Marion County

regarding the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee


We, as a law enforcement community in Marion County, find the actions of the police officers involved in the death of Tyre Nichols to be unconscionable. Collectively, we commend Memphis Police Chief Davis for acting quickly to hold those involved accountable.

We hold a deep respect for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity. Inhumane acts deeply impact all who understand and hold true to the responsibilities of the badge we wear.

We affirm that excessive force is not tolerated by our agencies. Multiple layers of review and accountability are in place to ensure such heinous acts do not occur. Lack of dignity and respect toward those we serve simply run completely counter to who we are as individual officers and deputies and as your law enforcement leaders.

The honorable men and women who work to safeguard the residents of Marion County will continue to work diligently and with conviction to build positive and trusting relationships with all our residents.

Sheriff Joe Kast, Marion County Sheriff's Office

Chief Trevor Womack, Salem Police Department

Chief Jim Anglemeier, Silverton Police Department

Chief Mark Chase, Gervais Police Department

Chief Mark Daniel, Mount Angel Police Department

Chief Damien Flowers, Aumsville Police Department

Chief Gwen Johns, Stayton Police Department

Chief Martin Pilcher, Woodburn Police Department

Chief David Rash, Hubbard Police Department

Chief Don Taylor, Turner Police Department

Chief John Teague, Keizer Police Department


Attached Media Files: 2023-01/1294/160783/2023_Tyre_Nichols2.pdf

Police Chiefs and Sheriff issue a statement to the residents of Marion County regarding the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee
Salem Police Department - 01/28/23 10:25 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: January 28, 2023

Police Chiefs and Sheriff issue a statement to the residents of Marion County

regarding the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee


We, as a law enforcement community in Marion County, find the actions of the police officers involved in the death of Tyre Nichols to be unconscionable. Collectively, we commend Memphis Police Chief Davis for acting quickly to hold those involved accountable.

We hold a deep respect for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity. Inhumane acts deeply impact all who understand and hold true to the responsibilities of the badge we wear.

We affirm that excessive force is not tolerated by our agencies. Multiple layers of review and accountability are in place to ensure such heinous acts do not occur. Lack of dignity and respect toward those we serve simply run completely counter to who we are as individual officers and deputies and as your law enforcement leaders.

The honorable men and women who work to safeguard the residents of Marion County will continue to work diligently and with conviction to build positive and trusting relationships with all our residents.


Sheriff Joe Kast, Marion County Sheriff’s Office                                                                 

Chief Trevor Womack, Salem Police Department

Chief Jim Anglemeier, Silverton Police Department 

Chief Mark Chase, Gervais Police Department

Chief Mark Daniel, Mount Angel Police Department                                                         

Chief Damien Flowers, Aumsville Police Department

Chief Gwen Johns, Stayton Police Department                                                               

Chief Martin Pilcher, Woodburn Police Department

Chief David Rash, Hubbard Police Department                                                                 

Chief Don Taylor, Turner Police Department

Chief John Teague, Keizer Police Department

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/1095/160782/2023-01-28_A_Statement_from_the_Chiefs_of_Police_and_Marion_County_Sheriff.pdf

Fri. 01/27/23
Housing Stability Council Monthly Meeting - February 3, 2023
Oregon Housing and Community Services - 01/27/23 4:19 PM

Jan. 27, 2022

The next Housing Stability Council meeting will be from 9:00 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. The meeting will be held electronically due to the current COVID-19 health crisis. You can find all updated meeting materials on our website.


Webinar Meeting Only

Register in advance for this webinar:

Webinar Registration - Zoom


9:00: Meeting Called to Order - Roll Call 

9:05: Public Comment

9:15: Report of the Chair

9:30: Report of the Director

9:45: Affordable Rental Housing Division 

           Natasha Detweiler-Daby, Director, Affordable Rental Housing

  • MF Housing Transaction Recommendations: Tai Dunson-Strane, Production Manager
    • Glisan Family Apartments
  • Preservation Pool Recommendations: Martin Jarvis, Program Analyst; Amy Cole, Manager State Development Resources
  • Manufactured Park Preservation Recommendations:  Edward Brown, Program Analyst; Amy Cole, Manager State Development Resources 
  • LIFT Rental Metro Project Recommendations; Becky Isom, Senior Program Analyst; Amy Cole, Manager State Development Resources
  • Warm Springs Update Request; Amy Cole, Manager State Development Resources
  • Affordable Rental Housing MWESB Update Report: Claudia Cantu, MWESB Program Analyst; Roberto Franco, Assistant Director of Development Resources and Production
  • Reference Memo in packet (not prioritized for discussion)
    • Market Cost Offset Fund Update  

11:00: Break

11:15: Homeownership Division 

           Emeses Perfecto, Director, Homeownership

  • Flex Rules:  Talia Kahn-Kravis, Operations & Policy Analyst
  • Homeownership Market Cost Offset Fund (HMCOF): Talia Kahn-Kravis, Operations & Policy Analyst

11:45: Housing Stabilization Division  

          Jill Smith, Director, Housing Stabilization

  • IDA Initiative Administered by Neighborhood Partnerships: Jill Smith, Housing Stabilization Director; Alena Pollak, Assistant Director of Housing Retention; Chad Caubin, OHCS Grant Manager for the IDA Initiative; Amy Stuczynski, Manager, Data & Evaluation Neighborhood Partnerships; Holly McGuire, Director of Economic Opportunity Neighborhood Partnerships

12:05: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

          Chelsea Bunch, Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion 

  • OHCS Racial Equity Analysis Tool (REAT) Presentation: Chelsea Bunch, Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Megan Bolton, Assistant Director of Research

1:05: Central Services Division 

          Sarah Roth, Central Services Administrator

  • HR Report: Laura DeLeon, HR Director; Christopher Henderson, Workday Administration and Operations Manager

1:20: Meeting Adjourned

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/1810/160772/2023-FEB-03-HSC-Meeting-Agenda.pdf

Armed robber arrested
Salem Police Department - 01/27/23 3:30 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: January 27, 2023

Armed robber arrested

Salem, Ore. — Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit made an arrest today as part of an investigation into an armed robbery at Marion Parkade earlier this month.

On January 11, 2023 at approximately 5:45 p.m., a young man reported he was robbed of his belongings by a male individual he had recently met at the downtown mall. The victim and the suspect were at the roof of the parking structure when the suspect pulled a gun out of his pocket, racked the slide, and pointed it at the victim, demanding the property he carried.

The suspect, Jeffery Prach, age 19, was arrested early this morning when officers observed him walking in the downtown area. Prach was in possession of a firearm when officers took him into custody.

Prach is now lodged at the Marion County Jail on first-degree robbery and other related weapons charges.

# # #

Former Fugitive Wanted in Oregon for Real Estate Scam Pleads Guilty
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 01/27/23 2:49 PM

SAN DIEGO—On January 26, 2023, a California man who evaded federal authorities for more than two decades after being convicted at trial and who was wanted in District of Oregon for perpetrating a real estate scam while a fugitive pleaded guilty in San Diego.

Robin James McPherson, a former resident of San Diego, pleaded guilty to failing to appear, willfully attempting to evade income taxes, and wire fraud, resolving three separate pending criminal cases.

According to court documents, in December 2000, McPherson and two co-conspirators were found guilty at trial in the Southern District of California of conspiring to defraud the IRS and tax evasion. Prior to being sentenced in March 2001, McPherson fled the U.S.

In early August 2019, special agents from FBI’s office in Eugene, Oregon began investigating McPherson after several individuals reported being the victims of a Costa Rican real estate fraud scheme with ties to the Eugene area. McPherson used a variety of marketing techniques, including cold calls, promotional websites, and Facebook advertisements, to find potential investors for an alleged Costa Rican real estate development opportunity called the Carara Parque Resort Corporation. After victims showed interest in the faux investment opportunity, McPherson would conduct sales calls, from Costa Rica, to explain the project.

McPherson directed victims to wire investment funds to a bank account in Oregon and then had the funds transferred to a bank account he controlled in Costa Rica. Between December 2015 and August 2019, approximately $1.2 million dollars were transmitted to the Oregon bank account. McPherson used many different excuses to explain to his investors why no resort villas had been constructed. He did not disclose to his investors that their contracts had not been honored and no villas were slated for construction. McPherson used his investors’ funds to pay for various personal expenses including his own mortgage.

On October 22, 2020, McPherson was charged by criminal complaint in the District of Oregon with wire fraud and money laundering. In May 2022, he was apprehended in Costa Rica and returned to San Diego.

Today, McPherson waived indictment and venue and pleaded guilty to wire fraud, a charge pending in the District of Oregon. He also pleaded guilty to failing to appear and willfully attempting to evade income taxes, charges pending in the Southern District of California. On April 28, 2023, McPherson will be sentenced in San Diego on all three charges of conviction.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. Tax evasion and failure to appear are each punishable by up to five years in federal prison. All three charges also carry maximum fines of up to $250,000 or twice a defendant’s gross gains or losses and three years’ supervised release.

This case was investigated by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted in the District of Oregon by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gavin W. Bruce.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Lane Education Service District Board of Directors to Meet Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Lane ESD - 01/27/23 2:34 PM

The Lane ESD Board of Directors will meet Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.  Board members will meet at Lane Education Service District, 1200 Highway 99 North, Eugene, OR.  Members of the public can view the meeting remotely.  An agenda can be found at www.lesd.k12.or.us.

Health Information Technology Oversight Council to meet February 2
Oregon Health Authority - 01/27/23 2:09 PM

January 27, 2023


Amy Bacher, 503.405.5403, acher2@oregon.gov">amy.bacher2@oregon.gov (media inquiries)

Kiari Chao, 503.931.3053, i.chao@dhsoha.state.or.us">kiari.chao@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Health Information Technology Oversight Council to meet February 2

What: The regular public meeting of Health Information Technology Oversight Council.

When: February 2, 12:30pm to 3:30pm

Where: By webinar and conference line. The public may join remotely through a webinar or conference line:

Agenda: Welcome, Introductions and HITOC Business (12:30-12:45); 2022-2027 Medicaid 1115 Demonstration Waiver (12:45-1:40); HITOC Member Panel on Waiver Implications (1:40-2:10); 10-Minute Break (2:10-2:20); Strategic Plan Update (2:20-2:40); Health Information Exchange (HIE) Workgroup Updates (2:40-2:55); House Bill 4150 Final Report (2:55-3:05); Legislative Update (3:05-3:15); HIT Policy & Program Updates (3:15-3:20); Public Comment (3:20-3:25); Closing Remarks and Meeting Adjourn (3:25-3:30)

For more information, please visit the committee's website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/OHIT-HITOC/Pages/index.aspx.

# # #

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

  • CART (live captions)
  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact HITOC.INFO@odhsoha.oregon.gov or call 503.373.7859 at least 48 hours before the meeting. OHA will make every effort to provide services for requests made closer to the meeting.

System of Care Advisory Council to meet remotely February 7th
Oregon Health Authority - 01/27/23 10:14 AM

Jan 27, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

Program contact: Anna Williams, 971-720-9654, anna.k.williams@dhsoha.state.or.us

System of Care Advisory Council to meet remotely February 7th

What: A regular public meeting of the System of Care Advisory Council

When: Tuesday February 7, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: By webinar at ZoomGov

Meeting ID: 160 988 8607, Passcode: 797793

Dial by your location +1 669 254 5252, US (San Jose)

Agenda: The Council will receive diversity, equity and inclusion training from an external facilitator, get an update about the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Program and discuss contract revisions to local system of care, among other topics. There will be time set aside for public comment.

The full agenda can be found at here.

Background: In 2019 the Legislature established a Governor-appointed System of Care Advisory Council to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of the state and local continuum of care that provides services to youth and young adults.

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Christy Hudson at 971-678-4347, 711 TTY, or isty.j.hudson@state.or.us">christy.j.hudson@state.or.us, at least two business days prior to the meeting.


Click It or Ticket -- Lane County Sheriff's Office -- Winter 2023 (Photo)
Lane Co. Sheriff's Office - 01/27/23 9:54 AM

Of the 23,824 passenger vehicle occupants killed in the United States in 2020, 51% were not wearing seat belts. For drivers and front-seat passengers, using a lap and shoulder belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent in an SUV, van or pickup and by 45 percent in a car according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office, along with other agencies across Oregon will be utilizing federal grant funding to staff additional traffic safety patrols from January 30th through February 12th.  Deputies will be on the lookout for improper seatbelt use and all other dangerous driving behaviors. 

Please take the time to confirm that you and your children are properly restrained before setting out.  Drive sober and text-free!  Your lives are worth it!

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/6111/160753/Winter_2023_Click_It_or_Ticket.jpg

Public Health Advisory Board meets on Feb. 9, 2023
Oregon Health Authority - 01/27/23 8:58 AM

January 27, 2023

Contact: Erica Heartquist, (503) 871-8843, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Public Health Advisory Board meets on Feb. 9, 2023

What: The Public Health Advisory Board will hold a meeting.

Agenda: Approve January meeting minutes; discuss PHAB subcommittees and workgroups; hear legislative updates; plan for public health vision development; hear from local public health authorities about public health modernization implementation.

When: Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023 from 3:00-5:30p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Zoom https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1614044266?pwd=ekpYekxaMm92SHN0dngzTW9ZeldsUT09 or conference call: (669) 254-5252, participant code 1614044266#.

Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan.

# # #

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

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

If you need help or have questions, please contact Cara Biddlecom: at (971) 673-2284, 711 TTY, or lichealth.policy@dhsoha.state.or.us">publichealth.policy@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Sex Offender Notification (Photo)
Marion Co. Sheriff's Office - 01/27/23 7:51 AM

Marion County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the following information pursuant to ORS163A.215, which authorizes Community Corrections to inform the public when the release of information will enhance public safety and protection. 

The individual who appears on this notification has been convicted of a sex offense that requires registration with the Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, this person’s criminal history places them in a classification level which reflects the potential to re-offend. This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather, it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.



NAME: Murillo-Chavez, Miguel Angel 

SID#: 20260200 

DOB: 08/23/1992 



RACE: H                       SEX: M 

HEIGHT: 5' 04''           WEIGHT: 145 lbs 

HAIR: BLK                    EYES: BRO 



Salem, OR 97301 


Miguel Angel Murillo-Chavez is on Post Prison Supervision for the crimes of: Rape III, Online Sexual Corruption of a Child I, and Using a Child in a Dispay of Sexually Explicit Conduct. 


This person was granted supervision on: 09/02/2022 

Supervision expiration date is: 09/01/2025 


Special restrictions include: [X] No contact with minors 

                                             [X] Do not go places where minors congregate 


Other: Murillo-Chavez’s offending history consists of juvenile females known to him.

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/1294/160747/Murillo_Chavez_Miguel_Angel.jpg

Thu. 01/26/23
Hospitals Take Action in Federal Court to Continue Fighting for Vulnerable Patients Denied Care by State of Oregon
Legacy Health - 01/26/23 5:27 PM

PORTLAND, ORE — Jan. 26, 2023 — Legacy Health, Providence Health & Services, PeaceHealth and St. Charles Health System are taking action in U.S. District Court today to continue fighting for vulnerable patients who are being denied the critical mental health care they need by the State of Oregon.


The hospital systems filed a lawsuit in September in the Oregon U.S. District Court in Eugene to protect the civil rights of Oregonians suffering from mental illness. The lawsuit seeks to ensure the Oregon Health Authority fulfills its legal obligation to provide adequate mental health treatment for civilly committed individuals.


The Oregon Health Authority filed a motion late last month asking the judge to dismiss the lawsuit. In today’s filing, the four hospital systems outline the proper legal principles for the court to consider and call out multiple inaccurate statements made by the Oregon Health Authority in its December filing. 


“Hospitals are taking this action because Oregon must increase capacity for civilly committed patients,” said Robin Henderson, PsyD, chief executive, behavioral health for Providence in Oregon. “Our psychiatric beds are full. We don’t have the ability to serve patients experiencing a mental health crisis because our beds, and our caregivers, must care for civilly committed patients stuck in our hospitals. We’re asking the state to stop using community hospitals as a warehouse for civilly committed patients, and partner with us to fulfill its legal obligation to provide appropriate access to mental health services in the community.”


Lawsuit Background 


Under Oregon law, individuals who are a danger to themselves or others may be civilly committed by the state for involuntary treatment for up to 180 days. More than 500 individuals with severe mental illnesses are civilly committed to the Oregon Health Authority for treatment each year


Acute care hospitals are often the first stop for many patients who require urgent medical care and short-term mental health stabilization. Once that is achieved, the state is legally required to place these individuals in facilities that specialize in long-term treatment, such as secure residential treatment facilities or the Oregon State Hospital. These facilities can give patients the appropriate and necessary care to enable them to regain their liberty.


Rather than transfer these individuals to appropriate settings, the state abandons them for weeks or months at a time in community hospitals, which are not appropriate settings for long-term psychiatric care. Community hospitals are not equipped, staffed or designed to provide long-term mental health treatment. The behavioral health units in these hospitals are intended to provide short-term, high-acuity care where patients in mental health crisis can be rapidly evaluated, stabilized and discharged to the next appropriate level of care. 


“We are taking this action because we need to care for more patients in our hospitals,” said Dr. Shane Coleman, clinical division director for psychiatry and behavioral health services at St. Charles. “We can’t do that currently because we are devoting beds and caregivers to civilly committed patients who no longer need hospital-level care or need to be in the state hospital. If the state chose to meet its legal obligation to provide care for civilly committed patients, then our local community hospitals could better meet the needs of our communities.”

Jefferson Man Arrested for Aggravated Animal Abuse (Correction 2) (Photo)
Marion Co. Sheriff's Office - 01/26/23 2:19 PM

Correction 2 Date of original incident incorrectly listed as July 2023, date was July 2022

Correction Cornwell is 43 years old

At shortly after 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 26, 2023, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team served a search warrant on S 7th Street near Greenwood Dr in Jefferson. The search warrant was in connection with an ongoing aggravated animal abuse investigation.

In July of 2022, deputies assigned to the City of Jefferson were called after a resident allegedly shot and killed their neighbor’s dog. Deputies identified the involved person as Jeremy Cornwell (41) of Jefferson. Since July, Cornwell’s family members have shared concerns for their safety due to his escalating behavior and his access to numerous firearms and other weapons.

This morning after assisting family members to safety from inside the residence, negotiators with the Sheriff’s Office began extensive efforts to get Cornwell to safely surrender. At approximately 8:30 a.m., Cornwell exited the shed he resides in on the property and safely surrendered to members of the SWAT team.

Investigators searching the shed recovered over 20 different weapons.

Cornwell has been lodged at the Marion County Jail for Aggravated Animal Abuse and Unlawful use of a Weapon. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, January 27, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. at the Marion County Circuit Court Annex.

This investigation was coordinated by deputies assigned to the City of Jefferson. Marion County Sheriff’s Office is contracted to provide enhanced law enforcement services to the City of Jefferson. The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Woodburn Police Department for their assistance during this morning’s operation.

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/1294/160738/Recovered_weapons.jpeg

Marine Board Conditionally Approves Grants, Administrative Rules Housekeeping
Oregon Marine Board - 01/26/23 2:00 PM

The Oregon State Marine Board conditionally approved two Cycle One boating facility grants and approved standardizing and reorganizing administrative rule language during their quarterly Board meeting, held on January 25, in Salem. 

Pending legislative approval of the agency’s 2023-2025 budget, the Board conditionally approved a boating facility grant for Mayer State Park. After several years to obtain the required permits, this improvement project will include design, engineering, and technical assistance by Marine Board facility engineers. The project will replace the boat ramp and boarding docks and include better circulation for parking and maneuvering. The parking area will be expanded with defined trailer and single-car spaces. Additionally, the vault toilet will be relocated to improve accessibility, to and from the parking area and launch ramp. The project also includes adding a swale for stormwater runoff. These facility improvements will greatly improve safety, launching and retrieving times, and vehicle circulation. The Board approved $342,000 in Boating Facility Grant funds, from the 2023-25 Boating Facility Grant funding, combined with $1,687,011 in cash and administrative match for a total project cost of $2,029,011.

The Board also conditionally approved a Cycle One grant application for the Port of Bandon’s Marina and boat ramp improvements. This is a complex, multi-faceted project to replace the boat ramp, boarding docks, abutment, and piling. Additionally, the marina will be replaced and reconfigured with a breakwater dock, short and long-term moorage docks, new piling, gangway, utilities, and a nonmotorized launch dock.  The pumpout and dump station will be reinstalled on new docks. The Board approved $1,020,899.31 in Boating Facility Grant funds, $145,100.59 in Waterway Access Grant funds, $762,283 in federal Boating Infrastructure Grant funds and $61,827 in federal Clean Vessel Act funds, for a total of $1,990,109.90 from the 2023-25 Boating Facility Grant funding. These funds, combined with $7,397,389.10 of applicant resources and administrative match for a total project cost of $9,387,499. The Board and Director Warren expressed their gratitude to the Port Manager, Jeff Griffin, for his diligent effort in working with the community and other partners on a significant funding match for this comprehensive project.

In its final agenda item, the also Board approved a staff proposal to reorganize administrative rules and standardize rule language with very few substantive changes. Nearly all the revisions are part of a reorganization and standardization effort and make no functional changes to local boating laws. Staff will file the proposed rules with the Secretary of State’s Office in February. 

For more detailed information, please see the meeting materials linked on the Marine Board’s Public Meetings page


2023 Individual Artist Fellowships announced; Darrell Grant receives Joan Shipley Award (Photo)
Oregon Arts Commission - 01/26/23 11:10 AM
Joe Kye
Joe Kye

Salem, Oregon Leading a group of seven Oregon performing artists awarded 2023 Individual Artists Fellowships, jazz musician and educator Darrell Grant is the recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission’s honorary 2023 Joan Shipley Award. The other artists awarded 2023 Fellowships are David Bithell, Laura Cannon, Crystal Cortez, Samuel Hobbs, Gitanjali Hursh and Joe Kye. All 2023 Fellows receive $5,000 awards.

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

The Arts Commission’s Fellowship program is open to more than 20,000 artists who call Oregon home. Applicants to the program are reviewed by a panel of Oregon arts professionals who consider artists of outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work(s). The Arts Commission reviews and acts on the panel’s recommendations for fellowship recipients. A total of 62 applications were received for 2023 Fellowships. Performing and visual artists are honored in alternating years. 

The review panel for 2023 Fellowships was Meagan Iverson, executive director, Sunriver Music Festival; Lydia Van Dreel, UofO professor of horn and previous Fellowship recipient; Scott Lewis, executive director, NW Dance Project; Michael Cavazos, theater maker, visual artist and previous Fellowship recipient; Akiko Hatakeyama, UofO assistant professor of music technology; and Evren Odcikin, associate artistic director and director of artistic programming, Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The panel chair was Roberta Lavadour, an Arts Commissioner from Pendleton. 

David Bithell is an interdisciplinary artist, composer and performer exploring the connections between visual art, music, theater and performance. Utilizing new technologies and real-time interactive environments, his work blends the precision and structure of contemporary music and audio practices with an understanding of performance, narrative and humor drawn from recent theater, live cinema and performance art. His output ranges from interactive installations, sound art and generative animation to live performance and experimental music.

Bithell’s works have been presented at major venues in the United States, Europe and Asia. Highlights include: the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Canada); the Portland Biennial; the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland); SPARK Festival of Electronic Music and Art (Minneapolis); Ghent International Film Festival; Pixilerations [v.6]; the Seoul International Computer Music Festival; the MANCA Festival (France); the IS ARTI Festival (Lithuania); and at numerous colleges and universities in the United States. He has received grants and commissions from Meet the Composer Commissioning Music / USA, the American Composerʼs Forum, the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology and the Oregon Arts Commission.

He currently is a Professor of Art and Emerging Media at Southern Oregon University, where he chairs the Creative Arts Department and is a core faculty member of the Center for Emerging Media and Digital Arts (EMDA).

Laura Cannon is a dancer, choreographer and educator who has spent more than 20 years exploring site-specific work and innovative ways to create dance beyond the traditional boundaries of a stage. As the director of ProLab Dance, she is currently engaged in a multi-year site-specific performance study titled “Break to Build: Mapping Portland’s Landmark Shipyard at Zidell Shipyards” on Portland’s southwest waterfront. For this project Cannon has brought together a team of collaborating artists from various disciplines to explore and interpret the past, present and future of this historic site and turn those creative findings into an immersive Virtual Reality experience.

Cannon holds a BFA in Dance from the University Texas at Austin. She has performed with Sharir+Bustamante Danceworks, Deborah Hay and Blue Lapis Light among others. A prolific creator, she has received numerous awards for her choreography, performance, costume design and short films, including the prestigious John Bustin Award for Conspicuous Versatility in the Arts from the Austin Critic’s Table in 2006. With her wealth of experience in aerial harness dance techniques she launched the Echo Theatre Company’s robust harness dance programming in 2015.

Cannon founded ProLab Dance in 2019 with a mission to create and foster cross-disciplinary site-specific performances. Her short dance film, “Medusa” (2021), received an honorable mention at the Mobile Dance Film Festival at Harkness Dance Center in New York. “Garden Bed” (2021), a dance self-filmed during quarantine, has traveled the world and recently won Best Dancers at the Vesuvius International Film Festival in Italy and Best Film Shot on a Mobile Device at the Inspire International Film Festival in Sydney, Australia. 

Crystal Cortez is a sound, installation artist and programmer based out of Portland, Oregon. They are also a professor of Creative Coding & Sonic Arts at Portland Community College. Under their performance moniker Crystal Quartez, they create "Restorative Noise" by organizing drones and rhythms of mechanical life, natural voices and digital timbres into texture rich electronic music. Their sonic realms are windows into shared networks of reality, often separated by borders, time and perception. Recently, their work has involved translating live biodata from plants and static data from climate change into sound as well as building custom wearable instruments. Their work has been presented at NIME, La MaMa (NYC), Southern Exposure (SF), PICA, Navel (LA), On the Boards (Seattle) and more.

Darrell Grant has risen from the pianist in vocalist Betty Carter’s trio to an internationally recognized performer, composer and educator who channels the power of music to foster community, sustainability and social justice. Having performed with jazz luminaries including Frank Morgan, Tony Williams, Brian Blade, Esperanza Spalding and Nicholas Payton, he followed his 1994 New York Times Top 10 Jazz Album Black Art with seven albums receiving critical acclaim from The Village Voice and DownBeat Magazine. He has toured as a bandleader and solo artist throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe as well as in Turkey and Japan in venues from Paris’s La Villa jazz club to the Havana Jazz Festival.

Dedicated to themes of hope, community and place, Grant’s compositions include his 2012 “Step by Step: The Ruby Bridges Suite” honoring the civil rights icon. Also in 2012, he won a Chamber Music America grant for his composition “The Territory,” which explores the geographic and cultural history of Oregon. Committed to civically engaged art, Grant has driven pianos deep into state forests to support the environment, arranged protest anthems and shared the stage with Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Grant lives in Portland, Oregon, where he was inducted into the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2017, he received a Northwest Regional Emmy for his composition in the Oregon Public Broadcasting special “Jazz Town” and was also named Portland Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association. In 2019, he was named Portland Jazz Master by PDX Jazz and was awarded a MAP Fund grant for his 2022 jazz chamber opera Sanctuaries. In 2020, he received the Governor’s Arts Award, Oregon’s highest arts honor. He has served as Vice President of the board of Chamber Music America and is a Professor of Music at Portland State University where he directs the Artist as Citizen Initiative.

Samuel Hobbs is an Oregon-born multidisciplinary artist, educator, presenter and manual therapist, and is the founder and Artistic Director of the push/FOLD dance company (www.pushfold.org) and the Union PDX - Festival of Contemporary Dance. In the US and internationally, Samuel works to develop Dance, Art and movement education around concepts of Strength and Power, investigating the sensations of identity, relationships, self and gender dynamics. Working with professional artists and companies (recently Oregon Ballet Theater), immersive moodscapes, abstract storytelling and athletic dance performance with original sound compositions are the hallmarks of Samuel's body of work. As a choreographer, Hobbs draws from their training in athletics and dance (Track, Swimming, Martial Arts, and West African, Street, Contemporary Dance and Ballet) and integrates their background in Osteopathy, creating the movement method called Visceral Movement Theory™ (VMT). Reframing functional movement via visceral biomechanics, VMT focuses on increasing career longevity and power and efficiency in athletics, dance and everyday movement.

As an arts advocate, Hobbs works with audiences, councils, foundations, directors, artists, students and educators, seeking to generate abundance-thinking that centers service and reframed leadership with the understanding that everyone is fed when we all give more than we receive. Hobbs’ generative practice grows from stewardship, challenge and the discovery of Power in simple messages.

Gitanjali Hursh is an artist who has been working in Portland since the 1990s. She made her public debut as DJ Anjali in December of 2000. Her work is primarily concerned with connecting our collective memory through songs, dance and imagery while pushing forward a working class, immigrant feminist agenda on the dance floor.  She is a dancer and choreographer, blending her influences as the daughter of a classically trained Indian Kathak dancer with the powerful folk dance styles of Panjab, mainly Bhangra and Giddha. She moves between two styles of performance, from behind the decks as a DJ to the front of the stage as a dancer, all the while exploring her own identity through the power of sound and dance. She uses the dance floor as a place to build solidarity between communities of color. Music and movement have long been her tools to explore and share her unique identity as a mixed Desi immigrant daughter. With her partner, The Incredible Kid, she hosts TROPITAAL! A Desi Latino Soundclash & ANDAZ, two of the Northwest's longest running dance parties. She also teaches weekly at The Viscount Dance Studio. Archives of her years spent as a radio host on XRAY & KBOO can be found online.

Portland-based violinist-looper, vocalist and community organizer Joe Kye discharges worlds of emotion with his lush string loops and eclectic style. From viral TikTok jingles skewering microaggressions to delivering keynote speeches about creativity, community and identity, Kye’s work taps into an inner core, inspiring audiences to compassion and empathy. Drawing upon his immigrant upbringing, Kye weaves together electronic and acoustic textures, catchy melodies and vocals to uplift and empower listeners. His band, Joe Kye & the Givers, features some of Portland’s most acclaimed musicians, supercharging Joe’s music with intensity and power. Kye’s children’s music project Hi Joe Kye! introduces families to his story of hope and joy with an electro-pop sound, embracing the creative power of looping with songs inspired by the audience. In 2022, Kye launched Tiger Tiger PDX, a festival featuring Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander artists, performers and chefs. Kye has opened for Yo-Yo Ma, recorded a Tedx Talk, and been featured on NPR. 


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

Attached Media Files: Joe Kye , Gitanjali Hursh. Photo by Eden Swartz Photography. , Samuel Hobbs. Photo by Jingzi Zhao. , Darrell Grant. Photo by Thomas Teal. , Crystal Cortez , Laura Cannon , David Bithell

High lead levels found in two tubes of Diep Bao cream used to treat eczema in babies
Oregon Health Authority - 01/26/23 10:06 AM

EDITORS: State and local health officials will answer questions during a media availability today from 11 to noon through Zoom; members of the public can view a livestream on YouTube. Samples of contaminated products will be displayed and photos available for download.

January 26, 2023

Media contacts

Jonathan Modie, OHA, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Sarah Dean, Multnomah County, 971-349-0287, ah.dean@multco.us">sarah.dean@multco.us

Wendy Gordon, Washington County, 503-849-9117, don@washingtoncountyor.gov">wendy_gordon@washingtoncountyor.gov

High lead levels found in two tubes of Diep Bao cream used to treat eczema in babies

Health officials warning parents about skin cream product

PORTLAND, Ore.—High levels of lead have been found in two tubes of a skin cream known as Diep Bao that’s advertised as treatment for eczema in young children. State and local health officials are warning parents to avoid using the product while its safety is investigated.

Two Portland-area children were recently found to have elevated blood lead levels. The children, one in Washington County and one in Multnomah County, are both younger than a year old. During investigations by state and local lead experts, parents of the children pointed to Diep Bao as the product they recently used on their babies’ faces to treat eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, a condition common in young children that causes dry, itchy and inflamed skin.

Ryan Barker, Oregon Health Authority’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program coordinator, said laboratory tests on samples of the product provided by the families showed the product in the Washington County case contained 9,670 parts per million (ppm) lead, while the Multnomah County sample contained 7,370 ppm lead. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been alerted and is investigating. Only the two tubes of the cream have been tested so far, so whether lead is present in other tubes of Diep Bao is still being investigated.

Downloadable video clips of Barker discussing this investigation as well as photos of the product are available on OHA’s Media Resources page. 

Clips of an interview with Hai, the mother of the Multnomah County child, are available on the county’s YouTube page: with Vietnamese interpreter, https://youtu.be/Izy5JvtjEqw (viewers should adjust the volume to hear the interpreter’s voice, which is in the background); without interpreter, https://youtu.be/ExhPIoSAw-Q.

Diep Bao is promoted primarily by online retailers in Singapore and Vietnam, with one seller advertising it as “a cream that supports skin problems such as eczema, heat rash, rash, redness, dry chapped skin, skin care, skin cooling, skin healing.” Health investigators say the product is manufactured in Vietnam.

OHA, Washington County Public Health and the Multnomah County Health Department are jointly investigating the cases. They are asking families who have the product to avoid using it while its safety is investigated. Parents can help the investigation by providing tubes of Diep Bao in their possession to investigators so the product can be tested. They also are asking parents to learn about the risks of exposure to other lead-tainted products and make sure children’s blood levels are tested if they have been exposed to them.

“We are concerned this product caused or significantly contributed to the elevated blood lead levels in these children,” Barker said. “Any product containing high lead levels should be considered extremely dangerous and parents should immediately stop using it on their children or any other family member.”

There is no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory limit on lead in medications, but for cosmetics it’s 10 ppm. This means the two creams that were tested contained nearly 1,000 times the maximum allowable amount of lead in cosmetics. It’s unclear whether Diep Bao is considered a cosmetic under federal law.

The Washington County case was found to have a blood lead level of 11.8 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), while the Multnomah County case had a blood lead level of 7.3 µg/dL. Oregon's case definition for lead poisoning has been a blood lead level of 5 µg/dL or greater, which is when public health agencies investigate and provide case management to families. However, out of an abundance of caution – and to align with lead poisoning definitions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA – public health agencies in Oregon have recently begun investigating cases with blood lead levels above 3.5 µg/dL.

People with high blood levels of lead may show no symptoms, but the condition may cause damage to the nervous system and internal organs. Acute lead poisoning may cause a wide range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloody or decreased urinary output.

Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning. If a child is exposed to enough lead for a protracted period (e.g., weeks to months), permanent damage to the central nervous system can occur. This can result in learning disorders, developmental defects, and other long-term health problems.

“If your child has a skin condition like eczema, consult with your health care provider about prevention and treatment options,” said Christina Baumann, M.D., Washington County health officer. "If you have been using this Diep Bao cream, please talk to your provider about getting a blood lead test for your child.”

Perry Cabot, senior program specialist at Multnomah County Health Department and an investigator on the lead exposures, said the lead poisoning cases were discovered through a combination of regular pediatric check-ups, parent engagement, and public health follow-up to “connect the dots.”

“All these factors highlight the importance of staying engaged in your children's health, whether it's you, your medical provider, or your local or state health program,” Cabot said.

OHA and county health officials are working with the FDA to investigate the cases and test more products as they become available. Until the source and scope of the lead contamination are better understood, local health officials are also asking anyone selling these products to stop selling them and remove them from their websites to protect their customers.

Local health officials are working with culturally specific community groups and other partners to warn residents of potential risks associated with the eczema cream. People who have a tube of Diep Bao, or other concerns about lead, can contact the following:

Risk of lead

Oregon health care providers and laboratories are required by law to report certain diseases and conditions, including lead poisoning, to local health departments. On average, 270 Oregonians are diagnosed with lead poisoning each year; about a third are children younger than 6. The most common cases are due to ingesting paint and paint dust containing lead, but exposures from traditional cosmetics and informally imported spices have been identified.

For more information, visit the CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program page.


Justice System Improvement Program Open House Scheduled (Photo)
Benton County Government - 01/26/23 9:49 AM
Justice System Improvement Program logo
Justice System Improvement Program logo

Benton County is scheduled to host a Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP) Open House for community members to share highlights about County plans for holistic improvements to community safety, mental health, and homelessness services.

The open house will be held Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 6-8 p.m. at the Benton County Kalapuya Building, 4500 SW Research Way. Registration is not required, but the public and media are encouraged to RSVP by contacting pioinfo@co.benton.or.us.

Benton County elected officials, subject matter experts, and staff will be available to share plans for the new Mental Health Crisis Center, Courthouse, and District Attorney’s office and provide information about proposed safety, mental health, and homelessness services facilities to be included in a May 2023 bond measure. Stations at the event will include information about the new Courthouse and District Attorney's office design, the proposed plan for a new correctional facility with a Sheriff's Office and Emergency Operation Center, the new Benton County Crisis Center design plan, homelessness services facilities, and financial stewardship. 

The Justice System Improvement Program is a comprehensive effort to create a more equitable, effective, and safe justice system throughout Benton County. 

Questions or RSVPs may be directed to pioinfo@co.benton.or.us.

Sign up for important updates and information from Benton County


Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please contact Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or pioinfo@co.benton.or.us.

Attached Media Files: Justice System Improvement Program logo , Justice System Improvement Program Campus

Filing a return, claiming EITC could net $7,742 for some Oregonians
Oregon Dept. of Revenue - 01/26/23 8:57 AM

(Salem, OR) – As Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day approaches on Friday, January 27, the Oregon Department of Revenue and the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) are encouraging all workers with income in 2022 to check their Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility

The Department of Revenue and ODHS are working with other state agencies and community partners to encourage taxpayers to learn more about this credit and find out if they’re eligible. Many Oregonians miss out because they simply don’t know about it, especially those that aren’t required to file taxes.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal and state tax credit for people making less than $59,187 in 2022. Families may be eligible for a maximum refundable credit of $6935 on their federal tax return, and a maximum Oregon Earned Income Credit of $807 on their state tax return. Certain taxpayers without children may also be eligible for these credits. 

Individuals may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, even if they are not required to file. To receive the refundable credits, however, they must file a federal and state tax return.

Basic qualifications for EITC include:

  • All filing statuses are eligible, but some have specific requirements that must be met in order to qualify. 
  • You, your spouse, or any qualifying child must have a Social Security number to claim the federal credit. 
  • Your earned income in 2022 must be below certain limits based on your number of qualifying dependents.
  • You may be eligible even if you do not have a qualifying child.

Taxpayers can use the IRS EITC Assistant to check their eligibility further. The assistant is available in English and Spanish. 

Many of the basic qualifications for the Federal EITC are the same as those for the Oregon EIC, but Oregon also allows taxpayers who use an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) to file their taxes, or have a qualifying child with an ITIN, to claim the Oregon EIC. If you have an ITIN, claim the Oregon EIC using schedule OR-EIC-ITIN.

Taxpayers can visit the Earned Income Credit page of the Revenue website for more information on the Oregon EIC, as well as more information about their eligibility

Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day is a nationwide effort to increase awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit and free tax preparation sites. There are volunteer organizations, such as CASH Oregon and AARP, that can help you file your taxes for free or at a reduced cost. CASH Oregon provides free or low-cost, in-person and virtual tax preparation services throughout Oregon. For more information, visit www.cashoregon.org. 

People can also dial 2-1-1 or visit the Oregon Department of Revenue website to find free tax return preparation sites by using our interactive map. For more information on the EITC, visit https://www.eitc.irs.gov/. For questions about Oregon taxes, call the Department of Revenue at 503-378-4988.

To get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments, visit www.oregon.gov/dor or email questions.dor@oregon.gov. You also can call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing- or speech-impaired), we accept all relay calls.

Lane County Launches Fentanyl Aware Campaign To Address Growing Risk
Lane Co. Government - 01/26/23 8:30 AM

Lane County Public Health today announced the launch of a Fentanyl Aware campaign, aimed at addressing the increasing supply and use of fentanyl in Lane County. The effects of fentanyl, a powerful illicit opioid, are seen in the increased calls to 911, emergency room visits, and deaths. The campaign seeks to counteract those effects by promoting knowledge and safety through risk awareness and education. 


“Ultimately, we hope the outcome of this campaign is saved lives,” said Lane County Public Health Community Health Analyst and Fentanyl Aware campaign coordinator, Alexander LaVake. “To that end, we will be providing youth, families, and community members with the tools to stay safe, respond to an overdose, and provide strategies to lower the risk of overdose.” 


The campaign will include tools like Narcan education, information on the signs and symptoms of an overdose and how to respond, and resources throughout the community. 


Fentanyl Aware will promote these educational tools on web and social media channels as well as through partnerships and educational opportunities with several school districts and community organizations. 


To learn more and follow the campaign, visit http://fentanylaware.com 


Tip of The Week For January 30, 2023 - VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) (Photo)
Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office - 01/26/23 6:16 AM



Date:           January 26, 2023                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:       Sheriff Curtis Landers




VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday)


VINE – Victim Information and Notification Everyday is the nation’s leading automated victim notification solution and is available in Oregon. VINE allows crime victims across the country to obtain timely, reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders.

Victims often wish to know the status of an offender that is in the system.  Until VINE, it was difficult for officers to provide accurate information to victims. 

VINE makes information about the booking and release of inmates housed in county jails and state prisons available to victims at no cost either by telephone or the web. Offender information is collected automatically in near real-time from jail and prison booking systems.

Crime victims can access offender information, any time of the day or night simply by making a telephone call at 1-877-OR-4-VINE (1-877-674-8463) or by accessing the web at www.vinelink.com. Victims can call to inquire whether an offender is held in jail as well as the facility’s location. 

Users also can register to be notified immediately of a change in the inmate’s status, such as a release or escape. When a notification is triggered, VINE automatically calls the number or numbers the victim has provided. Calls continue until the victim acknowledges the call by entering a PIN.

VINE supports multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and others, so victims from many ethnicities have access to the system.

A free smartphone app is available to iPhone and Droid users called “MobilePatrol”.  One of the features of this app is access to the VINE service so you can be notified on your smart device (tablet or phone).  The app is available from the Droid “Play Store” and Apple “App Store”.  Once the app is downloaded, select Oregon as your state and then select Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.  The VINE feature and other features will appear as you scan through the pages of the app.

For more information and tips, visit our web site at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/5490/160723/012623_VINE_Notification_System.pdf , 2023-01/5490/160723/VINE.PNG

Wed. 01/25/23
Open enrollment has ended for 2023 health coverage: Enrollment options still available for many people
Oregon Health Authority - 01/25/23 4:20 PM

January 25, 2023

Media contact: Amy Coven, 503-943-0164, amy.coven2@dhsoha.state.or.us

Open enrollment has ended for 2023 health coverage: Enrollment options still available for many people

(Salem) – During the 2023 open enrollment period, 141,963 Oregonians enrolled in health insurance coverage, the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace announced today.

The open enrollment period was from Nov. 1, 2022 to Jan. 15, 2023 for 2023 health coverage. People who missed the open enrollment deadline may still have an opportunity to get health coverage through the Marketplace if they experienced a qualifying life event such as moving, involuntarily losing health coverage, having or adopting a child, marriage, a change in citizenship, and being released from incarceration. Enrolled Tribal members, Alaska natives, and people who have lower income can enroll in health coverage at any time throughout the year.

Oregonians can preview plans and savings available to them by answering a few short questions at OregonHealthCare.gov. The website is also the best place to find a health insurance expert who can give one-on-one help with the application and enrollment process by phone, email, or in person. Visit OregonHealthCare.gov today to get started.


The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov. For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.


Albany Police Department Officer Wounded in Shooting (Photo)
Benton Co. Sheriff's Office - 01/25/23 4:16 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. – On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at approximately 12:20 p.m., Alex Cameron Greig, 19, of Albany reported he had physically assaulted his girlfriend.

Officers from the Albany Police Department (APD) responded to the residence on Valley View Drive NW in Albany. Upon arrival, Officers reported shots fired from inside the residence. One APD Officer was injured by flying glass and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries. 

Greig surrendered to Officers on scene and was taken into custody without further incident. 

“We are very fortunate that no police officers were seriously injured and the suspect is in custody. We appreciate the professionalism of both Albany Police Officers on scene and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office who is taking the lead on the investigation”, Chief Harnden, APD.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) is conducting the ongoing investigation of the incident and will release more information as it is available. 

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/1505/160713/Press_Release_Twitter.jpg

Honduran Man Arrested in Portland Trafficking Rainbow Fentanyl and Firearms Charged in Federal Court (Photo)
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 01/25/23 3:37 PM
Drug and Gun Seizure
Drug and Gun Seizure

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Honduran man residing in Portland is facing federal charges after he was arrested moving two kilograms of rainbow-colored fentanyl and several firearms between two Portland-area motels.

Jose Isidro Zuniga Torres, 47, has been charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl.

According to court documents, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Tigard Police Department are engaged in an ongoing investigation into the suspected trafficking of illegal narcotics from Mexico for distribution and sale in Oregon and Washington state. To date, law enforcement officials have charged or arrested eight individuals with connections to an international drug trafficking organization and seized more than five kilograms of powdered fentanyl, four and a half kilograms of heroin, three kilograms each of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, 45,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, and 12 firearms.

As part of this investigation, on January 23, 2023, investigators were surveilling a motel in Portland when they observed two men, one later identified as Zuniga, exit a room carrying multiple boxes. The two men loaded the boxes and several additional bags into a vehicle and began driving toward another area motel. The investigators followed the vehicle and observed the two men unload the boxes and bags into a room at the second motel.

The next day, on January 24, 2023, investigators executed a federal search warrant on the second motel room. After making entry into the room, Zuniga was arrested without incident. Investigators located and seized more than 2 kilograms of hard, rainbow-colored fentanyl packaged for distribution, 417 grams of counterfeit oxycodone pills (M30s) containing fentanyl, 393 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 49 grams of cocaine, and eight firearms. 

Zuniga admitted to possessing most of the drugs found in the motel room. He further told investigators the firearms were to be shipped to Honduras and were wrapped in tinfoil and clothing to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Zuniga made his first appearance in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jolie A. Russo. He was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

This case is being investigated by the DEA, HSI, and Tigard Police Department. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office 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.


Attached Media Files: Drug and Gun Seizure

PUC Encouraging Oregonians to Submit Internet Data to Faster Internet Oregon Campaign
Oregon Public Utility Commission - 01/25/23 1:45 PM

Speed test, survey will inform future broadband funding and planning to improve internet access 

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is encouraging Oregonians to report their home internet speed data or lack of internet service as part of Faster Internet Oregon’s internet speed test and broadband mapping survey. This information will help secure infrastructure funding and ensure it is allocated so every Oregon resident has access to fast, affordable internet service. 

Congress’s bipartisan broadband infrastructure funding bills are distributing billions to the states with the goal of making equitable internet access for all Americans a reality. These broadband funding programs present an unprecedented opportunity to overcome the enormous challenges that have kept reliable, affordable Internet service out of reach for many rural and Tribal communities due to low household incomes, low population density, remote locations, difficult terrain, among other roadblocks. Having accurate data to identify where broadband service is and is not available is an important first step in helping state and local decision-makers determine how to allocate funding to deliver broadband services equitably.

The Faster Internet Oregon speed test and survey, offered in both English and Spanish, is easy, free, and safe to complete. In addition to running the internet speed test, respondents are asked whether they have home internet service, an estimate of the monthly cost, and address where the speed test is taken. This data, which is protected from use for any other purpose, will be mapped to identify gaps in service and used to estimate project costs for future broadband expansion. 

“We encourage all Oregonians to take part in the Faster Internet Oregon effort. The data provided will be invaluable as our state looks to make significant improvements in broadband infrastructure connectivity for all Oregon residents, improving access to healthcare, jobs, education, and numerous community resources,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair.

To start the speed test and survey, visit: www.fasterinternetoregon.org/#speed-test. Additionally, inform Oregon-based friends, family, and colleagues to help ensure greater participation across the state in this effort.

# # #

Faster Internet Oregon was launched in 2022 by a partnership of non-profit and public organizations including Oregon’s Economic Development Districts, Onward Eugene, SpeedUpAmerica, and Link Oregon, among others. The project's partners will use this data, along with software that assists in mapping as well as in designing and budgeting for broadband infrastructure builds, to prepare compelling grant proposals for funding. For more information, visit www.FasterInternetOregon.org or email info@FasterInternetOregon.org

The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities, including Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, Pacific Power, Avista, Cascade Natural, and NW Natural. The PUC also regulates landline telephone providers and select water companies. The PUC’s mission is to ensure Oregonians have access to safe, reliable, and fairly priced utility services that advance state policy and promote the public interest. We use an inclusive process to evaluate differing viewpoints and visions of the public interest and arrive at balanced, well-reasoned, independent decisions supported by fact and law. For more information about the PUC, visit oregon.gov/puc.

LCSO Case #23-0268 -- Internet Child Sex Crimes Suspect Arrested (Photo)
Lane Co. Sheriff's Office - 01/25/23 12:40 PM

Lane County Sheriff’s Office detectives recently received information from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that approximately 30 separate files of child pornography had been uploaded to the internet using the messaging platform ‘Kik’ from a residence in Veneta.  Detectives served a search warrant on the house and were able to develop information indicating that a former resident, 45-year-old Lon Curtis Coffey, had uploaded the images. 

Detectives additionally learned that approximately two years ago, Coffey had attempted to groom an 11-year-old girl to solicit sex. With permission from the child’s guardian, detectives used the child’s Facebook account to message with the suspect. Within two days of messaging, Coffey stated he wanted to have sex with the now 13-year-old girl and advised he would drive down to the Eugene area from Albany to meet. Detectives confronted Coffey upon his arrival and he was taken into custody.

Coffey admitted to uploading the child pornography from the house in Veneta.  He additionally advised he has been involved in child pornography for over 10 years and has exchanged thousands of files.

Please contact Lane County Sheriff’s Office detectives at 541-682-4150 if your child has had contact with Lon Coffey.       

Attached Media Files: 2023-01/6111/160708/Crime_Scene_Logo.jpg

OSP Conservation K-9 Team Announces Expansion (Photo)
Berg & Associates - 01/25/23 12:30 PM
Trooper Shae Ross with K-9 Scout
Trooper Shae Ross with K-9 Scout

(SALEM, Ore.) – At first glance, Scout might look like he’s a typical, playful pup, but this 18-month-old, black Lab is developing a nose for crime. Meet the newest member of the Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 team. Scout along with his handler, Trooper Shae Ross will be following in the footsteps of the first anti-poaching team in Oregon made up of K-9 Buck and Senior Trooper Josh Wolcott.

The OSP Fish & Wildlife Division, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) Stop Poaching Campaign, and the Oregon Wildlife Foundation (OWF) held a joint press conference to announce the expansion of the OSP Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 team Jan. 25 at ODFW headquarters in Salem.  

“Adding another wildlife detection K-9 team provides another asset to our division to address poaching issues and increase awareness across the state,” said OSP Fish & Wildlife Division Captain Casey Thomas. “Senior Trooper Wolcott and K-9 Buck have done a great job of getting this program started. Adding a second team will increase the program's efficiency and reduce the excessive travel strain of the current team. I want to thank everyone involved in establishing, maintaining, and supporting OSP’s Conservation K9 program,” continued Thomas. “This program wouldn’t be possible without them and these strong partnerships.”

Speakers at the event included: Senior Trooper Wolcott, Trooper Ross, Stop Poaching Campaign Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Yvonne Shaw and Oregon Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Tim Greseth. A demonstration by Buck and Senior Trooper Wolcott followed the presentations. 

“Oregon’s fish, wildlife and other natural resources belong to all of us,” stated Stop Poaching Campaign Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Yvonne Shaw. “The partnership between Oregon Wildlife Foundation and the OSP F&W Conservation K9 program helps to protect these natural resources for current and future generations. OWF’s generous donors recognize the value of these dogs, which offer a unique connection between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” continued Shaw.

OWF, in collaboration with OSP Fish & Wildlife Division, launched Oregon’s first Wildlife K-9 team in 2019. K-9 Buck and Senior Trooper Wolcott have conducted numerous poaching investigations and logged hundreds of hours in the field since the inception of the program. The current team is located at OSP’s Springfield Area Command but has worked across the state over the last 2.5 years.

The effectiveness of the K-9 program led OSP leadership to the recent approval of the additional team (Scout and Trooper Ross) at the OSP Area Command in Bend. As with the inaugural team, OWF donors have generously agreed to help cover the costs of this program expansion. Ongoing canine expenses, primarily veterinary care, are financed by public donations to OWF.

"Oregon Wildlife Foundation is pleased to be able to support the OSP Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 program and our partnership with Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division," said OWF Executive Director Tim Greseth. “We greatly appreciate generous donors stepping up, once again, to expand this successful program and help us introduce a new K-9 team to the public."

Oregon Wildlife Foundation accepts public donations to the OSP Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 Fund to offset expenses associated with the canine members of the teams. Donations to the fund help defray the costs of veterinary care, training equipment and related supplies. To support and learn more about the OSP Fish & Wildlife Conservation K-9 program visit www.myowf.org/k9team


Attached Media Files: Trooper Shae Ross with K-9 Scout , Senior Trooper Josh Wolcott with K-9 Buck

Housing authority's radon procedures manual inspires state protocol
Oregon Health Authority - 01/25/23 12:18 PM

January 25, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139,


Housing authority’s radon procedures manual inspires state protocol

OHA gives nod to Home Forward in testing plan for multifamily buildings

PORTLAND, Ore.— In 2017, Home Forward began testing its Portland public housing buildings for radon to prepare for a major rehabilitation project. The agency discovered some buildings had elevated levels of radon, but guidance on addressing it was limited.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had issued recommendations for radon testing in 2013, but there was no requirement specific to testing public housing properties.

So, Home Forward took a proactive approach to addressing elevated radon levels, creating a policy to test, mitigate where necessary, and re-test all the properties it owns – more than 100 buildings. That spawned the Home Forward Radon Procedures Manual.

“The only way of knowing if a property or a unit has high levels of radon is by testing,” said Carolina Gomez, Home Forward’s director of Integrated Facilities Services and Safety who helped draft both the policy and the procedures manual. “We don't know where we're going to find it until we test, so we are in the process of testing all our properties.”

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is recognizing National Radon Action Month during January to highlight the dangers of the colorless, odorless and invisible radioactive gas. Winter is the best time to test for radon because windows and doors are closed tight, and HVAC systems can create interior pressure differences that cause more radon to be sucked up through a home’s foundation.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States.

The Home Forward Radon Procedures Manual lays out detailed procedures for initial testing, mitigation, post-mitigation testing and ongoing testing, as well as requirements for notifying residents about testing and mitigation, and procedures for procurement of radon contracting services, ensuring safety, and maintenance. The manual also describes each Home Forward department’s responsibility regarding radon testing and mitigation.

Home Forward is now on track to completing testing and abatement at all its properties – home to some 14,000 households – by the end of 2023.

OHA took notice of Home Forward’s success in developing its radon policy and procedures manual. In late 2022, OHA published its own Radon Testing for Multifamily Buildings guide – available on OHA’s Radon Resources page – to help multifamily building owners and managers in the state accurately test their buildings for elevated radon.

“What inspired us was the Oregonian’sCancer Cloud” article, and then learning about Home Forward’s commitment to test their buildings for radon,” said Jara Popinga, OHA’s Radon Awareness Program coordinator. “It was clear that local housing authorities could use more support and encouragement for radon testing.”

OHA had recently finished the protocols and procedures document for testing radon levels in schools – as part of ORS 332.341 and 332.345 – and a risk communication tool kit. It was an opportunity for the agency to reconstruct those resources to make something geared toward property owners and tenants. Because Home Forward has experience with radon testing in multifamily buildings and communicating with tenants, “we thought they would be a great partner to work with to build these resources. Lucky for us, they agreed to provide support and input on our materials,” Popinga said.

HUD points to a document created by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), Protocol for Conduction Measurements of Radon and Radon Decay Products in Multifamily Buildings, for recommendations on how to test larger properties. But it’s technical, and copies are expensive.

“We wanted to make a document that stuck to the AARST protocols but was less technical, easier to digest and free to use,” Popinga said. “Our goal is to create a packet of useful information that’s easy to read, contains AARST standards for testing multifamily buildings, has fillable documents that help to organize and plan for testing, and materials to help communicate with tenants. We want to remove barriers and make it easier for property owners to test for radon.”

The guide, developed with funding from the EPA, follows national guidelines for measuring radon in multifamily apartment buildings. It provides step-by-step instructions and other tools to help property owners and managers plan and carry out radon testing.

“It’s not a requirement for private housing rental companies to test for radon. In addition, it’s not a requirement for them to fix high levels of radon, if detected. However, we hope that the document will encourage such companies to seek radon testing and make it easier to take action when testing a property,” Popinga said.

Having a guide for multifamily building owners and managers is important because radon levels can vary widely from building to building, as many parts of Oregon remain at risk of high radon. For example, one multifamily apartment building can have low or no elevated radon levels, while the building next door can have dangerously high levels.

For Home Forward, regular communication with residents was paramount to developing and successfully implementing its Radon Procedures Manual.

“Now we have a policy in place where we have timelines in which we are going to notify residents as soon as we can” about testing and abating at their properties, Gomez said. “It’s active communication. There is less stress on residents in that they know we are taking care of the problem.”

For more information on areas of the state at moderate to high risk of elevated radon levels, radon testing and mitigation or to order a test kit online, contact the Radon Awareness Program at adon.program@state.or.us">radon.program@state.or.us or visit its webpage.

Visit Home Forward’s radon page for information about the housing authority’s work, policy and manual, and links to resources.


Mobile unit compliance deadline prompts new interest in rules
Oregon Health Authority - 01/25/23 12:06 PM

January 25, 2023

Media Contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Mobile unit compliance deadline prompts new interest in rules

Jan. 1 effective date follows three-year grace period for food cart operators

PORTLAND, Ore.— New statewide mobile food unit rules officially went into effect Jan. 1, following a three-year grace period to give operators time to come into compliance.

The new rules for mobile food units, or food carts, were established Feb. 1, 2020, so counties statewide could strengthen enforcement and protect the public.

OHA and local public health agencies continue to be supportive and are ready to work with operators on compliance schedules to give them more time. Mobile units will not be closed immediately if they are not in compliance with these new rules if they are actively working on a solution that has been approved by the Local Public Health Authority.   

Mobile food units make up a diverse and thriving industry that Oregon is nationally known for. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) supports their growth statewide. The agency is unique in that it does not automatically require a unit to have a commissary – a licensed kitchen where dishes can be washed, food is prepared in advance, and food and equipment are stored – if operators can show their units can be self-sufficient. Operators must, however, keep everything “integral” to the unit and operate within the capacity of the unit.


Integral means that all equipment associated with a mobile unit is rigidly and physically attached to the unit without restricting the mobility of the unit while in transit.

In the state, there have been challenges with non-integral items sitting on the ground around mobile units, which creates gathering places for insects and rodents. Because of this, OHA has strengthened enforcement for violations with the support of the Rule Advisory Committee.

The rules

All mobile food units must be designed with integrated, on-board potable and wastewater tanks. A mobile unit may also connect to water and sewer if available at the operating location, but the tanks must always remain on the unit. One exception applies to mobile food units licensed prior to Feb. 1, 2020, in which the water tanks and associated plumbing were removed prior to that date. Those units are not required to reinstall the tanks and associated plumbing if the unit is still connected to an approved water and sewer system in its original licensing location.

A mobile food unit may not connect to a freshwater system without also connecting to an approved sewer system.

Because all operations and equipment must be integral parts of the mobile food unit, those that use potable and wastewater storage tanks that are not integral to the unit must discontinue the use of these tanks.  Properly sized tanks may need to be installed on the unit to meet their current needs for fresh and wastewater.

A mobile food unit may use folding shelves or small tables that are integral to the unit for display of non-potentially hazardous condiments and customer single-use articles, such as disposable utensils and napkins. The shelves or small tables must be designed and installed so they do not impede the mobility of the unit when retracted.

What hasn’t changed

Off-unit items such as refrigerators, freezers and water/wastewater tanks have never been allowed, and there is no change to the requirements. These violations are now a higher priority in the Food Sanitation Rules, allowing county inspectors greater ability to enforce them.  Additionally, off unit water tanks become a public health problem when wastewater spills or there is improper disposal on site.  


In 2018, the OHA Foodborne Illness Prevention Program formed a Rules Advisory Committee that included mobile food unit operators, interested parties, industry association representatives and regulators. The following year, OHA conducted informational meetings, inviting every mobile unit operator statewide to attend. The meetings – in Bend, Medford and Salem – included presentations and discussions about the proposed rules, the timeline of the rulemaking process and a question-and-answer session.

After hearing formal testimony on the proposed rules during a public meeting, OHA created a document outlining the major rule changes. These rule changes have been available online for the public since 2019 and the significant changes document was given to operators by local environmental health inspection staff during inspections. 

Operators and the public can learn more about the food and safety rules for mobile food units here: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/FOODSAFETY/Documents/foodsanitationrulesweb.pdf

A link to the significant changes document can be found here: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/FOODSAFETY/Documents/musignifchangenglish.pdf

Here is a link to OHA’s food safety webpage: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/FOODSAFETY/Pages/index.aspx


Get immunizations updated before School Exclusion Day Feb. 15
Oregon Health Authority - 01/25/23 12:04 PM

January 25, 2023

Media contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843 phd.communications@oha.oregon.gov

Get immunizations updated before School Exclusion Day Feb. 15

Parents must provide schools, child care facilities with kids’ vaccine records

Portland, Ore. – The third Wednesday of February (Feb. 15) is School Exclusion Day, and the Oregon Immunization Program reminds parents that children may not be able to attend school or child care that day if their records show missing immunizations.

Under state law, all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities must have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations or have an exemption.

“Immunization is the best way to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough and measles,” said Stacy de Assis Matthews, school law coordinator at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division.

“Just a few years ago, we saw several measles cases in the Northwest, and Central Ohio just experienced a severe measles outbreak with more than 30 unvaccinated children hospitalized,” Matthews said. “There also were recent polio cases in New York state. We don’t want another disease outbreak in Oregon of on top of COVID-19. Immunizations are the most effective way to stop the spread of measles and other diseases, to keep kids and school communities healthy and safe.”

If a child’s school and child care vaccination records are not up to date by Feb. 15, the child will be sent home if they don’t have an exemption. In 2022, local health departments sent 26,149 letters to parents and guardians informing them that their children needed immunizations to stay in school or child care.

A total of 5,118 children were kept out of school or child care until the necessary immunization information was turned in to the schools or child care facilities. This year, reminder letters to parent will be mailed by Feb. 1.

COVID-19 vaccinations are not required for students in Oregon schools or child care. OHA strongly recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 immunizations. Parents can check with their health care provider or pharmacist about current COVID-19 recommendations.

Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their child’s pediatrician or local health department, or contact 211Info by dialing 211 or visiting to 211info.org. No one can be turned away from a local health department because of the inability to pay for required vaccines. Many pharmacists can immunize children 7 and older; parents can contact their neighborhood pharmacy for details.

Additional information on school immunizations can be found at the Immunization Program website.

Statewide school vaccination data is available on the OHA website, or at OHA’s new School Law Immunization Dashboard.

Personal stories on why people in Oregon are deciding to vaccinate can be viewed by visiting OHA’s Facebook and Twitter pages. OHA also invites people to join the conversation and share why they vaccinate by using the hashtag #ORVaccinates on social media.

As a parent, Dr. Choo talks about why she vaccinates her children: https://youtu.be/aDy7sseKs24

Reverend Dr. Currie discusses whether there are legitimate reasons for religious exemptions: https://youtu.be/D6XnPm1N4iQ

Hear how Sarah’s powerful conversations changed her mom’s long-held views on vaccinations: https://youtu.be/dPB2sfySwJQ

With big changes proposed, state to hold off on release of next wildfire risk map
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 01/25/23 11:31 AM

SALEM, Ore.— The Oregon Legislature will be considering a number of recommendations for changes related to the statewide wildfire risk map during the 2023 session, some of which would substantively change the map itself. Following conversations last week with the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Programs Advisory Council, the state has decided to postpone the release of an updated draft of the map, which was planned for March 2023.

“As we’ve been working with Oregon State University on technical adjustments to the map and planning for community outreach and engagement, we’ve also been keeping a close eye on the policy conversations happening in different venues,” explained Cal Mukumoto, Oregon State Forester and director of the Oregon Department of Forestry. “There were some great recommendations that came out of the Wildfire Programs Advisory Council’s first annual report and opportunities identified by Wildfire Programs Director Doug Grafe related to the map that I hope the Legislature gets the opportunity to explore during this session.” 

Those recommendations are in addition to several bills proposing a variety of changes ranging from which areas are assigned a risk classification to abolishing the map entirely. “We want to avoid expending resources on work that may not align with new direction that may come from the Legislature this session,” Mukumoto said. Without knowing what decisions will be made by the Legislature, the department does not yet know how long it will take to implement that direction.

Members of both the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and the Wildfire Programs Advisory Council have expressed support for continued mapping of wildfire hazards to identify where to direct investments in wildfire mitigation activities including fuels reduction and building defensible space. 

“Our goal this session is to get resources and expertise to Oregonians already doing good work on the ground to protect their properties and neighborhoods,” said Sen. Jeff Golden (D), Ashland. Golden chairs the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and was the chief sponsor of SB 762. “It’s important to get that done and to do all we can to ease the homeowner insurance challenges that the era of megafires has brought us before moving forward with any map.”

There is also broad recognition of the need for increased outreach, education and engagement with communities. “We need an integrated, coordinated and robust communications and outreach effort across all Senate Bill 762 programs to help property owners understand what their classification means, how they can better protect their homes and what resources are available to help them with that work,” said Mark Bennett, chair of the Wildfire Programs Advisory Council.

OSU, ODF’s partner in the development of the map, will lend technical expertise to upcoming educational efforts related to wildfire risk and hazard. "We are prepared to support state agencies in education plans and will help develop and implement an operational plan as needed,” said Tom DeLuca, dean of OSU’s College of Forestry. Other state agencies with SB 762 responsibilities that have a nexus to the map are Office of the State Fire Marshal, Department of Consumer and Business Services – Building Codes Division and the Department of Land Conservation and Development.

“The success of this whole program depends on strong collaboration between state government, local leaders and property owners in wildfire-prone areas. Building that partnership has to be job number one over the coming months,” Golden explained. “When we feel like we’re pulling in the same direction, we’ll be ready for a much better conversation about the map.”

While the Legislature is in session, the department will:

  • Continue to work with OSU on exploring technical adjustments in response to feedback received on the initial map, including concerns related to irrigated lands and classification differences on adjacent lots. 
  • Follow the progress of bills related to the risk map to plan quickly and appropriately for any rulemaking actions or other activities required to implement new or changed legislative direction.
  • Work with the Wildfire Programs Advisory Council to identify community needs and with partner agencies to leverage opportunities for outreach, education and engagement.

Marion County Judge Sentences Man to 20 Years in Prison for Sexual Assaults
Marion Co. Dist. Attorney's Office - 01/25/23 9:44 AM

On January 10, 2023, Marion County Circuit Court Judge, Courtland Geyer, sentenced Chase Gasperetti for several sexual assaults he committed against an Aumsville woman in June of 2021. 

On December 21, 2022, after presiding over a multi-day trial, Judge Geyer found Chase Gasperetti guilty of three counts of Rape in the First Degree, one count of Sodomy in the First Degree, and one count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. 

These convictions were based on Chase Gasperetti’s repeated sexual assaults on a physically helpless and mentally incapacitated woman in her own home. Following the guilty verdict, Judge Geyer remanded Chase Gasperetti into custody pending sentencing. At the sentencing hearing on January 10, 2023, Judge Geyer sentenced Chase Gasperetti to a total sentence of 20 years in prison. 

This case was investigated by the Aumsville Police Department. Aumsville Police Officer Shane Bird led the investigation. The Oregon State Crime Lab also assisted in this investigation. 

OHA offers licensing fees waivers for social workers
Oregon Health Authority - 01/25/23 8:47 AM

January 25, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

OHA offers licensing fees waivers for social workers

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is partnering with the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers to pay the licensing application fees for aspiring social workers.

The license is required for anyone seeking to enter the behavioral health field as a social worker in Oregon.

The license ensures that clinical social workers have received the appropriate education and professional experience. Applicants also undergo a criminal background check.

Fees run between $200 and $460 depending on the license.

The program is intended to remove barriers for potential applicants.  Approximately $620,000 has been set aside to pay application fees starting Feb.1, 2023, through Feb. 19, 2024.

Applicants will see the benefits of this program when they submit their licensing application for payment and see zero balance due.

This program is offered in conjunction with a similar program announced earlier this month to pay the testing fees for social worker candidates over the same period.

The program is part of a larger effort to rebuild and retool a behavioral health workforce that was decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding comes from $60 million allocated by the Oregon Legislature under House Bill 4071 (2022) to develop a diverse behavioral health workforce in licensed and non-licensed occupations through scholarships, loan repayment, professional development, other incentives, and peer workforce development. 

More about this program can be found on the Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative web page.  

General questions about the application fee waiver program can be directed to: h.workforceinitiative@odhsoha.oregon.gov">bh.workforceinitiative@odhsoha.oregon.gov. Technical questions about how the benefit works can be directed to the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers: oregon.blsw@blsw.oregon.gov

The Oregon State Hospital is looking to hire psychiatric social workers at its Salem and Junction City campuses.


Lane County To Conduct 2023 Homeless Point In Time Count This Week
Lane Co. Government - 01/25/23 8:30 AM

Every year, Lane County Human Services Division (LCHSD) conducts an annual census of people experiencing homelessness on a single night, called the Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. This is part of a federal requirement from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for communities across the nation who receive funding for homelessness work. This year’s count will be conducted from 7 a.m. on Thursday, January 26th to 7 p.m. on Friday, January 27th.  

“Homelessness is a condition that extends far beyond the more visible symptoms we’ve come to characterize it with,” said Lane County Health & Human Services Director, Eve Gray. “You can’t solve a problem that you can’t see, and getting a clear, dynamic understanding of homelessness is the first step to solving it.”  

The PIT Count is meant to serve as a snapshot of homelessness Lane County in order to provide a sense of the general scope and state of homelessness. While the data collected is important for benchmarking and funding purposes, it’s important to recognize that the number of individuals experiencing homelessness is likely greater than what is able to be captured in this snapshot. 

This year, teams of LCHSD staff members will conduct a physical count of individuals who are unsheltered in the Eugene/Springfield area, Veneta, Florence, Junction City, and Coburg. That data will be cross-referenced with the Homeless by Name List, a database of individuals who are experiencing homelessness and have interacted with service agencies in order to provide a more complete picture.  

Additionally, Lane County is a Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) Community, selected by HUD to test best and promising practices and implement a coordinated community plan to end youth homelessness. As part of this effort, LCHS will be taking extra steps to ensure youth who are experiencing homelessness are captured in the 2023 PIT Count, including those who are unstably housed or couch surfing. These efforts include pop-up magnet events on the day of the count to bring youth in to complete a survey. Just as with the broader count, these surveys will be cross-referenced with our HBNL and, if the young person is not already captured, they will be included in our count, provided they meet HUD’s definition and parameters for submission in the PIT Count. Those unstably housed or couch surfing will not be included in the data provided to HUD, but will be captured in local data to inform our YHDP planning efforts. Youth surveyors will be available through the Eugene Library, Youth ERA, Lane Community College, and youth-specific outreach in the metro and rural areas on the day of the count. This year’s youth PIT Count strategies have been vetted and approved through the YHDP Youth Executive committee. 

The full report from the PIT Count won’t be available for several months after the count is conducted.  



Willamette Valley Grass Seed Company Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced in Scheme to Defraud Simplot
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 01/25/23 8:19 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.—On January 24, 2023, a Willamette Valley grass seed marketing and distribution company pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court for its role in a scheme to defraud the J.R. Simplot Company and its former subsidiary the Jacklin Seed Company.

Ground Zero Seeds Int’l, Inc. (GZI) pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of felony and was sentenced to one year of probation. The Yamhill, Oregon company was also ordered to pay a $40,000 fine and $516,000 in restitution to Simplot.

According to court documents, GZI and its president, founder, and owner, Gregory McCarthy, maintained longstanding commercial relations with the Jacklin Seed Company, a subsidiary of Simplot based in Liberty Lake, Washington. GZI and McCarthy routinely contracted with Jacklin for the purchase and sale of grass seed. These contracts were typically negotiated with Richard Dunham, a former Jacklin employee who oversaw the company’s order-fulfillment and warehousing operations in Oregon and had the authority to purchase grass seed from certain Oregon growers over others.

Beginning in April 2015, McCarthy and Dunham agreed that GZI would pay Dunham a per pound kickback for grass seed purchased by Jacklin. These kickbacks were built into the prices reflected on GZI’s invoices to Jacklin. Dunham artificially inflated the price Jacklin paid GZI for seed or reduced the price at which Jacklin sold seed to GZI. To help conceal the scheme from Jacklin, Dunham registered a separate business entity through which he purported to offer consulting and grass seed brokering services. Dunham used the company and a checking account in the company’s name to accept kickbacks from GZI, McCarthy, and others.

Between April 2015 and September 2019, McCarthy caused GZI to pay Dunham approximately $191,790.

Prior to GZI pleading guilty and being sentenced, a one-count superseding criminal information was filed charging the company with misprision of felony.

On April 29, 2022, Dunham was charged by criminal information with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and on July 7, 2022, he pleaded guilty to both charges. Dunham will be sentenced on June 21, 2023.

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Company Operating Aluminum Processing Facility in The Dalles Pleads Guilty to Clean Air Act Violations
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 01/25/23 8:05 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.—On January 24, 2023, an Illinois-based company that operates an aluminum processing facility in The Dalles, Oregon, pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act by negligently releasing a hazardous air pollutant from its facility, endangering employees and nearby community members.

Hydro Extrusion USA (Hydro), a limited liability corporation based in Rosemont, Illinois, pleaded guilty to negligent endangerment by discharging a hazardous pollutant.

“No cost savings or competitive advantage are worth the risk posed to the health and safety of Hydro’s workers or members of the community,” said Ethan Knight, Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “We will continue working closely with our partners at the EPA to ensure all businesses play by the rules.”

“By illegally melting contaminated scrap metal, the defendant knowingly and unlawfully violated environmental regulations and in doing so exposed their workers and the local community to hazardous air pollutants,” said Special Agent in Charge Scot Adair of the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal investigation program in Oregon. “EPA, along with its state partners, are committed to holding companies accountable when they endanger the health of their employees and local communities.”

According to court documents, Hydro operates a secondary aluminum processing facility in The Dalles where it melts aluminum scrap in induction furnaces to produce reusable aluminum billets. While operating, air emissions from the company’s furnaces were open to the interior of the building and did not pass through any pollution control devices before reaching employees or being vented to ambient air.

Under the Clean Air Act, secondary aluminum production facilities are only permitted to use “clean charge,” aluminum scrap free of paints, coatings or lubricants. Despite this requirement, from July 2018 through June 2019, Hydro acquired and melted scrap aluminum coated in a mineral-oil based mixture that, when combusted, produced hazardous smoke. Hydro saved approximately $466,000 purchasing the unclean charge. During this time, Hydro employees noticed excessive smoke in the facility. Despite being notified by inspectors from EPA and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (Oregon DEQ), Hydro continued melting the unclean charge.

On August 23, 2022, after fully cooperating with the government’s investigation of this matter and agreeing to plead guilty, Hydro was charged by federal criminal information with one count of negligent endangerment.

Negligent endangerment under the Clean Air Act is punishable by a fine of up to $200,000 or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense. As part of its plea agreement, Hydro has agreed to pay $550,125 prior to sentencing. The company will be sentenced on April 24, 2023, by U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.

This case was investigated by the EPA Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID) with assistance from Oregon DEQ. It is being prosecuted by Ryan W. Bounds, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release