The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Monday, September 12, 2022
Oregon Beach Weather
Fire Danger Extreme
In the midst of an extreme level fire danger this weekend Western Lane County Fire and Ems had several calls involving the potential for dangerous results in and around FLorence. More than a half dozen calls were related to fire or illegal burning from Friday through yesterday.
Fire danger level is still extreme along the coast as we enter the week. Smoke and ash were prevalent in the air over the weekend too. Currently in Oregon there are more than 2 dozen wildfires burning including the Cedar Creek fire in eastern Lane County which is considered 0% contained as of this morning.
With current restrictions in place there is no operating of mowing or gas operated items like chain saws. One spark could cause a fire to start.
More information on wildfires across the state including detailed maps of the current situation can be found at http://wildfire.oregon.gov
Beach Bonfires Temporarily Banned Because of Oregon’s Extreme Fire Danger
The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily banned beach fires, a restriction that applies to more than 300 miles of coastline from Astoria to Brookings.
The extra precautions are in place because of intense heat, low humidity and strong winds coming from the east—conditions that have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for most of our ocean-adjacent land.
As of Sept. 9, the Oregon Department of Forestry also declared the North Oregon Coast is under an “Extreme Fire Danger” order, and everyone is encouraged to avoid activities that could be an ignition source, like mowing dry grass or tossing cigarette butts on the ground, which, let’s face it, you shouldn’t be doing in the first place because that’s littering and just a jerk move.
Fires are also prohibited in all state forests and most campgrounds. That includes those fueled by wood, charcoal briquets, pellets and candles. Portable propane stoves and similar devices that can be instantly switched off are still allowed, though for cooking purposes only.
People are asked to leave off-road vehicles at home. They are not allowed in regional forests and beaches at this time because they are a fire risk.
Basically, the message from public lands agencies for the next several days is this: Use extra caution and observe all restrictions while the state is a tinderbox that’s one spark away from going up in flames. https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=v.feature-article&articleId=290
Ecola State Park’s entrance road will be closed from Sept. 11 to Sept. 25. The main entrance road in Cannon Beach will be closed due to drilling along the road.
The road is in an area with active landslides and is often affected during the winter months. According to Ecola State Park manager Ben Cox, the drilling project will help officials better understand the landslides.
“This study is the first of its kind done on Ecola Park Road,” Cox said. “The data gathered will help shape long-term strategies and repair options that will hopefully ensure access to one of Oregon’s most iconic places.”
The drilling work is being done by Western States Soil Conservation, Inc. under an agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation.
During the two-week period when the road is closed, car and pedestrian access to the park will be blocked. The park will still be accessible via the Tillamook Head Trail to the north, but parking is limited there.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department recommends visiting other nearby parks in the meantime including Oswald West State Park, Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site and Hug Point State Recreation Site.
Equipment will be left in place along the road for the next 18-24 months to collect data. https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=park.profile&parkId=136
Fatal Crash on Hwy 101 in Lincoln County North of Gleneden Beach
On Friday, September 9, 2022 at approximately 8:15 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 101 at milepost 121.
Preliminary investigation revealed a southbound white Toyota FJ Cruiser, operated by Kendra Lee Peracca (57) of Gleneden Beach, crossed over the center line and crashed head-on with a northbound red Acura TL, operated by Nancy Ann VICKSTROM (74).
Peracca was transported via Life Flight to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. Vickstrom was also transported via Life Flight but sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the hospital. Alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor in this crash.
Hwy 101 was closed for approximately 6 hours while the OSP Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated.
OSP was assisted by North Lincoln Fire and Rescue, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and ODOT Incident Response.
Pacific Power concludes Public Safety Power Shutoffs
Decreased wildfire weather conditions early Saturday allowed personnel to begin patrolling lines to perform safety checks. Vegetation debris was cleared in some spots and minor wind damage repair was required in other areas. Step restorations (turning on power section by section) then took place with customers re-energized by Saturday afternoon.
The Pacific Power meteorology team, using advanced forecast modeling, helped identify high risk areas ahead of the easterly wind conditions. The sophisticated data modeling was used to determine the timing to turn off power to help minimize the impact to the 12,000 affected customers. Pacific Power then positioned additional personnel and resources ahead of the wind event. This allowed for a quick and safe restoration process. Through real-time coordination with public safety partners, three community resource centers were established to help support impacted communities through the event.
“Community safety and reducing wildfire risk are top priorities for us,” said Allen Berreth, vice president of operations. “We thank our customers for their patience and understanding through this event. I also acknowledge the all-hands-on-deck approach from Pacific Power personnel. Our team emphasized safety for our customers, communities and co-workers. We thank the crews patrolling and repairing lines, the staff monitoring conditions and volunteers at the community resource centers.”
For more information on Pacific Power’s wildfire mitigation practices, please visit www.pacificpower.net/psps.
Thousands Evacuated as the Cedar Creek fire Quadruples in Size
An outburst of wildfires that broke out over the past week amid triple-digital temperatures across the West have forced thousands of evacuations and choked the air with smoke as strong winds complicated firefighting efforts.
Nationwide, 92 active large wildland fires have torched nearly 728,000 acres – the majority of them burning in northwestern states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
Sweltering under rising temperatures, drought-ravaged Western states have become hotbeds of thirsty, dry brush that can fuel more volatile wildfires that burn hotter and for longer.
The Cedar Creek wildfire has quadrupled in size since late last week, threatening thousands of homes and draping the Interstate 5 corridor, including the Portland metropolitan area, in heavy smoke.
Containment of the Cedar Creek Fire – sparked by a lightning storm on August 1 – dropped from 12% to 0% as the fire exploded in size by more than 32,000 acres over the weekend, now swallowing 85,926 acres in very steep and difficult-to-access terrain. Driven by strong easterly winds, triple-digit temperatures and dry fuels, flames breached containment lines that firefighters have for weeks worked to build.
The fire threatens more than 2,200 homes and hundreds of commercial buildings, officials said, mostly in the nearby towns of Oakridge and Westfir, which have a combined population of about 3,500 residents. Officials ordered evacuations on Friday.
Gusty winds, high temperatures and dry conditions late last week and into Saturday exacerbated the fire, fueling its growth from about 18,000 acres on Wednesday to more than four times that number by Sunday.
On Friday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state fire emergency, allowing the state’s fire marshal to support local firefighting agencies.
“The Cedar Creek Fire grew rapidly towards Oregon communities this morning, and the fire’s growth potential in the coming days is troubling, requiring additional resources to battle the fire and support the state’s response,” she said.
By Sunday, officials said weather conditions had eased. “That gives us an opportunity to be defensible with where our primary control lines are,” said Adam Veale, an incident commander trainee, in a video update Saturday.
Firefighters said Sunday they had completed strategic burning operations along the fire’s northwest edges and were working to set up protective measures along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, a 66-mile stretch of highway east of the fire dotted with campgrounds and resorts, including the Mt. Bachelor ski area, which is hosting a fire command center. “These fire breaks are high priority and will likely take most of a week to complete,” officials said.
The rural and mountainous area affected by the Cedar Creek fire is mostly within the Willamette National Forest, a popular recreation destination with lakes and trails. Much is currently closed to the public.
A Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene, about 50 miles to the northwest.
Air quality worsens as wildfires rage
Oregon fire agencies are battling several other blazes statewide, including the Double Creek Fire in the northeastern part of the state. Utilities had shut down power to tens of thousands of customers Friday as a preventative measure amid the windy conditions.
As wildfires tore through the parched lands, Oregonians were also contending with power shutoffs. Thousands of customers in Oregon, including those in the suburbs of Portland, were without power for part of the weekend as Pacific Power implemented Public Safety Power Shutoffs to reduce wildfire risk as winds picked up.
As numerous fires ravaged western states, air quality alerts were in place across much of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Skies turned orange and hazy in parts of Oregon over the weekend as winds carried smoke from the multiple fires burning in the state.
The smoke was so thick in Washington that it blocked some solar radiation and created temperatures that were cooler than anticipated, according to the National Weather Service in Spokane.
Smoky conditions persisted as cooler weather with light winds moved into western portions of the geographic area. Trace amounts of precipitation were recorded across Western Washington and parts of Western Oregon. East of the Cascades conditions remained dry. One lightning strike was recorded over Portland. Large fire growth was minimal, initial attack activity was light.
Northwest Fire Weather Summary
Upper-level troughs will dominate the weather pattern through the work week with temperatures cooling to near seasonal normal, relative humidity rising, and chances for periodic light showers and isolated wet thunderstorms. General winds are expected to be light with typical afternoon breezes each day. Onshore wind flow should improve air quality as the smoke clears from west to east today and tomorrow.
Thunderstorm potential will persist in the region over the next few days, but coverage is expected to be quite isolated. Today’s chances look strongest over the Cascades in both Washington and Oregon with lesser chances further east. Outflow winds could result in locally gusty conditions near the storms. A stronger trough appears to approach next weekend, maybe bringing chances for more widespread precipitation, but confidence in this part of the forecast is lacking.
With cooler, moist weather reducing fire danger, potential for new significant fires will be at or below normal risk through the week. No unusually strong winds are anticipated. Some isolated lightning could cause a few new starts mainly from the Cascade Crest eastward but not enough lightning is expected to boost the risk of new significant fires.
Cedar Creek. 15 miles E of Oakridge, OR. Start 8/1. Cause: Lightning. 86,734 acres (+12,811). 0% containment. Timber. Active fire behavior. Evacuations in effect. Road, trail and area closures.
Current Situation: The Lane County Sheriff’s Office lowered some evacuation levels yesterday due to changing conditions and progress on the fire. Evacuation levels in the communities of Westfir and portions of Oakridge were lowered from Level 3 (Go Now) to Level 2 (Set). High Prairie and the areas north, east, and southwest of Oakridge remain in Level 3 evacuation status. Fire officials will continue to work with local law enforcement to communicate fire conditions and keep the community safe. People who remain in shelters will continue to receive services provided by the Red Cross. People who have mobility limitations or are particularly sensitive to smoke are encouraged not to return to Level 2 areas.
As the wind has died down, heavy smoke is blanketing the Cedar Creek Fire area. Oakridge has been experiencing dense smoke, and with the wind switch to the northwest, smoke has created unhealthy air quality for communities east of the fire as well, including Bend. To protect yourself from smoke, avoid strenuous outdoor activities and limit your time outdoors.
A virtual community meeting will be hosted by west zone’s Northwest Team 6 held tonight at 7 pm. Join us on Facebook to learn more and ask questions.
Status: Cooler weather aided firefighters’ progress on the west side of the Cedar Creek Fire. Structural taskforces accessed and prepped homes along the western side of the fire, then assisted with burn operations as winds became favorable. On the western flank, crews continued to mop up the burnout near Eagle Butte, northeast of Oakridge. North of the Waldo Lake Wilderness, on Forest Road 19, crews worked to prep the Box Canyon area. Southwest of Waldo Lake, firefighters were able to hold Forest Road 5883 north of Highway 58 and the Rogue River hotshot crew was able to improve handline to tie into Forest Road 5897. A backing fire is slowing advancement on the southwestern edge.
Firefighters continue to hold and improve all lines. Today, a structural group will head to the southern portion of the fire to assist with back burns along Highway 58 and evaluate structures near Odell Lake. While crews remain focused on protecting the communities of High Prairie, Westfir, and Oakridge, fire officials recognize the relative proximity of the fire to other surrounding communities and want to be prepared to support and protect those areas.
In the east zone, efforts continue to brush the west side of the
Cascade Lakes Highway to improve a fuel break and prepare for possible burn-out operations. The Cascade Lakes Highway remains closed to ensure public safety and the safety of firefighters. Infrastructure protection continues around Cultus Lake. In the southeast region of the fire, near Odell Lake, a new branch and two divisions have been added with crews deployed to brush around Highway 58. Highway 58 is closed from milepost 36 to 62. A new camp is being established near Cascade Junction to put crews closer to the southeast side of the fire. Expect to see more traffic and firefighting activity in the area.
Weather/Fire Behavior: Winds are light and steady out of the west northwest. Dry conditions were aided by good overnight relative humidity recovery and scattered light rainfall. Temperatures will be more seasonal, in the upper 60s. Some torching and spotting fire behavior is expected over the next day or so, but most activity will be creeping and smoldering.
Evacuations: Sign-up for emergency mobile alerts by going to oralert.gov. Please check with Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office at 541-693-6911 for updates and changes. Go to https://bit.ly/3D51kvC to view a map.
Closures: The Deschutes National Forest and Willamette National Forest have implemented closures for the Cedar Creek Fire. Please visit Willamette National Forest and Deschutes National Forest for detailed closure orders and a joint map. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place. The use of drones is prohibited in the fire area, please make it safe for our firefighters to use aircraft on the fire. Pacific Crest Trail hikers should visit pcta.org for current information.
Restrictions: Fire restrictions are in place on the Willamette National Forest and Deschutes National Forest.
Smoke: For current conditions, see Fire.airnow.gov, Online: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8307/ | https://www.facebook.com/CedarCreekFire2022/ | YouTube: https://www.tinyurl.com/cedarcreekfireyoutube
Fire Information: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM | Phone: 541-201-2335, Media Line: 541-327-9925 | Email: email@example.com Find more maps at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/maps/8307/
Double Creek. 10 miles SE of Imnaha, OR. Start 8/30. Cause: Lightning. 154,380 acres (+4,436). 15% containment. Timber. Active fire behavior. Evacuations in effect. Road, trail and area closures. These teams are also managing Nebo, Sturgill, Goat Mountain One and Goat Mountain Two incidents.
Van Meter. 13 miles SE of Klamath Falls, OR. Start 9/7. Cause: Unknown. 2,539 acres (+37). 40% containment. Timber. Minimal fire behavior.
A small amount of rain fell across the fire overnight, wetting fuels and settling dust on the roads. Today, crews will take advantage of the higher humidity to continue increasing the mop-up depth into the interior of the fire. Infrared devices were used again overnight to identify hotspots for day crews to mop-up. Hoselays are being used across the fire to deliver water to cool and dampen fuels as firefighters dig out burning material.
Due to burning of some interior islands and improvement in the mapping of the fire, it is now 2,539 acres. There was no new growth outside the existing perimeter.
Significant mop-up has been completed around the homes in the fire area. Crews are continuing to monitor and patrol around the homes checking for hot spots.
Roads within the fire area are rocky, with numerous hazards such as rocks, ruts, steep terrain, and narrow roadbeds. These conditions pose a significant safety risk for firefighters, which is being mitigated by driving slowly, using four-wheel drive if possible, and the use of spotters as needed.
Residential traffic is allowed in the fire area, but residents are encouraged to drive slowly and be aware of fire operation traffic as they travel through the fire. Bureau of Land Management lands in and around the fire area remain closed to the public.
Cooler weather is expected to continue today, with the possibility of showers and thunderstorms.
Evacuation levels continue to be evaluated based on fire behavior. For the latest up-to-date evacuation information, please visit the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KlamathSheriff or call 541-205-9730. The Red Cross Evacuation Shelter at the Klamath County Fair and Event Center has been closed.
Aircraft are available to support firefighters as needed. A Temporary Flight Restriction exists around the fire to limit any aircraft not associated with firefighting activities in the airspace. Wildfires are always a no-fly zone for drones. A drone flying in the area can ground all operational aircraft and impact suppression activities.
The Van Meter Fire started September 7th at approximately 12:30 p.m. Cause of the fire is under investigation.
A Community Briefing video was released by Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team Sunday night. The video can be viewed on YouTube at the following link: https://youtu.be/XUY1AugC5Q4.
Rum Creek. 14 miles NW of Grants Pass, OR. Start 8/17. Cause: Lightning. 21,347 acres (+0). 75% containment. Timber. Minimal fire behavior. Road, trail and area closures. The Rum Creek Fire remains at 21,347 acres, jumping to 75% containment
This week, Josephine County will experience a reprieve from critical fire weather with forecasts calling for cooler temperatures, higher relative humidity, and possible showers tonight. Showers will help increase the moisture content of fine fuels, but larger fuels will require more substantial precipitation.
Reports indicate non-residents are still moving beyond road closures. The public is reminded ONLY residents with proper identification are permitted beyond roadblocks. Please respect those who are returning to their homes and those who are working diligently to suppress this fire. East of the fire, road closures include Lower Grave Creek Road, Quartz Creek Road, and Galice Road at Hog Creek Road. South of the fire, Galice Road is closed at Peavine Road. West of the fire, Bear Camp Road is closed. North of the fire Dutch Henry Road is closed.
Crockets Knob. 19 miles N of Prairie City, OR. Start 8/22. Cause: Lightning. 4,331 acres (+0). 75% containment. Brush. Minimal fire behavior. Road, trail and area closures.
For many people in Oregon recovering from the devastating 2020 Labor Day Wildfires, it may be especially difficult to witness the current wildfires.
And for everyone affected by the current fires and evacuations, these traumatic events can bring feelings of stress, anxiety, grief, worry and anger.
If you’d like to talk with someone or find mental health resources, remember, the Safe + Strong Helpline is only a call away: 1-800-923-HELP (4357).
Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog (http://ow.ly/hZmC50KFZn9), Oregon DEQ Air Quality Index (http://ow.ly/IWyx50KFZnf), or by downloading the free OregonAIR app (http://ow.ly/aqgW50KFZnc) on your smartphone.
Remember that cloth, dust and surgical masks do NOT protect from the harmful particles in smoke.N95 or P100 respirators approved by NIOSH may offer protection, but they must be properly fitted and worn. They won’t work for everyone, especially children.
Here’s how you can protect yourself and your family when smoke levels are high:
◌ Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed.
◌ Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
◌ Use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers. You can also create a DIY Box fan filter: http://ow.ly/NYMB50KFZne
◌ Wildfires and pollution contain small particles that can make asthma worse. If you can, create a cleaner air space. Make sure you have enough medication and monitor your health.
Call your health care provider or 211 if your asthma gets worse or you’re exposed to smoke. For more information on protecting your health during wildfires, visit http://ow.ly/CQIy50KFZnb.
The number of water law violations in Oregon has continued climbing in 2022, building on a trend that state regulators have observed over the past five years.
State water regulators have issued 50 notices of violation for unlawful irrigation and other problems so far this year. That’s up from 40 in all of 2021 and five times as many as in 2018.
“They have increased dramatically in recent years, largely due to illegal cannabis,” said Ivan Gall, field services division administrator for the Oregon Water Resources Department.
Black market marijuana producers have been known to steal water, but OWRD has also encountered regulated cannabis growers who’ve run afoul of water law — for example, by using domestic water sources for commercial production.
Concerns about adverse impacts from marijuana and hemp production in Oregon have prompted legal reforms and increased funding for cannabis regulation, such as the $5 million approved specifically for OWRD’s water rights enforcement last year.
Employees from OWRD have been working in conjunction with law enforcement officers who destroy illegal marijuana plants and associated irrigation equipment during raids, Gall said during a Sept. 1 meeting of the state’s water resources commission.
“That is by far the most effective way to get compliance with water law,” he said.
The water rights enforcement money was approved last year as part of an “unprecedented” investment in water resources, including funding for irrigation projects, drought assistance and basin studies, according to the agency.
Since last summer, OWRD has hired 27 new field services employees, including seven dedicated enforcement employees focused on cannabis, which has increased the division’s staff size by nearly 50%.
“We’re looking forward to some exciting times,” Gall said. “It’s really exciting to be filling these positions.”
Watermasters and other field services employees responded to 1,120 complaints and initiated 732 investigations last year, in additional to conducting more than 23,000 checks to ensure compliance with water rights rules.
The field services division also inspected more than 1,550 wells in 2021, finding construction deficiencies in about 15% of the newly-constructed ones, and about 160 of the 950 dams that come under state’s regulatory jurisdiction.
The expanded field services workforce will provide more “boots on the ground” and improve data collection at a time when water supplies are increasingly lacking, Gall said.
For example, in the past couple years, the state has experienced a serious problem with domestic wells going dry due to depleted groundwater levels.
“It doesn’t look like it’s going to get resolved in the short term, so I think that’s going to be an ongoing workload the agency will need to deal with,” he said.
Illegal water diversions by illicit marijuana producers have been relatively minor on an individual basis, but that doesn’t mean the issue is inconsequential, Gall said. “Although small, in total they can certainly add up to problems, especially in times of scarcity,” he said.
Jurors Convict Oregon Man of Murdering Doctor and Drug Financier After Original Verdict Thrown Out 10 Years Ago
An Oregon man was again convicted of the 2010 murder of a doctor after his first conviction was tossed by a state appellate court. In 2012, Brian Daniel Bement, 54, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 46-year-old David Greenspan. But key pieces of evidence were disallowed by the trial judge and Bement won a new trial on appeal in 2017.
On Thursday, the defendant was found guilty by Washington County jurors of one count of murder in the first degree, two counts of robbery in the first degree, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
“By all accounts, Dr. Greenspan was a kind person who developed issues due to his addiction to drugs,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff MacLean, who prosecuted the case, said in a statement after the verdict. “He became involved with the wrong person and paid with his life. The DA’s office never lost confidence in the defendant’s guilt.”
Greenspan was shot while inside a car outside of a cemetery on March 13, 2010. He was shot twice in the head and once in the neck.
According to investigators, they would learn the defendant and his victim were in business together selling drugs. Greenspan was the financier and Bement sold heroin to consumers. The deceased man also owned a medical practice where he worked as a naturopathic doctor. His alternative medical business was apparently failing as he spiraled into drug use. He additionally hosted a public access cable television show.
During the first trial, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Rick Knapp blocked the defense from entering into evidence a series of emails Greenspan sent in late 2009 and early 2010. The Oregon Court of Appeals later ruled that was reversible error.
In his bid for a new trial, Bement argued the emails were key to his defense, asserting they would show the truth of Greenspan’s bad business practices, his increasingly out of control drug use, and concomitant paranoia about employees stealing from him. All of that combined, the defendant argued, was essentially motive for why Greenspan tried to rob him of $20,000 on the day of the murder.
The appeals court endorsed the logic and relevance, at least, of Bement’s argument, saying jurors should have a chance to assess it:
The [trial] court . . . appears to have concluded that the first four emails are too remote to be relevant, and the state urges us to accept that determination. Under the circumstances of this case, we disagree. Although the state is correct that the earlier statements are admissible as evidence of [Greenspan’s] state of mind at the time that he made those statements, and that defendant ultimately sought to prove [Greenspan’s] state of mind at the time of the shooting, that does not make the earlier statements irrelevant. As defendant argues, those statements are evidence that “[Greenspan] had spent the last several months of his life believing that his financial straits were growing more and more dire,” culminating in the state of mind evidence on February 26, 2010, that he would “need every dollar [he could] get.” That evidence has a tendency to make it more probable that [Greenspan] reached a state of mind on March 13, 2010, that provided a “motive to act desperately and violently to get money from [defendant].” Thus, we agree that all of the emails, including those sent from November through January, are relevant to [Greenspan’s] state of mind at the time of the statements, which, in turn, is probative of [Greenspan’s] state of mind at the time of the shooting.
“When I looked up and I saw that gun in my face, the look in his eyes was a person I had never seen before,” Bement testified during his first trial in comments reported by The Times, a newspaper serving the Beaverton-Tigard area. “That person was trying to kill me.”
Prosecutors, however, argued the murder was pre-planned and then covered up after the fact, the paper reported at the time.
Bement owed Greenspan as much as $300,000, the state alleged, and set up the killing to avoid paying his money man back. The drive to the cemetery facilitated the execution, DDA Jeffrey Lesowski told jurors in 2012, after which Bement wiped the gun clean of his own fingerprints and staged the scene to look like a suicide.
Prosecutors said the defendant then fled after wrapping some $30,000 of Greenspan’s money inside of a towel.
After several COVID-related delays and court motions, the second trial began in late August of this year. Bement is currently slated to be sentenced on Sept. 13, 2022.
Northwest Cherry Harvest Is Smallest In 14 Years
The smaller-than-usual fruit harvest happened largely because Oregon and Washington were hit with a severe winter storm on April 14, during the region’s cherry blossom bloom.
According to B.J. Thurlby, the president of both the Washington State Fruit Commission and Northwest Cherries, a snow event during the cherry bloom has not happened before.
He said this year’s crop is the smallest since 2008.
“The crop should finish up at 130,000 tons going to the fresh market,” Thurlby wrote in a statement. “A normal crop is 210,000 tons going to the fresh market. While the state fruit commission cannot comment on market prices, fewer cherries will be available on the market, with the Northwest being one of the largest exporters in the nation.”
This is just a small compilation of missing women and their pictures in the area. There are of course women missing all over Oregon and men and children missing too. We don’t mean to dismiss that, however, there is an inordinate amount of women who go missing each week and there could possibly be a connection with an anomaly or two here and there. Sadly most of them never get any attention. Family and friends must keep any information going and lead investigations so that they aren’t just forgotten.