The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Oregon Beach Weather
Today– Rain likely, mainly before 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 50. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Wednesday– A 40 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52. Calm wind becoming south around 6 mph in the afternoon. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Thursday– A 50 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. South wind 5 to 7 mph becoming west in the afternoon. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Friday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 52.
Saturday– Sunny, with a high near 55.
Largest Sports Betting Screen Installed at Three Rivers Casino in Florence
Sports fans across Oregon have a new reason to cheer because JCM Global® (JCM) has installed the largest sports betting screen in the state at Three Rivers Casino in Florence.
The 200 square-foot LED wall is the centerpiece of Three Rivers’ recently opened sports book. It was specially configured so that the right-hand side is a dedicated odds board, and the main area of the display can show one, four, five, or six games at a time. Completing the experience is a custom audio system, which JCM installed with Delta AV.
“When we built our sports book, we wanted to offer something that separates Three Rivers Casino Resort from the others, and we feel our LED video wall has done just that. We can show up to six events at once, and the easy-to-use, customizable control pad gives us the ability to make sure that our guests don’t miss a game,” said Rick Ray, Director of Gaming Operations at Three Rivers Casino in Florence.
“This project is every sports fan’s dream. We had a lot of fun working with the Three Rivers Casino team to create an exciting blend of live sports action and betting action, with incredible video clarity and perfectly tuned audio, for a dynamic guest experience,” said JCM SVP of Sales, Marketing & Operations Dave Kubajak.
JCM’s digital signage is completely configurable to meet any space or business need. The LED display at Three Rivers measures 26.25ft wide x 8.2ft high with a 2.2mm pixel pitch. (Courtesy: https://www.cdcgamingreports.com/jcm-global-installs-largest-sports-betting-screen-in-oregon-at-three-rivers-casino-florence/ – https://www.facebook.com/JCMglobal/photos/a.173002156088445/4697691340286148/ )
Tsunami Warning Good Test Run for PNW Emergency Alert Systems
The tsunami that rippled across the Pacific Ocean on Saturday may have been a good test run for the Pacific Northwest’s emergency alert systems, but it’s not yet clear how useful the experience will be in preparing Oregonians for a major disaster.
Caused not by an earthquake but a massive eruption of an undersea volcano near the Pacific nation of Tonga, the
explosion sent larger-then-normal swells up the Oregon, Washington and California coastline in a rare event that
researchers and emergency management officials are still trying to wrap their heads around.
The unprecedented nature of the volcanic tsunami off Tonga also left officials uncertain about how long it would last, though they were able to predict how soon it would arrive. By the time waves began to swell along the Pacific coast, word had already spread across the region, aided by social media and media reports, as well as state and local alert systems.
The Oregon Health Authority has not released new statistics since Friday and we are waiting for updates.
Oregon Breakthrough COVID-19 Cases Up 86% In 1 Week
A growing number of fully vaccinated residents in Oregon are testing positive for COVID-19, with breakthrough cases increasing by 86% over the past week, state data showed.
Between Jan. 2 and 8, health officials in Oregon recorded 11,971 breakthrough COVID-19 infections, representing 26.4% of all cases reported statewide during the same period. In comparison, there were only 6,419 cases among the fully vaccinated the week before.
At least 0.4% of breakthrough cases between Jan. 2 and 8 occurred in fully vaccinated residents of care facilities and senior living communities. People aged 65 and older represented 10% of the week’s breakthrough infections while children aged 12 to 17 made up 8.2% of the total cases, according to the latest COVID-19 Breakthrough Report from the Oregon Health Authority.
Overall, there have been 72,683 breakthrough COVID-19 cases in the state. The median age of infections among the fully vaccinated is 44 years.
A vaccine breakthrough case is defined as an instance when an individual who has completed a COVID-19 vaccine series tests positive for the virus. But while breakthrough infections are rising, health experts still urge people to get vaccinated. Health experts note that many fully vaccinated residents have minimal to no symptoms.
The health authority’s report comes as schools in Oregon struggle to keep students on campus after many students and teachers call in sick due to the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Child cases of COVID-19 are also rising sharply among students between the ages of 12 and 17 despite statewide mask mandates in campuses. The number of infections is now straining hospitals in Oregon as an increasing number of medical staff members also call in sick.
As of Friday, only 6% of staffed intensive care units were available statewide. In Multnomah, Washington, Tillamook, Clackamas, Clatsop and Columbia counties, only 5% of beds in the ICU were available.
In the southern areas of Oregon — including Benton, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties — only two ICU beds were free, OHA data showed.
Gov. Kate Brown, D-Ore., has deployed more than 1,200 National Guard members to assist with hospitals’ staffing challenges.
Oregon has started receiving the six-million rapid COVID-19 test kits it purchased, but most Oregonians won’t get them. Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen says they’ll go to hospitals and clinics around the state that help under served communities. All six-million test kits will arrive in the state by the end of January.
Allen says if you can’t get a test, but think you have COVID-19 you should isolate for five days and then wear a mask for five days.
Oregon health and education officials will further loosen some COVID-19 policies in K-12 schools as the Omicron variant increasingly causes infections and widespread quarantines among students and staff.
The new guidance released Friday changes the definition of an “exposure” to someone positive for COVID-19. Instead of an exposure referring to close contact of any kind, it will now only apply to unmasked contact in schools.
According to ODE, the new recommendations are intended to ease the contact tracing burden for administrators and public health staff. Now the focus will be placed on unmasked exposures, particularly during mealtimes or extracurricular activities such as band, welding, or sports.
The Oregon Health Authority has also decided that schools will no longer have to report negative antigen test results to the agency, only positive cases. People exposed to COVID-19 at school remain eligible for test to stay and can continue to attend school during their modified quarantine period, officials said. According to OHA, the guidance is expected to take effect Friday.
Statewide transportation plan online open house available through Jan. 24
Oregonians are invited to help shape the future of Oregon’s transportation system. How can you weigh in? Give us feedback as we update the long-term Oregon Transportation Plan. An online open house is taking input through Jan. 24 in this first of several outreach opportunities over the next 12-18 months.
Why is this plan important? Our transportation system provides access to jobs, healthcare, childcare, food, housing, recreation and leisure activities, and it plays a critical role in a healthy economy. The Oregon Transportation Plan, or OTP, sets the long-term transportation policy for the whole state. Updating the OTP will result in a plan that can adapt to the variables we experience over time, such as climate change, social equity concerns, Oregon’s growing population, new technologies and more. The plan will also provide guidance for the state’s other transportation plans, including near-term action documents such as ODOT’s Strategic Action Plan.
Oregon Deals With Backlog As Thousands Wait For Pandemic Assistance
The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) is experiencing a first as we are nearing the two-year mark in the coronavirus pandemic.
“As our application numbers have risen, our ability to get those applications turned around quickly has diminished,” said Kim Fredlund, Eligibility Backlog Manager for DHS.
Fredlund says in December, the state saw the most people ever apply for medical, good, cash, and child care assistance. Thousands are in need, but the DHS is struggling to get the assistance out.
When asked why there is a delay, Fredlund answered, “we are seeing delayed applications just sheerly because of the volume of applications. I just wanna stop and say that an application really represents a person, it’s a person or a family that needs a really vital service.
According to DHS, this month, staff processed 37% of applications in two days. But the rest – about 23,000 applications – are taking longer to get through.
The most common delays are for those applying for SNAP food assistance. DHS says a typical household gets $265 per month. It’s a significant boost for those struggling, but many are waiting to get it.
Another reason for delays is staffing. DHS has asked state lawmakers to higher more people, but that request won’t be heard until next month. In the meantime, Fredlund says they’ve moved employees within the agency to help process applications.
As far as when the agency could get through the backlog, that remains to be seen.
“I really think it’s too early to tell,” said Fredlund. “We saw our highest month of applications in December so I don’t know if January is going to start to reduce or if we will see even higher numbers in January.”
Until a new solution is found, people will have to wait for assistance.
While DHS is doing its part to get through applications as soon as possible, they say those applying can make the process smoother by having all necessary documentation on them when applying.
Fredlund suggests having the following documents on hand while applying: ID, proof of income, social security numbers, information on expenses. For more information visit the state’s One System website.
Roseburg City Connection winter/holidays photo contest taking entries
The City of Roseburg invites you to enter the City Connection Winter/Holidays Photo Contest!
Show how beautiful, awesome, inspiring, intriguing, industrious or just downright funny Roseburg can be – and possibly get yourphoto featured in the February City Connection e-newsletter.
For this Winter/Holidays contest only, photos also can be taken in the nearby Cascade Range.
Anyone living in the Roseburg area (including Melrose, Green, Lookingglass, Garden Valley and Winchester) is eligible to submit one photo taken in the Roseburg area depicting winter (Dec. 21 through March 20) or the winter holidays this year or in recent past years.
The top three to five entries will be featured in the February e-newsletter. The City hopes to see diverse perspectives and submissions. The City reserves the right to post additional entries and to not display a photo deemed inappropriate.
If you haven’t already signed up to get the online City Connection e-newsletter emailed right to your inbox, click here.
You can submit a photo here.
Photo Contest Rules
WHO: Anyone living in the Roseburg area or considered to have a Roseburg address (including Melrose, Green, Lookingglass, Garden Valley and Winchester)
WHAT: ONE photo entry per person. Additional photos will not be considered. Please submit one JPEG photo, less than 5MB, illustrating winter or the winter holidays this year or recent past years, and taken in the Roseburg area (anywhere considered to have a Roseburg address, including Melrose, Green, Lookingglass, Garden Valley and Winchester) or, for this contest only, in the nearby Cascade Range. Be sure to identify the location of the photo.
HOW: Fill out this form, upload a JPEG photo less than 5MB using this link and click “submit.” A good Internet connection may be needed to upload larger photos.
DEADLINE: Friday, Feb. 4, 2022 MORE INFORMATION: email@example.com
“Let’s Talk” 90-minute virtual listening session to learn what voters want candidates for governor to be talking about
News organizations and nonprofit groups in Oregon have teamed up to learn what voters want candidates for governor to be talking about as they compete for votes. They seek Oregonians to participate in a “Let’s Talk” 90-minute virtual listening session soon to share their understanding of the race through the media.
There is no cost to join in this nonpartisan event. Voters would join others via the Zoom platform to discuss off the
record what information they want to know about the candidates — and what they don’t want to hear.
The intent is for news organizations to provide reporting in the coming months that serves the interests and needs of Oregonians, instead of candidates and their campaigns.
The governor’s race promises to be one of the most important in recent Oregon history with several high-profile candidates and a state reeling from the pandemic and political divides.
The effort is led by the Oregon Capital Chronicle, a nonprofit digital news service focused on state government and politics; Rural Development Initiatives, a nonprofit focused on community vitality in rural Oregon; and the Agora Journalism Center, part of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in Portland.
The Oregon House Democrats elected Rep. Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) to serve as the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives and Rep. Julie Fahey (D- West Eugene, Junction City) to serve as the Majority Leader, the House announced on Sunday.
Both the former House Speaker, Tina Kotek, and Majority Leader Rep. Barbara Smith Warner have stepped down and are being replaced by the newly elected representatives. Kotek will step away from the legislature on Jan. 21. She is the longest-serving House Speaker in Oregon history. She is currently running for Oregon Governor to replace term-limited current governor Kate Brown.
Rep. Rayfield was elected to the legislature in 2014 and represents House District 16, comprising Corvallis and Philomath. He has also served as co-chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, which deals with the state’s budget, since 2019.
Kotek’s resignation will be effective on Jan. 22 and until an official nomination is made on the House floor on Feb. 1 when the 2022 legislative session convenes, Paul Holvey (D-Eugene) will serve as the Speaker.
Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Asks for Public’s Help in Search For Trucker Suspect
Please share!!! The first real clue to come in on all the missing person cases in the area. Help Klamath Falls Oregon Sheriff Office ID this trucker. He was the last to see this woman alive and could be the key to not only solving this woman’s disappearance but a number of the hundred other women missing in PNW. IF you have any information, please call (541) 883-5130
A 17-year-old was reported missing in Salem and detectives say the teen might be the victim of an online catfishing scheme.
Ezra Mayhugh, 17, was last seen on October 15, 2021 after being dropped off in downtown Salem by a friend, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said. He was reported as a runaway the following day when he did not return home.
Investigators say he might be in Washington or California. They hope to reunite Ezra safely with family members.
He’s described as about 5-foot 11-inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, with blonde hair and brown eyes.
If you have had contact with Mayhugh since October 15 or have other helpful information on his whereabouts, the sheriff’s office asks you to contact Detective M.J. Sphoon at 503-588-6808 or to submit a tip by texting TIPMCSO and your tip to 847411.