Gov. Inslee alters criteria for COVID-19 reopening phases

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has altered the criteria used to determine whether a county moves from one COVID-19 reopening phase to another.

Inslee on Friday said counties must fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations in order to move back a phase.

Previously counties could be moved backward by failing only one metric. He made the adjustments in advance of each county’s evaluation on Monday.

All of Washington’s 39 counties are currently in Phase 3 of Inslee’s reopening plan.

All indoor spaces in Phase 3 — including indoor dining at restaurants, indoor fitness centers, and retail — have been able to increase capacity from 25% to 50%.

Crooked River Ranch home destroyed by fire after weed burn spreads

A Crooked River Ranch home was destroyed by fire Friday after an outdoor weed burn spread to the property.

Assistant Fire Chief Sean Hartley said crews responded to the home at 14322 SW Buckhorn Place around 9:35 a.m. to find heavy fire and smoke coming from the backside of a single-story home.

The residents were able to get out of the home and nobody was injured, Hartley said.

It took crews about 40 minutes to put out the fire. Multiple crews remained on-scene for several hours performing salvage and overhaul.

The home was considered a total loss with an estimated value of $189,000.

Medical examiner blames police pressure for Floyd’s death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The chief county medical examiner who ruled George Floyd’s death a homicide has taken the stand at former Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial.

Dr. Andrew Baker said Friday that he did not watch the harrowing video of the arrest before examining Floyd so that he would not be biased by what he saw.

Chauvin is accused of killing Floyd by pressing his knee on or near the Black man’s neck for up to 9 1/2 minutes last May.

The defense contends Chauvin was doing his duty and that Floyd died of drug use or heart disease.

Deschutes Co. COVID cases spiking; 560 new cases reported statewide

Deschutes County COVID cases are spiking again.

The OHA reported 51 new cases in the county on Friday, sending the current week’s count to 210.

It’s the highest single-day count since 71 cases were reported on January 26th.

Deschutes County reported 150 total cases last week, which was up from 132 cases the week before and 60 cases the week of March 20th.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 560 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the state total to 169,338.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (3), Benton (3), Clackamas (51), Clatsop (6), Columbia (7), Curry (7), Deschutes (51), Douglas (8), Grant (24), Harney (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (27), Jefferson (6), Josephine (18), Klamath (25), Lake (2), Lane (47), Lincoln (9), Linn (17), Malheur (2), Marion (33), Multnomah (97), Polk (11), Tillamook (3), Umatilla (10), Union (3), Wallowa (1), Wasco (1), Washington (83) and Yamhill (3).

There is one new COVID related death in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,440, according to the OHA.

Total Central Oregon COVID-19 Cases by County:
  • 828 in Crook County
  • 6,633 in Deschutes County
  • 2,034 in Jefferson County
Total Central Oregon COVID-19 Deaths by County:
  • 19 in Crook County
  • 72 in Deschutes County
  • 32 in Jefferson County
Total Central Oregon COVID-19 Vaccination data by County:
  • 2,222 series in progress with 4,310 fully vaccinated in Crook County.
  • Total people: 6,532
  • 23,461 series in progress with 46,775 fully vaccinated in Deschutes County.
  • Total people: 70,236
  • 2,603 series in progress with 4,595 fully vaccinated in Jefferson County.
  • Total people: 7,198

Vaccination data for counties now available

Vaccination data showing the status of COVID-19 vaccinations at the county level is now available on OHA’s vaccination dashboard.

It was temporarily disabled last week. OHA resolved an issue with its geocoding process, which had previously miscategorized the location of certain vaccinated individuals.

OHA continually analyzes all its data and performs ongoing data quality checks. Vaccination data requests that included county of residence were delayed due to this issue.

Vaccinations in Oregon

Today, OHA reported that 53,121 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 33,410 doses were administered on April 8 and 19,711 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on April 8.

Oregon has now administered a total of 1,108,731 doses of Pfizer, 993,824 doses of Moderna and 67,071 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 859,912 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 1,374,408 people who have had at least one dose.

Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize because providers have 72 hours to report doses administered and technical challenges have caused many providers to lag in their reporting. OHA has been providing technical support to vaccination sites to improve the timeliness of their data entry into the state’s ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS).

To date, 1,363,635 doses of Pfizer, 1,215,300 doses of Moderna and 193,200 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

These data are preliminary and subject to change. OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.

COVID-19 hospitalizations

St. Charles on Friday reported it had four COVID patients; one is in the ICU.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 158, which is 10 fewer than yesterday. There are 39 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is one more than yesterday.

The total number of patients in hospital beds may fluctuate between report times. The numbers do not reflect admissions per day, nor the length of hospital stay. Staffing limitations are not captured in this data and may further limit bed capacity.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

Caitlyn Jenner considers run for California governor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Caitlyn Jenner is considering a run for California governor.

The reality TV personality and former Olympian is consulting with Republican advisers about whether she will join the field of candidates seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a likely recall election this year.

A spokesperson for the Republican Governors Association says Jenner spoke to the group’s executive director about a potential run.

The celebrity activist and longtime Republican would stand out in a field that so far has failed to attract a nationally known contender.

Election officials are reviewing petition signatures to determine if the recall qualifies for the ballot.

Central Oregon Daily News honored with 2 regional Emmy Award nominations

We’re honored and proud to be able to tell your stories each and every day here on Central Oregon Daily News.

Today, we’re doubly honored to say your stories have been nominated for two regional Emmy Awards – the only Central Oregon television news station to be nominated.

Allen Schauffler donned the safety gear, put on some gloves, and got dirty last year, walking a half-mile of southwest Houston Lake Road, picking up every single bit of trash.

▶️ Rubbish Roads: Junk litters every quiet country mile

Samantha O’Connor’s adventure was a bit more picturesque as she took us all to the clear waters of the Fall River.

It wasn’t a simple afternoon of fly fishing – it was to showcase a program called Tight Blue Lines, which helps first responders decompress and connect with nature.

▶️ Tight Blue Lines: Group lets first responders relax, focus on fish

Of course, Sam and Allen didn’t work on those two stories alone.

Central Oregon Daily News Photojournalist Steve Kaufmann was the talented photographer, editor and co-storyteller for both stories.

The winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony on June 5th.

 

 

Lawmakers given more time to redraw Oregon political lines

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the Legislature will have until Sept. 27 to complete the redistricting process, giving lawmakers more time to draw political boundaries following a delay in crucial census data.

The unanimous decision by the justices will give legislative leaders nearly three extra months to do their work.

Redistricting, the process where lawmakers redraw legislative and congressional districts, occurs every 10 years following the census. Districts must be equal in population to each other.

Although there’s a set number of state legislative districts, due to Oregon’s population growth in the last decade it is likely that the state will receive an additional seat in the United States House of Representatives.

▶️ War Stories: Kristin Gyford

Kristin Gyford was honored recently by the Veterans Administration, named a Woman Veteran Trailblazer for her work after her service.

Her time in uniform might not have gone as planned, but the life lessons from the Air Force helped make her who she is today.

And it also led her to therapy, a true calling, and a way to help others.

This is her War Story.

Public comment period begins on proposed paved trail connecting Bend-Lava Lands

The Oregon Department of Transportation and Deschutes National Forest are inviting the public to provide feedback on plans for a paved multi-use trail from south of Bend to the Lava Lands Visitor Center.

The proposed 6-mile long trail will start south of Bend at the Baker Rd/Knott Road Interchange.

From there it will wind through a forest and old lava flow, terminating at the Lava Lands Visitor Center at Lava Butte.

Along the way, the multi-use trail provides connections to the High Desert Museum, Sun Lava trail system, and Sunriver.

The proposed path would be built using funds from the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP), which is administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

The Forest Service’s environmental assessment can be accessed on the Deschutes National Forest project website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57665.

A copy of the environmental assessment is also available by contacting the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest at 541-383-5300 or reaching out to the project manager at cristina.peterson@usda.gov.

For the next 30 days, public comments on the proposed project will be taken.

Comments may be submitted electronically to comments-pacificnorthwest-deschutes-bendftrock@usda.gov .

People are asked to put “Paved Path” in the subject line of their email. Comments must be submitted as part of the actual e-mail message, or as an attachment in Microsoft Word, rich text format (rtf), or portable document format (pdf) only. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification. E-mails submitted to e-mail addresses other than the one listed above, in other formats than those listed or containing viruses will be rejected.

Comments may also be submitted in writing by mail and sent to
Kevin Larkin, District Ranger, Bend-FortRock Ranger District
63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701.

Hand-delivered comments are discouraged at this time.

Anyone wishing to obtain additional information on the project or to provide comments over the phone should contact Cristina Peterson at cristina.peterson@usda.gov  or 541-383-4028.

Due to federal regulations comments provided to ODOT are not a part of the Forest Service’s public comment process and anyone who wants their comments to be considered as part of the environmental assessment process must also submit their comments to the Forest Service in the manner described previously.

The trail is a major component of the Lava Lands regional trail system concept, and is expected to serve more than 80,000 visitors a year once it is built.

The Deschutes National Forest currently is preparing an Environmental Analysis (EA) of the proposal, which will also include collecting and reviewing public comments for the portion of the trail within the Forest Service Boundary.

The focus of the feasibility study is to look at trail alignments.

As part of the next phase of the project, ODOT will work with partners including Bend Parks and Recreation District and Deschutes County to look at potential parking facilities in the vicinity of the Baker/Knott Rd.

To help the public better understand this project, ODOT has prepared an online open house website where members of the public can review the feasibility study completed for the project and provide feedback on the alternatives examined.

The open house is located at: https://odotopenhouse.org/openhouse/us97multiusetrailproject.

The site will be open for review and feedback through April 30.

trailalternativesmap

Interior secretary steps into Utah public lands tug-of-war

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is visiting Utah as she prepares to submit a review on national monuments in the state.

Residents there have both staunchly supported establishing and increasing the size of national monuments, and fiercely rallied against them.

Haaland is the latest Interior secretary tasked with making recommendations on where the boundaries lie.

Her input comes after President Donald Trump’s administration decided to downsize two national monuments in southern Utah.

She is expected to submit a report to President Joe Biden after her meetings Thursday with tribes and elected leaders at Bears Ears National Monument.