There may be plenty of moisture around today but irrigators in Klamath County are gearing up for the worst if there isn't a lot more. Members of the Klamath Water Users Association say they're going to ask Klamath County Commissioners to request Governor Kitzhaber formally declare a drought in the Basin. A drought declaration would make local irrigators eligible for both water and financial assistance if dry conditions continue into planting season. The Bureau of Reclamation says the Klamath Basin is now at only sixty-one percent of its average precipitation amount. Elevation at Upper Klamath Lake only two feet higher than in 2010, the last time a drought was declared here.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
This is why police officers will tell you there's no such thing as a routine traffic stop. A state trooper pulling a man over in Klamath County found a quantity of marijuana in the man's car -- and that led to an alleged pot-growing operation. Investigators say 35-year-old Daniel Uehl of Bend was stopped on Highway 97 in Klamath County. The trooper observed what they say was twenty-four pounds of pot in Uehl's vehicle. Then a search of his rental home in Sunriver revealed what investigators say was a hundred pounds of processed marijuana and over 560 starter marijuana plants.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Another in a series of debris fires in downtown Klamath Falls and this one, too, looks like arson. This one was the tire fire that we told you about yesterday and investigators say it appears to have been deliberately set. The blaze broke out in a storage trailer filled with tires that was parked in the two hundred block of Broad Street. Fire marshals from Klamath County Fire District One say someone torched the tires, starting a smoky fire that destroyed the trailer and also damaged a nearby building.
A wind advisory in effect for portions of the Klamath Basin until seven o'clock tonight. The weather service says wind gusts up to 45 miles-per-hour can be expected throughout much of the day, tapering off by early evening. That could make driving hazardous in some areas, especially for high-profile vehicles like trucks and buses. Forecasters are especially targeting the areas of Crescent and Highway 31 between LaPine and Silver Lake for high wind precautions today. Things should clear up and calm down tonight.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Word today that one of the people killed in a Klamath County accident on Valentine's Day was a well-known regional musician in California. 59-year-old Mark Hansen and his sister Elise died when their car lost control on an icy patch of Highway 97 near Crescent and slammed into an oncoming vehicle. Hansen was a regional performer in Northern California who grew up in an entertainment family in San Francisco, where his mother hosted a teen dance show on TV and Hansen met a number of musical greats, including Duke Ellington. and Bonnie Raitt.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
An ambitious improvement and repair project is planned for schools in Klamath County -- and it's all paid for. The work will include a new roof at Chiloquin High School as well as a new gymnasium at Peterson Elementary School on Clinton Avenue in Klamath Falls. Several other improvements are also planned that will make Klamath County school buildings more energy efficient. The work will cost nearly five million dollars. The funds coming from low-interest federally-guaranteed loans as well as Oregon Clean Energy funds.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The abnormally dry winter we're having may affect irrigation water supplies. Snowpack in the Klamath Basin is at 62 percent of normal and that means the Klamath Water and Power Agency's 2012 Groundwater Pumping Program is being readied. The program pays irrigators to pump water in the event there isn't sufficient surface water from Upper Klamath Lake. Tomorrow is the final day for irrigators to apply for the program at the Agency's office on Commercial street or on its website. The Project projects annual demand of 330-thousand acre-feet of water.
It took two hours of hard work for first-responders to extricate a man from his crashed vehicle yesterday near Chiloquin. Klamath Falls Fire District crews and two Oregon state troopers finally pried 65-year-old Eulogio Vidales-Torres from the wreckage. He was transported by helicopter to Sky Lakes Medical Center with what are being described as non-life threatening injuries. Troopers say Vidales-Torres lost control of his truck on an icy stretch of Highway 97 near Chiloquin, crashed into a road sign and then into a tree.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Was it a hoax or a mistake? Police tracked down a Medford resident in Klamath Falls over the weekend and wanted to know about a TTY text purporting to be from a ten-year-old boy. The text said the child was in a house and that his father had a gun and was firing it. Officers rushed to the scene, evacuated the neighborhood and then discovered -- nobody home. They finally located the homeowner, who was visiting Klamath Falls and knew nothing about it.
The Silver Anniversary ride of Cycle Oregon is coming to the Klamath Valley for the first time in a quarter of a century.. Organizers of the 25th Cycle Oregon tour say they've set September ninth through the fifteenth as the dates for this year's ride, which will cover a route up to 490 miles long. That will include an overnight stop in Klamath Falls. The route is always a closely-guarded secret until its official announcement. When that happened, all 2,200 spots were filled within thirty-two minutes. Cycle Oregon hasn't wheeled through the Basin since its first run in 1996.
Friday, February 10, 2012
INvestigators in northern California still looking for two men who stole a display of gold worth as much as a million dollars from a display at the county courthouse. The breakin at the Siskiyou County Courthouse has rocked community, where city leaders say the last time that much gold was taken out of the place it was known as "The Richest Square Mile On Earth". That was at the heart of the area's gold mining heyday in the mid-nineteenth century. Investigators trying to track down two men caught on surveillance video who otherwise evaded a security system, made off with the gold from an historical display and vanished.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Prosecutors say it was information from the state's Elder-Abuse Task Force that brought in the Oregon State Police and has now led to the arrest of a Klamath Falls woman. Investigators say a month-long investigation culminated in the arrest of 44-year-old Kelly Turner of Klamath Falls on nineteen counts of first-degree felony theft form an elderly woman. Turner allegedly stole money and other items from the woman while acting in a caretaking capacity. Turner indicted by a Klamath County grand jury this week.
Monday, February 6, 2012
The 52nd Annual Klamath Bull and Horse Sale came to an end with a ranch rodeo yesterday afternoon, sealing three days of what organizers are saying was a successful show despite lower-than-expected sale prices The biggest livestock event in the Basin each year culminated in the auction of the grand champion bull, named Roadrunner Tracer 9412. He went for fifty-five hundred dollars, three hundred less than last year's grand champion. Producers say while beef prices have risen, so, too, have prices for livestock feed and storage.
A committee that's looking into ways to fund Klamath County law enforcement says a recent proposal that met with mixed reviews is simply that: a proposal -- and that the county Board should decide how to present it to voters. The three-year, 12-point-six million dollar tax levy would fund two proposed new pods at the Klamath County Jail but some members of the Joint Public Safety Advisory Committee reportedly think it's too much. No changes were agreed on, though, and the Committee is now saying the county Board should decide how to put it on the ballot.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
It looks like the two new pods at the Klamath County Jail are going to cost more than originally proposed. Klamath County financial officials say the original four-point-two-million-dollar-a-year operating cost put forth last week won't cover a number of additional projected costs. That would mean the county would have to levy additional funds in order to pay for the new "A" and "B" jail pods. Additional expenses include jail operating costs and possible increases in wages and benefits with the union contract for jail employees expiring later this year.