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MEDFORD, Ore. —  When Kristin Hals was leaving a parking lot on Tuesday afternoon, she strapped her two-year-old son, Brandon Evans, in the car. She claims her car locks malfunctioned leaving Brandon stuck inside the vehicle.

With temperatures in the mid-90s, Hals called 911. When police arrived, she told the officer to break the window, but he refused. Hals tried to break the window, but she could not. She called the child’s father and when he arrived, he broke the window and removed the child. The parents say they are frustrated that the police refused to help and have said they have filed a formal complaint with the Medford Police Department.

“He put my son’s life in jeopardy, he could have caused my son irreparable brain damage, he could have altered my two year old son’s life, forever, by his inaction,” said Jeff Evans, Brandon’s Father.

Medford Police say they deal with situations like this frequently with children or pets being locked in cars. Officials say they take several factors into account like length of time the child has been in the car, and how hot it is outside. Ultimately, there is not a specific protocol in place, and the decision is made by the individual officer.

“Anytime where we damage someone’s property there’s a liability there, so if we could abstain from that liability by having the property owner do it themselves, that would always be the best scenario,” said Lt. Mike Budreau with the Medford Police Department.

As of Wednesday, Brandon is doing well, and Medford Police says they investigate all complaints to see if a situation could have been handled better.

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Wednesday began with cool temperatures and ended with a mild afternoon across the area.  Throughout the rest of the week, high temperatures below average will be the trend.  We will only start a warming again next week, when the high pressure ridge offshore strengthens over the northwest.

Although most aspects of our weather have quieted down, winds have been gusty in the afternoon hours, and that will be the case again Thursday afternoon and evening.  We will also keep the blue skies, with the exception of a few clouds rolling through on Friday.

By the weekend, expect more blue skies for both Saturday and Sunday.  Temperatures will begin to warm by Sunday heading into the start of next week, and by Wednesday, highs will be above average in the upper 90′s.  Enjoy these pleasant days while we have them!

For more information, or to send me your weather photos, head over to Facebook or Twitter.

Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna

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MEDFORD, Ore. — A bag of ice, bucket of water and a link to donate are all it has taken to have the nation turn its attention to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

While the viral videos have been a novelty on facebook feeds and on t.v. screens, ALS Association representatives said there has been a real impact.

Wednesday, Kristi and John Scott took the challenge and passed it on to others in the community. They both know people inflicted with the disease through Kristi’s work.

Officials said Lou Gehrig’s disease is difficult to diagnose, but once confirmed, typically gives the person between 2- 5 years to live. ALS can cause paralysis from your feet to throat, impacting speaking, chewing and breathing. It’s considered a sporadic disease impacting men and women in their twenties through senior years. ALS association representatives said both those with the disease and their caretakers have enjoyed the attention. The fund raising has also come through.

“Over 32 million dollars in the last two weeks. Which, you would never dream of having such an effective fund raising campaign. This is grass roots, the ALS association didn’t start it,” said Regional Services Coordinator for the ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter Gail Gallaher.

About 30,000  people in the United States are currently living with the disease, including at least 30 in southern Oregon.

Officials said although the fad will wear off, at least ALS is known by those accepting the challenge.

wildfireROGUE RIVER, Ore. — Level 1 evacuation notices have been lifted for homes along Humbug Creek Road, near the location of the Old Blue Mountain Fire, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

ODF made the announcement at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The notices have been lifted for the entirety of Humbug Creek Road, including both the main fork and the left fork. The roadblock near the 4 mile mark on the right fork of Foots Creek Road remains in place.

 

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Lithia Motors’ impending move toward Highway 62 will create a void near the downtown Medford area, according to Medford City Councilors.

Lithia is planning to move several dealerships to new buildings next to its existing superstore location on Highway 62. The BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen dealerships will be moving within the next few months, and a new building is being constructed for the Honda dealership. Lithia is holding a hiring event Thursday for new employees at the Nissan store.

City councilors said when Lithia vacates their existing lots, the city will need to adjust in order to continue to stoke the downtown economy.

“As for the car lots, it’s going to leave a hole, and it is going to have to be private sector that fills that hole,” said city councilor Chris Corcoran.

But Corcoran said the Commons building could help soften the blow of losing the car lots near downtown. He said the city could invest in establishing that area as a spot for more corporate headquarters.

“The good news is, we’ve got the plum. We’ve got the Lithia headquarters building,” he said. “We’ve got the two park blocks. So in reality, we have a magnet for economic development.”

Corcoran said it will likely be private businesses that could buy the existing car lots. He was unsure if the city would be interested in buying those properties.

prideASHLAND, Ore. — Organizers of the Southern Oregon Pride Festival say they are expecting more people than ever this year, in part because of Oregon’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

This year’s parade will be held October 11th in Ashland. Organizers are pushing for more volunteers to help with the extra interest.

They said the decisions on the federal Defense of Marriage Act and Oregon’s ruling on same-sex marriage earlier this year could inspire more people to participate. They also said it’s a good sign that the parade is on its fifth year.

“We have so many things to celebrate for this year, so we’re really looking forward to people not only volunteering, but people being a part of our parade,” said Gina Duquenne, director of Southern Oregon Pride.

An informational meeting will be held Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Ashland Library for anyone who would like to sign up as a volunteer.

school closureHAPPY CAMP, Ca. — Happy Camp Elementary School is delaying start Thursday due to poor air quality. The school was supposed to kick off the school year Thursday, Aug. 21 but has delayed it until Monday, Aug. 25 at 8:00 a.m.

By Monday, the classrooms will be equipped with air purifiers. Happy Camp Elemetary Principal said this way, even if the air quality is still in the hazardous condition, students and staff will be safe to come to school that day.

AGAIN: For parents and students attending Happy Camp Elementary – the school is having a delayed start. Classes will begin Monday, August 21st at 8:00 a.m.

oldbluefireNEAR ROGUE RIVER, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry reported that thousands of gallons of helicopter-borne water was poured on the Old Blue Mountain Fire Tuesday, significantly knocking out numerous hot spots within the 99 acre fire that started late Monday during the thunderstorm.

Wednesday morning the fire is 100 percent lined and 100 percent plumbed, meaning the fire line was completed overnight and a system of fire hoses now encircles the burned area, according to ODF.

Old Blue Mountain fire is 30 percent contained. The firefighters objective Wednesday is to mop-up hot spots 300 feet inside the fire line and patrol outside of the fire line to watch for spot fires. Helicopters and air tankers are standing by.

ODF reported that there are no new fires on ODF’s Southwest Oregon District. However, reconnaissance flights are in the air Wednesday to search for any fires that were missed from Monday night’s thunderstorms.

A Level 1 evacuation alert (Be Ready) remains in effect for portions of Humbug Creek Rd. in Jackson County:

  • All homes on the left fork of Humbug Creek Rd;
  • Addresses 2542 and above on the main fork of Humbug Creek Rd (the dirt portion).

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Medford, Ore. — School is right around the corner and that means it’s time to start preparing.  There are a lot of crafts that can help get your child excited for the back to school season.

Michaels’ Craft Expert, Betty Rodman offers a few ideas for parents hoping to stay organized ahead of the new school year.

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Medford, Ore. — Weeds are a problem in every garden.  One of the worst you’ll deal with is the puncturevine or goathead.

OSU Extension Master Gardeners say the weed is found in vineyards, orchards and crop fields.  It’s also found on roadsides and walkways.

They can cause many problems not only this season, but next season as well.

For information on how to get rid of them, watch this ‘In the Garden’ segment.

You can also contact the OSU Extension Master Gardener near you.

Jackson County – (541) 776-7371

Josephine County – (541) 476-6613

Klamath County – (541) 883-7131

Coos County – (541) 572-5263

Douglas County – (541) 672-4461

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