Crater LakeCRATER LAKE, Ore. — Crater Lake National Park’s East Rim Drive will be open for non-motorized traffic only Saturdays September 20and 27th. The park plans to preserve every third and fourth Saturday in September as an annual opportunity to highlight non-motorized use of the park.  The park also plans to do this in the future, annually, sometime in June, depending on snow pack.

“Last year, Crater Lake National Park and Travel Oregon collaborated to open Crater Lake’s East Rim Drive to non-motorized traffic for the inaugural year,” said Ackerman. “After an outpouring of positive feedback from the many people who participated in this rare opportunity, we decided to make it an annual occurrence, but to split it up into two separate weekends to accommodate as many people as possible.”

Whether hiking, biking, walking or running, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy stunning views of Crater Lake from various points around the rim with no motorized vehicle traffic.

“Crater Lake and scenic cycling opportunities are state treasures that Oregon proudly claims,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “Creating world-class recreation opportunities within Oregon’s stunning and varied landscapes is what we do best. I commend Craig and his team for giving Oregonians and visitors yet another opportunity to experience Crater Lake in such a remarkable way.”

The vehicle-free section for the event will be on East Rim Drive from North Junction to Park Headquarters. Visitors can park at the North Junction (North Entrance) and in a gravel lot ¼ mile south of Park Headquarters (South Entrance). Parking areas generally fill up quickly and normal park entrance fees apply. Lost Creek Campground will be closed from 3:00 PM Fridays September 19 and 26 through 5:00 PM Saturdays September 20 and 27 to accommodate the vehicle-free events.

To obtain more information on the event, visit the National Park Service’s website. Other details are available there like details on parking and entrance fees.


ConstructionMEDFORD, Ore. —  North Central Ave. will be closed from Jackson Street to Second Street on Saturday. September 20, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. due to construction in the right-of-way. Medford Public Works says, travelers should expect delays associated with this work and are advised to seek alternate routes.

Weather conditions or equipment failures may delay the above schedule.

Roger Goodell(CNN) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference today on the league’s recent problems with domestic violence.

The announcement comes on the same day the President launches a new campaign to combat sexual assault at colleges and universities. A White House official infers the NFL needs to “get a handle” on the problem. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is also evaluating their relationship with the league. The military spends millions in advertising and broadcasts games to troops overseas,  an issue since the military has a zero tolerance policy on domestic abuse.

Goodell has apologized saying that he was wrong in the situation. “I got it wrong, on a number of levels. From the process I led, to the decision that I reached. But now I will get it right, and do what is necessary to accomplish that,” says Goodell.

Goodell has also made it clear, that he is not resigning. 

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Meet Cleo! Cleo is a 12-year old Calico Cat that was brought to the Committed Alliance To Strays (CATS) in August 2002, after being found in a dumpster. Cleo was originally given to a home, but was returned because the adopter had to move to take care of a sick relative. CATS is running a special now through the rest of September for the adoption of senior cats. Any cat that is above 8-years old will only have an adoption fee of $20, which is half off the original price. CATS would rather their senior cats live out their lives in a loving home, rather than in the shelter.

For more information or to adopt Cleo, or other cats contact the Committed Alliance To Strays at 5417792196 or you can visit them at 104 N. Ross Ln, Medford, Or 97501. Their hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Founders Day Fire Crater Lake, Ore. — Crater Lake National Park experienced a strong warming and drying weather trend between September 11th and September 16th.  During this period the Founders Day Fire grew steadily from 15 acres to 188 acres.

On September 17th the passage of a cold front and associated low pressure trough brought moderating conditions to the fire area.  Although strong winds were forecast, they did not materialize on the fire and the increased humidity and light rain fall has significantly reduced fire activity.

The moderating weather conditions have slowed the fire’s growth and currently the fire is approximately 225 acres in size.  Fire effects have been positive with variations in severity including removal of large areas of dead ground vegetation and minimal tree mortality.

Although a warming and drying trend is forecasted through the weekend, another frontal system is forecast for the middle of next week which should further mitigate fire growth.

There are no road or trail closures associated with the fires burning within the park.  Smoke from the Founders Day Fire is minimal and is not impacting park operations.   Local residents are encouraged to visit the park to personally witness this impressive force of nature in its beautiful natural setting.

Scott Valley BankMEDFORD, Ore. — In response to the Boles Fire disaster, Scott Valley Bank is donating $10,000 to the Community Disaster Relief Fund administered by the Shasta Regional Community Foundation (SRCF). In addition to the $10,000 donation, Scott Valley Bank is making all of its branches available to receive cash donations to the SRCF Community Disaster Relief Fund for Boles Fire disaster restoration efforts.

Dan Taylor, EVP/Regional Director for the Bank says, “Our hearts go out to those families and businesses directly affected as they begin the painful process of salvaging memories from the ashes, restoring their lives, and returning to their jobs.  We extend our praise and appreciation to the brave firefighters who evacuated the community safely, and to all the volunteers who are responding in great numbers with the resilient spirit and drive of Siskiyou to assist in the restoration.”

Donations can also be made directly

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WEED, Calif. — Dozens of Cal Fire personnel are assisting those residents today as they are let back into the devastated neighborhoods.

Hundreds of firefighters have been staged for hours this morning, preparing for what’s expected to be a very emotional day for many weed families. Cal Fire officials say they have been over the area several times to ensure safety.

The teams won’t have specific jobs, but they are there to help move heavy objects, answer questions, and keep a look out for remaining hot spots. Many of the firefighters have been out to disaster scenes like this in the past and they say sometimes the most important part of their job today is listening.

Robert Foxworthy, a Cal Fire PIO, says, “Sometimes people just want someone to talk to, and kind of discuss what’s going on and where they go from here so I do my best to talk to them about that.”

The humane society is also out in the neighborhoods today, picking up deceased animals. They are asking people who come across remains not to bury them immediately. The humane society is collecting all unidentified deceased animals and scanning their microchips to try and alert owners.

Antonio Gonzalez-Marquez CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s service took Juan Antonio Gonzalez-Marquez (19), from Medford, into custody following a traffic stop.

Gonzalez-Marquez absconded from MacLaren Youth Correctional transitional program in Junction City, Oregon. Gonzalez-Marquez was originally sentenced as a juvenile for his involvement in the 2009 stabbing death of Marco Diaz. Gonzalez-Marquez is a documented Norteno gang member and has past arrests for assault, resisting arrest, and probation violations.

At the time of the traffic stop and arrest (September 18, 2014 at 6:30 p.m), Gonzalez-Marquez had two small baggies of methamphetamine in his pocket. A Medford Police officer transported Gonzalez-Marquez to the Jackson County Jail.

He was lodged for his warrants and possession of methamphetamine.

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WEED, Calif. — Weed residents are about to get a first-hand look at the damage done to their community.

At 10 a.m. they will be let back in to their neighborhoods for the first time since the Boles Fire broke out. The Boles Fire is holding at 479 acres, and so far crews have managed 85 percent containment.

On Friday, people who’ve been kept out of their neighborhoods since the Boles Fire came through are finally going to be walking back on their properties. Some in this Angel Valley community will be coming back home for good, while others will be sifting through the ashes left behind. Cal Fire announced the re-population plan at Thursday night’s community meeting.

They’ll be opening up the road for residents only at 10 a.m. For the past few days, fire crews have been busy searching through these neighborhoods to get an assessment of the damage. Residents finally got to see the results at Thursday night’s meeting. Even those who already knew what happened to their houses, based on nothing more than their location, struggled to hold back their reactions.

“It hurt seeing it like that. That was our dream house we built,” said Carl Mitchell, one of the victims who lost his home.

Spokespeople with Cal Fire says their assessments are now 95 percent done, with only a little bit of work left Friday morning.

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WEED, Calif. — The few surviving mementos aren’t the only thing to come from the ashes.

In the early morning hours, during news coverage, two of our team members found an 11 week-old kitten hiding under a pile of debris. Her paws were scorched and she was very hungry and thirsty.

NewsWatch 12 brought the kitten, temporarily named “Lil’ Smokey” to the Siskiyou Humane Society. Turns out, her owners had been searching for her and the two were reunited after just a few days being apart.

Sonia Ferguson, the owner of the cat, says, “We went home, not home but we went to a friend’s house and we went online and they said they found her and it was NewsWatch12 that found her, so I’m happy.”

Sonia’s family lost their entire home in the Boles Fire, she says she is just happy her kitten “Luna,” with the new middle name “Ember,” is safe.

People missing and finding pets since the fire are connecting on Facebook. The page is named “Reuniting the City of Weed Animals.

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