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KDRV NewsWatch 12 proudly presents the 6th Annual Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars, a benefit for Southern Oregon Sparrow Clubs!
Saturday, November 8th at North Medford High School
Shows 2pm & 7pm
To purchase tickets you can click here or at any People’s Bank of Commerce branch location!


Don’t wait…the show has a history of selling out!


Help support:

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SSIUNITED STATES – Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 64 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2015, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will start with benefits that more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2015. Increased payments to more than 8 million S.S.I. beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2014. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According the Social Security Administration, as of December of 2013, there were 4,590 beneficiaries in Jackson County, and 2,623 in Josephine County.

Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $118,500 from $117,000. Of the estimated 168 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2015, about 10 million will pay higher taxes because of the increase in the taxable maximum.


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ASHLAND, Ore. — SOU’s Brock Gutches is putting together one of the most dominant wrestling careers in NAIA history. He’s a three-time national champion, with a 15-9 record against NCAA DI wrestlers. On November 1st, Gutches will get his chance to compete on one of the biggest stages in college wrestling.

Gutches was invited to be in the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic, after Pitt’s Tyler Wilps withdrew because of an injury. The event features one match from each wight class. Seven of the ten matches feature a wrestler ranked number one in the NCAA in their weight class.

Gutches is the first NAIA wrestler to compete at this event since 2004, but he’ll get an opponent he’s familiar with. He’ll square off with Robert Kokesh of Nebraska, who beat Gutches in the finals of the Reno Tournament of Champions last season.

“I definitely expect it out of myself that I should be wrestling in all the big tournaments,” Gutches said. “NAIA, DI, DII, I mean they’re all just kind of labels. I like being the only NAIA guy to go to it but I’m going there to beat a specific guy. I’m not going because it’s a special dual or anything like that. I want to beat this guy and that’s why I really want to go to the dual is because I want to wrestle him and I want to have a little bit of payback.”

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Showers have slowly been creeping towards the coast this evening, and Brookings has seen some light showers already.  This is a sign that the next cold front is making its way towards southern Oregon and northern California, bringing steady ready to the area by Wednesday afteroon and evening.  However, the rain chances don’t end there – showers are in the forecast for all locations through the beginning of next week.

Rainfall amounts will be highest along the coast, with values between one and three inches just through Thursday evening.  That’s not taking into account the additional rainfall we are expecting Friday and through the weekend.  Amounts will be lower for inland locations, with most only seeing half an inch or less over the next 48 hours.

As with the last storm system, this cold front is bringing gusty winds, with northern California and the Klamath Basin being the hardest hit.  A wind advisory goes into effect Wednesday afternoon for the Shasta Valley in Siskiyou County and most of Lake County and continues until 11 PM Wednesday night.  Expect gusts between 30 and 40 miles per hour, at times reaching  50 miles per hour.

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

Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna

firelandMEDFORD, Ore. — A federal law currently set in place is consuming 25 percent of money that should be going towards county and school funding. Right now, the U.S. Forest Service is allowed to sue private land owners. This happens when a fire starts on private land and moves over into publicly owned land, destroying natural resources.

The law does not address the fact that when public land resources, such as timber, are burned or destroyed by fire, counties and schools are not included in any part of receiving money after land and resource loss.

Instead, Jackson County Commissioners said this money is going straight into the U.S. Treasury.

“On this post-fire mitigation litigation concept that we’re working on, it’s the same thing as saying if you’re going to burn this and you’re not going to salvage anything but you’re going to go sue the private sector. They sue big corporations and get the money. We want the 25 percent coming back to our kids,” Commissioner Doug Briedenthal said.

Jackson County Commissioners said millions of dollars are being held from schools in Southern Oregon.

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Some Ashland Rite Aid customers saw a rare site when they went to the store on Sunday.  A one-month-old, 13 pound bear cub wandered into the store in the afternoon.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the cub likely got separated from its mother and is comfortable enough with humans that it went into the store, and was likely looking for food. The female cub was eventually caught under a basket by Ashland Police and handed off to OSP and eventually ODFW.

The bear was taken to a wildlife center in Corvallis, and after consideration, she is on her way to a rehab facility in Washington.

“That bear is going to get older and bigger and human habituated bears that are big are a lot more concerning than a 13 pounder. So there was that to consider, and then the location. Where are you going to put that little guy,” said Rosemary Sussy, an ODFW Assistant District Wildlife Biologist.

ODFW said the bear will be kept for a year and brought back down to Southern Oregon to be released back into the wild.

Video taken by Robin Bishop.

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The race is on for several positions this election. Dennis Richardson held the office for State Representative House District 4 for nearly 12 years.

Now, he is the republican candidate in the governor’s race and two new candidates seek his current seat. Duane Stark is the Republican candidate looking to earn the position.

“I know how to work with our community, i know how to connect with people, I know how to mobilize people and organize people even if they have vastly different views. So those are all things that are going to help me in the office and unknown I have a lot to learn and I’ll work hard and learn those things as well,” said Stark.

Stark’s opponent, Darlene Taylor, represents the minor party called Working Families in the race. She has reached to to speak with NewsWatch 12 soon.

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Skiers and riders celebrated 50 years of Mt. Ashland, and are hoping for another 50 years to come. The mountain held its anniversary celebration Saturday.

Many of the attendees saw the mountain for the first time in a while given the lack of snow last season. Community members celebrated in the Mt. Ashland clubhouse with live music and dancing.

Organizers put on a contest for people in attendance to guess the date of the first six inches that fall on the Juliet Deck.

“This season is going to be about fun, it’s going to be about getting the guests together up here to enjoy this great community asset. The whole Rogue Valley depends on this place for their winter recreation,” said Hiram Towle, Mt. Ashland General Manager.

Towle said Mt. Ashland plans to start spinning lifts and getting people out on the mountain as soon as possible, assuming mother nature cooperates.

IMG_4687MEDFORD, Ore.– A teenager is reported to be in critical condition, after crashing with a semi on Interstate 5. Oregon Police said she had to be extracted from her car. They said it happened as she was entering the freeway from Crater Lake Highway. They said she got caught underneath the semi and was drug for a short time. Emergency teams are clearing the wreckage now.


PrisonMEDFORD, Ore.– A Klamath Falls man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for drugs and being a felon in possession of firearms. Vincent Sanchez is expected to serve 15 years, with another five years of supervised probation afterwards. This is the minimum mandatory prison sentence for anyone who possesses a firearm or ammunition after being previously convicted of three violent felonies or drug trafficking crimes.

Last December, Klamath County Sheriff’s detectives say Sanchez was in the passenger seat of a vehicle. They said they were given reason to believe he was carrying a firearm, which is a violation for a convicted felon. When they pulled him over and searched the car, detectives said they found a loaded handgun under his shirt. They said they also found a black duffel bag with baggies of methamphetamine, drug notes, and digital scales. Detectives were then authorized to search his home, where more firearms were found.

Sanchez’s criminal history also includes felony convictions for supplying contraband, transportation of a controlled substance, tampering with a witness, and possession of a methamphetamine, and misdemeanor convictions for strangulation, possessing a switchblade.


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