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NEAR GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Onion Mountain Fire is holding steady at 4,077 acres at 20 percent contained.  Fire crews said the fire is 100 percent lined, but with more hot dry weather ahead, they are not ruling out the chance the fire spreading again.

At 6 a.m. on Friday the Level One Evacuation notice will be lifted the Limpy Creek road system and all roads west of Robinson Bridge.

The following areas are still under a level one evacuation advisory:

  • The entire Pickett Creek area, including Pickett Creek Road, west Pickett Creek Road and all roads off of those. Everything north of the Robertson Bridge on the west side of the Rogue River
  • All of the Shan Creek Road system from Riverbanks Road to the west
  • All of Taylor Creek Road (FS25 Rd) road system from Galice Road, including connection to the 2509 Road that enters U.S. 199 at the top of Hayes Hill
  • Galice Creek Road from Galice Road to Soldier Camp

Fire experts said the onion mountain fire shares several similarities with the boles fire.

“Both burned extremely erratic with rapid fire growth, but in this case this fire was not close to any homes, the fire in Weed was so close to the populated area it took the homes,” said Link Smith, Agency Administrator on the Onion Mountain Fire.

Smith said if the fire does get any closer to homes, it could do the same amount of damage.

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — For the last few years, Priscilla Anderson coached her daughter Zaruba in cross country.

“When I realized I loved it so much and my kids saw me doing it and wanting to go out a little bit, I thought, ‘well, we’ll try,’” Priscilla said. “And yeah, about four years ago, I got my kids involved in running.”

At the time, Zaruba was 11. That’s the same age Priscilla was when she started running. Now, Priscilla runs marathons.

“She can be my mom and run with me but also be my coach and train me,” Zaruba said.

It helps having Priscilla as a coach. It’s also nice to have running guru Stan Goodell as Hidden Valley’s head coach.

“He’s an awesome coach,” Zaruba said. “One of his nicknames is ‘the Legend.’”

Goodell coaches Zaruba now, but he also coached Priscilla going all the way back to when she started running.

“Coaching two different generations of runners. It’s pretty much a very unique situation,” Goodell said. “Priscilla ran for me. I coach her now so she knows my philosophy. She knows my training pattern so it works well, and it goes hand-in-hand.”

Goodell still coaches Priscilla in her marathon training and maybe one day, he’ll do the same for Zaruba.

“I’ve thought about running marathons, but then seeing her do it, and then when she’s running, my family, we try to meet her at certain points, like halfway and then a couple miles before the finish line and then just seeing her run and continue running, it’s very inspiring,” Zaruba said.

“I loved it, and it’s a lot of fun seeing her love it as much,” Priscilla said. “It really is. I mean, I look at her and I see me.”

Zaruba sees an inspiration, Priscilla sees here self, and Stan Goodell sees two generations of elite runners.

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Rain showers ended around the area sooner than anticipated, and the clouds began to break throughout the afternoon Thursday.  That afternoon sunshine will continue for Friday after a few clouds move through Thursday night.  Over the past couple of days, measurable rain did fall in some locations, but from about I-5 eastward, rainfall amounts dwindled drastically.

A few of the rainfall amounts from around the area.

Along the coast, we saw the highest amounts.  Just northeast of Brookings, one station recorded over an inch.  Near the Onion Mountain Lookout, a weather station nearby reported nearly half an inch, which did help with the fire fight, but in northern California, very little rain fell near the Happy Camp Complex and the Boles Fire.

Weekend temperatures will be warm, and while winds aloft blow from the north Friday, they will shift to the southeast by the weekend.  That means smoke from the Happy Camp Complex will return to southern Oregon again by Saturday – that’s in addition to the smoke from the Onion Mountain Fire.  Fall officially begins on Tuesday, just in time for another cold front to move through and drop temperatures to a more seasonable number.

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

Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna

Out & AboutArt and Sound Festival

This is the official last weekend of summer, but the fall events are already pushing their way through. After this weekend, downtown Medford may never be the same.

The streets are set to be lined with artists and live bands, with the two-day “Downtown Art and Sound” event. It kicks off tomorrow and runs through Saturday. At least 12 artists and more than 80 bands will be featured at various venues throughout downtown Medford.

A beer garden, food carts, and art vendors will be set up near the main stage at Blossom Park. Passes are available to purchase now, but there are some free events.

Holly Theater will make a quick debut at the Art of Sound Festival this weekend. The theater is undergoing renovations and will be open to the public for a sneak peak, for the first time in 28 years.

The theater will host three art installations and four acoustic bands. Edenvale Winery will also be pouring free tastes and offer full glasses to help benefit the restoration.

It will be open 5 to 9 p.m. both days for ticket and pass holders. Once restored the former movie palace will host concerts, films, and other special events.

Game Day Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

This weekend is also the second annual “Game Day”, to help raise awareness about childhood cancer. A live DJ, bounce houses, games, crafts and more will help rock out Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The event is free from 1 to 5 p.m. at US Cellular Park. A new iPad mini and other goodies will be raffled off to help raise money for hero packages. These kits are full of “hero gear” and encouragements for children battling the disease. Organizers say the event will go on rain or shine.

Annual Walk For Down System

The 20th Annual Walk For Down System will stroll through Alba Park on Sunday. Everyone is welcome. Registration begins at 11 a.m. the walk starts at 12:30. Miss Teen Oregon and other talents will help kick off the event. Raffles, booths, limo rides, and other entertainment will also be there.

Harvest Festival and Brew Fest

This weekend the Jackson County Fairgrounds is coming alive with a celebration of harvest time.

The 2014 Harvest Festival is expected to be bigger than ever, with 70 breweries, live music, cook-off competitions, pie eating contests, and exhibits. You can enter your own home-brew or just come drink with the professionals.

The Harvest Festival and brew fest runs Friday through Sunday. Admission to the harvest festival is free. There are additional charges for brew fest activities.

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WEED, Calif. — Northern California communities pitch in. More than a thousand homes were initially threatened by the Boles Fire.

Now Northern California communities nearby Weed are banding together to help close to 150 families who have nothing left to return to. Some students say from the moment they heard the boles fire destroyed more than 100 homes they’ve been cleaning out their closets for donations, volunteering at shelters, and taking family friends into their homes.

Sarah Thornton is a student at College of the Siskiyou’s, but says she’s spent most of her week working at the Hope Church. She’s says both Weed and Mt. Shasta are tight knit communities. They’re usually rivals in sports games, but in this situation they’re all playing for the same team.

Sarah says, “It, it’s crazy, it’s just really mind blowing that you know I got out of my science class and I looked up at the hill over there and I saw a huge fire and lots of smoke and you know that could have been my house or the school that I went to. It it’s just crazy.”

Donations have been pouring in from Medford, Mt Shasta and there’s even a student roller derby league from Redding organizing a donations caravan this week they’re calling “stuff the bus”. Many students at the college say this community is resilient, and while they can’t do anything to immediately replace the homes that we’re lost here, they’re doing everything they can to help make the city still feel like home.

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WEED, Calif. – CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4 in conjunction with the cooperating agencies on the Boles Fire will be hosting a community meeting in Weed, CA.

Representatives from the agencies managing the incident will provide an operational briefing and be available for questions.The meeting will begin tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the College of the Siskiyous Theater located at 800 College Ave. Weed, CA 96094.

If you have questions about the meeting or fire, please call the Fire Information Line at (530) 408-6167.

weed boles fireWEED, Calif. — Despite the dangers of the Boles Fire, firefighters say they are making progress. Rains last night helped with containment and mop up efforts.

The fire is at 479 acres, but is now 85% contained. More than 100 homes were damaged or destroyed, and 1,100 are still being threatened. A $10,000 reward remains for any who has any information about how this fire started.

Crews are still assessing the safety of the burned area. The Angel Valley neighborhood, as well as areas on Hoy Road are still closed.

The Siskiyou County Public Health Department is offering free tetanus vaccines to adult residents of weed who lost their homes in the fire and are participating in recovery work. Tetanus bacteria is often found in the soil, dust and manure, and can often enter the body through cuts or breaks in the skin, or puncture wounds caused by contaminated object.

A special clinic has been set up Friday, September 19th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the old College of the Siskiyous Life Sciences Building, at 800 College Avenue in Weed.

weed donationsWEED, Calif. — There has been an out-pour of donations for victims of the Boles Fire, but now the amount of donated supplies is overflowing beyond the walls of the storage space available.

A church in Medford drove truck loads full of clothes, food and other supplies to help out people who are displaced, but they are running out of places to put things.

Various buildings around town are holding the donations to be organized and distributed. Those who are putting together the donation sites say the community is small, but there will be a large need for help as people start to recover.

Some people are even offering up their homes for extra storage space.

“There should be some place where, like, storage place, where we can sit, and keep food, not non-perishable stuff, but you know because it’s going to run out what they have now,” said Tonya Smith: who is volunteering her house for storage.

Before bringing in a donation, disaster assistance organizations say it is always helpful to call ahead and find out what donations are most needed before heading out.

RCC GRANTS PASS, Ore. — For the 11th consecutive year, Rogue Community College has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

RCC President Peter Angstadt presented the award September 16 at the Board of Education meeting, to the RCC Budget and Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology and Purchasing departments.

The award is from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.

“This was an especially important award demonstrating the College’s outstanding commitment to good stewardship and financial responsibility,” Angstadt said.

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Steven Wayne Fennell (29) has been arrested after the car jacking incident that placed Jefferson Elementary on Lockdown.

Medford Police officers responded to the Winco parking lot for a carjacking that had just occurred. The 49-year old female victim reported she was sitting inside the vehicle in the parking lot of the US Bank at 827 S. Central Avenue. The victim was seated in the back seat while waiting for a friend to finish with business inside the bank. An unknown male got in the driver’s seat and threatened the victim.

The victim reported the suspect, identified as Steven Wayne Fennell, was armed with a handgun. The suspect drove away and was driving extremely reckless, so the victim decided she was going to bail out. Each time she went to open the door, the suspect threatened her. As the suspect drove into the Winco parking lot, the car slowed down enough so she could exit. The suspect drove off in the 2009 Maroon Hyundai sedan. The victim was not injured.

As officers were arriving in the area, reports were received that the vehicle was driving recklessly across the grass at the Stewart Meadows Golf Course and had crashed into a fence surrounding the property near S. Holly Street and Holmes Avenue. Officers found the vehicle crashed and unoccupied. Witnesses reported that Fennell was seen running along the north side of Jefferson School, causing the school to go into lock down. Several officers enveloped the area and established a perimeter. The suspect was located about 30 minutes later as he stepped out of some bushes on Kenyon Street, south of Holmes Avenue. As of 4:15 p.m. the gun has still not been recovered.

The investigation revealed that Fennell entered a house in the 1400 block of S. Ivy Street through an unsecured window. He changed clothing and took a beer from the residence, then he fled the residence when the resident came home.

Fenell is described as a transient and has been charged with the following:

• Kidnap 2nd Degree

• Robbery 2nd Degree

• Burglary 2nd Degree

• UUMV

• Criminal Mischief 1st Degree

Bail has been set at $2,015,000

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