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WEATHER DISCUSSION

The weather will begin quieting down beginning today. The West Coast is in between two air masses, with a trough just to our east and a ridge of high pressure just to our west. The ridge will slowly inch our way into the weekend. In the meantime, the weather will stay inactive and temperatures will stay on the cooler side.

Highs are going to be right around normal and in some cases, just below normal. This means the afternoons will be in the mid and upper 80′s for the valleys and right around 80 for  the Klamath Basin. Areas of smoke are likely in Northern California, however air quality readings as of this morning have improved region-wide since Tuesday.

Skies will stay mostly clear through the end of the week and the weekend is looking spectacular right now. We’re start warming up again throughout the weekend into early next week.

For more on your local weather and to send in your weather photos, you can head over to Facebook and/or Twitter!

Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese

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KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.–Mothballed fighter jets mounted on pedestals as if in flight are reminders of the decades that Kingsley Field, in Klamath Falls, has been on the frontline of the nation’s defense, or for training of future Air Force and Air National Guard pilots. “From 1954 to 1981 the Air Force was in charge of Kingsley Field,” says base historian Ryan Barthalomew.  “At varying times the peak population was about 2000 in the late 1960′s, but in 1981 the Air Force left and the Oregon Air National Guard out of Portland took over the alert duties at the base.”

Today Kingsley is the only place in the United States where pilots learning to master the F-15 can get their training, Air Force or Air Guard. Barthalomew adds that, “from 1988 to 1998, Klamath Falls trained Air National Guard F-16 pilots. And then we did another conversion in 1988 to the F-15, “C” model, and we’ve been training F-15 from ’98 to the present.”

The history of military flying in the Basin goes back a lot longer than that. It was actually in the late 1930′s that city fathers first tried to get a military air base here.  Ryan says, “it was inland from the coast. Great flying weather. We have visual flight rules as they call it 95% of the time. They thought it was an ideal spot for an air base.” When World War 2 came around, the Navy agreed, and the Klamath Falls Naval Air Station was established here in 1944. Barthalomew says, “in 1943 the ground was broken on the Klamath Naval Air Station, and the mission of the Klamath Naval Air Station was to train both Navy fighter pilots and Navy torpedo bomber crews.” The Navy closed their operations soon after the war and turned everything back to the city of Klamath Falls. “But it wasn’t until ’54 when the Air Force decided to make it a jet interceptor base that the military presence returned.”

In 1957 the Air Force turned to World War 2 history to find a hero for the new name for the base. Bartholomew says, ” but the community ultimately decided on David R. Kingsley, since he was from Oregon and he had won the Medal of Honor. So on July 3rd, 1957, the base became Kingsley Field.” Today a mural on a downtown Klamath Falls building features Kingsley’s wartime portrait, and the image of bombers on a mission over Romania. Kingsley was a Second Lieutenant, the bombardier of a B-17 known as the “Opissonya”. Under attack by German fighters, the pilot was forced to drop out of formation. Badly damaged, Kingsley was able to get the bombs away on the Poleisti oil fields. But the tail gunner was badly injured and Kingsley pulled him into the center of the bomber and was administering first aid when the call came to bail out. Kingsley saw the gunner’s parachute was damaged, and fitted his own onto the injured man and sent him to safety out the open bomb bay doors. Everyone else escaped. But not Kingsley. “The last time that anybody saw Kingsley alive was as they were falling, lookin’ up, and he was on the catwalk on the bomb bay doors,” says Barthalomew. The plane crashed a few moments later. Kingsley’s body was found and buried by local Bulgarian villagers, and today a monument to him and the family of seven who died when the plane went down is near their village.

At Kingsley Field, a piece of the B-17 that was saved is part of another monument to the Oregon flyer who gave up his own parachute so a wounded companion could have a chance to get home alive. For that he received a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor, the only Oregon airman in the war to receive the honor.

EXECUTION VIDEO CNN(CNN) — ISIS terrorists have beheaded an American journalist. The killing of freelance journalist James Foley was captured on video and released on the internet Tuesday along with a message to the U.S. to end its intervention in Iraq.

Foley was kidnapped in 2012 while covering the war in Syria. He is the man in orange in the photo here. After that, the video shows another American journalist believed to be Time Magazine contributor Steve Sotloff.

The terrorist in the video then said his life is in the balance depending on the President’s actions.

Sotloff was kidnapped at the Syrian-Turkish border in 2013.

 

rick perry cnn(CNN) — Governor Rick Perry surrendered on Abuse of Power charges. It took about ten minutes for him to have his mugshot and fingerprints taken, and Perry said he still isn’t backing down and believes he will win his case.

The charges stem from his attempts to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to step down after her DWI arrest and vetoing $7.5 million dollars of state funding from the Public Integrity Unit she oversees, when she didn’t.

Perry and his lawyers said it’s a matter of free speech and they are ready for battle. Perry supporters said it’s a political ploy. A handful of protesters from the other side of the aisle also stood at the courthouse, arguing politics had nothing to do with this.

Governor Perry was released on a personal bond, which means he didn’t have to pay bond. His arraignment hearing is set for Friday, he does not have to be present for it.

 

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NEAR APPLEGATE, Ore. — The Old Blue Mountain Fire is forcing a level 1 evacuation alert for all homes on the left fork of Humbug Creek Rd., and addresses 2542 and above on the main fork of Humbug Creek Rd. When those advisories were issued were spread by community members using a local fire district activated a phone tree.

When evacuations were issued Tuesday, fire officials turned to the community to get the word out.

Several communities and neighborhoods have phone tree systems in place that fire officials can activate in the event of an emergency. Crews with the Applegate Valley Fire District 9 go door to door to notify residents, but when they are dealing in a rural area, that can take more time.
the phone tree system helps to get the information out as soon as possible.

“We also find that the local knowledge that comes out of it from the community members knowing their neighbors, maybe specifics of whether they have animals involved or there is disabilities,” said Cpt. Tailese Goodnough with the Applegate Valley Fire District.

Fire officials also say the system helps community members contribute when dealing with fires.

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NEAR APPLEGATE, Ore. — Old Blue Mountain Fire is now an estimated 99 acres. This is an increase from previous estimates of 60 and 80 acres. Fire officials say the increased estimate comes from better mapping of the fire.

Tonight, the fire line is 85 percent complete, and the fire is currently 30 percent contained.

Fire officials say steep terrain is making the fire fight more challenging.

A Level 1 evacuation alert is in effect for portions of Humbug Creek Rd. in Jackson County. The evacuation is for all homes on the left fork of Humbug Creek Rd., and addresses 2542 and above on the main fork of Humbug Creek Rd (the dirt portion).

A roadblock is in place on the right fork of Foots Creek Rd. to restrict traffic to local residents and fire-related vehicles. No evacuation alerts are in effect for the Foots Creek area.

Level 1 evacuation means to prepare and plan what things are essential to take, care for pets and livestock, and deciding where you will go should the evacuation level rise.

Stay with Newswatch 12 for the latest updates.

firewatchSISKIYOU COUNTY, Ore.– Some evacuation advisories have been lifted for residents near the July Complex.

Incident Commanders say residents of Quartz Valley, Mugginsville and the Greenview areas are no longer being asked to be prepared for an evacuation. This includes everyone along Quartz Valley Rd. between Scott River Road and Oro Fino Road, from Quartz Valley Road between Oro Fino Road and Highway 3 as well as residents of Scott Valley West of Hwy 3, between South Kidder Creek Road and Quartz Valley Road.

Fire officials said there is still active fire in the perimeter of the burned area. They said this will continue until unburned fuels burn out and to be extra careful when in those areas. Crews and equipment will also remain in the area. Keep an eye out on the roadway and turn headlights on while driving.

The July Complex in total is currently 18 percent contained at 34,612 acres. Several fires make up this complex. Most are at or near full containment except for the Whites Fires which is 18 percent contained at 30,530 acres.

There are still mandatory evacuations in place for the community of Sawyers Bar and the Eddy Gulch, Little North Fork, Idlewild, Mule Bridge, Robinson Flat and Whites Gulch areas.

An evacuation advisory is still in place for the Scott Valley communities of French Creek and Sugar Creek, as well as Black Bear Ranch, Godfrey Ranch and Blue Ridge Ranch.

 

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Tuesday evening’s thunderstorms popped up in parts of northern California and east of the Cascades. They were more isolated in nature and did not produce as much lightning as Monday’s storms in Josephine and Jackson Counties.  As the storms exit the region, a more quiet pattern takes over, but not before bringing some cloud cover Wednesday morning and gusty winds by Wednesday afternoon.

The clouds moving through the next 24 hours will be short-lived, but the cooler temperatures that are on the way will continue through the next several days.  Highs are going to be about five degrees below average by the end of the work week, and sunshine continues for most locations.

However, in areas where fires continue to burn, the smoke is still creating a thick haze and breathing problems for residents.  Fort Jones in Siskiyou County was reporting air quality in the “unhealthy” category again Tuesday.  That’s indicative of conditions that are unhealthy for everyone, and any extended period of time spent outdoors is not advised.  The goods news is that we aren’t expecting any new lightning-caused fire starts any time soon.  High pressure builds in over the next few days, meaning a quiet weather pattern free from the thunder and lightning.

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

Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna

cellularMEDFORD, Ore.– Construction at US Cellular Park is one step closer to being finished.

Medford Parks and Recreation hosted a tour of the work for phase four of the project, Tuesday. This includes two new baseball and softball fields, and one full-sized multi-use field. These fields are expected to hold 10 to 18 more teams.

The construction of phase four is expected to cost more than 6-million dollars. The project as a whole is expected to be around 32 million.

Brian Sjothun with Medford Parks said the upgrades will in turn bring in millions because of tournaments and other events having more space to be hosted.

“We build this facility for the community and our leagues are full. We need more space. We need more fields of this caliber to be able to have our local kids and adults have a place to play.”

Phase four is expected to be complete in early October.

 

coyote trailsMEDFORD, Ore.– This week students are lacing up their boots to learn about wildlife. It is all part of the Wilderness Navigator Day Camp at Coyote Trails School of Nature in Medford. Kids seven to 12 are getting hands on learning everyday until Friday.

Kids are learning how to build a shelter and survive in the woods. A debris hut is created out of sticks and leaves. It took a few hours to make. Instructors also teach the kids how to navigate at night by using the stars and how to safely find water.

Instructor Joe Kreuzman says, “They gain a sense of confidence and a sense of their own reliability. They make better decisions when they go out in the woods. We’ve dispelled all of that fear so they can play and have fun.”>

This is the last week for this camp, but you can click here for more on upcoming events.

 

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