video preview image

WEATHER DISCUSSION

Tuesday has proved to be a very active day, as predicted.  The area saw over one hundred lightning strikes Tuesday afternoon and evening.  Not only that, but temperatures soared, yet again, back into the triple digits.  Medford saw its eleventh day at or above 100.  If temperatures don’t take a drop soon (which is not expected), this is on track to be one of the hottest July’s on record in the Rogue Valley.

The lightning strikes Tuesday afternoon were mainly contained to Siskiyou County and the Klamath Basin, but a few storms skirted part of the Rogue Valley.  Just south of Ashland, several lightning strikes occurred to the south and east of the city, but that’s as far north as the storms crept into Jackson County.  As far as temperatures are concerned, Medford’s official high was 104.  The high heat and lightning strikes aren’t helping the fire fighting efforts in southern Oregon.  Because of this, another red flag warning is in effect Wednesday afternoon from 2 PM until 11 PM.

Thunderstorm activity Wednesday will be more isolated than that of Tuesday.  However, that doesn’t exclude Jackson County from the risk.  The coverage area for storms includes portions of the Rogue Valley, northern California, and the Klamath Basin…those of the same locations are under the red flag warning.  A storm or two could travel over the Siskiyous and into Jackson County, as was the case Tuesday afternoon.  There appears to be an end in sight for all of the thunderstorms, though. By next Tuesday, it looks like all locations will be dry with mostly sunny skies.  However, the heat sticks around…highs will be in the upper 90′s throughout the next seven days.

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

Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna

Pete SedaASHLAND, Ore.– An Ashland based non-profit, believed to have ties to terrorism, was convicted in court, Tuesday. Haramain Islamic Foundation pleaded guilty in district court.

The conviction is for filing a false tax return with the IRS. The conviction stems back from a 150,000 dollar donation moved through the foundation to it’s parent organization in Saudi Arabia, and then on to Chechneya.

In return for the plea, criminal charges against Pete Seda, the head of the Ashland non-profit, were dismissed and Haramain Islamic Foundation is on a three year probation.

The IRS, FBI, and Homeland Security are looking for another defendant who is considered a fugitive.

 

video preview image

MEDFORD, Ore. -  Two years ago, Ashland’s Steen Fredrickson and North Medford’s Colton Westfall were coming off their freshman years. Coming off his sophomore year was Cascade Christian’s Isaiah Luzny. Fredrickson was a flame thrower with a sharp curve, Westfall a horse that could get you out with several different pitches and Luzny a crafty lefty whose small frame belied his ability to dominate hitters, but all three had the makings of an ace, and each became number one on their high school teams, but on the Mustangs, each fell into different roles.

“They’ve accepted new roles with maybe not starting, maybe coming in and closing, maybe coming in for two innings, and so every single one has done that,” Mustangs pitching coach Paul White said.
“Through tryouts, coming out on the field, seeing those 24 guys that were there and knowing how many of them pitched. I think when they asked who pitched, 21 of them raised their hands,” Fredrickson said. “To know that, it wasn’t hard to accept my role at all.”

And that’s perhaps a change in the three hurlers compared to their first year with the team.

“It was a little bit frustrating to me because I wasn’t used to it,” Luzny said. “I was used to always starting, but I think it’s more of a mature thing, like once you get older, you just learn to accept the role you have.”

All three players agree that for them the biggest difference between 2012 and 2014 is that “M-word.”

“I got way more mature,” Westfall said. “I got way more mature, now knowing about baseball pitching, just pitching-wise.”
“Before, when I’m a young guy, I’m just sitting on the bench,” Luzny said. “I’m just watching and cheering and having fun. Even if we lose, I’m like, ‘Oh, okay. Whatever,’ but as an older guy, it’s more a mature thing and you’re always in the game.”

wildfire stock photoWASHINGTON D.C., Wash– Oregon, Washington, and California Governors are teaming up to call for more wildfire support. They are pushing for the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act.

It will give the U.S. Forest Service access to emergency funding for suppression and other programs aimed at reducing wildfire risks. The governors said right now the Forest Service does not have emergency funds to pay for fighting wildfires.

The Department of Interior estimates an additional $470 million dollars will be spent on efforts this year, than the department has. They said in the last two fiscal years, the Forest Service had to use more than one billion dollars from other agencies to fight wildfires. These often come from programs aimed at reducing wildfire risks.

The Governors said The Wildfire Disaster Fund Act would ensure there is enough money to target wildfire efforts rather than borrow from another disaster account.

 

 

video preview image

[UPDATE: 6:52p.m.] South Central Oregon Fire Management leaders said fire crews are being pulled off the fire lines because of lighting. They said as soon as the situation becomes safe again, the crews will move back in. Fire Management officials said they don’t expect it to grow too much more at this time. There is a solid line around the fire. Acres burning are still around 100.

FOUR MILE LAKE, Ore. — Two helicopters made dozens of drops Tuesday morning as the Launch Fire burns more than a hundred acres. The fire is burning just on the other side of Four Mile Lake’s campsites.

“When we first got here, we started setting up camp and then a helicopter landed right out here out in front of us, started sucking up water. So, we got a real good view of that!” said Mickey Bender as he took in the view from his campsite.

While campers were on standby for evacuations Tuesday morning, Mary Lou Zielinski went for early swim.

“It’s exciting, I could see it much better from the middle of the lake,” said Zielinski.

Zielinski said she frequents the lake and typically is the only swimmer. Tuesday she took in the action while treading water.

“The smoke was burning really badly and the trees. You could see some fire coming up from the trees,” said Zielinski.

The cause of the fire is officially undetermined, although some campers believe it to be human caused after seeing a campfire in that area the night before the fire was reported. Fire crews and resources have to be escorted by boat to the fire, passing fisherman Jim Fuller along the way.

“The amount of devastation showing here from what the little bit of fire has done. But, it’s absolutely amazing watching these helicopter guys work,” said Fuller.

While the firefight will continue, use of the lake by visitors will not. Evacuations are now in place until it is safe to return.

video preview image

SELMA, Ore. – Crews continued to battle a large wildfire burning near Lake Selmac on Tuesday, but told homeowners to be ready to leave if the situation gets worse.

The Reeves Creek Fire was first reported Monday night, and has burned about 230 acres in an area near Reeves Creek Road and Highway 199. No homes have been burned, but crews have given level 1 evacuation notices to people living on Wild Park Drive, telling them to prepare to go if the fire grows.

According to Brian Ballou with the Oregon Department of Forestry, the fire burned into a “bowl” area between hills, and crews are using helicopters and airplanes to drop water and fire retardant on the flames. Once conditions cool down, hand crews will use bulldozers to build fire lines around more of the fire. As of Tuesday afternoon, there are fire lines around 70 percent of the fire, and the fire is about 20 percent contained.

“The first step is to finish the fire line. Second step is to mop in a little ways to totally extinguish a black line, a ring, around the inside of the fire line,” Ballou said.

Fire crews will be watching the weather forecast over the next few days, to see if winds pick up in the region. If they do, they could begin to spread the fire in different directions.

batkidTULELAKE, Cal. —   A northern California boy became the world-famous “batkid” last year.  Now, he is in the spotlight again.

A movie producer is making a documentary about 5 year old Miles Scott, his battle with leukemia, and the world’s effort to grant his wish of becoming Batkid.

Filmmaker Dana Nachman says “Batkid Begins” is about more than how the Tulelake boy saved San Francisco-turned-Gotham City.  It’s also about how he impacted billions of people and improved their lives.

There is indiegogo.com campaign to raise money for the film.

In 2 weeks time, they’ve already raised 50-thousand dollars. They are hoping to raise another 50 thousand in the next 3 weeks to complete the project.
You can find out more about the project and how to support it by clicking here.

reeves cr fireSELMA, Ore. — The Reeves Creek Fire burning near Lake Selmac in Josephine County is now causing a concern for additional homes in that area.
In addition to Reeves Creek Rd. remaining closed, due to potential fire behavior from the Reeves Creek Rd. Fire, a Level 1 Evacuation of residents on Wild Park Ln.(off Hwy 199) has been requested.
That means people should “be ready” for potential evacuation.  This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of anyone with special needs, mobile property, and livestock.
If conditions worsen, emergency personnel will contact affected residents directly.
The fire is burning 230 acres right now and is 20 percent contained. Fire lines have been established around 70 percent of the fire.
The fire was reported at 6:38 p.m. Monday night.  The cause is being investigated.
Seven homes are in or on the edge of the fire’s footprint, but none have burned.
Dozens of other homes are located near the fire. The structures are being protected by firefighters from Illinois Valley Fire Dept., Rural-Metro Fire Dept., Grants Pass Fire-Rescue, and a task force from Jackson County fire districts.
Six fire suppression crews, five wildland fire suppression engines, two bulldozers and three helicopters will be used to fight the fire today. An air tanker is also available.

k fallsKLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Over the past few weeks the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office has fielded multiple calls from citizens regarding being scammed or defrauded, according to a press release sent out Tuesday.

The Sheriff’s Office said all potential suspects have been located out of state. The persons trying to deceive the citizens do so by selling an item via the internet that does not exist, or they will represent themselves as a government officials asking the citizen to pay money owed to the government, such as taxes. The suspects have even identified themselves as IRS agents.

The phone number will look as though it is an out of area number. These numbers, much like pay as you go cell phones, are easily changed. The common aspect of these cases is that all of the scammers ask for the monies requested in the form of a “Green dot money pak.” These cards are reloadable and difficult to track down once they have been mailed, unlike a check or money card, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office is urging citizens to be cautious of anyone who may ask you to mail these form of cards to them.

SHADY COVE, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office released new images of 57-year old Dwain Hodge Tuesday. Hodge was last seen on Thursday, July 10, 2014 when he was camping with family near West Fork Trail Creek Rd. and Highway 227. According to family members, Hodge left for a walk and never returned.

The new surveillance photos show Hodge outside of the Shady Cove Market on Wednesday, July 9th, the day before he disappeared. The clothing he was wearing is very similar to the items he was last seen wearing except for the t-shirt.

Hodge is from Shady Cove and described as 5’9” and weighs 250 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes, he also has a short salt and pepper beard. He was seen wearing a white Budweiser shirt, red Budweiser baseball cap and dirty med-length jean shorts.

Anyone with any information regarding Dwain Hodge or his whereabouts is asked to contact the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 541-774-8333.

Older posts «