Women VeteransMEDFORD, Ore. — Southern Oregon payed tribute to the women in the area who served for their country.

Women from all eras, serving or retired, were invited to attend a special program at the Inn at the Commons in Medford yesterday afternoon. The annual event not only recognized the 31-hundred women from southern Oregon who serve, but the two-million living in the united states and Puerto Rico. Organizers say there were about 225 people at the event, 150 of which were veterans.

Local Veteran, Shelia Quimby, says, “I thank everybody that came out, you know for coming because it is a special event and we need to be recognized.”

Women make up about 8.5% of the veteran population. Currently women make up more than 15% of the active duty military.

Chai BakerCORVALLIS, Ore — An Oregon State University basketball player is in critical condition after collapsing during a Tuesday morning practice. 

Chai Baker fell to the ground from what the university is calling a “cardiac related medical incident”. Officials also say that Baker had to be revived by a member of the university’s training staff who used CPR and a defibrillator.

The student is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at a Corvallis hospital. An OSU spokesman says Baker had multiple screenings for heart defects before the season and was cleared by their medical staff.

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MEDFORD, Ore. – West Nile Virus has been detected for the second time this year in Jackson County.

This time it was found in a batch of mosquitoes collected last week south of White City.

Vector Control workers have already sprayed the affected area. Health officials are asking people to take steps to avoid the virus. Stagnant water, including rain barrels, birdbaths, or buckets containing water for more than seven days should be dumped, because it can be a breeding ground for the insects. People should wear mosquito repellant and wear long pants and long sleeves in areas where mosquitoes are present.

Health officials said most people who become infected with West Nile either do not become sick, or develop mild symptoms like a fever or body aches. In rare cases, the virus can cause inflammation of the brain, and people who have severe or unusual headaches should seek immediate medical help.

West Nile was also detected in Jackson County in 2013, 2012, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005.  Nationally, the last human case was detected was in 2005.

Sacramento EbolaSACRAMENTO, Calif – A suspected Ebola patient is being tested in California.

Health officials say, the person is being tested and treated for the deadly virus in Sacramento.They also say, the person is being isolated, although there is no danger to the public.

Dr. Gil Chavez, a California State Epidemiologist, says “We are aware that in Sacramento county there is a patient that is being treated at a Kaiser facility. That patient has been evaluated by the health care personnel and the local health department personnel deemed to be low risk.”

Doctors say, they are taking measures to protect staff, and samples from the patient have been sent to the CDC. Test results are not expected for several days.

 

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

As the West Coast sits in between two air masses, temperatures will stay right around average through the end of the week. Again highs are going to be in the 70′s and 80′s inland this afternoon. Even at the coast, there is very little in the way of cloud cover and fog this morning. Any marine stratus that does develop should burn off quickly. Partly to mostly sunny skies will take over into midday for the coastline.

Air quality will continue to be impacted in Siskiyou County keeping skies hazy. Elsewhere though, mostly clear conditions will carry all the way into the weekend. There are no storm systems on the horizon and the dry weather will be ongoing through next week. High pressure will slide further inland Tuesday/Wednesday of next week bringing our temperatures back into the upper 80′s and mid 90′s.

If you’d like more on your local weather, head to Facebook and/or Twitter!

Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese

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MEDFORD, Ore. —  When Kristin Hals was leaving a parking lot on Tuesday afternoon, she strapped her two-year-old son, Brandon Evans, in the car. She claims her car locks malfunctioned leaving Brandon stuck inside the vehicle.

With temperatures in the mid-90s, Hals called 911. When police arrived, she told the officer to break the window, but he refused. Hals tried to break the window, but she could not. She called the child’s father and when he arrived, he broke the window and removed the child. The parents say they are frustrated that the police refused to help and have said they have filed a formal complaint with the Medford Police Department.

“He put my son’s life in jeopardy, he could have caused my son irreparable brain damage, he could have altered my two year old son’s life, forever, by his inaction,” said Jeff Evans, Brandon’s Father.

Medford Police say they deal with situations like this frequently with children or pets being locked in cars. Officials say they take several factors into account like length of time the child has been in the car, and how hot it is outside. Ultimately, there is not a specific protocol in place, and the decision is made by the individual officer.

“Anytime where we damage someone’s property there’s a liability there, so if we could abstain from that liability by having the property owner do it themselves, that would always be the best scenario,” said Lt. Mike Budreau with the Medford Police Department.

As of Wednesday, Brandon is doing well, and Medford Police says they investigate all complaints to see if a situation could have been handled better.

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Wednesday began with cool temperatures and ended with a mild afternoon across the area.  Throughout the rest of the week, high temperatures below average will be the trend.  We will only start a warming again next week, when the high pressure ridge offshore strengthens over the northwest.

Although most aspects of our weather have quieted down, winds have been gusty in the afternoon hours, and that will be the case again Thursday afternoon and evening.  We will also keep the blue skies, with the exception of a few clouds rolling through on Friday.

By the weekend, expect more blue skies for both Saturday and Sunday.  Temperatures will begin to warm by Sunday heading into the start of next week, and by Wednesday, highs will be above average in the upper 90′s.  Enjoy these pleasant days while we have them!

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

Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna

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MEDFORD, Ore. — A bag of ice, bucket of water and a link to donate are all it has taken to have the nation turn its attention to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

While the viral videos have been a novelty on facebook feeds and on t.v. screens, ALS Association representatives said there has been a real impact.

Wednesday, Kristi and John Scott took the challenge and passed it on to others in the community. They both know people inflicted with the disease through Kristi’s work.

Officials said Lou Gehrig’s disease is difficult to diagnose, but once confirmed, typically gives the person between 2- 5 years to live. ALS can cause paralysis from your feet to throat, impacting speaking, chewing and breathing. It’s considered a sporadic disease impacting men and women in their twenties through senior years. ALS association representatives said both those with the disease and their caretakers have enjoyed the attention. The fund raising has also come through.

“Over 32 million dollars in the last two weeks. Which, you would never dream of having such an effective fund raising campaign. This is grass roots, the ALS association didn’t start it,” said Regional Services Coordinator for the ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter Gail Gallaher.

About 30,000  people in the United States are currently living with the disease, including at least 30 in southern Oregon.

Officials said although the fad will wear off, at least ALS is known by those accepting the challenge.

wildfireROGUE RIVER, Ore. — Level 1 evacuation notices have been lifted for homes along Humbug Creek Road, near the location of the Old Blue Mountain Fire, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

ODF made the announcement at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The notices have been lifted for the entirety of Humbug Creek Road, including both the main fork and the left fork. The roadblock near the 4 mile mark on the right fork of Foots Creek Road remains in place.

 

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Lithia Motors’ impending move toward Highway 62 will create a void near the downtown Medford area, according to Medford City Councilors.

Lithia is planning to move several dealerships to new buildings next to its existing superstore location on Highway 62. The BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen dealerships will be moving within the next few months, and a new building is being constructed for the Honda dealership. Lithia is holding a hiring event Thursday for new employees at the Nissan store.

City councilors said when Lithia vacates their existing lots, the city will need to adjust in order to continue to stoke the downtown economy.

“As for the car lots, it’s going to leave a hole, and it is going to have to be private sector that fills that hole,” said city councilor Chris Corcoran.

But Corcoran said the Commons building could help soften the blow of losing the car lots near downtown. He said the city could invest in establishing that area as a spot for more corporate headquarters.

“The good news is, we’ve got the plum. We’ve got the Lithia headquarters building,” he said. “We’ve got the two park blocks. So in reality, we have a magnet for economic development.”

Corcoran said it will likely be private businesses that could buy the existing car lots. He was unsure if the city would be interested in buying those properties.

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