MEDFORD, Ore.–Medford Police Chief Tim George addresses media about Thursday afternoons officer involved shooting in Medford. This is the uncut video of the press conference held Thursday evening.
MEDFORD, Ore. — Fear is something gymnasts inevitably feel at some point in their careers.
“It’s scary and there’s a big wall between who can and who can’t and you are either scared or you’re not,” said Laci-Mae James. “I’ve learned how to overcome literally anything and overcome fear and being completely scared standing at the corner of the floor crying and just going for it because that’s all you can do.”
That’s exactly what James does, ever since she first walked in to the ABK Gym in the sixth grade.
“I came in with a t-shirt and shorts on,” said James. “I was like, ‘OK, yeah, let’s do this gymnastics thing.’”
Now a senior in high school, James is a level nine gymnast and one of the best in Southern Oregon. She is also the best in her gym, which the younger gymnasts take note of.
“She still has no airs,” said Chris Blache, her coach. “She’s just down to earth just like anybody else. That’s pretty cool, and all the other kids here love her because of it. They love it because of the tricks she does and because they want to be her.”
“A lot of the times they’ll just have me come in and hang with the kiddos and teach them and so whenever I see something I just pick it up and just say, ‘Hey, change this’ or ‘do this,’” said James.
James is a presence in the gym. She’s there five or six days a week and everyone watches her in awe.
“If you come and hang out here, you’ll hear spontaneous applause happening from the audience just because the parents of other kids, or other kids watching will say, ‘Oh, that’s so cool,’” said Blache.
The opportunity to perform is one of the reasons she chose the sport.
“Gymnastics is a really big spectator sport so it’s like an extreme sport,” said James. “When people come to watch literally just because it’s cool and so it’s scary stuff that not everybody can do and so they want to see it. It’s something they see on TV in the Olympics and so when they see it in person, it’s awesome.”
HORNBROOK, Calif. — An investigation is underway at a small volunteer fire department in Northern California. Hornbrook firefighters were ordered to return to their fire house Thursday after walking out earlier this week.
A special all-staff meeting Thursday morning included an equipment inventory and safety check. The fire district’s board president says taking the inventory is a part of the current investigation.
Details of the investigation aren’t being released. However, both the board president and assistant chief say it centers on safety.
“It’s a total safety issue, it has to do with the solvency of this board and this district,” said Kimberly Olson, President of Hornbrook Fire Protection District.
“The fire department, we officially quit due to the fact the board will not address our safety concerns,” said Assistant Chief Lee Buckley.
The assistant chief and two other people also faced a disciplinary hearing on Thursday. They are accused of theft and failure of duty. CalFire will continue to respond to fires in the Hornbrook area, but says there could be a longer response time.
Overnight tonight showers will taper off and shortly after midnight showers will end in full across the region. A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for the Cascades and Siskiyous due to snow and winter driving conditions near Crater Lake, Diamond Lake and at times over Lake of the Woods. Temperatures tonight will be much cooler than the last several days as clouds will be on the decrease. Patchy fog is possible in valley locations, mainly on the west side with some fog possible in the Klamath River Valley, but fog will not linger long into Friday and sunshine will be increasing across the region through the day.
Friday will bring a brief drying trend as high pressure returns into Saturday, but late Saturday our next storm system arrives at the coast and overnight Saturday pushes inland. Rain and breezy conditions will be the story Sunday with isolated showers continuing into Monday. Tuesday dry and sunny weather returns as high pressure pushes the storm track north once again into the end of the work week.
Meteorologist Megan Parry
MEDFORD, Ore. — Jackson County Sheriff’s recovered a stolen car and now three people are behind bars.
Sheriff’s say they saw the car headed down Crater Lake Highway in Medford on Wednesday. Additional units were called in to help with the arrest after it was determined to be stolen.
Three people were arrested without incident. They say the driver admitted to stealing the car. The two passengers were also arrested at that time for related charges.
MEDFORD, Ore. – On Thursday, Medford educators are voting on the new teacher contract.
MEA officials say teachers were given a ballot on Thursday, and must hand in their vote by 5 p.m. Friday. They say the votes will then be tallied and triple checked.
Building representatives were given the ballots on Monday, but could not hand them out until the official voting day. If teachers vote to approve the contract, the school board is expected to ratify the contract during their meeting on Monday.
School officials voted earlier this week. Both sides say they expect the contract to move forward.
ASHLAND, Ore. — Faculty members at Southern Oregon University have given a vote of ‘no confidence’ to three administrators.
The vote was taken Wednesday in response to the ongoing budget problems at the university. According to an e-mail from Faculty Senate Chair David Carter, SOU faculty voted ‘no confidence’ in President Mary Cullinan, Provost James Klein, and Vice President of Finance Craig Morris.
Under Oregon administrative rules, the faculty will send a recommendation asking to remove Klein and Morris.
Carter did not return multiple phone calls asking for comment. A representative in the President’s office said no one was available to speak about the vote.
Update (6:33 p.m.): SOU President Mary Cullinan released a statement Thursday night in response to the ‘no confidence vote:
Southern Oregon University is experiencing the challenges that face many smaller institutions like ours. This is a very stressful time. Difficult faculty contract bargaining, combined with challenging budget decisions, has caused an unprecedented amount of stress on campus.
I deeply appreciate faculty concerns and respect the right of the Faculty Senate to exercise this section of their By-laws. I will continue to work with faculty and administration to finalize the retrenchment plan that will align our costs and revenues while positioning us for strategic investments and a sustainable future.
I will also continue working with faculty, as well as with staff, students, and our external community, to ensure SOU maintains a strong path forward despite the shifting environment around us.
ASHLAND, Ore. — Medical marijuana dispensaries are now opening in Ashland, as the city begins approving business licenses for those facilities.
In January, the Ashland city council took out language in city ordinances that deny business licenses if a business conducts “illegal” activity. Now with that language eliminated, dispensaries can now apply, and some are already opening.
Siskiyou Medical Supply is one of those dispensaries. Owner Mike Welch said he applied first thing Thursday, and was approved later that morning. The dispensary will operate inside Puff’s Smoke Shop on Ashland Street.
Welch also submitted an application to the state, and is going through the approval process, which will include an inspection by state health officials.
Other cities in the Rogue Valley, including Medford and Phoenix, have taken steps to limit where dispensaries can open, or try to ban them altogether. But Welch says Ashland’s attitude has been different, and it could help the medical marijuana industry grow in southern Oregon.
“Ashland has always been, probably the past 30, 40 years, definitely more progressive than the rest of southern Oregon,” he said.
Monday was the first day dispensary owners could apply to the Oregon Health Authority. Welch said he will also need to submit a packet of information, including a background check and floor plan.
MEDFORD, Ore.– Several law enforcement agencies were involved in an officer involved shooting this evening. Medford Police say a 1998 Dodge truck carrying two wanted suspects from another state, was spotted around 3p.m., Thursday. Police say the suspects were believed to be armed and dangerous. Police followed the truck as they turned onto Hilton Road and into Northcrest Circle. At that time police waited on Hilton Roads in case they needed to deploy spike strips. They say the truck then purposely ran into a parked police car. Police officers then opened fire on the suspects causing the truck to run into a fence in a nearby yard. The suspects were then taken into custody without incident. Police say they were both transported to the Rogue Regional Medical Center to be treated for gunshots wounds. The conditions of the suspects are not being released. The officer inside the rammed car is now recovering from sustained injuries.
(Eugene, OR – 3/05/14) Heartland Media, LLC and MSouth Equity Partners have agreed to acquire the assets of television stations KEZI, KDRV and KDKF from Chambers Communications Corp. The stations are located in Eugene, Medford and Klamath Falls, Oregon and are all ABC affiliates. The acquisition will expand Heartland’s holdings to four stations, including WKTV, the NBC affiliate in Utica, New York.
“We are excited about the opportunity to continue the excellent television services that have long been provided by the Chambers family in these markets,” said Bob Prather, President and CEO of Heartland.
Prather, who makes his home in Atlanta, Georgia, is a longtime veteran of the newspaper and broadcasting industries, most recently serving as President and Chief Operating Officer for Gray Television, Inc. Under Prather’s leadership Gray undertook an aggressive growth strategy in building a 41 station group, with the largest station in Knoxville, Tennessee (market 51).
“We believe Heartland sees the value in our broadcasting strategy and our excellent employees,” said Scott Chambers, CEO of Chambers Communications Corp. “Heartland is particularly well suited to build on the strengths that these stations have had in the local community for the past several decades.”
The transaction is subject to FCC approval, which is expected to be finalized in early to mid-summer of 2014. Chambers will continue daily operations of the stations until that time.