stock_fox_animalJUNCTION CITY, Ore. — The first case of rabies so far this year in Lane County has been confirmed.

Lane County Public Health says a fox found near a residence in Junction City tested positive for rabies. It is the first animal to test positive for rabies in Oregon this year.

The fox was brought to a wildlife center in Corvallis on Friday. The Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory tested for rabies and says the results came back positive. The Centers for Disease Control is currently testing to see which strain of rabies the fox had, but will likely not know the results until the end of the week. The fox was euthanized. 

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife believes that this is an isolated case and that the fox came in contact with a rabid bat.

KEZI 9 News spoke with a Corvallis veterinarian, who says rabies is a lethal virus that affects the neurological system in mammals.

“There have been a few reported cases of people and animals surviving rabies, but it is very, very rare,” said Steve Amsberry, the owner of West Hills Animal Hospital and the President of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.

Amsberry says despite the rabid fox case in Lane County, he says nobody should panic.

“Rabies is very rare, but there are really simple things to do such as the vaccination of pets and decrease your exposure to wildlife that is acting abnormal in any way.”

He says rabies is contracted through saliva.

“So if there is a bite wound, that bite wound needs to be cleaned out with soap and water as soon as possible and you need to contact your veterinarian.”

This is the first report of a rabid fox in Lane County since the 1960s.

“Don’t feed wild animals,” Amsberry said. “You don’t want to encourage them to be around in your living space because you just don’t know. So an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Rabies symptoms in wildlife, particularly foxes and raccoons, include lethargy, walking in circles, convulsions, aggressiveness, excessive drooling of saliva, and showing no fear of humans.

However, according to the ODFW, a common stereotype of an animal with rabies is vicious and snarls like the dog in the movie “Old Yeller.” However, the ODFW says an animal with rabies is dying and is more likely to curl up in a ball before it goes into a coma. But that does not mean precautions should not be taken if anything unusual is noticed.

“Any animal that appears to have abnormal behavior, especially a wild animal that’s out during the day – just don’t go there,” Amsberry said. “Don’t touch them; don’t go near them.”

Wildlife experts do not think people should be concerned about the rabid fox case, but if anyone sees a sick animal in the wild, call the nearest ODFW office to respond.

7-29-Ethiopia-AthleteEUGENE, Ore. — The fourth Ethiopian athlete who went missing at the the World Junior Track and Field Championships is safe.

The University of Oregon Police Department says it found Zeyituna Mohammed in Federal Way, Washington. She was at the residence of an acquaintance.

She went missing with three other teammates. They were found in Beaverton. UOPD says all of the missing persons cases are now closed.

Officers say their only interest was making sure the athletes were safe. All four had a valid visa.

mh17Donetsk, Ukraine (CNN) — International investigators’ quest to carry out their duties at the crash site of the downed Malaysian airliner hit another roadblock Wednesday, as Ukrainian officials warned of possible land mines near the site.

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council claims that “terrorists” — the term it uses to describe rebels — have set up firing positions and laid mines on the access road to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

The Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels are fighting over control of eastern Ukraine.

Dutch investigators in Ukraine did not mention mines but announced Wednesday that unsafe conditions kept their contingent from visiting the crash site for the fourth straight day.

CNN could not independently confirm the veracity of the statement by the Ukrainian officials, though CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh traveled to and from the debris field safely Wednesday.

The dangers in the area make the work of international experts “impossible,” the Ukrainian defense council said.

Workers with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe made the same call and avoided traveling to the crash site Wednesday.

Ertrugrul Apakan, chief monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, said he would like to see a cease-fire between combatants so investigators can work.

It was the fourth straight day the OSCE has joined the 50-strong team of Dutch and Australian investigators in declaring the region too dangerous to work in.

Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage or the human remains believed still to be strewn across the huge debris field near the town of Torez.

U.S. and Ukrainian officials have said that a Russian-made missile system was used to shoot down MH17 from rebel territory on July 17. Russia and the rebels have disputed the allegations and blamed Ukraine for the crash.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte asked Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in a phone call Tuesday morning to halt the fighting around the crash site so that investigators can access it, Rutte spokesman Jean Fransman said.

Ukraine foreign minister: The bitter lessons of MH17

Russian isolation

There are echoes of the Cold War as pro-Russian rebels battle Ukrainian government forces in the nation’s east.

With new sanctions announced by the European Union and United States against Russia this week, the stakes are getting higher, and Moscow is getting more isolated.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the latest round of U.S. sanctions “will cause nothing but the harm” to U.S.-Russian ties and “will create a poor environment in international affairs where the cooperation between our countries often plays a key role.”

A day earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama said that the new sanctions “will continue to ratchet up the pressure on Russia, including the cronies and companies supporting Russia’s illegal activities in the Ukraine.”

“In other words, today, Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress,” Obama said.

The Russian response accused the United States of “trying to avoid responsibility” for the crisis in Ukraine and blamed the Ukrainian government for the violence in the east.

The new and harder-hitting sanctions show the West’s waning patience with Russia over its disputed annexation of Crimea, its support of pro-Russian rebels and the impact of the shoot-down of Flight 17, which had many Europeans among the 298 people on board when it went down in eastern Ukraine.

Some of the new EU sanctions target eight “cronies” of Putin and three “entities” by limiting their access to EU capital markets, an EU official said on condition of anonymity. The people and entities will be named Wednesday, the official said.

Three state-owned banks were named Tuesday by Washington, meaning five of the top six financial institutions in Russia were on the sanctions list, according to a senior Obama administration official.

Furthermore, the United States went to NATO with a claim that Russia has violated its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The treaty prohibits that possession, production or flight-test of a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. In a statement, NATO asked Russia to resolve the issue.

To punish Russia, Europe must be prepared to suffer

A parental quest

Although heavy fighting has blocked investigators from getting to the crash site, it didn’t stop the determined parents of one of the victims.

George and Angela Dyczynski braved the regional conflict and saw the wreckage over the weekend.

“We have been always protected,” George Dyczynski said. “I believe it was divine guidance.”

“We really, really promised our daughter that we will go there and that we tried to really fulfill our promises,” said Angela Dyczynski.

Despite there being no known survivors, the couple holds out hope that their daughter, Fatima, a 25-year-old aerospace engineer, is still alive.

“Fatima can only be pronounced dead when the DNA is matched with her body,” Angela Dyczynski said. “So if anybody says at the moment she is dead … it’s not correct.”

Up to this point, very few of the bodies recovered from the crash have been identified by Dutch authorities.

As of Monday, 227 coffins had been sent to the Netherlands, where forensic investigators are working to identify victims. It is unclear how many complete sets of bodies the coffins contain.

Reports of ballistic missiles

The United States and others say Russia has provided arms to rebels in eastern Ukraine, including heavy weapons such as a missile system like the one believed to have been used to down the Malaysian airliner 12 days ago.

Despite previous sanctions, the flow of weapons continues and on Tuesday the fighting entered a dangerous new phase.

A senior official within the Ukrainian counterterrorist unit told CNN on Wednesday that Tochka-U ballistic missiles were fired Tuesday toward the Saur-Mohyla area of eastern Ukraine, a strategic hill that has been the scene of fierce fighting for the past week. The Ukrainian military claimed to have captured the hill on Monday.

It’s the same area where pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian warplanes last week.

Three U.S. officials told CNN on Tuesday of reports that Ukraine’s government had used short-range ballistic missiles against the rebels over the previous two days.

The weapons have a range of about 50 miles (80 kilometers) and pack up to 1,000-pound (454-kilogram) warheads. If the reports are accurate, they are the most deadly missiles used in the conflict to date.

The U.S. officials did not specify where the missiles hit or what damage they caused.

One U.S. official said there has been no reaction from Russia.

Another of the U.S. officials said that using the missiles is “an escalation, but Ukraine has a right to defend itself.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin acknowledged that his country’s military has short-range missiles, but denied that the military fired any.

In a joint news conference with Klimkin, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised Ukrainian officials for proposing a peace plan that includes “serious and substantive dialogue with the Russian-backed separatists.”

How rebels built up an arsenal capable of reaching the skies

Is the Cold War back?

On Wednesday, Russian lawmaker Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the State Duma’s foreign affairs committee, said via Twitter that Obama “will make history not as a peacekeeper, everyone forgot about his Nobel Prize, but as the statesman who started a new cold war.”

Despite the escalating tensions and the new sanctions, Obama said this is not part of a new Cold War.

“What it is is a very specific issue related to Russia’s unwillingness to recognize that Ukraine can chart its own path,” Obama said.

One of the senior administration officials said Russia hasn’t been this isolated “since the end of the Cold War.”

Obama said Russia could choose a different path.

“It didn’t have to come to this. It does not have to be this way,” Obama said. “This is a choice that Russia and President Putin in particular has made. … The path for a peaceful resolution to this crisis involves recognizing the sovereignty, the territorial integrity and the independence of the Ukrainian people.”

Fire StockASHLAND, Ore. — The Ashland Fire Department is encouraging all Ashland residents to be ready in the event of an evacuation due to wildfires. As fire season continues to escalate, people need to understand that evacuations could become a reality. No evacuations are in place at this time, but the fire department said that a fire like the Reeves Creek fire in Josephine County could happen at any time.

The Ashland Fire Department said that an evacuation could happen at any time, not just for a wildfire, below are some tips that they give to be ready if something were to occur.

o   Plan a meeting place for your family both in and out of your neighborhood.

o   Keep your vehicle gas tank full if you have a car.

o   Prepare and take your emergency supply kit for your family and pets.

o   Know where to get information in Ashland

  • 1700 a.m., Wildfire Hotline 541.552.2490, www.ashlandcert.org

o   If asked to evacuate, do so immediately and follow evacuation routes.

For more information on how to be ready, see www.ashlandcert.org. Established in 1887, Ashland Fire & Rescue provides twenty-four-hour service and responds to over 3,500 calls each year in an area that exceeds 650 square miles.

pumice flat fireCRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, Ore. — The Pumice Flat Fire burning inside Crater Lake is 25 acres and 75 percent Wednesday morning. The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership is handling the fire and said that it is 100 percent lined. There continues to be spot fires and isolated torching to the north end.

There are red flag warnings through 11:00 p.m. Wednesday evening. Last night’s storm brought with it multiple lightning strikes that are being investigated, according to a press release.

cnn tsa(CNN) — Most travelers know the annoyance of standing in those long airport security lines. Now, the Transportation Security Administration wants to know what you’d do to fix the problem.

The TSA is offering a total of $15,000 dollars to those who come up with the best ways to shorten those lines. The agency wants ideas for better layouts of lines, taking into consideration changing flight schedules, peak hours and TSA staffing.

The top idea will receive $5,000 dollars and the runners up will receive $2,500 dollars.

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WEATHER DISCUSSION

Our first round of storms on Tuesday led to a pretty active afternoon. Lightning was striking over Southern Jackson County, along and east of the Cascades, and over Siskiyou County. Storms over the Rogue Valley traveled in from Northern California and a similar set up is likely today.

In fact, today could even end up being pretty identical to Tuesday. What does look slightly different is the coverage of storms. A few cells could make their way into Josephine County today …whereas yesterday it was fairly quiet here. A 2″ deep layer of hail was reported 10 miles south, southwest of Chemult blanketing the ground. It was about a half inch in diameter. Today, large hail will be among the threats, especially true for Klamath County.

Thunderstorm timing will also be similar to Tuesday. We’ll have storms firing up by early afternoon east of the Cascades and then mid afternoon for Northern California. For the West Side, expect some activity into early evening.

In addition to today’s storm threat, another day of extreme heat is underway. Also, the 12th triple digit day this summer. This is typically the warmest time of the summer — this week and next week. So, although this is not unusual for this time in the summer …our month in general has been VERY warm and could be on track for breaking records. Meaning, the amount of triple digit days we’ve had so far is above average.

This active and repetitive weather pattern is not forecast to let up in the near future, as storms are likely thorugh early next week. This is even true for the Valley.

To submit photos and videos, for weather updates and more …head to Facebook and/or Twitter!

Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese

Malaysia Investigation(CNN) — In the month of July we saw three airline crashes in the span of a week: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Transasia Airways Flight 222 and Air Algerie Flight 5017. That is a lot, however, this year is not the deadliest for flights.

Safety experts said we’re still enjoying the overall safest period in aviation history. In fact, airline fatalities have been dropping for decades. In the year 2014, 761 people have died in aviation related accidents. That’s higher than last year’s record low of 265. However, it’s far below 1972, which saw 2,429 deaths.

reeves cr fireSELMA, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry is reporting Wednesday morning the containment level for the Reeves Creek Fire has been scaled back from 90 percent to 50 percent because of concerns about the weather.

Fire crews have completed the fire line around the Reeves Creek Fire and have it at 232 acres. Hose lines are also completely strung around the fire and day shift crews will be mopping up hot spots 100-150 feet inside the fireline.

The cause of this fire is still under investigation

 

 

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CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry, Illinois Valley Fire and Rural Metro are battling flames in the Reeves Creek Fire, and trying to keep it from spreading past it’s current 230 acres. Several helicopters dipped into Lake Selmac, dumping water on the flames. Fire crews say the fire is burning in a bowl-like area between highway 199 and Reeves Creek Road. The few hand crews which are on this fire have gained 90 percent containment.

Fire crews are making progress on the Reeves Creek Fire but remain cautious as they work towards containment.

On Tuesday night, fire officials asked residents living near the fire to be cautious as well, issuing a level one evacuation on a Wild Park Lane, and residents say they will be ready to go if they need to be.

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