Monthly Archives: May 2019

Change of Command at Kingsley Field


U.S. Air Force Colonel Jeffrey Edwards, 173rd Fighter Wing vice commander, will take command of the wing on June 1, 2019 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Edwards will replace Col. Jeff Smith, who has commanded the wing since April 2016. (U.S.


KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. — A change of command will take place June 1, 1:00 p.m. at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore. Colonel Jeffrey Edwards, who has over 20 years of military experience, will take command of the 173rd Fighter Wing during an official change of command ceremony.

Edwards has a wide range of experience to include nine years with the active-duty component and has been a member or the Oregon Air National Guard since 2004. He is currently serving as the 173rd FW Vice Commander, and has previously held numerous positions including the 173rd Operations Group Commander, Oregon ANG Director of Operations, and the 114th Fighter Squadron Commander.

“Col. Jeff Edwards is the perfect choice to succeed Col. Jeff Smith as the 173rd Fighter Wing Commander,” said Brig. Gen. Donna Prigmore, Oregon Air National Guard commander. “He’s an Air Force Academy graduate, and a highly accomplished F-15 pilot with more than 3,300 flight hours, including 52 combat sorties. He understands our mission and has the vision to take us successfully into the future.”

Edwards will replace Col. Jeff Smith, who has commanded the wing since April 2016.

Editor’s Note: This event is not open to the general public; however, media is invited to attend. If you would like to cover the 173rd Fighter Wing Change of Command, please contact Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar at 541-885-6677 to arrange base access by Friday, May 31.

It’s Fill the boot time for Klamath County Fire District No. 1


Friday, May 31st starting at 9:00 am through Saturday, June 1st ending at 4:00 pm, members of Klamath County Fire District 1 together with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, will fan out across the Klamath Falls area with boots in hand, asking pedestrians, motorists, customers and other passersby to make a donation to MDA for the fire fighters’ annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign.

Weather Alert: Strong Thunderstorm North Of Bly Moving South

We are tracking multiple active thunderstorms in the area. Radar shows one cell with 1/2 inch hail. Moving south toward Bly.
Central and Eastern Lake County OR-
Northern and Eastern Klamath County and Western Lake County OR-
554 PM PDT Tue May 28 2019


At 553 PM PDT, Doppler radar was tracking a strong thunderstorm over
Thompson Reservoir Campground, or 10 miles west of Summer Lake,
moving south at 20 mph.

Half inch hail and winds in excess of 40 mph will be possible with
this storm.

Locations impacted include…
Silver Creek Marsh Campground, Farm Well Campground And Trailhead,
Thompson Reservoir Campground and East Bay Campground.

LAT…LON 4305 12117 4304 12092 4264 12087 4264 12124
TIME…MOT…LOC 0053Z 001DEG 19KT 4298 12105

Live coverage of weather events is available in our breaking news app.

New Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Breaks Ground at Timbermill Shores


92-room hotel to be first Marriott in Klamath Falls, Oregon

May 29, 2019 – Kansas City MO – With Lake Ewauna as a natural backdrop, Klamath Falls Mayor Carol Westfall today joined principals of Ferguson Hotel Development, Choose Klamath (KCEDA), the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, and Klamath Falls City and County officials to officially break ground on a new, 92-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott at TimberMill Shores.

Slated to open in late Spring 2020, the new Fairfield Inn & Suites is the first Marriott property to open in Klamath Falls. It represents public-private ownership between the City of Klamath Falls, Klamath County and Ferguson Hotel Development. True North Hotel Group of Overland Park, Kansas, will manage the hotel, and Prosser-Wilbert Construction of Kansas City is the general contractor.

John Ferguson, president of Ferguson Hotel Development, said that the new Fairfield Inn & Suites is being intentionally and thoughtfully designed to reflect and honor the history and features of the waterfront site, once the location of the Shaw family lumber mill site.

“Our custom-designed interiors will include a rustic timber theme and archival photos from the Shaw family and the old timber mill,” said Ferguson. “Guests will particularly enjoy gathering around the fire pit on the hotel’s back patio that overlooks beautiful Lake Ewauna.”

Ferguson added, “We are looking forward to greeting guests ranging from tourists visiting Crater Lake National Park to military personnel coming to train at Kingsley Field. Best, we are very excited to introduce the first Marriott hotel to the regional hub of Klamath Falls.”

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heather Tramp added, “We are super excited about the new Fairfield Inn & Suites and, especially, with Ferguson Hotel Development’s desire to invest in and be members of our community.”

Randy Cox, CEO of Choose Klamath, said, “We have enjoyed working with the Ferguson group throughout the entire process of bringing the Fairfield Inn & Suites to Klamath Falls. We also appreciate the collaborative efforts of our area leadership to make this happen.”

About the Klamath Falls Fairfield Inn & Suites

The hotel’s open public space will feature natural light and views throughout the lobby to connect the indoors with the outdoors. Consistent with the Fairfield brand’s heritage of great service and a warm welcome, guests will be greeted by associates who can easily move from behind the angled front desk to interact and answer questions. Guests can also unwind in the lobby’s inviting living area – whose focal points include a natural stone hearth, organic-shaped sofa and lounge chair and unique local features — or they can grab a drink or snack item from the 24/7 Corner Market.

Flexible and functional guest rooms will include a well-designed work area, ergonomic chair, task lighting and electrical outlets where guests need them. A curved, mobile desk will enable guests to create their own workspace while also optimizing their television viewing. The new design also places the sleeping area toward the middle of the room, helping to give guests a better night’s sleep on plush mattresses, as well as easier access to the bathroom and wardrobe. The bright, spacious living area will offer a comfortable couch, refrigerator, coffeemaker and microwave. Each room also features the latest in-room entertainment technology, allowing guests to access their Hulu and Netflix accounts as well as YouTube and Pandora through the Smart TV.

Additional hotel amenities will include an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, meeting room, guest laundry, complimentary Wi-Fi, and fax and copy services. A complimentary hot breakfast, featuring oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sausage, make-your-own waffles and other healthy items such as fruit, yogurt, and whole grain cereals and breads will also be available.

About Ferguson Hotel Development

In 1990, driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and visions of bringing a hotel to his hometown of Liberty, Missouri, John Ferguson became the seventh franchisee for Marriott International, Inc., with his first Fairfield Inn & Suites. The success of his first property in Liberty led to the formation of Ferguson Hotel Development which today sustains a reputation for enduring commitment to quality, top-notch service and solid, lasting relationships. There are currently seven Marriott, Hilton, and IHG-branded hotels in the Ferguson Hotel Development portfolio.

Keep your family safe from the West Nile Virus this summer


Keep your family safe from the West Nile Virus this summer

As the weather continues to warm up, health officials say it’s important for people to protect themselves from disease-carrying mosquitoes. One of the illnesses to avoid is the potentially deadly West Nile virus.

About one in five infected people may show signs of West Nile virus. People at risk of serious illness include individuals 50 and older, and people with immune-compromising conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

West Nile symptoms may include fever above 100 degrees and severe headache, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, shaking, paralysis or rash. People should contact their health care provider if experiencing any of these symptoms.

Health officials are advising people to take precautions against mosquitoes to avoid the risk of infection, including preventing mosquito bites. West Nile is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

“It’s very easy for people to prevent bites from mosquitoes that may carry West Nile virus,” said Dr. Emilio DeBess, public health veterinarian at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. “Although the risk of contracting West Nile virus is low, people can take simple precautions to keep these insects at bay if they’re headed outdoors.”

To prevent the spread of West Nile virus:

  • Eliminate sources of standing water that are a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This includes watering troughs, bird baths, clogged gutters and old tires.
  • When engaged in outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, protect yourself by using mosquito repellants containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or Picardin, and follow the directions on the container.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in mosquito-infested areas.
  • Make sure screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly.

In 2018, there were two human cases of West Nile virus in two Oregon counties: Harney and Clackamas. The virus was found in one bird, 58 mosquito pools — samples of about 50 mosquitoes each — and two horses. In 2017, seven humans, 92 mosquito pools, five horses and one bird tested positive for West Nile. The virus also can be found in chickens, squirrels and dogs.

Climate change, particularly effects such as increased temperature and changes in rainfall, have led to longer mosquito seasons and are contributing to the spread of West Nile virus, health officials say. They agree these and other climate change indicators must be considered to help people better prepare for future transmission of the disease.

Additional information about West Nile virus is available on the Oregon Health Authority website, and from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adults in custody died recently On Hospice Care

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Two Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adults in custody died recently. Both were incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) in Salem and passed away in the infirmary while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, Oregon State Police have been notified. Read more

Fake Fishing Licenses Being Sold Online


BBB, OR Fish & Wildlife Warn of Phony Fishing, Hunting Licenses

Online Scam Hooks Consumers With False Advertising 

For Oregon consumers looking to hunt and/or fish this season, be careful when purchasing licenses as Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific has learned of an ongoing online scam pushing out phony licenses.

Oregon Department Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) contacted BBB NW+P to share that its employees have been made aware of at least two people who recently purchased items from the website after searching online for an Oregon fishing license. BBB has also confirmed two Oregonians filed a complaint and Scam Tracker report against just within the last month.

This is not the first time BBB has alerted consumers to this website, but concerningly, the page is still up and running. ODFW and other state fish and wildlife agencies have been hearing about customers mistakenly buying items from this website since 2017.

“While it’s not a widespread problem, it’s unfortunate that even one person would be misled when trying to buy an Oregon fishing license,” said Linda Lytle, ODFW License Services Manager. “This is not the first time we have heard about this and it isn’t just happening in Oregon.”, which claims to operate out of Coeur d’Alene, ID, has no office. The company operates under the umbrella organization, “Orange Grove LLC”, which claims to help consumers with a variety of services including travel planning, registrations and drivers’ licenses

Within the last year, there have been 20 complaints regarding the company mostly related to false adverting and fraudulent sales. There have also been numerous negative reviews left on the company’s BBB profile, which has garnered an F-rating. It appears representatives for have been responding to some of the recent complaints, though BBB cannot confirm at this time whether any refunds have been issued.

BBB cautions consumers not to use any websites associated with Orange Grove LLC, including or This issue has been brought to the attention of the Federal Trade Commission.

Oregon fishing or hunting licenses can be purchased via the ODFW landing page. Consumers can also purchase a license at one of the sale agents listed on the site. On the website, Oregonians will be guided to the proper licensing processes and procedures for fishing, crabbing, bird hunting and big-game hunting.

For consumers who have purchased a fake license somewhere else, head to the ODFW website for help. For hunters, please note the deadline to apply for a valid license is June 1.

For ODFW, combating this issue is imperative to protect consumers from losing money and to prevent them from going out with improper licenses, which can lead to further problems.

“We would just like consumers to be aware of this issue and not get tricked into buying something when what they really want is an Oregon fishing, hunting or shellfish license,” said Lytle.

BBB NW+P offers the following tips for consumers to protect themselves from online scams:

  • Check a site’s security settings. If the site is secure, its URL should start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page
  • Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections; it’s easier to dispute charges. Debit cards, prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.
  • Think before your click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites that bring you to a website. Many sketchy retailers can easily “spoof” an existing website to appear legitimate, when really, it’s a fake page all together.



KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. – The 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore. will conduct Memorial Day flyovers for ceremonies at locations throughout Oregon.

F-15 Eagle fighter jets are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following community locations at, or around, the designated times on Monday, May 27.

11:00 a.m. Veterans Memorial Park, Klamath Falls, Ore.

11:15 a.m. Eagle Point National Cemetery, Eagle Point, Ore.

11:30 a.m. Roseburg National Cemetery, Roseburg, Ore.

11:45 a.m. Memory Gardens, Medford, Ore.

11:53 a.m. Hillcrest Memorial Park, Medford, Ore.

12:00 p.m. Siskiyou Memorial Park, Medford, Ore.

12:15 p.m. Riverside Park, Grants Pass, Ore.

12:30 p.m. Brookings Harbor Port, Brookings, Ore.

12:40 p.m. Curry County Veterans Memorial, Gold Beach, Ore.

All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be canceled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies.

The Oregon Air National Guard has been an integral part of the nation’s air defense since 1941.  The 173rd FW is home to the sole F-15C pilot training facility for the United States Air Force



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Henley High School engineering students Dylan Huhyn, Thys deHoop, JPLMuseum director James Loftus, Grace Parker, Alyssa Michaelis and MIchael Malineaux pose with a Lego model of the Saturn V rocket donated by Loftus of JPLMuseum.

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Henley High School engineering students Dylan Huhyn, Thys deHoop, Grace Parker, Alyssa Michaelis and MIchael Malineaux examine a Lego model of the Saturn V rocket donated by James Loftus of JPLMuseum.

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JPLMuseum chooses high school’s engineering program as one of three recipients statewide

Henley High School’s engineering students have one more challenge before the end of year: It comes in 1,969 pieces and when complete will be a 40-inch Lego model of the Saturn V rocket.

James Loftus, director of JPLMuseum in Stayon, Ore., presented the model rocket to Henley High School’s engineering students last week. Henley was one of three Oregon schools awarded the gift of the Saturn V Lego’s model rocket. Other schools chosen were Bandon and Stayton high schools. The rocket is designed to be used as a hands-on, team-building exercise. Once put together, it can be taken apart and reconstructed by another group of students.

Loftus said Dr. Norm Chaffee, a now-retired NASA propulsion engineer who also worked on the Gemini Project and the International Space Station, purchased the Lego model rocket for Henley High School, one of more than 30 schools he visited last fall as part of an outreach program through JPLMuseum.

“We wanted to thank you for allowing us into your lives, into your schools, and we hoped that you learned something,” Loftus told the group of engineering students. “And we wanted to give you something you can use year after year. Don’t just build it and put it on the shelf. Build it, disassemble it, and let the next class build it. That’s the objective here.”

The rocket is assembled in parts and stages and is meant to be a team endeavor, Loftus said.

Seniors Thys deHoop and Dylan Huynh were looking forward to the task as they examined the back of the model rocket’s package.

“I really hope there’s instructions,” deHoop said. “We’ll do it before we graduate,” Huynh added.

Loftus said Henley and the other schools were chosen, in part, because they demonstrated a commitment to assist JPLMuseum in fulfilling its mission of providing unique, nontraditional educational experiences by bringing NASA artifacts and engineers into classrooms as part of a rural schools’ educational initiative. JPLMuseum is named for Loftus’ father, Joseph Phillip Loftus, Jr., who worked NASA from 1962 until his retirement in 2001. When he retired Loftus was assistant director and engineering, space and life sciences director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

This year, JPLMuseum, with the sponsorship of Klamath County School District as well as PacifiCorp Foundation, Santiam Hospital, city of Stayton, 10 Barrel Brewing, HP Civil Engineering, and Stayton Ford was able to bring programming to 1,800 students statewide. Next year, it plans to offer Remote and Distant Interactive Online Sessions (RADIOS) in cooperation with the Oregon Connection Academy, Space Center Houston, and Project Lead the Way. RADIOS would offer remote live interactive broadcasts with active and retired NASA engineers. For more information, visit

Portland Man Pleads Guilty to Production of Child Pornography. Used, a social media application known as TikTok

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PORTLAND, Ore.—Juan Carlos Ramon, 33, of Portland, pleaded guilty today to two counts of production of child pornography after sexually exploiting two minor victims, aged six and eight, using, a social media application now known as TikTok.

This case underscores the need to monitor the activity of children online and in smartphone apps.


According to court documents, on or about June 28, 2017, Ramon began communicating with two minors using the app. He used the screen name “@lexithetiger” and pretended to be a minor female. Ramon encouraged his victims to play a “Simon Says” type game where he would send sexually explicit photos of a minor female and ask his victims to take and send him photos imitating the positions and acts depicted. The minor victims agreed and sent Ramon a series of progressively more explicit self-produced images. A relative of the two victims later discovered the communications and reported it to law enforcement.

Each count of production of child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum, a $250,000 fine, a $5,000 special assessment and a life term of supervised release with a five-year mandatory minimum. Ramon will be sentenced on September 5, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Jones.

As part of the plea agreement, Ramon has agreed to pay restitution to his victims identified by the government prior to sentencing and as ordered by the court.

This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) and is being prosecuted by Natalie Wight, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) conducts sexual exploitation investigations – many of them undercover – in coordination with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The Portland FBI’s CETF consists of agents and task force officers from the Beaverton Police Department, Portland Police Bureau, Tigard Police Department, Hillsboro Police Department, and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. The FBI’s CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering underage victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at

Hornbrook Man Arrested for Arson


Hornbrook Man Arrested for Arson

On May 21, 2019, CAL FIRE law enforcement arrested a male from Hornbrook on arson charges. The fire occurred earlier this month, per CAL FIRE and Siskiyou County District Attorney Office, a warrant was issued for Travis John Churchill, 43, from Hornbrook. Churchill was booked into the Siskiyou County Jail for arson.

CAL FIRE law enforcement officers work diligently to investigate all fires and prosecute those suspected of starting fires. As fire danger remains high across California, wildfires will continue to pose a major threat to life, property and our state’s natural resources.

CAL FIRE urges the public to be vigilant in their preparedness and awareness of suspicious activity. Any questions regarding this arrest should be directed to the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office. For more information on how you can be prepared for a Wildfire, visit or

Oregon State Police Trooper Nicolas Cederberg receives the National Public Safety Medal of Valor


Today, Oregon State Police Trooper Nic Cederberg received the National Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor presented by the President of the United States. This is the highest national award for valor a public safety officer can receive.

Nic was awarded this honor for his bravery shown on December 25, 2016, Christmas Day. Trooper Cederberg, on patrol alone and without cover, attempted to arrest a craven and desperate murder suspect. The suspect engaged Nic in a close quarters gun battle, with our OSP family member sustaining a dozen gunshot wounds and left clinging to life. That Christmas morning, Nic provided us all with the greatest gift imaginable, his determination and will to survive in the face of impossible odds.

Nic, who was a US Army veteran and who was a seven year veteran of the Oregon State Police at the time, has not yet been able to return to work due to the injuries sustained. Nic initially spent 48 long days in the hospital and continues to fight for a full recovery.

“The greatest gift the Oregon State Police has received is Nic’s pure determination to survive. Trooper Cederberg typifies the grit and perseverance of an OSP Trooper, humbly serving with distinction in the face of difficult circumstances. Nic, we love you and honor your service. All of Oregon celebrates your award of the Medal of Valor and the personal story it symbolizes.”- Superintendent Travis Hampton

“I am proud to have our Oregon State Police represented at the White House today by Trooper Cederberg. On Christmas Day 2016, he showed enormous courage in the most difficult of circumstances, and exemplified the kind of service and bravery the Medal of Valor represents. His life and community will be forever impacted by that night, and his experience is part of why I feel strongly that we need more troopers on Oregon’s highways. I wish Nic the best on his continued recovery and congratulate him for this distinguished recognition.” Governor Kate Brown

Every day, public safety officers risk their lives to protect America’s citizens and communities. To honor that commitment, Congress passed The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001 (, which created the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer. The medal is awarded annually to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life




6 Klamath County Seniors Selected For Ford Family Foundation Scholarships


6 Klamath County Students Selected For Ford Family Foundation Scholarships 

Six Klamath County School District seniors – including four from Lost River Junior-Senior High School – have been selected for four-year Ford Family Foundation Scholarships that will pay for 90 percent of their college costs.

Recipients are Lost River seniors Makenzie Girtman, Yajaira Cobian, Irene Aguirre and Luz Hernandez; Henley High School senior Jessica Northcutt; and Gilchrist Junior-Senior High School senior Madison Mefford.

Of 6,000 applicants, 200 are selected for interviews. Of those, the Ford Family Foundation selects up to 125 students from Oregon and 14 students from Siskiyou County, Calif., who demonstrate exceptional academic and personal potential. The Ford Scholars scholarship covers 90 percent of unmet college costs and is calculated on the college’s cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board, personal costs, etc.), minus other grants and scholarships.

Klamath County’s Ford Scholars 

Irene Aguirre: Aguirre, a senior at Lost River Junior-Senior High School, plans to attend Oregon Institute of Technology and major in psychology and counseling. Her career goal is to be a family marriage therapist.

Aguirre, a 3.88 student, is involved in FBLA, a business club where she also is an officer; National Honor Society; and LEOs Club, a youth organization of Lions Clubs International which focuses on community service. She plays on a club soccer team and works part-time at County Cork Collectibles in Merrill. This year, she was on the Potato Festival Court and won runner-up for the title of Potato Festival Queen.

Yajaria Cobian: Cobian, a senior at Lost River Junior-Senior High School, plans to earn a degree in human biology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. Her goal is to specialize in nursing at Oregon Health & Science University and become a family nurse practitioner.

In high school, she has maintained a 3.89 GPA, and is a three-sport athlete, competing in volleyball, basketball, and track. She is involved in FBLA, robotics and National Honor Society. She joined FFA for the first time this year and is raising a turkey to sell at fair. She works part-time at K&K Espresso Deli in Merrill, and is involved in LEO’s Club, a youth organization of Lions Clubs International which focuses on community service.

Makenzie Girtman: Girtman, a senior at Lost River Junior-Senior High School, will attend Corban University, a private Christian college in Salem. She plans to study biology and biomedical sciences. She also will play basketball for Corban. After earning her undergraduate degree, she plans to take a year off to study abroad before attending medical school and specializing in orthopedic surgery.

Girtman, who has a 4.0 GPA, is a three-sport high school athlete, competing in volleyball, basketball and softball. She is involved in 4-H, FBLA and National Honor Society and was the statistician for Lost River football games. She works part-time at K&K Espresso Deli in Merrill, and is involved in LEO’s Club, a youth organization of Lions Clubs International which focuses on community service.  She also works at Mike and Wanda’s restaurant.

Luz Hernandez: Hernandez, a senior at Lost River Junior Senior High School, plans to attend Oregon State University and major in elementary education with a minor in psychology. She wants to return to the Lost River area and work as a kindergarten teacher.

Hernandez, a 3.82 student, is involved in FBLA, a business club where she also is an officer; National Honor Society; and LEOs Club, a youth organization of Lions Clubs International which focuses on community service. She plays on a club soccer team and works part-time at Tacos A La Mexicana in Merrill.

Madison Mefford: Mefford, a senior at Gilchrist Junior-Senior High School, plans to attend University of Oregon and major in English with a creative writing concentration. A 4.0 student since seventh-grade, she is actively involved in school clubs and her community, working closely with the Gilchrist school-based health center. She also volunteers in the day care room and helps with community cleanup. She has two jobs: During the school year, she works at evening shift at Dollar General, where she was recently promoted to manager; and in the summer months, she works as a housekeeper at Woodsman Country Lodge.

Mefford started writing her book in elementary school and finished it the summer before her freshman year in high school. She hopes to publish the 450-page manuscript, which she describes as a “coming of age” story about a girl who discovers she’s the alpha of a werewolf tribe. “I grew up reading books,” she said. “It motivated me to put something out there to inspire joy.”

Jessica Northcutt: Northcutt, a senior at Henley High School, plans to attend Northwest Christian University in Eugene to study pre-med. She also will be on the volleyball team.

Northcutt has been a scholar athlete in volleyball for four years, basketball for four years, and softball for three years. In addition, she has been involved in Hunger Not Impossible, which opened a food pantry at the school and provides meals for students during the summer months. Her community service activities also include Henley High School blood drives, a fund-raising crab feed, church activities, and sponsorship of a Special Olympics basketball tournament.

For one school, especially a school the size of Lost River Junior-Senior High School, to get one – much less four Ford Scholar awards — is unheard of.

But Lost River, a 2A school with 38 seniors in its graduating class, did.

Four seniors – Makenzie Girtman, Yajaria Cobian, Irene Aguirre and Luz Hernandez – were named recipients of the Ford Family Foundation Scholarship, which covers 90 percent of unmet college costs for four years. Of 6,000 Oregon applicants, 200 were interviewed; of those, 125 were awarded a scholarship.

“I told the girls after their interviews that I felt very positive about their chances,” said Jen Johnson, Lost River’s ASPIRE coordinator and librarian. “I believed they had the ingredients – community service, grades and activities – to become Ford Scholars. I was beyond excited when I found out, one by one, that they had accomplished this. This is a dream come true for them and their families.”

The four girls got their award letters the same day.

“Personally, I thought there was no way four girls from the same school would all get the scholarship,” said Yajaria Cobian said. “I cried when I found out.”

Johnson works all year with seniors, helping them with college and scholarship applications. When she found out four of her seniors would be interviewing for the Ford Scholars scholarship, she set up practice mock interviews for them.

I just had this good feeling,” Johnson said. “They all had what it takes – the community service, the grades, the activities. Obviously they all had stellar interviews because they got it.”

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Lost River seniors Makenzie Girtman, Luz Hernandez, Irene Aguirre and Yajaira Cobain all won Ford Family Foundation Scholarships, which will pay for 90 percent of their unmet college costs for four years.

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Jessica Northcutt a senior at Henley High School won a Ford Family Foundation Scholarship that will pay for 90 percent of her unmet college costs for four years.

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Madison Mefford a senior at Gilchrist Junior-Senior High School won a Ford Family Foundation Scholarship that will pay for 90 percent of her unmet college costs for four years.

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