Category Archives: Klamath Falls Breaking News

Bonanza woman charged with 1st Deg Manslaughter

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Ashley Grace Irwin was arrested upon a secret indictment for the charges of Manslaughter I, due to neglect or maltreatment of a child under 14 years of age. She also faces four counts of Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree for each of her other children who were either caused physical injury or deprived of adequate food, physical care or medical attention. The Klamath Department of Human Services was alerted to this family in April of 2018 when the youngest child, a sick week-old infant, showed at the hospital for apparent cardiac arrest at Sky Lakes Medical Center. The infant was life flighted to Doernbeacher’s Children’s Hospital but passed away despite medical efforts. The Klamath Department of Human Services took the children into protective custody immediately.

The Oregon State Police were alerted and Detective Patrick Irish took this case under his wing with the assistance of Detective Thomas Andreazzi. The Oregon State police talked with witnesses and obtained-necessary medical documentation of the causative nature of the child,s death’ They further collected evidence regarding the treatment of the other children. Ms. Ashley Grace Irwin and her significant other, Douglas Dale Johnston, fled the area almost immediately. Detective Irish’s continued diligent investigation led to the location of Ms. Irwin in Baker City, Oregon and an arrest was made recently. She has been returned to Klamath County to face charges. Oregon state police remain interested in locating the father.

As Klamath County District Attorney I commend Detective Irish’s dedication to this matter. His continued efforts along with those of Detective Andreazzi show admirable dedication to bringing justice for these children.

Press Release from Klamath county District Attorney’s office 4/19/19

Highway 97 Closure Alert

Highway 97 is closed from South Side Bypass North to Main for a semi truck related crash. We recommend avoiding the area.

The recovery process is expected to take some time. Major damage occurred to the semi truck.

Icy roads are reported in area. This MVA is reported as no injury.

Update: 7:13am the highway is reported open with flaggers. Delays possible.

More information is available on our Breaking News App

Residential Structure Fire Yesterday In Stewart Lenox Area On Douglas Ave

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Residential Structure Fire on Douglas Ave 4-11-19

On April 11, 2019 at approx. 1244 pm, Klamath County Fire District No. 1 responded to the report of a structure fire in a home on Douglas Ave. The residence was occupied by a family of five who was home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered by a family member when they opened a door to a bedroom and found the room filled with smoke and heat. Everyone was able to evacuate the home safely, however several pets did not survive the fire. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental from an unattended candle.

Klamath County Fire District No. 1 responded with a total of 18 fire personnel from four engines, a Battalion Chief, Division Chief and Fire Marshal. Damage is estimated at $60,000.00. The residents are being assisted by the local Red Cross.

Want to know about incidents like these faster? Consider becoming a subscriber to our breaking news app. For about 3 cents a day you can be alerted to incidents such as these as they happen. This fire incident was covered live in the app yesterday.

We are grateful that everyone was able to escape the fire unharmed. We would like to remind everyone to use safe practices with open flames such as candles. Keep candles at least 1 foot from combustible decorations and curtains. Never burn a candle all the way down- put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container. Never leave open flames unattended and always keep children away from open flames. For more information on candle safety please see the attached flyer from the National Fire Protection Association.  Click the link below for information on candle safety provided by Klamath County Fire District 1.

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Above: photo of fire scene yesterday provided by KCFD1

Fatal DUII Related Traffic Accident Overnight On Lakeshore Drive

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Traffic Accident Claims Life On Lakeshore Drive just after 1AM 4-12-19

At approximately 1:23 a.m., during the early hours of Friday April 12, 49-year-old Mike Fowler of Klamath Falls crashed his vehicle on Lakeshore Drive. Klamath County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched and upon arrival found that Fowler’s vehicle had rolled over and sustained extensive damage.

This incident and others were covered live in our breaking news app. Consider becoming a subscriber to learn about incidents like these as they happen.

 

His passenger, 58-year-old Dale Faust of Klamath Falls, was pronounced deceased at the scene. Fowler was heading west on Lakeshore Drive traveling at high speeds when he lost control of his vehicle, left the roadway, and collided with multiple trees.

Alcohol is considered the primary factor in the crash. Klamath County Fire District 1 personnel extricated Fowler from his vehicle. He was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center for minor injuries and then lodged in the Klamath County Jail on multiple charges. Oregon State Police troopers assisted with the crash reconstruction.

Additional details are pending further investigation. Arrestee: Fowler II, Mike Russell, date of birth 08/26/1969 Charges: Manslaughter II, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Felony Driving While Suspended, Assault III, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, and Reckless Driving.

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Road Closure Alert: Altamont Drive Between Barry Avenue And Anderson Avenue

Road Closure

Altamont Drive between Barry Avenue and Anderson Avenue will be closed to through traffic between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm starting Monday, April 15 through Friday, April 19, 2019. The closure is required to replace the existing asphalt road surface. Detour routes will in placed and the public is urged to avoid the area if possible.

Updated Report: Recent Earthquake Activity Includes 2.2 (Explosion) Quake In Klamath Falls Area Yesterday Morning

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Above: A Map From USGS Showing a 2.2 Explosion Quake That Occurred Yesterday Morning Just North Of Klamath Falls Near Highway 97.

Several minor earthquakes have occurred in our local region the past few days. A 2.2 “explosion quake” was recorded just north of Klamath Falls yesterday morning near highway 97. The following are reports on the quakes. The red lines in the images are fault lines.

Please note that these quakes were minor and they do not indicate or forecast additional quake activity in our area. Small earthquakes are common in our region.

More information from USGS about this Klamath Falls earthquake is available here.

A map of recent and nearby activity is available here form the USGS. 

Update: The Klamath Falls quake was caused by an explosion according to this USGS website and was not a result of fault movement. As seen below the quake registered as an earthquake on preliminary reports. The explosion could have been blasting operations occurring in the area.

 

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Above images from esri.

Fatal Vehicle VS Pedestrian Crash In Chiloquin. Incident Is Likely Suicide

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At approximately 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday (April 10, 2019) Klamath County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a report of a vehicle striking a pedestrian near the intersection of Chiloquin Boulevard (SR 422 South) and Highway 97 in Chiloquin, OR. The pedestrian, 29 year old Angelica Jackson, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Initial investigation conducted by the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office revealed there was no fault in the accident on the part of the vehicle operator. Chiloquin Fire and Rescue personnel also responded to the crash scene and assisted.

No further information is available at this time pending completion of the investigation in conjunction with the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.

This incident was monitored by Klamath Alerts and covered live in our breaking news app. The initial reports indicated that the person had jumped in front of a moving vehicle. This incident remains under investigation. We will post additional details if they become available.

 

Highway 58 Now Open

Expect multiple work zones and delays for cleanup

April 9, 2019

OAKRIDGE – OR 58 Willamette Highway reopened to all traffic in both directions just before 6 p.m. The road was closed by landslides Sunday afternoon, April 7.

Travelers should expect flagging and delays as cleanup continues from several landslides, the largest at milepost 27 between Lowell and Oakridge. About 4,000 yards of mud, rocks and trees slid down the hill between Sunday and Monday night. Smaller slides were at mileposts 28, 15, and 14. 

Crews also continue to remove trees damaged by the February snow storm east and west of Oakridge.

There are multiple work zones. Watch for crews and plan for several stops along the route.

Where traffic is routed through or around a work zone, pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will also be provided routes through or around the work zone. 

Reclamation begins flood control operations on Upper Klamath Lake

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KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation announced the beginning of flood control operations on the Upper Klamath Lake with increased releases continuing today. The public is urged to take all necessary precautions, including avoiding high-water areas, on or near the Link or Klamath rivers (including below Keno and J.C. Boyle dams) while flows are elevated.

Increased inflows along the stretch of river from Link River Dam to Iron Gate Dam are anticipated over the next week or longer. Based on current projections, flows below Iron Gate Dam will be increasing from approximately 4,000 cubic feet per second; to at least 6,030 cubic feet per second, possibly more than 8,000 cubic feet per second.

“We are very thankful that the weather and increased inflows also created ideal conditions for this flushing flow,” said Reclamation’s Area Manager Jeff Nettleton. “We can optimize the water released to reduce disease among Klamath River salmonids while maintaining Upper Klamath Lake, within flood control levels, as well as providing for habitat and spawning needs for suckers.”

The current hydrologic conditions, including rain on snow and increased temperatures resulting in snow melt at higher elevations, make this an ideal time to accomplish the flow event as part of required flood operations. Upper Klamath Lake reached the flood control curve on April 3, which means that Reclamation must release water from Upper Klamath Lake to maintain the lake elevation at or below the prescribed flood control elevations. The high inflow to Upper Klamath Lake as well as additional inflows to the Klamath River from down-river tributaries, will also optimize the effectiveness of the flushing flow event.

The flood control releases also meet the needs of salmon in the Klamath River by providing a flushing flow as included in Reclamation’s Proposed Action that was analyzed by the National Marine Fisheries Service in their 2019 Biological Opinion (2019 BiOp). As part of the Proposed Action, a flushing flow designed to reduce the prevalence of Ceratonova shasta disease (C. shasta) in Klamath River coho salmon below Iron Gate Dam is likely to be implemented each year. The flushing flows are intended to disrupt the life cycle of C. shasta by disturbing the river bed and clearing submerged rocks of polychaetes, which are the intermediate host of C. shasta.

Because the flushing flows are explicitly provided for under the 2019 BiOp as part of the Klamath River water account (Environmental Water Account), implementation will not impact the Project irrigation supply.

Latest information from ODOT Highway 58 Remains Closed

April 8, 2019

OAKRIDGE – OR 58 Willamette Highway remains closed to through traffic by a landslide covering the road at milepost 27, eight miles west of Oakridge. Through travelers should take alternate routes.

Eastbound: The road is closed at milepost 13, the Lowell Covered Bridge. Local residents who live west of milepost 27 are allowed through.

Westbound: The road is closed at milepost 73, Crescent Junction. Local traffic is allowed through to Oakridge/Westfir, but the road is fully closed west of those communities.

Access for emergency vehicles is being established through the slide area tonight, but no other vehicles will be allowed because the slide continues to move and it is not safe.

About 1,000 yards of material including 40 to 60 trees came down in three slides at milepost 27, 14, and 28. The largest is at milepost 27. The slides were reported on Sunday, April 8, about 4:30 p.m.Crews assessed the slides Sunday night and began cleanup on Monday morning.

Lava Beds To Host Living History Event May 11th

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Timeline Living History Event

Tulelake, California— History will come alive on Saturday, May 11th, during the Monument’s annual Timeline Living History event. This very special event highlights the storied history of the Tule Lake Basin. Groups of local volunteers, including the Cascade Civil War Society and the Mount Mazama Mountain Men, will join National Park Service staff and other volunteers in portraying different time periods from the 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors may view demonstrations of traditional activities, while getting a glimpse into one of several important periods in the history of the Monument and the Tule Lake Basin.

Historical stations will be open for public visits from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Saturday. The following will be located at the park’s north end—an encampment of fur traders and pioneers at Captain Jack’s Stronghold, and a Modoc War-era Army encampment and blacksmith’s shop at Gillem’s Camp. Two stations representing early 20th century explorations and homesteading will be located at Mushpot Cave and near the Lava Beds Visitor Center. Travel through history as you travel through the Monument!

Times for the presentations are as follows:

10:00 AM: Learn how pioneers cooked and survived along the Oregon Trail at Captain Jack’s Stronghold.   

11:00 AM: at Captain Jack’s Stronghold, fur traders will demonstrate how to start a fire, throw a knife and give you a peek into life as a fur trader.

1:00 PM: J.D. Howard will lead visitors through Mushpot Cave, while discussing early caving at Lava Beds.

3:00 PM: Army soldiers will commemorate those who died on both sides of the Modoc War at the Gillem’s Camp cemetery, then lower the camp flag.

National Park Service staff invite you to experience a glimpse into local history. Contact Aimee Murillo at (530) 667-8112, for more information.

Flood Watch Issued 4-7-19 2:35pm For Sprague River

Breaking Weather Alert

Flood Watch issued April 07 at 2:35PM PDT until April 11 at 5:00AM PDT by NWS Medford

…The National Weather Service in Medford has issued a Flood Watch for the following rivers in Oregon…

Sprague River near Beatty affecting Klamath County…

The National Weather Service in Medford has issued a

* Flood Watch for the Sprague River near Beatty.

* until late Wednesday night.

* At 2:15 PM Sunday the stage was 5.9 feet.

* Minor flooding is possible.

* Flood Stage is 8.5 feet.

* Forecast… The river is expected to rise to below flood stage to 7.8 feet by late Tuesday night.

 

Landslides and debris flows are possible during this event. Areas below steep slopes and in canyons are at risk from landslides. Do not drive through flooded areas or roads. The water may be too deep or there may be unseen damage to the roadway. A Flood Watch means that flooding is possible but not imminent in the watch area. Prepare to take immediate action if flooding is observed or a warning is issued.

 

Incoming Storm Update 4-6-19 PM With Updated Forecast Graphics

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Recent updates to forecast include increased rain amounts in some areas and heavy rain areas reaching farther north than originally expected.

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Above: A recent satellite image showing a moisture stream or atmospheric river aimed at Oregon. As of posting time the moisture stream stretches from the west coast to an area west of Hawaii. 

From the NWS Medford:

An atmospheric river (AR) will take aim on the forecast area tonight through Monday. With a moisture source from the deep tropics, it will feature heavy rain, gusty winds at times and snow levels above 7000 feet. Snowmelt and increased runoff will result in significant rises to area rivers, streams, and creeks. Models have been consistent in showing the greatest potential for heavy rain in Curry/western Josephine Counties, but recent trends have shown more rainfall farther north.

So, have expanded the areal flood watches northward. Small stream and urban flooding is likely in those areas. Main stem river flooding is possible with some like the Coquille/lower Rogue/Umpqua/Sprague getting to action stage/bankfull, though no current main stem rivers are forecast to go above flood stage. This may change, so keep checking the forecasts. Forecast graphics below have been updated.

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Highway 97 Now Open After Armed Standoff In Gilchrist Area

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Highway 97 Now Open After Armed Standoff In Gilchrist Area

At about 11:30am this morning an OSP fish and game trooper called for emergency backup during a traffic stop on Highway 97 in the Gilchrist area of northern Klamath County.

According to initial information obtained by Klamath Alerts the suspect who was stopped by the trooper had an arrest warrant out of California for dangerous weapon possession charges. Initial reports state that the suspect pointed a 30-30 rifle at the trooper before barricading himself inside a residence on Pond Drive in Gilchrist that was near the original traffic stop.

Sheriff Deputies from Klamath County along with many law enforcement personnel from the Bend region responded. Highway 97 was closed for about an hour and a half as a precaution because of the proximity of the standoff to the highway.

An armored vehicle and UAV Drone were used by police during the standoff. The suspect was taken into custody at around 1:12pm. Highway 97 is now reported open in both directions.

This incident and others were covered live in our breaking news service. For about 3 cents a day you can stay informed of incidents like this as they occur.

More information will be published if it becomes available from law enforcement.

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Above: Approximate location of standoff this morning in Gilchrist area

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