Category Archives: Klamath Falls Breaking News

Three Men From Klamath Falls Survive Boat Explosion At Shasta Lake Yesterday

Breakingregional

According to the Redding Searchlight, 3 people from Klamath Falls were literally blown out of their boat by an explosion after refueling. The incident happened yesterday. One of the men says he was lifted 15 feet in the air! The boat was a 1985 custom built.

Read the full article here: 

https://www.redding.com/story/news/2019/07/05/redding-com-news-roundup-rolling-updates-july-2019/1628353001/

Local Construction Flagger Breaks Hip While Avoiding Being Struck By Vehicle In HWY 97 Construction Zone

A Highway 97 Construction Flagger Broke His Hip Yesterday Getting Out Of The Way Of A Vehicle That Disregarded Warning Signs To Slow Down

A driver of a sedan drove into the construction zone near mile post 279 on Highway 97 and nearly hit a flagger according to reports.

The flagger James McCoy from Tulelake broke his hip while taking evasive action to avoid being hit.

The incident occurred about 4:30am yesterday morning. Klamath County Fire District #1 and OSP responded to the construction zone and an OSP trooper issued the driver multiple citations. The flagger was treated by paramedics.

Cited Driver: MAIRS, JENESSA LOUISE F 40 BEND Oregon.

With a recent fatal construction zone accident this is yet another reminder for drivers to obey signs and slow down when entering construction zones.

We covered this and other incidents live in our breaking news app.

Oregon State Police Make Arrest For Fatal Hit And Run Crash – KLAMATH COUNTY

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Alizabeth Witheril (20) of Klamath Falls

On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, a tip led Oregon State Police Troopers to a residence in Klamath Falls.  At the residence Troopers located a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe that is believed to be the vehicle that struck and killed Mr. Rittenhouse on June 15, 2019.

Troopers identified Alizabeth Witheril (20) of Klamath Falls as the driver of the vehicle that struck Mr. Rittenhouse.  She was arrested for Failure to Perform Duties of Driver to Injured Persons (Hit and Run) and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

Blake Hooke (18) of Klamath Falls was arrested for Tampering with Physical Evidence.

Oregon State Police thanks the public for their assistance in this investigation.

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The Oregon State Police is continuing the investigation into the fatal hit and run crash which occurred on Saturday, June 15, 2019. OSP is providing the attached photo, of a piece of the suspect vehicle, in hopes that someone will recognize the piece or damage to the front bumper area of a vehicle they are familiar with.

Contact the Oregon State Police by dialing *OSP or  541-883-5711.

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On Saturday, June 15, 2019, at approximately 3:47 AM, Klamath County 911 received a call of a man found in the middle of South 6th Street at the intersection with Gary Street.

Klamath County Fire District 1 responded to assist the man, who was later identified as Henry Rittenhouse, age 36, of Klamath Falls; however, he was pronounced deceased at the scene.

On scene investigation determined that Mr. Rittenhouse had been struck by a vehicle that left the scene.  The suspect vehicle is gray in color; however, there are no additional descriptors of the vehicle that struck Mr. Rittenhouse at this time.

The Oregon State Police was assisted at the scene by the Klamath Falls Police Department, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Klamath County Fire District 1, and ODOT.

Any one with information on this incident, or with information on the suspect vehicle, is asked to call Oregon State Police Dispatch at *OSP or  541-883-5711.

Alizabeth Witheril Charge Information;

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Injured Hiker in the Sky Lakes Wilderness Area

BNLocal

On Monday morning July 1st, 2019, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office was alerted by Klamath 911 Dispatch Center of an injured hiker near Devils Peak, along the Pacific Crest Trail, in the Sky Lakes Wilderness area. A message had been received that a man had fallen the previous day and was injured. The man later identified as Cory McDonald, believed to be from Florida, attempted to hike to safety but was unable to travel any further due to his injuries. He was believed to be approximately “9” miles from a trailhead.

Klamath County Search and Rescue (SAR) was notified and worked collaboratively with SAR partners to rescue Mr. McDonald by helicopter and ground ambulance and safely transport him to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls, OR.

Assisting in the rescue was the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Brim Aviation, and the Rocky Point Fire Department.

Statement From City Of Klamath Falls Police Regarding Stabbing. Police Seeking Witness Information

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Klamath Falls City Police Issues Statement Regarding Stabbing Yesterday

On June 29, 2019, at approximately 8:10 p.m., officers from the Klamath Falls Police Department responded to the 600 block of Main Street after receiving a report of a stabbing.  Upon arrival, officers located a male victim with knife wounds.  The male victim was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center for treatment where he is listed in critical condition.

During the course of a thorough investigation, officers developed probable cause for the arrest of Stephen Michael Johnson.  Officers determined Mr. Johnson had pulled out a knife and stabbed the male victim after a verbal argument turned physical in the 500 block of Main Street. The investigation revealed Mr. Johnson and the victim have had an ongoing conflict for a number of months.

Stephen Michael Johnson was taken into custody without incident by the Klamath Falls Police Department and lodged at the Klamath County Jail on the listed charges. 

This incident remains under investigation. If you have information regarding this case please contact Detective Corporal Ed Foreman with the Klamath Falls Police Department at 541-883-5336. Anonymous information can be left at the Klamath Falls Police Tip Line number 541-883-5334.

For additional details please see our original story and post here from earlier this morning.

Stabbing Downtown Suspends Kruise Of Klamath. Suspect Arrested

BNLocal

A Man Was Stabbed In Downtown Klamath Falls During the Kruise Of Klamath. A suspect is in custody. Kruise Of Klamath Was Suspended During Incident.

At about 8:08pm Klamath County 911 received a call of a stabbing that had just occurred downtown. The initial report was that a male in his twenties had stumbled into the Pikey Bar at 610 Main Street with a reported deep stab wound to his abdomen.

Multiple officers from the Klamath Falls City Police, Oregon State Police, and paramedics from Klamath County Fire District 1 responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, a stabbing victim described as a male in his 20’s was located inside the bar and then rushed to Sky Lakes by ambulance. The victim is reported to have been stabbed multiple times. The victim was entered into Sky Lakes as a trauma patient but his current condition is unknown.

Within minutes, an officer with Klamath Falls Police located the suspect and arrested him at gunpoint near the VFW a short distance from the Pikey. The suspect was arrested and lodged in Klamath County Jail.

Early information indicates that the stabbing occurred somewhere away from the Pikey bar and the victim walked to the bar for help after being stabbed.

Police suspended the Kruise of Klamath briefly during this incident so that emergency vehicles could get to the scene and witnesses could be located.

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Arrested: Stephen Micheal Johnson of Klamath Falls 

  • Assault 1,
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Unlawful use of weapon

Additional charges could be placed pending the outcome of the investigation which is in progress.

This incident and others were covered live in our exclusive breaking news app. If you would like to know about incidents like this faster (and support the work we do here) please consider becoming a subscriber. For about 3 cents a day, you can stay informed and up to date about breaking news as it happens. Click here to learn more about our breaking news app and news community.

*The above information is preliminary and accurate to the best of our knowledge. As of posting time an official press release is not yet available. This article is based on early information obtained by Klamath Alerts. Additional information about this incident and others are available in our app.

Fireworks Safety Reminder For Upcoming 4th of July Holiday

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A Reminder Of Fireworks Safety Regulations For Oregon

WHAT FIREWORKS ARE LEGAL? Make sure your fireworks are legal in the state of Oregon. “Oregon Legal Consumer Fireworks”:

• Do not explode

• Do not fly into the air

• Do not travel more than 6 feet horizontally

• Do not travel more than 12 inches vertically

Mortars, Bottle Rockets, Roman Candles, Sky Lanterns, and Firecrackers are ILLEGAL in Oregon.  So-called Sky Lanterns or Chinese Lanterns are extremely dangerous in that they can be carried away by the wind and can land anywhere.

ILLEGAL FIREWORKS CAN BE EXPENSIVE

Under Oregon law, officials may seize illegal fireworks and fine offenders up to $500 per violation. Any misuse of fireworks or use of fireworks causing damage carries liability for the offender, who may be required to pay fines and/or fire suppression costs. Offenders may also be arrested. Parents are liable for fireworks-caused damage from their children.

BE PREPARED BEFORE LIGHTING FIREWORKS!

• Use only fireworks legal in Oregon, purchased from licensed outlets.

• Always read and follow label directions.

• Place Pets indoors; they are easily frightened by fireworks.

• Always have water handy – a garden hose or a bucket of water.

• Light fireworks outdoors on a flat, clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass, and combustible materials.

BE SAFE WHEN LIGHTING FIREWORKS

  • Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances.  Sparklers, considered by many the ideal “safe” firework for the young, burn at 1800 to 3000 degrees F and can easily ignite clothing.  Children do not understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of an emergency.
  • Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision.  Do not allow any running or horseplay.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.  Place duds in a bucket of water and throw them away.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Never ignite fireworks inside a container such as a bottle or a can.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from the area where you are lighting them.
  • Never have any portion of your body over a firework when lighting.

FIREWORKS RELATED INJURIES – FACTS (NFPA)

  • In 2007-2011, data from death certificates show that five people per year were killed directly by fireworks.
  • The risk of fireworks injury is two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 5-14 compared to all other ages. Sparklers accounted for the majority of injuries.

Under Oregon law, officials may seize illegal fireworks and fine offenders up to $500 per violation. Any misuse of fireworks or use of fireworks causing damage carries liability for the offender, who may be required to pay fines and/or fire suppression costs. Offenders may also be arrested. Parents are liable for fireworks-caused damage from their children.

BE PREPARED BEFORE LIGHTING FIREWORKS!

• Use only fireworks legal in Oregon, purchased from licensed outlets.

• Always read and follow label directions.

• Place Pets indoors; they are easily frightened by fireworks.

• Always have water handy – a garden hose or a bucket of water.

• Light fireworks outdoors on a flat, clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass, and combustible materials.

BE SAFE WHEN LIGHTING FIREWORKS

  • Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances.  Sparklers, considered by many the ideal “safe” firework for the young, burn at 1800 to 3000 degrees F and can easily ignite clothing.  Children do not understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of an emergency.
  • Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision.  Do not allow any running or horseplay.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.  Place duds in a bucket of water and throw them away.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Never ignite fireworks inside a container such as a bottle or a can.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from the area where you are lighting them.
  • Never have any portion of your body over a firework when lighting.

FIREWORKS RELATED INJURIES – FACTS (NFPA)

  • In 2007-2011, data from death certificates show that five people per year were killed directly by fireworks.
  • The risk of fireworks injury is two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 5-14 compared to all other ages. Sparklers accounted for the majority of injuries.

Newly Restored Broadway Theater In Malin To Hold Benefit Concert Aug 23rd. National Talent Scheduled To Appear.

National Christian Top 40 Band “I Am They” To Perform Concert in Malin This August.

If you happen to listen to Air 1 or KLOVE you have likely heard music from the popular group “I Am They”. The group is extremely popular in the Christian music sector and they have YouTube music videos with millions of views.

The local community needs more positive events like this, and this is your opportunity to view national talent here in Malin. Part of the proceeds from the concert will go directly to Broadway Theater to help with with future events. Broadway Theater maintains a Facebook page with movie night and other event postings.

Above: A music video of a popular song by “I Am They” 

CONCERT TICKET INFORMATION:

The Christian Band “I Am They” is coming to the Broadway Theater Friday August 23rd for a concert at 7pm. Tickets are $25 for general admission. The Broadway Theater is a historical theater newly restored in Malin, OR. It’s a smaller, intimate venue with no bad seats. So reserve your tickets soon. We’d love to see you there. This is an incredible opportunity to enjoy nationwide talent in your own back yard. Proceeds from the concert will benefit further renovations to the Broadway Theater and Basin Youth for Christ.

Tickets to the Malin concert on August 23rd are available online

Purchase Tickets Here

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For more information about the band and for tour information visit the I Am They website.

Plan Now For Potential Power Disruptions During Fire Season

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Pacific Power Says Power Could Be Turned Off For “Days” During Fire Emergencies

Pacific Power has recently updated their website with information and maps regarding the new policy of “public safety power shut offs”. According to the information recently posted on their website, Klamath Falls is not in the high risk areas. However, some areas in Klamath County are.

The following link at Pacific Power’s website shows risk areas in southern Oregon where power shut offs are possible during extreme fire conditions.

https://www.pacificpower.net/content/dam/pacific_power/doc/Education_Safety/Wildfire_Safety/Southern_OR_PDZ_Maps_All.pdf

According to the Pacific Power website, power could be turned off for periods of several days if a situation deemed as a public safety emergency existed. This could result from weather conditions favorable for fast fire development such as low humidity and dry windy conditions.

According to the map, Keno, Chiloquin, and areas along 140 East are in potential shut off areas. The website also states that areas outside the risk zones could be on the same circuits shut off that are inside the zones. It’s important to understand that just because your house or business may not be inside a zone, there could still be extended power outages outside the zones.

Now is the time to plan and prepare for extended power outages!

From Pacific Power: 

A Public Safety Power Shutoff is a new measure designed to help keep people and communities in high-risk areas safe, by proactively shutting off power during extreme and dangerous weather conditions that can result in catastrophic wildfires. This measure would only be taken as a last resort to help ensure customer and community safety.

As part of this effort, Pacific Power is working with local emergency services agencies, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and community leaders across Oregon, Washington and California to expand and enhance existing emergency response plans and work in coordination with our communities.

Given the highly situational nature of a Public Safety Power Shutoff, it is impossible to predict the customers that may be impacted. The specific area and number of affected customers will depend on forecasted weather conditions.

Our goal will always be to impact as few customers as possible and apply Public Safety Power Shutoff measures in a highly-targeted, circuit by circuit manner. The number of customers impacted will depend on the specific forecasted weather conditions each region.

Maps are available at the bottom of this page.

Conditions that could trigger a Public Safety Power Shutoff

Public Safety Power Shutoffs will be initiated only in specific, previously identified areas of high fire risk when on-the-ground conditions create an extreme wildfire risk that could lead to loss of life, catastrophic damage and be difficult to fight.

We monitor a range of factors before triggering a Public Safety Power Shutoff including:

  • The presence of dry vegetation and other potential wildfire fuel
  • High winds
  • Low humidity
  • Real time observation from on-the-ground experts

What customers should expect

Wildfires conditions can change rapidly, but while there is no set timeline for Public Safety Power Shutoffs, we’re committed to providing information in the timeliest manner possible.

48-HOURS: ADVANCE WARNING

Whenever possible, we will provide advance notice of a Public Safety Power Shutoff. Although worsening conditions may require swift action, our goal is to alert you as early as possible before an outage.

CONTINUED UPDATES

As conditions change on the ground, we will keep you informed before, during and after a Public Safety Power Shutoff. Updates will be delivered via a range of channels including text, phone, radio, and social media, and through coordination with local emergency organizations.

SAFETY INSPECTIONS

Once the extreme weather conditions have passed, Pacific Power crews will inspect affected power lines and equipment for damage and debris before restoring power.

POWER RESTORATION

We will restore your power as quickly as we safely can. Because of the steps involved in ensuring that the fire risk has abated, a Public Safety Power Shutoff may last for several days.

How will Pacific Power notify customers of a Planned Safety Power Shutoff?

Pacific Power will notify customers as soon as possible if extreme weather conditions combined with on-the-ground observations signal that a Public Safety Power Shutoff is required to safeguard customers against the start and rapid spread of wildfire.

Pacific Power is working closely with emergency services, fire and rescue, local officials and other agencies to ensure clear communication during a Public Safety Power Shutoff.

Pacific Power will use multiple and combined ways to notify customers of an impending Public Safety Power Shutoff to include: outbound calls, social media channels (Facebook and Twitter), and the company website and media advisories. We’ll also work through and with local emergency agencies to keep customers informed.

Public Safety Power Shutoff

Here’s an overview of our Public Safety Power Shutoff process.

While Pacific Power will provide as much advance warning as possible, rapidly changing conditions may require that we operate within a shorter timeframe.

3 to 7 days before: Pacific Power is actively monitoring forecasts for hazardous weather conditions that could lead to a Public Safety Power Shutoff.

Up to 2 days before: Once extreme weather conditions and other hazardous variables are met and sustained, Pacific Power begins coordinating with emergency services and local officials. Customers receive first notification of a possible Public Safety Power shutoff.

1 day before: Extreme wildfire conditions persist. Coordination between Pacific Power and emergency services continues. Customers receive second notification.

Power shutoff: Extreme fire conditions persist remain and coordination continues. Customers receive third notification that power will be turned off to prevent wildfire ignition.

Power restoration: Extreme wildfire conditions have abated. Pacific Power crews patrol lines to inspect for damage and hanging debris. Power is restored once all lines are cleared and if repairs are required. Customers receive a fourth and final notification that power has been restored.

WILDFIRE SAFETY MAPS

We’re providing wildfire safety maps to help customers prepare this season. The maps are designed to denote both Fire High Consequence Areas and potential Public Safety Power Shutoff areas. The maps show the relationship between these two areas by visually depicting them when and where these areas intersect or overlap.

The areas outlined in orange are “Fire High Consequence Areas“. These areas are at a higher risk of a catastrophic wildfire spreading quickly during extreme weather conditions. People living in fire high consequence areas should take steps to prepare by creating defensible space around their property and having a wildfire emergency plan.

The areas outlined in blue are “Potential Public Safety Power Shutoff Areas.” These are areas where, if specific extreme weather conditions are present, Pacific Power may turn off power in the interest of public safety. In the rare event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (also known as a PSPS), we would turn off power on a circuit-by-circuit basis based on extreme weather conditions and real-time, situational information. A Public Safety Power Shutoff would be used as a last resort and with the goal of impacting as few customers as possible.

Some customers outside of Public Safety Power Shutoff areas could be impacted by a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to the interconnected nature of transmission and distribution lines.

HOW TO USE THE MAPS: Use the “Overview Map” on page one to find the number that corresponds to your residence or business location. The number matches the page number where you will find a more detailed map of your area. You can scroll, use the search function (magnifying glass), or type the number into the page number box to find the map of your area.

 Washington Maps

 California Maps

Oregon Maps:

We recommend opening the map files in Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers.

Maps last updated June 25, 2019. 

There are two different layers on the maps linked in this section and are labeled accordingly.

The layer labeled “Fire High Consequence Areas” show areas that are at a higher risk of a catastrophic wildfire spreading quickly during extreme weather conditions. People living in fire high consequence areas should take steps to prepare by creating defensible space around their property and having a wildfire emergency plan.

The layer labeled “Public Safety Power Shutoff” show areas that if specific extreme weather conditions are present, Pacific Power may turn off power in the interest of public safety. In the rare event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff, we would turn off power on a circuit by circuit basis based on weather conditions and real-time, situational information.

Some customers outside of the Public Safety Power Shutoff area could be impacted by a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to the interconnected nature of transmission and distribution lines. Our goal will always be to impact as few customers as possible. 

FAQ

Have questions about a Public Safety Power Shutoff? We answer frequently asked questions here.

More »

Firefighters Battling Wildfire Along Highway 97 South At Midland. Highway Closed.

BNLocal

A wildfire has closed Highway 97 near Midland.

5:49pm a detour is reported in place on 97.

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6-26-19 5:23pm – Multiple fire engines from Klamath County Fire District 1, Oregon Department of Forestry, and Keno Fire are on scene or responding to a wildfire that started under suspicious circumstances.

Highway 97 has just been closed in the area so fire crews can access the fire better. An all call has been initiated by District 1. Trains have been stopped in the area of the fire. The fire is on the west side of the highway currently. There are 30mph gusts currently in the area causing the fire to spread. The fire is at risk of spreading and jumping the highway according to crews on scene.

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Above: The location of the fire incident. The fire is near milepost 281 on Highway 97 South. The fire is directly across the highway from Pape Machinery.

This incident and others are being covered live in our breaking news app.

Freeze Watch Issued For Thursday Night

FREEZE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY
MORNING…

The National Weather Service in Medford has issued a Freeze
Watch…which is in effect from late Thursday night through
Friday morning.

* Temperature…28 to 32 degrees, except some usually colder
locations could fall into mid 20s.

* Locations include…Most valley locations in Klamath and Lake
County.

* Impacts…Sensitive vegetation could be damaged or killed by
unusually cold weather.

* View the hazard area in detail at
https://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mfr/HAZARD

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Freeze Watch means sub-freezing temperatures are possible.
These conditions could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

Pursuit Suspect Jumps Out Of Moving Vehicle And Enters House

BNLocal

After attempting to elude Sheriff’s deputies Monday evening, June 17, Ivan Chi of San Diego, California was arrested.

Chi was driving a vehicle near the intersection of Crater Lake Parkway and South Sixth Street at about 6p.m. when Sheriff’s deputies witnessed him making a turn and lane changes without using his signals.

Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, but Chi failed to yield and led deputies south on Summers Lane, and eventually onto Laverne Avenue. Deputies maintained a moderate pace in order to ensure the safety of the public as they pursued Chi. Once on Laverne Avenue Chi jumped out of his moving vehicle and took off on foot through several residences’ backyards.

This incident and others were covered live in our breaking news app. Consider becoming a subscriber today.

 

His vehicle continued on and struck and damaged a fence, narrowly missing a bystander. Chi entered the home of a resident and attempted to hide, but the homeowner ran outside and alerted deputies to the presence of Chi, who was unknown to the homeowner. Deputies entered the home and detained Chi. Chi was booked in the Klamath County Jail.

Arrestee: Chi, Ivan S. DOB: 7-27-1974

Charges: Burglary I, Unlawful Entry Felony Attempt to Elude Possession of Methamphetamine Recklessly Endangering Another Person Reckless Driving Probation Violation

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Chi booking photo

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