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Boise/Southern Idaho News Releases for Sat. Aug. 19 - 7:51 pm
Sat. 08/19/17
Oregon eclipse update: light traffic so far, remember to use 211 (Photo)
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 08/19/17 3:35 PM
"Who should you call" cjheat sheet
"Who should you call" cjheat sheet
News release // Oregon Office of Emergency Management Joint Information Center // For Immediate Release // August 19, 2017

Media contact: Dave Thompson, Oregon Eclipse Joint Information Center, 503-378-3930

SALEM, Ore. -- We are just two days away from Monday's Eclipse. Priorities among residents and visitors are related to traffic conditions, wildfires and smoke and how they are affecting travel. The Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is working with our partner agencies from around the state to provide regular updates.
Saturday saw lighter traffic than expected and travelers were urged to start heading to their destinations if they were able and had a place to stay. Traffic is expected to increase leading up to Monday's event. The best advice is: Arrive early, stay put and leave late! Visit the Oregon Department of Transportation's Tripcheck.com for the most up-to-date traffic issues.

OEM has activated its Emergency Coordination Center in order to coordinate the response to the growing number of wildfires in the state. Traveler's should take precautions and know before you go. That means knowing any wildfire conditions in your area and heeding any evacuation notices from local officials. This information can be obtained by using OEM's RAPTOR tool at http://www.tinyURL.com/OregonRaptor or the Oregon Forestry Department's website http://tinyurl.com/oregonfirerestrictions.

It's important to remember that if a gas station runs out of fuel, it is only a temporary situation. The Oregon Department of Energy assures us that fuel trucks are making deliveries around the clock. Should you encounter a fuel shortage at an area gas station, consider visiting another fuel station or return to the station that was out of fuel at a later time.

Since smoke from wildfires varies by time and location, we recommend residents and visitors visit www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com for the best and latest information about smoke conditions in your area. This web page is our multiagency site for communicating smoke information to the public. Some people -- such as those with chronic heart or lung disease, children and the elderly -- may experience health effects when the air is unhealthy. It is important to take precautions based on your individual health and the smoke levels around you.

It is vital that you use proper eye protection if you are planning to view the eclipse. If you have trouble purchasing certified eclipse safety glasses there is a simple way to make your own pinhole projector to view the eclipse. Visit the OEM Facebook page for a link to instructions on how to make a pinhole projector. That page is www.facebook.com/OMDOEM.

Please ensure that you know who to call and when. For transportation information call 511; for tourism information call 800-547-7842; for emergencies call 911 and for general information call 211 or visit 211.org. The 211.org page is a one-stop location for links to valuable information that can help travelers have a safe and enjoyable Oregon eclipse experience.

Attached Media Files: "Who should you call" cjheat sheet
Fri. 08/18/17
Oregon eclipse update: info related to smoke, fire, vehicle fuel, eclipse glasses (Photo)
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 08/18/17 4:40 PM
Oregon Office of Emergency Management
Oregon Office of Emergency Management
News release // Oregon Emergency Management // For Immediate Release // Aug. 18, 2017

Media contact: Dave Thompson, Oregon Eclipse Joint Information Center, 503-378-3930

Salem OR -- As the eclipse quickly approaches, issues related to traffic, wildfires, and smoke are affecting travel. Rumors related to fuel, and a shortage of eclipse-rated glasses, are also prompting concerns. The Oregon Eclipse Joint Information Center, working with partner centers and agencies around the state, will issue regular updates starting today.

+ The State Emergency Communications Center (ECC) elevated from "enhanced watch" for the eclipse to activation at 1 p.m. on Friday in order to coordinate response to the growing number of wildfires in the state.

+ Some people have questioned whether enough fuel is available at Oregon gas stations. The Oregon Department of Energy reports fuel trucks are making deliveries around the clock. Even if a station runs out of fuel, its a temporary situation.

+ The terminals report that Oregons supply is in great shape, with no problems. Fuel haulers reinforced that. Theyre making their deliveries and not reporting any problems.

+ Should you encounter a fuel shortage at an area gas station, we recommend you visit another fuel station or return to the station that was out of fuel at a later time.

+ Stay calm fuel on!

+ Weather and smoke levels can vary dramatically during wildfires. This can vary not only daily, but also hourly. Smoke may also affect one part of a community but not another. This can make it difficult to provide specific health warnings, especially when conditions change quickly.

+ Since smoke from wildfires varies around the state -- and can change quickly -- we recommend residents and visitors visit the multiagency site for communicating smoke information to the public at http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com. This site has the best and latest information about smoke conditions in your area.

+ Some people, such as those with chronic heart or lung disease, children and the elderly may experience health effects even when the air is unhealthy for a short time. It is important to take precautions based on your individual health and the smoke levels around you. This may mean staying indoors when air quality is poor. It may also mean not exercising during these conditions.

+ Traffic into and around Oregon will increase over the next few days as more and more people arrive to view the eclipse.

+ The best advice is to get where you are going and then stay put. Arrive early, stay put and leave late is your best course of action.

+ Those wanting the best and most current information on traffic conditions around the state should visit the Oregon Department of Transportations Tripcheck web page at http://TripCheck.com.

+ ODOT also has a mobile site at http://TripCheck.com/mobile.

+ Some areas have reported the supply of eclipse viewing glasses is low or depleted. While genuine protective eyewear is the only safe way to directly view the eclipse, one alternative to glasses includes a homemade pinhole projector. Visit the OEM Facebook page for a link to instructions on How to Make a Pinhole Projector to View the Solar Eclipse. The OEM page is http://www.facebook.com/OMDOEM

+ For additional information on safe viewing, visit the Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology at www.oregoneyephysicians.org, and the Casey Eye Institute www.ohsu.casey.com.

Oregons 211 information line is the best source of information for questions regarding Eclipse issues. Resident and visitors are encouraged to call 211 or visit 211info.org for information.

# # #

Attached Media Files: Oregon Office of Emergency Management
Thu. 08/17/17
As eclipse nears official information is available statewide (Photo)
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 08/17/17 3:12 PM
Salem OR -- With the total solar eclipse coming through Oregon on Monday, the state is already seeing higher-than-normal levels of traffic in Central and Eastern Oregon. The state, as well as cities and counties in the Path of Totality, have established a Joint Information System to get information to the public and media.

If you are anywhere in Oregon and would like information about the eclipse you can call 211 or go to 211info.org. You can also follow @OregonOEM and other official sources on Twitter using #OReclipse.

Tomorrow, Aug. 18, from 10 to 11 a.m. join us for a TweetChat using #OReclipse. State agency partners from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Travel Oregon, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Health Authority, and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management will be available to answer your questions about the eclipse.

Information centers throughout Oregon will continue to update the media and public throughout the event.

Attached Media Files: 2017-08/3986/107075/Eclipse_Image.jpg
BPA focuses on safety and reliability during total eclipse
Bonneville Power Administration - 08/17/17 2:32 PM
PR 12-17
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 17, 2017
CONTACT: Kevin Wingert, 503-230-4140 or 503-230-5131

BPA focuses on safety and reliability during total eclipse

Public's cooperation requested in interacting with crews on or near transmission lines and facilities

Portland, Ore. -- While the pending total eclipse may capture the nation's attention and turn eyes skyward, Bonneville Power Administration remains focused on the region's high-voltage transmission lines directly overhead.

Between Aug. 16 and Aug. 23, officials from the state of Oregon expect an influx of more than one million visitors, many of whom may be camping in areas near BPA facilities and critical infrastructure. Likewise, the state of Idaho anticipates significant travel in and out of the state. BPA is keenly aware that its high-voltage corridors may appear an attractive vantage point for the public even as the lines may pose potential hazards.

These pop-up populations may put additional strain on BPA as it seeks to deliver power reliably and safely throughout the Northwest. BPA's Security and Continuity of Operations Office has been analyzing the path and timing of the eclipse relative to BPA facilities and interests, and working both within BPA and with external agencies to identify and mitigate those potential impacts to our operations.

"We're expecting significant traffic congestion, which could create challenges in responding to any potential power outages. We're also concerned about the possibility of trespassing and vandalism on BPA property, as well as an elevated risk for wildfires," says Sarah Laylo, chief security and continuity officer for BPA.

One concern for the agency is the interaction between the public and our transmission field crews who may be responding to a power outage or performing needed maintenance on the high-voltage transmission system.

"If you encounter a BPA field crew in or near a BPA right-of-way or facility, please remember they have a job to do and that job is directly tied to providing reliable power to the people of the Northwest," said Robin Furrer, vice president of Transmission Services for BPA. "And if they give you instructions or request that you leave an area, it is for your safety. High voltage cannot be taken lightly."

As a way of introduction to visitors and a reminder to residents of the northwest, BPA operates three-fourths of the region's high-voltage transmission system. That system includes more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines that move vast amounts of power from hydroelectric projects and other power plants to urban centers hundreds of miles away.

Here are some key safety facts to remember with power lines or substations:

BPA's high-voltage transmission lines range from 69,000 volts to 500,000 volts -- that's 50 to 100 times the amount of electricity that flows through the distribution lines delivering power to your home;

Unlike the wiring in your home, overhead power lines are not enclosed by electrical insulating material;

Electricity can "arc" or "flashover" from wires, through the air, to trees, other vegetation or equipment up to 15 feet away, where it can cause fires, injuries or even fatalities to anyone nearby;

When power lines carry more electric load, they normally heat up, which causes the wire to expand and sag. In summer, for example, when the air is hot and customers demand lots of electricity, lines can sag up to 14 feet;

Under some high-voltage lines, vehicles can collect induced voltage, particularly if on a nonconductive surface such as asphalt or dry rock. BPA crews use specific restrictions for parking and roads within the right-of-way to keep potential shocks at a low level.

Additionally, wildfires are an ever-present danger, particularly during a dry, hot summer. While BPA's right of ways are used on occasion as fire breaks by firefighters, they are not immune to fire. Something as simple as the heat from an idling vehicle's exhaust pipe can result in combustion of grasses or low vegetation.

BPA is asking the public to report any suspicious activity in the vicinity of the high-voltage transmission system. Damage to lines or substations or other related facilities and equipment is a crime. BPA incurs direct costs to replace stolen or damaged equipment. But those costs, along with lost revenues and economic losses due to power interruptions, are ultimately passed on to electric ratepayers in the Northwest.

Crime Witness Program

BPA offers up to $25,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of individuals committing crimes against BPA facilities and infrastructure. If you have information about illegal or suspicious activity on BPA property, please call BPA's 24-hour, toll-free, confidential Crime Witness hotline at 800-437-2744. If you see illegal or suspicious activity happening in real time, please first contact local law enforcement. For more details about the program, go to www.bpa.gov/goto/CrimeWitness.

About BPA

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 142 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 260 substations to 511 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region's high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov

Wed. 08/16/17
Campfires prohibited in Oregon State Parks and on beaches
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 08/16/17 2:30 PM
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is prohibiting all campfires and open flames in Oregon State Parks and other properties owned and managed by the department beginning Aug. 16 until further notice. These restrictions extend to all Oregon beaches. Charcoal briquettes, tiki-style torches and candles are also prohibited until further notice. Only fuel sources that can be turned off instantly, such as propane stoves, will be allowed. Some parks will also allow propane fire pits; campers are advised to check directly with the park.

"Most state parks are already under a fire restriction due to hot, dry conditions," said MG Devereux, OPRD Deputy Director. "We are expanding these restrictions to prevent any unintentional fires in state parks that would add an unnecessary burden to firefighting efforts."

"We understand this is an inconvenience for campers, especially those who might not see an immediate local need for fire restrictions. We appreciate your patience and understanding," Devereux added.

Fireworks are also prohibited year-round in Oregon state parks and on beaches.

The ban will remain in effect through the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse and will be reevaluated based on fire status, weather and guidance from state and local fire officials. Visitors planning a trip should check with park staff for the most current information. Information will also be posted at oregonstateparks.org, or call the state parks information line at 800-551-6949.
OPRD invites public to participate in master plan for Wallowa County's state parks
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 08/16/17 12:00 PM
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) invites the public to weigh in on long-term planning for the state parks in Wallowa County. OPRD is in the process of updating the master plan that will guide recreation use and resource management for Wallowa Lake State Park, Minam State Recreation Area and the Wallowa Lake State Scenic Corridor for the next 20 years.

OPRD invites park users and community members to learn more and voice priorities and concerns at one of two public meeting in Hermiston or Joseph:

Sept. 6 in Hermiston: 5:30 -- 7:30 p.m., Oxford Suites, 1050 N. 1st St.
Sept. 7 in Joseph: 6 -- 8 p.m., Joseph Community Center, 401 E. 1st St.

A three-question survey is available at wallowastateparksplan.com. Comments can also be submitted to OPRD Planner Ian Matthews by email at ian.matthews@oregon.gov; by phone at 503-986-0744; or by mail sent to Ian Matthews, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 725 Summer St. NE., Suite C, Salem, OR 97301. Deadline for comments and survey responses is Oct. 7.

Park planners will incorporate public comments in a draft plan, to be released in mid-2018. A final round of public meetings will follow to allow for public comment on the draft plan. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission reviews and approves the final plan.

The planning process also includes meeting with an advisory committee that comprises organizations, agencies and individuals. The first advisory committee meeting will be from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Joseph Community Center. Non-advisory members are welcome to attend; however, only comments from the advisory committee will be heard at this meeting.

Services, programs and activities of OPRD are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For accommodations during the meetings, please call 503-986-0744 at least 72 hours in advance.
Tue. 08/15/17
OEM and partners offer resources for 2017 Eclipse Visitors and Viewers (Photo)
Oregon Office of Emergency Management - 08/15/17 1:12 PM
With just five days to go until the 2017 total solar eclipse, state agencies in Oregon are working together to provide information on traffic, health and safety, wildfire danger, camping, and weather, among other things to residents and tourists eager to view the once-in-a-lifetime celestial phenomenon.

A wide variety of information about the eclipse can be found on Facebook and Twitter by using #OReclipse and #Eclipse2017.

Up-to-the-minute information will be available through a wide variety of resources:

211 Info -- This non-emergency eclipse hotline will operate Aug. 16 to Aug. 23, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Dial 2-1-1, visit http://211info.org, or text ECLIPSE to 898211.
TripCheck.com -- Real-time traffic information, along with weather, restrictions and travel times make this interactive website one of the most useful tools available for anyone looking to navigate roadways between now and the days following the eclipse.
ODF Public Fire Restrictions Map -- A clickable map from Oregon's Department of Forestry allows users to pinpoint their location and learn about (low to extreme) fire danger risk, campfire limitations and other public fire restrictions. Necessary fire mitigation information and equipment is also noted.
RAPTOR -- Also known as Real-Time Assessment and Planning Tool for Oregon, Oregon Office of Emergency Management's RAPTOR site offers a public version for people to track what's happening where in the eclipse path of totality and around the state, including events, wildfires, road closures and weather.
National Weather Service -- Weather is everyone's number one concern. Visitors to the National Weather Service website can get all the information they need to be prepared for rain or shine, clouds or clear skies, with a click on a keyboard.

Oregon Office of Emergency Management Website provides tips for residents, visitors and businesses. A Frequently Asked Questions document delves into answers to common questions.


Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps answers questions from the media about state coordination for the 2017 Eclipse at this morning's press conference at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The public can get information about the eclipse using #OReclipse or #Eclipse2017, or calling 211.
(Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Cory E. Grogan)

Oregon Governor Kate Brown talks about how Oregon's statewide governmental, preparedness, and travel organizations have been working together to ensure Oregon is ready to accommodate an unprecedented number of Oregonians and visitors who are expected view the 2017 solar eclipse at today's press conference at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The public can get information about the eclipse using #OReclipse or #Eclipse2017, or calling 211.
(Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Cory E. Grogan)

The Adjutant General, Oregon, Maj. Gen. Michael Stencel, talks about Oregon National Guard support for the 2017 Eclipse at today's press conference at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The public can get information about the eclipse using #OReclipse or #Eclipse2017, or calling 211.
(Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Cory E. Grogan)

Linea Gagliano, Travel Oregon director, Global Communications, discusses tourism and economic opportunity related to the 2017 Eclipse in Oregon at today's press conference at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. The public can get information about the eclipse using #OReclipse or #Eclipse2017, or calling 211.
(Oregon Office of Emergency Management Photo by Cory E. Grogan)

Attached Media Files: 2017-08/3986/106989/DSC_9993.jpg , 2017-08/3986/106989/DSC_9984.jpg , 2017-08/3986/106989/DSC_9973.jpg , 2017-08/3986/106989/DSC_0001.jpg
Mon. 08/14/17
Volunteers sought for statewide cemetery cleanup
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 08/14/17 11:35 AM
Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries is partnering with SOLVE to bring cemetery cleanups into the statewide Beach & Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery. Many of these cemeteries were established in the 1800s and are in need of helping hands to remove invasive weeds and woody debris, clean headstones, and assist in other tasks. Cemeteries all over the state, Canby to Coos Bay to Gold Hill are sprucing before Veterans Day and the onset of winter. All cleanups will take place on September 23 unless noted otherwise. To see a complete list of cemeteries and sign up visit the SOLVE website, http://www.solveoregon.org/historic-cemetery-cleanups.

State law established the seven-member Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries to maintain a listing of all historic cemeteries and gravesites in Oregon; promote public education on the significance of historic cemeteries; and obtain financial and technical assistance for restoring, improving and maintaining their appearances. For information about the commission, contact coordinator Kuri Gill at 503-986-0685 or by e-mail: Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov.

Grants available for Oregon heritage and history projects
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 08/14/17 11:33 AM
The Oregon Heritage Commission is offering grants for qualified projects for the conservation, development and interpretation of Oregon's cultural heritage. Awards typically range between $5,000 and $20,000. Projects can include anything related to Oregon heritage, and priority will be given to projects that preserve, develop or interpret threatened heritage resources or heritage resources of statewide significance. The grant application deadline is October 2, 2017.

Projects may include theatrical performances, collections preservation and access, exhibits, oral history projects, public education events, organizational archives projects, films and more. Previously funded projects included a variety of projects around the state. Linn County Museum partnered with Oregon Black Pioneers to incorporate African American history in the permanent exhibit. Cascade AIDS Project collected oral histories and made them accessible. Southern Oregon University completed oral histories and made them available online. Concordia University helped present the Vanport Mosaic Festival. Four Rivers Cultural Center scanned a photo collection.

"We hope to see a variety of projects that engage Oregonians in heritage," states Kuri Gill, heritage grants program coordinator. "We encourage the documentation, preservation and exploration of all aspects of Oregon's heritage."

Applications are submitted online. There is plenty of support for preparing them.

"Our goal is to support organizations of all sizes all over the state in their valuable work. We provide assistance in the application process," notes Gill. Oregon Heritage grants programs staff is happy to discuss projects and review applications in advance.

The Heritage Commission is comprised of nine people representing Oregon's heritage and geographical diversity who have been appointed by the Governor. There are nine advisory representatives from state agencies and statewide organizations. The commission's mission is to secure, sustain, and enhance Oregon's heritage by ensuring coordination of heritage initiatives by public and private organizations; advocacy on its behalf; education of the public about its extent and value; and promotion and celebration of its diversity.

To learn more about the grants, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at Kuri.Gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.

Sun. 08/13/17
Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports inmate death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 08/13/17 3:26 PM
Benjamin Yzaguirre
Benjamin Yzaguirre
An Oregon Department of Corrections inmate died unexpectedly late Saturday night at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla. As with all unanticipated deaths in state prisons, the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation.

At approximately 9:39 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, 2017, Benjamin Yzaguirre, 64, was found unresponsive in his cell. Security and medical staff immediately began life-saving efforts, which continued by Umatilla Emergency Medical Technicians, to no avail. Yzaguirre was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 10:55 p.m.

Yzagiurre entered DOC custody on July 2, 2015, on one count of rape and one count of sodomy out of Marion County. His expected release date was June 11, 2021.

Next of kin has been notified. No other details are available at this time.

TRCI is a multi-custody prison in Umatilla that houses approximately 1,800 male inmates. TRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including institution and industrial laundry, mattress manufacturing, and sewing. Other institutional work programs include reparation and cleaning of irrigation ditches, maintenance of local baseball fields, and work with local cities and the Hermiston School District. The facility provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, religious services and behavioral health services. TRCI opened in 2000.


Attached Media Files: Benjamin Yzaguirre