Union County Commissioners last week, approved a Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund Plan in order to be eligible to utilize the funding allocated to Union County for public transportation purposes. The primary target population is low income households, disabled, and students. Funding available to Union County adds up to a total of $782,015 over the next two years.
The city of Union is mulling over a proposal from a consulting firm in North Carolina, aimed at making its water rates more equitable. If accepted, the restructuring proposal would raise the amount most Union residents pay for combined water and sewer service by $6 a month. The report, issued by the Pioneer Consulting Group, recommends that Union alter its water rate structure so it is fairer, encourages conservation and puts Union in a position to have a more sustainable water system. The report indicates 70% of all customers do not use the minimum allowance of 1,000 cubic feet per month… meaning the majority of the city’s customers are paying for water they are not using.
Three administrators in the La Grande School District are about to retire. La Grande Middle School Principal Kyle McKinney and Central Elementary School Principal Suzy Mayes will retire at the end of the school year. District Business Manager Chris Panike also plans to retire at the end of the school year. Panike has been the business manager since 2006. McKinney is completing his 14th year as principal of LMS. Mayes has served as Central Elementary School’s principal since the fall of 2014.
No damage is being reported after a swarm of more than 100 small earthquakes struck Mt. Hood yesterday. The U.S. Geological Survey says the strongest quake was a magnitude 2.7 that hit just after 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Authorities say the quakes were more than three miles under the mountain. The USGS says it appears there is no imminent threat of increased volcanic activity from the quakes.
Oregon has around 150-thousand doses of COVID-19 vaccine. While that might seem like a lot, Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen says it’s not, because they’re already accounted for….
Allen says the state is getting 70-thousand doses of the Moderna vaccine this week….
The Oregon National Guard will be on hand to help the state police protect the capitol. Governor Kate Brown approved the request. The FBI reports armed groups are planning actions against state capitols and at least one threat has been made against the Oregon State Capitol. State Police Superintendent Terri Davie says their goals are to protect people, people’s rights and property. Details of how the National Guard will be used aren’t being released.
Meterorlogists call it an atmospheric river… that’s what they say is plowing into Northern California and southern Oregon, but a high pressure ridge is pushing most of the rain north of the Bay Area and Sacramento. The National Weather Service says Del Norte [[ Nort ]] and Humboldt counties and the northern Sacramento Valley will benefit from a good soaking that hit Tuesday, with some coastal areas getting up to two-inches. Forecasters say the areas south of the so-called atmospheric river will see very little to no rain out of this system.
Four Oregon counties are moving into the Extreme Risk category for COVID-19 restrictions. There are now 26 counties in the Extreme Risk category. It has the tightest restrictions with no indoor restaurant dining and no indoor fitness facilities. The changes take effect on Friday. Governor Kate Brown says until vaccines are widely available, Oregonians need to wear masks, wash their hands, maintain physical distancing and avoid large groups to keep COVID-19 transmission rates down.
Oregon state lawmakers yesterday, were in chambers during their third special session of a year. Governor Kate Brown recalled the Legislature to consider an 800-million-dollar relief package to assist with ongoing issues related to the pandemic. The proposal includes 150-million dollars for the new Landlord Compensation Fund and 50-million dollars for existing rental relief efforts. The remaining amount will go to COVID-19 recovery efforts involving schools and businesses, as well as directives to help communities ravaged by wildfires earlier this year.
Oregon State Police declared an unlawful assembly at the State Capitol Monday morning after protesters tried to force their way into the building during the special session. A large group of demonstrators gathered to oppose COVID-19 restrictions on businesses. After protesters tried to force their way inside, troopers issued commands for the crowd to disperse and used pepper balls on the group when some of the protesters fired pepper spray. At least two people have been taken into custody.
The Oregon Health Authority is reporting its lowest number of new COVID-19 cases for the month of December. The latest numbers from OHA show 846 new cases. Health officials also reported just six more deaths. Numbers are falling in other states now too.
Health officials say another Oregonian has died from COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed the coronavirus death of a 91-year-old woman yesterday. Health officials also reported one-thousand-153 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Oregon has now seen a total of 102-thousand-930 cases of COVID-19 along with over one-thousand deaths since the pandemic began.
TriMet [[ try-met ]] General Manager Doug Kelsey is retiring. Kelsey announced last week he plans to retire on March 5th when his contract expires. Kelsey was TriMet’s Chief Operating Officer from 2015 through 2018.
The University of Oregon is extending its contract with head football coach Mario Cristobal through 2025. The school hasn’t released numbers, but they say private athletic gifts are helping to pay Cristobal’s salary.