News RSS Feed | KOBI-TV NBC5 / KOTI-TV NBC2 http://kobi5.com Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:05:46 -0700 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Man not charged after admitting to sending letters to Oregon Sheriffs' http://kobi5.com/news/item/police-detain-person-of-interest-in-oregon-sheriff-suspicious-letters-cases.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/police-detain-person-of-interest-in-oregon-sheriff-suspicious-letters-cases.html Man not charged after admitting to sending letters to Oregon Sheriffs'

Update 12:00 PM 7/29/15) -- Oregon State Police say 34-year old Eugene man Lance Storm has been released after he admitted to sending letters to 24 Oregon Sheriffs' offices Monday. Storm said they were not intended to cause alarm.

No toxic substances have been found in any of the letters according to the FBI.

Several Southern Oregon Sheriffs' offices received letters including Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Douglas, and Coos.

Original Story 7/28/15: Oregon State Police have detained a person of interest who they say may be involved in a number of cases where suspicious letters were sent to Oregon Sheriffs' offices. The identity of the person detained has not been released. No charges have been filed at this time, and no arrests have been made.
    
On Monday, officials with the FBI say up to twenty agencies received suspicious letters in the mail. Sheriffs' Offices in Tillamook, Washington, Marion, Harney, Umatilla, Jackson, Sherman, Wasco and Baker counties received the letters.
    
Jackson County Captain Nathan Sickler said the letter arrived on Monday morning with the rest of the mail. It was taken upstairs to be sorted. After receiving an alert about similar suspicious letters at other agencies, the deputies went through the mail and found the letter.
         
"When we rechecked our mail, we realized that we did have one that was listed as potential of being threatening toward the sheriff's office, or the personnel here," Captain Sickler said.
    
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office was evacuated from 2 to 5 PM on Monday, while hazmat crews from Fire District Three packaged the letter and removed it from the building.

"The guys from Fire District Three were a big help for us, you know, a good resource, and so we were glad to have them here and basically take the lead on the hazmat part of things," Captain Sickler said.
    
In Grant County, Sheriff Glenn Palmer was taken to the hospital after opening the letter, and developing a rash on his arm. He was released later on Monday night.   
      
"I'm not looking to get anybody in trouble, but if there was something in the letter, then the public needs to be held accountable," Sheriff Palmer said.

The FBI is heading up the investigation, with help from the Oregon State Police and the United States Post Office. On Tuesday, the FBI released information on the testing of the envelopes. Initial tests did not find any powder or substances present in the envelopes. Further testing will be done on the letters and envelopes.

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:29:56 -0700
Eagle Point man charged with DUII after running into power pole http://kobi5.com/news/item/eagle-point-man-charged-with-duii-after-running-into-power-pole.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/eagle-point-man-charged-with-duii-after-running-into-power-pole.html Eagle Point man charged with DUII after running into power pole

Medford, Ore. -- A man was rushed to the hospital after crashing his van into a pole knocking out power for an entire city block and police say he was under the influence.

Medford Police say 57-year-old Kenneth Perkins from Eagle Point was making a lane change on Court Street when he nodded off or lost consciousness and hit a power pole. 

“It is unfortunate that it's going to be a traffic issue for a while because we're going to keep streets closed to protect workers here in the streets – rick martin medford fir and rescue

After hitting the pole, Perkins continued into the side of the Rodda Paint building. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and no one else was hurt.

Medford Police say Perkins has been charged with DUII, criminal mischief and reckless driving. 

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:51:42 -0700
Firefighters keep close eye on Bear Creek Greenway http://kobi5.com/news/item/firefighters-keep-close-eye-on-bear-creek-greenway.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/firefighters-keep-close-eye-on-bear-creek-greenway.html Firefighters keep close eye on Bear Creek Greenway

Medford, Ore. -- The 20 mile path stretching from Central Point to Ashland makes the Bear Creek Greenway popular for hikers and bikers. But the tall dry grass, thick blackberry bushes, and dense brush also make it a dangerous fire zone. 

"This type of fuel specifically is really fast moving dry fuel. It picks up really quickly and depending on the wind as well it can change directions really quickly," Jackson County Fire District 3 Fire and Life Safety Specialist Ashley Lara said. 

The sweltering temperatures put the already vulnerable spot at a higher risk for fires. Medford Police Lieutenant Mike Budreau said most of the blazes that ignite on the greenway are because of humans. 

"There are unfortunately a lot of folks who go down there and trespass they camp and they start small warming fires and cooking fires," he said. 

Those small fires can get out of hand quickly, posing a huge risk to nearby businesses and homes. Budreau said that's why Medford Police sweet the greenway every other month, issuing citations for trespassing and camping. 

"On our last greenway sweep we charged 19 people with prohibitive camping and that was after we went through three days before and posted them or warned them that they would have to vacate or face charges," he said. 

As temperatures spike well above triple digits this week both agencies said they're on their toes ready to respond to any greenway fires as quickly as possible. 

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:09:51 -0700
Identifying a real officer from impersonators http://kobi5.com/news/item/identifying-a-real-officer-from-impersonators.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/identifying-a-real-officer-from-impersonators.html Identifying a real officer from impersonators

CENTRAL POINT, ORE. -- Local law enforcement agencies are issuing a warning after they say a man posed as a police officer over the weekend and pulled a driver over.

"She became suspicious and eventually confronted him and wanted to call 9-1-1, at which time, the individual left the scene," said Cpt. Nathan Sickler with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

The case ended without anyone being hurt, but that's not always the case. This raises the question, how do you tell if the person who pulled you over is who they really say they are?

When it comes to vehicles, "We are always going to do more than just the windshield lights. There are typically the lights that are going to be in the grills or in the headlights, which would be very difficult to emulate," explained Lt. Mike Budreau, of Medford Police.

In this day and age, uniforms are no sure thing.

"The badge, the duty belt, the radio, they'll probably be talking in the radio, you'll hear traffic potentially. We can't say that no one will ever acquire some of these items but the likelihood is very low," said Cpt. Sickler.

If you are still uncertain about either, you can ask to see their identification card, or tell the officer you want to call 9-1-1 just to verify who they are.

"The most sinister cases are the ones where there's some type of motive of sexual assault behind the whole thing and that's our biggest concern. Because that has happened in the past and fortunately we'd never want to see that again," said Lt. Budreau.

Impersonating an officer is a punishable offense and is considered a class c felony.

As for the case over the weekend, the suspect is described as 40 to 45 years old, with an average build, and thinning hair.

If you have information on this case, call the sheriff's office.

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Mon, 27 Jul 2015 18:13:00 -0700
Fire danger level jumps from high to extreme http://kobi5.com/news/item/fire-danger-level-jumps-from-high-to-extreme.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/fire-danger-level-jumps-from-high-to-extreme.html Fire danger level jumps from high to extreme

Central Point, Ore. -- Jackson and Josephine Counties will see the fire danger level jump from high to extreme Tuesday.

A spike in the temperatures and dry conditions are prompting the Oregon Department of Forestry to set some new regulations. Starting Tuesday all power equipment needs to be used before 10:00 a.m. ODF's Fire Prevention Specialist, Brian Ballou, said with the expected heat wave residents need to do everything they can to cut down on the possibility of man made fires.

"Fire danger just naturally goes up a lot when you get into temps from mid 90's into 100's. It just becomes oven hot," Ballou said.

He said the high temperatures make dry grasses and weeds ignite more easily and fires to spread more quickly. He also said we can expect the danger level to remain at extreme until we get at least half an inch of rain across Southwest Oregon.

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Mon, 27 Jul 2015 17:02:57 -0700
Boles Fire Victims face Ronald Beau Marshall http://kobi5.com/news/item/closing-the-book-on-the-boles-fire-trial.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/closing-the-book-on-the-boles-fire-trial.html Boles Fire Victims face Ronald Beau Marshall

Yreka, Ca -- 10 and a half months since the Boles fire ripped through weed but Tuesday for the first time the man who pleaded guilty to starting that fire met face to face with his victims.

More than 150 homes and structures destroyed, lives uprooted and family memories in ashes, the man accused of starting the Boles fire learned his fate.

It's his punishment, he has to have a consequence for his actions," said Mary Jackson.  

"I can no longer be angry, it takes up too much of my time and energy and he does not deserve any of my time or energy," said Gabby Yoakum.

Outside the Siskiyou County courthouse emotions overwhelmed Yoakum as she reflects with fellow victims of the Boles Fire.

We first met Yoakum's family a day after she lost her home. The Yoakum's lost several dogs and cats to the fire that day.

"They were telling us to leave and T was telling them, no I can't leave my animals, I just can't leave my animals," said Yoakum in September, 2014. 

10 and a half months later Yoakum spoke directly to Ronald Beau Marshall, the man who pleaded guilty to starting the fire  as he was sentenced to state prison.

He'll get 3 years - two for reckless burning, and another for destruction of property.

"I don't think that he meant to burn down the town of weed but he did so he should do more than 3 years,” said Yoakum.  

District Attorney Kirk Andrus says he's satisfied with the judges decision and hopes it's the first step in weed's long march to recovery.

 "We want to give them closure, someone to listen to them," said Andrus.  

Closure will be hard to come by for Yoakum, but she says she and many in her community have forgiven Marshall, though they say they will never forget. 

"People say to me, oh Gabby you're getting a new house aren't you excited, I'm not excited, I'd give anything to have my house back, I'd give anything to go back to the way it was," said Yoakum. 

Marshall faces 3 years of parole after his release from state prison. He's also required to pay restitution for the victims. A price tag for the damage is still being determined.

Marshall also read a statement to the courtroom reading in part “to those who lost their homes... this mistake will be on my heart for my whole life”.

 

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:29:49 -0700
Daniel Bunn - Medford City Councilor http://kobi5.com/news/item/daniel-bunn-medford-city-councilor.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/daniel-bunn-medford-city-councilor.html Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:37:04 -0700 Ore. Governor signs bill allowing recreational pot sales http://kobi5.com/news/item/ore-governor-signs.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/ore-governor-signs.html Ore. Governor signs bill allowing recreational pot sales

Ore. -- Starting October 1st, Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to sell recreational marijuana to adults 21 and over.

The bill will temporarily allow tax free retail sales through existing medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Liquor Control Commission will develop regulations and give licenses to pot stores starting next year. 

Customers will be allowed to buy limited amounts of dried marijuana, seeds, and plant starts but not edibles.

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:55:32 -0700
West Nile Virus detected in Jackson County http://kobi5.com/news/item/west-nile-virus.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/west-nile-virus.html West Nile Virus detected in Jackson County

Jackson County, Ore. -- The West Nile virus is back in Jackson County.

OSU Diagnostic Laboratory in Corvallis confirmed the positive mosquito pool from Central Point, according to Jackson County Vector Control District.

The county routinely sets traps for mosquitos weekly. This is the 4th year in a row the disease has been spotted in the county.

The last known human case of the virus in the county was in 2005.

Symptoms may include: West Nile spreads to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most infected people will show little or no signs of disease. About 1 in 5 infected people may show signs of West Nile fever. People at risk include those individuals over 50 years of age, people with immune compromising conditions, or those people with diabetes and high blood pressure. Symptoms may include fever above 100ºF AND severe headache, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, shaking, paralysis, or rash. It is important that you contact your health care provider if you experience any of these symptoms. The fever syndrome may last from a few days to several weeks. The incubation period is usually 2-14 days.

Precautions recommended by health officials:

“With the increased risk of West Nile Virus we encourage people to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said Lunders. He offered the following suggestions to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile Virus:

• Eliminate all sources of standing water that can be a breeding ground for biting mosquitoes, such as flooded fields, watering troughs, birdbaths, wading pools, clogged gutters and old tires. If it holds water for 7 days it can produce mosquitoes.

• Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when in mosquito infested areas.

• Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535 or Picaridin, making sure to follow the directions on the container.

• Make sure all screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly.

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:29:31 -0700
Run out on the field with the University of Oregon's football team on YouTube 360 http://kobi5.com/news/item/university-of-oregon-offering-running-out-onto-the-field-experience-with-youtube-360.html http://kobi5.com/news/item/university-of-oregon-offering-running-out-onto-the-field-experience-with-youtube-360.html Run out on the field with the University of Oregon's football team on YouTube 360

Eugene, Ore. --- Calling all Duck fans!

If you've ever wanted to experience running out onto the field at Autzen Stadium, you're in luck.

University of Oregon athletics utilizes YouTube 360 video to capture the experience.

With your smartphone, click on the link and tilt your phone to whatever view you want to see while running out.

The footage was captured at last season's game against Michigan State.

Link: http://bit.ly/1I7Iu08

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Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:41:02 -0700