Smoke-free zone proposed for downtown Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The Klamath Falls city council hears a proposal to make the downtown area smoke-free.

Backers say the proposal would reduce cigarette butt litter, second-hand smoke, and make the downtown area more family-friendly.

If the ordinance is passed, those caught smoking downtown could get a ticket, and pay a fine.

“We’re going to have a 90-day educational period.”  Explains Merritt Driscoll of the Blue Zones Project.  “So if someone violates the ordinance, we would just give them a warning.  After that 90 day educational period, we’re looking at a $75 fine.”

A separate proposal would prohibit tobacco use in all Klamath Falls city parks.

Backers hope to have the proposals on the city council agenda sometime in March.

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle's job history is quite colorful. 

He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.

"The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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