Crash results in first death of the New Year’s holiday period

Oregon State Police are continuing the investigation into Friday night’s fatal traffic crash on Highway 99E about five miles south of Oregon City that resulted in the death of one person.

This was the first fatal crash of the New Year’s holiday period that runs from 6:00 p.m., December 30th, through midnight, January 2nd.

Preliminary investigation indicates that on December 30, 2005 at approximately 9:15 p.m., a 2002 Ford F150 pickup driven by William Asay Jr., 57, from southeast Portland, was southbound on Highway 99E near milepost 16 possibly attempting to make a u-turn on a curve in foggy conditions. A 1999 Ford Ranger pickup driven by Gregory A. Steele, 41, from Canby, was southbound rounding the curve and crashed into the driver’s side of Asay’s pickup.

ASAY was not using safety restraints and was ejected from his pickup onto the highway where he died from his injuries.

Steele was using safety restraints and received minor injuries. He was transported to Willamette Falls Medical Center for treatment.

Toxicology tests related to the victim will be done by the Clackamas County Medical Examiner to determine if alcohol was a contributing factor in this fatal crash.

Oregon State Police troopers from the Portland Area Command office are continuing the investigation. ODOT and Canby Fire Department assisted at the scene. Highway 99E was closed approximately four hours.

Last year during the New Year’s holiday period in Oregon there were 3 fatalities that occurred in three separate fatal crashes.

City of Bend Sewage Systems Overflow Due to Heavy Rainfall

Due to overwhelming levels of rainfall, some of Bend’s sewage systems have overflowed. The City of Bend and Deschutes County are issuing the following advisory for citizens.

This in turn affected three of Bend’s nine sewage pumping stations which experienced some level of overflow.

The Windemere Septic Pump Station near Archie Briggs Road, has had a minor overflow contained within the facility and poses no risk to the public at this time.

The Westside Septic Pump Station on Newport and Drake Road experienced a small amount of overflow affecting several homes with some overflow into the Deschutes River. At this hour, this station has nearly recovered.

The Shevlin Septic Pump Station on Westside Meadows near Skyline Ranch and
Bordeaux Roads is currently experiencing overflow and has affected approximately 15 homes.

As rains have begun to subside, the City of Bend’s storm drainage system has been recovering quickly.

Homeowners that have experienced sewage overflow are asked to call the City of Bend Public Works Department at 317-3000. The Bend American Red Cross office has set up a shelter for displaced citizens of Bend at the First Methodist Church located at 680 NW Bond Street. This shelter is available to any homeowner who is experiencing sewage overflow from today’s heavy rainfall.

The Deschutes County Health Department is monitoring for the closure of all public facilities (restaurants, spas, daycare centers or other businesses) which may experience sewage overflow or disruption of that facilities water supply. At this time, no facility has been identified as meeting these conditions.

US 26/US 97 Open at Madras

US 26/US 97 is now open at Madras, mile point 113. Traffic is moving through the area with one lane in each direction.

http://www.tripcheck.com/
Motorists are advised to expect heavy traffic with significant delays when travelling through Madras this evening.

For more updated information on road conditions, visit www.TripCheck.com or call 511.

For tips about driving in all types of weather conditions, visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/winter.shtml

US 26/US 97 Closed at Madras

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) advises motorists that US 26/US 97 is closed in all directions at Madras, mile point 113, due to high water on the roadway.

Drivers who must travel are advised to seek alternate routes around the area.

For more updated information on road conditions, visit www.TripCheck.com or call 511.

For tips about driving in all types of weather conditions, visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/winter.shtml

City asking residents to stay home during current storm

Heavy rains and snow accumulation have caused flooding in all underpasses, in addition to other streets throughout town. Driving conditions are extremely hazardous, and motorists are asked to stay home.

Preparations are being made for emergency shelter for residents displaced by the rising storm waters. Flooding is occurring primarily in low-lying areas.

Several Bend streets are closed due to localized flooding. The Oregon Department of Transportation is assisting the City of Bend with closures at the underpasses on Greenwood Avenue (under the Bend Parkway), Franklin Avenue (under the Bend Parkway) and Third Street (under the railroad bridge), south of Franklin Avenue.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) advises motorists to be aware of water, mud and debris on highways throughout the state. Wet weather and warm temperatures have increased the possibility for flooding and mudslides.

Drivers need to be aware of potential flooding on area highways and to be on the lookout for “High Water” signs throughout the day. For more updated information on road conditions, visit www.TripCheck.com or call 511.

ODOT Maintenance crews are using their available resources to remove the water from the roadways. This work, in addition to regular winter maintenance, will continue as conditions persist. ODOT reminds drivers to slow down and be aware that roadways conditions can change within minutes.

For tips about driving in all types of weather conditions, visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/winter.shtml

Knott Landfill closed due to high water

Due to high water conditions and problems with local road flooding, Knott Landfill will be CLOSED on Saturday, December 31.

Knott Landfill and the transfer stations will be closed on Sunday, January 1 to observe the New Years Day holiday.

Knott Landfill, along with the transfer stations, should be open for regular business on Monday, January 2, provided there are no further problems with high water or road flooding on that day.

ODOT reports poor road conditions

Road conditions as of 2:30 p.m.:
U.S. 26 (Mt. Hood Hwy) had wet pavement with spots of ice. Carry chains or traction tires.

Road conditions as of 2:30 p.m.:

ODOT advises motorists that northbound I-5 has been reopened near Ashland, mile point 11.

Southbound I-5 remains closed at the Ashland exit, mile point 14. There is currently no estimate as to when the highway will reopen to motorists.

Drivers who must travel are advised to seek alternate routes around the area.

U.S. 26 (Mt. Hood Hwy) had wet pavement with spots of ice. Carry chains or traction tires.

U.S. 20 (Santiam Pass) Snow Flurries with slush and snow pack, which is breaking up, on the road. Carry chains or traction tires.

U.S. 97 (Chemult) Severe Weather Hazard. Snowing hard and continuously with packed snow on the road. Carry chains.

Highway 58 (Willamette Pass) Severe Weather Hazard. Snow flurries with packed snow on the road. Chains or traction tires are required. Vehicles towing must use chains.

Walden Nominates Local Students for Acceptance to U.S. Military Academies

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) is pleased to announce the nomination of two central Oregonians for acceptance to one of the prestigious United States service academies. David Marshall, currently a student at Central Oregon Community College (COCC), and Karl Wallskog, who is currently attending the Marion Military Institute in Alabama, were chosen by Congressman Walden based on their academic performance, athletic participation, extracurricular involvement and character.

Marshall has been nominated for acceptance to the U.S. Naval Academy and Wallskog has been nominated for acceptance to both the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. A service academy nominating committee made up of retired military officers in Oregon’s Second District assisted Walden in his selection of candidates.

“Being nominated to one of America’s service academies represents years of hard work and discipline,” said Walden. “Competing with the best and brightest of America’s youth for an appointment to a military academy is both a tremendous opportunity and a great honor. I have every confidence that both of these talented students will represent their families and communities well in that effort. I commend David and Karl for their desire to serve our country. It takes a special commitment to accept the challenges of an academy education, and these young men are continuing a long line of patriotic Oregonians in their endeavor. I share the pride of their parents, teachers and friends in congratulating them both on this significant achievement.”

Walden continued, “I’m also grateful for the assistance of the prestigious nominating committee that volunteered countless hours to help me consider students for nominations. Their dedication in helping to choose outstanding young Oregonians has been invaluable not only to me but to our country.”

Marshall is a resident of Bend and the son of Larry and Cynthia Marshall. He is a 2004 graduate of Mountain View High School where he played football. Marshall participated in Navy Junior ROTC, is a certified lifeguard and currently works as a physical therapist technician while attending COCC, where he maintains a 3.35 GPA. He enjoys running, swimming and mountain biking in his spare time.

Wallskog is the son of Eric and Cynthia Wallskog of Bend and a 2005 graduate of Redmond High School, where he maintained a 3.53 GPA. In high school, Wallskog was active in National Honor Society, Key Club, his church youth group and Civil Air Patrol. He is a certified SCUBA diver, has a private pilot’s license and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.

Congressman Walden represents the Second Congressional District of Oregon, which includes 20 counties in southern, central and eastern Oregon. He is Deputy Whip in the House leadership structure and a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Resources.

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Pacific Power employees rally to generate $1.6 million in charitable donations

PORTLAND – Amid media reports of “donor fatigue” this holiday season, Pacific Power employees have rallied to contribute $872,000 to nonprofits that assist with health, education, the environment and hurricane relief. A match by the company’s charitable arm, the PacifiCorp Foundation for Learning, boosted the total contribution to $1.6 million.

“It’s the most we’ve ever done,” said Judi Johansen, President and CEO of PacifiCorp, which serves Oregon, Washington and California as Pacific Power. “The generosity of our employees is inspiring, especially given how urgent the need is in so many of our communities. Plus, the amount our folks have been able to raise to help the victims of the Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is nothing short of amazing.”

Employees of Pacific Power and Utah Power donated $608,133 to the company’s giving campaign, which distributes donations to local United Way campaigns, as well as education, environmental, cultural and community nonprofits.

Employees also dug deep to contribute $106,419 to help the victims of the tsunami that hit South and Southeast Asia, as well as another $157,967 for those in the Gulf States impacted by the 2005 hurricane season. The PacifiCorp Foundation for Learning added more than $200,000 to match employee contributions.

“With Pacific Power’s generosity, more people were able to receive immediate assistance through the American Red Cross,” said Mary Loftin, executive director of the American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter. “Not only did families living in the affected areas receive Red Cross support, but also hurricane evacuees who relocated to the Pacific Northwest to recover and rebuild their lives.”

In addition, PacifiCorp recently made a $500,000 donation to the hurricane relief effort. The contribution was divided among several relief agencies in the six states in which PacifiCorp operates. The funds come from shareholders and were not absorbed by rate-paying customers.

“It’s exciting to see what our employees have done,” said Megan Brown Pacific Power’s volunteer coordinator. “When we recently presented a $12,000 check to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children in Portland), the grateful look on their faces made all the effort worthwhile.”