campingSPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Don’t let the warm summer weather fool you, especially if you’re heading out camping.

Thunder and lightning storms could happen at any time, depending where you camp.

Staff at Cabela’s in Springfield say summer, especially now, is high time for camping. And with storms popping up all over, it’s important that people headed outdoors be ready for anything.

Camping experts say having a sturdy tent with a fly is key in the often unpredictable, rainy weather.

But, when it comes to lightning, there aren’t many gear options that could help keep you safe. Even fiberglass tents have metal in them.

If you’re in a group, your best bet is to disperse to open space and get low to the ground with both your feet on the ground, or if your car is nearby, jump in.

“You’ve got the greatest protection outside of being in a building in your car. It’s just drop your tent if you have time. Throw some rocks on it so it doesn’t blow away and jump in the car and just sit in the car and avoid touching the metal and you’ll be great,” said Richard Patridge, camping retail sales outfitter.

Camping experts also suggest investing in a NOAA weather radio to get updates while you’re out.

GOSHEN DEVELOPMENTGOSHEN, Ore. — There’s a feud between volunteer firefighters and their chief in Goshen.

The Goshen Volunteer Firefighters Association wrote a letter to its board, requesting a third party to mediate and investigate the situation.

The special district’s association of Oregon spoke with firefighters this week, but the fire chief in Goshen says he didn’t know there were concerns with his leadership.

When asked if he is too tough on his staff, Goshen Rural Fire District Chief David Wolting said, “I wouldn’t say that, but that’s my opinion, and there could be contrary opinions to that.”

“Many people felt intimidated or coerced on a variety of levels and that along with that was a vote of no confidence to the chief,” said Aaron Gibbens, Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association.

The volunteer association’s secretary won’t give specifics, but says a number of people have resigned.

Chief Wolting says he’s never received any notices. They hope to have results of the investigation next week.

FireGOSHEN, Ore. — Badly needed help from western Oregon is on the way to help fight the Beaver Complex.

Area firefighters gathered this afternoon in Goshen before heading south. They’re from Lane Fire Authority, Eugene and Springfield Fire, McKenzie Fire, Mohawk Fire, and Coburg Fire–15 personnel in all.

“This is a structural task force so our job assignment for this force is going to be protecting structures, so obviously they’ve got a situation where residential structures are threatened, and so the job of this task force will be to provide protection for some group of structures,” said Chief Terry Ney, Lane Fire Authority.

The firefighters will also be taking three engines, a water tender and a brush unit.

EZI 9 News, Oregon Community Credit Union and St. Vincent de Paul are teaming up to help kids get backpacks for back to school, and other school supplies.EUGENE, Ore. — Our annual Backpacks for Back-to-School Drive is under way.

This year KEZI 9 News is partnering with Oregon Community credit union, selling paper backpacks for a dollar. That money goes to the Brattain House and St. Vincent de Paul to buy school supplies for low income kids in Lane County.

Last year’s drive helped 4,500 kids start the school year with all the supplies they needed.

“I think kids are such an important part of our community, everyone really rallies around this cause I think for that reason and it shouldn’t be a worry for kids in Lane County to have to go to school and not be able to learn or not be ready to learn because they don’t have basic school supplies,” said Sarah Allen, OCCU marketing specialist.

You can get the paper backpacks for a dollar at any Oregon Community Credit Union branch in Eugene and Springfield and all St. Vincent de Paul stores in Eugene, Springfield, Oakridge, Florence and Albany. There will also be donation bins inside local Bi-Mart stores and several other locations. Supplies will be distributed later this month.

MonacoHARRISBURG, Ore. — The company that purchased the old Monaco plant in Harrisburg says its first units could be ready by the middle of next month.

The sale with Forest River was made final last week, and Monaco’s original management team is already back on the site to get things going.

Monaco was closed in February, leaving about 120 employees without jobs.

The company says the industry has grown over the last few years and this is the perfect time to expand in Oregon.

The staff is looking forward to hiring on old employees, so it’s up and running as fast as possible.

“We’re in the process of hiring some of the administrators back this week. So, obviously we’re going after, we’re going after the people who were there before the closure because of their experience, and we’ve been very successful so far,” said Paul Eskritt, generals manager in Dallas and Harrisburg, Oregon.

Forest River says it wants to be even bigger than before. It will start producing towable trailer brands from the eastern region, starting with Vibe and then Cherokee.

Shane AltheideALSEA, Ore. — An Alsea man is in jail, accused of trying to meet a minor for sex.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office arrested 39-year-old Shane Altheide on multiple charges.

Deputies say he was “sexting” with a girl under the age of 16 and tried to meet her for sex.

The sheriff’s office says it’s a good reminder for parents to always know what their kids are doing and who they’re communicating with.

“That’s one thing that we always encourage is parents to be aware of what their children are doing online, with their phones, with their Facebook, with social media contacts,” said Capt. Greg Ridler, BCSO spokesperson.

Altheide is at the Benton County Jail with his bail set at $375,000.

train vs pedestrianEUGENE, Ore. — A woman is fighting for her life after being hit by a train.

It happened near the intersection of Bethel Drive and Highway 99.

Staff with the train company, Portland Western Railroad, called 9-1-1 just before 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Eugene police officers say the 41-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries, but could not provide any more details.

The train will be stopped until the investigation is complete.

StoutEUGENE, Ore. — A Eugene man is in jail accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old while providing her with marijuana and alcohol.

Melvin Bud Richard Stout, Jr. is a registered sex offender.

The 55-year-old is accused of committing the crimes more than once, including at a party in June in the Crow area.

Investigators say Stout also exchanged sexually explicit photos with the victim.

Oregon State Police is asking for any possible additional victims or witnesses to call police.

Siskyou CountyNEAR TULELAKE, Calif. — The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office reports a plane crashed Friday morning a few miles west of Tulelake on Eastwest Road.

Sheriff’s deputies received a report of a crash at approximately 9:15 a.m. Upon arrival, deputies confirmed that the pilot, 58-year-old William Whitlatch from Klamath Falls, was deceased. The plane was a crop duster and have pesticides on board; Siskiyou County Public Health has been advised.

The sheriff’s office is advising the public to stay clear of the area due to downed power lines and other dangers. The FAA has been notified of the crash and will be assisting the SCSO in the investigation of incident.

pacific crest trail signYREKA, Ca. — Officials with the Klamath National Forest are reporting Friday that two lightning caused wildfires are prompting them to close portions of trails on the Klamath National Forest, including Shackleford Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. The closures are necessary for trail user safety as well as fire fighter safety during effort to suppress wildfires.

The Shackleford Trail is in close proximity to the Log Fire, which is estimated to be at 317 acres. It’s burning in the Shackleford Creek and Mill Creek drainage west of Fort Jones, Ca. Starting Friday, Shackleford Rd. will be closed from mile marker one to its terminus at the Shackleford Trailhead.

The Whites Fire, estimated at 1,300 acres in size is close to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and a number of trails feeding into the PCT. Therefore, according to the Klamath National Forest, the following trails will be closed:

  1. PCT (Forest Trail 2000) is closed from its junction with County Road 1C02 at Carter Meadows Summit north to its junction with County Road 1C01 at Etna Summit.
  2. Trail Creek Trail (Forest Trail No. 5521) from Forest Road 39N06 to it junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (Forest Trail 2000).
  3. Deacon Lee Trail (Forest Trail No. 5436 and 5519) from the Deacon Lee Trailhead to its junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (Forest Trail 2000).
  4. East Whites Trail (Forest Trail No. 5446) from the Timber Camp Trailhead to its junction with the Deacon Lee Trail (Forest Trail No. 5436).
  5. South Russian Creek Trail (Forest Trail No. 5453) from the South Russian Trailhead to its junction with the Deacon Lee Trail (Forest Trail No. 5436).
  6. Horse Range Trail (forest Trail No. 5450) from the Music Creek Trailhead to its junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (Forest Trail 2000).
  7. Taylor Lake Trail (Forest Trail No. 5439) from the Taylor Lake Trailhead to its terminus at Taylor Lake.
  8. Hogan Lake Trail (Forest Trail No. 5451) from its junction with the Taylor Lake Trail (Forest Trail No. 5439) to its terminus at Hogan Lake

Maps and description of the closed trails are available at the Klamath National Forest offices in Yreka, Fort Jones, Happy Camp, and Macdoel, CA as well as online at
http://www.fs.usda.gov/klamath/

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