News Stories for Thu., Jul. 13, 2017

New fire season restrictions for the Warm Springs Agency were approved by the BIA and are now in effect. Warm Springs is now in an Industrial Fire Precaution Level 2 for Zones 1, 2 and 3 with “very high” fire danger in Zone 1, “high” fire danger in zone 2 and “moderate” fire danger for zone 3.  Fire Management says fire watch protocol for an IFPL 2 requires a 2-hour fire watch after cessation of industrial activity. As fire danger and risk rise, stricter regulations are implemented.

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden Wednesday called for urgency in the fight against the opioid epidemic across the country. As chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Walden led a hearing to examine effective strategies for combating the crisis in local communities. The hearing entitled, “Combating the Opioid Crisis: Battles in the States,” focused on current challenges in putting an end to opioid abuse, ways the federal government can assist, and efforts on the ground that have begun to make a difference. The Second Congressional District of Oregon, which Walden’s represents, has experienced particularly high levels of opioid prescriptions, per person, compared to the rest of the country. According to a recent study released by the CDC, counties in Oregon have some of the highest levels of opioid prescriptions in the nation — and five of the top 10 counties for opioid prescriptions in the state reside in Walden’s district. This comes as Oregon leads the country in seniors aged 65 and older who are hospitalized for opioid abuse, addiction, and other complications, according to a recent report.

Congressional Republicans and Democrats have reached initial agreement on the biggest expansion of college aid for military veterans in a decade, removing a 15-year time limit to tap into benefits and boosting money for thousands in the National Guard and Reserve. The deal being announced early Thursday is a sweeping effort to fill coverage gaps in the post-9/11 GI Bill amid a rapidly changing job market. Building on major legislation passed in 2008 that guaranteed a full-ride scholarship to any in-state public university — or the cash amount for private college students similar to the value of a scholarship at a state college — the bill gives veterans added flexibility to enroll in college later in life. Veterans would get additional payments if they complete science, technology and engineering courses.