News Stories Wed., Mar. 14, 2018

Thousands of students across the nation are walking out of classrooms today to mark one month since the rampage at a Florida high school that shocked the world and fueled a dynamic youth movement demanding an end to gun violence.  Students from almost 3,000 schools were marking National Walkout Day, most by leaving their classrooms at 10 a.m. local time to show solidarity for the 17 killed in the Valentine’s Day attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. In Washington, more than 2,000 high-school age protesters observed 17 minutes of silence outside the White House to protest gun violence. The protesters spent the 17 minutes sitting on the ground with their backs turned to the White House. Oregon students in different locations across the state plan to leave their classrooms at 10 a.m. and observe a 17-minute moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives. After that, they’ll return to school and resume their day. Locally, school administrators at Madras High School said yesterday that they were not aware of any planned actions at the school today. School principal Mark Neffendorf says if students did choose to participate, school staff would supervise a walkout and escort students back in after seventeen minutes without consequence.

A 60-year-old Jefferson County School District 509-J maintenance worker has been arrested on 10 sex abuse charges involving a 15-year-old Idaho girl, authorities said Tuesday. Sheriff’s Detective Jason Pollock said he arrested Michael John McCoy on Monday. He was taken to the county jail and held on bail of $250,000. Court records indicated he was arraigned on the initial charges Tuesday and remained jailed pending his arraignment scheduled Friday on an expected grand jury indictment. Because McCoy is a school maintenance worker and has been a foster parent for 20 years, the sheriff’s office “is seeking the public’s help with any information in relation to this case,” Pollock said in a news release. “The sheriff’s office is particularly concerned with Michael’s frequent contact with children,” Pollock added. Pollock can be reached at 541-475-6520.

A second planning meeting to discuss the Downtown Development Plan for Warm Springs has been set for March 28th from 4-6:00 at the Old Elementary School Gym. All community members are invited to attend and provide input. The goal is to finalize a development plan for the area by the end of summer. The plan will then be used to seek funding and investment to make the plan a reality.  At the first meeting held in February, folks were provided an opportunity to learn about previous planning efforts and to learn about the Warm Springs Community Action Team Old Commissary Project. For those who were unable to attend, previous downtown planning documents including the Warm Springs Town Center: Property Summary (2012) and the Warm Springs Downtown Development Plan (2005) can be found on the Tribal Member Portal – that’s, click on Documents and then Reports.  Community members may also submit comments to Tribal staff via email ( Planning efforts are supported with funding from a USDA Rural Business Development Grant.

KLAMATH, Calif. — The Yurok Tribe of the Klamath River basin in California has filed suit in federal court against 20 major pharmaceutical companies. The case alleges corrupt practices by drug companies which contributed to widespread misuse of opioid painkillers in communities—such as the tribe itself. According to the lawsuit, the 20 defendants violated a 1970 law known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The tribe claims that drug companies systematically concealed the dangers of opioid drugs—engaging in false advertising, public nuisance, and unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices. The defendants include Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson, among other notable drug manufacturers and distributors.