KWSO News for 11/14/19

At the Greeley Heights Community Building yesterday, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) held a couple of information meetings regarding the Highway 26 Warm Springs Safety Corridor Project. With safety being a concern for pedestrians and the lack of sidewalks and bike paths, the project aims to upgrade the areas in Warm Springs from Milepost 103 to Milepost 112. Alia Burck, the Community Affairs Coordinator at the Oregon Department of Transportation talks about how the project came about. “This project originated because in 2015 the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs received earmark funding as part of House Bill 5005, for approximately $1.3 Million towards safety improvements along US 26 within the Warm Springs Area. So this funding along with additional ODOT enhance funding was granted to the project, they were designated to address the lack of safe viable pedestrian and bike path connections for residents in the area. Obviously these are important facilities to have and kind of promote a community feel. And they improve safety pretty substantially” The timeline for the planned upgrades to the Highway 26 Warm Springs Safety Corridor will start in Summer of 2020 and be completed by Summer of 2021. During that time, construction would limit traffic passing through, down to one lane. Other planned upgrades include Rock fall mitigation just past the old mill as well as Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at some crosswalks. The ultimate goal is safety and letting drivers know that they are passing through a community.

A dedication ceremony took place yesterday at the Jefferson County Community Center to honor veterans of all military branches and ages. NewsChannel21 spoke with Project Coordinator Shawn Stanfill who said with a suicide rate of one every 65 minutes, which is 22 per day, the mission is to leave no man behind. Warm Springs Tribal Member Johnathan Courtney talks about experiences soldiers have and what they hope this memorial will accomplish. “When Soldiers come back from Iraq, we have our mental health issues, things that we will never forget, things that we will never ever unsee. And so this is a place, a safe place, where veterans can come, connect with other veterans and then seek out help and get connected to services so that way they aren’t alone, and they’re never alone in this process. When we left, we came home different.”

The Warm Springs Health and Promotion Prevention Initiative (HAPPI) is coordinating items for distribution in December. The HAPPI Holiday goal is to provide families in need with gifts during the Holiday season. If your family could use assistance in providing for your children this holiday season, you can complete an application for each child up to 18 years of age. The applications do need to be completed by the legal parent/guardian with physical custody of children who reside on or near the Warm Springs Reservation. Completed applications should be turned in at the Warm Springs Library at the Family Resource Center by Friday December 6th. Gifts will be available to be picked up on Thursday December 19th, 9am-7pm and Friday December 20th, 12-5pm at the Warm Springs Youth Center Gym (Old Elementary school).

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation on Tuesday November 12th, held an election for their Board of Trustees and General Council Officers. Their Board of Trustees will have six new board members. Kat Brigham is the New Chair of the Board of Trustees, unseating Gary Burke. Board of Trustees Vice Chair Jeremy Wolf retained his seat. Four new Board Members at large were elected. The elected officials take office on December 4th 2019 in a 9am ceremony at the Nixyaawii Governance Center.

In Local Sports the Warm Springs K-8 Boys Basketball is traveling to Obsidian Middle school today, first game starting at 3:30pm.

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KWSO NEWS 11/14/19