KWSO News for 1/16/20

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has broke ground on a long-awaited hatchery in the Walla Wall River basin. During a ground-breaking event at the South Fork Walla Walla Chinook salmon spawning facility outside Milton-Freewater,  Tribal Board of Trustees Vice Chair Jeremy Wolf said at the ceremony last week that the spring Chinook hatchery, a more than $20 million project funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, is anticipated to open in the spring of 2021.

Wings of America will sponsor a team of the fastest Native American runners at the U.S. Cross Country Championships. Eight young men and eight young women will complete this Saturday, January 18 in the junior age division race in San Diego, California. Jonathan Fragua Jr. will represent the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs at the Championship. Jonathan is in the eleventh grade at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico where he lives with his mother Candace Heath and father Jonathan Fragua Sr. Candace is originally from Warm Springs and Jonathan Sr. is from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. A raffle fundraiser is being held to help the family with traveling costs, you can contact Lucinda Heath or Sandra Greene for details, the raffle drawing is tomorrow at 5pm.

Widespread snowstorms have boosted Oregon’s previously anemic snow pack to almost normal levels statewide in just two weeks. The biggest improvements in what is called “snow-water equivalent” are in the Hood, Sandy and Lower Deschutes basins. Those areas were at 26% of normal on Dec. 30 and are now at 90% of normal. Last year saw something similar unfold in Oregon. Snowpack was lagging then as well, but a series of storms hit in February that boosted the snow-water equivalent. Snowpack is a crucial source of water for farms, especially in Eastern Oregon.

Heavy snow has temporarily cut communications with people at Crater Lake National Park. The park’s website says telephone and internet service have been down since Monday and the cafe and gift shop at Rim Village are also closed. Authorities also closed the road from park headquarters to Rim Village due to heavy snow. Park officials are concentrating on keeping the southern access road to the park, from Klamath Falls, open to retain access for some staff members who use it to get to work. No one is sure exactly how much snow has fallen in the past five days.

The City of Bend sent warnings to about 5,000 utility customers this week. A cyberattack last fall exposed their credit card information. As Emily Cureton reports, the notices arrived long after other cities sounded alarms about the same online bill pay service. “A private contractor manages the widely-used software for paying utility bills or permit fees online. And since 20-17, it’s repeatedly been targeted by thieves, who sell financial information on the black market, or use it to make online purchases.  In the latest breach, more than a dozen local governments notified customers weeks or in some cases months before Bend did.  More than two months passed between Bend officials learning of a potential cyberattack, and issuing a public statement. A city IT manager says that’s because security scans last October did not reveal the malicious code. When the problem finally came to light in mid December, Bend delayed telling affected customers for another three weeks. Officials said it took time to gather facts about what had happened, and who is at risk. Emily Cureton, OPB Bend”