KWSO News for 3/12/20

Oregon’s 2020 Census count kicks off today – right here on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.  As plans are being made by Warm Springs Tribal officials to address the coronavirus, where it’s reported that Deschutes county had its first confirmed case, the decision was made to move forward with the Census Kick off Celebration today at the Agency Longhouse starting at 9am.  Shana [SHAY-nah] Radford is the U-S Census Bureau’s Tribal Partnership Specialist for Oregon and Idaho.  She says safety for both census takers and respondents can be accomplished several ways. “RADFORD (:15) “Having the opportunity to submit your responses online, and also by phone.  So there are other opportunities to participate aside from somebody having to come into someone’s space, particularly around elders. So we have heard that, and we are taking it very seriously.” The 20-20 Census can also be mailed in, though it’s safest not to personally lick envelopes as saliva can transmit certain diseases.  Any head of household interested in doing the census online today – can do so at the Agency Longhouse between 9am and noon, using computers provided.  Disinfectant wipes for use between users will also be on hand….

Oregon health officials announced two new cases of COVID-19 WEDNESDAY night. As Donald Orr reports, they’re older adults living in a Veterans’ home in Linn County. “Oregon health officials say two men in their 80s tested positive. They’re now in isolated rooms at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon – a facility with nearly 150 other veterans. Nearly all the residents are over 60 – meaning they’re at particularly high risk from COVID-19. The facility is no longer allowing visitors. Residents and staff are being tested for coronavirus. Kelly Fitzpatrick directs Oregon’s veteran affairs department. “We understand how important it is for family members to communicate with their loved ones at this critical time. But we’re asking for their help in keeping our residents safe.” The Northwest has already had a severe outbreak at a center with older adults. More than twenty deaths in Washington are linked to coronavirus at a nursing home in Kirkland. The Health Authority says the veterans home in Lebanon took some steps to mitigate against contagion, such as allowing in outside air. I’m Donald Orr reporting.”

A bookkeeper for the Madras High School has plead guilty five counts of theft of over $79 thousand. Misty Foster, also known as Misty Adams, faced charges of first-degree aggravated theft, two counts of computer crime and one each of tampering with public records and first-degree official misconduct. According to the Madras Pioneer, Foster is going to avoid prison but will serve two years of supervised probation and has to pay back the money. Judge Daina Vitolins had originally rejected a plea deal that included Foster using an Alford Plea deal that the defendant accepts a plea deal but does not admit guilt. Judge Vitolins rejected it because it was felt that Foster should admit that what she did was wrong and that should she go to trial she would be facing prison time if she was found guilty. Sentencing for Foster is set for April 16th.

In Sports: The NBA has announced the suspension of NBA games due to the Coronavirus outbreak as it was found that a Utah Jazz Player has been confirmed positive for COVID-19 and it has been reported that another Utah Jazz Player, Star Guard Donovan Mitchell is presumptive positive as well. The N-C-double-A says it will hold its regional men’s basketball tournament at the Spokane Arena as scheduled next Thursday and Saturday. But it won’t allow fans inside. Doug Nadvornick reports. “The collegiate sports body announced, because of concerns about the coronavirus, it will allow only the teams, essential personnel and limited family members to attend the games. That ruling covers all of the games in both the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments, from the first and second rounds next week to the Final Four events. Eric Sawyer the CEO of the Spokane Sports Commission, which is hosting the Spokane subregional, says his staff is disappointed, but supports the decision. He notes the six games to be played here will be televised on national cable networks and bring exposure to the region. The decision is also disappointed because there’s been speculation the hometown Gonzaga Bulldogs would have been assigned to play in the arena that’s about a mile from their campus. Gonzaga’s athletics department issued a statement expressing that disappointment for the team’s players, coaches and fans, but saying the University understanding the decision. Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward said in a news conference Wednesday that the city will take a multi-million dollar economic hit in lost revenue from hotel stays and meals. I’m Doug Nadvornick reporting.” The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has followed recommendations from Governor Brown, Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education and have made the decision to change its spectator policies for state championship events. Beginning today, only participating students, coaches, essential event staff personnel and media will be allowed to attend OSAA State Championship events.

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