KWSO News for 3/17/20

The Impact of COVID-19 has risen in Warm Springs. Starting today, the Warm Springs Tribal Administration is closed today, not due to the Coronavirus, however when it does reopen, access will be restricted to one entry and the Warm Springs Tribal Credit Enterprise is limiting access with inside doors locked until further notice. The lobby with the ATM will be accessible and will have loan applications posted in there and the drive thru will be available for check cashing, bill pay and dropping off loan applications. The Warm Springs Community Center will close effective tomorrow as will the Senior Program. The Senior meal program on Tuesdays and Thursdays will continue for those who have meals delivered. With the school closures, the 509-J school district is helping feed children ages 1-18 at their summer meal sites. These are grab and go meals or drive thru. Breakfast is 7:30am-8:30am and lunch is 11am-11:45am. At the Madras High School, meals will be served at the entrance near the gym, at Bridges High School, meals will be served in the parking lot, in Metolius, meals will be served in the bus drop off area and at the Warm Springs K-8, meals will be served at the curb next to the bus dropoff. Children/students must be present to get a meal.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has restricted restaurants to takeout and delivery service for at least four weeks in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. Brown issued an executive order, effective today that also limits public gatherings: “The order will include the following: A statewide cancelation of all events and gatherings larger than 25 people, with essential locations like workplaces, grocery stores, pharmacy and retail stores exempted, although I urge Oregonians to avoid any gathering of 10 people or more.” Brown’s decision to restrict restaurants and bars comes as more than 100 restauranteurs issued a public letter asking for tougher rules on social distancing. The governor has been debating the potential public health benefits of closing restaurants and bars and the potential economic hardship it will place on restaurant owners and employees across the food service industry. At least five other states have taken similar measures. Washington Governor Jay Inslee also restricted bars and restaurants to takeout and delivery service yesterday. In Warm Springs, Indian Head Casino hasn’t finalized plans yet, but are leaning towards Take-out at both the Casino and the Plateau Travel Plaza and possibly limited hours of operation.

The novel coronavirus has continued to disrupt daily lives, leaving many Oregonians with reduced hours at their jobs. As Donald Orr reports, the Oregon Food Bank is addressing one of the greatest needs in the state with food assistance. “According to the Oregon Food Bank, more than 860-thousand people rely on its network for food assistance each year. And Many Oregonians get their food with help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or ‘SNAP’. If lots of people run out of food benefits, Oregon Food Bank C-E-O Susannah Morgan hopes that the federal government steps up to increase SNAP access nationwide. [6 sec] “That would be the quickest and easiest way of getting grocery money into the hands of people facing hunger.” Lawmakers in Washington, DC are already working to bolster federal supplements. But in the meantime, Oregonians can use their SNAP benefits to buy food online through Amazon or Walmart for delivery. The Oregon Food Bank says that while it can pre-package food for pickup, delivering its food on a mass scale isn’t feasible. Door-to-door delivery at mass scale is unlikely to be an effective solution. Morgan says the Food Bank also needs to find more volunteers. Older workers are opting to stay home so they can avoid the virus. So Morgan has put out a call for people who are not at high-risk for COVID-19, and under the age of 60. At the Southeast Oregon food bank in Ontario, there are just 3 volunteers. [9 sec] “We humans have the capacity for amazing empathy and kindness, and disasters often bring out the best in us.” Food Bank leaders are also worried about serving students. Oregon Governor Kate Brown closed all public schools K through 12 until the end of March. Many kids rely on free and reduced meals. [4 sec] “That very quickly will become an amount of folks that we would have trouble serving.” Any Oregonian in need of food resources near them can call 2-1-1. I’m Donald Orr, reporting

In Sports: NFL Free Agency has started off with some noticeable moves. Former Oregon Ducks Quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota has agreed to a deal to join the Las Vegas Raiders as the presumed backup to starter Derek Carr. Wide Receiver Amari Cooper has agreed to a 5 year $100 Million deal to stay with the Cowboys. The Buffalo Bills have traded for Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs from Minnesota for multiple draft picks. The Cleveland Browns have made a big splash, adding Tight End Austin Hooper and making him the highest paid Tight End in the NFL as well as adding former Titans Offensive Tackle Jack Conklin on a 3 year deal. A Big trade between the Arizona Cardinals and the Houston Texans saw the Cardinals send Running Back David Johnson and two draft picks to Houston and in return receive All Pro Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a draft pick. Quarterback Drew Brees has agreed to a Two Year $50 Million contract to return to the New Orleans Saints. Former #1 Overall pick Cam Newton has been given permission by the Carolina Panthers to seek a trade. And probably the biggest news of the day so far…Quarterback Tom Brady has informed the New England Patriots and fans across the country that he will not be returning to New England! Where will the 6-time Superbowl champion go? That remains to be seen as Free Agency just started.

If you prefer to listen to your KWSO News Broadcast…Press Play below: