KWSO News for 3/2/20

The 2020 Census is approaching fast and Shana Radford has been working diligently to engage tribes across Oregon and Idaho to help them participate in the upcoming census. According to the Bulletin, during the 2010 census, nearly 5% of Native Americans were never counted. Radford, who grew up on the Warm Springs and Umatilla reservations wants to ensure the communities have accurate data as some tribal members initially do not see the importance of being included in the census count, because tribal nations have their own enrollment system and citizenship program that counts members, but there are people on the reservations that are not in the tribe. The census Bureau addressed the question of race on the form this year as Native Americans can list up to six tribal affiliations on the census form.

The families of a skier and snowboarder who died on the same day at a central Oregon ski area jointly filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $30 million. The lawsuit filed Thursday contends Mt. Bachelor failed to warn of the risks of tree wells after weeks of snowfall. Tree wells are voids that form beneath trees and can kill people who fall into them. Twenty-four-year-old Alfonso Braun of Bend and 19-year-old Nicole Panet-Raymond of Eugene suffocated in tree wells in separate incidents on the mountain in 2018. Mt. Bachelor President and General Manager John McLeod said those types of incidents caused by natural hazards on the mountain are fortunately rare.

Federal agencies have rejected a controversial proposal to remove or alter the four Lower Snake River dams in Washington. Dam managers ON FRIDAY released a draft plan to manage dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Northwest Public Broadcasting’s Courtney Flatt explains. “The highly anticipated assessment caps years of debate and controversy surrounding the fate of the Snake River dams. Dam advocates say the structures are too important to the region’s transportation, irrigation and power needs. Fish advocates say removing or altering the dams is the only way to save wild salmon runs and southern resident orcas – that rely on salmon for food. Todd True is an attorney with Earthjustice. He says, while the federal draft plan doesn’t suggest removing the dams, there’s still a way forward. True: “We need to move past what these agencies seem to be willing to do and get a broader set of people and leaders involved so that we can really solve this problem.” True suggests a regional approach to addressing the issues, involving Northwest governors and congress members. To increase salmon survival under the preferred alternative, the agencies propose to increase the amount of water spilled over dams as juvenile salmon migrate out to sea. Fish advocates call that a stop-gap measure.” The four dams on the lower Snake River are part of a complex hydroelectric system operated by the federal government on the Columbia and Snake rivers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The 14 dams together produce enough electricity to power eight cities the size of Seattle, but are disastrous for salmon. The public now has 45 days to comment.

The Madras Girls Basketball Team will be playing in an OSAA 4A state championship first round game this Friday night at 6pm in Cottage Grove.  Madras finished the season ranked 9th in the state with Cottage Grove taking the 8th spot.  That matches them up for a contest that will determine who will move on to the second round of playoff action that will be played in Forest Grove.  KWSO will broadcast Friday Night’s game with tip off at 6pm.

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