KWSO News for 4/9/20

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Tribal Council met yesterday and has extended the closure for Tribal Government Offices through April 24th. Essential employees will continue to work during this time with administration leave allowed during this shut down. Tribal Council will review updated information and recommendations the week prior to the Tribal Offices anticipated re-opening date. Tribal Council also decided that food stand licenses will not be suspended, a burn ban will not be implemented, there will not be any evictions due to lack of payment and wearing masks will not be required at this time. There was also discussion about local road closures, increased Warm Springs Police Department patrolling of those roads, the existing youth curfew, emergency hunting request process, hot spot access at the Simnasho and Agency longhouse and the lack of devices or connectivity for many Warm Springs families when it comes to online schooling.

Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio says payments from the coronavirus stimulus package should be arriving in bank accounts by next week. The Congressional bailout package included direct payments of 12-hundred dollars for most adult Americans, with an additional $500 per child. People who provided the IRS with their bank account information when they filed their taxes will see the payments first, in the form of a direct deposit. DeFazio says the Treasury Department is working on a plan to send out payments to people who aren’t in that category. “Peter DeFazio: “They’re constructing a portal, which is not yet available, for people who did not have direct deposit on file with the IRS. And that portal, they hope to have (it) up by the end of this week.” DeFazio, a Democrat from Springfield, said during a telephone town hall Wednesday that he’s working from home and following social distancing protocols. He said he and his wife are using a grocery delivery service to cut down on the number of times they have to leave the house. The economic impact payments are not taxable and will not count as income or resources for means-tested programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, TANF and other income related federal programs.

Oregon schools won’t re-open this school year. Governor Kate Brown announced yesterday that schools will remain closed so the state can continue to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state. Brown said that it’s a step that no one wanted to take. “Brown: “We understand the incredible disruption this can have on each student’s education. We all see the isolation and challenges for our families – especially those who rely on school as a centering place for connection, community and comfort.” But Brown said it’s necessary given the impossibility of operating schools under social distancing parameters. Brown and top education officials have given guidance to schools on how to help high school seniors finish up. Students who were on track to graduate by last month when schools closed, will graduate. The state is asking schools to focus on helping seniors who were behind, so they can receive diplomas, as well.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has extended an order prohibiting dine-in service at restaurants and bars as state officials reported five more deaths from the coronavirus. Oregon’s State Emergency Coordination Center said Wednesday the total number of deaths had reached 38 while confirmed cases increased to 1,239 statewide. Brown’s original order banning dine-in service was set to expire next week but now aligns with her Stay Home, Save Lives order. Both will remain in effect until lifted by Brown. Brown also said her COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel met for the first time Tuesday. The panel of doctors, infectious disease experts and medical professionals are reviewing the status of COVID-19 in the state and will make recommendations on future response efforts.

During this COVID-19 Pandemic, with Stay at Home orders in effect, social events have taken a big hit. Concerts, sporting events, powwows have been canceled due to social distancing efforts to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus. However, the Native American Music Awards Facebook page will be hosting a FB Live concert featuring several artists at different times. Two artists are award winning from Warm Springs. Native American Flutist James Greeley and Hip Hop Artist Blue Flamez will be performing on the show live this Saturday on NAMA FB Live at 5pm ET. They will be followed by Shelley Morningsong and Fabian Fontenelle from Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, Joanne Shenandoah from Norther New York and Jimmy Wolf from Upstate New York.

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