KWSO News for Tue., Aug. 11, 2020

Monday’s Warm Springs COVID-19 UPDATE reported 7 additional cases of Covid-19 since last Friday’s report. There have been a total of 212 positive cases on the reservation and 176 individuals have recovered. The total number of tests done at the Health and Wellness Center is 2,266. There are 42 test results pending as of Monday afternoon.

The Jefferson County 509-J school district will be starting the school year with Comprehensive Distance Learning for at least a 6 week period, due to the coronavirus pandemic and in compliance with guidance from the State of Oregon and consideration of local Covid-19 data. You can learn more from the School District Superintendent, the Warm Springs K-8 Academy Principal and the Madras High School Principal this Friday at Noon on KWSO’s Community Talk Show.  We will be live and invite your participation with comments and questions.

As Oregon families struggle during the pandemic, anti-hunger advocates fear state lawmakers and the federal government aren’t doing enough to help. The Oregon Legislature called a special session this week. Matt Newell-Ching with Oregon Food Bank says the main focus is on cuts to deal with the state’s one billion-dollar budget hole. He says with coronavirus relief talks stalled in Congress, programs that address food insecurity could face a double whammy, “the idea, hopefully, is that at least there’s some relief from the federal government that’s going to help go directly into communities. And so right now, we’re kind of seeing the worst-case scenario where it’s cuts at the state level and no new federal investments. We hope that changes.”  As of Monday, Newell-Ching says it looked likely that Oregon lawmakers would make cuts to the farm-to-school and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs. At the federal level, Oregon Food Bank is calling on Congress to increase the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by 15 percent and extend cash for groceries for students who receive free or reduced-price school lunches. Newell-Ching says President Donald Trump’s executive orders over the weekend did not include any specific aid for food assistance. But the need is growing. Oregon State University estimates food insecurity has doubled since the pandemic began. Newell-Ching adds that some communities face disproportionate hunger and poverty, “we also know that the increases in food insecurity are not experienced equally. Black, indigenous, people of color, women, immigrants and low-wage workers all have borne the brunt of this crisis.” Newell-Ching says even with federal aid, the state is on a long road to recovery. He says Oregon Food Bank’s partner agencies are ready to assist those in need, “if you need food immediately, there is food available somewhere near your community, and please don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s OK to ask for help.”  Folks can find the nearest Oregon Food Bank partner at

Oregon Health Authority released its Weekly Testing Summary on Monday which showed that the week of Aug. 2 – Aug. 8, 25,744 tests were reported. Of those tests, 1,380 or 5.4 percent were positive, down from the 6.3 percent rate a week earlier.

The Oregon Basketball Coaches Association selected Madras High School graduate and standout athlete Dapri Miller for its High School Basketball All-Star Series, the White Buffaloes Basketball Program announced on its Facebook page. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the all-star games will not be played this year, but a program was still made to honor the student-athletes. Miller played three years of varsity hoops for Madras and received first team all-league honors while leading the team in scoring at 17.9 points per game his senior season.

Warner Pacific University in Portland announced last week the signing of another former standout Madras athlete. Lynden Harry signed with the Knights after an awesome community college career at the College of the Siskiyou’s where she was a scholar athlete both years, named Golden Valley Conference MVP and led California community colleges in assists in her freshman year. Harry was a three time Tri-Valley Player of the year for the Lady Buffs.