KWSO News for Tue., Oct. 27, 2020

The Jefferson County 509J school district continues to make their way through distance learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The 1st quarter of school ends next week.  At Madras High School – students need have their 1st Quarter work submitted for grading by Thursday November 5th.  On Wednesday November 4th from 3-7 – there will be yearbook and student ID pictures in the commons at the high school.  At that time and again on Thursday the 5th from noon – 3 you can pick up 2nd quarter material as well.  Senior students are reminded that there will still be a yearbook this year and you can reserve yours now by pre-ordering.  Make sure you submit your senior picture before January to be included in the year book.   AND the Madras High School Future Center wants Junior and Senior students to know that FAFSA and ORSAA are now open.  There will be a Virtual Financial Aid Night tomorrow from 6 – 7 pm.  Find a Link “Class of 2021” in the Virtual Counselor Office Classroom.

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wants Oregonians to know they can call the Attorney General’s Voter Protection Hotline at 971-673-4111 with non-emergency questions and concerns.  The hotline is 24 hours a day.  You leave a message and a call is returned to you with an answer.  Along with the hotline is the Secretary of State’s “My Vote” web site, and county elections officials are a key resource for voters.  Since its launch on October 13, the Attorney General’s Voter Protection Hotline has logged more than 90 calls, many from voters worried that their ballots had not yet arrived. By now, all voters registered in Oregon should have received a ballot at the address on file with their voter registration. Voters can check their registration online at the Secretary of State’s website and contact their county elections office for a replacement ballot, if necessary.  Other callers had questions about multiple ballots arriving for the same voter, or about receiving ballots addressed to voters who have moved or who are deceased. Because Oregon prints ballots 30 days before they are mailed, any registration changes made after that date could result in duplicate ballots, as could requests for replacement ballots. And the  Regardless of how many ballots are sent, however, only one ballot is considered “active,” and only one ballot per voter will be validated by elections officials. After a voter’s ballot has been accepted, subsequent ballots would be rejected and flagged for review to determine whether voter error or fraud were involved.

Tuesday, October 27 is the last day to safely mail in ballots in Oregon. After Tuesday, voters should use an official ballot drop box (the Secretary of State has a drop-box locator, but check with your county elections office for the most up-to-date list of official sites near you). Your ballot must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.

Two wildfires erupted on the outskirts of cities near Los Angeles, forcing more than 100,000 people to evacuate their homes Monday as powerful Santa Ana winds swept the flames through dry grasses and brush. With strong winds and extremely low humidity, large parts of California were under red flag warnings.  High fire risk days have been common this year as the 2020 wildfire season shatters records across the West.  More than 4 million acres have burned in California – 4% of the state’s land area and more than double the previous annual record. Five of the state’s six largest historical fires happened in 2020. In Colorado, the Pine Gulch fire that started in June broke the record for size, only to be topped in October by the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires. Oregon saw one of the most destructive fire seasons in its recorded history.  What caused the 2020 fire season to become so extreme?  Here is an article from THE CONVERSATION.