KWSO News for Fri., Nov. 13, 2020

Snow in the Cascades and a mix of snow and rain in Central Oregon is likely over the next couple days.  ODOT asks travelers to think twice before trying to drive over the mountain passes which are expected to get several inches of snow.  If you do drive, use plenty of caution and observe a few common sense rules for navigating hazardous weather conditions:  Get to your destination before conditions turn nasty and unsafe.  Leave early and allow plenty of time to get where you’re going. Know before you go. Visit in advance to look at ODOT cameras and check conditions.

A homeless man and double leg amputee has died in Bend after temperatures dipped below freezing this week. A sanitation worker found 57-year-old David Melvin Savory dead outside a Rite Aid early Tuesday morning. The Bulletin reports that Savory was on the waitlist for several area homeless shelters and some residents had given him blankets and started a Go Fund Me page for him before his death. Bend, which often sees heavy snow in the winter, doesn’t have a permanent warming shelter and lacks a year-round low-barrier homeless shelter. Advocates say those are “huge gaps” in the safety net.  In Warm Springs there is a warming shelter that operates when temperatures fall below freezing.  The Warm Springs Warm Shelter is located at the Old Elementary School gym.

Warm Springs Tribal and Enterprise Employees are reminded that the deadline for open enrollment is one week from today.  You should have received an email on Friday November 6th with all the details about the online enrollment period.  If you didn’t see that email – check your spam folder.  You will find forms and information about Group Health, 401-K, and Flexible Spending.  Contact Human Resources if you need assistance, but be aware that the deadline to sign up for any benefits is next Friday.

Ted Wright, the executive director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has resigned following two years of service.  He will be taking on the same role with the Spokane Indian Tribe.  According to the East Oregonian, Deputy Executive Director Chuck Sams will step in as interim executive director until a permanent successor is named.

Oregon’s Democratic lawmakers will fall short of winning enough state legislative seats to prevent Republicans from staging walkouts that have halted action at the Capitol in recent years. Following the unofficial results of the 2020 election, Oregon Democrats are predicted to hold onto their three-fifths supermajority in the state Senate and House. However, the party did not pick up enough seats to expand to a quorum-proof majority, which would prevent work from halting in the Capitol if Republicans leave Salem again.