KWSO News for Fri., Dec. 4, 2020

The Warm Spring Early Childhood Education Center will remain closed until further notice.  The facility closed early yesterday afternoon.

There is a temporary water shut off for the trailer park subdivision today.  Public Utilities will be doing construction on the water main line.  When water is restored at the end of the work – there could be discoloration or air in the line.  If that happens – just run cold water until the water runs clear and steady.

Today is the last day of work for 2 longtime staffers at the Warm Springs Health & Wellness Center.  Tribal Member Yvonne Iverson who has been the HIS Budget Analyst since 2013, has managed Purchasing, Warehouse, and Quarters staff.   She has functioned as the Incident Command Finance Chief during COVID-19 Pandemic operations.  Jim Gemelas arrived for duty in 1993 when the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center first opened.  He started in the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Managed Care Department as a Case Manager and became the Pharmacy Director in 2003.  Since 2006 he has been the Clinical Applications Coordinator.  Both Gemelas and Iverson will continue to work for I.H.S. elsewhere.

The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) together with Deschutes and Jefferson counties are offering another round of grants to Central Oregon small businesses and non-profits negatively impacted by the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. The application period opens today, and will close at midnight on Wednesday, December 9. To apply, visit   Jefferson County is receiving over $700,000 from the State of Oregon from CARES Act funding.  Businesses or non-profits who received grants in previous rounds are eligible to apply again.  Businesses should apply in the county where they are located and do the majority of their business.  Unlike some previous rounds, these grants will not be first come, first served. The application period will remain open during the scheduled time and all eligible grant applications will be considered for funding. Eligible applicants must have 100 or fewer employees, be located in Jefferson or Deschutes County, and current on all federal, state and local taxes. Sole proprietors are eligible and encouraged to apply! Non-profit organizations must have federal 501c3 status to be eligible.

Yesterday, elections officials certified the 2020 General Election in Oregon. Official election results are available online.  In the months leading up to the 2020 General Election, Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno challenged all Oregon voters to remain engaged in democracy and to participate in this year’s election. Not only did voters participate, but Oregon experienced a record number turnout with over 2.4 million ballots cast. During a global pandemic, Oregon proved to the nation that vote by mail works, and is safe and secure.  The Electoral College will meet at 1:30 p.m. on December 14th to cast the electoral votes. This will be available to watch by livestream on the Oregon Legislature’s website.

The start to what is typically one of the wettest months in the Pacific Northwest has begun very dry.  Portland and Seattle normally receive more than half an inch of rain during the first three days of December. Salem and Eugene, average 0.75 of an inch or more through Dec. 3. Eugene has only received a trace, while the other three cities haven’t had a drop. Of course, that is just a small number of locations in the Northwest with a lack of precipitation to begin the final month of the year.  In 75 years of record-keeping at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, there have been only five years where the first four days of December were dry, according to the National Weather Service in December.  Besides the ongoing drought in some locations, the high pressure that has provided the dry start to the month has also caused poor air quality. With calm conditions and little to no airflow, air stagnation becomes a problem and this will continue to be the case through the weekend.  Along the coast of Oregon and far Northern California, the first measurable precipitation of the month may arrive as early as Saturday afternoon when a disturbance in the atmosphere moves onshore from the Pacific Ocean. There is not expected to be much precipitation, but light rain and light snow will move farther inland across Oregon Saturday night and Sunday.