KWSO News for Mon., Jan. 10, 2022

In Warm Springs, beginning today, most of the Tribal Government is shut down in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The latest Omicron variant has proven highly contagious and has already broken numbers set in December, November and October in only the first week of January. The Warm Springs community COVID-19 Update for Friday (1/7/22) reports 27 new cases of COVID-19 from 118 tests conducted on Thursday (1/6/22) at the Health and Wellness Center.  At the end of the day Thursday there were 139 people with active COVID-19 in Warm Springs with 11 presumptive cases and 56 close contacts receiving daily monitoring.  There were 0 positive tests reported from Outside facilities. Please continue to take COVID-19 precautions by wearing a face mask and maintaining distance from others and please get vaccinated and make sure you get your booster.

As the omicron variant of COVID-19 rapidly spreads through Oregon, schools and businesses are scrambling to stay open with fewer healthy people. OPB’s April Ehrlich reports. “Over the weekend, three Portland high schools announced they’re going back to remote learning starting Monday — because of student and teacher absences. They are the Cleveland, McDaniel and Roosevelt campuses. In Central Oregon, the Jefferson County School District announced that it’s closing the Warm Springs K-through-8 Academy through the end of the week. The surge is also impacting some public services. Trimet in Portland announced 20 of its 84 bus lines will run less frequently because of a bus driver shortage. Last week Oregon state officials issued new guidance for hospitals in case they become so overcrowded that they need to decide who does, and doesn’t, receive critical care. I’m April Ehrlich reporting”

Central Oregon irrigators will participate in a water bank this summer under a pilot program designed to help drought-stricken farmers get by. Because of low Deschutes River flows and environmental protections, there’s not enough water for all users — and those with more recent water rights have seen their pipes turned off with crops still in the ground while those with older water claims have water. The program, facilitated by the Deschutes River Conservancy, will pay farmers with more senior water rights $100 for every acre they don’t water and that water will go to those in the North Irrigation District.

The power company PacifiCorp is proposing a hydropower project in Southern Oregon that could become a significant renewable energy source in the region. The company has asked federal regulators for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of a pumped storage hydropower system near Paisley in Lake County. Pumped storage systems act like a giant battery, sending water back and forth between two reservoirs to generate power. Supporters of pumped hydro say the technology is a consistent source of clean power that complements wind and solar. If built, the pumped storage project could generate enough power for more than 130 thousand average American homes every year.

In Sports: The Madras High School Buffs Basketball was in action over the weekend. The Buff Boys hosted Baker on Friday Night and came up short, dropping the game 72-68, while the Lady Buffs hosted Baker as well on Friday night and also fell short, dropping the game 59-43. Then on Saturday the Lady Buffs hosted La Grande and fell again 55-51. Next up for the Lady Buffs, they will be on the road to Bonanza on Tuesday, tip off at 3:30pm. The Buff Boys hosted La Grande on Saturday and dropped that game 70-44. The boys next game is scheduled for January 18th as they travel to Molalla. NFL Action saw a change in the playoff picture that was projected. The Indianapolis Colts, who were one win away from a Playoff berth for the past three weeks, ended the regular season with a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars who got their 3rd win of the season. The Las Vegas Raiders got a 4th straight victory to earn a playoff spot after defeating their rival Los Angeles Chargers in OT 35-32 earning them the 5th seed and will be facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs. The Pittsburgh Steelers facing what could be Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s last season got a victory over rival Baltimore Ravens and with the Chargers losing earned the final AFC Playoff spot and will travel to Kansas City on Wild Card Weekend. The NFC had one playoff spot remaining and it went to the San Francisco 49ers, who clinched after their Overtime Victory over the Los Angeles Rams 27-24. The NFL Playoffs get started this weekend with two games Saturday, three games Sunday and one Monday Night game. In College Football, the College Football National Championship presented by AT&T will see a rematch of the SEC Championship game with the Georgia Bulldogs taking on defending Champions Alabama Crimson Tide at 5 PM tonight. Georgia went in to the SEC Championship undefeated and ranked number one, but Alabama came away with the victory 41-24 and the #1 ranking in the nation. Georgia will be looking for revenge in the National Championship game.

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