You are the owner of this page.
A1 A1
Roseburg Forest Products lays off 90 employees from its Dillard plywood plant

Roseburg Forest Products laid off approximately 90 employees at its plywood plant in Dillard on Friday morning.

Rebecca Taylor, a spokeswoman for the company, said continued unfavorable conditions in the North American plywood market contributed to the decision.

The company was able to extend immediate job offers to approximately 50 of the affected employees for roles at the company’s other wood products plant. Those employees will retain seniority, benefits and will have “recall rights” to return to their position at the Dillard location if their position reopens.

The company will consider the 40 employees who were not offered transfers first for positions if they open up. Employees will learn more at crew meetings at the plant throughout the day.

“After waiting for months for markets to improve, we have reached the point where a layoff is necessary to better match supply with weakened demand,” Senior RFP Vice President of Operations Jake Elston said in a press release. “Slow housing starts, imported plywood, and increased competition from OSB manufacturers are all driving the imbalance in the market.

“This is an unfortunate but necessary step toward preserving the long-term viability of our plywood business.”

Taylor said the company tried to correct the market imbalance with temporary plant shutdowns over the week of the Fourth of July, but it wasn’t enough.

“They definitely have seen some market trends affecting the plant,” Taylor said. “But, as far as this announcement, it was first made today.”

The plywood plant had close to 350 employees before Friday morning’s layoffs and transfers.

Most of the layoffs came from the softwood plywood team. All of the softwood plywood dryer shifts and softwood plywood relief and night shifts for layup lines were laid off, Taylor said.

A Safe Place Oregon creates safe place for supervised visitation in Douglas County

Nichole Palmateer thought Douglas County needed a safe place for young children to meet with their parents during supervised parenting time visitations. So she created A Safe Place Oregon in downtown Roseburg and with very few other options for parents with visitation rights, she’s had a lot of business.

The center, which opened in 2016 in the Pacific Building on Southeast Cass Street, is a nonprofit that caters to parents that have those rights and need to be supervised during the visit with their children. A Safe Place Oregon provides that supervision and a place for those visits.

Supervised visitation arises when a safety concern exists between a parent and a child.

Palmateer filed as a nonprofit company and has created a place where the parents can spend time with the child and do activities together.

She is now working with six families. The parents will come to the center through several different avenues.

“It’s either by an attorney referral or parents just hear about us, or there is already a supervision in place and they don’t know where to go. There could be any number of ways that they might get here,” Palmateer said. “Right now we’re providing 18 hours a week of visitations, and it’s completely volunteer (for the parents).”

For Alex Reicherts, having the center in Roseburg means that his daughter can see both of her parents on a regular basis.

“Nichole is the only one in Douglas County that could facilitate it to provide my daughter a chance to spend time with her mother so I think it’s a good thing,” Reicherts said. “The most important part of the service for me is that my daughter gets to see her mother.”

Palmateer, who also owns Oregon Paralegal and Process, LLC which she operates out of the same office, said the organization is the only private center in Douglas County where parents can truly “parent” their kids in a supervised environment. She doesn’t do anything involving custody situations.

“If the parents decide to co-parent and not be together, then working with them to come up with a parenting plan is a service we do for free and that way they avoid having the cost of an attorney,” Palmateer said.

Palmateer keeps the meeting rooms stocked with toys, books, puzzles, games, arts and crafts and other activities that kids and parents may do together. She supplies snacks and juices for the children during visits and has even paid for private holidays and birthday events during visitations.

The center also offers free family mediation services to clients and helps resolve their parenting time disputes and conflicts.

The center has had a big impact on Rebecca Anderson and her 2-year-old daughter. They have been going there since last September.

“It probably saved my life, because my life is nothing without my daughter,” Anderson said. “Nichole is probably one of the most caring, considerate, loving people and she treats the children like they’re her own and she goes above and beyond. She puts the child’s best interests first.”

Palmateer tries to keep the costs down as much as possible. She has created the Kindness Boutique, a completely free place for children’s clothing, toys and other items for the kids. She turned one of the rooms into a clearinghouse where anyone may take whatever their child needs. Everything in it was donated to the center.

“People can come in and it’s clean, it’s been laundered, it’s sized and anything in there is free,” Palmateer said.

The safe place’s motto is, “No child shall go without seeing a parent due to a parent’s inability to pay.” So Palmateer started writing grants to help with the costs and when a parent is facing financial challenges she can reduce the fee or clients may apply for partial grant funding to cover the cost of their supervision fees.

“If not for the center, I probably wouldn’t have been able to see my child,” Anderson said. “That’s the most important thing in my life, the fact that I get to hold my child, I get to hug her and I get to spend time with her and play with her, something that I miss very dearly.”

The parent is asked to fill out an extensive application and they know the rules upfront by which they have to abide. There are some rules that are deal-breakers.

“If you come in high, if you bring drugs into my center, you are out. If you hit a kid, you’re out,” Palmateer said.

Palmateer works with the parents on the other rules and counsels them on things like what are inappropriate conversations to have in front of children. And she conducts a background check on all of the parents. She said it’s all about doing what’s best for the kids.

“It’s really important to me that I come across to those parents as not impartial, but I’m co-partial, with a vested interest in their child,” Palmateer said. “I’m protecting the child and making sure that (the parents) have every available resource that I can find and put it before them to be a better parent.”

A Safe Place Oregon is located in the Pacific Building at 727 SE Cass St., Suite 219 in Roseburg. For information, call 541-580-9564.

1,800-calorie lunches: critical at the Milepost 97 Fire

About noon Tuesday, firefighters at the Milepost 97 Fire who spent the morning felling hazardous trees along Interstate 5 southbound near Canyon Creek stopped for lunch.

The fire burning south of Canyonville is the second-largest uncontained fire in the conterminous United States at 13,085 acres as of Friday morning.

They sat in the grass near the highway and reached into their brown bags, which they picked up from lunch station trailers at the incident command center in Tri City before heading out in the morning.

Some people might brush off lunch during their workdays, but Oregon Department of Forestry spokeswoman Brooke Burgess, who is stationed at the fire, said those lunch breaks are critical for firefighters to stay safe and effective while fighting the fire. Firefighters burn thousands of calories while in the field.

The lunches aren’t a typical brown bag lunch. These lunches weigh about 5 pounds and top 1,800 calories. Most nutrition labels are based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day.

“Today there’s a chicken wrap,” said a worker handing out bags at the lunch station. “You’re going to like it.”

On Tuesday, the meat lunch, which Burgess said firefighters prefer over the vegetarian option, included a pepperjack cheese and chicken wrap, beef jerky, potato chips, shelled sunflower seeds, banana chips, a blueberry fig bar, a peanut butter and chocolate protein bar, baby carrots and a plum.

It also included an item that younger firefighters will remember as a staple of public school lunches — two Smuckers Uncrustables peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

“They’re a very valuable commodity around camp,” Burgess said.

Burgess said the public information tent gets calls from parents of firefighters who are concerned about their sons and daughters not getting enough food.

“We’ve had comments in the past from people saying, ‘My son is out there and he’s not getting enough to eat,’” she said.

Although Burgess reassures people firefighters have ample access to food, she said the concern isn’t limited to worrying parents.

“(The incident command team safety officer) talked about that at this morning’s briefing, about how important it is to eat and take care of yourself, like basic human needs, get enough sleep, rest,” Burgess said.

A program called “Take 5 at 2” is a national campaign promoted by multiple wildfire training organizations aimed at boosting firefighters situational awareness while in the field. It encourages firefighters to take five minutes at 2 p.m. to be mindful of their surroundings and reflect on their alertness.

Between 2 and 6 p.m. is the hottest, least humid part of the day when winds start picking up and fire activity increases. It’s considered the most dangerous part of the day to be fighting fires.

“The situation can turn quickly,” Burgess said. “They call it the ‘witching hour.’”

A study by the Wildfire Lessons Learned Center researched 115 instances of firefighters trapped by wildfire over 20 years. Half occurred between 2 and 5 p.m., and all but 12 happened between noon and 6 p.m.

By Tuesday, nine firefighters at the Milepost 97 Fire were injured, including one firefighter who was hit by rolling debris early Monday morning. The firefighter was released from the hospital that day.

Burgess said that number of injuries is common in firefighting conditions as complex as the Milepost 97 Fire, but she added more than one injury per day since the fire started last Wednesday is a lot. Firefighters have been working in steep, rocky, densely forested terrain with high winds and temperatures at times.

Fire supervisors are committed to making sure crews are healthy, Burgess said, and that includes 5-pound lunches and a few minutes to raise awareness of one’s environment.

Roseburg High School gun theft case nearly dismissed

Charges against the woman who was believed to have stolen a gun from an unlocked closet at Roseburg High School were almost dropped in mid-July.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve Hoddle filed a motion on July 10 to dismiss the charges against Hope Shaw because he thought she had died on July 4, according to court documents.

Hoddle filed a motion the following day to rescind his initial motion when he found out she had not died. Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Ann Marie Simmons denied the original motion to dismiss the charges on July 12.

Shaw was arrested on charges of second-degree burglary, being a felon in possession of a firearm, tampering with physical evidence and two counts of first-degree theft after a bag filled with ammunition and a firearm were stolen on April 30 at the high school.

She was alleged to have thrown the handgun off the Washington Street bridge in Roseburg when police tried arresting her. Douglas County Search and Rescue located the firearm in the river the following day.

Shaw, who also goes by Hope Dir, Hope Allen and Hope Lethlean, was arrested Monday in Lane County on charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and giving false information to a peace officer.

Shaw has two warrants out for her arrest in Douglas County for failure to appear in court, including a missed status check hearing in this case on July 8 and a failure to appear for a plea hearing in a separate case on July 1.

The other case in Douglas County was a second-degree theft case stemming from November 2018. Deputy District Attorney Sophia Mossberg filed a motion to dismiss those charges on July 10 because of Shaw’s reported death, but she filed to rescind the dismissal on July 11. Simmons denied the motion to dismiss the charges.

It is unclear why the district attorney’s office believed Shaw was dead. Hoddle did not return a phone call from The News-Review.