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Education
Roseburg Public Schools to add one extra day at the end of school year

Students at Roseburg Public Schools will start their summer vacation one day later than originally planned.

The school board voted 5-2 to extend the school year to June 13, with a final teacher planning day scheduled for June 14.

In addition to the extra day, elementary and middle school conferences on April 11 and 12 will also be turned into instructional days. Roseburg High School does not have conferences in April.

High school graduation will still take place Saturday, June 8, and the last day for seniors remains unchanged at June 6.

“This schedule will have the least impact on parents, students, teachers, and staffs, while meeting the instructional requirements of the state,” board chair Joseph Garcia wrote in a statement. “The last few weeks, since the ‘Snow of ’19,’ have been challenging and trying days for our county, and if the board had the ability, a resolution would be passed to avoid this at all costs over the next 50 years.”

The school board had two available options and approved the first proposal. The other proposal did not extend the school year but did call for the change from conferences to instructional days.

Director of Human Resources Robert Freeman said the principals in leadership group expressed a preference for the first proposal during a meeting last week. “They’d like to see one more makeup day,” he said.

The original school calendar approved by the board had makeup days, in the event of an emergency school closure, scheduled for June 14 and 17. Only one of those days will be used.

Board member Rebecca Larson said, “It’s hard to make those extra days in June count. In reality we’ve lost five days and they’re not going to magically reappear and be instructional time.”

Charles Lee voted against the proposal. He brought up that the Eugene 4J School District added days in June to make up all missed snow days.

“I really tend to weigh (the lost instructional days) more heavily than the inconvenience,” Lee said. Garcia was the other no vote.

Students missed five instructional days, from Feb. 25-March 1 due to severe weather conditions.

“It’s probably not going to happen again, but it gives us an opportunity to plan a little bit better,” board member Rodney Cotton said. “We all would like more classroom time.”


Local
Police search for identity of suspect in officer-involved shooting

For Travis and Julie McCartt, Saturday night began as an excuse to get a meal away from their home near Riddle.

The McCartts were traveling north on Interstate 5 when Travis McCartt first noticed the police chase unfolding along Grant Smith Road.

“I told Julie that road dead-ends there at the house,” he said Sunday.

The two found a vantage point where they could see the field below, and Julie McCartt began filming.

The McCartts had no idea they were about to witness the chilling conclusion to a police chase that would end with the suspect opening fire on police and multiple officers returning fire, causing the suspect’s vehicle to smoke before erupting in flames, according to police.

“We didn’t think it would turn into something so violent,” Julie McCartt said Sunday.

The McCartts spoke near the field Sunday where members of the Douglas County Major Crimes Team continued to comb for clues after the officer-involved shooting. No law enforcement officers were hurt during the incident, according to a press release. Involved officers were placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.

Police said the series of events began when somebody called the Douglas County Emergency Communication Center to report a possible stolen vehicle observed at Love’s Travel Stop, 280 Grant Smith Road. It appeared to match the description of a vehicle reported stolen to the Eugene Police Department last Thursday. The stolen vehicle reportedly contained multiple weapons and ammunition, including a semi-automatic rifle, according to police.

Members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police responded to the area and located the vehicle as it was leaving Love’s Travel Stop. Law enforcement attempted to stop the vehicle, and a short vehicle pursuit ensued.

Officers pursued the vehicle to a nearby ranch property where the stolen vehicle became stuck in a field.

In Julie McCartt’s video, the suspect’s car is seen driving slowly across a field before coming to a stop in front of a house, which was reportedly empty at the time.

“I continued videoing thinking we would see the guy get out,” Julie McCartt said.

After a pause, the video shows light flashes, smoke and the sounds of gunfire.

“Oh shit,” Julie McCartt said in the video.

At the sound of gunfire, nearly a dozen cows run immediately to the right of the frame. The video pulls back to where two law enforcement vehicles are visible to the left.

Multiple officers returned fire, police said. During the exchange of gunfire, the stolen vehicle began to smoke and, soon after, was consumed in flames. Police later confirmed the presence of human remains in the vehicle.

Police released a number of photos of a man suspected in connection with the stolen vehicle and the subsequent shooting with law enforcement.

People with any knowledge of the identity of the suspect are asked to call the tip line at 541-957-2099.


Douglas_county
Douglas Electric says most customers should have power back by week's end, many in a day or two

Douglas Electric Cooperative now estimates most of its customers will have power restored by the end of the week.

There was a temporary setback for North County on Monday afternoon when a tree fell onto a transmission line, slapping the wires together and creating a new outage for Yoncalla, Oakland and Fair Oaks residents who had previously had their power restored. The outage lasted a couple hours before the problem was detected and fixed, said Douglas Electric spokesman Todd Munsey.

As of Monday evening, about 1,329 county residents were still without power two weeks after the snowstorm that first knocked out power to tens of thousands around the county, Munsey said. The longest waits ahead are for residents of the Loon Lake area, whose power may remain out for up to two more weeks. Residents of the Upper Smith River and London Mountain areas may have to wait another week and a half due to road closures.

But there was fresh optimism in the predictions for most other areas. Scotts Valley and Tenmile could have power restored by Tuesday, and power could be restored Tuesday or Wednesday to residents of Umpqua, Tyee, Scottsburg, Melrose, Lookingglass, the outskirts of Elkton, Larson Road, Hogan Road and Curtin.

More than 400 homes between Elkton and Scottsburg had their power restored Monday when crews completed the main transmission line there ahead of schedule. Anyone west of Elkton still without power is being encouraged to call the Douglas Electric outage hotline at 1-888-420-8826.

The American Red Cross shelter at Elkton High School had been serving dinner to 100 people each night, but is expected to close sooner than expected as many who were visiting it for services now have their power restored.

Douglas Electric customers with damaged meter bases will need to have them repaired by an electrician before they can get power restored. Delays could also be caused by locked gates since Douglas Electric prefers not to cut chains.

The Douglas County Solid Waste Department has granted a fee waiver for disposal of storm damage wood debris. The debris will be accepted at the Roseburg landfill and the Roseburg, Elkton, Reedsport, Yoncalla, Canyonville, Glide, Oakland, Camas Valley and Myrtle Creek transfer stations.

The Douglas County Public Works Department is asking for drivers to slow down and proceed with caution when traveling through areas where debris and work crews are present, and to watch for falling trees, branches and landslides. Report road concerns at 541-440-4208.

The Douglas County Assessor’s Office said homeowners with storm damage greater than $10,000 may be able to reduce assessed value or pro-rate property taxes. The deadline to apply for that assistance is June 30. Visit the assessor’s office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the Douglas County Courthouse, Room 206, 1036 SE Douglas Ave., Roseburg, or call 541-440-4222.

Neighbors in need of assistance, and people wanting to help others in need can visit the Douglas County Recovers website at roseburgdisaster.recovers.org.