Public Safety & Health

Briefs: Week of Feb. 1

Thievery cranks up during post-storm clean up

Wire theft from utility companies are on the rise, according to county police. Reports have increased for stolen tools and equipment — crimes that are impacting the county’s restoration efforts to get thousands of people’s electricity turned back on. The thefts are also raising repair costs as workers are forced to replace stolen materials.

Oregon law dictates that any level of theft during a catastrophe or other emergency becomes Theft in the First Degree, a Class C felony. Due to high metal prices, police said that wire theft can easily become Aggravated Theft in the First Degree, a Class B Felony.  Additionally, anyone who accepts material “having good reason to know” that it was stolen, commits Theft by Receiving — including metal businesses. 

Citizens should be vigilant for suspicious activity around repair sites. Legitimate workers will be wearing appropriate safety equipment and driving vehicles marked with their contractor or power company numbers or logos. If you see suspicious activity, report it to LCSO at 541-682-4150. 

Generators stolen from railroad

SPRINGFIELD — On Jan. 22, a Springfield Police Department officer noticed two new generators inside of a disabled vehicle, in a location not specified by police. Upon investigation, it was discovered that four Union Pacific Railroad (UPR) — used to power crossings in the area of Jasper Road — were stolen the night before and hadn’t been reported stolen yet. The serial numbers matched that of the generators in the broken down vehicle. The owner of the vehicle lived in the area and unlocked the vehicle so the generators could be recovered. It was not reported whether or not any charges were pressed. Later that afternoon, officers learned that an additional generator was dumped in the area of Clear Water Park. That generator was also returned to UPR. If you can assist in locating the person responsible for the thefts, contact SPD at 541-726-3714.

Man saved from cardiac arrest on Main Street

SPRINGFIELD —  A report was made on Jan. 12 that a woman was seen administering CPR to an incapacitated man on Main Street near the Springfield Bus Station. The woman was nearby when she observed the man walking and then fall over. An Oregon State Police trooper in the area stopped to relieve the woman and continued to administer CPR to the unresponsive man, according to police. A Springfield Animal Control Officer responded to the scene and successfully administered an automated external defibrillator. The man was breathing when he was transported to an area hospital by paramedics, and had since undergone open heart surgery. He has been discharged from the hospital, and is expected to fully recover, according to police. 

Grove man dies in Coiner Park

COTTAGE GROVE — A 24-year old man was found dead in Coiner Park over the weekend, according to a report made by Cory Chase, chief of police.  

On Jan. 27, two passersby reported an unconscious man in the park — later identified as Thomas Lynn Voigt, 24, of Cottage Grove — to police around 2 p.m. The first officer on-scene found Voigt lying on a table with a glass pipe in one hand and a lighter in the other. The officer reportedly administered one dose of Narcan and administered CPR until South Lane Fire & Rescue medics arrived. Medics could not resuscitate Voigt, and he was declared dead at the scene, police said. The State Medical Examiner’s Office requested a toxicology screening, and the drug paraphernalia at the scene was seized as evidence. Police said that there was no information suggesting Voigt died of suspicious circumstances or violence. No other details were released by press time. 

Fake money circulating in Creswell 

The Creswell Chamber has been informed by multiple business owners  that fake $20 and $100 bills have been circulating in the business community.  Some tips for checking the authenticity of bills include: 

Find the watermark: On new $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills, the watermark is a replica of the portrait and is located to the right of the printed image.

▯  See the colors shift: Modern $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills feature a color-shifting ink that lists the denomination in the right-hand corner. Tilt the bill 45 degrees to see the number change from copper to green. $100 bills have an additional color-shifting measure to the right of Benjamin Franklin’s portrait.

▯  Check the paper: The paper used by the Federal Reserve for printing currency contains blue and red security fibers woven throughout the material, not just on the surface level. You can feel the raised texture of print on legitimate currency, particularly on the shoulders of the portraits in the center.

Match the security thread, preferably with UV: Hold the bill up to the light to see a security thread listing the correct denomination. It is located to the right of the portrait on $5, $10, and $50 bills and to the left of the portrait on $20 and $100 bills. However, this thread text can be faked, which is why  using an ultraviolet light to also see the correct color listed on the currency note: $5:  Blue; $10: Orange; $20: Green; $50: Yellow; $100: Pink.

County offering three free storm debris collection locations

Lane County is making adjustments to its free storm debris drop-off for residents after a successful first weekend. The busiest location was the Hendricks Bridge Park drop-off with nearly 400 visitors on both Saturday and Sunday. Friday had the lowest number of visits across all sites.

“I am incredibly proud of the employees who – after two weeks of non-stop work – agreed to help open these sites on the weekend to help the community,” said Lane County Road Maintenance Manager Orin Schumacher. “It isn’t a typical service that we offer and we’ve enjoyed the chance to help out.”

The new schedule is:

Hendricks Bridge (east of milepost 10 on Highway 126 E): Saturday, Feb. 3, and Sunday, Feb. 4, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Cloverdale (Bradford Road North, just past Cloverdale Road intersection east of Creswell): Saturday, Feb. 3, and Sunday, Feb. 4,  8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

As a reminder, these free debris drop-off sites are for residents cleaning up their private property. They are not for the use of contractors receiving payment for debris cleanup.

The Sears Road site that was open this past weekend saw far fewer visitors across all three days. To be more efficient, staff there will be re-directed to the other two sites to better handle the higher traffic volume.

The sites will not be open past February 4. The Hendricks Bridge Park location is expected to reach maximum capacity for debris storage after the upcoming weekend.

“Last weekend was a great opportunity to see what worked and help us decide how to move forward,” said Schumacher. “We are so appreciative of people’s patience as they waited in line and their friendly approach to our staff out there. It just underscores what a great community we have here.”

For an overview of what the sites will accept:

Do bring:

• Tree limbs and branches

• Trees less than 24 inches in • diameter (larger trees must be cut down to 24 inches in diameter or less)

• Heavy shrubbery

Don’t bring:

• Household garbage or recycling

• Building materials, plywood, damaged siding, etc.

• Regular yard debris (grass, mulch, etc.)

• Rocks or earth

• Tree root balls

• Materials greater than 24 inches in diameter

For regular household garbage or other special waste, information about transfer sites is available at

Anniversary observed of most recent Cascadia earthquake

Around 9 p.m. on Jan. 26, 1700, a powerful magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), which extends from Vancouver Island in British Columbia to Cape Mendocino in California. This earthquake released energy equivalent to about two billion tons of TNT, leading to significant impacts along the Oregon coast, the effects of which are preserved in the oral traditions of native communities and evident in the landscape. Damage from a CSZ earthquake would affect the entire region, causing several minutes of intense shaking along the Oregon coast, tsunamis tens of feet high, and shaking extending through the Cascade Range, with lesser impacts in eastern Oregon. 

The global study of earthquakes has revealed that they are cyclical in nature, driven by the movement and interactions of tectonic plates. As such, the CSZ, where the 1700 earthquake occurred, has been accumulating energy since the last event that will be released in future earthquakes. To understand and reduce the risks associated with CSZ events, DOGAMI scientists study past earthquakes and faults, map tsunami evacuation zones, identify landslide-prone areas, and conduct risk assessments.

It is not possible to predict when the next Cascadia earthquake will happen. However, in the event of an earthquake, emergency managers advise immediate safety measures like dropping, covering, and holding on followed by evacuation for individuals in tsunami zones. Considering the expected impact, Oregonians should be aware of this hazard and prepare by having enough food, water, and supplies for at least two weeks, following guidance from the Oregon Department of Emergency Management.

ShakeAlert:  An early-alert system that will send notifications to mobile devices and emergency alert system:

Oregon Tsunami Clearinghouse: Access to evacuation maps, maritime brochures, educational materials, and planning guidance:

NANOOS Tsunami Evacuation Zones: Tsunami evacuation zone maps along the Oregon and Washington coasts:

DOGAMI Publications:  Freely available publications on geologic hazards and earth science information from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.:

HazVu: Geologic Hazards Map Viewer provides geologic hazard data in an online map view:



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