Tentative Agreement Reached

Bargaining teams from Jackson County School District 9 and the Eagle Point Education Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for the district’s licensed and classified employees. Schools will be closed Wednesday, May 16. All schools will operate on their normal schedules and with regular teachers on Thursday, May 17 and Friday,…

District 9 NEGOTIATIONS TO RESUME ON THURSDAY

DISTRICT WORKING TO REOPEN SCHOOLS BARGAINING TEAMS MAKE SOME PROGRESS Bargaining teams will meet again on Thursday, May 10, in an effort to end a strike by employees of Jackson County School District 9. A state mediator will assist in the meeting, which will be held at the district office starting at 11 a.m.  …

Vet property tax exemption deadline

April 1 is the annual deadline to file for a veteran’s property tax exemption. To qualify, one must be an honorably discharged veteran certified by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces as having disabilities of 40 percent or more. Or, be a surviving spouse/domestic partner who has remained…

Ore. estate tax 6th highest in the nation

By Sen. Doug Whitsett, Distr28for the Independent    Government created barriers to private sector business growth and job creation are a major cause of the current prolonged recession. One of the more significant barriers to free market entrepreneurs is the estate tax. It is often referred to as the death tax because, after exempting a certain…

Medicare Part B premiums reduced

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Medicare Part B premiums in 2012 will be lower than previously projected and the Part B deductible will decrease by $22. While the Medicare Trustees predicted monthly premiums would be $106.60, premiums will instead be $99.90. Earlier this year, HHS announced that average Medicare…

Figures should count, two-thirds oppose Klamath dam removal

By Sen. Doug Whitsett (Distr. 28)for the IndependentThe United States Department of Interior held a listening session Tuesday , Oct. 18 at the Klamath County fairgrounds to determine public opinion regarding their plans to decommission and demolish the four PacifiCorp owned hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. We estimate that the event was attended by…

EPHS rated Outstanding

EPHS 2010-11 score in reading is up 16 percent over 2009-10. Writing increased by 23 percent. Both math and science also made huge gains. Eagle Point and Ashland High School are the only two large high schools in the valley to be named “Outstanding.” Superintendent Cynda Rickert complimented the high school staff on the student…

Fair Manager looking for ways to make fair financially sound

Concerned about Jackson County finances, Administrator Danny Jordan told the Commissioners in a work session on August 11, that the Expo had a shortfall of some $450,000 following the Fair.  Jordan noted that the Expo had gone from a paying venue to a situation where the county is having to increase contributions that are not…

Regence increase less than their request

The Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS)  rejected a 22.1 percent health insurance rate increase request from Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and instead approved a 12.8 percent increase. The increase affects about 59,000 Regence customers who buy individual health plans directly from the company. It is an average, meaning some Regence members will…

District 9 lays out plan to make cuts and RIF

A plan for a District 9 sustainable budget was presented by Superintendent Cynda Rickert and Business Manager Scott Townsend during the Mar. 9 work session. Funding per student has dropped from $6,028 in 2010 to $5,787 in 2011. Beginning in 2012 PERS requirements will see the district spending an additional $800,000. Step increases will cost…

Badge of honor

Among several certificates hanging on the wall at the Upper Rogue Independent is one acknowledging 16 years of service by the editor as a member of the board of directors of the ESD. It is disturbing to see bills being considered that could potentially eliminate Education Service Districts. One should note the word Service is…