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Seattle/Western Wash. News Releases for Thu. May. 13 - 9:23 pm
Thu. 05/13/21
Bureau of Land Management announces fire prevention orders for Oregon and Washington to decrease human-caused wildfires
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 05/13/21 2:39 PM

Portland, Ore. – Effective as of May 12th, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is prohibiting the use of fireworks, exploding targets or metallic targets for target shooting, sky lanterns, and firing tracer or incendiary devices on all BLM-managed public lands throughout Oregon and Washington. Additionally, the Northwest Oregon District is announcing a year-round fire order to decrease human-caused wildfires as well.

May is ‘Wildfire Awareness Month’ and the BLM and partner agencies encourage all visitors to do their part to protect public lands and local communities from wildfires this year. As public lands continue to see high visitation rates in Oregon and Washington, all visitors must be aware of fire restrictions and fire closures on BLM public lands.

“Dry conditions have set in here in the Pacific Northwest and we’ve seen an uptick in fire starts on public and private lands in April,” said Barry Bushue, BLM Oregon/Washington State Director. “We also want to remind the public to be aware of, and respect, remaining burned area closures from last year’s fires where assessments and clean up are still in progress. This will help keep you, BLM staff, and first responders safe.”

Those who violate the prohibition can be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a prison term of up to one year. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression.

According to the current Northwest Coordination Center (NWCC) Seasonal Outlook, drier weather is predicted for May through July. Central Oregon and southwestern Washington are predicted to have above normal large fire potential starting in June. Drought intensity is also increasing across both states due to lower precipitation rates.

For more information on Bureau of Land Management Oregon/Washington seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, please see www.blm.gov/orwafire.




This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people.?The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Tue. 05/11/21
Dr. Ivan Duran to step down as Bellevue School District Superintendent School Board announces Acting Superintendent
Bellevue SD - 05/11/21 7:33 PM


Dr. Ivan Duran to step down as Bellevue School District Superintendent

School Board announces Acting Superintendent

Bellevue, WA

May 11, 2021

The Bellevue School District announces that Dr. Ivan Duran is leaving his position as Superintendent effective June 30, 2021. Dr. Duran was appointed Superintendent of the Bellevue School District in July 2017, after having served as a Deputy Superintendent in the Dallas School District. Dr. Duran plans to remain active in public education, continuing his passion for and commitment to equity by creating a sense of belonging for all students.

Dr. Duran's achievements include aligning the Bellevue School District around renewed and inspired Vision, Mission, and Values and seeking to lead with equity. His work has included nurturing relationships and partnering with key stakeholders in the District and community and sharing his vision within and outside of the District. Dr. Duran led the District during one of the community's most challenging times, COVID-19. 

“The last year has been the most difficult in my professional life. It has been my honor to serve BSD and work closely with an amazing leadership team, educators, and staff to make sure our students stayed connected, had resources and learned during a global pandemic,” Duran said. “I am so proud of the work we accomplished. However, I have made the difficult decision to step down as Superintendent of Bellevue School District. Personally, I need to take time with my wife and our two young sons to determine what my next professional steps will be.”

The Bellevue School Board thanks Dr. Duran for his leadership and wishes him and his family joy and success in their next chapter.

Deputy Superintendent Eva Collins has agreed to serve as Acting Superintendent until the Board is able to appoint an Interim Superintendent. Acting Superintendent Collins has served in this role previously, with distinction, and brings deep instructional knowledge as well as leadership expertise. The Board will later embark on a full search for a Superintendent to lead the District.

The Board of Directors: We look ahead with renewed focus. Students will return to full-day, in-person instruction in the Fall, with virtual options available for those who need them. We also build with gratitude on the work of every educator, staff member, administrator, family member, and above all, student, who carried our district forward during these challenging times. We will work together to put each and every student at the forefront, and look with optimism to the next chapter in our district.

The Bellevue School District, with nearly 20,000 students and 29 schools, is a diverse and dynamic district in East King County, Washington. Its mission is to “To serve each and every student academically, socially, and emotionally, through a rigorous and relevant education that is innovative and individualized. As a learning community that values one another’s humanity, we provide courageous support for an equitable and exceptional education for all students.”




Fri. 05/07/21
Umpqua Bank Ranked #1 in Northwest for Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power
Umpqua Bank - 05/07/21 12:14 PM

Umpqua’s human digital banking approach met customers’ need for personal, accessible banking during period of financial disruption

PORTLAND, Ore., (May 7, 2021)—Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ), has been named the top bank in the Northwest region for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM. The bank was among 13 U.S. financial institutions to earn a top regional ranking in the study, which highlights banks’ efforts to support customers during the pandemic.

According to Umpqua CEO Cort O’Haver, Umpqua’s human digital banking strategy uniquely prepared the bank to help customers stay personally connected to their money and their banker, particularly at the height of the pandemic’s economic and financial disruption.

“Our number one ambition at Umpqua is to be there for our customers in good times and bad. So being ranked as the top bank in our region in customer satisfaction means a lot, particularly after the extraordinary disruption of the past year,” said O’Haver. “This recognition is above all a credit to our retail associates who’ve gone the extra mile for customers. It also reflects the value of our human digital approach, which is focused on providing customers access to smart, personalized service from a financial partner they know and trust.”

In 2018, the bank launched Umpqua Go-ToTM, the industry’s first human digital banking platform, which leverages technology to empower and scale deeper customer relationships. Go-To enables every customer – at no cost and regardless of account size – the ability to choose their own personal banker devoted to their financial needs. Through a secure chat platform, customers can connect with their personal banker in real time to resolve issues, ask questions directly, and get financial counsel. Go-To enrollment and use spiked more than 30 percent following the onset of the pandemic when customers needed urgent financial support.

Earning J.D. Power’s top ranking is the latest accolade Umpqua has received and reflects the value of its human digital strategy. In 2019, Umpqua earned a Celent Model Bank of the Year Award for customer engagement. The bank was also named the Best Community Bank, USA 2020 by Capital Finance International for its support of more than 17,000 businesses during the first round of the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies to Work For," and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the sixteenth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses.

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world's leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies.

J.D. Power is headquartered in Troy, Mich., and has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. To learn more about the company’s business offerings, visit JDPower.com/business. The J.D. Power auto shopping tool can be found at JDPower.com.