Local news briefs

Rogue River firefighters responded to a call at Murphy Co. plywood plant Monday and assisted mill workers in extinguishing a small fire in the mill's dust-collection system, officials said.

The plywood plant and the fire station are on the southeastern edge of town. Capt. Mark Northrup said the first call for aid at the mill's "baghouse fire" came in at 11:30 a.m.

"The mill guys were already putting water on it when we got there," Northrup said.

The fire was in the vacuum suction and boiler area of the mill. Northrup said thanks to the quick work of the mill workers and firefighters, it was quickly knocked down to smoke and smoldering sawdust and bark.

Checking through the woody debris to make sure there are no hot spots will take hours, he said.

"It's going to take a long time to dig through this. We'll be using a lot of shovels and masks," Northrup said.

The Eugene-based Murphy Co. acquired the 164,000-square-foot plant and its equipment on 51 acres for $3.6 million in 2010 after the mill went into receivership when former operator Panel Products of Milwaukie no longer was able to pay its debt.

A driver who may have suffered a seizure and crashed into several cars while traveling on Central Avenue Saturday has been discharged from Rogue Valley Medical Center, hospital officials said.

Robert Carper, 21, and his 17-year-old female passenger were the only ones injured in the noon crash involving five other vehicles.

Police said Carper's vehicle started accelerating at the intersection of Fourth Street and Central Avenue, reaching estimated speeds of about 60 mph. His 2000 Mercury Cougar struck a 1992 Ford Focus, 2000 Honda Civic and 2005 Chevy Monte Carlo as they were in motion. It also struck a parked 2007 Toyota Yaris and 2007 Ford Focus. The vehicle stopped about 170 feet south of the Fifth Street intersection.

The crash closed down Central Avenue for nearly two hours. Carper and his passenger had to be extricated from the vehicle and were admitted to RVMC for minor facial injuries. No citations have been issued yet, Medford police said.

A 51-year-old Sunny Valley woman was injured by a gunshot Sunday afternoon while she was standing on her property.

A Josephine County Sheriff's Office release said investigators didn't yet know who fired the shot, but there was no indication the general public was at risk.

Victoria Maes called 9-1-1 at 3:22 p.m. to report she had been shot on her property in the 300 block of Sunny Valley Loop. She was transported by American Medical Response to Three Rivers Community Hospital, where she was treated in the emergency room and released.

Sheriff's deputies searched the rural neighborhood but did not locate the shooter. The release did not address whether police believe the shooting was intentional or whether Maes was struck by a stray bullet. It also did not say where Maes was wounded.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to call the Major Crimes Unit confidential tip line at 541-474-5160.

The Siskiyou Sleuths book group will discuss "The Collaborator of Bethlehem" at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Ashland Branch Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd.

For information, call the library at 541-774-6996.

Central Point Friends of the Library will hold a book sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in the Community Meeting Room of the Central Point Library, 116 S. Third St.

The sale will feature gently used books, gift books and other small gifts. Call 541-664-3228 for more information.

Students at Southern Oregon University will hold an energy conservation fair for elementary and middle school students from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in the small gymnasium in the McNeal Building at the SOU campus.

Students will learn about their role in energy conservation, how to become energy savers and the effect that wasting energy has on their environment. Families, students and Scout troops are invited.

Through a series of interactive booths, children will play games, make arts/crafts, listen to short lectures, and play tug of war with the "Energy Vampire." Participants are asked to bring their own reusable container for drinking water.

For more information and to reserve a spot, call Stephanie Smith at 971-275-7118 or email energyservicecorps@gmail.com.

The fair is sponsored by OSPIRG's Energy Service Corps campaign, which comprises SOU student volunteers and interns.

From staff and wire reports

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