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Regional News

(Clackamas, OR)  --  Clackamas County sheriff's deputies are looking for a man who's accused of raping a nine-year-old girl in February.  Authorities say 48-year-old Santiago Martinez-Flores is suspected of committing the assault on February 26th at Clackamas Trails Apartments in the Milwaukie area.  Deputies say Martinez-Flores, who served time in Oregon before he was deported to Mexico in 2001, entered the apartment and assaulted the child as she slept.  Anyone with information on his location is asked to call 503-723-4949.

(Newberg, OR)  --  Authorities say a 21-year-old George Fox University student, who was reported missing over the weekend, has been found dead.  Newberg-Dundee Police say Daniel Mellers, who was found yesterday evening in his car in the Sherwood area, took his own life.  Mellers was reported missing after he left his apartment Saturday night to get a soda and didn't return.  George Fox University officials say Mellers was a sophomore from Eaton, Colorado, who had enrolled as a member of the William Penn Honors Program.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want to review Washington's laws regarding the sentencing of criminals.  Spokane Valley Senator Mike Padden says his legislation contains a provision to review the state's Sentencing Reform Act of 1981, a law which mandated a tougher stance on crime.  The measure calls for hiring a consultant to work alongside the Sentencing Guidelines Commission, which advises the governor and the Legislature on sentencing policies.  Padden says he'll push to have the bill passed during the special session.

(Olympia, WA)  --  For the seventh time in eight years, Washington state lawmakers are engaged in a special session in an effort to come to terms on a state operating budget.  The chambers were mostly quiet yesterday, with no sign of negotiations toward a budget agreement.  Senate Republicans are calling for House Democrats to vote on taxes they've proposed, but the Democrats say they won't bring those taxes up for a vote until a budget agreement is reached.

(Beaverton, OR)  --  Police are asking for the public's help in searching for a 17-year-old Beaverton girl who was reported missing a year ago.  The Washington County Sheriff's Office says Haley Caudle hasn't been seen by her family since April 19th, 2016, but could still be in the Beaverton area, or in Portland or Hillsboro.  Haley is described as white, five feet tall, 90 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.  Anyone with information on Haley Caudle is asked to call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.

(Camas, WA)  --  Police say a four-year-old child was critically hurt in a crash on the Camas Slough Bridge on State Route 14.  The Washington State Patrol says an infant was also injured in the wreck, but is reported to be in stable condition.  The four-vehicle crash took place around 3:30 yesterday afternoon just west of Camas.  Both directions of the bridge were blocked following the accident, but the scene was cleared by around seven p.m.

(Tacoma, WA)  --  Authorities say a sting operation targeting child-sex predators has netted 12 suspects in Pierce County, Washington, including one who works with the state Department of Corrections.  Washington State Patrol Lieutenant Mike Eggleston tells KIRO-TV this type of sting operation has been in effect for more than two years and has netted 86 suspects.  Eggleston says the operation has generated hundreds of online responses from men and women seeking sex with underage boys and girls online.  The 12 men who were arrested yesterday are facing charges of attempted child rape.

(Gresham, OR)  --  Authorities say a 57-year-old Gresham man who had been reported missing is said to be safe.  DeWayne Patterson was reported to have disappeared on April 18th after not showing up for work for several days.  Neighbors told investigators they had last seen Patterson on March 27th.  Gresham police say Patterson was found yesterday evening with family in California and is doing fine.

(Portland, OR)  --  A man who's accused of killing his girlfriend in a Portland motel is to make his initial court appearance today.  Joshua Carlson is facing a murder charge in the death of Valerie Johnson, who was found dead Friday at a Motel 6 in Southeast Portland.  Police tell KATU-TV Carlson was spotted in a stolen car and arrested hours after Johnson's body was found.  Carlson is scheduled for arraignment today.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Following a 105-day regular session, the Washington State Legislature will begin a special session this morning at ten o'clock with the hope of getting a budget passed for the next fiscal period.  Among the tasks at hand is coming to an agreement on how to meet the state Supreme Court mandate to fully fund K-through-12 education.  The Democratic-majority House and the Republican-majority Senate have each approved a budget plan, but they differ considerably from each other.  Governor Jay Inslee says it's a job that "cannot wait."

(Wilsonville, OR)  --  Authorities are investigating a head-on crash that left three people injured in Wilsonville.  Yesterday's wreck happened on Boones Ferry Road near Camping World, and crews had to cut two of those involved from their vehicles.  They suffered significant injuries.  The third person was also hospitalized.

(Portland, OR)  --  Transportation officials say the Morrison Bridge in Portland is accessible in both directions, following a weekend of repairs.  An eastbound lane reopened yesterday afternoon, and the Interstate 5 southbound exit to the Morrison Bridge westbound was open again by around 10 p.m.  The span was shut down Friday night so crews could continue the extended project to replace the lift span deck.

(Newberg, OR)  --  Authorities are looking for a 21-year-old George Fox University student who's been reported missing.  Investigators in Newberg say Daniel Mellers told his roommates Saturday night he was walking to a convenience store for some soda, but didn't return.  The roommates contacted Mellers's parents in Colorado the next morning, as well as Newberg police.  Daniel Mellers is described as five-feet-eleven, 185 pounds, last seen wearing a maroon hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.  Anyone knowing his location is asked to call 503-538-8321.  

(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland pizzeria is now listed among Guinness World Record-holders.  Scottie's Pizza Parlor on Southeast Division Street was officially recognized yesterday as having the world's cheesiest pizza, with its Centouno Formaggio, which means "101 cheese."  The slice was prepared for the "Portland Mercury's" annual Pizza Week.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Under a measure signed by Governor Jay Inslee, Washington will attempt to save hundreds of thousands of acres of timberland from being destroyed by wildfires.  The state lost about 380-thousand acres in 2014 and more than a million in 2015.  The legislation calls for the state Department of Natural Resources to develop a plan that might include mechanical thinning or prescribed burns, identifying 200-thousands acres of fire-prone lands and communities every two years.  Regular progress reports to the Legislature and the Office of Financial Management would be part of the forest-health assessment and treatment plan.

(Portland, OR)  --  The price of gas continues to get more expensive in Portland.  The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for regular is two-78 a gallon, or a penny-and-a-half above the average of a week ago.  At this time last year, a gallon of regular in the Portland area sold for an average of two-21.

(Beaverton, OR)  --  A woman is being treated for serious injuries, after being hit by a freight train in Beaverton.  Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue officials tell KOIN-TV the 26-year-old pedestrian was crossing against the train safety arms and looking at her phone when she was hit by the Portland and Western train.  The crash happened yesterday afternoon at Southwest Lombard Avenue and Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.  The woman's injuries are considered life-threatening.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill which targets the thousands of prohibited buyers who attempt to purchase firearms in Washington each year has new life.  The measure had initially missed a floor vote by the usual deadline, but the full Senate voted on the bill yesterday.  The bill, to which some amendments were added in the Senate, would assign the Washington State Patrol to follow up on all failed background checks for firearm purchases.  The House will next vote on the Senate amendments.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state lawmakers are resigned to the fact that there will be a special legislative session.  House and Senate leaders say their respective budget plans will be giving way to a package that will require negotiation from both sides.  The main point of contention will be public education, which the Legislature is mandated by the state Supreme Court to fully fund under the McCleary decision.  Governor Jay Inslee is likely to call lawmakers into an overtime session beginning Monday.

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area are paying more at the gas pump.  Triple-A's latest survey shows the current average for regular is two-78 a gallon, a penny-and-a-half above the average of a week ago.  The national average for regular is two-42 a gallon.

(Happy Valley, OR)  --  Authorities say they've arrested a man who's accused of walking into a Happy Valley Denny's and setting a customer on fire.  Clackamas County sheriff's deputies say 24-year-old DeShaun James Swanger was arrested last night without incident at a home on Southeast 80th.  Investigators say Swanger sat next to the 69-year-old victim Wednesday night, poured liquid on him, and set him on fire.  The man is listed in critical condition.

(Corvallis, OR)  --  Benton County authorities say they've arrested a man who's accused of murdering a woman whose body was found near Alsea.  Sheriff's deputies say 27-year-old William Chase Hargrove is suspected in the murder.  The woman's body was found in a wooded area Monday.  Her name hasn't been released, and cause of death hasn't been made public.

(Newport, OR)  --  Investigators say an improperly discarded cigarette caused a fire that killed four people and injured several others at a motel in Newport last summer.  One of those injured was Rebecca Joanne Sinclair, who authorities say improperly disposed of the cigarette.  She's facing charges including manslaughter.  The fire resulted in the deaths of 51-year-old Tammi Sue Hepner, 63-year-old Allen Arthur Hepner, 60-year-old Sandra Sue Shoemaker, and 64-year-old Danny Keith Shoemaker.

(Seattle, WA)  --  One police officer remains in serious but stable condition, following an attempted robbery and shooting at a 7-Eleven in downtown Seattle.  Two other Seattle police officers were shot and less severely wounded, and a third was hit over the head with a bottle following the attempted robbery at the 1st Avenue store.  Authorities say two suspects were detained and one was found barricaded inside a building, and had died.  The officer who's in serious condition was shot in the chin and the ribcage.

(Portland, OR)  --  Mayor Ted Wheeler is helping spearhead an initiative to have self-driving cars cruise the streets of Portland by the end of this year.  Wheeler and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman say the initiative is called the Smart Autonomous Vehicles Initiative.  The mayor says the program can help the city of Portland benefit from cutting-edge technology that expands access to public transit and reduces pollution and congestion.  The Portland Bureau of Transportation has been directed to advance the initiative within the next 60 days.

(Happy Valley, OR)  --  Authorities say a 69-year-old man is in critical condition, after he was set on fire in a Denny's restaurant in Happy Valley.  The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office says a man walked into the restaurant around nine o'clock last night, sat next to the victim, then poured a liquid on him and tossed a burning object at him, setting him ablaze.  The assailant, who's described as being five-feet-ten to six feet, in his mid to late 20s, wearing a flat-brim hat, black hoodie, gray sweatpants with a black stripe, and black shoes, ran out of the building.  Deputies are hoping witnesses will step forward.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington's state unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since August 2007.  The Employment Security Department says the jobless rate for March was four-point-seven percent, compared to four-point-nine percent the previous month.  Washington employers added ten-thousand-700 nonfarm jobs in March.  The state's labor force rose to three-point-68-million people, up 15-hundred from February.

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland will be using gas from sewage to power city vehicles.  City commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to convert the methane released from the city's wastewater plant into compressed natural gas.  It's expected to produce enough to power more than 150 large trucks every year.  The 15-million-dollar project will create a system to do the conversion that should get the vehicles running by the end of next year.  Officials say it should save taxpayers money in the long run while improving air quality.

(Gresham, OR)  --  Gresham police say a woman was injured after her vehicle crashed into a utility pole.  Authorities say the wreck happened last night near the intersection of Northeast 181th Avenue and Northeast Pacific Street.  Officials say the pole was heavily damaged and power lines fell on the road.  The woman was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

(Portland, WA)  --  A new report shows the cost of renting a place to live in Portland may be on the way down.  Rental-housing association Multifamily Northwest says the rental vacancy rate in the area has risen from two percent five years ago to between four and five percent, meaning rental rates could soon level off or fall.  Economist Jerry Johnson tells KOIN-TV there's now more supply of rentals to meet the demand.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill aimed at updating already-existing Washington state laws that make it illegal to talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device, or to send a text, is expected to be signed by Governor Jay Inslee.  The House and Senate have agreed on a compromise to legislation that passed in both chambers.  Supporters of the measure say since the original law was enacted, there are more uses for a smart phone, just about all of which would be illegal under the new law.

(Seattle, WA)  --  Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the name of the man who's accusing Murray of sexual abuse is "not familiar" to him.  Delvonn Heckard has elected to reveal his identity, about two weeks after he filed a lawsuit that claims he was a teenager when he was abused by Murray and was paid money by the defendant for sex.  Murray tells KOMO-TV he didn't have sex with Heckard or any other minor and has never paid anyone for sex.  Murray says he's sure the accusations are politically motivated.

(Beaverton, OR)  --  Police say three people were injured as a result of a crash only inches away from a busy restaurant in Beaverton.  Authorities say it's possible the driver suffered some sort of medical emergency, drove erratically for about two blocks, hit a bicyclist, and struck a tree, which caused the car to overturn.  Police say the car also hit a woman sitting outside the McMenamins restaurant in the area of Southwest Murray Boulevard and Allen Boulevard before coming to rest outside the building.  The driver was airlifted to a hospital, and there's no word yet on her condition.

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland's 5th Avenue Building downtown is set to reopen today, about a week after shutting down due to part of the facade buckling.  The owner of the building tells KOIN-TV businesses housed in the building will open when they're ready, including 24 Hour Fitness, which will open at 5 a.m.  The buckling prompted evacuation of all the businesses and tenants inside, including eBay, OHSU, and a KinderCare location.  Building managers and engineers are still trying to trace the cause of the buckling.

(Clark Co., WA)  --  Authorities say a longtime Portland police officer who was off-duty was arrested in Clark County during the weekend for suspicion of DUI.  Officials say Rodney Gustafson has been with PPB for 27 years.  Authorities say Gustafson was arrested after he was spotted driving the wrong way on Highway 99 Saturday morning.  Sergeant Chuck Christensen of the Clark County Sheriff's Office tells "The Oregonian" a pair of sobriety tests returned blood-alcohol content readings of point-135 and point-137, respectively, compared to the legal limit of point-08.

(Renton, WA)  --  Police in Renton, Washington say they've arrested a man who's being investigated for DUI for the 11th time.  Officials say 59-year-old Dean Hermsen was arrested for his first DUI offense in 1984, and the 11th arrest happened Friday.  Hermsen was released from prison five months ago after serving time for his 10th DUI offense, for which he was described by a prosecutor as "a grave danger to the community."  The "Seattle Times" reports Hermsen's blood was drawn at a hospital following his arrest Friday, and the results of toxicology tests are pending.

(Polk Co., OR)  --  A suspect in a deadly hit-and-run crash on Highway 22 is facing charges.  Police say 19-year-old Brenden James Duck is charged with felony hit-and-run, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of methamphetamine and criminal mischief.  Investigators say the crash killed 43-year-old James Rudolph Osredkar of Sheridan, who was riding his motorcycle early Friday morning when he was hit.  Along with Duck, troopers sought 23-year-old Makayla Aldeguer  of McMinnville and 19-year-old Jessica Jaeger of Sheridan.  Aldeguer is still being sought.  

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are investigating a robbery and a shooting that left two people injured in Northeast Portland.  Authorities say officers responding last night to a report of shots fired found two people injured near the intersection of Northeast 20th Avenue and Alberta Street.  Police say one victim had been shot and the other had been hit with a baseball bat.  Investigators were given descriptions of three suspects including two East African men and one white man.

(Portland, OR)  --  The city of Portland will ask for the public's input into a planned redesign of Washington Park.  One of the goals of the new master plan is to reduce the number of cars in the park and increase the amount of park space.  The park's last major renovation happened in 1981.  Residents will have until April 30th to submit ideas online at

(Seattle, WA)  --  Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says despite sexual-abuse allegations against him, he fully intends to continue as mayor and run for re-election.  Murray tells KING-5 he denies the allegations and says he and his husband will not back down from a full legal battle.  He says Seattle is a fair city and will give him a chance.  Murray is meeting still another challenge as former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has announced he'll run against Murray in the race to be the city's chief executive.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would reboot the process of planning a new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River continues to advance.  The Washington state Senate has sent the measure to Governor Jay Inslee.  The measure would establish a Joint Oregon-Washington legislative action committee to begin a process towards development for a new bridge.  However, "The Oregonian" reports that so far, Oregon officials have made it clear that a revived Columbia River bridge project is not an immediate priority.

(Salem, OR)  --  Legislation that would strengthen background checks, make it tougher to get a concealed weapons permit, and remove guns from people who are judged to be too unstable to handle them are among bills being considered by an Oregon state Senate committee.  The full Senate is slated to vote on all three measures next Tuesday.  Should they pass, they'll move on to the House for consideration.

(Undated)  --  Oregon's favorite jelly bean flavor is probably not what you may think.  Oregonians love watermelon flavor. gathered nine years of sales data to find each state's favorite in honor of Easter and National Jelly Bean Day Saturday.  Watermelon is also the favorite flavor in Hawaii, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.  Juicy pear is Washington's favorite.

(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland woman is facing federal charges, after being accused of sex trafficking involving a three-year-old child.  Authorities say 27-year-old Kelsey Christine Wheeler was arrested last week after meeting with a Salem man, who was being investigated in connection with a child-porn case.  Investigators say he met Wheeler through a sex ad online, and Wheeler was accused of offering an "encounter" with a young child for one-thousand dollars.  Wheeler is to be arraigned on August 11th.

(Klamath Co., OR)  --  Oregon State Police are investigating a crash that killed a Salem man in icy conditions in Klamath County.  Authorities say the man lost control of his Subaru on westbound Highway 58 around 7:15 yesterday morning and was hit by an eastbound Nissan.  The man died at the scene, and three people in the Nissan were injured.  All are expected to recover.

(Portland, OR)  --  A building that housed a Portland furniture store for 80 years will become a shelter for the homeless, temporarily.  The old Shleifer furniture store closed in 2015, and the developer who plans to turn the property into a hotel has agreed to shelter homeless people there for six months.  The Columbia shelter, located on the corner of Southwest 4th Avenue and Washington Street, will be moved to the Shleifer building on Southeast Grand.  Officials say the new Columbia shelter will provide overnight accommodations for up to 100 people, including men, women, and couples.

(Olympia, WA)  --  It could cost more to get electronic copies of records in Washington, under a bill that's on its way to the governor.  Government agencies can already charge up to 15 cents per page for photocopying documents in response to public records requests, but the bill says agencies will be allowed to charge up to ten cents per page for scanned documents and up to five cents for every four electronic attachments.  Supporters of the bill say it's intended to reduce what they say are excessive public-records requests.  It would also allow agencies to deny broad requests for all of their records, as well as some repetitive requests automatically generated by computer bots.

(Everett, WA)  --  Boeing Company says it will lay off hundreds of engineers by the end of this week.  The Everett "Herald" reports John Hamilton, the head of engineering for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told employees the cuts are necessary for the aviation giant to remain competitive.  He also said more cuts could be made later this year.  Boeing employs nearly 147-thousand worldwide, with nearly half in Washington.

(Portland, OR)  --  A death investigation is underway, after human bones were found by hikers along a trail in Southwest Portland.  Authorities say the remains were spotted yesterday afternoon on the side of a trail in the River View Natural Area west of Macadam Avenue.  Homicide detectives, forensic evidence criminalists, and the Oregon State Medical Examiner appeared on the scene and examined the area.  The state Crime Lab will put the bones under further examination.

(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon State Police are investigating, after the wife of a state senator was killed in a crash as she walked along Interstate 5.  Authorities say 54-year-old Leta Baertschiger was walking in the right lane of southbound I-5 near Grants Pass when she was hit by a truck around eight o'clock Saturday night.  Police say the truck driver was unable to avoid hitting Baertschiger, who was killed at the scene.  Her husband, Republican Herman Baertschiger, is a Republican representing Grants Pass in the 2nd District.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that now has Governor Jay Inslee's signature legally defines mead, otherwise known as honey wine.  Under the measure, the fermented honey drink can now be sold and refilled in growlers from any place that already offers growlers for beer and cider.  Mead is produced by fermenting honey and water and, perhaps, adding spices, fruit, and hops.  Before the bill became law, mead was considered to be a type of wine and was assessed a levy by the Washington State Wine Commission, but it now no longer requires such a levy.

(Tigard, OR)  --  Tigard police are investigating, after a suspected burglar shot himself to death.  Authorities say it took place Friday evening at a building near the 15-thousand block of Hall Boulevard.  Officials say when the man encountered police officers, he shot himself.  The name of the 48-year-old man hasn't been released.

(Camas, WA)  --  A Camas teenager who's been missing since Thursday is still being sought.  Authorities say 16-year-old Cole Burbank was headed to Clark College to attend Running Start classes but never showed up.  Family members and friends have organized search parties and say they've gotten leads they haven't been able to confirm.  Cole Burbank is described as white, stands five-feet-ten, weighs 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing dark jeans and a dark sweatshirt.  Anyone who's seen him is asked to call 911.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are investigating the shooting death of a man near Portland's Menlo Park Elementary School.  Authorities say witnesses tried CPR on the victim, Larry Edwin Van Dolah, Jr., but he died at the scene last night.  Police say the suspects, three black males, ages 16 to 21 years old, were all wearing hooded sweatshirts and were seen running south on 128th Avenue across East Burnside Street.  No suspects have been identified.

(Federal Way, WA)  --  Authorities say a woman who was killed in a crash in Federal Way, Washington Saturday morning was the sister of former University of Washington and current Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas.  Police say 22-year-old Chyna Thomas was heading south on Interstate 5 north of 288th when her car went off the road.  The vehicle landed on a barrier and hit a pole, and Thomas died at the scene.  The crash is still under investigation.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are looking for the driver in a hit-and-run crash that put two people in a hospital.  It happened late last night on Southeast 122nd Avenue and Stark Street.  Authorities say they're looking for a white SUV that drove off after colliding with another car and sending it into a utility pole.  There's no word at this time on the condition of the people who were injured.

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area are paying only a little more for gasoline.  The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for regular is two-77 a gallon, only a half-cent above the average of a week ago.  The national average for regular is two-41 a gallon.

(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland attorney who considered filing a lawsuit against current Seattle Mayor Ed Murray nearly a decade ago says his client was "credible" but he believed the statute of limitations had expired on the case.  Attorney Brian Williams says Jeff Simpson contacted his office in 2008, claiming he was sexually abused by Murray in the 1980s.  Williams tells KING-5 that Simpson didn't appear to be interested in money but wanted people to know about Murray.  After a lawsuit was filed against the mayor last week with claims of sexual abuse of a Seattle teen in the 1980s, Murray has denied the allegations, saying they're "simply not true."

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of vehicles that are reported abandoned.  The transportation bureau says it received 27-thousand reports of abandoned vehicles in 2016, up from only seven-thousand in 2012.  Bureau spokesman John Brady says an increase in homelessness and more awareness have likely been factors in the dramatic rise in the number of abandoned vehicles.  KGW-TV reports there are so many abandoned vehicles that unless they have flat tires, broken windows or expired tags, the city will not follow up on reports.

(Gresham, OR)  --  Investigators say a man who shot and killed his two young daughters killed himself after he was shot by a Gresham police officer Wednesday morning.  Authorities say eight-year-old Janet Cortinas-Duran and her eleven-year-old sister Jasmine Duran-Cortinas died in the family SUV after being shot multiple times by their father.  Forty-two-year-old Jaime Cortinas of Portland died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he encountered police, who responded to a report from his wife that he was suicidal and threatened the girls.  Police say multiple officers suffered burns and smoke inhalation while attempting to get the girls out of the SUV, which authorities say had been set on fire by Jaime Cortinas.

(Gresham, OR)  --  The search is over for a missing woman from Gresham.  Air crews with Hood River County Sheriff's Office spotted the body of 30-year-old Susan Behrens in the Eagle Creek Recreational Area near a remote waterfall yesterday.  Her vehicle had been found Tuesday night at the trailhead.  Behrens's family had not seen or heard from her since April 4th.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Governor Jay Inslee's ban on travel to North Carolina for Washington state employees is back in effect.  Inslee initially banned non-emergency travel by state employees to North Carolina last year after that state passed a law requiring people to use restrooms and some other public facilities based on biology, not on gender identity.  The original ban lapsed after the law was repealed earlier this year, but North Carolina lawmakers later passed a new law pre-empting nondiscriminatory ordinances by local governments and stating sexual orientation and identity are not protected classes.  Inslee responded by reinstating the travel ban, saying "Washingtonians traveling to North Carolina on work-related matters may still experience discrimination."

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that's headed to the governor's desk would require that college students in Washington are told how much it will cost to pay off their loans.  The bill, known as the Washington Student Loan Transparency Act, says students must be told the cost of an education loan, what their monthly payments are likely to be, and provide them information on state and federal resources for student borrowers.  Colleges would have to notify students by email, in writing, or in person.  The measure was requested by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

(Sherwood, OR)  --  A 70-year-old man is dead after becoming pinned under his tractor while doing yardwork in Sherwood.  Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue officials say the body of Howard Mozeico was found under the tractor several hours after he left his home to begin working in the yard.  Washington County sheriff's deputies are trying to determine how Mozeico ended up beneath the tractor.

(Portland, OR)  --  Gas prices are flat in the Portland area heading into the weekend.  Triple-A reports the average for regular moved up only a half-cent over the past week, to two-76 a gallon.  The national average for regular is two-41 a gallon.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are scheduled to release more details today, after a man was killed in a shootout with officers and his two young daughters were found dead.  Both Portland and Gresham police officers responded to a report of a domestic-violence incident early this morning, with a woman telling the 911 operator that her husband was armed and had threatened the girls.  Gresham officers spotted the man's SUV in a plasma center parking lot in the 16-thousand-200 block of Northeast Glisan Street, then encountered gunfire.  The man was shot dead, then the officers pulled the bodies of the man's daughters, ages eight and eleven, out of the SUV.  Police say it's not clear how the girls died.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill aimed at reducing distractions for drivers in Washington is a step closer to final legislative passage.  The House has approved a measure that's designed to update a current state law that prohibits texting while driving and requires a hands-free device while talking on a cell phone.  Supporters say the law, when it was passed years ago, didn't specifically ban using social media or doing many of the things that are now possible with a smart phone.  The bill is headed back to the Senate for agreement on minor House changes.

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Police Bureau Chief Mike Marshman is back on the job.  Mayor David Wheeler announced yesterday that Marshman didn't violate PPB's rules of truthfulness and was cleared to go back to work.  There had been some question as to whether Marshman had Adjutant Lieutenant Michael Leasure log him in for a training session even though he wasn't in attendance.  Marshman and Leasure were placed on administrative leave, pending findings of the investigation, but both are back at work now.

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon lawmakers are considering a proposal to require students to pass the U.S. Naturalization Test in order to earn a high-school diploma.  It would require K-12 students to correctly answer 60 of the 100 questions on the civics portion of the naturalization test given to immigrants by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  A work session on the bill is slated for three o'clock this afternoon in Hearing Room C.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say the 17-year-old who was gunned down in a park was a student at Union High School in Vancouver.  Authorities say Shawn Scott died after being shot Tuesday afternoon at Holladay Park in Northeast Portland.  School district officials say grief counselors were stationed at Union High yesterday to help students cope with the loss.  Police are searching for a suspect.

(Undated)  --  Portland is ranked in the top half of the U.S. cities considered the best places in which to celebrate Easter, according to a new survey from finance-and-lifestyle website  On its list of the best places to celebrate Easter, WalletHub has Portland ranked 37th, mainly on the strength of the city's high score in the category of "Easter Traditions."  St. Louis is ranked the best place in which to celebrate Easter, followed by Birmingham, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Orlando.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would require medical-insurance plans to let women policyholders in Washington buy a year's worth of birth-control pills at one time awaits the governor's signature.  The Senate gave the measure final legislative approval yesterday.  Supporters say the bill is important for women who travel, particularly out of the country where contraceptives are difficult to obtain.

(Olympia, WA)  --  The legislative journey is over for a bill intended to crack down on illegal gun purchasers in Washington state.  House Bill 1501 easily passed in the House and a Senate committee, but didn't make it to the full Senate for a floor vote before the 5 p.m. deadline yesterday.  The measure was aimed at the roughly four-thousand people each year in Washington who try but fail to buy firearms.  It's illegal for prohibited buyers to attempt to purchase a gun, and lying about eligibility is a violation of state and federal laws.  But KING-5 has reported that police agencies that conduct the background checks don't follow up on those denied purchases.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say at least one person is dead, following a shooting involving both Portland and Gresham police officers.  Authorities say the shooting happened as officers were responding to a report of a possible domestic-violence incident.  Officials say officers encountered a man in a vehicle in the parking lot of a plasma center on Northeast Glisan Street and exchanged gunshots with him.  Police say the man died at the scene, and may have been related to people who died in the domestic-violence incident.  Updates from police on the situation are forthcoming.

(Portland, OR)  --  Investigators are trying to determine what has caused a ten-story building in downtown Portland to appear as if it's started to buckle.  Engineers inspected the building, located at 14-hundred Southwest 5th Avenue, and determined it's structurally sound.  Meanwhile, the building was evacuated yesterday after cracks were discovered in the facade on the lower half of the structure.  KGW-TV reports the building owner will hire an engineer to conduct an evaluation and submit the findings to the city.




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  • Construction at 27th Street . Northbound Lane Closed from Reed Market to Bear Creek.  Detour in place.