Bob Brinker


Bob Brinker

1:00pm - 4:00pm

Regional News

(Vancouver, WA)  --  The Clark County Medical Examiner says two men who were killed during a shooting in Vancouver Sunday were from the Portland area.  Authorities say the bodies of 37-year-old Allen J. Collins and 42-year-old Jason D. Benton were found at a house in the 1500 block of Northeast 140th Avenue.  Both had been shot to death.  Vancouver police have identified a suspect in the shooting, but the name hasn't been released.

(Columbia River Gorge, OR)  --  Officials say a man who vanished during a hike near Horsetail Falls has been found safe.  Multnomah County sheriff's deputies say the hiker walked off the trail yesterday and down an embankment, and when he walked back up he was unable to find the trail again.  Authorities say rescue crews found the hiker around three o'clock this morning.

(Beaverton, OR)  --  A caretaker and her neighbor are facing murder charges, following the death of a 74-year-old Beaverton woman in a fire.  Kathryn Breen died in late January of injuries she suffered in the fire at her condo on Southwest Alger.  Her live-in caretaker, Celia Schwab, and her neighbor, Maria Meisner, are accused of setting the condo on fire.  They're currently being held without bail.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A measure that's intended to help sick Hanford nuclear reservation workers get their workers' compensation claims accepted is awaiting action in a Senate committee.  Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is among those in support of the measure, which would grant a presumption of occupational illness for Hanford workers, similar to what lawmakers granted to firefighters in 1987.  Included are respiratory disease, heart problems experienced after exposure to toxic chemicals, neurological diseases such as occupational induced dementia, and certain cancers.  KING-5 reports worker compensation claims at Hanford are rejected at a rate that's 52 percent higher than the state average.

(Portland, OR)  --  The latest Triple-A survey shows a slight drop in Portland-area gas prices.  The current average for regular is two-69 a gallon, a penny below the average at this time last week.  The national average for regular is two-29 a gallon.

(Beaverton, OR)  --  Police are investigating a crash that left a woman with traumatic injuries in Beaverton.  The wreck, involving a car and a truck, was reported around 5:30 yesterday afternoon in the area of Cedar Hills Boulevard and Highway 26.  Police say crews had to cut the roof off the car to get the woman out.  She's being treated at Oregon Health and Science University.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A move is on in the Washington State Legislature to implement a school curriculum for the prevention of sexual abuse of students.  Goldendale Representative Gina McCabe is sponsoring Erin's Law, named for a woman who was abused as a child and has seen 28 other states enact the law.  The bill is supported by the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  It's currently awaiting action in the House Education Committee.

(Undated)  --  A new analysis shows Oregon is one of the most innovative states in the nation. used 18 key indicators of innovation-friendliness in comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Oregon is rated eleventh in the WalletHub survey.  Washington, DC is ranked at the top in innovation, Washington state is ranked sixth, and West Virginia comes in 51st.

(Portland, OR)  --  The mother of a 17-year-old who was shot to death by a Portland police officer is calling for a federal investigation.  A Multnomah County grand jury cleared Officer Andrew Hearst of any criminal wrongdoing in the shooting of Quanice Hayes, following a robbery at a motel on Northeast 82nd Avenue on February 9th.  Authorities say Hearst shot Hayes during a confrontation during which Hayes made "repeated and deliberate motions with his hands to the area of his waistband and pockets."  Hayes's mother, Venus Hayes, claims her son was on his knees when he was shot and didn't have a replica handgun as reported by the Portland Police Bureau.

(Portland, OR)  --  Authorities are investigating, after a car crashed into the Old Market Pub and Brewery in Southwest Portland.  Portland Fire & Rescue officials say the vehicle was carrying a pregnant woman and her child when the crash happened around eight o'clock last night.  No serious injuries were reported.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington's statewide unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2008.  The employment security department says the jobless rate dropped from five-point-one percent in January to four-point-nine percent in February.  Officials say Washington's economy added 61-hundred jobs in February, with 41-hundred of those jobs in the private sector.  Manufacturing lost 900 jobs last month.

(New York, NY)  --  Governor Jay Inslee will take the spotlight before a worldwide audience today, as he talks about global climate change at the United Nations.  Inslee will be part of a panel that includes government officials from France, Fiji, and Saudi Arabia, and will discuss efforts by the Pacific Northwest to participate in the fight against climate change.  The governor is an outspoken advocate of efforts to reduce carbon emissions and explore alternative energy sources.  Inslee will be in San Francisco tomorrow to address the World Economic Forum.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say a pedestrian is in a hospital after being hit by a car in Southeast Portland.  The pedestrian was crossing last night at the intersection of Southeast Division Street and 125th Avenue.  The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.  The pedestrian suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

(Portland, OR)  --  One person is dead and three are injured, following a five-vehicle crash on Highway 30.  Oregon State Police say the wreck happened around ten o'clock yesterday morning, just east of the Sauvie Island Bridge.  Authorities say an eastbound pickup truck crossed the center line into oncoming traffic.  Fifty-eight-year-old Lewis Demars died in the crash, and three other people were taken to a hospital.

(Undated)  --  In a survey that seeks to find the fattest cities in America, Portland is ranked next-to-last.  Analysts with finance-and-lifestyle website compared 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across 17 key indicators of weight-related issues.  The Portland metro is number 99, trailing only Seattle as the "leanest."  Jackson, Mississippi ranks as the fattest city in the U.S.

(Seattle, WA)  --  Starbucks officially has a new chief executive officer.  Howard Schultz's last Starbucks shareholders meeting as CEO ended yesterday as he passed a symbolic key to his successor, Kevin Johnson.  Johnson is actually slated to begin his new role on April 3rd.  The "Seattle Times" reports Schultz will become executive chairman and focus on the company's higher-end businesses.

(Portland, OR)  --  A Multnomah County grand jury says the deadly shooting of a teenager by a Portland police officer was justified.  Seventeen-year-old Quanice Derrick Hayes was shot and killed by Officer Andrew Hearst the morning of February 9th, following a report of an armed robbery near the Portland Value Inn on Northeast 82nd Avenue.  Authorities say Hearst shot Hayes during a confrontation during which Hayes made "repeated and deliberate motions with his hands to the area of his waistband and pockets."  Fox-12 reports the Portland Police Bureau will conduct an internal review of the entire incident and the case will go before the Police Review Board.

(Milwaukie, OR)  --  Clackamas Fire District officials are investigating a two-alarm blaze that damaged a North Clackamas School District building.  The fire was reported around eight o'clock last night at the building in the 12-thousand block of Fuller Road.  Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control within a half-hour.  No injuries were reported.

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Public Schools officials say it's not clear at this time whether the district will experience layoffs or cuts in their budget.  The state is trying to find ways to compensate for a one-point-eight-billion-dollar deficit, and the Portland Public Schools board is trying to anticipate how much of a financial hit the district will be taking.  The first official budget proposal is expected to be presented on April 4th.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Republicans in the Washington State Senate say the two-year, 43-billion-dollar state budget they're proposing includes a net increase of one-point-eight-billion dollars to fund public education.  Lawmakers say the additional money would come from higher revenue from existing taxes, transfers from other state accounts, and budget cuts to some government programs.  Republican senators propose rejecting most of the large state employee raises bargained or negotiated last year in favor of smaller raises, and would fund negotiated raises for the Washington State Patrol and some corrections workers.  Democrats are highly critical of the plan, saying it funds education through an unfair property-tax plan and reduces funding for vital state programs.

(Portland, OR)  --  City leaders will gather today to declare Portland a "sanctuary city."  The Portland City Council will pledge its support for illegal immigrants and officially declare Portland's unwillingness to assist the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in finding and deporting immigrants.  Portland city code already outlaws denying benefits and discriminating against people based on race, religion, color, national origin, English proficiency, gender, age, and disabilities.

(Undated)  --  Oregon is rated above average when it comes to states' dependence on the federal government.  A new study from finance site WalletHub rates Oregon the 15th-most dependent state, based on reliance on federal funding and programs.  The study found Kentucky is the most federally-dependent, while Delaware is the least.

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area are seeing gas prices continue to be steady.  Triple-A's latest survey shows the average for a gallon of regular is two-69, just a fraction below the average at this time last week.  The national average for regular is two-29 a gallon.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say it appears no violence was involved in the death of a homeless man in Northeast Portland.  Authorities say 32-year-old Christopher Gregory Martin was found dead inside a tent Thursday in the area of Northeast 74th Avenue and Jonesmore Street.  An autopsy was conducted and the Medical Examiner's Office is awaiting results of toxicology tests.

(Portland, OR)  --  Family members and friends are hoping to find a 25-year-old Portland woman who vanished last week.  KATU-TV reports Maddie Smith was getting a ride with her father Tuesday when she jumped out of the vehicle near Southeast 172nd and Foster and ran.  Maddie reportedly left behind her phone, wallet, and ID.  Portland police ask anyone with information on Maddie to call 911.

(Roseburg, OR)  --  The mayor of a town in Douglas County is behind bars after being accused of setting up a meeting to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.  Kenneth Lewis Barrett began a two-year term as mayor of Winston in January.  Authorities are alleging that Barrett spent two weeks chatting via Facebook with an online decoy posing as a 14-year-old girl.  "The Oregonian" reports Barrett is facing allegations of second-degree online sexual corruption and unlawful possession of a firearm, after investigators said he admitted to having a nine-millimeter handgun without a concealed weapons permit in his pickup truck.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A 20-year-old accused of murdering a Thurston County, Washington man and dumping his body in a river is out of jail after posting bail of two-and-a-half-million dollars.  Authorities say Jeremy Brian Leininger posted the bail earlier this month after being charged with first-degree murder in the death of 53-year-old Clark Edward Calquhoun of Rainier.  The victim had been missing for about a month when his body was found January 29th in the Coweeman River in Cowlitz County.

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Vancouver police say they're now looking for a person of interest in connection with a double homicide outside a local apartment complex.  Authorities also believe they've recovered a vehicle that's connected to the deadly shooting Sunday afternoon.  Two men were found lying in the parking lot in the 15-hundred block of Northeast 140th Avenue.  The victims' names haven't been released.

(Roseburg, OR)  --  Police say a Seattle man was killed when a wrong-way driver crashed into his car in Oregon.  Authorities say 36-year-old Roman Fedorov of Seattle was southbound on Interstate-5 in Roseburg Saturday morning when his Volkswagen was hit by a Ford Focus traveling in the wrong direction.  The crash also killed the second driver, Brady Golladay of Riddle, Oregon.  Police believe Golladay was driving under the influence.

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would make it a crime for someone to drive with a dog sitting in his or her lap.  Under the bill, anyone caught doing so faces a Class-D traffic violation and up to a 250-dollar fine.  State Senator Bill Hansell, who's sponsoring the bill, says driving with any live animal on your lap presents a distraction and puts the pet, the driver, other passengers and other drivers at risk for an accident.  The bill is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state lawmakers are considering legislation that would toughen penalties for those who repeatedly drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The House Public Safety Committee heard testimony yesterday on the Senate-passed bill, under which a person with four DUIs in ten-years would be charged with a felony on the fourth-offense.  Current state law attaches felony status to a fifth DUI in ten-years.  The bill is awaiting a committee vote.

(Caldwell, ID)  --  A former sergeant with the Washington County Sheriff's Office is awaiting sentencing, after pleading guilty in Idaho to having sex with a 15-year-old boy.  Prosecutors say 46-year-old Michael Alexander of Lake Oswego met the boy through a dating app.  Officials say Alexander entered the plea earlier this month in Canyon County court to felony charges of lewd conduct with a child.  He was arrested about a year ago and resigned from the sheriff's office afterward.

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Two men are dead, following a shooting outside an apartment in Vancouver.  Police responded around 5:15 yesterday afternoon to a report of shots fired and found the victims lying on the pavement next to a pickup truck at the complex on Northeast 140th Avenue near Northeast 15th.  A witness told police he saw a silver car leaving the scene.  There's no word on whether any suspects have been identified.

(Spokane, WA)  --  The head football coach at Spokane's Ferris High School is under suspension with pay after claims that he exposed himself to players at a leadership camp last summer.  Jim Sharkey denies the allegations and says he'll fight to clear his name.  The "Spokesman-Review" quotes a school district official as saying she was unable to substantiate allegations the coach had exposed himself, but gave him a written warning for allowing alcohol to be consumed in front of students.  The camp took place last August near Cataldo, Idaho.

(Forest Grove, OR)  --  Police continue to investigate a crash that left a Forest Grove man dead.  Authorities say a drunk driver struck and killed 22-year-old Jonathan Dominguez Esquivel as he was walking to work Saturday night in the 34-hundred block of Pacific Avenue in Forest Grove.  Esquivel died later at a hospital.  Police say the driver, 27-year-old Bethany Lumber, is facing charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminal mischief, and DUII.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are looking for a suspect after a man was shot in Northwest Portland.  The victim was wounded at the Northwest Tower Apartments on Northwest 19th Avenue around 7:15 yesterday morning.  He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  The suspect, who fled the scene after the shooting, is described as a white man in his 40s.

(Portland, OR)  --  Authorities are investigating a two-vehicle crash that killed a motorcyclist in Northeast Portland.  It happened at the intersection of Northeast 57th Avenue and Sacramento Street around 9:45 last night.  Police say the motorcyclist died at the scene.  The driver of the car involved in the crash was treated at the scene.  No names have been released.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would allow motorcycles to go in between cars on the highway at a maximum of 25 miles per hour may not muster enough votes to pass in the Washington State House.  Motorcycle advocates are pushing for the measure, but the Washington State Patrol doesn't support it.  State Patrol Captain Monica Alexander says the practice would amount to unsafe lane changes that would open the door to more crashes.  Traffic Safety Commission staff have also testified against the bill.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state lawmakers are considering imposing taxes on the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products.  Seattle Representative Gerry Pollet says the e-cigarette and vape industries have existed "under the radar" and aren't paying their fair share of taxes as a result.  Those who sell the products oppose the measure, saying a spike in prices may put them out of business.  Testimony on the measure is slated for today before the House Finance Committee.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington's chief economist says the state is expected to collect about 570-million dollars more over the next two years than originally anticipated.  Steve Lerch delivered the news yesterday to the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, citing factors such as consumer confidence, as well as growth in the state's economy and population.  Lerch says when these and other factors are figured in, economists think the state will have an additional 258-million dollars for the biennium that ends June 30th, and about 313-million more for the two-year fiscal period that begins July 1st.

(Estacada, OR)  --  Clackamas County authorities are still looking for an 18-year-old who vanished Sunday morning.  Brandon Powell of Estacada hasn't been seen since around 5:30 a.m. Sunday, when he was wearing only a pair of blue pajama bottoms.  Sheriff's deputies say Powell took off suffering from an apparent panic attack after taking a high-potency dab of marijuana.  Authorities say he may have headed for the Clackamas River.  Anyone with helpful information is asked to call 911.

(Puyallup, WA)  --  Things are back to normal at the Costco in Puyallup, Washington, after a man's cell phone caught fire in his pants.  Witnesses told KOMO-TV the man took his pants off yesterday as the burning cell phone created a great deal of smoke wafting through the store.  A store manager says when he went to the scene, he found the man with his pants off and the LG phone on the floor, still smoking.  The victim wasn't injured, and the manager says Costco provided him with e new pair of pants.

(Vernon, CA)  --  U.S. agriculture officials say a company in Vernon, California is recalling more than 20-thousand pounds of frozen pizza after word of possible listeria contamination.  The pizzas were sold at select Walmart stores in boxes labeled as "Marketside Extra Large Supreme Pizza" with lot code 20547.  The pizzas were sent by RBR Meat Company to distribution centers in California, Nevada, Utah, and Washington.  Listeriosis is typically caused by the consumption of contaminated food, and is especially dangerous for older people and pregnant women.

(Oregon City, OR)  --  The death of Merrilee Cooley, whose body was found in the trunk of her car in early January in the parking lot of a Milwaukie apartment complex, is still being investigated.  KOIN-TV reports on court documents that show Cooley, who was reported missing on December 28th, was found with handcuffs around one wrist, a bottle of water, a bag of cookies, and used duct tape.  The doors of the car were unlocked and the keys were in the ignition.  Clackamas County sheriff's deputies have not made any arrests in the case.

(West Linn, OR)  --  Authorities are trying to identify a woman who's accused of abandoning a chinchilla in West Linn.  Police say the woman left the animal in a wooded area off Carriage Way around four o'clock yesterday afternoon.  Witnesses tell investigators the woman as white, in her 60s, has short brown hair, and speaks with an accent.  West Linn police ask anyone with information to call 503-635-0238.

(Salem, OR)  --  Salem police have a suspect in custody after a woman was hit by a car while checking her mail.  Authorities say the crash happened yesterday morning after the driver left the roadway in the area of Northeast Fisher Road and Empress Way in Salem.  Police say the driver was impaired and has been arrested.  The victim, identified as Sandy Hill, is recovering after undergoing surgery.

(Seattle, WA)  --  The federal judge in Seattle who blocked President Trump's original executive order travel ban last month is refusing to extend that block to Trump's new travel ban.  U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ruled yesterday that the new order restricting U.S. entry from six Muslim countries is different enough from the original order that his injunction should not carry over.  The new travel ban has already been blocked nationwide by a federal judge in Hawaii, who ruled that Trump's executive order appears "to disfavor a particular religion."

(Portland, OR)  --  A man who's accused of killing a 33-year-old father is under indictment on multiple counts of aggravated murder and other charges.  A Multnomah County grand jury handed up the indictment yesterday against Alexander Rico Ortiz, who's accused of killing Eleazar "Tony" Herrera Villegas on February 27th.  Police say Ortiz also sexually assaulted and robbed a woman at a nearby motel prior to the murder.  A trial is tentatively set for April.

(Vancouver, WA)  --  The Washington State Department of Health says it will soon decide whether to launch an investigation into the death of a four-year-old boy at a Vancouver dentist's office.  The mother of Mykel Peterson says her son died last Friday during a routine procedure at Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Vancouver.  A health department spokesman says the agency will make a decision on whether to investigate.  The Clark County Medical Examiner says it will likely be weeks before the cause of the boy's death is confirmed.

(Portland, OR)  --  Officials say all 12 hikers who had been reported missing near Multnomah Falls are said to be doing fine.  The hikers, all from Texas, included one who fell in a hole after the group hit an unsteady snowfall yesterday in the Columbia River Gorge.  No one was injured.  The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office says the trail was extremely slick because of warmer-than-usual weather.

(Portland, OR)  --  Multnomah County health officials say two cases of E. coli at a preschool in Portland have been linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter.  The product is being recalled nationwide after 16 people in nine states, including Oregon, became sickened.  Officials say four people at Montessori of Alameda school have been infected with E. coli, and two other people have shiga-toxin that's producing E. coli.  Health officials are urging parents to keep children home who are vomiting or have diarrhea, and are advising parents to contact their child's doctor with any questions.

(Oregon City, OR)  --  A Clackamas County middle school teacher is facing charges, after being accused of possession of heroin and methamphetamine.  Sheriff's deputies say 33-year-old Brynne Fletcher was arrested after staffers at Alder Creek Middle School noted "suspicious behavior" on her part and reported seeing drug paraphernalia in her car.  School officials say Fletcher, who's a special education teacher and has been working in the school district since August 2014, has been placed on administrative leave.

(Undated)  --  A new analysis shows Oregon pays the tenth-highest amount of taxes each year among the 50 states.  Finance-and-lifestyle website 24/7 Wall Street says more than one in every ten dollars earned in Oregon goes to state and local governments in the form of taxes.  The website says nearly 41 percent of all state and local tax revenue in Oregon came from individual income tax in 2014, which is the largest such share in the country.  New York is listed as the state that pays the highest amount in taxes, while Alaska pays the lowest.

(Monroe, WA)  --  Goodwill employees in Monroe, Washington are trying to find out who left a surprise donation for the organization last week.  Staffers opened a plastic tote to find it contained about three-point-75 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of 24-thousand dollars.  Monroe police say Goodwill is reviewing surveillance video in an attempt to identify whomever dropped off the container.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill advancing through the Washington Legislature would make it a hate crime to target law-enforcement officers with crimes or threats.  The measure would add police to the current state law, under which it's a felony to target people based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.  The state Senate cleared the measure last week, and it's now being considered by the House Public Safety Committee.

(Gresham, OR)  --  Police are looking this morning for a nine-year-old Gresham girl who's reported missing.  Authorities say Elisa Salmerson hasn't been seen since around 9:30 last night at her home near 162nd Avenue and Burnside Street.  Police describe Elisa as Native American, around four feet tall, last wearing a purple jacket and a t-shirt that says "free hugs."  Anyone with information is asked to call Gresham police.

(Willow, CA)  --  California Highway Patrol says a Beaverton man and his young son were killed Sunday night in a crash on Interstate 5.  Police say the chain-reaction crash involving four vehicles resulted in the deaths of Isidro Garcia and his two-year-old son, Fabian.  Authorities say alcohol was a factor in the wreck.  Garcia's family says he and his son were on their way back to Beaverton from Disneyland.

(Olympia, WA)  --  A measure to bring all Washington driver's licenses into compliance with federal law is moving closer to final passage.  Both the Washington House and Senate have cleared their own versions of the legislation.  Washington state currently doesn't require proof of legal residence to receive a standard driver's license, but does require that proof for a more expensive enhanced license.  The two recently-passed bills would lower the cost of the enhanced license and require a notation on new standard licenses that they can't be used at places that require federally-compliant ID.

(Tacoma, WA)  --  Pierce County, Washington sheriff's deputies say they arrested a man with a felony warrant out on him, but not before he was able to evade authorities for a while.  Deputies had received a tip Thursday that the wanted man was hiding in a house in Tacoma's Brookdale neighborhood.  After a search of the house turned up no one, deputies decided to look behind a giant teddy bear that was sitting in a corner, and found the man hiding behind it.  The man was arrested on multiple charges.

(Vancouver, WA)  --  A woman from Vancouver wants to know why her four-year-old son died during a routine dental procedure.  Mykel Peterson was undergoing the procedure Friday at Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Vancouver and never awoke from the anesthetic.  Police say it's not a criminal investigation and all questions should be referred to the Vancouver Fire Department.  The medical examiner is trying to determine cause of death.

(Portland, OR)  --  The prices are still rising at the pump in the Portland area.  Triple-A reports the average for a gallon of regular is two-69, nearly a penny above yesterday's average.  It's also more that seven cents a gallon higher than a week ago.

(Oregon City, OR)  --  A woman is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to murdering her husband.  Prosecutors say 57-year-old Lisa Marie Peterson entered the plea yesterday in a Clackamas County courtroom for the murder of 59-year-old Joseph Peterson in the couple's Oregon City home in February 2016.  Lisa Peterson will be eligible for parole after 25 years.

(Estacada, OR)  --  Police are looking for an 18-year-old from Estacada [[ ESS-tah-KAY-dah ]] who hasn't been seen since he left his home Sunday.  Authorities say Brandon Powell was last seen around 5:45 p.m. Sunday at his home in the area of Ivy Road and Lake Shore Drive.  Sandy police say Powell was wearing only blue pajama bottoms.  Anyone with information on Brandon Powell's location is asked to call 503-655-8211.

(Undated)  --  A new study by financial-assistance website shows Portland is rated near average among the places considered the happiest in which to live.  The analysis aimed to determine which among 150 of the largest U.S. cities is home to the happiest people, by examining each city based on 30 key happiness indicators.  Portland is ranked 59th, getting average scores in emotional & physical well-being and community & environment, but scoring high in the category of income & employment.  Fremont, California tops the WalletHub list of happiest places, and Seattle is 21st.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Legislation aimed at curtailing distracted driving on Washington roads is still moving through the process.  Both the House and Senate have approved measures that would stiffen penalties for using a cell phone while driving.  The measures would significantly increase fines for violators and include provisions for informing insurance companies of the violations.

(Portland, OR)  --  A middle-school student from the Portland area is asking Oregon lawmakers to create stricter guidelines regarding marijuana-related advertising.  Fourteen-year-old Eddie Herzig tells KATU-TV that pot-related ads on billboards and banners may be appealing to minors.  Herzig says he has no scientific evidence of that happening, but he's noticed that such ads get attention from those who are too young to consume marijuana.  Herzig says he'd like to see marijuana advertising laws more closely aligned to those in the tobacco industry.

(Oregon City, OR)  --  The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is mourning the loss of one of its K-9 officers.  Sheriff's deputies say retired K-9 Max died Saturday night.  The department's Facebook page has a number of photos of Max posted on it.  Max had been suffering a number of medical problems over the past year.

(Seattle, WA)  --  It's a daunting task for a good cause.  Firefighters from around the world gathered in Seattle yesterday for the annual Scott Firefighter climb, for the benefit of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  The firefighters climbed 69 floors of the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle, all while wearing full gear that can weigh up to 60 pounds.  The firefighters hope to surpass last year's total, which was two-point-three-million dollars.

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers are paying considerably more for gasoline.  Triple-A reports the Portland-area average for regular shot up eight cents over the past week, to two-68 a gallon.  The national average for regular is two-30 a gallon.

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  A man accused of leading police on a chase while driving a stolen street sweeper is facing multiple charges.  Police say 33-year-old Tyler Haugewood jumped into the street sweeper early yesterday morning and took off after a private contractor, who used the vehicle to clean a parking lot on Southwest Oak Street, left it unattended.  Hillsboro police say the pursuit reached speeds of 65 miles per hour before spike strips were used to bring it to an end.

(McMinnville, OR)  --  Arraignment is scheduled this morning in Yamhill County for a 15-year-old boy who's accused of killing a woman and shooting a man in McMinnville.  Andrew David Vineyard is facing multiple charges, including murder, attempted murder, and first-degree assault.  Kimberly Lynn Forness was found dead inside the home and Ron Spiker was found outside the house last week with gunshot wounds.  Police say Vineyard, Forness, and Spiker all lived at the house, but there's no word on how they're connected to one another.

(Undated)  --  Portland is ranked among the top 45 cities in the U.S. to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  A new WalletHub survey ranks Portland 41st out of the 200 cities that were compared across 16 key metrics, including "Irish pubs and restaurants per capita," "lowest price for a three-star hotel on St. Patrick's Day," and "weather forecast."  Portland is ranked 122nd for weather, but ranks fairly high in the category of "St. Patrick's Day Traditions."

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would require safe storage of firearms in Washington appears dead for this legislative session.  The measure, which would make it illegal to store a gun in a place where it's found by a child and used to cause injury or death, had a deadline for passage out of the House by Wednesday, but didn't meet that deadline.  The measure was sponsored by Representative Ruth Kagi of Seattle.  One fellow Democrat tells the Everett "Herald" the bill went too far by allowing law enforcement to go into homes to inspect how guns are stored.

(Portland, OR)  --  A man is scheduled to spend a year behind bars, after tallying his ninth conviction for DUII.  A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has issued the year-long sentence against 56-year-old Cary Dean Devore.  Judge Judith Matarazzo says it's "inevitable" that Devore will drink and drive again, but a long prison term wouldn't allow him to participate in the DUII Intensive Supervision Program, which requires him to stay sober and stick with treatment to avoid going to prison.  "The Oregonian" reports Devore's history of DUII convictions stretches back to 1980, when he was 19 years old.

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Clark County investigators are looking for a woman with purple hair in connection with a bank holdup in Vancouver.  Deputies say the woman walked into a Chase bank branch on Highway 99 around five p.m. yesterday.  She handed the teller a note demanding money and left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash.  The woman, who's described as five-feet-three and heavy-set, was wearing a dark-blue jacket, jeans, and white Adidas.

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