Mohamed Mohamud entered a plea of not guilty Monday to charges that he tried to detonate a bomb during Portland’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. His defense attorney, Steven Wax, says they have several questions about the investigation that led to the arrest. Mohamud appeared visibly nervous during his first court appearance. He was indicted on a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Three people died in Thanksgiving weekend accidents in Oregon. OSP Lieutenant Gregg Hastings says they also saw more than 300 accidents; that is two-and-a-half times more than last year. He also says Troopers helped a lot of disabled drivers. The OSP also made 47 DUII arrests.
Portland Police are continuing enhanced patrols by Mosques and community centers. This after suspected arson at the Corvallis Mosque that bombing suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud attended. Sergeant Pete Simpson says Mohammed acted alone and urges people not to blame an entire religion for one man's acts. Simpson says the police bureau has not received any reports of threats against Portland Mosques so far.
The BPA's Northern Pikeminnow Bounty Program paid out more than a million dollars this year. BPA's Katie Pruder Scruggs says the top bounty hunter made $81,000. The program pays between 4 and 8 dollars for most fish, but some tagged fish are worth $500. Since 1991, more than 3-million pikeminnow have been caught and their attacks on salmon smolt are down 40%.
A federal court grants a reprieve for sea lions on the Columbia River. The Humane Society's Sharon Young says they objected to the lethal removal and took the issue to court. Young points out that human fishing removes more than that one percent and is not being curbed. State and federal agencies are reviewing the judge's decision.
More people use power strips this time of the year to power Christmas lights, but make sure you're not overloading them. If the cord feels hot, turn them off and disconnect some lights. Paul Corah with the Portland Fire Bureau says candles are also a common problem this time of year. If you do light candles, keep them out of your bedroom. Curtains will frequently blow into candles, starting fires.
When ranchers in Baker County heard school lunches in their schools often did not include beef, they did something about it. They put together a program where they got donations from ranchers around the county to supply beef to the school districts. Bill Hoyt of The Cattlemen's Association says they would be happy to help other counties develop the same type of program to help kids and local food producers.
Exotic pet owners in Oregon face a deadline. State Veterinarian Dr. Don Hansen says, after January first, they will no longer issue new permits for exotic pets. Those animals include felines – except for domestic cats – non-human primates, bears – except for black bears – and crocodiles.
The FBI and Portland Police stopped what would have been a terrorist attack on the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Sergeant Pete Simpson says Mohamed Osmun Mohamud, 19, a native of Somalia and a resident of Corvallis, was arrested Friday night after trying to remotely set off a bomb.
Mohamud didn't know the explosives in the van were inert. Simpson says the public was never in danger. The FBI has been on the case since Mohamud initially try to contact terrorists in Pakistan in 2009. He’ll make his first court appearance in Portland Monday.
Authorities are looking for four inmates who escaped early yesterday morning from a minimum-security federal prison in Sheridan. Officials say the inmates, each of whom was incarcerated on drug convictions, were found missing around 3:30 a.m. yesterday during a head count. The Federal Prison Camp is a work camp located next to the minimum-security Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan. The inmates are identified as Abel Mendoza, 34, Rick Mendoza, 37, Isidro Rivera, 35, and Jose Cisneros, 42. Authorities say none of the men has a history of violence.
TSA reports an average of 20 minutes to get through security check points at most airports across the country. It doesn't appear that demonstrations against body pat downs are having an effect. Duane Baird, with the TSA, says that if you do have a problem, deal with it immediately. Portland currently does not have full body scanners, but should get them next year.
Thousands of Oregonians will be out on the roads during the long weekend. Oregon State Police has some tips because they want to keep you safe” “We know there’s going to be more traffic; there’s going to be more challenges. We’re going to have colder temperatures. And as we move into the weekend, it looks like it’s going to be wet.” Lt. Gregg Hastings says two people died last year during the long weekend. Hastings says be prepared for poor driving conditions, make sure your car is ready to travel and, importantly, don't drink and drive. Along with all the cars, there's expected to be snow and ice in some areas.
The holiday shopping season is a busy time of year for car thieves. Portland Police Lt. Kelli Sheffer says if you're at a mall and make a trip to your car to leave gifts the trunk, remember there might be eyes watching you. It's also a good idea to put all valuables out of sight and Sheffer says that even includes loose change. Park in a well lit area and watch your surroundings to prevent a car jacking.
Also, You’ll be out shopping or doing some buying online during the holiday season. There are some tips you should follow to avoid I.D. theft. Eric Smith of Wells Fargo says you should be wary of what you disclose on the Internet and monitor purchase activity. Smith says don't disclose such things as social security number, mother's maiden name, bank account numbers, your phone number and address or user names and passwords.
Toy safety is getting better, thanks to new federal standards, but parents need to be on guard for things like choking hazards and lead contamination. That’s according to the consumer group OSPIRG, which is pushing for even tougher standards. The group's John Bartholomew says the full report is available at www.ospirg.org.
Even with all that fur, your pet can feel the effects of the extreme cold. Tiffini Mueller with Dove Lewis Animal Hospital in Portland says watch for the signs of hypothermia. Mueller says contact your veterinarian if your pet exhibits any of the effects of the severe cold. Otherwise, making sure pets have a warm place to stay and plenty of water are good rules to follow when the temperatures drop.
National and local drug enforcement officials, Governor Ted Kulongoski and other gathered at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Portland to talk about a growing problem; prescription drug abuse. Oregon Attorney General John Kroger says it's quickly becoming an epidemic, especially among middle and high school kids. He adds that Oregon has the highest percentage of kids abusing prescription drugs than any other state in the country. One solution discussed was increasing opportunities for drug take-backs; the federal government now working on creating a program at pharmacies and medical centers.
Joshua Turnidge took the stand in the Woodburn bank bombing trial Monday, where two police were killed. Under questioning by his attorney he denied knowing what was happening. The defense took time to detail Joshua’s day, trying to prove he did not take an active part in the lead up to the bombing or in the bombing itself.
The eighth of the 10 state furlough days will be this Friday. Most State offices will be closed, expect for some agencies that require round the clock staffing. The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles headquarters and local field offices will be closed and officials warn you that the wait lines just before Thanksgiving could be very long before and after the closures. DMV officials say most passenger vehicle registration renewals changes of address and notice of vehicle sale can be handled on line at: www.oregondmv.com.
Nationally, gas prices are down two-cents a gallon, while gas in Oregon is up a penny to $3.01. Marie Dodds, at the Triple-A says prices should hold steady. The price of diesel increased slightly nationally and in Oregon where the average is $3.36 a gallon. Here in Bend, it’s just under three dollars a gallon.
The defense in the Woodburn bank bombing trial attempts to punch holes in the prosecutions theory that a passing trucker's CB radio set off the bomb. Defense witness Tom Workman says the odds of that happening are astronomical. Joshua Turnidge, one of the defendants is expected to testify this afternoon.
Hundreds wait for hours - some overnight - to get free dental care during a clinic at the Oregon Convention Center. Red Cross volunteer Corky Hellman says people were in line when he showed up at six a-m. The Oregon Dental Association and Dental Foundation of Oregon say the clinic runs through Tuesday. The line is already long for Tuesday’s care. More than one-thousand dental professionals are volunteering for the clinic.
Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden is teaming up with a Republican counterpart to introduce a bill that would allow states to opt out of portions of the federal government's new Healthcare Reform Law. The federal overhaul will become effective in 2014. The proposed legislation was introduced by Wyden and Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Republicans have vowed to modify or repeal President Obama's new Healthcare Reform Law in next year's session of Congress.
If you're planning a road trip over the Thanksgiving weekend, now is the time to make sure your car is ready. Earl Baker, with the Triple-A, says make sure the tires are inflated. Batteries that are over three years old need to be checked. Carry an emergency kit with flares, a shovel, flashlight, batteries, food and water. And this time of year you should have traction devices, especially if you're travelling through the mountains.
A summit today in Portland will bring together lawmakers, leaders in the medical field and many others. It will focus on the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. Tom Parker with the Oregon Partnership sites the recent incident of a Hillsboro Middle School student bringing oxycontin to school and sharing it with some other students. Parker says the focus of the summit will be on defining the problem and looking for a solution.
Officials at Portland International Airport say they expect 290,000 passengers to pass through the airport during Thanksgiving week. But none of them will have one of the controversial full-body scans. Portland isn't scheduled to receive the scanners until next year, and most travelers this week will go through the usual metal detector. Select passengers will be chosen randomly for pat downs.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is joining 13 other Senators calling for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." They want to make it part of the annual Defense Authorization Bill making its way to the Senate floor after Thanksgiving. Wyden calls "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is a toxic combination that is harmful to national security and detrimental to individual freedoms. Wyden sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier this week asking for a vote. It's estimated it costs the military $555 million to recruit and train new service members to replace those discharged for being gay.
The Welches Middle School Choir joined a special ceremony at the World Forestry Center in southwest Portland to celebrate the release of the new Mount Hood quarter. It's the fifth in the 56-quarter "American the Beautiful" series to be released by the U.S. Mint over the next 11 years. The children in the audience were the first to receive the new Oregon quarters. Eighth grader Eavan Burden says she'll keep her quarter forever. The U.S. Mint has created educational materials teachers can use to discuss the monuments featured on the coins and their history.
The University of Oregon wants to clear the air - of tobacco smoke. School Provost Jim Bean says that with the beginning of the 2012 academic year all tobacco products will be banned from campus. The school will also use a million dollar gift to help students and staff who need help quitting. Bean says this is part of the school's healthy campus initiative.
A Medford area developer has been convicted of 17 counts of securities fraud and aggravated theft. Tony Green with the Oregon Attorney General's Office says James C. Nistler targeted seniors, with some losing their life savings. Nistler was a high-ranking U.S. Department of House Official in the late 80s. He was convicted of a scheme involving a proposed housing development in Medford. Attorney General John Kroger called it a complex Ponzi scheme. Nistler will be sentenced December 9th in Medford.
Post 911 baggage screening required new systems be installed in the Portland International Airport (PDX) lobby. Those screenings are now being moved downstairs behind the baggage claim and you won't see them. Steve Schrieber, Port Aviation Director, says you'll leave your bags with the airlines at the ticket counter.The $146-million screening system is faster and more likely to help the Transportation Security Administration find dangerous materials.
Senator Jeff Merkley wants to fix filibuster rule. Currently, when a Senator files an objection to a bill, the Senate shuts down for a week, unless there's a 60-vote override. Merkley and other recently elected Senators will try to force a rule change. It's difficult to do and has to happen on the first day of the session. They need 51 votes. It’s only happened a couple of times in the Senate's history.
Lawyers for Bruce and Joshua Turnidge – the two men accused in the Woodburn bank bombing – call the first of a long list of witnesses. Former State Trooper, Sgt. Steve Sigurdson, acknowledged Bill Hakim kept explosives – C-4 and blasting caps – in his desk inappropriately. Hakim is one of two police officers who died when an explosive device detonated at the bank in December 2008. The other was Woodburn Police Captain Tom Tennant. The Turnidges could face the death penalty if convicted.
Lower airfares and hotel rates are two of the reasons more Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving weekend. “Triple A projects the number of Americans traveling over the long Thanksgiving holiday will increase over 11.4% this year.” Triple A's Marie Dodds says in the northwest, the increase will be almost 14%. Dodds say they expect over 40-million travelers this year.
Hundreds of thousands of Oregonians can't afford to eat. Jessica Chanay with Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon says the State is the third "hungriest" in America. “The high unemployment is also playing a role, for sure. But we also know that there’s a high cost of living here. Housing can often take 50% or more of a household’s income.” She says the 2009 numbers are the same as 2008's, but that's because more Oregonians have turned to food stamps for help.
There’s still time to buy Thanksgiving Raffle tickets from the Oregon Lottery. Half a million tickets will be sold and there will be two $1,000,000 winners. Chuck Baumann with the Lottery says sales are going well. “Well, the Thanksgiving Raffle, there’s probably just less than 32,000 tickets left out of the original 500,000 that we started with, so unlike our previous lotteries, our raffles that we had just had 250,000 tickets, we have 500,000 tickets for the Thanksgiving Raffle.” The winning numbers for the raffle will be announced next Tuesday November 23rd.
The Woodburn bank bombing trial resumes today. The defense for Joshua and Bruce Turnidge calls its first witness today. The prosecution called over 130 witnesses over 19 days. Phil Whitley, an ATF explosives expert, the last State witness, testified that Trooper William Hakim did not set off the bomb that killed he and Woodburn Police Captain Tom Tennant. Whitley says instead, it could have been a garage door opener or perhaps a passing trucker using a CB radio. Whitley conceded to defense attorneys it was not a good idea for Hakim to hammer on the box, but says that would not have set off the bomb. The Turnidges are facing the death penalty if convicted. Prosecutors say the father and son planted the bomb outside the West Coast Bank as part of a failed robbery plot.
It's a different kind of target practice; Columbia County deputies firing dozens of rounds in the sides and bottom of a boat to see if the bullet holes will cause it to sink. The boat, designed by the Tigard company “HIT” or "High Impact Technology", is pummeled but takes on no water. Russ Monk says his "Zumo" boat is designed for water rescue and gear hauling. It’s treated with a special material called "battle jacket." The slugs stick in the material or pass right through it, the holes quickly closing. “Every cubic foot of the boat has over a million air bubbles in it. So if they get popped, it really doesn’t hurt it any.” Monk says pontoon boats used for Hurricane Katrina emergency response were easily disabled by barbed wire, mailboxes and scrap metal under water. HIT hopes to begin production on the line of "Zumos" early next year. Small community search and rescue teams are their ideal customers. The boats will cost $16,000 to $20,000 each.
Gas prices in Oregon are up three cents over the last week to $3 dollars a gallon. Triple-A's Marie Dodds says diesel prices are also up. High crude oil prices caused the price of gas to rise. Crude prices have since declined which should keep gas prices from rising much more. Hawaii still has the most expensive gas at $3.52 a gallon. The average here in Bend is about $2.97.
The most powerful Oregonian in the new Republican-controlled House says his mission is to earn back the public’s trust. He feels it’s time to completely re-do the way Washington does business. Representative Greg Walden says he doesn’t mind the national attention he’s getting as head of the GOP House transition team, because he says everything needs to be transparent and out in the open.
And, the speculation is increasing as to what Oregon Congressman Greg Walden will do after he completes his task of helping the GOP orchestrate a leadership takeover of the House. Walden says he has left the door open to possibly Chair an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over telecommunications policy. There is expected to be a heated contest for the leadership role in that committee. For now, Walden is downplaying his future, stating he wants to see who will be the full Committee Chair before deciding what subcommittee he wants to lead.
Kaine Horman insists he and ex wife Desiree young have a united front in continuing the search for Kyron. In a national interview, Desiree says she's angry to only learn now about what she calls Terri’s severe hatred for Kyron and that she would have removed him from the home had she known. Kaine tells reporters it's news to him: ”There’s no information that I have that she doesn’t have, expect for the fact I lived with Terri for quite a number of years. The information that’s brought forward by investigators is brought forward to both of us at the same time.” Kaine says he disagreed with Terri Horman over parenting styles, but had no indication when they were married that she posed a danger to Kyron. Terri Horman has not been named a suspect or person of interest by police.
The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife is giving you an extra month to comment on a revised plan to protect the spotted owl. Janet Lebson with Fish and Wildlife says it offers more protection and better monitoring. Several members of Congress and the timber industry asked for the extension. Lebson says they hope to complete the revised plan by the end of January.
Oregon Congressman Greg Walden addressed the nation in the GOP weekly radio address. He says it's time for a new direction: “The American people have sent their government a clear message, they want us to focus on creating jobs, they want government to spend less. They want government to be smaller and less intrusive. They want health care reform that protects jobs instead of this government takeover that is costing us jobs.” Walden is Chair of the GOP Transition Team. He says this team is comprised of proven reformers; some of them are serving their first terms in Congress. Almost half of the 80 members sworn into Congress have never served in political office before and Walden says they bring a fresh perspective and a lot of energy.
There will be an even split between Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon House when the Legislature convenes next year. Speaker Dave Hunt says that means they'll have to find a way to share power and work together. They're currently putting together negotiating teams and will develop a plan over the next two months.
The seasonal job market can be tough, not only because of the economy, but especially if you have conflicts with a primary job. The Better Business Bureau says it’s also important to be flexible with scheduling. Kyle Kavas with the Better Business Bureau says they're offering other simple tips for people searching for seasonal work.
You know Christmas is right around the corner when the forest service begins to issue permits for Christmas tree cutting. Forest Service spokesperson Lisa Clark says many families make their annual tree choice a family affair. But, she says there are some restrictions. "We ask that there's a maximum of 5 trees per household. And there are some restrictions on how big the tree is and where you can get it with respect to highways and waterways. All that information is provided at the time that your purchase your permit. But it's a great opportunity to get out in the woods and really make that Christmas tradition part of your own." Clark says that you should research weather and road conditions before heading out. Make sure you know where you are going and let others know as well. Take plenty of water, a first aid kit and a cell phone. There are several places to purchase your permit; you can find them at the Forest Service website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/news/2010/index.shtml.
The Beaverton man accused of robbing Colombia Sportswear’s Gert Boyle at gunpoint Wednesday night is detained on a no-bail immigration hold. In addition, that suspect, Gabriel Caballero, 39, lost his $315,000 Sherwood home to foreclosure last December. West Linn Police say Caballero approached Boyle in her driveway, displayed a gun and forced his way into her home.
A nonprofit organization turns over the keys to a custom equipped home they’ve built for an Oregon Army Ranger critically injured in Afghanistan. Lebanon High School graduate Scott Noss suffered a traumatic brain injury in a helicopter crash. The group “Homes for our Troops” near Birmingham, Alabama, where the soldier’s wife is from, built the home.
A husband and wife washed off a Newport jetty by a wave have been identified. The body of 33-year-old Kathryn Myers was found. 34-year-old Michael Myers is still missing and presumed drowned. The two had walked out on the jetty despite 20 foot seas. The couple worked with Patrick Short at "Comedy Sportz" in Portland. Short says the couple had been hiking and biking on the coast before the accident.
A Beaverton man is charged in the armed robbery of Columbia Sportswear Chairwoman Gert Boyle. West Linn Police Sergeant Neil Hennelly says one of their officers spotted the suspect near a McDonalds. Boyle activated a panic alarm and the first officer scared the suspect from the house. Nestor Caballero, 39, is charged with kidnapping, robbery and burglary. He told police that he specifically targeted Boyle and they don't think he's responsible for other home invasion robberies recently in West Linn.
U.S. Congressman Greg Walden is very optimistic about the direction of his transition team. The 22 member panel is having very productive discussions about how they can help make the house and legislative business much more accessible to all Americans. "Let’s start and build a house that works for the people, because this is the people's house. We're also putting a lot of ideas out there, and I wanted you to understand that. Having been a small business owner for over 20 years, I ask all my people in the company: how do you fix it? Lets throw then all up there and talk about it. It doesn't mean every idea is one you can go with, but I want to create the atmosphere we can have legitimate brainstorming, where we can really look at these issues and resolve them." Walden says the transition team is a group of proven leaders with diverse experience and backgrounds, and all are in one accord to get the Congress fixed and give the American people what they want: more jobs and a better economy.
John Kitzhaber was in downtown Portland, outlining his plan for the next few weeks as he transitions back into the office of Oregon’s Governor. He said his top focus is creating new jobs. Part of the process will be to review the State's business plan using this year's Oregon Business Summit to convert the plan into a set of specific actions to improve the economy. But each section of the State has unique problems. The Business Summit is December 13th. In the meantime, Kitzhaber will also put to work five teams charged with specific tasks aimed at growing the economy.
It’s a record. Fall enrollment in Oregon’s University System is almost 97,000 students Assistant Vice Chancellor Bob Kieran says the entering class is over 32,000 students. He says: “Our profile of freshmen has gone up with a high GPA, higher SAT scores, things like that. So we’re seeing a continued strong freshman profile.” Retention rate for students from 2009-2010 is an all-time high 82.4%.
It looks like we know the final makeup of the Oregon Legislature. The State House will be evenly split, 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats. But the Oregon Senate will have a slight Democratic majority 16 to 14. The two outstanding races include the Senate race in Jackson County where Democrat Alan Bates has widened his lead to 305 votes against Republican challenger Dave Dotterrer. The other race is in Clackamas County where Republican Alan Olsen is leading by more than 300 votes against Democratic Incumbent Martha Schrader.
It's a sure sign that the holiday season is fast approaching. Oregon's $110 million Christmas tree industry is a-buzz with activity: "Shippers are cutting trees right now. They are processing those trees; they are loading trucks and sending them out of state to other states or to foreign countries. Over 80% of the trees that we harvest in Oregon go out of state." Gary McAninch of the Oregon Department of Agriculture says early shipments have aleady gone to Mexico, Guam and a few Pacific Rim countries. Oregon growers harvest 7.8 million Christmas trees annually and expect this year to be no different.
Portland’s 28th Annual National College Fair is going high tech this year. Counselor Julia Surtshin says, instead of filling out postcards at every college booth, students can go online for an I.D. The I.D. is then scanned at each college booth they're interested in. Some 12,000 students and parents are expected this year, along with more than 285 colleges. The fair is Friday and Saturday at the Oregon Convention Center.
The District Attorney of eastern Oregon's Umatilla County is charged with official misconduct. Dean Gushwa is accused of using his office to obtain sex and cover it up. Justice Department spokesman Tony Green declines to go into much detail. Gushwa has been on leave since a 44-year-old woman made sex abuse accusations against him last summer. He denies the charges and says he's confident the truth will come out.
Elizabeth Diane Downs, the Oregon woman convicted of shooting her three children, and killing one, will get another parole hearing. The parole board denied parole to Downs in December of 2008, deferring her next hearing to next month. With changes in the law, if Downs is denied parole again, it might be another ten years before she gets another hearing.
A sting operation by a Senate staffer using an e-mail account found 10 Chinese companies willing to help an importer dodge U.S. trade laws. Jennifer Hoelzer in Senator Ron Wyden's office says they will use the information to toughen trade laws. To avoid unfair competition, Chinese companies are required to pay tariff on items produced using government subsidies and then exported to the U.S.
It appears that a hookah lounge fad is firing up in Oregon. The lounges are most often near college campuses and can feature various flavored tobaccos. Public Health Doctor Katrina Hedberg says lounge owners want an exemption to the smoke-free rules. She says hookah smoking can lead to the same health problems as cigarette smoking.
An early-morning fire heavily damaged the Holy Family Catholic Church in Burns Tuesday. Burns Fire Chief Scott Williamson said the alarm was called in shortly before 1 a.m. at the church. About 15 firefighters from the Burns, Hines and Paiute Fire Departments battled the blaze, keeping it from reaching a separate church structure to the north. "Preliminary reports indicate that the fire seems to have started in the rafters of the central part of the building, and was very likely electrical" Williamson said. The hall is a 55-year-old single-story building with a large gathering hall, kitchen and classrooms, totaling 6,300 square feet. No injuries were reported and no evacuations required of any nearby structures. The Fire Chief said the State Fire Marshal’s Office would be helping to determine the cause. The Bishop serving the area said the cost of replacing the structure could top $1 million.
Over 300 businesses are licensed to sell Oregon Duck gear. But with the football team’s top ranking, the University is seeing more illegal sales that include some profane products. Matt Dyste with the University of Oregon says that also leads to lost revenue for the University. Over 350 items were seized in Eugene during the recent home game against Washington.
The FBI in Portland has taken part in a national effort to find children forced into the sex trade. “Rescuing and recovering children who are caught up in the child sex trafficking industry. And bringing to justice someof the pimps and other adults who are involved in that.” The FBI's Beth Anne Steele says three children were found in Portland; 12 were found in Seattle. 19 adults were arrested in Portland. FBI agents worked with more than a dozen other local and federal agencies in the Portland and Vancouver, to run the sting.
Gasoline prices nationally are up a nickel a gallon to $2.85, but there is no change of price in Oregon with the average at $2.97. Triple-A's Marie Dodds says diesel prices are also up nationwide. Oregon’s gas price is 9th highest in the country. Washington’s average of $3.07 is fourth highest. There are now eight states with gas prices above $3.00 a gallon. The average price here in Bend is $2.91.
It’s almost a week since the elections are over and a couple of State Senate races are still hanging in the balance. One of those is the Senate District 20 race between Democrat incumbent Martha Schrader and Republican challenger Alan Olsen. Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall tells us the number they had to count as of Monday morning: “When we started this (Monday) morning at 9 o-clock, we had about 1950 ballots left to count, and out of that number 450 are all inspected and in the box ready to be sent to the tally machines and ready to be counted, that leaves about 1500.” Hall says the numbers between Schrader and Olsen will change a bit Monday, but we will have to wait until Friday to get a more accurate total. That is the deadline by which challenged ballots have to be re-submitted. A challenge ballot is one where the signature does not match the one on file. Right now, the Republican Olsen leads by 216 votes. The difference must be around 100 ballots to trigger an automatic recount. In the other race for Senate District Number 3, the Democrat Alan Bates leads Dave Dotterrer by 240 votes.
Oregon is part of a new multi-state settlement with U.S. Fidelis. The company offered virtually useless extended vehicle warranties. Tony Green in the Attorney General's Office has advice for consumers. Missouri based U.S. Fidelis has filed bankruptcy and has been ordered to turn over millions of dollars in assets as part of the settlement. Green says Oregon is one of eleven states expecting some money out of the deal.
For the first time since June, the University of Oregon Economic Index has increased; two-tenths of a percent last month. Economist Tim Duy says consumer demand is not strong enough to drive job growth. Duy says one positive note is that the number of people filing new unemployment claims has fallen to the lowest level since March. He says it still appears the recovery will remain jobless and weak.
The cardiac nurse who did CPR on a Central High School football player who collapsed during a game in September has gotten a huge honor. The American Heart Association presented Lisa Lyver with its Heart Saver Award Thursday for saving Hayward Demison's life. Lyver just happened to watching from the stands when Demison suffered a heart attack after scoring a touchdown for his team. Lyver ran onto the field and performed CPR. At the hospital, doctors found Demison had a correctable heart defect, and he's now recovering from heart surgery. His doctors say he should be able to play football again next season.
More sea lions are dying along the Oregon coast this year. The cause is a bacterial infection the animals spread among themselves. OSU Mammal Researcher Jim Rice says the disease is more obvious this year due to a larger migrating population.
Oregon puts out thousands of gypsy moth traps every year. This year, they caught just one gypsy moth. When the moths get out of control, they can damage large sections of forest. Scientists believe the low number of moths might be due to the down economy, with fewer travelers from the East coast bringing moths back on their vehicles.
Three former Bend residents are headed for prison for tax evasion. Jerry Miller, 61, of Redmond was sentenced to 33 months and ordered to pay over $200,000 in restitution to the IRS. William Cardwell, 62, of Carlton was sentenced to one year in prison and his wife Jennifer were sentenced to five months.
Mr. Cardwell will have to pay $197,000 in restitution to the IRS and his wife will pay $114,000. According to evidence presented at the trial, between 1995 and 2005, Miller and the Cardwells worked at business administrative services, a payroll tax company. They were convicted of using abusive trusts to evade the assessment and collection of their federal income taxes.
Oregon Representative Greg Walden will be heading up the transition committee for the next Congress, with a Republican majority. John Boehner will be the House Majority Leader, but former Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced today she would pursue the House Minority Position. “In some ways I'm a little surprised by that. But in other ways it is a movement forward. It’s not my philosophy but it is for the hard-core center Democrats in Congress in the House. I'm intrigued by that.” Walden says he is ready to sit down with Democrats and try to get America’s economy going again.
It’s an annual tradition. The American Red Cross Civil War Blood Drive kicked off Thursday. It's a chance for your to back your favorite team: the Oregon Ducks or the Oregon State Beavers. Jennifer Shaw with the Red Cross says it's always fun, but make no mistake, it is a competition. "This is our 9th year and it has been actually 2 years since the Ducks have won. Last year the Beavers won by about 12,000 donors; so we are really challenging the Ducks to come out this year since they are having such a great season. We'd like to see the same in regards to blood donation." Shaw says they will have fun events and prizes throughout the entire drive. You can call the Red Cross to make an appointment or go to their website, we have a link to at on our links page at KBND.com. The last day for the drive is November 20th.
They are still counting ballots in Clackamas County for the State Senate race between Democratic incumbent Martha Schrader and Republican Alan Olsen. There are still about 750 ballots left to count. Currently 228 votes separate the two and the Republican, Alan Olsen is leading. That's less than one percentage point between the two. If Olsen maintains his lead, the oregon state senate will be evenly divided among Republicans and Democrats, 15-15.
Governor Kulongoski has issued a proclamation stating that next week to be Veteran's Awareness Week. It is a week to honor and remember those veterans both living and dead who have sacrificed so much for our country. Veterans advocate Dick Tobiason says its a great signal to us that the state wants to honor military members, especially world war two vets: "We're losing some of them. Actually our population in Oregon is declining, as it is across the country, the veteran's population that is. About somewhere close to 25,000 to 30,000 of World War II veterans. And we're losing those. And I don't know if the public really is aware that the greatest generation is will have disappeared probably in less than 10 years from now, we'll have very few of them." Tobiason says it really means a lot when people thanks the veterans for their service and that it took a long time for the government to recognize the veterans of many wars. He’s encouraging everyone to come out for the Veterans Day parade on Thursday, November 11th at 11 a-m in downtown Bend.
Democratic Senator Patty Murray has defeated Republican Challenger Dino Rrossi after a third day of vote tallying in Washington State. Rossi conceded Thursday night and Murray declared victory. Murray captured her fourth term, adding to the Democrats' slight cushion in the Senate after Republicans made gains there Tuesday while seizing control of the House.