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Regional News Archives for 2011-07


Daycare Owners Gets A "Time Out"


A daycare provider who gave a very young child a "time out" is under arrest. It happened in Beaverton when, just before 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to a welfare check on a child that had been crying for over an hour outside a daycare. When they arrived, they found a 15 month old girl knocking on the back door of the building and crying. The owner of the day care facility, Susanne Pounds, 58, told police she had locked the child outdoors for a "time out" and was watching three other kids. When police investigated further they found the daycare owner's adult daughter and her boyfriend with heroin in the home. Susanne Pounds was arrested for child neglect and other alleged crimes in connection with the heroin.

 

 

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Oregon Dems Say Money Problems Stem from GOP


Oregon Democrats are in the minority, but they're front and center in the House debate over the debt ceiling. Earl Blumenauer chalks up the nation's money problems to the GOP: “Ionically, most of the debt was incurred as a direct result of the policies of the two Presidents: Bush and Ronald Reagan.” And Peter DeFazio said, on the House floor, that both the Bush and Obama tax cuts have failed to create jobs.

 

 

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Battle of Chemo Payments


The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is being asked to reconsider the case of Joanie Lafferty versus Providence Health Plan. Providence refused to cover Lafferty's chemotherapy for brain cancer. But she says they did cover the same care for another patient. Lafferty says Providence Health Plan says coverage was denied because the Harrisburg woman did not specifically request coverage for brain cancer.

 

 

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Expert Not Sure How Debt Ceiling Default Will Affect Oregon


State Economist Tom Pitiowsky says it's hard to know exactly how a federal default would affect Oregon.  But he can surmise that federally-backed state programs that help low-income families will be hurting. Pitiowsky says the debt ceiling should be raised to prevent the default and the conversation should be separate from talks about reducing the national debt. Though efforts to reduce the debt should continue.

 

 

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More Farmers Markets Available to Low Income


Vendors at local farmers markets are beginning to see more shoppers taking advantage of state and federal food assistance programs at their stands. Nonda Telio produces tomatoes and honey at his farm in Battle Ground. He says the programs help the shoppers and the farmers. He gets a little extra money in his pocket, and gets to sell food to folks who many not be able to afford it with the programs. Portland Farmers Market reports more seniors take advantage of the farmers markets than families, though EBT cards can be used to buy tokens to buy food at the market.

 

 

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Several Already Showing Interest in Wu's Seat


With David Wu's resignation, a special election is in order. Oregon's major political parties are considering whom they will support. Governor Kitzhaber has announced he wants to see a primary election to choose the top Republican and Democratic candidates for a special election. Oregon Republican Party Chair Allen Alley says there are number of worthy potential nominees: Rob Cornilles who ran against Wu in 2010; Rob Miller is a guy that’s been talked about, he’s a businessman. And then there’s State Representatives, Senators interested in this.” Democratic Party of Oregon Executive Director Trent Lutz says they have a long list of qualified options: “Already two announcements: State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian ans well as State Representative Brad Witt.” There are rumors State Senator Suzanne Bonamici and former Representative Greg Macpherson could throw their hats in the ring.

 

 

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Beware of the 'Green Dot Moneypak' Scam


A Marion County man received a call that he'd won a sweepstakes. All he had to do to collect the winnings was buy 3 pre-paid Green Dot Moneypak Cards; call a number in Idaho and give them the serial numbers.  Instead he called Marion County Sheriffs, who contacted the Oregon Attorney General's Office. Kate Medema: “This is a variation on a typical theme that’s been going on for the past few years. We believe a lot of these scams are run by someone in a different country.” She says consumers need to know that you should not have to pay to win a prize. Also, protect your personal information and report any kind of offer like this that seem suspicious.

 

 

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Big Spill on I-84 Getting Mopped Up


The mop up is underway in the Columbia Gorge, where an out-of-control tanker spilled more than 900 gallons of gasoline. ODOT's Kimberly Dinwiddie says crews are set up along Interstate 84 about two miles east of Multnomah Falls. They're drilling wells to see if the groundwater is contaminated.

 

 

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Candidates Already Lining Up For Wu's Seat


Governor John Kitzhaber announced he will call for a special election as soon as he receives Congressman David Wu's official resignation.... and he'll give the Secretary of State plenty of time to hold a primary election. Democratic party of Oregon Executive Director Trent Lutz says he's heard of several potential candidates. State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and State Representative Brad Witt,  both Democrats, have already announced plans to run for the seat.  Wu's Republican opponent in the last election, Rob Cornilles is expected to run. And Washington County businessman Rob Miller is considering his options.

 

 

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Highway 20 Crash Causes Power Outage, Damage to Car Lot


Just after midnight, a driver traveling on Highway 20 near Smolich Motors lost control of his car, hitting a power pole and shearing it off, and plunging residents into the dark.  Michael Lynn Anderson of Bend apparently lost control of his car while driving on Highway 20 eastbound. Debris from the power pole damaged several cars in the parking lot and live lines were strewn across Highway 20. Pacific Power spokesman Bob Gravely says they have been working through the night. "It affected some overheard lines that are on the pole; it took out power to about 33 people in the area. We’ve had crews working on it through the early morning hours and we hope by 8 a.m. this morning to have the power restored to those customers." Police closed the highway to clean up the damage and power crews are on the scene to repair the pole. They hope to have Highway 20 completely open by 8 a.m. Anderson was taken to St. Charles with non-life threatening injuries. He is charged with DUII and Criminal Mischief. The investigation is continuing.

 

 

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Man Dies After Fall at Beacon Rock


Skamania County authorities say a man who died Sunday after falling more than 100 feet while climbing at Beacon Rock has been identified as a Tualatin Valley Firefighter. Sheriff's deputies say Nathan Turner of southeast Portland was rappelling down the south corner route of Beacon Rock about 5:30 Sunday afternoon when he fell. Turner had been with the Tualatin Valley Fire Department since 2007 and served at the station in Beaverton.

 

 

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Gas Spill on I-84


Cleanup begins today in an effort to prevent gasoline spilled from an overturned fuel tanker on Interstate 84 from reaching the Columbia River. The tanker overturned Sunday, causing 900 gallons of fuel to leak and prompting closure of a stretch of eastbound I-84 for hours. Officials say the gasoline has likely already reached area groundwater. State Department of Environmental Quality personnel are scheduled to begin measuring the reach of the spill today. 

 

 

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Arrests Made in Check Fraud Case


Lincoln County officers have made several arrests after the discovery of a fraudulent check cashing scheme on the Oregon coast.  Detective Charles Lane says the Lincoln Interagency Narcotics Team arrested Claudia Starkey, 47, of Beaverton for trying to cash a $2000 check at Chinook Winds Casino on July 17th, that led to a search of a residence in Depoe Bay. Michael Tatum of Depoe Bay and Ross Hayward, 37 of Lincoln City were arrested for making the fake checks. Three others were arrested after being recruited to cash the checks.  Lane says more arrests are expected as the investigation continues.

 

 

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Gas Prices Bumping Up


Gas prices are moving up, slightly. Marie Dodds with the Triple-A says the national average is being driven up by prices in the central U.S., which have spiked because of problems with a refinery.  Dodds says on the west coast, prices should remain mostly stable through the summer. Diesel in Oregon declined a penny to $4.04 a gallon. Here in Bend, Our average is about $3.78.

 

 

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The Drumbeat Louder to Oust Wu


The heat is on Oregon Congressman David Wu to resign over sex charges.  Republican State Senator Bruce Starr predicts that Wu'll be gone in seven to ten days: “He should end the charade. He should resign and allow for a representative to get elected and truly represent the First District.” Calls are coming from the left as well.  A blogger for the liberal 'Blue Oregon' web site says the allegations are serious enough that Wu should go - now.

 

 

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Hunting Geese in Certain Areas Will Be Permitted


As geese continue to winter in Oregon, instead of California, farmers are trying to protect their crops from the destructive, protected birds. Michelle Dennehy with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the federal government has provided a grant for them to expand a program that encourages hunters to look for geese on private lands. They will help land owners prepare their property. “Through the program, ODF&W takes care of details like signing, patrolling the properties. If hunters need to reserve, we can help coordinate those hunter reservations.”  Dennehy says geese are particularly fond of grass seed, a popular crop in the Willamette Valley. Landowners who participate in the program are eligible for payment based on the size and location of their property. Visit the ODF & W website for more on the program.

 

 

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Portland Now Has a Plastic Bag Ban


The Oregon Legislature couldn't do it, but the City of Portland has approved a plastic bag ban that takes effect October 15th.  The new ordinance will make it illegal for stores with more than $2-million in annual sales, or stores larger than 10,000 square feet to offer single use bags to their customers. Lisa Sedlar, President of New Seasons Markets, says many of their customers already use reusable bags.  Far West Fibers, a waste management and recycling company doesn't normally support bans, but testified in favor of the plan, saying the bags jam their equipment costing them millions of dollars in maintenance.

 

 

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Pregnant snake?


The 15-foot long anaconda at the Oregon Coast Aquarium is pregnant. Cindy Hanson says the snake started acting differently, so they conducted an ultrasound. They expect her to give birth soon. Anacondas normally have about 20 babies, but can have as many as 100. The baby snakes will go to a handler in Corvallis where they'll be raised and then sent to zoos and aquariums. Rogue ales is making an anaconda ale with part of the proceeds going the aquarium.

 

 

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A "Good" Sign of the Times


It’s hard to tell by the jobs picture in Oregon, but there are some signs of a recovery. Oregon economist say they are seeing a gradual improvement in the economy, based on the fact that they are seeing fewer initial claims and people are not using up their benefits. Tom Fuller with the Oregon Employment Department says 128,000 Oregonians are receiving $36 million in unemployment benefits. $55 million in unemployment claims were paid out during the same time last year.

 

 

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Schrader Supports "Gang of Six"


Oregon 5th District Congressman Kurt Schrader is worried about what will happen if there is not a resolution of the debt ceiling standoff. If the August 2nd deadline is not met he says the U.S. can't pay its bills. Schrader supports long-term deficit reduction coupled with reduced spending. And he acknowledges there needs to be tax cuts and they need to get spending under control.

 

 

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Columbia River Crossing Project Needs Revision


Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler says a plan to cover costs of a new Columbia River crossing needs to be revised because estimates on income from tolling are no longer accurate. In his revision of the CRC Financial Plan, Wheeler says consultants have collectively recommended a 15% to 25% reduction in tolling revenue assumptions. Consultants believe a slower-than-expected economic recovery is partly to blame. Wheeler says a change to the financial plan does not mean the project will be delayed, but Governor Kitzhaber has asked the Department of Transportation to prepare a new construction sequencing plan that better matches the most recent financial picture.

 

 

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New DUII Law in Washington State – "Cools the Jets"


There’s a new law on the books in Washington as of tonight that says if somebody's pulled over for DUI; their car is automatically impounded for twelve hours. Sgt. JJ Gundermann says the law's designed to prevent a repeat of a case in Whatcom County a few years ago, where a person was pulled over and arrested for DUI, and after being released, took a taxi home, got a set of car keys, picked up the car where it was left and seriously injured another person. Now the car will be held for 12 hours, although if it's owned by somebody other than the person arrested, then the owner can retrieve it earlier.

 

 

 

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Haugen A Step Closer to His Goal


Death row inmate Gary Haugen will undergo a mental evaluation August 23rd, and could have a new death warrant signed by mid September allowing his execution to move forward. Marion County Judge Jamese Rhoades, who fired Haugen's previous attorneys indicated they could be in trouble for challenging her ruling.

Haugen's first execution date was postponed by the State Supreme Court.

 

 

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Police Seek Help in Dog Killing


The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is investigating the killing of a 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier named “Spot” in Happy Valley, southeast of Portland. The dog's owners let it out Saturday night and found the dog Sunday night in tall grass on the edge of their property. Sergeant James Rhodes says the dog was also partially skinned. They're hoping someone will come forward with information about the case.

 

 

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Gas Prices Remain Same for Three Weeks


Gas prices stay about the same for the third week in a row in Oregon. We're hovering around $3.75; the national average is up about four cents to $3.68. Marie Dodds with Triple A says; unless there's a major storm or political problem, prices probably won't change much through the summer. Oregon's average on diesel is $4.05; the national average at $3.95. In Bend, we average about $3.76.

 

 

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Drunk Dad Arrested for Harassing His Family


The Marion County Sheriff's Office arrests a man after forcing his sons to play a drinking game while fishing near Detroit Lake. Michael Williams is accused of telling his sons to take a drink of rum and coke each time they cast their lines. Don Thomson, with the Marion County Sheriff's Office says the boys didn't want to do it, so they pretended to drink. When Williams passed out, the boys took his keys to keep him from driving. When Williams awoke, he hit his son in the mouth, because he wouldn't return his keys. Back at camp; he continued to threaten his family. Williams is charged with menacing and assault.

 

 

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Ashland Mom Possibly "Kidnapped" By Son


The FBI is on the hunt for Doris Goldberg, 85, of Ashland; who's believed to have been kidnapped by her own 55-year old son. They may be in the San Francisco Bay area or Los Angeles. The FBI’s Beth Anne Steele says they may be traveling in a 1996 gold Oldsmobile with California plates. Goldberg has medical issues and could be in danger. Photos are on the FBI's website for kidnapped people.

 

 

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Portland Man Sentenced to Life for Killing Wife


A Multnomah County Judge sentenced Brian Cole to life in prison with a chance of parole after 25 years for murdering his wife Heather Mallory in 2008. Mallory's mother, Jeni says it's a relief to finally have closure. Prosecutors say Cole killed Mallory because she was seeing another man. Mallory's parents now have custody of their six year old grandson. Cole will be eligible for parole after 25 years.

 

 

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PGE Becomes a Greener Utility


Pacific Gas and Electric reports they have begun installing equipment needed to reduce hazardous emissions from their coal burning plant in Boardman. Steve Corson with PGE says this work has helped the power company settle a 2008 lawsuit by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups. According to a plan set by PGE, the state and the Public Utility Commission, the Boardman plant will transition away from coal power in Boardman by 2020.

 

 

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One Oregon Union Agrees to Contract


One of Oregon’s largest public employee unions has reached an agreement for a contract with the State. AFSCME represents about 6000 state workers, including corrections officers and DEQ workers. Governor Kitzhaber said in a press release this agreement represents a responsible set of trade offs for both sides that positions Oregon for a better financial future. Kitzhaber hopes to reach agreements with the other unions still at the bargaining table.

 

 

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Yashanee Vaughn Positively Identified


Oregon medical examiners confirm the remains found on Rocky Butte is that of Yashanee Vaughn. They say the 14 year old died from a gunshot wound to the head. The girl had been missing since March 19th. Her funeral is scheduled for July 30th. Parrish Bennette, Jr., 16, is being held without bail accused of beating and shooting her to death.

 

 

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Enjoy the Cooler Summer – It Could Be Short Lived


Summer is the Pacific Northwest has been delayed by a huge ridge in the middle of the country. It's keeping us in a pattern of below average temperatures and above average rainfall. Kathie Dello with the Oregon Climate Service says there is hope for summer though. “We will see summer. The outlook from NOAA has us at equal chances for above or below average temperature for the next three months. So it’s a roll of the dice, but summer always happens in the northwest, even if it starts a little late.” Dello says the ridge that's keeping us locked into the cool pattern may not move out for at least the next week.

 

 

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Interest Rates Could Rise


If Congress can't reach agreement and the debt ceiling isn't increased, the U.S. could default on its loans, and that would cause interest rates to go up. Ryan Deckert, President of the Oregon Business Association, says that uncertainty would cause consumers to stop spending and companies would stop hiring. The gains from the economic recovery would be lost and Deckert says there's a good chance the economy would fall back into recession. 

 

 

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Regence BlueCross-BlueShield Doesn't Get Big Rate Hike


The State of Oregon is lowering the rate increase by Regence BlueCross BlueShield from 22% to nearly 13%.  Cheryl Martinis with Oregon Consumer and Business Services says no other insurance companies were asking for that much of an increase. Regence disagrees with the decision. The company says limiting rates to below anticipated medical spending isn't sustainable. They say the State's projection overlooks future costs and is overly optimistic.

 

 

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Safeway Classic is Coming Up


The Safeway Classic is celebrating 40 years of LPGA Tournament Golf this August. Tom Maletis with the Tournament Golf Foundation says this year they'll renegotiate with title sponsor Safeway for continued support.  50 of the top female golfers will play in this year's anniversary tournament at Pumpkin Ridge August 19th through 21st. For more go to: www.safewayclassic.com.

 

 

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Schrader Targeted By Conservative Group


Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader is being targeted in ads by Karl Rove's group "Crossroads GPS."  It's attacking his record on spending and his positions on taxes and the debt. The group is running ads against ten Democratic Congressmen urging constituents to voice their opposition to more taxes, spending and debt. 

This comes at the same time as the house will vote on a bill requiring the government to balance its budget. The bill is not expected to pass the Senate.

 

 

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Washington State Move Over Law A Problem


Washington State Police are issuing more reminders than tickets for the state's new "Move Over" law.  Trooper JJ Gunderman says eight troopers have been involved in crashes while stopped on the side of a road, so far this year. Statewide, troopers have stopped 2200 drivers for violating the law. They've written nearly 360 tickets. Oregon has a similar law that requires drivers to either slow down or move over when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of a road.

 

 

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Greener Cleanup


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality wants to make hazardous waste clean up more environmentally friendly.  DEQ's Tom Roick says that includes the way waste is cleaned up. That could include using biodiesel in equipment, or solar power to run treatment systems.  The proposal also includes using natural technologies...such as bacteria...to remove contaminated material.  DEQ is accepting comments on the plan through August 12th.

 

 

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Police Still Unsure of Remains Identification


In a press conference Saturday afternoon with Portland Police, the medical examiner says they still can't be sure the remains are that of Yashanee Vaughn. They are continuing the investigation into identifying the human remains. Vaughn's family is convinced that it is her body. Portland Police Lieutenant Robert King reiterated that this is an on-going investigation and that they still need help from the public in solving the case.

 

 

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Portland Could Have A "Carmageddon" Too


If you commute to Portland you may experience your own little “Carmageddon”like Los Angeles; but on a much smaller scale. Paving work will close the top deck of the Fremont Bridge for four weekends this summer, starting with a partial closure this coming weekend. The two left southbound lanes will be closed From 11:00 p.m. July 22nd, through 5:00 a.m., Monday July 25th. Full closures of the upper deck will follow the weekends of July 29th, August fifth and August 19th.

 

 

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Blumenauer Wants U.S. Investigation of Murdoch


Congressman Earl Blumenauer's name is turning up in London newspapers as the Oregon Democrat is calling for an FBI probe of Rupert Murdoch's media holdings in the U.S. Blumenauer says the United Kingdom phone hacking scandal may only scratch the surface.  Blumenauer says illegal activities by Murdoch’s London tabloid 'News of the World' may be indicative of more corruption elsewhere in the company.

 

 

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Little Girl Honored


Friends and family are remembering the nine year old little girl who drowned on the Oregon coast on the Fourth of July. They gathered Thursday night in a candle-light vigil at Cherry Park School to remember the  Portland girl; Angelica Fisher. She was riding on an inflatable toy when a wave knocked her off and pulled her into the ocean. "We have a card making station a letter making station. We also are going to be writing letters to heaven and releasing them with balloons.” A tree at the school is also dedicated to her.  The school hopes to raise money to help the family cover funeral expenses.

 

 

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Raise a Glass to the Oregon Wine Industry


It started out small, but the Oregon Wine industry has become a multi-billion dollar heavyweight for the Oregon economy. That's according to a study that was done for the Oregon Wine Board. Chairman Sam Tannahill says all signs point to continued positive growth. The study conducted by a California firm called “Full Glass Research” says the economic impact of Oregon's wine industry is now $2.7 billion annually. That's double what it was five years ago.

 

 

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Haugen Scores a Victory – of Sorts


Death row inmate Gary Haugen will get new attorneys. That ruling Thursday by Marion County Presiding Judge Jamese Rhoades. Haugen wants to be executed for killing another inmate. But he first must undergo a mental evaluation to see if he's competent. A previous execution date approved by another judge was blocked by the State Supreme Court.

 

 

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Sex Abuse Sentencing


Michael Marceau and Lisa Ford of Aloha will serve state and federal prison time concurrently for dozens of counts of sex abuse against her two children; one of them severely disabled and bedridden. Before she was sentenced, Lisa Ford apologized to the children and to her parents. Marceau was sentenced to 49 years in prison, Ford to 45. The two were arrested in February after investigators discovered Marceau had been trading sexually explicit photos of the children, and of themselves performing explicit acts with the children.

 

 

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Women's Soccer Gaining Fans


Soccer fans spent Wednesday morning at Kells Irish Pub in Portland to watch the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team advance over France to the final round of the world cup. Connor Lampkin, 18, of New Orleans was glad to find a place to watch the game while she is in town checking out Portland State University.  “Women’s soccer is definitely getting bigger here, and I think we should support it more, because we are so good and it’s fun to watch and just good to get into it because its so much fun.” The Americans will now play either Japan or Sweden in Sunday’s final in Frankfurt.

 

 

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Bad Loan Operation Fined


An out-of-state loan operation's been hit with a $90,000 fine. Consumer affairs spokeswoman Lisa Morawski says the Utah company was violating Oregon's payday lending laws. They were charging rates as high as 2700%, while the Oregon limit is 36%. Officials say they are aware that similar companies are still making loans in Oregon, and they promise more enforcement action.

 

 

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"Caylees Law" to Be Introduced


Add Oregon to the list of states that will consider "Caylee's Law"; a proposed law that would require parents and guardians to report the death or disappearance of a child to police within 24-hours.  Representative Shawn Lindsay says as a father of three, the story hits home. Two-year-old Caylee Anthony's remains were discovered a few months after her grandmother reported her missing.   The toddler's mother saying she died in the family pool. Just last week, she was acquitted of charges related to the girls death.

 

 

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Robbery By Pit Bull


In Portland, police say a robber is using a pit bull as a weapon. Portland police report a father and son gave up their backpacks to a robber who threatened them with a pit bull. Officers say the pair was walking their bicycles along a Willamette River when Jan Leith Haga, Junior, 29, a transient approached them holding a leashed gray and white pit bull. He was holding the leash in a manner indicating that he was trying to hold the dog back from attacking, and demanded their backpacks. Police found Haga under a bridge a short time later with one of the backpacks and took him into custody. The pit bull was taken to animal control.

 

 

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Gas Prices Trickle Down


The west coast is getting a break on gas prices; while the rest of the country is paying more. Marie Dodds at the Triple-A says diesel prices have also declined about 2-cents to $4.05. Dodds says prices in the midwest are up significantly because of a closed refinery and higher crude prices. Analysts expect prices on the west coast to remain stable. In Bend, our price averages about $375 for a gallon of regular.

 

 

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There's An App for That...


The Portland Bureau of Transportation is gearing up for a new pilot project that will allow drivers to pay for parking via a mobile app. Cheryl Kuck with the Bureau says they'll try it out for 90 days in the Pearl District. The system has been successful in cities like San Francisco, Charlotte and Washington, D.C.

 

 

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Healthy Kids in Oregon


A big step forward for Oregon’s kids. The rate of uninsured kids has been cut in half in the past two years to 5.6%. Cathy Kauffman says it's all thanks to the Oregon Healthy Kids Program. Anybody is eligible, with premiums dependent on family income.
 
 
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Two Rescued From Adrift Boat


The Coast Guard makes contact with a stranded Astoria-based 40-foot fishing vessel, adrift off the Oregon coast since Monday (7/4). Chief Robert Lanier says "The Dahlia", a tuna troller lost power sometime after departing Sunday. The Coast Guard patrolled by air and water without luck; eventually making radio contact last Friday morning. The two passengers on-board are believed to be in good health. The first message for help was delivered by text message to a family member.

 

 

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Dog Saves Family


A Beaverton couple owe their lives to their dog, who alerted them to a fire outside their apartment on northwest Cornell Road Thursday night. Kelli Landis says that just after midnight, her dog Marcus started barking, alerting her and her husband to the flames in time for them to join other residents in putting the fire out. 

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue spokesman Brian Barker says someone deliberately set the fire, but no suspect has been identified.

 

 

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ODOT Funding Could be Cut


As part of the budget process underway in Washington D.C., states could lose a big chunk of transportation funding. One proposal would cut money from the Federal Highway Trust Fund by 34%. Travis Brower with ODOT says that would have a significant impact on highway and transportation projects in the state. The Federal Highway Trust Fund has been spending more money than it receives, but funding has been maintained to states with special infusions from Congress.

 

 

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Warning to Boaters: Stop for Inspections


If you're towing a boat and see an aquatic invasive species inspection station, you'll want to stop.  Rick Boatner with Oregon Fish and Wildlife, says they'll check you boat for standing water. Oregon is trying to keep species such as zebra mussels out of lakes and stream. They're non-native and can cause widespread damage.  If you don't get the inspection and are stopped at a later time; you can be fined.

 

 

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Changes in Egg Production for Oregon Farms


Over the next 15 years, Oregon egg farmers will be transitioning to enriched colony hen housing. At Willamette Egg Farms, Greg Satrum says it gives the hens more room. “Support within United Egg Producers is very strong. I think it’s a change that farmers would want to make; it’s a natural progression for us as we’re always looking to do a better job.” He says the long transition means it can be done without causing egg prices to skyrocket.

 

 

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Harris' Oregon Fines "Taken Care of" by Parents


A well known Oregon Duck can thank his parents for paying off his debts. Cliff Harris' mother wrote a check for over $1600 to pay off fines after Harris was cited for speeding 118 miles an hour with a suspended license on I-5 near Albany. In fact, the Eugene Register Guard reports his parents have paid nearly $4300 in court fines stemming from a series of traffic infractions and being a minor in possession of alcohol. The All American cornerback has been suspended for the Ducks season opener against LSU. Harris was driving a car rented by a U of O employee. The NCAA is investigating the rental agreement.

 

 

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New Casino is a Hopeful Sign for Warm Springs


High unemployment plagues the Warm Springs Indian Tribe. They had hoped to build a new casino in the Gorge but are instead moving ahead with a new casino in Warm Springs. KahNeeTa Resort General Manager says the Indian Head Casino should attract more visitors when it opens early next year because it's much closer to Highway 26.  The casino in KahNeeTa will close when the new one opens.

 

 

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Another Dog Attack


A Salem woman is grieving the loss of her pet dog after a pit bull bit it's head and shook it. Owner Belinda Joye had let her small dog out into the unfenced backyard as she stood nearby around 9:20 pm Wednesday night .   While the dog was a short distance away, a pit bull ran into the backyard and bit the small dog by its head and began shaking it. As of this morning, the person who owns the pit bull had not come forward. "Because the dog had no tags, there's absolutely no way I can hold anyone responsible, unless they come forward and says that they own it.” Officers who responded went door to door throughout the neighbor trying to locate the owner of the pit bull, but no one was familiar with the dog. 

 

 

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Oregon Economy at A Standstill


Oregon’s economy has stopped growing. University of Oregon Economist Tim Duy says high gas prices and the Japanese tsunami are the main reasons; but they're temporary. Greater concerns are how Congress deals with the U.S. credit crisis, and the debt crisis in Greece. Those could both negatively affect the future of an economic recovery.

 

 

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Portland Bike Race


Saturday morning at 5 a.m., thousands of cyclists will be ready to go for the 32nd Annual Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. MJ Kelly is one of the organizers and says this year people are able to time themselves, although it's not a competition. Wash-Dot and ODOT are asking drivers to use caution and be aware there will be a number of cyclists on many of the state routes through the weekend.

 

 

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Does Medicaid Make A Difference?


Participants in the Oregon Health Plan were used to conduct a study on whether expanding Medicaid makes a difference. Bill Wright, with Providence Research, conducted the study and says the availability of Medicaid means low income people are healthier and have less stress over paying medical bills. Harvard and M.I.T. assisted with the study. Oregon was chosen, because the state used a lottery to select applicants and that gives better research results.

 

 

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Gresham Woman Dies in Montana River Accident


Montana authorities say a woman who drowned in the Blackfoot River Tuesday afternoon is identified as Maxcine Viola Smith, 70, of Gresham, Oregon. Sheriff's Captain Rich Maricelli says Smith was rafting with her grown daughter and 15-year-old granddaughter, along with three other people. Smith and her daughter fell overboard when the raft hit a wave, and the daughter was able to make it back to shore, but Smith was carried away by the current. Maricelli says Smith's body was recovered about three miles from where she fell into the river.

 

 

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Only One Fatal on Oregon Roads Over July 4th Holiday


Oregon State Police were busy over the 4th of July holiday weekend.  Lieutenant Gregg Hastings reports there was only one fatal crash, but DUI arrests jumped. Hastings says that's much more than they've had over the past several years.  The good news is that work by State Police officers, combined with regional and local law enforcement and reports from the public allowed them to get more impaired drivers off the road.

 

 

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Gas Prices


The price of gas is taking less of a bite out of your budget. Triple-A's Marie Dodds says the national average increased because a refinery in Kansas was flooded. That has caused prices to spike across the Midwest. The average price of diesel in Oregon declined 6-cents to $4.07 a gallon. Bend's average is about $3.75 a gallon this week, so far.

 

 

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Unemployment Benefits Rise


The Oregon Employment Department is raising the benefit payments for people filing new unemployment claims. Spokesman Tom Fuller says they make an adjustment every year. The minimum is going from $116 to $118. The maximum is going from $496 to $507. Fuller says the increase is only for those filing new claims. Those who are already receiving benefits will stay at their current rate until they renew.

 

 

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Boat Sinks off Oregon Coast


A quick response by the Coast Guard Monday night to a mayday call seven miles northwest of Newport. The three person crew of the 29-foot "Sea Star" reported their boat was taking on water. Petty Officer Eric Chandler says they sent a helicopter and two motor lifeboats. The boat was gone by the time the lifeboats arrived. It’s unknown what caused it to start taking on water. None of the crew was hurt.

 

 

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Kitzhaber Signs More Healthcare Bills


Governor John Kitzhaber signs a bill requiring state agencies to streamline healthcare services and create coordinated care organizations, where Oregonians can go for a variety of health care services, instead of hopping from office to office. Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson says it took great bipartisan effort to pass this bill and others designed to reform the State Healthcare System, but more work is needed.

 

 

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Woman Kidnapped at Knifepoint in Lincoln City


Police in Lincoln City Oregon are looking for a man who allegedly car-jacked a woman by knifepoint. The 18 year old woman was visiting the Tanger Outlet Mall when police say a man kidnapped her at knifepoint. “The male jumped in, and drove her to an isolated area in Lincoln City not far from the outlet mall.” Lincoln City Police Sergeant Randy Weaver says that’s when the woman’s fight or flight instinct took over. “Jumped out of the car and ran through a fence, through a very large field, actually dove through a barbed wire fence and ran to a nearby residence, where the folks heard her yelling and screaming.” Weaver said the man was following close behind, but took off into a wooded area when she got to those people.  Police searched, but did not find the man. He’s described as having red hair and no teeth. Call Lincoln City Police if you have any information on this case.

 

 

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Summer Warning for Pet Owners


Summer is here and dog trainer Al Hholzer wants to remind pet owners not to leave their best friend in the car on a warm sunny day. He says many people don't realize how fast the car can heat up, even in the shade. a car can reach 120 degrees very quickly. Heat stroke, brain damage and death are possible for a pet left in a vehicle, even if the window is cracked and they have water.

 

 

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Remember Food Safety in Hot Weather


Be careful eating sprouts this summer. They’ve been linked to a deadly E-coli outbreak in Europe. Susan Kendrick with the Oregon Department of Agriculture says you always want to keep foods separate; to limit the chances of spoiling food. For instance, if you use a cutting board for fruits or veggies, wash it thoroughly before using it for meat.

 

 

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Flag Fund Reactivated


Oregon’s Flag Fund is back up and running, thanks to the efforts of legislators and generous private donors.  The fund pays for sending Oregon flags to soldiers serving overseas. Secretary of State Kate Brown says if you'd like to donate or have a flag sent to a soldier you know, contact her office.

 

 

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Holiday Gas Prices Lowest Yet


Prices at the gas pump slip again going into the Fourth of July weekend. Triple-A says the average in Portland for regular is down another penny to $3.75 a gallon. That's nearly a nickel below the average of a week ago and almost 12 cents a gallon cheaper than at this point in June. The Oregon average for regular is about $3.77 a gallon. It’s also pretty close to that price in the Bend area.  

 

 

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Scorpion on a Plane!


A Portland man had a terrifying flight after being stung by a scorpion while 30,000 in the air. A doctor told Jeff Ellis he would probably be fine; but he had to wait about 30 minutes to see if he'd go into shock. He didn't; he was fine but shook up. Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said the scorpion probably crawled on board the plane during a stop in Austin, Texas. The plane then landed in Seattle, where Ellis boarded for a flight to Anchorage. About three hours into the flight, Ellis dozed off. Then, he felt something tickling his arm. he felt it on his shirt sleeve, brushed it off thinking it was a spider. But then he felt it return, this time on his elbow and realized it was a scorpion.

 

 

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First Flag Celebrate Milestone


The first American flag ever sewn in Oregon celebrates its 150th birthday this weekend. It flew for the first at an Independence Day barbecue in Portland in 1861. It was sewn by Ann Elizabeth Bills, an Oregon pioneer. She and her husband, Cincinnati Bills, moved here from Indiana in 1853. Cincinnati Bills started Oregon's first hauling business, which still operates today as the Oregon Transfer Company. It was an employee of that company who noticed there was no American flag in Portland. He asked his wife, Ann, to make one and he helped her secure the materials.

 

 

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Probation Violators Have Smaller Sentences


Looking to save nearly $10-million, the Oregon House has extended a 2009 bill to limit sentences for probation violators to sixty days. Aloha Democrat Jeff Barker says, “Senate Bill 730 continues the limitation of 60 days that court can impose as a sanction on a person who has received a sentence of presumptive probation and has violated the conditions of that probation; unless that person is convicted of a new crime.”   The bill extends the limited sentences for two years.

 

 

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Executed Halted – For Now


Oregon’s first execution in 14 years is now on hold. The Oregon Supreme Court ruling that another hearing must be held before Gary Haugen is put to death. Haugen says he's ready to die. The Marion County judge has until next Thursday to comply. If he challenges the ruling, a hearing will be held July 14th.

 

 

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