(Portland, OR) -- A man who's accused of killing his girlfriend in a Portland motel is to make his initial court appearance today. Joshua Carlson is facing a murder charge in the death of Valerie Johnson, who was found dead Friday at a Motel 6 in Southeast Portland. Police tell KATU-TV Carlson was spotted in a stolen car and arrested hours after Johnson's body was found. Carlson is scheduled for arraignment today.
(Olympia, WA) -- Following a 105-day regular session, the Washington State Legislature will begin a special session this morning at ten o'clock with the hope of getting a budget passed for the next fiscal period. Among the tasks at hand is coming to an agreement on how to meet the state Supreme Court mandate to fully fund K-through-12 education. The Democratic-majority House and the Republican-majority Senate have each approved a budget plan, but they differ considerably from each other. Governor Jay Inslee says it's a job that "cannot wait."
(Wilsonville, OR) -- Authorities are investigating a head-on crash that left three people injured in Wilsonville. Yesterday's wreck happened on Boones Ferry Road near Camping World, and crews had to cut two of those involved from their vehicles. They suffered significant injuries. The third person was also hospitalized.
(Portland, OR) -- Transportation officials say the Morrison Bridge in Portland is accessible in both directions, following a weekend of repairs. An eastbound lane reopened yesterday afternoon, and the Interstate 5 southbound exit to the Morrison Bridge westbound was open again by around 10 p.m. The span was shut down Friday night so crews could continue the extended project to replace the lift span deck.
(Newberg, OR) -- Authorities are looking for a 21-year-old George Fox University student who's been reported missing. Investigators in Newberg say Daniel Mellers told his roommates Saturday night he was walking to a convenience store for some soda, but didn't return. The roommates contacted Mellers's parents in Colorado the next morning, as well as Newberg police. Daniel Mellers is described as five-feet-eleven, 185 pounds, last seen wearing a maroon hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Anyone knowing his location is asked to call 503-538-8321.
(Portland, OR) -- A Portland pizzeria is now listed among Guinness World Record-holders. Scottie's Pizza Parlor on Southeast Division Street was officially recognized yesterday as having the world's cheesiest pizza, with its Centouno Formaggio, which means "101 cheese." The slice was prepared for the "Portland Mercury's" annual Pizza Week.
(Olympia, WA) -- Under a measure signed by Governor Jay Inslee, Washington will attempt to save hundreds of thousands of acres of timberland from being destroyed by wildfires. The state lost about 380-thousand acres in 2014 and more than a million in 2015. The legislation calls for the state Department of Natural Resources to develop a plan that might include mechanical thinning or prescribed burns, identifying 200-thousands acres of fire-prone lands and communities every two years. Regular progress reports to the Legislature and the Office of Financial Management would be part of the forest-health assessment and treatment plan.
(Portland, OR) -- The price of gas continues to get more expensive in Portland. The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for regular is two-78 a gallon, or a penny-and-a-half above the average of a week ago. At this time last year, a gallon of regular in the Portland area sold for an average of two-21.
(Beaverton, OR) -- A woman is being treated for serious injuries, after being hit by a freight train in Beaverton. Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue officials tell KOIN-TV the 26-year-old pedestrian was crossing against the train safety arms and looking at her phone when she was hit by the Portland and Western train. The crash happened yesterday afternoon at Southwest Lombard Avenue and Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. The woman's injuries are considered life-threatening.
(Olympia, WA) -- A bill which targets the thousands of prohibited buyers who attempt to purchase firearms in Washington each year has new life. The measure had initially missed a floor vote by the usual deadline, but the full Senate voted on the bill yesterday. The bill, to which some amendments were added in the Senate, would assign the Washington State Patrol to follow up on all failed background checks for firearm purchases. The House will next vote on the Senate amendments.
(Olympia, WA) -- Washington state lawmakers are resigned to the fact that there will be a special legislative session. House and Senate leaders say their respective budget plans will be giving way to a package that will require negotiation from both sides. The main point of contention will be public education, which the Legislature is mandated by the state Supreme Court to fully fund under the McCleary decision. Governor Jay Inslee is likely to call lawmakers into an overtime session beginning Monday.
(Portland, OR) -- Drivers in the Portland area are paying more at the gas pump. Triple-A's latest survey shows the current average for regular is two-78 a gallon, a penny-and-a-half above the average of a week ago. The national average for regular is two-42 a gallon.
(Happy Valley, OR) -- Authorities say they've arrested a man who's accused of walking into a Happy Valley Denny's and setting a customer on fire. Clackamas County sheriff's deputies say 24-year-old DeShaun James Swanger was arrested last night without incident at a home on Southeast 80th. Investigators say Swanger sat next to the 69-year-old victim Wednesday night, poured liquid on him, and set him on fire. The man is listed in critical condition.
(Corvallis, OR) -- Benton County authorities say they've arrested a man who's accused of murdering a woman whose body was found near Alsea. Sheriff's deputies say 27-year-old William Chase Hargrove is suspected in the murder. The woman's body was found in a wooded area Monday. Her name hasn't been released, and cause of death hasn't been made public.
(Newport, OR) -- Investigators say an improperly discarded cigarette caused a fire that killed four people and injured several others at a motel in Newport last summer. One of those injured was Rebecca Joanne Sinclair, who authorities say improperly disposed of the cigarette. She's facing charges including manslaughter. The fire resulted in the deaths of 51-year-old Tammi Sue Hepner, 63-year-old Allen Arthur Hepner, 60-year-old Sandra Sue Shoemaker, and 64-year-old Danny Keith Shoemaker.
(Seattle, WA) -- One police officer remains in serious but stable condition, following an attempted robbery and shooting at a 7-Eleven in downtown Seattle. Two other Seattle police officers were shot and less severely wounded, and a third was hit over the head with a bottle following the attempted robbery at the 1st Avenue store. Authorities say two suspects were detained and one was found barricaded inside a building, and had died. The officer who's in serious condition was shot in the chin and the ribcage.
(Portland, OR) -- Mayor Ted Wheeler is helping spearhead an initiative to have self-driving cars cruise the streets of Portland by the end of this year. Wheeler and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman say the initiative is called the Smart Autonomous Vehicles Initiative. The mayor says the program can help the city of Portland benefit from cutting-edge technology that expands access to public transit and reduces pollution and congestion. The Portland Bureau of Transportation has been directed to advance the initiative within the next 60 days.
(Happy Valley, OR) -- Authorities say a 69-year-old man is in critical condition, after he was set on fire in a Denny's restaurant in Happy Valley. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office says a man walked into the restaurant around nine o'clock last night, sat next to the victim, then poured a liquid on him and tossed a burning object at him, setting him ablaze. The assailant, who's described as being five-feet-ten to six feet, in his mid to late 20s, wearing a flat-brim hat, black hoodie, gray sweatpants with a black stripe, and black shoes, ran out of the building. Deputies are hoping witnesses will step forward.
(Olympia, WA) -- Washington's state unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since August 2007. The Employment Security Department says the jobless rate for March was four-point-seven percent, compared to four-point-nine percent the previous month. Washington employers added ten-thousand-700 nonfarm jobs in March. The state's labor force rose to three-point-68-million people, up 15-hundred from February.
(Portland, OR) -- Portland will be using gas from sewage to power city vehicles. City commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to convert the methane released from the city's wastewater plant into compressed natural gas. It's expected to produce enough to power more than 150 large trucks every year. The 15-million-dollar project will create a system to do the conversion that should get the vehicles running by the end of next year. Officials say it should save taxpayers money in the long run while improving air quality.
(Gresham, OR) -- Gresham police say a woman was injured after her vehicle crashed into a utility pole. Authorities say the wreck happened last night near the intersection of Northeast 181th Avenue and Northeast Pacific Street. Officials say the pole was heavily damaged and power lines fell on the road. The woman was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.
(Portland, WA) -- A new report shows the cost of renting a place to live in Portland may be on the way down. Rental-housing association Multifamily Northwest says the rental vacancy rate in the area has risen from two percent five years ago to between four and five percent, meaning rental rates could soon level off or fall. Economist Jerry Johnson tells KOIN-TV there's now more supply of rentals to meet the demand.
(Olympia, WA) -- A bill aimed at updating already-existing Washington state laws that make it illegal to talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device, or to send a text, is expected to be signed by Governor Jay Inslee. The House and Senate have agreed on a compromise to legislation that passed in both chambers. Supporters of the measure say since the original law was enacted, there are more uses for a smart phone, just about all of which would be illegal under the new law.
(Seattle, WA) -- Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the name of the man who's accusing Murray of sexual abuse is "not familiar" to him. Delvonn Heckard has elected to reveal his identity, about two weeks after he filed a lawsuit that claims he was a teenager when he was abused by Murray and was paid money by the defendant for sex. Murray tells KOMO-TV he didn't have sex with Heckard or any other minor and has never paid anyone for sex. Murray says he's sure the accusations are politically motivated.
(Beaverton, OR) -- Police say three people were injured as a result of a crash only inches away from a busy restaurant in Beaverton. Authorities say it's possible the driver suffered some sort of medical emergency, drove erratically for about two blocks, hit a bicyclist, and struck a tree, which caused the car to overturn. Police say the car also hit a woman sitting outside the McMenamins restaurant in the area of Southwest Murray Boulevard and Allen Boulevard before coming to rest outside the building. The driver was airlifted to a hospital, and there's no word yet on her condition.
(Portland, OR) -- Portland's 5th Avenue Building downtown is set to reopen today, about a week after shutting down due to part of the facade buckling. The owner of the building tells KOIN-TV businesses housed in the building will open when they're ready, including 24 Hour Fitness, which will open at 5 a.m. The buckling prompted evacuation of all the businesses and tenants inside, including eBay, OHSU, and a KinderCare location. Building managers and engineers are still trying to trace the cause of the buckling.
(Clark Co., WA) -- Authorities say a longtime Portland police officer who was off-duty was arrested in Clark County during the weekend for suspicion of DUI. Officials say Rodney Gustafson has been with PPB for 27 years. Authorities say Gustafson was arrested after he was spotted driving the wrong way on Highway 99 Saturday morning. Sergeant Chuck Christensen of the Clark County Sheriff's Office tells "The Oregonian" a pair of sobriety tests returned blood-alcohol content readings of point-135 and point-137, respectively, compared to the legal limit of point-08.
(Renton, WA) -- Police in Renton, Washington say they've arrested a man who's being investigated for DUI for the 11th time. Officials say 59-year-old Dean Hermsen was arrested for his first DUI offense in 1984, and the 11th arrest happened Friday. Hermsen was released from prison five months ago after serving time for his 10th DUI offense, for which he was described by a prosecutor as "a grave danger to the community." The "Seattle Times" reports Hermsen's blood was drawn at a hospital following his arrest Friday, and the results of toxicology tests are pending.
(Polk Co., OR) -- A suspect in a deadly hit-and-run crash on Highway 22 is facing charges. Police say 19-year-old Brenden James Duck is charged with felony hit-and-run, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of methamphetamine and criminal mischief. Investigators say the crash killed 43-year-old James Rudolph Osredkar of Sheridan, who was riding his motorcycle early Friday morning when he was hit. Along with Duck, troopers sought 23-year-old Makayla Aldeguer of McMinnville and 19-year-old Jessica Jaeger of Sheridan. Aldeguer is still being sought.
(Portland, OR) -- Police are investigating a robbery and a shooting that left two people injured in Northeast Portland. Authorities say officers responding last night to a report of shots fired found two people injured near the intersection of Northeast 20th Avenue and Alberta Street. Police say one victim had been shot and the other had been hit with a baseball bat. Investigators were given descriptions of three suspects including two East African men and one white man.
(Portland, OR) -- The city of Portland will ask for the public's input into a planned redesign of Washington Park. One of the goals of the new master plan is to reduce the number of cars in the park and increase the amount of park space. The park's last major renovation happened in 1981. Residents will have until April 30th to submit ideas online at http://openhouse.jla.us.com/waparkmasterplan#.
(Seattle, WA) -- Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says despite sexual-abuse allegations against him, he fully intends to continue as mayor and run for re-election. Murray tells KING-5 he denies the allegations and says he and his husband will not back down from a full legal battle. He says Seattle is a fair city and will give him a chance. Murray is meeting still another challenge as former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has announced he'll run against Murray in the race to be the city's chief executive.
(Olympia, WA) -- A bill that would reboot the process of planning a new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River continues to advance. The Washington state Senate has sent the measure to Governor Jay Inslee. The measure would establish a Joint Oregon-Washington legislative action committee to begin a process towards development for a new bridge. However, "The Oregonian" reports that so far, Oregon officials have made it clear that a revived Columbia River bridge project is not an immediate priority.
(Salem, OR) -- Legislation that would strengthen background checks, make it tougher to get a concealed weapons permit, and remove guns from people who are judged to be too unstable to handle them are among bills being considered by an Oregon state Senate committee. The full Senate is slated to vote on all three measures next Tuesday. Should they pass, they'll move on to the House for consideration.
(Undated) -- Oregon's favorite jelly bean flavor is probably not what you may think. Oregonians love watermelon flavor. Candystore.com gathered nine years of sales data to find each state's favorite in honor of Easter and National Jelly Bean Day Saturday. Watermelon is also the favorite flavor in Hawaii, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Florida. Juicy pear is Washington's favorite.
(Portland, OR) -- A Portland woman is facing federal charges, after being accused of sex trafficking involving a three-year-old child. Authorities say 27-year-old Kelsey Christine Wheeler was arrested last week after meeting with a Salem man, who was being investigated in connection with a child-porn case. Investigators say he met Wheeler through a sex ad online, and Wheeler was accused of offering an "encounter" with a young child for one-thousand dollars. Wheeler is to be arraigned on August 11th.
(Klamath Co., OR) -- Oregon State Police are investigating a crash that killed a Salem man in icy conditions in Klamath County. Authorities say the man lost control of his Subaru on westbound Highway 58 around 7:15 yesterday morning and was hit by an eastbound Nissan. The man died at the scene, and three people in the Nissan were injured. All are expected to recover.
(Portland, OR) -- A building that housed a Portland furniture store for 80 years will become a shelter for the homeless, temporarily. The old Shleifer furniture store closed in 2015, and the developer who plans to turn the property into a hotel has agreed to shelter homeless people there for six months. The Columbia shelter, located on the corner of Southwest 4th Avenue and Washington Street, will be moved to the Shleifer building on Southeast Grand. Officials say the new Columbia shelter will provide overnight accommodations for up to 100 people, including men, women, and couples.
(Olympia, WA) -- It could cost more to get electronic copies of records in Washington, under a bill that's on its way to the governor. Government agencies can already charge up to 15 cents per page for photocopying documents in response to public records requests, but the bill says agencies will be allowed to charge up to ten cents per page for scanned documents and up to five cents for every four electronic attachments. Supporters of the bill say it's intended to reduce what they say are excessive public-records requests. It would also allow agencies to deny broad requests for all of their records, as well as some repetitive requests automatically generated by computer bots.
(Everett, WA) -- Boeing Company says it will lay off hundreds of engineers by the end of this week. The Everett "Herald" reports John Hamilton, the head of engineering for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told employees the cuts are necessary for the aviation giant to remain competitive. He also said more cuts could be made later this year. Boeing employs nearly 147-thousand worldwide, with nearly half in Washington.
(Portland, OR) -- A death investigation is underway, after human bones were found by hikers along a trail in Southwest Portland. Authorities say the remains were spotted yesterday afternoon on the side of a trail in the River View Natural Area west of Macadam Avenue. Homicide detectives, forensic evidence criminalists, and the Oregon State Medical Examiner appeared on the scene and examined the area. The state Crime Lab will put the bones under further examination.
(Portland, OR) -- Oregon State Police are investigating, after the wife of a state senator was killed in a crash as she walked along Interstate 5. Authorities say 54-year-old Leta Baertschiger was walking in the right lane of southbound I-5 near Grants Pass when she was hit by a truck around eight o'clock Saturday night. Police say the truck driver was unable to avoid hitting Baertschiger, who was killed at the scene. Her husband, Republican Herman Baertschiger, is a Republican representing Grants Pass in the 2nd District.
(Olympia, WA) -- A bill that now has Governor Jay Inslee's signature legally defines mead, otherwise known as honey wine. Under the measure, the fermented honey drink can now be sold and refilled in growlers from any place that already offers growlers for beer and cider. Mead is produced by fermenting honey and water and, perhaps, adding spices, fruit, and hops. Before the bill became law, mead was considered to be a type of wine and was assessed a levy by the Washington State Wine Commission, but it now no longer requires such a levy.
(Tigard, OR) -- Tigard police are investigating, after a suspected burglar shot himself to death. Authorities say it took place Friday evening at a building near the 15-thousand block of Hall Boulevard. Officials say when the man encountered police officers, he shot himself. The name of the 48-year-old man hasn't been released.
(Camas, WA) -- A Camas teenager who's been missing since Thursday is still being sought. Authorities say 16-year-old Cole Burbank was headed to Clark College to attend Running Start classes but never showed up. Family members and friends have organized search parties and say they've gotten leads they haven't been able to confirm. Cole Burbank is described as white, stands five-feet-ten, weighs 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing dark jeans and a dark sweatshirt. Anyone who's seen him is asked to call 911.
(Portland, OR) -- Police are investigating the shooting death of a man near Portland's Menlo Park Elementary School. Authorities say witnesses tried CPR on the victim, Larry Edwin Van Dolah, Jr., but he died at the scene last night. Police say the suspects, three black males, ages 16 to 21 years old, were all wearing hooded sweatshirts and were seen running south on 128th Avenue across East Burnside Street. No suspects have been identified.
(Federal Way, WA) -- Authorities say a woman who was killed in a crash in Federal Way, Washington Saturday morning was the sister of former University of Washington and current Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas. Police say 22-year-old Chyna Thomas was heading south on Interstate 5 north of 288th when her car went off the road. The vehicle landed on a barrier and hit a pole, and Thomas died at the scene. The crash is still under investigation.
(Portland, OR) -- Police are looking for the driver in a hit-and-run crash that put two people in a hospital. It happened late last night on Southeast 122nd Avenue and Stark Street. Authorities say they're looking for a white SUV that drove off after colliding with another car and sending it into a utility pole. There's no word at this time on the condition of the people who were injured.
(Portland, OR) -- Drivers in the Portland area are paying only a little more for gasoline. The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for regular is two-77 a gallon, only a half-cent above the average of a week ago. The national average for regular is two-41 a gallon.
(Portland, OR) -- A Portland attorney who considered filing a lawsuit against current Seattle Mayor Ed Murray nearly a decade ago says his client was "credible" but he believed the statute of limitations had expired on the case. Attorney Brian Williams says Jeff Simpson contacted his office in 2008, claiming he was sexually abused by Murray in the 1980s. Williams tells KING-5 that Simpson didn't appear to be interested in money but wanted people to know about Murray. After a lawsuit was filed against the mayor last week with claims of sexual abuse of a Seattle teen in the 1980s, Murray has denied the allegations, saying they're "simply not true."
(Portland, OR) -- Portland is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of vehicles that are reported abandoned. The transportation bureau says it received 27-thousand reports of abandoned vehicles in 2016, up from only seven-thousand in 2012. Bureau spokesman John Brady says an increase in homelessness and more awareness have likely been factors in the dramatic rise in the number of abandoned vehicles. KGW-TV reports there are so many abandoned vehicles that unless they have flat tires, broken windows or expired tags, the city will not follow up on reports.
(Gresham, OR) -- Investigators say a man who shot and killed his two young daughters killed himself after he was shot by a Gresham police officer Wednesday morning. Authorities say eight-year-old Janet Cortinas-Duran and her eleven-year-old sister Jasmine Duran-Cortinas died in the family SUV after being shot multiple times by their father. Forty-two-year-old Jaime Cortinas of Portland died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he encountered police, who responded to a report from his wife that he was suicidal and threatened the girls. Police say multiple officers suffered burns and smoke inhalation while attempting to get the girls out of the SUV, which authorities say had been set on fire by Jaime Cortinas.
(Gresham, OR) -- The search is over for a missing woman from Gresham. Air crews with Hood River County Sheriff's Office spotted the body of 30-year-old Susan Behrens in the Eagle Creek Recreational Area near a remote waterfall yesterday. Her vehicle had been found Tuesday night at the trailhead. Behrens's family had not seen or heard from her since April 4th.
(Olympia, WA) -- Governor Jay Inslee's ban on travel to North Carolina for Washington state employees is back in effect. Inslee initially banned non-emergency travel by state employees to North Carolina last year after that state passed a law requiring people to use restrooms and some other public facilities based on biology, not on gender identity. The original ban lapsed after the law was repealed earlier this year, but North Carolina lawmakers later passed a new law pre-empting nondiscriminatory ordinances by local governments and stating sexual orientation and identity are not protected classes. Inslee responded by reinstating the travel ban, saying "Washingtonians traveling to North Carolina on work-related matters may still experience discrimination."
(Olympia, WA) -- A bill that's headed to the governor's desk would require that college students in Washington are told how much it will cost to pay off their loans. The bill, known as the Washington Student Loan Transparency Act, says students must be told the cost of an education loan, what their monthly payments are likely to be, and provide them information on state and federal resources for student borrowers. Colleges would have to notify students by email, in writing, or in person. The measure was requested by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
(Sherwood, OR) -- A 70-year-old man is dead after becoming pinned under his tractor while doing yardwork in Sherwood. Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue officials say the body of Howard Mozeico was found under the tractor several hours after he left his home to begin working in the yard. Washington County sheriff's deputies are trying to determine how Mozeico ended up beneath the tractor.
(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices are flat in the Portland area heading into the weekend. Triple-A reports the average for regular moved up only a half-cent over the past week, to two-76 a gallon. The national average for regular is two-41 a gallon.
(Portland, OR) -- Police are scheduled to release more details today, after a man was killed in a shootout with officers and his two young daughters were found dead. Both Portland and Gresham police officers responded to a report of a domestic-violence incident early this morning, with a woman telling the 911 operator that her husband was armed and had threatened the girls. Gresham officers spotted the man's SUV in a plasma center parking lot in the 16-thousand-200 block of Northeast Glisan Street, then encountered gunfire. The man was shot dead, then the officers pulled the bodies of the man's daughters, ages eight and eleven, out of the SUV. Police say it's not clear how the girls died.
(Olympia, WA) -- A bill aimed at reducing distractions for drivers in Washington is a step closer to final legislative passage. The House has approved a measure that's designed to update a current state law that prohibits texting while driving and requires a hands-free device while talking on a cell phone. Supporters say the law, when it was passed years ago, didn't specifically ban using social media or doing many of the things that are now possible with a smart phone. The bill is headed back to the Senate for agreement on minor House changes.
(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police Bureau Chief Mike Marshman is back on the job. Mayor David Wheeler announced yesterday that Marshman didn't violate PPB's rules of truthfulness and was cleared to go back to work. There had been some question as to whether Marshman had Adjutant Lieutenant Michael Leasure log him in for a training session even though he wasn't in attendance. Marshman and Leasure were placed on administrative leave, pending findings of the investigation, but both are back at work now.
(Salem, OR) -- Oregon lawmakers are considering a proposal to require students to pass the U.S. Naturalization Test in order to earn a high-school diploma. It would require K-12 students to correctly answer 60 of the 100 questions on the civics portion of the naturalization test given to immigrants by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A work session on the bill is slated for three o'clock this afternoon in Hearing Room C.
(Portland, OR) -- Police say the 17-year-old who was gunned down in a park was a student at Union High School in Vancouver. Authorities say Shawn Scott died after being shot Tuesday afternoon at Holladay Park in Northeast Portland. School district officials say grief counselors were stationed at Union High yesterday to help students cope with the loss. Police are searching for a suspect.
(Undated) -- Portland is ranked in the top half of the U.S. cities considered the best places in which to celebrate Easter, according to a new survey from finance-and-lifestyle website WalletHub.com. On its list of the best places to celebrate Easter, WalletHub has Portland ranked 37th, mainly on the strength of the city's high score in the category of "Easter Traditions." St. Louis is ranked the best place in which to celebrate Easter, followed by Birmingham, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Orlando.
(Olympia, WA) -- A bill that would require medical-insurance plans to let women policyholders in Washington buy a year's worth of birth-control pills at one time awaits the governor's signature. The Senate gave the measure final legislative approval yesterday. Supporters say the bill is important for women who travel, particularly out of the country where contraceptives are difficult to obtain.
(Olympia, WA) -- The legislative journey is over for a bill intended to crack down on illegal gun purchasers in Washington state. House Bill 1501 easily passed in the House and a Senate committee, but didn't make it to the full Senate for a floor vote before the 5 p.m. deadline yesterday. The measure was aimed at the roughly four-thousand people each year in Washington who try but fail to buy firearms. It's illegal for prohibited buyers to attempt to purchase a gun, and lying about eligibility is a violation of state and federal laws. But KING-5 has reported that police agencies that conduct the background checks don't follow up on those denied purchases.
(Portland, OR) -- Police say at least one person is dead, following a shooting involving both Portland and Gresham police officers. Authorities say the shooting happened as officers were responding to a report of a possible domestic-violence incident. Officials say officers encountered a man in a vehicle in the parking lot of a plasma center on Northeast Glisan Street and exchanged gunshots with him. Police say the man died at the scene, and may have been related to people who died in the domestic-violence incident. Updates from police on the situation are forthcoming.
(Portland, OR) -- Investigators are trying to determine what has caused a ten-story building in downtown Portland to appear as if it's started to buckle. Engineers inspected the building, located at 14-hundred Southwest 5th Avenue, and determined it's structurally sound. Meanwhile, the building was evacuated yesterday after cracks were discovered in the facade on the lower half of the structure. KGW-TV reports the building owner will hire an engineer to conduct an evaluation and submit the findings to the city.
(Olympia, WA) -- Democratic lawmakers in Washington are proposing a 20-percent tax for businesses that gross more than a quarter-million dollars annually. Some of those businesses include daycare centers, such as Mini-Skool in Lacey. Director Mugsy Schumacher tells KING-5 the school has already raised tuition rates twice in the last year to cover cost-of-living increases and a minimum wage-hike. Schumacher says daycare rates will rise again if the tax passes.
(Portland, OR) -- Students will be paying more to attend Portland State University. The PSU Board of Trustees has approved a nine-percent tuition increase for in-state students this fall. As a result, full-time in-state undergraduate students will pay 700 dollars more a year. Non-resident tuition will rise about five percent, or about 13-hundred dollars a year.
(Portland, OR) -- A man is dead following a shooting at Portland's Holladay Park. Police say the man, who was in his late teens or early 20s, was found in the park around 4:30 yesterday afternoon and died at the scene after life-saving measures were attempted. Investigators are trying to determine whether the shooting was gang-related.
(Portland, OR) -- Officials say a MAX train derailment in North Portland caused the Yellow Line to be disrupted last night. Authorities say the train left the track when it was hit by a semi truck at North Interstate Avenue and North Going Street. Passengers took shuttle buses that were serving stations between the Expo Center and the Interstate. No injuries were reported.
(Gresham, OR) -- Authorities say a car belonging to a missing Gresham woman has been found on the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge. Thirty-year-old Susan Behrens hasn't been seen since April 4th. Behrens is described as white, with brown hair and brown eyes, about five-foot-four and about 110 pounds. Anyone who's seen Susan Behrens is asked to call 503-823-3333.
(Olympia, WA) -- A measure to combat the financial exploitation and neglect of vulnerable adults in Washington is awaiting Governor Inslee's signature. The Senate gave the bill final legislative approval yesterday. The measure establishes a new, specific crime of Theft from a Vulnerable Adult that carries tougher penalties and a longer statute of limitations than felony theft. Supporters say the legislation "will give prosecutors the proper tools to go after those who take advantage of this vulnerable population."
(Portland, OR) -- Portland and Gresham police are going to be adopting new policies and training over the public's right to film officers. The changes are stemming from a lawsuit that claimed a Portland woman's rights were violated when an officer took her phone while live-streaming an arrest in 2013. Oregon's ACLU reached a settlement with the police department Monday. In addition to the new filming policies, the city of Gresham will have to pay more than 80-thousand dollars in legal fees.
(Portland, OR) -- Supporters of continued government funding for Amtrak say there will be more traffic on freeways and fewer options for travel if President Trump's budget passes. It includes two-point-four-billion dollars in transportation cuts, and would eliminate all federal funding for Amtrak's national network trains. It would also affect Amtrak's Coast Starlight line, which travels between Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles.
(Portland, OR) -- Portland and Multnomah County leaders are vowing the city and county governments will convert 100-percent to clean, fossil-fuel-free energy by the year 2050. Officials say the goal is to provide the community's electricity through renewable resources by 2035, with all other energy resources shifting to renewables by 2050. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says while the plan is ambitious, "we have a responsibility to lead this effort in Oregon." The Portland Development Commission says the shift to clean energy has created an economic boost for the area.
(Olympia, WA) -- A bill that would protect Washington property owners from squatters is on its way to Governor Jay Inslee. The measure would give police the authority to remove squatters from private property and to order them to stay away. Supporters say property owners have met repeated roadblocks in getting squatters cleared off their property, but this bill would enable landlords and property owners to take criminal action by enlisting the assistance of local law enforcement. The measure won final legislative approval yesterday.
(Portland, OR) -- Police say a man with "bad teeth" is wanted for robbing a Portland bank. The incident happened yesterday morning at Umpqua Bank on Yamhill Street. The suspect reportedly got away with an undisclosed amount of money after threatening a teller with a black handgun. Aside from his "bad teeth," the suspect is described as a 45- to 50-year-old white man who is very pale and clean shaven.
(Portland, OR) -- The long-time director of the Portland Bureau of Development Services is out of a job. City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly has fired Paul Scarlett after he served nearly 12 years at the post. Scarlett, who will receive a year's severance pay, will be replaced on an interim basis by the bureau's principal planner, Rebecca Esau. The City Budget Office recently reported that there have been problems at the Bureau of Development Services, including delays in the permitting and inspection process required to build affordable housing.
(Portland, OR) -- Grant High School athletic director Brian Samore is suing the Portland Public Schools district for a half-million dollars. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court Friday, alleges Samore was disciplined contrary to the process required by the collective bargaining agreement, following an incident that stemmed from an "inappropriate remark" that he made "in jest" during a conversation with a coach. Samore was placed on paid leave in January, but now says he no longer works for the district. KOIN-TV reports PPS officials haven't commented on the lawsuit.
(Astoria, OR) -- Clatsop County authorities have an accused "peeping Tom" in custody. Sheriff Tom Bergin says 55-year-old Kirk Cazee was initially accused of second-degree criminal trespass, but was later accused of recording activities in the bedrooms and homes of young girls and women in the community of Surf Pines. Sheriff's deputies say they also found child pornography videos and images in Cazee's possession. The case is still under investigation.
(Salem, OR) -- Authorities say a Salem man is being hospitalized after he was hit by a motorcycle over the weekend. Authorities say the pedestrian was walking in the intersection of Commercial Street and Southeast Kuebler Boulevard in Salem around nine o'clock Saturday night when he was hit by the motorcycle driven by Jeremy Inman, who initially fled the scene but was later found and arrested. Officials say 36-year-old Michael Spane is listed in stable condition.
(Oso, WA) -- Officials say it will be at least Thursday before Highway 530 near Oso, Washington is reopened, following a slow-moving landslide. Authorities say the slide stopped moving over the weekend, but geologists warn that the land remains unstable. The slide, which happened near the site of the deadly Oso landslide more than three years ago, prompted the evacuation of eight homes and the shut-down of a three-and-a-half-mile stretch of the highway. Officials initially said 530 would be ready to reopen today, but the state transportation department said yesterday the instability of the hillside will keep the highway closed until at least Thursday.
(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem is on lockdown again, following a fight among inmates. Prison officials say the brawl involved about 20 inmates and broke out around 7:30 last night. Staff members used a chemical spray to defuse the situation. It's the second time in a week the state penitentiary was placed on lockdown. The first time was Monday, after a fight involving about 60 inmates.
(Portland, OR) -- Crews are working to make sure a water main that broke yesterday, resulting in flooding in downtown Portland, is repaired in time for this morning's commute. The 16-inch water main broke yesterday morning, and the subsequent flooding led to the shutdown of the Hawthorne Bridge. The span was reopened by 5:30 yesterday afternoon. Water Bureau officials say the water main broke at the site where construction of the new Multnomah County Courthouse is taking place. Water service in several nearby commercial buildings was affected, and several restaurants were closed.
(Portland, OR) -- The price of gasoline is still on the rise. The latest Triple-A survey of Portland-area gas stations shows the average for a gallon of regular is two-76, three-and-a-half cents higher than the average of a week ago. The national average for regular is two-39 a gallon.
(Portland, OR) -- Officials say about one-thousand customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power remain without electricity, following the wind storm that moved through Oregon Friday. Falling trees caused downed power lines in Tualatin, keeping crews busy throughout the weekend working to restore power. It's not expected to be windy today, but there's a good chance of rain across the region.
(Undated) -- With the federal income-tax deadline looming, a study by finance-and-lifestyle website WalletHub.com shows Oregon is barely in the lower tier of states when it comes to overall tax burden. The data in the report measures the exact proportion of total personal income that residents pay toward state and local taxes. Oregon comes in at 27th, with WalletHub analysts determining the state's overall tax burden is more than eight percent, including a four-percent state income tax. New York ranks as the state with the heaviest overall tax burden, while Washington is 33rd and Delaware ranks 50th.
(Olympia, WA) -- Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign a bill that would require the addition of dozens of ballot drop boxes throughout Washington state. Under the measure, which the House approved last week, at least one ballot drop box would be required for every 15-thousand registered voters in a county, and a minimum of one box in each city, town, and census-designated place in a county with a post office. Senator Kirk Pearson of Monroe is sponsoring the bill, and says it will help increase access for rural voters.
(Eugene, OR) -- A Eugene pharmacist is accused of stealing narcotic tablets with a street value of up to 300-thousand-dollars. Eugene police say 33-year-old Benjamin James O'Rourke is reported to have tampered with drug records for nearly a year and stolen thousands of pills including amphetamine, morphine, hydromorphone and oxycodone in a variety of milligram sizes. Authorities say the thefts took place while O'Rourke was employed at the Bi-Mart store on River Road. O'Rourke was booked on dozens of counts into the Lane County Jail.
(Seattle, WA) -- A lawsuit filed against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray claims a 46-year-old Kent man was sexually abused by Murray when the plaintiff was a teenager in the 1980s. The alleged victim claims Murray gave the teen money for sex at the defendant's Capitol Hill apartment over "an extended period of time." A spokesman for Murray says the allegations are "categorically false" and "are intended to damage a prominent elected official who has been a defender of vulnerable populations for decades." KGW-TV is reporting a Portland man hasn't taken legal action, but is also publicly claiming that he was abused as a child by Murray.
(Portland, OR) -- Drivers in the Portland area are still paying more for gasoline. The latest survey of Triple-A-affiliated gas stations shows the average for regular is two-77 a gallon, more than six-cents higher than the average of a week ago. The national average for regular is two-38 a gallon.
>>Merkley, Blumenauer React To U.S. Strikes In Syria
(Portland, OR) -- The United States Postal Service says Portland ranks high for the number of dogs attacking mail carriers. USPS says Portland ranked 12th in the nation last year, recording 41 dog attacks. That's the same number as in 2015, when Portland was ranked ninth. Los Angeles led the nation last year in dog attacks against letter carriers with 80.
(Portland, OR) -- A spokesman for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says the "Right to Dream Too" homeless camp will be relocated to a transportation bureau-owned parking lot between the Moda Center and the Willamette River. Following a deadline extension granted by the Portland Development Commission, the camp has 60 days to move from the current property on West Burnside. Officials say the new spot will be located near where North Thunderbird Way meets North Crosby Avenue. The mayor's office says the camp can stay at the new location for up to two years while the city works to find a "long-term solution."
(Washington, DC) -- Members of Oregon's congressional coalition are reacting to U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian airbase. Nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles were launched last night from American warships in the Mediterranean Sea in retaliation for chemical-weapons attacks on civilians. Senator Jeff Merkley says the chemical attacks were "heinous and reprehensible" but it's essential that the President seeks congressional authorization before the U.S. undertakes any ongoing military campaign in Syria. Congressman Earl Blumenauer calls the missile attack on Syria "disturbing" because the President didn't consult Congress beforehand.
(Undated) -- A new analysis shows more than half of Oregon households have completely abandoned landline telephones in favor of cell phones. Financial assistance website 24/7 Wall Street used data from the National Center for Health Statistics to review the share of adults in wireless-only households in every state. The percentage in Oregon in 2015 was 50-point-eight-percent, compared to 33-percent in 2010. Less than seven-percent of households in Oregon were landline-only in 2015.
(Seattle, WA) -- A statewide poll shows most voters in Washington aren't happy with President Trump's job performance during his first months in office. The Elway Poll of 503 registered voters says 56-percent of those questioned disapprove of Trump's style of leadership. Forty-six-percent say the President is bringing the "wrong kind of change" to the U.S., while 34-percent say he's bringing the "right kind" of change. The poll was conducted from March 30th to April 3rd.
(Salem, OR) -- Lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban alcoholic beverages on Oregon's public beaches. Under the measure, it would be illegal to possess or consume alcohol or possess or discard a container designed to hold an alcoholic beverage. Violators could spend up to 30 days in jail and be fined up to 12-hundred-50-dollars. Drinking alcohol is currently allowed on Oregon beaches among people 21 and over.
(Portland, OR) -- Dozens of teachers and staff are facing possible layoffs as Portland Public Schools officials are estimating a budget shortfall of between 18-million and 23-million-dollars. The exact figure won't be known until the state budget is finalized in the coming months, but school district spokesman Dave Northfield tells Fox-12 the deficit will definitely be felt at the school level. In addition, the district is about to begin collective bargaining with the teacher's union and needs to find another five-million-dollars for potential raises. Northfield says district officials are trying to find other areas in which to make cuts.
(Salem, OR) -- A bill that would allow homeless people in Oregon to camp in public places is being considered in the Legislature. House Bill 2215 would allow homeless people to freely use public spaces "without discrimination and in time limitations that are based on housing status." Supporters of the measure say homeless people should be allowed to sleep in places, such as city parks, without repercussions. The bill is awaiting action in the House.
(Portland, OR) -- Beginning November 6th, Alaska Airlines will offer nonstop flights from Portland to JFK International Airport in New York City. Alaska Airlines will also offer nonstop flights from Portland to Detroit starting at the end of August, and nonstop service between Los Angeles and Philadelphia beginning in September. The airline announced the new routes yesterday on Twitter.
(Scappoose, OR) -- The Scappoose Fire District says four firefighters were taken to a hospital after the fire engine they were riding in was involved in a crash. None of the firefighters suffered life-threatening injuries. The firefighters were returning from a training exercise last night when the fire truck rolled over into a ditch about 100 yards from the training site.
(Olympia, WA) -- A bill that would require victims of sexual assault in Washington be kept informed on the status of their attackers is awaiting the governor's signature. Final legislative approval was given yesterday to the measure, which would require that victims of sexual assault or kidnapping be informed if their assailant, once released from prison, applies for removal from the registry of sex offenders. Under the bill, prosecuting attorneys must make "reasonable efforts" to contact the victim.
(Stevenson, WA) -- A Portland man is behind bars, after being accused in the murder of a man in Skamania County. Authorities say 40-year-old Benjamin Serrato is charged with murdering another Portland man, Christopher Libert, whose body was found by a camper in Dougan Falls on April 1st. Investigators say Libert was stabbed and shot.
(Olympia, WA) -- The state would no longer be required to okay water-recreation facilities in Washington, under a bill that's won final legislative approval. The Washington State Department of Health had been required to approve inflatable water slides and dunk tanks at some county fairs and other temporary events across the state, but state lawmakers have voted to remove that requirement. La Center Senator Ann Rivers says the department is fine with the bill, because it wants nothing to do with regulating inflatable water slides.
(Vancouver, WA) -- A suspect in a hit-and-run that left a man critically injured in Vancouver is behind bars. Clark County sheriff's deputies say Joshua J. Johnson is charged with felony hit-and-run, possession of a controlled substance, violation of a temporary restraining order, and driving on a suspended license. Investigators say Johnson was driving a Nissan Sentra on February 20th when he crashed into Paul Adams on Northeast 54th Avenue. Adams suffered a broken back, two broken legs, and broken ribs.
(Longview, WA) -- Two people accused of killing a Thurston County, Washington woman are now in custody after being arrested in Longview. Investigators believe Roan Littlemoon and his girlfriend, Sabrina Anderson, killed Littlemoon's mother, 60-year-old Robin Tingle, at the victim's home near the community of Tenino. Both suspects are being held in the Thurston County Jail. Authorities say Tingle was seeking an order for protection against Littlemoon, claiming Littlemoon put his hands on her and threatened her life.
(Portland, OR) -- Voters in Multnomah County may be asked this fall to decide on whether to add a tax to the purchase of sodas and other sugary drinks. The tax would amount to one-and-a-half-cents per ounce on sugary drinks like soda, sweetened teas and energy drinks. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is proposing a two-cents-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks, a plan that would need approval by the Seattle City Council. Both Murray and Multnomah County officials say a soda tax would reduce sugar consumption.
(Undated) -- A new report shows Oregon is not one of the best states in the nation for millennials. Finance-and-lifestyle website WalletHub.com has compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine where millennials have thrived and withered, using factors ranging from unemployment rate to voter-turnout rate. Oregon is listed as number 31 among the best states for millennials, scoring relatively high in "quality of life," but getting low marks in "affordability" and "economic health." North Dakota is ranked the nation's best state for millennials, Washington is 12th, and West Virginia is ranked last.
(Olympia, WA) -- A three-point-five-billion-dollar tax package is now up for consideration after it was approved by the Washington State House Finance Committee. HB 2186 contains tax measures that include a capital-gains tax, a graduated real-estate excise tax, and a revision of the business and occupation tax. But a vote in the full House on the legislation isn't expected to happen until after the House and Senate reach a compromise on their respective operating-budget proposals. Republicans on the committee say HB 2186 is an unnecessary increase in taxes at a time when the existing tax structure and a strong economy are providing an extra three-billion dollars for the state.
(Yakima, WA) -- Authorities are on the lookout for two Kootenai County, Idaho, inmates who escaped from the Yakima County Correctional Center. Officials say Steven Douglas Roche from Spokane was being held on charges of burglary and grand theft, while Chad Everett Tipton from Post Falls was being held on multiple charges including assault with a firearm. Authorities say both Roche and Tipton were moved to Yakima due to current overcrowded conditions at the Kootenai County Jail.
(Salem, OR) -- A bill that would lift Oregon's statewide ban on rent control and restrict landlords who wish to evict tenants without cause is on its way to the state Senate. The measure doesn't establish rent control, but would allow municipalities to enact their own rent ceilings. The sponsor of the bill, Milwaukie Representative Carla Piluso, says the measure would also ban landlords from issuing no-cause evictions to month-to-month tenants after their first six months of renting. A landlord who violates the ban must provide 90 days' notice and one month's rent to the tenant.
(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices in the Portland area are still rising. The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for regular is two-76 a gallon, a penny-and-a-half higher than yesterday and seven-cents a gallon above the average of a week ago. The national average for regular is two-35 a gallon.
(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee are among Western governors who are seeking a meeting with federal officials. Colorado Governor Bill Hickenlooper and Alaska Governor Bill Walker are joining Brown and Inslee in requesting the federal government continue its previous policy that allows for the states to proceed with their own legal-marijuana policies as long as certain guidelines are met. The governors have made the request in a letter that was sent to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
(Portland, OR) -- A 20-million-dollar lawsuit that's being filed by a 16-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman claims they were sexually abused as young girls by the then-principal of Deep Creek Elementary School in Damascus. The lawsuit claims principal Jeff Hays started abusing the girls when they were in second grade and they've suffered psychological trauma for years as a result. Hays currently works as executive director of City View Elementary Charter School in Hillsboro. The Gresham-Barlow School District isn't commenting on the lawsuit, but says it never received any complaints against Hayes when he was Deep Creek Elementary principal.
(Undated) -- A new analysis shows Oregon residents deal with stress more than residents of most other states. The report by finance-and-lifestyle website WalletHub.com ranks Oregon 21st on a list of the most-stressed states. Oregon ranks highest in the categories of "money-related stress" and "health & safety-related stress." Washington is listed at number 34. Alabama is rated the Most Stressed State in 2017, while Minnesota is ranked the least-stressed.
(West Linn, OR) -- A 15-year-old girl is charged with arson, following several fires that started yesterday morning in a locker room at West Linn High School. Authorities say the small fires were quickly extinguished after they were reported around ten o'clock. No injuries were reported, but the teen is facing a charge of first-degree arson. Classes will resume as normal today.
(Salem, OR) -- Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill intended to reduce diesel pollution. Supporters say the measure would increase regulations on diesel trucks and reduce the number of older, dirty diesel engines on Oregon roads. The Department of Environmental Quality says hundreds of Oregonians die prematurely each year because of diesel pollution.
(Salem, OR) -- Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services would be allowed to operate statewide under a proposal being considered in the Oregon Legislature. The House Committee on Business and Labor heard testimony on the legislation yesterday. One of the bills heard would require ride-hailing companies to register with Oregon's Department of Consumer and Business Services. Another would allow ride-shares to operate throughout Oregon.
(Olympia, WA) -- Thurston County, Washington, authorities say a three-year-old boy who was attacked by his family's wolf-dog hybrid is being hospitalized. Sheriff's deputies say the boy suffered severe injuries to his hand and forearm after he stuck his hand into the kennel containing two wolf-dog hybrids and was attacked by at least one. Both animals have been secured by Animal Services pending further investigation. The boy is being treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices continue to climb in the Portland metro. The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for a gallon of regular is two-74, a penny and a half above yesterday's average. The national average for regular is two-33 a gallon.
(Vancouver, WA) -- Vancouver police say they arrested a few demonstrators who protested against the message of a rally being held by supporters of President Donald Trump. The "Rally for Trump and Freedom" happened yesterday at Esther Short Park in Vancouver. Police say a "handful of arrests" were made as some people tossed smoke bombs and others were involved in fighting. Authorities say organizers of the rally obtained a permit for it.
(Portland, OR) -- The Morrison Bridge will have room only for two lanes of traffic, starting today. Transportation officials say the crumbling deck of the lift span will be repaired and should be finished during October. The estimated 50-thousand drivers that travel the Morrison Bridge daily will be squeezed into one lane in each direction, unless some of them elect to take an alternate route. Officials say freeway ramps to and from the bridge will remain open, and the south side path will be clear for cyclists and pedestrians.
(Portland, OR) -- Gasoline prices are on their way up, according to the latest Triple-A survey. Gas stations in the Portland area are charging an average of two-73 a gallon for regular, up a nickel from this time last week. The national average for regular is two-33 a gallon.
(Seattle, WA) -- It's nearly 30 months late, but the giant tunnel-boring machine known as Bertha is about to reach the finish line. The huge drill is scheduled to reach its final underground destination in the area of Thomas Street and Sixth Avenue North in the next few days, after having created the 92-hundred-70-foot tunnel. Transportation officials say the final phases of the drilling project for the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement could take up to 20 days.
(Portland, OR) -- Police say two people were hospitalized after being hit by an aggressive driver who tried to run over a group of people in Southeast Portland. Fox-12 reports witnesses told police the man threw a cigarette out of his car and accelerated toward the group around four p.m. yesterday in the 100 block of Southeast 97th Avenue. Authorities say three people were hit, but one did not seek medical attention. Police say the suspect and his car were later found nearby at the Chestnut Tree Motel and they booked him into the Multnomah County Jail.
(Olympia, WA) -- Law enforcement officers across Washington are beginning a statewide crackdown on distracted driving. The "U Text, U Drive, U Pay" campaign is intended to get drivers to focus on the road ahead and put down their phones. KOMO-TV reports nearly 150 law enforcement agencies statewide will take part in the crackdown. Current state law makes it illegal to text or hold your phone up to your ear while you're driving, and violators could be fined 136 dollars.
(Portland, OR) -- Portland police say they're looking for a reported carjacker who's on the loose. Officials say the man, described as white, between 5-feet-7 and 5-feet-9, weighing 160 to 170 pounds, with a tattoo of a "hashtag" near his left eye, got into a woman's car, implied he had a weapon, and drove off with the car after telling her to get out. Police say the 2017 Toyota Corolla broke down near Mount Scott Park, and a K-9 team was unable to find him. Authorities say the suspect was last seen wearing a gray baseball cap, a gray zipped hooded sweatshirt, and light blue jeans.
(Olympia, WA) -- A House committee is slated to vote today on a bill that would bring Washington state in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. The Senate-passed measure would allow the Department of Licensing to modify driver's licenses to distinguish standard ones from those that comply with the REAL ID Act. Last week, Washington and Oregon were among states that received a compliance extension from the feds. It will expire on June 6th.