Regional News

OSU Hosts First Black Affairs Summit

PORTLAND, OR -- Oregon State University hosts its first “State of Black Affairs Summit” next week. 

"We have been very forthright about the fact that our agenda is all things black," organizer Bridget Jones tells KBND News. She is the Secretary for the OSU President's Commission on the Status of Black Faculty and Staff Affairs.

Jones believes conversations at the summit will be difficult for some people, "You could talk to any person of color about their experience just existing in the last 60 days and they will probably be able to share an experience with you of something that they’ve encountered - either as a microaggression or as straight-up racism." But, she says, the discussion is necessary, "These things are not going away. These things need to be addressed. Our lives are at stake; our safety matters. Our existence and our value are things that people should care about. And so the summit is an opportunity for us to have that platform to educate, to share, to network."

The inaugural State of Black Affairs Summit is Wednesday, May 25, the two year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. It will take place in a hybrid format. In-person tickets are sold out but there is still space to register as a virtual attendee. 

O'Donnell Wins Multnomah County Sheriff's Race, Makes History

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County voters have made history by electing their first female sheriff. She's Nicole Morrissey O'Donnell and she was the county's Undersheriff before winning the election. In partial returns last night, O'Donnell picked up more than 60 percent of the vote. She will succeed Sheriff Mike Reese, who could not run for reelection because of term limits. O'Donnell will take office January first.

Portland Man Charged with Arson at Places of Worship, Black-Owned Business

(Portland, OR) -- A man has been charged with arson and vandalism at several houses of worship and a Black-owned business in Portland in a weeklong series of incidents. The man is identified as 34-year-old Mike Edgar Bivins, who is reportedly a freelance reporter. He's charged with incidents that took place between April 30th and May fourth. The incidents occurred at Congregation Shir Tikvah, Congregation Beth Israel and the Muslim Community Center of Portland. Bivins is also charged with vandalism at a Black-owned business on Northwest 10th Avenue. He then reportedly walked to a local television station to talk with a reporter about the incidents.

Former House Speaker Kotek Wins Democratic Nomination for Governor, Will Likely Face Republican Drazan

(Portland,. OR) -- Former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek will square off against either former Oregon House Republican leader Christine Drazan or former state GOP Party chair Bob Tiernan in November's general election. Kotek won the Democratic primary yesterday. Drazan holds a slim lead over Tiernan in results from yesterday's primary. Drazan had served three years in the legislature before resigning to run for the governor's office last winter. Ballot bar code issues in Clackamas County are delaying the tabulation of final results in the election. Election officials knew there would be a delay in the Clackamas County voting because of a printing error on some ballots.

Remains Found in Car Discovered in Willamette River Identified as Those of Former Cornelius Mayor

(Portland,. OR) -- Authorities in Washington County say the remains found inside a car that was discovered in the Willamette River last Friday are those of former Cornelius Mayor Ralph Brown. Investigators say there were no signs of foul play. Brown -- who was 77 -- had been missing for a year. Brown was last seen leaving his home last May 16th. His family says he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's a year before he disappeared.

Incumbents Win in Portland City Council Races

(Portland, OR) -- Dan Ryan has won reelection to his seat in Position Two on the Portland City Council while Jo Ann Hardesty faces a runoff in the Position Three race. Hardesty is seeking reelection for a second term and Ryan was running for his first full term. He had won a special election to succeed councilman Nick Fish, who passed away in mid-term. Hardesty will face either Rene Gonzalez or Vadim Mozyrsky in November. Both Gonzalez and Mozyrsky are in a tight battle for the runoff spot.

Opioid Toolkit Now Available for Schools

PORTLAND, OR -- Oregon Schools now have access to a Fentanyl and Opioid Response Toolkit released by the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Education. OHA’s Director of Health in Education Ashley Thirstrup says it includes information on how to access and administer Narcan - a medication that can reverse the effects of an overdose. "I will not say definitively that this is happening widespread in Oregon schools. However, we do know that young people spend the majority of their time in school. So, this is a protective measure we can take to support and respond to an opioid overdose if it did happen." She adds, "This is a very key piece to the lifesaving first aid or AED systems they already have in place."

It also has information to help school staff recognizing an overdose, "Blue skin, pinpoint pupils, nonresponsive," says Thirstrup. And, it's designed to help develop overdose response procedures. 


Former Romance Novelist Accused in Husband's Murder Denies Killing Him

(Portland, OR) -- The former romance novelist who's charged with the murder of her husband -- Nancy Crampton-Brophy -- says she did not kill her husband at the Oregon Culinary Institute four years ago. Brophy took the stand in her defense yesterday. She says she was home the night of his murder but prosecutors produced video that showed her driving near the institute around the time he was shot to death. Her husband was a chef at the institute. Brophy is scheduled for cross-examination today.

Early Signs Point to Low Turnout for Primary Election

(Portland, OR) -- State election officials say early signs indicate today's turnout for the state primary elections may be among the lowest in the last 60 years. Officials say through last Friday, only about 17 percent of ballots that had been sent to voters had been returned. The figure at this point was a little higher in the last primary four years ago -- a little more than 18 percent. Voter turnout in the 2018 primary was almost 34 percent. But voter numbers have also surged during this time. There are almost 285-thousand more Oregonians who are registered to vote compared with four years ago.

Portland Digital Firm Buys Mobile Messaging Firm

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland-based digital archiving firm -- called Smarsh -- is buying a mobile messaging firm. Smarsh officials say the deal will help their customers track and archive their communications over an expanding number of messaging apps and services. They say with the purchase of TeleMessage, they'll be better able to monitor and store communications over apps ranging from WhatsApp to WeChat.

Oregon Agriculture Director Named to USDA Post

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon's agriculture director -- Alexis Taylor -- has been named to a senior job with the US Agriculture Department. Taylor has been tapped to be under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs with the agency. Taylor has led Oregon's agriculture department for the last six years. She is also a member of the Army Reserves.

Man Arrested for Allegedly Making Threats at Sherwood Elementary School

(Portland,OR) - Police have arrested a man they say was making threats against Middleton Elementary School in Sherwood. Police say they arrested the man yesterday on several counts of first-degree disorderly conduct. He's being held in the Washington County Jail. Police say they'd received information from a federal agency about a man making continuous threats against schools but until yesterday, the threats had not targeted a specific school.

Election Officials Say Postal Box in Southeast Portland was Stolen

(Portland,. OR) -- City election officials say a mailbox was stolen in Southeast Portland and they're asking voters who used the mailbox to contact them. The mailbox was located at Southeast Reed College Place and Woodstock Boulevard. It was stolen May fourth. Multnomah County officials are asking anyone who used the mailbox after 11-35 a.m. May fourth to contact them to check on the status of their ballot.

Pedestrian Struck by MAX Train in Northeast Portland

(Portland OR) -- One person is hospitalized after they were struck by a MAX train at Northeast Jonesmore and 82nd in Northeast Portland last night. Officials say the pedestrian was rushed to the hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. The light rail station was closed while the accident was cleared and was reopened about four o-clock this morning. Police are investigating he cause of the accident.

Flags Remain at Half-Staff For COVID-19 Victims

(Portland, OR) -- Flags across Oregon remain at half-staff until sunset today in memory of the nearly one-million Americans who have passed away from COVID-19. Governor Kate Brown issued the order Friday for flags at all public buildings. The death toll includes seven-thousand-548 Oregonians.

Home Prices Continue Increasing as Supply Drops

(Portland, OR) -- Home prices have topped the 600-thousand-dollar mark in Portland last month for the first time ever. According to local real estate data, new listings fell by more than nine percent over a year ago at this time. The total time a house spends on the market has fallen to 21 days. Last month, the most active areas for listings were in West Portland and Southeast Portland.

Supporters of Palestinian Rights March Through Downtown Portland

(Portland, OR) -- Supporters of Palestinian rights marched through downtown Portland yesterday on the 74th anniversary of the event known as Al Nakba. Al Nakba commemorates the destruction of several hundred Palestinian cities and displacement of more than 700-thousand Palestinians during the Palestine War of 1948. Supporters say the march yesterday was meant to show how struggles among people around the world are connected.

Abortion Advocates Rally in Portland

(Portland, OR) -- A crowd estimated in the hundreds turned out for rally in downtown Portland this weekend in support of abortion rights. Planned Parenthood of Oregon organized the rally on Saturday at the Justice Center that advocated for women's reproductive rights. This weekend, Governor Kate Brown held a news conference to reaffirm her support for abortion access The event was one of many held nationwide over the Supreme Court's anticipated ruling that could overturn its landmark decision that legalized abortion decades ago.

Health Officials Urge Schools to Return to Safety Measures as COVID-19 Cases Begin to Increase Again

(Portland, OR) -- State health officials are urging schools across Oregon to return to COVID-19 safety measures as cases of COVID-19 begin to increase again. Six counties -- including the tri-county metro area -- saw their COVID-19 levels rise from low to medium this past week. Cases in the metro area are up more than 40 percent from woo weeks ago. State health officials say schools should reinstate masking policies before returning to remote learning again.

More Than 60 People Cited for Unruly Activity at Weekend Party in Eugene

(Portland, OR) -- Police in Eugene responded to what was described as an unruly gathering at a house that led to dozens of people either being ticketed or arrested this weekend. Police say there were about 100 people on the scene on Hilyard Street at the time they arrived Saturday following calls of a disturbance. Most of the tickets were for noise violations and open containers. It's the third time in recent weeks that Eugene police have responded to an unruly gathering.

Oregon Paid Leave Rate Set At 1%

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Employment Department has set the rate for Paid Leave Oregon. It's a new program that offers up to 12 weeks of paid time off for family, medical and "safe" leave. Workers will be taxed one-percent of their income with employers paying 40-percent and the employee paying 60-percent. The employer can pay the entire amount as a benefit. On one-thousand dollars in wages, the employee would pay six dollars and the employer will pay four dollars. The new fee takes effect next January.

Custody Battle Ends With Murder-Suicide

(Gresham, OR) -- The woman who killed her two young children and then killed herself on Monday in a Gresham apartment was in a custody battle with her former spouse. Court records show Ashley Palmer and Jenavie Palmer had divorced and were in the process of deciding who would get custody of their six and eight-year-old children. Police say Ashley shot the children and then killed herself.

Brown Orders Flags Half-Staff

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Kate Brown is ordering all flags at Oregon public buildings to be flown at half-staff until sunset May 16th in memory of the nearly one-million Americans who have died from COVID-19. That includes seven-thousand-548 Oregonians. Brown says every life lost to COVID-19 is a tragedy, and too many families are now without a friend, family member, or other loved one.

Multnomah County Masks

(Portland, OR) -- COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and Multnomah County health officials are urging residents to wear masks indoors. It's not a requirement, but Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines says this increase in COVID cases is expected to peak in June. Currently, Oregon is averaging around 12-hundred new cases per day. 201 people are hospitalized with coronavirus.

OHA Produces Fentanyl Toolkit For Schools

(Portland, OR) -- Fentanyl-related overdose deaths increased by 74-percent in Oregon from 2019 to 2020, and the state is taking action to help school districts. Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Education have released a Fentanyl & Opioid Response Toolkit for schools. It includes how to create an emergency protocol for naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an overdose. It also includes resources for staff training, prevention education and information on implementing a school emergency response plan.


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