Regional News

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has eleven new deaths related to COVID-19 and two-thousand-242 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are one-thousand-27 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon, which is 40 fewer than on Wednesday. Just 41 ICU beds are available statewide. That's six-percent of the state's total number of ICU beds.

(Portland, OR) -- Officials say 79-percent of health care workers in Oregon have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. That compares to 75-percent of the general population. Dentists have the highest rate at 96-percent, followed by psychologists and then doctors. Chiropractors and chiropractic assistants have the lowest rate of 58-percent. Health care workers in Oregon are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18th.

(Portland, OR) -- Nearly 19-percent of new COVID-19 cases this month in Oregon are in people who were vaccinated. The Oregon Health Authority reported that statistic yesterday. However, health officials say fewer than five-percent of those people were hospitalized, and less than one-percent of those patients died. Officials say 81-percent of new cases were people who had not been vaccinated. The rate of COVID-19 in unvaccinated people is five times higher than it is for people who are vaccinated.

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon State Board of Education is calling on the Newberg School Board to reverse its ban on Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ Pride flags. The Oregon Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution yesterday that calls on all districts to create safe spaces for students. The resolution specifically said Newberg's board needs to validate that students' identities are not inherently political or controversial, but rather are welcomed and affirmed. The Education Board is the latest of multiple agencies to condemn the flag ban, following the American Civil Liberties Union, the teacher's union and the state legislature's Black, Indigenous, People of Color Caucus. The American Civil Liberties Union also threatened legal action against the district last month, saying the flags constitute protected speech and that schools are legally obligated to ensure that Black and LGBTQ students and employees are welcomed.

(Portland, OR) -- A Baker City man has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to fraudulently getting COVID-19 business relief funds. Court records show 32-year-old Jeremy Clawson got a 145-thousand dollar Economic Injury Disaster Loan using a fake company from San Diego. He started making large cash withdrawals including a 50-thousand dollar cashier's check that he used to buy a 2016 Dodge Challenger. Clawson was sentenced to two years in prison. He's been in jail since August 2020 when he was charged, so the judge reduced the remainder of the sentence to 10 months.

(Lincoln City, OR)  --  Officials are warning residents to avoid the water near the D River in Lincoln City.  The Oregon Health Authority reports unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in the ocean water.  It could be caused by sewer overflows, failing septic systems, or animal waste.  The bacteria can cause stomach cramps, skin rashes, and diarrhea.  It is safe to walk on the beach along with other activities that avoid the water near the D River.

(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is reporting 46 new deaths related to COVID-19 and two-thousand-69 new infections.  The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday.  The number of people hospitalized declined by 15 to one-thousand-67.  Just 50 ICU beds are available statewide, which is about eight-percent of the total number of ICU beds.

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland City Council is approving a resolution to spend 200-thousand dollars on programs in Texas that provide reproductive health care services.  The resolution is intended to send a message in opposition to Texas' new abortion law, which bans abortions after just six weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know they're pregnant.  The resolution also requires Portland to join the legal challenge against the law.  Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler originally wanted to ban travel by city employees to Texas and city purchases from the state, but he determined that could adversely impact the people they were trying to help.

(Grants Pass, OR)  --  Oregon-based Dutch Bros. coffee is officially public on the New York Stock Exchange.  The company launched its IPO yesterday.  The stock, under the symbol BROS, opened at 23-dollars a share and closed 61-percent higher at 36-dollars 68-cents.  The company raised about 484-million dollars making it the largest IPO in Oregon's history.  Dutch Bros. has coffee stands in eleven states.

(Denver, CO)  --  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will start a one year review of the gray wolf population in the western U.S.  Two petitions have been filed because of actions in Idaho and Montana that allow more of the wolves to be killed.  If it's determined that a listing is warranted, that would happen under a separate rulemaking process.  Former President Trump lifted most of the protections for the gray wolf.

(Multnomah Falls, OR)  --  The popular Larch Mountain Trail at Multnomah Falls will close September 20th for four to five weeks.  Officials say tension cracks have developed in the trail just past the Benson Bridge and need to be repaired.  The U.S. Forest Service says the problem didn't exist prior to the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire and were likely caused by more underground water flow and extreme temperature events.  The trail was built more than 100 years ago just after construction of the Benson Bridge in 1915.

(Salem, OR)  --  Salem Police are investigating three shootings that they believe are connected.  The first shooting happened Monday afternoon on Sunnyview Road Northeast, where one round hit a house.  The second and third shootings happened minutes apart late Monday night on Evergreen Avenue Northeast and 30th Avenue Northeast.  No one was hurt in the shootings.  A newer white sedan was seen in the area of all the shootings.  Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

(Portland, OR)  --  Nearly four-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 44 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to three-thousand-490.  The health department also reported two-thousand-40 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more hospitalizations for the virus, making for a total of one-thousand-82 people currently hospitalized.  Just 48 ICU beds are available statewide, which is seven-percent of the state's total number of ICU beds.

(Newberg, OR)  --  The Newberg School District is investigating an incident in which at least one student joined a Snapchat group called "Slave Trade" and posted photos of other Newberg students with derogatory comments that included racial and homophobic slurs.  The district sent a letter home to families saying it condemns the actions.  The news follows the school board's vote to ban Black Lives Matter and Pride flags from school property earlier this summer.

(Portland, OR) -- State and local officials say it's too early to tell exactly what impact President Biden's mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations will have on cities and businesses.  Yesterday, the president said all businesses with 100 employees or more must require their employees be fully vaccinated or tested weekly.  Officials with the Oregon Health Authority and Governor Kate Brown's office say they're still studying the order.  Portland Police Bureau officials say more than 75 percent of the force is fully vaccinated and at the Multnomah County Sheriff's office, at least 72 percent of employees have been vaccinated.   

(Olympia, WA) -- Starting Monday, residents of Washington state will have to wear masks at all outdoor events as well as indoor public spaces, regardless of their vaccination status.  The new mask mandate covers events that draw 500 or more people throughout the state.  Governor Jay Inslee announced the new mandate yesterday in addition to a new requirement that all state, healthcare, K-through-12 and higher education employees be fully vaccinated by October 18th.    

(Portland, OR) -- Staff members from the Oregon Humane Society are spending this week in Tennessee to help that state's recovery from Hurricane Ida.  The agency's disaster response team has been in Tennessee since Monday to help with dogs that the storm displaced.  It will return after this weekend.  None of the dogs will be brought back to Portland because the Oregon Humane Society is already full of dogs who need permanent homes. 

(Portland, OR) -- NFL great and former Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch is investing in downtown Portland with a restaurant named Beast.  The restaurant is scheduled to open next month in the Broadway Tower on Southwest Broadway.  It's described as a Hawaiian cuisine and sports themed restaurant and will be located at the northeast of Hotel Vance.  

(Portland, OR) -- Fans of the popular animated TV series -- The Simpsons -- will love the name of Portland's newest pedestrian bridge.  The creator of the show -- Matt Groening is a Portland native and graduate of Lincoln High School but until yesterday, there was no public acknowledgment of his success in his hometown.  Yesterday, city officials announced the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 405 in Northwest Portland will be named the Ned Flanders Crossing, after one of the long running series' most iconic characters.  Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty says it shows Portland can build great things -- and have some fun, too.

(Multnomah County, OR) -- The state of Oregon says Multnomah County must allow certain exemptions to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Those working for the Sheriff's Department, as parole officers, and as probation officers will not be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury announced the new policy yesterday, saying state law says a local vaccine mandate can't be placed on law enforcement or jail employees unless one is issued by the state. A similar attempt at imposing a vaccine mandate on city police in Portland failed on Wednesday.  

(Portland, OR) -- Researchers at the University of Oregon say proper ventilation -- such as opening a window -- may help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The researchers say a small study of quarantined students who had tested positive for the coronavirus indicates that opening a window in their room resulted in a decrease of the virus in their rooms.  They say masking is still important but that other strategies -- such as ventilation -- can help manage the virus.   

(Vancouver, WA) -- A Clark County judge has granted an injunction that blocks demonstrators from protesting near schools.  The decision follows a lockdown of three Vancouver schools last Friday after anti-masking protesters disrupted classes when they tried to enter Skyview High School.  The order will remain in effect as long as Washington state's mask mandate remains in effect.

(Forest Grove, OR) -- Firefighters were able to quickly put out a brush fire that was started by a car crash in Forest Grove.  Investigators say the fire department was called to a report of a car fire on Northwest Gales Road near David Hill Road yesterday afternoon.  When they arrived, the car crash had sparked a fire that was climbing up the hillside.  Firefighters were able to stop the blaze from reaching a home uphill from the fire.  Nobody in the car was injured. 

(Lake Oswego, OR) -- Exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 has forced a quarantine for more than 40 students at a Lake Oswego elementary school.  School officials say the person who tested positive was last at school September second but that there were no close contacts with other students.  They say the exposure occurred on a  school bus.

(Portland, OR) -- Despite his previous defense of the response by Portland police to violent protests last summer, Mayor Ted Wheeler says mistakes were made.  He now says there may be changes made in how police respond to political violence in the future.  The clash between the far-right group -- the Proud boys -- and the so-called antifa, a far-left group -- resulted in fights and explosives being set off near businesses.  Before the protests, Mayor Wheeler had said police would take a hands-off approach to dealing with protesters.  Yesterday, during the City Council's weekly meeting, Mayor Wheeler admitted that approach was a mistake.   


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