Regional News

Child Predator Found Guilty

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A New York doctor has been found guilty of luring a high school age girl in Tualatin and getting her to send nude photos. 36-year-old Daniel Rock was living in New York and met the victim in an online chat group. He got her cell phone number and convinced her to send the photos. Prosecutors say Rock tried to get the victim to delete the photos and messages. The victim's mother checked her daughter's phone and reported it to Tualatin Police. Rock was found guilty last week of Using a Child in Display of Sexually Explicit Conduct and Luring a Minor. He'll be sentenced December 29th.

New Details Released In Murder-Suicide

(Vancouver, WA) -- A missed text message delayed police response to a murder-suicide in Vancouver that left five people dead. The Clark County Sheriff's Office says the suspected shooter was an adult male. The victims appear to be the suspect's wife, two adult daughters, and the suspect's adult brother. The Sheriff's Office was asked to do a welfare check, because of a text message where a family member said they had harmed people at the house. The text came in four hours earlier, but wasn't discovered until around 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon. When deputies arrived, all five people were dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

Councilor Ryan Won't Run For Mayor

(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan has announced he won't run for mayor. In 2025, Portland will institute a new form of government that'll bring a new mayor and 12 new city councilors. Ryan says he plans to continue leading on complex challenges facing the city. Ryan says he'll announce what's next by the end of January. City Councilor Mingus Mapps announced earlier in the fall that he will run for mayor.

Legislative Leaders Support ODOT Funding

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek says the House Speaker and Senate President have agreed to commit 19-million dollars to the Oregon Department of Transportation. ODOT says that's how much they're over budget for winter maintenance. Without the money, there could be delays plowing freeways and highways. Eight-million dollars would be spent on winter maintenance, seven-million dollars would go toward highway repairs, and four-million dollars would replace 10 trucks primarily used for plowing snow. The money still needs approval by the 2024 Legislature.

Man Presumed Dead After Being Swept Down Johnson Creek

(Portland, OR) -- One man is presumed dead after reportedly being swept away in the fast-moving waters of Johnson Creek. A witness tells KATU-2 the man was helping homeless campers in the area in Southeast Portland yesterday morning when the water swept him away. Rescue teams responded to the area on reports that someone was spotted being swept downstream on an outdoor furniture cushion. Crews located the cushion downstream but still haven't found the missing man. The creek is running high and fast due to recent rain.

Local Jeopardy! Champ Headed To Tournament Of Champions

(Portland, OR) -- Local Jeopardy! champion Yogesh Raut is headed to the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Host Ken Jennings teamed up with KATU-TV yesterday to inform the Vancouver resident he will be bypassing the Wild Card Competition and going straight to the tournament. Raut competed on the show in January.

State Approves Funding To Restore ODOT Winter Maintenance

SALEM, OR -- Governor Tina Kotek says the state House Speaker and Senate President have agreed to commit $19 million to the Oregon Department of Transportation prior to the start of the legislative session in February. 

In the agreement, $8 million will be used to restore winter maintenance for the next two years. ODOT announced earlier this year it would limit overtime hours and seasonal services like plowing, in response to a budget shortfall. 

The agency will use $7 million for safety improvements like fixing potholes and re-striping fog-lines on low-volume highways. That work was paused earlier this year. 

The other $4 million is for replacing 10 trucks primarily used for snow plowing.

Click HERE to read the full letter sent from Senate President Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) and House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) to the Governor approving the allocation.


Atmospheric Rivers Bring Heavy Rain And Snow To Pacific Northwest

(Seattle, WA)  --  Strong plumes of moisture will bring heavy rain and snow to the northwest over the next few days. Called atmospheric rivers, the Weather Prediction Center warned residents especially in the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies of "hazardous to even impossible travel conditions in these impacted areas." More than half a dozen states in the west are now under some kind of winter weather alert as of this past weekend as the atmospheric rivers spread eastward from Washington and Oregon to Colorado and Wyoming.

Heavy Snow Allowed Timberline Lodge To Open Over Weekend

(Timberline Lodge, OR) -- Heavy snowfall on Mt. Hood allowed Timberline Lodge to open for limited operations over the weekend. Two lifts ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Snow is expected to change to rain this week, and resort officials don't yet know how that will affect skiing and riding next week. They'll announce plans for this upcoming weekend sometime today.

Five Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide In Vancouver

(Vancouver, WA) -- An investigation is ongoing into an apparent murder-suicide that left five people dead in Vancouver. KATU-2 reports deputies responded to a home in the Orchards neighborhood last night after a concerned relative received a text from one of the family members saying they had harmed others at the home. A SWAT team responded and deployed a drone inside the home to find five people shot to death. Police believe the suspect is among the dead.

PBOT Preps For Potential Flooding

(Portland, OR) -- Transportation officials are preparing for potential flooding as more rain moves into the area. The Portland Bureau of Transportation cleared more than 350 storm drains on Saturday. The agency says it received over 100 calls for service on Saturday. That's more than three times their normal call volume.

One Killed, Two Injured In Gresham Shooting

(Gresham, OR) -- One person is dead and two others are injured following a shooting in Gresham. It happened yesterday afternoon inside an apartment complex near 162nd and Northeast Glisan streets. Police say three people were hospitalized for gunshot wounds. One of those people later died at the hospital. An investigation is ongoing.

Over 110 Arrests In Retail Theft Missions

(Portland, OR) -- More than 110 people were arrested over Black Friday weekend as Portland Police conducted retail theft missions. Portland officers teamed up with Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies, Gresham Police and Port of Portland Police. They conducted undercover missions at malls including Gresham Station, Mall 205 and Cascade Station. Besides the arrests, nine stolen vehicles were recovered and more than 10-thousand dollars' worth of stolen merchandise was seized.

Abandoned Dogs Found In Stolen U-Haul

(Klamath Falls, OR) -- Oregon State Police troopers have rescued 15 severely neglected dogs that were left abandoned in a U-Haul truck at a truck stop in Klamath Falls. The truck sat for two days before it was reported. Troopers saw it was stolen and they could hear dogs barking in the back. They found 15 dogs in seven cages. Troopers contacted two suspects and recovered another 10 dogs. Two people were arrested and face charges. The dogs were turned over to the Klamath County animal shelter.

Mayor Urges Businesses To Bring Employees Back

(Portland, OR) -- Mayor Ted Wheeler is asking businesses and organizations in Portland to bring their employees back into the office. Wheeler says they've added police officers, state troopers, and mental health support to increase security downtown. The City requires its workers who can be hybrid to be in the office at least 20 hours a week. Wheeler is asking businesses, nonprofits and other organizations to implement a similar rule. He says it's important for small businesses and the city's economy.

Trump To Be On Oregon's 2024 Primary

(Salem, OR) -- Former President Donald Trump's name will be on Oregon's Republican primary ballot next year. The Oregon Secretary of State says there's been significant voter response on the issue. There's been legal action in other states over whether Trump took part in an insurrection, and if that should keep him off the ballot. Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade says she doesn't have the authority to determine the qualifications of candidates in a presidential primary. Oregon's primary doesn't determine a candidate, it communicates a preference to party delegates who determine the nominee at the party's nominating convention.

Abducted Girl Found Safe

(Portland, OR) -- A child is safe after being abducted during a car theft Thursday morning. Portland Police says the car was warming-up near Northeast 126th and Halsey with the child inside. The father went back into the house for a moment and the suspect jumped into the car and took off, despite the father yelling there was a child inside. A short time later, a resident spotted the car driving recklessly and then saw a little girl walking down the street. Police reunited her with her family. They're searching for the vehicle, a 2017 dark blue Subaru Outback with an Oregon license plate of 639JVQ.

Christmas Ships Ready For 2023 Parades

(Portland, OR) -- The Christmas Ship fleet starts another schedule of parades on Friday. The decorated ships run on the Willamette and Columbia rivers for 13 nights. The parade is free to watch. Several restaurants, hotels and businesses also have good views. You can meet the captains and crew during open house events on December 16th and December 17th at River Place Marina. The parade started in 1954 and it's the longest running illuminated boat parade in the U.S. You'll find the schedule at Christmas Ships dot org.

OHSU Leads Telehealth Study For AIDS Treatment

PORTLAND, OR -- Friday is World AIDS Day. An estimated 8,200 Oregonians are living with HIV and one in eight don't know they're infected. But new medications mean it’s no longer a fatal diagnosis. 

"It’s not that it’s ever good to have HIV," says OHSU Nurse Practitioner Chris Fox, "But we have many, many treatment options available." Fox says pre-exposure prophylaxis - known as "PrEP" - can reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by 99%. And treatments for those with the virus can make it undetectable, "Once someone’s viral load is undetectable, then their immune system can repair itself," says Fox. And, those patients aren't likely to spread the virus, "Undetectable equals untransmittable."

Fox is now leading a two-year study of 125 patients using telemedicine for PrEP treatments, "It increases access and it reduces barriers to having to seek care either in your community, where you might not feel comfortable, or having to drive hours to see someone who you feel comfortable with and who offers the services." He says patients living with HIV or seeking prevention treatments in rural Oregon often face more barriers than those in urban areas. "Some of those barriers are related to lack of knowledge about these prevention or treatment options. Some of them are stigma - if your aunt’s best friend is the nurse at the clinic that you go to, you might not feel comfortable going there for your sexual health or HIV prevention needs taken care of." OHSU has provided virtual appointments for PrEP care since 2021. Click HERE for more information about the study, including how to sign up to participate. 

A handful of people around the world have been cured of HIV, but Fox says that requires a bone marrow transplant, "And that’s like a 50/50 chance of survival to get one of those. So, those are reserved for people that need a bone marrow transplant for some other reason." 

Fox tells the Oregon Radio News Network, "Ending the epidemic doesn’t mean that HIV does not exist anymore. But it means that we can get to a point where new infections are rare and everyone who does have an infection is treated."


Senator Wants More USPS Protections

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is proposing legislation to increase protection for U.S. Postal Service workers. In 2020, the Postmaster General issued a directive that restricted Postal Police from operating outside of USPS facilities. Wyden is co-sponsoring legislation to address the sharp increase in letter carrier robberies. They're often targeted, because they carry keys that open multiple mailboxes. Wyden's bill would reverse the restriction and allow Postal Police to expand their operations.

Oregon To Fund 370 EV Charging Stations

(Salem, OR) -- You'll start seeing more electric vehicle charging stations in Oregon. ODOT launched its Community Charging Rebate program in June and 370 sites have been selected for funding. "Level two" charging stations will be installed. The state will pay some of the costs for chargers to be installed at multi-family housing and public parking areas. 70-percent of the money was reserved for projects in rural and disadvantaged areas. More rebates will be issued in March.

Opening Statements Begin In 40-Year-Old Murder Case

(Anchorage, AK) -- Trial is underway for a Gresham man accused of murdering a teenage girl in Alaska four decades ago. Opening statements began yesterday in the trial against 67-year-old Donald McQuade. He's accused of sexually assaulting and murdering 16-year-old Shelley Connolly in Anchorage in 1978. Police arrested him in 2019 after a DNA sample found on Connolly's body matched with his.

Kotek Creates AI Council

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek wants state agencies to be prepared for the increase in artificial intelligence. Kotek has created the Oregon State Government AI Advisory Council. It'll consider AI impacts on ethics, privacy, equity, security, and social change. Kotek says they want to foster an environment for innovation while also protecting individual and civil rights. The council will produce a framework in six months and a full report in 12 months.

Kotek Wants $600-Million For Shelters & Housing

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek plans to ask the Oregon Legislature for 600-million-dollars to fund housing and shelters. 500-million-dollars would go toward creating affordable housing. 33-million dollars would fund rent assistance. 65-million dollars would keep shelters in operation through the summer of 2025. Kotek says their goal is to create an inventory of shelters throughout the state and to find a way the state can help with the funding.

Police Officer Catches Robbery Suspect

(Portland, OR) -- Following a convenience store robbery in North Portland, a police officer staked out another convenience store and caught the suspect allegedly in the act. Portland Police say about an hour after the first robbery on November 17th, an officer saw the suspect enter another store. Officers surrounded the store and arrested 24-year-old Kirmarji Trent-Grant. Detectives connected him to several other felony robberies. They've posting his picture, because they believe there are more victims and they want them to come forward.


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