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(Portland, OR)  --  TriMet is now limiting the number of riders on buses in order to improve social distancing.  The agency says ten individuals, or up to 15 people if they're traveling together, will be allowed on a bus at a time.  When a bus is full, the driver will ask people at stops to wait for the next bus.  TriMet is also putting stickers on seats that read "Don't Sit Here" to encourage better social distancing between passengers.



(Portland, OR)  --  Health officials say social distancing measures appear to be working in reducing the spread of coronavirus.  State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger says the current models show there will not be a dramatic rise in cases and that the state is successfully flattening the curve, but that will only continue to happen if residents follow the governor's stay-at-home order.  Sidelinger says the order will need to remain in place through at least the end of April to be effective.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon health officials are confirming two more deaths from the novel coronavirus.  The Oregon Health Authority says a 61-year-old Washington County man died at Tuality [[ TWAL'-ih-tee ]] Healthcare and a 91-year-old Marion County woman died at home two days after being diagnosed with the disease.  Both patients had underlying medical conditions. The deaths raise Oregon's coronavirus death toll to 21.  Meanwhile, 90 more people have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the state's total number of cases to 826.



(Portland, OR)  --  Alcohol and marijuana sales are up in Oregon since Governor Kate Brown ordered residents to stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus.  Liquor store owners say sales are similar to what they'd experience during a holiday season.  Marijuana retailers say their sales are also up, apparently because people are spending more time at home.



(Salem, OR)  --  The state of Oregon has a new clearinghouse to help small businesses.  Governor Kate Brown announced the launch of the Coronavirus Small Business Resource Navigator yesterday.  There's a hotline and website that helps small business owners find state and federal resources available to them through the crisis.  The website is oregon4biz dot com.



(Portland, OR)  --  Police are releasing the identity of a pedestrian who was hit and killed by a drunk driver in Southwest Portland on St. Patrick's Day.  Portland Police say they found 39-year-old Lulia Hanczarek lying in the road near Southwest Barbur Boulevard and Parkhill Drive.  The driver of the car, 30-year-old Ivan Cam, called 911 after the crash.  He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and manslaughter.



(Portland, OR)  --  A homeless Portland man is charged with arson after allegedly burning down a homeless camp.  Police say that Jay Lamb drove by a homeless camp near Southeast 9th and Harrison on March 25th and threw a lit road flare onto a tent, causing it to catch fire.  A man inside of the tent suffered burns on his arms and legs.  Lamb says he did it because the victim had stolen things from other transients.  Lamb faces two counts of arson.



(Tigard, OR)  --  The Tigard Festival of Balloons is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The event was scheduled for June 26th through the 28th at Tigard's Cook Park.  Organizers say they plan to resume the event in 2021.



(Portland, OR)  --  A project to add lanes to I-5 in Portland's Rose Quarter moves to its next step.  The Oregon Transportation Commission unanimously approved staying the course on an environmental assessment rather that switching to a lengthier and more expensive environmental impact statement.  The manager for the project says when they added a lane elsewhere in the Portland area it reduced traffic congestion times from five hours to one hour and they expect it would do the same in the Rose Quarter area.



(Portland, OR)  --  One of the founding fathers of Oregon's craft beer industry is retiring.  Art Larrance is selling Cascade Brewing to a group of brewery and taproom owners.  Cascade is known for specializing in sour beers but also offers a wide range of ales and lagers.  The deal is a phased transition and Larrance will remain in an advisory position.  The Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Blending House and Lodge at Cascade Brewing will all remain open.
 



(Tigard, OR)  --  Police are searching for three suspects accused of robbing a home at gunpoint in Tigard.  Police say the three masked men entered the house off Southwest North Dakota Street through an unlocked door early yesterday morning and confronted the residents at gunpoint.  They then stole several items and fled the scene in a vehicle.  No injuries were reported.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Oregon State Accident Insurance Fund has established a ten-million-dollar coronavirus worker safety fund.  It can help businesses pay for expenses tied to making workplaces safer against the virus.  Eligible expenses include worksite cleaning and disinfection supplies, resources to open businesses after a coronavirus-related closure, mental health initiatives and the modification of workspace to allow for social distancing.  Member businesses can apply online.



(Salem, OR)  --  The Oregon Department of Education is releasing guidelines for what it calls "Distance Learning for All."  Students have been out of school since March 12th and won't return until April 28th at the earliest, because of coronavirus.  The guidelines will help districts craft their own plans for online and other ways to teach kids who don't have internet access.  The priority is to make sure teachers have regular contact with students and that families and caregivers help with the learning.



(Portland, OR)  --  Police are releasing the identity of a man who was shot and killed Monday afternoon in Southeast Portland.  Police say 31-year-old Benjamin Johnson died in a parking lot near several businesses on Southeast 82nd Avenue about a block north of Powell Boulevard.  The suspect ran from the scene and remains at large.  An investigation is ongoing.



(Portland, OR)  --  A TriMet operator has been confirmed to have COVID-19.  TriMet says the operator didn't have symptoms while at work and hasn't been at work since March 20th, because the operator stayed home after a concern of exposure to the virus.  Health officials say the risk to other TriMet workers and riders is low.  The operator worked out of the Merlo facility which has been cleaned multiple times over the past 10 days along with all of the buses.



(Keizer, OR)  --  Police say an 81-year-old man was intoxicated when he crashed a pickup truck into a house in the Keizer area.  Police say James Harold Johnson of Salem was driving west on Chemawa Road Northeast Saturday night when he crashed into a utility pole.  His vehicle then veered into oncoming traffic and left the roadway before crashing through a fence, into a house, and through another fence before colliding with a parked car.  No injuries were reported.  Police arrested Johnson for DUI.



(Portland, OR)  --  At least three firefighters are under quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.  Portland Fire & Rescue and Gresham Fire both announced yesterday that they've each had a firefighter contract the coronavirus.  Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue on the coast has also had a firefighter test positive for the virus.  The fire departments are working to notify anyone who may have had contact with the firefighters.



(Salem, OR)  --  The Oregon Lottery has temporarily shut down the sports betting app Scoreboard after the outside vendor that runs the game was hit by a cyberattack.  The vendor, SBTech, stopped the game last Friday when it became aware of the attack.  The Oregon Lottery says no data was lost and accounts weren't compromised.  SBTech is in the process of preparing to restart Scoreboard.



(Portland, OR)  --  Cancer researchers at Providence Portland Medical Center are waiting to hear whether the FDA will approve human clinical trials on a vaccine for COVID-19.  Team member Dr. Bernard Fox says they're mobilizing technology used in the fight against cancer to develop a DNA based vaccine.  The goal is to stimulate the immune system to attack the "spike" the virus uses to attach to and infect healthy cells.  They hope to hear from the FDA within 30 days, and start the first human trial in 60 days.



(Salem, OR)  --  An Amazon warehouse worker in Salem has tested positive for COVID-19.  The online retail giant says it's now offering a 14-day paid self-quarantine to employees who came into contact with the patient.  However, the warehouse is remaining open for businesses.



(Portland, OR)  --  A former Oregon State University basketball star is under isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.  Sydney Wiese says she's exhibiting mild symptoms after contracting the virus.  Wiese played for the Beavers from 2013-2017 and helped lead them to the women's basketball Final Four in 2016.  She is currently on the Los Angeles Sparks.



(Portland, OR)  --  The CEO of Portland-based Columbia Sportswear is slashing his own salary to help pay for his employees' paychecks.  CEO Tim Boyle is reducing his salary to ten-thousand dollars a year so his employees can keep collecting their regular paychecks during the coronavirus pandemic.  The company announced Sunday that Boyle made the decision after Columbia closed its doors two weeks ago because of coronavirus restrictions.  The sportswear and outdoor gear giant says Columbia's 35-hundred employees were at risk of losing their jobs or not getting paid before Boyle cut his own pay.  The Oregonian reports he made three-point-three million dollars in 2018.



(Portland, OR)  --  The state of Oregon is now allowing self-service at gas stations due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.  The Oregon Fire Marshal's Office announced on Saturday it is suspending its enforcement of self-service regulations statewide.  The move is aimed at helping people maintain social distancing.  The suspension will last until April 11th.



(Milwaukie, OR)  --  Clackamas Fire is seeking donations of personal protective equipment for first responders working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.  The fire department says it's looking for masks, gloves, face shields and medical gowns.  Donations can be dropped off at Clackamas Fire District Station 1 in Milwaukie.



(Beaverton, OR)  --  Officials say an employee at a senior living facility in Beaverton has tested positive for COVID-19.  Brookdale Beaverton says one of its employees tested positive for the virus on Friday.  Officials at the facility say they've informed residents, family members and other employees and are now working with local health officials.


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