Regional News Archives for 2016-01

Happy Valley Man Convicted Of Killing Ex-girlfriend's Mother

(Oregon City, OR)  --  A Happy Valley man is awaiting sentencing, after being found guilty of killing his girlfriend's mother and shooting his girlfriend.  Authorities say Jason Hogan shot and killed Norma Perrone and shot her daughter, Gina Perrone, in August 2012 at the home where all three lived.  Police say Hogan had a long and violent criminal history prior to the shooting.  Sentencing is set for February 3rd.

Oregon Occupiers To Appear In Court

(Portland, OR)  --  The ringleader of the group that took over an Oregon wildlife refuge will appear in federal court today.  Ammon Bundy and seven other defendants will be in a Portland courtroom for detention hearings.  Bundy and his followers are accused of threatening community members and calling on the public to bring weapons to their protest.  The defendants were arrested earlier this week during a traffic stop in which one protester was shot and killed.

Bill Would Tax WA Political Campaigns

(Olympia, WA)  --  A measure sponsored by an Auburn lawmaker would tax some political campaigns in Washington.  Senator Joe Fain says the tax revenue would be used to teach civics in schools and enhance enforcement of state election laws.  Fain is one of nine senators co-sponsoring the bill.

Gas Prices Lower

(Portland, OR)  --  The price of gasoline continues to fall in the Portland area.  Triple-A reports the average for regular is two-oh-seven a gallon, down about a penny-and-a-half from yesterday.  It's also more than eight cents below the average at this time last week.

Inslee Signs Tribal Marijuana Deal

(Puyallup, WA)  --   The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is officially entering Washington's marijuana industry.  The tribe has signed a compact as a result of a deal worked out with Governor Jay Inslee and the state Liquor and Cannabis Board.  The "News Tribune" reports the agreement allows the Puyallup Tribe to operate a marijuana testing lab, which will be housed in a Fife building that's home to the tribe's cancer-treatment center.  The lab will offer safety and potency tests of product for holders of state marijuana licenses, among others.

Suspect Dies Following SWAT Standoff

(Milwaukie, OR)  --  Authorities say a 19-year-old man who was involved in a standoff with SWAT personnel in Milwaukie has died.  Police say the man, who was armed with a rifle, barricaded himself in an apartment in the Holly Acres complex on Southeast Concorde, where he had been reported to be threatening family members.  Officers fired at least two rounds and sent tear gas into the apartment after the man brandished the rifle.  The suspect, who suffered gunshot wounds, was taken to a hospital around four o'clock yesterday afternoon, and died later.

Woman Pinned In Car During Crash

(Portland, OR)  --  A woman is being hospitalized after she was pinned in her vehicle during a crash in North Portland.  Officials say the wreck, involving an RV and a semi-truck, happened around 4:10 yesterday afternoon in the area of North Columbia Boulevard and North Chautauqua Boulevard.  The 46-year-old woman was trapped in the RV, which had a hole cut in the top so she could be freed.  Her injuries aren't considered life-threatening.

Panel Approves Alternative Bill For WA School-funding Fixes

(Olympia, WA)  --  An alternative deadline for developing court-ordered school-funding fixes in Washington is moving through the legislative process.  Republicans on the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education committee altered Senate Bill 6195 to require work on a funding plan to be completed by 2018.  A bill passed by the Democratic-majority House earlier this week contains a plan to have it done by 2017.  "The Olympian" reports Governor Jay Inslee wants lawmakers to have a plan in place by 2017 so money to fund the plan can be found in time for the 2017-18 school year.

Bill Would Ban Certain Flags Aboard WA State Ferries

(Olympia, WA)  --  "12th Man" and Gay Pride flags would be banned aboard Washington state ferries, under a bill sponsored by Kennewick Representative Brad Klippert.  Clipper says only flags representing the state, the U.S., and maritime communication should fly above citizen-owned ferries.  He says while he personally has no problem with a Seahawks "12th Man" flag being flown over the vessels, he feels a Gay Pride flag isn't a fair representation of all residents of Washington state.  The measure has been referred to the House Transportation Committee.

Youth Coaches Arrested In Sting Operation

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Authorities say two youth coaches were recently arrested as part of an underage-sex sting operation.  Officials say the coaches communicated with detectives posing collectively as a 14-year-old girl through a Craigslist ad.  Arrested were 51-year-old Jeffrey Graham, who previously worked as a softball coach at Rex Putnam High School in Milwaukie, and 49-year-old Sean Dotson, who had worked as a coach for the Banks Youth Soccer Association.

Washington County Deputies Prepare For Body-Cam Use

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  The Washington County Sheriff's Office says deputies are continuing preparations for using body cameras.  The training is necessary to allow the agency to use a federal grant to fund a 90-day pilot program that will outfit some of the deputies for body cameras.  The cameras would be used during traffic stops and various other interactions with the public.  The pilot program will help the sheriff's office weigh the pros and cons of using the cameras.

Gasoline Prices Still Sliding

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area continue to pay less for gasoline.  Triple-A's latest survey shows the current average for regular is two-09 a gallon, down nearly two-cents from yesterday's average.  It's also more than eight-cents a gallon cheaper than a week ago.

Three More Arrested At Refuge

(Burns, OR)  --  The FBI says three more Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupants were arrested yesterday as they turned themselves in at a checkpoint outside the refuge.  Officials say five other occupants left the refuge after checkpoints were established, and all of them were released.  On Tuesday night, protest leader Ammon Bundy and seven others were arrested, and one of them was shot to death during a confrontation with police.  Yesterday, Bundy told the remaining occupiers of the refuge through his attorney to stand down and go home.

Gas Tax Proposal Being Sent To Voters In May

(Portland, OR)  --  Voters in Portland will decide in May whether to approve a proposed ten-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax.  The Portland City Council voted yesterday to add the item to the ballot.  Officials say the tax would generate an estimated 64-million dollars over four years before it expires.  The revenue would be used for road projects, and safety projects that include improvement and addition of sidewalks.

Bill Would Require Changes At WA Mental Hospital

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill being heard in a Senate committee would mandate changes at Washington's largest mental hospital.  Senate Bill 6541 would require Western State Hospital to measure progress and goals, with some of the results due by the end of the year.  The hospital is in danger of losing millions of dollars in federal funding by March first if it doesn't make improvements to patient safety, management structure, and basic hygiene.  The bill is being considered by the Senate Reform and Accountability Committee.

WA Gender-identity Bathroom Bill Heads To Full Senate

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would repeal a recent rule allowing any person to use restrooms or locker rooms based on their gender identity, regardless of their anatomy, will go to the full Senate in Washington.  The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee advanced the measure yesterday by a 4-3 vote.  Under the bill, the Human Rights Commission would be prohibited from making any new rule that involves the subject of gender-segregated facilities.  The committee favored the bill after hearing impassioned testimony from both sides.

1 Killed, Arrests Made As Oregon Protesters Trade Shots With Law Enforcement

(Undated)  --  One person is dead and over half a dozen are in custody after anti-government protesters exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officers in eastern Oregon.  The FBI and Oregon State Police say they traded shots with protesters during a traffic stop yesterday afternoon.  Militia spokesman Robert "LaVoy" Finicum was killed.  Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who led the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge near Burns, were among those taken into custody.

Lost Hiker Being Sought Near Multnomah Falls

(Troutdale, OR)  --  A hiker who got lost in near Multnomah Falls is being sought by search-and-rescue crews.  The hiker reportedly made it to the top of Larch Mountain, but said he lost his track on the return trip and couldn't find his way back down.  KATU-TV reports crews have set up a command post in the Multnomah Falls parking lot.  Dispatchers instructed the hiker to stay put while rescuers were sent to assist him, but officials say no further contact has been made so far.

Clackamas County K-9s To Get Bullet-proof Vests

(Oregon City, OR)  --  Thanks to a non-profit group, K-9s with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office will be outfitted with bullet-proof vests.  An anonymous donor has provided the department with the vests through Vested Interest in K-9s, Incorporated.  The vests are resistant to bullets and stabbings and will be worn by four K-9s, named Kilo, Nero, Vito, and Marco.  The vests range in value from around 17-hundred to 22-hundred dollars.

Two Dead, Three Wounded In Shooting At Seattle Homeless Camp

(Seattle, WA)  --  Seattle police say two people are dead and three are injured, following a shooting near a homeless camp known as "The Jungle."  Authorities say the shooting happened before 7:30 last night on Airport Way.  A search is in progress for two suspects.  A man and a woman are listed in critical condition, and a second woman is in serious condition.  No names have been released.

Bill Aimed At Easing WA Shortage Of Substitute Teachers

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that's aimed at easing the shortage of substitute teachers in Washington is making its way through the Legislature.  The House has passed the measure, which would allow school districts to hire retired teachers without putting their retirement benefits in jeopardy.  Under the bill, teacher retirees would be able to work as substitutes for up to 630 hours per year without suspending their pension benefits.  The bill moves to a Senate committee for consideration.

Portland Gas Prices Still Slipping

(Portland, OR)  --  Gas prices continue to fall in the Portland area.  Triple-A is reporting the average for a gallon of regular is two-ten a gallon, down a penny-and-a-half from yesterday.  It's also nine cents a gallon below the average of a week ago.

Police ID Victim Of Deadly Crash In Tigard

(Tigard, OR)  --  Tigard police continue to investigate a crash that left a Beaverton woman dead.  Authorities say 50-year-old Marilyn Backstrand was driving along Southwest Roy Rogers Road Saturday morning when a vehicle crossed over from the opposite lane and crashed into her.  The second driver, 31-year-old Carlos Leon of Beaverton, was injured and taken to a hospital.  No citations have been issued so far.

Bill Intended To Better Protect Disabled Adults

(Olympia, WA)  --  The Washington State Senate is considering a bill that's intended to better protect adults with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism.  Under the measure, the Department of Social & Health Services would be required to have case workers make in-person visits to clients each year, and sometimes show up for the check-ins unannounced.  The visits would include a check of the client's living quarters.  The bill is being considered by the Senate Committee on Human Services and Mental Health.

Measure Would Prohibit WA Cities From Enacting Sick-Leave Or Wage Laws

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill introduced in the Washington Legislature is aimed at preventing cities from enacting laws that mandate sick-leave policies or raise wages.  GOP Senator Mike Baumgartner of Spokane is calling the measure the "Seattle quarantine" bill, and says it's intended to prevent city councils from making labor laws that include setting the minimum wage higher than is required by state law.  Baumgartner told the "Spokesman-Review" that already-existing laws, such as Seattle's minimum-wage law, would be grandfathered in.

Brown Reiterates Call For Refuge Occupation To End

(Portland, OR)  --  Governor Kate Brown is again calling for the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon to end.  The governor told KOIN-TV the Burns community is being torn apart by the occupation, which began on January 2nd with armed activists protesting the imprisonment of landowners convicted of arson.  Ammon Bundy, who's leading the activists, says the occupation is a fight with the federal government over land control.  Brown says Oregon officials are cooperating with federal authorities in finding ways to peacefully end the standoff.

Oregon Ranked 29th Among Best States For Retirees

(Undated)  --  A new WalletHub survey shows Oregon is in the middle of the pack when it comes to the best states in which to retire.  WalletHub's analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key metrics, intended to help people who are ready to leave the workforce find permanent and affordable places to call home.  Oregon is ranked 29th overall, comes in 27th in "quality of life," and ranks 32nd in affordability.  Florida is ranked as the best state for retirees, followed by Wyoming, South Dakota, South Carolina, and Colorado.  Washington is ranked 24th.

Hearing On Fuel-tax Proposal Set For Tomorrow

(Portland, OR)  --  A public hearing on a proposal to add ten cents per gallon to the cost of gasoline in Portland is slated to be held tomorrow by the Portland City Council.  Commissioner Steve Novick is pushing for the tax in an effort to get the Council to add the item to the May 17th ballot.  Novick, who's in charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, says the revenue is needed to fund the city's road and street projects.

WA Lawmakers Considering Suicide-prevention Legislation

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state lawmakers will consider a measure designed to help curb the number of suicides in the state.  The legislation includes a component that establishes a "Safe Homes Task Force" in partnership with pharmacists and firearms dealers.  Supporters say the goal is to better identify suicide risk factors early in order to reduce the number of suicides.  The bill is set for a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee this morning.

Portland-area Fuel Prices Down Again

(Portland, OR)  --  Gas prices are still heading down in the Portland area.  Triple-A's latest survey shows the average for regular at two-12 a gallon, down a half-cent from yesterday.  It's also down nine cents from the average at this time last week.

Man Accused Of Flying To PDX For Sex With Minor

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say a Florida man is accused of flying to Portland to have sex with a 12-year-old girl he met on Instagram.  Authorities say 42-year-old Sergio Zambrano had sexually-explicit chats with the girl online before deciding to fly to Portland.  He was arrested Sunday at a Portland motel, and the 12-year-old was hospitalized with minor injuries.  Zambrano is facing multiple charges, including rape and sex abuse.

Judicial Panel Recommends Removal Of Day From Bench

(Salem, OR)  --  A state judicial panel is recommending the removal of Marion County Judge Vance Day from the bench.  Day has been a source of controversy for refusing to perform same-sex marriages, for which he's cited religious beliefs.  The Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability says he's lied under oath and has impugned honesty and integrity.  The Oregon Supreme Court will decide whether to follow the panel's recommendation.

GOP Lawmakers Question Inslee's Western State Hospital Plan

(Olympia, WA)  --  Some GOP lawmakers are raising objections to Governor Jay Inslee's call for adding 60 employees to Washington's largest mental hospital to deal with unsafe conditions.  Inslee wants to add the staffers at Western State Hospital in response to a report by federal inspectors, who cited problems including a lack of properly-trained staff.  Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler told the "News Tribune" that basic infection control is one of the problem areas that won't be solved by adding more full-time employees.  Senate budget writer Andy Hill of Redmond is questioning whether more staff positions are needed, saying there are 300 vacancies caused by constant turnover at the hospital.

Washington Lawmaker Booted Off Human-trafficking Task Force

(Olympia, WA)  --  State Senator Pam Roach is no longer a member of a state task force on human trafficking.  Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen removed the Pierce County Republican from the task force, saying he received complaints about comments made during a task-force meeting last month, including an accusation that she said sexually-trafficked minors "probably spend their money on drugs."  Roach insists she said nothing she needs to apologize for and says Owen didn't attend the meeting in question.  She told "The Olympian" she's worked on several bills regarding sex trafficking, and is well qualified to serve on the task force.

Man Missing After Car Lands In Collawash River

(Estacada, OR)  --  Police say a man is missing after the pickup truck he was in crashed and landed in the Collawash River.  Authorities say two other people who were in the truck were rescued early yesterday morning after the vehicle traveled down an embankment east of Estacada and went into the river.  A search was conducted yesterday for the 26-year-old man, but there was no sign of him.  Divers will resume the search today.

Woman Killed In Tigard Crash

(Tigard, OR)  --  Police are investigating a crash that killed a woman in Tigard.  Authorities say the head-on crash happened around 8:30 Saturday morning on Roy Rogers Road near Scholls Ferry Road.  The woman died at the scene, and the driver of the other vehicle was taken to a hospital.  No names have been released.

Murder Suspect Arrested Following Police Chase

(Woodland, WA)  --  A man who's wanted for a murder in Klamath Falls is in custody, following a police chase that ended in Woodland, Washington.  Authorities say Matthew Reyes was arrested after the stolen vehicle he was in was stopped by a Cowlitz County sheriff's deputy yesterday on Dike Road.  Officials say Reyes and Kareesa M. Dean will face charges of first-degree robbery and carjacking.  Reyes is wanted for the murder of 57-year-old Rick Aston, whose throat was slashed earlier this month at a motel in Klamath Falls.

Portland-area Gas Prices Still Falling

(Portland, OR)  --  Prices at the gas pump are continuing to fall.  The latest Triple-A survey shows the current average for regular in the Portland area is two-12 a gallon, more than a half-cent below yesterday's average.  It's also down a dime a gallon from this time last week.

Wilsonville Woman Drowns In Willamette River

(Wilsonville, OR)  --  A woman is dead, after she fell into the Willamette River and drowned.  Authorities say the woman was with her son and a friend on an old dock near the Wilsonville Sand & Gravel plant early yesterday morning, when all three tripped and fell into the water.  Officials say the after the other two were able to swim back safely, the woman struggled to get out of the water and fell back in, then began to float away, out of reach.  Police later found the woman's body between the dock and the shore.

Motorcyclist Dies In Crash On Airport Way

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police are investigating, after a motorcyclist died in a high-speed crash on Airport Way.  Officials say the wreck happened around eleven o'clock Saturday night near 145th Avenue.  The motorcyclist died at the scene.  His name hasn't been released.

Bills Would Make It Easier For Women To Get Contraceptives

(Olympia, WA)  --  Legislation introduced in Olympia is intended to make it easier for women to access birth control at pharmacies in Washington.  One bill would require insurers to cover 12 months of birth control at once, so women can get a year's supply of contraceptives with a single visit to the pharmacy.  Another would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives.

Bill Would Make Cursive Lessons Mandatory In WA Schools

(Olympia, WA)  --  Teaching cursive writing in elementary schools is currently an option, but a bill introduced in the Washington Legislature would make it mandatory.  GOP Senator Pam Roach of Auburn told KING-5 that part of being an American is being able to read cursive writing.  The measure has bipartisan support, but state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn says more emphasis needs to be placed on keyboarding skills.  The bill has been assigned to the Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.

State Trooper Pleads Guilty To Assault Charge

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  An Oregon State Police trooper will be on probation for 18 months, after pleading guilty to an assault charge.  Senior Trooper James Duncan entered the plea to a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault, stemming from an incident involving his son.  Duncan was also ordered to avoid contact with his two children and undergo anger-management and parenting classes.  "The Oregonian" reports State Police will now conduct an internal inquiry into Duncan.

Van Crashes Into Aloha Store, Pins Woman

(Aloha, OR)  --  Authorities say a medical emergency led the driver of a van to crash into a store in Aloha and pin a woman inside.  Authorities say the elderly driver was in a bank drive-thru when he suddenly accelerated in reverse, hit a parked truck, then drove completely inside the auto-parts store on Southwest 185th Avenue.  A female employee was pinned by the van and was taken to a hospital, but is expected to be fine.  The driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Washington Jobless Rate Rises Slightly

(Olympia, WA)  --  State officials say Washington's jobless rate for December was five-point-five-percent, up from five-point-three-percent in November.  But the state Employment Security Department says the non-seasonally-adjusted figure was down from six-point-three-percent in December 2014.  The department says the greatest job growth in Washington last month was in transportation, warehousing and utilities with 22-hundred new jobs.  The government and information sectors also showed significant growth.

Theater Shooting In Washington Critically Injures Woman

(Renton, WA)  --  Police in Renton, Washington say a movie theater patron who was intoxicated accidentally shot a woman while fumbling with his gun.  The shooting happened around eight o'clock last night at the Regal Cinema on North 10th Place.  The woman was taken to a Seattle hospital in critical condition, but she's since been upgraded to stable condition.  Police say the suspect's father later called 911 and said his son dropped his gun inside the theater, causing it to go off.  Officers went to his home and arrested the suspect.

Ex-Alaska Airlines Pilot Accused Of Flying Drunk Out Of PDX

(Portland, OR)  --  Authorities say a former Alaska Airlines pilot was under the influence of alcohol when he flew out of Portland International Airport in 2014.  Sixty-year-old David Hans Arnston of Newport Beach, California, was arrested on federal charges earlier this week.  Officials say the charges against Arnston stemmed from a random drug test on June 20, 2014, after he piloted two Alaska Airlines flights.  The airline says Arnston was removed from duty following the drug test results.  He retired soon afterward.

Area Gas Prices Fall Again

(Portland, OR)  --  The price of gasoline in the Portland area is still heading down.  Triple-A's latest survey shows the average for regular is two-15 a gallon, down about two cents from yesterday.  It's also nine cents below the average of a week ago.

Missing Salem Woman Found Safe

(Salem, OR)  --  Authorities say a Salem woman with dementia, who was reported missing last night, has been found safe.  Officials say 75-year-old Joyce Stephenson was reported to have walked away from an adult care home on Oak Park Drive Northeast around 5:45 yesterday evening.  Marion County sheriff's deputies say Stephenson was later found safe in a local grocery store.

WA Tax-cut Ballot Measure Ruled Unconstitutional

(Seattle, WA)  --  A King County Superior Court judge says Initiative 1366 violates the Washington State Constitution.  The initiative gives state lawmakers a choice between changing the constitution to make it harder to raise taxes or cutting the state sales tax.  Judge William Downing describes I-1366 as a thinly-veiled effort to pass an amendment to the state  constitution, which is something the state Supreme Court has said can't be accomplished through an initiative.  The "Spokesman-Review" reports that Tim Eyman, an anti-tax activist who spearheaded the initiative, was testifying before a Senate committee yesterday on a possible constitutional amendment that would comply with I-1366, when Downing's decision was announced.

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Falls

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon's unemployment rate is in steady decline.  Officials say the state's jobless rate for December fell from five-point-seven to five-point-four percent.  That's down significantly from the rate of six-point-seven percent in December 2014.  The Oregon Employment Department says the state added more than 54-thousand jobs in 2015.

Date set to reopen the Sellwood Bridge

(Portland, OR)  --  Multnomah County officials say they plan to have the new Sellwood Bridge open to traffic on March 1st.  The "Portland Tribune" reports the old Sellwood Bridge will be closed for four days beginning on February 25th, to allow crews to dismantle it in time for the opening of the new span.  Details are being formulated for a community celebration on the new bridge on February 27th.

Police: Man Pulled Down Girl's Pants At Bus Stop

(Aloha, OR)  --  Police are looking for a man who reportedly pulled down a 17-year-old girl's pants near a school-bus stop in Aloha.  Police say a man, believed to be in his 20s, ran up behind the teen and pulled her pants down part-way before he ran.  Investigators say the incident, which happened Tuesday morning in the area of Southwest Blanton Street and 160th Avenue, has similarities to other incidents reported in the area.  The suspect in the latest incident is described as being average in height and weight and wearing a black hoodie and black athletic shorts.

Bill Would Classify Fantasy Sports As Games Of Skill

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would designate fantasy sports as games of skill, rather than chance, is being heard in a Washington State Senate committee.  Former state Attorney General Rob McKenna, who testified on behalf of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, told lawmakers he doesn't consider fantasy sports a form of gambling.  Fantasy sports are currently banned in Washington as games of chance.

Gas Prices Continue To Drop

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area are still seeing a drop in gas prices.  The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for regular is two-17 a gallon, down two cents from yesterday.  It's also nine cents a gallon below the average of a week ago.

Brown Says Occupation Of Refuge Must Be Resolved

(Salem, OR)  --  Governor Kate Brown is calling on the federal government to bring an end to the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Harney County.  The governor calls the situation "intolerable" and says it must be resolved immediately.  Brown says the residents of the county have been overlooked and underserved by the feds' response so far.  KOIN-TV reports more militiamen from around the country drove to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge yesterday to join the protest.

Bill Would Pay For Charter Schools With Lottery Money

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill approved by the Washington State Senate would enable charter schools to operate with money from the state lottery.  The bill is in response to a Washington Supreme Court ruling which declared that charter schools weren't "common schools" and were ineligible for money from the state's general fund.  The Senate voted yesterday to designate charter schools as "uncommon schools" and fund them with lottery revenue.  The measure now goes to the House for consideration.

Crews Clear North Portland Homeless Camp

(Portland, OR)  --  The site of a homeless camp in North Portland is now free of garbage and other debris.  Crews worked for hours yesterday in an area off North Interstate and Greeley Avenue to clear the site of furniture, trash bags, shopping carts and hypodermic needles.  KATU-TV reports Hazlenut Grove, a city-sanctioned homeless camp nearby, is still in place.  Those who lived at the now-cleared site plan to relocate to an area off North Kirby Avenue and Graham Street.

Poll: Most In WA Favor Raising Tobacco-Purchasing Age To 21

(Seattle, WA)  --  A new poll shows many people in Washington favor an increase in the minimum age for buying tobacco products.  The Elway poll of 500 registered voters in the state shows 65-percent favor raising the minimum age to 21.  Lawmakers have introduced bills to that effect, which also apply to purchases of "vaping" products.  Similar legislation failed to pass last year, but state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says it has more momentum this year.

Female Candidate Could Enter Mayor's Race

(Portland, OR)  --  A woman could become a candidate for mayor of Portland.  The "Portland Tribune" quotes "political insiders" as saying Sarah Iannarone could throw her hat in the ring as early as tomorrow.  Iannarone is currently the assistant program director of First Stop Portland, and her boss is program director Nancy Hales, wife of Mayor Charlie Hales, who's not seeking re-election.  Nine other people have either filed to run or have announced they'll run to replace Mayor Hales. 

Bundy Warns Feds To Avoid Occupied Refuge HQ

(Burns, OR)  --  Ammon Bundy, who leads the protesters who are occupying a federal wildlife refuge headquarters in Harney County, is warning federal employees to not interfere with ranchers and miners who defy government regulations.  "The Oregonian" quotes Bundy as saying the armed protesters are clearing the way for Harney County residents to again ranch, mine, and log on land now under federal management.  Bundy says the protesters will back up their warning with teams ready to defend anyone who is "abused" by a federal agency.  The protesters are in their 19th day of occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns. 

Bill Proposes Legal-Marijuana Home Delivery In Seattle

(Olympia, WA)  --  There's an effort underway in Olympia to establish a pilot program for legal-marijuana home delivery in Seattle.  The program, which is backed by Mayor Ed Murray, would allow five existing licensed recreational pot stores in Seattle to offer delivery services to Washington state residents over age 21.  Supporters say the measure is intended to counteract the various online operations who offer illegal delivery services, which undercut Washington's legal marijuana market.  Officials say the legislation was requested by owners of recreational- and medical-marijuana businesses.  

Bill Calls For Free Community College Tuition

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state lawmakers are proposing free tuition at community colleges across the state.  The measure targets those who can't afford to pay their way through college, and would also include a stipend for books and other expenses for some qualifying students.  Anyone who doesn't hold a college degree would be eligible for the two years of free tuition.  Lawmakers say the program would cost the state between 100-million and 125-million dollars, but a plan on how to raise the revenue hasn't been developed yet. 

Area Gas Prices Slip Further

(Portland, OR)  --  Triple-A is reporting lower gas prices in the Portland area.  The current average for a gallon of regular is two-19, nearly two cents below yesterday's average.  It's also eight cents a gallon cheaper than a week ago.  

Search For Missing Marines Suspended

(Honolulu, HI)  --  Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard and Marine Corps say the search for 12 Marines missing after the collision of two helicopters off northern Oahu last Thursday has been suspended.  One of those Marines, Ty Hart, graduated in 2012 from Stayton High School in Marion County.  Coast Guard Captain Jim Jenkins says dive teams found wreckage of the two choppers on the ocean floor, but have found no survivors.  A memorial for the Marines is scheduled for Friday. 

Man Accused Of Shoplifting While Carrying Young Child

(Beaverton, OR)  --  A man who's accused of shoplifting while carrying a young child is in police custody.  Beaverton police say 32-year-old Bryan Warrilow turned himself in after being accused of stealing about 350-dollars' worth of items at DronesPlus in the Beaverton Town Square Mall on January 9th.  Authorities haven't said whether the child Warrilow was carrying is related to him.  He's facing a charge of second-degree theft. 

Man Accused Of Killing Ex-Girlfriend's Mother

(Oregon City, OR)  --  Jury selection is underway in the trial of a Happy Valley man who's accused of killing the mother of his then-girlfriend and of shooting his girlfriend.  Jason Hogan is charged with murdering Norma Perrone and shooting Gina Perrone in August 2012 at the home where all three lived.  Gina Perrone survived the shooting.  Prosecutors say they expect the jury for Hogan's trial to be seated by Friday. 

WA Senate Panel To Subpoena Records On Inmate Releases

(Olympia, WA)  --  A Washington State Senate committee plans to subpoena records from the Department of Corrections.  Officials say the goal is to establish an independent investigation into computer issues that led to the early releases of thousands of inmates.  The "Spokesman-Review" reports the committee voted, 13-7, to subpoena records from the DOC and the governor's office.  It's the first such action by the Washington Legislature since 1987. 

Two Arrested In Connection With Corvallis Murder

(Corvallis, OR)  --  A man and a woman are in custody in connection with a deadly shooting in Corvallis.  Authorities say 43-year-old Michael Deyette the Second and 35-year-old Brooklyn Shepard are facing murder charges in the death of 29-year-old Jason Scott Williams.  Police say Williams was shot to death Friday night at a Shari's restaurant in Corvallis.  Both suspects are due to appear in court today. 

PSU Student And Football Player Dies

(Portland, OR)  --  Officials at Portland State University say a 20-year-old student and member of the Vikings football team has died.  A.J. Schlatter died Sunday night following a complication from minor throat surgery.  Schlatter, who was initially a walk-on, earned a full football scholarship at PSU as a redshirt freshman.  Family members say A.J. died after a blood clot developed following surgery to have his tonsils removed.  

Proposal Would Merge Lakeridge, Lake Oswego High Schools

(Lake Oswego, OR)  --  A proposal will be considered to merge Lakeridge High School with Lake Oswego High.  The plan is being supported by a long-range planning committee in the Lake Oswego School District.  District officials say the planning committee is looking to improve safety of school buildings, improve technology infrastructure, and address a maintenance backlog totaling tens of millions of dollars in projects.  The committee will present the proposal tomorrow night at Lakeridge High. 

SWAT Standoff Ends With Wilsonville Man's Surrender

(Wilsonville, OR)  --  A Wilsonville man is in custody, following a standoff with a SWAT team.  Authorities say an officer had attempted to pull 41-year-old Mukunda Moriary Moss over for speeding, but Moss kept driving and parked outside a home, which he entered with his daughter, who had ridden in the car with him.  Officials say Moss armed himself, but his daughter was later able to leave the house safely.  Authorities say Moss surrendered peacefully about three-and-a-half hours later, and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. 

Fire Damages Downtown Troutdale Bar

(Troutdale, OR)  --  Firefighters are putting out hot spots at a downtown Troutdale bar, which was damaged by an early-morning fire.  The blaze was reported around 3:15 this morning at the Brass Rail Tavern on the East Historic Columbia River Highway.  There are no reports of injuries. 

Gas Prices Decrease

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area continue to pay less for gasoline.  The latest survey by Triple-A shows the average for regular is two-21 a gallon, a penny less than yesterday.  It's also eight cents a gallon below the average at this time last week. 

Proposed Strip-Club Tax Would Fund Rape-Kit Testing

(Olympia, WA)  --  Lawmakers say it's a way to fund testing of a huge backlog of rape kits that have gone untested across Washington.  Democratic Representative Tina Orwall told KING-5 she'll propose a provision that would require adding four dollars to the entrance charge at strip clubs across the state, which would fund testing of rape kits.  Orwall is co-sponsoring HB 2530, which would require rape kits be tracked in a central database.  Senator Ann Rivers of Clark County is a co-sponsor of the bill, but feels that testing rape kits should be funded out of the priorities of government in public safety, not by taxing strip clubs. 

Validity Of I-1366 To Be Argued In WA Court

(Seattle, WA)  --  A King County Superior Court judge is slated to hear arguments today regarding Initiative 1366, which will cut the Washington state sales tax by a penny in mid-April unless the Legislature puts a tax-limiting constitutional amendment on the ballot for November.  Judge William Downing will hear arguments on the legality of I-1366, which passed with 51-and-a-half-percent of the statewide vote in November.  Activist Tim Eyman, who spearheaded the initiative, told the Everett "Herald" he's confident the lawsuit against the measure will be dismissed.  Opponents of the initiative argue it violates state law that bars ballot measures from addressing multiple unrelated subjects. 

Man Killed While Trying To Cross Interstate 5

(Portland, OR)  --  A man is dead, after he was hit by a vehicle while trying to walk across Interstate 5 in Portland.  Police say the man was crossing southbound I-5 near Southwest Hood Avenue around 5:50 yesterday evening when he was hit.  The man, whose name hasn't been released, died at the scene.  The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.  Southbound I-5 was closed for several hours. 

State Rep. Says He Received Threats Following Articles

(Olympia, WA)  --  The Washington State Patrol is investigating, after a state representative from Spokane Valley reported receiving threats.  The "Spokesman-Review" reports GOP Representative Matt Shea said he received the threats last week after articles in the newspaper told of his visit with protesters at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon.  Shea, who's calling for a retraction by the newspaper, posted on Facebook that he blames the "Spokesman-Review" for the violent threats made against him and his family.  Editors at the newspaper say they had not received a retraction request from Shea. 

Officials ID Man Shot To Death By Beaverton Police

(Beaverton, OR)  --  Officials say a man who was shot to death by Beaverton police was wanted for a probation violation.  Authorities say officers confronted 44-year-old Adam Karjalainen as they responded to a report of an unwanted person at a house in the 10-thousand-100 block of Southwest Murray Boulevard around 7:25 Saturday morning.  Officials say Karjalainen was armed and advanced toward the officers, and was shot after he refused to comply with repeated commands to drop the weapon.  The suspect died later at a hospital. 

Suspect In Hit-and-run Facing Charges

(Portland, OR)  --  A man who's accused of a hit-and-run that left a pedestrian injured in Northeast Portland is expected in court.  Police say 23-year-old Arontae McCollum hit 32-year-old Daniel Moore late Friday night at the intersection of Northeast Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Jarrett Street.  Moore was taken to a hospital for treatment of critical injuries.  Authorities say McCollum turned himself in several hours later. 

Report: 1 in 3 OR Households Struggle To Afford Basic Needs

(Undated)  --  A new report released by the United Way shows more than one in three Oregon households struggles to meet basic needs, such as housing and child care.  The nonprofit classifies these households as ALICE, which stands for "asset limited, income constrained, employed."  The report, using data from Pacific Northwest households, shows 15 percent of Oregon households lived in poverty in 2013, while 23 percent qualified as struggling households, for a total of 38 percent of households below the ALICE threshold.  The United Way report shows Washington with 32 percent of households below the threshold, and Idaho with 37 percent. 

Baker City Woman Claims Powerball Prize

(Salem, OR)  --  A Baker City woman says she intends to pay off some bills, now that she has the money to do it.  Theresa Osborne claimed her 100-thousand-dollar prize from the Oregon Lottery, which she won during the Powerball drawing that yielded three winners who split a jackpot of more than one-point-six-billion dollars.  Osborne employed the Power Play option, which doubled her 50-thousand dollar prize.  She says she and her husband will also help out their two sons. 

India Reopens Ports To Apple Imports

(Yakima, WA)  --  There's good news for Washington apple farmers.  All of India's ports are again open to imports of foreign apples, with the government there reversing the decision it made last fall to limit foreign apples to just one major port.  The "Yakima Herald" reports the restrictions were lifted after importers at one of the closed ports in India challenged the closure decision in court.  The timing is good for Washington apple producers, as their major shipping season runs from January through March. 

Bill Would Raise WA Minimum Smoking Age To 21

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would raise the minimum legal smoking age in Washington is scheduled for a hearing this week by a House panel.  The current legal minimum age to smoke tobacco products is 18, and the measure would raise it to 21.  Supporters of the bill say it would reduce smoking and lead to a reduction in smoking-related deaths in Washington.  The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in the House Health Care & Wellness Committee. 

Gas Prices Down

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland metro area are paying less for gasoline.  The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for a gallon of regular is two-22, eight cents a gallon cheaper than the average of a week ago.  The national average for regular is a dollar-90 a gallon. 

Brown Announces Plan To Raise State Minimum Wage

(Salem, OR)  --  Governor Kate Brown is pushing a plan to raise Oregon's minimum wage to 13-dollars-50-cents an hour.  The governor says the plan would also raise the hourly minimum in the Portland metro to 15-50 by 2022.  Brown says the plan is in the preliminary stages, but will be ready to present to lawmakers next month.  Currently, Oregon's minimum wage is nine-25 an hour. 

Oregonians Win Thousands In Powerball Consolation Prizes

(Salem, OR)  --  Lottery officials say hundreds of thousands of Oregonians won consolation prizes in the Powerball drawing, even though no one in the state shared in the one-point-six-billion-dollar jackpot.  More than 250-thousand Oregon residents won prizes ranging from four dollars to 100-thousand dollars.  Two tickets sold in Portland are each worth 50-thousand dollars, as are tickets that were bought in Grants Pass, Baker City, Coos Bay, Veneta, and Salem.  The ticket sold in Baker City is actually worth 100-thousand, because the Power Play option was used. 

Man Injured In NE Portland Fire

(Portland, OR)  --  Officials say a man suffered minor burns in a house fire in Northeast Portland.  Portland Fire & Rescue says the blaze was reported yesterday afternoon at a house on Northeast 24th in the Irvington neighborhood.  The fire started in the basement while contractors were working inside the house.  Investigators are trying to determine the cause. 

Portland Misses Payment Security Deadline

(Portland, OR)  --  There's still no proof that the city of Portland meets security standards required by the credit-card industry.  The city recently missed its own deadline to show it keeps credit-card information secure for people who used credit cards to pay for parking, utilities, taxes, and more.  Director of Audit Services Drummond Kahn told KOIN-TV that the auditor's office is still waiting to receive reports from an outside security auditor, which would show whether the city meets the standards.  The city had set a December 31st deadline to turn in the report. 

Fuel Prices Down Again

(Portland, OR)  --  Triple-A reports another decline in Portland-area gas prices.  The average for regular is two-25 a gallon, a penny-and-a-half lower than yesterday's average.  It's also more than eight cents below the average of a week ago. 

Portland Man Sentenced For Rape

(Vancouver, WA)  --  A Portland man is slated to spend six-and-a-half years behind bars, following his conviction on a rape charge.  Twenty-seven-year-old David Devon Jackson was found guilty last month of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old Tacoma woman in Vancouver in 2014.  Jackson initially faced three counts of first-degree rape, but was convicted only on a single charge of second-degree rape. 

Bill Would Create Animal Abuse Registry In WA

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state lawmakers will consider a measure that would establish a statewide registry of people convicted of animal abuse.  Senate Bill 6234 would require the registry to be posted online and include the names, addresses, and photos of people convicted of animal cruelty-related charges.  The bill has been assigned to the Senate Law & Justice Committee. 

WA Senate GOP To Issue Subpoenas Over Prison Controversy

(Olympia, WA)  --  Senate Republicans in Olympia say they plan to subpoena information about the problem surrounding the Department of Corrections, who released more than three-thousand inmates from Washington prisons early by mistake.  Spokane Valley Senator Mike Padden, who heads the Senate Law & Justice Committee, says he has questions about the independence of an investigation Governor Jay Inslee launched last month into a computer problem DOC said led to the early releases.  Corrections Secretary Dan Pacholke was questioned by the Senate panel Monday, but Vice Chairman Steve O'Ban expressed dismay over Pacholke's deferral of some of the questions.  Governor Inslee told the "Spokesman-Review" he doesn't appreciate GOP lawmakers questioning the investigation's integrity. 

Miss Washington USA Resigns Over DUI Arrest

(Seattle, WA)  --  Stormy Keffeler is no longer Miss Washington USA.  Keffeler resigned after it became public that she pleaded guilty in September to a DUI charge, a month before she was crowned.  Pageant officials say Keffeler didn't mention the conviction on paperwork she was required to fill out as a contestant.  First runner-up Kelsey Schmidt will represent Washington in the Miss USA Pageant later this year.  

Powerball Jackpot To Be Split Among Winners In At Least Three States

(Salem, OR)  --  The Powerball jackpot will reset to a mere 40-million-dollars after last night's drawing yielded winners in at least three states.  The jackpot reached nearly one-point-six-billion-dollars, and winners have been confirmed in California, Tennessee and Florida.  Lottery officials say each winning ticket will be worth more than 528-million-dollars.  

Portland Fire Chief To Retire

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland's first woman fire chief is stepping down.  Erin Janssens has been with Portland Fire & Rescue since 1988 and became fire chief in 2012.  Janssens, who will retire in April, had previously served as Portland's first female division chief and fire marshal.  Fire Commissioner Dan Saltzman says he'll lead the search to appoint Janssens' successor. 

Man Arrested In Connection With October Shooting

 (Portland, OR)  --  Portland police have a man in custody after he was accused of wounding two people in a shooting.  Authorities say 32-year-old Marcus Grant is facing multiple charges, including two counts of attempted murder.  Police say the shooting happened October 22nd in the area of Northeast Killingsworth Street and Sandy Boulevard.  Investigators say the victims, a man and a woman, were likely injured by broken glass resulting from the shooting. 

Hood River Man Reported Missing

(Hood River, OR)  --  A search is being conducted for a 60-year-old Hood River man who's been reported missing.  Authorities say Lawrence Norman Tolbert hasn't been seen or heard from since around 8:15 Monday morning.  Officials say he may be driving his silver-and-black 1990 Ford F-250, with a white "Elkhorn" camper attached and Washington license plates B32624.  Tolbert is six-foot-one, 180 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.  Anyone with information is asked to call Hood River Police at 541-387-5257. 

Portland State University Investigating Threats Of Violence

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland State University police are investigating reported threats of violence "against the PSU community."  Officials say Asish Sharma is accused of making the threats, and is facing charges in connection with an assault on campus.  The university says Sharma "made threats to shoot the assault victim and law enforcement."  Sharma is described as being five-feet-eight, weighing 190 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, and was last seen driving a champagne-colored Honda Accord with Oregon license plate NNK 552. 

Police: Woman Arrested While Leaving Bank She Robbed

(Gresham, OR)  --  A woman is behind bars after being accused of robbing a bank in Gresham.  Police say 44-year-old Melissa Wheatt held up the Bank of America in the 200 block of East Powell Boulevard yesterday morning.  Officials say she handed the teller a note demanding money.  Police say officers apprehended Wheatt after she walked out of the building and headed toward Southeast Roberts Avenue. 

Gasoline Prices Down

(Portland, OR)  --  The price of gasoline continues to decline in the Portland area.  Triple-A reports the average price for regular is two-26 a gallon, nearly a penny lower than yesterday's average.  It's also eight-and-a-half cents below the average of a week ago. 

Hearing Planned On Creating Districts For Selecting WA Supreme Court Justices

(Olympia, WA)  --  A Washington State Senate panel will hold a hearing today on dividing the state into districts for selecting Supreme Court justices.  The plan would require a constitutional amendment to call for such a division.  Three such proposed amendments were introduced last year, but none of them made it to the floor for a vote.  The Senate Law and Justice Committee has the hearing scheduled for eight o'clock this morning. 

Malheur Militia Plans Meeting With Community

(Burns, OR)  --  The militia who's occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters wants to meet with the community in nearby Burns.  Spokesman LaVoy Finicum says the plan is to discuss the occupation and when the militia plans to vacate the refuge.  Finicum says the meeting is planned for seven o'clock Friday evening, but a location hasn't been determined.  The militia, led by Ammon Bundy, has occupied the federal facility since January 2nd. 

Fugitive Captured In Aloha

(Aloha, OR)  --  Authorities say they've arrested a fugitive from justice in Aloha following a day-long manhunt.  Officials say detectives caught up yesterday with the suspect, 31-year-old Vincent Danielson, in a neighborhood near Butternut Creek Elementary School.  Washington County sheriff's deputies describe Danielson as a career criminal who was armed and dangerous.  Authorities believe he's responsible for multiple gun and vehicle thefts. 

Elderly Woman Killed In SE Portland

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say an elderly woman died after being hit by a car while crossing a Southeast Portland intersection on a motor scooter.  The woman, who was in her 80s, was struck around 7:38 yesterday morning while crossing on the scooter at the intersection of Southeast 156th and Southeast Division.  The driver of the SUV that hit the woman remained at the scene and cooperated with police. 

WA Schools Chief Walks Out On Inslee's Speech

(Olympia, WA)  --  Governor Jay Inslee says the Washington Legislature is "on track" to getting the public-education funding issue resolved.  But state Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn doesn't agree, and made his feelings known during yesterday's State of the State address by walking out of the House chamber before Inslee began his speech.  Dorn told "The Olympian" that the governor and lawmakers aren't making adequate progress toward fully funding public schools.  The state is currently in contempt of court over the Legislature's failure to come up with a plan to meet the 2018 deadline set by the state Supreme Court. 

Missing Sandy Truck Driver Found Dead

(Brothers, OR)  --  Authorities say a truck driver from Sandy who disappeared last week has been found dead in Deschutes County.  Officials don't believe foul play was involved in the death of 56-year-old Bret Anderson, whose body was found at a rest area near Brothers.  Investigators say Anderson picked up a load of paper products last Thursday in Ontario, but never showed up with the cargo in Springfield as scheduled.  The Deschutes County Medical Examiner's Office says it appears Anderson died of natural causes. 

Zillow: Portland To Be One Of Nation's Hottest Housing Markets

(Portland, OR)  --  A new survey by Zillow ranks Portland as one of the nation's hottest housing markets this year.  The Rose City places 10th in the 2016 ranking.  Zillow says Portland's median home value is expected to rise by five-percent this year.  Denver ranks first and Seattle ranks second in the survey, which bases the rankings on strong income growth and low unemployment rates. 

Area Gas Prices Lower

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area are paying less for gasoline.  Triple-A reports the average for regular is two-27 a gallon, which is about two-cents cheaper than yesterday.  It's also about nine-cents a gallon below the average at this time last week.  

Teen Pleads Not Guilty To Attacking Ex-cop

(Tigard, OR)  --  A 17-year-old boy who's accused of attacking a retired Portland police officer with a knife says he's not guilty.  Daniel Alfredo Ortiz is charged as an adult with attempted murder in the stabbing of the 59-year-old former officer, who was attacked while walking her dog in Tigard on January 2nd.  Bail for Ortiz is set at 250-thousand dollars.  He's due back in court on February 1st.  

Student Seriously Injured In Tigard

(Tigard, OR)  --  A student is in a hospital, after being hit by a dump truck near Tigard  High School.  Authorities say the student was thrown about a dozen feet when he was hit shortly before 3:30 yesterday afternoon on Durham Road.  Officials say the teen suffered serious injuries.  He was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. 

Plan Calls For Spending $30 Million To Reduce Homelessness

(Portland, OR)  --  A plan that's been tentatively agreed to by Portland, Gresham, and Multnomah County government leaders would spend 30-million dollars to reduce homelessness.  The Portland City Council and the Multnomah County Board of Directors will vote on whether to approve the plan in their respective budgets, which take effect on July 1st.  Portland's share would be 20-million dollars and the county's share would be ten-million to fund the plan.  Officials told the "Portland Tribune" the plan is intended to reduce homelessness by 50 percent by no later than 2020.  

Thief With Python In Pants Was Lucky It Wasn't Feeding Day

(Portland, OR)  --  A thief in Portland who was seen on camera putting a python in his pants is lucky it wasn't feeding day.  The manager of the A to Z pet store on Southeast Division says he noticed the two-foot-long snake was missing on Friday, so he checked the security video footage.  He says the video clearly showed the man dropping the snake down the front of his pants and walking out.  Feeding days are Mondays and the snakes are described as very hungry, so the man lucked out. 

Gas Prices Still Dropping

(Portland, OR)  --  Gas prices in the Portland metro area are still falling.  The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for regular is two-29 a gallon.  That's a penny-and-a-half lower than yesterday and seven cents a gallon cheaper than at this time last week.  The national average for regular is a dollar-96 a gallon.  

Barista Dies Following WA Espresso Stand Fire

(Seattle, WA)  --  Authorities say 26-year-old Courtney Campbell, a barista who was critically injured in a fire at her coffee stand in Everett, Washington, has died.  Officials say a propane tank inside the kiosk may have caused an explosion and fire at the coffee stand near the Everett Mall on January 7th.  Campbell died yesterday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.  

Fryberg Gets Two-year Sentence On Weapons Charges

(Seattle, WA)  --  Raymond Fryberg is slated to spend two years behind bars.  Fryberg is the father of Jaylen Fryberg, the 15-year-old who shot five fellow students, four fatally, at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Washington in 2014 before killing himself.  The elder Fryberg was sentenced in federal court yesterday, following his conviction on weapons-related charges.  Jaylen Fryberg used one of his father's illegally-obtained handguns in the school shooting. 

WA DOC Secretary: Department Should Be "Held Accountable"

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington Department of Corrections Secretary Dan Pacholke says his department should be held accountable for a series of errors that led to more than three-thousand prisoners being released early by mistake.  Pacholke, who took over as DOC secretary last October, told state lawmakers yesterday the department should also be held to account for the delayed process in getting the problems fixed.  The software problem was discovered in 2012 and went uncorrected for three years. 

Initiative Seeks $13.50 Minimum Wage In Washington

(Olympia, WA)  --  An effort is underway to have Washington's statewide minimum wage raised incrementally to 13-dollars-50-cents an hour from the current minimum of nine-47.  A coalition led by labor unions has filed an initiative, which would also allow workers to earn paid sick leave.  Under the initiative, the hourly minimum would rise to eleven dollars in 2017 and reach 13-50 by 2020.  The coalition has until July 8th to gather more than 246-thousand valid signatures in order to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. 

Suspect Arrested In Hit-and-run

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police say a suspected drunk driver is facing charges, following a hit-and-run crash that left a man critically injured.  Authorities say the 50-year-old man was hit around six o'clock yesterday morning at the intersection of Southwest 11th and Market.  Police say the car was spotted not far from the scene, and was intercepted by officers.  No names have been released. 

Man Struck, Killed By MAX Train

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  Hillsboro police are investigating the death of a man who was hit by a MAX train.  Authorities say the man may have tripped over a cable separating the two tracks near 3rd Avenue and Washington Street around 8:30 last night.  Police say it appears the man was dragged for several blocks before the train came to a stop.  His name hasn't been made public. 

Armed Man Accused Of Attacking Portland Police Officers

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police say they've arrested a suspect who attacked officers while armed with a gun and a dagger.  Authorities say 35-year-old Joshua Crocker was one of three suspects inside a pickup truck that police approached early yesterday morning, while responding to reports of a burglary in the area of Southeast 143rd Avenue and Stephens Street.  Officials say Crocker ran from the officers, but they caught up with him and he began swinging his fist at them.  The officers found that Crocker was clenching a handgun between his thighs and wearing a tactical vest that contained a large dagger.  The suspect was arrested on multiple charges after he was disarmed. 

Pedestrian Killed Near McMinnville

(McMinnville, OR)  --  Oregon State Police say a man who was standing in the middle of Highway 99W near McMinnville was hit by a vehicle and killed.  Troopers say the pedestrian was hit by 78-year-old Lee E. Zill, who was traveling south on the highway around 4:30 yesterday morning.  Police say the man was wearing dark clothing and standing in an unlit area at the time he was hit.  His name hasn't been released.   

Gasoline Prices Fall

(Portland, OR)  --  Prices at the gas pump are still heading down in the Portland area.  Triple-A reports the current average for regular is two-30 a gallon, about a half cent lower than yesterday's average.  It's also a nickel a gallon cheaper than at this time last week. 

Seattle P.D. Chief, Oregon Student Invited To State Of Union Address

(Seattle, WA)  --  Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole is among those invited to attend President Obama's final State of the Union Address tomorrow night.  Police department officials say O'Toole will sit in the First Lady's Box among two-dozen other guests, which will include veterans and service members.  The guests will also include Lydia Doza of Klamath [[ CLAM-ath ]] Falls, who's a student at the Oregon Institute of Technology.  "The Oregonian" reports Doza, who's 24, was chosen for her work helping Native American youth gain interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

Washington Legislative Session Starts Today

(Olympia, WA)  --  The 2016 Washington legislative session will begin today at the capitol.  Among the issues expected to be covered during the session is agreeing on a plan to fully fund public schools by the 2018 deadline set by the Washington State Supreme Court.  Lawmakers will also address the problems that led to the Department of Corrections' mistakenly releasing more than three-thousand prisoners early.  The Legislature will also fashion a supplemental budget, which will include compliance with a federal court mandate to reduce the amount of time to evaluate mentally ill offenders locked up in county jails.    

Brown Calls For Protesters To Leave Refuge Headquarters

(Burns, OR)  --  Governor Kate Brown is calling for armed protesters who are occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Harney County to go home.  Brown says while the protest started out as legal, it has turned into an unlawful occupation that must end.  The governor describes the protesters as "outsiders" who must leave the premises and be held to account.  Sheriff Dave Ward met briefly yesterday with leaders of the group and asked them to leave the refuge. 

Portland-area Gas Prices Lower

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area are paying less for gasoline.  Triple-A reports the average for regular is two-33 a gallon, a penny-and-a-half below yesterday's average.  It's also three cents a gallon cheaper than at this time last week.  

Liquid Oxygen Leak Forces Evacuation In Salem

(Salem, OR)  --  Officials say some Salem residents have been staying away from home throughout the night because of a liquid-oxygen leak.  The leak, located in the 46-hundred block of Windsor Way Northeast, prompted the evacuation last night of homes and businesses within a six-block radius.  The leak was contained by about 8:40 last night, but the evacuation remained in place.  There's been no word on what caused the leak. 

Ferguson Critical Of Proposed Fine Over 911 Outage

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson says a fine proposed for CenturyLink over a statewide 911 outage is not enough.  The "News Tribune" reports the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission negotiated a two-point-nine-million-dollar settlement with the communications giant over the April 2014 outage.  The outage lasted about six hours, causing more than 56-hundred emergency calls statewide not to reach 911 dispatchers.  Ferguson calls the nearly three-million-dollar settlement "woefully inadequate" and is recommending a fine of eleven-and-a-half-million, which CenturyLink officials call "overly punitive." 

Hales Drops Support For Demolition Tax

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is no longer supporting his proposed 25-thousand-dollar demolition tax on developers.  His communications director, Sara Hottman, told the "Portland Tribune" the mayor hasn't been able to garner enough votes on the Portland City Council to pass the tax.  The tax was intended to reduce the number of demolitions that residents claim are destroying the character of their neighborhoods.  One of the primary complaints about the proposed tax was it would increase the price of new homes. 

14 Arrested In WA Sex-trafficking Investigation

(Seattle, WA)  --  Authorities say 14 people have been arrested and 12 women have been rescued as a result of an investigation into a sex-trafficking operation in Washington.  King County Sheriff John Urquhart says two websites, which were used to rate, discuss, and promote the prostitution of women, were also shut down, as were several brothels operating in Bellevue.  Urquhart says the women are Asian immigrants who were hired and exploited through the websites, run by an organization called "The League," which consisted of a group of businessmen.  Bellevue police and the FBI are also involved in the investigation, and officials say men from at least 15 states are implicated. 

Inslee: Employees To Be Held Accountable For DOC Mistake

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington Governor Jay Inslee says state employees who are responsible for the mistaken early release of thousands of prison inmates will be held accountable.  However, the governor says he's been advised by investigators to withhold any disciplinary action until the investigation has been completed.  A computer glitch was a factor in the premature release of more than three-thousand inmates dating back to 2002.  At least two of those inmates have been accused of deadly crimes since being released. 

Novick To Ask To Have Gas Tax Placed On Ballot

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick says he plans to ask fellow Council members to place a proposed city gas tax on the May primary election ballot.  The tax would be ten cents per gallon and last for four years.  A hearing on the proposal is set for January 27th.  Supporters of the measure say the gas tax is needed to fund Portland street projects. 

Washington Guardsman Killed In Afghanistan

(Olympia, WA)  --  Officials say a National Guardsman from Washington was killed in action this week in Afghanistan.  Thirty-year-old Staff Sergeant Matthew McClintock of Tacoma, who was a Green Beret, was killed on January 5th in the Helmand Province.  McClintock joined the Washington National Guard in 2014 after several years of active duty and was on his third combat tour. 

Sheriff Asks Armed Militia To Leave Wildlife Refuge

(Burns, OR)  --  Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward is asking the armed militia occupying a federal building to leave.  Ward, who spoke to community members at a meeting last night, was met with enthusiastic applause from many on hand when he suggested that the militia members pack up and go.  Several people attending the meeting suggested that a small group of community representatives simply go to the refuge and ask them to leave.  The sheriff said he was open to that idea.  

Gas Prices Dip

(Portland, OR)  --  Triple-A reports a drop in Portland-area gas prices.  The average for a gallon of regular is two-35, a penny a gallon below yesterday's average.  It's also two cents cheaper than the average at this time last week. 

Woodland Man Killed In Vancouver Wreck

(Vancouver, WA)  --  A Woodland man is dead, following a rollover crash in Vancouver.  The Washington State Patrol says 38-year-old Neal Yukich was northbound yesterday morning on Interstate 5 when he lost control of his SUV while exiting onto Main Street.  The vehicle rolled down an embankment, killing Yukich at the scene.  Troopers say he wasn't wearing a seatbelt. 

Missing Nine-Year-Old Girl Found Safe

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say a nine-year-old girl who had been reported missing is back home in Southeast Portland.  Authorities say Mary Hinika had last been seen at her home yesterday evening, and her mother reported her missing around 7:15.  The girl was found walking by herself in the area of Northeast 162nd Avenue and San Rafael Drive.  Police told "The Oregonian" a citizen brought the girl home safely. 

Inslee Launches Initiative Designed To Curb Gun Violence

(Burien, WA)  --  Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he's signed an executive order to begin a public-health initiative with the purpose of reducing gun-related violence.  The governor says it's a data-driven approach that helps identify the people and places most susceptible to gun crime and suicide.  He says the initiative is partially inspired by President Obama's gun-control initiative announced earlier this week.  Inslee says he wants to add strength to Washington's voter-approved background check law. 

State Employment Department Director Fired

(Salem, OR)  --  The director of the Oregon Employment Department is out of a job.  Governor Kate Brown has fired Lisa Nisenfeld, who had been on the job since being appointed by then-Governor John Kitzhaber in September 2013.  The "Portland Tribune" reports an audit released by the Secretary of State's Office found that outdated computer systems at the Employment Department were still vulnerable, more than a year after the agency experienced a serious data breach.  Kay Erickson, the state budget manager with the Department of Administrative Services, will be acting director of the Employment Department until Nisenfeld's replacement is hired. 

Sheriff: Steps Being Taken To End Standoff

(Burns, OR)  --  Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward says there are steps being taken to end the standoff with armed militants who are occupying a federal wildlife refuge headquarters.  Ward says the FBI and other federal agencies are handling the standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns.  Ward told "The Oregonian" his main focus is to protect people from possible militant violence in town.  The standoff began after a protest of the imprisonment of two ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, who turned themselves in Monday to start their sentences in California. 

Inslee To Launch Program To Reduce, Prevent Firearms Injuries

(Burien, WA)  --  Washington Governor Jay Inslee is scheduled today to launch a statewide public health initiative, aimed at reducing and preventing firearm-related injuries and deaths.  The governor is announcing the program on the day after President Obama announced his plan to use executive action to expand background checks on those purchasing guns.  Inslee will unveil his initiative later today at the Navos Mental Health and Wellness Center in Burien. 

Beaverton Man Wanted For Murder

(Beaverton, OR)  --  A Beaverton man is wanted for a murder in Klamath Falls.  Authorities say 26-year-old Matthew Reyes is considered a suspect in the murder of 57-year-old Rick Aston.  Aston's body was found late Sunday in a room at the Rivers Inn.  Nineteen-year-old Jardyn Mosttler has been arrested in connection with the case, and a nationwide warrant has been issued for Reyes.  Anyone knowing his whereabouts is asked to call 541-883-5336. 

Portland One Of The "Best Cities" For Active Lifestyles

(Undated)  --  A new WalletHub survey ranks Portland among the nation's "Best Cities for an Active Lifestyle."  The Rose City places 17th, while Seattle is ranked 22nd.  WalletHub's analysts compared the 100 most populated cities, based on key factors to identify those that help their residents stick to their health goals.  Scottsdale, Arizona ranks at the top in the survey, while Laredo, Texas ranks as the "worst" city for an active lifestyle. 

Suspect Being Sought Following Sexual Assault

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police are looking for a man who sexually assaulted a woman in the Woodstock neighborhood.  Authorities say the attack took place around 3:30 a.m. on New Year's Day in the area of Southeast 47th and Woodstock Boulevard.  The suspect is described as a white man in his 20s, with a thin build and "dark and greasy" short hair.  He was wearing "gas-attendant-style" jacket with a patch on the back that reads "Pork Army." 

Gas Prices Rise Slightly

(Portland, OR)  --  Gas prices in metro Portland are slightly higher.  Triple-A's latest survey shows the average for regular is two-36 a gallon, which is up a fraction of a cent from yesterday.  However, it's still nearly two cents a gallon cheaper than the average of a week ago. 

Militia Leader Doesn't Think Oregon Standoff Will End Violently

(Burns, OR)  --  The leader of an armed militia that has seized a federal building in eastern Oregon says he doesn't think the standoff will come to a violent end.  Ammon Bundy appeared on the Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File," saying he's there to defend his freedom and liberty, and not to die.  Bundy and a group took over a building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge after a protest over a prison sentence for a pair of ranchers convicted of arson.  Harney County Sheriff David Ward is calling on the militia to vacate the premises.  

Taxes Now Being Collected On Recreational Pot Sales

(Salem, OR)  --  The state of Oregon is now collecting a 25-percent tax on recreational marijuana sales.  Anyone who purchases legal pot without a medical marijuana card will have to pay the tax.  Officials say 40 percent of the tax revenue will go to a common school fund, 20 percent will be used for alcohol- and drug-treatment programs, and 15 percent will go toward funding State Police, local governments, and the Oregon Health Authority.  The OHA is overseeing recreational pot sales until October, when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will assume that duty. 

Teen Charged With Attacking Woman With Knife

(Tigard, OR)  --  A 17-year-old is facing charges after being accused of seriously injuring a woman in a knife attack.  Tigard police say Daniel Ortiz is being charged as an adult with attempted murder.  The attack took place Saturday night in the area of Walnut Street and 114th Avenue in Tigard while the 59-year-old woman was walking her dog.  The victim remains in a hospital. 

Storage Units Damaged In Fire

(Portland, OR)  --  Investigators are trying to determine what caused a fire that damaged several commercial storage units in southeast Portland.  The fire was reported yesterday at the storage facility in the 77-hundred block of Southeast 92nd Avenue.  A man and a woman who had initially been unaccounted for were later found safe.  No one was injured. 

Fuel Prices Flat

(Portland, OR)  --  There's no change in the price of gasoline in metro Portland from yesterday.  The latest Triple-A survey shows the average price for regular is two-35 a gallon.  That's about a-penny-and-a-half below the average of a week ago. 

Bill Aimed At Making WA Charter Schools Constitutional

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session in Washington is aimed at making the state's charter schools constitutional.  The "Spokesman-Review" reports the measure by Spokane Senator Andy Billing would make charter schools accountable to locally elected school boards.  The state Supreme Court previously ruled charter schools unconstitutional, saying they're supported by tax dollars and governed by a board consisting of non-elected members.  In 2012, Washington voters narrowly approved an initiative allowing charter schools in the state. 

McDermott Announces Retirement

(Washington, DC)  --  Fourteen-term Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington says he's retiring.  The Seattle Democrat, who's 79 years old, says he has no doubt he would be re-elected, but feels it will be time to step aside after his current term expires.  Fellow Democrat and state Representative Brady Walkinshaw has already announced he'll run for the seat, and several other area Democrats are being mentioned as possible candidates.  McDermott says he'd like to be a college professor after he leaves Congress.  

Ammon Bundy: Militia Occupying Refuge Over Land Rights

(Burns, OR)  --  The leader of a group of armed militia members says they're occupying a building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon to return land rights to locals.  Ammon Bundy is the son of Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, who's been known for his clashes with federal authorities over grazing rights.  Ammon Bundy says the group has no plans to use violence unless the government moves against them first.  While the group claims to be in support of local ranchers, the Harney County Sheriff says the group has alternative motives of overthrowing local and federal governments in hopes of sparking a nationwide movement. 

Classes Cancelled Today In Area Districts

(Portland, OR)  --  Christmas vacation will be extended by at least a day for students in Portland-area school districts.  Snow and ice over the weekend have prompted officials to cancel school today for Portland Public Schools, as well as for Reynolds, Gresham-Barlow, David Douglas, Battle Ground, Camas, and Washougal.  There will be a two-hour delay today in the start of school in Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Canby, and Vancouver.  

Car Crashes Into Portland Police Car On I-84

(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland police officer is recovering from minor injuries after a patrol car was struck by another vehicle on I-84.  Authorities say the crash happened around 8:30 yesterday morning near 184th Avenue.  The driver of an SUV hit the parked police cruiser with the officer inside.  The officer was taken to a hospital, but the driver of the SUV was not hurt. 

Woman Charged With DUII After Crashing Into Home

(Aloha, OR)  --  A woman who crashed a car into a house in Aloha last week is facing a DUII charge.  Police say 43-year-old Yanmanaa Walleman lives down the street from the house she hit Friday night in the 46-hundred block of Southwest Stoddard Drive.  Walleman is charged with drunk driving, reckless driving, and criminal mischief.  No one was injured in the crash. 

Street Funding Proposals To Be Presented

(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland City Club will go before the City Council this week to present its recommendations for funding street projects.  One of those recommendations, which is backed by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick, is a ballot measure for a city gas tax to raise revenue for the projects.  Other recommendations include a usage tax and a plan to use some of the city's future revenue surpluses for infrastructure.  

Longtime WA Congressman May Not Run Again

(Seattle, WA)  --  Longtime Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington may not seek re-election.  KING-TV is citing sources who say they expect the 14-term Democrat to announce later today he won't run again.  McDermott, who's 79-years-old, is known as a staunch liberal who has championed health-care reform.  Democratic state Representative Brady Walkinshaw of Seattle announced last month he plans to run against McDermott. 

JBLM Civilian Workforce To Be Slashed By 900

(Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA)  --  The civilian workforce at Washington's Joint Base Lewis-McChord is about to shrink.  Officials say it will be the first major reduction in the number of civilian employees at the base since the Army began post-Iraq downsizing.  The schedule calls for 900 full-time and contractor positions to be shed over the next two years.  The Tacoma "News Tribune" reports the base currently employs nearly 16-thousand-400 civilians. 

Oregon Officials Working Towards Peaceful Resolution Of Wildlife Refuge Takeover

(Burns, OR)  --  Authorities in Oregon say they're working towards a peaceful resolution after armed militia members took over a building at a federal wildlife refuge.  The group seized the building near the town of Burns yesterday following a protest over two Oregon ranchers who are set to go to prison on arson convictions.  However, the Harney County Sheriff says the group has different motives.  In a statement, the Sheriff says they have alternative motives of overthrowing the county and federal governments in hopes of sparking a nationwide movement.  
The group is apparently led by Ammon Bundy, the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who's clashed with the federal government over grazing rights.  Bundy says the group doesn't plan to use violence unless the government moves against them.


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