Regional News Archives for 2017-03

Vancouver Double-homicide Suspect Arrested

(Vancouver, WA)  --  A suspect in a double homicide in Vancouver is behind bars.  Police say 31-year-old Arkangel Howard was arrested yesterday in Portland in connection with the deaths of 37-year-old Allen Collins and 42-year-old Jason Benton.  Investigators say the victims were shot to death on the afternoon of March 19th outside an apartment complex located blocks from Evergreen High School and Cascade Middle School in Vancouver.  Howard, who's facing murder charges, will be extradited from Multnomah County to Clark County.

Lawmakers Pass Bill To End Washington's Wholesale Auto-dealer License

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would eliminate wholesale auto-dealer licenses that officials say can be used for fraudulent activity is on its way to Washington Governor Jay Inslee.  The licenses are issued to wholesale dealers who aren't required to operate a lot with regular business hours, have a building, or a telephone number.  Under the bill, Washington state would stop issuing such licenses after July 1st and eliminate them entirely in 2019.

Portland-area Fuel Prices Increase

(Portland, OR)  --  The price to fill your gas tank is up slightly.  Triple-A's latest survey of Portland-area gas stations shows the average for regular is two-70 a gallon heading into the weekend.  That's a penny-and-a-half above the average of a week ago.  The nationwide average for regular is two-31 a gallon.

Cantwell Says She'll Oppose Supreme Court Nominee

(Washington, DC)  --  Washington state's junior U.S. senator says she'll vote against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.  Senator Maria Cantwell says Gorsuch's reputation as a constitutional conservative is a factor in her opposition, and says he didn't provide enough information during Senate confirmation hearings on his philosophy.  Cantwell says she has doubts about whether Gorsuch would defend the right to privacy and environmental or public-health regulations.  Senator Patty Murray, a fellow Democrat, recently announced her intention to vote against Gorsuch.

Police Investigating Longview Murder-suicide

(Longview, WA)  --  Authorities continue to investigate a murder-suicide at a Longview apartment.  Police believe David Pittore-Montiel shot and killed his seven-year-old son, Michael, before taking his own life yesterday morning at the apartment in the 900 block of 8th Avenue in Longview.  Investigators tell Fox-12 the boy's mother lives in California and was notified about the deaths.  Police say they heard gunshots while responding to a report of a suicidal man in the apartment.

Oregon About Average In Financial Literacy

(Undated)  --  An analysis by finance-and-lifestyle website says Oregon is about average among states in regard to financial literacy.  WalletHub examined financial-education programs and consumer habits across a data set of 15 key metrics in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Oregon is ranked 27th in financial literacy.  Topping the list is New Hampshire, while Washington is 39th and Louisiana ranks 51st.

Portland Officials: Won't Back Down From Sanctuary City Status

(Portland, OR)  --  Mayors from across the country, including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, say they won't back down from their cities' status as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants.  Wheeler tells KOIN-TV he believes the city is already on strong constitutional ground and says Portland's sanctuary status is consistent with state law.  Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle says he's  confident Congress would help keep the city funded, noting that less than one percent of Beaverton's budget is from federal funds.

Authorities Search For Missing Woman Last Seen In Hood River

(Hood River, OR)  --  A 27-year-old woman who's been hitchhiking for the past several months is now considered missing.  Police say Holly Kristen Lester and her male companion were trying to get to Olympia or Seattle via Portland, but haven't been seen since the morning of March 16th.  Investigators say Lester, who had been distraught and has a history of depression, was traveling with two men in a burgundy van before she disappeared.  Police say Holly Lester stands five-feet-two, has curly brown hair and a nose piercing, and was last seen wearing a black Carhartt-style jacket, a black long-sleeved dress, a bright colored scarf, black pants, oversized boots, and blue glasses.

Salem Man Scolded For Rescuing Sick Baby Bear

(Salem, OR)  --  A Salem man believes he did the right thing by picking up a three-month-old black bear that seemed near death and bringing it to a wildlife center in Marion County.  But the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says it was illegal for Corey Hancock to take wildlife out of its habitat, and he could be facing a citation and possibly a fine.  The department has taken over care of the bear cub, and officials say the baby is recovering nicely.  ODFW says it's up to them to determine whether Hancock is issued a citation for taking a wild animal out of the forest.

WA DNR Asks Lawmakers For $13 Million

(Olympia, WA)  --  The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is asking the Legislature for additional funding to pay for training and equipment for the 2017 wildfire season.  DNR is asking for 13-million dollars to train two-thousand firefighters, and to repair and replace equipment to fight wildfires.  Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz says if DNR's funding request isn't met, the department will struggle as the fire season gets underway.

Man, Pets Die In Vancouver House Fire

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Investigators are trying to determine what caused a fire that killed a man and his pets in Vancouver.  The blaze was reported around 6:45 yesterday evening at the house on 30th and Grant streets.  The man was pronounced dead at the scene.  The man's dog and cat also died in the fire.

Slowpoke Bill Gets Senate Approval

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon lawmakers are looking to crack down on drivers who travel too slowly in the left lane of a highway.  The Senate has approved a measure that could mean a 250-dollar fine for a so-called left-lane camper.  Portland Senator Ginny Burdick, who's sponsoring the bill, introduced a similar measure in 2013, but it didn't get past committee.  The current bill now goes to the House.

Spokane HS Football Coach Out Following Allegations He Exposed Himself To Players

(Spokane, WA)  --  The head football coach at Ferris High School in Spokane won't remain in that capacity, as the Spokane Public School district has declined to renew his contract.  Jim Sharkey, who's accused of exposing himself to players during a leadership camp in northern Idaho last summer, is on paid administrative leave.  Sharkey denies the allegations and vows to fight to clear his name.  A school district official tells the Spokane "Spokesman-Review" Sharkey also teaches fitness, health, and leadership classes at Ferris, and remains on paid administrative leave from that position.

Bill Intended To Help Hanford Workers Dies In WA Senate

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill intended to help sick Hanford nuclear reservation employees is considered dead for this legislative session, even after it passed easily in the House.  The bill would have given Hanford workers with certain illnesses the benefit of the doubt that they became sick from working at the toxic nuclear site when filing claims for worker compensation.  KING-5 reports the Republican-led Senate Labor, Commerce, and Sports Committee has chosen to not vote on the measure, meaning the bill is dead.

Logan Kitzhaber Sentenced For DUII Crash

(Portland, OR)  --  The son of former Governor John Kitzhaber is to spend seven days in jail, after taking a plea deal in connection with a crash in Lincoln County.  Nineteen-year-old Logan Kitzhaber originally faced multiple charges, which included DUII, third-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, reckless driving, and reckless endangering.  According to a police affidavit, Kitzhaber told a paramedic he had a beer before heading toward Lincoln City and admitted to police that he had smoked marijuana the night before the July 2016 crash.  Kitzhaber will be on probation for five years after he's released from jail.

50-year-old Man Beaten Unconscious, Four Suspects Arrested

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police have four suspects behind bars after a 50-year-old man was beaten unconscious.  Investigators say the assault took place yesterday morning at Southwest 5th Avenue and Stark Street.  Police say the victim was a passerby who tried to intervene as the four men argued with each other.  The victim was taken to a hospital.  The suspects are to appear in court today.

37-year-old Man Accused Of Attack In Sikh Temple

(Gresham, OR)  --  A 37-year-old man is in custody, after he was accused of attacking a woman inside a Sikh [[ seek ]] temple in Gresham.  Police say Timothy Walter Schmidt attacked the 26-year-old member of the temple Sunday after he'd been allowed in to use the bathroom.  Authorities say another temple member heard the commotion and pulled Schmidt off of the woman, then held him down until officers arrived.  Schmidt is facing multiple charges and is being held in the Multnomah County Jail.

WA Secretary Of State Kim Wyman Undergoing Treatment For Cancer

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington's secretary of state is undergoing cancer treatment.  "The Olympian" reports Kim Wyman has been diagnosed with colon cancer.  Wyman says she's been told by her doctors that the cancer is treatable and curable, and she expects to make a full recovery following chemotherapy and radiation treatment.  Wyman is in her second term as secretary of state, who is second in line behind the lieutenant governor for succession to the governorship.

Portland "Dreamer" Arrested By ICE Released

(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland "dreamer" who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents because of a December DUII arrest is now free on bail.  Authorities tell KATU-TV that 25-year-old Francisco Rodriguez Dominguez was targeted by agents because he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants, which is an offense ICE deems a threat to public safety.  Rodriguez Dominguez was brought to the U.S. illegally when he was five-years-old and has been in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program since 2013.  The ACLU of Oregon contends ICE did not have a warrant when they arrested Rodriguez Dominguez.

Portland Wells Fargo Robbed, Suspect On The Loose

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are looking for a suspect who robbed a Wells Fargo bank in downtown Portland.  Authorities say a man entered the bank on Southwest 5th Avenue around 12:17 yesterday afternoon, gave an employee a note demanding money, and left with an unknown amount of cash.  Police describe the robber as a white man in his 30s, standing nearly six feet tall, last seen wearing sunglasses and black pants.  Anyone with helpful information is asked to call the Police Bureau at 503-224-4181.

Oregon Ranks Among Worst States For Doctors

(Undated)  --  Oregon ranks among the worst in an analysis of which states are best for doctors.  Finance-and-lifestyle website says Oregon is in 41st place when compared to the other 49 states and the District of Columbia.  Wallethub based its comparisons across 14 key metrics, ranging from physicians' wages to hospitals per capita.  Iowa ranks as the best state for doctors, while New York ranks 51st.

WA House Democrats Release Budget Plan

(Olympia, WA)  --  The budget plan released by House Democrats in Washington contains about three-billion dollars in new taxes.  The "Seattle Times" reports the 44-point-six-billion-dollar proposal aims to satisfy the Washington State Supreme Court's mandate to adequately fund public education by instituting a seven-percent tax on capital-gains earnings above 25-thousand dollars for single filers and 50-thousand for joint filers.  It would also raise Washington's business-and-occupation tax rates 20 percent, but businesses with less than a quarter-million in annual gross revenue would be exempt from paying the tax.  The 43-billion-dollar budget plan released last week by Senate Republicans would replace local tax levies with a statewide property tax to fund basic education.

Report: Marshman Suspension Stems From Log Discrepancy

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman remains on paid administrative leave.  "The Oregonian" reports Marshman's suspension stemmed from a Portland Police Bureau training session, during which there was a reported log discrepancy.  Sources were quoted as saying Adjutant Lieutenant Mike Leasure signed the chief in on a log saying Marshman was there, even though he was absent.  Marshman says he looks forward to the investigation being completed.

Eugene Teen Pinned Under Log Dies On Oregon Coast

Bandon, OR)  --  Oregon State Police are investigating, after a 14-year-old girl from Eugene died after a log rolled over her at South Jetty Park Beach in Bandon.  Authorities say Aurora Genai Sheffel, who was a student at North Eugene High School, was playing on a log in a heavy receding tide on the beach when it rolled on top of her around four o'clock Saturday afternoon.  A police officer and paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive the teen.

20-year-old Man Dies In Mollala-area Crash

(Mollala, OR)  --  The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is investigating a crash that left a 20-year-old man dead near Mollala.  Authorities say the wreck happened around 7:30 Saturday evening at the intersection of South Kropf and Gibson roads.  The victim was a resident of Scotts Mills, but his name hasn't been released.  Deputies say alcohol and excessive speed were likely contributors to the crash.

Portland-area Fuel Prices Slightly Lower

(Portland, OR)  --  Prices at the gas pump are down slightly.  Triple-A reports the Portland-area average for regular is two-68 a gallon, down more than a penny from this time last week.  The national average for regular remains at about two-29 a gallon.

Coast Guard Rescues Diver Needing Help In Tillamook Bay

(Tillamook, OR)  --  U.S. Coast Guard officials say a diver who needed help was rescued by crews near the mouth of Tillamook Bay.  A vessel was dispatched yesterday in response to a report of divers in distress.  Garibaldi Fire & Rescue personnel also responded to the scene, where one diver was rescued.  Word then came that two other divers reached the surface and returned to shore.  Crews towed their boat back to the Garibaldi Marina.

Everett Woman Who Tried To Enter White House Arrested Again

(Washington, DC)  --  Authorities say a woman from Everett, Washington who unsuccessfully tried to gain entry to the White House was arrested again, twice.  Thirty-eight-year-old Marci Anderson Wahl was taken into custody early yesterday morning near the south grounds of the U.S. Treasury Building.  Wahl had been arrested on March 21st after being found hanging from the inside of a fence near the White House by her tangled shoelaces.  A spokesperson for the Secret Service says Wahl was also arrested Friday evening near Lafayette Park and charged with contempt of court for violating a stay-away order for the White House complex.

Students March On Rainy Olympia To Push For More School Funding

(Olympia, WA)  --  High-school students are also getting involved in the education-funding debate in Washington.  A rain-soaked Capitol complex kept down the number of students expected to march Sunday in favor of increased funding for K-through-12 education in the state, but a few dozen managed to brave the elements.  Governor Jay Inslee's proposed 46-billion-dollar budget includes a plan to raise more than four-billion dollars through new taxes on carbon emissions, capital gains, and increased taxes on service businesses.  Senate Republicans are pushing for a 43-billion-dollar budget, which would implement a new statewide property tax to pay for education and discontinue local school-district property tax levies.

Men Killed In Shooting Identified As Portland-area Residents

(Vancouver, WA)  --  The Clark County Medical Examiner says two men who were killed during a shooting in Vancouver Sunday were from the Portland area.  Authorities say the bodies of 37-year-old Allen J. Collins and 42-year-old Jason D. Benton were found at a house in the 1500 block of Northeast 140th Avenue.  Both had been shot to death.  Vancouver police have identified a suspect in the shooting, but the name hasn't been released.

Missing Hiker Found Safe

(Columbia River Gorge, OR)  --  Officials say a man who vanished during a hike near Horsetail Falls has been found safe.  Multnomah County sheriff's deputies say the hiker walked off the trail yesterday and down an embankment, and when he walked back up he was unable to find the trail again.  Authorities say rescue crews found the hiker around three o'clock this morning.

Two Charged With Murder In Deadly Fire

(Beaverton, OR)  --  A caretaker and her neighbor are facing murder charges, following the death of a 74-year-old Beaverton woman in a fire.  Kathryn Breen died in late January of injuries she suffered in the fire at her condo on Southwest Alger.  Her live-in caretaker, Celia Schwab, and her neighbor, Maria Meisner, are accused of setting the condo on fire.  They're currently being held without bail.

Bill Aimed At Helping Hanford Workers Heard In Committee

(Olympia, WA)  --  A measure that's intended to help sick Hanford nuclear reservation workers get their workers' compensation claims accepted is awaiting action in a Senate committee.  Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is among those in support of the measure, which would grant a presumption of occupational illness for Hanford workers, similar to what lawmakers granted to firefighters in 1987.  Included are respiratory disease, heart problems experienced after exposure to toxic chemicals, neurological diseases such as occupational induced dementia, and certain cancers.  KING-5 reports worker compensation claims at Hanford are rejected at a rate that's 52 percent higher than the state average.

Portland-area Fuel Prices Slip

(Portland, OR)  --  The latest Triple-A survey shows a slight drop in Portland-area gas prices.  The current average for regular is two-69 a gallon, a penny below the average at this time last week.  The national average for regular is two-29 a gallon.

Woman Seriously Injured In Beaverton Crash

(Beaverton, OR)  --  Police are investigating a crash that left a woman with traumatic injuries in Beaverton.  The wreck, involving a car and a truck, was reported around 5:30 yesterday afternoon in the area of Cedar Hills Boulevard and Highway 26.  Police say crews had to cut the roof off the car to get the woman out.  She's being treated at Oregon Health and Science University.

Bill Would Have Sexual-abuse Prevention Taught In WA State Schools

(Olympia, WA)  --  A move is on in the Washington State Legislature to implement a school curriculum for the prevention of sexual abuse of students.  Goldendale Representative Gina McCabe is sponsoring Erin's Law, named for a woman who was abused as a child and has seen 28 other states enact the law.  The bill is supported by the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  It's currently awaiting action in the House Education Committee.

Oregon Ranked Among Most Innovative States

(Undated)  --  A new analysis shows Oregon is one of the most innovative states in the nation. used 18 key indicators of innovation-friendliness in comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Oregon is rated eleventh in the WalletHub survey.  Washington, DC is ranked at the top in innovation, Washington state is ranked sixth, and West Virginia comes in 51st.

Mother Of Teen Shot To Death By Police Calls For Federal Investigation

(Portland, OR)  --  The mother of a 17-year-old who was shot to death by a Portland police officer is calling for a federal investigation.  A Multnomah County grand jury cleared Officer Andrew Hearst of any criminal wrongdoing in the shooting of Quanice Hayes, following a robbery at a motel on Northeast 82nd Avenue on February 9th.  Authorities say Hearst shot Hayes during a confrontation during which Hayes made "repeated and deliberate motions with his hands to the area of his waistband and pockets."  Hayes's mother, Venus Hayes, claims her son was on his knees when he was shot and didn't have a replica handgun as reported by the Portland Police Bureau.

Car Crashes Into Restaurant

(Portland, OR)  --  Authorities are investigating, after a car crashed into the Old Market Pub and Brewery in Southwest Portland.  Portland Fire & Rescue officials say the vehicle was carrying a pregnant woman and her child when the crash happened around eight o'clock last night.  No serious injuries were reported.

Washington Unemployment Rate Hit Nine-year Low

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington's statewide unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2008.  The employment security department says the jobless rate dropped from five-point-one percent in January to four-point-nine percent in February.  Officials say Washington's economy added 61-hundred jobs in February, with 41-hundred of those jobs in the private sector.  Manufacturing lost 900 jobs last month.

Inslee To Talk About Climate Change At UN

(New York, NY)  --  Governor Jay Inslee will take the spotlight before a worldwide audience today, as he talks about global climate change at the United Nations.  Inslee will be part of a panel that includes government officials from France, Fiji, and Saudi Arabia, and will discuss efforts by the Pacific Northwest to participate in the fight against climate change.  The governor is an outspoken advocate of efforts to reduce carbon emissions and explore alternative energy sources.  Inslee will be in San Francisco tomorrow to address the World Economic Forum.

Pedestrian Hit, Seriously Injured

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say a pedestrian is in a hospital after being hit by a car in Southeast Portland.  The pedestrian was crossing last night at the intersection of Southeast Division Street and 125th Avenue.  The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.  The pedestrian suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Man Killed In Multi-vehicle Crash

(Portland, OR)  --  One person is dead and three are injured, following a five-vehicle crash on Highway 30.  Oregon State Police say the wreck happened around ten o'clock yesterday morning, just east of the Sauvie Island Bridge.  Authorities say an eastbound pickup truck crossed the center line into oncoming traffic.  Fifty-eight-year-old Lewis Demars died in the crash, and three other people were taken to a hospital.

Portland Ranked Next To Last Among "Fattest" Cities

(Undated)  --  In a survey that seeks to find the fattest cities in America, Portland is ranked next-to-last.  Analysts with finance-and-lifestyle website compared 100 of the most populated U.S. metro areas across 17 key indicators of weight-related issues.  The Portland metro is number 99, trailing only Seattle as the "leanest."  Jackson, Mississippi ranks as the fattest city in the U.S.

Longtime Starbucks Chief Schultz Hands Key To New CEO

(Seattle, WA)  --  Starbucks officially has a new chief executive officer.  Howard Schultz's last Starbucks shareholders meeting as CEO ended yesterday as he passed a symbolic key to his successor, Kevin Johnson.  Johnson is actually slated to begin his new role on April 3rd.  The "Seattle Times" reports Schultz will become executive chairman and focus on the company's higher-end businesses.

Police Cleared In Deadly Shooting Of Portland Teen

(Portland, OR)  --  A Multnomah County grand jury says the deadly shooting of a teenager by a Portland police officer was justified.  Seventeen-year-old Quanice Derrick Hayes was shot and killed by Officer Andrew Hearst the morning of February 9th, following a report of an armed robbery near the Portland Value Inn on Northeast 82nd Avenue.  Authorities say Hearst shot Hayes during a confrontation during which Hayes made "repeated and deliberate motions with his hands to the area of his waistband and pockets."  Fox-12 reports the Portland Police Bureau will conduct an internal review of the entire incident and the case will go before the Police Review Board.

N. Clackamas School District Building Catches Fire

(Milwaukie, OR)  --  Clackamas Fire District officials are investigating a two-alarm blaze that damaged a North Clackamas School District building.  The fire was reported around eight o'clock last night at the building in the 12-thousand block of Fuller Road.  Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control within a half-hour.  No injuries were reported.

PPS Officials Deal With Possible Budget Cuts, Layoffs

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Public Schools officials say it's not clear at this time whether the district will experience layoffs or cuts in their budget.  The state is trying to find ways to compensate for a one-point-eight-billion-dollar deficit, and the Portland Public Schools board is trying to anticipate how much of a financial hit the district will be taking.  The first official budget proposal is expected to be presented on April 4th.

Washington GOP Senators Propose Budget

(Olympia, WA)  --  Republicans in the Washington State Senate say the two-year, 43-billion-dollar state budget they're proposing includes a net increase of one-point-eight-billion dollars to fund public education.  Lawmakers say the additional money would come from higher revenue from existing taxes, transfers from other state accounts, and budget cuts to some government programs.  Republican senators propose rejecting most of the large state employee raises bargained or negotiated last year in favor of smaller raises, and would fund negotiated raises for the Washington State Patrol and some corrections workers.  Democrats are highly critical of the plan, saying it funds education through an unfair property-tax plan and reduces funding for vital state programs.

Council To Declare Portland "Sanctuary City"

(Portland, OR)  --  City leaders will gather today to declare Portland a "sanctuary city."  The Portland City Council will pledge its support for illegal immigrants and officially declare Portland's unwillingness to assist the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in finding and deporting immigrants.  Portland city code already outlaws denying benefits and discriminating against people based on race, religion, color, national origin, English proficiency, gender, age, and disabilities.

Study: Oregon Above Average For Dependence On Feds

(Undated)  --  Oregon is rated above average when it comes to states' dependence on the federal government.  A new study from finance site WalletHub rates Oregon the 15th-most dependent state, based on reliance on federal funding and programs.  The study found Kentucky is the most federally-dependent, while Delaware is the least.

Portland-area Gas Prices Steady

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area are seeing gas prices continue to be steady.  Triple-A's latest survey shows the average for a gallon of regular is two-69, just a fraction below the average at this time last week.  The national average for regular is two-29 a gallon.

Police: No Signs Of Violence In Homeless Man's Death

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say it appears no violence was involved in the death of a homeless man in Northeast Portland.  Authorities say 32-year-old Christopher Gregory Martin was found dead inside a tent Thursday in the area of Northeast 74th Avenue and Jonesmore Street.  An autopsy was conducted and the Medical Examiner's Office is awaiting results of toxicology tests.

Family And Friends Looking For Missing Portland Woman

(Portland, OR)  --  Family members and friends are hoping to find a 25-year-old Portland woman who vanished last week.  KATU-TV reports Maddie Smith was getting a ride with her father Tuesday when she jumped out of the vehicle near Southeast 172nd and Foster and ran.  Maddie reportedly left behind her phone, wallet, and ID.  Portland police ask anyone with information on Maddie to call 911.

Oregon Mayor Accused Of Soliciting Sex With Teen Online

(Roseburg, OR)  --  The mayor of a town in Douglas County is behind bars after being accused of setting up a meeting to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.  Kenneth Lewis Barrett began a two-year term as mayor of Winston in January.  Authorities are alleging that Barrett spent two weeks chatting via Facebook with an online decoy posing as a 14-year-old girl.  "The Oregonian" reports Barrett is facing allegations of second-degree online sexual corruption and unlawful possession of a firearm, after investigators said he admitted to having a nine-millimeter handgun without a concealed weapons permit in his pickup truck.

Thurston County Murder Suspect Posts $2.5 Million Bail

(Olympia, WA)  --  A 20-year-old accused of murdering a Thurston County, Washington man and dumping his body in a river is out of jail after posting bail of two-and-a-half-million dollars.  Authorities say Jeremy Brian Leininger posted the bail earlier this month after being charged with first-degree murder in the death of 53-year-old Clark Edward Calquhoun of Rainier.  The victim had been missing for about a month when his body was found January 29th in the Coweeman River in Cowlitz County.

Vancouver Police Seek Person Of Interest In Double Homicide

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Vancouver police say they're now looking for a person of interest in connection with a double homicide outside a local apartment complex.  Authorities also believe they've recovered a vehicle that's connected to the deadly shooting Sunday afternoon.  Two men were found lying in the parking lot in the 15-hundred block of Northeast 140th Avenue.  The victims' names haven't been released.

Seattle Man Killed By Wrong-way Driver In Oregon

(Roseburg, OR)  --  Police say a Seattle man was killed when a wrong-way driver crashed into his car in Oregon.  Authorities say 36-year-old Roman Fedorov of Seattle was southbound on Interstate-5 in Roseburg Saturday morning when his Volkswagen was hit by a Ford Focus traveling in the wrong direction.  The crash also killed the second driver, Brady Golladay of Riddle, Oregon.  Police believe Golladay was driving under the influence.

Drivers Could Face Fine For Having Dogs On Their Laps

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would make it a crime for someone to drive with a dog sitting in his or her lap.  Under the bill, anyone caught doing so faces a Class-D traffic violation and up to a 250-dollar fine.  State Senator Bill Hansell, who's sponsoring the bill, says driving with any live animal on your lap presents a distraction and puts the pet, the driver, other passengers and other drivers at risk for an accident.  The bill is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Washington House Considers Tougher DUI Law

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state lawmakers are considering legislation that would toughen penalties for those who repeatedly drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The House Public Safety Committee heard testimony yesterday on the Senate-passed bill, under which a person with four DUIs in ten-years would be charged with a felony on the fourth-offense.  Current state law attaches felony status to a fifth DUI in ten-years.  The bill is awaiting a committee vote.

Ex-Washington County Sergeant Pleads Guilty To Child-Sex Charges

(Caldwell, ID)  --  A former sergeant with the Washington County Sheriff's Office is awaiting sentencing, after pleading guilty in Idaho to having sex with a 15-year-old boy.  Prosecutors say 46-year-old Michael Alexander of Lake Oswego met the boy through a dating app.  Officials say Alexander entered the plea earlier this month in Canyon County court to felony charges of lewd conduct with a child.  He was arrested about a year ago and resigned from the sheriff's office afterward.

Two Killed In Vancouver Shooting

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Two men are dead, following a shooting outside an apartment in Vancouver.  Police responded around 5:15 yesterday afternoon to a report of shots fired and found the victims lying on the pavement next to a pickup truck at the complex on Northeast 140th Avenue near Northeast 15th.  A witness told police he saw a silver car leaving the scene.  There's no word on whether any suspects have been identified.

Spokane High School Coach Suspended

(Spokane, WA)  --  The head football coach at Spokane's Ferris High School is under suspension with pay after claims that he exposed himself to players at a leadership camp last summer.  Jim Sharkey denies the allegations and says he'll fight to clear his name.  The "Spokesman-Review" quotes a school district official as saying she was unable to substantiate allegations the coach had exposed himself, but gave him a written warning for allowing alcohol to be consumed in front of students.  The camp took place last August near Cataldo, Idaho.

Police ID Forest Grove DUI Crash Victim

(Forest Grove, OR)  --  Police continue to investigate a crash that left a Forest Grove man dead.  Authorities say a drunk driver struck and killed 22-year-old Jonathan Dominguez Esquivel as he was walking to work Saturday night in the 34-hundred block of Pacific Avenue in Forest Grove.  Esquivel died later at a hospital.  Police say the driver, 27-year-old Bethany Lumber, is facing charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminal mischief, and DUII.

Police Seek Suspect Following Shooting

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are looking for a suspect after a man was shot in Northwest Portland.  The victim was wounded at the Northwest Tower Apartments on Northwest 19th Avenue around 7:15 yesterday morning.  He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  The suspect, who fled the scene after the shooting, is described as a white man in his 40s.

Motorcyclist Killed In NE Portland Crash

(Portland, OR)  --  Authorities are investigating a two-vehicle crash that killed a motorcyclist in Northeast Portland.  It happened at the intersection of Northeast 57th Avenue and Sacramento Street around 9:45 last night.  Police say the motorcyclist died at the scene.  The driver of the car involved in the crash was treated at the scene.  No names have been released.

Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Bill Stalled In WA House

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would allow motorcycles to go in between cars on the highway at a maximum of 25 miles per hour may not muster enough votes to pass in the Washington State House.  Motorcycle advocates are pushing for the measure, but the Washington State Patrol doesn't support it.  State Patrol Captain Monica Alexander says the practice would amount to unsafe lane changes that would open the door to more crashes.  Traffic Safety Commission staff have also testified against the bill.

Lawmakers Consider Taxes On Vaping And E-Cigarettes

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state lawmakers are considering imposing taxes on the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products.  Seattle Representative Gerry Pollet says the e-cigarette and vape industries have existed "under the radar" and aren't paying their fair share of taxes as a result.  Those who sell the products oppose the measure, saying a spike in prices may put them out of business.  Testimony on the measure is slated for today before the House Finance Committee.

Economist: More Money Coming In For Washington's Budget

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington's chief economist says the state is expected to collect about 570-million dollars more over the next two years than originally anticipated.  Steve Lerch delivered the news yesterday to the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, citing factors such as consumer confidence, as well as growth in the state's economy and population.  Lerch says when these and other factors are figured in, economists think the state will have an additional 258-million dollars for the biennium that ends June 30th, and about 313-million more for the two-year fiscal period that begins July 1st.

Search Continues For Missing Estacada Teen

(Estacada, OR)  --  Clackamas County authorities are still looking for an 18-year-old who vanished Sunday morning.  Brandon Powell of Estacada hasn't been seen since around 5:30 a.m. Sunday, when he was wearing only a pair of blue pajama bottoms.  Sheriff's deputies say Powell took off suffering from an apparent panic attack after taking a high-potency dab of marijuana.  Authorities say he may have headed for the Clackamas River.  Anyone with helpful information is asked to call 911.

Phone Catches Fire In Man's Pants At Costco

(Puyallup, WA)  --  Things are back to normal at the Costco in Puyallup, Washington, after a man's cell phone caught fire in his pants.  Witnesses told KOMO-TV the man took his pants off yesterday as the burning cell phone created a great deal of smoke wafting through the store.  A store manager says when he went to the scene, he found the man with his pants off and the LG phone on the floor, still smoking.  The victim wasn't injured, and the manager says Costco provided him with e new pair of pants.

Listeria Contamination Leads To Recall Of 20,000 Pounds Of Frozen Pizza

(Vernon, CA)  --  U.S. agriculture officials say a company in Vernon, California is recalling more than 20-thousand pounds of frozen pizza after word of possible listeria contamination.  The pizzas were sold at select Walmart stores in boxes labeled as "Marketside Extra Large Supreme Pizza" with lot code 20547.  The pizzas were sent by RBR Meat Company to distribution centers in California, Nevada, Utah, and Washington.  Listeriosis is typically caused by the consumption of contaminated food, and is especially dangerous for older people and pregnant women.

Death Of Clackamas County Woman Still Under Investigation

(Oregon City, OR)  --  The death of Merrilee Cooley, whose body was found in the trunk of her car in early January in the parking lot of a Milwaukie apartment complex, is still being investigated.  KOIN-TV reports on court documents that show Cooley, who was reported missing on December 28th, was found with handcuffs around one wrist, a bottle of water, a bag of cookies, and used duct tape.  The doors of the car were unlocked and the keys were in the ignition.  Clackamas County sheriff's deputies have not made any arrests in the case.

Woman Accused Of Abandoning Chinchilla

(West Linn, OR)  --  Authorities are trying to identify a woman who's accused of abandoning a chinchilla in West Linn.  Police say the woman left the animal in a wooded area off Carriage Way around four o'clock yesterday afternoon.  Witnesses tell investigators the woman as white, in her 60s, has short brown hair, and speaks with an accent.  West Linn police ask anyone with information to call 503-635-0238.

Salem Woman Hospitalized After Being Hit By Drunk Driver

(Salem, OR)  --  Salem police have a suspect in custody after a woman was hit by a car while checking her mail.  Authorities say the crash happened yesterday morning after the driver left the roadway in the area of Northeast Fisher Road and Empress Way in Salem.  Police say the driver was impaired and has been arrested.  The victim, identified as Sandy Hill, is recovering after undergoing surgery.

WA Judge Refuses To Extend Order On Travel Ban

(Seattle, WA)  --  The federal judge in Seattle who blocked President Trump's original executive order travel ban last month is refusing to extend that block to Trump's new travel ban.  U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ruled yesterday that the new order restricting U.S. entry from six Muslim countries is different enough from the original order that his injunction should not carry over.  The new travel ban has already been blocked nationwide by a federal judge in Hawaii, who ruled that Trump's executive order appears "to disfavor a particular religion."

Man Indicted On Multiple Murder, Robbery Charges

(Portland, OR)  --  A man who's accused of killing a 33-year-old father is under indictment on multiple counts of aggravated murder and other charges.  A Multnomah County grand jury handed up the indictment yesterday against Alexander Rico Ortiz, who's accused of killing Eleazar "Tony" Herrera Villegas on February 27th.  Police say Ortiz also sexually assaulted and robbed a woman at a nearby motel prior to the murder.  A trial is tentatively set for April.

State Says It May Investigate Vancouver 4-year-old's Death

(Vancouver, WA)  --  The Washington State Department of Health says it will soon decide whether to launch an investigation into the death of a four-year-old boy at a Vancouver dentist's office.  The mother of Mykel Peterson says her son died last Friday during a routine procedure at Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Vancouver.  A health department spokesman says the agency will make a decision on whether to investigate.  The Clark County Medical Examiner says it will likely be weeks before the cause of the boy's death is confirmed.

Hikers Rescued Near Multnomah Falls

(Portland, OR)  --  Officials say all 12 hikers who had been reported missing near Multnomah Falls are said to be doing fine.  The hikers, all from Texas, included one who fell in a hole after the group hit an unsteady snowfall yesterday in the Columbia River Gorge.  No one was injured.  The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office says the trail was extremely slick because of warmer-than-usual weather.

SoyNut Butter Linked To 2 E. Coli Cases

(Portland, OR)  --  Multnomah County health officials say two cases of E. coli at a preschool in Portland have been linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter.  The product is being recalled nationwide after 16 people in nine states, including Oregon, became sickened.  Officials say four people at Montessori of Alameda school have been infected with E. coli, and two other people have shiga-toxin that's producing E. coli.  Health officials are urging parents to keep children home who are vomiting or have diarrhea, and are advising parents to contact their child's doctor with any questions.

Clackamas County Teacher Facing Drug Charges

(Oregon City, OR)  --  A Clackamas County middle school teacher is facing charges, after being accused of possession of heroin and methamphetamine.  Sheriff's deputies say 33-year-old Brynne Fletcher was arrested after staffers at Alder Creek Middle School noted "suspicious behavior" on her part and reported seeing drug paraphernalia in her car.  School officials say Fletcher, who's a special education teacher and has been working in the school district since August 2014, has been placed on administrative leave.

Oregon Ranked Among Top Ten Tax-paying States

(Undated)  --  A new analysis shows Oregon pays the tenth-highest amount of taxes each year among the 50 states.  Finance-and-lifestyle website 24/7 Wall Street says more than one in every ten dollars earned in Oregon goes to state and local governments in the form of taxes.  The website says nearly 41 percent of all state and local tax revenue in Oregon came from individual income tax in 2014, which is the largest such share in the country.  New York is listed as the state that pays the highest amount in taxes, while Alaska pays the lowest.

Container Of Weed Donated To Monroe Goodwill

(Monroe, WA)  --  Goodwill employees in Monroe, Washington are trying to find out who left a surprise donation for the organization last week.  Staffers opened a plastic tote to find it contained about three-point-75 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of 24-thousand dollars.  Monroe police say Goodwill is reviewing surveillance video in an attempt to identify whomever dropped off the container.

Bill: Targeting Police Officer Would Be Hate Crime In Washington

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill advancing through the Washington Legislature would make it a hate crime to target law-enforcement officers with crimes or threats.  The measure would add police to the current state law, under which it's a felony to target people based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.  The state Senate cleared the measure last week, and it's now being considered by the House Public Safety Committee.

Police Looking For Missing Gresham Girl

(Gresham, OR)  --  Police are looking this morning for a nine-year-old Gresham girl who's reported missing.  Authorities say Elisa Salmerson hasn't been seen since around 9:30 last night at her home near 162nd Avenue and Burnside Street.  Police describe Elisa as Native American, around four feet tall, last wearing a purple jacket and a t-shirt that says "free hugs."  Anyone with information is asked to call Gresham police.

Beaverton Dad, Son Killed In DUII Crash In California

(Willow, CA)  --  California Highway Patrol says a Beaverton man and his young son were killed Sunday night in a crash on Interstate 5.  Police say the chain-reaction crash involving four vehicles resulted in the deaths of Isidro Garcia and his two-year-old son, Fabian.  Authorities say alcohol was a factor in the wreck.  Garcia's family says he and his son were on their way back to Beaverton from Disneyland.

REAL ID Driver's License Legislation On Track For Passage

(Olympia, WA)  --  A measure to bring all Washington driver's licenses into compliance with federal law is moving closer to final passage.  Both the Washington House and Senate have cleared their own versions of the legislation.  Washington state currently doesn't require proof of legal residence to receive a standard driver's license, but does require that proof for a more expensive enhanced license.  The two recently-passed bills would lower the cost of the enhanced license and require a notation on new standard licenses that they can't be used at places that require federally-compliant ID.

Wanted Man Found Hiding Behind Giant Teddy Bear

(Tacoma, WA)  --  Pierce County, Washington sheriff's deputies say they arrested a man with a felony warrant out on him, but not before he was able to evade authorities for a while.  Deputies had received a tip Thursday that the wanted man was hiding in a house in Tacoma's Brookdale neighborhood.  After a search of the house turned up no one, deputies decided to look behind a giant teddy bear that was sitting in a corner, and found the man hiding behind it.  The man was arrested on multiple charges.

Mom: Son Died During Routine Dental Procedure

(Vancouver, WA)  --  A woman from Vancouver wants to know why her four-year-old son died during a routine dental procedure.  Mykel Peterson was undergoing the procedure Friday at Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Vancouver and never awoke from the anesthetic.  Police say it's not a criminal investigation and all questions should be referred to the Vancouver Fire Department.  The medical examiner is trying to determine cause of death.

Fuel Prices Still Climbing

(Portland, OR)  --  The prices are still rising at the pump in the Portland area.  Triple-A reports the average for a gallon of regular is two-69, nearly a penny above yesterday's average.  It's also more that seven cents a gallon higher than a week ago.

Woman Sentenced After Pleading Guilty To Murder

(Oregon City, OR)  --  A woman is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to murdering her husband.  Prosecutors say 57-year-old Lisa Marie Peterson entered the plea yesterday in a Clackamas County courtroom for the murder of 59-year-old Joseph Peterson in the couple's Oregon City home in February 2016.  Lisa Peterson will be eligible for parole after 25 years.

Police Look For Missing Estacada Teen

(Estacada, OR)  --  Police are looking for an 18-year-old from Estacada [[ ESS-tah-KAY-dah ]] who hasn't been seen since he left his home Sunday.  Authorities say Brandon Powell was last seen around 5:45 p.m. Sunday at his home in the area of Ivy Road and Lake Shore Drive.  Sandy police say Powell was wearing only blue pajama bottoms.  Anyone with information on Brandon Powell's location is asked to call 503-655-8211.

Portland Rated Average Among Happiest Places To Live

(Undated)  --  A new study by financial-assistance website shows Portland is rated near average among the places considered the happiest in which to live.  The analysis aimed to determine which among 150 of the largest U.S. cities is home to the happiest people, by examining each city based on 30 key happiness indicators.  Portland is ranked 59th, getting average scores in emotional & physical well-being and community & environment, but scoring high in the category of income & employment.  Fremont, California tops the WalletHub list of happiest places, and Seattle is 21st.

Distracted-driving Measures Among Bills Still Alive

(Olympia, WA)  --  Legislation aimed at curtailing distracted driving on Washington roads is still moving through the process.  Both the House and Senate have approved measures that would stiffen penalties for using a cell phone while driving.  The measures would significantly increase fines for violators and include provisions for informing insurance companies of the violations.

Teen Pushing Lawmakers To Restrict Pot-related Ads

(Portland, OR)  --  A middle-school student from the Portland area is asking Oregon lawmakers to create stricter guidelines regarding marijuana-related advertising.  Fourteen-year-old Eddie Herzig tells KATU-TV that pot-related ads on billboards and banners may be appealing to minors.  Herzig says he has no scientific evidence of that happening, but he's noticed that such ads get attention from those who are too young to consume marijuana.  Herzig says he'd like to see marijuana advertising laws more closely aligned to those in the tobacco industry.

Clackamas K-9 Passes Away

(Oregon City, OR)  --  The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is mourning the loss of one of its K-9 officers.  Sheriff's deputies say retired K-9 Max died Saturday night.  The department's Facebook page has a number of photos of Max posted on it.  Max had been suffering a number of medical problems over the past year.

Firefighters Gather In Seattle To Fight Cancer

(Seattle, WA)  --  It's a daunting task for a good cause.  Firefighters from around the world gathered in Seattle yesterday for the annual Scott Firefighter climb, for the benefit of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  The firefighters climbed 69 floors of the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle, all while wearing full gear that can weigh up to 60 pounds.  The firefighters hope to surpass last year's total, which was two-point-three-million dollars.

Portland-area Fuel Prices Spike

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers are paying considerably more for gasoline.  Triple-A reports the Portland-area average for regular shot up eight cents over the past week, to two-68 a gallon.  The national average for regular is two-30 a gallon.

Man Leads Officers On Chase After Stealing Street Sweeper

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  A man accused of leading police on a chase while driving a stolen street sweeper is facing multiple charges.  Police say 33-year-old Tyler Haugewood jumped into the street sweeper early yesterday morning and took off after a private contractor, who used the vehicle to clean a parking lot on Southwest Oak Street, left it unattended.  Hillsboro police say the pursuit reached speeds of 65 miles per hour before spike strips were used to bring it to an end.

Teen Accused Of Murdering Woman, Shooting Man To Be Arraigned

(McMinnville, OR)  --  Arraignment is scheduled this morning in Yamhill County for a 15-year-old boy who's accused of killing a woman and shooting a man in McMinnville.  Andrew David Vineyard is facing multiple charges, including murder, attempted murder, and first-degree assault.  Kimberly Lynn Forness was found dead inside the home and Ron Spiker was found outside the house last week with gunshot wounds.  Police say Vineyard, Forness, and Spiker all lived at the house, but there's no word on how they're connected to one another.

Portland Ranked 41st-best City For St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

(Undated)  --  Portland is ranked among the top 45 cities in the U.S. to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  A new WalletHub survey ranks Portland 41st out of the 200 cities that were compared across 16 key metrics, including "Irish pubs and restaurants per capita," "lowest price for a three-star hotel on St. Patrick's Day," and "weather forecast."  Portland is ranked 122nd for weather, but ranks fairly high in the category of "St. Patrick's Day Traditions."

WA Bill Requiring Safe Gun Storage Fails To Advance

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would require safe storage of firearms in Washington appears dead for this legislative session.  The measure, which would make it illegal to store a gun in a place where it's found by a child and used to cause injury or death, had a deadline for passage out of the House by Wednesday, but didn't meet that deadline.  The measure was sponsored by Representative Ruth Kagi of Seattle.  One fellow Democrat tells the Everett "Herald" the bill went too far by allowing law enforcement to go into homes to inspect how guns are stored.

Man Gets Year In Prison For 9th DUII

(Portland, OR)  --  A man is scheduled to spend a year behind bars, after tallying his ninth conviction for DUII.  A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has issued the year-long sentence against 56-year-old Cary Dean Devore.  Judge Judith Matarazzo says it's "inevitable" that Devore will drink and drive again, but a long prison term wouldn't allow him to participate in the DUII Intensive Supervision Program, which requires him to stay sober and stick with treatment to avoid going to prison.  "The Oregonian" reports Devore's history of DUII convictions stretches back to 1980, when he was 19 years old.

Police Looking For Purple-haired Bank Robber

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Clark County investigators are looking for a woman with purple hair in connection with a bank holdup in Vancouver.  Deputies say the woman walked into a Chase bank branch on Highway 99 around five p.m. yesterday.  She handed the teller a note demanding money and left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash.  The woman, who's described as five-feet-three and heavy-set, was wearing a dark-blue jacket, jeans, and white Adidas.

Gasoline Prices Continue Increase

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area are still seeing higher prices at the gas pump.  Triple-A reports the average for a gallon of regular is two-68, about eight cents a gallon above the average at this time last week.  The national average for regular is two-30 a gallon.

Allen Donating $40M To UW Computer-science Dept.

(Seattle, WA)  --  The University of Washington's computer-science department will be the beneficiary of an infusion of 40-million dollars.  Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced the donation yesterday, and the UW Board of Regents responded by raising the computer-science department to the status of a school.  It was also named the Paul G. Allen School for Computer Science & Engineering.  The "Seattle Times" reports Microsoft is giving another ten-million dollars in Allen's honor.

Faith-healing Couple Investigated Following Baby's Death

(Oregon City, OR)  --  An Oregon City couple is under investigation, following the death of their newborn daughter.  Authorities say 24-year-old Sarah Mitchell gave birth Sunday to two girls at her parents' home on South Lodger Road, and one of them developed respiratory problems.  Officials say no one called 911 when the problems became evident and the infant died.  Sarah and her husband, 21-year-old Travis Lee Mitchell, who are members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City, are being investigated.  Deputies say the surviving infant is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Oregon Health & Science University.

Pedestrian Killed In Hit-and-run

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are investigating a hit-and-run that left a pedestrian dead in Southeast Portland.  It happened around 11:20 last night at the intersection of Southeast 148th Avenue and Stark Street.  The pedestrian died at the scene.  Police say a dark vehicle was seen speeding away from the area.

Ferguson: Injunction Against First Immigration Order Should Cover New One

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson says President Trump's new order limiting immigration should still be blocked by the injunction that was implemented against his previous order.  Ferguson says the new order, which is narrower than the one Federal Judge James Robart blocked in January, contains language similar to the order Ferguson successfully sued to have blocked.  The attorney general says the president cannot unilaterally declare himself free of the court's order.

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson says President Trump's new order limiting immigration should still be blocked by the injunction that was implemented against his previous order.  Ferguson says the new order, which is narrower than the one Federal Judge James Robart blocked in January, contains language similar to the order Ferguson successfully sued to have blocked.  The attorney general says the president cannot unilaterally declare himself free of the court's order.

Levy Cliff Extension Gets Final Legislative Approval

(Olympia, WA)  --  Legislation to extend the taxing authority of each of Washington's public-school districts is on its way to Governor Inslee's desk.  It provides a one-year delay to the scheduled reduction in taxing authority that school districts face in 2018.  The "Spokesman-Review" reports the compromise legislation also includes accountability measures to make sure the money is spent properly.

Search for missing Mt. Hood skier to continue

(Hood River Co., OR)  --  The search for a missing skier on Mount Hood will continue this morning.  Hood River County authorities say 57-year-old Steve Leavitt of The Dalles was last seen around 11 a.m. Tuesday when his ski pass was scanned on the Heather Canyon Chairlift.  Officials say the search has been made tougher by the more than 12 inches of snow that's fallen since.  Crews suspended their search for Leavitt when it got dark yesterday.

Senate Clears Anti-Motorcycle-profiling Bill

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would prohibit profiling of motorcyclists by police is advancing in the Washington Legislature.  The bill would prohibit profiling of motorcycle riders by state or local law-enforcement.  The measure bans police from stopping to question, taking enforcement action, arresting or searching a motorcyclist or vehicle, based on the fact a person is riding a motorcycle and wears motorcycle-related paraphernalia.  It got unanimous support in the House, and is now before a Senate committee.

Bill Would Eliminate Statute Of Limitations For Serious Sex Crimes

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state lawmakers are considering legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes.  The measure, sponsored by Mason County Representative Dan Griffey, would apply to felony sex offenses, such as child rape and molestation.  Griffey says the bill has a personal motive behind it, as his wife was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a relative for years starting when she was eight years old.  The bill has cleared the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.

McMinnville Shooting Kills One, Suspect Arrested

(McMinnville, OR)  --  Police say they have a male juvenile in custody, following a shooting that left a woman dead in McMinnville.  A man was also found to be injured when police arrived around five p.m. yesterday at a home in the 400 block of Northeast Oregon Street in McMinnville.  There's no word on the man's condition.  No names have been released.

Senate Passes School-district Levy Extension

(Olympia, WA)  --  Individual school districts across Washington would have their taxing authority extended another year, under an agreement reached by a Senate committee.  Without the extension, Washington's 295 school districts could lose between 350-million and 500-million dollars in the 2017-18 school year.  Starting next January, under current law, the ability of school districts to raise property taxes locally will be reduced.  The bill will go to the House for consideration.

WA House Passes Equal Pay Changes On Women's Day

(Olympia, WA)  --  A measure that would require employers in Washington to pay men and women who do similar jobs and have comparable skills the same wages is advancing through the Legislature.  The House, with many women wearing red to observe International Women's Day, voted to pass the bill.  The vote was 61-36 in favor of the measure, which now moves to the Senate.

Portland's Kenton Neighborhood Approves Village For Homeless

(Portland, OR)  --  A new village to accommodate homeless people is official in Portland's Kenton neighborhood.  Residents have approved the village on a vote of 178-to-75.  Small-scale homes will be moving into the neighborhood starting in April.  More than a dozen of the tiny homes will be set up along the 22-hundred block of North Argyle Street.

Portland Woman Reported Missing

(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland woman is being sought by police after she was reported missing.  Authorities say 31-year-old Ampersand Crates was last seen late Monday night at her home in Southeast Portland.  Police say Gates left in a small black car with bumper stickers, and possibly with out-of-state plates.  Crates is described as a Caucasian woman, five-feet-three, weighing 160 pounds, with close-cropped blonde hair.  Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call 503-823-1081.

Man Charged In Death Of Grandmother

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Bail is set at one-million dollars for a man who's accused of killing his grandmother.  Court documents say 27-year-old Benjamin Walker told investigators he killed 78-year-old Joan Walker after she told him to turn off the lights in their Washougal home.  Police say Benjamin Walker choked the victim and cut her throat.

Troopers Targeting Tailgaters In Emphasis Patrol

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington state troopers are focusing on drivers who follow too closely.  Police are placing emphasis on tailgaters statewide through tomorrow.  WSP says it investigated 95-hundred collisions last year caused by drivers who were tailgating.  Violators face a fine of 136 dollars, which rises to 187 dollars for those who cause a crash resulting from following too closely.

Portland Jewish Center Subject Of Bomb Threat

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are investigating a bomb threat at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center in Southeast Portland.  Authorities say it happened Monday night around 8:30 at the center on Southwest Capitol Highway.  Someone had sent an email indicating that explosives were possibly located on the premises.  No suspicious items were found during a search of the building.

Senate: Pot Store Billboards Shouldn't Appeal To Kids

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill passing out of the state Senate includes a provision to prohibit the use of cartoon characters to appeal to children when selling marijuana products on billboards.  Senator Ann Rivers of La Center, who's sponsoring the measure, says it's a common-sense move.  The bill would also allow for the sale and transport of some marijuana plants to researchers, and additional regulatory authority for local governments.  The legislation next goes to the House.

WA Senate Fails To Pass Amendment Against Income Tax

(Olympia, WA)  --  An effort to advance a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit a state income tax in Washington won't move forward.  The resolution fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to clear the Senate.  Opponents of the resolution say it's unnecessary because enacting such a tax is already very difficult and the Legislature isn't likely to try.   

WA House Approves I-5 Bridge Bill

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would get the Interstate 5 bridge-replacement project in motion is moving through the Washington State Legislature.  The measure awaits action in the Senate after gaining House approval this week.  The legislation would be an important first step in getting a replacement for the 100-year-old bridge,  which experts say wouldn't likely survive the next major earthquake.

Man Accused In Baby's Death Free On Bail

(Spokane, WA)  --  A Spokane man who's accused of murder in the death of a ten-month-old boy he was babysitting is free after posting bail.  Authorities say 28-year-old Joshua Mobley has pleaded not guilty and was released after a judge reduced his bail from a half-million to a quarter-million dollars.  The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office says the child, Caiden Henry, died in February of blunt-force trauma.

Suspect Arrested Following Death Of 78-Year-Old Woman

(Washougal, WA)  --  Clark County authorities say they've arrested a suspect in connection with the death of a 78-year-old woman in Washougal [[ wash-OO-gul ]].  Investigators say 27-year-old Benjamin W. Walker has been charged with first-degree murder after the victim was found dead during a welfare check at a home on H Street early yesterday morning.  Officials haven't released the woman's name.

Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

(Portland, OR)  --  A man who's accused of raping a woman and later killing a man and his dog in Northeast Portland is awaiting his next court appearance after pleading not guilty to the charges.  Portland police say 33-year-old Alexander R. Ortiz is accused of raping a woman at a motel near the 38-hundred block of Northeast 82nd Avenue on February 27th, then fleeing to a nearby apartment complex and killing 59-year-old Eleazar "Tony" Herrera Villegas and his Jack Russell Terrier.  Ortiz is due back in court on March 14th.

Ferguson: Trump's New Travel Order Being Reviewed

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is claiming victory following President Trump's new executive order for travel restrictions on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries.  Ferguson said the president "capitulated" on key points the state of Washington raised in its lawsuit, proving the original order was "indefensible."  He says he's "carefully reviewing" the new order and will likely announce later this week whether it will also face a court challenge.  The new order is set to take effect March 16th.

Portland Growing, Not Police Department

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland's population is growing, but its police force isn't growing along with it.  The Portland Police Bureau says it has the same number of officers it had in the 1990s even though the number of residents has grown to more than 600-thousand.  The bureau tells KATU-TV the situation is being made worse with many police officers retiring or choosing to leave for other agencies.  Officials hope more recruits will be attracted to the police bureau under its new contract, which was approved by the Portland City Council last October.

Senate Approves Corrections-reforms Measure

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that makes significant changes to the Washington State Department of Corrections is making its way through the Legislature.  The Senate has signed off on the measure, which would enact recommendations made by a Senate committee last year after an investigation of the early releases of more than three-thousand prisoners across Washington.  Spokane Valley Senator Mike Padden says the 49-0 vote offers a general recognition of the serious and systemic management problems within the state corrections department.  The bill will next be heard by a House committee.

One Dead Following Tigard Crash

(Tigard, OR)  --  One person is dead and another is injured, following a two-vehicle crash near Tigard.  Tualatin  Valley Fire & Rescue says it happened around 10:30 last night at Roy Rogers and Scholls Ferry Road. No names have been released.  The survivor is being hospitalized.

Bill Would Move Up WA Presidential Primary

(Olympia, WA)  --  The Washington presidential primary would happen earlier in the year if a bill cleared by the state Senate wins final approval.  The primary currently takes place on the fourth Tuesday in May, but the bill would move it to the second Tuesday in March.  Federal Way Senator and co-sponsor Mark Miloscia says moving up the primary would increase the influence of Washington state voters on choosing presidential candidates.  The bill now heads to the House.

Oregon Among States With The Least Past-due Medical Debt

(Undated)  --  An analysis from financial-assistance website 24-7 Wall Street shows Oregon is among the states with the least past-due medical debt.  The report shows more than 22 percent of Oregon's non-elderly adults have past-due medical debt, as well as an uninsured rate of seven percent, good for 18th-lowest in the country.  Oregon rates 17th-lowest when it comes to premature deaths, with 309 per 100-thousand population.

Pedestrian Dies In Gresham Crash

(Gresham, OR)  --  Police are investigating a crash that killed a pedestrian in Gresham.  Authorities say a woman was struck and killed early yesterday morning at the intersection of Southeast 187th Place and Division Street.  The 33-year-old woman died at the scene.  Police say the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Inslee Calls Apparent Hate-crime Shooting "Un-American"

(Olympia, WA)  --  Washington Governor Jay Inslee calls the shooting of a Kent man who's a member of the Sikh [[ seek ]] faith "hateful, detestable, and un-American."  Authorities say the victim was in his driveway Friday when a man walked up to him, pushed him to the ground as he called him names and told him "go home to your country" before pulling out a gun and shooting him in the arm.  The victim is a citizen of the U.S. and is from India's Punjab province.  Kent police say the attack doesn't appear to be a random incident but is likely a hate crime.

New Speed Cameras Going On Today In SE Portland

(Portland, OR)  --  Transportation officials are turning on new speed cameras later today in Southeast Portland.  They're located along Southeast Division and Southeast 122nd streets along what officials call "high-crash corridors."  Violators of the posted speed limits who are caught by the cameras will be issued warnings during the first 30 days, but will have to pay fines starting at 160 dollars afterward.

Woman Accused Of DUII Hits Man In Wheelchair

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police say a woman who's accused of driving drunk hit a man in a wheelchair.  Authorities say 55-year-old Tami Stein was driving at the intersection of Southeast Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard and Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard when the crash happened Saturday night.  Police say the man was in a crosswalk when he was hit, and his injuries are considered serious.  Stein is facing charges of DUII and reckless driving.

Bill To Eliminate Wholesale Auto Dealer License Clears House

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that would eliminate Washington's wholesale auto dealer's license is awaiting action in the state Senate after clearing the House.  Out-of-state transportation regulators have complained Washington's current law is too lenient and leads to auto-sale fraud across the country.  KING-5 reports the license, which is relatively easy to get, was attracting people who wished to bend the rules.

Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Art Tax

(Portland, OR)  --  The Oregon Supreme Court is set today to hear arguments on whether the Portland Art Tax is constitutional.  The "Portland Tribune" reports two lower courts have upheld the constitutionality of the 35-dollar Arts Tax, which must be paid yearly by all Portlanders 18 and older.  Those living in households with incomes below the poverty level or whose primary incomes come from certain government pensions are exempt.  Retired attorney George Witteymer argues the tax violates the Oregon Constitution's prohibition against "head taxes," but the tax has been upheld by a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge and the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Deputies Recover Body After Man Caught In Avalanche

(Cle Elum, WA)  --  Kittitas County, Washington authorities say they've recovered the body of a Kirkland man who got caught in an avalanche in the Hawkins Mountain area.  Sheriff's deputies say 45-year-old Mike Albertson died after being buried in the avalanche that happened Saturday while he and another man were snowmobiling in the area.  Crews were able to dig the second man out quickly after the snowslide, but Albertson's body wasn't located until about 30 minutes after rescuers arrived.  Hawkins Mountain is about 27 miles northwest of Cle Elum

Gas Prices Still Rising

(Portland, OR)  --  Drivers in the Portland area are still seeing gas prices rise.  Triple-A reports the current average for regular is two-61 a gallon, up three-and-a-half cents from this time last week.  The national average for regular is two-31 a gallon.

Woman Looking For Person Who Left $5, Note Saying He'd Stolen Wind Chime

(Lakewood, WA)  --  A Lakewood, Washington woman is hoping to find someone who left five dollars and a note on her door, saying he stole a wind chime belonging to her.  The person, who signed the note "Jake," said he and his sister stole the wind chime because it reminded them of their mother, who died.  The woman, Chrissy Marie, tells KING-5 she wants to find Jake to give him back his money, and offer Jake his own wind chime similar to the one they took, so they can each have a reminder of their moms.  Marie says she lost her mother at age five and can relate to what Jake and his sister are experiencing.

Two More Die As Result Of Douglas Co. Fire

(Riddle, OR)  --  A woman and her son are the latest victims of a deadly house fire in Douglas County.  Officials say 38-year-old Tabitha Howell and 13-year-old Andrew Hall-Young died yesterday evening in a Portland hospital as a result of the Wednesday blaze in the community of Riddle.  Four children died at the scene that day.  Officials say 39-year-old James Howell is still in critical condition.

Wyden, Merkley Call On Administration To Allow Sale Of Recreational Pot

(Washington, DC)  --  U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon are among eleven senators to ask the Trump administration to allow states to sell and tax recreational marijuana.  Officials fear there will be a federal crackdown on marijuana, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said earlier this week he's "dubious about marijuana."  The group of senators sent a letter to Sessions, pointing out that President Trump said while campaigning that the issue of legalization should be left up to states.

WA House Passes Bill Aimed Helping Sick Hanford Workers

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill intended to assist sick Hanford workers with having worker's compensation claims approved is moving through the Washington state Legislature.  The House cleared the bill yesterday and sent it to the Senate for consideration.  HB 1723 would grant a presumption of occupational illness for Hanford workers, similar to 1987 legislation designed to help firefighters.  The vote was 69 to 29.

Death Penalty Off Table In Case Of Triple-homicide Suspect

(Vancouver, WA)  --  The death penalty won't be sought against a man who's accused of a triple homicide in Woodland.  "The Columbian" reports the defense team for Brent Luyster was informed of the decision by Clark County prosecutors.  Prosecuting attorney Tony Golik says he'll instead seek a sentence of life without parole for Lyster, who's accused in the deadly shootings of Joseph Mark Lamar, Zachary David Thompson, and Janell Renee Knight last July.  A fourth person was shot and critically wounded.

Study: Oregon Among States With Highest Rates Of Unsheltered Homeless

(Undated)  --  Oregon is near the top of a list it would rather not be on.  Financial website 24/7 Wall Street is ranking Oregon second on its "States With the Most Unsheltered Homeless People" list.  Using Department of Housing and Urban Development figures, the study shows more than 60 percent of Oregon's homeless population doesn't have shelter.  California tops the nationwide list, while Washington is tenth.

Report: Marijuana-related Emergency Calls More Frequent In Washington

(Seattle, WA)  --  The number of marijuana-related emergency calls is increasing across Washington, according to a new report.  The Washington Poison Center says it received 286 emergency calls in 2016, up from 265 the year before.  Officials say the most marijuana-related emergency calls came from people aged 20 to 29.  The Poison Center's Toxic Trends Report shows emergency calls involving opioids have remained steady, while calls relating to e-cigarettes are down.

Council Approves Lowering Speed Limit On SE Division

(Portland, OR)  --  The speed limit along a stretch of Southeast Division is now lower by five miles an hour.  The Portland City Council has approved an emergency ordinance to reduce the maximum speed from 35 to 30 on Southeast Division from 82nd Avenue to Southeast 174th Avenue.  Officials say the move is in response to a rising number of traffic crashes along the stretch.  Warnings will be issued to violators for 30 days, after which fines will be assessed.

Gas Prices On The Rise

(Portland, OR)  --  The price of gasoline is on the way up in the Portland area.  The latest Triple-A survey shows the average for regular is two-59 a gallon, up three cents from the average of a week ago.  The national average for regular is two-32 a gallon.

Four Kids Die In Douglas County Fire

(Riddle, OR)  --  Four children are dead following a house fire in Douglas County.  Authorities say two adults and a teenager are being treated at a Portland hospital with critical injuries.  Officials say the blaze was reported around two o'clock yesterday morning on East Third Avenue in the community of Riddle, and it killed four-year-old Gwendolyn Howell, seven-year-old Haley Maher, ten-year-old Isaiah Young and 13-year-old Nicholas Lowe.  Investigators are trying to find out what  caused the fire.

Suspect Identified In Murder Of NE Portland Man

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are looking for a suspect in the murder of a Northeast Portland man.  Authorities describe 33-year-old Alex Rico Ortiz as a career criminal who's likely armed.  He's accused of killing Eleazar Herrera Villegas, who was found dead in his Northeast Sandy Boulevard apartment Monday, along with his dog.  Investigators say Ortiz is also the suspect in a sexual assault at a hotel near where the homicide took place.

Portland Landlord Who Killed Tenant Gets 16 Years

(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland landlord is headed to prison, after being convicted of killing his tenant with a hammer and hiding her body on his property.  Prosecutors say 63-year-old Gary Lewis pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the 2014 beating death of Renee Sandidge-Crowell, who was mentally ill.  Lewis initially faced a murder charge in Sandidge-Crowell's death, but came to a plea agreement with prosecutors.  He was sentenced to 16 years behind bars.

Portland Rent Sees Slight Drop

(Portland, OR)  --  A new report says the average rent in Portland saw a slight decline over last year. says the drop amounted to one percent.  Currently, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom unit in Portland is 13-hundred-60 dollars.  By comparison, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle rose more than five percent during the same period.

Transportation Department Asks For $5M To Cover Winter Expenses

(Olympia, WA)  --  The Washington State Department of Transportation is asking state lawmakers for five-million dollars to cover expenses during an unusually active winter.  Most areas of Washington have experienced more snow than normal through February.  The transportation department says increased overtime and thinly-stretched resources have caused the agency to go over-budget by five-million dollars.

Police Seek Suspect In Child Sexual Assault

(Milwaukie, OR)  --  Clackamas County authorities are looking for a man who broke into an apartment in Milwaukie and sexually assaulted a nine-year-old girl.  Sheriff's deputies say it happened on February 26th at the Clackamas Trail Apartments on Southeast Cook Street.  The girl gave investigators a description of the suspect.  Deputies say he was described as possibly an Hispanic man wearing a yellow, gray and black beanie.

WA House Approves ATV Bill

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that's making its way through the Washington State Legislature is aimed at making the going easier for riders of all-terrain vehicles.  The measure would allow counties to decide whether ATV riders who are legally operating on a local road should be able to drive across a state highway to get to the local road on the other side of the intersection.  Current law allows ATVs to cross the intersections where the speed limit on the local road isn't above 35 miles per hour.  The House has approved the bill and it now heads to the Senate.

Oregon Ranked Among Top 20 States In Which To Live

(Undated)  --  Oregon is located in the top 20 states listed in a survey by "U.S. News & World Report" magazine.  Oregon is ranked 19th in the magazine's annual list of "Best States," which is based on measurements to determine how well states are performing for their citizens.  Oregon is ranked first in infrastructure and scores high in the category of economy, but gets an average score for opportunity and ranks only 36th for crime & corrections.  Massachusetts is ranked the Best State overall, followed by New Hampshire, Minnesota and North Dakota, with Washington ranked fifth.

Reaction To Trump Speech Mixed

(Washington, DC)  --  Reaction is split along party lines, following last night's address by President Donald Trump to a joint session of Congress.  Democratic District 3 Congressman Earl Blumenauer tweeted a single word following the speech, "Resist."  District 1 Representative Suzanne Bonamici [[ BONE-uh-MEE-chee ]], also a Democrat, says the suggestions Trump made for affordable and accessible healthcare "are not going to do it."  District 2 Republican Greg Walden says the speech was "refreshingly optimistic" and included taking care of America's needs first and getting people back to work in good-paying jobs.

PPS Board Approves Placing $790M Bond Before Voters

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland voters will be asked this spring to decide whether to approve a 790-million-dollar bond to fund construction and renovation of schools across the Portland Public Schools district.  The PPS board approved having the measure go on the May ballot.  Officials say if the bond is approved, the average owner of a home valued at 300-thousand dollars would pay 420 dollars a year for the first four years, and then about 200 dollars a year for the duration of the levy.  Projects would include renovating Benson and Madison high schools and rebuilding Lincoln High and Kellogg Middle.

WA Lawmakers Considering Tougher Dog-tethering Laws

(Olympia, WA)  --  Dog owners in Washington could be facing fines for inhumanely tethering their pets under a measure that's being considered in the Legislature.  The bill approved by the Senate would require any restrained dog to have adequate access to food, water, shelter, and freedom of movement.  Choke collars and similar restraints would be prohibited.  The measure next goes to the House.

Portland Considering Emergency Speed Reduction

(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland City Council is slated to vote tomorrow on a proposal to declare a safety emergency and lower the maximum speed on outer Southeast Division.  Council members are considering the action after a spike in the number of traffic-related deaths in the area.  The council will decide whether to lower the speed limit from 35 to 30 miles per hour along the four-and-a-half-mile stretch of Division from 82nd Avenue to the city limits.

Police ID Body Found In NE Portland Apartment

(Portland, OR)  --  An autopsy is being conducted on a man whose body was found Monday in a Northeast Portland apartment.  The Oregon State Medical Examiner says the victim, 59-year-old Eleazar "Tony" Herrera Villegas, died of homicidal violence.  Police say they also found Villegas's dog, a Jack Russell terrier, dead in the apartment on Northeast Sandy Boulevard.  Investigators haven't identified any suspects.

Bill Targets Squatters, Empowers Property Owners

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill making its way through the Washington Legislature is targeting people who take up unauthorized residence on a vacant property.  The measure would give protection to legitimate tenants and property owners, and more power to law enforcement to clear the property of squatters.  The bill would allow officers to arrest an alleged squatter just for trespassing, rather than making them wait for a crime to be committed.  The legislation has cleared the Senate and is on its way to the House.

Washington Senate Approves REAL ID Compliance Bill

(Olympia, WA)  --  A bill that aims to bring Washington state into compliance with federal identification requirements is on its way to the House.  The Senate approved the measure yesterday in an effort to remove Washington from the list of states that aren't compliant with the federal law.  Beginning in 2018, Washington residents will be required to show additional documentation for domestic air travel unless the state law changes.

Oregon Family Leave Bill Introduced

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon lawmakers will consider a measure that would require paid leave for the birth of a child or care of a sick relative.  Under House Bill 3087, employees and employers would each contribute up to half of one percent of an employee's wages through a regular payroll deduction.  For those employees who qualify, the state insurance fund would provide partial wage replacement for their time off from work.  The bill is awaiting committee referral.

Study: Oregon Among Best States For Women

(Undated)  --  A new study says Oregon is among the best states for women.  Financial and lifestyle website WalletHub recently released its "Best States for Women" list.  Using factors such as economic well-being, health, and safety, the survey shows Oregon in 17th place.  Washington is 13th.  Minnesota came in first, with Mississippi considered to be the worst state for women.


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