Regional News Archives for 2021-04


(Eugene, OR) -- A cluster of strong earthquakes struck off the coast of Oregon this morning. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 4.3 magnitude quake hit at about 3:25 a.m.  Five minutes later the strongest quake of the morning, a 5.5 hit. Five minutes after that a 5.4, and about 20 minutes later another 5.4. The U.S. Tsunami Warning System does not indicate any threat to Oregon's coast. 



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is dealing with nearly 900 new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 888 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with two new deaths.  Oregon has now seen nearly 183-thousand cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-490 deaths since the pandemic began.



(Scappoose, OR)  --  A man is being charged with bias crime after allegedly threatening an Asian man and his son at a grocery store in Scappoose.  Police say Adam Graham approached the victims inside a Fred Meyer on Saturday as they were getting ready to pay for their items at a self-checkout kiosk.  Graham allegedly threatened to slit the man's throat and also threatened to sexually assault his son.  He then allegedly punched another man who tried to intervene.  Graham is being charged with two counts of first-degree bias crime as well as second-degree bias crime and two counts of fourth-degree assault.



(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is hosting a community talk tonight on racial justice.  The virtual event is called "A Step Towards Justice: Where do we go from here?"  Wheeler says he scheduled the talk in response to the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year.  The event will be streamed live via Facebook from 6 through 8:30 p.m.
 



(Sandy, OR)  --  One person is injured after a landslide led to a crash in the Sandy area.  The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened around 6 o'clock yesterday morning on Ten Eyck Road east of Southeast Bull Run Road.  Police say a driver crashed into a boulder that fell into the road during the landslide.  The driver suffered minor injuries and did not need to be hospitalized.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is dealing with more than 700 new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 740 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with two new deaths.  Oregon is now averaging 840 new cases of COVID-19 per day.  That's up 57-percent over the past two weeks.  Hospitalizations for the virus are up 66-percent.



(Portland, OR)  --  Students and staff members at the University of Portland will need to get their COVID-19 vaccinations before returning to campus for the fall.  The university announced yesterday it's requiring all students, faculty and staff members to prove they've been fully vaccinated no later than August 1st.  Exemptions for religious and health-related reasons may be requested.



(Portland, OR)  --  A man is facing charges after allegedly attacking a landscaping worker and stealing his dump truck in northeast Portland.  Police say the victim was filling a lawnmower with gas yesterday afternoon when 30-year-old Benjamin Hendricks attacked him from behind and then made off with his truck and trailer.  Police tracked the stolen vehicle from the air and say Hendricks nearly hit two pedestrians before stopping and fleeing on foot.  Police found and arrested him.  The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.



(Oregon City, OR)  --  Clackamas County Commissioner Chair Tootie Smith is criticizing Governor Kate Brown's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Smith released a statement on Twitter Monday calling the governor's lockdowns "unacceptable" and accusing her of throwing businesses into bankruptcy.  Smith says county health officials should determine how to handle the pandemic for their communities.  Governor Brown announced yesterday that 15 of Oregon's counties will move backwards into the "extreme risk" category due to surging case numbers and hospitalizations as Oregon experiences a fourth wave of the ongoing pandemic.



(Portland, OR)  --  An Oregon auction house is pulling a listing for a dagger believed to have belonged to Heinrich Himmler, the leader of Adolf Hitler's SS security force.  The listing by O'Gallerie for the ceremonial dagger was pulled on Monday, along with other Nazi memorabilia.  Jewish leaders had expressed outrage over the listings.  They said no one should be able to profit from such items.  Himmler was not only a high-ranking Nazi Party leader during World War Two but considered one of, if not the, main architect of the Holocaust.



(Gresham, OR)  --  An investigation is ongoing into a drive-by shooting that injured seven people attending a vigil in Gresham.  Police say they're still searching for suspects in connection to the shooting late Monday night near Southeast 174th Avenue and Stark Street.  Investigators believe members of the crowd returned gunfire.  The group was holding a vigil to remember 22-year-old Alejandro Barajas, who was shot and killed at that same location Sunday night.  Police describe the suspect vehicle as a dark-colored SUV.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is reporting over 600 new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 630 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with one new death.  Officials say 319 Oregonians are currently hospitalized with the virus, which is up eleven from Sunday.  Oregon has now seen over 181-thousand cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-486 deaths since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR)  --  A Hillsboro man is facing federal charges in connection to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol building.  The FBI says 62-year-old Reed Knox Christiansen made his first court appearance yesterday in Portland after being arrested on Sunday.  Police say body camera footage shows Christiansen hitting and pushing officers and breaking metal barriers on the U.S. Capitol grounds during the January insurrection.  He's facing five federal charges.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Oregon House is passing a proposal to make the second Monday of October Indigenous People's Day in Oregon.  The bill approved yesterday would also remove Columbus Day as a state-recognized holiday.  The University of Oregon says there are more than 137-thousand people in the state who identify as Indigenous people.  Oregon has nine Confederated Tribes.  The bill now moves to the Senate.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Oregon House is approving a package of nine bills increasing police accountability.  The bills passed yesterday would set expectations for behavior and character of police officers.  The bills also create new officer training and set Oregon on a path for greater transparency on police matters.  The package of bills now heads to the Senate for consideration.



(Portland, OR)  --  The TSA in Portland is offering a one-thousand-dollar hiring bonus as it tries to fill 60 full and part-time positions at PDX.  The agency is holding a two-day hiring event today and tomorrow at the Airport Sheraton Hotel.  Pay starts at 17 dollars and 61 cents an hour.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is reporting nearly 800 new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 780 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with one new death.  Oregon has now seen over 180-thousand cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-485 deaths since the pandemic began.  Officials say 291 Oregonians are currently hospitalized with the virus, which is down four from Saturday.



(Lake Oswego, OR)  --  The superintendent of the Lake Oswego School District is stepping down.  Lora de la Cruz announced Friday she plans to resign from her post, effective June 30th.  De la Cruz says she's stepping down in order to care for her ailing mother.  She's served as superintendent since 2019.



(Portland, OR)  --  President Biden is tapping an Oregon State University professor to head up the nation's leading agency for weather, climate and ocean science.  Biden is nominating Rick Spinrad to become the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The choice still must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.  Spinrad previously served as the agency's chief scientist under President Obama.



(Portland, OR)  --  Meteorologists say the month of April is shaping up to be Portland's driest in over six decades.  KATU-2 reports Portland's rainfall total for April is at zero-point-26 inches as of yesterday.  Portland usually sees an average of one-point-63 inches for April.  The driest April ever recorded in Portland was in 1956 with a rainfall total of zero-point-53 inches.



(Klamath Falls, OR)  --  A Klamath Falls restaurant is receiving another fine for refusing to comply with Oregon's COVID-19 safety measures.  The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a 27-thousand-660-dollar fine to Casey's Restaurant on Friday for the willful potential exposure of workers there to the novel coronavirus.  Oregon OSHA previously fined the restaurant nearly nine-thousand dollars in December.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is resuming use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.  The Oregon Health Authority made the announcement Saturday after the Western States Scientific Safety Review work group deemed the vaccine to be safe and effective.  The FDA and the CDC both issued statements Friday calling for a resumption in the administration of the vaccine following an eleven-day pause.  The agencies recommended the temporary pause after some women who received it developed blood clots.



(Portland, OR)  -- The Oregon Employment Department is changing its online "Contact Us" form to make it easier for those on unemployment to get the answers they need.  The department says its new form will allow it to better track questions and help users get the answers they want online.  The form goes live Wednesday and will be available in English and Spanish.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office is prioritizing cases of property damage and violence during demonstrations in Portland.  District Attorney Mike Schmidt says in a statement released yesterday that the violence and property destruction witnessed in the city over the last year is "unacceptable" and that it doesn't align with Portland's community values.  Schmidt says his office is continuing to "prioritize the prosecution of people who are destroying property and committing violence."



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is dealing with nearly one-thousand new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 993 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday.  That's the highest single-day increase in Oregon in three months.  Health officials also reported one new death from COVID-19 and eleven new hospitalizations.  Oregon has now seen over 178-thousand cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-467 deaths since the pandemic began.



(Albany, OR)  --  Police say they've arrested a third suspect for bias crime in connection to the assault of a 13-year-old Black boy in Albany.  The Albany Police Department says officers have arrested a 16-year-old boy for the assault on April 13th.  Officers arrested another 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl earlier this week.  Police are still searching for two more 16-year-old boys in connection to the assault.  The Albany Police Department has released a statement saying the crime shows the ugliness of hate and racism, and that it has no place in the community.



(Mill City, OR)  --  Police are releasing the identity of a man whose body was found along the Santiam River in Mill City last weekend.  The Linn County Sheriff's Office says 21-year-old Isaac Pond was found dead Sunday at the edge of the river.  Police say he'd been missing since December 31st, when he left his home on foot following an argument with family members.  Police say no foul play is suspected.

 



(Portland, OR)  --  More than 100 people gathered in downtown Portland last night to hold a vigil for a Black teenage girl killed by police in Columbus, Ohio.  Participants gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square with candles and signs in honor of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant.  A police officer shot and killed Bryant Tuesday while responding to a fight.  Police say Bryant was holding a knife and trying to stab two people when the officer opened fire.  The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into whether the young Black teen's shooting was justified. 



(Salem, OR)  --  The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would get a 12-percent boost in its budget under a bill that has bipartisan support in Congress.  The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would dedicate one-point-three-billion dollars to state fish and wildlife agencies.  The money would help implement State Wildlife Action Plans, like the Oregon Conservation Strategy.  It would also allocate 97-million dollars to tribal fish and wildlife agencies.  Oregon would get 23-million dollars a year under the bill.

 



(Portland, OR)  --  New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are up in Oregon for the fourth week in a row.  The Oregon Health Authority says the number of new cases is up 27-percent.  Hospitalizations are up by 15 patients for a total of 171 people currently hospitalized with the virus.  Oregon's positive test rate has increased to five-point-three-percent.  Officials say 60-percent of the new cases are in people younger than 70.



(Portland, OR)  --  Half a dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed six new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to two-thousand-466.  The agency also reported 989 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new hospitalizations for the virus.



(Salem, OR)  --  The Oregon Employment Department is investigating suspicious activity involving its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance website.  The department says the activity took place over the weekend and early this week.  Employment Department Director David Gerstenfeld says they're still trying to determine what happened.  The department temporarily shut down the website to increase security, affecting around 20-thousand people filing claims.

 



(West Linn, OR)  --  An investigation is ongoing into the distribution of anti-Semitic flyers targeting state Representative Rachel Prusak in Clackamas County.  The flyers that turned up on Tuesday depicted Holocaust imagery and a picture of Prusak with the Star of David and the word "Jude" on her chest.  The picture included a caption calling Prusak "Another gun-grabbing Jew."  Prusak has responded to the flyers, saying Oregon's history is steeped in white supremacy and that the flyers show this history is still relevant and alive today.  Police say those responsible for distributing the flyers will be held accountable.



(Vancouver, WA)  --  New details are emerging about a fatal weekend shooting involving a newspaper delivery driver in Vancouver.  The Vancouver Police Department says 35-year-old Justin Vallandingham got out of his car while delivering newspapers early Saturday morning and returned to find 29-year-old Kin Bossy sitting in the driver's seat.  Police say Vallandingham had left the vehicle unlocked and running.  Vallandingham tells police he shot Bossy after Bossy leaned toward the car's center console, saying he thought he was leaning over to grab a weapon.  Bossy died from his injuries.  No arrests have been made.



(Portland, OR)  --  The city of Portland remains under a state of emergency following Tuesday's announcement of a guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.  Mayor Ted Wheeler announced yesterday he's extending his emergency declaration for another 24 hours in anticipation of potential unrest.  Former Officer Chauvin was convicted of killing Floyd in Minneapolis last May after kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes while taking him into custody.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is reporting over 500 new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 580 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with one new death.  Officials also reported 12 new hospitalizations for the virus.  As of Tuesday, more than one-million Oregonians have been fully vaccinated.



(Albany, OR)  --  Police say they've arrested two suspects on bias crime charges in connection to the assault of a 13-year-old Black boy in Albany. The Albany Police Department says officers have arrested a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl for the assault on April 13th.  Police are still searching for three more 16-year-old boys in connection to the assault.  The Albany Police Department has released a statement saying the crime shows the ugliness of hate and racism, and that it has no place in the community.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Police Bureau says officers arrested at least two people last night during demonstrations in response to yesterday's conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd last spring.  Police say one person was arrested after allegedly punching an officer.  The Oregonian reports video of the incident shows multiple police officers respond to the punch by piling on the suspect, with one officer throwing repeated punches.  Police say demonstrators also broke multiple windows.  Police declared an unlawful assembly around 10 p.m.



(Portland, OR)  --  Portland health officials are warning residents about an increase in overdose deaths from counterfeit pills known as Blues of M30s.  Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines says the drugs contain fentanyl, which can be fatal even in small amounts.  Last year, the number of overdose deaths in Multnomah County increased, mirroring a national trend.



(Portland, OR)  --  Governor Kate Brown says yesterday's conviction of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd is one step toward the goal of racial justice and police reform.  In a statement released after the verdict announcement yesterday, Brown says there's still much work to be done to dismantle the structures of racism and inequality.  She says the nation grieves for the loss of George Floyd and honor his memory by continuing the hard work to increase police accountability.



(Salem, OR)  -- The Oregon House is cancelling floor sessions for the rest of the week due to a case of COVID-19.  House Speaker Tina Kotek says the new case has led to multiple House members being quarantined, leaving the House without enough members for a quorum.  Kotek isn't revealing who tested positive for COVID-19 or how many people are being quarantined.  It's the third time this session the House has been forced to cancel floor sessions due to COVID-19.



(Portland, OR)  --  An arson investigation is ongoing into a three-alarm fire at the Portland Garment Factory.  Investigators believe yesterday morning's fire at Southeast 79th and Stark Street was intentionally set.  Officials say surveillance footage shows a person starting a fire in a nearby dumpster.  The fire then spread to the factory.  No injuries were reported.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is reporting nearly 500 new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 473 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with 28 new hospitalizations for the virus.  No new deaths were reported.  Oregon has now seen 175-thousand-592 cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-460 deaths since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR)  --  Former Oregon Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse has died.  Officials say Furse died at her home Sunday night at the age of 84.  Furse served Oregon's first Congressional district for three terms in the 1990s.  She was an advocate for Native American rights and helped five Oregon tribes regain federal recognition.  She also established the Institute for Tribal Government within the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Oregon Department of Occupational Safety and Health is considering enacting a new rule to extend the state's mask mandate indefinitely.  The agency says the rule is necessary in order to protect workers from the novel coronavirus as the pandemic continues.  Oregon's current mask mandate is set to expire next month.  The agency is currently taking public comment on the idea.  A decision is expected to be made before May 4th.



(Portland, OR)  --  A motorcyclist is dead after crashing during a street race in north Portland.  Police say about 350 people were gathered for the illegal street race on North Marine Drive west of I-5 early yesterday morning when the motorcyclist crashed with a Mercedes sedan.  The motorcyclist died at the scene.  The driver of the Mercedes was cited for reckless driving.



(Undated)  --  Call it the Cannabis Christmas.  Or the Pot Smoker's Holiday.  But stoners around the world simply refer to April 20th as "4/20" [[ four-twenty ]] and a celebration of the cannabis culture.  Urban legends abound about the origin of this pot-a-palooza.  But it's often attributed to the Waldos, a group of high school students in California who set out in 1971 to find a rumored pot patch planted by Coast Guardsmen on Point Reyes.  They reportedly met after school at 4:20 p.m. to search and get high, but never found the patch.  The phrase "420" became code for marijuana.  But the publication "High Times" says the "holiday" idea was conceived in 1990 by fans of the cult band Grateful Dead who agreed to meet and smoke 420 at 4:20 p.m. on every 4/20.
 



(Portland, OR)  --  Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine expands to everyone ages 16 and up in Oregon starting today.  Health officials caution there's still a shortage of vaccine, and there won't be enough for everyone to get a shot until June 1st.  Currently, around a quarter of all Oregonians are fully vaccinated.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is reporting more than 600 new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 628 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with 15 new hospitalizations for the virus.  No new deaths were reported.  Oregon has now seen more than 175-thousand cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-460 deaths since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Police Bureau says it declared an unlawful assembly Saturday night after dozens of demonstrators gathered to protest the police killing of a man in Lents Park.  Police say about 70 people gathered outside the bureau's east precinct building to protest the officer-involved shooting of 46-year-old Robert Delgado on Friday.  Police say the protesters blocked traffic and pushed a dumpster toward the precinct door in an apparent attempt to block the entrance.  Police shot and killed Delgado while responding to a report that he was carrying a gun.



(Salem, OR)  --  The Detroit Lake State Recreation Area will start to reopen on April 20th.  The Santiam Canyon wildfires forced the area to close last September.  Officials say staff have cleared burned vegetation and repaired a damaged water tank.  Residents can begin making camping reservations at Detroit Lake starting at 6 a.m. on April 19th.  Officials plan to open the park in phases.



(Vancouver, WA)  --  Police in Vancouver are investigating an incident in which a newspaper delivery man allegedly shot and killed a man after finding him inside his car.  Police say the 35-year-old man got out of his car while delivering newspapers early Saturday morning and then returned to find a strange man sitting inside his vehicle.  The delivery man pulled out his gun and shot the stranger.  Police say he had a concealed weapons permit.  It's not yet clear whether the man will face any charges.  An investigation is ongoing.



(Portland, OR)  --  A woman is facing charges after allegedly setting fire to a homeless encampment in Portland's Old Town.  The Portland Police Bureau says 20-year-old Alisha Ikola lit the fire Saturday morning at Northwest 4th Avenue and Northwest Davis Street.  Responding officers arrived on scene to find the encampment fully engulfed in flames.  No injuries were reported, but the encampment was destroyed.  Police arrested Ikola for second-degree arson.



(Felida, WA)  --  Clark County firefighters had to deal with a 60-pound African Serval cat while battling a house fire in Felida.  Fire officials say crews arrived at the house yesterday to find the homeowner trying to put out the fire in the back of his house.  The African cat was inside of the home and bit one of the firefighters' fingers.  Crews extinguished the fire and kept the cat inside until animal control arrived to help contain the animal.  Officials say the cat appeared to be unharmed.  An investigation into what caused the fire is ongoing.



(Portland, OR) -- Half a dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed six new coronavirus deaths yesterday along with 733 new cases of COVID-19. Officials say 195 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, which is down five from Wednesday. Oregon has now seen nearly 173-thousand cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-455 deaths since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- The TSA is reporting an increase in the number of people bringing loaded guns through airport security checkpoints in Oregon. Last month, five guns were found in luggage at Portland International Airport, and three guns were found in luggage at Eugene Airport. The TSA says travelers can receive criminal citations and civil penalties for bringing a gun through security checkpoints.



(Salem, OR)  --  The Detroit Lake State Recreation Area will start to reopen on April 20th.  The Santiam Canyon wildfires forced the area to close last September.  Officials say staff have cleared burned vegetation and repaired a damaged water tank.  Residents can begin making camping reservations at Detroit Lake starting at 6 a.m. on April 19th.  Officials plan to open the park in phases.



(Portland, OR) -- Kaiser Permanente Northwest is teaming up with the Oregon Primary Care Association on an initiative to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among underserved communities in Oregon. Kaiser is donating one-point-one-million dollars to the effort. The program will use Oregon's 34 federally qualified health centers to distribute the vaccine.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland International Airport is reporting a higher than expected travel turnout over spring break.  The airport saw 545-thousand passengers, which is 22-percent higher than forecast.  That's over four times more passengers than during last year's spring break.  Airport officials are expecting a total of more than 800-thousand passengers for the month of April.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is dealing with more than 800 new coronavirus cases. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 816 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with three new deaths. The agency also reported three new hospitalizations, raising the number of Oregonians currently hospitalized with the virus to 200.



(Portland, OR) -- A woman is being charged with arson and felony riot in connection to Tuesday night's protests against the police killing of Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced charges against Alma Raven-Guido yesterday. Police say she caused at least 25-thousand dollars in damages to the Portland Police Association building by pouring flammable liquid on it and lighting a fire. Raven-Guido is also being charged with felony riot for a separate incident during a protest at City Hall in August.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon's COVID-19 case rate continues its rising trend. The Oregon Health Authority says new cases were up 26-percent over the last week. The state also saw 47 deaths, which is the highest weekly total in five weeks. Hospitalizations increased by six to 150. Oregon's percentage of positive tests is sitting at four-point-four-percent.



(Washington, DC) -- Democratic U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is voicing his support for a proposal to end the draft. Wyden, who is co-sponsoring the bill, says the Selective Service program disproportionately harms disadvantaged young men and should be eliminated. He adds that it costs 25-million dollars a year to operate. Republican co-sponsor Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky says it's been 50 years since the draft was used, and he believes that if Congress votes to declare a war, people will volunteer to serve.



(Eugene, OR) -- A former Weyerhauser Company employee is headed to federal prison for defrauding her employer out of four-and-a-half-million dollars over 15 years. A judge sentenced 62-year-old Susan Tranberg of Eugene yesterday to nearly five years in prison and ordered her to pay over five-point-three-million dollars in restitution. Court documents say Tranberg submitted fraudulent invoices for payment to a fake vendor she created.



(Portland, OR) -- Nearly half a dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported five new coronavirus deaths yesterday along with 567 new cases of COVID-19. The agency also reported 20 new hospitalizations, raising the total number of Oregonians hospitalized with the virus to 197. Oregon has now seen more than 171-thousand cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-446 deaths since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon's unemployment rate is down slightly. The Oregon Employment Department has released a report showing the state's jobless rage was at six-percent in March. That's down from six-point-one-percent in February. Officials say two-thirds of the jobs gained last month were in leisure and hospitality.



(Molalla, OR) -- Police in Clackamas County say they've identified human remains found in Molalla as a man who was reported missing more than four decades ago. Detectives announced yesterday the remains discovered in a wilderness area in January were those of Kenneth Bell of Contra Costa County in California. Bell's mother reported him missing in 1979 after he disappeared during a trip from the Bay Area to Washington state, where he was going to visit family. Police say detectives made the identification based on personal items found near the remains. DNA testing is underway to confirm his identity.



(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police declared a riot last night for the second night in a row after roughly 100 demonstrators gathered to protest the police killing of a young Black man in a Minneapolis suburb. Police say the protesters gathered at the police union headquarters in North Portland, where they lit fires, blocked traffic and shot off fireworks. One person was arrested. The demonstrators were protesting the police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop Sunday in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.



(Milwaukie, OR) -- A suspect is behind bars in Florida in connection to the murder of a Portland pawn shop owner. Police in Florida arrested 23-year-old Nistasha Tate Monday for the death of 63-year-old Jimmy Pearson. He was found dead inside his Milwaukie home on March 3rd. Tate is being charged with second-degree murder and robbery.



(Salem, OR) -- Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is praising President Biden's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Wyden says withdrawal of the troops is long overdue. Biden announced yesterday he plans to have troops out by September 11th.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting nearly 300 new coronavirus cases. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 294 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with one new death. A total of 177 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, which is down two from Sunday. Oregon has now seen 170-thousand-850 cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-441 deaths since the pandemic began.



(Beaverton, OR) -- A former marketing manager for Beaverton-based Nike is pleading guilty in connection to a scheme to defraud the company to the tune of one-point-four-million dollars. Forty-nine-year-old Errol Andam pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements. Prosecutors say Andam was in charge of designing pop-up retail shops for Nike when he got a friend to create a company to build the shops. He then secretly controlled the company and personally prepared the invoices it sent to Nike. He's also accused of diverting sales revenue from the pop-ups into his own wallet.



(Portland, OR) -- Activists in Portland are speaking out against the police killing of a young Black man in a Minneapolis suburb over the weekend. More than 100 demonstrators gathered at the Salmon Street Fountain last night for a vigil in honor of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. A police officer shot him Sunday during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. Police released body camera footage of the shooting earlier yesterday. On it, the 26-year police veteran is heard telling Wright not to run and warning him she's going to use her Taser before shooting him with her service revolver. Brooklyn Center's police chief says it appears the officer accidentally fired her gun.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregon lawmakers are advancing a bill that would ban the online sale of vaping products to people younger than 21. The state House voted to approve HB 2261 on Saturday. It now moves to the state Senate for consideration.



(Salem, OR) -- Symbols of hate would be banned from display in schools under a bill that passed the Oregon House on Saturday. The bill would prohibit nooses, neo-Nazi symbols and the Confederate flag. The bill also requires schools to adopt a policy to address bias incidents. The bill passed unanimously and now moves to the Senate.



(Salem, OR) -- Three Oregon restaurants face thousands of dollars in fines for not following COVID-19 regulations. The company that owns the Black Bear Diners in Bend and Redmond has been fined 35-thousand dollars for allowing indoor dining when it was prohibited. In Springfield, the Twisted River Saloon has been fined over 18-thousand dollars for offering indoor dining when it was banned. The restaurants have a month to appeal the fines.



(West Linn, OR) -- A man is facing charges after allegedly trying to escape a traffic stop by jumping into the Willamette River. Police say 42-year-old David Rios refused to stop Sunday night when an officer tried to pull him over on Willamette Falls Drive. Rios allegedly eluded the officer and then ditched his car and ran about a mile to Willamette Park and jumped into the river. Police say Rios got too tired to swim back to shore and ended up holding onto a tree until fire crews responded to rescue him. Police arrested him for resisting arrest and for a previous federal warrant.



(Portland, OR)  --  Police say no arrests were made during demonstrations outside the ICE building in Portland.  The Portland Police Bureau says officers responded to the building late Saturday night after protesters allegedly set at least two fires.  Federal officers also responded and used crowd-control munitions to push protesters back.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is dealing with nearly 500 new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 499 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday.  There are currently 179 people hospitalized with the virus, which is up nine from Saturday.  No new deaths were reported, leaving the state's death toll at two-thousand-440.



(Vancouver, WA)  --  Washington State University's Vancouver campus is offering prediabetes screenings to Clark County residents this week.  Residents can sign up for a 20-minute appointment either today or on Thursday.  Zoom appointments are available as well as in-person appointments.



(Portland, OR)  --  Dozens of families rallied at the Oregon Convention Center Plaza Saturday to demand police accountability.  KATU-2 reports the families are part of the Pacific Northwest Family Circle.  The group supports families in Oregon and Washington who have had loved ones killed or injured by police officers.  Family members at Saturday's summit shared stories and held a vigil to honor the victims of police violence.



(Portland, OR)  --  Parents of students at a Portland charter school are holding a rally today to protest the police use of tear gas against demonstrators at the nearby ICE building.  Parents at The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science say the school's playground will be closed today because of the police deployment of tear gas on Saturday night.  Today is the students' first day back in the classroom.  Parents say they're concerned about the effects of tear gas residue on their children.



(Salem, OR)  --  Police in Marion County are asking for tips in connection to a shooting that left one person injured.  The Marion County Sheriff's Office says deputies responded to Bayview Way Northeast and State Street in Salem Saturday night to find a 19-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound.  His injuries are non-life-threatening.  Deputies determined the shooting happened about half a mile away near the Walgreens on Lancaster Drive.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting over 600 new coronavirus cases. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 678 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with five new deaths. A total of 168 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, which is down three from Wednesday. Oregon has now seen 168-thousand-795 cases of COVID-19 and two-thousand-439 deaths since the pandemic began.



(Salem, OR) -- Boston Scientific is agreeing to pay five-point-one-million dollars to settle a lawsuit with the state of Oregon over surgical mesh products for women. The lawsuit accused the company of failing to disclose serious risks and possible complications from their transvaginal surgical mesh products. The company is agreeing to change future marketing practices to list potential complications.



(Vancouver, WA) -- The Vancouver Fire Department is investigating two separate commercial fires. Firefighters responded to the first fire at MAACO on Northeast Andresen Wednesday night. Officials say it took crews about an hour to extinguish the flames. Crews were then called to a second fire at Jay's Stop and Go on Northeast Gher [[ geer ]] Road as they were preparing to leave the scene of the first fire. No injuries were reported in either fire.



(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County is declaring racism a public health crisis. The County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution making the declaration yesterday. Commission Chair Deborah Kafoury says the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the depth of the racial inequities in the county. County Health Director Ebony Clarke says policies shaped by white supremacy have caused ongoing pain, trauma, harm and negative outcomes for communities of color.



(Portland, OR) -- Health officials say more than 100 Oregonians have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated against the virus. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 168 so-called breakthrough cases across 25 counties yesterday. The agency says three of those people died. Health officials say the number is a small fraction of the more than 700-thousand Oregonians who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They add they're not worried or surprised by the breakthrough cases, since the vaccine is not 100-percent effective.



(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon is dealing with nearly 500 new coronavirus cases.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 481 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with seven new deaths from the virus.  A total of 171 Oregonians are currently hospitalized, which is up seven from the previous day.  Oregon has now seen two-thousand-434 deaths and over 168-thousand cases since the pandemic began.



(Sherwood, OR)  --  A man is hospitalized after getting pinned by an in-ground pool that was being lowered into place at a home near Sherwood.  Authorities say a helicopter was lowering the two-thousand-pound pool yesterday when it fell on top of the man, pinning him against an embankment.  Crew members managed to get him free, and he was rushed to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.



(Portland, OR)  --  Portland City Council is approving nearly six-million dollars to address the city's gun violence problem.  City Council members voted unanimously to approve the investment yesterday.  Over four-million dollars of the money will go toward community organizations to fight gun violence.



(Salem, OR)  --  State health officials are now releasing weekly numbers on COVID-19 vaccine wastage.  The Oregon Health Authority says a total of 656 doses have been lost to spoilage, waste or expiration.  The Moderna vaccine had the highest number of lost doses.  OHA says wastage is a normal part of the vaccination process, and 656 doses is a fraction of a percent of the total doses received in the state.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland Street Response pilot program is expanding its service area.  Under the program, paramedics and mental health counselors respond to calls where police aren't needed.  They had been using fire department boundaries in the Lents neighborhood, but they've determined using police bureau boundaries would work better.  The general area is from Southeast Division to Clatsop and 62nd Avenue to Powell Butte.  The expanded area will allow them to respond to more calls.



(Vancouver, WA)  --  The city of Vancouver is asking the public for input about a new inclusive playground to be built at Esther Short Park.  The current playground was built in 1998 and needs to be replaced.  The new design will be created through a partnership with Harper's Playground, an Oregon-based non-profit that creates inviting playgrounds for people of all abilities.  You can see the plans online at Be Heard Vancouver dot org.



(Portland, OR)  --  A man carrying a replica handgun drew a police response in downtown Portland yesterday.  The Portland Police Bureau says the man was in a parking garage yesterday afternoon when he showed a security guard there the replica gun and said he was looking for his parole officer.  The guard called police, who found the man near Southwest 5th and Alder.  Police say the man handed the gun over to officers, telling them he found it.  Police are reminding residents it's dangerous to carry a replica gun, and that it can draw significant resources when police have to respond.



(Salem, OR)  --  Police say they've arrested three suspects in connection to a shooting in West Salem in February.  The Salem Police Department announced yesterday that 21-year-old Mitchell McClure, 22-year-old Golton Burr and 23-year-old Katie Slay are facing charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.  They're accused of shooting Bryant Karner on February 27th.  He's still recovering from his injuries.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Oregon Health Authority says it won't be using a cell phone app to notify people if they've been exposed to someone with COVID-19, like neighboring Washington state is doing.  OHA and the governor's office say it would take county health resources to maintain the app, and they want to use those resources on vaccinations and other efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Around 20 states have decided against using the Exposure Notification app.



(Portland, OR)  --  Nearly three-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19.  The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 33 new coronavirus deaths yesterday along with 544 new cases of COVID-19.  There are currently 163 people hospitalized with the virus, which is down 14 patients from the previous day.  Oregon has now seen two-thousand-427 deaths and over 167-thousand cases since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR)  --  Southeast Portland amusement park Oaks Park is looking to hire more than 200 people.  The park is looking to fill several positions, including roles in concessions, cafes and the roller skating rink.  Pay starts at 14 dollars an hour.  Interested applicants can view the job openings on the Oaks Park website.



(Portland, OR)  --  Governor Kate Brown is ordering flags on state public buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of late Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida.  Hastings died yesterday at the age of 84.  He was a former federal judge and a civil rights advocate.  Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset tonight.



(Portland, OR)  --  The Oregon Health Authority is making it more difficult for counties to be in the Extreme Risk category of the COVID-19 reopening plan.  Governor Kate Brown announced yesterday she's adding a new statewide hospitalization metric for moving into the Extreme Risk level.  Counties will only move backwards if COVID-19 positive patients occupy at least 300 hospital beds and if the county sees a 15-percent increase in their seven-day average of new cases.  There are currently three counties in Oregon that would be in the Extreme Risk category if not for the new rule.  They are Josephine, Klamath and Tillamook counties.



(Portland, OR)  --  Multnomah and Clackamas counties are moving backwards in the COVID-19 reopening plan.  Governor Kate Brown announced yesterday the counties will move back into the High Risk level along with Deschutes, Klamath, Linn and Tillamook counties.  Health officials say new case numbers in these counties have risen to unsafe levels.  The move takes effect on Friday.



(Junction City, OR)  --  A Junction City man is facing a 204-year prison sentence for sexually abusing two young girls.  Linn County Sheriff Jim Yon says Michael Long was sentenced yesterday after being convicted of 22 sex abuse crimes against the girls, who were eight and 12-years-old.  Detectives believe there may have been additional victims.



(Salem, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into the officer-involved shooting death of a man experiencing a mental health crisis in Salem. Oregon State Police say the man had injured himself and was threatening to take his own life when officers arrived on the scene Friday night. Police say the man threatened firefighters with a gun and then confronted police, prompting an officer to open fire, killing him. Neighbors say the man struggled with mental health issues.



(Portland, OR) -- Frontline workers and their families become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Oregon today. Governor Kate Brown announced Friday she's allowing family members of frontline workers to get the vaccine to help reduce the spread of the virus. Residents ages 16 to 44 who have an underlying condition also become eligible for the vaccine today.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting more than 400 new coronavirus cases. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 404 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with one new death. One-hundred-50 people are currently hospitalized, which is down three from Saturday. Oregon has now seen a total of two-thousand-392 deaths and 166-thousand-882 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- A man is facing charges after allegedly shooting a bicyclist with a paintball gun in downtown Portland. Police say 32-year-old Randy Graves was also armed with an axe when he shot the cyclist Saturday morning. He's also accused of threatening park rangers. Officers arrested him on multiple counts of assault, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing.



(Portland, OR) -- More Portland students will return to the classroom today. Portland Public Schools is welcoming back students in grades two through five for hybrid remote and in-person learning. Kindergarteners and first graders returned to the classrooms last Thursday. All other secondary students are expected to return for hybrid learning by the end of the month.



(Silverton, OR) -- A Silverton-area father accused of shooting his son several times makes his first court appearance today. The Marion County Sheriff's Office says 72-year-old Willie Madewell shot his 37-year-old son on Friday. The victim was hospitalized for several bullet wounds. Police say Madewell surrendered without incident and is facing a charge of second-degree attempted murder. His son is expected to survive.



(Portland, OR) -- A David Douglas School Board candidate is speaking out after becoming the target of an anti-Asian racial slur. Hoa Nguyen says someone left a note on her door two weeks ago saying "kung flu." She reported the note to the Oregon Department of Justice as well as the Portland Police Bureau and Portland United Against Hate. The Portland Police Bureau says the note is not a hate crime in and of itself, but they encourage anyone who experiences similar incidents to report it.



(Portland, OR) -- COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority reported 521 new cases of coronavirus yesterday along with two new deaths. The agency also confirmed 16 new hospitalizations, raising the total number of Oregonians currently hospitalized with the disease to 155. Oregon has now seen two-thousand-385 deaths and 165-thousand-524 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.



(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Senate is approving a bill making the display of a noose a crime of intimidation. Senators voted 27 to one yesterday in favor of SB 398. Senator Dennis Linthicum of Klamath Falls was the sole "no" vote. The bill now moves to the House. If approved, Oregon would become one of six states in the U.S. that have criminalized the display of a noose. Both the Oregon Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court have ruled that banning the display of a noose is not a violation of free speech.



(Portland, OR) -- A Portland man is dead following a crash on Oregon 20 in Linn County. Oregon State Police says 81-year-old Martin Pratt Jr. was pulling onto the highway from Oregon 226 Wednesday night when he crashed into a pickup truck being driven by 59-year-old Mark Lehnert. Pratt and his passenger Carol Pratt were rushed to a hospital, where he died from his injuries. Lehnert was not injured.



(Vancouver, WA) -- A southwest Washington state resident is facing charges in connection to the January 6th deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building. Police arrested 41-year-old Marc Bru in Vancouver on Tuesday on several charges, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Police say a video recording captured Bru entering the Senate Gallery and later leaving. Bru made his first court appearance yesterday in Portland, where a judge approved his pretrial release on the condition he wear a GPS monitor. He was also ordered to surrender travel documents and firearms.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is dealing with over 400 new coronavirus cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported 441 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with two new deaths. One-hundred-39 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, which is unchanged from Tuesday. Oregon has now seen a total of two-thousand-383 deaths and just over 165-thousand cases since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- A 14-year-old driver is accused in a hit-and-run crash that injured a motorcyclist in Happy Valley. Police say the teen turned himself in to Clackamas County juvenile authorities yesterday for the crash Tuesday morning at the junction of Highways 212 and 224. Police say he fled the scene in a 2009 red Cadillac DTS sedan, leaving behind the car's grill and license plate and later abandoned the vehicle at the Damascus Safeway store. Police aren't releasing his name because he's a juvenile.



(Portland, OR) -- Governor Kate Brown has signed the first drought declaration of the year. Brown issued the declaration yesterday for Klamath County, which has been in a drought for several years. Brown says the Klamath Basin faces one of the most difficult water years in recent memory.



(Portland, OR) -- Police say they've made an arrest in connection to a shooting last month in southwest Portland. Police arrested 34-year-old Noah Charles Smith yesterday afternoon after receiving a tip from the public. Police say he's a suspect in a shooting March 7th near a homeless camp at Southwest Barbur Boulevard and Southwest Capitol Highway. He's facing charges of second-degree attempted murder as well as first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, unlawful use of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.



(Portland, OR) -- Visitors to the Oregon Zoo will be able to see Nora the polar bear up-close in her new Polar Passage habitat starting today. The zoo will be opening the walkways around the habitat. The official opening for the habitat will be held later this spring. Zoo officials say Nora is usually most active around 11 a.m.



(Portland, OR) -- A man is facing a year in prison after stealing a catalytic converter from a vehicle while it was parked at a library late last year. A judge sentenced 35-year-old Dereck Conant yesterday after he pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a motor vehicle for the incident in November. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office says it's the first time in Oregon someone has been sentenced on the charge for stealing a catalytic converter. Court records say the victim was parked at a Multnomah County Library branch when Conant approached the vehicle and used a jack to lift the vehicle up and steal the converter.


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