(Eugene, OR) -- The University of Oregon reports the number of freshman students starting this fall is up 17-percent over last year and 53-percent over the last 20-years. There are 46-hundred first-year students this year. That includes 16-hundred minority students, which is the most the university has ever seen. The overall high school GPA of the freshman class also set a record at three-point-73.
(Portland, OR) -- COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to slowly decline in Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority reports new cases declined two-percent last week, which is the fourth week in a row that cases have gone down. There were 512 new COVID hospitalizations, which is down 12-percent, and 115 people died from COVID, which is down 23-percent. The number of positive tests also continues to decline. It's down nearly nine-percent.
(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority is monitoring eleven variants of COVID-19, from Alpha to Zeta. The agency says most of the variants aren't causing significant infections. The Delta variant remains the top concern because it's keeping case numbers high in the state. OHA has an online dashboard that shows the status of all variants.
(Portland, OR) -- Nearly two-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported 21 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to three-thousand-771. The health department also reported two-thousand-eleven new cases of COVID-19. Health officials say there are currently 811 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon, which is down eleven from Tuesday.
(Cannon Beach, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority is warning about unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in the ocean water near Cannon Beach and Tolovana State Park. The bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, and skin rashes. They advise staying out of the water until testing shows bacteria levels have dropped.
(Portland, OR) -- It looks like COVID shouldn't be a big issue for the Trail Blazers this year. Portland president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said on Monday that the entire Blazers roster is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Olshey added that all of the basketball operations staff is fully vaccinated as well.
(New York, NY) -- Simone Biles says she should have quit competing "way before" the Tokyo Olympics. Speaking to The Cut magazine, the multi-time Olympic gold medalist said she should have stopped when former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was in the media for two years for multiple sexual abuse allegations. She added, "It was too much." Biles revealed she'd been seeing a therapist ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, but anxiety set in after she arrived to compete in the Games. Biles has not publicly confirmed if or when she plans to return to competition.
(Newberg, OR) -- The Newberg School Board says it will not rescind its controversial ban on Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ Pride flags and other political signs inside schools. The board voted four-to-three last night in favor of keeping the ban in place. Conservative board Chair Dave Brown, Vice-Chair Brian Shannon, Director Trevor DeHart and Director Renee Powell all voted in favor of the ban. In defending the ban, Powell said "lifting one group or several groups over another" does not create a "welcoming and safe" environment for all children. The vote follows a series of racially charged controversies at the school district, including a white teacher showing up to work wearing Blackface and revelations that Newberg High School students were participating in a racist "slave trade" group on Snapchat. Newberg High students were also accused of engaging in racist behavior during a home volleyball game against Century High School last week.
(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting over three-dozen new coronavirus deaths. The Oregon Health Authority reported 41 new COVID-19 deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to three-thousand-750. The health department also reported one-thousand-658 new cases of COVID-19. Health officials say there are 822 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon, which is down 44 patients from Monday.
(Battle Ground, WA) -- Officials are confirming a small tornado touched down in southwestern Washington Monday night. The National Weather Service says a weak EF-0 tornado moved through north Battle Ground around 7 p.m., bringing wind speeds of 65 to 85 miles per hour. The agency says the twister traveled just under four miles and caused some damage, but officials say there was no major damage done to any homes or other buildings. There were no reports of injuries.
(Salem, OR) -- Health officials say the Pendleton Round-Up Rodeo earlier this month may have been a super-spreader event. Several counties in Eastern Oregon are reporting surges in COVID-19 cases. Governor Kate Brown says she's concerned for hospitals that are already overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Health care officials are moving patients to hospitals that have extra beds. Brown says 15-hundred members of the Oregon National Guard remain on duty and can help, if necessary.
(Salem, OR) -- Governor Kate Brown is urging people who are eligible to get the Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccine to do so. Brown issued the recommendation yesterday, saying the state has plenty of Pfizer vaccine for the boosters. In order to be eligible, residents need to have gotten their second shot at least six months ago and be 65 or older or between the ages of 18 and 64 with underlying medical conditions. People living in long-term care facilities or those who work in jobs that put them at high risk of getting COVID-19 are also eligible for the boosters.
(Portland, OR) -- Over two-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported 27 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to three-thousand-709. The agency also reported three-thousand-606 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday. There are currently 866 people hospitalized with coronavirus in Oregon, which is down three from Sunday.
(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon legislature has passed two bills that complete the redistricting process. It creates new congressional and legislative boundaries. Republicans argued the majority democrats created the maps in a way that will give them an edge to stay in power. Democrats modified the boundaries for the Fifth Congressional District to give Republicans a slightly better chance, but that district is currently held by Democratic Congressman Kurt Schrader. The Fifth District also will extend into central Oregon including Redmond, Bend, and Sunriver. Governor Kate Brown has signed both bills.
(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police say there were 16 reported shootings over the weekend that killed one person and injured ten. The Portland Police Bureau says there have been more shootings so far this year in Portland than the 891 shootings that were reported all of last year. Police have not yet made any arrests in the shootings that happened over the weekend. They're asking for tips, and Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information.
(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority's latest forecast of COVID-19 cases shows a slight decline in new cases will continue. The reproduction rate of the virus is point-nine-one, which is slightly higher than last week but indicates transmission of the virus is slowing. If that continues, officials say there would be an average of 15-hundred new cases a day and 81 hospitalizations. OHA says wearing masks and taking precautions to limit spread of the virus will continue to reduce the number of cases, along with more people getting vaccinations.
(Washington, DC) -- Groundbreaking is scheduled today for two new transportation projects in Portland and Vancouver. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced late last week it has approved 100-million dollars for an extension on the MAX Red Line between Portland International Airport and Hillsboro. Another 25-million dollars was approved for Vancouver's Mill Plain Bus Rapid Transit Project.
(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police say the man who was killed in a shooting inside of a restaurant in Northwest Portland Friday morning was not the intended target. Police say the gunman fired from the door inside of the Silver Dollar Pizza Company, killing 34-year-old Jacob Knight-Vasquez and injuring two other people. The suspect ran from the scene and hasn't been arrested. An investigation is ongoing.
(Salem, OR) -- Two people including a ten-year-old boy are injured following a shooting in Salem. Police say the shooting happened Saturday afternoon near Tide Court Northeast and Surfwood Drive. The boy suffered life threatening injuries, while a 31-year-old man suffered less serious injuries and is expected to survive. The Marion County Sheriff's Office says deputies detained several people for questioning and arrested two men. It's not yet clear what led to the shooting.
(Salem, OR) -- Police say a driver was killed in a crash on I-5 in Marion County Saturday afternoon. Oregon State Police say a semi rear ended a car that was slowing down because of traffic ahead and caused a crash involving four other vehicles. Police say 43-year-old Andre Dutterer of Salem died in the crash. Five other people were hospitalized with minor injuries. The freeway was closed nearly five hours for the investigation.
(Salem, OR) -- Today is the deadline for the Oregon legislature to agree on new political boundaries. On Saturday, not enough Republicans showed up in the House for a quorum and they couldn't meet. They say the maps proposed by democrats favor their party. Democrats proposed a new map, but it didn't bring Republicans back to the floor for a vote. If the legislature can't pass the bill today, a panel of judges will decide Congressional boundaries and the democrat Secretary of State will decide legislative boundaries. That decision could also be decided in court.
(Salem, OR) -- The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup is recommending older and at-risk individuals receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot six months after getting fully vaccinated. The workgroup released the recommendation late last week, allowing the booster to be given in Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada. It's recommended that people older than 65, people in long-term care facilities, and people 50 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions get a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine. A booster shot will also be available to people between 18 and 64 if they have underlying medical conditions or work in a job where they're at higher risk of getting COVID-19.
(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has eleven new deaths related to COVID-19 and two-thousand-242 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are one-thousand-27 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon, which is 40 fewer than on Wednesday. Just 41 ICU beds are available statewide. That's six-percent of the state's total number of ICU beds.
(Portland, OR) -- Officials say 79-percent of health care workers in Oregon have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. That compares to 75-percent of the general population. Dentists have the highest rate at 96-percent, followed by psychologists and then doctors. Chiropractors and chiropractic assistants have the lowest rate of 58-percent. Health care workers in Oregon are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18th.
(Portland, OR) -- Nearly 19-percent of new COVID-19 cases this month in Oregon are in people who were vaccinated. The Oregon Health Authority reported that statistic yesterday. However, health officials say fewer than five-percent of those people were hospitalized, and less than one-percent of those patients died. Officials say 81-percent of new cases were people who had not been vaccinated. The rate of COVID-19 in unvaccinated people is five times higher than it is for people who are vaccinated.
(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon State Board of Education is calling on the Newberg School Board to reverse its ban on Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ Pride flags. The Oregon Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution yesterday that calls on all districts to create safe spaces for students. The resolution specifically said Newberg's board needs to validate that students' identities are not inherently political or controversial, but rather are welcomed and affirmed. The Education Board is the latest of multiple agencies to condemn the flag ban, following the American Civil Liberties Union, the teacher's union and the state legislature's Black, Indigenous, People of Color Caucus. The American Civil Liberties Union also threatened legal action against the district last month, saying the flags constitute protected speech and that schools are legally obligated to ensure that Black and LGBTQ students and employees are welcomed.
(Portland, OR) -- A Baker City man has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to fraudulently getting COVID-19 business relief funds. Court records show 32-year-old Jeremy Clawson got a 145-thousand dollar Economic Injury Disaster Loan using a fake company from San Diego. He started making large cash withdrawals including a 50-thousand dollar cashier's check that he used to buy a 2016 Dodge Challenger. Clawson was sentenced to two years in prison. He's been in jail since August 2020 when he was charged, so the judge reduced the remainder of the sentence to 10 months.
(Lincoln City, OR) -- Officials are warning residents to avoid the water near the D River in Lincoln City. The Oregon Health Authority reports unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in the ocean water. It could be caused by sewer overflows, failing septic systems, or animal waste. The bacteria can cause stomach cramps, skin rashes, and diarrhea. It is safe to walk on the beach along with other activities that avoid the water near the D River.
(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting 46 new deaths related to COVID-19 and two-thousand-69 new infections. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. The number of people hospitalized declined by 15 to one-thousand-67. Just 50 ICU beds are available statewide, which is about eight-percent of the total number of ICU beds.
(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Council is approving a resolution to spend 200-thousand dollars on programs in Texas that provide reproductive health care services. The resolution is intended to send a message in opposition to Texas' new abortion law, which bans abortions after just six weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know they're pregnant. The resolution also requires Portland to join the legal challenge against the law. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler originally wanted to ban travel by city employees to Texas and city purchases from the state, but he determined that could adversely impact the people they were trying to help.
(Grants Pass, OR) -- Oregon-based Dutch Bros. coffee is officially public on the New York Stock Exchange. The company launched its IPO yesterday. The stock, under the symbol BROS, opened at 23-dollars a share and closed 61-percent higher at 36-dollars 68-cents. The company raised about 484-million dollars making it the largest IPO in Oregon's history. Dutch Bros. has coffee stands in eleven states.
(Denver, CO) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will start a one year review of the gray wolf population in the western U.S. Two petitions have been filed because of actions in Idaho and Montana that allow more of the wolves to be killed. If it's determined that a listing is warranted, that would happen under a separate rulemaking process. Former President Trump lifted most of the protections for the gray wolf.
(Multnomah Falls, OR) -- The popular Larch Mountain Trail at Multnomah Falls will close September 20th for four to five weeks. Officials say tension cracks have developed in the trail just past the Benson Bridge and need to be repaired. The U.S. Forest Service says the problem didn't exist prior to the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire and were likely caused by more underground water flow and extreme temperature events. The trail was built more than 100 years ago just after construction of the Benson Bridge in 1915.
(Salem, OR) -- Salem Police are investigating three shootings that they believe are connected. The first shooting happened Monday afternoon on Sunnyview Road Northeast, where one round hit a house. The second and third shootings happened minutes apart late Monday night on Evergreen Avenue Northeast and 30th Avenue Northeast. No one was hurt in the shootings. A newer white sedan was seen in the area of all the shootings. Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.
(Portland, OR) -- Nearly four-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 44 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to three-thousand-490. The health department also reported two-thousand-40 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more hospitalizations for the virus, making for a total of one-thousand-82 people currently hospitalized. Just 48 ICU beds are available statewide, which is seven-percent of the state's total number of ICU beds.
(Newberg, OR) -- The Newberg School District is investigating an incident in which at least one student joined a Snapchat group called "Slave Trade" and posted photos of other Newberg students with derogatory comments that included racial and homophobic slurs. The district sent a letter home to families saying it condemns the actions. The news follows the school board's vote to ban Black Lives Matter and Pride flags from school property earlier this summer.
(Portland, OR) -- State and local officials say it's too early to tell exactly what impact President Biden's mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations will have on cities and businesses. Yesterday, the president said all businesses with 100 employees or more must require their employees be fully vaccinated or tested weekly. Officials with the Oregon Health Authority and Governor Kate Brown's office say they're still studying the order. Portland Police Bureau officials say more than 75 percent of the force is fully vaccinated and at the Multnomah County Sheriff's office, at least 72 percent of employees have been vaccinated.
(Olympia, WA) -- Starting Monday, residents of Washington state will have to wear masks at all outdoor events as well as indoor public spaces, regardless of their vaccination status. The new mask mandate covers events that draw 500 or more people throughout the state. Governor Jay Inslee announced the new mandate yesterday in addition to a new requirement that all state, healthcare, K-through-12 and higher education employees be fully vaccinated by October 18th.
(Portland, OR) -- Staff members from the Oregon Humane Society are spending this week in Tennessee to help that state's recovery from Hurricane Ida. The agency's disaster response team has been in Tennessee since Monday to help with dogs that the storm displaced. It will return after this weekend. None of the dogs will be brought back to Portland because the Oregon Humane Society is already full of dogs who need permanent homes.
(Portland, OR) -- NFL great and former Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch is investing in downtown Portland with a restaurant named Beast. The restaurant is scheduled to open next month in the Broadway Tower on Southwest Broadway. It's described as a Hawaiian cuisine and sports themed restaurant and will be located at the northeast of Hotel Vance.
(Portland, OR) -- Fans of the popular animated TV series -- The Simpsons -- will love the name of Portland's newest pedestrian bridge. The creator of the show -- Matt Groening is a Portland native and graduate of Lincoln High School but until yesterday, there was no public acknowledgment of his success in his hometown. Yesterday, city officials announced the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 405 in Northwest Portland will be named the Ned Flanders Crossing, after one of the long running series' most iconic characters. Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty says it shows Portland can build great things -- and have some fun, too.
(Multnomah County, OR) -- The state of Oregon says Multnomah County must allow certain exemptions to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Those working for the Sheriff's Department, as parole officers, and as probation officers will not be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury announced the new policy yesterday, saying state law says a local vaccine mandate can't be placed on law enforcement or jail employees unless one is issued by the state. A similar attempt at imposing a vaccine mandate on city police in Portland failed on Wednesday.
(Portland, OR) -- Researchers at the University of Oregon say proper ventilation -- such as opening a window -- may help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The researchers say a small study of quarantined students who had tested positive for the coronavirus indicates that opening a window in their room resulted in a decrease of the virus in their rooms. They say masking is still important but that other strategies -- such as ventilation -- can help manage the virus.
(Vancouver, WA) -- A Clark County judge has granted an injunction that blocks demonstrators from protesting near schools. The decision follows a lockdown of three Vancouver schools last Friday after anti-masking protesters disrupted classes when they tried to enter Skyview High School. The order will remain in effect as long as Washington state's mask mandate remains in effect.
(Forest Grove, OR) -- Firefighters were able to quickly put out a brush fire that was started by a car crash in Forest Grove. Investigators say the fire department was called to a report of a car fire on Northwest Gales Road near David Hill Road yesterday afternoon. When they arrived, the car crash had sparked a fire that was climbing up the hillside. Firefighters were able to stop the blaze from reaching a home uphill from the fire. Nobody in the car was injured.
(Lake Oswego, OR) -- Exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 has forced a quarantine for more than 40 students at a Lake Oswego elementary school. School officials say the person who tested positive was last at school September second but that there were no close contacts with other students. They say the exposure occurred on a school bus.
(Portland, OR) -- Despite his previous defense of the response by Portland police to violent protests last summer, Mayor Ted Wheeler says mistakes were made. He now says there may be changes made in how police respond to political violence in the future. The clash between the far-right group -- the Proud boys -- and the so-called antifa, a far-left group -- resulted in fights and explosives being set off near businesses. Before the protests, Mayor Wheeler had said police would take a hands-off approach to dealing with protesters. Yesterday, during the City Council's weekly meeting, Mayor Wheeler admitted that approach was a mistake.
(Portland, OR) -- State health officials ay Oregon recorded 54 new fatalities from COVID-19 over the Labor Day weekend. This brings the total death toll in the state since the beginning of the pandemic to three-thousand-326. Statewide, more than 58-hundred new cases were recorded this weekend. In Multnomah County, there were 772 new cases confirmed this weekend. Officials say they're administering more than 87-hundred doses of vaccine a day.
(Vernonia, OR) -- Officials with the Vernonia School District in Columbia County say they've postponed the opening of the school year because they don't have enough bus drivers. One of the district's bus drivers died recently of COVID-19 and the other drivers have been forced to quarantine. Schools in Vernonia were scheduled to open yesterday but have now been rescheduled to open September 20th.
(Sandy, OR) -- The mayor of Sandy, Oregon -- Stan Pulliam -- has announced he's running for governor on the Republican ticket. Earlier this year, Pulliam had announced he was forming an exploratory committee for the race next year. Pulliam has been a critic of some of the COVID-19 restrictions installed during the pandemic. He joins several other Republicans seeking the nomination, including Bud Pierce, who sought the governor's office in 2016 as a challenger to Governor Kate Brown. Brown cannot seek reelection because of term limits.
(Portland, OR) -- Portland city officials estimate their proposed boycott of Texas over the state's restrictive abortion law could cost Texas millions of dollars. City officials say Portland has signed almost 35-million dollars in contracts with Texas businesses over the last five years. The Portland City Council is going to vote on the proposed boycott, which would extend to all city employee travel to Texas. The Texas law bans abortions after doctors can detect fetal cardiac activity -- which is typically around six weeks of a pregnancy and is often before a woman know she's pregnant.
(Portland, OR) -- The COVID-19 pandemic saw a spike in car thefts in Portland, and the increase continues. A car insurance website ranks Portland first in the nation for car thefts. Portland police report there were 740 vehicles stolen in July. The police bureau is able to recover about 90 percent of stolen vehicles, although many of those vehicles have been stripped for parts by the time they're found.
(Beaverton, OR) -- Investigators with the Washington County Sheriff's Office are asking the public for help in a road rage shooting last Friday that left one man dead. Detectives say the incident began as a chase between two vehicles on northbound Interstate 5 near I-205. It continued onto northbound I-217. The chase ended Southwest 103rd Avenue, where the shooting occurred. The victim is identified as 51-year-old Mark Stadamire of Salem. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
(Portland, OR) -- Officials with Oregon Health and Science University say the state could be reaching the peak in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Based on their latest models, they say a peak could have come this weekend but they're waiting to see whether the Labor Day weekend has brought a spike in cases. Right now, OHSU officials say they're operating at 95 percent capacity.
(Portland OR) -- The public viewing of Vaux's Swifts at Chapman Elementary School has been cancelled for the second consecutive year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Portland Audubon has announced it's still too risky to allow crowds at the school to watch the swifts as they return to their roosting spot at the school's chimney. The Vaux's Swifts migrate to Oregon from Central America every year and then return in September.
(Idanha, OR) -- Many residents of communities in Santiam Canyon are not yet fully recovered from the devastating wildfires that roared through the region one year ago. But yesterday, they gathered to remember the fires that destroyed their homes and burned more than a million acres of land. Dozens of residents turned out in Idanha City Park to talk, share stories and continue their healing. Tonight, residents of Gates will hold a community dinner to honor those who pitched in to help their neighbors.
(Gresham, WA) -- Police say a 53-year-old man faces murder charges after he allegedly stabbed a Gresham man to death in a dispute over a parking space. Police say the two men had been arguing over a parking space at the Hogan Woods Apartments on Northeast 20th Street Friday afternoon. The victim is identified as 68-year-old Robert Ricketts. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died. The suspect is identified as Shawn Hamilton. He's scheduled to be arraigned today.
(Portland, OR) -- Today, the Portland City Council is scheduled to vote on a proposed boycott of spending money with Texas businesses over the state's new abortion restrictions. The boycott would extend to all city employee travel to Texas. Meanwhile, Texas' Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick calls Portland's proposed boycott depraved and says it will put Portland's residents in grave danger. Yesterday, Patrick called Portland's intent to boycott Texas is in his words "a complete joke." The Texas law bans abortions after doctors can detect fetal cardiac activity -- which is typically around six weeks of a pregnancy and is often before a woman knows she's pregnant.
(Portland, OR) -- Volunteers and staff members from the Oregon Humane Society are in Tennessee to help with aftermath of the damage from Hurricane Ida this past week. The team of six staff members and volunteers left Portland International Airport yesterday morning. They're lending a hand to the ASPCA at its emergency shelter in Tennessee. Hurricane Ida was one of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall in the United States and one of the costliest. Damages across several states are expected to exceed 50-billion-dollars.
(Portland, OR) -- In a decision it calls a postponement, Oregon Health and Sciences University is pulling its sponsorship of the Portland Marathon. The university points to its role as a public leader in health and science as part of its decision not to sponsor this year's marathon. The university's experts currently are recommending wearing masks and staying six feet away from anyone not in their household. COVID-19 restrictions will be in effect for the marathon, which is scheduled for October 3rd.
(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health and Science University will reopen a mass drive-up COVID-19 testing site starting next week. OHSU officials say the former site at the Portland Expo Center will be ready on Wednesday, September 8th. Details on the hours of operation are not available. Patients will be encouraged to make appointments.
(Portland, OR) -- State boating officials are warning residents to beware of hazards in local waterways over the Labor Day holiday weekend. The Oregon State Marine Board says lower water levels have exposed shoals, gravel bars and stumps that could damage the bottoms of boats and cause serious accidents. Officials say there are also more logs, branches and debris being pushed downriver following the summer's massive windstorms. Officials are urging boaters to assess the water conditions where they are before heading out and to go at a slow pace and wear a lifejacket.
(Portland, OR) -- Hundreds of Oregon doctors are urging residents to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 over the Labor Day holiday weekend. The Oregon Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians published an open letter yesterday asking people to limit gatherings to small groups and take those gatherings outdoors wherever possible. The group also urged people to wear masks and practice proper social distancing. The letter notes that regional hospitals in Oregon are so overstressed by surging COVID-19 numbers that they're sending ICU patients to San Francisco and Utah.
(Portland, OR) -- Over two-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority confirmed 27 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to three-thousand-248. The health department also reported two-thousand-449 new cases of COVID-19. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 dipped by 47, making for a total of one-thousand-131 patients currently being hospitalized for coronavirus. Officials say 94-percent of the state's ICU beds are currently filled.
(Portland, OR) -- For the eighth week in a row, COVID-19 cases in Oregon have increased. There were 16-thousand-252 new cases, which is a 10-percent increase over the last week. Hospitalizations were also up and the 119 deaths was the highest weekly number since January. The COVID-19 test positivity rate increased to 12-point-4 percent.
(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting 23 new COVID-19 deaths along with two-thousand-827 new cases of the virus. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. The health department also reported 16 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, making for a total of one-thousand-178 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Just 52 ICU beds are available statewide.
(Newberg, OR) -- The Newberg School District is tabling a decision on whether to reverse its ban on Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ Pride flags in school buildings. The board voted to table the issue during a special meeting last night. Board Chair Brian Shannon said he wanted to time any potential reversal of the ban with new policy language. The ACLU of Oregon issued a statement Monday demanding an immediate retraction of the ban. The ACLU says the flags constitute protected speech and that schools are legally obligated to ensure that Black and LGBTQ students and employees are welcomed. The Newberg School Board voted 4 to 3 to enact the ban earlier this month, prompting criticism from the ACLU, the teacher's union and the state legislature's Black, Indigenous, People of Color Caucus.
(Portland, OR) -- Police have been scrambling with nine shootings reported across Portland in just 16 hours. The Portland Police Bureau says two people were injured and a service dog was killed in the shootings that happened from Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Police haven't said whether any of the shootings were connected. No arrests have been made.
(Salem, OR) -- Governor Kate Brown is blasting the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow a Texas law that bans nearly all abortions to go into effect. Brown issued a statement on Twitter yesterday saying "reproductive health care and access to abortion is a human right." She added that Oregon state law will continue to protect individuals' right to make their own reproductive choices and that she stands in solidarity with everyone working to protect those rights. The Texas law bans abortions after six weeks, which is well before most women even know they're pregnant. It also allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a patient get an abortion. The court was five to four in the decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the three liberal justices in the dissent.
(Adrian, OR) -- The Adrian School District board in Malheur County are letting their superintendent go, just one week after students returned to classes. Board members voted four-to-one to terminate Kevin Purnell after disagreements with the state's mask mandate for all public schools. Purnell said he disagreed with the order from Governor Kate Brown, but would continue to enforce it. Board members said they decided to remove Purnell over failure to follow directives they issued, but wouldn't cite examples.
(Douglas County, OR) -- Fire officials say crews have reached full containment of the Skyline Ridge Complex Fire in Douglas County. The Department of Forestry announced yesterday the last of the 19 fires moved to patrol status as crews will continue to monitor them in case they flare up. Lightning strikes sparked the fires back on August 1st near the South Umpqua River and Upper Cow Creek area, just east of I-5. In all, the wildfires burned just under 58-hundred acres.
(Newberg, OR) -- The Newberg School District is expected to reverse its ban on Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ Pride flags in school buildings following a threat of legal action from the ACLU. KATU-TV says that's according to a meeting agenda for a special school board meeting being held by the district tonight. The ACLU of Oregon issued a statement Monday demanding an immediate retraction of the ban. The ACLU says the flags constitute protected speech and that schools are legally obligated to ensure that Black and LGBTQ students and employees are welcomed. The Newberg School Board voted 4 to 3 to enact the ban earlier this month, prompting criticism from the ACLU, the teacher's union and the state legislature's Black, Indigenous, People of Color Caucus.
(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has 43 new COVID-19 deaths and two-thousand-414 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are currently one-thousand-162 people hospitalized with COVID-19, which is up 42 from Monday. A total of 43 ICU beds are available statewide.
(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority is warning residents about toxic blue-green algae in the Willamette River near Ross Island. Officials say the algae located in the Ross Island lagoon and the Holgate Channel can make people and pets sick. People should avoid swimming and high-speed water activities. Boating is safe as long as speeds don't create a spray.
(Portland, OR) -- The families of two men killed in an apartment fire over the Fourth of July weekend are suing the complex's management company. The families of Robert Gremillion and Seth Thompson filed a lawsuit in Multnomah County Court Monday against the owner and manager of Heidi Manor as well as the apartment's contracted garbage and recycling company. Gremillion and Thompson both died when fireworks inside a dumpster next to Heidi Manor sparked the fire that burned their building. The families claim the management company didn't keep the building up to code to ensure the fire wouldn't spread as quickly. The ATF is still looking for a suspect behind the fire.