Regional News Archives for 2021-10


Another weekend, another exciting slate of college football in the Pacific Northwest. U-dub opens the schedule tonight against the winless Arizona Wildcats in Tucson. Number-ten Oregon faces a tough test against UCLA in the Rose Bowl, Wazzu hosts BYU and Oregon State hosts Utah in a huge Pac-12 battle.



(Portland, OR) -- A Portland pastor is organizing a rally against gun violence for later this month. World Wide Deliverance Church Pastor Corey Pritchett says the rally is intended to get the community involved in finding a solution to the city's ongoing gun violence crisis. Pritchett says the community needs to rally together to reach out to at-risk individuals before they become the victim or the perpetrator of gun violence. He adds the community can no longer stand by and wait for police and city leaders to end the crisis. The rally is set for October 31st at 1 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square.



(Washington, DC) -- Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is asking the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to review pharmacy closures nationwide. Earlier this year, Eugene-based BiMart announced it's closing 56 pharmacies in the Northwest and handing over the clients to Walgreens. BiMart cited increasing costs and reimbursement pressure as the reason. Wyden says he wants to know whether fees imposed by Medicare Part D and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers are driving the closures.



(Portland, OR) -- An investigation is underway near Northeast 14th and Ainsworth in Portland, where the FBI was involved in a child exploitation case. Agents were serving a warrant when the suspect barricaded themself inside of the home. After a brief standoff, tactical officers with Portland Police entered the home and found the suspect dead. Law enforcement didn't use force. There are concerns about hazardous materials inside the home and a hazardous materials team is investigating. The FBI says there's no danger to the community.



(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority says 550 people died with COVID-19 but weren't counted in the total because of a technical error. They had been adding the deaths manually and in the process of automating the information, they developed a back log of reported deaths. It happened between May and August of this year. They'll add the additional deaths to the daily numbers, which will cause the state's death rate to increase. Oregon is currently ranked 6th lowest. The increase is expected to move Oregon higher on the list by a few states.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting nine new deaths related to COVID-19 along with one-thousand-343 new infections. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 568 people currently hospitalized with coronavirus in Oregon, which is six more than on Tuesday. There have now been four-thousand-235 deaths and 354-thousand-681 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are down in Oregon over the last week, but the number of deaths is up. The Oregon Health Authority released that assessment yesterday. The agency says 183 people died with COVID-19 over the last week, which is the highest weekly death toll since January. New cases declined eleven-percent, and hospitalizations were down nine-percent. The number of positive COVID-19 tests dropped to seven-point-six percent. Health officials want that number to be below five-percent.



(Portland, OR) -- Portland Public Schools says 96-percent of its employees met the vaccine requirement. An additional one-percent have at least one shot and have received a temporary medical exemption until they can get a second dose. Two-percent of the staff received exemptions. The remaining staff who didn't respond to the requirement were primarily on leaves of absence, inactive substitute teachers, temporary employees, or inactive coaches.



(Seattle, WA) -- The Washington State Attorney General is filing a lawsuit against a Corvallis, Oregon company accused of illegally using robocalls to sell a robocall-blocking service. Global Grid Telecom is accused of making over 54-thousand calls to Washington residents with 46-thousand calls to numbers on the Do Not Call registry. One person received 23 calls. The company was selling a service to CenturyLink customers that was already available from CenturyLink. The lawsuit seeks to return money to Washingtonians who paid for the service.



(Gresham, OR) -- One person is injured following a shooting in Gresham. Police say the shooting happened Wednesday afternoon near Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center and Hall Elementary School. Police have not released the person's condition. There hasn't been an arrest in the shooting.



(Vancouver, WA) -- The N-double-A-C-P of Vancouver is calling on the Clark County Board of Commissioners to get body cameras for the sheriff's office following a fatal officer-involved shooting. Deputies shot and killed 26-year-old Kfin Karuo of Vancouver on Sunday night after he allegedly pulled a gun on them following a pursuit. Jasmine Tolbert, President of the Vancouver N-double-A-C-P, released a statement calling on the sheriff's office to get body cameras so they have a better idea of what happens when there's a shooting. Discussions about body cameras were held over the summer, but no decisions were made.

 



(Salem, OR) -- Four employees of the Oregon State Police are resigning rather than comply with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Of the four employees who resigned, two are sworn staff and two are professional staff. Officials say a total of 78-percent of OSP employees are fully vaccinated. Another 22-percent have approved exemptions or are pending review. Eleven OSP employees are on administration leave while they work to comply with the vaccination order.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to four-point-seven percent in September from five-percent in August. A total of 102-thousand Oregonians are unemployed, which is down from a high of 270-thousand during the pandemic shutdown in April, 2020. The total number of jobs declined by 200 after an increase of 89-hundred jobs in August. Government had the most losses. Professional and Business Services had the most gains. The private sector added 36-hundred jobs last month.



(Canby, OR) -- Commuters who use the Canby Ferry will need to choose another route through at least October 28th. The ferry has been shutdown because of staffing constraints. Clackamas County hasn't said what caused the staffing problem. Alternate routes include I-5 or Highway 99E.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting 41 new COVID-19-related deaths along with one-thousand-366 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. A total of 562 people are currently hospitalized with coronavirus in Oregon, which is one more than on Monday. There have now been four-thousand-226 deaths and 353-thousand-368 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon could achieve herd immunity for COVID-19 by December 26th. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University say new modeling suggests the amount of vaccination and infection occurring in the state will lead to a continued decline in the infection rate. Currently, there are less than six-hundred hospitalized patients, which is about half of what the state saw at the peak of the Delta variant surge.



(Sweet Home, OR) -- A climber on Wolf Rock in Linn County is safely back home after becoming stuck for 20 hours after dropping his climbing equipment. Authorities say 23-year-old Johnathan Takle of Hillsboro anchored himself to the wall and called for help after dropping his gear over the weekend. The Linn County Sheriff's Office, Corvallis Mountain Rescue, Lebanon Fire Department, Sweet Home Fire Department and Benton County Sheriff's Office worked through the night to rescue Takle on Saturday. He wasn't injured, but he was carried to the trail head because he was exhausted.



(Portland, OR) -- Two-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported 24 new deaths yesterday from Friday through Sunday. That raises Oregon's death toll from the pandemic to four-thousand-185. The health department also reported three-thousand-276 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday along with eleven new hospitalizations. There are now 561 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon.



(Beaverton, OR) -- Many school districts across the country are having a tough time finding enough employees. The Beaverton School District is offering 500-dollar hiring bonuses for several positions including: bus drivers, nutrition services workers, custodians, and office assistants. More openings are expected now that the October 18th vaccine mandate has passed.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is the third most popular state where Americans are moving to and choosing to call home. According to Mayflower Moving company's new "Find Home" data, in the last two years more residents moved into Oregon than out of the state. A total of 62-percent of the moves were inbound. Idaho was the top moving destination. South Carolina was second.



(Portland, OR) -- Portland is marking a grim new milestone in its ongoing gun violence crisis. Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell announced on Twitter Saturday that the city has now seen over one-thousand shootings since the year began. That's more than the nearly 900 shootings reported in Portland in all of last year and the 380 shootings reported in 2019. Lovell called the city's gun violence a "terrible problem," saying too many shootings have "prematurely ended lives and caused injury."



Today Is Deadline For State Workers To Get Vaccinatedstate employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Governor Kate Brown issued the mandate in August requiring state employees, school employees, health care workers, and long-term care facility workers to show proof of full vaccination by October 18th. Workers were also allowed to request an exemption for medical reasons or religious beliefs. Some state workers are getting a little extra time to get vaccinated thanks to deadline extensions negotiated by their unions. That includes executive branch workers, who have until November 30th.



(Vancouver, WA) -- An investigation is ongoing into the officer-involved shooting death of a driver following an attempted traffic stop in Clark County. The Sheriff's Office says deputies tried to pull over a vehicle early Sunday morning because it was associated with a person who was wanted for assault with a handgun. The allegedly driver fled and was stopped using a PIT maneuver near Northeast 122nd Avenue and 49th Street. Deputies say the suspect got out of the vehicle, armed with a handgun, and failed to comply with commands. An officer fired and the suspect was found dead a short distance away and still had the handgun. No additional details have been released.



(Portland, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into a shooting in which nearly five-dozen rounds were shot in southeast Portland. Police say the shooting happened early Saturday morning in the area of Southeast 165th and Main. Police recovered 57 shell casings and four live rounds from the scene. Two homes and several cars were struck by the gunfire, but no injuries were reported.



(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police are warning about a tactic that's being used to steal cars. It's happened at least four times. A group of teenagers comes up to the vehicle and tells the driver there's something wrong with their car. When they get out to look, the suspects get in and drive away. Police say that if this happens to you, lock your doors and drive away. No one has been hurt in any of the incidents.



(Portland, OR) -- A senior living facility in Portland is facing a lawsuit over a resident's death during the extreme heat in June. The lawsuit filed against The Heights at Columbia Knoll this week says 81-year-old Charlotte Iverson died from hyperthermia along with another man in the facility. The lawsuit alleges The Heights was negligent for not checking on residents when temperatures reached 116 degrees outside. The lawsuit seeks 13-million dollars.



(Eugene, OR) -- A lawsuit against Oregon's vaccine mandate for state employees, health care workers, and teachers will be heard on Monday, the same day the mandate takes effect. The lawsuit was filed by seven Oregonians who will argue they should be exempt because they previously had COVID-19 and recovered from it. They claim there's evidence that people who recover from COVID-19 have a greater risk of having an adverse reaction. The CDC says it's safe if the person waits 90 days after recovering from the virus.



(Oregon City, OR) -- A woman who was caught stealing from evacuated homes near Mulino during the 2020 Riverside fire has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison. Court records show 35-year-old Sandy Lenox was caught by Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies with several stolen items. She was working with 34-year-old James Shotwell. He pleaded guilty last year to two charges and was sentenced to a year-and-a-half in prison. Lenox pleaded guilty to eleven counts and received a longer sentence.



(Portland, OR) -- Two-dozen more deaths are being linked to COVID-19 in Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority reported 24 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to four-thousand-141. The agency also reported one-thousand-237 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. There are 575 people hospitalized with coronavirus, which is 20 less than on Wednesday.



(Corvallis, OR) -- A new study out of Oregon State University shows sunscreen with the common ingredient zinc oxide loses much of its effectiveness and becomes toxic after two hours of exposure to the sun. Researchers at OSU say zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are effective at blocking UV rays, but they change and turn toxic after two hours of exposure and they lose 80-percent of their effectiveness. The study was published in Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences.



(Washington, D.C.) -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is calling on the owner of the Mt. Bachelor ski resort to drop its "Fast Tracks" pass. It costs at least 49 dollars, on top of the regular ticket, and allows the skier to skip the waiting line at chair lifts. Wyden says it causes inequitable access to public lands. Mt. Bachelor has a U.S. Forest Service Special Use permit which allows them to be located at the mountain. Wyden says snow sports are expensive enough and difficult for financially disadvantaged families to afford.



(Portland, OR) -- Police say a group of 100 anarchists went on a rampage through downtown Portland Tuesday night causing over 500-thousand dollars in damage. They smashed windows, damaged ATMs, started fires, and spray painted graffiti. There was damage at 35 locations. Police responded and broke up the crowd. No arrests were made, but police are working to identify suspects and they'll make arrests later. The group had gathered to hold a memorial to honor an activist who was killed two years ago.



(Portland, OR) -- The National Women's Soccer League Championship game is being moved from Portland to Louisville following requests from players. The Portland Thorns say they were the only club to submit an initial bid, despite the 9 a.m. kickoff time, which they say was less than ideal for fans and players. They say they're pleased with the decision to move the game. Details on ticket refunds will be coming.



(Portland, OR) -- A man who was sending marijuana from Oregon to Georgia for distribution is pleading guilty in federal court. Federal prosecutors say 29-year-old Dante Baldocchi bought marijuana in Oregon and then shipped it via freight to Georgia where it was sold in the Atlanta area and in North Carolina. They shipped the money back to Oregon in vacuum-sealed bags, and sometimes it was hidden in buckets of drywall spackling compound. Federal agents found 330 pounds of marijuana at Baldocchi's house. He'll be sentenced in December and will face at least five years in prison and a five-and-a-half million dollar fine.



(Portland, OR) -- Nearly three-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported 33 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to four-thousand-117. The agency also reported one-thousand-278 new cases of COVID-19 along with ten new hospitalizations for the virus for a total of 595 hospitalized coronavirus patients.



(Portland, OR) -- New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is taking a big step to making an official run for Oregon governor next year. Kristoff filed paperwork to form a political action committee ahead of a potential campaign. Kristoff is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner best known for writing on global affairs and human rights. He is an Oregon native and currently lives in Yamhill.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Republicans have filed a lawsuit against the new congressional districts that were approved by the special session of the legislature last month. Former Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno is one of three Republicans behind the lawsuit. They accuse Democrats of gerrymandering. The lawsuit says the boundaries of the districts make it likely that Democrats will win five of the six seats in the House. Oregon got a sixth congressional district, because the U.S. Census showed enough population growth in the state.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has set a new daily record for COVID-19 deaths with 82 new deaths reported yesterday. The Oregon Health Authority says the deaths occurred over several days. Oregon's death toll from the pandemic now stands at four-thousand-84. The health department also reported one-thousand-413 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Hospitalizations continue to decline with 59 fewer COVID-19 patients for a total of 585.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregonians will get nearly one-point-nine-billion dollars in a kicker refund when they file their taxes next year. The size of the tax credit is determined by income. Taxpayers who earn between 52-thousand and 95-thousand dollars will get a credit on state taxes of nearly 800 dollars. The kicker is returned to taxpayers when state revenue exceeds two-percent of the budget.



(Woodland, WA) -- An investigation is ongoing into the minor derailment of an Amtrak train traveling from Portland to Seattle. The Longview Daily News reports the train was going about 15 miles an hour Monday afternoon when a wheel came off the track. There were 95 people on board. No one was hurt. The passengers were moved to a southbound Amtrak train and returned to Vancouver where they boarded buses for their trip to Seattle.



(Salem, OR) -- A new report shows Greenhouse and Nursery products were the most valuable of Oregon's Agricultural and Fishing industries last year, bringing in one-point-one-billion dollars. The Oregon Department of Agriculture reports Cattle was second at 587-million dollars, and Hay was third at 569-million dollars. Nursery products surged for the second year in a row, because more people were staying home gardening and landscaping. Cherries increased 78-percent and Hazelnuts had sales go up 24-percent. Oregon grows nearly all of the Hazelnuts in the U.S.



(Salem, OR) -- Authorities are searching for two women who walked away from their inmate work crew in Salem. The Oregon Department of Corrections says Brandy Woodward and Shelly Radan should be considered armed and dangerous. The department says the women walked away from the corrections department's Northwest Commissary building yesterday morning and were last seen leaving a Dick's Sporting Goods store on Lancaster Drive. Woodward was serving time for meth possession and delivery, while Radan was in custody for second-degree burglary.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is marking a grim new milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oregon Health Authority says the state has now exceeded four-thousand coronavirus deaths. Health officials say one-thousand of those victims died within the last two months. Before that, it took eight months to reach that same number. Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen says most of those deaths were preventable, if the victims had been vaccinated. He says the Delta variant has changed everything and he's urging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Health officials also reported two-thousand-895 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday from Friday through Sunday.



(Portland, OR) -- Voodoo Doughnuts is being ordered to rehire half a dozen workers who were fired after going on strike during the summer's historic heat wave in the Pacific Northwest. The National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling last week finding the seven employees were wrongfully terminated. The workers went on strike in June, saying the store's interior was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The iconic doughnut shop responded by firing the employees for refusing to work in the extreme heat. The shop is being ordered to rehire all seven workers and provide them with three months of backpay.



(Portland, OR) -- Union members who work at Kaiser Permanente in Oregon are ready to go on strike. The union says 96-percent of participating members voted to approve the strike with 90-percent of the members voting. If the strike is approved by union leaders, workers would have to give ten days of notice before the strike could begin. The union says the major issues are staffing and a two tiered pay system, where new workers make less than workers with more time on the job. Kaiser says it pays workers above market rate. The union disagrees.



(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police and Oregon State Police worked together Sunday night to enforce the city's new street racing ordinance. Police made 47 traffic stops, issued 21 citations, gave several warnings about the new ordinance and made two arrests. One suspect in a car from Olympia, Washington tried to elude police but was stopped. Police arrested 24-year-old William Torresan for Felony Elude, Reckless Driving, and Driving Without a License. He crashed into one police car. No one was hurt.



(Hillsboro, OR) -- The family of a teenager who drowned at a public pool in Hillsboro two years ago is filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The family of 14-year-old Nabila Maazouz filed the lawsuit last week against the city of Hillsboro and the Hillsboro School District seeking 70-million dollars. The lawsuit also names the companies that created and sold the pool cover that led to the teen's death. Authorities say Maazouz was still in the pool following swim team practice in November of 2019 when her teammates pulled the cover over the pool, trapping her inside.



(Hillsboro, OR) -- The Hillsboro School District is changing its bus routes due to low ridership and a shortage of drivers. The district says starting today, some routes will be adjusted, while others are eliminated altogether. Students affected by the changes should have received a notice via mail. The district says roughly three-thousand out of a total of ten-thousand regular bus riders will be affected by the changes.



(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo is caring for 23 tiny northwestern pond turtles. They're an endangered species. The hatchlings are taken from the Columbia River Gorge and placed in a special habitat that allows them to grow as much as they would in three years in about nine months, so that when they're returned to the wild they have a better chance at survival.



(Mt. Angel, OR) -- An investigation is underway into the cause of a massive fire in downtown Mt. Angel early Saturday morning. Fire officials say four businesses were damaged by the fire. A total of 35 fire trucks and 120 firefighters responded to put out the blaze. There were no injuries reported.



(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Police Bureau says officers responded to 13 shootings in 28 hours over the weekend. One person was killed and three people were injured. Five shots fired calls came in during one three hour period, and the bureau's resources were so strained that a sergeant was the only person gathering evidence at one incident while citizens were used to control traffic at the scene of another shooting. Investigators believe some of the shootings were related. At least 151 casings were recovered from all of the crime scenes.



(Portland, OR) -- Health officials say the weekly average number of new COVID-19 cases in Oregon is down along with hospitalizations and deaths. The Oregon Health Authority says new cases declined nine-percent and hospitalizations are down ten-percent. There were 114 deaths reported last week, which is one less than the week before. The number of positive tests was eight-point-eight percent, only down a tenth from the week before.



(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty wants to expand the Street Response Team to operate city wide. Hardesty is asking city council to approve an additional one-million dollars to expand operations to seven days a week and 19 hours a day. The team includes a firefighter paramedic, a mental health counselor, and a peer support responder. They handle calls involving homeless people and people who are suffering a mental health crisis. A study released this week from Portland State University found during its first six months the Street Response Team was meeting its goals.



(Salem, OR) -- Salem Police have a better description of the truck that was involved in a hit and run early Saturday morning on 17th Street between Silverton Road and Woodrow Street Northeast. The police department announced yesterday that part of the truck's front grill was found at the scene and helped investigators identify the model. It was a 2020 to 2022 Ford Super Duty, four-door crew cab pickup truck. It was either a King Ranch or Platinum model. The victim was flown on Life Flight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland where she's in serious condition. Anyone who can help identify the suspect is urged to call Salem Police.



(Estacada, OR) -- The Estacada School District is getting a 400-thousand-dollar technology grant from the FCC. The money will allow the district to replace 586 student devices this year, saving the district 164-thousand dollars. The money will also be used to pay for internet hotspots, saving the district 33-thousand dollars. The FCC says Internet access isn't just nice to have, it's necessary for work, healthcare, and school.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting 33 new COVID-19-related deaths along with one-thousand-564 new cases of the virus. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 730 people currently hospitalized with coronavirus in Oregon, which is three less than on Tuesday. There have now been three-thousand-900 deaths and 338-thousand-130 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- Nearly four-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported 44 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to three-thousand-867. The health department also reported one-thousand-650 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. There are 733 people currently hospitalized with coronavirus in Oregon, which is down 36 from Monday. Hospital ICU's remain near capacity with only nine-percent of the beds available statewide.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregonians could save 16-hundred dollars a year by eliminating food waste. That's the message of a new campaign created by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality called "Bad Apple." The department says 25- to 40-percent of all food is wasted, and up to 70-percent of the wasted food could be saved if it was used as leftovers, put in better packaging, or frozen. The website Don't-let good-food-go-bad-dot-org has tips on how to keep food from going to waste.



(Portland, OR) -- I-84 will close in both directions this weekend in Portland for a construction project to move a bike and pedestrian bridge over the freeway. The Congressman Earl Blumenauer Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge has been built south side of I-84 and will be moved into place across Sullivan's Gulch. The freeway will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. The eastbound lanes will be closed from I-5 to Cesar Chavez Boulevard. The westbound lanes will close at I-205.



(Portland, OR) -- A Multnomah County jury has found a self-proclaimed Proud Boy guilty of assaulting demonstrators protesting for racial justice. The jury convicted 51-year-old Alan Swinney of Texas on eleven of the 12 charges against him yesterday after less than three hours of deliberation. Court documents say Swinney attended two demonstrations in August of 2020 armed with guns, bear mace, a knife and body armor. He then assaulted left-wing counterprotesters with paintballs and bear Mace and pulled a loaded revolver on some of them. One of his victims was shot in the face with a paintball gun. The prosecutor said in Swinney's mind, he came to Portland to fight terrorists when in fact there was only one terrorist, and it was Alan Swinney. A sentencing date has not yet been set.



(Clackamas, OR) -- A man is facing a charge of bias crime after allegedly attacking a Black woman because of the color of her skin in Clackamas County. The sheriff's office says a deputy was near 82nd Drive and Luther Road Sunday afternoon when he saw the man punching the woman over and over. The deputy stopped the attack and arrested 27-year-old Raymond Buffalo-Keys, who told police he attacked the woman because of her race. Buffalo-Keys has multiple warrants in Hood River County. Police say the victim refused medical help.



(Portland, OR) -- Voting is underway for more than three-thousand nurses and health care workers for Kaiser Permanente on whether to go on strike. Members for the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals will vote over the next several days after voting began last night. The union and the hospital network are at odds over key issues, including safe staffing levels and wages. The final tally on the strike vote may not be known until next week.



(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo has a new director. The zoo announced yesterday that Heidi Rahn will replace Don Moore, who retired last year after a 45-year career in animal welfare science and wildlife conservation. Rahn previously worked at the zoo from 2013 to 2018 as head of Metro's 125-million dollar zoo bond program. Under her leadership, the zoo opened some of its most iconic areas including Condors of the Columbia, Elephant Lands, and the Education Center.



(Tillamook, OR) -- Authorities say a sailboat accident in the ocean killed a married couple early Sunday morning on the Oregon Coast. The Coast Guard reports the 42-foot sailboat left Tillamook Bay around 4 a.m. on a trip to California. The boat was later seen in the surf near Nedonna Beach Sunday evening. A woman's body was found on the beach, and the body of her husband was found under the boat. The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office says relatives have been notified.



(Salem, OR) -- Three more Oregon Department of Forestry districts in the western part of the state are declaring an end to fire season. The districts are West Oregon, Western Lane and South Cascade Districts. The North Cascade and Northwest Oregon districts ended their fire seasons on October 1st. Recent rains in the districts have reduced fire danger, but forestry officials are still urging caution when burning outside.



(Eugene, OR) -- The Department of Justice says last month's massive methamphetamine bust in Lane County turned up 384 pounds of the drug. The U.S. Attorney for Oregon issued a press release yesterday saying the operation on September 15th was the largest methamphetamine bust ever recorded in Oregon. The drugs seized were valued at over a million dollars. Authorities say the investigation started a year ago when the DEA and Eugene Police started investigating Gustavo Manzo-Mares. That led them to Martin Manzo-Negrete of Eugene, the leader of the drug ring. Police say the suspects would bring drugs into the state by car and the distribute them throughout Lane County. Police arrested Manzo-Negrete, Manzo-Mares and three other associates.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting eight new deaths from COVID-19 along with three-thousand-286 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday from Friday through Sunday. Health officials say there are currently 769 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon, which is two more than on Sunday. There have now been three-thousand-823 deaths and 334-thousand-971 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon since the pandemic began.



(Washington, DC) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy more than 16-million dollars of Pacific seafood, giving Oregon's seafood industry a boost. The purchase includes nine-million dollars of Pacific whiting fillets, four-million dollars of Pacific rockfish fillets, and four-million dollars in Pacific salad shrimp. This follows a 46-million dollar Pacific seafood purchase in May.



(Woodburn, OR) -- Woodburn Police are trying to identify three suspects who robbed the Polo Ralph Lauren store with a gun Saturday afternoon. Police say the suspects went into the store, spent time looking at merchandise, and then tried to walk out with several items. When employees tried to stop them, one of the suspects pulled a gun and they left. They were driving a light blue Honda CRV with no plates. Police are asking anyone who can help identify the suspects to contact them.



(Ventura, CA) -- Wildlife officials confirm a gray wolf has traveled all the way from Oregon to Northern Ventura County, California marking the farthest south in the Golden State one of the animals has made it in 99 years. The last time it happened, a gray wolf was captured in San Bernardino County in 1922. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife received reports of wolf sightings in Ventura County three times between September 20th and 26th. Officials went to investigate, and confirmed there were wolf tracks in areas where the sightings took place. The wolf has traveled nearly one-thousand-miles through California.



(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo is welcoming a new family member. The zoo issued a news release over the weekend saying a three-thousand-pound rhinoceros named King arrived at the zoo on September 10th. The eight-year-old black rhino came from Chicago's Brookfield Zoo and is settling in at Oregon Zoo's new Rhino Ridge. Officials say he'll be joined by a female rhinoceros later this fall.



(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Attorney General's Office is filing lawsuits against Yamhill and Harney counties over ordinances that seek to stop new statewide gun safety laws. The ordinances would also allow officials who enforce the gun laws to be prosecuted or subjected to private lawsuits. Other counties have enacted similar ordinances, but Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says they hope the two lawsuits will show they're prepared to take other counties to court.



(Portland, OR) -- TriMet is boosting the starting pay for its bus operators. The transit agency says bus operators will now be paid more than 21 dollars an hour for the first eleven months, up from 17 dollars. After 11 months, operators receive pay increases that bring them up to the current union wage for drivers. Full-time TriMet bus operators can earn more than 68-thousand dollars a year after three years in the driver's seat.



(Portland, OR) -- Officials say there's finally been enough rain to eliminate burn bans in the Portland-Vancouver area. Fire marshals and fire departments in Clark, Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties are allowing debris burns to resume. Recreational fires are also allowed. Fire departments are urging residents to use caution with outside fires.



(Medford, OR) -- Federal authorities have busted a drug ring in Klamath Falls. The Department of Justice announced yesterday that a federal grand jury has indicted 57-year-old Juan Martinez-Gil, a Mexican national who lives in Reno, as being the ringleader. Nine associates were also charged. They were allegedly dealing methamphetamine and fentanyl. Martinez-Gill could face life in prison and a ten-million-dollar fine.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is reporting 20 new deaths related to COVID-19 and one-thousand-896 new infections. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 816 people hospitalized with coronavirus, which is five more than on Wednesday.



(Salem, OR) -- Officials say an inspection of hemp farms in Oregon over the summer found 58-percent were growing plants that had too much THC. There were 212 samples taken and some had as much as 33-percent THC. Inspectors also found illegal use of irrigation water, unfit working conditions, and animal abuse. Those instances were reported to other agencies for investigation. The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission is recommending to the Governor and the Legislature that no new hemp licenses be issued until 2024.


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