Regional News Archives for 2021-12


(Portland, OR) -- Health officials say the number of new COVID-19 cases in Oregon increased over the last week while deaths and hospitalizations declined. The Oregon Health Authority reports new cases are up ten-percent. The number of positive tests declined slightly from five-percent to four-point-eight-percent.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has 31 new deaths from COVID-19 and one-thousand-197 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 342 people hospitalized with coronavirus statewide, which is four more than Tuesday. There have now been five-thousand-590 deaths and 409-thousand-232 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon since the pandemic began.



(Washington, D.C.) -- U.S. Senators along the West Coast are asking the U.S. Geological Survey what's needed to finish construction of the Earthquake Early Warning System. Officials say 70-percent of seismic stations have been built in Washington state, California and Oregon. The senators want to know what's needed to finish the project and fund regular operations. The system sends a warning signal that can give people and businesses a short time to react before the shaking starts.



(Vancouver, WA) -- Police are searching for a suspected car prowler accused of shooting at a homeowner in northeast Vancouver. It happened yesterday morning near Northeast 165th Avenue and 32nd Street. Police say the resident saw the prowler on a surveillance camera and confronted the person. As the suspect ran, he fell and allegedly fired a shot at the homeowner. No one was hit. Deputies checked other surveillance cameras in the area and found three prowlers. The Clark County Sheriff's Office is asking other residents in the area to check to see whether they were victims of the thefts.



(Portland, OR) -- It's been less than a week since Governor Kate Brown set a goal of getting one-million Oregonians COVID-19 booster vaccinations, and more than 96-thousand people have received a booster. The state is increasing vaccination locations to make it easier to get the shot. There are currently six high volume vaccination site with another three set to open next month.



(Portland, OR) -- A suspect is behind bars in connection to a brazen attempted kidnapping captured on surveillance video in the Pearl District. Portland Police say someone spotted 30-year-old suspect Erick Alexander yesterday and called 911. Police arrested him for Kidnapping in the Second Degree. Police say a man was walking near The Fields Park with his six-year-old son early last week when Alexander walked up and grabbed the boy. The father fought the man off and freed his son, prompting Alexander to run away. Detectives have been able to connect Alexander to four other instances which occurred the day before and the day after the kidnapping, in which members of the community were troubled enough by his behavior that they called 911.



(Portland, OR) -- Officials are revealing the FBI operated a command post in Portland during demonstrations over the last two years to gather information about protesters and to assess threats. The New York Times reports the FBI sent agents undercover to record the actions of demonstrators. The FBI says their actions were lawful and within policy. The Times reports there's no evidence that similar surveillance occurred during the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Kate Brown is extending her declaration of a state of emergency as the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads in the state. Brown says they expect omicron to cause the worst surge yet in hospitalizations. The declaration allows the Governor to implement special programs to deal with the pandemic. The state of emergency will remain in effect through June 30, 2022.



(Portland, OR) -- A Multnomah County Sheriff's Office jail deputy is pleading guilty to official misconduct for stealing blank vaccination cards. Court records show 50-year-old Robert Haney was accused of stealing the cards in May and filling two of them out with false information. A search found the cards in his house. Haney will serve six month's probation, resign from his position at the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, lose his Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training certification and pay a 500-dollar fine.



(Portland, OR) -- Over two-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported 25 new coronavirus deaths yesterday along with 999 new cases of the virus. There are 338 people currently hospitalized with coronavirus statewide, which is 14 less than on Monday. There have been five-thousand-559 deaths and 408-thousand-69 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon since the pandemic began.



(Salem, OR) -- Willamette University is moving most of its larger classes online to start next semester. University officials announced the move yesterday, citing ongoing concerns with the omicron variant for the change. Willamette says most large classes will go online for at least the first two weeks to give students and staff time to test themselves for positive cases after traveling over winter break. Lab, studio and field-based classes will remain in person.



(Milwaukie, OR) - Milwaukie-based comic book publisher Dark Horse will soon have a new owner. The popular comic company announced yesterday it would be sold off to Swedish video game developer Embracer Group. Dark Horse officials say there are no plans to restructure the business at this time.



(Vancouver, WA) -- There are now more than 350 cases of COVID-19 linked to recent wrestling tournaments in Washington State, including over three dozen cases in Clark County. Health officials say the county has 37 of the cases, including at least one case of the omicron variant. Health officials say the virus spread because coaches, athletes and spectators weren't following COVID protocols. The tournaments were held December 4th in Lacey, Sumner, Puyallup and Yelm.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregon State Police are releasing the names of people who were thrown into the ocean when their boat capsized near Nye Beach in Lincoln County. Police say 55-year-old Cory Thompson of Mill City was killed in the incident Friday while 60-year-old Milton Bridges and 59-year-old Laura Bridges were hospitalized. Their 22-foot Dory boat was hit by breaking waves near the north reefs.



(Canby, OR) -- Drivers who use the Canby Ferry will need to use I-5 or the I-205 bridge in Oregon City this week. High water has shut down the ferry. Operators say they'll resume service when the water level falls below 70-feet.



(Portland, OR) -- Officials say heavy rain over the weekend filled up Portland's Big Pipe, sending raw sewage into the Willamette River for about four hours. The Big Pipe is a large storage reservoir that gives the treatment plant more time to process the waste. The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services says you should avoid contact with the Willamette River in downtown Portland through Tuesday. This is the fifth overflow of 2021.



(Eugene, OR) -- The University of Oregon is requiring students and staff to get COVID-19 booster shots. The announcement made yesterday comes as the first Omicron variant of COVID-19 was detected in Lane County. The school says students and staff should get the booster shot as soon as they're eligible. More details about the deadline for booster shots will be released after they're finalized.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has three new deaths related to COVID-19 and one-thousand-941 cases since Friday. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday from Friday through Sunday. Health officials say 352 people are hospitalized with coronavirus statewide, which is eleven less than on Sunday. There have now been five-thousand-534 deaths and 407-thousand-153 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oregon since the pandemic began.



(Washington, D.C.) -- FEMA is sending nearly 50-million dollars to help pay for wildfire recovery in the Santiam Canyon following the 2020 Labor Day fires. ODOT will receive 45-million dollars for the costs of removing debris from commercial properties in Detroit, Gates, Lyons, Mehama, and Mill City. Consumers Power will get five-million dollars to help rebuild power lines in the canyon.



(Portland, OR) -- It appears Lloyd Center won't be going away. The real estate company Urban Renaissance Group is working with the owners of the property, KKR Real Estate Finance, to revitalize the mall. Details of the plan are still being worked out, but it's expected to include the ice rink, retail, and other creative work spaces.



(Salem, OR) -- The head of Oregon's agency that's distributing emergency rental assistance says now is not the time for an audit. Several lawmakers want an audit of Oregon Housing and Community Services because it's months behind in getting emergency rent assistance distributed. Director Margaret Salazar said last week an audit would take between five and 15 employees away from their jobs of processing claims to help with the audit. OHCS has only processed about half of its claims. Around 26-thousand claims remain and they're processing about 17-hundred per week. Oregon's eviction moratorium was extended until June to give the agency time.



(Portland, OR) -- One man is dead after his boat capsized off the Oregon coast near Newport. The U.S. Coast Guard says two men and one woman were onboard the 22-foot boat when it flipped about a mile form the Yaquina Bay's north jetty Friday morning. Coast Guard crews rescued one of the men and a woman, who showed signs of hypothermia. The second man was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive.



(Undated) -- The Oregon Zoo is welcoming a new rhinoceros into its mix. Zoo officials say 9-year-old Jozi has arrived from the Milwaukee Zoo to eventually join King, the Oregon Zoo's current rhino. Jozi weighs 24-hundred pounds and was born at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Keepers have the two rhinos separated for now, but they can see each other and they've been vocalizing. They'll eventually be brought together and they're hoping for a baby rhino.



(Portland, OR) -- McMenamins is offering identity protection services to its employees after it was hit by a ransomware attack. The attack happened last Sunday. The company identified the attack and notified the FBI. McMenamins doesn't believe customer data was impacted, but personal information of employees might have been compromised. McMenamins has 56 bars, restaurants, theaters and hotels. All of its properties remain open.



(Portland, OR) -- Grocery workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington are back on the job following a one-day strike over failed contract negotiations. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 says it reached a settlement agreement with Fred Meyer and QFC over the weekend. The union says the agreement includes significant wage increases as well as added workplace protections, a secure retirement program and quality healthcare benefits. Union members still need to ratify the settlement agreement through a vote. Employees at nearly 40 stores formed picket lines on Friday, accusing the grocery chains of disregarding federal labor law, engaging in unfair labor practices and failing to negotiate in good faith with the union.



(Portland, OR) -- State health officials are hoping to get COVID-19 booster shots into the arms of one-million Oregonians by the end of January. The Oregon Health Authority announced the goal late last week as part of an effort to combat the new Omicron [[ AHM-ih-crahn ]] variant. The agency says it's adding three high capacity vaccination sites to the current six locations to help reach the goal. Oregon is also set to receive an additional 140-thousand doses of vaccine from the federal government.



(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission is approving rules for the Climate Protection Program. It will charge a fee for businesses that sell gas, diesel, natural gas, and propane for the pollution they cause. It's expected to cause prices for fossil fuels to rise. The program takes effect next year. Oregon's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50-percent by 2035 and 90-percent by 2050.



(Vancouver, WA) -- The Evergreen School Board of Directors is terminating Superintendent Mike Merlino's contract. Board members voted to terminate Merlino's contract yesterday. He was under investigation, but the board didn't say why he was being investigated. The board released a statement saying that after a preliminary investigation they decided there was enough evidence to terminate Merlino for cause, but they made the termination "no cause" to prevent lengthy litigation. He'll be paid one year of salary.



(Sherwood, OR) -- A cat that was lost for four years has been reunited with its owner. Ella Bella went missing in 2017 when her family in Portland was moving. The Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood had spayed the cat and implanted a microchip. Earlier this month, Meow Village, a local cat rescue group, got the cat and scanned the chip. They contacted Cat Adoption Team and reunited Ella Bella with her owner. They say Ella Bella will now be an indoor cat and they're recommending pet owners to have microchips implanted in their pets.



(Portland, OR) -- A new study out of Oregon shows people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and then get a breakthrough infection end up with super-immunity. A study of patients by Oregon Health Science University finds that vaccinated people who get COVID-19 have antibodies that are one-thousand percent more effective than antibodies that come from a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The study shows it's especially effective against the Delta variant, but they believe it would have the same effect against all variants.



(Salem, OR) -- Dark Horse Comics and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management have teamed up to create another comic book in the "Without Warning" series. It's called "Without Warning, Wildfire!" It follows two hikers who have to escape a wildfire. It talks about how to avoid starting a wildfire, signing up for emergency alerts, and how to get away from a wildfire. The two previous comic books dealt with earthquakes and tsunamis.



(Salem, OR) -- The reward continues to grow for information that leads police to the suspect responsible for poisoning wolves in Northeast Oregon. The reward now stands at nearly 50-thousand dollars. The public has donated a thousand dollars and the Oregon Hunters Association donated 500-dollars. Pledges started coming in two weeks ago when the reward fund was first announced. All five members of one wolf pack were killed along with three other wolves and several other animals. Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Wildlife are investigating.



(Portland, OR) -- More than three-million Oregonians have now received COVID-19 vaccines. The Oregon Health Authority reports the state reached the milestone just two days short of the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses being administered in Oregon. 70-percent of all people living in Oregon have been vaccinated. Most of the people who are hospitalized, or die, with COVID-19 are not vaccinated. The five counties where vaccination rates are over 70-percent have the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates.



(Portland, OR) -- Officials say 126 homeless people in Multnomah County died in 2020, and the leading cause of death was drug and alcohol use. Methamphetamine was responsible for most of the drug related deaths. There were eight homicides with six of those people being shot. This was the county's ninth Domicile Unknown report and it recorded the most deaths ever. County officials say it shows the need to supportive housing to help people with mental health and addiction issues.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has 39 new deaths related to COVID-19 along with 907 new infections. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 380 people hospitalized for coronavirus statewide, which is two less than on Tuesday. There have now been five-thousand-508 deaths and 403-thousand-329 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- A former Oregon dentist is accused of stealing nearly eight-million dollars in COVID-19 relief funds. The Oregon U.S. Attorney's Office says 43-year-old Salwan Adjaj of West Linn faces federal charges of Aggravated Identity Theft and Wire Fraud. According to court documents, Adjaj allegedly used the names and employer identification numbers of fictitious businesses on dozens of fraudulent loan applications he submitted to the Small Business Administration and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Investigators say he converted the money to personal use. Adjaj was arrested on Tuesday.



(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police say a suspect in a brazen attempted kidnapping in the Pearl District may have been involved in another incident that same afternoon. Police say a woman was on Northwest Northrup between 9th and 10th avenues pushing her baby in a stroller Tuesday afternoon when a man matching the suspect's description started to follow her. She confronted him and he walked away. Later that afternoon, a man tried to take a six-year-old boy, but the boy's father scared the suspect away. Police searched the area, but weren't able to find the suspect.



(Newberg, OR) -- Two school board members for Newberg Public School are potentially facing a recall election in January. Organizers campaigning for the recall say they have collected enough signatures to put NPS Board vice chair Brian Shannon on the ballot, and Yamhill County is verifying signatures to recall chair Dave Brown. The move comes in response to a resolution from the board to ban political and "controversial" symbols on school grounds, including those tied to Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ Pride. The board also faced controversy after it voted to terminate Superintendent Joe Morelock without cause last month.



(Portland, OR) -- Over four-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported 49 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to five-thousand-469. The health authority also reported 883 new cases of COVID-19. A total of 382 people are currently hospitalized with the virus statewide, which is 26 less than on Monday.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregon added ten-thousand jobs in November. Leisure and hospitality added the most with 41-hundred jobs. Construction, professional and business services, and retail trade also added jobs. Health care lost 11-hundred jobs. Construction and wholesale trade have set records for their highest employment levels ever. Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to four-point-two percent in November, down from four-point-four percent in October. The U.S. unemployment rate was also four-point-two percent.



(Warrenton, OR) -- The captain of a commercial crab boat in Oregon has been criminally cited for Taking Undersized Commercial Dungeness Crab. Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers were inspecting catches at a seafood processing plant in Warrenton when they noticed many of the crab were too small. The boat had 46-thousand pounds of crab. Nearly 12-thousand pounds were inspected and over 22-percent of the crabs were undersized. The illegal crab was worth 49-thousand dollars. Besides being cited for the illegal catch, the captain could also face restitution of twice the crab's value, or nearly 100-thousand dollars.



(Portland, OR) -- A storm moving into Oregon this morning is expected to bring snow to the hills and a snow and rain mix to the Valley floor. The National Weather Service has a Winter Weather Advisory for the Coast Range, Cascades and the Portland area. The snow level is expected to be around 500-feet where one to two inches of snow could fall. The hills higher than a thousand feet could receive a couple inches of snow. The Cascades could receive six to 16 inches of snow at pass level. A High Wind Warning is posted for the Central and Southern Oregon Coast with gusts to 60 mph.



(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is being sued for unpaid credit card bills. KGW reports court documents were filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court in late November. Bank of America claims that two of Hardesty's credit card accounts totaling 16-thousand-51 dollars are in default. In a written statement, Hardesty says she accrued the debt while running for City Council in 2018, and intends to repay the bank. Hardesty has 30 days to respond to the suit. This week, Hardesty filed a five-million dollar lawsuit against the Portland Police Union, the former head of the Police Union, and a Portland Police officer for a media leak falsely implicating her in a hit and run crash.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is confirming its first cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reports one case in Multnomah County and two cases in Washington County. Two of the patients were fully vaccinated and the third person wasn't vaccinated. Health officials say vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19, including the variants.



(Springfield, OR) -- A group of five people who went to spend a day in the snow but didn't return Sunday night has been found safe. The Lane County Sheriff's Office says two adults and three kids left Springfield Sunday morning. They talked about going toward the HooDoo ski area near Santiam Pass, but their exact destination wasn't known. Search and Rescue teams found them in the Box Canyon area on Forest Service Road 19. They were reported to be in good condition.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has 39 new COVID-19 related deaths since Friday and one-thousand-387 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 408 people hospitalized with coronavirus, which is two less than on Sunday. There have been five-thousand-420 deaths and 401-thousand-564 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregon farmers will get financial assistance from the state to help offset the effects of the drought. The special session of the Oregon Legislature has approved 100-million dollars to support farmers and irrigators. Forty-million dollars will help fill gaps in federal disaster relief. Twelve-million dollars will go to the Klamath Basin to help with wells and irrigation. Additional funds will help the Klamath Tribes, agricultural workers who miss jobs because of heat or wildfire smoke and other impacts from the drought.



(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Legislature is approving additional emergency rent relief. In a special session, the Legislature approved a bill that adds 100-million dollars to the emergency rental relief fund. A hundred-million dollars goes to existing rental assistance programs. Ten-million dollars goes to the Landlord Guarantee Fund. Five-million dollars will be used to speed up distribution of federal emergency relief funds. Several legislators called for an audit of the Oregon Housing and Community Services program which is behind in getting rental assistance money distributed. The bill also extends the eviction moratorium to next June.



(Mt. Hood, OR) -- Ski season is officially underway in Oregon. Heavy snow on Saturday allowed both Timberline Lodge and Mt. Hood Meadows to open with limited operations on Sunday. Mt. Bachelor starts their operations today.



(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced a bipartisan agreement heading into the legislative special session today.  Lawmakers will consider a proposal to spend 215-million dollars on rental assistance along with extending eviction protection.  100-million dollars for drought relief.  25-million dollars for programs to go after illegal marijuana grows.  And, 18-million dollars for Afghan refugee resettlement.  It also includes smaller amounts for affordable housing, outfitter guides affected by drought and projects for cross-laminated lumber modular housing. 



(Portland, OR) -- Grocery workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington are going on strike. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 says its members voted Saturday to authorize a strike against Fred Meyer and Quality Food Centers. The union says the chains disregard federal labor law, engage in unfair labor practices and have failed to negotiate in good faith with the union. Workers have been fighting for a new contract since July. The bargaining process is set to resume tomorrow.



(Portland, OR) -- Two people are facing misdemeanor charges after allegedly throwing cans onto the field during the MLS Cup at Providence Park. The Portland Police Bureau says officers arrested both suspects following the incident during the match between the Timbers and New York City on Saturday. Police say one of the cans hit one of the players. At least one of the suspects has been banned from returning to the park.



(Vancouver, WA) -- An investigation is ongoing into a fire that injured one person and caused major damage to a house in Vancouver. Firefighters responded to the blaze on Southeast 36th Circle Saturday night. Officials say the closest fire hydrant wasn't working, which cause a minor delay for firefighters. The floor under the front door also gave way. It took more than an hour to put out the fire. One person was taken to a hospital.



(Portland, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into an officer-involved shooting in Southeast Portland. Police say the shooting happened Saturday night when officers tried to make a traffic stop and the suspect fled. Officers used an intervention technique to stop the vehicle, and it crashed near Southeast 88th and Holgate, where shots were fired. The suspect was believed to be armed. After several hours of negotiations, the suspect was taken into custody and treated at a hospital. Police have not said whether the person was shot. The suspect is expected to survive.



(Milwaukie, OR) -- The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is holding a drawing for a chance to buy rare spirits. They include several varieties of Pappy Van Winkle whiskey, A Midwinter Nights Dram, and Eagle Rare 17 year. These are liquors that are difficult to find at state liquor stores in Oregon, because they usually go to bars. Prices range from 80 to 330 dollars a bottle. The chance to purchase opens online on Wednesday.



(Portland, OR) -- Over three-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported 38 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to five-thousand-356. The health authority also reported 901 new cases of COVID-19 along with seven more hospitalizations for the virus. Oregon's vaccine breakthrough rate is currently 30-percent, with 70-percent of the new infections happening in people who are not vaccinated.



(Troutdale, OR) -- A 26-year-old woman is dead after drowning in the Columbia River while attending a company party in Troutdale. Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report someone had fallen into the river at a property on Sundial Road early Wednesday morning. They found Olivia Payne unresponsive in the water. Police say she fell in trying to get from a dock to a boat. The Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and determined Payne died from accidental drowning.



(Portland, OR) -- A suspect in a Denver, Colorado church vandalism case is behind bars in Portland, Oregon. The Portland Police Bureau says officers arrested 26-year-old Madeline Cramer yesterday without incident after following up on tips from the public. Denver Police had asked Portland Police to watch for Cramer, who was wanted in connection with vandalism at the Cathedral Basilica in Denver on October 10th.



(Vancouver, WA) -- Vancouver Police are warning residents of a telephone scam. Police say the calls come from the same phone number and claim Vancouver Police are looking for donations. Vancouver Police say that's not something they ever do, and they're asking anyone who receives the call to report it to the police department.



(Salem, OR) -- Police say a bomb scare in Salem turned out to be a false alarm. The Salem Police Bomb Squad responded to a suspicious bag in front of a vacant retail store on High Street Northeast. Surveillance video showed a man drop the bag against the building and then walk away quickly. The Bomb Squad found it wasn't an explosive. The bag contained a sleeping bag, flashlight, and other belongings.



(Portland, OR) -- COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increased over the last week in Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority reports the number of new cases increased 50-percent, which was probably due to a rebound from Thanksgiving weekend when cases were unusually low. The number of positive COVID-19 tests was five-point-nine percent, up slightly from the week before.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has 19 new deaths related to COVID-19 and 861 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 397 people hospitalized with coronavirus, which is eight less than Tuesday. There have now been five-thousand-318 deaths and 398-thousand-262 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- The Columbia Riverkeeper is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the effects of four dams on the Columbia River between the Tri-Cities and Portland, Oregon. The lawsuit alleges the dams cause the water temperature to rise, which kills sockeye salmon. The dams also release illegal pollution. The lawsuit seeks to force the Corps to run more water through the dams to reduce the river temperature and to eliminate releases of pollution.



(Salem, OR) -- The Marion County Board of Commissioners is picking Chris Hoy to fill the vacancy in House District 21 caused by State Representative Brian Clem's resignation. The commissioners selected Hoy from four nominees submitted by the Democratic Party of Oregon. Hoy is a Salem City Council member. He'll fill the remainder of Clem's term through next year.



(Salem, OR) -- The reward continues to grow for information that leads to an arrest or citation in the poisoning of wolves in northeast Oregon. The Oregonian reports the reward now stands at nearly 43-thousand dollars thanks to donations from conservation groups Wolves of the Rockies, Trap Free Montana and The 06 Legacy Project. Earlier this year, eight wolves died from poisoning in Union County. Oregon State Police are investigating and they're asking for information that helps identify a suspect.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has 31 new deaths related to COVID-19 and 945 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 405 people hospitalized, which is 13 less than on Monday. There have been five-thousand-299 deaths and 397-thousand-421 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.



(Newport, OR) -- Officials are confirming a series of earthquakes off the Oregon Coast. More than ten earthquakes were reported in an area about 270 miles west of Newport yesterday. The largest quake had a magnitude of five-point-eight. The quakes were not strong enough to cause a tsunami warning. No damage was reported at the coast.



(Seaside, OR) -- Police in Seaside say a threat made against a local high school has been found not to be credible. Seaside Police says the Instagram account where the threat was made was created one hour before the threat was posted and immediately deleted. The FBI joined the investigation and determined the account was created by someone out of the area and the threat wasn't legitimate. Several threats have been made on social media to schools around the Northwest.



(Portland, OR) -- Police say a student-on-student armed robbery off campus Tuesday morning led to a lockdown at Roosevelt High School. There were no injuries. The students weren't from Roosevelt. Astor and George Middle Schools were placed on lockout during the incident. Roosevelt students were sent home early.



(Portland, OR) -- It's been a violent few days in Portland with shootings, four homicides, a fatal crash, and an officer involved fatal shooting. Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell issued a statement yesterday saying he knows the community is concerned about the rise in violence, and police are doing their best to investigate the crimes. Lovell says he wants to assure the community police are working hard to make sure Portland remains a vibrant and safe place for everyone.



(Drain, OR) -- Police are searching for a suspect accused of shooting and killing a driver on Highway 38 west of Drain in Douglas County. Oregon State Police say the shooting happened on November 30th. Seventy-two-year-old Larry Mell of Cottage Grove was driving on Highway 38 between Putnam Valley Road and Roaring Camp Lane when his truck was hit by gunfire. He made it to I-5, where police responded and took him to a hospital, where he died. Detectives don't believe there's an ongoing risk to the community. They're asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact them.



(Salem, OR) -- Governor Kate Brown is ordering flags to be flown at half-staff through December 9th. The proclamations are to honor Senator Bob Dole who died over the weekend and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on December 7th.



(Salem, OR) -- Donations have increased a reward for information that leads to an arrest or citation in the poisoning of wolves in northeast Oregon to more than 36-thousand dollars. Earlier this year, eight wolves died from poisoning in Union County. Several groups, including Wolves of the Rockies, Oregon Wild, and the Humane Society of the United States contributed to the reward. Oregon State Police are investigating and they're asking for information that helps identify a suspect.



(Portland, OR) -- Over two-dozen more Oregonians are dead after contracting COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority reported 25 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, raising the state's death toll from the pandemic to five-thousand-268. The health authority also reported two-thousand-41 new cases of COVID-19 from Friday through Sunday. There are 418 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, which is 23 more than on Sunday.



(Newport, OR) -- A wounded sea otter has died at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. The aquarium announced the death yesterday. The otter was found on Cobble Beach near Yaquina Bay with puncture wounds that were similar to a shark bite. The sea otter was initially alert and eating, but its condition changed, and it died after three days of care. It'll be sent to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service veterinary center for a necropsy.



(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority is opening several high-volume COVID-19 vaccination sites. The spread of the Omicron variant in several states has increased demand for the vaccine and booster shots. Omicron has not been detected in Oregon, but it has been found in Washington and California. One mass vaccination site opened on Saturday at the former Multnomah Greyhound Park in Wood Village. Several other clinics are being planned throughout the state.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregon State Police are asking for tips to help identify the suspects who are poisoning wolves in Northeast Oregon. Eight dead wolves were found in Union County earlier this year. The same poison was used to kill six wolves with a different poison used to kill the other two. Investigators believe the cases are related. Anyone with information should contact Oregon State Police.



(Portland, OR) -- TriMet has changed all of the buses running in regular routes in the Portland area to renewable diesel. The transit agency announced the move last week. Renewable diesel is made from natural fats, vegetable oils, and greases. R99 diesel is 99-percent renewable and one-percent petroleum. The move will reduce TriMet's greenhouse gas emissions by 61-percent.



(Portland, OR) -- Police are investigating after a car crashed on I-205 near Southeast Powell Boulevard and hit a tent at a homeless camp. It happened early yesterday morning. The man in the tent died at the scene. The women driving the car was hospitalized with serious injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.



(Oregon City, OR) -- The boat ramp at Clackamette Park in Oregon City remains closed indefinitely to vehicles and boat trailers due to safety concerns. Oregon City officials announced last week that the bridge will remain closed until the city can identify potential realignment and possible relocation of the bridge. The ramp has been closed since October because it's being washed out. Boats that can be carried, including kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can still use the ramp.



(Seaside, OR) -- King Tides are forecast this weekend at the Oregon Coast. King Tides are the highest tides of the year and happen when the Sun and Moon come into alignment. Beachgoers are warned to avoid the surf and watch for sneaker waves. During King Tides, even areas that are normally safe might be covered in waves.



(Portland, OR) -- Authorities say a grease plug in the sewer line was responsible for a 400-gallon raw sewage flood on Southeast 82nd Avenue at Division late Wednesday night. City of Portland crews stopped the leak about an hour after it was reported. They were able to clean up the mess and disinfect the area before the morning commute. Authorities are asking residents who dispose of grease to put it in a solid container and throw it away in your garbage rather than rinsing it down the drain.



(Portland, OR) -- The FBI in Portland is warning shoppers to beware of fake shipping notices. They often contain links that can download malware on computers or cell phones. The FBI says that if you're expecting a delivery to use the website where you bought the item to track its location.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has 42 new deaths related to COVID-19 and one-thousand-46 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 384 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, which is a decline of 20 from Wednesday. There have been five-thousand-228 deaths and 393-thousand-232 cases since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- The State of Oregon has paused acceptance of new applications for emergency rental assistance. The Oregon Housing and Community Services agency says all of the 289-million dollars in federal money has been allocated. They're continuing to process applications for assistance, but aren't taking new applications for six weeks. There are local rent assistance funds available. Tenants should call 2-1-1 or community action agencies in their area if they're in danger of eviction. The Oregon Legislature will meet later this month to consider allocating local money to continue the program.



(Portland, OR) -- A federal jury has found two Portland members of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club guilty of kidnapping and murder in the death of a former club member. The body of Robert Huggins was found in a Clark County, Washington field in 2015. He had been tortured before his death. Portland Gypsy Joker clubhouse president 61-year-old Mark Dencklau, of Woodburn, and 51-year-old Chad Erickson, of Rainier were both found guilty of murder and kidnapping in connection with racketeering. They face mandatory minimum sentences of life in prison.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has 25 new deaths related to COVID-19 and one-thousand-111 new cases. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 404 people hospitalized, which is the same number as Tuesday. There have been five-thousand-186 deaths and 392-thousand-197 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.



(Banks, OR) -- Police say the deaths of two people found in a car on Highway 26 near Banks was a murder-suicide. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says a Nissan Altima was found stopped on the side of the highway around 3:30 Wednesday morning with the bodies of two people inside. Investigators say 46-year-old Alejandro Gomez-Blanco, of Beaverton, shot and killed his wife 44-year-old Yolanda Constantino before killing himself. A gun was found in the car. The westbound lanes of Highway 26 were closed six hours for the investigation.



(Salem, OR) -- A man who was mistakenly released from the Marion County Jail is back behind bars. Police say 30-year-old Salvador Guido Ledesma was arrested without incident yesterday after someone spotted him in downtown Salem and called 911. Ledesma had been convicted of sex abuse and rape and was in jail while appealing his case. He was released on November 22nd, because of an administrative mistake. The Marion County Sheriff's Office didn't realize Ledesma had been released until November 30th. An investigation is underway to determine how a future accidental release of an inmate can be prevented.



(Beaverton, OR) -- A Beaverton Lyft driver arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting one of his passengers is out on bail. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says 32-year-old Omar al Naser posted 25-thousand dollars bail to be released from jail. He's due back in court tomorrow. Police say al Naser drove a female passenger to his home instead of hers and then assaulted her on October 23rd. Police believe there could be additional victims.



(Portland, OR) -- The union representing the teachers in Portland Public Schools is proposing a plan to limit in-person classes for some students. The Portland Association of Teachers says a recent survey of its members found half of them are considering leaving the profession altogether, citing long hours and stress. The proposal would change the schedule for high school students, moving them to a four-day schedule with Fridays off and eight periods on all other days. The union is proposing either an early release or late start for K-8 students on those days as well.



(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Kate Brown is calling a special session of the Legislature on December 13th to consider eviction protection for renters. The state has received 289-million dollars in federal rental assistance which has now been fully allocated. The Governor wants the Legislature to extend eviction protections for renters who have applied for assistance, ensure landlords get paid in full for back rent, provide 90-million dollars in rental assistance to cover the winter months, and 100-million dollars to create long-term, locally delivered eviction prevention services.



(Gresham, OR) -- At least one local school district is making a change to its outdoor mask policy after the state lifted the outdoor mask mandate last week. The Gresham-Barlow School District says masks outdoors will now be optional for students. It applies to recess, outdoor instruction and outdoor P.E. Parents are encouraged to talk with their kids about their expectations for mask wearing. Masks are still mandatory indoors.



(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has 19 new deaths from COVID-19 and one-thousand-54 new infections. The Oregon Health Authority reported the new numbers yesterday. There are 404 people currently hospitalized with coronavirus statewide, which is eight more than on Monday. There have now been five-thousand-161 deaths and 391-thousand-99 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon since the pandemic began.



(Portland, OR) -- Water tests in older Portland homes shows higher than acceptable levels of lead. Twice a year, the water from 100 homes that have plumbing with lead solder are tested and the results show 21 parts per billion. The EPA limit is 15 parts per billion. Homeowners with plumbing that uses lead solder should run water to flush out the lead and consider using a filter. Next year, the Portland Water Bureau will bring a Corrosion Control facility online that will reduce the ability of the water to leach lead from the solder.


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