Regional News Archives for 2022-04

Portland Takes Ownership Of 82nd Avenue

(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Council is giving final approval to a plan that puts 82nd Avenue under control of the city instead of the state. That will allow the city to make improvements to the seven-mile long high-crash corridor. The state and the city will spend 185-million dollars to bring the street up to the city's code. More than 20-thousand vehicles a day use 82nd Avenue.

Permit Approve To Plan Mount St. Helens Lodge

(Vancouver, WA) -- Planning is underway to build a lodge near Mt. St. Helens. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest has issued a 30-year operating permit to the Mount St. Helens Institute which is working on the plan. It would be built at the Coldwater Ridge Visitors Center, which was constructed in 1993 and closed in 2007. In 2011, the Mount St. Helens Institute opened the center for youth education programs. They're working to raise money and design a lodge, cabins, and campgrounds to create a world-class experience for visitors.

PUC Reduces PGE Rate Increase Request

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Public Utility Commission is approving a rate increase for Portland General Electric, but it's much lower than the company requested. PGE wanted a 59-million dollar increase, but the PUC only allowed an increase of ten-million dollars. The rate increase is for wildfire mitigation and vegetation management, as well as operational costs. Average residential customer bills will increase three-point-six percent effective May 9th.

Father Charged In Son's Shooting

(Salem, OR) -- A Salem father is charged with attempted second-degree murder in connection to a shooting that left his son with life-threatening injuries. Police responded to the shooting Wednesday night at an apartment on Woodside Drive Southeast. They found 24-year-old Timothy Quantrell Brewer Jr. with a gunshot wound. He was taken to Salem Health Hospital, where he's on a life-support system. Police say 42-year-old Timothy Quantrell Brewer Sr. fled to Albany, where he was arrested.

Suspect In Apartment Takeover Not Connected To Residents

(Portland, OR) -- Police say the man who broke into an occupied apartment in northwest Portland this week and caused a lot of damage had no connection with the people who lived there. Portland Police say 36-year-old Joseph Webb of Kelso climbed from the roof to the balcony of an apartment an started ransacking the place. The residents got out. Webb was armed with knives and a hammer. He broke windows, furniture, and appliances. Webb is charged with burglary and criminal mischief.

Rates Increase For Catching Northern Pikeminnow

(Portland, OR) -- The bounty for catching northern pikeminnow in the Columbia and Snake rivers is going up this year. It's the first increase since 2015. Bounties of six, eight, or ten dollars will be paid for each fish over nine inches long. Northern pikeminnow, which aren't native fish, eat millions of young salmon each year. The Bonneville Power Administration pays the bounty to reduce the number of pikeminnow in the rivers. Some anglers make thousands of dollars each year catching the fish.

ODOT Prepares For Highway 224 Reopening

(Estacada, OR) -- Highway 224 will re-open east of Estacada [[ ESS-tuh-KAY-duh ]] on Sunday. It's been closed since the 2020 Labor Day Wildfires. The U.S. Forest Service will re-open the Hole in the Wall and Moore Creek boat access day sites and the Big Eddy day use site. All other U.S. Forest Service sites in the Clackamas River Corridor will remain closed through at least 2022. Drivers should expect delays as work continues to repair damage from the fires.

Appeals Court Overturns Jury Verdict

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Court of Appeals has overturned a verdict from a jury that awarded Oregon timber counties one-point-one billion dollars they claimed was owed due to lost logging revenue. The 13 counties argued the state needed to maximize timber sales on 700-thousand acres. In 1998, the Oregon Board of Forestry adopted a rule that the value of the forests meant balancing multiple uses, not just timber. Under the Court of Appeals decision, that rule now remains in place.

Washington County Deputy Critically Injured

BEAVERTON, OR -- A Portland-area deputy is in critical condition after an overnight crash that left two others dead. Investigators say a car ran a red light and collided with a Washington County deputy’s patrol car, just after midnight Wednesday in Beaverton, west of Portland. 

Two teens died at the scene, and three others in their car and the Deputy were taken to the hospital. "This morning's events are not only difficult for the Sheriff's Office, but also for the Washington County community, especially members, families and friends of the Beaverton School District," Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett said at a Wednesday press conference, "My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of 17-year-old Matthew Amaya and 16-year-old Juan Pacheco Aguilera, who tragically lost their lives." 

He says Deputy Michael Trotter (pictured) is in critical but stable condition. The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

 
 

Fagan Insists Oregon Elections are Secure

PORTLAND, OR -- With so much attention on election security around the country, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is trying to ease concerns here. At a recent press conference, she pointed to measures already in place to protect the integrity of Oregon elections, "Number one: The DMV checks the age and citizenship for every single registered voter for Oregon and verifies that. Number two: There’s a unique barcode on every single ballot envelope. No two ballot envelopes are the same. But that unique barcode is also tied to every registered voter uniquely in Oregon." 

And, she says there are even more steps once the ballot is back at the county elections office, "That signature on the back of the envelope has to match, and there’s a whole process to verify those signatures using a technique of forensic signature verification. All of the ballot processing and counting machines are offline. Absolutely nothing goes online; unhackable because everything is offline." And, Fagan says voting on paper ballots means there’s always a paper trail.

Ballots must be dropped off by 8 p.m. on May 17, or postmarked by that day and received by mail within seven days of Election Day.

Oregon Developing Plan For Federal Funds Following Wildfires

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon is set to receive 422-million dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help rebuild following the 2020 wildfires. Oregon Housing and Community Services will release a draft plan on May 2nd for how the money will be spent. Four public hearings and an open comment period will be held during May to get input on the plan. The money will be used to replace hundreds of lost housing units, particularly for low- and moderate-income families. It also includes plans to build new infrastructure to support housing developments and prepare communities for future disasters.

Kayaker Found Dead In Long Tom River; One Still Missing

(Corvallis, OR) -- The Benton County Sheriff's Office is searching for a missing female kayaker after her companion was found dead in the Long Tom River near Monroe. Joseph Bendix and Mariana Dukes, both from Eugene, went kayaking on Saturday and didn't return. Bendix's body was found three miles south of Monroe. Around 50 volunteers are searching for Dukes. The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who sees a green kayak downstream from Ferguson Road on the Long Tom River to contact them.

Portland Police Try To Find Owner Of Lost Pig

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police are searching for the owner of a loose pig officers corralled early yesterday morning. An officer spotted the animal on Southeast Division Street near 138th Avenue as drivers were slowing to avoid hitting the pig. More officers arrived on scene and helped keep the pig from leaving until staff from On Call Community Rescue for Animals arrived. It took several attempts before the pig entered a crate. It's currently named John Doe, although officers suggested naming it after a famous actor whose last name is Bacon.

Senator Wyden Tests Positive For COVID-19

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has tested positive for COVID-19. The virus was detected as part of routine testing. Wyden is fully vaccinated and experiencing minor symptoms. He's in Washington, D.C. and working from his residence while following the CDC's guidance to quarantine.

OR SOS Addresses Voter Registration Confusion

PORTLAND, OR -- As of early April, more than a third of Oregon voters were registered as Nonaffiliated. With the voter registration deadline now passed, Nonaffiliated voters will be left out of partisan decisions in the May Primary. Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan says they will still get a ballot, "There are a lot of nonpartisan races on the ballot this May. But we like to emphasize that so people are not confused when they receive their ballots and maybe it looks different than their spouse’s ballot or somebody living with them in their house. That they may be because they’re registered to different political parties or not registered to any political party at all."

Fagan acknowledges not everyone wants to be registered as a Democrat or Republican, "They only have to be registered to a party for 21 days before the election. After the election, they can go right back on Oregonvotes.gov and change back to being a Nonaffiliated voter or whatever their preference is." Democrat and Republican parties in Oregon have closed primaries, and Fagan says only the parties can change that system, "What we can do at the Secretary of State’s office is to make sure that it’s as accessible and easy as possible for people to change."

Ballots are mailed to voters Wednesday. They must be dropped at an official drop site by 8 p.m. on May 17, or postmarked by that day and received by the county within seven days of Election Day.

 

Photo: Secretary of State Shemia Fagan talks to reporters during a visit to the Multnomah County Clerk's Office, April 26, 2022.

Courtesy: Multnomah County, Motoya Nakamura

Santiam State Forest Slowly Reopens After 2020 Fires

GATES, OR -- It’s been nearly two years since wildfire devastated the Santiam State Forest, but recovering from the Labor Day fires of 2020 has been a slow process. Jason Cox, with the Oregon Department of Forestry, says 925 more acres reopened Monday, following a lot of clean-up and repair work, "Not only in some areas did the trees burn, but the actual ground-level soil that sort of constitutes a trail burned up. And so, they actually had to rebuild some of these trails down to the rock layer underneath the trails." The newly reopened areas are within the Packsaddle block, north of Highway 22, near the town of Gates.

Cox says more than 13,000 acres remain closed, including some of the Santiam’s most popular recreation areas, "In some cases, road culverts, which run under the roads, were destabilized by the fire and so you could drive over an unstable area of road and never know you were doing that. The more popular recreation areas also had more trails that needed to be restored." 

More than 16,000 acres were impacted by fire in 2020 inside the 47,000 acre Santiam State Forest. For more on reopening timelines and clean-up progress, visit the Santiam State Forest Recovery Site

Ashland Residents Told To Be Bear Aware

(Ashland, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is warning residents and visitors in Ashland to be bear-aware. The department says this is the time year when bears leave hibernation looking for easy meals. ODF-and-W says people should never feed bears. Residents should use locking garbage cans or put garbage out right before pickup. They should keep pet food inside, remove bird feeders, and keep barbecue grills clean. Last year in Ashland, there were 62 bear-related complaints, which was down from 103 in 2020.

Vineyards Impacted By Cold Weather

(Newberg, OR) -- Some vineyards in the Willamette Valley are expected to feel the effects of April's cold weather. Experts say this is the time of year when the first buds start to appear on the vines and that freezing temperatures can kill them. It doesn't mean the vines won't produce, because other buds will form, but the total yield will be down. Low elevation vineyards feel the effects more because higher elevation vines bloom later.

OHA Grants $31-Million To Advance Public Health Equity

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority is giving 31-million dollars to 147 community-based organizations to improve public health equity. They focus on things like adolescent health, tobacco prevention, communicable disease prevention, and emergency preparedness. OHA has a goal of eliminating health inequities by 2030.

White Supremacist Sentenced For Threats Against Teacher

(Portland, OR) -- A white supremacist from Eugene is headed to federal prison for mailing threats to a former teacher that he targeted in part because of her sexual orientation. Oregon U.S. Attorney Scott Asphaug says between December 2020 and May 2021, 58-year-old Gary Franklin sent two threatening letters with disturbing images to his former community college professor. Franklin pleaded guilty to two counts of mailing threatening communications. He was sentenced to four years in federal prison.

Health Care Takes 23% Oregon Family Budgets

(Portland, OR) -- Health care costs account for 23-percent of family budgets in Oregon. A new report from the Oregon Health Authority shows personal spending for health care rose 34-percent from 2013 through 2019. It's causing 10-percent of Oregon families to use their entire savings for health care. The state has a target to keep health care cost increases to three-point-four percent a year.

Marion Co. Officials Angry with Release of Murderer

SALEM, OR -- The Marion County Sheriff and District Attorney issued a safety notice over the weekend after a convicted murder was released into the Salem community.

 

Kyle Hedquist was convinced of killing a teen in Douglas County, in 1995. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Marion County officials say Governor Kate Brown and her office disregarded numerous concerns when she commuted his sentence this month, including a plea from the Douglas County District Attorney. In a letter to the Governor, Douglas County DA Richard Wesenberg said, "nothing within Hedquists' current applicationdemonstrates that clemency is now appropriate." Wesenberg added, "Instead, Hedquist's background, the heinousness of the murder, and the material presented within his petition all continue to show that Hedquist is not an appropriate candidate for executive clemency."

 

Marion County officials are also fruststrated with the state's decision to allow him to live in their county instead of returning to Douglas County, where he was concicted. They say he’s now living with a former prison chaplain in South Salem and has GPS monitoring.

 

OLCC Imposes Moratorium on New Pot Businesses

SALEM, OR -- Oregon’s Liquor and Cannabis Commission is no longer processing new marijuana licenses.

 

The ban is in response to legislation passed in the last session and signed by Governor Brown April fourth. The new law establishes a moratorium on all marijuana license types from January 1, 2022 - March 31, 2024. There is an exception for labs, which are still allowed to apply for a new license. 

 

Pot businesses who applied for a license this year, before the law was signed, will be refunded the $250 application fee. 

 

Lawmakers said the ban was necessary due to a crowded marketplace.

Deadline Tomorrow To Register To Vote In Primary Election

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's Primary Election is on May 17th, and the deadline to register and change your party choice is tomorrow. The democratic and republican parties are holding closed elections, so only members of those parties can vote for those candidates. You can register or change party affiliation by mail which needs to be postmarked April 26th. You can also register and change affiliation online at the Oregon Secretary of State's website.

Officials Announce Mistake In Voters Pamphlet For Washington County

(Hillsboro, OR) -- Authorities say a mistake by the Oregon Elections Division left the candidate statements out of the Voters Pamphlet for four state representative candidates in Washington County. Courtney Neron, Dacia Grayber, Susan McLain and Maxine Dexter are all running unopposed. 80-thousand Washington County voters were impacted by the mistake. The Oregon Elections Division is mailing separate supplemental voters' pamphlets to those voters. They should receive them by Wednesday.

Teens Rescued From Ocean

(Depot Bay, OR) -- Two teenagers are safe after being rescued from Whale Cove south of Depot Bay on Saturday afternoon. A Coast Guard helicopter crew from North Bend used a basket to lift the boy and girl from the water. They weren't hurt. They were taken to emergency crews on a nearby beach and weren't injured.

Police Investigate Two Fatal Weekend Shootings

(Portland, OR) -- Police are investigating two fatal shootings that happened over the weekend in Portland. Early Saturday morning, police found 52-year-old Monroy Castaneda shot near Southeast 136th and Powell Boulevard. Medical crews arrived, but Castaneda died. Police haven't made an arrest. The other shooting happened early Sunday morning near Southeast 9th and Ash Street. The male victim was taken to a hospital in a private vehicle and dropped off. Doctors confirmed the man had died. Police don't have information on a suspect.

Health Experts React to Court Ruling on Masks

PORTLAND, OR -- It’s too early to know just how much the recent court decision halting the federal mask mandate will impact overall COVID numbers. Dr. Katie Sharff is Chief of Infectious Disease at Kaiser Permanente Northwest. She acknowledges there's a lot of public confusion on the issue of masking on airplanes, "Why continue to push these messages? Like, what’s the implication?" The public health implications, she says, are likely to be minimal, "We are all co-mingling in grocery stores and restaurants, and people are co-mingling in concert halls. So whether or not people are wearing a mask on an airplane and then getting off and co-mingling is probably not going to have any impact on our overall numbers and trajectory."

But, Dr. Sharff says there could be other repercussions, "I think from a public health standpoint, stopping the masks on airplanes two weeks early is really not going to have an impact on the trajectory of the pandemic. It’s more the implications for legal rulings down the road if they need future mandates."

She says there isn’t a one size fits all approach, at this stage in the pandemic. But contends vaccines continue to provide the best protection against serious illness. 

Judge Rules On Public Access To Oswego Lake

(Lake Oswego, OR) -- A Clackamas County Circuit Court judge is ruling that Oswego Lake does fall under the state's public trust doctrine and that the public has a right to access the lake through public parks. The rest of the property around the lake is privately owned and the public isn't allowed to swim or put boats in at the public parks. The lawsuit has been underway for a decade. The city contends the parks weren't designed for swimming or to safely launch boats. The judge will decide in July whether that's an acceptable limitation.

Light Rail Selected For New Interstate Bridge

(Vancouver, WA) -- The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program is selecting light rail as the transit option for the new bridge. Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle says it supports the community's future plans for growth and development and it also supports the goals of climate and equity. TriMet and C-Tran also support the choice. C-Tran buses have been the sole cross-state transit service on the current Interstate Bridge.

Biden Calls For Infrastructure Investments

(Portland, OR) -- The U.S. ranks 13th worldwide for investments in infrastructure and President Joe Biden says the one-point-two trillion dollar infrastructure law will help change that. Speaking at the Portland Airbase, the President said the money will improve airports, bridges, highways, and broadband across the country. Biden also addressed inflation saying the pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine are the main reasons for high prices. He called on Congress to pass the bipartisan Innovation Bill to make more computer chips at home to alleviate the shortage affecting the auto industry. Biden will be in Seattle on Friday to discuss climate change on Earth Day.

OHSU Offers New Parkinson's Treatment

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon Health & Science University is pioneering a new treatment to relieve the tremors sometimes associated with Parkinson's disease. The procedure is called focused ultrasound. The patient is awake as an MRI directs high frequency sound waves with pinpoint accuracy through the skull to burn a small lesion in the part of the brain that causes tremors. Doctors say results are instantaneous. The first patient underwent the treatment in March.

Tulip Festival Extended One Week

(Woodburn, OR) -- Residents have an extra week to enjoy the flowers at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn. The cold weather this month slowed the blooming of the flowers. You can now visit through Mother's Day May 8th. The festival has timed entries, so buy tickets online before heading to the farm.

Water Bureau Adds Corrosion Control To Reduce Lead

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland has installed new equipment that should reduce lead in drinking water. Officials say the system will make the city's water less corrosive. The Portland Water Bureau doesn't have lead pipes in the distribution system, but lead exists in plumbing systems of older homes. Corrosive water causes lead in home plumbing to increase which is a risk to children. The treatment system adds sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide to increase pH and alkalinity of the water.

Frog Ferry Project Runs Into Rough Financial Waters

(Portland, OR) -- Leaders of the Frog Ferry proposal in Portland say they aren't giving up despite opposition from City Council. A 225-thousand dollar allocation from the city to help fund planning operations was voted down. TriMet has also stopped distributing 500-thousand dollars from ODOT, because of concerns about how money was being spent. The ferry would run from St. Johns to downtown Portland. They're asking City Council to reconsider its decision and for TriMet to enter mediation to resolve its issues.

Technical Glitch Causes Lockdown

(Beaverton, OR) -- Authorities say a technical glitch was responsible for lockdowns at Aloha High School and Westview High School Wednesday morning. It happened during an investigation into a non-credible threat on social media. The incident remains under investigation. The district is working with its telecommunications provider to determine the source of the problem.

Former OHA Employee Indicted For Embezzlement

(Salem, OR) -- A former Oregon Health Authority employee is being indicted for allegedly embezzling nearly one-and-a-half million dollars in a COVID-19 relief money. The Oregon Attorney General's Office says Marzieh Abedin was responsible for approving payments to vendors requesting money related to the COVID-19 vaccination process. She created a fake company and made payments to herself. OHA discovered the fraud and investigators were able to get almost all of the money back. Abedin faces 21 charges. The Department of Justice has requested a warrant for her arrest.

Former Maintenance Worker At Retirement Center Arrested

(Lincoln City, OR) -- A maintenance worker at the Dorchester House senior living apartments in Lincoln City has been arrested for theft and sex abuse. Lincoln City Police say an investigation started after residents reported burglaries and thefts. Police served a search warrant and arrested 61-year-old Alan Zimmerman. He's charged with burglary, theft and sex abuse. Investigators say additional charges may be filed.

Biden To Visit Portland

(Portland, OR) -- President Joe Biden starts a Northwest swing Thursday with a visit to Portland. At Wednesday White House Briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters he’ll talk about infrastructure, "He will visit the Portland International Airport to highlight critical investments to ensure stronger, more resilient infrastructure, such as an earthquake resilient runway at the Portland Airport, and to help lower costs on everyday items by ensuring goods can move faster and more efficiently." She added, "He will highlight the historic growth and nearly 8 million jobs created as a result of his and Congressional Democrats’ actions, including the American Rescue Plan and bipartisan infrastructure law."

Psaki noted the President will be joined at the airport by Governor Kate Brown (D), Senators Jeff Merkley (D) and Ron Wyden (D), and Congressman Kurt Schrader (D).

The president is also expected to talk about efforts to reduce inflation. He'll attend a fundraiser at Portland Yacht Club for the Democratic National Committee.

On Friday - Earth Day - Biden heads to Seattle to discuss clean energy. This is his first visit as President to Oregon and Washington.

OHA Offers COVID Update

PORTLAND, OR -- Oregon Health Authority officials say they are monitoring a rise in COVID-19 cases, including the now prevalent BA.2 subvariant. Deputy State Health Officer Dr. Tom Jeanne says Oregon averaged 600 new cases a day over the past week, "It’s been a little bit more than four weeks since the lifting of mask use in most settings, and some of the jump we see in case counts is likely tied to less mask use and more Oregonians gathering indoors and returning to pre-pandemic social activities."

 

He says the OHA is aware there's a level of underreporting, "The proportion of cases reported to public health also has likely declined, with more home tests available." According to Dr. Jeanne, that underreporting could mean the case count is as much as five- to 10-times higher than what's reported. 

OHA Senior Health Advisor Dr. Paul Cieslak urges continued caution, especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, because it's not possible to track home tests and those asymptomatic people who don’t get tested, "I think you can take it as a given that there’s a lot of COVID-19 out there. Dr. Peter Graven’s most recent estimate, which is almost two weeks ago now, was that 1% of Oregonians were walking around with COVID-19. So, if you’re in a crowded setting, you’re going to be exposed to the virus." He’s referring to Dr. Graven - a lead data scientist at OHSU who creates a regular COVID forecast for the state. Click HERE to read the latest forecast, completed April 8.

 

Dr. Jeanne says the rate of serious illness appears to be trending down, "We continue to see relatively low numbers of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 illness, averaging fewer than 100 patients a day during April - a significant drop from the more than 1100 hospitalized patients during the Delta and Omicron surges." And, he says the OHA has no plans to reinstate mask mandates should COVID numbers spike again because more than 80% of the population has some level of immunity and there are more effective medical treatments available. Dr. Cieslak believes the best protection continues to come from getting vaccinated and boosted.

 

OR Offers $10 Million In Wildfire Recovery Funds

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Energy has ten-million dollars available to help wildfire victims rebuild their homes in a way that's more energy efficient. Oregonians lost five-thousand homes in the 2020 wildfires. The incentives range from three-thousand to 18-thousand dollars. The more energy efficient items that are added to a home, the more money that can be received. Low to moderate income residents can also receive more money. Details are available at the Oregon Department of Energy's website.

Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake Hits Off Southern Oregon Coast

(Portland, OR) -- There was a minor earthquake off the Oregon Coast early this morning. The magnitude 4 earthquake happened at 5:43 a.m., about 120 miles west of Bandon. Earthquakes are common in that area. There have been six small earthquakes over the last three weeks. A quake of that size is not strong enough to cause a tsunami.

Portland Housekeeper Pleads Guilty To Stealing COVID-Relief Funds

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland area housekeeper is pleading guilty to stealing money from the Paycheck Protection Program. Kimberly Wells created a fake company called Kim's Cleaning. She claimed her company did 600-thousand dollars in business a year with a monthly payroll of 19-thousand dollars. An online loan company approved her application and sent her 49-thousand dollars in PPP funds. She spent the money on personal expenses that included travel and gambling. She'll be sentenced in August and could face up to 20 years in prison and a 250-thousand dollar fine. She's agreed to pay over 51-thousand dollars to the loan company and the SBA.

Skateboarder Hit, Killed

(Portland, OR) -- A skateboarder was killed in a crash last night in Aloha [[ uh-LOW uh ]]. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says it happened on the TV Highway and Southwest 198th. The skateboarder was hit by a car. The driver remained at the scene. Investigators have not released the name of the person who was killed or information about the cause of the crash.

Gas Prices Hold Relatively Steady This Week

Prices at the pump held relatively steady this week. "The Oregon statewide average ticks up a penny to $4.68 and the national average is holding steady at $4.10 a gallon," says AAA Oregon's Marie Dodds.

She says Oregon drivers can expect gas prices to fluctuate quite a bit in the weeks to come, "None of us know how this situation in Ukraine is going to unfold and so the global markets react on a daily, if not hourly, basis."

Crude oil shot back up above $100 a barrel this week, putting upward pressure on prices at the pump, "At the same time, we’ve seen our gas prices fall just a little bit from the record highs we had in March," says Dodds, "And just that little bit of a drop has probably spurred people on to consume more gasoline." She expects that increase in demand will also push prices higher.

Regional averages as of April 19, 2022:

Oregon Senator Pushes Billionaire Tax

PORTLAND, OR -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is renewing a push to increase taxes on the richest Americans.

 

On Tax Day, Monday, the Oregon Democrat joined the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness to promote his proposed "Billionaires Income Tax." Wyden says, "The tax code is unfairly tilted to benefit billionaires. And, as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I'm pushing throughout the year to balance the tax system so it's fair to everybody."

 

According to Americans for Tax Fairnessm 740 billionaires got 70% richer during the two-year pandemic and much of that isn't taxed due to loopholes in the current system. Wyden says his plan would tax the wealth earned from investments, like stocks and loans, not just salary - a loophole he calls "Buy, Borrow and Die." The Senator says, "If they just paid a Capital Gains rate - because this is about evading Capital Gains Taxes - the country would raise more than $550 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. That'll do a lot to help schools and infrastructure."

 

Wyden went on to say he wants people to ve successful but wants to stop the current practice allowing the richest Americans to make even more money without paying what he calls "their fair share."

Changes To Oregon's Death With Dignity Act

PORTLAND, OR -- Oregon's Death with Dignity Act is changing, thanks to a recent court settlement. State officials will no longer enforce the requirement that patients be Oregon residents when pursuing medical aid in dying.

 

The advocacy group Compassion and Choices filed a federal lawsuit last year on behalf of a Portland-area doctor who regularly treats patients across the river in Washington. He argued the residency requirement discriminates against out-of-state patients.

 

Opponents say dropping the restriction opens the floodgates to people coming to Oregon for the sole purpose of dying. But Peter Hawkes, an attorney for Compassion and Choices says, "It’s simply unlikely that someone who’s at an advanced stage where they are considering taking advantage of the Death with Dignity Act, that they are going to be in a position to come to Oregon, meet with an Oregon doctor, get prescribed the medication in Oregon, take the medication in Oregon." He adds, "Even in Oregon, where it's already something that's available to people, less than 1% of deaths are a result of someone taking advantage of the Death with Dignity Act. So, we're talking about very small numbers here. And the idea that there's going to be a string of people to Oregon looking to end their lives is just simply not really plausible."

 

Under the settlement, the Oregon Health Authory, Medical Board and Multnomah County District Attorney agree not to enfirce the residency requirement. The OHA also says it will pursue legislative action to permanently drop the restriction from the state law. Click HERE to read more from Compassion and Choices about the settlement.

Fire Destroys Boat In North Portland Harbor

(Portland, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into a fire that destroyed a boat at North Portland Harbor. The fire was reported around 3 o'clock yesterday morning and was burning in a boat that was about 40 feet long. No injuries were reported. Firefighters had to use chemical extinguishers to put out fuel that was burning in the stern of the boat. Booms were used to contain oil, fuel, and other chemicals. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Most Recoverable Oil Collected After Fuel Station Fire

(Medford, OR) -- Officials say most of the oil that spilled into Medford's Bear Creek last week during a fire at a Pacific Pride Fueling Station has been recovered. More than 20-thousand gallons of various petroleum products were released during the incident. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reports some oil remains, because removing it would damage nesting areas. No damage to fish has been found. Some Canada geese and mallard ducks are being cared for by International Bird rescue. NEXGEN Logistics operates the facility, and the company is paying for the wildlife rescue and recovery efforts.

Suspect Sentenced For COVID-Relief Theft

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland man will spend nearly two years in federal prison for getting a fraudulent COVID relief loan. Benjamin Tifekchian created a company called Bencho Jewelry and claimed it had 78 employees. He got 884-thousand dollars in Paycheck Protection Program funding. He used the money for gambling, vacations and other personal expenses. Tifekchian pleaded guilty to the charges.

Man Sentenced For Sexual Exploitation Of Children

(Portland, OR) -- A 60-year-old Warrenton man will spent the next 17 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting at least two children he met online. The Oregon U.S. Attorney's Office says Kirk Cazee was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Court documents indicate that between September 2006 and March 2010, Cazee persuaded several children under the age of 16 to produce and send him sexually explicit content. Initially, Cazee faced a 10 count indictment. In April of last year, he pleaded guilty to two counts of Production of Child Pornography. After he's released from prison, Kazee will be on supervised released for 99 years.

Neighbors Slow Fire's Spread

(Portland, OR) -- Authorities say neighbors came to the rescue when a house in Southeast Portland caught fire Sunday night. The Portland Fire Bureau says Richard Hilficker and Najee Newman live near the house on Southeast Washington Street near 174th. They were barbecuing when they heard a neighbor screaming about a fire. They used a hose to slow the fire's spread. Firefighters arrived and rescued a person who was trapped in a converted garage. The adult victim is hospitalized in critical condition at the Oregon Burn Center at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. There were no working smoke detectors in the home.

UGM Serves 900 Easter Meals

(Portland, OR) -- Union Gospel Mission in Portland served 900 meals for Easter. Officials say 300 people were served yesterday at their location on Northwest Third Avenue and 600 meals were distributed during the week by Search and Rescue mobile outreach teams that visit homeless camps. The meals included ham, au gratin potatoes, green beans with bacon and onions, a dinner roll, fruit salad, and desert. They also prepared 250 Easter food baskets for families who are housed, but are not able to provide and Easter brunch for their families.

Oregon Ranked Most Eco-Friendly State

(Undated) -- Yelp is ranking Oregon the most eco-friendly state in the nation. The website says Oregon got the top spot for having the highest ranking for sustainability mentions in professional, home and local services, as well as in the restaurant and food area. California came in second on the list, with Vermont, Nevada and Washington rounding out the top five.

Oregon Zoo Has New Baby Orangutan

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo has a new baby orangutan. Twenty-year-old Kitra gave birth last Wednesday, and officials say the baby appears to be healthy. Before the birth, zoo staff got Kitra used to ultrasounds and they used a stuffed animal to train her how to hold the baby and how to nurse. She's being kept in a private maternity area. Zoo staff keeps a hands-off approach, but they're closely monitoring the pair to make sure everything goes well.

Group Sets Fires, Vandalizes Businesses

(Portland, OR) -- Police are searching for a group of suspects accused of rampaging through the streets of North Portland on Saturday night, setting fires and breaking windows. Portland Police report a coffee shop on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard had windows broken, as did two banks. The suspects also allegedly shot fireworks at the building. Three bus shelters were damaged, and a fire was set in a dumpster. No arrests were made.

Biden To Visit Oregon, Washington State

(Washington, DC) -- President Biden heads to the Pacific Northwest this week. Biden will be in Portland on Thursday to promote his agenda and the sweeping infrastructure bill he signed late last year. He will mark Earth Day on Friday in Seattle, pitching a clean energy economy. The White House says Biden will also talk about efforts to lower costs for American families.

Life Sentences Handed Down To Two Gypsy Joker Members

(Portland, OR) -- Two members of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club in Oregon are being sentenced to life in federal prison for the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a former club member. Mark Dencklau was the Portland clubhouse president, and Chad Erickson was a club member. They accused the victim, Robert Huggins, of breaking into Dencklau's home in Woodburn, tying up his girlfriend and stealing multiple guns. Huggins was an estranged member of the club. He was kidnapped, tortured, and killed. His body was left in a Clark County field. Dencklau and Erickson were convicted during a trial in December.

Tip Investigation Finds Park Ranger Wasteful Spending

(Portland, OR) -- A tip from the City of Portland's Fraud Hotline has led to an investigation of spending in the Park Ranger program. The Portland Auditor's office found Park Ranger staff spent 66-hundred dollars on food purchases that didn't follow the city's policy. A manager also used City funds to buy a hat for 113 dollars that wasn't part of the ranger uniform. The Parks Bureau conducted its own investigation and increased purchasing oversight, monitoring, and training. It did not agree to all of the recommendations from the Auditor's Office.

Man Who Fired Shot At Police Charged

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police have filed charges against a man who allegedly shot at officers Wednesday afternoon. Police were investigating a stolen van near Southeast 113th and Foster Road when the suspect ran. Police caught up with him a couple of blocks away and during a physical confrontation the man fired a shot. No one was hurt. Police seized a semiautomatic handgun as evidence. Jordan Phillips is charged with Attempted Murder in the First Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Resisting Arrest.

New OR Campaign To Explain How Closed Primaries Work

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Secretary of State's Office has launched a campaign ahead of the May Primary to explain how closed primaries work. The campaign's goal is to get information out about the process and to eliminate misinformation. Both the Republican and Democratic primaries are closed, which means only people registered with those parties can vote for their candidates. The deadline to change party affiliation is April 26th. Oregon's Primary Election is on May 17th.

Stolen U-Haul, Car Recovered

(Portland, OR) -- A U-Haul truck and a Mazda Miata that were stolen from a Troutdale hotel Tuesday night have been recovered. They belonged to a couple moving from California to Corbett. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office says the car was found undamaged near Northeast 82nd and Fremont Street. The car-trailer was found near Southeast 53rd and Bush Street and the U-Haul truck was located at Southeast 49th and Haig Street. The couple says most of their belongings were gone. No arrests have been made.

City Council Considering Raising Parking Prices In Lloyd District During Events

(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Council is considering a proposal to raise parking prices during events in the Lloyd district. The proposal would increase street parking rates from one dollar per hour to three dollars per hour near venues like the Moda Center, Oregon Convention Center and Veteran's Memorial Coliseum. The council held a first reading of the proposal yesterday. A vote is expected sometime next week.

Police Seize 54 Pounds Of Meth In Beaverton Drug Bust

(Beaverton, OR) -- One person is facing charges following a drug bust that netted more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says deputies pulled the suspect over in February and found 54 pounds of meth and three-thousand pills believed to be counterfeit oxycodone laced with fentanyl. The bust was part of a months-long investigation.

Portland Ending Bicycle Patrol Contract With Clean And Safe

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is ending its bicycle patrol contract with the nonprofit group Clean and Safe. Portland city commissioners voted three to two yesterday to end the contract. Clean and Safe has been paying for Portland Police Bureau bike officers to clean up the Old Town area for the last two years. The police bureau says it will spend the next two years studying the data to determine whether to keep the bike patrol intact.

Portland To Ask Federal Government For $2M For Police Body Cameras

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is set to request two-million dollars in federal funding for police body cameras. Portland City Council voted yesterday to approve the mayor's request to submit an application to the Justice Department for funding. City Council previously approved more than two-million dollars to go toward police body cameras. The Portland Police Bureau is expected to roll out its pilot program for body cameras sometime this summer.

Oregon City To Conduct Fiber Infrastructure Feasibility Study

(Oregon City, OR) -- Oregon City could soon be enjoying faster Internet service. City leaders have announced that they will begin an infrastructure feasibility study next month to potentially install a fiber-optic network. Officials say the COVID-19 pandemic showed that Oregon City needs more powerful internet connections at homes, schools and businesses.

Cantwell Calls For Replacement Of I-5 Bridge Connecting WA, OR

(Vancouver, WA) -- U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell is calling for action to replace the I-5 bridge connecting Oregon and Washington state over the Columbia River. The Washington state Democrat spoke yesterday while taking a tour of the aging bridge, encouraging the state to take advantage of what she calls a "once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure." President Biden has signed new legislation into law creating two large pools of federal funding to improve infrastructure across the U.S. The funding includes 12-point-five-billion dollars for bridge investments. The Washington state legislature approved legislation during this year's session committing one-billion dollars to cover the state's anticipated share of the construction costs.

OSP Seeks Public Assistance In Officer Involved Shooting

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon State Police are asking for the public's help in the investigation of a fatal officer involved shooting in Salem. Tuesday evening, Salem Police Corporal Joshua Buker and Officer Susan Slivkoff were investigating a stolen vehicle when there was a physical confrontation that resulted in Buker shooting the suspect, 28-year-old Tayler Osborne. Officers provided first aid at the scene, but Osborne died at Salem Health Hospital. OSP investigators are asking witnesses to contact them.

Multnomah County Opens Three Cold Weather Shelters

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County is opening three cold weather shelters as snow and unseasonably cold weather continues to slam the area. The county opened the three shelters around 8 o'clock last night. Anyone who needs shelter can call 211 to find an available bed nearby.

Judge On Leave After Arrest On Child Pornography Charges

(Beaverton, OR) -- A state judge is on administrative leave after he was arrested on child pornography charges. The Oregonian reports that Chief Administrative Law Judge John Mann was arrested by Beaverton Police on ten counts related to the allegations. Court records indicate Mann possessed several illicit videos. Judge Mann divorced his spouse last month. The spouse was listed as a witness who testified against Mann before a grand jury.

Governor Signs Elliot State Forest Bill

(Salem, OR) -- The Elliot State Forest on the southern Oregon Coast now has new protections from the state. Governor Kate Brown signed a bill that keeps the forest in state ownership. It includes conservation, economic growth opportunities, recreation, education, and forest research. Money generated by the forest will go toward Oregon's Common School Fund. Brown says the Elliot State Forest will have a lasting legacy as a research forest that will contribute to knowledge of forestry and environmental stewardship.

Loud Personal Watercraft Ban Enacted

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon State Marine Board is banning loud personal watercraft from a section of the Willamette River. The board approved a temporary rule that limits personal watercraft to 75 decibels from the shoreline between Willamette Falls and the Waverly Marina. The rule is needed to stop the repetitive use of personal watercraft through that section of the river, because of complaints from homeowners. The Marine Board is working on a permanent solution to the problem.

Record-Breaking Snowfall Hits Portland

(Portland, OR) -- Record-breaking snowfall is leaving a freezing mess in the Portland area. Forecasters say roughly three inches of snow came down yesterday. The storm broke a record of the latest snowfall in a season, with the previous mark set on April 1st, 1935. More than 100-thousand customers for Portland General Electric reported losing power earlier. That number is now slightly above nine-thousand.

I-84 Closed In Northeast Oregon

(Pendleton, OR) -- I-84 is closed in both directions between Pendleton and La Grande, due to severe weather and multiple spun out trucks. Westbound truck traffic is stopped between Baker City and La Grande due to limited parking in Baker City. There's no estimate for when the freeway will reopen.

Storm Damage Closes Roads For Days

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Bureau of Transportation says some roads will remain closed for days due to tree damage caused by yesterday's snow storm. Those roads include sections of West Burnside, Northwest Skyline Boulevard, Southwest Capitol Highway, Northwest Germantown Road and Cornell Road. The heavy snow brought down more than 400 trees in the city.

Intel Renames Main Oregon Facility After Founder Gordon Moore, Begins Expansion

(Hillsboro, OR) -- The three-billion-dollar expansion of Intel's research facility in Hillsboro is underway. The company is adding 270-thousand square feet of cleanroom space to expand manufacturing and research tools to produce new advances in chip technology. Intel officials also announced today it is formally renaming its Ronler Acres campus to Gordon Moore Park after the company's co-founder.

One Hospitalized For Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Cornelius

(Cornelius, OR) -- Authorities say a person from the Valley View Mobile Home Park in Cornelius was hospitalized yesterday due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Power at the park went out early Monday morning and the person started running a generator. Skirting around the RV caused carbon monoxide to fill the trailer. When power was restored and the generator continued running, residents checked on the person and found them partially conscious. The person was flown to a hospital on Life Flight, because Highway 26 was closed from fallen trees.

Most Oregonians Oppose Natural Gas Export Facilities

(Corvallis, OR) -- Research from Oregon State University finds a majority of Oregonians perceive a greater risk than benefit from natural gas exports. Six natural gas export facilities have been proposed along the Oregon Coast. The most recent, in Coos Bay, was dropped last year. An OSU study found 53-percent of Oregonians feel natural gas is a greater risk to the environment than the financial benefit. 27-percent of people surveyed thought the economic benefit of exporting natural gas to other countries would be worth it.

Oregon Music Hall Of Fame Guitar Recovered

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police have recovered some items that were stolen from an Oregon Music Hall of Fame storage locker earlier this year. The suspect in the case is 40-year-old Eric Lamberton. In March, detectives found guitars and other items that were stolen during a burglary in Washington County last year. As the investigation continued, detectives searched properties and located one signed guitar from the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, along with other items. They also found 25-thousand dollars worth of stolen Yeti coolers. The stolen items are being returned to their owners.

Missing Snowboarder Recovered

(Mount Hood, OR) -- Crews have recovered the body of a snowboarder who went missing at Mt. Hood Meadows on April 5th. Ryan Mather was trapped in an avalanche in Clark Creek, which is part of the Heather Canyon area. The recovery required a rope team and took about two hours. Search conditions were difficult with active avalanche warnings in place most of the time.

Fire Destroys Newberg Building

(Newberg, OR) -- Authorities say a commercial building in Newberg was destroyed by fire Sunday morning. The building is located on Springbrook Road. When Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews arrived, they found the building fully involved. They called a second alarm to get more firefighters to keep the flames from spread to another building. It took crews two hours to get the fire under control. The building was a total loss. No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

OSU Increasing Tuition

(Corvallis, OR) -- Tuition is going up at Oregon State University. The Board of Trustees approved a three-and-a-half percent increase for returning undergraduates and a four-and-a-half percent increase for new undergrads. OSU is increasing student financial aid funded by the university by 11-million dollars. Incidental fees will increase nearly six-percent.

Planned Parenthood Preparing For Possible Surge In Patients

(Olympia, WA) -- Planned Parenthood clinics in Oregon and Washington state are getting ready for a possible surge in patients as Republican-led states move to restrict access to abortions. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana and Kentucky says all 15 of Washington state's clinics have seen patients from Texas seeking reproductive care following that state's passage of a restrictive new abortion law. The law restricts abortions after six weeks, which is before many women even know they are pregnant. Idaho passed a similar law last month. The Guttmacher Institute estimates Washington could see a 385-percent increase in patients if Roe v Wade is overturned. Planned Parenthood says it is working to ensure all patients who need abortion access receive it.

Most COVID-19 Cases In Oregon Unvaccinated

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority says over 47-percent of the two-thousand-35 COVID-19 infections last week involved people who were vaccinated. Officials say 58-percent of those "breakthrough" cases involved people who were fully vaccinated and boosted. But the OHA says well over half of the cases, 52-percent, were among those who were unvaccinated.

Nearly Six In Ten Oregonians Say No Voting Fraud In 2020 Presidential Election

(Portland, OR) -- Nearly six in ten Oregonians believe there was virtually no fraudulent voting in the 2020 presidential election and it had no impact on the results. A survey by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted in February found 44-percent of Oregonians describe what happened on January 6th as an attempted coup or insurrection while only eight-percent say it was a reasonable protest. Three-quarters of participants say it's okay for the government to arrest and prosecute protesters who break the law.

Oregon AG Sues COVID-19 Testing Company

(Salem, OR) -- Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is suing a COVID-19 testing company over shoddy test results. According to Rosenblum, the Center for COVID Control and its partner, Doctors Clinical Laboratory, held pop-up clinics in the Portland area. The lawsuit states the companies falsely claimed they could give accurate PCR test results within three days, lacking the ability to process the large number of tests they received. Rosenblum seeks to ban the company from working in Oregon permanently.

Search Suspended For Missing Snowboarder

(Mount Hood, OR) -- The search for missing snowboarder Ryan Mather is being temporarily suspended due to snow conditions that'll make it too dangerous for crews to look for him. Mather went missing on the evening of April 5th. On Thursday, team members covered hundreds of acres of terrain at Mount Hood Meadows, checking some areas multiple times. When conditions improve, the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Patrol will continue search efforts. A spokesperson for the family thanked the crews for their efforts and they're grateful for the support and well-wishes from the community.

Health Officials Urge Lane County Residents To Update All Vaccinations Ahead Of Worlds

(Eugene, OR) -- The Lane County Health Department is urging residents to make sure their vaccines are up-to-date ahead of the World Athletic Championships in Eugene. Officials say the concern goes beyond COVID-19, noting declines in vaccination rates for measles, mumps, and rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Clinics around the county are ready to administer the necessary shots. Worlds is set to take place at Hayward Field beginning on July 15th.

Four Displaced In Townhouse Fire

(Happy Valley, OR) -- Four people are displaced following a townhouse fire in Happy Valley. Firefighters responded to the three-unit home last night. Crews managed to save several rabbits from the burning home, but a cat remains missing. It's not yet clear what sparked the blaze.

Search Underway For Missing Snowboarder On Mt. Hood

(Hood River County, OR) -- Search and rescue teams are looking for a missing snowboarder on Mt. Hood. Authorities say Ryan Mather did not return from Mt. Hood Meadows Tuesday night and was reported overdue by his girlfriend. Teams are focused on areas around the Shooting Star Express chair lift.

FDA: Tainted Raw Oysters Could Be Linked To Norovirus Outbreak

(Washington, DC) -- The FDA is warning that tainted raw oysters being sold in Oregon could be linked to a norovirus outbreak. The oysters are from British Columbia and were sold to restaurants and retailers in at least thirteen states. Those states are New York, New Jersey, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Washington. Norovirus is highly contagious and often causes stomach flu, producing symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

States Say NFL Must End "Pervasive Culture Of Sexism" For Female Workers

(New York, NY) -- Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is joining the attorneys general of five other states in saying the NFL needs to move quickly to end what they call a "pervasive culture of sexism." The AGs made that charge in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in response to reports that dozens former employees described "widespread workplace discrimination" against women. Attorneys general from New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Washington, Minnesota, and Oregon noted that 37-percent of the NFL's eleven-hundred employees are women and 30-percent are people of color. The AGs wrote, "It is imperative that you ensure that all employees are treated equally, fairly, and with the dignity they deserve."

U.S. Senators Calling For Investigation Into West Coast Gas Prices

(Sacramento, CA) -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is among a group of senators calling for an investigation into the high gas prices on the West Coast. The Democrat joined California Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington state in sending a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging the agency to investigate what the senators called elevated and volatile prices for gas, diesel and jet fuel. Specifically, the senators want the FTC to focus on trading practices which may have affected fuel prices in Western states. The lawmakers say they're concerned about the disparity between the high prices at the pump and the now declining price of crude oil.

County Hosting 'Take Back The Block' For National Walking Day

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines is inviting the public to join her for an evening stroll today. Today is National Walking Day, and the Multnomah County Health Department is hosting an event called Take Back the Block to promote walking and traffic safety. In 2019, Multnomah County had 67 deaths which was a 44-percent increase over the previous five years. In 2021, over 80 people died in crashes.

PSU Statement On Fatal Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- Portland State University President Stephen Percy is issuing a statement following Monday's fatal shooting near campus. He says the victim Amara Marluke was a student, an artist, an activist and a vibrant member of the university community. He says they will work together as a campus community to heal. The university is making resources available to students at the Center for Student Health and Counseling, the PSU Employee Assistance Program, the Women's Resource Center and the Cultural Resources Center.

Gas Prices Edge Down

(Portland, OR) -- President Biden's announcement that a million barrels of oil a day will be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to refineries has resulted in lower crude oil prices and lower gas prices in Oregon and nationwide. Triple-A reports that since the announcement, the national average price for a gallon of gas declined seven cents to four dollars and 18 cents, and Oregon's average declined four cents to 4.68. Oregon's price is still a dollar 49-cents higher than this time last year. Diesel in Oregon declined a nickel to five dollars and 43 cents a gallon.

Mystery Casket Left At Cemetery

(Harrisburg, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into the discovery of a mysterious hand-built casket with a body inside at a cemetery near Harrisburg. The cemetery's board of directors said there were no scheduled burials when the casket was found. Investigators say there were no signs of trauma to the body. The Oregon State Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. Deputies are trying to identify the person.

Rose Festival Parade Returns

(Portland, OR) -- The Rose Festival Parade will be back in Portland this year, after being canceled the last two years because of the pandemic. The festival is adding a special kick-off Rose City Reunion concert with the Oregon Symphony on Thursday, May 26th in Waterfront Park. It'll feature the world premiere of "From One Rose," a special musical piece written by the Festival's own Ron Carr, and arranged by Emmy award-winning composer Bruce Broughton. The Starlight Parade, Junior Parade and the Grand Floral Parade will all be held during the festival.

Woman Awarded $8M In Damages For Deadly Amtrak Cascades Derailment

(Portland, OR) -- A woman is receiving eight-million dollars in damages for injuries sustained during the 2017 deadly derailment of a Portland-bound Amtrak Cascades train in Washington state. A federal jury in Tacoma, Washington awarded Emily Torjusen two-point-five-million for past noneconomic compensatory damages and five-point-five-million for future noneconomic damages yesterday. Torjusen was among dozens of people who were injured when the train derailed during the inaugural run of the Point Defiance Bypass route from Seattle to Portland. Three people were killed. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that inadequate planning, insufficient crew training, excessive speed and human error were to blame for the derailment.

Trial Continues Against Portland Romance Novelist Accused Of Murdering Husband

(Portland, OR) -- Proceedings continue today in the murder trial against a romance novelist accused of murdering her husband in Portland. Nancy Crampton-Brophy is accused of shooting and killing her husband and popular Oregon Culinary Institute teacher and chef Daniel Brophy in June of 2018. During opening statements yesterday, the prosecution contended the couple were in financial distress and that Crampton-Brophy took out ten life insurance policies on her husband worth one-point-four million dollars. The defense attorney says Daniel died too young and that the policies would have been worth more later. Before Brophy's killing, Crampton-Brophy wrote an essay titled "How To Murder Your Husband." The judge ruled the essay could not be admitted in court. The trial is expected to last about a month.

Oregon Zoo Chimpanzee Dies

(Portland, OR) -- One of the Oregon Zoo's oldest residents has died. A chimpanzee named Leah was 47-years-old and died in her sleep. Leah was born at the zoo in 1974 and got the attention of renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. While Leah was old for a chimpanzee, she is survived by her sister Delilah who turns 49 next month. The zoo's male chimp Jackson is 50 and troop leader Chloe is 53. Wild chimpanzees live to around 33 years of age. Zookeepers say Leah was known for her sweet demeanor.

OR Reports 1.1 Million Tax Returns Filed

(Salem, OR) -- The deadline to file income taxes is April 18th, and the Oregon Department of Revenue says it expects several hundred thousand more returns to be filed. More than one-point-one million Oregonians have filed their state income tax return and more than 928-thousand filers have received a refund. The Department of Revenue has a "Where's My Refund" tool on its website. A total of two-point-two million state tax returns are expected to be filed.

Kids Injured In Airsoft Shooting

(Milwaukie, OR) -- Two kids in Milwaukie are recovering from minor injuries after being shot with an airsoft or BB gun. Police say the kids were playing near Southeast Park Street near Wood Avenue on Sunday afternoon when a minivan pulled up and someone stood up through the sunroof and fired at the kids, hitting them. The van was described as a dark blue Dodge Caravan or Honda Odyssey. The suspect who fired the shots was a white male juvenile with a white t-shirt and short brown hair. Milwaukie Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

(Portland, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into the early-morning

Woman Killed In Shooting Near PSU shooting death of a woman near the Portland State University campus in downtown Portland. Police say the woman was shot just after 1 o'clock this morning near a convenience store at Southwest 6th Avenue and College Street. The woman was found dead at the scene. No arrests have been made.

Trial Begins Against Romance Novelist Accused Of Murdering Chef Husband

(Portland, OR) -- Trial gets underway today for a self-published romance novelist accused of murdering her husband. Opening statements are scheduled this morning for the murder trial against Nancy Crampton-Brophy. She's accused of shooting and killing her husband and popular Oregon Culinary Institute teacher and chef Daniel Brophy in June of 2018. Crampton Brophy worked as a romance novelist and once wrote an essay she called "How to Murder Your Husband."

Deputy Who Killed Officer Sahota Opened Fire Within Four Seconds Of Arrival

(Vancouver, WA) -- A new report shows the Clark County Sheriff's deputy who fatally shot off-duty Vancouver Police officer Donald Sahota in his own home earlier this year did so within four seconds of arriving on the scene. The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office released new information Friday showing Deputy Jonathon Feller fired four shots within four seconds of parking in front of Sahota's home on January 29th. Sahota was attempting to subdue an armed robbery suspect at his home when Feller shot him. Feller says he thought Sahota was the suspect. Feller was also involved in a controversial fatal shooting in 2020, when he was one of three deputies involved in the shooting death of Kevin Peterson after Peterson allegedly tried to buy drugs and ran from detectives in Hazel Dell. An outside prosecutor determined the shooting was justified, but Peterson's family announced plans to sue over the shooting last year.

Pedestrian Killed In Crash

(Millersburg, OR) -- A pedestrian is dead after being hit by a car on I-5. The crash happened early Saturday morning near Millersburg. Oregon State Police report Robert Halfacre was walking along the freeway around 2 a.m. when he tried to cross the lanes and was hit. Several vehicles hit Halfacre and he died at the scene. All of the involved drivers stopped and cooperated with the investigation.

Officer Injured In Crash

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland Police officer is injured following a multi-vehicle crash on I-84. The officer was responding to a single car crash that was blocking the right lane near 33rd Avenue Saturday morning when an approaching vehicle lost control and hit the patrol car. Three other vehicles crashed trying to avoid the incident. The officer and one other driver were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

TriMet Frequent Express Service Begins Training

(Portland, OR) -- New TriMet buses will begin operating on Division Street starting today. Operators are training for the new FX-2 Frequent Express line. It runs from Mt. Hood Community College to downtown Portland. It uses longer, articulated buses that carry more passengers than a regular bus. They get traffic signal priority, which means fewer delays. And the buses will run at least every 12 minutes during peak commute times. Passengers can board through all doors. TriMet is considering adding the service on other routes.

Portland Man Sentenced For Stealing COVID Relief Funds

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland man is headed to federal prison for stealing COVID relief funds that were intended to help small businesses during the pandemic. Prosecutors say between May of 2020 and April of 2021, 35-year-old Eric Lysne falsely obtained more than 360-thousand dollars in Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans from the Small Business Administration and various financial institutions. Last fall, he pleaded guilty to bank fraud and wire fraud. Wednesday, he was sentenced to more than two years in prison and ordered to pay restitution.

OR Reports Five New COVID-19 Deaths

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has five new deaths related to COVID-19 and 320 new infections. There are 108 people hospitalized, which is four less than on Wednesday. There have been seven-thousand-144 deaths and 704-thousand-152 cases of COVID-19 in the state since the pandemic began.

OHS Seeking Homes For Special Needs Dogs

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Humane Society has dozens of dogs who have waited more than a year to be adopted. Many of these dogs need special care or unique homes, because of their situations. One dog was a stray found after Hurricane Ida in 2021 and another dog was brought to the U.S. from Afghanistan. OHS is open for walk-throughs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you want to make an adoption, you need to schedule an appointment, but that can often happen the same day. The Humane Society's website has photos of the dogs.

Oregon Increases THC Limit In Edibles

(Portland, OR) -- Marijuana stores in Oregon can start selling edibles tomorrow that are twice as strong. The previous limit was 50 milligrams per package and five milligrams per dose. The new limit is 100 milligrams per package and 10 milligrams in each dose. The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission warns consumers to check the packaging, so they don't take more than they want. Edibles include chocolate bars, cookies, cereal bars, and gummies. At least 30 products have been approved for the higher dose.

Oregon's Healthcare Surge Unified Command Demobilized

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has shut down the Healthcare Surge Unified Command team that was mobilized last August to support the state's response to the Delta and Omicron surges of COVID-19 affecting hospitals and health systems. The team included staff from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Human Services. They started demobilizing the group in February when COVID-19 hospitalizations started to drop. Some team members will continue to serve through the end of June.

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