Regional News Archives for 2022-12

Travelers Hoping For Smoother Sailing At Portland International

(Portland, OR) -- Portland International Airport is bracing for one of the busiest travel days of the year today. The airport had nearly three-dozen more cancellations yesterday - more than 30 of them from Southwest Airlines. The embattled airline has had to cancel thousands of flights across the nation over the past week, but says they are back on schedule today. Meanwhile, more than 50-thousand travelers are expected to pass through the Portland airport today.

Woman Arrested After Pushing Little Girl Onto Train Tracks

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland woman is facing multiple charges after allegedly pushing a toddler onto the MAX train tracks. The incident happened Thursday night at the Gateway Transit Center near 99th Avenue and Pacific Street in Woodland Park. TriMet officers responded to a call that a three-year-old girl was intentionally pushed onto the tracks. The girl was quickly pulled off of the tracks to safety by bystanders and 32-year-old Brianna Workman was arrested.

City And County Authorities To Set Speed Limit

(Portland, OR) -- A new state law going into effect in the New Year allows cities and counties to set their own speed limits. Currently, the Oregon Department of Transportation has the authority. Portland was a major proponent of the change after more than 65 people were killed in city streets this year - the highest number of traffic fatalities in decades. The Portland Bureau of Transportation argues that lowering the speed limit along some of the city's more high profile thoroughfares would help the problem.

Electricity Rates Going Up In 2023

(Portland, OR) -- Portlanders will see an increase in their electric bills in the New Year. The Oregon Public Utility Commission has given Portland General Electric the green light to increase rates for electricity in 2023. PGE's costs for buying electricity and natural gas have increased significantly over the past year. The rate hike applies to 900-thousand customers across 51 cities in Oregon.

Portland Among The Top 50 Cities To Celebrate New Year's

(Portland, OR) -- It's not quite New York City, but Portland is one of the top 50 cities to ring in the New Year. According to a recent WalletHub survey, Portland came in at 31 on the list of the Best Cities for New Year's Eve celebrations. The ranking was based on an average score for entertainment and food, cost, and safety and accessibility. No surprise, New York took the top spot, followed by Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Atlanta rounding out the top five.

Strange Series Of Events Leads To Washington Man's Arrest

(Sherwood, OR) -- A Washington man is facing several charges from several Oregon agencies after a bizarre sequence of events Thursday. According to reports, Steven Denham fled a traffic stop in Sherwood after an Oregon State Police trooper tried to place him under arrest. A couple of hours later, Denham was stopped dancing in the street in Clackamas County, then later running through a Cabela's store in Tualatin screaming obscenities. After a high-speed chase, Denham was eventually arrested and is now facing nearly 20 charges.

Oregon Implements Final Rules For Magic Mushrooms

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is close to becoming the first state in the nation to offer medical psilocybin mushrooms for patients. This week, the Oregon Health Authority adopted the final draft of regulations for implementing the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act. The state can now start accepting applications for licenses to dispense magic mushrooms starting January 2nd. Soon, it will be legal for anyone 21 and older who qualifies to be prescribed psilocybin mushrooms.

Portland Seeks To Declare Homelessness A State Of Emergency

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is calling on the Governor-elect Tina Kotek to declare homelessness a state of emergency. The homeless population in the city has increased exponentially over the past several years. In a letter to the governor this week, Mayor Ted Wheeler is asking for 26-million dollars allocated for homelessness response and prevention. The money would be spent on affordable housing, workforce training, and more.

Guns, Drugs, And Cash Seized In Salem

(Salem, OR) -- A months-long investigation into drugs and guns in Salem is netting big results. Officers arrested 45-year-old Leonel Hernandez and 50-year-old Silvia Diaz after they found two loaded guns, cash, and fentanyl in their vehicle. That led to a search warrant for a home near McKinley Elementary School where detectives found nearly 30-pounds of meth, 15-pounds of cocaine, 55-thousand fentanyl pills, two-pounds of heroin, two dozen guns, and more. More than 60-thousand dollars in cash was also seized in the bust.

Gray Whale Migration Happening Now In Oregon

(Portland, OR) -- It's officially Whale Watch Week in Oregon. The event is back in-person for the first time since the pandemic. Yesterday afternoon, about 500 people were at the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay, hoping to see the gray whale migration to the coastline. There will be volunteers on hand at 17 state parks through Sunday helping revelers spot nearly 20-thousand gray whales traveling south for the winter.

Downed Trees Responsible For Five Highway Deaths Tuesday

(Portland, OR) -- Five people are dead after three separate crashes, all involving trees that collapsed onto moving vehicles. The first crash on Tuesday afternoon, just after 2 p.m., happened along I-84 near Bonneville, when 20-year-old Paula Chamu Sanchez was killed. Just before 3:30 Tuesday, at Highway 26 in Wasco County, 53-year-old James Darron Lyda of Prineville was killed in a similar crash. Then three people were killed, including a four-year-old girl, when a tree fell onto the pickup they were riding in along 26 in Clatsop County later Tuesday.

Residents Still In The Dark After Portland Wind Storm

(Portland, OR) -- Tens of thousands of residents of the Portland metro area are without power after this week's wind storms. Early in the day Tuesday, the three major utilities in the area reported more than 100-thousand residents in the dark. That number had lessened to about 63-thousand as of 10:30 last night. A spokesperson for PGE said roughly 600 workers were addressing the outages.

Neighbors Believe Woman Painted Racial Slur On Her Own Home

(West Linn, OR) -- Police in West Linn are investigating after a racial slur was painted on a home along Sunset Avenue. But neighbors tell investigators that they believe it was the woman who lives there who did it. It was first reported on Christmas morning. Residents speculate that the woman wrote the slur on her own home to target her Black neighbors as there have been several other incidents leading up to this.

Young Girl Missing From Vancouver Since Christmas

(Vancouver, WA) -- Police in Vancouver, Washington are looking for a missing 12-year-old girl. Delilah Burns was last seen in the area of East Fourth Plain and Grand Boulevards on Christmas Day. She is listed as five-feet five-inches tall and about 110 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Vancouver Police Department.

Ice, Rain, And Wind Wreak Havoc On Portland

(Portland, OR) -- As damage is still being assessed from last week's ice storm, Portland is dealing with a whole new list of weather-related problems. High winds and heavy rain has caused downed trees, power lines, flooding, and worse. Nico's Ice Cream shop, a popular spot for Portlanders, is closed until further notice after ice build up caved in the shop's roof. Meanwhile, this morning, thousands are still without power after a round of wind storms yesterday.

Increased Risk Of Landslides Due To Severe Weather, Fires

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries is warning of the risk of landslides. The severe weather over the past several days coupled with areas that have been burned by recent wildfires is increasing risk for landslides and debris flows. The latter can include large rocks, logs, and other dangerous debris carried downhill by fast-moving soil and water through narrow canyons. Residents near areas of steep terrain are being warned to stay up to date on any and all weather alerts.

Suspect In Girlfriend's Murder Found Squatting In Southern Oregon

(Portland, OR) -- A man accused of killing his girlfriend and leaving her body in the Powell Butte National Park weeks ago is in custody. Forty-three-year-old Jose Antonio Caraballo was found squatting in a home in Southern Oregon last week. The homeowner returned and found Caraballo inside with a knife before he fled on a bicycle. Caraballo is suspected in the murder of Kathryn Muhlbach whose body was discovered in the park in Portland on Friday, December 9th.

Severe Weather Continues To Impact Portland

(Portland, OR) -- The National Weather Service Portland is warning residents of severe flooding in some parts of the city. Heavy rains Monday caused several roads and other areas to flood. While the initial flood advisory has expired, there is still a lot of water hanging around. Meanwhile, the entire Portland area is still under a wind advisory throughout most of the day today.

Officials Criticized For Sending Residents Out In The Cold

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County is still dealing with backlash after closing emergency warming shelters over the weekend. On Friday, the county opened five shelters as temperatures dropped below the emergency threshold of 25-degrees. Saturday morning, temps rose to about 30-degrees, which is above the threshold, prompting the county to close the shelters at 8 a.m. There was still freezing rain in the area at the time and residents took to Twitter and Facebook, berating local officials for their lack of compassion.

Weekend Ice Storm Wreaks Havoc On Portland Pipes

(Portland, OR) -- The city is still cleaning up after hundreds of pipes burst across Portland as temperatures plunged over the holiday weekend. The Portland Water Bureau says they responded to over a thousand emergency shut-off calls, from residents to restaurants and more. There were 20 water main breaks last Thursday and Friday alone. Temperatures were consistently in the low double digits, sometimes single digits during the weekend ice storm, and wind chill factors made it feel ever colder.

Windy Conditions Have Pacific Power Ready For Outages

(Portland, OR) -- High winds are causing concern over potential power outages across Portland. A wind advisory is in effect for most of the area throughout most of the day today. Wind gusts could reach as high as 60 to 70 miles per hour, according to Pacific Power officials. Crews are on standby, ready to respond if serious outages occur due to the storm.

PDX Officials Working To Catch Up After Massive Delays

(Portland, OR) -- Operations are slowly getting back to normal at Portland International Airport. Hundreds of flights were canceled or otherwise delayed due to severe weather over the long holiday weekend. The wind in the forecast today isn't going to help matters. Still, officials with the local airport say they are catching and getting stranded travelers to their destinations.

Oregon's Minimum Wage Increase Still Undetermined

(Portland, OR) -- As several states are set to raise their minimum wage, Oregon is holding off until the summer. In total, 27 states in the U.S. are raising the minimum wage, most on or immediately after the first of the year. Oregon's increase doesn't take effect until July of 2023. While it's increasing from the current rate of 13-dollars and 50-cents per hour, it hasn't been determined what it will be increasing to.

Highway 30 Shutdown Due To Flooding

(Portland, OR) -- Highway 30 is back open after flooding caused officials to shut it down late Monday. The Oregon Department of Transportation had 30 closed between Marina Way and Harborton Driver, west of Portland. A detour was set up for the closure that lasted through the night into early this morning. Heavy rain throughout most of the day Monday washed out the area making it impassable.

North Bend Man Cited For Poaching Three Bucks

(Coos Bay, OR) -- A North Bend resident has been cited for poaching three black-tailed bucks near Coos Bay in 2021. Oregon State Police say they believe 21-year-old Macen West, of North Bend, was driving when he came around a corner and saw the deer in his headlights. Investigators say deer get transfixed with lights and would have been easy targets. They were all shot in the head. Deer season was closed when it happened. The carcasses were found the next day. Prosecutors are asking for three-thousand dollars restitution, a three year suspension of West's hunting rights and forfeiture of the gun he used.

Kotek Launches State Tour

(McMinnville, OR) -- Governor-elect Tina Kotek's "One Oregon Listening Tour" is underway. Kotek began the tour yesterday in McMinnville, where she focused on mental health, early learning, affordable housing and homelessness. She says there aren't enough people doing those jobs and that she'll work toward ways to improve training in those fields. Kotek plans to visit all 36 counties during her first year in office.

Missing Couple Found

(Oregon City, OR) -- An elderly couple that was missing from their home in Oregon City have been found. Police say 83-year-old Richard Wise and his wife, 93-year-old Louise Wise, left for grocery shopping Tuesday afternoon but didn't return home. Oregon City Police say a citizen found them in the Clackamas area this morning and they were both safe.

Governor Forgives $1.8 Million In Traffic Fines

(Salem, OR) -- Governor Kate Brown is forgiving traffic fines for nearly seven-thousand Oregonians with suspended licenses who can't afford to pay them. The fines totaled one-point-eight million dollars. In 2020, the Legislature passed a bill that prohibits a driver's license from being suspended if a traffic fine isn't paid. The Governor's order applies the law to traffic fines issued prior to 2020. It excludes misdemeanor or felony traffic offense cases, and it doesn't forgive restitution or compensatory fines owed to victims.

Extreme Wind Chill Warnings Issued

(Portland, OR) -- The coldest weather since 2014 is expected in western Oregon now through Friday morning. Lows are expected to be in the teens in the Willamette Valley and the northern Oregon coast. Strong east winds will cause the wind chill to make it feel like it's zero degrees. Snow, sleet, and freezing rain are possible Thursday afternoon through Friday. Emergency shelters are being set up and people living outside are being urged to stay in a shelter until temperatures warm up.

4.6 Magnitude Earthquake Off Oregon Coast

(Newport, OR) -- There was a four-point-six magnitude earthquake off the Oregon Coast Tuesday afternoon. It was centered about 200 miles southwest of Newport and happened at 4:22 p.m. There were no reports of damage on the coast and a quake of that size wouldn't produce a tsunami.

OHSU Receives $3 Million For Overdose Prevention Research

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon Health and Science University is receiving a three-million dollar grant to study overdose prevention research. The five year grant comes from the National Institutes of Health to study the effectiveness of different harm reduction strategies at preventing overdoses and ways to expand access to these services for diverse communities. It's one of 10 grants awarded nationwide as part of an effort to speed scientific solutions to the opioid crisis.

OSHA Fines Beaverton Company $40,000

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon OSHA has fined a Beaverton construction company 40-thousand dollars for multiple safety violations. ATC Construction is accused of not protecting workers at a Tigard job site from falling off a roof. It's not the first time the company has been cited. In 2021, OSHA issued a citation for a similar violation. Other fines were issued for not protecting workers from falling through skylights, improper use of a ladder, and not wearing eye protection when using a nail gun. ATC Construction has 30 days to appeal.

ODFW Rescues Three Legged Deer From Christmas Lights

(Dallas, OR) -- A local three-legged deer nicknamed "Tripod" in Dallas is doing fine after getting tangled in some Christmas lights. Oregon Fish and Wildlife says crews rescued the animal on Monday after residents reported there were lights wrapped around the deer's antlers. Fish and Wildlife agents used a tranquilizer dart to immobilize the buck and remove the lights. The deer lost its right front leg in an accident, and the injury has healed. Fish and Wildlife agents say it seems to be getting around fine.

Oregon Homelessness Increases 22%

(Portland, OR) -- Homelessness in Oregon increased 22-percent this year compared to 2020. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its 2022 Annual Homeless Assessment Report which estimated the number of homeless people on a single night last January was 14-thousand-655. The number of homeless youths declined 19-percent over the last two years.

FBI Searches For Potential Sex Abuse Victims

PORTLAND, OR -- A former Oregon-based doctor is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old on an airplane departing Portland in July of 2019, and federal investigators say there may be more victims. Andrew Davoodian was indicted last month on one count of Sexually Abusive Contact. "We do have indicators that tell us, unfortunately, there probably are other victims out there that we have no idea about," says Kieran Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office, "So, we’re trying to proceed in a manner that we can, not only identify victims, but treat them appropriately, get them any services that we can, and then make sure that we see justice."

Davoodian was an anesthesiologist at OHSU. He is not yet in custody, according to SAC Ramsey. He tells KBND News cases like this are tough because potential victims could be anywhere. 

"It can be extremely difficult for us to make sure that we are acting with a sense of urgency to identify any other victims that we don’t know about right now," says Ramsey, "So, that’s why we’re trying to put that out there, as widely as possible, but recognizing we’re doing it with very limited information that we’re sharing. And that’s because our investigation is still ongoing."

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the FBI Portland Field Office at 503-224-4181, or contact local law enforcement. 

 

State Audit Finds Community College Shortcomings

(Salem, OR) -- New data suggests the State of Oregon needs to improve its monitoring of community colleges. An audit by the Oregon Secretary of State finds student performance lags behind other states, there are equity gaps, student support services are weak, and state financial aid needs improvement. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission oversees community colleges but doesn't have the authority to require change. The audit recommends the Legislature provide HECC with better direction and authority.

Grand Jury Clears Portland Officer In Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- A Multnomah County grand jury has cleared a Portland Police Officer of criminal wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a man in Southeast Portland last July. Officers responded to Southeast Portland's Hazelwood neighborhood on reports of a man firing a gun in the front yard of a house. Officer Joshua Dyk is a member of the Police Bureau's Focused Intervention Team and fatally shot 40-year-old Aaron Stanton. Details of why the shooting happened haven't been released. The Multnomah County District Attorney is asking the judge to release the grand jury transcripts.

Heavy Holiday Airport Travel Underway

(Portland, OR) -- Portland International Airport expects 593-thousand travelers between now and New Year's. That's about 50-thousand fewer people than before the pandemic. The busiest travel days will be the Friday before Christmas and the Friday before New Year's Eve. Airport officials advise putting name tags on all bags, including carry-ons. After Thanksgiving, the Airport's Lost & Found office had 360 items with no identification. Travel at PDX for the year will be up nearly three-million travelers from last year but still down about five-million from before the pandemic.

Fisherman Earns Nearly $70,000 In Fishing Bounty Program

(Portland, OR) -- A bounty program that pays to catch salmon-killing Northern Pikeminnow paid out one-point-three million dollars this year. Over 140-thousand of the fish were caught by nearly 12-hundred anglers in the Columbia and Snake rivers. The bounty pays 6 to 10 dollars per fish, with tagged fish worth 200 to 500 dollars. The top fisherman caught nearly seven-thousand fish and earned 69-thousand dollars. Northern Pikeminnow are not native to the Northwest. They prey on young salmon and they're removed to help increase the salmon population.

Former Non-Profit Director Pleads Guilty To Covid Relief Fraud

(Portland, OR) -- A former director of a Portland non-profit has pleaded guilty to bank fraud related to Covid relief loans. Federal prosecutors say 62-year-old Theodore Johnson ran the Ten Penny International Housing Foundation since 2017. Johnson applied for three Paycheck Protection Program loans, along with an Oregon Cares Fund grant, using fake information about the non-profit and received nearly 308-thousand dollars. Johnson pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in March.

WSDA Wants You To Check Christmas Trees For An Invasive Insect

(Olympia, WA) -- Anyone who purchased a Christmas tree this year might want to check for uninvited guests. The Washington Department of Agriculture reports an insect called elongate hemlock scale has been found on out-of-state holiday greenery. The bug is oval and flat shaped and light yellow-brown to brownish-orange in color. Anyone who finds elongate hemlock scale should contact the Washington Department of Agriculture and dispose of the greenery by cutting it up, double-bagging it and throwing it away.

Police Arrest Suspect In Salem Arsons

(Salem, OR) -- Salem Police arrested a suspect in a series of arsons last weekend. The first fire was in a dumpster outside of a BottleDrop building. Surveillance video gave police a description of the suspect. Two other fires were reported in the same area and when a fire happened outside of the Lucky Fortune Restaurant, an officer found a person matching the suspect who was seen near the BottleDrop and took the man into custody. 28-year-old Leonardo Hernandez-Cruz is charged with arson, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.

Cleveland High Shooting Update

(Portland, OR) -- Detectives with Portland Police say Cleveland High School wasn't the focus of a shooting last week that injured a 16-year-old. They say the shooting was not a random act and that the individuals in the shooting were focused on each other. Police have identified the suspects, but no arrests have been made. Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact them.

Dye Leaks From Semi

(Portland, OR) -- A truck carrying red-colored dye spilled it on freeways in the Portland area for several miles on Saturday. Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies stopped 40-year-old Junior Jean. His route included I-205 and I-84. At one point, he stopped when a driver pointed out the leak, but the company he worked for told him to keep driving. The dye is supposed to be water soluble, so it should wash away. Deputies want drivers who were on I-205 northbound or Northeast Marine Drive between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday to check their vehicle. If it has dye that doesn't come off after a car wash, they should contact the sheriff's office. Jean was cited for having a leaking load, criminal mischief, and reckless driving.

Harney County Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction On Gun Law

(Burns, OR) -- A Harney County judge has issued a preliminary injunction on the gun magazine size limit in Oregon's new voter approved gun law. Ballot Measure 114 would limit magazines to 10 rounds. Circuit Court Judge Robert Raschio says the injunction will remain in place until the constitutionality of the measure can be determined. He also paused the permit-to-purchase and background check requirements in the law, because the state didn't have the system in place to process the permits.

Multnomah County Approves Spending $28M On Homeless Support

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County is approving a plan to spend 28-million dollars on support for the homeless. County commissioners voted yesterday to approve a 28-million-dollar budget amendment for the Joint Office of Homeless Services. It's not yet clear if any of the money will go toward supporting Portland's homeless plan. The city issued a request to the county late last month for 21-million dollars to help fund the plan.

Report Details Portland Street Response Results

(Portland, OR) -- Portland State University researchers have released a new report on Portland Street Response. It reviews the first six months after expanding the program citywide. PSR responded to over 32-hundred calls, which is a 700-percent increase from the same period last year when it was operating in a single neighborhood. 64-percent of calls involved someone who was homeless. The calls taken by PSR reduced calls to the police by three-percent. No PSR calls resulted in arrests. The program currently operates seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Next summer it will expand to around-the-clock operations.

Monsanto Settles Over PCB Pollution In Oregon

(Salem, OR) -- Monsanto will pay Oregon 698-million dollars for decades of PCB contamination. PCBs were used in coolants, electrical equipment like transformers, fluorescent light bulbs, and hydraulic oils. PCBs accumulate in fish and wildlife and a lawsuit by the Oregon Attorney General alleged Monsanto knew since 1937 about the risks. PCBs stopped being produced in 1977. Money from the settlement will go toward cleanup PCB sites statewide.

'Jogger Rapist' To Be Released From Prison Today

(Portland, OR) -- Portland's so-called "jogger rapist" is being released from prison today. The Multnomah County Department of Corrections says Richard Gillmore will be released on parole to live in county-staffed subsidized housing in Northwest Portland following nearly 36 years behind bars. Gillmore admitted to raping nine women and girls in the 1970s and 80s. He was convicted in one of the cases.

Grand Jury Clears Officer In Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- A Multnomah County grand jury has determined a Portland Police Officer won't face criminal charges over a fatal shooting in July. Officers responded to reports of a man and woman physically fighting near Southeast 148th and Clinton Street. As officers were arresting 19-year-old Jonathon Worth, he fired a shot from a gun and Officer Mina Cavalli-Singer returned fire killing Worth. The Portland Police Bureau's internal investigation into the shooting continues.

Elliott State Forest Funding

(Salem, OR) -- The Elliott State Research Forest is a step closer to reality. The State Land Board, comprised of the Governor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State, has decoupled the forest from Oregon's Common School Fund. The forest will no longer need to harvest trees to contribute revenue to the fund. The Legislature dedicated 221-million dollars to the school fund to allow the action. The first board of directors for the new public agency will be established in 2024 to oversee the research forest in collaboration with Oregon State University.

Oregon Governor Commutes Death Row Sentences

(Salem, OR) -- Outgoing Oregon Governor Kate Brown is granting clemency to all of the state's inmates who are on death row. Brown is commuting the sentences of 17 people on death row to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The clemency order takes effect Wednesday. Brown says "justice is not advanced by taking a life." Oregon has had a moratorium on executions since 2011. The state has not executed anyone since 1997.

20 Displaced By Apartment Fire

(Beaverton, OR) -- A garage fire damaged apartments in Beaverton Tuesday morning. The apartments are located on Davies Road and when the first firefighters arrived, heavy fire was spreading to residential units above. Smoke alarms helped alert residents, and someone pulled a manual alarm to alert everyone in the complex. Three residents were evaluated for smoke inhalation but didn't go to a hospital. Eight units were damaged and 20 people were displaced. The fire was caused by improper disposal of fireplace ashes.

Researchers Find New Ancient Cockroach Species

(Corvallis, OR) -- A researcher at Oregon State University has found a new species of ancient cockroach preserved in amber. The 30-million-year-old specimen was encased in a piece of amber from the Dominican Republic, and it's also the first fossil cockroach to be found with sperm cells. It's the only one ever found in Dominican amber, and it has no living descendants in that area or anywhere else in the West Indies.

Bird Flu Found In Clackamas County Flock

(Portland, OR) -- Bird flu has been found in a privately owned flock of ducks and geese in Clackamas County. The Oregon Department of Agriculture says it's the first detection of bird flu in the county. The flock included 30 ducks and five geese. They were euthanized and they will be disposed of, and won't enter the food system. There's no immediate threat to the public from the birds. The CDC says the risk to public health from the exposure remains low. The ODA is advising commercial and backyard flock owners to take steps that will reduce the risk their birds could become infected.

Study Finds Households Need Better Awareness For Power Usage

(Corvallis, OR) -- As more utilities switch to time-of-use energy pricing models, residents could save money by changing when they use electricity. A study by Oregon State University and Stanford finds residents aren't aware they could save money by shifting major power uses to off-peak times. Many utilities, including PGE, have smart meters that allow residents to see when they use the most power. If they use off-peak times to wash clothes and run a dishwasher, they could save money. They might also consider buying more energy efficient appliances. The study recommends households check with their utility for off-peak pricing and know how to access data from smart meters.

Teen Injured In Cleveland High School Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- Classes are canceled today at Cleveland High School after a student was injured in a shooting just outside campus. Police say the 16-year-old student was shot just after noon yesterday. The shooting triggered an immediate lockdown at the school. Police say the teen was able to walk himself to a local hospital and is expected to survive. No other injuries are reported. Police are still searching for a suspect.

Nationwide Search Continues For Man Accused Of Killing Girlfriend

(Portland, OR) -- A nationwide manhunt is ongoing for a man accused of murdering his girlfriend in Powell Butte Nature Park last week. Police say a nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for 43-year-old Jose Antonio Caraballo on a charge of second-degree murder. He's accused of killing 27-year-old Portland business owner Kathryn Muhlbach, who was found dead from homicidal violence in Powell Butte Nature Park on December 9th. Police believe Caraballo has fled the Portland area. Crime Stoppers of Oregon is offering a 25-hundred-dollar reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Leaders Mark Approval Klamath River Dams Project

(Siskiyou County, CA) -- Tribal and government leaders held an event along the Klamath River in Siskiyou County, California today marking the start of a project to remove four dams on the Klamath River. It's taken 15 years of work to get the approvals needed to remove dams with the goal of restoring salmon runs. Work will start next year in preparation for dam removal. The first dam could be removed by next summer. The remaining three dams will be removed in 2024. Nearly six-million dollars will be spent on four tribal water projects to restore the aquatic ecosystems along the river.

Two Arrested In Shroom House Raid

(Portland, OR) -- Two people were arrested and face money laundering and delivery of controlled substance charges after a raid on the Shroom House in Portland. The store was selling psilocybin mushrooms, which is illegal in Oregon. Police say 32-year-old Steven Tachie and 32-year-old Jeramiahs Geronimo were booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Police seized over 13-thousand dollars in cash and 22 pounds of suspected psilocybin products.

BPA Seeks Tips In Substation Attack

(Portland, OR) -- The FBI is searching for a group of suspects who cut a fence at a Bonneville Power Administration substation in Clackamas County and damaged equipment in an attempt to cause a power outage. It happened early Thanksgiving morning. The BPA is asking for tips in the case. The damage didn't cause a power outage, but officials say it'll cost thousands of dollars to repair. Authorities are asking anyone who sees anything suspicious near a power substation to report it.

OHA Warns Extreme Risk To Hospitals

(Portland, OR) -- Hospitals in Oregon are overwhelmed with patients who have RSV, flu and COVID. State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger is urging you to take precautions to avoid spreading a virus. Sidelinger says hospital ICUs are more full now than they ever were during the pandemic. The test positivity rate for flu is 30-percent and COVID-19 cases are rising. Sidelinger says families with young children and older adults should consider avoiding gatherings during the holidays where they might spread a virus.

Family Rescued From Deep Snow

(Marion County, OR) -- A family of five looking for a Christmas tree in an Oregon forest was rescued after being stranded in several feet of snow on Saturday. The Marion County Sheriff's Office says on Sunday, search and rescue deputies responded to Forest Service Road 46 to help bring the family off the mountain. Deputies caution to know weather and road conditions before you go into the mountains this time of year. Most Forest Service roads aren't plowed. You should carry an emergency kit with food, water, and blankets in the event you get stranded.

OHA, Hospitals Urge Masking Indoors

PORTLAND, OR -- RSV-related hospitalizations appear to have peaked in Oregon, but hospitals say they are still at or near capacity. While RSV primarily impacts young children and infants, hospital beds are filling with adult patients sick with other respiratory illnesses. Influenza cases doubled in Oregon for five consecutive weeks, and elderly hospitalizations have risen 10-fold since late October, according to Deputy State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger. "The combination of surging flu, RSV and COVID-19 cases is pushing hospitals past their current ICU bed capacity," Dr. Sidelinger told reporters Thursday, "Which never happened during the darkest days of our COVID-19 pandemic in Oregon."

Dr. Ray Moreno, with Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, says it’s not just ICUs, "We are experiencing very, very long wait times for the less urgent cases in our Emergency Department, as we prioritize seeing these people by the level of urgency that their complaint requires. EDs are very crowded right now."
According to the OHA, RSV-related hospitalizations peaked the week ending November 19th. Dr. Wendy Hasson, with Randall Children's Hospital, says a high number of kids still need specialized care. "And so we do ask for grace from the public as we may not be able to offer the amenities that they’re used to, such as private rooms. So, your child may have to share a room, your child might have to be seen in the hallway. But the most important thing is that your child receives the medical care that they need, when they need it."

The Oregon Health Authority is again asking people to voluntarily mask up indoors, especially if it’s crowded, or avoid crowded gatherings all together. 
 

 

ONA Critical Of Governor's Executive Order

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Nurses Association is critical of Governor Kate Brown's response to the rising number of respiratory virus cases at hospitals. The Governor issued an executive order that gives hospitals more flexibility to adjust staffing levels and use volunteer nurses and doctors. The Oregon Health Authority can spend 25-million dollars on traveling nurses. ONA says the Governor's action is embarrassingly late. It also says the money for temporary nurses will go to hospitals that already have large cash reserves and will give hospitals a reason to ignore the state's new nurse staffing law.

Power Utility Attacks In Oregon

(Portland, OR) -- Power utilities are being warned to increase security following attacks on two substations in North Carolina that left 40-thousand people without power. Portland General Electric had a physical attack on a substation in the Clackamas area last month. The FBI is investigating. Pacific Power is also increasing security. Federal authorities say the power grid is a prime target for domestic extremist groups.

Oregon Supreme Court Denies Appeal

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon State Supreme Court has ruled against the Oregon Attorney General's request to allow Ballot Measure 114, the voter approved gun law, to take effect on Thursday. A ruling by a Harney County Circuit Court judge that temporarily blocks the measure will remain in effect. A hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday in Harney County. The new law would require gun buyers to get training and a permit. It also limits gun magazines to no more than 10 rounds.

Bipartisan Rural Infrastructure Proposal

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon legislators are expected to consider a bipartisan rural infrastructure proposal next year. Democratic Representative David Gomberg says it'll build upon the 100-million dollar rural infrastructure package that was passed this year. It would help rural small businesses, expand rural workforce housing capacity, and support critical agricultural, natural resources, and outdoor recreation.

Governor Issues Executive Order For Respiratory Illness Increase

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued an executive order in response to a surge in adult and pediatric cases and hospitalizations for respiratory viruses. The order gives hospitals more flexibility to increase staffing and use volunteer nurses and doctors. The Oregon Health Authority will spend up to 25-million dollars to hire supplemental nurses to help increase hospital staffing. Last month, Governor Brown issued an order that increased hospital flexibility to help with the increase in pediatric RSV cases. The new order expands that flexibility.

Gun Law Permit Application Form Website

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's new gun law, Ballot Measure 114, won't take effect on Thursday. The Oregon State Supreme court has allowed a ruling by a Harney County judge that temporarily delays the law to remain in effect. Oregon State Police say an application form will be available online where gun buyers can apply for the required permit. While people can apply, the permits won't be processed until a training program is established. Training is also required under the new law. While the legal maneuvers continue, OSP's Firearms Instant Check System will continue to process and resolve pending background checks to purchase guns.

State Judge Halts New Gun Law

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's new gun law that was to take effect on Thursday is now on hold after a Harney County Circuit Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction. A hearing is set for next Tuesday. The Oregon Attorney General could challenge the decision before the state Supreme Court. A federal judge in Portland allowed the new law to take effect but issued a 30-day stay on the required permit process after law enforcement agencies argued it couldn't be in place by Thursday. Ballot Measure 114 would establish a permit and training requirement to buy a gun, and ban magazines with over ten rounds.

Oregon Gas Prices Continue Plunge

(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices in Oregon continue to fall fast. Triple-A reports the national average has declined 14 cents to $3.38 a gallon while Oregon's average fell 26 cents over the last week to $4.16 a gallon. The national average is poised to drop below $3 a gallon and the Oregon average below $4 a gallon by the end of the year.

Governor Orders Flags Half-Staff For Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

(Portland, OR) -- Governor Kate Brown is ordering flags at Oregon public institutions to be flown at half-staff in honor of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Wednesday December 7th. Brown says we benefit every day from the bravery and sacrifice of our U.S. service members, and especially owe a debt of gratitude to the people who served and gave their lives in Pearl Harbor and World War II.

Suspect Arrested In Kidnapping

(Eugene, OR) -- The Lane County Sheriff's Office has arrested a suspect in the kidnapping of a woman and two children from Vancouver. Deputies found the truck being driven by 53-year-old Bart Stephanie and he tried to elude deputies by driving through a field. They used patrol vehicles to stop Stephanie's truck. They found the kidnapping victims inside. A woman had an injury to her head after allegedly being assaulted by Stephanie. The two children weren't hurt. Stephanie was arrested on charges of kidnapping, eluding officers, and reckless endangering.

Man Sentenced For Having Explosive Materials

(Portland, OR) -- A Tillamook County man has been sentenced to federal prison after being stopped in a stolen vehicle and possessing explosive materials inside of a metal bottle. Police stopped 36-year-old Robert Larsen in Cornelius last year and searched his vehicle to find several catalytic converters in the trunk along with metal bottle with explosive material inside and a detonation cord inserted through the cap. Larsen was sentenced yesterday to 15 months in federal prison.

Deer Tangled In Wire Fencing rescued

(Prineville, OR) -- Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers helped rescue a deer that was caught in wire fencing near Prineville. The doe's twin yearlings were standing near their mom. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists used a tranquilizer dart to make is safe to approach the doe. Troopers cut the wire, and the doe was given a reversal drug. She got up and walked away with her yearlings. State Police say it's important that if you see wildlife in trouble to not approach the animal and call OSP for help.

Oregon Requests Gun Law Pause

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Justice is asking a federal judge to pause part of the state's new gun law that takes effect on Thursday. The measure requires a permit to buy a gun, but the Oregon State Sheriff's Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police say in-person firearm safety training won't be able to happen. They also have other problems implementing the measure. Oregon is asking the judge to delay the permit requirement for two months. The other parts of the law, including a limit on gun magazine size and a requirement that background checks be fully completed before a gun sale can happen, would take effect.

TriMet Marks Switch To Renewable Diesel

(Portland, OR) -- It's been a year since TriMet switched its buses to renewable diesel. R99 is a blend of 99-percent renewable diesel and one-percent petroleum. The 700 buses have burned more than five-million gallons of R99 diesel since December 2, 2021. The move to renewable diesel, combined with a shift to renewable electricity for the MAX light rail system have reduced TriMet's greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 70-percent. More than 193-million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions were eliminated which is like taking nearly 19-thousand automobiles off the road every year.

Portland Giving Away Free Gift Cards

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is giving away free 50-dollar gift cards to local businesses. It's part of the city's "Here for Portland" campaign. Over the past several months, hundreds of gift cards have been given out to help local businesses recover from the pandemic. The last giveaway was held during the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. The next giveaway will be on Wednesday at Pioneer Courthouse Square from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Some Health Officials Urge Masking To Prevent Spread of RSV, Flu

PORTLAND, OR -- Public health officials around Oregon continue to grapple with a rising number of flu and RSV cases. Influenza activity in the state is now considered very high by the CDC.

Multnomah County Deputy Public Health Director Chantell Reed believes a return to voluntary masking could help, "It is very difficult to pinpoint and say, ‘yes, if you do this, this is the absolute science on preventative care.’ But, there are some measures that you can take to put in place, in order to make sure that you can keep your family members and those around you as safe as possible," She told Multnomah County Commissioners at a recent meeting, "Everyone ages six-months and older, we cannot say enough, please get a flu shot."

Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines knows asking people to again mask up is not a popular suggestion. "People are tired," Dr. Vines told Commissioners at the same meeting, "We’ve had a bit of a reprieve from COVID and other respiratory illnesses, but that has not lasted. We flagged that this was going to be a difficult respiratory season and it is, for a lot of reasons."

Hospitals around the state are strained from the triple threat of RSV, influenza and COVID. Dr. Vines says taking preventative measures is critical, "We’ve also learned the hard way that keeping schools open is really, really important for the health of our young people, and especially for an equity approach. So, all of this demands that we take a prevention stance." In addition to masking, she urges COVID boosters and flu shots for those who are eligible. Also, don’t touch your face and sanitize surfaces and hands where RSV and the flu virus can survive. 
 

 

Skibowl Announces It Will Open On Saturday

(Government Camp, OR) -- Skibowl has announced it'll be open for skiing and riding starting on Saturday. They've received more than a foot of snow since Tuesday and have 36 inches at the top of Upper Bowl. They'll be in operation from Skibowl West only and their hours will be from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Ski School and Warming Hut will not be in operation. Skibowl's tubing area opened last Friday.

Highway 30 Might Remain Closed Through Weekend

(Astoria, OR) -- Highway 30 might remain closed until the weekend as crews work to remove a landslide about 20 miles east of Astoria. ODOT says their goal is to get at least one lane open with flaggers directing traffic. That might happen over the weekend. Crews need to remove the debris, stabilize the hillside and make repairs to the road. Highway 26 is the best alternate for drivers. ODOT cautions against using GPS mapping systems that could lead drivers onto roads that are blocked by snow.

Thorns Owner Merritt Paulson Selling Team

(Portland, OR) -- The owner of the Portland Thorns women's soccer team is selling. Merritt Paulson has been criticized for actions surrounding the firing of former coach Paul Riley on allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct. Paulson says they won't rush the sale and need to find the right owner to maintain the team's success. They're the first team to win three NWSL Championships. Paulson is also pledging one-million dollars to help create an NWSL Player Safety Officer. Paulson will continue to own the Portland Timbers.

Multnomah County Advances Flavored Tobacco Ban

(Portland, OR) -- The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that will ban the sale of flavored tobacco and nicotine products. They say the flavors are used by manufactures to attract young users. Retailers say minors are prevented from buying the products, but county health officials say the steps aren't working. An amendment that would have allowed existing hookah lounges to remain was voted down. If the board approves the ordinance at its December 15th meeting, it'll take effect in 2024.

OSP Trooper Stops Wrong Way Driver

(Jefferson, OR) -- An Oregon State Police trooper stopped a wrong way driver on I-5 near Jefferson late Wednesday night. Troopers were involved in a short pursuit with an SUV that was driving recklessly on I-5. The driver made an erratic U-turn and started driving northbound in the southbound lanes before intentionally ramming an OSP patrol car. The car crashed on top of a jersey barrier. 50-year-old Garrett Hall was hospitalized with minor injuries. The trooper was also hospitalized with minor injuries. Hall is charged with reckless driving, felony elude, and assault of a public safety officer.

Metro Area Pgm Aims To Reduce Catalytic Converter Theft

BEAVERTON, OR -- A new Portland-area program aims to reduce catalytic converter thefts and could soon expand statewide. Vehicle owners can now get their catalytic converter marked for free, without an appointment, at any of the 46 Jiffy Lube location in the Portland, Vancouver and Salem area. Click HERE for participating locations. Franchisee Justin Soha says the program started in Indiana, “We’re going to stripe the catalytic converter with high-temperature paint, so it’s very recognizable. And then, as soon as that paint dries, which is pretty much seconds, we’re going to engrave the complete vehicle identification number onto that catalytic converter, making it unique to that vehicle.” 

Washington County Deputy Brandon Toney believes it will make those valuable catalytic converters less appealing to thieves, “If you look at one that’s already got a VIN number already engraved on there, it’s got neon green paint, or whatever it’s going to be, on the catalytic converter, I would imagine that that person is going to take a look at that and then think about the ways they’re going to unload that.” 

Dep. Toney tells KBND News it's unusual to see a private company launch a free program to help law enforcement. Beaverton Police Officer Matt Henderson says, “Where there’s a demand, there’s going to be a supply. So, when a company like Jiffy Lube steps up and helps us track down, or puts markings on these catalytic converters to help us find when they’ve been stolen, it helps us.” WCSO Commander Timothy Tannenbaum says catalytic converter thefts continue to be a major problem in the metro area. Reports to his agency skyrocketed from 28 in 2020, to 239 in 2021, "The cost of replacing a catalytic converter can be upwards of $1500, which is a large sum of money for those who live paycheck to paycheck."

Soha says he's talking with his corporate office, in an effort to bring the program to all Jiffy Lube locations. 


 

Suspected Shoplifter Killed In Crash

(Medford, OR) -- A man who was suspected of shoplifting from a Fred Meyer store in Medford is dead after being hit and killed while allegedly running away from the store. Oregon State Police say that 39-year-old Gabriel Escobar stole from a nearby Fred Meyer store on Tuesday night. He then allegedly tried to run across I-5 and was hit by a commercial truck and killed. Investigators closed one lane on I-5 for three hours while the investigation was conducted. Medford Police, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and ODOT assisted with the investigation.

OSP Seeks Suspect In 2021 Homicide

(Drain, OR) -- Oregon State Police are asking for help identifying the suspect in a homicide that happened a year ago near Drain. 72-year-old Larry Mell was driving his truck westbound on Highway 38 near Putnam Valley Road when he was shot. He later died from his injury. Detectives believe the shooting was accidental. Mell had eight children, several grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. He was a Navy veteran who survived heart surgery, a brain injury, and cancer. OSP is asking for information about anyone who was shooting in the area of Highway 38 and Putnam Valley Road on November 30th, 2021 to contact them.

Viral Illnesses Overwhelming Medical Facilities

(Vancouver, WA) -- The Clark County Health Department is warning that COVID-19, flu and RSV infections are pushing hospital emergency departments and urgent care facilities to their limits. Clark County Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick says getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 along with taking precautions to avoid getting a virus will help. You should only go to an E-R if you're having a health emergency, such as trouble breathing. Treat your symptoms at home or call your primary care doctor for advice. Flu cases are increasing, with a 25-percent test positivity rate in Clark County.

Repeat Offender Sentenced To Six Months In Prison For COVID Funds theft

(Portland, OR) -- A woman with a long history of convictions has been sentenced to six months in prison for making fraudulent applications for COVID-19 small business loans. Federal prosecutors in Portland say 35-year-old Tiarre Chaney was previously convicted twice for tax fraud. In 2021, she was on supervised release when she applied for two Economic Injury Disaster Loans for a sham company called Tncw Baked Goods. She claimed the company did 45-thousand dollars in business in 2020, when it had done no business. Chaney was sentenced to six months in federal prison and two years of supervised release.

Landslide Hits Semi

(Astoria, OR) -- A semitruck driver is OK after a landslide hit their vehicle Tuesday night on Highway 30 about 20 miles east of Astoria. ODOT says the highway is expected to remain closed through at least Thursday. Crews will need to clear the debris, stabilize the hillside, and repair damage to the road. Highway 26 is the best alternate. The driver of the semi wasn't injured.

Washington County Warns Of Delays Plowing Snow

(Hillsboro, OR) -- Washington County is warning drivers there could be delays in getting roads plowed when it snows. The Washington County Transportation Department is short about a quarter of its drivers. Crews will focus on plowing priority routes first which include major corridors and routes used by emergency services. New and current plow drivers have been traveling priority routes, so they're ready. The County is asking drivers to be patient and take precautions if they must drive in wintry conditions.

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