Regional News Archives for 2023-02

Formula E Race Coming To Portland This Summer

(Portland, OR) -- The Formula E World Championship racing series comes to Portland this summer. The City of Portland and Green Savoree Portland have finalized a deal to hold the race on June 24th. The Gen-3 Formula E race car is the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race care ever built. Formula E holds races in 11 international cities. This will be the first Formula E race in Portland, making it the fourth U.S. city to host a race since the league formed in 2015.

Escaped Suspect Captured

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A suspect in a murder trial escaped from the Washington County Courthouse Monday morning. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says Edi Villalobos was assigned two deputies. Under Oregon law, he can't be in restraints during court proceedings. He's accused of fatally stabbing a family member in Cornelius and stabbing a man in Clackamas County in 2021. After Villalobos ran from the courthouse, law enforcement descended on downtown Hillsboro. Villalobos was found at an apartment complex several blocks away and taken into custody without incident. The judge added charges of burglary and escape. His trial was canceled and will be rescheduled.

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Guaranteed Income Pilot

(Salem, OR) -- A bill in the Oregon legislature would create a guaranteed income pilot program. To take part in the program, residents would have to qualify for housing assistance, but not get it, or make less than 60-percent of the median income. Portland State University's Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative would study recipients of the money. Participants would get a thousand dollars a month for two years. The pilot would cost 25-million dollars. The bill remains in committee.

Oregon City Recovers From Ransomware Attack

(Oregon City, OR) -- Oregon City's municipal computer network was hit by a ransomware attack on February 6th. They notified law enforcement and brought in Polar Systems, a third-party specialist, to help. The City says a backup system allowed them to recover their network without paying a ransom. They say there's no evidence that personal identification information was compromised. The investigation continues and the City has taken additional steps to reduce the risk of a future attack.

Small Oregon Firms Get Help Applying For CHIPS Act Money

(Salem, OR) -- Small and mid-sized Oregon companies can get help applying for CHIPS Act money. Business Oregon is developing rules to allocate one-million dollars to help semiconductor firms pay for costs of applying for grants. The program will consider how applicants will help historically underserved groups to create family-wage manufacturing jobs. Business Oregon will also offer information sessions to Oregon businesses to help them maximize the federal CHIPS Act funding awards.

Fire Displaces Residents In Manufactured Home

(Scappoose, OR) -- Fire caused major damage to a manufactured home in Scappoose on Saturday afternoon. Firefighters were called to a barn fire, but when they arrived, they found a manufactured home on fire. The fire was knocked down in about 30 minutes. No one was injured. Several residents were displaced and will be living with family nearby. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Highway 26 Fatal Crash

(Government Camp, OR) -- Two people were killed in a crash Saturday afternoon on Highway 26 about five miles east of Government Camp. Oregon State Police say a westbound Subaru lost control and slid into an oncoming ODOT snowplow. Two passengers in the Subaru, 24-year-old Lillian Spahn and 28-year-old Micah Strauss, both of Portland, were killed. Three other people in the Subaru and the snowplow operator were hospitalized. Highway 26 was closed for six hours for the investigation.

Homelessness State Of Emergency

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has formed local groups around the state that will implement her homelessness state of emergency. It applies to regions of the state where homelessness increased 50-percent from 2017 through 2022. The goal of the Multi-Agency Coordinating groups is to prevent 87-hundred households from becoming homeless this year, add 600 low-barrier shelter beds and rehouse at least 12-hundred people who are homeless. Kotek says the legislature needs to pass her 155-million dollar proposal to pay for the work.

State Of Emergency

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek declared a state of emergency in Multnomah County due to the severe cold weather. Multnomah County Commission Chair Jessica Vega Pederson asked for the declaration. The county has opened seven emergency shelters to help homeless people get out of the cold weather. Jackson and Josephine counties also requested state help, but didn't make an emergency declaration. The approval was based on recommendations from the Oregon Department of Emergency Management.

Drunk Utility Worker

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A PG&E utility worker was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing his truck north of Hillsboro Saturday evening. Washington County Sheriff's deputies first got a call about a hit and run where a utility truck knocked down a utility pole and power lines and then fled the scene. Deputies followed a trail of fluid from the truck to the scene of another crash where the utility truck was on its side in a ditch. Quenton Berger said he lost control of his truck to avoid an oncoming car. Deputies conducted a DUI investigation and found his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. He was arrested for DUI and hit and run.

Suspect In Postal Carrier Assault Sentenced

(Portland, OR) -- A man who was accused of punching a U.S. Postal Service employee has been sentenced to prison. Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Dellmon Smith has past convictions for theft and making threats of violence during his thefts. Court documents show that in November, 2021 Smith walked through a back door at the Post Office on Foster Road and stole two trays of mail. Postal Service employees chased Smith who dropped the trays, reached into his waistband, said he had a gun and he was going to shoot them. Smith then punched one of the employees in the face. They took pictures of the suspect before he ran away. They got the mail back. Smith was later identified and arrested. He pleaded guilty to mail theft and assaulting a federal officer. He was sentenced to more than two-years in prison.

Human Remains Found In Douglas County

(Glide, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing after human remains were found in a remote area of Douglas County last week. A teenager reported finding the remains near Thunder Mountain. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office conducted an investigation before releasing the information. The Oregon State Medical Examiner is working to identify the remains. Anyone with information should contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Oregon Expects Large Decline In Marijuana Revenue

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's recreational marijuana market is saturated. The state has more retailers and production than most other states where pot is legal. Josh Lehner, an economist with the state of Oregon, says prices are low, which is good news for consumers, but not for retailers. Oregon taxes weed based on the sales price, so lower prices also means less revenue for the state. Over the next two years, tax revenue is expected to be down 36-million dollars which means less money for drug treatment programs.

PBOT Waives Parking Citations

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is waiving citations for anyone who left their car at a parking meter because of the snow. The city says drivers will have until noon on Saturday to get their vehicle. The city is also waiving citations for drivers whose cars were towed after being abandoned on a road because of the snow. Drivers will still have to pay the towing and impound fees. PBOT is waiving the fees because the storm was much worse than expected and people didn't have an opportunity to plan ahead.

Possible Hypothermia Death Investigated

(Portland, OR) -- A death in Multnomah County is under investigation for possibly being related to the cold weather. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner says the person died on Wednesday. No other details are being released about the death. Whether hypothermia caused the death could take several weeks to determine. The county had four emergency shelters open Wednesday night.

Portland Hit With Record Setting Snow

(Portland, OR) -- Portland got hit with a record setting snowstorm yesterday. The forecast was calling for a few inches, but ten inches fell with more in higher elevations. The storm hit during the afternoon commute, causing vehicles to get stuck on hills, ramps and overpasses. Many drivers were in their vehicles over six hours and some spent the night in their vehicles. Road crews are working to plow the freeways, highways and secondary roads. Sub-freezing temperatures are expected into the weekend, so the snow and ice won't melt fast.

Teens Arrested In Stabbing

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A 15-year-old boy is hospitalized after being stabbed in Hillsboro Tuesday night. Police say the stabbing happened on Southeast 67th Avenue and Wrenfield Street. The boy is hospitalized at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in serious condition. The suspects in the assault, two 16-year-old boys, were located by police and arrested. They were lodged into the Donald E. Long juvenile center. Police say the three boys know each other and there's no danger to the public.

Bills Set To Address Housing And Homelessness Crisis

(Salem, OR) -- A package of bills to address Oregon's homelessness and affordable housing crisis is coming together in the legislature. The bills would fund the Governor's Homelessness State of Emergency with 130-million dollars. Twenty-seven-million dollars would address homeless issues in 25 rural counties. There would be funding for modular home production. Farmers could get grants to improve housing for agricultural workers. And, special loans would be available to build affordable housing. Democrats say the bill has bipartisan support and could be passed by mid-March.

Oregon Urges Families To File Tax Returns

(Salem, OR) -- Low- to moderate-income families could be missing out on money if they don't file their income tax returns. The Oregon Department of Revenue is urging families to file. They could be eligible for thousands of dollars from the federal Child Tax Credit, the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, the Oregon earned income credit and the Working Family Household and Dependent Care Credit. The Oregon Department of Revenue's website has information on options to file a return for free.

Health Care Worker Flu Vaccinations Drop 26%

(Portland, OR) -- The number of Oregon health care workers getting flu vaccinations declined 26-percent between 2019 and 2022. The Oregon Health Authority says it was likely, because of the pandemic and COVID-19. The biggest declines were in workers at dialysis facilities where the rate fell 70-percent. OHA is concerned, because they're treating patients who are at high risk from the flu. Other big declines occurred in hospital workers, inpatient psychiatric facilities and nursing facilities. The OHA is urging healthcare workers to get vaccinated against the flu, so they don't put their patients at risk.

Oregon Legislature Considers End Of Self-Serve Gas

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon currently has a patchwork of counties where self-service gas is allowed, but that would change under a bill in the Oregon legislature. With near record low unemployment, gas station owners are having a tough time finding enough attendants. The bill would allow self-serve gas statewide. In counties where self-serve is currently illegal, gas stations would be required to have one attendant, but pumps would also be self-service. The Oregon State Fire Marshal would be allowed to run a campaign on how to safely pump your own gas. The bill has bipartisan support and remains in committee.

$2.7 Million Spent On Wildfire Reduction Risk

(Salem, OR) -- The State of Oregon is spending two-point-seven million dollars to reduce wildfire risk in 25 counties. The money was allocated by the legislature. Projects include wildfire-specific community risk reduction projects, education, defensible space projects, home assessments, media campaigns and fuel mitigation. In Morrow County, for example, money will be used to help homeowners create defensible space around structures. The funding comes from the Fire Adaptive Oregon initiative.

Driver Fights Off Carjacker

(Hazel Dell, WA) -- A driver fought off a carjacking suspect in Hazel Dell Tuesday morning. The driver was adding air to his tires at a gas station when the suspect jumped into the driver's seat and started to back up. The owner of the vehicle got into the passenger seat. Both men punched each other in the face and the suspect ran from the car. Deputies searched the area with a K9, but couldn't locate the suspect. The man was dressed in black and wore a black face mask.

Multnomah County Launches Animal Services Review

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County Commission Chair Jessica Vega Pederson is ordering a detailed review of the county's animal services agency. On Vega Pederson's first day in office last month, she was told about major problems in animals services. There weren't enough workers and too many animals. The shelter stopped taking strays for about a week while it streamlined operations and brought on community volunteers. The review will consider previous audits, community feedback, and develop a plan for accomplishing recommendations that'll be considered by the board of commissioners.

Missing Vancouver Boy Found In Missouri

(Vancouver, WA) -- An eight-year-old boy from Vancouver who was reported missing last June has been found safe in Missouri. The FBI in Kansas City located John on Friday and put him in the custody of Missouri's Department of Social Services. Washington authorities will bring him back to the state. The FBI issued a missing person poster for John in January, seven months after Vancouver Police found him missing from his home while performing a welfare check for the boy based on concerns from community members. Police say family members refused to reveal the child's whereabouts, and investigators filed charges of custodial interference against his last-known guardians in December. The FBI says they're relieved at the outcome and how quickly they were able to find the boy. No word yet on how he was located or what happened to him.

Oregon Lottery Announces First 2023 Raffle

(Salem, OR) -- Tickets for the Oregon Lottery's next raffle are now on sale. The drawing will be held March 17th, and one winning ticket will be worth one-million dollars. It's the best odds of winning a million dollars out of any Oregon Lottery games. More than 18-hundred smaller cash prizes will be available. Last year's top winner, Janelle Visaya, of Corvallis, says she used her prize to put a down payment on a house and pay off her bills.

Marion County Health Warns Of Syphilis Increase

(Salem, OR) -- Syphilis cases in Marion County increased 216-percent from 2018 through 2022, and health officials are urging people to get tested and treated. Nationwide, the CDC reports syphilis cases increased 59-percent. Marion County Health and Human Services offers testing and treatment along with bus passes and in some cases gas cards for people who can't afford transportation to a clinic. Syphilis can lead to dementia, heart disease, nerve damage and blindness.

Speed Racing Causes Fatal Crash

(Portland, OR) -- Police say speed racing is to blame for a crash late Saturday night in North Portland that killed one person. The crash happened in the 59-hundred block of North Marine Drive. Both vehicles were going fast when they lost control and crashed. One of the cars caught fire. Both drivers and a passenger were hospitalized. One of the drivers died at a hospital. The person's name will be released after relatives are notified.

Deadly Motorcycle Crashes On The Rise In Portland

(Portland, OR) -- Fatal crashes involving motorcycles are on the rise in Portland. The Portland Police Bureau says the number of motorcyclists who have died in crashes has increased for three years straight. The bureau says there were eight motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2020, followed by nine in 2021 and eleven in 2022. There have been two deaths so far this year.

Independent Report Released Into Tigard Officer Involved Shooting

(Tigard, OR) -- An independent report into the Tigard Police officer involved shooting that killed 26-year-old Jacob Macduff in 2021 is critical of police, the Washington County investigation, and the Attorney General's office. Macduff was in a mental health crisis, armed with a knife inside of his locked pickup. A Tigard officer broke the truck's window and when it appeared Macduff was reaching for something, the officer fired killing Macduff. The report from the OIR Group found a chaotic tactical response. It says, the county's plan for investigating police shootings is outdated. And, transcripts from the grand jury that didn't indict the officer weren't released. Tigard Police Chief Kathy McAlpine says they've made several changes to the department since the shooting and they're open to many of the recommendations from the report.

Hillsbrew Fest Returns For Second Year

(Hillsboro, OR) -- Beer and cider lovers can enjoy pours from 40 independent craft brewers and cidermakers at Hillsbrew Fest starting Friday. This is the second year for the event, that's held at the Wingspan Event Center on the Washington County Fairgrounds. Up to 60 beers will be on tap through the festival. Brewers are from throughout the state. Admission is ten-dollars and tasting packages are 30-dollars. Taps are open from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and then noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Military Convoy Involved In Fatal Crash

(Clatskanie, OR) -- A member of a military convoy was killed in a crash on Sunday in Columbia County. Oregon State Police say a convoy was westbound on Highway 30 near Clatskanie [[ KLATTS-can-eye ]] when it had a mechanical problem. A Humvee traveling eastbound stopped in the passing lane to help. One of the National Guard members, 29-year-old Gonzalo Martinez, the third, of Cleveland, Texas, got out and was hit by a pickup that crashed into the Humvee. The pickup driver, 72-year-old Richard Erickson, of Clatskanie, and Martinez were taken to St. John's Hospital in Longview. Martinez died at the hospital. Erickson is hospitalized in stable condition.

Reward Offered For Information In 2021 Homicide

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police detectives are asking for information about a shooting in 2021 that killed a 25-year-old father. Tyler Turpin was shot and killed in the area of Northeast 54th Avenue and Fremont Street. Turpin's family says the light of his life was his daughter. She and the family are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact Crime Stoppers, which is offering a 25-hundred-dollar reward in the case. Detectives believe there are people with information about the shooting who have not been interviewed or contacted by police and they're asking them to come forward.

Commissioners Urge Birth Center Remain Open

(Gresham, OR) -- The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners is urging Legacy Health to reconsider plans to close the Family Birth Center at Mt. Hood Medical Center. They say the Birth Center provides women's healthcare, prenatal care, and delivery and postpartum care in East Multnomah County and the closure would leave pregnant women without nearby access to a safe location to give birth. Legacy Health says losses from the pandemic, high operational costs, and other factors are forcing them to close the center on March 17th.

Oregon Receives $14.5 Million For Public Housing

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is getting more than 14-million dollars from the federal government to support public housing. Ten-and-a-half million dollars will go to 12 Oregon public housing authorities to build, renovate or modernize facilities. Four-million dollars is also going to reduce home health hazards. That money will be split between Portland and Habitat for Humanity of Oregon.

Vancouver Police To Start Using Body Cameras Today

(Vancouver, WA) -- Vancouver Police will start wearing body cameras today. The cameras will be rolled out in phases, first to patrol officers and then non-patrol personnel. All officers should have body cameras by March 9th. This fall, front-facing and rear passenger cameras will be added to police vehicles. The delay is due to supply chain issues. Police Chief Jeff Mori says the program will bring increased transparency, trust and accountability to the police department.

Blues Festival Returns For 36th Year

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Waterfront Blues Festival returns for its 36th year this summer. The festival is held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park from July 1st through the 4th and features local and national artists playing blues, funk, soul and R&B. The lineup will be announced March 1st. Part of the proceeds benefit local community organizations. They've raised over 10-million dollars since the festival began.

Oregon Man Sentenced For Role In U.S. Capitol Attack

(Washington, DC) -- A Lincoln City man was sentenced on Friday for his involvement in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Federal prosecutors say 47-year-old Jeffrey Hubbard got into the Capitol through a broken window and spent 54 minutes inside of the building. He worked his way to the front of the crowd where he was pepper sprayed. Hubbard pleaded guilty in November to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building. He was sentenced to 45 days in prison and three years' probation.

Authorities Praise Use Of Safe Oregon Tipline

PORTLAND, OR -- A Portland-area high school closed Friday following an anonymous report of a threat. It was later deemed not credible, but authorities say the incident showcases the work of a state tipline designed to improve school safety.

The anonymous tip about a possible school shooting at Tigard High came in to Safe Oregon Thursday night. Due to the late report, officials chose to close the school Friday, while they investigated. Safe Oregon Program Manager Coral Smith tells KBND News, "We will work very closely with school administration when any tip comes in, but especially any that are classified critical or urgent." The program is administered by Oregon State Police, and Smith says teams triage the information and determine whether to involve law enforcement, school administrators or both. While every incident is different, she says they err on the side of caution if school safety is in question. 

Since opening in 2017, Safe Oregon has received nearly 10,000 tips via web, mobile app, phone call and text. But Smith says fewer than 1% are considered "critical" - like the threat of a shooting. "The top three incident types of tips that we've received overall," she says, "has been bullying and harassment - so that’s really peer-to-peer behavior; suicidal ideation - either reported by the student or on behalf of another student; and alcohol or drug concerns."

So far this school year, Safe Oregon has received more than 1,200 reports of concerning behaviors or threats. "The purpose behind it is for students, teachers even, parents, to be able to have an outlet where they can anonymously or confidentially report behaviors, actions they may have seen that are of a concern." Smith adds, "Students are usually the first ones to notice when a friend or peer’s behavior changes or might be concerning, and they may have worries about tattling on their friends or possible retaliation from the friend group. So this is a great way to voice those concerns without adding their name to that."

She says a lot of tips relate to things seen on social media, and screenshots are helpful, "Please report the information, and then don’t send it along to other parents, students, etc. Once it’s reported, we want to look into it, but not create panic and hysteria over what could potentially be a non-issue."

 

Child Missing From Vancouver Found

(Vancouver, WA) -- Vancouver Police have located a three-year-old boy who was missing with his non-custodial father. Vancouver Police say Zayne Taylor was found safe and his father, Caden Milligan, is in custody. Milligan allegedly took his son following a criminal investigation. Police have not said how they were located.

Portland Man Sentenced To 15 Years For Road Rage Shooting That Injured Five

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A Portland man is facing 15 years in prison after shooting a gun into another vehicle while driving on Highway 26, injuring five people. Officials say a judge sentenced Carl Ryon Anthony Sehy late last month for the incident last April. Police say Sehy got into some sort of confrontation with the driver of the other vehicle before opening fire. Police arrested him a month later. Authorities say none of the injuries were serious.

Former Dentist Sentenced For COVID Fraud

(Portland, OR) -- A former Oregon dentist has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison for stealing pandemic relief funds. Federal prosecutors say 44-year-old Salwan Wesam Adjaj, of West Linn, submitted dozens of fraudulent loan applications to the SBA for Economic Impact Disaster Loans. He stole identities from over 40 victims and caused the SBA to pay out more than eleven-million-dollars in loans, grants, and lender fees. He pleaded guilty and was also ordered to pay more than ten-and-a-half-million-dollars in restitution to the Small Business Administration.

Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Underway

 

(Wilsonville, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into an officer-involved shooting that reportedly injured two people in Wilsonville. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office says it happened yesterday afternoon at Southwest Wilsonville Road and Town Center Loop. Video of the incident posted on Twitter shows police officers surrounding a car with guns drawn before the sound of shots being fired rings out. Employees at a nearby vape shot tell the Oregonian they heard about a dozen consecutive gunshots. Witnesses say it appears the officers shot and wounded two people inside the car.

Kotek Recommends Appointed New OLCC Director

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is recommending the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission appoint Craig Prins as interim director of the agency. The current director, Steve Marks, is resigning following an investigation that found top executives were keeping rare liquors for themselves. Prins has over 25 years of experience in criminal justice and public safety. He's been the inspector general for the Oregon Department of Corrections since 2016. The commission will meet tomorrow to consider the Governor's recommendation.

Penalties Waived On Preschool And Housing Taxes

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County and Metro are waiving penalties and interest on 2021 Preschool for All and Supportive Housing taxes. They only apply to people who make over 125-thousand dollars individually or 200-thousand dollars for joint filers. Tax software, such as TurboTax, didn't include the tax. County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson says they needed to do a better job of contacting taxpayers and they plan to do that going forward. Anyone who paid interest or a penalty will get a refund.

Portland, Police Reach Impasse Over Body Cameras

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland and the Portland Police Association have reached an impasse on negotiations over an agreement to develop policy for body cameras. They've been negotiating for months. Portland is the largest city in Oregon without body cameras for officers. Both sides will submit their proposals and where they weren't able to reach agreement in a final offer. Those details will be released on Friday.

ODFW Free Fishing President's Day Weekend

(Salem, OR) -- You can fish for free this weekend in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has made Saturday and Sunday of President's Day weekend a time when no fishing or shellfish licenses will be needed. Both residents and nonresidents can fish for free. All normal regulations apply. Crabbing is open coast-wide, but razor clamming is closed along the entire coast due to biotoxin levels.

Seeds Collected To Preserve Oregon Ash Trees

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Forestry has collected 900-thousand seeds from 245 ash trees in the state that will eventually be killed by the ash borer. The invasive pest wiped out nearly all ash trees in the eastern half of the country in 10 years. A federal grant helped pay five ODF staff members to collect the seeds. They'll be sent to the National Seed Lab in Fort Collins, Colorado along with the Forest Service's Dorena Genetic Resource Center in Cottage Grove. They'll work to see whether any of the seeds has resistance against the ash borer which could help save the only species of ash that's native to Oregon.

Multnomah County Opens Severe Weather Shelters

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County is opening three severe weather shelters, because of snow and freezing temperatures in the forecast. Multnomah County Board Chair Jessica Vega Pederson declared a state of emergency. The shelters are located at Arbor Lodge, Imago Dei [[ im-AH-go DAY ]], and Multnomah County East in Gresham. No one will be turned away and pets are welcome. TriMet will provide free rides to shelters.

Officer Used Shotgun To Hit Stolen Car Suspect In Head

(Portland, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing after a Portland Police officer used a shotgun to hit a man in the head. It happened yesterday while police were attempting to arrest a vehicular theft suspect. Police say the suspect was inside the car parked under the I-405 viaduct when officers approached and used their cars the block in the driver. The driver then allegedly used his car to push the police cars out the way, prompting officers to deflate the tires. Police say the man then tried to grab something under his seat, leading an officer to hit him in the head with a shotgun. Officers later learned the man was trying to grab a replica handgun. The suspect identified as 32-year-old Brian Bruman was booked into jail. A use of force investigation is underway into the officer's actions.

Governor Orders Flags Half-Staff For Gresham Firefighter

(Salem, OR) -- Governor Tina Kotek has ordered flags at public institutions flown at half-staff until sunset on February 15th to honor Gresham Firefighter Brandon Norbury. He died suffering cardiac arrest while on duty. Norbury dedicated his life to serving others. He was a member of the elite U.S. Navy SEAL Team 2, he was a Gresham Police officer for seven years and a Gresham Fire Department firefighter for nearly 15 years. Norbury's memorial service is planned for Wednesday.

OLCC Director To Resign Wednesday

(Salem, OR) -- The head of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission says he will resign on Wednesday. Governor Tina Kotek asked for his resignation following a report that showed executives at the OLCC may have violated ethics laws by holding rare and expensive bourbons for themselves. The Oregon Attorney General has started a criminal investigation. OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks sent a letter to the governor saying he'll resign at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

$5.3 Million Bet On Super Bowl Through Oregon DraftKings

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Lottery's DraftKings had five-point-three million dollars in bets on the Super Bowl. The average wager was 17-dollars 46-cents. Fifty-five-hundred bets correctly got the coin toss, 563 bets chose purple as the color of Gatorade poured on the Chief's coach, and 819 players won the Octopus wager, where Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion. The biggest winner was the person who bet 350-dollars to correctly select three consecutive league winners ending in the Super Bowl and winning 21-thousand dollars.

Seven Hospitalized For Fentanyl OD in McMinnville

(McMinnville, OR) -- Health officials are reminding residents of the dangers of fentanyl following the overdoses of seven people in McMinnville. The city's police chief says the seven victims were hospitalized within the span of just a few hours on Friday. One of those victims died. The police chief is calling it "a mass O.D."

Teen Driver Killed In Head-On Crash On Highway 99W

(Corvallis, OR) -- An 18-year-old driver is dead after another vehicle crashed nearly head-on into them while passing other vehicles on Highway 99W near the Corvallis Airport. The Benton County Sheriff's Office says a 33-year-old man was passing other vehicles on the two-lane highway Saturday night when he crashed into the teenager's car. The teenager died at the scene, while the 33-year-old was hospitalized for injuries. Police say impairment is believed to have been a factor in the crash.

Portland Preps Snowplows Ahead Of Potential Snow

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is getting ready for potential winter weather starting tonight. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is preparing its snowplows and placing crews on standby. Forecasters say snow is expected to start falling tonight and last through tomorrow morning.

>Salem Teen Reunited With Family After Going Missing Over A Year Ago

(Salem, OR) -- A Salem teenager is back home with his family after going missing for over a year. The Marion County Sheriff's Office says 18-year-old Ezra Mayhugh was found and reunited with family members on Saturday. Mayhugh was reported missing in October of 2021 after being dropped off in downtown Salem by a friend. Police say Mayhugh and his family are requesting privacy at this time.

Study: "Slow Down, Move Over" Has Not Improved Tow Driver Safety

PORTLAND, OR -- New studies from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveal just how dangerous it is to be stranded on the side of the road. Researchers say 60% of first responders and tow workers have experienced a roadside near-miss and 15% have survived being hit by a passing vehicle. 

Tow truck driver Cody Bentley knows the risk all too well. He's witnessed numerous examples of drivers not obeying the "Slow Down, Move Over" law, including his own near-miss while helping a woman who had broken down in bad weather. "Another motorist came around that corner traveling much too quickly for conditions and she slid right into the vehicle," he tells KBND News, "Fortunately we heard tires squealing as she was sliding, so we all kind of jumped out of the way." 

In that case, no one was hurt. But thousands more aren't so lucky. Between 2016 and 2020, more than 1,700 Americans were killed while outside a disabled vehicle; ten of those in Oregon. An average of two emergency responders are struck and killed every month in the U.S., including tow truck drivers. "I would treat every vehicle on the roadside as if somebody’s about to hop out of the door and possibly be in your lane," says Bentley. 

Evey state has its own version of "Slow Down, Move Over." In Oregon, drivers are required to reduce their speed and change lanes, if possible, when going past a vehicle on the side of the road with flashing lights or other signs of distress. But the AAA Foundation found flashing lights, cones and flares caused drivers to change lanes but not slow down. Bentley - now a Safety and Training Specialist for AAA-Oregon - says most people will move over if they see law enforcement on the side of the road, but not other emergency vehicles or a disabled motorist, "I think it comes down to: people don’t want to get a ticket, essentially. But I wouldn’t say the ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ rule has - I wouldn’t count on that one bit to have made a difference in our safety, day to day."

The AAA Foundation found vehicle-mounted digital signs work best in getting people to obey the law. Bentley says that's why drivers who break down need to take precautions before that help arrives, "Think of your safety, your passenger’s safety, because you’re really the one who’s looking out for yourself. So, get as far off the road as you can."

For drivers passing disabled vehicles at highway speeds, he adds, "Whether it’s a tow driver or a construction zone or even just someone who’s broken down, I would recommend: be considerate, imagine it’s yourself in that position and react accordingly."

File photo courtesy AAA-Oregon

Merkley Calls On TSA To Stop Using Facial Recognition Technology

(Washington, D.C.) -- The TSA is testing facial recognition technology in 16 major airports and wants to expand its use. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is joining other Democratic Senators in calling on the TSA to stop using facial recognition technology. Merkley says it's a risk to civil liberties and privacy rights. The TSA says the scans are not mandatory, but the Senators say it's unclear how the travelers will know they can opt-out. Studies also show the technology can racially discriminate, because Asian and African American people were up to 100 times more likely to be misidentified.

Suspect Arrested For Alleged Crime Spree

(Lake Oswego, OR) -- Lake Oswego Police say they've arrested a man who admitted to prowling several cars and garages. On Tuesday, police responded to a burglary in progress when a man tried to break into a garage. Police tried talking to the man, but he ran. A K9 found him in a nearby garage trying to steal a Smart Car, but he couldn't start it. Police say 47-year-old Charles Thomas told officers he went to Lake Oswego because he thought residents wouldn't lock their cars and they have nice stuff. He admitted to breaking into 15 to 20 cars, two garages, and one house. He's faces burglary and other charges.

Oregon Lottery Sportsbook Offers Super Bowl Prop Bets

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Lottery's Draftkings Sportsbook is offering prop bets for the Super Bowl. They include the color of Gatorade dumped on the winning coach, whether the coin toss will be heads or tails, and who will be the game's MVP. Last year, Oregon players made more than 245-thousand bets worth four-and-a-half million dollars. One player won 50-thousand dollars on a low risk, high reward parlay bet.

Oregon Zoo Offers Discounted Tickets

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo is offering discounted tickets for Presidents Day weekend. Adult admission will be 12-dollars between February 18th and the 24th, which is about half price. Tickets need to be reserved online in advance. You can reserve tickets up to 10 days before your visit. You can see orangutan mom Kitra and her 10-month old baby, Jolene. Other new arrivals include red-tailed monkeys and a crocodile monitor.

California Woman Sentenced For Credit Card Conspiracy

(Eugene, OR) -- A California woman who was running a credit card "bust-out" scheme from Corvallis has been sentenced to prison. Federal prosecutors say 37-year-old Mariam Gevorkova got eight other people to work with her. They'd obtain credit cards, run up large balances, and then report the purchases as not being authorized. The banks sought reimbursement from the credit card companies. Geverkova stole two-and-a-half million dollars. They spent the money on jewelry, clothing, gambling, and vacations. Geverokova pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in federal prison and must repay two-and-a-half million dollars.

Teen Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested

(Gresham, OR) -- A 16-year-old boy is in juvenile lockup, accused of the armed holdup of a Gresham bank Tuesday afternoon. Gresham Police say the suspect was gone by the time they arrived at the Wells Fargo Bank on Northeast Roberts Avenue. They were given a description of the suspect. Video evidence showed him leaving the area in an Uber vehicle. Detectives identified and arrested the teen Wednesday. A search warrant served on the suspect's bedroom and backpack turned up a replica handgun, clothing worn during the robbery, and much of the money taken in the robbery. The suspect faces a second-degree robbery charge.

Governor Orders OLCC Investigation

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is asking the Attorney General to investigate the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission for potential wrongdoing. Willamette Week reports some agency leaders may have used their position for personal gain. It appears they were setting aside rare and expensive alcohols for friends and family. Kotek recently ordered the replacement of OLCC director Steve Marks. The OLCC's internal investigation continues and hasn't been released.

14 Arrested In Shoplifting Sting

(Tigard, OR) -- Tigard Police conducted a shoplifting enforcement last Saturday in the Washington Square area. Undercover detectives worked with loss prevention employees and patrol officers to identify and stop potential shoplifting suspects. 14 people were arrested, more than four-thousand dollars in merchandise was recovered along with shoplifting tools and suspected fentanyl pills.

Suicidal Man Killed In Officer Involved Shooting

(Albany, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing in Albany after police shot and killed a man reported to be suicidal. It happened yesterday morning. Police say the man was in a parked car and armed with a gun, and family members were trying to talk with him while a crisis negotiator was heading to the scene. Officers were trying to get the family to safety when the man allegedly pointed his gun at officers, prompting them to shoot him. The man died at the scene, and the officers have been placed on Critical Incident Leave. The Corvallis Police Department is leading the investigation.

Bikini Coffee Stand Owner Granted Bail

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A judge has set bail at 700-thousand dollars for the owner of a Hillsboro bikini coffee stand who's accused of sexually abusing multiple baristas. During a pretrial release hearing, the state argued Jeffrey Hebner should remain in custody, but the judge granted bail on the conditions that he wear an ankle monitor and be under house arrest. Hebner is accused of sexually abusing at least eight young women between 2015 and 2022. Police say 14 additional victims have come forward since his arrest.

Metzger Elementary Closes Following Stomach Virus

(Tigard, OR) -- Metzger Elementary School will be closed on Thursday and Friday because too many students and staff are sick. The Tigard-Tualatin School District says a stomach virus spread rapidly through the school. During the closure, custodial crews will clean and disinfect the building.

Russian Cryptocurrency Money Launderer Pleads Guilty

(Portland, OR) -- A Russian cryptocurrency money launderer who was extradited from the Netherlands has pleaded guilty in a Portland federal court. Federal prosecutors say 30-year-old Denis Dubnikov ran the operation from 2018 through 2021 with a group of other people. They used Ryuk ransomware attacks on businesses in the U.S. and abroad to generate Bitcoin. They moved the cryptocurrency through a series of transactions. Dubnikov was arrested in Amsterdam in 2021 and extradited to the U.S. His sentencing will happen in April, and he could up to 20 years in prison and a 500-thousand dollar fine.

Man Arrested For Impersonating Trooper

(Oregon City, OR) -- A man who's accused of impersonating an Oregon State Police trooper was arrested on Saturday near Mt. Hood. The Clackamas County Sheriff's office wants to hear from anyone who encountered 41-year-old Timothy Benz. He has two vehicles, a Dodge Charger and a Toyota Sequoia, both of which are equipped with police lights. He was spotted in the parking lot of Mt. Hood Meadows in his silver Charger. He allegedly told security staff at the ski resort he was a member of the Oregon State Police. Benz is charged with Impersonating a Police Officer.

Morrison Bridge Scheduled Maintenance Closures

(Portland, OR) -- The Morrison Bridge in Portland will close to traffic, bikes and pedestrians for two weekends this month and one weekend in March for a painting project. The bridge will close the weekends of February 18th and the 25th and then the weekend of March 4th. The closures will start at 10 p.m. Friday night and last through 5 o'clock Monday morning.

Belmont Goats Released In Protest

(Portland, OR) -- The Belmont Goats are back home in their North Syracuse Street park after a group of self-described anarchists cut their fence and released them to protest sweeps of homeless encampments. Officials say the suspects cut the fence Monday night and left behind a note explaining their actions. The small herd of five goats was later found near some rhododendron bushes, which are poisonous to goats. The note posted by the alleged anarchists said they did it to oppose a move by the city to relocate the goats onto a portion of the Peninsula Trail Crossing, which is home to unsanctioned encampments. The goats are a nonprofit-funded herd that can be visited by the public and schools at no cost.

Rose Festival Needs New Clowns

(Portland, OR) -- If you like to clown around, the Portland Rose Festival may have an opportunity for you. They're looking for applicants to learn how to be a clown. They take part in a two-day workshop where they get a makeup kit, a clown nose, costume and learn various circus and theater skills. Clowns need to be 13 and older. They'll perform in the Starlight Parade, Junior Parade and the Grand Floral Parade. The application deadline is February 28th. Details are at Rose Festival dot org.

City Of Portland Considers Changes To Outdoor Shelter Rules

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland City Council is considering changes to rules for siting outdoor shelters. Those include Safe Rest Villages, large camps with tents or vehicles, and alternative shelters like the Kenton Women's Village. The changes will affect setback, height and fence rules, and a technical issue regarding the size of industrially zoned sites. Council will take testimony on the proposed changes today at 2 p.m.

Portland Labor Workers To Get 13% Raise Under New Agreement

(Portland, OR) -- Labor workers in Portland will be getting a 13-percent raise this summer. KATU-2 reports the salary increase is part of a new contract agreement reached between the City of Portland and the labor workers' union over the weekend. Workers will see the salary increase by July 1st. The four-year collective bargaining agreement also includes increased standby pay, a dedicated length of rest period between shifts, increased shift premiums, the addition of the Juneteenth holiday and an increased clothing allowance for eligible positions. The new agreement comes after the labor union and the city had been engaged in talks for nearly ten months.

Grande Ronde Tribe Opens New Opioid Treatment Clinic In Portland

(Portland, OR) -- A new opioid treatment clinic is opening its doors in Portland. The Grande Ronde Tribe opened the Great Circle Recovery clinic near Southeast 82nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard yesterday. The tribe says the clinic is open to all tribal members and other natives as well as the community at large. The clinic is the tribe's second Great Circle Recovery location. The first one opened in 2021 in Salem.

Coast Guard Searches For Missing Crab Fisherman

(Willapa Bay, WA) -- A crab fisherman is missing after an incident Sunday night near the entrance to Willapa Bay. The Coast Guard received an emergency beacon from the 46-foot crab boat Ethel May. The wife of one of the men on board also called 911 to report an emergency on the boat. A Coast Guard helicopter from Astoria rescued two people from a life raft and they said a third crew member was missing. The Coast Guard searched through the night, but they weren't able to find the person. Debris from the boat was found near the entrance to Willapa Bay indicating the boat had broken apart. The investigation into what happened continues.

Suspect Arrested In Two Attempted Carjackings

(Salem, OR) -- Salem Police say they've arrested a suspect in connection to two attempted carjackings. Police say 34-year-old Roberto Carlos Chacon is accused of stabbing a person several times in a parked car in the parking lot of the Mega Foods Store on Devonshire Avenue early yesterday morning. The victim fought back, started their car and drove away to get help. Their injuries were non-life threatening. The second attack happened in a Walmart Superstore parking lot. The driver was parked in an electric vehicle charging station space when a man tried to enter their vehicle. Police arrived and found Chacon with a knife nearby. He's charged with assault, unlawful entry into a vehicle and other charges.

Former Professor Awarded $1 Million Against Linfield University

(McMinnville, OR) -- An ex-Linfield University professor has settled a whistleblower lawsuit against Linfield University for a million dollars. Former tenured English professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner filed the lawsuit against Linfield in July 2021, claiming the unlawful firing was an attempt to silence him for calling attention to reports accusing the university's President and trustees of sexual harassment of students and faculty. After investigating, the American Association of University Professors admonished and censured Linfield's administration for the retaliatory termination.

Group Pushes To Bring WNBA Back To Portland

PORTLAND, OR -- A group hoping to bring a professional women’s basketball team back to Portland met Monday with the WNBA Commissioner, trying to convince her the Rose City deserves an expansion team. Portland lost its first WNBA team - the Portland Fire - back in 2002, after just three seasons. 

Trail Blazers Director of Basketball Strategy and former WNBA player Asjha Jones says now is the right time to bring another team to the Moda Center, "Just walk around, you can just feel that people just love their sports here. I was able to go out and support and watch regular season and playoff games, and just the vibe in the stadium is crazy. And it just gives you goosebumps because you know this city is really, really, really invested in sports. I mean, what else are they going to do? They can’t be outside; it's raining. So, they need something to do that’s indoors. Why not add another team to the mix?" 

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden hosted the meeting with Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and a list of Oregon sports VIPs at the country’s first sports bar dedicated to women’s sports - called “The Sports Bra.” He told Engelbert a local team would be an economic boon, "It would be huge for the Sports Bra and scores of vendors in our city that would be making sales of equipment and helping their small businesses. You heard this incredible enthusiasm already. Just imagine you would see this multiplied by big crowds 20 more times a season at Moda."

Oregon Ducks and OSU Beavers Women’s Basketball coaches showed a united front at the event. OU Coach Kelly Graves said, I think this is a no-brainer. I mean, Portland is a great, great city, great people, great fans. And you would have 100% support from the Ducks." OSU Coach Scott Rueck added, "There is a passion for this sport that runs so deep and we love basketball in the state of Oregon. We love women’s sports and we love girls' sports."

General Manager of the Portland Thorns Karina LeBlanc says the community is ready, "And they’re not just ready to come once - this is 10 years with the Thorns, that we’ve consistently seen the numbers show up." Trail Blazers GM Joe Cronin was also there, and says the idea has his team's full support. 

Engelbert told the gathered crowd the WNBA's business plan includes new teams, "We have 12 teams in a country of over 300 million people. That is not enough. So, that’s why we do talk about expansion. You have to be in more cities to grow more fandom." But she tells KBND News there’s a lengthy launch process, due to media rights and other administrative planning needs, and Portland is one of several cities under consideration, "In the next two to three, four years I’d like to have two new teams."

Engelbert says she is impressed with the level of support she sees in Oregon.

Photos: (top) Sen. Wyden and Commissioner Engelbert speak at the Sports Bra in Portland. (above) A local middle school team shows support for a WNBA team in Portland.

Eastern OR Rancher's Remains ID'd 58 Years After Disappearance

SHERMAN CO., OR -- Nearly 60 years after an eastern Oregon man disappeared, his remains have finally been positively identified, thanks to new DNA technology.

"His whereabouts are now known," says Dr. Nici Vance. As the State Forensic Anthropologist, she's worked for nearly three decades to give names to unidentified remains stored at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office, including a set recovered in 1989. The bones were discovered by a rafting group on the Sherman County side of the John Day River. 

"It was well known that David West disappeared during the John Day flood in 1964. And it was well known that he’d never been seen or heard from again." Despite an investigation at the time and numerous tests, there was no positive identification. Vance says she never gave up trying to give a name to the remains, "Way back in 2010, we took a sample and sent it to our DNA lab and they uploaded it into the national DNA system. And it was cycling in that national system for years and it just never associated genetically with anyone." 

Last year, she decided to try a new technique called Investigative Genetic Genealogy, and a sample was sent to a special lab. Despite decades of degradation, analysis revealed the name of two biological relatives of David West. Sheriffs in Gilliam and Sherman counties contacted family members and collected an oral swab from one relative. It confirmed a genetic association, allowing for a positive ID. Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey is the son of Sheriff Gerald Lohrey (pictured), who led the initial 1989 recovery effort of West's remains. 

Dr. Vance says the resolution was a long time coming, "Dave West went missing in 1964; the body was found in 1989, so that was 25 years since his disappearance - didn’t know who he was, though, at that point. So, from 1989 all the way up to 2022, that’s an extra 33 years. So, all in total, this case encapsulates 58 years of law enforcement and mystery." She tells KBND News, "These cases are actually more common now than you would suspect, because that investigative genetic genealogy is being used more often. The State Medical Examiner’s Office, in the last three years, has used it through a federal grant, where we identified 30 people - some from the 1960s."

Around 100 sets of unidentified remains in State Police custody. For Dr. Vance, overseeing their identification is a responsibility she doesn't take lightly, "I’ve been their steward for so long. It really is - if not sad - a very rewarding process to be able to go back to a family and say ‘hey, we can finally answer this one question for you.’ It’s incredibly rewarding."

Photo courtesy OR State Police: Sherman Co. Sheriff Gerald Lohrey at the recovery site in 1989.

Suspicious Death Investigation

(Millersburg, OR) -- The body of a man who had been missing since September was found near Millersburg. The Marion County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a body found in the north part of the town. The Oregon State Medical Examiner identified the remains as Richard Champion. He was reported missing last September. Detectives are investigating the death as suspicious. Anyone with information about Champion should contact the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Two Killed In Highway 26 Crash

(Manning, OR) -- Two people were killed in a crash Friday afternoon on Highway 26 about six miles west of Manning. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says 69-year-old Mark Kingman, of Brinnon, Washington, crossed the center line and hit another car nearly head-on. Kingman died at the scene. Two people in the car that was hit were hospitalized. Ninety-two-year-old Mariam, El Hindawi later died of her injuries. Investigators don't know what caused Kingman to cross the center line.

Man Rescued From Stolen Yacht

(Astoria, OR) -- A man who posted a bizarre video online of him dancing around a dead fish left at the famous Oregon house from "The Goonies" is behind bars after being rescued from a stolen yacht by the Coast Guard. Jericho Labonte, of British Columbia, posted the video online from the house featured in the classic 1985 film Wednesday. Police say on Friday, he stole the yacht and headed out to sea, where the boat capsized. He was rescued by Coast Guard crews who were conducting a training mission in the area. He was released from the hospital before authorities realized the boat was stolen, but later arrested at an Astoria warming center.

Officers Cleared In Shooting

(Salem, OR) -- A Marion County grand jury has cleared five police officers involved in a fatal shooting on January 23rd. Witnesses testified that 27-year-old Michael Compton was armed with a gun when he attempted to carjack several vehicles. Police followed Compton, who was on foot, when he started firing at officers. A school bus with children was nearby. Five officers fired nearly 70 rounds at Compton who was hit 18 times. He died at the scene. There were no other injuries from the gunfire. The grand jury determined the officers were justified in the shooting.

Solders Return To OR From Poland After Troop Demobilization

(Clackamas, OR) -- More than 120 soldiers from the Charlie Company of the Oregon Army National Guard were welcomed back on Saturday. They spent nearly a year in Poland as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve to support efforts to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine following the initial invasion. Major General Michael Stencel, Governor Tina Kotek and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden welcomed the soldiers home. This deployment was one of the largest mobilizations of Oregon National Guard Citizen-Soldiers since Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006.

Strike Against City Of Portland Ends

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland and the union representing more than 600 workers reached agreement on a new contract ending strike that started last Thursday. The agreement came following a 12 hour mediation session. The labor union and the city had been engaged in talks for nearly ten months.

Portland Police Memorial Vandalized

(Portland, OR) -- Portland's Police Memorial to officers killed in the line of duty was vandalized this week. Police believe it happened overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday. Aaron Schmautz, President of the Portland Police Association, says it's a place of remembrance. Portland City Council and the Mayor releases a statement saying, quote, "This ugly criminal act seeks only to fuel divisive and destructive rhetoric that is not representative of who we are as a city." The City of Portland will work with the Portland Police Historical Society to repair the damage.

Car Prowlers Shoot At Witness

(Vancouver, WA) -- Police are searching for a pair of skateboard-riding car-prowling suspects accused of shooting at someone in Vancouver. Police say the victim saw the suspects trying to get into cars in the parking lot of the Pebble Creek Garden Apartments on Northeast 66th Avenue early yesterday morning and tried to follow them. The suspects allegedly responded by pulling out guns and firing them. The witness wasn't hit. Police searched the area with a K-9 and a drone but couldn't find the suspects. The Clark County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information about the incident to contact them.

Kaiser Permanente Grants $3.3 Million To Organizations

(Portland, OR) -- Kaiser Permanente of the Northwest is awarding three-point-three million dollars to 11 nonprofit community groups to help reduce social isolation in BIPOC, immigrant, refugee, and LGBTQ-plus communities. They say COVID-19 compounded the sense of isolation, disrupted relationships and support services. The Social and Emotional Wellbeing grant initiative was created to help reduce isolation in those communities.

All Oregon Health Insurance Companies Violated State Law

(Salem, OR) -- State officials say all 12 health insurance companies doing business in Oregon violated the Reproductive Health Equity Act. Most of the violations involved improperly charging copays, coinsurance, and deductibles or failing to cover mandated benefits. The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services will continue working with the companies to correct the problems. They could face penalties, restitution, and other action.

Hood River Standoff Ends "Safely"

HOOD RIVER, OR -- Hood River Police evacuated homes and a school during what the department called an “active shooter” situation, early Thursday afternoon. After those initial reports, officers say the suspect was contained in a house, and neighbors were asked to shelter in place or stay away during the 10-hour stand-off.

Throughout the evening, police used distraction devices and tear gas, in an attempt to convince the man to come outside.

They said late Thursday the man was taken “safely into custody” but released no other details.

 

Police: Man Accused Of Kidnap, Torture, Attempted Murder Likely Murdered Two People

(Grants Pass, OR) -- A man accused of kidnapping, confining and torturing a woman nearly to death in southern Oregon last week is now also believed to be responsible for two murders. Josephine County Sheriff's deputies say they saw signs of a crime in a home while canvassing Sunny Valley during their search for 36-year-old Benjamin Obadiah Foster earlier this week and found two people dead. Investigators believe Foster killed them and then took a cab to the home in Grants Pass where he ultimately shot and killed himself following an hours-long police standoff Tuesday night. Foster was accused of kidnapping a woman, torturing her and trying to kill her, less than two years after being convicted of doing the same thing in Nevada. Police found the victim unconscious, bound and near death in Grants Pass last week Tuesday. She remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Bikini Coffee Stand Owner Arrested

(Hillsboro, OR) -- The owner of a Hillsboro bikini coffee shop has been arrested for alleged sex crimes. Police say Jeffrey Hebner, of Dream Girl Espresso, now faces 26 counts of crimes dating back to 2015. According to court documents, Hebner reportedly gave his victims alcohol before sexually assaulting them. Investigators say the victims were former applicants and employees. Officers believe there may be more victims and they're asking anyone with information to come forward.

Portland Surveillance Catalog

(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Council is approving a program to detail all of the ways it surveils residents. This includes things like traffic cameras, surveillance cameras, and automated license plate readers. Mayor Ted Wheeler says it's important for residents to know what the city is doing, "We're in an age where technology is moving so quickly that we often find ourselves playing catchup." The program will also detail how the technology and the data it collects is handled.

Four Killed In Crash Near Albany

(Albany, OR) -- Four people are dead and an infant is injured after a high-speed crash on Highway 226 east of Albany. Oregon State Police say it happened Monday evening near Fish Hatchery Drive. A Hyundai sedan driven by 20-year-old Travis Longo, of Albany, was speeding westbound at an estimated 100 miles an hour, when it rounded a curve and crossed the center line. It hit an oncoming SUV driven by 29-year-old Jessica Petrime head-on. She died at the scene. An 8-month-old baby girl in her vehicle suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The Hyundai rolled, killing Longo and two passengers. The crash closed the highway for six hours.

25-Million Spent On 122nd Avenue Safety Improvements

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Bureau of Transportation has received a 20-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for safety improvements along one of the most dangerous streets in the city. Between 2016 and 2020, nine people were killed in crashes on 122nd Avenue and 44 people were seriously hurt. The grant will pay for major safety improvements along the five-and-a-half mile stretch of 122nd Avenue, from Southeast Foster Road to Northeast Sandy Boulevard. PBOT will provide five-million dollars in matching funds to support the project.

Kotek Budget To Redirect Funds For Rainy Day Account

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek says housing and homelessness, mental health and addiction care, and education and child care are the top priorities in her proposed budget. She wants to redirect 765-million dollars that would have gone into the two-billion dollar rainy fund toward other programs. Kotek wants to spend one-billion dollars on the housing crisis along with new investments in mental health and addiction care. 100-million dollars would be spent on literacy programs for preschool and elementary school students. 100-million dollars would be spent on child care programs in the state. The budget now goes to the Legislature for consideration.

Oregon Zoo Celebrates First California Condor Egg

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo's condor breeding program is celebrating its first egg of the year. The pair of birds have hatched and raised two previous chicks. If all goes well, the egg should hatch in March. The Zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation in rural Clackamas County has been breeding California condors since 2003 and more than 108 chicks have hatched. More than 70 birds have been released. Several eggs laid by Oregon Zoo condors have been placed in wild nests to hatch.

Wildfire Bill Introduced In Congress

(Washington, D.C.) -- Forest restoration and wildfire mitigation would get federal support under a bill in Congress. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, along with colleagues from California and Montana, introduced a bipartisan bill this week they say will reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires in the west. The Wildfire Emergency Act would allow the Forest Service to leverage private financing to accelerate forest restoration projects and expand a grant program to help low-income households fireproof their homes. It would also establish a prescribed-fire training center and create a program to ensure critical facilities maintain power during wildfire disruptions.

Memorial Announced For Bill Schonely

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Trail Blazers have released details about a celebration of life for former play-by-play announcer Bill Schonely. He died January 21st at age 93. He was the Blazers' sixth employee and was the play-by-play announcer for nearly 30 years. "The Mayor of Rip City" called more than 25-hundred games, including the team's championship in 1977. The memorial will be held March 13th at 4 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Click It, Or Ticket Campaign Underway

(Salem, OR) -- Police agencies across Oregon are taking part in the Click It, or Ticket campaign. It's an effort to increase seat belt usage and to make sure child seats are installed correctly. The Salem Police Department is watching to make sure drivers and passengers are buckled up. The Salem Police Traffic Team also offers assistance with child car seat installation. Drivers can make an appointment to get help properly buckling in a car seat.

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