Regional News Archives for 2023-05

Gas Prices Jump Over Memorial Day Weekend

(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices jumped over Memorial Day weekend in Oregon. The Triple-A reports a surge in seasonal demand caused prices to spike. The national average increased four cents to three-58 a gallon. Oregon's average jumped eight cents to four-27. Prices are about a dollar a gallon lower than Memorial Day weekend in 2022. Diesel in Oregon fell two cents to four-43 a gallon. The national average declined four cents to three-95.

Pursuit Suspect Arrested After Seven Hours

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police arrested a suspect after he eluded them several times over seven hours. Just after midnight Saturday, police responded to a report that a man threatened employees of a fast-food restaurant with a gun. Officers tried to stop the suspect, but he drove away eluding them. Two hours later, the man was passed out in his car blocking an intersection. Police saw a gun in the car. When the man woke, he sped away and police didn't pursue him. He pulled into a parking garage and evaded officers again after they deployed spike strips. Several hours later, they found the car again and blocked the driver in. He ran, but was caught. Twenty-nine-year-old Dylan Savage was arrested on several charges and warrants.

Thieves Steal Fire Investigation Equipment

(Lebanon, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing after thieves broke into a trailer owned by the Lebanon Fire Department and stole equipment used for conducting fire investigations. The trailer was parked in a fenced area at Station 33 on Fairview Road. The suspects cut the locks, broke into the trailer and stole several thousand dollars worth of equipment including tools, lights, and cameras. Fire Marshal Ken Foster says it'll set back their ability to conduct fire investigations until the equipment can be replaced.

Portland Council To Consider Camping Ban

(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Council will consider the Mayor's proposed camping ban Wednesday afternoon. It would prohibit camping on most City property from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. Organizations that help homeless people are worried they'll see a significant increase in demand for help. Violators will get two warnings and then face possible civil or criminal penalties. Public comment will also be taken. If approved by City Council, the ban will take effect July 1st.

ODE Releases Early Literacy Framework

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Education has released the final version of a plan to improve literacy of Kindergarten through 5th graders. Governor Tina Kotek set the goal of improving literacy for young students. ODE's Early Literacy Framework is based on the science of reading, culturally responsive teaching, and a focus on students that are multilingual, and those with disabilities or dyslexia. The Oregon Legislature is considering a bill that would provide more money to help school districts implement the plan.

Oregon Business Community Supports WNBA Bid

PORTLAND, OR -- Political and business leaders continue to push the WNBA to bring an expansion team to Oregon. A group of more than 140 businesses has sent a letter to the WNBA Commissioner in support of bringing an expansion team to Oregon. "The letter is basically saying ‘get in here; hurry up. What are you waiting for?’" Andrew Hoan, President of the Portland Business Alliance, says a new professional sports team would benefit the state’s economy on several levels, "The activity of the events, the investment in our community, the opportunity for the hospitality community is just incredible." He believes the letter shows the league a unified front, "Everyone is aligned. There is no disagreement that this is the best place for a WNBA franchise, because we support the WNBA, because our business community is excited, because this is a place to do business that welcomes this level of investment."

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says there’s really just one message for the WNBA: "Rip City is poised to be a WNBA city." The Oregon Democrat says he’s supported the idea from the start, and wants to see more opportunities for female athletes around the state, "Young girls and women are hooping in Hermiston, playing in Portland, rebounding in Roseburg and what they’re doing is they’re rooting for a WNBA team to come to their home state."

Hoan says Oregon is now known as “the state of sport” and is ready for the WNBA to return, "NCAA is coming here, we’ve got Formula E happening this next month, we just hosted the world track and field games; Oregon is becoming a destination for sports activity. And then that is a compliment to the existing brands, such as Nike and Adidas and Keen, all those household names that also happen to be headquartered here."

Portland’s last WNBA team folded about 20 years ago … supporters say attendance was high, but it was a very different economic time. Since then, women’s sports have become much more commercially viable, they say, with Oregon leading the way.

The league has said Oregon is among a short list of locations for a new franchise. If Portland gets a team, they would play at the Moda Center during the summer, when the Trailblazers are off. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert has said any new teams wouldn’t start until at least 2025. 

 

Governor Creates Council To Improve Early Literacy

(Salem, OR) -- Governor Tina Kotek has signed an executive order creating the Early Literacy Educator Preparation Council. It will develop recommendations for strengthening standards for elementary school teachers. The Council will include teachers, elementary school leaders, early literacy experts and bipartisan legislators. The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission will use the recommendations to put new rules in place by June 30th, 2024.

Air Force Selects Kingsley Field For F-35A Training

(Salem, OR) -- The Secretary of the U.S. Air Force has selected Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base in Klamath Falls as the sole host of the new F-35A Fighter Wing training squadron. Governor Kotek says the Secretary's decision affirms the Oregon Military Department's commitment to training and readiness. The decision will become final after an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. The F-35A Lightning has next-generation stealth capabilities, advanced integrated avionics and increased survivability.

Mayor Proposes Camping Ban

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is proposing a ban on camping in most parts of the city between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Wheeler says they've invested millions of dollars in shelters, Safe Rest Villages and new temporary City-sanctioned camp sites. The ordinance would also ban garbage, gas heaters, and parts operations for bikes and vehicles. It would be enforced with two warnings and then potential criminal penalties. Public comment will be taken next week. If it's approved, the ordinance would take effect July 1st.

Oregon Zoo's Chimp Delilah Celebrates Landmark Birthday

(Portland, OR) -- A chimpanzee at the Oregon Zoo who helped launch a decades-long friendship with renowned primatologist Jane Goodall has celebrated a landmark birthday. Delilah turned 50 and while she's one of the oldest animals at the zoo, she's not the oldest chimp. Jackson is 51 and Chloe is 54. The average age for chimps in a zoo is 41. Delilah was born at the zoo in 1973 and drew the attention of Goodall who visited regularly, getting to know Delilah and the others. She helped raise funds for the zoo's new primate area that opened in 2020.

Metro Offers Boat Disposal Program

(Portland, OR) -- Metro is launching a free boat disposal program. It's funded by the Oregon Legislature's program to cover impacts of the pandemic. Metro uses the money for removal of garbage, graffiti and abandoned vehicles. The person turning in the boat must be the titled owner. So far, the fund has covered the removal of 50 abandoned boats, including two sunken military vessels. Boat owners need to apply on Metro's website. The program will continue through October 31st.

Reynolds High Fire May Be Arson

(Troutdale, OR) -- Investigators now say it appears someone purposely set the fire that ripped through an outbuilding at Reynolds High School in Troutdale early on the morning of May 10th. The flames gutted the upper two levels of the three-story building that housed the press box. Now, Gresham Fire says there's a five-thousand dollar reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist. Anyone with information should reach out to Gresham Fire.

Treatment Center Loses Measure 110 Funding

(Klamath Falls, OR) -- A Klamath Falls treatment center has lost state funding because it didn't follow Measure 110 rules. Red is the Road to Wellness was approved to receive one-and-a-half million dollars from Measure 110. The Oregon Health Authority reports it received complaints the center provided wrong employment services and supported housing. It also didn't submit expenditure reports. OHA terminated its agreement and will distribute the funds to other partners in the network.

Airbnb Announces Anti-Party Plan

(Portland, OR) -- Airbnb is taking steps to prevent out-of-control parties at its rentals in Oregon and throughout the U.S. The company is blocking certain one-night and two-night reservations over both Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekend for entire home listings. Airbnb first implemented the plan last year and estimates over 200 people were deterred from booking entire home listings over the holiday weekends. The company is also asking neighbors of Airbnb houses to report parties when they see them.

Study Recommends Improvements For Agricultural Workers

(Salem, OR) -- Many agricultural workers in Oregon live in poverty and lack affordable housing. Oregon Housing and Community Services hired Stamberg Outreach Consulting to conduct a study that found average farmworkers make between 20-thousand and 25-thousand dollars a year. That's under 37-percent of the median family income. Oregon has over 100-thousand agricultural workers. The study recommends increasing farmworker income, providing rental assistance, increasing the supply of affordable housing, and creating a program that helps farmworkers file rental applications or mortgages.

Oregon Receives $8-Million For Brownfield Cleanup

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is receiving eight-million dollars for cleanup of former waste sites. Brownfields are properties with pollution that require extensive cleanup. The EPA funding will be used at seven sites. They include a former mill in Toledo, a school site in Burns, the former Deschutes County Construction landfill, a former plywood mill in Port Orford, and a natural area in North Portland along the Columbia Slough. The money is coming from President Biden's Investing in America Agenda.

SEIU Calls On Legislature To Solve Workforce Crisis

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's largest union of state workers is calling on the legislature to help fill nine-thousand vacant positions. SEIU says the vacancies caused employees to work 150-thousand hours of overtime in the first nine months of last year. They say it's affecting the performance of all state agencies. They want the legislature to boost funding for pay which would help keep employees from leaving and help with recruitment. SEIU's contract with the state expires on June 30th.

Oregon Sues Robocall Company

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Avid Telecom and its owner for making billions of robocalls. Over seven billion calls were made to numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. Avid Telecom is a Voice over Internet Protocol service provider that sells data, phone numbers, and dialing software, so its customers can make robocalls. Besides being annoying, robocalls are often used for scams involving the Social Security Administration, Medicare, auto warranties, and others. In Oregon, it's against the law to call to make robocalls to numbers on the Do Not Call list.

35 Arrests In Chop Shop Bust

(Portland, OR) -- A chop shop bust in Gresham resulted in 35 arrests, 31 recovered stolen vehicles, and 10 illegal guns. During a stolen vehicle operation, police followed a stolen vehicle from Portland to Gresham where they found the chop shop. It had tools to take vehicles apart along with tools to replace vehicle identification numbers. More vehicles and guns were found at another location. 34-year-old Christopher Young was arrested and faced 51 charges. His bail was set at 20-thousand dollars and after posting two-thousand-dollars bond he was released.

Pizza Restaurant Movie Theater Closed By Fire

(McMinnville, OR) -- A three alarm fire damaged the 3rd Street Pizza Company in McMinnville early Wednesday. The Fire Marshal says the blaze damaged multiple floors and the roof. While the pizza restaurant is closed, two nearby businesses have offered to hire the employees. No one was inside when the fire started and there were no reports of injuries. 3rd Street Pizza also shows movies. The owner is optimistic they'll reopen in a matter of weeks.

OHA Encourages Mpox Vaccinations

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority is reminding people at risk of getting mpox that a two-shot vaccination is 86-percent effective. Mpox is making a resurgence in some U.S. cities, including Chicago, and internationally in France and South Korea. Mpox is spread primarily through close, skin-to-skin contact. The vaccine is free and available to anyone who wants it. More than 13-thousand people in Oregon have received the first shot and over 77-hundred people have received both shots.

Entrepreneur Sentenced To Prison For COVID Fraud

(Portland, OR) -- A local entrepreneur has been sentenced to federal prison for COVID-relief fraud. Federal prosecutors say Peter Blood ran solar energy companies, but only had two employees and paid less than 10-thousand dollars in quarterly wages. In his applications for COVID-relief, he claimed to have 10 employees with a monthly payroll of 116-thousand dollars. He got loans for over 600-thousand dollars. He spent more than half of the money on a custom, military-style truck he outfitted into a camper. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year prison and must pay 600-thousand dollars to the United States and 590-thousand dollars in restitution.

Judge Orders $1.1 Million Restitution In Murder Case

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A Washington County judge has ordered a woman who was convicted of killing her estranged husband to pay one-point-one million dollars in restitution to the victim's estate. In 2021, a jury found Tracy Cloud guilty in the fatal shooting of her estranged husband Philip Cloud in their shared home. Philip Cloud was still married when he was killed and Tracy Cloud would have inherited his estate. Philip Cloud's niece took legal action to prevent Tracy from getting the money. The judge's ruling for restitution will make sure the niece gets the money.

Senate Walkout Reaches Day 15

(Salem, OR) -- A group of ten Republican and Independent state senators have continued their walkout for a 15th straight day, preventing a quorum and stopping the Senate from taking any action on bills. They're opposed to Democrat-backed bills they say are too extreme or unconstitutional. The senators are in violation of Ballot Measure 113, which means they can't run for re-election, because they have more than 10 unexcused absences. They plan to challenge the new law in court. Governor Tina Kotek met with both sides on Monday, but couldn't reach an agreement to end the walkout. Republicans released a statement saying they will return on June 25th to pass key budget bills before the legislative session ends.

Portland Pastor Convicted Of Sexual Abuse

(Portland, OR) -- After three trials, a Portland pastor has been found guilty of sexually abusing a girl in his congregation. Michael Sperou, who's now 72, was accused of sexually abusing seven girls from 1988 through 1996. Six of the cases fell outside of the statute of limitations. Sperou was first convicted in 2015, but the case was overturned on appeal when the Oregon Supreme Court ruled the word "victim" should not have been used by witnesses. In 2020, a second jury found him guilty in an 11-to-1 decision, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled verdicts must be unanimous. A third jury found Sperou guilty on May 19th. He'll be sentenced on June 20th.

High Tech Egg Helping Condor Development

(Portland, OR) -- A new high-tech "smart egg" is showing promise to improve the survival rate of endangered California condor chicks at the Oregon Zoo's condor conservation center. Often, staff move the first-laid egg of one condor pair to an incubator. It's replaced with the electronic replica egg. It records sound, temperature, movement and other data inside the nest. When placed in an incubator next to a real egg, it can play back those recorded sounds for the developing chicks. With only about 500 California condors in the world, zoo officials say this could be groundbreaking for recovery efforts.

CDC Issues Food Safety Salmonella Alert For Papa Murphy's Cookie, S'mores Dough

(Atlanta, GA)  --  The CDC is issuing a food safety alert after a salmonella outbreak linked to Papa Murphy's cookie dough.  The health agency on Tuesday said 18 salmonella infections were reported across six states, with two people winding up in the hospital.  People in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, and Missouri became infected after eating the cookie dough raw.  Papa Murphy's is temporarily pulling its raw chocolate chip cookie dough and raw S'mores bars dough from shelves while investigators work to find the contaminated ingredient in the dough.

Security Guard Convicted In Fatal Shooting Sentenced

(Portland, OR) -- A security guard who fatally shot a man in 2021 in a Lowe's parking lot near Delta Park has been sentenced. A Multnomah County jury found 30-year-old Logan Gimbel was guilty of murder and unlawful use of a weapon in the shooting that killed 49-year-old Freddy Nelson. Gimbel claimed the shooting was in self-defense and believed Nelson was going to hit him with his car. The judge sentenced Gimbel to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Teen Claims Stabbing Was Self-Defense

(Portland, OR) -- Police are investigating after a man was stabbed by a teen -- reportedly in self-defense -- in southeast Portland. Officers say it happened Monday morning on Southeast 122nd, near Division. A Preliminary investigation indicates a stranger was threatening the teen and the their grandmother, and that the teen stabbed the aggressor in self-defense. The teenager and grandmother left before police arrived. The man who was stabbed was given medical attention.

Oregon Senate Walkout Reaches 14th Day

(Salem, OR) -- Lack of a quorum has forced the Oregon Senate to shutdown early for the 14th day in a row. A group of ten Republican and Independent senators stayed away from the chamber preventing the Senate from taking any action. They say it's a protest against Democrat backed bills for reproductive health care, gun control and bills that aren't written in a simple to understand manner. The ten senators have exceeded their limit on unexcused absences and won't be allowed to run for re-election. They plan to challenge that new law in court.

House Kills Beer Delivery Bill

(Salem, OR) -- A bill that would have increased the number of cases of beer and cider you can have shipped to your house has failed in the Oregon legislature. The bill would have increased the limit from two to five cases per month. It passed the Senate with bipartisan support, but failed in the House with bipartisan opposition. Opponents say excessive alcohol use is Oregon's third-leading cause of preventable death and 12-percent of Oregonians have alcohol use disorder.

Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Closed Captioning

(Salem, OR) -- TVs in public spaces would need to have closed captioning turned on under a bill that passed the Oregon legislature. Supporters say it's important for people with hearing impairment, but also anyone in a loud environment. Opponents say it's government overreach and shouldn't be a requirement. Violators would be fined 75 to 150 dollars, depending on the number of violations. The bill passed the House with bipartisan support and goes to the Governor.

Agricultural Workers Killed In I-5 Crash

(Albany, OR) -- The seven people killed in a crash last week on I-5 were all agricultural workers. Staff with PCUN [[ pick-YOON ]], a union for Oregon farmworkers, says they were all from Mexico and they're working with the Mexican Consulate to notify families. They were coming home after working when their van was hit from behind by a semi north of Albany. Six people died at the scene and a seventh person died at a hospital. The truck driver is charged with DUI and seven counts of manslaughter.

Permits Needed For Multnomah Falls

(Portland, OR) -- Visiting Multnomah Fall will require a parking permit starting Friday. The permits are allocated by time to limit the number of vehicles in the parking lot. You buy permits at recreation dot gov, there's a two-dollar transaction fee and you can buy a permit up to two weeks in advance. Some permits will be available for same day pickup without a fee at the Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center in Troutdale and the Cascade Locks Historical Museum. The permits are required through Labor Day.

Teens Arrest, Guns Seized

 

(Salem, OR) -- Three teens were arrested and three guns were seized in a shooting at a Salem apartment complex Saturday afternoon. Police were called when a shot was fired into another apartment. No one was hurt. Police evacuated neighboring apartments and searched the apartment where the shot was fired. Three teens were inside and police recovered an AR-15 style gun, along with a shotgun and a rifle. Two of the teens are 14-years-old and the other is 16. They were arrested on charges of theft, unlawful possession of a firearm and reckless endangering. They were lodged in Marion County Juvenile Detention.

Fire Destroys Home

(North Plains, OR) -- Fire destroyed a home in Washington County early Sunday morning. Multiple calls to 911 reported the fire on Jackson Quarry Road. The fire started in the back of the house and quickly spread inside. All of the residents got out safely. There are no fire hydrants in the rural area, so water had to be shuttled to the scene. No firefighters were injured. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Rafters Missing On Clackamas River

(Estacada, OR) -- Two brothers are missing on the Clackamas River after a rafting accident late last week. Three men were using a raft to access Austin Hot Springs on Friday but raft flipped, throwing the men into the river. One man survived, but wasn't able to find the brothers, ages 66 and 67. The man got a ride into town to call for help. Clackamas County Search and Rescue looked for the men Friday night and Saturday morning. They used aircraft and drones, but the men weren't found. The Sheriff's Office say runoff has the river running high and water temperature is still cold. Austin Hot Springs is private property and closed to the public.

Governor Not Rushing To Choose New Sec. Of State

SALEM, OR -- Nearly two weeks after Oregon’s Secretary of State resigned amid a scandal involving a side gig with a cannabis business, the Governor says she’s still considering her options for filling the position. 

Governor Tina Kotek says she’s taking the appointment of the next Secretary very seriously, "I want to make sure that whoever takes that job, that they understand one of their primary goals is to restore confidence in the Secretary of State’s office."

Kotek says she’s talking with advisors about the type of person she wants in the job, "This is a crisis of confidence in the agency. And so most of my conversations have been about, ‘how do you handle that?’ right? How do you manage for the next year and a half to rebuild confidence and do the job." She told reporters this week, "I haven’t talked to anyone yet, I have no list, I am talking about criteria with advisors and saying, ‘what should we be looking for?’" Kotek added, "Let’s remember, this is an unprecedented situation. This isn’t like some of the previous appointments, when we had statewides who had passed away in office. This is a scandal." The last time the Secretary of State was replaced by appointment was 2019, when Dennis Richardson passed away in office. Then-Governor Kate Brown intentionally selected someone who wouldn’t run for election to the position. Kotek says that’s not her focus, "They have very important jobs: elections, supporting businesses, the audits division. So, I am still trying to figure out who that right person will be. That is my primary goal, not whether they want the job in the future."

She’s not announced a timeline for making a decision. 

 

Android Phones Accidental 911 Calls

(Grants Pass, OR) -- Android cell phones are accidentally making calls to 911. Dispatchers at the Josephine County 911 center say they've seen a 49% increase in hang-up calls compared to the same time last year. Dispatchers are required to call back and if the person doesn't answer, an officer is assigned to do a welfare check to make sure the person isn't hurt.

In most cases the callers say their phone was in a vehicle cup holder, their pocket, or purse. Android cell phones have a feature when the side button is pressed five times in rapid succession, the phone calls 911. Deactivating the feature does not prevent the person from calling 911. 

Democratic Party Donation Tied To Cryptocurrency Case

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Elections Division is asking the Oregon Department of Justice to review a 500-thousand dollar donation to the Democratic Party of Oregon. The donation was made by Nishad Singh when the money actually came from Sam Bankman-Fried's companies FTX and Alameda. Bankman-Fried faces charges in connection with his operation of the cryptocurrency exchange. The Justice Department could decide to charge Singh. The investigation found the Democratic Party of Oregon didn't know the true donor, but should have taken steps to investigate. The party must show how it plans to prevent a similar problem in the future. It will pay a 15-thousand dollar fine.

7 Killed In I-5 Crash

(Millersburg, OR) -- Seven people were killed in a crash Thursday afternoon on I-5 north of Millersburg. Oregon State Police say it happened on northbound I-5 near the Santiam Rest Area. It involved two semis and a car. Seven adults were killed, several other people are injured. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Oregon Zoo Plants Dinosaur Tree

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo now has a dinosaur tree. The Wollemi pine was thought to be extinct and only found in fossils, until a living tree was found in Australia nearly 30 years ago. Now, horticulturists are working to save the tree by planting it in locations around the world. The 6-foot tree was provided by the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland. It's located at Elephant Lands near the entrance to Forest Hall.

Senate Walkout Day 13

(Salem, OR) -- A group of Republican and Independent Senators in the Oregon Legislature continued their walkout for a 13th straight day yesterday. They're keeping the Senate from forming a quorum and thereby preventing it from taking action on bills. It's a protest against bills sponsored by Democrats for reproductive health care and gun control. They're also disputing bills that aren't written in a simple manner. 10 legislators now have 10 or more unexcused absences and won't be allowed to run for re-election.

Amber Alert For Abducted Boy

(Nampa, ID) -- An Amber Alert has been issued for a two-year-old boy from abducted Nampa, Idaho. Rudy Reyes may be with 36-year-old Rodolfo Reyes who is described as being white, with brown hair and black eyes. He has multiple tattoos on his neck, face and head. He's driving either a gray 2008 Lexus IS200T with an Idaho license plate 2CTJ790 or a gray 2018 Honda Civic with an Idaho plate of 019YOR. Rudy Reyes is described as a white toddler with black hair and brown eyes, he weighs 50 pounds and is two feet tall. If you see them, call 911.

OLCC Passes New Rule For Rare Booze

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission has approved a new rule for employee access to get rare alcohol products. It follows the scandal where executives were getting preferred access to Pappy Van Winkle and other rare liquors.

Employees will not be allowed to set aside liquor for their own purchases. Additional policies are being developed to address how manufacturer allocated products could be provided to non-profits and charities, along with how they will be sold to consumers.

Speeder Caught Driving 176 MPH

(Portland, OR) -- The Washington County Sheriff's Office says a deputy clocked a driver going 176 miles an hour on I-5 early Wednesday morning. When the car pulled off the freeway in Tualatin at Nyberg Street deputies blocked it in and arrested the driver. Nineteen-year-old Milo Schneider told deputies he reached 183 miles an hour in his BMW M3. Schneider is charged with reckless driving. He could face a one-thousand-150 dollar fine.

Oregon Adds Jobs, Unemployment Declines

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's unemployment rate declined last month from four-point-four to four-percent and the state added 16-hundred jobs. Oregon's unemployment rate remains near a record low. Jobs were added in services and health care. Jobs were lost in construction and manufacturing. Oregon's four-percent unemployment rate remains higher than the national rate of three-point-four percent.

Oregon Senate Walkout Extends To 12th Day

(Salem, OR) -- A walkout of 10 legislators has kept the Oregon Senate from accomplishing anything for a 12th straight day. All Republicans and two Independent Senators are refusing to show up, which prevents a quorum to take action on bills. Republicans are protesting Democratic-backed bills for reproductive health and gun control. They say many bills are written in a manner that's too complex, which violates state law. Legislators with more than 10 unexcused absences are banned from running for re-election under a new law passed last year by voters.

Homeowner Assistance Fund Pause

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Housing and Community Services will pause accepting new applications for the Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund on May 31st. During the pause, current applications will be processed and managers can determine how much money remains available for housing assistance. OHCS took a similar pause at the end of last year. They will likely reopen the program, if enough money remains.

Oregon Spends $3 Million On Firefighter Apprenticeship

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon State Fire Marshal will spend three-million dollars to create two firefighter apprenticeship programs. One will be in Klamath County and the other will be in The Dalles. They're both areas with increased fire risk and a lack of firefighters. The apprentices will receive four-thousand hours of training over two years. It includes skills to become Emergency Medical Technicians, on-the-job firefighter training along with college-level math and writing classes. They'll also work at local fire agencies helping to increase the number of available firefighters. They money comes from a program approved by the legislature in 2021.

EyeMed Settles Over Data Breach

(Salem, OR) -- The State of Oregon led a lawsuit against EyeMed Vision Care over a data breach and the company has settled for two-and-a-half million dollars. Florida and New Jersey joined the Oregon Attorney General's office filing the lawsuit. The data breach affected over two-million customers, including 11-thousand Oregonians. Hackers got access to Social Security numbers, birth dates, medical diagnosis and other personal information. EyeMed has agreed to add privacy and security measures. Oregon will receive 750-thousand dollars which will go toward Oregon Department of Justice investigations.

Former Student Threatens School

(Portland, OR) -- A threat against the Creative Science School in southeast Portland by a former student caused a lockdown on Monday. The school was told the 13-year-old was wearing tactical gear, had a gun and was threatening a shooting at the school. The building was placed in lockdown and administrators called 911. Police found the teen six blocks away wearing a tactical vest, goggles and he was carrying what appeared to be a Glock handgun. He surrendered to police. The gun was a replica. The suspect was arrested and taken to the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center.

Gas Prices Stabilize

(Portland, OR) -- Lower crude oil prices are balancing out increasing demand to keep gas prices nearly steady this week. Triple-A reports the national average increased half-a-cent to three-point-53 a gallon. Oregon's average is up nearly two cents to four-13. That compares to a price of nearly five dollars a gallon this time last year. Diesel in Oregon declined two cents to four-48 a gallon.

Oregon Parks Seeks Operator For Historic Hotel

(Frenchglen, OR) -- The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is seeking an operator for the historic Frenchglen Hotel. It's located in rural southeast Oregon near the entrance to the Steens Mountains, which have spectacular views. The eight-room hotel was built in 1917 when it served meals to travelers and ranch visitors. Tourists visiting the Steens now stay at the hotel from March 15th through October. It's closed during the winter. Applicants with business and restaurant experience need to submit a plan to the Oregon Parks Department.

Car Crashes Into Yard Injuring Two

(Lake Oswego, OR) -- Three people were injured when a car crashed into the yard of a Lake Oswego home. It happened on Mountain View Lane. Lake Oswego Fire says the vehicle hit two people who were standing in the yard and threw them 50-feet. They suffered minor injuries. The driver was transported to a hospital, also with minor injuries. Witness say the driver hit the gas instead of the brake causing the car to crash into the yard.

Oregon Senate Stopped For 11th Day

(Salem, OR) -- Republican state Senators protesting the agenda of majority Democrats have shut down the Senate for an 11th day. Eight Republicans and two Independents were unexcused yesterday. Four Senators have now violated the new Oregon law that bans them for running for re-election if they have 10 or more unexcused absences. The group is protesting Democratic bills that include reproductive health care and gun control.

Poachers Pay $15,000 For Shooting Two Bear Cubs

(Siletz, OR) -- Two poachers have been fined 15-thousand dollars and sentenced to five years probation after fatally shooting two black bear cubs near Siletz. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says 52-year-old Gail Freer and her son 29-year-old Corey Loving the second were trespassing on private land when they saw a bear cub in blackberry bushes and shot it. They later returned to get the bear and spotted a cub in the same area and shot, thinking it was the same cub. They killed a second cub. A tip was made to the Oregon poacher's hotline and Oregon State Police troopers collected the remains that had been left to waste. Freer and Loving also lost their hunting privileges for three years.

Public Funding Increases Child Care Slots In Oregon

(Corvallis, OR) -- Public funding for child care in Oregon is helping to increase the number of openings. A study by Oregon State University finds that from 2020 to 2022 available child care increased five-percent. The increase lifted several counties out of "child care desert" status. That's where at least three children are trying to get one day care opening. Eight of Oregon's 36 counties moved out of desert status. Every county in Oregon continues to be a child care desert for infants and toddlers. Funding for that age group increased 49-percent.

Senate Walkout Day 10

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Senate has been prevented from having a quorum for a tenth straight day as all Republican and Independent Senators continue to refuse to show up. They're protesting bills on reproductive health care and gun control, along with bills they say don't meet a requirement to be written in a simple manner. The walkout is preventing the Senate from completing any work. Under Oregon law, legislators with ten or more unexcused absences can't run again. Republican Senators Dennis Linthicum and Daniel Bonham along with Independent Brian Boquist have met that threshold.

Worker Falls From Ship

(Portland, OR) -- A worker is seriously injured after falling 100 feet into the water while repairing a lifeboat at the Swan Island shipyard in Portland. When Portland Fire & Rescue arrived, another worker was in the water helping the person. A firefighter also went into the water while an inflatable boat was sent to help. The person was placed in a safety basket and the ship's crane pulled it out of the water. The person was taken to a hospital with significant injuries.

Memorial Day Travel Forecasted Third Busiest

(Portland, OR) -- Travel over the Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the third busiest on record. The Triple-A says 42-million Americans are expected to travel, which is an increase of seven-percent over 2022. In the Pacific Region, the increase is eight-percent with seven-million people planning a trip. Air travel is expected to exceed pre-pandemic numbers with an increase of 11-percent. The top U.S. destinations are Anaheim, Maui, Las Vegas, Orlando and Seattle.

OHA Releases Final Glass Company Health Assessment

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority has released its final draft of a public health assessment on Portland's Bullseye Glass Company. In 2015, a U.S. Forest Service report showed heavy metals in moss collected near the plant. In 2016, air samples found elevated levels of heavy metals. Bullseye Glass was required to add filters to remove the metals including cadmium, arsenic, and chromium. Testing now shows the filters reduced future cancer risk 50 times and non-cancer risk 100 times.

Mudslide Blocks Highway To Mt. St. Helens

(Castle Rock, WA) -- A dozen people are doing OK after becoming trapped by a mudslide in Cowlitz County over the weekend. Officials say the 12 people were rescued by helicopter after they were trapped by a large mudslide across SR 504 near Mt. St. Helens. The slide happened Sunday evening near Coldwater Lake. Washington's King County Sheriff's Office helicopter flew the trapped people, and one dog, out of the area. The mud and debris covers the entire highway. WSDOT doesn't know when the highway will reopen.

Beaverton Student Missing At Cannon Beach

(Cannon Beach, OR) -- An 18-year-old student from Beaverton's Mountainside High School remains missing after an incident Friday afternoon. Jacob Stokes was swimming with three other friends at Cannon Beach when they were lost from sight. Two students were able to swim to shore on their own. A rescue swimmer rescued the third student. A search continued on Sunday. The principal of Mountainside High School sent a note to parents saying Stokes died in a tragic swimming accident. Additional counselors are being brought in on Monday to help students with the loss.

Salem Mall Stabbing

(Salem, OR)  --  A man who was wounded in a stabbing at Salem Center Mall died on Saturday.  The stabbing happened outside the entrance to Macy's.  Twenty-year-old Enrique Sanchez Franco was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and later died.  A 15-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with second degree murder.  He was booked into the Marion County Juvenile Department.

Election Deadline

(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon voters need to get their ballots in for tomorrow's special election.  Many counties have local offices and school board positions.  Vote-by-Mail ballots need to be postmarked no later than Tuesday May 16th or dropped off at a county ballot box prior to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Portland Breaks Heat Record

(Portland, OR)  --  A sweltering heatwave is bringing record-breaking temperatures to the Pacific Northwest.  The National Weather Service says yesterday's high in Portland reached 92 degrees, breaking the old daily record of 91 set in 2014.  Troutdale also set a new daily record with a high temperature of 90 degrees, and Astoria broke its old daily record by six points with a high of 93. 

Hot Weekend Raises Drowning Concerns

PORTLAND, OR -- The first heat wave of the season is expected this weekend for many parts of Oregon. But, hot weather could lead to deadly consequences for those hoping to cool off on the water. 

Ashley Massey, with the Oregon State Marine Board, says rivers and lakes could be as cold as 50-degrees, despite outdoor temps in the 90s. "All bodies respond the same way to cold water." She tells KBND News the first minute someone is in the water, it’s critical their head stays above the surface, "When you hyperventilate, you can easily experience the gasp reflex and suck in water." In the first 10 minutes, cold water shock sets in, "That’s when the blood from your body is going to start going towards your core, to keep your core functions warm. You’ll lose dexterity and your muscles may begin to cramp when you start moving. And this is also a period of time when we lose folks to drowning; it doesn’t matter how good a swimmer you are." After that, within the first hour someone is in the water, hypothermia begins, "To be honest, in Oregon, we don’t lose people to hypothermia. It’s that first 10 minutes, where we lose folks to cold water shock."

According to the Marine Board,16 people died in recreational boating incidents in 2022; 10 weren’t wearing a life jacket and nine were out alone. 

Massey says the rising popularity of stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and other paddle-craft is having an impact, "We’ve seen an increase, along with the use, in paddlecraft fatalities. A lot of folks that are new to the activity are inexperienced, may not know how to prepare and the type of equipment that’s best to keep them safe, and they may go into areas that aren’t best for their skills." She adds, "The other trend that we’re starting to see is a lot of people going out there - not only with the inexperience, but they’re going by themselves. And so, the chances of something going wrong and not having anyone there to render aid, go up."

If you're headed out on the water, Massey encourages you to wear a life jacket, recreate with a friend or in a group and, if you have to call for help for someone else, get yourself out of the water first. 

Many areas have life jacket loaner stations; click HERE for a list of locations. For more information about safe boating, visit Boat.Oregon.gov.

 

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

(Portland, OR) -- The National Association of Letter Carriers will conduct its 31st annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive this Saturday. In Oregon, more than 400-thousand people are food insecure with more than 100-thousand being children. It's easy to take part in the food drive just leave non-perishable food in a bag near your mailbox before the letter carrier arrives on Saturday. The food goes to local food banks and the donations will help them with distributions through the summer.

Republicans Prevent OR Senate Quorum For Ninth Straight Day

(Salem, OR) -- GOP state lawmakers continue to thwart the Oregon Senate's attempts to convene. Republican lawmakers refused to gather for session again yesterday, preventing a quorum for the ninth day in a row. Republicans say it's a protest over bill summaries that aren't written to the level of an 8th grader, but Democrats say it's a stall tactic to prevent a vote on a reproductive health care bill. The Senate won't meet again until Monday. Leaders from both parties are trying to reach agreement to end the walkout. Some Republican senators now have nine unexcused absences. If they get one more, Oregon law prevents them from running for re-election.

Record Breaking Hot Mother's Day Weekend

(Portland, OR) -- The National Weather Service has an Excessive Heat Watch posted Saturday through Monday from the Puget Sound through the Willamette Valley and along the coasts. Inland temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid 90s. It's rare to have a three day stretch of hot weather this early in the year. First responders are warning people heading to rivers and lakes to cool off that water temperatures remain very cold and river levels are high with spring run off. Swimmers should wear lifejackets and swim in pairs.

Police Identify Homicide Victims As Brothers

(Portland, OR) -- Authorities are revealing that two men who were fatally shot in a southwest Portland parking lot last Wednesday afternoon were brothers. Police have identified the victims as 33-year-old Dilrajpal Singh and 27-year-old Guriqbal Singh. The shooting happened at 2:45 in the afternoon and the suspect, 21-year-old Jobanpreet Singh, was detained at the scene. He was later charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Police say he is not related to the victims who were killed despite sharing a name. Police have not said what led to the shooting.

UO, OSU, PSU Win National Science Foundation Awards

(Portland, OR) -- Three Oregon universities will receive one-million dollar grants from the National Science Foundation for research. The money is coming from the CHIPS and Science Act. The University of Oregon will use the money to research mass timber engineering. Oregon State University will use its grant to advance semiconductor technologies in the Pacific Northwest. Portland State University will put its grant toward research developing "smart" electrical grid technology.

Portland Increases Air Conditioning Installation Goal

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is increasing the number of air conditioning units it plans to install for eligible residents. Under the Cooling Portland program, 31-hundred A-C units were installed in 2022, surpassing the goal by 100 units. This year's goal was bumped up to four-thousand units. Over five years, the city plans to install 15-thousand air conditioners. Recipients must have an income less than 60-percent of the median and be older than 60, have a medical condition that increases the risk of heat-related illness and live alone.

Tigard Police Arrest 23 In Shoplifting Enforcement

(Tigard, OR) -- Nearly two-dozen people have been arrested in a shoplifting enforcement mission by Tigard Police. On May 4th, officers focused on several major retailers watching for shoplifters. They arrested 23 people with 10 of them being under-18. They recovered around 10-thousand dollars in merchandise and counterfeit fentanyl pills. Police from Beaverton, Tualatin, and Vancouver helped with the mission.

Oregon Lifts COVID-19 Response Measures

(Portland, OR) -- The State of Oregon is lifting COVID-19 responses as the federal health emergency ends today. Workers in health care settings won't need to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccination requirement for teachers will end June 17th to coincide with the end of the school year. People who get COVID won't need to isolate for five-days, because of widespread immunity in the general population. They should stay home until they're fever free and their symptoms are improving. Reporting of COVID cases by doctors will be similar to the flu and RSV.

Homeless Numbers Decline In Portland Area

(Portland, OR) -- Chronic homelessness in the Portland Metro region is down as more shelter space becomes available. Numbers from the January Point-in-Time count show the number of people meeting the federal homelessness definition declined 17-percent since 2022. Overall, Multnomah County had nearly 63-hundred homeless people, Washington County had 773, and Clackamas County had 410. People of color continue to face disproportionate rates of homelessness. Increased funding through the Metro Supportive Housing Services measure helped get more people into shelters and supportive services.

Police Officer Injured During Welfare Check

(Beaverton, OR) -- A Beaverton Police officer is recovering at home after being hospitalized for injuries suffered during a welfare check. The officer was checking on a man lying on the sidewalk near Allen Boulevard and Erickson Avenue. The man allegedly started strangling the officer and injured the officer's head. Police say 35-year-old William Schott of Portland then ran and was captured less than a mile from where the attack happened. The officer was treated and released from a hospital. Schott told investigators he was homeless and uses methamphetamine. He's been arrested 21 times dating back to 2008 for crimes including strangulation and assaulting police officers. Schott faces multiple charges.

Vandals Cut Down Oregon City Tree

(Oregon City, OR) -- Police are searching for two suspects accused of cutting down a tree in front of Oregon City City Hall early Monday morning. Surveillance cameras show two young people cutting the tree down with a chainsaw. Mayor Denyse McGriff says the community is passionate about its trees and cutting one down on public property won't be tolerated. Oregon City Police are trying to identify the suspects.

Senate Walkout Extends To 8 Days

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon State Senate has been shut down for an eighth day in a row due to Republican lawmakers' refusal to convene. Nine Republicans and one Independent stayed away from the Capitol building yesterday, denying a quorum which is required for the Senate to take any action. Republicans say it's a protest over the way bill summaries are written, which they claim are illegal. Democrats say it's an effort to prevent votes on reproductive health and gun control laws. Legislators with over nine unexcused absences won't be allowed to run again.

Snowy Owls Join Oregon Zoo

(Portland, OR) -- There are two new faces at the Oregon Zoo. A pair of snowy owls are living in the North American habitat. Unlike most owls, snowy owls spend a lot of their time on the ground, perching on rocks or logs. Instead of hunting at night they're active during the day. In the wild, snowy owls are threatened by habitat loss due to climate change, car collisions, wind turbines and airplanes.

Second Sink Hole Forms At Cape Kiwanda

(Pacific City, OR) -- A second sink hole has appeared in the sand at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. The first sink hole formed in January. The Oregon State Parks Department closed the area around the sink hole and now they've extended that around the second sink hole. The first sink hole originally was around 20-feet wide and 15-feet deep. What's causing the sink holes isn't known. The area is made of sandstone and prone to erosion.

Rose Festival Seeks Volunteers

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Rose Festival needs volunteers. They're looking for people to help with parades, cleaning the parade routes after the events, and making the floats. You can find out more at their website Rose Festival dot org.

Kotek Delays Secretary Of State Appointment

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has announced she will delay any update on the appointment of a new Secretary of State until after the election on May 16th. Shemia Fagan resigned as Secretary of State yesterday and Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Myers will continue as acting Secretary of State until the Governor appoints a person. Kotek says she doesn't want to distract from the work in the Secretary of State's office during the election.

Ruptured Culvert Floods Homes

(Portland, OR) -- Over a dozen homes in Southwest Portland are damaged after being flooded during a strong thunderstorm Monday afternoon. The 14 homes are located on Southwest 61st near I-5 and Pacific Highway. The homes had basements and crawlspaces flooded. Large vacuum trucks from the City of Portland helped remove the water. City officials were waiting for the water to recede to determine the cause of the flooding.

Electronically Stolen SNAP Benefits Can Be Replaced

(Salem, OR) -- If you recently had your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits stolen electronically, you can now apply to get replacement benefits. The Oregon Department of Human Services will start replacing those benefits May 22nd. People who know their SNAP benefits were stolen between October 1st, 2022, and May 22nd, 2023, must request replacement benefits by June 21st. Victims who discover their SNAP benefits were stolen after May 22nd will have 30 days from the date they discover the theft to request replacement benefits.

Governor Urges Wildfire Preparedness

(Salem, OR) -- Governor Kotek is urging Oregonians to be prepared for fire season. The cool, wet spring will help delay the start of fire season, but Kotek says hot weather could quickly change conditions. Kotek says residents should prepare their yards, have an evacuation plan, put together "go kits," and have a plan if your community is affected by wildfire smoke. Kotek says most of all, everyone needs to take action and prevent human-caused wildfires.

Oregon Gas Prices May Have Peaked

(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices are trending down across the country and Oregon's prices may have peaked for the spring. Triple-A reports the national average price for a gallon of gas declined seven cents to three-53 a gallon and Oregon's average fell half-a-cent to four-11. It's too soon to tell whether Oregon's prices will continue to decline. Lower crude oil prices and lower demand have helped bring prices down. Diesel in Oregon fell a nickel last week to four-50 a gallon.

Kotek Signs Plastics Bills

(Salem, OR) -- Several Styrofoam products are being banned in Oregon. Governor Tina Kotek has signed two bills. One will phase out Styrofoam food containers, packing peanuts and coolers. It also prohibits PFAS chemicals in food packaging, because they're considered forever chemicals. The other bill instructs the Oregon Health Authority to write rules for restaurants, so customers can use their own containers to take home leftovers.

Senate Walkout

(Salem, OR) -- GOP state lawmakers continue to thwart the Oregon Senate's attempts to convene. Nine Republican senators and one Independent were absent yesterday, preventing a quorum for the sixth day in a row. Republicans say it's a protest over bill summaries that aren't written to the level of an 8th grader, but Democrats say it's a stall tactic to prevent a vote on a reproductive health care bill. Some of the Senators now have six unexcused absences. Under Oregon law, legislators with more than nine unexcused absences can't run again.

Flags Lowered For Texas Shooting Victims

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is joining President Biden in ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the people killed in the Allen, Texas shooting. Eight people were killed and seven were injured in the shooting at an outlet mall. Kotek says this shooting, and the others, send a message that people aren't safe performing acts of daily living and shouldn't have happened. Flags will remain lowered until sunset on May 11th.

Oregon Sends Firefighters To Canada

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon is sending nearly two-dozen firefighters to help battle wildfires in Alberta, Canada. There are more than 100 active fires with at least 14 being larger wildfires. There have been several storms with lightning and high winds combined with dryer and warmer conditions to increase fire danger. The personnel are being sent through the Northwest Compact. Canada has sent firefighters to Oregon in 2017, 2020 and last year to help battle large fires in the state.

Secretary Of State Resigns

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan's resignation took effect yesterday. Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Myers has now assumed the title on an interim basis. Governor Tina Kotek will appoint a new Secretary of State. Oregon has a special election on May 16th and Elections Director Molly Woon says the change in leadership will have no impact on their ability to assist county clerks. The Secretary of State is not the filing officer for any May 2023 contests and doesn't certify this election.

Debris Burning Warning

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Forestry is urging property owners to use caution if they burn yard debris and to consider other options. Burn piles that get too large can go out of control. Before starting a fire, property owners should check with their local fire district to make sure the fire is allowed, create a 10-foot buffer with no flammable material, have fire tools nearby, and stay with the fire until it's out cold. Instead of burning debris, property owners chip the material, compost it, or slowly get rid of it in a yard debris bin. If a burn pile gets out of control the property owner can be held financially response for the cost of fighting the fire.

Republicans Prevent Oregon Senate From Meeting Over Weekend

(Salem, OR) -- Republican lawmakers continue to thwart the Oregon Senate's attempts to convene. The state Senate tried to meet over the weekend but was again prevented from doing so by Republican members refusing to show up for the fifth day in a row. Without a quorum, the Senate can't take any action. Republicans say they're protesting a law that requires bill summaries to be written in a simple manner. Democrats say it's stall tactic to stop a vote on a reproductive health care bill. Senate President Rob Wagner says they'll continue meeting every day until there's a quorum. Under Oregon law, legislators with more than nine unexcused absences can't run again.

Seaside Fire Displaces Seven Families

(Seaside, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into an apartment fire that displaced seven families in Seaside Saturday evening. The fire was contained to a single-story building with four units. The column of smoke could be seen throughout downtown Seaside. One man was hospitalized with minor injuries. The Red Cross is assisting the displaced families.

Toddler Found Safe After 17 Hours

(Hubbard, OR) -- A two-year-old girl who went missing from her home Saturday night is back home and safe after being found 17 hours later. Raelynn Mishler was reported missing from her home west of Molalla. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office was joined by search and rescue teams from around the region. They used drones, an airplane and K9 units to scour the rural area. She was found Sunday morning lying down in tall grass about a quarter mile from her home. She was alive and alert. She was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the circumstances around the incident.

Dangerous Dog Impounded

(Portland, OR) -- A pit bull mix that previously bit a jogger and mauled a poodle has been impounded by Multnomah County Animal Control. The dog, named Bubbie, was taken into custody after the biting incident but returned to another family member for community quarantine. The dog's owner took the dog and when deputies saw Bubbie they took him into custody. The dog's owner, Jessie Miller, has until the end of the month to appeal the Dangerous Dog designation and a notice of suspension of ownership. The District Attorney's Office will determine whether Miller will face other charges in the case.

Fagan Resignation

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan's resignation takes effect today. She resigned after disclosing she was moonlighting as a consultant for one of the state's largest marijuana retailers. She took campaign donations from the company and also showed them a draft of the audit plan for the marijuana industry. Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Myers will take over until Governor Kotek appoints a replacement.

Gresham Man Sentenced For PPP Fraud

(Portland, OR) -- A Gresham man has admitted to stealing over 77-thousand dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program during the pandemic. Court documents show 41-year-old Justin Cunningham got friends to help him get the loan. He ran an online shoe company called JC Shoe Juice. On his loan application, Cunningham claimed to have six employees and the company did 460-thousand dollars in business. A federal grand jury indicted him on one count of wire fraud and last October he pleaded guilty. Cunningham was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison and must pay 81-thousand dollars in restitution.

Republican Senate Walkout Continues

(Salem, OR) -- For the second day in a row, five Republican State Senators in Oregon failed to show up for the floor session preventing a quorum. They are the same Senators who prevented a quorum on Wednesday. Republicans say they're opposed to bill summaries that aren't written to an 8th grade level. Democrats say Republicans want to prevent a vote on a bill that would protect reproductive and gender-affirming health care. Under a new law passed by voters last November, legislators who have 10 unexcused absences will be barred from running again.

New Oregon Zoo Resident

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo has a new resident. Harper is a seven-year-old female white-cheeked gibbon. She arrived this week to join the zoo's male white-cheeked gibbon, named Duffy. They live in the Red Ape Reserve, which is shared with the orangutan family. Harper was born at Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2015. Her move here was recommended to improve the survival plan for gibbons. They are listed as critically endangered. Their numbers have dropped by at least 80-percent over the past 50 years.

Couple Arrested For Chaining Up Child

(Tigard, OR) -- A couple has been arrested on accusations they chained up, strangled and verbally abused a child for nearly a year in Tigard. Acting on a tip, the Washington County Sheriff's Office investigated the case. After interviewing several witnesses, they got a warrant to search the house and found evidence of abuse. It started because the child took food and drinks from the kitchen. The child was chained up for more than 12 hours a day. Sixty-seven-year-old Ana Miranda and 74-year-old Charles 'Randy' Ward lived at the house with nine children and two adults. They were arrested on several charges.

Study Finds Smart Meters Vulnerable To Attack

(Corvallis, OR) -- Smart meters on power grids could be a way for hackers to attack the system. Oregon State University researchers have found that hackers could use several meters to turn power off and on creating an oscillation that could trip circuit breakers causing a blackout. They say the study shows a vulnerability that can now be fixed by grid operators to prevent a possible attack. They could monitor for the oscillation and turn power off to areas before the it causes a blackout. They could also vary power generation sources which would limit the impact of an attack.

Republicans Stop Proceedings In Oregon Senate

(Salem, OR) -- Several republicans in the Oregon Senate refused to show for yesterday's floor session preventing a quorum and forcing members to delay their meeting until tomorrow. Minority Republicans have used several tactics this session to slow proceedings including forcing bills to be read in their entirety and that the summaries of the bills are too difficult to read. Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp [[ kuh-NOPE' ]] released a statement accusing Senate President Rob Wagner of violating Senate rules. They want every bill to returned, rewritten, and re-heard in committee before proceeding.

"TriMet Barber" Back In Jail

(Portland, OR) -- The so-called "TriMet Barber" is back in jail. Police booked Jared Walter into jail on Tuesday for allegedly being on a TriMet platform despite being permanently banned by the transit agency. Court records show he was seen on a TriMet platform on April 26th. Walter was released from state prison in February after serving a 17-month sentence for taking pictures of a woman inside of a restroom. Previously, he was arrested and convicted multiple times for cutting off the hair of female TriMet passengers and sexually molesting female passengers.

Wyden Releases Health Insurance Check

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has conducted a "secret shopper" study of health insurance companies finding so-called ghost networks. That's when insurers sign up clients, but getting an appointment to see a doctor is very difficult, or doesn't happen at all. They were only able to make appointments 18-percent of the time. A third of the phone numbers didn't work. In one case, a phone number went to a high school student health center. Wyden is chair of the Senate Finance Committee and is working on legislation to address ghost networks in Medicare.

Republicans File Lawsuit Over Bill Summary

(Salem, OR) -- Two Republican Oregon legislators have filed a lawsuit over the summary of House Bill 2002. The bill supports reproductive and gender related health care. Senator Suzanne Weber of Tillamook and Representative Emily McIntire of Eagle Point were represented by Oregon Right to Life in filing the suit. It claims the summary violates state law, because it isn't written at an 8th-grade reading level. Republicans made a similar claim against nearly all bills being considered on the chamber floors this week, even for bills presented by Republicans.

Oregon House Passes Voter Registration Bill

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon House has passed a bill expanding the state's Automatic Voter Registration system. It started in 2015 with the Motor-Voter law that requires anyone interacting with the DMV to be automatically registered to vote. The bill that passed the house on a party line vote with a Democratic majority expands the program to Oregon Health Plan members. Democrats argued voting should be convenient, accessible, and secure. Republicans objected saying the Oregon Health Authority doesn't have the expertise to run the program and the recent resignation of Secretary of State Shemia Fagan creates doubt the voter registration system should be expanded. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Oregon Secretary Of State Fagan Resigns

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has announced her resignation. Fagan was working a secondary job as a consultant to one of the state's largest marijuana retailers. Fagan's office was also involved in an audit of marijuana industry regulations creating a potential conflict of interest. Governor Tina Kotek says she supports Fagan's decision. The Governor says this is a first step in restoring trust in the Secretary of State's office. Kotek will start the process to identify and appoint a replacement. Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Myers will serve as acting Secretary of State.

Health Care Costs Rise

(Portland, OR) -- A new report from the Oregon Health Authority finds health care costs declined during the pandemic. Between 2018 and 2019, health care costs increased three-and-a-half percent, but between 2019 and 2020 costs declined one-percent, because fewer people were getting health care during the pandemic. The commercial market saw the greatest increase with Medicaid showing the lowest cost growth. The cost of prescription drugs increased three-percent, even after pharmacy rebates. The report finds high cost is a barrier to health care for Oregonians.

Senators Warn Against AI Generated Tax Scams

(Washington, D.C.) -- Artificial intelligence computer programs can help tax scammers be more effective. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has joined a bipartisan group of Senators asking the IRS to prepare for the problem. These scams can normally be identified by spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and inaccurate references to tax code. Programs like ChatGPT can eliminate those mistakes. The Senators are asking the IRS to educate taxpayers and tax professionals about the existence of these new tax scams and what to watch out for. They also asked the IRS whether it expects these AI-generated tax scams to become more common and how they might evolve over time.

Speed Reduction On Highway 26 East Of Mt. Hood

(Bend, OR) -- ODOT will reduce the speed on a 15-mile section of Highway 26 because the road is in such bad condition. That stretch of the highway is between Highway 216, east of Mt. Hood, to the Warm Springs River. On May 5th, the speed will be reduced from 55 to 45 miles an hour. ODOT crews will be working to make temporary patches to the road. In 2024, the entire section of highway will be repaved. ODOT says that with reduced maintenance dollars, it's likely that more speed reductions will be used on other roads in the future when conditions merit.

Oregon House Passes Gun Bill Restrictions

(Salem, OR) -- Majority Democrats in the Oregon House have passed a bill that would impose new restrictions on guns. It would ban so-called ghost guns that don't have serial numbers; it would prohibit 18- to 20-year-olds from buying guns, except those used for hunting; and local governments could prohibit guns in public buildings. Republicans opposed the bill arguing against the ghost gun ban and saying the ban on gun purchases by 18- to 20-year-olds violates the constitution. If the bill becomes law, they say it will end of up in court. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Wyden Asks Bakers To Stop Adding Unnecessary Sesame

(Washington, D.C.) -- A bill passed by Congress that adds sesame to the list foods that need labels for allergies is causing many bakers to add sesame to their products. It's limiting the types of foods people with sesame allergies can buy. For bakeries, it's easier to add sesame, and put it on the label, than to clean production lines after making products that contain sesame. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has joined Representatives in sending a letter urging bakers to stop unnecessarily adding sesame to their products. Sesame allergies impact more than one-and-a-half million Americans.

Oregon House Passes Reproductive Rights Bill

(Salem, OR) -- After more than eight hours of debate, a reproductive rights bill passed the Oregon House Monday night. Democrats argued the bill's mandates to cover gender-affirming care will save lives. Republicans say removal of age limits and allowing children to receive care without parental consent will hurt them. Republicans tried several times to send the bill back to committee, but were defeated by majority Democrats. The bill passed 36-to-23 and moves to the Senate.

Officer Shoots Suspect in Shootings At Officers

(Salem, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing after Salem Police shot a suspect who allegedly shot at officers twice on Sunday. Salem Police were attempting to arrest a person of interest yesterday morning who was sought in two incidents where shots were fired at officers. A Salem Police officer shot the suspect while trying to arrest him. The man is being treated at Salem Health Hospital. No officers were injured. Oregon State Police and the Marion County District Attorney are leading the investigation.

Guinness World Records Confirms OHSU Found Smallest Cancer

(Portland, OR) -- Guinness World Records has recognized doctors at Oregon Health & Science University for finding the world's smallest skin cancer. The patient came in to have a spot on her face checked. It turned out to be fine, but the doctor saw another spot that was barely visible to the human eye. Using special imaging tools they determined the spot was a melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. A biopsy confirmed the cancer which was caught before it could spread. They say it shows the importance of early detection of skin cancer.

Fagan Announces End Of Contract With Veriede Holdings

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has announced she terminated her consulting contract with Veriede Holdings. The company is an affiliate of cannabis dispensary chain La Mota, which is one of the largest chains in the state. Fagan issued a statement saying she owes the people of Oregon an apology and that she exercised poor judgment contracting for a company that was also a significant campaign donor. Governor Tina Kotek has called for the Oregon Ethics Commission to investigate Fagan. Fagan says she followed ethics guidelines for private employment of public officials.

Multnomah County Targets Retail And Auto Theft

 

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt has announced two task forces that will target retail and auto theft. Over the last three years, auto thefts increased 68-percent and last year, 26-thousand businesses reported thefts. The county will provide two deputy district attorneys to prosecute cases and the city will fund two investigators and a legal assistant. The county commission and city council still need to approve the funds.

Public Comment On PGE's Rate Increase

(Salem, OR) -- Customers of Portland General Electric will be able to comment this Wednesday on a proposed 14-percent rate increase. PGE says it needs the increase to replace the Faraday Powerhouse on the Clackamas River, make improvements to transmission and distribution systems, and meet the impact of inflation on the company's operational costs. An average homeowner would see their bill increase 23 dollars a month. If the rate increase is approved it would take effect January 1st, 2024.

One Killed, One Injured In Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- A man was killed and a woman was injured in a shooting Friday night in Northwest Portland. The shooting happened near Northwest 17th and Irving Street. Officers found a man and a woman who were injured. The man's injuries were life threatening, and officers started CPR, but the man died at the scene. The woman was hospitalized and she's expected to survive. The suspects were gone when police arrived and no arrests were made.

Two Killed In Centennial Neighborhood Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- Two people were killed in a shooting early Sunday morning in the Centennial Neighborhood. Portland Police were called to Southeast Powell Boulevard and Naegeli Drive where they found one man dead. A short time later, officers found another man who was killed about five blocks away. The suspects were gone when police arrived, and no arrests have been made.

Officer Injured During Pursuit

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland Police officer was injured during a foot pursuit on I-205 Saturday morning. The incident started when police investigated a suspicious stolen vehicle parked near Southeast 97th and Glenwood Street. When officers approached the vehicle, the suspect ran onto I-205. The man ran across the freeway three times trying to escape the officers. One officer was hit by a vehicle that slowed to avoid hitting the suspect. The driver stopped and cooperated with officers. No citation was issued. The officer was hospitalized with a broken ankle. The suspect who ran onto the freeway, 33-year-old Norman Kurth, was taken into custody and hospitalized after telling officers he had swallowed drugs. He was treated and released, then arrested.

Disturbance Suspect Arrested

(Salem, OR) -- Salem Police arrested an armed suspect who was involved in two incidents Saturday night. Police were called to the parking lot at Riverfront Park were a man armed with a gun was threatening people. He left in a black pickup before officers arrived. About 20 minutes later, police responded to a fight in a Safeway parking lot on Center Street Northeast. The same man was involved in the fight and fled in the pickup crashing a short distance away with two vehicles. Police arrested 33-year-old Martin Gonzales and recovered a gun with a high-capacity magazine. They also arrested a 13-year-old girl who had an illegal gun. She was lodged at the Marion County Juvenile Department.

Homelessness State Of Emergency Funding Agreements

(Salem, OR) -- Funding has been approved to support Oregon's Homelessness State of Emergency. Governor Tina Kotek set a goal of preventing nine-thousand people from becoming homeless, rehousing 12-hundred people and creating 600 new shelter beds. Six of seven regional multi-agency coordinating groups developed plans to meet those goals and contracts have been signed allocating the funds. The seventh group will have its contract executed this week after a vote by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.

Missing American Bulldogs

(Gresham, OR) -- Gresham Police are asking for help finding people who took two American bulldogs. Saturday afternoon, the dogs escaped from an apartment near 240th and Southeast Stark Street while a dog sitter was taking out the trash. As the sitter was calling for the dogs, kids saw the two dogs get into a white Audi sedan. The bulldogs are a tan female and blue/dark male. Both dogs are worth four-thousand dollars each and police are asking any witnesses or people with information about the suspects to contact them.

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