Regional News Archives for 2023-07

Parents Want Justice

(Independence, OR) -- Parents of a two-year-old girl who was hit by a bullet following the Fourth of July celebration in Independence say they want justice. The girl was riding in a wagon when she was hit in the leg by a stray bullet. Police believe someone fired a shot in the air and the round came down hitting the girl. The couple is offering a 25-hundred-dollar reward for information that leads to a conviction. They're asking the person who fired the shot to come forward, or for anyone with information to help identify the suspect to contact police.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack To Visit Oregon

(Portland, OR) -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit Portland today. He'll announce funding from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support local communities with planning for and mitigating wildfire risks. Vilsack will be joined by Senator Ron Wyden, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Congresswoman Andrea Salinas.

Human Caused Wildfires Increase

(Portland, OR) -- The U.S. Forest Service is warning about an increase in human caused wildfires this year. Since June 1st, there have been 197-human caused or undermined fire starts on National Forest lands in Oregon. With lightning storms and gusty winds in the forecast for some regions, they're asking people using National Forest lands to be extra cautious with things that might start a fire. Campfire bans are in effect outside of developed campgrounds in some areas, while fires are entirely prohibited in others.

Hospital Workers Rally For Safety

(Portland, OR) -- Healthcare workers at Legacy Health's Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland are rallying for increased security. The rally over the weekend followed a shooting in the hospital that killed security guard Bobby Smallwood. Police tracked the suspect to Gresham where the person died in an officer involved shooting. Legacy Health issued a statement saying it will increase security measures. They will install metal detectors and bag searches, add bullet-slow film to glass at main entrances and issue tasers to lead security officers.

Human Remains Found In Sandy River

(Sandy, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing after a kayaker found human remains in the Sandy River. Police say the kayaker found the decomposed remains just north of Interstate 84 Friday afternoon. It's not yet clear how the person died. An autopsy has been scheduled.

Cannabis Farmers Sue State

(Portland, OR) -- Cannabis farmers have sued the State of Oregon over tests required for a certain type of mold on marijuana. Aspergillus can cause a rare respiratory disease in people with compromised immune systems, but it's not harmful to most people. Marijuana farmers argue in their lawsuit that the zero-tolerance rule established by the Oregon Health Authority will force them out of business. The lawsuit also questions why the rule is necessary in the first place.

Air Quality Advisories Continue From Wildfire Smoke

(Portland, OR) -- Wildfire smoke continues to clog the air in Central Oregon, the Willamette Valley, and Southern Oregon. The Department of Environmental Quality and the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency have extended an Air Quality Advisory through at least Monday night, because of smoke from the Bedrock Fire. The advisory is for Deschutes and eastern Lane counties. The Flat Fire is also triggering advisories in eastern Curry and western Josephine counties. Infants, young children, pregnant women and people with heart or lung conditions should stay indoors and use HEPA filters to reduce smoke in the air.

Governor Signs Housing And Homelessness Bills

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is signing off on four bills that address the state's housing and homeless crisis. The bills provide limits on rent increases, reduce limits on construction of shelters and duplexes, and provide funding to support shelters and services for people who are homeless. Some cities and counties are running out of one-time funding for shelters and the Governor says she'll review those needs and provide additional funding, if it's needed.

Kotek Close To Deciding On Self-Service Gas Bill

(Salem, OR) -- Today is the deadline for Governor Tina Kotek to take action on a new bill allowing self-service gas to go statewide. Kotek must provide five days' notice if she plans to veto a bill, and today is the deadline for her to give that notice. She says her office is reviewing the bill along with many others to determine whether it's legal and if it has support. Kotek says her office has received over five-thousand emails from Oregonians on the bill.

Popular Oregon Coast Aquarium Seal Euthanized

(Newport, OR) -- A popular harbor seal at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport has been euthanized after tests revealed throat cancer. Boots was taken to the Veterinary School at Oregon State University where they initially thought Boots only had an ulcer that was treatable. Results from a biopsy came back and showed there was also cancer, so the 35-year-old seal was euthanized. Boots was found stranded as a pup on a beach in Mexico in 1988, treated at Sea World San Diego and then transferred to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in 1992.

New Interactive Map Shows Testing Following Fire

(Portland, OR) -- Residents near the fire that destroyed a vacant K-Mart warehouse in Northeast Portland are worried about asbestos contamination. Now, the EPA and Oregon DEQ have produced an interactive map that shows the results of testing. So far, no asbestos has been detected in any of the 11 debris samples and 16 air samples. More testing is underway on seven debris samples and 16 air samples. Those are called activity-based air samples. They're taken while walking, mowing lawns, raking leaves, and digging holes. They'll be added to the map when they come in.

Rugby Coach Charged With Sexual Abuse

(Newberg, OR) -- A former girls rugby coach at Newberg High School has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse. Newberg-Dundee Police say the parent of a student reported their child had been sexually abused by 28-year-old John-David Gispert. Following an investigation, Gispert was charged with seven counts of sexual abuse, two counts of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct and two counts of encouraging child sexual abuse. He was booked into the Yamhill County Jail.

Oregon Surpasses Affordable Housing Goal

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon House and Community Services is surpassing its goal to triple the amount of affordable housing in the state. There are now as many as 25-thousand affordable housing units in Oregon. The goal was set in 2019 to fund 12-hundred permanent supportive housing units, triple affordable housing units funded in rural Oregon, and to triple affordable rental housing to 25-thousand homes. They surpassed the goals a year before the deadline. This year, Governor Tina Kotek extended the goal to 36-thousand units a year for the next ten years.

Eastern OR Birthing Center Gets Six-Month Funding Help

BAKER CITY, OR -- An eastern Oregon hospital announced this week it will keep its birthing center open four more weeks. But lawmakers want a much longer extension.

Early this month, St. Alphonsus Health System announced its Baker City maternity ward would close this Sunday. Then, this week, it announced that deadline was pushed another month. Expectant mother Jessica Allen told Baker County Commissioners Thursday she now drives to Boise to see a new obstetrician because there's no certainty in Baker City. "It’s created a lot of frustration during a time that I should be planning to set up a crib and do all these fun things. It’s very stressful." She's pleased with the four week extension, but says that's not long enough for her pregnancy, "Obviously, we want the ultimate goal of keeping the birth center open. But I think that six months could potentially give somebody like me an opportunity to follow through with my original plans of giving birth here and not potentially giving birth on the side of the road, on my way to Boise."

Dr. Neil Carroll told Commissioners the uncertainty makes it difficult for his patients to plan deliveries, "We’ve kind of kicked the can down the road a little bit, but we need to have something more stable in place over the next several months, if we’re going to continue to provide these services."

Former hospital board member Jerry Peacock told County Commissioners, "Doggonit, let’s find a solution to it. I do believe there’s a solution. Sending young mothers over the mountain in the winter is not an obvious solution. It’s a safety issue." And Baker City Schools Superintendent Erin Lair told them the closure of the birth center will have a ripple effect, including making it difficult to recruit new teachers. "In maybe larger places, an entity making a decision is about that entity and the decision for the entity. In a place like Baker County, it is every corner of our county is touched by these decisions."

Commissioners unanimously agreed to spend at least $350,000 dollars to pay for traveling nurses subsidized by the federal government. They also made an additional $150,000 available if it's needed. And, they have asked St. Alphonsus to keep the birthing center open another six to 12 months until a long-term plan is developed. That plan is also supported by the Governor, both U.S. Senators and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

 

Gov. Kotek Signs Four Housing & Homelessness Bills

SALEM, OR -- Governor Tina Kotek signed four bills Thursday she says address the state’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Kotek acknowledged there is still work to do on the housing front, but called the package a step in the right direction, "I am signing bills that show we are making progress, to make sure that every Oregonian has a place to live - a safe and secure place to be."

The legislation sens millions of dollars to rental assistance and other housing programs and provides funding for homeless shelters, "We must both prevent homelessness and rehouse people living outside, one household at a time," said Kotek.

Rep. Maxine Dexter (D-Portland) chairs the House Committee on Housing and Homelessness and said, "$10 million will go towards community-based housing for our agricultural workers and their families. These individuals pick our food and care for our crops. Many of these hard-working people have struggled to keep their families safely housed." She added, "By supporting their ability to live in community with other farmworker families, closer to schools and services, we help create a more resilient and compassionate agricultural economy." There’s also assistance for college students struggling with housing instability, programs to help tenants at risk of eviction, funding for local governments to develop housing and reduced restrictions on multi-family construction. 

Kotek said, "These bills represent progress and they are about helping Oregonians and Oregon communities that need help." She also answered questions about shelters that received one-time pandemic relief running out of funding, saying she’s looking into the issue.

Looking ahead to the 2024 short session, the Governor said she's pushing for more housing development, "We are focusing on the work of the Housing Production Advisory Council, where we have bipartisan legislative involvement. We need to come into next session with a clear agenda on housing production, which includes taking up the issue of land supply." That land supply conversation started at the end of the 2023 session, so Kotek is optimistic it will move forward.

 

Wyden Bills Target PGA, LIV Golf Merger

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is introducing bills that target the PGA and Saudi Public Investment Fund. Wyden, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said an organization that betrays its own word and agrees to become a profit generator for Saudi Arabia's brutal regime has disqualified itself for a tax exemption. The PGA has announced it's merging with LIV Golf. Wyden's bills would go after the PGA's tax-exempt status and would limit withholding tax payments on foreign investment funds with more than 100-billion dollars, which would include the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

Abnormally Dry Conditions Increase Fire Risk In Pacific Northwest

(Portland, OR) -- The summer is only halfway over, and fire risk keeps rising across the U.S. Forest Service's Northwest Region. According to the Northwest Coordination Center Predictive Services Outlook, low spring rainfall has resulted in abnormally dry conditions. That dryness, combined with record and near-record heat, means new fire starts could grow quickly, and existing fires might remain on the landscape until weather conditions change. The Forest Service is encouraging the public to prevent human-caused wildfire starts by monitoring smoke forecasts and planning outdoor recreation accordingly. Also, know fire restrictions and fire closures before heading out.

Police Release Hospital Shooting Timeline

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police have released a timeline of calls to dispatch following a shooting last Saturday at Good Samaritan Hospital that killed a security guard. Officers arrived within five minutes. The call of an officer down comes five minutes later and they call for the hospital to be locked down. As the officers were going to the 5th floor, surveillance video shows the suspect leaving the hospital. He was found by an officer about an hour later in Gresham and after a vehicle pursuit.  The suspect was killed in an officer involved shooting. The suspect was identified as 33-year-old PoniaX Kane Calles.

Deputy Critically Wounded By Gunfire

(Tualatin, OR) -- A Washington County Sheriff's deputy remains in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital after a shooting Wednesday morning in Tualatin. Deputies were serving a civil eviction at the Forest Rim Apartments near the Nyberg Woods Shopping Center when the suspect shot a deputy multiple times. Another deputy returned fire. The deputy was flown on Life Flight to Emanuel Hospital. SWAT entered the apartment and found the suspect dead.

Schnitzer Steel Changes Name

(Portland, OR) -- One of Oregon's largest businesses is changing its name. Schnitzer Steel is rebranding to Radius Recycling. They say it better reflects their business today, which recycles metals other than steel. Schnitzer Steel was founded in 1906 by Sam Schnitzer and now does more than three-and-a-half billion dollars in business each year.

Stubborn Sinkhole Difficult To Repair

(Portland, OR) -- A huge sinkhole remains in a southeast Portland street three months after it opened. The sinkhole is located on Southeast Yamhill Street between 74th and 76th avenues. It's covered with huge steel plates. The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services says it's 50-feet-wide and 10-feet-deep. It affects a 1914-era sewer pipe and a maintenance hole. Supply chain delays have slowed production of a replacement liner. It's currently being delivered. The 340-foot-long liner will take several weeks to install after it arrives.

Aquarium Harbor Seal Diagnosed At OSU

(Corvallis, OR) -- A well-known harbor seal at the Oregon Coast Aquarium has been treated at Oregon State University's Veterinary School for a throat problem. 35-year-old Boots is one of the most popular seals at the aquarium, because of the way she interacts with visitors. For several months, she's had trouble swallowing. Veterinarians at OSU gave her a CT scan, and an endoscopic exam that determined she didn't have cancer, but has a ulcer in her throat. They'll treat it by feeding her fish with medicine inside that should help the ulcer heal.

Oregon Vietnam War Memorial Close To Reality

SALEM, OR -- If everything goes according to plan, a new Vietnam War Memorial will be erected at the Oregon State Capitol next year. A new million dollar state grant brings the plan closer to reality. 

"The granite columns are in Oregon now [pictured below]; they’re all paid for," Vietnam War Memorial Fund President Steve Bates tells KBND News, "The granite columns actually will make up the wall, which bears the names of the Oregonians who died in Vietnam." He says there will be around 800 names listed, "Officially, the Department of Defense has identified 710 Oregonians who died in Vietnam. But we know that there were others who were actually born in Oregon or they went to high school here in Oregon, and of course we’re going to list their names because we consider them to be Oregonians as well."

Bates says the 48 granite columns will stand independently [rendering above], "But they will actually look like a wall from a distance. And when you approach the columns, then you see that the wall is actually fractured and that’s demonstrative of the times of the Vietnam War - the social unrest that we experienced." It's in stark contrast to the solid wall of the World War Two memorial, just to the north, "It was significant that during World War II, our country was solidified and united behind the war effort. The shattered wall or the broken wall for the Vietnam Memorial, demonstrates the difference between the two wars."

Earlier this year, public feedback was gathered to finalize the design of interpretive panels for the site. Those await final approval by the State Parks Department. Bates says there is also more fundraising to do. He estimates they need about a million dollars more to complete the project. But he’s optimistic they’ll be able to break ground early next year. 

Federal Jury Finds Corrections Nurse Guilty

(Portland, OR) -- A federal jury has found a Corrections Department nurse who worked at the Coffee Creek Prison for women guilty of sexual assault. Thirty-eight-year-old Tony Klein worked at the prison from 2010 through 2018. Court documents show Klein sexually assaulted female inmates who were patients or worked as orderlies in the medical unit. Klein was convicted of 17 counts of sexual assault. He could face life in prison when he's sentenced in October.

Marijuana Grow Ruled Out As Cause For Golden Fire

(Salem, OR) -- Investigators are ruling out an illegal marijuana grow as the cause of the Golden Fire in southern Oregon. The Klamath County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday it no longer believes an unsanctioned pot farm sparked the blaze. The 21-hundred-acre fire has destroyed at least 43 homes along with another 43 outbuildings and is threatening more homes near Bly Mountain, Beatty, Bonanza and Dairy. The fire is burning in timber with some torching that's creating spot fires. The blaze is reported to be 15-percent contained as of early this morning.

Fatal Overdose At Bar

(Woodburn, OR) -- One person is dead and two others are hospitalized following an apparent overdose incident at a Woodburn bar. On Sunday, Woodburn Police responded to Rumor's Bar and Grill where a customer was unconscious. They performed CPR and gave the person Narcan, then medics took the man to a hospital. Two other men who were with him were in a car outside of the bar. They were also unresponsive. Medics gave them Narcan. A 29-year-old man regained consciousness and was hospitalized. Thirty-two-year-old Ivan Garcia-Cruz died at the scene.

Oregon Gas Prices Decline

(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices are up across the country, but not in Oregon. AAA reports the national average price for a gallon of regular increased seven cents last week to 3.64 a gallon. Rising crude oil prices and heat related problems at refineries are causing prices to rise. Oregon was one of only five states to see a price decline. The average price of gas in Oregon declined two cents to 4.58 a gallon.

Forest Service Seeks Tips In Bedrock Fire

(Portland, OR) -- The U.S. Forest Service is asking for help with the investigation into a wildfire. The Bedrock Fire was reported on July 22nd in the Willamette National Forest. It started in the Fall Creek area near the Bedrock Campground. The fire has burned over 44-hundred acres and 155 firefighters are working to contain it. Anyone with information, photos, or videos from July 8th, when the fire started, should contact the Forest Service.

Car Crashes Into Commonwealth Lake

(Beaverton, OR) -- An investigation is underway after a car crashed into Commonwealth Lake in Beaverton early Monday morning. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says it happened at 3:24 a.m. The body of 56-year-old Mark Shelton of Beaverton was found inside of the vehicle. There are no roads leading to the lake. An investigation is underway to determine how it happened.

2nd Annual Sanctuary Promise Report Issued

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's sanctuary reporting hotline took 51 calls over the last year, and 26 of those calls involved public agencies cooperating or sharing information with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Oregon law prohibits government agencies from assisting federal authorities with immigration enforcement. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission produces an annual report called the Sanctuary Promise Report. It found Washington County was the jurisdiction that had the most contacts from ICE. The hotline also offers callers support and resources.

Friend Of Woman Killed In Street Racing Crash Speaks Out

(Portland, OR) -- A friend of a woman who was killed when a street racer crashed into her vehicle in Southeast Portland last week is urging others not to race on city streets. Jodi King spoke to KATU-TV yesterday about her friend, 55-year-old Julie Skeen, who died following the crash on Powell Boulevard last Thursday. King says street racing is "a selfish thing to do" and that Skeen was "a great woman" who was taken from her loved ones too soon. The Portland Police Bureau says 18-year-old twins Hannah and Grace Fetters were racing another vehicle when they crashed into Skeen's car. Both Fetters also died from their injuries.

Police Identify Suspect In Fatal Hospital Shooting

(Gresham, OR) -- Gresham Police have identified the man who shot and killed a security guard at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland on Saturday. The suspect is identified as 33-year-old Portland resident PoniaX Kane Calles, formerly known as Reginald Kane Jackson. Calles was shot and killed by police in Gresham shortly after the shooting. Calles had previous arrests for Interfering with a Police Officer, Reckless Driving and Assault. Police say Saturday's shooting killed hospital security guard Bobby Smallwood, who was reportedly trying to protect patients and staff members when he was shot. The shooting happened near the hospital's birth center.

Lawsuit Planned Over Snake River Dams

(Portland, OR) -- Four conservation and fishing groups have given the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers notice they plan to file a lawsuit over hot water conditions in the Snake River. They say despite above-average snowpack and a colder spring, higher water temperatures threaten endangered salmon. They want four dams on the Snake River to be removed. Opponents argue that removing hydroelectric dams will make climate change worse causing more problems for salmon. The Corps has argued the courts don't have the authority to order the dams to be removed, but conservationists say the Endangered Species Act would allow it.

Worker Killed Falling Into Tank

(Portland, OR) -- A worker is dead after falling up to 50 feet into a large tank in Northwest Portland on Monday. The incident happened at a business on Northwest Yeon near the St. Johns Bridge. Portland Fire & Rescue says all hazardous materials had been removed from the tank and the maintenance worker didn't survive the fall. Police, Trauma Intervention Program specialists and the Medical Examiner's office responded. OSHA will also investigate the incident.

Air Quality Advisories Issued For Central And Southern Oregon

(Salem, OR) -- Wildfire smoke is causing air quality advisories in Central and Southern Oregon. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency issued the advisory through at least Wednesday night. Smoke from the Bedrock Fire between Bend and Eugene, and the Flat Fire in southwest Oregon is causing the problem. It's especially hazardous for infants, young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant people. They should stay indoors and use a HEPA filter to remove smoke from the air.

Suspect In Fatal Hospital Shooting Dead

(Portland, OR) -- The suspect is dead after a shooting at a Portland hospital Saturday afternoon left a security guard dead and one person injured. Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center was on lockdown following the shooting near the hospital's birthing center Saturday afternoon. The suspect died following a manhunt, being stopped in a car by police about 15 miles east of Portland in the city of Gresham. The security guard who was killed has been identified as Bobby Smallwood.

Police ID Three Women Killed In Street Racing Crash

(Portland, OR) -- Police are releasing the identities of three women killed in a street racing crash in Southeast Portland last week. The Portland Police Bureau says 18-year-old twins Hannah and Grace Fetters were racing another vehicle on Powell Boulevard last Thursday when they crashed into a third vehicle not involved in the race. The third vehicle was driven by 55-year-old Julie Skeen. Skeen and both Fetters died from their injuries.

Triple Vehicle Crash

(Portland, OR) -- Three cars were involved in a crash Sunday morning near Northeast Lombard and MLK Junior Boulevard. One vehicle rolled on top of a second vehicle trapping the driver. Firefighters had to remove one person through the windshield of a car. One person was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Golden Fire Threatens Homes

(Klamath Falls, OR) -- A wildfire burning in southern Oregon about 30 miles northeast of Klamath Falls has grown to two-thousand acres. The Golden Fire is threatening homes and it's rapidly expanding to the east. Multiple air, structural, and wildland resources are working to contain the fire. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Plane Crashes Off Runway

(Twin Oaks, OR) -- A pilot is okay after crashing a small plane at Twin Oaks Airport south of Hillsboro Sunday morning. The plane ran off the runway, across River Road and into a ditch. The pilot wasn't hurt and was able to get out of the plane on his own. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the FAA and NTSB.

USPS Job Fairs

(Portland, OR) -- The U.S. Postal Service is holding job fairs across Oregon as they work to fill positions and increase staffing. The Postal Service has increased training for new carriers by sending experienced carriers along with them on their routes to show them how to make the job easier. They're hiring for all positions. Pay varies depending on the position. Starting pay ranges from 19- to 20-dollars an hour. The job fairs will be held July 27th between 10 a.m and 2 p.m.

Heat Mapping Study

(Portland, OR) -- A heat mapping study is underway in Portland. Volunteer drivers in vehicles equipped with special temperature sensors will drive designated routes three times a day. The temperatures will be recorded along those routes in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. The goal is to determine areas that are hotter, so residents can take action to deal with the heat. The results of the study will be available at the end of the year. This is one of 17 data collection projects across the country to prepare communities for the increasing threat of extreme heat.

Wildfire Roundup

(Undated) -- Oregon is among four states that reported a new wildfire this week. Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Oregon each reported one new wildfire, bringing the national total up to nearly two dozen as a heat wave slams the Western U.S. Meanwhile, air quality is slowly improving for millions as smoke from Canadian wildfires starts to thin. Despite the improvements, air quality alerts are still in place in over a dozen states in the Northeast from New Hampshire to Wyoming. Since May, nearly two-thousand firefighters have been mobilized to Canada to help as crews battle hundreds of wildfires across the country.

CPW Having Problems Getting Wolves For Reintroduction In Colorado

(Denver, CO) -- Oregon could be sending some wolves to Colorado. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is running into an unexpected problem with their plan to reintroduce wolves in some parts of the state. The agency is asking other states for the wolves that will be used in the effort. Idaho and Wyoming have declined Colorado's request for help, leaving Washington state, Oregon and Montana as possible sources. A C-P-W spokesperson says discussions are ongoing but adds that no agreements have been reached. The wolf reintroduction is supposed to begin by the end of this year.

Girlfriend Of Person Of Interest In Oregon Murders Says He Has Link To Victims

(Multnomah County, OR) -- The girlfriend of a person of interest in four unsolved murders in Oregon is revealing details about his connection to two of the victims. Jesse Calhoun's girlfriend Krista Senor says Calhoun sold fentanyl to, and bartered for sex with, other women during their relationship, specifically naming murder victims Ashley Real and Bridget Leann Ramsey Webster. Senor says Calhoun has lived with her and her children for a year and a half. Multnomah County D.A.'s Office repeated that no charges have been filed against anyone in connection with the murders.

Weyerhaeuser Fire Continues To Burn

(Longview, WA) -- A fire in a massive pile of wood chips at the Weyerhaeuser plant in Longview continues to burn, but officials say crews are making progress. The Longview Fire Department says a helicopter is assisting firefighters on the ground by dropping water on the chip pile. Heavy equipment is being used to separate the pile to get at the fire that's burning inside. Smoke continues to be an issue for the surrounding community. The fire started Tuesday night. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

U.S. Representatives Call For Review Of Commuted Sentences

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon's Republican Congressional representatives are urging Governor Tina Kotek to immediately review all the criminal sentences commuted by her predecessor, Governor Kate Brown. Representatives Lori Chavez-DeRemer and Cliff Bentz made the plea in a letter, after investigators linked the suspicious deaths of four Oregon women to one person of interest. Detectives say 38-year-old career criminal Jesse Calhoun was among about a thousand prison inmates released early after being granted conditional clemencies. Chavez-DeRemer and Bentz claim Brown did so without any other public input or feedback. They're calling for what they call a clear, transparent clemency process with public input.

Boulder Fire 100% Contained

(Dufur, OR) -- The Boulder Fire southeast of Mt. Hood is now fully contained. The fire was kept to 233 acres. It was burning in timber, dead and down woody material in rugged terrain. A small team will remain on scene to watch for flare-ups. The cause of the fire is under investigation and the Forest Service is asking anyone who was in the area on July 8th to report if they saw something suspicious or have video or photos that might help with the investigation.

Dairy Fined $25,000 For Manure Discharge

(Grants Pass, OR) -- A dairy farm near Grants Pass has been fined 25-thousand dollars for illegally discharging cow manure into a nearby creek. Noble Family Fairy had 130 more cows than their permit allowed. The unexpected volume overwhelmed manure lagoons. They applied liquid manure to their fields, and flooding caused a collection trench to fail, sending manure into Caris Creek and eventually the Applegate River. The farm pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act.

Oregon Adds Jobs, Unemployment Declines

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's unemployment rate dropped from three-point-seven percent in May to three-point-five percent in June as the state added 57-hundred jobs. The unemployment rate is near the record low of three-point-four percent that was reached in 2019. Several sectors added jobs including government, other services, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services. Wholesale trade, transportation, warehousing, utilities and manufacturing lost jobs. Over the last year, the number of jobs in Oregon increased two-point-three percent.

Homeowner Assistance Program To Take More Applications

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's Homeowner Assistance Program will start taking applications again on August 2nd. The program uses federal COVID-19 emergency relief funds. The program was paused in May to process claims. The fund has 72-million-dollars which is enough to help around 500 homeowners. They will focus on homeowners in active foreclosures and those underserved by mortgage markets. The website Oregon-homeowners-assistance-dot-org has more information.

Police Conduct Human Trafficking Mission

(Portland, OR) -- A dozen people suspected of engaging in human trafficking are behind bars following a mission carried out by Portland Police. Portland's Human Trafficking Unit received several complaints about activity on Northeast 82nd Avenue. Officers contacted seven people identified as potential victims of trafficking and offered to help them connect with victim advocates. Police arrested 12 people for Commercial Sexual Solicitation, and two vehicles were towed. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office and the FBI helped with the operation.

Vacant K-Mart Building Burns

(Portland, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into a huge fire at a vacant K-Mart store near Northeast 122nd Avenue and Sandy Boulevard. The fire broke out yesterday and sent a large column of smoke over the city. Four alarms were pulled to get enough firefighters at the scene.

Inmate Throws Hot Water On Another Inmate

(Hillsboro, OR) -- An inmate at the Washington County Jail in Hillsboro is recovering from burn injuries after another inmate threw hot water on his face. The incident happened during breakfast on July 11th. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says 39-year-old Joshua Neely asked to heat a cup of water in a microwave. After several minutes, Nealy returned and threw the hot water at another inmate, causing second-degree burns to his face, neck and chest. Nealy was restrained without incident. The injured inmate was treated at a hospital. A grand jury indicted Nealy for assault in the first degree and unlawful use of a weapon.

Dangerous Algae Detected In Vancouver Lake

(Vancouver, WA) -- Clark County Health is warning people and pets to stay out of Vancouver Lake. Elevated levels of toxic algae have been detected in the water. Warning signs have been placed at public access points. A warning advisory is also in place for Lacamas Lake, because of similar algae. They're advising people against swimming, water skiing, or drinking lake water. Pets should also stay out of the water.

Souther Oregon Flat Fire Grows

AGNESS, OR -- The Flat Fire, in Southern Oregon, is now estimated at 12,756 acres, as of Wednesday morning. It's burning in scars from the Biscuit and Klondike fires.  It’s considered zero-percent contained and the cause is under investigation. 

Crews continue to strengthen firelines and more resources are responding to the area. There are now 516 personnel with 10 engines, four bulldozers, two water tenders, six masticators and seven helicopters. 

Some trails and roads are closed in the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest, along with a portion of the Illinois River. 

                                                                                  

 

Large Fire Burns At Weyerhauser Mill

(Longview, WA) -- A large fire is burning at a Weyerhauser lumber mill in Longview. Wood chips and log decks are burning. The fire started Tuesday evening. Nearby residents are being told to stay inside, because of the smoke. Winds are blowing the smoke south into the Portland area. No injuries have been reported from the fire.

Sandy Fined $500,000 For Sewer Overflows

(Sandy, OR) -- The City of Sandy is agreeing to pay a half-million-dollar penalty for sewer overflows into the Clackamas River. The violations date back to 2017. Half of the money will go to the federal government and half to the state. The City also agreed to make changes to the wastewater treatment plant by October 31st. They'll have 10 years to complete other changes that will bring the city into compliance. New connections to the sewer system will also be limited, which will impact new construction.

Investigation Into Abandoned Puppies

(Hillsboro, OR) -- Washington County Animal Services is investigating after two puppies were found abandoned in Hillsboro. The pitbull-type puppies with cropped ears were found in bushes near the Salvation Army on Cypress Street on July 10th. The puppies were extremely malnourished. Their conditions are improving under care of Animal Services and the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter. The puppies aren't available for adoption now, they'll be placed in foster care for eventual adoption through another agency. Anyone with information about the puppies should contact Washington County Animal Services.

Federal Audits Finds Misspending By Chemawa Indian School

(Salem, OR) -- A federal audit finds the Chemawa Indian School in Salem mismanaged over a million dollars. The audit was conducted by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Interior. It found the school mismanaged nearly 600-thousand dollars in students' personal money, and purchased 593-thousand dollars in inappropriate items that include excavating equipment, a pole barn, and a horse trailer. The audit also shows the Bureau of Indian Affairs failed to conduct financial oversight of the school. The audit makes 26 recommendations for improvement.

Washington County Passes Camping Ban

(Hillsboro, OR) -- The Washington County Board of Commissioners has passed a homeless camping ban. It applies as long as there are shelters or housing where campers can go. If that's not available, campers can stay on county property for up to five days. They cannot camp within 500 feet of shelters, schools or previous homeless camps that have been removed. It also limits them to only having essential items for camping. There are several restrictions.

Former Olympian Pleads Guilty In Child Sex Abuse Case

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A former Olympian and elite equestrian coach has pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse charges. Richard Fellers competed in the 2012 London Olympics. He became an equestrian coach and opened stables in Tualatin. He was training a 14-year-old girl who lived on her own while her family lived in California. When she was 16, Fellers coerced her into having sex. He abused the victim multiple times, including in other states during equestrian competitions. In 2020, Feller's wife caught them and the investigation began. Fellers pleaded guilty to state and federal charges and will serve four years in federal prison.

Governor Signs BM 110 Fix Bill

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has signed a bill that changes Ballot Measure 110. It's the bill that decriminalized possession of small amounts of illegal drugs and required addiction treatment facilities around the state. HB 2513 fixes several aspects of the voter approved law that's drawn criticism for not working. It simplifies access to treatment services, adds staff, creates a hotline to access services, and improves data collection to monitor the programs. The Governor has not signed HB 2645 that would create a misdemeanor penalty for fentanyl possession. Kotek has until July 25th to sign or veto bills from the Legislature.

Containment Grows On Boulder Fire

(Dufur, OR) -- Containment is growing on the Boulder Fire southeast of Mt. Hood. The fire remains at 233 acres, and containment is now at 46-percent. Cooler temperatures and higher humidity have slowed the fire's activity. A drone with thermal imaging technology flew over the fire and found no hot spots. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Police Link Deaths Of Four Women

(Portland, OR) -- Detectives say they've linked the deaths of four women earlier this year in Portland, and Multnomah, Clackamas and Polk counties. Police aren't yet revealing how the deaths are connected, or how the women were killed. They do have a person of interest in the case. KATU identifies the person as 38-year-old Jesse Calhoun, who is currently in custody at the Snake River Correctional Institute. Calhoun was granted clemency by Governor Kate Brown back in 2021 after he helped fight some wildfires, but Governor Tina Kotek rescinded that commutation earlier this month.

$50,000 Reward Offered For Police Shooting Suspect

(Portland, OR) -- The FBI is increasing the reward for information leading to the arrest of a fugitive who shot a Lincoln City police officer over a decade ago. The reward is being raised from ten-thousand to 50-thousand dollars for information on David Durham. Police say Durham shot the officer several times during a traffic stop in 2011, leaving the officer critically injured. Police pursued Durham, and he allegedly fired at officers again during the chase. Police believe Durham could be in California, the Caribbean or Thailand.

Employee Killed At Health Care Facility

(Gresham, OR) -- Residents of a mental health treatment center in Gresham are temporarily being moved to other housing after one resident allegedly stabbed an employee to death. Police say a healthcare worker at Cascadia Health's McCarthy Place treatment center in Gresham was stabbed and killed Sunday morning. Police have arrested 59-year-old James Smith on charges of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. McCarthy Place is a 10-bed licensed residential care facility.

Flat Fire Erupts In Curry County

AGNESS, OR -- A new wildfire grew very quickly in southern Oregon over the weekend. The Flat Fire started Saturday in the Rogue River-Siskyou National Forest. Curry County Commissioner Brad Alcorn provided an update on Facebook Sunday night, saying smoke is impacting the communities of Gold Beach and Brookings, "It’s actually burning in the Biscuit Fire area. Right now this fire is estimated to be at about, between 3,000 and 4,000 acres. You know how difficult it is to estimate this as it starts to spread."

As of Monday morning, the Northwest Coordination Center estimates the Flat Fire is 3,800 acres. Alcorn says it's burning 35 miles up the Rogue River, near the town of Agness, "This is a tough fire to fight. It’s in a very rugged, rough part of our country. No private land is burning right now, it’s all burning on federal land." He adds, "The stance on this fire is full suppression. That is the goal. They are going after this hard and aggressively."

The Red Cross opened a shelter at Gold Beach High School, at least through Monday. "That shelter is open right now. They did get a couple people in there that were displaced; I think they were campers that were displaced. We can accommodate people - a large amount of people, if necessary," says Alcorn. 

Forest Service investigators are on scene and Alcorn says online rumors about a specific person who started the fire are inaccurate, "It’s way too early to give you an absolute answer about the origins of this fire."

 

Person Killed Waiting For Bus

(Portland, OR) -- A person waiting for a bus was killed in a crash Saturday afternoon in the Sunnyside Neighborhood. Portland Police say the crash happened at Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Taylor Street. A car rolled over onto the sidewalk and hit a bus stop killing one person who was waiting for the bus. The driver wasn't hurt and remained at the scene. Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

House Fire Closes Highway 26

(Manning, OR) -- Authorities say a house fire near Highway 26 and the junction of Highway 47 closed the highway to the coast most of Saturday. The fire spread to surrounding hills, and because of the extremely dry conditions and high fire danger, a Level 1 Be Ready evacuation order was issued for surrounding homes. The evacuation warning was lifted in the afternoon. The house that burned and an RV were a total loss. >>

Beach Closed For Trapped Cougar

(Cannon Beach, OR) -- A section of beach near Cannon Beach was closed on Sunday after a cougar was found trapped on Haystack Rock. There had been several sightings of the cougar in Nehalem Bay State Park. Police and Fish and Wildlife agents closed the beach between Haystack Rock and the dunes to give the cougar a safe route to escape. Officials urged the public to avoid the area.

Stolen Yacht Runs Aground

(Newport, OR) -- Authorities say a 41-foot cabin cruiser yacht that was stolen from Florence Friday night ran aground at Lost Creek State Park. The person who was on the boat swam to shore and was seen walking away on the beach. Oregon State Police arrested 34-year-old Daniel Newens of Albany, who they say appeared to be in an altered state. He told police he fell asleep on board. The owner of the boat said no one had permission to be on the boat. A salvage company will remove the boat from the beach.

Oregon Files Lawsuit Against Prehired

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon is joining other states in a lawsuit against a company called Prehired. The company provides entry-level software training they claim would help students get six-figure salaries with a job guarantee. They offered students an "income share" loan, claiming students wouldn't have to pay anything until they got a high-income job. The company buried terms that required participants to pay even if they didn't get a job. More than one-thousand loans were issued. Oregon students owed a total of nearly 60-thousand dollars.

Clackamas County Considers Short Term Rental Rules

(Oregon City, OR) -- Short-term rental owners could face new rules in Clackamas County under a proposal before the Board of Commissioners. Rentals would have to be registered with the county and they would not be inspected as part of the registration process. The owner would certify the rules are being followed. A new fee of point-85 percent on the total rental amount is being proposed. The rules would only affect rentals in unincorporated parts of the county. Two hearings will be held before the County Commission votes.

988 Calls Increase 33%

(Portland, OR) -- It's been a year since the 988 number was created to take calls from people in crisis, and the number of calls increased 33 percent. Previously, Oregon had a ten digit number for crisis calls, and the 988 number is easier to remember. The system also takes text messages and text chats. 53-thousand calls, texts and chats were taken during the first year. Now, they're adding Spanish text and chat services. Oregon has two call centers, Lines for Life and Northwest Human Services.

Liberty Theater Listed As Historic

(North Bend, OR) -- The Liberty Theater in North Bend has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The theater was built in 1924. It has towers with decorative copper domes and an arched entry. In the 1920s and 30s, it was used as a community center hosting concerts, high school plays and other events. In 1929, a sound system was added, and the first "talkie," Speakeasy, was shown in the theater. In 2015, the Liberty Theater underwent a rehabilitation to restore much of the original design.

Cannabis Flower Contains Arsenic

(Portland, OR) -- A batch of cannabis flower that contains arsenic is being recalled by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. Arsenic is carcinogenic and can cause a variety of diseases. The cannabis flower is called Blueberry Muffin and was made by the Bend Cannabis Company. It complied with rules when it was originally tested in January, but new rules took effect in March that required testing for heavy metals. The OLCC says customers who bought the product should throw it away. Retailers are being told to remove it from shelves.

Boulder Fire 5% Contained

(Dufur, OR) -- The Boulder Fire southeast of Mt. Hood is now five-percent contained. Firefighters had to deal with a new hot spot and a previous hot spot that reignited. Helicopters are dipping water from Little Boulder Lake, which is in the center of the fire. It remains at 234 acres. Crews are working fast to strengthen fire lines and they're putting down hoses to keep the fire from spreading. Temperatures are warming up and critical fire weather is possible early next week.

Lewis And Clark Bridge Closure Starts Sunday

(Rainier, OR) -- The Lewis and Clark Bridge over the Columbia River between Rainier, Oregon and Longview, Washington will close at 8 p.m Sunday for up to eight days. Crews will be replacing three expansion joints and repairing a fractured floor beam. It's the only bridge across the Columbia between Portland and Astoria. During the closure, the Wahkiakum Ferry between Westport and Cathlamet will run twice an hour around the clock. The ferry has limited capacity and long delays are expected.

Avelo Airlines Starts Service In Salem

(Salem, OR) -- For the first time in nearly 15 years, Salem Airport will have commercial airline service. Avelo Airlines will fly between Las Vegas and Hollywood Burbank airports. Starting October 5th, there will be twice-weekly non-stop service to both airports. Their introductory price for one-way flights will be 39 dollars. Avelo uses Boeing Next Generation 737 aircraft.

Firefighters Work To Build Containment Lines Around Boulder Fire

(Dufur, OR) -- Crews continue their battle to contain the Boulder Fire southeast of Mt. Hood. Fire officials say fighting the blaze has been difficult because of steep terrain and a lack of roads. There's still zero containment. It's burned 236 acres of dead and downed debris. Officials say light winds have helped keep the fire from spreading. Evacuations remain in place at six campgrounds.

Northern Lights May Not Be That VIsible After All

(Undated) -- The northern lights may not be that visible this week in Oregon despite earlier predictions. Original predictions of the light show being visible in as many as 17 states were made with data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center. But those experts admit its far easier to predict Earth weather than something like the aurora borealis.

EPA Report: 50% Of U.S. Beaches Contaminated

(Washington, DC) -- Oregon beaches are among the dirtiest in the nation. A report by the Environmental Protection Agency says beaches along the West Coast are the worst in the U.S. for fecal contamination along with beaches in the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes. Overall, the EPA says half the beaches in the U.S. are contaminated with fecal matter which can cause serious intestinal issues. It's believed that about 90-million are sickened by water-borne illnesses each year but most incidents go unreported.

Oregon State Fair Offers Flash Sale

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon State Fair is offering a Flash Sale on tickets today. From 8 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. you can buy up to 10 admission tickets for a dollar-85 each. The price is based on the 185 acres that the State Fairgrounds cover in Salem. The tickets will only be available at that price on the Fair's website oregonstatefair-dot-org. There are no service fees during that time. The 157th Oregon State Fair starts Friday, August 25th and runs through Labor Day.

Oregon Zoo Releases Most Silverspot Butterfly Larvae

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo is working to save the silverspot butterfly, which is listed as a threatened species. In 2019, the zoo was the first facility to breed silverspots, and this year it grew the most larvae ever. They're released at Saddle Mountain, near the coast, because that's where the early blue violet grows. That's the main food source for the butterfly. Over 21-hundred larvae were released, so the caterpillars can turn into silverspot butterflies.

ODOJ Adds Division To Protect Vulnerable Children

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Justice has a new division to focus on vulnerable children. The Child Advocacy and Protection Division will help abused, neglected, and abandoned children by supporting the Oregon Department of Human Services as it works on cases in all 36 counties. The lawyers will also provide legal advice and representation in cases related to foster home certification and licensing. One-hundred lawyers and 92 support staff make up the new division.

Groundbreaking Set For New Destination Library

(Portland, OR) -- A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Wednesday on a new destination library in East Multnomah County. The 95-thousand square foot building will be as large as the Central Library downtown. It'll be located at the former Gresham City Hall Park and Ride on Northwest Eastman Parkway. The building will include a large auditorium, space for classes, an audio-visual studio, and an outdoor amphitheater. The 147-million-dollar project is schedule to be complete in the fall of 2025.

Portland Police Claim To Have Eliminated Racial Difference In Traffic Stops

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Police Bureau claims traffic stops conducted by its officers in 2022 had no significant differences in racial or ethnic groups of drivers. The Police Bureau released its Stops Data Collection Report for last year. It shows officers performed over 13-thousand stops, which was down three percent because the Traffic Division was cut due to staffing. That's expected to change this year because the division has been partially re-staffed. Less than one percent of drivers were asked to consent to a voluntary search, which is the lowest number since that started being tracked in 2018.

Progress Made Against Boulder Fire

(Dufur, OR) -- Firefighters are making progress preventing the Boulder Fire southeast of Mt. Hood from growing. New mapping shows 237 acres have burned. The terrain is steep and the fire is burning in timber, dead and down debris. Firefighters are making good progress clearing previously built roads and containment lines. Three helicopters and four planes are dropping water to help ground crews. Campgrounds in the area remain evacuated. Weather is warm and dry, but gusty winds that were forecast on Monday didn't cause the fire to expand.

Street Sweeper Named After Star Wars Character

(Oregon City, OR) -- Oregon City has released the name of its new street sweeper. Kids younger than 17 were allowed to enter suggestions at the Oregon City Library. Names from five finalists were posted on Facebook and seven-year-old Kennedy Gibb's suggestion was the clear favorite. The street sweeper will be named "C-SweePO," after the Star Wars character C3PO.

Caretaker Sought For Remote Ranch

(Frenchglen, OR) -- The Bureau of Land Management needs a caretaker to staff the Riddle Brothers Ranch for most of August. The response to the job opening has been overwhelming. The ranch was built in the early 1900s and is located on Steens Mountain, south of Frenchglen. Caretakers will live at the ranch and talk with visitors about the history of the ranch. Cell service is limited, but the BLM provides a radio. A hot shower is a half mile from the caretaker's cabin.

Newport Mayor Resigns

(Newport, OR) -- The Mayor of Newport has resigned after being accused of posting hateful, racist and homophobic messages in a private Facebook group for law enforcement. Dan Sawyer has been posting to the group since 2016, after serving as a Newport police officer for 30 years. He was elected mayor in 2018. Over the weekend, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and community members demanded that he step down. Monday morning, Sawyer released a public apology and announced his resignation, effective immediately.

Final Project Turnkey Sites Announced

(Portland, OR) -- The final five sites in Oregon's Project Turnkey Two-Point-Oh have been announced. The Oregon Community Foundation says three projects are in the Portland area. The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and Northwest Coastal Housing will operate the other two. Project Turnkey funds existing facilities, like motels, that can quickly be converted into shelter rooms. In the second phase of the program, 13 properties have been set up as shelters and transitional housing across the state. The program was funded by the Oregon Legislature.

Oregon To Receive $20 Million For Forest Conservation

(Washington, D.C.) -- The federal government will be spending 20-million dollars in Oregon on forest conservation and management. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced the Tualatin Mountain Forest Project will get 10-million dollars to create a working research forest owned by Oregon State University to pioneer climate-smart forestry methods. The remainder of the funds will go to the Minam Conservation & Connectivity Project to improve habitat along the Minam River in Northeast Oregon.

Senators Ask Hospital To Keep Birth Center Open

(Baker City, OR) -- The birth center in Baker City is set to close July 30th, forcing some expectant mothers to drive 45 miles to receive maternity care. In the winter, that can mean driving through a treacherous mountain pass. St. Alphonsus Hospital says it can't find enough nurses to staff the facility. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are asking the St. Alphonsus Health System to delay the decision and consider federal and state assistance that can help. Large employers are offering financial help -- the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps has nurses, and licensing for registered nurses is being streamlined. The hospital system has operations in Baker City, Ontario, Nampa and Boise.

Multnomah County Suspends Drug Paraphernalia Program

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County is suspending its plan to hand out aluminum foil and straws to promote smoking illegal drugs, like fentanyl, instead of injecting it. The decision was made following significant public opposition. County Commission Chair Jessica Vega Pederson said the program went forward without following proper procedures. She says the program has been suspended pending further analysis. Overdose deaths in the county have increased from 26 deaths in 2019 to 209 deaths in 2022.

43rd Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

(Portland, OR) -- The largest free jazz festival west of the Mississippi happens this weekend in Portland. The Cathedral Park Free Jazz Festival runs Friday through Sunday in the St. Johns neighborhood. Performers include Curtis Salgado, Ural Thomas and the Pain, and Jr. Soul Masters of Funk. This is the 43rd year for the festival. It's organized by the Jazz Society of Oregon. Friday is dedicated to the Blues, Saturday and Sunday feature a mix of jazz, soul, and Latin music.

National Guard Aircraft Combat Training

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Air National Guard will conduct combat training with pilots from California this week. Planes from the Strike Fighter Squadron at Naval Air Station Lemoore and California Air National Guard members from Fresno will fly out of Portland Air Base. The training uses F/A 18 Super Hornets and F-15 Eagles. Using different aircraft helps pilots improve skills in a multi-aircraft environment. The training will happen off the Oregon Coast and over Eastern Oregon.

More Child Mistreatment Charges Filed

(Tigard, OR) -- More charges have been filed against a Tigard-area woman who's accused of mistreating children in her care. Sixty-seven-year-old Ana Miranda and 74-year-old Charles "Randy" Ward were arrested earlier this year after detectives learned a child was chained up in their house for over 12 hours a day. The child was also strangled, hit, kicked, and verbally abused for taking drinks and food from the kitchen. The investigation found two additional children who were also abused. Miranda faces five counts of criminal mistreatment and four counts of tampering with a witness. Miranda and Ward remain in custody at the Washington County Jail.

Red Cross Teams With Shark Week

(Portland, OR) -- Summer is a difficult time for organizations that take blood donations. Vacations and other activities keep people away from donation centers. The Red Cross has collected 50-thousand fewer blood donations than needed over the last two months. To increase donations, the Red Cross is working with Discovery for the 35th anniversary of Shark Week. Starting Wednesday, donors will be entered for a chance to win a three-night New York trip for two with a private shark dive adventure at Long Island Aquarium. Starting July 17th, donors will also get a Shark Week T-shirt. You can make an appointment to donate at RedCrossBlood-dot-org.

Teen Presumed Dead After Boat Capsizes In Nestucca Bay

(Tillamook, OR) -- The search continues for the body of a teenager believed to have drowned in Nestucca Bay last week. The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office says the 15-year-old boy was crabbing with a 17-year-old boy and a 40-year-old man Friday when their boat overturned, throwing all three of them into the water. Police say the man and the other teen managed to swim to shore, but the 15-year-old disappeared under the water.

O'Bryant Square Being Renamed For Legendary Drag Queen Darcelle XV

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is set to rename downtown's O'Bryant Square in honor of legendary local drag queen Darcelle XV [[ fifteen ]] this week. The official renaming ceremony is set for Thursday in the City Council Chambers. Darcelle, whose legal name was Walter Cole, died at the age of 92 in March following nearly six decades on stage at his eponymous Portland nightclub. Guinness World Records certified him as the oldest performing drag queen in 2016. The nightclub Darcelle XV was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2020, becoming the first LGBTQ+ historic site designated in Oregon.

Aurora Borealis To Appear In 16 States

(Fairbanks, AK) -- The northern lights could be visible across Oregon and 15 other states this week. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute is predicting high activity of the aurora borealis on Wednesday and Thursday across much of the northern U.S. as parts of Canada. The forecast says the colorful light show in the night sky will be visible as far south as Indiana, and from Maine to Washington state. The best time to see the northern lights will be from 10pm to 2am local time, and the best place to see them will be in rural areas away from the city lights.

Operation Whiskers Catches Out Of Compliance Sex Offenders

(Hillsboro, OR) -- The Washington County Sheriff's Office says it spent more than a month checking on 510 sex offenders to make sure they're in compliance with registration requirements. Tweleve of the people weren't living at their reported residence, 28 sex offenders were investigated for being out of compliance and 19 people were arrested or cited for Failure to Report as a Sex Offender. The U.S. Marshals Service and Oregon State Police provided help for the operation.

Tunnel 5 Fire Containment Grows

(Underwood, WA) -- Firefighters are making more progress on the Tunnel 5 Fire in the Columbia River Gorge. The fire is now 65-percent contained and it hasn't grown beyond 559 acres. The evacuation shelter at the Skamania County Fairgrounds has close and evacuation levels have been reduced to Level 1. Most fire crews will be demobilized over the next couple of days. Crews will remain on the area to monitor for hot spots. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Boulder Fire Starts Near Mt. Hood

(Mt. Hood, OR) -- Crews are battling a new wildfire southeast of Mt. Hood. The Boulder Fire started Saturday near the Boulder Lake Trailhead. It's grown to 100 acres and it's burning in heavily forest areas on steep slopes. Four Hotshot crews, two helicopters and other ground crews are working to build containment lines. Several campgrounds are under Level 3 Go Now evacuations. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Pilot Survives Small Plane Crash

(Coquille, OR) -- A small plane crashed in a field near Coquille in Coos County on Sunday. The plane flipped onto its top. The pilot Raymond Kimball survived and was hospitalized. The NTSB and FAA are investigating the cause of the crash.

Alcohol Tax Study

(Salem, OR) -- A bill passed by the Oregon Legislature would create a taskforce to examine raising the beer and wine taxes. The group would include bipartisan legislators, representatives from the alcohol industry, and treatment service providers. Craft brewers say an additional tax would make it more difficult for them to compete with large beer companies. Representatives from addiction treatment groups say alcohol consumption has a negative effect on Oregon's economy, because of the health impacts.

Oregon Hospital Infections Spiked In 2021

(Portland, OR) -- Health care-associated infections among Oregon patients surged in 2021. The Oregon Health Authority has a new dashboard that details the infections. While it happened during the pandemic, the infections weren't caused by COVID-19. The leading infections were catheter-associated urinary tract and MRSA bloodstream infections. Health care-associated infections can lengthen hospital stays, prolong recoveries, cause sepsis and death. One in 31 patients has a health care-associated infection and up to one in ten of those people may die. In 2021, over one-thousand HAIs were reported in Oregon.

Oregon Health Plan Extended To More Adults

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Health Plan now covers eligible children and adults, despite their immigration status. The Oregon Legislature approved full implementation of the Healthier Oregon program. Starting July 1st, all people who meet income and eligibility criteria, regardless of immigration status, can enroll. Full OHP coverage includes: medical, dental, mental health care, prescriptions and tests, x-rays, hospital care and transportation to and from health care appointments. OHA is working to contact newly eligible residents and enroll them.

4th Of July Fires Quadruple In Portland

(Portland, OR) -- The number of fires in Portland on the 4th of July quadrupled, compared to last year. There were 55 fires compared to 16 in 2022 and at least half of the fires are being investigated as caused by fireworks. In Portland, all personal fireworks are banned. Fires that cause damage or injuries can result in fines or jail time. Investigations into the fires continue.

Non-Profit Director Sentenced For Fraud

(Portland, OR) -- A former Portland-area nonprofit director will spend the next 15 months in federal prison for stealing Covid relief funds. 62-year-old Theodore Johnson was sentenced Thursday, for stealing more than 321-thousand dollars in federal funds intended to help small businesses during the pandemic. According to court documents, Johnson submitted fraudulent applications on behalf the Ten Penny International Housing Foundation, to obtain PPP loans from banks, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Oregon Cares Fund. Johnson was also ordered to pay back the money.

Cannabis May Impact Fetus Brain Development

(Portland, OR) -- Pregnant women using cannabis could impact the DNA of their fetus. Research from Oregon Health & Science University found in pregnant monkeys, THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can cause changes to DNA that's linked to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs, and the perception is it's safe to use. Some women use it during the first trimester to reduce symptoms of morning sickness. Researchers hope the study improves discussions between medical providers and patients.

New Forest Service Fire Restrictions

(Zig Zag, OR) -- The U.S. Forest Service has placed new fire restrictions on the Mt. Hood National Forest and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area starting on Monday. All campfires, charcoal or briquette fires, pellet fires, or any other open fires are prohibited. The rule also applies to developed campgrounds. Propane or liquid gas stoves or lanterns are allowed, because they can be turned off. The hot and dry weather has caused fire danger to rise fast.

Remote Camera Detects Wildfire

(Mosier, OR) -- A remote camera helped detect a new wildfire near the Columbia River Gorge. The Oregon Department of Forestry says the Vensel Road Fire is burning about four miles southeast of Mosier. It's only two acres and a quick response by single engine air tankers and firefighters on the ground has stopped its growth. There are Level One and Level Two evacuation warnings in place. The investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

Marquam Bridge Lower Deck Closure

(Portland, OR) -- The bottom deck of the Marquam Bridge, I-5 southbound, will close late Friday and Saturday nights this weekend for an annual inspection. The closure will start at 10 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. I-5 southbound traffic will be detoured onto I-405 at the Fremont Bridge. I-5 southbound will close at the Rose Quarter will all traffic directed onto I-84 eastbound. The Marquam Bridge is 57 years old.

Women's Suffrage Historical Marker Unveiled In Salem

SALEM, OR -- After a three-year pandemic delay, a historical marker celebrating women’s suffrage was unveiled Thursday at the Oregon State Capitol. The marker outlines the long battle by Oregon women for the right to vote, starting in 1872. 

Eliza Canty-Jones, with the Oregon Historical Society, tells KBND News, "The 15th Amendment, which was one of the Reconstruction amendments, when that went into place following the Civil War, women thought, ‘Great! It says if you’re a citizen you have the right to vote.’ So, there were women, such as Susan B. Anthony, who went out - and women here in Oregon: Mary Beatty, Abigail Scott Duniway and two others, attempted to vote in the 1872 election to push the issue. And the Supreme Court basically said, ‘You’re a citizen, but you’re not that kind of citizen.’" It would be another 40 years before Oregon women could cast a ballot, "Women in Oregon have the distinction of putting to the vote Women’s Suffrage more time than in any other state. It was on the sixth try that women gained the right to vote in 1912." The 19th Amendment granting women across the country the same privilege, was ratified eight years later, in 1920. 

Canty-Jones says the Oregon Capitol marker was supposed to go up in 2020, celebrating that national centennial, but was delayed by the pandemic. It was finally unveiled this week during a celebration with the OHS, State Capitol Foundation and Women’s History Consortium. "The Oregon Women’s History Consortium is a nonprofit that worked since before the 2012 suffrage centennial, here in Oregon, to promote education about the history of women’s suffrage in Oregon." The plaque is installed on the east end of the Capitol grounds, "It’s easy to stop on the pathway, walk and read it, and also is beautifully framed by the Capitol itself, behind the marker," says Canty-Jones, "So, I think it’ll be a really lovely spot for people to gather and celebrate voting rights."

Markers were created and donated to each state, funded by the federal Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission.

 

Pictured: Gwen Carr, from Oregon Black Pioneers, speaks during Thursday's unveiling ceremony. Courtesy the Oregon Historical Society.

Portland Expecting Record-Breaking Heat Today

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland area is expected to swelter under record-breaking triple-digit temperatures today. KATU-TV reports today's high is expected to hit 100 degrees. That would break the previous record for July 5th of 96 degrees set in 2015. A heat advisory will remain in effect through 11 p.m.

Homeless Man Run Over, Car Chase After Explosives Thrown At Homeless

(Portland, CA) -- A homeless man living in an RV encampment in Northeast Portland is dead after being hit and killed by a car that was chasing a pickup. The pickup had driven by the homeless camp, and passengers were throwing some sort of explosive fireworks at them. Twenty-six-year-old Travis Philmlee Jr., who lived with his father in an RV at the camp, stood by the road and threw a hammer at the truck as it sped by. He missed, and when he tried to retrieve the hammer, he was struck by the car that was chasing the truck at about 50 miles per hour. Both the truck and car driver fled the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact Portland Police.

Fireworks Cause Six Wildfires in SW Washington

(Portland, OR) -- Officials say fireworks are responsible for half a dozen wildfires in southwest Washington over the Fourth of July weekend. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources tells KATU-TV fireworks have caused at least six small wildfires in the area since Friday. Each fire was quickly contained.

Woman Arrested For Starting Fire

(Detroit, OR) -- Authorities say people in Detroit came together to contain a grass fire and catch the woman accused of starting it. It happened Monday evening. Townspeople reportedly kept the blaze contained with hoses until firefighters arrived to put it out. Other community members helped deputies find the suspect. Police arrested 40-year-old Terri Heath of Ohio on charges of second-degree arson and third-degree escape. The town of Detroit is still recovering from a fire in 2020 that destroyed most of the houses and businesses there.

Firefighters Rescue Ducklings

(Oregon City, OR) -- Firefighters rescued a family of ducklings that fell into a storm drain on Monday. A homeowner reported hearing the mother duck standing on top of the drain crying. Clackamas Fire District firefighters put a ladder down the deep drain and handed the ducklings out, so they could be reunited with their mother.

Tunnel 5 Fire Pushes Westward

(Underwood, WA) -- The Tunnel 5 Fire is still burning as it pushes westward through the Columbia River Gorge in southwestern Washington. Officials with Southwest Washington Fire Information say the fire began moving west late yesterday afternoon. The blaze has now burned 546 acres and is just five-percent contained as of late last night. At least ten homes have been destroyed along with 50 outbuildings, and about 250 homes remain at risk. The National Weather Service says high temperatures and dry conditions are expected to create additional challenges for firefighters battling the blaze today.

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