Regional News Archives for 2023-09

Scott Elementary School Keeping Front Doors Closed After Incident

(Portland, OR) - A Portland school is keeping its front doors closed after a stranger walked into the building. In the incident on Monday, a man not associated with Scott Elementary School walked into three classrooms before being escorted out less than five minutes after coming in. The school says the man did not have contact with students. They are also keeping the front doors closed moving forward.

Portland Police Bureau: Ten Juveniles Overdosed Since Mid-June

(Portland, OR) - The Portland Police Bureau says ten juveniles have overdosed since mid-June. Authorities suspect fentanyl in all but one of the cases. Police say three victims were teenagers, and seven others were under the age of six- including four infants Five children did not survive. The Portland Police Bureau calls this a "concerning number of juvenile overdoses," up significantly from past years.

Local Officials Share Leaf Disposal Plans

(Portland, OR) - Local officials are preparing plans to dispose of leaves as they fall. The Portland Bureau of Transportation offers free Leaf Day Pickup services, scheduled based on the district residents live in. Clark County Public Health is asking residents to put leaves with curbside yard debris or backyard compost, but not in the trash. In Vancouver, residents can take advantage of the Fall Leaf Coupon Program October 1st through the end of the year.

Two Former Students Suing Choir Teacher, Salem-Keizer School District

(Keizer, OR) - Two former students are suing Salem-Keizer School District and a choir teacher. The two former high schoolers filed a civil suit Wednesday, alleging the teacher groomed and abused them between 2015 and 2020. Those allegations are being made against Joshua Rist, who was their teacher at McMary High School in Keizer. The suit seeks five-million dollars in damages.

$62.5 Million In Funding Approved For Homelessness Services

(Multnomah County, OR) - The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners is approving over 62-million dollars in funding for homelessness services. The vote passing the plan happened Thursday. The one-time-only funding will add shelter capacity and recovery housing, as well as new sobriety and stabilization services. There is also 3-million dollars in the package to create daytime storage facilities for people experiencing homelessness to put their belongings during the day.

One Book Being Removed From Shelves At Canby School District

(Canby, OR) - One book is being removed from library shelves in the Canby School District. The novel "Lolita" is being removed entirely due to its depiction of a predatory sexual relationship. This comes after dozens of books were temporarily removed in the spring. At a meeting where a final decision was made about these books, "Lolita" was removed and four other books were limited to being only in high schools.

Damian Lillard Posts Letter Responding To Trade

(Portland, OR) - Damian Lillard is expressing his love for Blazers fans in a new letter. He posted the letter to social media after being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks this week. He expressed his love for Rip city and says he considers it his home. Lillard says he believes a day will come where he will put on a Blazers uniform again.

Possible Child Abduction Attempt Being Investigated In Beaverton

(Beaverton, OR) -- Beaverton families are urged to take precautions after a possible attempted child abduction. Meadow Park Middle School officials say a student was heading to their bus stop near the school when a stranger stopped them. The stranger in the white box van allegedly told the child school was canceled and offered them a ride home. Beaverton Police are suggesting parents walk with their child, or have children walk in groups, when heading to the bus stop. The child involved in this incident was able to get away safely.

Cemetery Suing Woman, Trying To Compel Her To Move Son's Gravesite

(Portland, OR) -- A cemetery in Northwest Portland is suing a woman over her son's gravesite. Skyline Memorial Gardens says it sold the burial site to another family first before selling it to Paula Tin Nyo. Her 19-year-old son, Tyber Harrison, is buried at the site after he was hit by a car in 2016. The cemetery is trying to compel Tin Nyo to move her son's grave marker, a memorial bench, and a vault with some of his items inside.

Portland City Council Approves Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland City Council is approving a multi-million dollar climate solutions fund. The Council unanimously approved the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund Wednesday night. That means 750-million dollars will be invested into programs aimed at reducing carbon emissions to a net-zero level by 2050. The initiative also provides plans for community-led clean energy projects.

Former President Barack Obama Visits Nike Campus

(Portland, OR) -- It's unknown why former President Barack Obama visited the Nike campus in Washington County this week. Obama toured the facility Wednesday. He left in a motorcade around 2 p.m. His last visit to the Nike campus was back in 2015.

PETA Campaigning Against OHSU's Training Using Pigs

(Portland, OR) -- PETA is campaigning against Oregon Health & Science University. The animal rights organization wants the university's obstetrics and gynecology students to use surgery simulators instead of performing surgery on pigs during their training. PETA claims invasive procedures have been done on up to 48 live pigs at the school. The organization has a billboard up to encourage the practice to stop. The university says it will adopt non-animal trainings when they become scientifically approved.

Youth Football Coach In Canby Indicted, Arraigned For Sex Abuse

(Canby, OR) -- A youth football coach in Canby is indicted for sex abuse. Forty-one-year-old Sean Boyd is accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old girl last month. Boyd was arraigned Monday in Wasco County. Officials believe there may be more victims and have asked anyone with information to call the Wasco County Sheriff's Office.

Target Closing Three Portland Stores Due To Theft, Retail Crime

(Portland, OR) -- Target is closing three locations in Portland. The decision announced this week will affect the Downtown Galleria, Southeast Powell Boulevard, and Northeast Halsey Street stores. Fifteen other Target locations in the Portland-metro area will stay in operations when those three locations close on October 21st. Target cited theft and organized retail crime as the reason for the closures.

Oregon Governor Announces New Initiatives To Get Fentanyl Off Portland Streets

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is announcing a new strategy to get fentanyl off the streets of Portland. Kotek says the Oregon State Police will be increasing staff for local drug enforcement teams and creating fentanyl-focused patrols with detectives and K-9s involved. The initiatives were announced at a Portland Central City Task Force meeting Tuesday.

Oregon Health & Science University Reaches Tentative Deal With Nurses

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon Health & Science University is reaching a tentative agreement with thousands of nurses. This comes after 10-months of negotiations over a new three-year contract. The tentative deal also means a strike nurses authorized in a vote last week will be avoided. Union members will discuss the tentative agreement on Friday before voting to ratify it early next month.

Union, School District Back To Negotiating Table After Contract Denial

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Association of Teachers is denying a contract offered by Portland Public Schools. This comes after a tentative agreement was reached between the union and the district two weeks ago. The agreement being negotiated is not for teacher jobs, but instead for paraeducators, campus safety associates, therapeutic intervention coaches, and sign language interpreters. The union says they are seeking living wages and safe working conditions for these positions.

Oregon Man Charged For Alleged Role In January 6 Capitol Riots

(Portland, OR) -- A man from Oregon is facing federal charges in connection to the January 6th U.S. Capitol riots. Forty-year-old Ryan Wilson was arrested in Portland this month. He's charged with felony obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon. Court documents allege Wilson rammed a pipe toward police during a confrontation in the Lower West Terrace Tunnel.

Plan For Daily Nonstop Flights Between Portland & Tokyo Abandoned

(Portland, OR) -- Plans for daily nonstop flights between Portland and Tokyo have been halted. Delta Airlines announced the service in 2019 and planned to start in 2020. It never launched due to the pandemic. The route was formally abandoned in a filing from Delta last week.

PGE Customers Experience Outages Due To Storms

(Portland, OR) -- Storms are being blamed for power outages in Portland. Over 17-hundred PGE customers were in the dark at one point Monday. That number was reduced to under 400 outages by 2 p.m. Outages were seen in the Portland metro area, Southwest Portland, and Clackamas.

City Of Salem To Stop Fighting Benefits Being Claimed By Firefighter's Widow

(Salem, OR) - The City of Salem is no longer fighting benefits being claimed by the widow of a firefighter. Maurice "Mo" Stadeli died of throat cancer in 2019. His widow filed a workers' compensation claim after Staeli worked for Salem for 28 years. The city denied her benefits, but lost their legal battle, and had planned to appeal the case to the Oregon Supreme Court. But at a Council meeting Monday night, the city attorney announced he would be dropping that appeal and accepting the court's ruling.

15-Month-Old Rescued From Overdose, Choking Incident

(Portland, OR) - No arrests have been made after a young child was rescued from an overdose. Portland Fire-Rescue responded to a parking garage on Friday evening, finding a 15-month-old baby unconscious. CPR was performed and Narcan was administered. Police believe the child came into contact with a drug substance and was choking on a piece of tinfoil.

Oregon International Air Show Returns This Weekend

(McMinnville, OR) - The Oregon International Air Show returns this weekend. The Navy's Blue Angels will appear for the first time in Oregon in 8 years. It's part of the show's 35th anniversary, happening Friday through Sunday. Tickets for the show are on sale now.

Officials Celebrate Federal Investment Into Tidewater Barge Lines

(Vancouver, WA) - A federal investment expanding service at Tidewater Barge Lines is being celebrated. Officials gathered Monday after purchasing an electric dock crane. The 4.1-million dollar crane was funded by the infrastructure law passed in 2021. The replacement is expected to save diesel fuel and oil each year.

Man Sentenced For 2019 Hit-And-Run Killing Of Activist

(Portland, OR) - A man convicted in a deadly hit-and-run will spend nearly two decades behind bars. Christopher Edward Knipe was sentenced to 17 years in prison on Friday. This comes after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the 2019 death of Sean Kealiher, an ant-fascist activist. Knipe hit Kealiher with his SUV outside the Democratic Party Headquarters in Portland.

Two In Hospital After Car Ends Up Underneath Semi-Truck

(Portland, OR) - Two people are in the hospital after a car and semi-truck were involved in a crash. It happened after 5 p.m. Sunday at the on-ramp from I-84 to I-205. Officials say a passenger car ended up underneath the semi. One person from the car and one from the truck had to be removed. The crash caused hours of traffic delays.

Two Women Arrested, Accused Of Crime Spree In Stolen U-Haul

(Portland, OR) - Two women are facing charges after being pulled over in a stolen U-haul. Deputies were called to the Cedar Hills community on Saturday where a woman was seen getting out of a U-haul and breaking into a community mailbox. Deputies pulled over the U-haul in Beaverton and found it had been reported stolen in Portland earlier in the month. A forty-year-old and a 31-year-old were detained after stolen mail, burglary tools, and meth were allegedly found in the stolen U-haul.

Waitlist Open For Public Housing Units In Washington County

(Washington County, OR) - The waitlist is open for public housing in Washington County. The Housing Authority of Washington COunty opened the waitlist Wednesday morning. They say there are nearly 300 units available for low income individuals and families. Applications remain open online through 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Portland State University Starting Academic Year With New President

(Portland, OR) - Students will be welcomed back to Portland State University this week. The public research university has a new president this academic year. Portland State's board of trustees unanimously voted for Dr. Ann Cudd to be the university's president. She's the 11th president for PSU and the second woman to serve in the role. She takes over for Stephen Perry, who retired in July. Classes begin Tuesday.

Man Arrested For Death Of Newborn Found At Recycling Center In 2013

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland man is behind bars in connection to the death of a newborn girl whose body was found at a recycling center a decade ago. The Portland Police Bureau says officers arrested 53-year-old Alnath Omar Oliver on charges of manslaughter, criminal mistreatment, rape and concealing the birth of an infant. Police have identified the baby girl as Amara. Investigators say the arrest comes after they found a DNA match in late 2021. Police say baby Amara was still alive when she was left at the recycling center with her umbilical cord still attached in 2013.

Lacamas Lake Advisory Lifted

(Camas, WA) -- The health advisory for Lacamas Lake has been lifted. Clark County Public Health says tests show toxin levels from blue-green algae are no longer elevated. The warning signs posted at the lake have been removed. As long as algae is present, the blooms could return depending on conditions at the lake. The city of Camas recently began the annual drawdown of Lacamas Lake, and in past years, the lowered water level during the drawdown has caused water quality to deteriorate at the lake.

OR Test Scores Show Students Still Struggling From Pandemic Learning Loss

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon students appear to still be suffering the effects of pandemic learning loss. The Oregon Department of Education has released the results from their statewide assessment survey, and the scores are still significantly lower than pre-pandemic scores. Just over 30-percent of students reached the proficiency mark in math, compared to more than 39-percent during the 2018-to-2019 school year. In English, just 43-percent of students reached proficiency, down from 53-point-four-percent. And in science, just over 29-percent reached proficiency, down from 36-point-nine-percent.

Former City Commissioner Hardesty Settles Lawsuit Against Police

(Portland, OR) -- Former City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is settling her lawsuit against the Portland Police Association and two officers after being falsely implicated in a hit-and-run two years ago. Willamette Week reports Hardesty has settled for 680-thousand dollars. She was originally seeking five-million.

Kotek Takes Back Over $2.5M In Homelessness Funding From Multnomah County

(Portland, OR) -- Governor Tina Kotek is taking millions of dollars in homeless services funding back from Multnomah County after the county failed to spend it. The governor's office says it is rescinding more than two-point-five-million dollars from the county. The Oregon Housing and Community Services expects to split the funding among Clackamas, Marion, Polk, Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties.

Police Seek Suspects In Unlawful Waste Of Deer

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Fish and Wildlife officials are asking the public for help in their search for the person responsible for illegally killing deer in Hood River County. The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division says someone shot and killed a buck and a doe near Odell on September 3rd and left them to waste. Police say no meat was salvaged from either deer. Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

Clark County Sees Uptick In Thefts Of Kias, Hyundais

(Vancouver, WA) -- Police in Clark County are warning residents about a spike in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. The Vancouver Police Department and Clark County Sheriff's Office says they've seen an increase in the number of Kias and Hyundais being stolen over the past few weeks. Police say most of the suspects have been juveniles. Police are urging owners of certain Kia and Hyundai models to contact their dealership to see if they're eligible for a manufacturer security software update.

Hundreds Of Kaiser Pharmacy Workers Call For Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Hundreds of Kaiser Permanente pharmacy workers in Oregon are calling for a strike. KATU-TV reports pharmacy technicians, pharmacy clerks and warehouse employees will go on strike October 1st through 21st. The workers say they want some relief from huge staffing shortages that have left them burnt out and left patients waiting months to receive care.

Police Chief Chuck Lovell Stepping Down

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell is stepping down. Lovell announced during a press conference with Mayor Ted Wheeler yesterday he plans to resign next month. Lovell says he's proud of the accomplishments the police bureau has made since he took the helm in 2020. Retired deputy Portland Police Bureau Chief Bob Day will step in as interim chief.

Local Gang Member Sentenced For Trafficking Firearms

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland gang member will spend more than two years behind bars after being convicted of trafficking dozens of firearms to people legally prohibited from owning one. A judge sentenced 25-year-old Edward Charles Green of Gresham to two and a half years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. The U.S. Attorney's Office says Green is a self-proclaimed member of the local Bloods gang Unthank Park Hustlers.

OSH Inmate Escaped After Staff Left Keys In Ignition

(Salem, OR) -- New details are coming to light regarding the escape of an inmate from the Oregon State Hospital in Salem earlier this month. Officials at the hospital say convicted felon Christopher Pray managed to escape after a staff member left the keys in the ignition of a transport van. Pray was still handcuffed and wearing shackles when he stole the van. He was later found stuck in the mud in a North Portland pond, rescued by firefighters and arrested.

Lake Oswego School Evacuated Due To Gas Leak

(Lake Oswego, OR) -- A Lake Oswego elementary school was evacuated yesterday due to a gas leak. Forest Hills Elementary School was placed on a two-hour delay while the fire department and gas department investigated. Officials say it does not appear the leak was coming from inside the school.

Free Stargazing Party Set For Saturday

PORTLAND, OR -- Summer ends Friday at the autumnal equinox. "At that point in time, the sun will be directly over the equator," says OMSI Director of Space Science Education Jim Todd. Saturday evening, OMSI hosts star parties at Rooster Rock and LL Stub Stewart state parks. "On that night, or this coming weekend, we’ll have the opportunity to look at Jupiter and Saturn," Todd tells KBND News, "which is everybody’s favorite object to look at. Jupiter, in particular, is getting brighter and bigger. They’re always a showpiece; a real delight to look at." He adds, "We’re also going to be looking at other celestial wonders. Of course we’re going to talk about the Milky Way, we’re going to look at some globular clusters, nebulas. The sky is rich with things to look at."

Volunteers from Rose City Astronomers will help interpret the skies, "And this is a great opportunity to be in an environment where people are there to learn, to engage and be inspired by what they see in the sky."

Todd says the equinox is a great time for stargazing, because the nights are getting longer, providing more viewing time. 

The equinox is actually Friday, when the sun is right over the equator, "The sun will be rising directly from the east and setting directly to the west. So, if you have a sundial, this is the best day to calibrate the sundial, from sunrise to sunset." And, Todd says the 12-hour day and night means more time for stargazing. 

Saturday’s star parties start at dusk and are weather permitting. Updates will be posted to OMSI’s website that morning. They are free but require a $5 State Parks parking fee.

Fire Burns Hangar Housing 12 Classic Cars

(Roseburg, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into a fire that engulfed an airplane hangar housing a dozen classic cars in Douglas County. Firefighters responded to the blaze near Felts Field Monday night. Crews managed to contain the fire to half an acre. It's not yet clear what sparked the blaze.

OR AG Not Running For Reelection

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is announcing plans to step down at the end of her term. Rosenblum announced yesterday she will not be running for reelection next year, saying three terms is enough. Rosenblum has been serving as state attorney general since 2012. She says the role has been incredibly rewarding and that she has loved being Oregon's attorney general. Rosenblum will go on to serve as president of the National Association of Attorneys General.

Lane County Unveils Homelessness Dashboard

(Salem, OR) -- Lane County is launching an online dashboard to allow the public to track its efforts to reduce homelessness. The ALL IN Lane County emergency effort dashboard displays data on efforts to prevent homelessness, re-house homeless individuals and create and improve emergency shelters for those in need. Funding for the online tracker comes from Governor Tina Kotek's Emergency Declaration to address homelessness, which she signed in January. A federal count showed at least 18-thousand Oregonians were experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2022.

No Asbestos Found At Apartments Near Fiberglass Warehouse Fire

(Happy Valley, OR) -- A pair of apartment buildings in Clackamas County appear to be safe from asbestos after a three-alarm fire destroyed a fiberglass warehouse and forced evacuations over the weekend. County officials released test results last night showing that no asbestos was found on surfaces at the apartments. The county evacuated the apartments Saturday morning after a fire at Miles Fiberglass and Composites sent asbestos and fiberglass debris into the air.

OHSU Nurses Vote To Approve Potential Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Nurses at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital are voting in favor of a potential strike as they fight for a new contract. The Oregon Nurses Association announced the results of the vote yesterday during a rally at Waterfront Park. Negotiations on a new contract started last December, and the contract expired in June. If a strike is called, ONA will give OHSU a ten-day notice to allow the hospital to stop admissions and transfer patients. Nurses and management continue to meet with a negotiator.

Students, Staff At Battle Ground School Receive Threatening Emails

(Battle Ground, WA) -- A middle school in Battle Ground had extra counselors on hand Monday after someone sent threatening emails to students and staff over the weekend. KATU-TV reports the emails were sent out to the Laurin Middle School community on Sunday. School officials say the emails came from a student's account. Police investigated the emails and concluded the student's account had been hacked. Police say the threats were not credible and that there is no risk to the school.

Portland Ranked Coolest City In U.S.

(Portland, OR) -- Portland is solidifying its spot as the hippest city in the nation. Online betting site Betway ranked Portland as the number one coolest city in the U.S. The study based the findings on a city's art scene, nightlife, diversity and commitment to sustainability. Betway also found that the coolest cities in America are becoming increasingly popular with tourists and young professionals.

State Researchers Considering Ways To Control Invasive Beetle

(Salem, OR) -- State researchers are analyzing their options for controlling an invasive borer beetle species in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Forestry tells KATU-TV the Mediterranean Oak Borer is attacking several Oregon white oak trees in the Wilsonville area. The beetle has also been found in Multnomah, Marion and Washington counties. Forestry officials are working with their California counterparts to determine the best ways to control them.

Police Charge Ten Men After Human Trafficking Sting

(Portland, OR) -- Nearly a dozen men are facing charges following a human trafficking sting in eastern Multnomah County. KATU-2 reports the county sheriff's office has charged ten men in connection to the sting performed last Tuesday. Police say all ten men agreed to purchase sex from human trafficking victims, who were actually undercover law enforcement officers in disguise. One of the men allegedly agreed to purchase sex from an undercover officer who was posing as a 15-year-old child.

OHSU Nurses To Announce Strike Vote Results

(Portland, OR) -- Nurses at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital will announce the results of their strike vote today. Negotiations on a new contract started last December and the contract expired in June. The results of the vote will be announced during a rally at Waterfront Park. If a strike is called, ONA will give OHSU a 10-day notice to allow the hospital to stop admissions and transfer patients. Nurses and management continue to meet with a negotiator.

Oregon State Hospital Security

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon State Hospital is making changes following the escape of an inmate. Christopher Pray was considered an "extremely dangerous" inmate and stole a state van when he escaped. He was captured in Portland. A federal investigator determined there were immediate concerns at the hospital that had to be fixed, or they'd lose Medicare and Medicaid funding. Hospital officials will review the findings and release a corrective action plan early this week to improve security. If the plan is approved, a federal official will conduct a surprise inspection to make sure it's being followed through.

Buddhist Monks To Build Sand Mandala

(Vancouver, WA) -- Tibetan Buddhist monks will build a sand mandala this week at Cannell Library on the Clark College campus in Vancouver. The monks will use scrapers, funnels, and tubes to put the colored grains of sand in place. It will take five days to complete and then, after a ceremony, the mandala will be destroyed. Previously, mandalas were constructed at Clark College in 2012 and 2020. The opening ceremony is at noon today and the closing ceremony will be held on Friday starting at 1:30 p.m.

Banned Senate Candidates Challenge Law

(Salem,OR) -- Two Oregon State Senators are challenging the Oregon Secretary of State's decision to disqualify them from next year's election. The Secretary of State says ten senators with more than ten unexcused absences can't run for reelection, because they would violate the voter approved Ballot Measure 113. Six of those seats are open next year. Thursday was the first day candidates could file for the May Primary. Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp of Bend and Klamath Falls Senator Dennis Linthicum filed for reelection. A group of lawmakers is suing, saying the measure's language is unclear. Linthicum's wife Diane has also filed for the Klamath Falls senate seat.

Oregon Gets $58 Million For Trees

(Washington, D.C.) -- One-billion-dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act will be spent planting trees across the U.S., and Oregon will receive 58-million-dollars. The money can be used to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change and improve access to nature is cities, towns and suburbs. The Oregon Department of Forestry will receive the most, nearly 23-million-dollars. The rest of the money will go to groups in Eugene, Portland, Pendleton, Hermiston, Salem, and Hillsboro. Hermiston City Manager Byron Smith says it'll help remove invasive species along the Umatilla River and they'll replant with native trees.

Suspect Killed In Officer Involved Shooting

(Coburg, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing in Coburg after a police officer shot and killed a person. It happened yesterday morning while police were pursuing a stolen vehicle. Oregon State Police say troopers found the vehicle at an apartment complex following the pursuit and confronted the suspect. During the course of the incident, at least one officer opened fire, and the suspect died at a hospital. All of the officers who were involved have been placed on traumatic event leave. No other details about the shooting have been released.

OSP Enhanced Patrols Planned

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon State Police will have extra troopers watching drivers at two events this weekend. The Pendleton Roundup and Mt. Angel Oktoberfest are both underway. Troopers will be watching for speeders, impaired drivers, distracted drivers and other violations. They're asking the public to help by using a designated driver, extra patience and leaving early, because there will be delays at both events.

Oregon Lost Jobs In August

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon lost jobs in August, but the unemployment rate remained at a record low of three-point-four percent. The jobless rate has been below four-percent since May. The national unemployment rate is three-point-eight percent. Oregon lost 12-hundred jobs in August with retail trade, construction, and professional and business services leading the way. Leisure and hospitality had the largest gains. Over the past year, Oregon's payroll employment has grown one-point-three percent and that growth is slowing down.

New Oregon DEQ Seafood Restrictions 'Unachievable,' Experts Say

(Portland, OR) -- Experts from the Oregon seafood industry are pushing back on new wastewater permit rules for seafood processors. They say the new restrictions are putting their businesses at risk. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says it's trying to protect the environment and consumers with the new rules. Officials with the West Coast Seafood Processors say the DEQ does not understand how their operations work, and that it's requiring their wastewater to be 'thousands of times cleaner than drinking water' before it's put back into the ocean. Oregon commercial fishing generates over half-a-billion dollars in economic activity each year.

Oregon's Largest Oktoberfest Celebration

(Mt. Angel, OR) -- Oregon's largest Oktoberfest celebration begins today. Mt. Angel is expecting around 425-thousand people to attend. There's German music, food, and entertainment. Father Martin, from Benedictine Brewery, will be serving his Black Habit dark ale, along with several German and local beers. A new shuttle runs from Portland, Woodburn, Salem, and Silverton. Oktoberfest runs through Sunday.

Two Candidates Announce SOS Run

(Salem, OR) -- Two Democrats have announced they're running for Oregon Secretary of State. Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read and State Senator James Manning say they will work to rebuild trust in the office. Former Secretary of State Shemia Fagan resigned after accepting a consulting job with a marijuana retailer while her office was auditing the marijuana industry. Manning served in the Army for 23 years and joined the Senate in 2016. Read was a state Representative from 2007 to 2017 and was elected Treasurer in 2016 and reelected in 2020.

Portland's Mayor Won't Run For Reelection

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has announced he won't run for reelection. This is Wheeler's second term. He's faced several critical issues including homelessness, illegal drug use, the pandemic, and the 2020 demonstrations. Wheeler says there are numerous qualified Portlanders who announced their run for office, or intention to run, and their decision in part depends on his decision. He says reshaping city government over the next 15 months will require all of his attention and he won't run for a third term.

OHSU Advancement In Rare Genetic Disease

(Portland, OR) -- Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered a way to predict the severity of an extremely rare genetic disorder that affects about 40 children worldwide. It's called UBA5 disease. Symptoms include motor control issues, cognitive challenges, growth impairments and other medical complications. It progresses into chronic seizures and early death. Researchers have found a gene mutation that's responsible and depending on which mutation they can determine whether it will be mild, intermediate or severe. It's hoped the discovery will also lead to treatments.

US Forest Service Warns Of Fire Danger

(Portland, OR) -- Hot temperatures return this week in Oregon and the US Forest Service is warning about increased fire danger. Moderately strong east winds are forecast for the region. There's already a Red Flag Warning for southwest Oregon, where the Flat and Anvil fires are burning. Increased fire activity is expected. The Forest Service is warning with the hot, dry, and windy conditions any fires will spread fast and they're asking people to be especially cautious to prevent fires.

Oregon PERS Files Suit Against FOX Corp.

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon and the New York City Pension Funds are filing a lawsuit against the board of directors at FOX Corporation, the parent of FOX News. The lawsuit alleges a breach of fiduciary duty. The Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund owns over five-million dollars in FOX Corporation stock. The lawsuit alleges FOX Corporation took a massive risk in pursuing profits by reporting lies and false news. Some examples include that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich provided hacked emails to Wikileaks as well as false claims that U.S. Dominion and Smartmatic U.S.A. rigged the 2020 presidential election. The lawsuit was filed in Delaware.

Charity Sued By Washington Attorney General

(Vancouver, WA) -- Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against a Vancouver charity for allegedly misusing one-point-two-million dollars. The Noble Foundation serves BIPOC communities. The lawsuit names executive director Ophelia Noble, her family and friends who are part of the charity. They're accused of using the money personally, buying vehicles, and purchasing the house owned by Noble's father and then reselling it to Noble at a deep discount. The charity is not accused of misusing state funds, because they require tighter accounting rules. The money in question came from grants that don't need the same kind of accounting standards.

Tobacco Retailer License Suspended

(Portland, OR) -- The State of Oregon has temporarily suspended the license of a tobacco retailer in Sheridan for violating tobacco retail sales laws. It's the first time a retailer's license has been suspended for violations. Licenses can be suspended when a business receives three or more civil penalties for violating tobacco sales laws. The Sheridan retailer had three violations, including two when tobacco was sold to someone under the age of 21. The license suspension is for 14 days. The Oregon Department of Revenue and Oregon Health Authority conduct regular inspections to make sure retailers are following the law.

Oregon Gas Prices Decline

(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices are up nationwide, but in Oregon prices are trending down. Triple-A reports the national average increased three cents last week to three-84 a gallon, because of refinery issues in Midwestern states. That's not the case in Oregon where prices declined three cents to four-71 a gallon. This week, refineries will begin the switch to less expensive winter blends of fuel and that should put downward pressure on prices, but crude oil prices are higher and that could slow the declines. Diesel in Oregon continues to soar, up six cents to five-20 a gallon.

Dead Salmon Returned To Streams

(Salem, OR) -- Dog owners are warned to watch their animals near Willamette Valley streams. This is the time of year when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife return salmon carcasses to rivers and streams. Salmon normally spawn and then die in the rivers. When hatcheries spawn salmon for future smolt releases, the carcasses are left in rivers and streams to decompose. Their nutrients go into the river and they're eaten by animals including bears, otters, raccoons, and vultures. The decaying salmon are a threat to dogs, because they can carry a bacteria that's potentially fatal. From September through December dog owners should be vigilant around rivers.

Federal Government To Consider Basic Health Program

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Health Policy Board has approved a plan for a Basic Health Program. It would provide health coverage for people making up to twice the federal poverty level. It would help cover the gap between Oregon Health Plan coverage and the federal marketplace. The federal government will now consider the plan. If it's approved, Oregon would get 500 federal dollars for every dollar spent by the state. Oregon is moving toward a State-Based Marketplace in 2027.

Portland Company Named In Apartment Price-Fixing Lawsuit

(Seattle, WA) -- Portland-based Dalton Management is one of 18 property management firms nationwide accused of using software to artificially increase rents. Willamette Week reports that lawyers in Seattle filed a class action lawsuit last week, against the makers and users of RENTmaximizer software that allegedly allows property managers to trade private market data and artificially inflate rents, using algorithms. The complaint charges that is a violation of federal antitrust law banning collusion. Dalton did not respond to requests for comment. According to its website, Dalton owns 14 apartment buildings in Washington and Oregon.

Jantzen Beach Carousel Moving To The Dalles

(Portland, OR) -- The historic 95-year-old Jantzen Beach Carousel will be moving to The Dalles. The carousel, with its herd of 82 horses, will be moved to the National Neon Sign Museum in The Dalles. It was fully restored in 1995, but 17 years of use before it was put into storage will require another restoration. The cost is estimated at four-million dollars. The Neon Sign Museum has property where a pavilion can be built to house the carousel. It was placed in storage in 2012 when Jantzen Beach Mall closed.

26 Rural Counties Get Homelessness Funding

(Salem, OR) -- 26-million dollars will be split among 26 rural Oregon counties to help reduce homelessness. The Legislature approved the funding for Governor Tina Kotek's homelessness state of emergency. The money will add at least 100 new shelter beds and rehouse at least 450 families by June 30, 2025. The money was divided based on community plans and a formula developed by the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department. The original requests were for 29 shelter projects costing 37-million-dollars.

Suspect Didn't Fire At Officers

(Hillsboro, OR) -- Investigators have corrected information about a fatal officer involved shooting in Hillsboro that happened last Thursday. Deputies were trying to arrest 39-year-old Ryan Herinckx on previous warrants when he barricaded himself inside of his home. When he came out, he was armed with a gun. Police initially said Herinckx fired and officers returned fire killing him. A review of officer body camera video shows Herinckx pointed the gun at officers, but didn't fire. Four members of the Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team were involved in the shooting. The investigation continues.

Marion County Sues Oregon Over State Hospital

(Salem, OR) -- Marion County has filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Health Authority to force the state to evaluate and treat people with pending criminal charges who can't assist in their own defense. The lawsuit claims the state has failed to meet its legal obligation to fund, build, and staff sufficient beds in the State Hospital. The county says it's resulting in sicker and more violent people remaining on the streets where their needs can't be met.

Judge Approves Pac-12 Temporary Restraining Order

(Colfax, WA) -- A judge has issued a temporary restraining order to prevent universities that are leaving the Pac-12 from taking part in a board meeting this week. Washington State University and Oregon State University, the last two schools in the Pac-12, argued the departing schools would have a conflict of interest. The Pac-12 bylaws state that if a member announces they're leaving they automatically lose their seat on the board of governors. WSU and OSU don't want the Pac-12 to be dissolved in the event they decide to add schools and rebuild the conference.

New Segment Of Gorge Trail Opens

(Hood River, OR) -- Another two miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail have opened. A dedication ceremony was held Saturday at Viento State Park South. A new hiker/biker campground has been built with shelters for cooking, lockers with chargers and hot showers. The new segment ends before Mitchell Point. Work continues on the tunnel at Mitchell Point which is scheduled to open next spring. When it's finished, the trail will run from Troutdale to The Dalles. Four miles of trail remain to be built.

Rally Against Closing Eugene Hospital

(Eugene, OR) -- Oregon's second largest city could lose its only hospital later this fall. PeaceHealth wants to close the University District Emergency Department and shift patients to its Springfield facility, six miles away. Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinnis says the hospital is needed in Eugene and closing the facility would add 27 minutes to roundtrip transports. The additional hospital capacity would also be needed in the event of a disaster, such as a subduction zone earthquake. PeaceHealth says the closure is necessary, due to declining patient numbers. Opponents say that's happening because PeaceHealth cut capacity over the last three years.

Federal Funding For Gorge Airport

(Dallesport, WA) -- The federal government is spending nearly three million dollars on the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with Washington Congressman Dan Newhouse helped secure the money. The airport is located across the Columbia River from The Dalles. It's become a hub for wildfire fighting aircraft and general aviation. They money will pay for a taxilane and reconstruction of the airport's apron.

Gang Member Sentenced To Prison

(Portland, OR) -- A senior member of the Hoover Criminal Gang is headed back to prison after being caught with a gun. Federal prosecutors in Portland say 39-year-old Eugene Brown, who goes by "Big Truth," was caught on surveillance video at a strip club armed with gun. A search of his home recovered two guns and materials that showed he was still active in the gang. As a convicted felon, Brown is prohibited from owning guns. He pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm. A judge sentenced him to more than two years in federal prison.

Kroger Sale

Kroger has announced that, as part of its merger with Albertsons, the companies will sell 413 stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers for one-point-nine billion dollars.  The sale also includes other brand names in various regions … Fred Meyer stores are not currently part of the sale. In Oregon, 49 Albertsons and QFC stores will be sold. The stores that Kroger keeps will be rebranded as Kroger or Albertsons. If it's necessary to get government approval, Kroger will sell C&S an additional 237 stores in certain parts of the country.  


OHA Suspends Mold Test On Marijuana

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority has suspended a rule that recreational and medical marijuana be tested for a mold that can be hazardous to humans. Aspergillus normally isn't a problem for healthy people, but people with weakened immune systems can develop lung infections. OHA is suspending the rule because of a court decision in a case backed by marijuana producers. OHA will continue to test for heavy metals and other contaminants.

Fire Destroys Structure Near Brownsville

(Brownsville, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into a two-alarm fire that destroyed a structure housing bales of hay near Brownsville. Multiple fire departments responded to the blaze along Highway 228 just east of I-5 early Sunday morning. Officials say the flames could be seen for several miles. No injuries were reported. Nearby residents can expect to see smoke and flames coming from the scene for several days as the hay bales burn themselves out.

DOH Urges Preparation Now For Emergencies

(Olympia, WA) -- The Washington Department of Health says you should prepare now for emergencies you may face over the fall and winter months. Floods are one of the most common disasters Washingtonians face. Clear leaves from gutters and the street near your home. Fall and winter storms bring heavy rain that can cause localized flooding. If a road is flooded, drive around it and not through it. The wind and snow storms also cause power outages. Have an emergency kit with batteries, flashlights, backup cell phone batteries, food, water and medicine so you can make it on your own for two weeks.

Evergreen Teachers Reach Tentative Agreement

(Vancouver, WA) -- It appears the teacher's strike in the Evergreen School District is over. A tentative agreement was reached on Sunday. Teachers wanted more support time for students with special needs, more planning time, improved staffing, and cost-of-living adjustments. Classes are scheduled to start on a two hour delay, so teachers can vote. If the contract is approved, classes will begin. The seven days of classes missed due to the strike will be added to the school year and the make up days will be announced soon.

Family Band Loses Instruments In Crash

LA GRANDE, OR -- An Eastern Oregon band is struggling to recover after nearly all of their instruments were destroyed in a car crash. The group “Slapjack Casualty” plays folk-rock around Union County and beyond. While returning to La Grande after a gig in Baker on July 15th, band leader Brian Mandella and his father-in-law stopped to grab a few pizzas for their families and headed home, "We came around a corner and didn’t really have time to react, it was just a split-second thing," says Mandella, "They swerved, we swerved; we still ended up hitting head-on." Mandella suffered a concussion and doesn’t remember much, "I was the one that took the impact on the road and my father-in-law broke his collarbone right off the bat on the steering wheel."

He says their injuries are now healed but the instruments are not, "We had fiddles that were, you know, a $7,000 fiddle and the drums were $2,000, mandolins, guitars, bass guitars, amps. All the amps were destroyed. So it was just, all the gear just got demolished." Despite the loss of around $10,000 in gear, he maintains a sense of humor, "And to make it worse, we lost all the pizza."

Mandella and the band recently learned insurance will not pay to replace the instruments, "They denied it because they say we’re a commercial entity that makes money and so it’s not really covered." Most of the instruments were from his father-in-law’s private collection and Mandella says the elder band-mate doesn’t accept payment for his performance. All of the members have day jobs and play simply for the love of music. "Yeah, we’re in a band and we have a CD for sale on Amazon. Like I say, it all kind of just goes to me - all 30-cents that we’ve made."

Friends of the band created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to replace the lost gear. Until then, Mandella insists they will keep playing with borrowed instruments. 

Photo courtesy of GoFundMe

Oregon Launches Ag Crisis Line

CORVALLIS, OR -- Oregon launched a new crisis line for members of the agricultural community this month, with the help of Oregon State University's Extension Service. It’s the seventh state to offer the Agristress Helpline, and the first to be managed by a university. 

"People in rural areas already are at higher risk of suicide," says Allison Myers, Associate Dean for Extension and Engagement at OSU, "Some of that has to do with the geographic isolation and lack of access to healthcare. The agricultural community also faces stressors that many other folks don’t face. For example, the hours are very, very long, so you’re coupling geographic isolation with sort of a social isolation." She adds, "The work itself is really hard and there are a lot of factors that are out of control: weather, natural disasters, pricing. So you get to a place where you have a bit of a storm of factors that can make this group particularly vulnerable. Another factor is the sense of stoicism: this feeling of independence; often needing to be able to handle everything on their own. And the key message with the helpline is that folks are not alone."

Myers believes the helpline will open the door to discuss an important topic, "The conversation about suicide and about risk and about stressors is one that needs to be had. It’s too common for folks to suffer in silence and to not ask for help."

Partial funding for Oregon's participation came from the 2023 legislature, and training for call-takers is provided by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Myers tells KBND News collaboration between 27 farm groups and healthcare organizations will help the crisis line be successful. "The Nursery Growers, and the Cattlemen’s [Association], along with HealthShare of Oregon and Moda Health; everybody got together to say this is a need that we can fill with the support of the Extension Service and Oregon State University."

The Agristress Helpline is available in multiple languages 24/7 by call or text at 833-897-2474. 


Man Killed By Police In Rockaway Beach

(Rockaway Beach, OR) -- A man was killed by police in Rockaway Beach on Thursday. The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office says the shooting happened near North Juniper Street. Details of what led to the shooting haven't been released. The man died at the scene. No officers were seriously injured. The investigation into the shooting continues.

Woman Arrested For Animal Abuse

(Aumsville, OR) -- A woman is under arrest, accused of abusing a horse near Aumsville. Marion County Sheriff's deputies say on Monday, they responded to a call about animal abuse on Smith Road Southeast. Someone captured video of Geneva Boston repeatedly hitting the horse with a whip. After investigating, deputies arrested Boston for the crime of Aggravated Animal Abuse. Deputies would like to hear from anyone with additional information about the case.

Man Killed In Hillsboro Officer Shooting

(Hillsboro, OR) -- Police killed a wanted man at a house in Hillsboro Thursday afternoon. Police tried to arrest 39-year-old Ryan Herinckx, but he went inside of his home and refused to come out. The Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team responded and after several hours Henrinckx came out, fired a handgun and was fatally shot by officers. No one else was injured. The involved officers are on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

Clackamas County Short-Term Rental Regulations

(Oregon City, OR) -- The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners has approved new regulations for short-term rentals in unincorporated areas. Owners will have to register with the county, but there will be no inspections. Owners will have to pay a lodging tax and user fee. Rentals need to meet building and fire codes. Renters need to be notified of noise control rules and there can't be more than 15 people in a house. Adequate parking is also required. The new rules take effect December 6th.

Health Care Spending

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Heath Authority reports people are spending 22-percent of their household budgets on health insurance. It's totaling nearly eight-thousand dollars a year per person. It's a 40-percent increase since 2013. The high costs are disproportionately impacting communities of color and low-income Oregonians. The Health Authority will hold a virtual public hearing on September 14th to take comments on the high costs of health care.

Sheriff's Deputies Hunt Jewelry Thief

(Clackamas, OR) -- Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help to identify the thief who stole a 40-thousand-dollar necklace from a store at Clackamas Town Center last month. They say around mid-afternoon on August 13th, the suspect grabbed the gold and diamond necklace from a display at Joe Kassab [[ kuh-SOB ]] Jewelers and bolted from the store. He escaped in a blue SUV with its license plate covered. The suspect is a tall African American man, with close-cropped hair, a beard, and a large lightning bolt tattoo starting on the back of the neck and wrapping around to the front. If you know anything about him, contact sheriff's detectives.

Lightning Caused Fires Continue To Burn

(Randal, WA) -- The battle continues against more than 40-lightning caused wildfires called the Cowlitz Complex in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest. The fires are scattered over a wide area and have burned nearly 700 acres. More than 450 firefighters are working to build lines around the fires. Containment is currently 10-percent. The priority is to keep the fires from Randal, Packwood, private lands, and infrastructure. Dry and warm weather is causing fire activity to increase.

Study Shows Impact Of Forest Thinning

(Corvallis, OR) -- A new study out of Oregon State University shows forest thinning helps older trees and makes forests stronger. Researchers studied a forest in Oregon's Blue Mountains. It found thinning trees made older trees more robust. It also strengthened the forest against disease and devastating wildfires. The benefits of thinning take three to four years to happen. It also allows grasses and shrubs to grow that are less likely to cause a major fire.

Willamette River Advisory Reduced In Portland

(Portland, OR) -- A bloom of toxic algae in the Willamette River is shrinking. The Oregon Health Authority has reduced the size of the advisory to the Ross Island Lagoon and Willamette Cove. The algae releases cyanotoxins that can be harmful to people and pets if swallowed. Pets and small children are especially vulnerable. People and pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, and pea-green or blue-green.

Governor Announces Drought Declarations For Three Counties

(Salem, OR) -- Governor Tina Kotek has declared drought emergencies in three counties. Gilliam County, in north-central Oregon, has areas in severe drought and received less than 75-percent of its usual precipitation this year. Douglas County, in southwest Oregon, has some stream flows at record lows. Lincoln County, on the Coast, hasn't received much rain over the past three months and streams are well below average, with some at record lows. The declarations free up state resources and help reduce red tape in dealing with drought-related issues.

Portland Council Passes Future Drug Ban

(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Council has passed a resolution and an ordinance that will ban the open use of controlled substances if the Legislature changes the law. Fentanyl and methamphetamine use has become a major problem in Portland leading to a rise in crime and overdoses. Currently, Oregon law prohibits cities and counties from banning open, illegal drug use. The Portland ordinance will take effect if the Legislature changes the law. The resolution passed by Council asks the Legislature to take up the issue next year.

Public Invited To View 9/11 Memorial

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training is inviting you to visit their memorial to 9/11 in Salem. It's located at the Oregon Public Safety Academy. It includes a section from the base of One World Trade Center, which was the North Tower, along with other pieces and a limestone fascia from the outer wall of the Pentagon near where the aircraft impacted the building. Nearly three-thousand people were killed in the attacks, including more than 400 firefighters, law enforcement officers and rescue workers. Hundreds of first responders have died due to illnesses from working at Ground Zero. The memorial will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, September 11th.

Object Spotted Over Northwest Oregon Draws Attention

(Tillamook, OR) -- A white object high in the sky over northwest Oregon drew a lot of attention Wednesday morning. It was a research balloon for NASA from Near Space Corporation based in Tillamook. It's similar to a standard weather balloon, but flies higher than planes can travel. The company has been in business since 1996 and offers high altitude and near space platforms for government, academic, and commercial customers.

Poacher Sentenced To Jail During Elk Season

(Pendleton, OR) -- Elk season is now jail season for a convicted poacher in Pendleton. Twenty-eight-year-old Walker Erickson was arrested in 2021 for poaching deer and elk. In many cases he left the animals to waste, but also kept a freezer of meat. A new law in Oregon changes poaching from a misdemeanor to a felony, allowing jail time and heavy fines. Erickson must pay 75-thousand dollars in fines. The gun and bow he used were seized. The freezer of meat was donated to a raptor rehabilitation program. And Erickson must serve two weeks in jail during elk season for the next three years.

Record Library Challenges

SALEM, OR -- County and school libraries around Oregon reported a record number of challenges to the books they offer. According to a new report from the State Library of Oregon, 93 titles were challenged between July 2022 and June 2023, more than any year since data collection began in 1987 and beating the previous record of 70, set in 1993. "They are coming from all across the state; they are coming from all different types of libraries," says Buzzy Neilsen, with the State Library.

"What we tend to see the most of are books that are by or about LGBTQ+ folks, [or] books that are claimed to be sexually explicit; this is particularly common in teen books that may have sex scenes or even books that are about puberty or growing up," Nielsen tells KBND News. The vast majority of challenged titles were written by authors from under-represented groups, "Whether that be LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous, or people of color."

Nielsen says all libraries have a process for accepting and investigating complaints that a book is inappropriate, but not everyone goes through official channels, "We’re seeing a lot more people going around those designated processes, in which case, they’re taking their challenges straight to some kind of governing or administrative authority; It could be a school administrator, it could be going directly to a City Council or a library governing board. We’re also seeing people just going straight to the media." Or, he says, people try to remove the material themselves, "They aren’t even necessarily checked out; they’re just stolen, they are turned around or hidden somewhere in the library, or they’re thrown in the trash. We had incidents of all three of those things happen this year." Nielsen says in almost every challenged incident, the books remained available to the public. 

Not all this year's complaints were about reading materials. There were also challenges to “Pride Month” displays and other programs, and in at least one case, a person objected to the library offering any services or materials in Spanish. And, Nielsen says, a new trend emerged in the past year, "We have untold number of library staff who have been called ‘pedophiles’ or ‘groomers,’ just like we have teachers who have been called the same. They’re was actually one or two situations where library staff received death threats." 

Intellectual Freedom - the right of anyone to read, seek information and speak freely - is guaranteed by Oregon's Constitution and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Click HERE for the full report from the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse.

Earlier this year, the American Library Association (ALA) reported that 2022 saw the most attempts to restrict library resources since they began collecting statistics at a national level. Per ALA, “The prevalent use of lists of books compiled by organized censorship groups contributed significantly to the skyrocketing number of challenges and the frequency with which each title was challenged.” National Banned Books Week is October 1-7. 


Photo: The graphic novel "Flamer," by Mike Curato, was one of the most challenged materials in Oregon libraries this year.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect corrected stats from the State Library. A previous version noted there were 85 challenged titles. The Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse now says there were 93 titles challenged in 46 incidents.

OHSU Researchers Discover New Alzheimer's Cause

(Portland, OR) -- Researchers have found a new cause of Alzheimer's Disease and vascular dementia. A new study led by scientists Oregon Health and Science University found that iron-rich cells in the brain destroy cells that are supposed to help clean connections between nerves. Researchers say it's surprising this wasn't found during previous research. They found it using a new technique to isolate the cells. The hope is that pharmaceutical manufacturers can now use this information to create drugs that can prevent that type of damage.

Camp Creek Fire Slowly Grows Despite Rain

(Sandy, OR) -- The Camp Creek Fire near the Bull Run Reservoir continues to slowly grow. Heavy rain fell on the fire last week, but because it's burning under a thick canopy of trees in moss and dead wood on the forest floor, it continues to expand at a slow rate. The Portland Water Bureau is monitoring the reservoir, because it's the city's source of drinking water. There's currently no threat to the Water Bureau's equipment. The fire has burned around 19-hundred acres. It's 16-percent contained. There aren't many roads in the area, which makes it difficult to build containment lines.

Gas Prices Decline Following Labor Day Weekend

(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices declined slightly over the past week. Following Labor Day, Triple-A reports the national average declined a penny to three-81 a gallon. Oregon's average declined two cents to four-74. Grants Pass had the highest average at four-94 and Corvallis has the lowest at four-50. The average in Portland was four-83. While demand for gasoline this summer was below average, vacation travel helped boost prices ahead of the holiday weekend.

Oregon Among Steepest Home Price Increase

(Portland, OR) -- A new study released by SelfStorage shows that Oregon has the fifth-largest increase in home prices in the nation over the past decade. Idaho was number one with an increase of just under 79-percent. Oregon prices increased 61-percent. Illinois had the lowest increase, at 16-percent. The study looked at average prices in 2012-2016 compared to 2017-2022 to see the increase. A SelfStorage spokesperson said that the study underlines the strong differences in parts of America. Most on the list are on the West Coast.

Teachers Assistant Sentenced For Sexual Abuse Of Student

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A former teacher's assistant has been sentenced to prison for sexually abusing a student. Last month, Yessenia Manriquez-Casillas, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse in the second degree. She was a teacher's assistant at Century High School in Hillsboro when she arranged a meeting with a teenage student. They drove to another location where the sexual abuse occurred. The victim's mother found text messages on the child's phone from Manriquez-Casillas and the child disclosed the abuse. Manriquez-Casillas was sentenced to 13 months in prison.

Ukrainian Festival Returns To Portland

(Portland, OR) -- This weekend, Oregonians can get a taste of Ukrainian culture by attending the Ukrainian Festival in Portland. The event at Saint John Ukrainian Orthodox Church features delicious food, live music, and merchandise. More information is available on Saint John Ukrainian Orthodox Church's Facebook page.

State's Largest Shelter Could Close By End Of Week

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County officials could decide the fate of Oregon's largest homeless shelter this week. Volunteers at the Bybee Lakes Hope Center in North Portland say they'll have to shut down operations by the end of the week without a cash injection from state or local governments. Helping Hands, the nonprofit in charge of the center, has asked the county for five-million of the 65-million dollars in unspent funds which are intended for homeless services. The county has passed over Bybee Lakes in the past, instead channeling funds towards low-barrier shelters and transitional housing. Multnomah County chair Jessica Vega Peterson said she intends to work with the governor's office to find a long-term funding solution for the struggling shelter.

Low Water Notice Issued For Willamette River

(Portland, OR) -- Boaters planning to go on the Willamette River this week should be aware of unusually low water levels. Officials with the National Weather Service say parts of the river in and around Portland could drop to as low as a foot multiple times in the coming week. Meteorologist Tyler Kranz says the lower water stage will likely expose new hazards to boaters.

Powell's Bookstore Employees Strike On Labor Day

(Portland, OR) -- Employees from all three Powell's Books locations around Portland rallied downtown yesterday as part of a planned one-day strike. It's the first strike for Powell's employees in 20 years, and comes after months of contract negotiations have stalled. Workers are asking for affordable health care and a living wage. The book shop's owner, Emily Powell, says Powell's is committed to reaching an agreement that's "sustainable and fair." Stores are expected to open again today, but union reps say employees are ready to strike again if adequate terms aren't reached.

Labor Day Weekend - Portland Picketers In Force

(Portland, OR) -- Portland workers took to the picket lines over Labor Day weekend to demand better pay and working conditions. Picketers included workers from New Seasons Market and Powell's Books. A one-day strike began yesterday, shutting down the bookstore, and focused on expressing solidarity with transgender workers. Some of the groups picketing downtown over the weekend on Saturday are also members of independent unions. One of those involved in the protests was the New Seasons Labor Union.

More Progress Made On Camp Creek Fire

(Portland, OR) -- More progress is being made on the Camp Creek Fire east of Portland. Firefighters were able to raise the containment level to 16 percent as of yesterday, while the number of acres grew to over 19-hundred acres. Officials noted work continues to build containment lines within the Bull Run Watershed, and an uncrewed aerial system has been brought in to help with operations. The flames started last month following a lightning strike in the watershed in Mt. Hood National Forest, not far from Reservoir 1 or the Headworks treatment facility

Portland Man Arrested For Racist Stabbing

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland man faces hate crime charges after allegedly stabbing two teens in what police described as a racist attack. Twenty-five-year-old Adrian Cummins is accused of stabbing two people at a MAX stop in Southeast Portland Saturday because of their race. One teen was transported to the hospital while the other was treated at the scene. After detaining the suspect, officers say it was reported that he'd just robbed a convenience store at knife point at Southeast Flavel Street near 92nd Avenue.


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