Regional News Archives for 2023-10

Gov. Kotek Urges Portland Teachers Not To Strike

(Portland, OR)  --  Governor Tina Kotek is urging Portland teachers not to carry through with their threats to strike starting tomorrow.  Kotek spoke during a press conference yesterday, saying that going on strike would not be "in the best interest of students."  She urged the school district and the teachers union to stay at the negotiating table to hammer out a deal.  Teachers are set to go on strike starting tomorrow if the union and the district fail to come to an agreement on a new contract by then.

Investigation Underway Into OSU Explosion That Injured One Man

(Corvallis, OR)  --  An investigation is ongoing into an explosion that seriously injured a man at the Oregon State University Corvallis campus.  Police say the blast injured a 22-year-old man yesterday afternoon at McNary Field on the campus' east side.  Officials say the man was not a student at the university.  It's not yet clear what led to the explosion.

Crews Rescue Two From Snow In Cascade Mountains

(Portland, OR)  --  Two people are recovering after getting stranded in the snow in the Cascade Mountains in separate incidents last week.  The Marion County Sheriff's Office says it rescued a woman and a man from the mountains last Wednesday.  The woman was reportedly hiking through Willamette National Forest's Jefferson Park when she got stuck in quickly accumulating snow.  The man was mountain biking on Hawk Mountain when he became stranded by heavy snow.  Officials say both individuals had to spend the night in the snow before crews managed to get to them to rescue them.

Police Investigate After Man Forces Woman Into Car In Vancouver

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Police are asking for help identifying individuals involved in a disturbance and potential kidnapping in Vancouver.  Police say a man forced a woman into his car at South Leiser Road and Highway 14 on Sunday and took off.  It's unclear if the man and woman know each other.  The car was described as a white Ford Mustang.  Police say several witnesses caught the incident on video.  Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

Man Shot, Injured On MAX Platform In NE Portland

(Portland, OR)  --  An investigation is ongoing into the shooting of a man on a MAX train platform in Northeast Portland.  Police say the man was shot in the leg on the Northeast 122nd Avenue westbound MAX platform Sunday evening.  The man was hospitalized for treatment.  Police are still searching for the suspect, who is described as a white man.

New Ritz-Carlton Opens For Business Today

(Portland, OR) -- Guests will begin streaming into the new Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Portland today. The luxury hotel will open for business this morning following a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The 35-story hotel has 251 rooms and is the first Ritz-Carlton property to open in the Pacific Northwest.

Albany Police Chief Honored By FBI

PORTLAND, OR -- An Oregon police chief was honored by the FBI for her efforts to improve law enforcement and partnering with federal investigators.

Special Agent In Charge of the FBI’s Portland Field Office Kieran Ramsey presented Albany Police Chief Marcia Harnden with the Law Enforcement Leadership Award Friday. "Several FBI Portland Field Office investigations have benefitted from the cooperation with the Albany Police Department," Ramsey said, "And that clearly starts at the top, as Chief Harnden and her leadership staff are always responsive, and maintain the utmost collaborative approach towards the FBI." SAC Ramsey also noted her work improving overall department wellness, "Chief Harnden is also devoted to developing resiliency within the law enforcement community, and has organized countless no-cost training opportunities to area law enforcement."

Chief Harnden said, "It’s my duty and responsibility to take care of the people taking care of you." She was humbled by the recognition, "I’m only as good as a police chief as the people that work for us. And so, it’s my responsibility and my duty to take care of those who work in public safety - not just my people, but anybody in public safety." She added, "I strongly believe that policing will continue to get better. It’s been a tough couple years and we still have work to do. But we have to be the example that we want to see in policing."

The Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams also received a leadership award Friday. Executive Director Kathy Loter says more than 90 teams of volunteers work with victims and investigators after traumatic events, "Our dogs go into so many places and just change the vibe. They change a room, just by walking in." She also says they're the only dogs allowed across the Portland Airport, where they help relieve stress among travelers, TSA staff and vendors, "You can see people’s body posture change, you can just see smiles when they see the dogs. They may not stop and touch them, but they make a huge difference." According to the FBI, the canine teams volunteered more than 9500 hours last year. 


Oregon Tool Pays $1.7 Million Settlement

(Portland, OR) -- An Oregon business that was taking payments from a Nigerian business with ties to elderly scams and money laundering will pay one-point-seven million dollars. Oregon Tool, which was formerly known as Blount, Incorporated, sells saw chains and agricultural products. They did business with an unlicensed Nigerian money transmitting company. The business was laundering money from romance and elderly scams in the U.S. Oregon Tool cooperated with the investigation by the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice. The money will go toward funds to help victims of the fraud scheme.

Seaside Assault Suspect Identified

(Seaside, OR) -- Seaside Police have identified the suspect in a violent assault and police pursuit. 18-year-old Isaiah Thompson is accused of assaulting a person and stealing their car in Seaside on Friday. The victim was hospitalized in critical condition. Thompson allegedly fled at high speed on Highway 26 eastbound. Near Hillsboro, police say he took the Glencoe Road exit and crashed, running from the vehicle. Police say Thompson is homeless and will be charged with attempted murder when he's located.

PPS Strike Preparations

(Portland, OR) -- Negotiations are scheduled to resume today between the Portland Association of Teachers and the Portland Public School district. They have been in talks since the teachers' last contract expired in June, and they're still 60 million dollars apart. Teachers are demanding a pay raise of 21 percent over three years. The district is offering 10-and-a-half percent. The union also wants the district to hire more teachers and reduce class sizes.

New Portland Ritz-Carlton Hotel Opens Tuesday

(Portland, OR) -- The new Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Portland is set to open its doors tomorrow. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for tomorrow morning. The luxury hotel will also begin welcoming its first guests tomorrow. The 35-story hotel has 251 rooms and is the first Ritz-Carlton property to open in the Pacific Northwest.

Salem Death Investigations

(Salem, OR) -- Salem Police are investigating the deaths of two people from shootings. Sunday morning, police responded to Liberty Road South and Browning Avenue on a report of shots fired and a person leaving the scene in a vehicle. One victim died at the scene. Officers pursued the suspect's vehicle, it crashed through the property of two businesses on Commercial Street and the driver was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No other injuries were reported.

Oregon Zoo Offers Discounted Admission

(Portland, OR) -- Starting Saturday, you can visit the Oregon Zoo with discounted admission. Adult tickets will be 12 dollars from November 4th through the 10th. Zoo Director Heidi Rahn says fall is a beautiful time to visit the zoo. Orangutan mom Kitra and her baby Jolene will be available along with new arrivals including a family of rare snowy owls and a white-cheeked gibbon. All tickets need to be purchased online because no walk-up tickets are being sold.

Friends, Family React After Pilot Allegedly Tries To Crash Plane

(Portland, OR) -- New details are coming to light about the former off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot accused of trying to shut down the engines on a plane carrying more than 80 people. Fellow pilot Sean Calhoun at NRI Flying Club in the East Bay says Joseph Emerson's actions were out of character. Calhoun describes Emerson as an exemplary pilot who was professional and safe. Emerson's wife said Thursday she knew he was struggling with depression but that he never would have "knowingly done" what he's accused of doing. Court documents say Emerson told officers he had taken magic mushrooms 48 hours before the incident and that he thought he was dreaming when he tried to cut the plane's engines mid-flight. The Horizon Air flight from Everett to San Francisco was diverted to Portland on Sunday after Emerson tried to activate the fire suppression system and cut off fuel to the jet's engines before flight crew subdued him.

Investigation Continues Into Fire That Damaged Three Seaside Structures

(Seaside, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into a two-alarm fire that damaged three buildings in Seaside and left as many as a dozen people displaced. Fire officials say they responded to the initial blaze in a two-story home on Avenue "I" around 5:30 a.m. yesterday morning. Two adjacent structures were damaged before they got the flames knocked down. The Red Cross is helping the displaced people.

18 New Jewelry Scam Victims

(Salem, OR) -- A former Salem jewelry store owner faces new charges for scamming customers. Douglas Gamble owned Timeless Jeweler. He's accused of swapping synthetic stones for natural diamonds and selling lab-grown stones as real diamonds. He was arrested in September and since then 18 new victims have come forward. A total of 27 victims lost between 700-thousand and 800-thousand dollars.

1,600 Animals To Be Tested For COVID-19

(Corvallis, OR) -- Veterinary researchers at Oregon State University will test 16-hundred animal specimens for COVID-19. They say it's important to know if COVID has jumped to animals, because it could spread and create a different form the virus and restart the pandemic. That would be rare but would have disastrous implications. The study will take two years to complete. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding the research.

Safeguard Metals Settles Elderly Fraud Lawsuit

(Salem, OR) -- Safeguard Metals, a company that sells precious metals, has settled a 68-million-dollar lawsuit over elder fraud in several states. Between 2017 and 2021, Safeguard is accused of deceiving 450 customers nationwide into buying precious metals. They misrepresented risk and safety of customer investments. In Oregon, 11 people invested two-point-three million dollars. Consumer restitution and civil penalties will be decided in the next phase of litigation.

Governor Orders Flags Half-Staff

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is joining President Biden in ordering flags to be flown at half-staff in response to the shooting in Lewiston, Maine that killed 18 people and injured 13. Kotek says the act of violence is absolutely devastating and her heart goes out to the victims' families, the Lewiston community, and every American shaken by the tragedy. Flags should be flown at half-staff until sunset on Monday October 30th.

NTSB Releases Preliminary Crash Report

(Portland, OR) -- The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on the plane crash in Newberg October 3rd that killed two people. Twenty-year-old Barrett Bevacqua had a single engine pilots license and it was his first flight in a multi-engine training program. Those flights can include stalls, slow flight, emergency maneuvers, and steep turns. The plane was flying 79 miles an hour when its descent began. Witnesses say the plane was near-vertical when it crashed. Bevacqua and flight instructor Michele Cavallotti were killed. Emily Hurd, a student pilot in the backseat, survived the crash. She remains hospitalized. This week, she was flown to Spokane to be closer to her family while she recovers.

Oregon Delegation Reacts To House Speaker

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon's Congressional delegation voted along party lines for House Speaker. Louisiana Representative Mike Johnson won the vote. Republican Representative Cliff Bentz says Johnson is an effective leader and strong advocate for the state of Louisiana and the Republican conference. Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer says she's hopeful Johnson will work with all sides of the conference to advance commonsense legislation. Democrat Andrea Salinas called Johnson a "MAGA extremist who voted to overturn the 2020 election" saying she has deep concerns about his ability to govern responsibly.

PeaceHealth To Keep Some Services In Eugene

(Eugene, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority won't allow PeaceHealth to close all of its facilities in Eugene. PeaceHealth wanted to close Sacred Heart Hospital sending all patients to Riverbend Hospital in Springfield. Governor Tina Kotek directed OHA to work with PeaceHealth to keep some services in Eugene to avoid a complete closure of the University District Hospital. Emergency medical resources will move to Riverbend starting December 1st, but behavioral health and acute rehabilitation beds will remain in Eugene under a modified license.

Oregon Voters Could Decide Self Service Gas

(Salem, OR) -- Oregonians may get to vote on whether to continue self-service gas. The Legislature approved ending the decades-old ban this year allowing gas stations to have self-serve at half the pumps and attendants at the other pumps, for the same price. The United Food and Commercial Workers union says allowing self-serve gas has put people out of work and made gas stations more dangerous. They filed an initiative petition and need to collect 117-thousand signatures by July to put the issue to voters in November.

Daycare Wait List Reopens To Applicants

(Salem, OR) -- Families who qualify for daycare assistance in Oregon can apply again. The Employment Related Daycare program was put on hold following an unprecedented increase in demand and limited funding. The program uses state and federal funds to help reduce the cost of daycare. The next deadline to apply is November 3rd. Some families may qualify to skip the list. If they don't meet an exemption and apply after November 3rd, they'll be placed on the waiting list.

Teen Suspects Arrested In Hillsboro Fatal Shooting

(Hillsboro, OR) -- Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting at a Hillsboro house party last weekend that killed a student from Hillsboro High School and wounded a student from Liberty High. Both suspects are 17-year-old boys and they were booked into Washington County Juvenile Detention. Police have not released other information about the suspects or the shooting.

Data Shows Low Flu Vaccination Rate For Health Care Workers

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon health officials are reporting low rates of flu vaccinations among health care workers. Newly released data shows just 64-percent of health care workers in Oregon were vaccinated against the flu last year. The Oregon Health Authority wants that to be near 90-percent. Hospitals had the highest rate at 69-percent, followed by ambulatory surgery centers, nursing facilities, inpatient psychiatric and dialysis facilities. The pandemic and a lack of reporting might be causing the low number.

Alaska Airlines Pilot Accused Of Threatening Plane Pleads Not Guilty

PORTLAND, OR -- The off-duty pilot accused of trying to shut down the engines of a Horizon Air flight now faces federal charges. During his initial appearance in Multnomah County Court, Joseph Emerson’s attorney spoke on his behalf, entering not guilty pleas on all counts. 

Emerson faces more than 80 counts of Attempted Murder, among other state charges, in connection with the Sunday evening incident on a plane bound for San Francisco. It was diverted to Portland after Emerson allegedly tried to pull the engine fire extinguishers. The pilots subdued him and he was restrained in the rear of the plane, where he reportedly tried to open the emergency exit before the aircraft landed.

According to court documents, he later admitted to using psychedelic mushrooms, although the timeline is unclear. Investigators reported Emerson told them he suffered from depression, and it was his "first time" taking psilocybin.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office says he’s been on suicide watch since shortly after booking early Monday. 

Judge Jenna Plank told Emerson and his attorney Tuesday, "I am finding, based on the declarations in this document, that there is probable cause to believe that defendant has committed one of the offenses." Because of that, she ordered him held without bail, "I will not be addressing release or the setting of security today. Instead, Mr. Emerson, your case will be qualified for what I’m going to describe as a more robust release hearing that will take place at the courthouse across the street. You have a statutory right to have that hearing within five days of today."

Federal prosecutors filed documents Tuesday also charging Emerson with Interfering With a Flight Crew. His appearance in federal court has not been announced. 

file photo

Mike Reese Appointed Corrections Director

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has appointed Mike Reese as director of the Oregon Department of Corrections. Reese has served in law enforcement for over 30 years. He started as a Multnomah County Sheriff's deputy, then joined the Portland Police Bureau where he worked his way to Police Chief. In 2016, Reese was elected Multnomah County Sheriff until he retired last year. Reese says the Department of Corrections is a core pillar of the public safety system, and rehabilitating adults in custody, along with maintaining a skilled workforce, has a direct impact on Oregon communities.

Police Arrest Suspect In OSU Food Robot Bomb Threat

(Corvallis, OR) -- Police say they've arrested a suspect in connection to a bomb threat involving food delivery robots at Oregon State University. The university took to social media just after noon yesterday to warn students and staff to avoid the robots in response to the threat. Campus Public Safety worked to locate the robots and isolate them in safe locations, where they were inspected and found to be free of bombs. The university declared the emergency over just after 1:30 p.m. The small robots can deliver food from campus restaurants to any outdoor location. They've been in use since 2020 and there are 20 delivery robots in the fleet.

Western Oregon University Enrollment Boost

(Monmouth, OR) -- Enrollment at Western Oregon University jumped five percent this fall, which is the first substantial increase in over a decade. There are 33-hundred undergraduate students. Graduate enrollment increased 41 percent for a total of 608 students. President Jesse Peters says they still have work to go, but it marks a significant milestone for the university. He says a focus on supporting students and their success led to the increase.

Oregon Joins Lawsuit Against Meta

(Salem, OR) -- The State of Oregon is joining 42 states in a federal lawsuit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. The lawsuit accused Meta executives of building the platforms specifically to addict young users. The suit seeks to make changes that would make the websites and apps less addictive. That could include removing the "like" button, restricting the frequency of notifications, and eliminating the infinite scroll feature.

Off-Duty Pilot Now Faces Federal Charges

PORTLAND, OR -- An off-duty Alaska Air pilot arrested Sunday in Portland now faces federal charges for allegedly attempting to shutdown the engines of a passenger plane while in flight. 

Joseph Emerson was arrested by Port of Portland Police after the Horizon Air flight made an emergency landing while enroute to San Francisco from Everett, WA. According to court records, Emerson was riding in a cockpit jump seat when the disturbance occurred. After landing, the two pilots told officers, "Approximately halfway between Astoria, Oregon, and Portland, after engaging with them in casual conversation, Emerson attempted to grab and pull two red fire handles that would have activated the plane’s emergency fire suppression system and cut off fuel to its engines," according to the US Attorney's Office. After a brief struggle, Emerson was removed from the cockpit and placed in wrist restraints in the rear of the aircraft. 

During the plane's decent into Portland, the US Attorney's Office says, "Emerson tried to grab the handle of an emergency exit. A flight attendant stopped him by placing her hands on top of his." 

Emerson faces multiple state charges, including Attempted Murder. He's now also charged with one count of Interfering with Flight Crew Members and Attendants in federal court.  

Chavez-DeRemer Leads Effort To Ease Tree Removal Near Power Lines

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon Congresswoman Lori Chavez-DeRemer is leading a bipartisan effort to make it easier for utilities to remove trees that threaten power lines and reduce the risk of a wildfire. The bill that would allow the Forest Service to approve tree removal near power lines without a timber sale. Chavez-DeRemer says it's a commonsense proposal that would help prevent one cause of wildfires. Currently, the U.S. Forest Service needs to approve a timber sale for the tree to be taken down.

PeaceHealth Southwest Strike Continues

(Vancouver, WA) -- Technical, maintenance and laboratory workers at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver and St. John Medical Center in Longview continue their strike today. Workers say they want more staffing and better pay. A total of 13-hundred workers from both hospitals will be off the job through Friday. Doctors and nurses are not included in the strike and the union says they have plans in place to make sure patient care isn't interrupted.

OSAA Needs Sports Officials

(Wilsonville, OR) -- Oregon high school sports are again short on referees for the winter season. According to the Oregon School Activities Association, there is an urgent need for officials in basketball and wrestling. OSAA and the Oregon Athletic Officials Association are actively recruiting. Visit for more information.

Power Grid Modernization

(Portland, OR) -- Two Portland utilities will get 450-million dollars from the federal government to modernize the power grid. Portland General Electric will get 250-million dollars to upgrade renewable generation resources east of the Cascades and on the Warm Springs reservation. PGE will also receive 50-million dollars to deploy grid-edge computing to 10 percent of its distribution system. PacifiCorp will receive 100-million dollars for grid resilience and 50-million dollars for wildfire prevention.

Ambitious OSU Strategic Plan Approved

(Corvallis, OR) -- The Oregon State University Board of Trustees is approving an ambitious strategic plan that covers the next seven years. Annual research revenue would nearly double to 600-million-dollars, the six-year graduation rate would increase ten percent and online enrollment would more than double to 30-thousand students. The Board had high praise for President Jayathi [[ JAI'-uh-thee ]] Murthy saying she's not afraid to take on any topic and she's handled the Pac-12 conference realignment with transparency.

Douglas County Officials Call For Repeal Of BM 110

(Roseburg, OR) -- Douglas County officials have joined the call to repeal Measure 110. Three County Commissioners, the District Attorney and the Douglas County Sheriff urge the Governor and state lawmakers to take action on the voter-approved measure legalizing user amounts of hard drugs. They say 110 has not resulted in the treatment beds promised to voters and is negatively impacting the criminal justice system. The group is asking for a return to the enforcement of federal drug laws.

Off-Duty Pilot Accused Of Attempted Hijacking

PORTLAND, OR -- The FBI is investigating what some are calling an attempted hijacking of a Horizon Air flight that landed in Portland Sunday evening. The flight from Everett, WA was bound for San Francisco, CA.

An off-duty pilot is accused of interfering with flight operations and the plane was diverted to PDX, where Joseph Emerson was arrested by Port of Portland Police.

Emerson faces 83 counts of Attempted Murder, 83 counts of Reckless Endangering and Endangering an Aircraft. He’s expected to appear in a Multnomah County courtroom Tuesday. 

Kieran Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office, issued a statement Monday morning:

One man is under arrest on state charges, booked by the Port of Portland Police Department, after an incident in the air on Horizon Air flight 2059 from Everett, WA to San Francisco, CA. The airplane's pilot was able to safely land the plane at Portland International Airport around 6:25pm on Sunday, October 22. No injuries were reported. The FBI is investigating and can assure the traveling public there is no continuing threat related to this incident.

Students Grieving After Hillsboro High Schooler Killed In Shooting

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A Hillsboro High School student is dead after a shooting at a party. It happened over the weekend at a private residence, according to school officials. Counselors and mental health specialists will be available to grieving students at the school today. The student's name has not been released.

Portland Teachers Could Strike Next Month If Agreement Not Reached

(Portland, OR) - The Portland Association of Teachers is preparing for a potential strike. The union gave a ten day notice to Portland Public Schools that members will strike unless a compromise is reached in contract negotiations. October 30th and 31st are set aside for mediation. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, classes could be canceled for 40-thousand students next month.

Sewage Overflow Stopped After Five Hours Of Work In Portland

(Portland, OR) -- A sewage overflow near the SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway is now stopped. It took crews with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services five hours Saturday night to stop the overflow after an estimated five-thousand gallons of sewage went into the street. Some of that overflow also reached Fanno Creek, so the public is asked to avoid contact with water downstream of the area. Officials say wet wipes and grease from an apartment complex caused the issue.

Rally Held In Northeast Portland In Support Of Palestinians In Gaza

(Portland, OR) -- Portland residents are speaking out in support of Palestinians in Gaza. A rally was held in the northeast part of the city on Sunday with hundreds in attendance. The rally-goers gathered on NE 11th before marching down NE Lloyd Boulevard. The group Oregon Stands with Israel also had a rally planned for Sunday, but canceled it due to safety concerns.

Clackamas Fire Board Honors Boy For Saving Brother's Life

(Oregon City, OR) -- An eleven-year-old Portland-area boy is receiving honors for saving his brother's life. The Clackamas Fire Board has issued its Citizen Life Saving Award to Nefi DeMoura. Police say Nefi and his younger brother Moroni were waiting for a school bus October 12th when a speeding car veered onto the sidewalk. Nefi pulled his brother out of the vehicle's path. Moroni's feet were run over, but his brother saved his life. Moroni was treated at the scene and not seriously injured. The driver sped away and was killed in a head-on crash a few minutes later.

New OR Dashboards Track Respiratory Infections

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon has a new respiratory illness data dashboard. The Oregon Health Authority launched the new dashboard to help residents track how COVID, flu and RSV are spreading across the state. OHA says the information also allows them to respond faster to increases in virus levels. The dashboard also features a link to the Wastewater Monitoring Dashboard that shows the virus levels at more than 40 test locations around the state. Wastewater testing provides community virus transmission levels and can help give advance warning of a pending outbreak.

Wildlife Officials Urge Residents To Be Bear-Aware

(Central Point, OR) -- Oregon wildlife officials are urging residents to be bear-aware. This is the season when bears fatten up before hibernating for the winter. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding people living in bear country to make sure they aren't leaving out food that will attract bears. Garbage cans should be put out just before they're picked up; chicken feed, pet food and other livestock feed should be secured; remove bird feeders; pickup downed fruit; and store barbecues inside. If you see a bear, give it plenty of space, don't run, don't make eye contact, and if you are attacked fight back with rocks, sticks and your hands.

Merkley Blasts FERC For Approving Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion

(Portland, OR) -- U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is speaking out against the federal government's decision to expand a natural gas pipeline in the Northwest. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the GTN Xpress pipeline to increase its capacity. It means upgrading compressor stations in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Merkley says the expansion will be like adding 644-thousand gas powered cars to the road every year. Washington Governor Jay Inslee also opposed the move, saying the decision to allow more natural gas to be burned reduces the impacts of climate change reduction efforts. Inslee says the fight is not over.

Man Arrested For Inheritance-Related Murder Of Sister's Partner

(Vancouver, WA) -- A Vancouver man is facing charges after allegedly murdering his sister's partner over their father's inheritance. Police say 35-year-old Logan Melchert allegedly killed 38-year-old Khalid al-Hassan in July to prevent him from getting the inheritance that the Melchert siblings' father had left to Melchert's sister. He then allegedly dismembered Al-Hassan's body, place it in a car then lit the car on fire. Police arrested him for arson and booked him into jail, where he allegedly told another inmate the entire story. Police used that information plus cell phone data and other evidence to arrest Melchert for murder.

Bicyclists Killed By Lumber Identified as Portland Couple

(Napa County, CA) -- A man and woman killed while riding their bicycles on a road in California's Napa County have been identified as a married couple from Portland. The 52-year-old man and 48-year-old woman were hit by lumber while being passed by a large truck on Tuesday morning. They were struck when the lumber shifted over the edge of the truck bed. The truck driver stopped and was cooperative with the California Highway Patrol.

Suspected Drug House Raided

(Oregon City, OR) -- Oregon City Police working with Clackamas County Sheriff's Office SWAT raided a suspected drug house early yesterday morning. The house is located on Highway 213 near Clackamas Community College. Significant amounts of cash and drugs, suspected to be methamphetamine and fentanyl were seized, along with evidence of drug dealing. Seven people were arrested.

FBI: Portland's Violent Crime Rate Falls

(Portland, OR) -- Violent crime appears to be on the downswing in Portland. A new report from the FBI shows reports of violent crime in Portland decreased in 2022 compared to the previous year. Statewide, however, reports of violent crime rose slightly. Nationwide, violent crime is trending downward. The U.S. saw 380 violent crimes per 100-thousand people in 2022, down from 398 in 2020.

Oregon's Job Growth Continued In September

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's economy added 81-hundred jobs in September and the state's unemployment rate increased a fraction to three-and-a-half percent. September was the fourth consecutive month where the unemployment rate was between three-point-four and three-point-five percent. The U.S. unemployment rate is higher at three-point-eight percent. Construction topped the list adding 32-hundred jobs in September followed by professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality.

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

(Salem, OR) -- The annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill is set for this morning at 10:19 a.m. The Oregon Department of Emergency Management coordinates the drill. They want you to drop, cover, and hold. You can register for the drill at shakeout-dot-org. The website has information on how to prepare. The worst case scenario is a magnitude 9 Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake which would cause significant damage to infrastructure and communications. It might take two weeks to get emergency supplies like food and water into the region.

Clark County ESD Gets $1 Million For Therapists

(Vancouver, WA) -- A federal grant will bring one-million-dollars to a Clark County program that offers school-based mental health treatment to high risk students. The money is coming from an 11-million-dollar U.S. Department of Justice grant to Washington state. Educational Service District 112 operates the program that helps students involved in the juvenile justice system or have been identified through the Student Threat Assessment process. The money will pay for three therapists who serve students in nine school districts.

Rite Aid Releases Store Closure List

(Portland, OR) -- Rite Aid is closing one of its Portland locations after filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The store slated for closure is located on Cesar Chavez Boulevard. Another eleven stores in Washington state are also on the list. Rite Aid is closing more than 150 stores nationwide, including 40 stores in Pennsylvania, where the company's headquarters are located, and 31 stores in California.

Oregon Guard Gets New Adjutant General

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has appointed Colonel Alan Gronewald as The Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard. He'll replace Michael Stencel who is retiring after a 39-year-long military career and eight years as The Adjutant General. Gronewald graduated from West Point and has served for 27 years with deployments in Kuwait, Germany, Afghanistan, and Iraq where he led teams of up to five-thousand people across wide geographic regions.

Canby School District Bans 'Lolita'

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland-area school district is banning the book "Lolita." The Canby School District says it is pulling the classic novel from its middle school and high school libraries. The district had originally banned a total of 36 books back in March, prompting protests from students. The ACLU of Oregon filed a public records request earlier this month seeking information on the district's process for reviewing the banned books. The district says "Lolita" is now the only book that will be banned. The 1955 novel written by Russian-American Vladimir Nabokov tells the story of a pedophile who becomes sexually obsessed with a young girl.

Human Services Department Offering Help With Medicare Open Enrollment

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Human Services is offering free help to Oregonians signing up for Medicare. The open enrollment period began Sunday and will run through December 7th. The Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance program is available to explain Medicare options and benefits, provide enrollment guidance and help people avoid Medicare scams. The website SHIBA-dot-oregon-dot-gov has details on how to get help.

Officials: Vandalism At Lewis And Clark College Not Politically Motivated

(Portland, OR) -- Portland's Lewis and Clark College is confirming that vandalism discovered on their campus earlier this week was not politically motivated. Officials say the graffiti discovered early Monday morning included two pro-Palestine messages, but the majority of the messages were not political. The college says other messages included slurs against police as well as statements like, "This is fun," and "Drop out." College officials say it will take thousands of dollars to clean up the graffiti.

Morrison Bridge Lit In White For Peace In Middle East

(Portland, OR) -- The Morrison Bridge in Portland is lit up in white as a message of peace in the war between Hamas and Israel. The bridge was lit up last night and will continue to sport the lights through Saturday. The bridge was previously lit in blue and white, the colors of Israel's flag. Two County Commissioners, Lori Stegman and Shuseela Jayapal, wanted the commission to send a message also recognizing the Palestinians being killed in the war.

Roseburg Secures Grant To Renovate Tennis Courts

(Roseburg, OR) -- The city of Roseburg is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funding to renovate its tennis courts. The Roseburg Parks and Recreation Department says it has secured a 750-thousand-dollar grant to fix up the tennis courts at Stewart Park next to the Umpqua Valley Tennis Center. The courts have not had any major renovations since they were constructed more than six decades ago. The funding comes from the Oregon State Lottery for the Local Government Grant Program.

Kaiser Union Members To Vote Today On Tentative Agreement

(Portland, OR) -- Kaiser Permanente workers in Oregon and several other states are set to vote today on a tentative contract agreement. Kaiser and the healthcare workers union announced the tentative agreement late last week following months of disagreement and a three-day strike earlier this month. Union leaders say the agreement includes competitive wages and benefits, plus development and training to boost staffing. If approved, the contract will affect 85-thousand workers across California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.

Feedback Sought On State Courts System

SALEM, OR -- Oregon’s Judicial Department is asking for feedback on the state’s circuit court system, later this month. 

"We’re just wanting to hear from folks about how they think we can make the state courts better," says OJD's Sarah Evans. She acknowledges most people are not interacting with the courts on their best day, "So, actually one of the topic areas that we’re going to discuss is how can we make our courthouses feel safer and more welcoming when you do need to come in? And that might be physical or emotional safety." 

The agency also wants to hear how circuit courts can be better at outreach, "How we can do a better job letting people know how the courts work; how can we do better getting ideas from the community?" 

They’ll also ask what the public thinks of administrative processes like forms and online tools. "And then a final topic, which actually applies to everybody," says Evans, "is jury duty: How can we make it easier for you to get to jury duty and actually serve, and make the courthouse experience better when you do come in?"

The goal is to hear from all types of people from every corner of Oregon, "In particular, if you’ve had experience with the court or used our court in the past year." Evans says county circuit courts have held similar conversations, but this is the first statewide effort, "The idea really is that even though each county has its own court and different parts of the state might do things differently, they’re still part of the overall Judicial Department. And we still all face the same issues and we’re providing the same types of services. So, any feedback that comes in here will definitely be helpful to all the courts." The input will also be used in a three-year state court strategic plan expected to be implemented in 2024.

The online public conversation is October 30th from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in both English and Spanish. Click HERE for more information. 


Oregon Zoo Condors Get Bird Flu Vaccine

PORTLAND, OR -- A historic clinical trial aimed at protecting the endangered California Condor from Bird Flu is underway in Oregon. The collaborative effort between U.S. Fish and Wildlife and zoos in Oregon, Los Angeles and San Diego began earlier this year.

There are only around 300 California Condors living in the wild. And earlier this year, a bird flu outbreak threatened to undo years of conservation work. "Twenty-one birds died within two weeks because of Avian Influenza," says Dr. Carlos Sanchez, "That’s pretty scary."

Dr. Sanchez is Director of Animal Health at the Oregon Zoo. It's one of just three institutions now testing a vaccine for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Four condors at the Oregon zoo received the vaccine, while five used as a control are at the zoo’s Jonsson Center in Clackamas. 

He says the trial is going well. "First, we had a lack of negative side effects, which is what we do the first three days. We check the birds every half an hour, without grabbing them. Then we grab them and check the injection site. Then at 21 days, we collect enough blood to send to a lab." All three zoos in the program use the same lab in Georgia to test for the presence of antibodies. So far, 60% of the vaccinated condors produced measurable antibodies with no negative side effects. Dr. Sanchez says the result is similar to the COVID vaccine in humans, "You may still get COVID, but you’re not going to get super sick. And I think that’s the objective of this vaccine is it is another tool that we have to protect this species now against this disease." 

The drug trial follows strict protocols and Dr. Sanchez says just one vet at each location is allowed to access and dispense the vaccine, "This has never been done before. This is actually a vaccine that’s not used at all in the United States because it could have potential implications on the poultry industry; and this is a multi-billion dollar industry. So, a lot of people had to get involved and a lot of people had to get approvals in order to even consider this." Because of those concerns, he says it's unlikely the vaccine will be approved for other bird species. 


FBI Monitors For Oregon Threats Amid Israel-Hamas War

PORTLAND, OR -- FBI’s Portland Field Office is closely monitoring for local threats of violence, following the bombings in Israel and Gaza. "We just saw something pretty brutal, pretty barbaric happen halfway around the world," says Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey, "And unfortunately, it does have consequences locally."

He says Israel - and everyone - was caught off guard by Hamas, leading to big questions here, "Are we being vigilant enough? Are we being forward-looking enough to make sure that we are not going to be surprised here, in the United States?" says Ramsey, "And, specifically for my team: Are we doing everything we can to make sure that we are not surprised in Oregon?" Those concerns escalated after a “call to action” by Hamas was echoed by Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, "It is a flashpoint for violent extremists to take action, for whatever reason they feel they want to take action. But it is used as a catalyst, unfortunately. And we really have to guard against that."

Ramsey says they’re working closely with faith communities, "Because the concern lies most especially with them; be it our Jewish communities that are very concerned about specifically being targeted, given all of the issues. And then also our Muslim neighbors and community leaders also being very afraid of being targeted for retaliatory purposes, of which are absolutely ridiculous when we think about - our Muslim neighbor have absolutely nothing to do with this."

And, they’re watching for misinformation and disinformation that can sow discord among some populations, "A violent extremist could be inspired to act, could be inspired to target our Jewish friends and neighbors in our community, or just anybody, given this call to action."

The FBI works with local law enforcement around the state, Ramsey says, to gather intelligence and share resources as needed. If you see or experience something with immediate safety concerns, call 911. If it's not a life-threatening emergency, you're encouraged to report it to local law enforcement or directly to the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI or the at


Officials Solve Mystery Of Green Slime On Willamette River

(Portland, OR) -- Officials say they've solved the mystery of the green slime floating on the Willamette River near Portland yesterday. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says the long bands of green scum appear to be aquatic plants that were likely displaced by recent rainstorms. The department says its determined none of the scum was caused by dangerous algae blooms that contain cyanotoxins.

TriMet Adds Deputy DA

(Portland, OR) -- TriMet is adding a second deputy District Attorney to prosecute cases involving the transit agency. Since 1998, TriMet and the District Attorney's office have worked together on criminal cases. One deputy DA will prosecute major and minor felonies and the new DA will focus on misdemeanor and minor felony cases. TriMet spends two-million-dollars in its partnership with the District Attorney's Office.

Police Arrest Eight People During Mission Targeting Suspected Drug House

(Portland, OR) -- Nearly a dozen people are facing charges following a police mission involving a suspected drug house in Aloha. Police say deputies arrested eight people during a mission targeting the house on Southwest Thiessen Place on Friday and Saturday. Over the two days, deputies stopped multiple vehicles, bikes and people after they observed criminal behavior. Arrests were made for a variety of charges including probation violation, felony warrants, and failure to register as a sex offender. Police say there have been more than 60 calls to 9-1-1 about the house so far this year.

PPS Union Members Voting On Whether To Authorize Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Public Schools workers are in the process of voting this week to determine whether or not they will go on strike as they continue to fight for better pay. The Portland Association of Teachers says voting started yesterday and will end on Thursday at the latest. If the strike is approved, the union will give the school district ten days notice before workers head to the picket line. In addition to higher pay, teachers are asking for more funding to increase staffing and reduce class sizes along with an increase in mental health staff for students.

No Damage Reported After Storm Prompts Tornado Warning

(Portland, OR) -- No damage is reported after strong storms prompted a tornado warning in the Vancouver area. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning yesterday afternoon for a storm that moved over downtown Vancouver and northeast toward Yacolt. Radar indicated circular winds, but a tornado didn't touch down. A strong line of thunderstorms in Clackamas and Multnomah counties also dumped heavy rain, causing localized street flooding.

Flu Season Arrives in Oregon

PORTLAND, OR -- Flu season is officially underway in Oregon. In the first week of October, labs report 22 positive tests in the state. Of those, 18 were for Influenza A and four for Influenza B.

Six cases are in Central Oregon, which is fewer than 1% of the 667 tests conducted that week. Of the local cases, four are Influenza A and two are Influenza B. 

The Portland-metro area had 10 cases and five of those resulted in hospitalizations. Three other cases are in Southern Oregon, along with three in the Willamette Valley.

Track the state's flu season on the Oregon Health Authority's website


Morrison Bridge Lighting For Peace

(Portland, OR) -- The Morrison Bridge in Portland will be lit in white from Tuesday through Saturday as a message of peace in the war between Hamas and Israel. The bridge is currently lit in blue and white, the colors of Israel's flag. Two County Commissioners, Lori Stegman and Shuseela Jayapal, wanted the commission to send a message also recognizing the Palestinians being killed in the war.

Derelict Fishing Vessel Removed From Columbia River

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's derelict vessel program has removed a 200-ton former fishing vessel built in 1939. The FV Tiffany sank near Rainier in 2021 and spilled fuel into the river. The Coast Guard cleaned up the fuel and re-floated the boat, but there was no money to remove it. The Oregon Legislature dedicated nearly 19-million dollars from the Monsanto settlement to the program and nearly one-and-a-half million dollars will be spent removing the FV Tiffany. The state tries to recover the costs from the owner, but in many cases the owners aren't available.

Kaiser And Union Leaders Reach Tentative Agreement

(Portland, OR) -- Kaiser Permanente workers in Oregon and several other states will vote this week on a tentative contract agreement. Kaiser and the healthcare workers union announced the tentative agreement late last week following months of disagreement and a three-day strike earlier this month. Union leaders say the agreement includes competitive wages and benefits, plus development and training to boost staffing. Union members will vote on the contract on Wednesday. If approved, the contract will affect 85-thousand workers across California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.

Annual Eclipse Viewed In Oregon

(Portland, OR) -- Clouds covered most of Oregon on Saturday when the moon moved between the Earth and the Sun for an annular eclipse. It was foggy in the Portland area, but the clouds cleared enough to occasionally see, through the fog, the moon in front of the sun. The best viewing was expected to be near Klamath Falls and Crater Lake. Skies were partly cloudy there allowing better views of the eclipse. It'll be more than 50 years before the next annular eclipse moves over Oregon.

OR House Speaker Running For State AG

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield is throwing his hat into the ring for state attorney general. The Democrat announced his intention to run for the position yesterday. Current Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced last month she won't be seeking a fourth term.

Shooting Suspect Shows Little Remorse

(Portland, OR) -- Police say the suspect in a fatal downtown Portland shooting showed little to no remorse. The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon following a dispute over parking. The victim walked up to a car that was stopped in front of the Moxy Hotel, tapped on the window and 46-year-old Geoffrey Hammond allegedly shot the man, killing him. Witnesses say Hammond would have shot him again, except his gun jammed. He fixed the gun and saw a witness recording the event and allegedly shot him in the leg. Reportedly, Hammond told investigators he knew the man he killed was unarmed and he would have shot him again if his gun hadn't malfunctioned.

Multnomah County Adds Airborne Gas Threat

(Portland, OR) -- Every five years, Multnomah County produces a Hazard Mitigation report. It assesses potential risks during a major disaster, like a magnitude nine Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. Liquid fuel storage tanks along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers have been a major concern. Now, they're adding airborne gasses to the list. They don't know how much of a risk those tanks pose. The listing in the report will allow the county to apply for federal grants to study the problem and determine solutions.

Arts Programs Boost Oregon's Economy

(Salem, OR) -- A new report says arts and cultural events are worth 829-million-dollars to Oregon's economy. Brian Rogers, Executive Director of the Oregon Arts Commission, says a new survey looked at 19 communities across the state to determine how those events benefit the economy. It also asked attendees how much they spend on lodging, meals, parking and babysitting. Rogers says every dollar a government spends on a cultural event is returned six-fold. This is the sixth survey. The first survey only included Portland and Eugene, and now there are 19 communities across the state that take part.

County Chair Fast-tracks Funding

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson is using her executive authority to fast-track funding for homelessness and behavioral health services. The County Board of Commissioners approved spending 50-million dollar on supportive housing and 12-million dollars on shelter beds and day services. It'll fund 573 shelter beds and create a round-the-clock stabilization center for people with addiction and behavioral problems.

Kid Governor Applications Open

(Salem, OR) -- Fifth graders across Oregon are campaigning to become the next Kid Governor. They need to submit their online application before October 26th. Outgoing 2023 Kid Governor Lea Andrus won on her anti-bullying platform. The program is intended to teach fifth graders about civics. The 2024 winner will be announced in mid-November, and sworn in during a special ceremony in January.

Estacada School District Cancels Classes Over Threat

(Estacada, OR) -- The Estacada School District is closing all of its schools today in response to a threat. The school district announced the closures last night. The district says it's working with police to investigate the threat. No further details were released.

Salem Teacher Faces Lawsuit Accusing Him Of Grooming

(Salem, OR) -- A Salem teacher is facing a lawsuit accusing him of grooming and other misconduct. The Salem-Keizer School District says Joshua Rist of McNary High School is on administrative leave due to the lawsuit filed by two former students. The lawsuit comes after four investigations by different agencies failed to bring charges against Rist due to insufficient evidence. School District Superintendent Andrea Castaneda says details in the lawsuit are concerning. She says Rist tried to advance deep relationships with students that would continue after they left school and that that's ethically and morally unacceptable. A third allegation is under investigation.

Shelter In Place Issued During Search

(Gaston, OR) -- Residents of Gaston were told to shelter in place yesterday morning while deputies searched for an armed suspect. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says 27-year-old Zachery Phillips fired shots and deputies during a pursuit. He also attempted to carjack a vehicle but was unsuccessful. Phillips was caught and arrested. The shelter in place advisory ended after about 30 minutes.

Former Portlander Believed Killed In Hamas Attack

(Portland, OR) -- A 30-year-old former student of the Portland Jewish Academy was abducted and apparently killed in the attack by Hamas on an Israeli music festival. Video showed Shani Louk's body on a truck with Hamas fighters. It's unclear whether she was still alive. Louk was a student at the academy in the early 2000s.

Vancouver Council Approves Waterfront Gateway

(Vancouver, WA) -- Vancouver City Council has approved an agreement to develop the six-acre Waterfront Gateway site. It'll include 340 market-rate residential units, 95 permanently affordable units, ground-floor retail space, a parking structure and two acres of open space. LPC West will develop the site. Construction would start in 2025 with completion in 2027.

Kaiser Employees Serve Official Notice For Second Potential Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Kaiser Permanente workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington could hit the picket lines again next month. The group of employees who staged a three-day strike in six different states last week are now serving official notice to Kaiser Permanente that they will strike a second time if there isn't significant progress in ten days. The Union and Kaiser have been trying to reach a contract agreement for months. The sticking points remain understaffing, overcrowding, pay, and protection from outsourcing. The union says a strike is possible November 1st to November 8th.

Portland Losing Grant Money For Shuttle Service To New Sobering Center

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is losing more than half a million dollars in federal grant money to create a shuttle service to a new sobering center. Willamette Week reports the federal government is revoking the 550-thousand-dollar grant after Multnomah County failed to create the new sobering center by the deadline. The city won the grant from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance in June of last year. The county's new sobering center was supposed to open earlier this year, but the county instead moved forward with a 20-bed stabilization center. County officials say communication failures with the city are to blame.

Teen Arrested For Shooting Threat At Keizer Middle School

(Keizer, OR) -- A 13-year-old Salem boy is being charged after allegedly threatening to shoot up a Keizer middle school. Police arrested the teen last night for the threat to Claggett Creek Middle School on Instagram over the weekend. Police learned about the threat after a girl saw the post and notified her parents. The teen is being charged with disorderly conduct.

Reimagining Justice Receives $2 Million Federal Grant

(Portland, OR) -- Residents of Portland's Cully neighborhood will get two-million dollars to create their own responses to low-level crime. The grant comes from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance. The first year they'll identify priorities and create solutions. The next two years they'll implement the projects. The goal is to develop non-law-enforcement solutions to low-level crime. The project will receive independent oversight that will track its performance.

Man Sentenced To 59 Years For Murder At Homeless Camp

(Portland, OR) -- A man will spend nearly six decades behind bars after killing a woman at a Portland homeless camp and then trying to kill a man at the same camp. A judge has sentenced Noah Smith to 59 years in prison. Smith was found guilty of killing Kimberly Lambright in 2021 at a homeless camp near Barbur Boulevard and Capitol Highway. Smith also shot a man in the camp. He was found guilty of Murder in the First Degree and Attempted Murder. He'll be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to serve his sentence.

High School Locked Down During Gun Scare

(Cottage Grove, OR) -- It was a tense Monday morning for students and staff at Cottage Grove High School. Lane County Sheriff's deputies say the school went into lock down after police responded to reports of a student entering the building with a gun. Law enforcement officers from several agencies assisted, as Cottage Grove Police worked to clear the building. Sixteen minutes later, police gave the all clear and the lockdown was lifted. School officials said there was no student with a gun. They say police determined that the item mistaken for a gun was in fact, a canned beverage.

SW Washington PeaceHealth Workers Authorize Strike

(Vancouver, WA) -- Hundreds of healthcare workers at PeaceHealth hospitals in Vancouver and Longview are set to go on strike. The healthcare workers' union says members voted to authorize a strike last week following months of unsuccessful contract negotiations. The workers are calling for better wages and safer staffing levels. Roughly 13-hundred employees will walk off the job if the union moves forward with filing a ten-day notice stating its intention to strike.

Record Size Kicker Refund Coming To OR Taxpayers

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon taxpayers are getting a record-breaking Kicker Refund next year. The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis announced yesterday the state has a more-than-five-point-61-billion-dollar revenue surplus from the 2021-2023 biennium. That money will now go back to the taxpayers as a credit when they file taxes next year. Residents who paid state taxes for the year 2022 will receive a record 44-percent of that money back on their 2023 tax return next spring. Officials say it's the largest budget surplus in Oregon state history.

Fatal Old Town Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- A man was killed in a shooting early Saturday morning in Portland's Old Town. Police were patrolling when they heard gunfire and found the victim at Northwest 4th and Everett. The man died at the scene. A short time later, two men arrived at different hospitals in private vehicles. Their injuries are not life-threatening. The investigation continues. No arrests have been made.

Kaiser Permanente Employees Back At Work Following Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Kaiser Permanente employees in Oregon are back on the job without a contract deal following the largest healthcare strike in U.S. history. Workers began returning to work Saturday morning at hospitals in Oregon, Washington, California and Colorado. A Kaiser spokesperson has confirmed that another bargaining session will be held this Thursday. A union representative says the two sides remain far apart on the issue of wages. Kaiser employees are seeking annual pay increases and higher staffing levels.

Summertime Weather Ends After Record Setting High

(Portland, OR) -- Portland set a record high temperature on Saturday. The high of 85 degrees broke the previous record of 83 degrees, set in 2014. Temperatures are going from above average to below average this week as a storm will bring rain. The Portland area could receive an inch of rain by Wednesday.

Tillamook Vandalism Spree

(Tillamook, OR) -- Two suspects were arrested following a large vandalism spree in Tillamook Saturday night. The suspects allegedly stole a car from a towing lot and crashed it through the front doors of the Tillamook Air Museum. They also stole a forklift and used it to damage a vehicle. They broke into the offices of a timber company and damaged semi's used for Tillamook Community College's truck driving course. Twenty-eight-year-old Taylor Hulbert was found sleeping and taken to a hospital for evaluation. Thirty-year-old Ryan Woods was arrested on several charges.

Kaiser Permanente Postpones Surgeries

(Portland, OR) -- Kaiser Permanente is postponing some non-urgent surgeries in the midst of a three-day strike by 75-thousand workers. The healthcare company said it blocked out time in the coming weeks to get this week's patients rescheduled as quickly as possible. The unions representing the workers say understaffing at the hospitals is boosting profits but hurting patients, and causing employee burnout. Yesterday, Kaiser said it's reached several "tentative agreements" on wages, hiring, and benefits. But the coalition of unions running the strike nationwide says they are still waiting for a more meaningful approach to key priorities.

McMinnville Police Seek Tips After Car Explosion

(Portland, OR) -- McMinnville police are looking for the cause of an explosion. Authorities say they received a report of an explosion in the area of Northeast 11th Street and Evans Street yesterday morning. A woman told police she believed someone placed a device between the sidewalk and the side of her home. She says the blast was so strong it blew out the passenger side of her car and three windows from the side of her home. Police say no one was injured but are asking for any video footage from those living within the boundaries from Northeast Fifth Street to 19th Street or Northeast Baker Street to Galloway Street.

Sacred Site To Be Restored In Clackamas County

(Portland, OR) -- A sacred site in Clackamas County is set to be restored. The burial site was north of US-26 near the Wildwood Recreation site and it was bulldozed by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2008. As a result, tribal leaders of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde sued the government. The case reached a settlement yesterday and the federal government agreed to re-plant native trees and to fund the reconstruction of the sacred stone altar that was destroyed. Tribal leaders says they're all excited to see the site restored.

City Of Portland Suing Political Consultant Kevin Looper

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is suing one of Oregon's top political consultants. An attorney for the city filed the lawsuit Tuesday and claimed Kevin Looper and his consulting firm, Wheelhouse NW, owe more than 46-thousand dollars in unpaid taxes and fees. Looper said he wasn't aware of the lawsuit until a KGW reporter contacted him. He says this is tied to his criticisms of the city through the People for Portland and he's not trying to doge taxes. People for Portland is a controversial advocacy group created to put pressure on lawmakers to take immediate action on the city's housing issues, drug use, and crime.

Portland Expands Traffic Camera Program

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is expanding the number of traffic cameras to reduce speeding and red light running. There are currently 20 cameras. Eight new cameras will go into operation by the end of the year. Up to 12 additional cameras will be added next year. While the goal of the cameras is to increase safety, they don't significantly help the Portland Bureau of Transportation with its 32-million-dollar budget gap. 70 percent of the revenue from citations goes to the state for public safety, criminal injury compensation, and forensic services. Money that is returned to Portland must be spent on traffic safety programs or improvements.

Oregon Teacher Of The Year Announced

SANDY, OR -- Oregon’s new Teacher of the Year is a middle school teacher from the Oregon Trail School District, southeast of Portland. 

"I’ve never been more excited and grateful and humbled in my entire life," Mandy Vance said, shortly after she was surprised with the award at a school assembly on Thursday. "To walk down the hallways and just see them lined with students that I just adore, in a community where I have served in the last 15 years, it was truly one of the most special days of my life."

She sees teaching as a commitment to make a life-long investment in her students, "Yes, they may be in my classroom for a year or two years, three if I’m lucky, but I’m the one that they call for a job recommendation, I’m the one they call to take them out for coffee to talk about the life things that are going on in their life." But she knows she’s not the only one who sees education as a calling. "I think there are so many teachers out there who deserve this award. It’s a really hard recognition to receive when you know, and have personally been mentored by, amazing teachers." 

Vance tells KBND News, "I’m a teacher who’s been called to do a lot of different roles in our district, and I know how to figure it out." After teaching at Boring Middle School for 15 years, Vance says she was asked to move this year to Cedar Ridge, in Sandy, because of a staffing shortage. "It takes people who are committed to doing what’s best for kids to be willing to do that. It was hard. It was, in a lot of ways, a really painful start to the school year because I left behind a community that I love. But in doing so, I’ve expanded my community and I’ve grown in ways this year that, honestly, make me an even better teacher."

She hopes the year ahead will bring her opportunities to speak on behalf of teachers and students, "What I’m really hoping is that I inspire the next generation to want to be teachers, because we need more teachers right now." As the 2023-24 Teacher of the Year, Vance receives a $10,000 cash award from the Oregon Lottery, and the Oregon Trail School District gets $5,000.

Photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Education

Portland Mass Campsite Struggling To Get People In

(Portland, OR) -- Portland's first mass campsite for the homeless is having trouble moving people in. The site has space and resources for 180 people to live there at a time, but currently only 134 beds are full, and another 45 will soon be empty as people transition into permanent housing. However in order for someone to get in, one of the site's 30 outreach workers must track down each applicant to give them a referral, which is difficult to do. One city spokesperson said the demand for beds far outweighs its capacity, but the city has finalized a location for a second campsite.

Marion County To Officiate Marriages On Halloween

(Portland, OR) -- The Marion County Justice Court will be officiating marriages all day on Halloween. Justice of the Peace Justin Kidd says he will be in costume as a Jedi and encourages couples to come in their most creative Halloween attire. The court will also serve treats and might have special Halloween surprises for couples who choose that day to say "I Boo." The court has a limited number of slots and interested couples will need to schedule an appointment to get a marriage license from their county clerk. So far, the Justice Court says eight couples are scheduled to be married.

Retro Gaming Expo Returns To Portland

(Portland, OR) -- The Retro Gaming Expo is returning to Portland. The expo celebrates all things gaming, from classic arcade games, to pinball, and even the Tetris World Championship. From October 13th through the 15th, vendors will gather at the Oregon Convention Center to spread appreciation for retro video games.

Kaiser Permanente Healthcare Workers Go On Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Thousands of healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Oregon and Southwest Washington continue their strike today. Picketing began yesterday morning at hospitals in five states where about 75-thousand healthcare workers are demanding better wages and more staffing. The unions representing the workers say understaffing at the hospitals is boosting their profits but hurting patients and causing employee burnout. The workers are also calling for a 25-dollar-an-hour minimum wage. The strike has been approved for three days in Washington, Oregon, California, and Colorado, and one day in Virginia.

Pacific Power Customers Get Climate Credit

(Portland, OR) -- Customers of Pacific Power will get a credit of 404-dollars on their October bill. The credit is paid twice a year and comes from California's efforts to fight climate change. The Cap-and-Trade program requires power plants, fuel providers and extensive industrial facilities that emit greenhouse gasses to buy carbon pollution allowances. The credit is designed to help utility customers during the transition to a low-carbon future. Cap-and-Trade proceeds fund programs to cut pollution, create jobs and invest in cleaner energy and transportation.

Vancouver Proud Boy Convicted For January 6th Involvement

(Washington, D.C.) -- Sentencing is set for early next year for a Vancouver man convicted of charges in connection to his involvement in the January 6th U.S. Capitol insurrection. The Department of Justice says 43-year-old Marc Bru was found guilty of all charges against him in a bench trial on Tuesday. Prosecutors say Bru stopped police from using a bike rack to push back the crowd. With an alarm sounding, Bru entered the Capitol and went into the evacuated Senate chamber where he took selfies in the gallery. Seven weeks later, Bru sent an encrypted message to an aspiring Proud Boy member saying he was planning a similar armed insurrection against the Oregon state government. Bru is scheduled to be sentenced January 8th.

Police ID Victims Of Deadly Newberg Plane Crash

(Newberg, OR) -- Police are identifying the victims of Tuesday's fatal plane crash into a house in Newberg. The Newberg-Dundee Police Department says 22-year-old Michele Cavalotti, a flight instructor, was killed along with the student pilot, 20-year-old Barrett Bevacqua. Twenty-year-old Emily Hurd survived the crash and was hospitalized with critical injuries. Her family posted on Facebook she's recovering following surgery for a broken back. None of the residents in the house were injured. The FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash.

Trail Blazers Fan Fest On Sunday

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Trail Blazers Fan Fest is this Sunday, and it'll give fans a chance to see the team after the trade that sent Damian Lillard to Milwaukee. The event is free and includes a scrimmage with team members. Seating is general admission, so fans are encouraged to arrive early. People need to register in advance to get a free ticket. Doors open at 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon.

Congressional Delegation Vote On House Speaker

(Washington, D.C.) -- Most of the Northwest Congressional delegation voted to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership role. Oregon Republicans Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez-DeRemer voted in McCarthy's favor. All Oregon Democrats voted to remove him from the Speaker's role.

Portland Makes List Of Best "Foodie" Cities In U.S.

(Portland, OR) -- Portland is one of the best "foodie" cities in America. That's according to a new report by personal-finance website WalletHub. Researchers compared over 180 U.S. cities across nearly 30 factors to find the best and most affordable places for people who love to cook and eat out. Portland ranked second. The highest-ranked "foodie" city was Orlando, Florida. Sacramento, California rounds out the top three.

Portland Gets Federal Resources To Investigate Missing, Murdered Indigenous Persons

(Portland, OR) -- The FBI is announcing the results of an operation to investigate crimes against Indigenous women and children in Portland and nine other cities. The FBI says it dedicated 40 FBI Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, Staff Operations Specialists and Victim Specialists to an initiative called Operation Not Forgotten. They investigated over 220 cases, and the Oregon office made several arrests, including a fugitive who had been on the run for years. The effort was part of the FBI's broader Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons strategy.

Two Killed In Newberg Plane Crash

NEWBERG, OR -- Two people were killed and one person was seriously injured after a plane crashed into a house in Newberg Tuesday night. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue says multiple people were in the house when the small plane came down shortly before 7 p.m., but were able to escape without injury. 

Initially, firefighters believed only two people were on the plane; one was found dead and the other was airlifted to a Portland hospital. After further searching, crews discovered a third person in the wreckage who was also deceased.

TVF&R’s Technical Rescue Team and Urban Search and Rescue crews were activated to help manage the scene and ensure the structural stability of the home. The NTSB and FAA are looking into what caused the crash.


More Portland Kaiser Permanente Workers Could Strike Tomorrow

(Portland, OR) -- More Kaiser Permanente workers in the Portland area could go on strike tomorrow. Thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees across the country are prepped to strike on Wednesday if negotiations don't improve with the company. The workers say they're protesting unfair labor practices and unsafe staffing levels. Strike lines will be set up at 6 a.m. Pacific Time Wednesday at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and medical office buildings across the country, including California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Kaiser Permanente pharmacy employees with labor union UFCW Local 555 in the Portland area started a separate 21-day strike on Sunday.

Two Killed in Albany Murder Suicide

(Albany, OR) -- Two people were killed in a murder suicide Saturday morning in Albany. Police responded to a welfare check and when officers arrived they heard sounds of a disturbance and gunshots. Officers found a man dead and a woman with critical injuries who died at the scene. Police say 75-year-old Mark Brooner, of Albany, shot his longtime girlfriend 63-year-old Pauline Golliher and then shot himself. The Linn County Medical Examiner's investigation is ongoing.

Four Hospitalized In Mass Overdose

(Portland, OR) -- There was a mass overdose in downtown Portland Monday morning. Portland Fire & Rescue responded to Northwest Park and Burnside where they found eight patients. An ambulance strike team was called to take people to hospitals. Firefighters say initial reports indicate people snorting fentanyl led to the overdoses. Four people were hospitalized. Their conditions haven't been released. Four people refused treatment.

Suspect Indicted For Bias Threats

(Portland, OR) -- A man who was accused of making racial threats against two women in his Gresham apartment complex has been indicted on 33 charges. Ring camera video showed 19-year-old Dominic Austin armed with a knife and threatening to rape and kill the victims. Austin was indicted for attempted burglary, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing, bias crime and violating a court's stalking protective order. He's in the Multnomah County jail being held on 20-thousand dollars bail.

Community Meeting Set Today To Discuss University Park Renovation Plans

(Eugene, OR) -- Eugene Parks and Open Space will host a public meeting today to gather public input on plans to renovate University Park. Staff members will present the draft design concept for the renovations and take questions and input from community members. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Hillyard Community Center on Hillyard Street.

Portland Teachers Could Strike Come November

(Portland, OR) -- Portland-area teachers are preparing for a potential strike. KATU-TV reports teachers with the Portland Public Schools District are considering the possibility of striking if they fail to reach a new contract agreement by the first week of November. The Portland teachers' union is bargaining with the district to reach a new three-year contract. Teachers are asking for a cost-of-living raise along with mental health support services and smaller class sizes.

Lamprey Population Growing In Columbia River

CASCADE LOCKS, OR -- Pacific Lamprey populations are increasing in the Columbia River. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, lamprey counts are around 170% higher than the 10-year average. 

"As of mid-September, we were hovering around 63,000 lamprey for our daytime counts at the Bonneville Dam fish count stations," says Sean Tackley, a fish biologist with the Army Corps of Engineers, "But, you know, lamprey are really active at night. A lot of lamprey pass the dams at night and some also pass via these special structures we’ve installed. So the true count is probably closer to 165,000 or so." 

Local tribes estimate lamprey runs in the Columbia were closer to a million per year before the dams were built in the 1930s. Tackley says, "The engineers that designed the fish ladders there did a great job of designing them to work for salmon and steelhead. But, lamprey were at that time, unfortunately, considered kind of a nuisance species or an afterthought, at best." 

Lamprey are not an attractive fish. Although, Tackley points out that is in the eye of the beholder. "They’re a member of the jawless fish family, they’re a really ancient form of vertebrate, if you will. They don’t have gills, they have these kind of gill pores, instead. And they don’t have paired fins like salmon and other true fish." They’re often confused with eels. 

Restoration work began in the 1990s, when scientists discovered their importance to the Columbia River Basin ecosystem and their significance to local tribal communities, "These are a first food to the tribes. They are and were an important part of the diet to the native people of the Northwest, and as such, also were an important part of the culture, and continue to be." Tackley says a lot of work and money has gone into upgrading fish ladders to accommodate the important species. "The tribes deserve a lot of credit for what we’re seeing, as well. Because they’ve been both advocates and also leading a lot of lamprey restoration work, including collecting a lot of lamprey at the dams and transporting them to upriver tributaries."

Tackley says lamprey numbers are also driven by ocean conditions and food availability.

Image: USACE photo by Kerry Solan 

Volunteers Hold Final Beach Cleanup Of Season

(Portland, OR) -- Tom McCall Bowl Beach is being uncovered by a group of volunteers. The Human Access Project had their final low water beach cleanup of the season Saturday. Over 100 volunteers- including two Boy Scout troops- participated in the event. The group works to pick up rocks at the water's edge and move them to the riverbank.

Portland Store Gets Help From Community After Alleged Attempted Arson

(Portland, OR) -- Community members are helping a well-established Portland business after the store owner said someone attempted to burn the store down. The co-founder of Mississippi Records posted on social media that someone threw a Molotov cocktail into their business last week. Over 100 people came out Saturday to help clean up damaged records in the shop. A bar near Mississippi Records held a fundraiser for the store as well.

Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy Workers Begin 21-Day Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Kaiser Permanente workers in the Portland area are starting a strike. Labor union UFCW Local 555 represents pharmacy employees who started a 21-day Unfair Labor PRactice strike on Sunday. This affects the Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, and the Regional Lab Airport Way Center in Portland. This strike is separate from the more than 75-thousand Kaiser Permanente workers who are planning a multi-state strike starting Wednesday.

Oregon Zoo Mourns Death Of 16-Year-Old African Lion

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo is mourning the death of one of its animals. Neka died Friday night after a seizure. She was the oldest of the Oregon Zoo's African lion pride at age 16. Neka had been at the Oregon Zoo since 2009 and gave birth to three cubs in 2013.

Homeless People File Class Action Lawsuit Against Portland

(Portland, OR) -- A group of people experiencing homelessness are filing a class action lawsuit against the City of Portland. The suit claims camping restrictions put in place by the Portland City Council in June violate Oregon's Constitution. Those suing the city say the rules mean people who are homeless face fines and jail time for trying to sleep and stay warm. So far, the city has not enforced the restrictions, but plan to begin doing so in the coming weeks.


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