Regional News Archives for 2023-11

Senator Wants More USPS Protections

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is proposing legislation to increase protection for U.S. Postal Service workers. In 2020, the Postmaster General issued a directive that restricted Postal Police from operating outside of USPS facilities. Wyden is co-sponsoring legislation to address the sharp increase in letter carrier robberies. They're often targeted, because they carry keys that open multiple mailboxes. Wyden's bill would reverse the restriction and allow Postal Police to expand their operations.

Oregon To Fund 370 EV Charging Stations

(Salem, OR) -- You'll start seeing more electric vehicle charging stations in Oregon. ODOT launched its Community Charging Rebate program in June and 370 sites have been selected for funding. "Level two" charging stations will be installed. The state will pay some of the costs for chargers to be installed at multi-family housing and public parking areas. 70-percent of the money was reserved for projects in rural and disadvantaged areas. More rebates will be issued in March.

Opening Statements Begin In 40-Year-Old Murder Case

(Anchorage, AK) -- Trial is underway for a Gresham man accused of murdering a teenage girl in Alaska four decades ago. Opening statements began yesterday in the trial against 67-year-old Donald McQuade. He's accused of sexually assaulting and murdering 16-year-old Shelley Connolly in Anchorage in 1978. Police arrested him in 2019 after a DNA sample found on Connolly's body matched with his.

Kotek Creates AI Council

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek wants state agencies to be prepared for the increase in artificial intelligence. Kotek has created the Oregon State Government AI Advisory Council. It'll consider AI impacts on ethics, privacy, equity, security, and social change. Kotek says they want to foster an environment for innovation while also protecting individual and civil rights. The council will produce a framework in six months and a full report in 12 months.

Kotek Wants $600-Million For Shelters & Housing

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek plans to ask the Oregon Legislature for 600-million-dollars to fund housing and shelters. 500-million-dollars would go toward creating affordable housing. 33-million dollars would fund rent assistance. 65-million dollars would keep shelters in operation through the summer of 2025. Kotek says their goal is to create an inventory of shelters throughout the state and to find a way the state can help with the funding.

Police Officer Catches Robbery Suspect

(Portland, OR) -- Following a convenience store robbery in North Portland, a police officer staked out another convenience store and caught the suspect allegedly in the act. Portland Police say about an hour after the first robbery on November 17th, an officer saw the suspect enter another store. Officers surrounded the store and arrested 24-year-old Kirmarji Trent-Grant. Detectives connected him to several other felony robberies. They've posting his picture, because they believe there are more victims and they want them to come forward.

New Oregon National Guard Adjutant General Sworn In

(Salem, OR) -- Alan Gronewald has been sworn in as The Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard. He replaces Major General Mike Stencel, who retired after a 39-year-long military career. Governor Tina Kotek administered the oath during a ceremony at the State Capitol. Gronewald has served 27 years in the military, including deployments to Kuwait, Germany, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Kotek Plans School Changes

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek will take several actions following the three weeklong Portland teachers' strike. Kotek says it highlights issues that many school districts across the state face. She wants to develop a statewide action plan to support social-emotional health needs of students. Work with the Legislature to establish minimum teacher salaries and review funding for schools. She will also create the Office of Transparency in the Oregon Department of Education to make available school district budget information the state already receives.

Eight Arrested During Human Trafficking Mission

(Portland, OR) -- Eight men were arrested during the Portland Police Bureau's latest human trafficking mission that was conducted this month. Officers created online ads posing as sex providers. 310 people called about the ads. Seven men showed up to meet with decoys and were willing to pay for sex. They were arrested for Commercial Sexual Solicitation. One of the female decoys was contacted by an alleged trafficker who offered her work. When police tried to pull him over, he fled. The police air unit followed the car and 25-year-old Daemon Bowman was arrested for promoting prostitution, eluding police, and other charges.

Portland Teachers Union Approves New Contract

(Portland, OR) -- Teachers in the Portland Public Schools district are approving a new contract following a three-week-long strike. The Portland Association of Teachers voted in favor of ratifying the new contract yesterday evening. The teachers union says 95-percent of its members voted to approve the contract. The school board followed suit later last night and voted unanimously to approve the agreement. The new contract gives teachers pay raises along with more time to prepare and additional mental health supports for students. Students returned to the classroom Monday morning after the tentative deal was announced over the weekend.

Three Fires In 30 Minutes

(Portland, OR)  --  Nearly half of all Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters were working on fires at the same time Monday night.  Two houses in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood were on fire requiring a second alarm to get more help.  A small fire was reported in the Powellhurst Gilbert neighborhood that only needed one truck.  Then a call came in for a fire at a residential care facility in the Eliot Neighborhood.  That fire was quickly put out.  No injuries were reported from any of the fires.  An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the fire that damaged two homes.  A total of five adults were displaced from the homes.

Drivers Continue To Get Break At The Pump

(Portland, OR)  --  Lower crude oil prices and weak demand continue to send gas prices down.  Triple-A reports that over the last week the national average declined a nickel to three-25 a gallon.  Oregon's average dropped seven cents to four-04.  Triple-A projects Oregon's average will move below four dollars a gallon.  Seventeen Oregon counties currently have averages below four dollars.  There are reports OPEC Plus could cut production levels which could slow or end declines in fuel prices.

Residents Escape Mobile Home Fire

(Portland, OR) -- Elderly residents of a mobile home on Hayden Island escaped a fire Sunday night. When Portland Fire & Rescue arrived, heavy fire was coming through the roof and throughout the interior of the mobile home. The fire was knocked down quickly and no one was hurt. An investigator found the fire was caused by an overheated wood stove flue pipe. The Red Cross helped the residents with temporary housing and warm clothing. If you have a wood stove, fireplace, chimney or flue pipe get it inspected and cleaned every year.

Motorcyclist Killed In School Bus Crash

(Tualatin, OR) -- A motorcyclist was killed in a crash with a school bus Monday morning in Tualatin. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened at Southwest 65th Avenue and Prosperity Park. The motorcycle hit the front of the bus and the rider died at the scene. Two children and the driver were on the bus. They weren't injured. The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

Holiday Express Offering Rides On Historic Train

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Rail Heritage Center is operating its Holiday Express through December 17th. The historic Polson number two steam locomotive pulls the vintage passenger cars along the Willamette River. Santa Claus is a special guest during the ride. Trains run every 90 minutes Fridays through Sundays. Tickets are available online. They typically sell out.

New Details Released In Officer Involved Shooting

(Salem, OR) -- Police claim the man who was fatally shot by police Friday in Southeast Salem pointed a gun at officers. Keizer Police are investigating the shooting because their officers weren't involved. Marion County deputies, Salem Police, and Oregon State Police troopers responded to reports of a man armed with two guns firing shots. When officers arrived, there was a short dialogue with officers as they tried to get him to surrender. Investigators say 32-year-old Justin Jordan pointed a gun at officers and they fired, killing him. A deputy, police officer and a state trooper were involved in the shooting. They're on administrative leave. A grand jury will review the case.

Driver Killed Crashing Into River

(Mapleton, OR) -- A driver was killed in a crash into the Siuslaw River Sunday afternoon. Oregon State Police say 72-year-old Benjamin Beecher, of Florence, was driving westbound on Highway 36 when he crossed the centerline of an icy curve and struck an eastbound car. Beecher's Ford Explorer went airborne and crashed, fully submerged, into the Siuslaw River. He was dead when members of the Lane County dive team recovered his body. The driver and passenger of the car that was hit were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Lane Co. Launches Holiday Leftovers Recipe Contest

EUGENE, OR -- ‘Tis the season for an overabundance of leftovers filling your fridge and freezer, "And unfortunately, much of that food gets tossed in the days and weeks after the holiday," says Lane County Waste Reduction Outreach Coordinator Daniel Hiestand. But he hopes a new campaign will help. "We really want to focus on changing that equation." Hiestand estimates 20% of all purchased food is thrown away, "The average family of four tosses out roughly $2,000 in food every year, in Oregon."

Lane County launched a recipe contest last week, for new ways to use holiday leftovers, "I want to know: what should I do with those mashed potatoes and green beans, and things like that, aside from just eating them plain. You know? There’s some really creative things happening," says Hiestand. "Selfishly, I just want to hear these creative, yummy recipes that folks come up with. We’re going to publish a lot of these on our website" While drawings for prizes are only open to Lane County residents, the recipes collected will be available for everyone online. Recipes submitted in the first week can be found HERE

Hiestand says the goal is to help families save money as food prices move higher, while also protecting the environment. "Saving food is really one of the most powerful things we can do to address the climate crisis. When we toss out food that could be eaten or composted, it emits methane gas in the landfill."

He got the idea from a similar program in Corvallis and hopes other cities will follow, "Gamifying activity and behavioral changes is really important to creating impact. So, if you can kind of make things fun and also educational at the same time, especially when it comes to climate change, I think that really does help."


Car Crashes Down Embankment, Catches Fire

(Vancouver, WA) -- An investigation is ongoing into a fiery car crash in Cowlitz County. The crash happened near the Cedar Valley Mobile Home Park Saturday morning. Authorities say a car veered off the road and plummeted 20 feet down an embankment before bursting into flames. No victims were found inside the car or near the scene of the crash.

Classes Resume In PPS After Teachers End Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Students in the Portland Public Schools district are returning to the classroom this morning following a three-week-long teachers' strike. Officials say classes are scheduled to resume this morning but will start two hours late. The school district and the teachers union reached agreement on a tentative contract yesterday. The Portland Association of Teachers says it gives teachers pay raises, more time to prepare and additional mental health supports for students. The school district released a statement saying they're relieved students will return to school. The missed school days will be made up by reducing winter break, adding days in January, February, and April and extending the school year by three days.

Vancouver Prepares To Open Fourth Safe Stay Community

(Vancouver, WA) -- The city of Vancouver is working toward opening its fourth Safe Stay Community this month. Officials say the community is expected to open by the end of the year on WSDOT property near Main Street and I-5. The city opened its third Safe Stay Community early last week. It's located at West 11th and Esther Street and includes 20 temporary modular shelters that can house up to 40 people. The site also has restrooms, showers, and laundry services. Residents have access to services that can help increase stability and transition out of homelessness.

790,000 Birds Euthanized For Avian Flu

(Salem, OR) -- Close to one-million birds have been euthanized in Oregon after avian flu was detected in two commercial poultry operations and two backyard flocks earlier this month. The Oregon Department of Agriculture says a total of 790-thousand birds were put down. The Department reports the commercial operations are in Linn and Marion counties. The backyard flocks are in Deschutes and Marion counties. Quarantines were placed around the commercial operations to make sure no additional cases are detected.

Driver In Crash With Police Car Dies

(Portland, OR) -- The driver of a stolen car who crashed into a Portland Police car has died. On October 4th, police responded to a burglary at a bookstore. Officers saw a car leaving the scene and tried pull it over, but the driver fled and police didn't pursue it. A few minutes later the suspect's car crashed into a Portland Police car. The two officers were injured, treated at a hospital, and released. The driver of the suspect's car, 37-year-old Gilberth Colli-Garma, of Portland, died on Friday. There have been 66 traffic-related fatalities this year in Portland.

Portland Public Schools Say They've Sent Counter-Proposal To Union

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Public Schools officials say a counter-proposal is being reviewed by the Portland Association of Teachers. The district says the counter-proposal was sent to the union for consideration Monday afternoon. This comes after the Portland Association of Teachers accused the school board of rejecting a tentative agreement to end the teachers' strike, but Portland Public Schools says there was no tentative agreement. The teachers strike has been underway since November 1st, causing students to miss ten days of classes so far.

Families Hold Sit-In At Multnomah County Building Amid Ongoing Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Families frustrated with the ongoing Portland teachers' strike are speaking out. They held a sit-in at the Multnomah County building Monday. Their goal was to reach school board member and county commissioner Julia Brim-Edwards. Should the district and the teachers reach a deal, they could cut a week of scheduled Christmas vacation out to make up for the days students have been out of class.

Portland International Airport Expects Busy Holiday Travel Weekend

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland International Airport is preparing for hundreds of thousands of travelers this weekend. Nearly 240-thousand people are expected to go through the airport Wednesday through Sunday. The Port of Portland expected Sunday to be the busiest travel day of the weekend. Airport officials recommend getting to the airport two-and-a-half hours early for domestic flights.

U.S. Senator Merkley Calls For Ceasefire In Israel-Hamas War

(Portland, OR) -- A Democratic Senator from Oregon is calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley says the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7th was "horrific", but calls Israel's response "deeply disturbing". Merkley is calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, allowed by the release of all hostages by Hamas. House Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon is also calling for a pause of hostilities, saying the violence must stop.

Portland Art Museum Exhibit Pays Tribute To Black Artists

(Portland, OR) -- An exhibit at the Portland Art Museum is paying tribute to Black artists. Nearly 70 artists are featured in the Black Artists of Oregon exhibit. Paintings, photos, sculptures and textiles are featured, dating as far back as the 1880s. The exhibit can be visited at the museum through March 17th.

Portland Police Officers Begin Foot Patrols Downtown

(Portland, OR) -- Police officers are starting foot patrols in downtown Portland. Starting Monday, a pair of officers will patrol the area from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This will continue through January 3rd of 2024. The goal is to make police officers more approachable and to help police diffuse situations before they get out of hand.

Portland Teachers Remain On Strike Despite Weekend Negotiations

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Public Schools students will not return to school before Thanksgiving. The Portland Association of Teachers and the district negotiated this weekend, but did not reach a deal. The strike has now canceled over two weeks of school- and the earliest students could return at this point would be November 27th. Parent-teacher conferences were supposed to take place today and tomorrow, but have been canceled.

Man Charged For Firing Gun, Barricading Self In Porta Potty Near Moda Center

(Portland, OR) -- A man is accused of firing a gun at a woman and barricading himself inside a porta potty near the Moda Center Friday night. The incident happened while the Los Angeles Lakers were getting ready to play the Portland Trail Blazers at home. The Moda Center went into lockdown as a result of the incident. Thirty-year-old Edward Murdock is charged with unlawfully discharging a firearm in city limits. No one was injured.

Jazz Venue In Portland Closes Permanently

(Portland, OR) -- A jazz venue in Portland is closing its doors after a fundraising campaign fell short of its goal. The 1905 permanently closed after being open since 2016. A fundraiser to save The 1905 was held using GoFundMe over the summer, raising 67-thousand dollars of its 100-thousand dollar goal. The closure comes after The 1905 was named one of the best jazz clubs in the world by music magazine DownBeat this year.

Hollywood Branch Library Reopens After Criticism Over Event

(Portland, OR) -- The Hollywood branch library in Northeast Portland will resume normal business hours today after closing Sunday. Multnomah County Library says the branch paused its normal operations for safety and security reasons after an event planned at the library faced criticism. The event was being held by the group Women's Declaration International USA, which is accused of being transphobic by opponents.

Event Held To Remember Those Killed On Portland Roads

(Portland, OR) -- Community members are remembering those killed in crashes on Portland roads. A gathering and walk was held Sunday morning as part of World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims. Participants met at the LLoyd Center before walking to Memorial Coliseum, where people spoke out about improving road safety. Organizers of the event say 60 people have been killed on Portland roads in 2023.

Suspect Charged With Shooting Deer In City Park

(Lincoln City, OR) -- A 21-year-old Grand Ronde man has been arrested for allegedly killing a deer with a handgun in a Lincoln City Park. On the night of October 28th, residents reported gunfire from Kirtis Park. An officer found Randall Brooks the third in his vehicle with a dead buck nearby. The cause of death wasn't immediately apparent. Brooks denied involvement and was released. Officers learned the buck had been shot and evidence was found tying Brooks to the shooting. He was arrested in Grand Ronde and a search of his vehicle found a 9-millimeter pistol and other evidence connecting him to the crime. He's charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Unlawful Taking of Wildlife.

Teachers Strike Cancels Portland Classes Through November 27th

(Portland, OR) -- The teacher's strike in Portland means students won't return to class until November 27th, at the earliest. Portland Public Schools canceled classes on Friday. Students would have been off all next week for conferences and Thanksgiving. Including Friday, students will have missed 11 days of class. The teacher's have made concessions, but the school district says there's still a 200-million-dollar gap.

Court Documents Reveal Motive For PDX Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- New details are coming to light regarding a woman who allegedly fired a gun inside Portland International Airport Tuesday evening. Court documents say 47-year-old Laura Marie Patterson of Kennewick, Washington told police she wanted to kill her family because they covered up pedophilia and sexual abuse within the family. However, she also told police she went to the airport to "shoot her gun but not hurt anyone." The shooting happened near the security checkpoint for gates D and E. Patterson was arrested after the shooting and is being charged with four counts of attempted murder, possession of a firearm in a public building, interfering with public transportation, and other charges. No one was injured by the shooting.

Vancouver Prepares To Open Third Safe Stay Community

(Vancouver, WA) -- Vancouver will open its third Safe Stay Community on Monday. It's located on West 11th Street at Esther Street. Twenty temporary modular buildings will house up to 40 people. There are restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. There will be an open house from 10 a.m. to noon and then residents will start moving in. Through August 31st, the two other sites have served 186 people helping 48 people get jobs and placing 73 in stable housing. A fourth Safe Stay Community will be built at Main Street and I-5. It'll open by the end of the year.

Cougar Spotted At Park In Tigard

(Tigard, OR) -- Officials are warning residents about a cougar sighting in Tigard's Cook Park. The Tigard Public Works Department says a woman reported seeing the cougar to the west of the soccer field area around midday yesterday. A state biologist is looking into the sighting.

Salem-Keizer School District Laying Off Hundreds

(Salem, OR) -- The Salem-Keizer School District is laying off hundreds of employees. The district announced Tuesday night it will have to cut hundreds of positions by July 1st as it attempts to reduce its budget gap. It's the district's largest layoff in more than ten years.

PPS Teachers' Strike Continues

(Portland, OR) -- Classes are canceled again today in the Portland Public Schools district as the teachers' strike continues. Yesterday, Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Carmen Rubio announced the City of Portland will fast-track nearly 20-million-dollars to help resolve the strike. The money comes from the Portland Clean Energy Fund and was already destined for the school district. Around 17-million dollars will go toward building improvements per teachers' request and three-million-dollars will be spent on student-led climate initiatives.

Portland Returns To All Bull Run Water

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Water Bureau customers are back to getting 100-percent Bull Run Reservoir water. In August, low reservoir levels forced the city to starting drawing water from the Columbia South Shore Well Field. It's a series of backup wells that can provide all of the city's water needs, if necessary. The Camp Creek fire burned east of the Bull Run Reservoir this summer but didn't affect use of water from the reservoir.

Man Arrested For Old Town Stabbing

(Portland, OR) -- Police say they've arrested a suspect in connection to a stabbing in Old Town. The Portland Police Bureau says the incident happened before noon yesterday in the 200 block of Northwest 3rd Avenue. A witness flagged down a bike squad officer to report a man had been stabbed. The victim was conscious and breathing when police found him. Police say officers had to use a stun gun on the 52-year-old suspect Lewis Ellis before managing to arrest him.

OR Offers Free Entry To State Parks Day After Thanksgiving

(Portland, OR) -- Oregonians can get into state parks for free next week Friday in honor of Thanksgiving. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department says it will waive day-use parking fees at state parks the day after Thanksgiving. The annual event has come to be known as "Green Friday."

Student Enrollment Down In Beaverton School District

(Beaverton, OR) -- Student enrollment is down within the Beaverton School District. New numbers released by the district show current enrollment is just over 38-thousand as of September 29th. That's a decrease of more than three-thousand students since 2019. District officials say there are several factors contributing to the drop, including families moving out of the area thanks to an increase in parents working remotely since the pandemic.

Portland Seeks Feedback On Plan To Expand Safe Rest Village

(Portland, OR) -- City officials are seeking the public's feedback on a plan to expand a tiny house village serving those experiencing homelessness in Southwest Portland. The city wants to expand the Safe Rest Village in Multnomah Village. The site currently has fewer units than other Safe Rest sites with 30. The city is scheduling an in-person listening session at the Multnomah Arts Center on the evening of November 29th.

Police Arrest 28 People During Retail Theft Mission In Clackamas

(Clackamas, OR) -- More than two-dozen people are facing charges following a ten-hour retail theft mission at Clackamas Town Center. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office says police arrested 28 people and recovered five-thousand dollars in stolen merchandise along with a stolen vehicle. The sheriff's office coordinated the mission getting help from police agencies in Milwaukie, Molalla, Oregon City, West Linn and Beaverton.

No Injuries Reported After Shots Fired Inside PDX

(Portland, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing after gunshots were fired inside the Portland International Airport. Police say the shooting happened last night near the TSA checkpoint for gates D and E. One person was taken into custody. No one was injured. There's no word yet on what led to the shooting, but police say there is no ongoing threat to public safety.

NE Portland Apartment Fire Being Investigated As Potential Arson

(Portland, OR) -- Investigators say they're not ruling out arson as they look into what caused a fire at a Northeast Portland apartment building. Portland Fire & Rescue says they're investigating yesterday morning's blaze at Northeast 158th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard as a possible arson. Officials say they're considering other possible causes as well. No injuries were reported, but the residents of four units were displaced.

Two Pregnant Pachyderms At Oregon Zoo

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo will soon welcome two new animals. Jozi, an Eastern black rhinoceros, and Asian elephant Rose-Tu are both pregnant. Jozi's baby is expected to arrive sometime between now and early January. For Rose-Tu this would be her third calf. Rose-Tu's birth is over a year away, in early 2025. It's still very early in her pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby is never a sure thing. For Jozi, this would be her first birth which has an even higher risk of success.

Woman, Dog Rescued After Fall From Trail Near Brookings

(Brookings, OR) -- A Brookings woman and her dog are doing OK after slipping off the hiking trail they were walking and getting stuck 30 feet down a steep embankment. Curry County Search & Rescue says 56-year-old Jody Thibodo was hiking with her dog Monday when they slid off the trail. She reportedly called 911, and police sent out a search crew to track them down and rescue them.

Man Arrested For Shooting Death Of Wife In Oregon City Home

(Oregon City, OR) -- New details are coming to light regarding an arrest made in connection to the death of a woman in Oregon City. Police say 41-year-old Anthony Wessel is accused of shooting and killing his 37-year-old wife Anna Wessel. Anthony reportedly walked into the police station on Monday and turned himself in, telling police he had shot his wife of 18 years at their home. Police responded to the home and found Anna Wessel dead. Anthony is facing a charge of second-degree murder.

Memorials Outside Lawmakers' Office Honor Victims Of Israel-Hamas War

(Portland, OR) -- Portlanders are paying tribute to those killed in the Israel-Hamas war. Residents gathered yesterday outside the offices of Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Congressman Earl Blumenauer to honor the victims of the ongoing conflict. Participants displayed candles, flowers and posters. Participants also called on the lawmakers to demand a cease-fire in the war.

Construction Underway On Six New Crosswalk Signals On 82nd Avenue

(Portland, OR) -- Construction is underway to install signals at six crosswalks on busy 82nd Avenue. The Portland Bureau of Transportation says crews got to work yesterday on the project to add new pedestrian half-signals, full signals, or pedestrian beacons. Construction will also include curb ramps, high-visibility crosswalks, and concrete median islands. The work will take a year-and-a-half to complete.

Police Arrest 15 People In 'Operation Net Nanny' Sting

(Vancouver, WA) -- More than a dozen people are facing charges following a child exploitation and sexual abuse sting in Southwest Washington state. Police say "Operation Net Nanny" netted a total of 15 arrests. The sting targeted adults accused of attempting to victimize children and juveniles online. The operation was spearheaded by Washington State Patrol's Missing & Exploited Children Task Force.

Classes Canceled Again As PPS Teachers Strike Continues

(Portland, OR) -- Classes are canceled again today in the Portland Public Schools district as the teachers' strike continues into its third week. The district said yesterday its bargaining team is continuing to work to negotiate an agreement with the teachers union for a new contract for the teachers. Last week, Governor Tina Kotek directed the state's chief financial officer to help both sides get financial numbers they can agree on. The district says the teachers union is calling for changes that would cost 220-million dollars more than it currently has in its budget. Teachers say the district has the money to meet their demands. The Portland Association of Teachers is demanding smaller classroom sizes and a pay raise of 21-percent over three years.

Police Arrest Three Teens For Armed Robbery In Dallas

(Dallas, OR) -- Police say they've arrested three teenagers in connection with the armed robbery of a juvenile in Dallas earlier this year. The Dallas Police Department says officers have arrested 18-year-old Gabriel Firkins along with a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy. Police say the teens held a minor at gunpoint in February and robbed them.

Multnomah Falls Closed Today For Search And Rescue Training

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah Falls is closed today for a search and rescue training exercise. Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue says its closing off the Larch Mountain Trail from the lower viewing plaza to the top of the falls. Crews will also be performing trash clean up along the trails and slopes.

Oregon Sees Strong Christmas Tree Crop

CORBETT, OR -- Thanksgiving is still more than a week away, but this is the busiest time of the year for Oregon Christmas tree growers. Most local tree lots won’t open until after Thanksgiving, but shipments of trees are already heading out. "Right now, some of the early trucks that are going out are going out much farther," says Trout Creek Tree Farm owner Tom Norby, "I have a truck going to New York City."

He tells the Oregon Radio News Network refrigerated containers of trees from his Corbett farm are also headed to China, Indonesia and other overseas markets, "From my place, it goes directly to an ice plant, where they blow in a couple of tons of ice over the top of it, just to add some moisture and keep it cool. And the whole idea is to never unplug that thing and just keep it cold the whole way over there." 

Oregon is the top Christmas tree producer in the nation, growing around five million Christmas trees every year. But the last few years' crops were mired by summer heat and fall drought. But, Norby says this year is more typical, "We’ve gotten some moisture this fall, which was very good. Because the last couple of years it’s been pretty dry going into the major part of the harvest season." 

Norby, who is also President of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Growers Association, says the strong harvest keeps prices stable, "The wholesale growers, in general that I’ve spoken with, have kept prices pretty similar to last year. They realize that inflation is a thing and they want to sell their trees and they want to do right by their customers." But that doesn't mean families won't pay more, "There’s a lot of other factors: trucking, fuel, labor costs on the other end - that actual retail end. So, what you’re going to pay at the lot is probably going to be a little bit more, but hopefully not a whole lot."

Oregon Christmas trees are a $200 million a year business. Norby says, "Our Christmas tree industry, here in Oregon, really supports a lot of families and has a very big impact all across the state."


ODF Firefighters Working In N. Carolina, Kentucky

SALEM, OR -- With Oregon’s wildfire season officially over, the Department of Forestry has deployed nearly 80 firefighters to Kentucky and North Carolina. ODF expects more to leave soon.

North Carolina declared a state of emergency a week ago, due to a large fire that’s burned some buildings and threatens dozens of homes. Kentucky is also under an emergency declaration, with more than a hundred fires burning in that state. Oregon crews now out of state range from incident management team members to single resources, and work under mutual assistance agreements. 

This past fire season, ODF says Oregon received more than 80 firefighters from other states. 


Photo: A firefighter observing fire operations in Kentucky.

Body Found Along Road In Douglas County

(Wilbur, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into the discovery of a body on the side of a road in Douglas County. The Sheriff's Office says the body was found Thursday night along Wilbur Road near Highway 99. Police have identified the victim as 49-year-old Billy Wayne Whitehead, who had been reported as missing earlier this month.

Portland Teachers Strike Continue

(Portland, OR) -- No school again on Monday for students in the Portland Public School District as the teacher's strike continues. The district made a new offer to teachers worth 147-million dollars. It would increase salaries 11 percent, increase planning time 90 minutes per week for kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers, and reduces the number of students in elementary classrooms by one student. The district will make 103 million dollars in cuts over three years to pay for the increase. Teachers say the offer is insulting.

Jury Awards $3 Million In Excessive Force Lawsuit

(Salem, OR) -- A Marion County jury awarded a man three-million-dollars in an excessive force lawsuit against Salem Police last week. Chris Garza says he was racially profiled. Officer David Baker wrongfully accused Garza of stealing a car. Garza kept walking and Officer Baker shoved him against the hood of the patrol car to handcuff him, injuring Garza's shoulder. Garza says he hopes the award sends a message to Salem Police and other officers about racial profiling.

Police Station Shooting

(Salem, OR) -- Authorities say an 80-year-old man killed himself in the entrance to the Salem Police Department on Saturday. Police say the man walked into the entrance, removed a shotgun from the bag he was carrying and shot himself. The lobby of the Police Department was closed through the weekend for the investigation.

Utility Crew Finds Dog Shot And Bound

(Longview, WA) -- A utility crew working near Mt. St. Helens spotted a dog in a ditch that was still alive. The dog had its mouth taped shut and had been shot in the jaw. The dog is a one-year-old white retriever. Crew members used the knife to cut the tape, because it was wound so tight. The dog was taken to the Cowlitz County Humane Society where staff cleaned and treated it. A veterinarian says they'll eventually perform surgery to remove the bullet fragments from the dog's jaw. The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office is investigating. If the dog recovers enough, it could be the grand marshal of Longview's Christmas Parade.

Oregonians Urged To Participate In Veterans History Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This Veterans Day, an Oregon U.S. Senator urges current and former service members to share their stories.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is asking Oregon veterans to get involved in the Library of Congress American Folklife Center’s Veterans History Project. "We want people from every dimension to participate. There’s no possibility of having too many people participate," he tells the Oregon Radio News Network. 

Since 2000, the project has accumulated, "These firsthand accounts of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and so-forth," says Merkley, "And, it’s really a gift, not just to one’s children and grandchildren, this is a gift to all of the coming generations in America." There’s a push now to make sure women and veterans of color are properly represented in the archive.

Senator Merkley’s office got involved last year. "My team’s been working with the Library of Congress to publicize this, to recruit volunteers to participate in it, to publicize to veterans this opportunity for them to share their experiences."

Documents and interviews date back to World War I. Merkley says more Oregonians need to participate, "They’re inviting every military member who has stories they’d like to share and pass on to the next generation. If they have artifacts like journals or pictures that they’d like to share, send those in. They become a part of the original archive that people will be looking at for centuries to come, as they try to understand what’s happened in the past." There's also a need for volunteers to conduct interviews and collect materials from local vets.

The Veterans History Project collection is available to the public at the Library of Congress website. Click HERE to learn more about participating.

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

Clark County Deputies Wearing Body Cameras

(Vancouver, WA) -- Deputies in Clark County are now wearing body cameras. The Clark County Sheriff's Office says it started training classes for its new body camera this week after signing a contract with a camera provider back in June. The office says two-third of its deputies are currently wearing the body cams. Nearly all of the county's deputies are expected to be wearing the cameras by the end of the year.

Milwaukie City Hall Evacuated For Bomb Threat

(Milwaukie, OR) -- Things are getting back to normal at Milwaukie City Hall after it was evacuated on Wednesday due to a bomb threat. The suspect told a transit employee there was an explosive device in the building. The suspect also called police to make the threat himself. Milwaukie Police say 32-year-old Harris Orians had someone he knew in Milwaukie Municipal Court and the threat was linked to that person. Officers arrested Orians. A search of the building found no suspicious devices.

Police Arrest 6 During Pro-Palestine Protest In Downtown Portland

(Portland, OR) -- Half a dozen people are facing charges following a pro-Palestine demonstration at the World Trade Center in downtown Portland. Police arrested six people during the protest yesterday afternoon. Police say the protesters tried to get into the building through locked doors and then sprayed graffiti over several windows and walls. The graffiti included the messages "Israel must be stopped," "There is blood on your hands" and "Ten-thousand lives." The Gaza Ministry of Health says Israel has killed more than ten-thousand people in Gaza since it began bombing the Palestinian region last month. That's over seven times the number of lives lost in Hamas' October 7th attack on Israel, in which 14-hundred people died.

Veterans Day Ceremony Planned Outside State Capitol

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs will honor all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces during a ceremony on Saturday at the Oregon State Capitol Park. There will be speeches by dignitaries and special guests along with ceremonial elements including a color guard, singing of the national anthem, laying of the wreath, and the playing of "Taps." The event is open to the public and uncovered seating will be provided. The ceremony begins at 11 Saturday morning.

Semi Crash Closes Freeway For Hours

(Portland, OR) -- A semi carrying a load of hay overturned on a Portland freeway and closed it for hours. The crash happened on the ramp from I-5 northbound to I-405. The driver and his dog had to be extricated from cab. The driver was hospitalized. The truck leaked 200 gallons of diesel fuel. The crash happened on a steeply angled section of road which made clearing the wreck difficult.

OR SOS Office Defends Planned Elections Misinformation Program

SALEM, OR -- More than two-dozen Republican state lawmakers claim a new effort to curb election misinformation by the Secretary of State’s office would stifle the free speech of Oregonians.

A group of 20 State Representatives and seven Senators signed a letter to Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade this week. Rep. Ed Diehl shared the letter on social media Wednesday. The Republicans claim a UK-based company was awarded a contract last month to monitor social media posts for threats. They say the program would also allow artificial intelligence to determine what to label as "misinformation."

Laura Kerns, with Griffin-Valade’s office, acknowledges a request for proposal (RFP) was issued, and a UK-based firm is one of the companies they’re talking to. But says, "We have not signed a contract at this time." She tells the Oregon Radio News Network, "There may be some confusion stemming from an October 27th date in the RFP. But that date was aspirational at the time we began this process. Additionally, there’s nothing in this RFP that impacts free speech."

Republicans say the technology would lead to social media companies suppressing users. But Kerns says, "The Secretary of State’s office has no authority, ability or desire to censor speech. We do have a very real need to protect the people and infrastructure that make our democracy work, and provide accurate information through official channels." 

Kerns says the Secretary of State's office is looking for "A system to review websites, social media and blogs to notify us of threats and misinformation in a manner similar to a Google news alert." She notes it would only be able to monitor publicly available content, in an effort to achieve two goals, "One: To identify credible threats to public safety that we will share with law enforcement. And two: To better understand how we can most effectively share accurate information with voters by seeing what information is circulating."



Suspect In Two Portland Shootings Found Dead From Apparent Suicide

(Portland, OR) -- The suspect accused of killing one man and injuring another in two separate shootings in Portland Tuesday night has died from apparent suicide. The Portland Police Bureau says the suspect shot and killed himself near Pittock Mansion in Northwest Portland later Tuesday night. He's accused of shooting and killing 39-year-old Duresa Kuri Tibeso in St. Johns before shooting and injuring another man near Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Russell Street 15 minutes later. Police say both victims were from the Ethiopian immigrant community. Police found the suspect dead inside a car about three hours later.

OSP Arrests Two During October Drug Busts

(Salem, OR) -- Two people are facing charges following several drug busts in Oregon last month. Oregon State Police says troopers arrested two people and seized a total of six pounds of methamphetamine, four pounds of cocaine and two pounds of fentanyl powder during traffic stops. The fentanyl powder was reportedly in a vacuum sealed bag with the word "Versace" written on it. Police say it was enough fentanyl to cause 800-thousand fatal doses.

Woman Killed After Driver Falls Asleep At Wheel

(Portland, OR) -- A 77-year-old woman is dead after a 17-year-old girl reportedly fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into her in Coos County. Oregon State Police says the two-car crash happened Tuesday afternoon on Highway 101 near milepost 257. Police say the teen girl was driving a pickup truck north when she reportedly fell asleep and drifted into oncoming traffic, striking the other vehicle head-on. The other driver identified as 77-year-old Carole Ann Voliva died at the scene. The teen was hospitalized for serious injuries.

Police Seek Suspect In Illegal Deer Killing

(Portland, OR) -- Police are seeking the public's help in their search for the suspect responsible for illegally killing a deer in Clackamas County. Oregon State Police says the three-point buck deer was shot multiple times Sunday evening near South Hult Road and South Olson Road. The deer was then reportedly loaded onto a sled and hidden under a tree. Anyone with information on the killing is urged to contact police.

PPS Teachers Strike Continues Into Seventh Day Today

(Portland, OR) -- Classes are canceled again today in the Portland Public Schools district as the teachers' strike enters its seventh day. The strike began last Wednesday following months of failed contract negotiations between the district and the teachers union. Negotiations are expected to continue today. Yesterday, Governor Tina Kotek directed the state's chief financial officer to help both sides get financial numbers they can agree on. The district says the teachers union is calling for changes that would cost 220-million dollars more than it currently has in its budget. Teachers say the district has the money to meet their demands. The Portland Association of Teachers is demanding smaller classroom sizes and a pay raise of 21-percent over three years.

Burnside Bridge Contractor Selected

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County has selected a contractor to build the new Burnside Bridge. It's called the Burnside Bridge Partners, Joint Venture. It has three businesses. Stacy and Witbeck is the employee-owned firm that built Portland's streetcar system and light rail lines. Traylor Brothers has built more than 135 major bridges. And American Bridge, which built the original Burnside Bridge and the Astoria Bridge over the Columbia River. The new Burnside Bridge will be capable of withstanding a major earthquake. Construction could start in 2026, if funding is approved.

Northern Spotted Owl Found Injured On Mt. Tabor Dies

(Portland, OR) -- Authorities say a Northern Spotted Owl that was found injured on Mt. Tabor has died. Portland Audubon says a Portland Parks and Recreation staff member found the injured owl Monday afternoon and called for help. A member of Portland Audubon brought the owl back to their wildlife hospital and attempted to treat it, but it died overnight. Officials say the bird was soaked from the recent rain and could barely stand.

Man Shot Outside Vancouver Clinic

(Vancouver, WA) -- An investigation is ongoing after a man was shot in the stomach Tuesday morning in the parking lot of the Vancouver Clinic. It's located at Northeast 138th Avenue and 28th Street. Police say the victim was in his twenties. The injury is non-life-threatening. The victim walked to a convenience store nearby to get help. Police haven't said what led to the shooting.

Strike Continues Against Kaiser Permanente

(Portland, OR) -- The strike against Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Southwest Washington by imaging technicians and pharmacy personnel continues. They want a 42 percent pay increase over the four-year contract. Kaiser says the request is unreasonable. Kaiser says they have a strong offer on the table that includes significant wage increases and generous benefits. Some patient procedures are being rescheduled as a result of the strike.

Schnitzer Steel Air Pollution Settlement

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has reached a settlement with Schnitzer Steel over its Radius Recycling metal shredder in Portland. New studies show metal shredders send hazardous material into the air. Under the settlement, Radius Recycling will build a containment facility over it shredder to contain and process the pollution. The company will pay 500-thousand dollars in civil penalties with 400-thousand dollars of the money going to an environmental project that will benefit air quality near the site of the shredder.

PDX Launches New Accessibility App

(Portland, OR) -- Portland International Airport is launching its accessibility app called Good Maps today. The indoor navigation app is aimed at making the airport more accessible for people with disabilities and those who are neurodivergent. The app covers all four concourses as well as the ticket lobby and baggage claim.

OHA Recommends Mpox Vaccinations With Rise In Cases

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority is reminding people to get the mpox vaccination. There have been 17 cases reported since July 20th. While that's below the 10 to 15 cases reported each week at the height of the 2022 outbreak, the current cases show the virus continues to spread in Oregon. They're asking doctors treating patients with rashes and other symptoms similar to mpox to have those people tested for the virus.

Multnomah County Child Has Elevated Blood Lead Levels After Eating WanaBana Product

(Portland, OR) -- Health officials are confirming that a Multnomah County child tested high for blood lead levels after eating a fruit snack linked to elevated lead levels in the blood of several children who consumed it. Multnomah County's Health Department says the child tested positive for elevated lead levels with 30 days of eating a WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouch. The FDA posted a public health advisory about the product after four North Carolina children exhibited elevated levels of lead in their blood after eating it. Officials are warning parents not to let their child consume the product.

Oxygen Bottle Explosion Leads To Fatal House Fire

(Portland, OR) -- A 66-year-old man was killed in a house fire Monday morning in Portland. Neighbors called 911 after hearing an explosion at a home in the Gateway area. Firefighters found flames coming from a front corner of the house. The victim was found in the room where the fire started and was partially covered with furniture. An oxygen bottled in the room had exploded. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation. Another person in the house was hospitalized with minor burn injuries and smoke inhalation.

Seaside's Shilo Inn Being Auctioned Off

(Seaside, OR) -- A beachfront hotel in Seaside is going up for sale. Willamette Week reports Shilo Inn will be auctioned off this month to the highest bidder. The auction comes after a judge ordered hotelier Mark Hemstreet and Shilo Management Corp. to repay debts owed to a bank in California.

Kotek Appoints New OHA Director

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has appointed Dr. Sejal Hathi as the new director of the Oregon Health Authority. Dr. Hathi was New Jersey's deputy health commissioner for public health services and worked two years as the White House's Senior Policy Advisor for Public Health. Her first day will be January 16th. She replaces Interim Director Dave Baden.

Kaiser Permanente Calls Striking Workers' Demand For Raise Unreasonable

(Portland, OR) -- Kaiser Permanente is calling striking employees' demands for a significant pay raise unreasonable. A spokesperson for the company spoke to KATU-TV following another round of bargaining with the workers' union United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 last night. The spokesperson told KATU that the union's request for a 42-percent pay raise for the workers was, quote, "frankly, not reasonable." Imaging workers including X-ray, Mammography, Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Therapists began their strike on November 1st and plan to continue their strike through November 18th.

OHSU Research Connects Childhood Trauma And Poor Sleep

PORTLAND, OR -- New research from OHSU suggests children’s sleep patterns are impacted by traumatic experiences, and it could lead to poor heart health and other conditions later in life. The American Heart Association believes improper sleep can have a negative impact on cardiovascular health. Now, a new study shows Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can play a role. 

"Children who have experienced traumatic events are more likely to have inadequate sleep, either too little or too much," says Dr. MinKyoung Song. She studied data from 100,000 children nationwide, "The number of Adverse Childhood Experiences children had was associated with suboptimal sleep."

Dr. Song says kids ages six to 12 should get between nine and 12 hours of sleep a night; ages 13 through 18 need eight to 10 hours, "And, what we found out, that when they are out of that range - either they are getting too  little sleep or too much sleep for their age - they are going to be classified as children who are not getting enough sleep." Dr. Song says about a third of American kids don't get appropriate levels of sleep.

She notes ACEs range from witnessing trauma to directly experiencing it as a victim, "Whether parents were divorced, parents had a death or they were in prison; whether children were exposed to any domestic violence or they witnessed domestic violence. And also, they asked if children experienced any unfair treatment because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity."

Dr. Song hopes her research will lead to better health screenings for kids, "Especially, we want to give special attention or provide additional support when it’s possible, to children of vulnerable populations who experience these traumatic events."

She'll present her findings to the American Heart Association next week. Click HERE for more tips on healthy sleep from the AHA. 


PPS Teacher Strike Enters Fourth Day

(Portland, OR) -- Classes are canceled again today in the Portland Public Schools district as the teachers' strike enters its second week. Today marks day four of the strike that began last Wednesday following months of failed contract negotiations between the district and the teachers union. Last week, the school district asked the state of Oregon to give it the funding it needs to fulfill the union's demands. The district says the teachers union is calling for changes that would cost 220-million dollars more than it currently has in its budget. The Portland Association of Teachers is demanding smaller classroom sizes and a pay raise of 21-percent over three years.

Bill To Help Migrant Children

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon Congresswoman Lori Chavez DeRemer has signed on to bipartisan legislation she says will help migrant children at the southern border. She says the newly introduced "Immigration Court Efficiency and Children's Court Act" will help those unaccompanied and unrepresented minors, address the current immigration court backlog. Among other things, the bill would establish a special court for migrant children, with personnel trained on child trafficking and trauma-informed practices.


Multnomah County District Attorney Announces Reelection Bid

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt formally launched his re-election campaign on Saturday. Schmidt highlighted his work on overturning convictions and the auto theft task force. Schmidt says reform and safety are linked. Schmidt's only declared opponent is his own senior Deputy District Attorney, Nathan Vasquez.

Federal Judge Orders Defendants Without Attorneys Released

(Portland, OR) -- A federal judge in Portland is taking on the public defender shortage. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane issued an order that takes effect November 16th that directs detainees be released from jail if they don't have an attorney within seven days of their first court appearance. McShane says the shortage of public defenders means 135 defendants statewide are locked up without access to an attorney. Some of the more than 26-hundred others out on conditional release have been waiting for counsel for more than a year. The American Bar Association estimates Oregon needs about 13-hundred more attorneys to meet the need.

Oregon National Guard Adjutant General Retires

(Clackamas, OR) -- The Adjutant General of the Oregon Nation Guard has retired. U.S. Air Force Major General Michael Stencel served in the military more than 39 years. He's been Adjutant General for eight years. During that time, he navigated the pandemic, civil unrest, multiple overseas deployments, and wildfires. Stencel is a Command Rated Pilot with more than 19-hundred military flight hours. Governor Tina Kotek has selected Colonel Alan Gronewold to replace Stencel.

Rep. Chavez-DeRemer Scheduled To Meet With New House Speaker

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Oregon’s freshman Republican in Congress says she’s getting to know the new House Speaker and helping him understand her priorities.

U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer took a lot of political heat for her vote in support of Speaker Mike Johnson. "After all the chaos, we needed to get back to work," she told KBND News Thursday, "We needed a consensus speaker amongst the Republican Conference. And that was Speaker Johnson."

She says she didn’t have many interactions with him in his role as Vice Chair of the Republican conference, and acknowledges they have different opinions on issues like abortion. "Whether it be in regards to abortion, whether it be in regards to January sixth - which I was not here for. But my job as a freshman legislator is to make sure he understands the values of Oregon." She adds, "My job is to give him the benefit of the doubt with me, specifically, and to see if his ears and eyes and heart are open to what the values of Oregonians are. And I will know probably over a matter of time. I want him to be successful and I want him to want me to be successful."

Chavez-DeRemer met Thursday with Speaker Johnson’s staff, "They were in my office. They came [and] I spent about 30 minutes with the Member Services Director getting through all of that, what the valuables are to me. We’re talking about tolling, whether we’re talking about the fentanyl crisis, whether we’re talking about the homelessness and housing, and the mental health crisis; all the things I’ve been working on."

She says she's scheduled to meet one-on-one with the Speaker next week. "He’s got a big job to do. It’s going to be different for him than just representing Louisiana," says Chavez-DeRemer, "He now has to represent really 435 districts. But within the Republican conference, our job is to let him know ‘here’s the values of Oregonians and here’s what I’ll stand for.’"

Congress must approve 12 Appropriations bills by November 17th to avoid a government shutdown. Chavez-DeRemer says funding the government is now her top priority, and she believes Speaker Johnson is open to passing a gap-funding bill if they don’t meet the deadline. 


Contract Negotiations Continue Between PPS, Teachers Union

(Portland, OR) -- Contract negotiations continue today between Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers. Yesterday, union members and parents of students rallied outside district headquarters as teachers marked day two of the strike. On Wednesday, the school district asked the state of Oregon to give it the funding it needs to fulfill the union's demands. The district says the teachers union is calling for changes that would cost 220-million dollars more than it currently has in its budget. The Portland Association of Teachers called for a strike Tuesday night following months of failed contract negotiations.

Boys & Girls Club Helps Student During Teachers Strike

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Metro Boys & Girls Club is helping students during the Portland teachers strike. It's acting as a hub for several community-based organizations with programs providing social, emotional, and academic support to children and families. They're also working to get food donations to help cover children during the strike. The Portland School District is providing grab-and-go meals at more than half of its schools on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

'Snowvana' Begins Today At Portland Expo Center

(Portland, OR) -- The Pacific Northwest's biggest snow sports festival gets underway today. "Snowvana" will take place today, tomorrow and Sunday at the Portland Expo Center. The annual festival will feature food and music along with the Mount Hood Film Festival and deals on ski resorts.

Blazers Debut New Nike City Edition Uniform Today

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Trail Blazers are set to debut new plaid jerseys in honor of former coach and 70s fashionista Jack Ramsey tonight. Players will wear the new Nike City Edition uniforms during tonight's game against Memphis. The jersey blends Ramsey's iconic plaid-patterned fashions with a modern look and a nod to Blazers founding broadcaster Bill Schonely. The Blazers have been "plaid-ifying" the city by rebranding the "Keep Portland Weird" sign as "Keep Portland Plaid" along with a plaid flash-mob at a recent high school football game. Fans are encouraged to join the players in wearing plaid at tonight's game.

Multnomah County Puts $1M From EPA Toward Rockwood Neighborhood

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County is launching a project to improve climate resiliency in the Rockwood neighborhood. KTUU-TV reports the county will use a one-million-dollar grant from the EPA to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions in the neighborhood over the next three years. Part of the plan will entail planting more trees around the neighborhood. The county will also work with residents to switch from gas and wood-burning stoves to heating and cooking sources that don't emit pollution.

Police ID Man Who Shot Salem Woman Before Killing Self

(Salem, OR) -- Police are releasing the identity of a man accused of crashing into a Salem woman's house and shooting her before taking his own life. The Salem Police Department says 37-year-old Phillip Wayne Johnson drove his pickup truck into the woman's home Tuesday and then opened fire on her, leaving her with critical injuries. He then allegedly fled the scene and led police on a pursuit down Highway 22E before shooting and killing himself. Police say Johnson had a past relationship with the victim. The shooting sent nearby Morningside Elementary School into lockdown while police investigated.

PPS Seeks State Funding To End Teachers Strike

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Public Schools is asking the state of Oregon to give it the funding it needs to fulfill the demands of striking teachers who hit the picket lines yesterday. PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero tells KATU-2 "the state of Oregon is not funding what they themselves have identified as a quality education for Oregon students." The district says the teachers union is calling for changes that would cost 220-million dollars more than it currently has in its budget. The Portland Association of Teachers called for a strike Tuesday night following months of failed contract negotiations. The union says the district's final offer did not make any "real investments" to "build safe, properly maintained and fully resourced schools in every neighborhood.

Drivers Urged To Go Slow As Atmospheric River Soaks Northwest

(Portland, OR) -- Officials are urging drivers to take their time this morning as heavy rain from an atmospheric river pour into the region. Authorities say drivers should go slow and watch out for areas of standing water, which could disable vehicles and leave them stranded. Officials are also asking residents to clear street gutters and storm drains of leaves. The National Weather Service says up to two inches of rain is expected to fall between last night and the end of this morning.

Clackamas County Building Homelessness Services Resource Center

(Portland, OR) -- Clackamas County is putting millions of dollars toward creating a new homelessness services resource center. The nonprofit Homeless Solutions Coalition of Clackamas County is using ten-million dollars in funding awarded by the county to create the new resource center. The facility is going up in the former Miles Fiberglass building in downtown Oregon City and is being designed to be a "one-stop shop" for homelessness services. Officials say the center will open in 2025.

Oregon Seeks Next Poet Laureate

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon is searching for its next Poet Laureate. Over the two-year-term, the Poet Laureate promotes the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, addresses issues relating to the humanities and reflects on public life in Oregon. Nominations are accepted through January 8th, and poets are welcome to nominate themselves. The next Poet Laureate term begins in May.

Salem Shooting Critically Injures Woman, Puts School On Lockdown

(Salem, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into a shooting that critically injured a woman and put a nearby school on lockdown in Salem. Police say the shooting happened yesterday morning when a man allegedly drove his pickup truck into a home and then opened fire on the woman inside. The woman was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. The shooting sent nearby Morningside Elementary School into lockdown while police investigated. Police say the suspect fled the scene and remains at large.

Portland Teachers Begin Strike Today

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Public Schools teachers are hitting the picket lines. The Portland Association of Teachers called for a strike last night following months of failed contract negotiations. The strike begins this morning. The teachers union says the district's final offer did not make any "real investments" to "build safe, properly maintained and fully resourced schools in every neighborhood. Teachers are demanding smaller classroom sizes and a pay raise of 21 percent over three years.

Health Officials Warn Of High Lead Levels In Fruit Snack

(Portland, OR) -- County health officials are warning parents about a fruit snack that could contain dangerous levels of lead. The Multnomah County Health Department says WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches have been linked to elevated lead levels in the blood of several children who consumed it. The FDA posted a public health advisory about the product after four North Carolina children exhibited elevated levels of lead in their blood after eating it. One child in Multnomah County has also tested high for blood lead levels after eating the product.

Multnomah County Commissioner Jayapal Running For Congress

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal is running for Congress. Jayapal announced her intention to run for longtime U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer's seat yesterday. Blumenauer announced on Monday he will not be running for reelection. Susheela is the sister of Washington state's U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal.

'Rid Patrol' Opens Deployment Center In SE Portland

(Portland, OR) -- A program tasked with picking up trash in the Portland area is expanding. The Metro "Rid Patrol" opened a new deployment center in southeast Portland yesterday. The facility is expected to improve efficiency for the garbage pick-up program. Rid Patrol has been in operation for three decades cleaning up garbage dumped in public spaces from Troutdale to Forest Grove.

OR Begins Handing Out Christmas Tree Permits Next Week

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon residents can begin cutting down their own Christmas trees next week. The Bureau of Land Management's Roseburg District Office will start handing out Christmas tree permits on November 10th. The permits allow residents to cut down their own tree of up to 12 feet tall at either the Swiftwater or South River Resource Areas for a fee of five dollars. Each household is limited to three trees per permit.


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