Regional News Archives for 2024-01

City, County, State Declare Tri-Government Fentanyl Emergency

PORTLAND, OR -- Oregon, the city of Portland and Multnomah County each declared a fentanyl emergency this week, "To address the crisis of fentanyl use in Portland’s Central City, which we know has a ripple effect on the rest of the state." Governor Tina Kotek says focusing a coordinated emergency response in Portland benefits every Oregonian, "Because we know a large share of fentanyl in Oregon is trafficked through our major city."

The declarations are in place for just 90 days, during which time incident commanders assigned by city, county and state governments will coordinate efforts between their respective agencies. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says the coordinated effort builds on what the city has already done, and lays the groundwork for the future, "This declared emergency between the state, the county and the city is a longer-term strategy. Obviously, in 90 days, we’re not going to solve the fentanyl crisis in Portland. It’s going to be with us for years." He added, "Long-term success demands increased collaboration between those of us here: the city, the county and the state." Wheeler explained, "Over the next 90 days, we will focus on creating stronger systems of coordination for a more focused and immediate set of changes."

Governor Tina Kotek says they’ll stand up a command center for better strategic coordination, "The fentanyl crisis requires state and local government to respond with the highest possible level of coordination. Together, we must do more to increase access to treatment, and we much do more to hold individuals accountable for selling fentanyl and other dangerous drugs."

She says there is no budget for the project yet, "Right now, we’re using existing resources to coordinate better. And I fully expect there will be an additional ask, but right now I don’t know what those are."

Among the strategies, Kotek wants licensing boards to streamline the certification process, to get more addiction treatment providers on the street, faster. They plan to release metrics and measurable goals soon. 

 

Victim's Wife Suspect In Murder

(Portland, OR) -- The wife of a man found shot to death in a southeast Portland home last week is now wanted for his murder. 37-year-old Phillip Pierce was found by police inside of a locked home on Southeast Suncrest Drive. Police say his wife, Analiesa Golde, is wanted for Murder in the Second Degree. She may be driving a 2015 burnt orange Toyota 4Runner with an Oregon license plate 501HSB. She should be considered armed and dangerous, so if you see her call 911.

Homes In Astoria Evacuated Due To A Landslide

(Astoria, OR) -- Some residents in Astoria are wondering when they'll be able to return home after being evacuated due to a landslide that has shut down part of the Uppertown neighborhood. City officials say eight properties are affected, with five homes evacuated near 27th Street and Grand Avenue. Streets have cracks in them and natural gas and water had been turned off. The slide, which is just under five acres in size, is in an area that has been prone to slides since the 1950's. The Red Cross is assisting evacuees with temporary housing.

Trucking Companies Sue Oregon Over Fees

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Trucking Association and three trucking companies have filed a lawsuit against the state alleging they're over-charged for road use. A study by the state determined trucking companies are over-paying by at least 32 percent. ODOT is aware of the problem, but the Oregon Transportation Commission has failed to act on it. ODOT is already over budget on the cost of projects and if it reduces fees paid by truckers it would have to raise taxes on light duty vehicles, like cars and trucks. The lawsuit claims truckers are over-paying by 193-million-dollars a year.

Oregon Programs Receive $60 Million For Homelessness Programs

(Washington, D.C.) -- The federal government is distributing 60-million-dollars to 140 programs in Oregon that help prevent homelessness. Clackamas, Deschutes, Lane, Marion, Multnomah and Washington counties will receive over two-million-dollars for eight planning initiatives. Four-point-three million dollars will fund programs that support young people experiencing homelessness. The rest of the money will go to new or existing programs around the state. The funds come from HUD's Continuum of Care program.

Suspect Arrested In Parking Lot Shooting

(Salem, OR) -- Salem Police have arrested a suspect in a shooting that wounded three people in a Fred Meyer parking lot on Monday morning. Thirty-year-old Julia Thea Dora Dorfler, of Eugene was shot multiple times and remains hospitalized. Thirty-year-old Jamie Thomason and 28-year-old Chance Towlerton, both of Springfield, were also wounded in the shooting. Thomason remains hospitalized. Towlerton was treated and released. Sixty-two-year-old Robert Josh, Jr., of Springfield, was arrested and charged with attempted murder in the second degree. Another man was arrested for a probation violation. Police are not releasing what led to the shooting.

Portland Waives Tree Removal Permit Fees

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is waiving retroactive tree removal and replanting application fees for property owners with tree damage from the storms. The waiver applies from January 12th through February 23rd. The tree permit application fee requirements may also be adjusted on a case-by-case basis for future weather events. Residents who need help with limbs or trees threatening or blocking a public right-of-way can call 311 for help.

Oregon Tribal Cultural Task Force Reestablished

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is re-establishing the Task Force on Oregon Tribal Cultural Items. Schools, universities and state agencies across the state have tribal cultural items. In 2017, a task force was formed to create an inventory of the items. In 2020, the work was paused because of the pandemic. The task force is now being restarted. Kotek says, "Tribes should have access to information about cultural items held in storage or on display." They'll develop a process to find the items, determine who they belong to, who should have them and how they should be stored.

Three Injured In Parking Lot Shooting

(Salem, OR) -- Three people were injured Monday morning in a shooting at the Fred Meyer parking lot on Market Street Northeast in Salem. A man and woman, both 30-years-old, were found in the parking lot while a 28-year-old man went to an Elmer's Restaurant to get help. All three went to a hospital. Police say all of the people involved in the shooting are accounted for and there's no threat to the public. No arrests have been made. The investigation continues.

Suspect Arrested For Poaching

(Beaverton, OR) -- An Aloha man is accused of illegally shooting a deer and claiming it was hit by a vehicle. In December, a Beaverton Police officer pulled over 27-year-old David Brock who had a dead buck in his Honda Odyssey. Brock claimed the deer had been killed by a vehicle. It's legal to salvage a deer that's been killed in a crash. Oregon State Police continued the investigation and learned the deer had been shot and there were no injuries from a vehicle. A range finder, deer call, and camouflage boots were found in the Honda. Brock was cited and is scheduled to be in court next month.

Pedestrian Hit And Killed In Vancouver

(Vancouver, WA) -- Police are trying to identify a hit and run driver who ran over a person in Vancouver who had been hit by another vehicle. Sunday evening, a pedestrian was hit on Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard near 135th Avenue. The driver stopped and vehicles backed up. A driver in the backup, pulled around to pass and ran over the person who had been hit. Bystanders gave the victim CPR, but he died the scene. Police say the person was not in a crosswalk.

OSU Works To Protect Wine Grapes From Wildfire Smoke

(Corvallis, OR) -- Wildfire smoke can impact wine grapes, and Oregon State University is working on ways to prevent the damage. Researchers are developing a coating for the grapes that keeps the smoke out. In 2020, wildfire smoke cost vintners more than three-billion-dollars in damaged grapes. They're working to develop a spray-on coating that doesn't affect the grapes growth or taste and keeps them from being tainted by the smoke. More testing is needed before the coating is ready to be used on a wide scale.

Pedestrian Killed In Gresham Crash

(Gresham, OR) -- A pedestrian was hit by two vehicles and killed early Monday morning in Gresham. Neither vehicle stopped. Gresham Police say the crash happened at Burnside and North Main Avenue around 3:30 in the morning. The pedestrian died at the scene. Detectives are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact them. No arrests have been made and they have not released information about the vehicles that fled the scene.

16 Drugs, 42 Guns Seized

(Portland, OR) -- A shipment of the drug ecstasy led federal agents to arrest a Gresham man for a cache of drugs and guns. Court documents show 38-year-old Riley Hinds allegedly used a fake name to open a mail box at a Gresham UPS store where the ecstasy was being shipped from overseas. When agents searched his house they reportedly found 16 different types of illegal drugs including LSD, opium, cocaine and counterfeit Oxycodone. They also seized drug processing equipment, 42 guns, four suppressors, two unfinished ghost guns, and six sets of body armor. Hinds was charged in federal court.

Recreational Boating in 2023 Claims 14 Lives In Oregon

SALEM, OR -- The number of people killed in recreational boating incidents declined in 2023. But the Oregon Marine Board still says 14 is too many fatalities, and most were preventable. In 2022, 16 people were killed in recreational boating incidents. 

Brian Paulsen, OMB's Boating Safety Program Manager, says 12 of last year's victims weren’t wearing a life jacket. "Historically, across the country, 80% of fatalities are drownings because the victim wasn’t wearing a life jacket. And Oregon is very consistent in that." Another victim was wearing a life jacket, but he hadn't been properly maintained. "The victim was wearing an inflatable life jacket that did not inflate," says Paulsen, "They are a mechanical device that needs to be maintained. And if they’re not, then they’re not going to save a life." He adds, "Usually, they don’t have the CO2 cartridge installed correctly, which is the case on the fatality in 2023." The 14th victim was wearing a life jacket, but was swept into a "rock strainer" by the swift current.

Eight people drowned due to capsizing, "And oftentimes the boat was overloaded," says Paulsen, "And if the boat wasn’t overloaded, they were boating in conditions that were not safe to be boating, where the boat was swamped by water."

Paulsen says the marine board launched an initiative last year, encouraging users of standup paddleboards to take safety measures, "And I’m happy to say that in 2023, there was not a standup paddleboard fatality in Oregon associated with recreational boating." It’s the first time in five years no standup paddleboard users died in Oregon. Paulsen says it’s been tough to overpower popular culture, "There’s a lot of great tourism people promoting recreation where there’s no life jacket being worn on a standup paddleboard or a kayak, with a very scenic background. And people go out and try to emulate that."

Photo of a standup paddleboard user without a life jacket courtesy Visit Bend

Stolen Vehicle Mission

(Portland, OR) -- Stolen vehicle missions are expanding in the Portland area. On Friday, Portland Police worked with Vancouver Police and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office to stop suspected stolen vehicles. They use special criteria to identify vehicles that are likely to be stolen. They made 25 stops and seized eleven stolen vehicles. Ten people were arrested, and one gun was recovered. Three drivers attempted to elude police and two were pursued.

Two Portland Schools Damaged By Storm

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Public Schools says it could be mid-February before students can return to Robert Gray Middle School and Markham Elementary because of damage from the winter storm. Markham Elementary students will be bused to four other elementary schools. Students from Robert Gray will go to Jackson Middle School. At a meeting on Saturday with parents, Portland Public Schools Chief of Staff Jonathan Garcia said the storms were unexpected and unprecedented. They plan to provide consistent and transparent updates about reopening plans to parents.

Free Seeds For Gardeners

(Corvallis, OR) -- The Grow This! Oregon Garden Challenge statewide seed giveaway has returned for the fifth year. It's organized by Oregon State University's Extension Service. Bi-Mart donates the seeds. Their goal is to give away seeds to 36-hundred individuals and enough classroom kits for 40-thousand students. Last year, 122-thousand Oregonians took part in the Grow This! Challenge. You can sign up online at Food Hero-dot-org.

Clark College WSU Agreement

(Vancouver, WA) -- It's now easier for students at Clark College in Vancouver to transfer to Washington State University Vancouver. The Guaranteed Admission program allows students to move from working on an associate's degree at Clark to a bachelor's degree at WSU. Starting at Clark will save students money when they transfer to WSU.

Senior Living Facility Closing

(Sandy, OR) -- The State of Oregon has suspended the license of the Mt. Hood Senior Living facility in Sandy, because of eight violations. They were notified on Friday and had only hours to relocate residents to other facilities. Last month, 83-year-old Ki Soon Hyun, a resident in the memory care wing, walked off and was found dead in a wooded area about a half mile from the facility. A state team helped to relocate the residents.

Officer's Name Released

(Portland, OR) -- Police have released the name of an officer who fatally shot a suspect on January 14th in a downtown Portland apartment building. Police responded to calls of shots fired in the Portland Astoria apartment building. The suspect, 31-year-old Matthew Holland, was reportedly firing shots through the walls and door. Nearby residents were evacuated and others were told to shelter-in-place. Officer Joshua Howery, a member of the Special Emergency Reaction Team, was on the perimeter when he fatally shot Holland. Officers found an AR-15 style rifle next to Holland. None of the residents of the apartment complex were injured.

PGE Climate Plan Denied

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Public Utility Commission has told Portland General Electric it needs a better long-term plan to meet the state's greenhouse gas emissions goals. The PUC says PGE's short-term plan to increase energy efficiency along with solar, wind and battery storage are good. But, the utility's plan for compliance with the state's law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions needs more detail to prove they can achieve the goal. Deep reductions are needed by 2030. They're giving PGE one year to develop a better plan.

Portland City Commissioner Announces Run For New Council

(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Commissioners will be out of a job at the end of the year when the current council dissolves and a new council with 12 representatives is formed. Voters approved the new form of government, and it takes effect January 1st, 2025. Current Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan has announced he's running for a representative position in the second district. The other council members, Carmen Rubio, Mingus Mapps, and Rene Gonzales, are running for mayor. Mayor Ted Wheeler has announced he's not running for re-election.

Oregon's Kid Governor Takes Office

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's next Kid Governor was sworn into office Thursday. Retired Oregon Supreme Court Justice Paul Demuniz read the oath to Zoya Shah in the Oregon Senate Chamber. She's a fifth grade student at Beaverton's Findley Elementary School. She ran on a platform of creating mental health awareness for kids. Shah was one of seven candidates who campaigned before fifth graders at nearly 100 classes around the state. The other six candidates will make up Shah's cabinet. The goal of the program is to teach fifth graders about civics.

Oregon Graduation Rate For 2023

(Salem, OR) -- Students who were freshman during the start of the pandemic graduated last year, and Oregon graduation rates were near the highest levels ever recorded in the state at 81 percent. Students were given additional resources including after-school and summer school programs that helped them catch up. Students who learned English before entering high school graduated at 87 percent. All groups of students had about the same graduation rate when comparing 2022 with 2023. Students with two credits in Career and Technical Education had a 95 percent graduation rate.

Portland Reduces Lead Risk In Water

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Water Bureau's efforts to reduce lead in drinking water appear to be working. The city's water lines don't contain lead, but some houses built between 1970 and 1985 might have lead in their home plumbing. The Water Bureau added a corrosion control treatment system in 2022 that increases the pH and alkalinity, reducing the chance lead will get into the water. Testing shows the water is now in full compliance with the EPA's Lead and Copper rule.

Portland Storm Planning

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland and Multnomah County plan to change how they respond to severe weather. Mayor Ted Wheeler and County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson met to discuss better planning, coordination, and communications. They released a joint statement saying they're committed to working together to improve how they serve residents, especially people living on the streets. They will particularly improve the way emergency shelters are set up and operated.

Portland Parks Recovers From Storms

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Parks and Rec is working to reopen facilities that were damaged during the extreme cold weather and winter storms. The Southwest Community Center and Pool, along with the Portland Tennis Center, will reopen on Wednesday. Two facilities will remain closed, because of damage. The East Portland Community Center and Pool and the Multnomah Arts Center are undergoing damage assessments. Damage at other facilities included flooding, frozen boilers, ceiling leaks and heating system failures.

Portland Releases Legislative Priorities

(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Council has released its priorities for the short Legislative session that starts next month. They will focus on housing, homelessness, community safety and drug addiction. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says the city is making significant investments in those priorities and they need the state to help. They met with Portland area members of the Senate and House to discuss their priorities.

Traffic Stop Nets Large Drug Bust

(Portland, OR) -- Authorities say a traffic stop in Portland on Sunday resulted in a major drug bust. Police got a tip that 22-year-old Juan Berrelleza Leyva, a Mexican national living in Portland, was allegedly moving drugs on I-5 toward Portland. When officers tried to pull him over, he initially didn't stop. When he did pull over, a narcotics K-9 alerted and officers found 200 pounds of meth and two pounds of heroin hidden in a duffle bag, suitcase, and trash bag. Leyva entered the U.S. seven months ago and reportedly admitted to running drugs from other states into Portland. He was charged in federal court.

Fahey Next Oregon House Speaker

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon State Representative Julie Fahey will be the next House Speaker. She'll replace Representative Dan Rayfield who will step down at the end of February's short session to run for Oregon Attorney General. Fahey is currently the House Majority Leader and needs to be elected Speaker by the full chamber at the end of the short session. Fahey has represented West Eugene since 2017.

Kids In Stolen Car

(Portland, OR) -- Police are releasing the identity of a woman accused of stealing a car with two kids inside Monday afternoon in Portland. Police say 33-year-old Iosha Millage of Portland faces charges in both Oregon and Washington. Authorities say the father of the children had left the car running while he went inside of a business and came out to find Millage jump into the driver's seat and take off. At Northwest 15th and Glisan, the suspect stopped at a light and the kids, ages nine and 11, jumped out and flagged down help. The kids were reunited with their father. Police pursued the car into Washington state where it was eventually stopped and Millage was taken into custody.

Cyber Attack Closes CCC

(Oregon City, OR) -- Clackamas Community College will be closed for the third day Wednesday, because of a cyber attack. The school shut down computer systems on Friday when they learned of the hack. Law enforcement was notified and the school plans to reopen on Thursday. College President Tim Cook released a statement saying it was a significant cybersecurity incident.

PGE Finished Outage Restoration

(Portland, OR) -- Nine days after a windstorm hit Northwest Oregon, Portland General Electric has finished repairing damage that caused outages to nearly 525-thousand customers. PGE crews faced challenging conditions that included fallen trees and icy roads. 18-hundred personnel, including crews from Washington, California, and Idaho, worked to restore power. Repairs were made to 23 transmission lines, 69 distribution lines, 14 substations, 599 transformers and 348 power poles.

Oregon DEQ Restarts Climate Plan Process

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is restarting the process of creating the Climate Protection Program. The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled the DEQ didn't follow the correct notification process. The goal of the program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 90 percent by 2050. DEQ says it disagrees with the Appeals Court ruling, but they're accepting it to reduce the time a legal battle would take. DEQ will expand the notification process to meet the court's objections.

Oregon To Receive $10 Million For EV Chargers

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon will receive ten-million-dollars to repair and replace charging stations for electric vehicles. The money is coming from the National EV Infrastructure Formula Program that was part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The money will be used to repair broken EV chargers and upgrade charges, so more vehicles can plug in. Governor Tina Kotek says reliable vehicle charging infrastructure is a key part of the state's climate goals.

Storm Disrupts Garbage Collection

(Portland, OR) -- Last week's storms significantly disrupted garbage and recycling collection in Portland. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability says garbage collection is the top priority this week. If your garbage wasn't picked up, leave the bin at the curb and they'll collect it as soon as possible. Recycling is the next priority. If your recycling was missed last week, you can set out twice as much this week. Compost pickups may be delayed until next week. Check your garbage company's website for specific details.

High School Drug Dealer Sentenced To Prison

(Portland, OR) -- A man who admitted selling drugs to Portland kids has been sentenced to prison. In 2022, a Cleveland High School student was reported missing from school. He was last seen with 43-year-old Jonathon Clark, of Portland. Drug officers located Clark and found he was carrying small quantities of cocaine and ecstasy, and had a digital scale. Clark admitted to selling drugs to high school students. He was indicted by a federal grand jury and pleaded guilty to one count of distributing a controlled substance to a person under 21. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison.

Two Suspects Arrested In Burglaries

(Newberg, OR) -- Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a string of burglaries in Newberg, and additional arrests are expected. Several businesses were burglarized in November, including Providence Newberg Medical Center's emergency triage trailer that was stolen. Newberg Police identified two suspects who were indicted by a Yamhill County grand jury. 28-year-old Dylian Simkins and 44-year-old Elizabeth Moser were arrested. Police say the investigation has led to other suspects outside of Newberg and more arrests could happen.

Broken Pipe Forces Building Evacuation

(Portland, OR) -- A four-story building with 50 apartments was forced to be evacuated last week in Portland when a pipe broke flooding the building. Ceilings and walls were soaked in water and started falling apart. Most residents had to find other places to live. The apartment management company was trying to find space for residents in their other buildings. It could be five months before the building is repaired.

Oregon Humane Society Water Damage

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Humane Society spent the weekend cleaning up at their Portland building after a pipe broke. It flooded the kitchen and laundry areas. The kennel areas weren't affected. Blowers are running to dry out the building, so they can assess damage. Ice on the walkways made it difficult for volunteers to walk dogs, so they used outdoor concrete and inside areas for exercise.

Recording Breaking 911 Calls

(Portland, OR) -- The winter weather last week set a record for health-related calls to Portland's 911. There were more than 500 calls a day from Wednesday through Friday, when temperatures began to warm up. Those were the busiest days since the deadly Heat Dome in 2021. Injuries from falls also spiked. On Saturday, there were 202 emergency department and urgent care visits for falls. On a typical winter day, there are about 40 visits for falls.

Cyclist Dies From Crash

(Salem, OR) -- A cyclist who was seriously injured during a crash on January 11th in Salem has died. Sixty-one-year-old Juan Martinez Barron was found on Portland Road Northeast with a serious head injury. He rode a green and black mountain bike that pulled a small utility trailer. He was often seen near a homeless camp. Police initially couldn't find his family, but they were able to locate Martinez's family before he died.

Icy Gorge Closes Multnomah Falls Lodge

(Multnomah Falls, OR) -- The extremely cold weather last week caused heavy ice to form around Multnomah Falls. The lodge remains closed, because water cascading over the pedestrian areas froze. The Historic Columbia River Highway is also closed because of snowdrifts, trees and rocks that fell onto the highway. Trails in the Gorge are covered in ice. The U.S. Forest Service says there's no estimate for when the Lodge or the Highway will reopen.

Police Seek Tips In Seven Year Old Homicide

(Gresham, OR) -- Gresham Police are asking for information about a fatal shooting that happened seven years ago. On January 20th, 2017 officers responded to a home on Southeast 176th Avenue where they found Eddie Wallace Sr. dead from a gunshot wound and his teenage son in the house, unharmed. Detectives reviewed surveillance video, interviewed witnesses and executed multiple search warrants, but no arrests have been made. Crime Stoppers is offering a 25-hundred-dollar reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Portland Teen Credited With Saving Baby From Electrocution

PORTLAND, OR -- We’re hearing from the teen credited with saving a baby in Portland Wednesday, after a live powerline fell on a vehicle. Witnesses say the baby’s parents and teenage uncle initially escaped unhurt. But they came in contact with the wire in the panic that followed. 

Portland Fire’s Rick Graves says it was a chaotic scene, "But fortunately, in all of that, we do have a toddler that made it through. And they’re here, in part, because of the heroic acts of a member of our community."

Nine-month-old Nahmir was rescued by Majiah Washington, an 18-year-old who lives next door to the baby’s grandma. She says she saw the 21-year-old mother, her brother and boyfriend get out of the car with the live wire lying on the hood. But they worried the vehicle would catch on fire, "The baby’s mom was yelling to the man, ‘take my baby out of the car! Take my baby out of the car.’ He swaddled the baby in his arms and he walked him over there." She says he tried to go up the driveway, "He slipped, he fell backwards and the bottom of his foot touched the line." He stopped moving, and was still holding Nahmir.

Washington told reporters Thursday, "The baby moved his head, and that’s how I knew - that’s how I knew he was still here." She called 911 and got the baby away from the scene. "I don’t even think I was in my right state of mind. I wasn’t thinking ‘I could be electrocuted too.’ I was moreso thinking I have to grab this baby. I’m not going to lie. I was just trying to put it all into grabbing that baby." She added, "The only thing I could think about was how he was still here. He was moving his head, so I just didn’t want him to possibly fall, slide forward, slide to the side and touch the water." She says she did what anyone would do in that situation.

Graves says firefighters arrived to find the powerline still charged and the three adults in the icy street. They are believed to have died by electrocution, although official cause of death has not been released. "There was a lot of emotions going on. And this young, calm individual in our community came out and made a huge difference," says Graves. 

Photo: Majiah Washington talked to reporters Thursday at the Portland Fire & Rescue administrative office. 

SNAP Recipients Can Request Replacement Benefits

(Portland, OR) -- If you get benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and you lost food due to the winter storm, you could be eligible for replacement benefits. Power outages in the storm caused many Oregonians to lose food, or have to toss food that was no longer safe to eat. The Oregon Department of Human Services says requests must document their losses and ask for replacement benefits within ten days of losing the food. If approved, funds will be added to their EBT cards.

Flight Cancellations At PDX

(Portland, OR) -- Crews at Portland International Airport are working to keep runways open with freezing rain in the forecast. There were 152 cancellations on Wednesday and 93 cancellations on Thursday. 23 of those cancellations are for the Boeing 737 MAX-9 grounding. Travelers should check with their carrier to make sure a flight is still scheduled. Concession and retail operations at the airport are limited, because of staffing shortages.

Oregon Adds Jobs In December

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon added jobs last month and the unemployment rate increased slightly. The Oregon Employment Department reports 39-hundred jobs were added with most gains in health care and social assistance, construction, and retail trade. Financial activities and wholesale trade lost jobs. At 123-thousand jobs in December, the construction sector set a record high. Residential construction was strongest. Oregon's unemployment rate increased from three-point-six to three-point-seven percent which is the same as the U.S. unemployment rate.

CDC Expands Warning Against Salmonella Exposure

(Portland, OR) -- Cases of salmonella infections nationwide that are connected to charcuterie meats have doubled. The CDC reports 23 more illnesses have been reported from eight additional states. There has been one case in Oregon and five in Washington. There are two products involved. Fratelli Beretta brand Antipasto Gran Beretta was sold at Costco and Busseto brand Charcuterie Sampler was sold at Sam's Club. If you have those products you should throw them away and call your health care provider if you develop symptoms.

Commissioner Meieran Calls For Mental Health Takeover

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran is calling on the state to take over mental health services in the county. Under Oregon law, counties are directed to act as the Local Mental Health Authorities. Meieran says Multnomah County has failed to meet the obligation. She says the county hasn't dealt with the fentanyl crisis, hasn't made progress on a proposed Behavioral Health Emergency Coordination Network and there's been a record number of deaths in the county jail. Meieran made the request to the Governor's office. Governor Tina Kotek hasn't issued a response.

Pipe Failure Causes Sewage Spill In Fanno Creek

(Portland. OR) -- Residents are being advised to avoid contact with Fanno Creek downstream of Southwest 86th Avenue for at least 48 hours due to increased bacteria in the water. This week's extreme weather caused a sewage pipe to fracture at the Fanno Pump Station in Southwest Portland Wednesday night, leading to a sewage release into the creek. Crews responded to the release around 9 p.m., stopping the flow about two hours later. How much sewage was released is not known. The incident is being investigated.

Winter Weather Delays Garbage Collection

(Portland, OR) -- The snow, sleet and freezing rain this week has delayed garbage collection across the city. The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability says Portlanders should put their garbage, recycling and compost bins out on their normal collection day. If the bins aren't emptied, leave them at the curb. Collection companies will get them as soon as they can. Garbage companies will work Saturday, if weather allows, to catch up. Residents outside of Portland should check with their collection company.

Seaside Businesses Report Fake $100

(Seaside, OR) -- Banks in Seaside are reporting several businesses have been getting fake 100 dollar bills. They look real. They pass a pen test, but they don't pass electronic validation devices, magnetic ink or ultraviolet back light tests. The paper is lighter colored, likely from being washed. All of the bills have a backplate number of 82 and serial numbers start with BB. Police are asking for security video of potential suspects.

Multnomah County Sets Record For Shelter Guests

(Portland, OR) -- During the extremely cold weather and freezing rain, Multnomah County open the most shelters in its history. 12 shelters were opened, compared to eight shelters during last year's cold snap. They also house a record number of guests with the peak being nearly 13-hundred people Tuesday night. The Joint Office of Homeless Services distributed the most winter clothing and sleeping bags it has ever given to people living outside.

I-5 Interstate Bridge Northbound To Close Saturday Night

(Portland, OR) -- Interstate 5 northbound at the Interstate Bridge will close Saturday night. Crews will be working on the bridge's traffic signals. I-5 northbound will be closed from 11 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. on Sunday. Drivers headed to Washington will need to use I-84 and I-205.

Crash Between Car, Semi Kills Five In Klamath County

(Portland, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into a crash that killed five people in Klamath County. Oregon State Police say the crash happened yesterday near Crescent when a car collided with a semi-truck on U.S. 97. Police believe the crash was caused by poor road conditions. The names of the victims have not yet been released.

Kotek Details Housing Production Bill

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has proposed a bill to boost housing production. The goal is to increase affordable housing. It would create a Housing Accountability and Production Office to reduce conflicts with state housing law. Cities would be able to add land for building. Construction on the expanded land would require 30 percent of the units to be affordable housing. The programs would be funded with 500-million-dollars.

Three Killed By Downed Powerline In Portland

PORTLAND, OR -- Three people were killed in Portland after a powerline came down on their vehicle, Wednesday. Firefighters responded to a report of a car fire just before noon. When they arrived, there were no flames, only three people lying in the icy roadway. The two adults and a teen were pronounced dead at the scene. An infant in the SUV at the time was unhurt. 

Investigators say the victims got out of the vehicle after a branch brought down a live powerline. When their feet touched the icy road and their bodies remained in contact with the car, they became part of the active current, leading to electrocution. 

Authorities say it’s a tragic reminder to stay in your vehicle if it comes in contact with a powerline.

Governor Declares Lane County Emergency

(Salem, OR) -- Governor Tina Kotek has declared a state of emergency in Lane County because of the ice storm. County Commissioners requested the declaration because of the amount of damage to infrastructure and power equipment. The declaration will allow the county to apply for federal help making repairs.

Additional Hypothermia Deaths Investigation

(Portland, OR) -- Five deaths are now under investigation for possible hypothermia since the cold weather hit the region last week. Multnomah County reports two new deaths for a total of four. Washington County is also investigating a death in a Tigard home. It often takes weeks, or months to complete the investigations to determine the official cause of death in a hypothermia case.

Ice And Snow Close State Parks

(Portland, OR) -- At least nine Oregon State Parks in the valley and along the North Coast are closed or partially closed, due to ice, snow and downed trees. That includes the Bald Peak State Scenic Viewpoint in Yamhill County and the Buxton Trailhead in Washington County. Several restrooms have also closed, mostly in the Columbia Gorge. Visitors are encouraged to check park pages on the state park website before visiting, as well as local forecasts and TripCheck for road conditions, before heading out.

West Linn Issues Boil Order

(West Linn, OR) -- Some West Linn residents need to boil their drinking water. A weather-related equipment failure caused pressure in the lines to drop, potentially allowing bacteria into the lines. This only affects the Horton Pressure Zone. The City of West Linn has a map on their website. Residents need to boil water for two minutes before drinking, cooking, or brushing teeth. Throw away ice made with old water or automatic ice makers until the order is lifted.

Kotek Directs Resources To Storm Response

(Salem, OR) -- Governor Tina Kotek is directing more state resources to respond to the winter weather hitting the state. Kotek told the Oregon Health Authority, Emergency Management, and Human Services to increase the state's response to the storm. Oregon activated its network of health care professionals that volunteer during a crisis. That includes doctors, nurses, and emergency medical technicians. The state is running a shelter at Portland State University and at the fairgrounds in Ontario. ODOT has 400 plows working to clear highways and the Public Utility Commission is monitoring the response to power outages.

Suspect Steals Fire Truck During Call

(Vancouver, WA) -- Authorities say a Vancouver Fire Department truck was stolen during a call Monday night. The firefighters were inside of a house with a patient when the truck was stolen. Washington State Patrol spotted the truck on freeway cameras crossing into Oregon about five minutes after the theft. Tuesday morning, the truck was found unoccupied in Albany, Oregon. Police found a man inside of a house and arrested him for stealing the fire truck. He also had a warrant out of Washington County.

Rep. Wyden Announces Tax Deal To Expand Child Tax Credit

(Washington, DC) -- Democratic Oregon Congressman Ron Wyden is announcing a bipartisan deal to expand the child tax credit and create a series of tax breaks for businesses. The deal between Wyden and Missouri Republican Jason Smith ends months of negotiating. It will enhance refundable child tax credits to try to provide relief to struggling families and those with multiple children. It'll also raise the tax credit's refundable cap and adjust it for inflation. In a statement, Smith said American families will benefit from this agreement that provides greater tax relief and creates jobs. Wyden said fifteen million kids from low-income families will now be better off because of this deal.

Portland Schools Closed Due To Freezing Rain

(Portland, OR) -- Schools are closed again today across the Portland area due to freezing rain. Portland Public Schools says they want students and staff to be safe. Maintenance staff will visit the schools as conditions allow to check for frozen or burst pipes that have thawed and to check heating systems. Most schools have power, but parking lots need to be safe before they can open.

Carjacker Shoots Person Charging Cell Phone

(Gresham, OR) -- A carjacker in Gresham shot a person Saturday night whose power was out and they were in a car charging a cell phone. The incident happened on Northeast 178th Avenue near Glisan Street. The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers found the victim's car stuck in a snow drift in a nearby parking lot. The suspect was gone. Police are asking nearby businesses and residents to check surveillance cameras for images of the suspect.

Frozen Pump Station Fixed

(Portland, OR) -- City of Portland crews have fixed the city's largest sewer pump station. It froze in the extremely cold weather. Sewage was stored in the Big Pipe until the pump was fixed and now it's being moved to the city's wastewater treatment plant. There was no impact on the public and residents won't have to reduce flushing. A separate problem with a frozen generator caused sewage to back up into one home, instead of nearly a dozen homes as the city first reported.

Suspect Firing AR-15 Killed By Police

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police are releasing new details about an officer involved shooting Sunday night that killed a man. Police responded to a call of shots being fired inside the Astoria Apartments at 1st and Columbia. Officers found bullet holes in the hallway and heard people yelling inside an apartment. Officers tried to call the man and yelled outside of the unit, but no one responded. More shots were fired with rounds going into a neighboring apartment. An officer on the perimeter used deadly force. The suspect died at the scene. No one else was in the room. The investigation is ongoing.

Mt. Tabor Park Suffers Massive Storm Damage

(Portland, OR) -- A Portland Parks official says the weekend storm destroyed the top of Mt. Tabor Park. Vincent Moore tells Willamette Week that at least a half-dozen huge fir trees crashed to the ground during Saturday's snow, sleet and windstorm, taking out the picnic shelter that has been there for more than 50 years. No one was hurt. The park is a top sledding destination when it snows, but now Mt Tabor Park's gates are closed and restrooms in all the parks system-wide are also closed.

Ice Storm Warning Issued For Western Oregon

(Portland, OR) -- An Ice Storm Warning is in effect for the Willamette Valley and parts of Southwest Washington. The National Weather Service has issued a warning from 10 o'clock this morning through 4 a.m. Wednesday. The Portland area could see up to one inch of snow and ice accumulations from two-tenths to half-an-inch. The Central and Southern Willamette Valley could get between two-tenths and four-tenths of an inch of ice. Temperatures are expected to warm above freezing on Wednesday.

Portland Funded Elections To Be Reduced

(Portland, OR) -- Portland's system of paying a portion of campaign costs for council members, mayor and auditor is expected to reduce payments. The Portland Election Commission will vote on Wednesday. Candidates who agree to the Small Donor Program get part of their campaign costs covered by the city. Next year, Portland adds eight city council members which would blow the program's budget. The maximum amount for city council candidates would be cut from 300-thousand dollars to 120-thousand. Portland City Council could add to the fund, but there's been no indication they plan to do that.

MAX Service Suspended For Fourth Day

(Portland, OR) -- Today marks day four of MAX trains being shut down due to severe winter weather. TriMet says all MAX service remains suspended this morning amid forecasts of freezing rain. Officials say a combination of trees falling across tracks and power lines, power outages, and ice on the tracks are keeping the trains from running. TriMet says it will have shuttle buses replacing trains on all of its MAX lines. Meanwhile, TriMet buses will be running on all scheduled bus lines, though some buses will continue to be running with snow chains, limiting their speed to 25 miles per hour.

NW Natural Removes Request To Conserve

(Portland, OR) -- Northwest Natural customers no longer need to conserve natural gas. The request was made because of a problem with a storage facility in Washington state. The issue has been resolved and Northwest Natural is telling customers they can resume using natural gas as they need it.

Newport State Of Emergency

(Newport, OR) -- The City of Newport declared a state of emergency on Saturday, because of storm damage. Downed trees and branches caused power outages over more than half of the city. Overview Assisted Living lost power on Saturday. The City and Pacific West Ambulance worked with the facility to take care of residents. The City and Lincoln County were working to set up a shelter.

MAX Trains Stopped By Weather

(Portland, OR) -- MAX trains were stopped in Portland over the weekend, because of storm damage. Trees fell across tracks and the rails were iced over. Power outages also affected service. Passengers were told to use TriMet buses, which were running on chains and behind schedule.

Church Fire Kills Two

(Portland, OR) -- Two women were killed in a church fire early Sunday morning at the Word and Spirit Church in Northeast Portland. Residents living next to the church called 911 to report a fire at the church had spread to their house. Arriving firefighters were told church members might be inside, but the flames kept them from searching the building. They tried to use a ladder to reach the second floor, but the roof began to collapse and firefighters couldn't get inside. They put out the fire in the church and prevented the fire from destroying the house. Two women in their mid-70s died in the fire. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Multnomah County Opens Additional Shelters

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County opened additional shelters on Sunday to help people who lost power and had no heat in the freezing weather. Three additional shelters were opened bringing the total to 12. On Saturday night, 821 people stayed in shelters. The cold weather is expected to continue through Wednesday and Multnomah County is asking for volunteers to help run the shelters. They're especially asking for people with experience in human services and health-related settings.

Storm Deaths

(Portland, OR) -- At least four people have died from storm related causes in the Portland area during the arctic freeze. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner is investigating two suspected hypothermia deaths. One person was killed in an RV that caught fire after it was hit by a tree, and a man in Lake Oswego was killed when his home was hit by a tree.

OSU's 12th President Dies

(Corvallis, OR) -- Oregon State University's 12th president, John Byrne, died at age 95 on Thursday. Byrne was president from 1984 to 1995 after leading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Byrne oversaw the construction of buildings and the addition of degree programs. Current President Jayathi Murthy says OSU would be unrecognizable without the contributions from Byrne. After his retirement, Byrne remained a prominent member of the OSU community.

OR Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Trump Ballot Case

SALEM, OR -- The State Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by a group of voters trying to keep former President Trump off the May ballot. Secretary of State Lavonne Griffin-Valade has said she does not have the authority to disqualify a candidate from the primary. Five Oregonians are suing, claiming Trump violated the 14th Amendment.  

Oregon’s High Court won't hear the case, because the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a similar case out of Colorado and it would resolve the same issues. Oral arguments in the federal case are scheduled for February eighth. The group can refile their case if issues remain after that decision. 

Click HERE for the full statement from Oregon's Supreme Court.

 

ODOT Advises Working From Home On Friday

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Transportation is advising people in Portland and the Willamette Valley to work from home on Friday, if they can. Cold arctic air will meet a storm from the Pacific Ocean bringing snow, sleet and freezing rain. In past years, winter storms that arrive in the afternoon have caused a rush of traffic to get home which results in jammed freeways. ODOT wants drivers to monitor the forecast and road conditions.

Many Schools Announce Early Release Ahead Of Storm

(Portland, OR) -- A storm moving in from the Pacific Ocean is expected to bring snow to the northern Willamette Valley, and snow or freezing rain to the central and southern Valley. The wintery conditions are expected to start sometime this afternoon. Many school districts are announcing early release plans for Friday to get students home before the snow or ice falls.

Snow, Freezing Rain, And Arctic Cold

(Portland, OR) -- Cold temperatures and a storm moving in from the Pacific will bring a chance of winter weather in western Oregon and southwest Washington starting today. The National Weather Service has a Winter Storm Watch for western Oregon. Heavy snow and winds gusting to 45 miles an hour are possible from this afternoon through Saturday night. The Portland area could get one to eight inches of snow. The central Willamette Valley could get up to a quarter inch of ice and one to six inches of snow. From this afternoon through Wednesday, high temperatures will be below freezing and lows will be in the teens.

Lanning Plans To Stay In Oregon

(Eugene, OR) -- Dan Lanning says he's not jumping ship to Alabama. The Oregon head coach posted a video on social media and said that he plans to stay with Oregon in 2024. The announcement comes after speculation that Lanning would be one of the top candidates to succeed Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa after he announced his retirement on Wednesday. Lanning has led the Ducks to a 22-and-5 record during his two season with the team.

Man Officially Declared Dead Found Alive

(Portland, OR) -- The Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office is admitting it made a mistake last September, when it declared 23-year-old Portland resident Tyler Chase dead of a drug overdose. They gave his family an urn containing ashes, but they belonged to a stranger. They tell KPTV they discovered the mistake on December 18th and notified the family. Tyler's been in substance abuse recovery for months. The dead stranger was carrying Tyler's stolen wallet. The temporary paper Oregon Driver's license inside the wallet was used to identify the body. The Medical Examiner's Office is not naming the stranger, but they are promising a change in identification procedures.

Heavy Rain Bring Landslide Warning

(Medford, OR) -- There will be a risk of landslides in southern and western Oregon from the storm that'll move in today. The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy rain. That could cause landslides, especially in steep terrain or areas that were damaged by wildfires. Debris flows are also a concern. They move faster than a person can run. If you notice unusual sounds it might mean a debris flow is on the way. Another sign is when a stream or creek suddenly turns muddy.

Portland Health Officials Warn About Measles Outbreak

(Portland, OR) -- Doctors in the Portland area have been told to watch for measles symptoms. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection. A family of six people in Clark and Wahkiakum counties in Washington state have confirmed cases of measles. They're isolating at home. Two incubation periods have gone by, but health officials are concerned the infection could spread to people who aren't vaccinated. Measles symptoms include coughing, congestion, red eyes and a rash. If you have those symptoms, call your doctor before going in to be checked.

Officers' Names Released In Fatal Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police have released the names of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of a robbery suspect on December 27th near Mall 205. 33-year-old Tyrone Johnson allegedly stole merchandise from a store, and when he was confronted by officers, he ran. Officers John Bartlett, Adi Ramic, and Brian Wheeler were involved in the shooting that killed Johnson. Officers found a gun next to Johnson. The three officers remain on Administrative Leave during the investigation.

Clackamas County Offers Online Vital Record Copies

(Oregon City, OR) -- Clackamas County is the first agency in Oregon to offer online ordering of birth and death certificates. The County partnered with Permitium that runs an online service called VitalDirector. For 25 dollars, people can get a death or birth certificate. The can also still order the vital records in person. Clackamas County covers a wide area and they wanted to make it easier for residents to get the documents.

Portland To Appeal Camping Ban Ruling

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland City Council has approved an appeal of a Multnomah County judge's ruling that stopped the camping ban from taking effect. Mayor Ted Wheeler says they're asking the Oregon State Supreme Court to require the judge to explain why the ruling was issued. They also want the injunction against the ordinance lifted. The lawsuit was brought by the Oregon Law Center. It claims homeless people would be "irreparably harmed" by the ordinance. Wheeler says he's also writing a new ordinance that takes into account objections in the lawsuit.

Oregon Legislature To Consider Fee For Fighting Wildfires

(Salem, OR) -- An average of 645-thousand acres are burned by wildfires in Oregon every year. The state is always scrambling to find money to pay the cost. Oregon lawmakers are looking for more stable sources of funding. A bill is being proposed that would add a ten-dollar fee on all properties in the state. It was raise 20-million-dollars a year. That bill is expected to be considered in next month's session. Planning will continue with more proposals expected for 2025.

Six Week Disruption Coming To Most MAX Lines

(Portland, OR) -- Construction on the Better Red project will prevent MAX trains from stopping at the Gateway Transit Center from January 14th through February 25th. The Blue Line won't run between Northeast 7th Avenue and Northeast 102nd Avenue. The Green Line will only run from Clackamas Town Center to Main Street. The Red Line won't run to the airport. Shuttle buses will operate between the closures. The MAX Orange and Yellow lines aren't affected.

>OR Average Among Best/Worst States to Raise a Family

(Undated) -- Oregon ranks near the middle of the pack in a new list ranking the best and worst states to raise a family. Personal finance company Wallet Hub looked at factors such as family fun, health and safety, education and childcare, affordability, and socio-economics. Oregon ranked 26th in the nation. The top five states are Massachusetts, followed by North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York. Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, Mississippi, and New Mexico are the bottom five or worst states to raise a family.

Alaska Flight To Hawaii Diverts To Portland

(Portland, OR) -- Alaska Airlines is facing new troubles following a scary incident in which a panel blew out of a plane during a packed flight last week. An Alaska Airlines flight from Everett, Washington to Honolulu was redirected to Portland on Tuesday due to an issue with its radios. The plane was over the Pacific Ocean when it returned to Portland. Flight 819 was at Portland International Airport for about an hour-and-a-half before resuming its flight to Hawaii. The plane was a Boeing 737-900ER. On Friday, the door plug on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft blew out during ascent, tearing a passenger's shirt clean off his body. The FAA has grounded those planes until they're determined to be safe.

PacifiCorp Raising Electricity Rates 13%

(Portland, OR) -- PacifiCorp, which owns Pacific Power, will raise residential electricity rates nearly 13 percent this month. The Oregon Public Utility Commission has approved the rate increase for Pacific Power. An average residential customer will see their bill go up around 15-dollars. The increase is due to higher costs to produce electricity and costs to make the power grid less likely to cause wildfires. Small businesses will have a 12 percent increase. Industrial customers will see their rates go up nearly 17 percent. This month, Portland General Electric increased residential rates 18 percent for the same reasons.

Kotek Signs Homelessness Executive Orders

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has signed two executive orders to extend work on homelessness. Kotek says she exceeded the goals she set last year to reduce homelessness in the state. Over a thousand new shelter beds were created, nearly 13-hundred homeless households were placed into permanent housing, and over 88-hundred households were kept from becoming homeless. One executive order adds capacity to the state's shelter system. The other order continues the state's Interagency Council on Homelessness which advises the Governor on policy.

Kotek Wants $500 Million For Affordable Housing

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek says her top priority for the legislature this year is to increase affordable housing. Kotek is asking the legislature to approve 500-million-dollars on top of the 650-million-dollars approved last year to increase affordable housing. She says it's a focused, menu driven approach using one-time dollars. She says it'll jump start affordable housing construction across the state.

Sea Turtle Found At Oregon Beach Dies

(Newport, OR) -- A green sea turtle that was found on Manzanita beach over the weekend has died. Turtles normally swim in warm water, and when they get caught in currents that bring them along the Oregon and Washington coasts, they suffer hypothermia. Staff from the Seaside Aquarium rescued the turtle and took it to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, which is certified to treat turtles. After two days of round-the-clock care, the turtle died. Most turtles that are found on Oregon beaches don't survive their injuries. A necropsy will be performed to determine why the turtle died.

Environmental Services Company Fine After Workers Pass Out

(Salem, OR) -- A Portland environmental services company is facing a 118-thousand dollar fine for workers who went into a confined space and passed out. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division issued the fine against River City Environmental. Last July, two of their workers went into a stormwater sewer maintenance hole at a brewery to clean, retrofit and remove filters for stormwater runoff. Oxygen levels were too low and the workers lost consciousness and had to be rescued by Portland firefighters. The 118-thousand dollar penalty is proposed. River City Environmental has 30 days to appeal.

Mt. Hood Skibowl To Open Thursday

(Government Camp, OR) -- It's been a rough start to the ski season for Mt. Hood Skibowl. They've made snow to keep their inner tube park open, but they haven't been able to offer skiing. The strong snow storms this week will change that. Ski Bowl has received two feet of snow and more is expected. They will open for skiing Thursday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Storm Brings Winds, Blizzard Conditions

(Portland, OR) -- A blizzard warning is in effect for the Cascades in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Forecasters say snow could be falling at a rate of up to two inches per hour with wind gusts of 45 miles per hour. Up to a foot of snow is possible at pass level. Forecasters say snow could fall at elevations as low as 15-hundred feet. The blizzard warning remains in effect through tomorrow.

Rose Festival Looks For Potential Clowns

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Rose Festival needs people who want to learn how to become a clown. This will be the 16th year that the Rose Festival has trained clowns to perform in parades. The deadline to apply is February 29th. Auditions will be held in March. To audition, you'll need to show your special skill whether that's telling a joke, juggling, playing an instrument, or some other amazing feat. Applicants who are selected will go through clown training workshops in April.

Sea Turtle Rescued From Manzanita Beach

(Manzanita, OR) -- A green sea turtle was rescued from Manzanita beach over the weekend. The turtle weighed 22 pounds. When it was picked up by staff from Seaside Aquarium, it moved its flippers and was active, which is a good sign. Sea turtles normally swim in warmer water. When they hit cold water off the coasts of Oregon or Washington they become hypothermic. The turtle was taken to the Oregon Coast Aquarium which will try to warm it up and rehabilitate it. If they're successful, it'll be moved to a center in California where rehab will continue and it'll possibly be released into the wild.

Portland 911 Is Hiring Call Takers

(Portland, OR) -- If you're looking for a new career path in the new year, Portland's Bureau of Emergency Communications is hiring full-time 911 dispatchers. Applications are being accepted through January 29th. You must be at least 18 years of age, with a high school diploma or GED and typing skills and be able to pass a background check and psychological assessment. No previous experience with 911 is required. A full-time paid training program is provided. You'll find more information at portland-dot-gov-slash- 911.

Disturbances Lead To Fatal Shooting

(Gresham, OR) -- A person who was involved in several fights was killed in a shooting early Saturday morning in Gresham. Police responded to East Burnside and Southeast 188th Avenue on a report of a shooting. The person was treated at the scene and then transported to a hospital where they died. Police say the person was involved in several physical disturbances. The person who fired the shot contacted police and was interviewed. No arrests have been made.

Man In Crisis Closes I-5

(Portland, OR) -- A man suffering a mental health crisis closed I-5 northbound in Portland for 10 hours Saturday afternoon. The man walked onto the bridge ramp and climbed over a chain link fence. The freeway was closed, so negotiators could talk with the man. They spent several hours trying to get him to climb back over the fence and get help. Police eventually backed off, but kept the freeway closed. After two hours the man climbed off the bridge on his own. The freeway reopened early Sunday morning.

Portland Parks Ready For Wedding Rush

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Parks and Recreation is preparing for a busy morning. People will be lining up outside the Customer Service Center early in the morning to get first in line to make reservations for weddings this year. Portland Parks has over 200 parks, gardens, and natural settings where weddings and receptions can be held. In-person reservations are prioritized over requests made by phone, mail, or online.

Busy Day For Firefighters

(Portland, OR) -- Portland firefighters were busy Saturday afternoon. They responded to a fire in a shed outside of a warehouse in North Portland. As they were finishing the call, a fire was reported in a North Portland duplex. The fire was burning in the walls and difficult to fight. Two residents were treated on the scene for smoke inhalation, along with a dog in the basement. As crews were finishing with that fire, they were called to a man in crisis on the Marquam Bridge. The rope rescue team was on standby, if they were needed. After 10 hours, the man came off the bridge on his own.

Vancouver Police New Year's Emphasis Patrol

(Vancouver, WA) -- Vancouver Police say nearly a dozen people are facing charges following their emphasis patrol over the New Year's weekend. The department says officers made 47 traffic stops, five DUI arrests, six arrests for other crimes, and 44 non-DUI related infractions. One patrol car was hit while an officer was conducting a DUI investigation. No one was hurt in the crash. Officers noticed what appeared to be fewer vehicles on the roads New Year's Eve. The officers didn't make any DUI arrests on New Year's Eve.

Missing Alaska Airlines Door Plug Found Sunday In Portland

PORTLAND, OR -- An Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Portland, shortly after take-off Friday, when a piece of the aircraft blew out and left a gaping hole in the plane. 

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy called the crew’s actions heroic. She described the effort of one flight attendant after the incident, "The cockpit door flew open, hit the lavatory door. That door - the lavatory door got stuck. She was very concerned that somebody was in there." She says it took three tries to get the cockpit door closed again, due to the explosive depressurization. The bathroom was empty.

No one was seriously hurt in the incident. Homendy says the outcome would have been much worse had the door plug blown after the plane reached cruising altitude.

Boeing 737 Max-9 planes are temporarily grounded, "I am very encouraged, again, that the FAA took action to temporarily ground this particular aircraft for inspection," said Homendy. The Cockpit Voice Recorder was not retrieved fast enough and was over-written, so there is no recording of the incident, "That is unfortunately a loss for us. And a loss for FAA and a loss for safety," Homendy said Sunday, "Because that information is key, not just for our investigation but for improving aviation safety." She called on the FAA to require airlines to extend the length of flight recordings before they're recorded over. 

People on the ground recovered two cell phones believed to have fallen out of the plane when the gaping hole opened up. Late Sunday, Homendy announced the door plug was found, "It is yellowish green on one side and can blend in with vegetation. And it’s white on the other side. It is 26x48 inches and weighs 63 pounds." A school teacher, identified only as "Bob," found the section in his backyard. 

Image courtesy NTSB: Investigator-in-Charge John Lovell examines the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX.

Suspect Denied Bail In Teen's Murder In Salem

(Salem, Ore) -- A suspect will remain in jail for the murder of a teen in Salem back in November. Yesterday, a judge denied bond for 18-year-old Gage Clark-Adkins during an arraignment hearing. On November sixth, the body of a 15-year-old boy was found in a truck parked along Evergreen Avenue Northeast and D Street. At the time, police called it a "suspicious death." Earlier this week, police said the teen died of a gunshot wound and it was now considered a homicide. Police arrested Clark-Adkins on Wednesday. He's been charged with second-degree murder. The victim's name hasn't been released and police said they aren't releasing any further information on the case for the time being.

PPS BOE Voted For Dr. Sandy Husk To Serve As Interim Superintendent

(Portland, Ore) -- A former Salem-Keizer superintendent will serve as interim superintendent for Portland Public Schools. The Board of Education voted unanimously for Dr. Sandy Husk to serve in the position to replace Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero, who will be stepping down on February sixteenth. Leaders with Portland Public Schools say a search is underway for a permanent superintendent and Husk is not a candidate for the position.

Public's Help Needed In Finding Gresham Hit & Run Suspect

(Gresham, Ore) -- Police need the public's help in finding a suspect in a hit and run that critically injured a motorcyclist in Gresham. Police say the driver of a red Chevy Aveo hit a motorcyclist and ran him over on Southeast Division Street and Southeast 202 Avenue around ten-thirty on Sunday night. Police caught up with the Chevy on a nearby street. When police approached the car, the driver and a passenger reportedly got out and took off on foot. The incident was captured on a police dashcam. Gresham Police have posted the video on YouTube.

OSP Seeks Highway Sign Vandal

(Portland, Ore) -- Oregon State Police are asking for the public's help in finding a highway sign vandal. Police say someone cut down nine road signs along US 97, OR 218, and OR 293 sometime between December 15th and 20th. The signs were found discarded on Highway 293 near milepost 3. Officials say the costs of repairing the broken signs will costs around five-hundred-dollars a per sign. Anyone with any information is asked to call Oregon State Police.

Portland Opera Selling Its Headquarters' Building

(Portland, Ore) -- The Portland Opera is selling its Southeast Portland headquarters' building. Opera leaders say this will help alleviate the debt accrued during the pandemic and since it reopened in late 2021. The Hampton Opera Center houses the Opera's administrative offices and also has a costume shop and rehearsal spaces. Since reopening, ticket revenue is down by 29-percent over the 2018-19 season.

Update: Victim Identified In Fatal Shooting At Horning's Hideout; Victim's Brother Person Of Interest

(North Plains, OR) -- Police say the victim fatally shot earlier this week at Horning's Hideout in North Plains is a member of the owners' family and a lieutenant with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. The victim has been identified as 47-year-old Carl Horning. His brother, 63-year-old Robert Horning was detained after the fatal shooting on Tuesday morning. He was released several hours later. Police say Robert Horning is still considered as a person of interest in the case.

Multnomah County Animal Shelter Being Sued By Former Volunteer

(Multnomah County, OR) -- The Multnomah County Animal Shelter is facing legal action by a former volunteer. The suit filed yesterday on behalf of Monica Klein alleges the animal shelter's operation manager retaliated against her after she publicly aired concerns about the shelter's plans to euthanize a healthy poodle. Klein says Marian Cannell terminated her from her volunteer position after she posted the matter on social media. Klein claims she made the post after the shelter rejected her plea to find a home for the poodle named Cloud. Multnomah County said they can't comment on active litigation.

Portland Parks and Recreation Invests $15-Million To Fully Fund New Skate Park

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Parks and Recreation is investing 15-million dollars to fully fund a new skate park near the Old Town neighborhood. The long- awaited park will be located near the Steel Bridge on the west side of the Willamette River. According to the design plan, it will cover approximately 30-thousand square feet and accommodate 200 to 500 users at once.

Portland Thorns Acquired By RAJ Sports

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Thorns have been acquired by California-based RAJ Sports. The team announced yesterday that the sale was finalized. RAJ Sports is owned by the Bhathal family. Lisa Bhathal-Mergage will serve as controlling owner. The team will continue to play at Providence Park under an existing lease agreement that extends through 2035.

70 New Drug Treatment Beds Coming To Portland

(Portland, OR) -- Seventy new drug treatment beds are coming to Portland. Central City Concern is teaming up with several government partners to bring the new beds to the area this fall for those being treated for substance abuse. The beds will also be used for people being treated for behavioral health issues.

Meadowland Bi-Mart To Close Sunday

(Portland, OR) -- It's the end of an era for a longtime discount store in Southeast Portland. Bi-Mart announced it will close its Meadowland store on Sunday, citing underperforming sales. The store opened in July of 1982. Management says employees at the Meadowland store will be reassigned to other Bi-Mart locations in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

New Winter Shelter Opens In North Portland

(Portland, OR) -- A new winter shelter has opened in North Portland. The shelter is being operated inside of Portsmouth Union Church on Lombard. It operates daily from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. The shelter has 37 beds and is able to serve up 50 people at a time. Light refreshments are offered as well as help with supportive services. There's also a food pantry onsite.

Sen. Wyden Prioritizes Abortion Access In 2024

PORTLAND, OR -- Abortion advocates in Oregon are preparing for another legal fight, following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Kenji Nozaki, Interim CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia-Willamette, says further restricting medication abortions could significantly impact rural Oregonians and those in marginalized communities. "In December, the Supreme Court announced that sometime this year they will hear oral arguments on the commonly used medication abortion pill Mifepristone, that could potentially make it far less accessible."

Speaking alongside Nozaki, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said Tuesday, "This would set a very dangerous precedent." The Democrat says medications are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. He believes judges should not be allowed to alter those guidelines. "There’s an effort to put federal restrictions on access to this drug under those rules. And make no mistake about it: Oregon is not exempt from those federal rules."

Wyden says one of his top priorities for 2024 is protecting access to medication abortion. He worries further restricting Mifepristone could include allowing law enforcement access to personal medical information without a warrant. "I’m very concerned about privacy issues, because the Dobbs decision, to a great extent, gave the green light to what I call ‘uterus surveillance.’"

Among other elements of the case, the High Court could be asked to ban Mifepristone from the mail. "We send more dangerous meds through the mail. I can send narcotics through the mail. And Mifepristone is incredibly safe," Dr. Alison Edelman, an OBGYN professor at OHSU, said Tuesday. She believes such a decision would significantly limit access to abortion, even in states where it’s legal, especially for women who aren't able to come into a clinic. "Whatever the outcome in these legal cases, we want to assure you that OHSU and our community partners, like Planned Parenthood, remain committed to providing the full continuum of sexual and reproductive healthcare to all who seek it."

OHSU Director for the Center for Women’s Health Dr. Maria Rodriguez says Mifepristone is one of two drugs used in medication abortions. "We can, of course, have abortion with Misoprostol alone, and we’re prepared to do so. But it has more side effects and is not as successful." She says that one-drug protocol increases the chance of complications requiring hospitalization. 

 

>Man Accused In Fatal DUI Crash In Clackamas County

(Clackamas County, OR) -- A man is facing charges in connection with a fatal DUI crash in Clackamas County over the weekend. Police say 22-year-old Fullington William Frazier allegedly ran a red light on Highway 224 near Freeman Way Saturday night, crashing into two cars. One of the drivers, 37-year-old Fleetwood Mozee was killed in the crash. Frazier was arrested for manslaughter and DUI.

Suspect Arraigned In Southeast Portland Murder And Police Standoff

(Portland, OR) -- A suspect was arraigned yesterday in the murder of a man in Southeast Portland last month. Thirty-year-old Jesse Garza is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Richard Newman on December 14th. Garza was arrested on December 29th after a four-hour standoff with police in Portland's Centennial neighborhood. During the standoff, Garza allegedly fired shots at police. He was also charged with attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon for the police standoff. Garza pleaded not guilty during yesterday's arraignment.

Fire At Commercial Building In Portland Being Investigated

(Portland, OR) -- The cause of a fire at a commercial building in Portland is being investigated. Firefighters were called to the burning building along Northeast Halsey and 107th early yesterday morning. No injuries were reported.

Arson Said To Be Cause Of Apartment Fire In Gresham

(Gresham, OR) -- Arson is said to be the cause of an apartment fire in Gresham. That's according to fire investigators who say the fire at an apartment building along Southeast Mount Hood Highway on New Year's Day was intentionally set. No serious injuries were reported. There's no word of any arrests.

Mortuary Worker Accused Of Stealing From Deceased Victim

(Lakeside, OR) -- A Coos County mortuary worker is accused of stealing money from a deceased victim's wallet in Lakeside. Investigators say early Saturday morning, a Coos County Sheriff's deputy conducted a welfare check at a man's residence at the request of out of state family members. The deputy found the man deceased and called a mortuary to have the victim removed from the home. While processing the valuables at the victim's home, the deputy noticed three-hundred-dollars missing from the victim's wallet and reported it to his supervisor. During the investigation, 36-year-old Kyle Robertson of Coos Bay admitted to taking the money. Robertson has been charged with burglary and theft. He remains jailed.

Public's Help Sought In Fatal New Year's Day Shooting In Mt. Angel

(Mt. Angel, OR) -- The Marion County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in its investigation into a fatal New Year's Day shooting in MT. Angel. Police say the victim, who has been identified as 42-year-old Brandon Slack was shot early Monday morning along Pershing Street near Marquam Street. The suspect fled the scene before police arrived. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 503-584-6211.

Annual Inspection Work To Begin Today On Morrison Bridge

(Portland, OR) -- Motorists can expect delays on the Morrison Bridge in Portland this week. Annual inspection work will be conducted today and tomorrow. There will be frequent lifts on the bridge during the two days of inspections from nine in the morning until three-thirty in the afternoon.

Nurse Accused In Patient Deaths

(Medford, OR) -- Medford Police are investigating several deaths at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center that were allegedly caused by a nurse. The nurse is accused of switching fentanyl pain medication with tap water that wasn't sterile. The patients developed infections and died. Reports indicate the deaths of eight to ten patients are under investigation.

Consumer Protection Laws

(Salem, OR) -- Several new consumer protection laws took effect on New Year's Day in Oregon. Property insurance companies can now consider defensible space and home hardening against wildfire to determine rates. If your home is destroyed by fire due to a declared disaster, 70 percent of the items lost will be covered without having a list of those items. Health insurance coverage of cochlear implants and hearing aids is expanded. Another law makes decisions about reproductive health a right and allows any person to bring civil action against a public body to enforce the right.

Longview Police Involved In Shooting

(Longview, WA) -- Longview Police were involved in a shooting on the morning of New Year's Day. Police responded to an "in progress" incident at a home on Columbia Heights Road near Parkview Drive. Police say there was an officer involved shooting. No details have been released about what happened. No officers were injured. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Impairment Factor In Double Fatal Crash

(Milwaukie, OR) -- Police say impairment was a factor in a double fatal crash on Saturday near Milwaukie. Oregon State Police say a car driven by 22-year-old Fallington Frazer ran a red light on Highway 224 at Freeman Way and hit two other cars. One car hit a utility pole. The driver, 47-year-old Fleetwood Mozee, died at the scene. 24-year-old Scott Barr, a passenger in Frazer's car, was also killed in the crash. Frazer was hospitalized. He'll be charged with manslaughter and driving under the influence.

Oregon Humane Society Adoptions Increase

(Portland, OR) -- Pet adoptions at the Oregon Humane Society surpassed 11 thousand in 2023. It's the first time that has happened since 2019. At the Salem campus, a four-year-old tabby named Baz found a home on New Year's Eve. And in Portland, a one-year-old pit bull mix named Milo was adopted. He came to OHS from Josphine County's Second Chance Program.

Fatal Motorcycle Crash

(Portland, OR) -- A motorcycle rider was killed in a crash Sunday afternoon in Southeast Portland. The motorcycle and a car collided at Southeast 122nd and Stark Street. The rider of the motorcycle died at the scene. A passenger of the motorcycle is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

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