Regional News Archives for 2024-02

Convicted Child Rapist Captured

(Albany, OR) -- A man who was found guilty of child rape and failed to show for his sentencing has been arrested. 51-year-old Gary Coomer was convicted on January 12th in Linn County. The judge released him and ordered to appear on February 15th for sentencing. When he didn't arrive in court, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Police found him hiding on a property east of Lebanon. Coomer initially refused to surrender, but when a police K-9 arrived he was arrested without incident. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation of medical issues and will be transferred to jail until sentencing.

Repeat Graffiti Vandal Arrested Again

(Portland, OR) -- A prolific graffiti vandal has been arrested, again, in Portland. 27-year-old Jerry Mijangos, of California, was first arrested in 2021. Police say he's responsible for tagging hundreds of properties. He was arrested in January for a probation violation. He was indicted on January 30th and remains in custody due to his probation status. The Police Bureau's Neighborhood Response Team continues to investigate Mijangos and other graffiti vandalism cases in the city.

Oregon Receives $38 Million To Reduce Wildfire Risk

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon will receive 38-million-dollars from the federal government to reduce wildfire risk. The money is coming from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 18-million-dollars will go toward projects in Central Oregon, 15-million-dollars to the Klamath River Basin and nearly five-million-dollars to Mount Hood Forest Health and Fire-Resistant Communities. The money can be used on projects that reduce wildfire risk, improve forest health, infrastructure, and water quality.

Police Focus On Motel Crime

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police conducted crime crackdown at motels along 82nd Avenue. The motels have a history of calls for assaults, a homicide, and stolen vehicles. Police made eight arrests and recovered two stolen vehicles. Officers plan future joint missions in other parts of the city to address criminal activity and livability issues.

Drug Possession Bill To Be Strengthened

(Salem, OR) -- Democratic leaders in the Oregon Legislature are strengthening a bill that would re-criminalize possession of small amounts of controlled substances. Instead of 30 days in jail, possession could bring a sentence of 180 days. Counties would also have the option of setting up a system where people would be directed to addiction treatment. The changes were made to get law enforcement and prosecutors on board. House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich says they are conceptually aligned but need to see the final draft.

Police Arrest Suspect in Gresham Stabbing

(Gresham, OR) -- A Multnomah County man is jailed, in connection with the stabbing of another man in Gresham before dawn on February 9th. Gresham Police say 20-year-old Antony Kassab was arrested Thursday morning at his home, for attempted murder and assault. Officers found 49-year-old David McQuown stabbed multiple times near Southeast 183rd and Stark Street. He was transported to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

Remains Identified After 54 Years

(Portland, OR) -- DNA genealogy tracing has helped solve a 54-year-old Portland cold case. In 1970, a Boy Scout troop leader found remains on Sauvie Island in a grave. DNA was matched to databases, but nothing was returned. In 2018, DNA genealogy tracing was started, but the remains were still unidentified. In January 2023, DNA was uploaded into the open-source genealogy database and that led to a distant relative. More testing was done and investigators determined the remains were Sandra Young, a Portland teenager and student from Grant High School who went missing more than five decades ago. The case has been turned over the Portland Police for investigation.

New Pickleball Facility Opens

(Beaverton, OR) -- A new pickleball facility is opening in Beaverton. Jumbos Pickleball is located off Highway 26 at Cornell Road. There are nine indoor courts made with a true bounce surface and high performance uplighting. There are hourly and membership rates. Jumbos Pickleball officially opens on Friday.

Oregon Zoo Offers Winter Discount Days

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo is offering significant discounts on admission starting this weekend. From February 24th through March 1st admission is 12-dollars a person, which is about half the normal price. Tickets need to be reserved in advance on the Oregon Zoo website. Guests might see several new additions including a pair of Amur tigers, orphaned black bear cubs and possibly the two-month-old rhino calf who was born at the zoo in December.

King City Voters Oust Four City Councilors

KING CITY, OR -- While the Governor pushes for passage of a housing production bill that includes a special UGB-expansion tool, voters in a small Portland suburb appear to have ousted almost all of its City Council over Urban Growth Boundary decisions.

Ballots are still coming in from the February 13 election in King City, but early returns show the recall of four Councilors - including the Mayor - narrowly passing. A fifth City Councilor resigned in December, amid the controversy over a decision to extend a road into a future housing development. 

"Kingston Terrace is 500 acres - 528 acres. It’s about 3,000 to 3,500 homes that are potentially going to be built in this area," says Preston Korst, with the Greater Portland Home Builders Association. The recall effort centered around the Council’s work on the UGB expansion, which was approved several years ago. The HBA opposed the recall and Korst says the Kingston Terrace project is now in jeopardy, "This could have broader implications for the overall land use system in Oregon and how a small band of 300 or so folks can essentially disrupt years of thoughtful planning."

King City is southwest of Tigard, in Washington County. In 2020, the city's population was just over 5,100. Korst says, "Essentially, we’re looking at places like this, places like North Plains as well, which I think has similar undercurrents, and saying, ‘these are the exact places where we should be putting up a fight’ to make sure the cities that are being proactive about managing their housing needs are getting the backup that they need."

Korst says the project in question is for a complete community, which he believes prevents urban sprawl. "Especially now, cities are investing more resources to ensure that the Urban Growth Boundary decisions that they make incorporate some form of a complete community, where there are more options for commercial spaces, employment centers, parks and trails, in addition to high-quality and more diverse options for housing." Korst says, "Areas like this are exactly where we should be building to prevent greater sprawl from happening."

If the recall effort is successful in King City, the remaining three Councilors will appoint four replacements, then decide which one will be Mayor. 

Image: Laurie Petrie, Mayor Jaimie Fender, Smart Ocholi and Kate Mohr were the focus of a recall election in King City, February 13, 2024.

FBI-Portland Offers Sextortion Prevention Tips

PORTLAND, OR -- FBI-Portland is ramping up efforts to prevent child sextortion, after seeing  a massive increase in sextortion in recent years. "From out to Prineville, to Bend, to Medford to Eugene and here in Portland, to the coast. It is happening everywhere," Supervisory Special Agent Travis Ostrem told parents during a Wednesday webinar.

The crime involving explicit images of children boils down to blackmail and there are two forms: Financial and Traditional. "Financial sextortion, where the predators are looking for monetary gain from the children, to stop them from sending images. We’ve also sextortion, which is the typical child exploitation of sexual images, where they’re asking for additional images."

He urges parents to start talking with kids early about the dangers of sending any photos online. Predators target victims as young as 11. He also suggested parents monitor the apps children are using, set parental controls and know who kids are talking to online, "Technology is growing faster than we can control it. But you all can get ahead of it. Look out for your children." 

A similar webinar was offered last week to school administrators. "We’re trying to be proactive because we don’t want any more of these cases. If we can eliminate it, just like getting drugs out of the schools from our kids, eliminate sextortion," said Ostrem. "Sextortion is on a massive rise. We’re seeing it throughout, not just the country but in Oregon too. In every portion of the state, if there is some type of wifi or cellular connection to the internet, children can be sextorted." He notes Oregon cases have increased by 20%, and at least 20 resulted in the victim taking their own life. "One suicide is too many. One child being sextorted is too many. The damage that can do to mental health is horrible. What we see normally is one predator will target up to a hundred victims."

FBI-Portland hosts a chat on X - formerly Twitter - Thursday at noon to answer more questions about protecting kids from sextortion. 

 

2 People, 2 Dogs Rescued

(Philomath, OR) -- Two people had to be rescued from the Mary's River near Philomath on Tuesday when they tried to rescue their dog that was swept away by the current. The Corvallis Fire Department used a raft and three rescue swimmers to reach one victim in the water who was with a dog. The other victim was with another dog on the shore. Firefighters had to cut through thick brush to reach the second victim. Both people, and their dogs, were rescued. They weren't injured.

TriMet Expands Hop Payments

(Portland, OR) -- TriMet has expanded ways to pay using the Hop reader. Besides using your phone, you can now use a credit or debit card that is NFC enabled. That means it's a card you can use by placing it near a device. You can also use a mobile wallet or some smartwatches. Each swipe purchases a single day Adult Fare. If you use the credit or debit card, and you're asked to show that you paid, show the Customer Safety Supervisor the card and they'll look it up. If you use the same card for each ride and reach 100 dollars, you can qualify for a Monthly Pass.

Multnomah County Faces Pressure Over Paramedic Requirement

(Portland, OR) -- There's increasing pressure on Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson to relax the requirement of two paramedics on AMR Ambulances. AMR says it can't meet the requirement, because of the nationwide shortage of paramedics. The Portland and Gresham city councils have passed resolutions calling on Multnomah County to allow a one paramedic and one EMT staffing level. Firefighters would provide the second paramedic. The Multnomah County Commission meets on Thursday, but it's not expected to consider the ambulance issue until next week.

Three Year Assault Sentence

(Portland, OR) -- The man who pleaded guilty to assaulting the owner of a food cart in Portland will spend three years in prison. Forty-year-old Daniel Warren pleaded guilty to assault and no contest to a count of Bias Crime in the attack on the owner of LoRell's Chick Shack. Under the sentence, Warren has 30 months to complete several anti-bias education assignments, including three in-person community events provided by Race Talks PDX, completing bias training, and completing 48 hours of community service work at the Union Gospel Mission. If the conditions aren't met, Warren will face 25 to 30 months in prison.

Oregon Has 2nd Highest Medicaid Renewal Rate

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon has the second highest renewal rate for Medicaid benefits following the pandemic. During the pandemic, people on Medicaid were allowed to keep their benefits. With the Health Emergency over they needed to apply for the Oregon Health Plan and five out of six Oregonians are keeping health coverage. Around 200-thousand people will lose coverage or have reduced benefits. Oregon continues to send renewal letters to people whose benefits will expire to determine whether they qualify for continued coverage.

Suspect In Radio Cab Murder Sentenced

(Portland, OR) -- A 30-year-old woman has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for fatally stabbing a Radio Cab driver last year. Surveillance video in the cab showed Moses Lopez stab Reese Lawhon in the neck. Medical personnel saw Lopez leave the cab dropping what appeared to be brass-style knuckles with an attached blade. Lopez pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and unlawful use of a weapon.

Oaks Parks Hiring For Season

(Portland, OR) -- Oaks Park is holding a job fair this Sunday. Anyone 16 and older can apply. Jobs include ride operations, roller rink, games, gift shop, and guest relations. The job fair will be held Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Oaks Park Historic Dance Pavilion.

Portland Public School District To Ask For Levy Renewal

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Public School District will ask voters to renew a five year levy. The school board voted Tuesday to put the levy on the ballot this spring. That money currently pays for about 660 teachers. Board members say the tax rate will not increase, and the funds will go only to teachers and classrooms. If approved, the levy would raise more than 500 million dollars over five years. Officials say it's important, because the district is facing 30 million dollars in budget cuts in the next year alone, due to teacher pay increases, declining enrollment and state support.

Animal Crush Bill Passes House

(Salem, OR) -- In Oregon, it's illegal to torture animals, but it isn't illegal to make and sell videos of the torture. Earlier this year, a Prineville man pleaded guilty to federal charges that he made so-called animal crush videos. The Oregon House has passed a bill that would make creating and sell the videos illegal. An amendment to the bill covers freedom of speech issues. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Former Bank Manager Sentenced To Prison

(Tacoma, WA) -- A former Battle Ground bank manager is starting his three year sentence for stealing from disabled and elderly clients. Federal prosecutors say 44-year-old Brian Davie, who worked at a Wells Fargo Bank branch, used unauthorized cash withdrawals, money transfers, and cashier's checks to steal over one-million-dollars. Davie targeted elderly and vulnerable clients who were less likely to monitor their accounts. One woman had more than 566-thousand-dollars stolen from her retirement accounts. Restitution will be determined next month.

Investigation Continues Into Three Deputies

(Portland, OR) -- Three Multnomah County Corrections deputies are under investigation for allegations of misconduct. Mirzet Sacirovic, Jorge Troudt and Gustavo Valdonsinos were accused of allowing assaults, providing contraband, and access to computers and cell phones between 2018 and 2020. The District Attorney's Office declined to file criminal charges based on the evidence and credibility of defendants. Sheriff Morrisey O'Donnell has launched a professional standards investigation. It'll be led by an independent investigator. Several changes were made at the jail to help prevent similar future incidents. The deputies remain on leave during the investigation.

Gas Prices Start Seasonal Increase

(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices are starting their seasonal increase. Triple-A reports refinery problems in the Midwest are causing prices to rise and refineries are starting to produce more expensive summer blends of fuel that reduce pollution. The national average price for a gallon of gas increased five cents over the last week to 3-28. Oregon's average increased a penny to 3-60. Portland has the highest average at 3-73 while Pendleton has the lowest average at 3-42. The price of diesel in Oregon increased two cents to 4-14 a gallon.

Legislature Sends Two Measures To Ballot

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Legislature is sending two measures to voters in November. They'll decide whether to approve ranked choice voting, where the candidate receiving the majority of the votes wins. A second referendum would amend Oregon's Constitution to allow impeachment of elected state officials with a two-thirds vote in both the Oregon House and Senate. The measure was proposed after former secretary of state Shemia Fagan resigned following a scandal. Lawmakers were critical that the state didn't have a formal impeachment process.

Suspect Dead In Clark County Officer-Involved Shooting

(Brush Prairie, WA) -- An armed man who held a woman hostage is dead. He was shot by Clark County Sheriff's deputies early yesterday morning in Brush Prairie. They went to do a welfare check after a woman called 911, saying she was worried for her mother's safety. Deputies say when they tried to arrest the suspect, he pulled a gun and was shot. He died at the scene. The woman was taken for a medical evaluation. The five deputies involved are now on leave during the investigation.

Trigger Might Be Added To Time Change Bill

(Salem, OR) -- The so-called "ditch the switch" bill in the Oregon Legislature is headed back to committee. The bill would eliminate Daylight Saving Time and leave Oregon on Standard Time all year. The bill got a vote in the state Senate, but enough Senators were concerned California and Washington wouldn't go along, so they sent it back to the Rules Committee. An amendment could be added that would trigger the change in Oregon, if California and Washington do the same thing.

The Search Intensifies For Missing Man

(St. Paul, OR) -- Police, family and friends are stepping up the search for a prominent St. Paul business owner who has been missing for 11 days. Oregon State Police have now joined Yamhill County Sheriff's deputies, searching for 48-year-old Gurjinder Singh Grewal. The owner of the St. Paul Market was last seen February 8th, walking on the Willamette River Bridge around 10 a.m. His car was found later on the south side of the bridge, near Highway 219, between St. Paul and Newberg. Grewal was last seen wearing gray sweatpants, a black hoodie and a Chicago Bulls hat. Drivers with dash-cam footage or who saw him in the area on February 8th, should contact the Oregon State Police.

Oregon Man Arrested In Connection With Capitol Riot

(Portland, OR) -- An Oregon man has been arrested in connection with the January 6th riot at the Nation's Capitol. Authorities say David Medina of Sherwood faces on felony charge along with several misdemeanors. He's accused of breaching the Capitol Building, and committed acts of vandalism once inside. According to KGW-TV, Medina made light of his role in the riot, using the hashtag "FBI's Favorite Citizen" on social media.

House Passes Bus Camera Bill

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon House has passed a bill that would allow school districts to install cameras on school bus stop arms to catch drivers that don't stop. On one day last year, Oregon school bus operators reported over 14-hundred drivers violated red stop lights on their buses. The bill would give school districts a tool to catch violators, if they want to install the cameras. It's not a requirement. The bill also extends the deadline to retrofit buses with new, cleaner burning diesel engines. Supply chain issues are making it impossible to meet the deadline of next January. It would be extended by one year. The bill passed the House unanimously and moves to the Senate.

ODFW Commission Lists Southern Resident Orcas As Endangered

(Hillsboro, OR) -- The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved listing the Southern Resident orcas as an endangered species. They spend much of their time in the Salish Sea, but travel along the coasts of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon feeding on salmon. The decline in salmon, pollution, and disruptions from boats and ships are causing the population of orcas to decline. In the mid-1990s there were nearly 100 whales and now there are 74.

Fentanyl Overdose Death Spike

(Portland, OR) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports Oregon's fentanyl overdose death rate has grown over 15-hundred percent since before the pandemic. It's the largest increase in the nation. Oregon House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich blames the increase on Ballot Measure 110, that legalized possession of small amounts of controlled substances. Republicans support a bill that would make possession a Class A misdemeanor while some Democrats support a bill that would make it a Class C misdemeanor, with less jail time. Helfrich is calling on Democrats to stop stalling and take action.

Second Kidnapping Charge For Medford Man

(Medford, OR) -- The man accused of kidnapping a Washington state woman and holding her in a cinder block cell at a home in Medford is charged with another kidnapping. Twenty-nine-year-old Negasi Zuberi faces a three week trial in October where more than 50 witnesses are expected to testify. Prosecutors filed court documents that allege he kidnapped a second woman in early May of last year. He is also accused of trying to escape from jail in Jackson County by using an improvised tool to chip away at his jail cell window.

Second Kidnapping Charge For Medford Man

(Medford, OR) -- The man accused of kidnapping a Washington state woman and holding her in a cinder block cell at a home in Medford is charged with another kidnapping. Twenty-nine-year-old Negasi Zuberi faces a three week trial in October where more than 50 witnesses are expected to testify. Prosecutors filed court documents that allege he kidnapped a second woman in early May of last year. He is also accused of trying to escape from jail in Jackson County by using an improvised tool to chip away at his jail cell window.

Amtrak Cascades Service Resumes After Landslide

(Portland, OR) -- Service is running again on Amtrak Cascades trains between Portland and Seattle. It was stopped last Thursday because of a landslide. Commuters were provided with buses during the closure. Amtrak officials announced the reopening yesterday. Officials thanked customers for their "patience and understanding" during the delays.

Lauded Portland Chef Dead At 42

(Portland, OR) -- A prominent Portland chef known for blazing a trail to set up the city's culinary scene has died. Lauro Romero opened the pop-up Clandestino, formerly of the Dame Collective, in December of 2022. The New York Times named his Whole Grilled Dorado one of their "23 of the Best American Dishes of 2023." Recently, Romero joined the Ritz-Carlton Portland as chef in the 20th floor restaurant Bellpine. Romero died in his sleep Friday at the age of 42. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

Oregon Wildlife Safari Gets New Grizzly

(Winston, OR) -- A one-year-old grizzly bear cub is now at the Oregon Wildlife Safari in Winston. The bear was an orphan in a remote region of Alaska and was interacting with humans near a lodge. The bear was examined by the Alaska Zoo and deemed fit to travel to Oregon. The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians helped pay for the journey. They named the bear cub Takelma. He's already met another grizzly around the same age, named Teddy, and they seem to have become friends. They're both in the bear loop of the Safari Drive Thru.

Housing Grant Money Available

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Health Authority is offering new grants for home upgrades to qualifying groups that help low income residents. The money can be used for structural improvements including wheelchair ramps. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades. Mold and mildew abatement along with radon mitigation also qualifies. Groups can apply to the Healthy Homes Grant Program.

OHA Head Starts Oregon Tour

(Salem, OR) -- The new head of the Oregon Health Authority began touring the state last week. Dr. Sejal Hathi [[ SAY'-juhl HAW'-thee ]] visited Grants Pass, Medford and Klamath Falls. She met with health care providers, public health officials, tribal leaders and nonprofits. She says she's impressed with how providers continue to serve those who need them most, despite barriers. Dr. Hathi says she hears rural Oregonians feel ignored by the OHA and she wants to change that. Dr. Hathi will be in Astoria and Seaside in early March. She plans to visit various regions of the state in an effort to determine whether the OHA's strategies match reality.

Oregon Air Guard Members Visit Assembly Line

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Air National Guard will be the first unit to put the new F15 EX Eagle 2 fighter jet into operation. Members of the unit visited the plant in Missouri that's building the jets. It'll be several months before the jets arrive in Portland, but they say it's significant that Oregon was chosen to be the first unit to fly the planes. The Air Force has conducted an Environmental Impact Statement on the jets being located here and they're currently taking public comment.

Legislature Asked To Consider Construction Funds

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Legislature is being asked to approve funding for construction projects across the state, but the needs far exceed the money that's available. The Hillsboro Hops are asking for 15-million-dollars to complete the funding they need for a new stadium that will meet the requirements of Major League Baseball. Salem's Vietnam War Memorial needs 400-thousand-dollars to complete its project. The Oregon Department of Justice is asking for help building courthouses in Clackamas, Benton, and Washington counties. Lawmakers are considering the requests, but no decisions have been made.

Pacific Power Wants 16.9% Rate Increase

(Portland, OR) -- Pacific Power raised rates 11 percent last month and now the company wants to raise rates another 16-point-9 percent in January 2025. The additional 304-million-dollars would fund wildfire risk management, transmission infrastructure improvements and renewable power projects. It'll raise the average bill 30 dollars a month. The request needs approval from the Oregon Public Utility Commission before it can happen.

Fourteen People Arrested at East Portland Homeless Camp

(Portland, OR) -- At least 14 people are facing charges after their arrest Tuesday, when police cleared a homeless camp on private property in Northeast Portland. Neighbors have been complaining about open drug use and multiple shootings at the adjoining lots on Northeast 148th and 151st Avenues, near Burnside. 20 people ran when Portland officers served a search warrant. A dozen others were arrested at the scene on active warrants. Two other campers were arrested later. Thirty people were offered outreach services. The property owners hope to develop housing on the site.

Governor Uses Legos To Explain Housing Crisis

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is using Legos to explain the state's housing crisis. She posted a video on Instagram where she uses Lego built houses and Lego people to show how the lack of housing leads to bidding wars and higher prices that make buying a house impossible for many people. She says 440-thousand homes are needed over the next 20 years to keep up with demand. The Governor supports a bill in the Legislature that would allow cities to expand urban growth boundaries to increase housing construction. The bill is opposed by groups that are fighting urban sprawl.

Jury Duty Scam Targets Clark County

(Vancouver, WA) -- The jury duty scam is making a return in Clark County. Superior Court Administration has heard from more than 20 people over the last week who received calls from scammers. It's important to know how the scam works, so you can avoid it. The caller tells residents they've missed jury duty and must provide banking, credit card or other financial information to avoid going to jail. They say the payment must be made immediately, even claiming judges at the court have issued a warrant. If you receive the call, don't give out any financial information or make payments, simply report it to police.

Rare Fin Whale Washes Up On Oregon Beach

(Warrenton, OR) -- A 46-foot dead fin whale has washed up on a beach south of Warrenton, on the northern Oregon Coast. The Seaside Aquarium says it's the only the second fin whale to do that in Oregon in the last 30 years. The whale was originally tangled in fishing gear, but the Aquarium says it doesn't appear to be the cause of the whale's death. They think someone removed the fishing gear, because the whale appeared to still be alive in the surf. Samples from the whale will be taken by biologists who will conduct a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

Columbia Sportswear Moon Mission

(Portland, OR) -- Columbia Sportswear is helping with the latest mission to the moon. The company has provided its Omni Heat Infinity fabric to help protect the lunar lander from the harsh cold and heat of space. The same fabric is used in several Columbia Sportswear outdoor jackets and boots. The Intuitive Machines moon lander is carrying six NASA instruments that will be used on the surface of the moon.

Oregon Receives $15 Million For Airports

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is getting 15-million-dollars for airports in Portland and Redmond. The money is coming from the federal Airport Terminal Grants program. Portland International Airport will receive eight-million-dollars to replace out-of-date jet ways. Redmond Municipal Airport will use seven-million-dollars to fund part of the terminal building expansion project. It'll nearly double the size of the building and make it ADA compliant.

Courthouse Suspect Arrested

 

(Salem, OR) -- A man armed with a gun was tased in front of the Marion County Courthouse on Wednesday. The Marion County Sheriff's Office says a man had set up a tent at the entrance to the courthouse. The suspect told deputies he had a gun and refused to get out of his tent. The area was locked down while negotiators tried to get the man to peacefully surrender. When he refused, officers used a Taser on the man and he was taken into custody. 54-year-old James Boyles was evaluated at a hospital before being booked. No gun was recovered.

Six Stolen Vehicles Recovered

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police made more arrests and recovered more vehicles in their latest Joint Stolen Vehicle Operation. They worked with Gresham Police, Port of Portland Police, Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies, and the District Attorney's Auto Theft Task Force. The officers focused on the east Portland area and used data-driven policing strategies. They recovered one stolen vehicle out of every four stops. Six stolen vehicles were recovered and 11 people were arrested.

Suspects Arrested In Rocky Butte Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Police Bureau's plane helped officers catch suspects who were firing shots on Rocky Butte. Tuesday evening, callers to 911 reported hearing shots fired and when the Air Support Unit arrived, they saw a pickup with shots being fired out of the passenger window. The suspects continued to fire shots as they drove down Rocky Butte Road. Some of the shots were fired near or at homes. The driver was reckless, swerving into oncoming traffic. Spike strips were used to deflate the tires and the driver lost control at Northeast 81st and Fremont Street. The driver and passenger were arrested, and two guns were seized.

King City Recall Too Close To Call

(King City, OR) -- The results of a special election to recall four members of the King City Council are too close to call. The recall was launched over the council's approval of an urban growth boundary expansion of around 500 acres. Supporters of the recall say it could increase traffic on Fischer Road and that councilmembers ignored opposition from residents. The recalls are all passing, but by less than 30 votes, and in one case one vote.

Multnomah County Opens Winter Shelters

(Portland, OR) -- Multnomah County has opened four shelters because of possible snow in the forecast. The shelters have a total of 480 beds. They'll remain open through at least 10 a.m. today, maybe longer if necessary depending on the weather. Free transportation to shelters is available by calling 211.

Tigard Police Arrest Serial Storage Unit Burglar

(Tigard, OR) -- After a two-year investigation, a suspected serial burglar is finally behind bars in Tigard. Detectives believe 57-year-old Timothy Council has broken into at least 50, and maybe over 100, storage lockers in the city since 2022. But last Wednesday night, they caught and arrested him in a Tualatin storage facility. Police say they found his own storage units packed with stolen property, including music and sporting equipment, power tools and more. Council faces several burglary charges but more are expected.

FAFSA Delays Cause Problems For Families, Schools

CORVALLIS, OR -- Oregon State University and other schools are scrambling to adjust to shifting deadlines, amid the disastrous rollout of an updated Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

"When it’s working, it’s working great," says OSU Financial Aid Director Keith Raab. The problem is that the new, supposedly "simplified" FAFSA doesn't work for a lot of families. Some are unable to log in, others complete the form only to discover it won’t submit. Raab says it's more than just frustrating, "With the delays in the FAFSA, both the ability to fill it out and now the delays of the information getting to schools, means that we are going to be delayed communicating with students what their aid offer is." That means incoming first-year students will have less time to make a decision about where to attend school in the fall. "That’s just an enormous problem for families and students going through an already super stressful time," says Raab, "It is stressful enough to try to think about, ‘where am I going to spend my next four years, or five years? What am I going to study, where are my friends going? What am I going to do?’ And then to have this in there, with, ‘well, we don’t really know yet how we’re going to be able to help you afford those things.’ It’s an enormous challenge for families."

The U.S. Department of Education made a paper form available as an alternative, but Raab doesn’t recommend students use it, "They’ve said that they are stamping the receipt of that paper FAFSA with a date, but they’re not doing anything with them right now." He says the federal agency is putting all its energy into fixing the online platform and he encourages families to keep trying. 

Schools are adjusting their processes and students are urged to stay in contact with Admissions offices. Families unable to log in and unsure how much aid they may qualify for, once the system is working, can calculate an estimate HERE

Raab says the U.S. Department of Education recently announced it hopes to get schools the info they need by mid-March, "If they meet that date, we are trying to get financial aid offers out to students end of April, first couple of weeks in May." Typically, many students would already have their offers by now.

Oregon U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined other federal lawmakers in a letter Wednesday, calling on the U.S. Dept. of Education to urgently address the operational issues with the new FAFSA form. 

 

Winter Weather Brings Most Workplace Slips In Seven Years

(Portland, OR) -- During the snow and ice in January, there were 414 work-related slips and falls in Oregon, the most in seven years. SAIF, the State Accident Insurance Fund, reports 151 falls in the Portland area and 58 in Salem. They're advising businesses to prepare before the next winter storm hits. Create an inclement weather plan, put floor mats at entry ways and have outside employees use cleats. They also advise walking like a penguin on snow and ice. Keep your hands by your side, not in your pockets, walk slow, flat-footed, and with your toes slightly to the sides to provide better traction.

Offshore Wind Locations

(Washington, D.C.) -- Two locations off the southern Oregon Coast have been identified for potential wind energy projects. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced one area is 32 miles west of Coos Bay and the other is 18 miles west of Brookings. The areas avoid 98 percent of ocean that was recommended for exclusion, due to fishing. Governor Tina Kotek says wind will play an important role in meeting the state's renewable energy goals. They've been working with fishing groups and Tribes to develop the plan.

Cascades To Get Much Needed Snow

(Portland, OR) -- A storm is expected to bring heavy snow to the Cascades starting on Wednesday. The National Weather Service forecasts one to two feet of snow could fall at pass level from Southwest Washington to Lane County. The Columbia River Gorge and Upper Hood River Valley will also get snow, but not as much as the Cascades. The snowpack is currently below normal in the Cascades for this time of year.

Oregon Delegation Splits Along Party Lines On Mayorkas Vote

(Washington, D.C.) -- Oregon's Congressional delegation split along party lines on the vote to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. He was impeached by a slim 214-to-213 margin. Oregon republican representatives Cliff Bentz and Lori Chavez DeRemer [[ duh-REEM'-er ]] voted in favor of impeachment. All Oregon democrats voted against. Chavez DeRemer issued a statement accusing Mayorkas of extreme dereliction of duty enforcing border laws.

Portland's Rose Festival Announces This Year's Theme

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Rose Festival is just around the corner, and this year's theme is "Dream Forward." You're invited to think about your vision for Portland's future. This year's festival, which runs from May 24th through June 9th, has an increased focus on regional artists, food, community groups and opportunities for family fun. The festival officially opens on Friday, May 24th at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. It runs for three weekends, with Fleet Week, the Junior parade, the Starlight parade, Queen coronation and Grand Floral parade.

Broadway In Portland Announces Season

(Portland, OR) -- Broadway in Portland has announced the shows scheduled for the 2024 - 2025 season at Keller Auditorium. The shows include Peter Pan, Wicked, Kimberly Akimbo, Hamilton, Life of Pi, Six, the Book of Mormon, MJ The Musical, and finally the season closes with & Juliet. Subscription renewals go on sale February 13th and new subscriptions will be available later this spring.

AG Asks Appeals Court To Put Gun Law Into Effect

 

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon's Attorney General wants the voter approved Ballot Measure 114 to take effect while the legal challenge is being appealed. The new law would require training and a permit to buy a gun, increases background checks, and restricts gun magazine capacity. A Harney County judge ruled the law is unconstitutional and the state is challenging the ruling. A federal judge has ruled the law does not violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Oregon Court of Appeals has been asked to allow the law to take effect while the appeal is underway.

$50,000 Reward Offered In Wolf Deaths

(Klamath County, OR) -- A 50-thousand-dollar reward is being offered in the deaths of three wolves in southern Oregon. On December 29th, the collars on two gray wolves stopped moving and when Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife troopers responded to the location east of Bly; they found two dead females and one dead male wolf. Gray wolves are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in parts of Oregon. Tips can be made to Oregon State Police or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Daylight Savings Time Public Hearing Set Today

(Salem, OR) -- State lawmakers will hear from the public today on whether Oregon should get rid of Daylight Savings Time. A public hearing is scheduled this morning on Senate Bill 1548. The bill would keep most of Oregon on Standard Time all year round. A small portion of eastern Oregon that is on Mountain Time would not be affected.

Police Continue Retail Theft Missions

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police continue to arrest suspects in retail theft missions. Last week, officers focused on stores in the Hollywood and Lloyd districts. They made 10 arrests, recovered two stolen vehicles, and served 14 warrants. Two people were arrested on felonies for driving stolen vehicles, running from police and hit and run. Police plan more retail theft missions in the future.

Tree Replanted In World's Smallest Park

(Portland, OR) -- A tree is back at the world's smallest park. A couple of weeks ago, someone stole the tree from Mill Ends Park in Portland. The Parks and Recreation Department has planted a single Dwarf Alberta Spruce tree in the utility pole-sized hole that is Mill Ends Park. The park was created in honor of Dick Fagan [[ FAY'-ghen ]], a columnist for The Oregon Journal. He wrote of a leprechaun who lived in the hole. The park is located on Naito Parkway next to Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Officers Hospitalized After Entering Burning House

(Sherwood, OR) -- Two Sherwood Police officers were hospitalized after going into a burning house to look for residents. The house is located on Highway 99W and heavy flames were coming from a second floor window. The officers were the first to arrive and they were told people were still inside of the house. The officers were taken to a hospital for evaluation. Two other people were treated at the scene with one person going to a hospital. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Tunnel Boring Machine Needs Name

(Oregon City, OR) -- Clackamas Water Environment Services needs help naming their tunnel boring machine. It's tradition to name the machine before it starts digging a half-mile long, nine-foot-diameter pipeline to carry treated water from the Tri-City Water Resource Recovery Facility to the Willamette River. The project will take seven months to complete. You can enter your name for the tunnel boring machine on the Clackamas Water Environment Services website.

Former WWE Wrestler Arrested For Wife's Shooting Death

(Portland, OR) -- A former professional wrestler is accused of killing his wife in Portland's Lents neighborhood. Police say 70-year-old William Haynes, better known by his ring name Billy Jack Haynes, shot his 85-year-old wife Janette Becraft last week and then barricaded himself inside their home. He surrendered to police after about two hours and was taken to a hospital for an unidentified medical condition that police say is not related to the homicide. Police say it could be many days before he's released from the hospital. Haynes wrestled for the WWE from 1986 to 1988 and was known for his feuds with Randy "Macho Man" Savage and Hercules Hernandez.

Fire Burns Eugene Laundromat

(Eugene, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into a fire that burned a laundromat in Eugene. Firefighters responded to Sparkles Laundromat on East 17th Avenue near downtown yesterday. Crews say the blaze appears to have started in one of the facility's dryers. No injuries were reported.

Deputy Injured In Marijuana Related Crash

(Gresham, OR) -- A Multnomah County Sheriff's Deputy was injured in a crash Friday morning by a driver who said he used marijuana. The crash happened at Northeast Halsey Street and 201st Avenue. Investigators say video shows the deputy had a green light and the suspect ran a red light. The deputy's injuries were minor. The suspect had traumatic but non-life-threatening injuries and was hospitalized. Speed and impairment are being investigated as factors in the crash. The driver was cited for driving with a suspended license. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office will determine whether more charges are filed.

Man Fatally Stabbed In Parking Lot

(Portland, OR) -- A man was fatally stabbed in a Portland grocery store parking lot early Sunday morning. Police responded to Southeast 122nd Avenue near Powell Boulevard where they found a man down in the parking lot. He died at the scene. Police have not made an arrest and no information about the suspect has been released.

Man Fatally Stabbed In Parking Lot

(Portland, OR) -- A man was fatally stabbed in a Portland grocery store parking lot early Sunday morning. Police responded to Southeast 122nd Avenue near Powell Boulevard where they found a man down in the parking lot. He died at the scene. Police have not made an arrest and no information about the suspect has been released.

Competency Services Need Changes

(Portland, OR) -- More coordination is needed to care for an increasing number of patients with severe behavioral health needs in Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority had an outside firm evaluate the state's competency restoration system. It found that legal and clinical groups have different definitions. Access to care varies widely across the state. And there's a lack of information sharing across sectors. It recommends better communication among the groups involved, more treatment options, and more behavioral health providers.

Assault Bias Crime Arrest

(Portland, OR) -- A man was arrested for assault and bias crime in Old Town Portland Saturday afternoon. Portland Fire & Rescue crews responded to a report of a man lighting clothing on fire near Northwest 6th and Glisan. Firefighters saw the man cut a male bystander with a pair of scissors, bit him and called him racial slurs. The victim's injuries were non-life-threatening. When police were arresting 42-year-old Corey Nesenson, he reportedly spit on one of the officers.

Fatal Car Crash & Fire

(Portland, OR) -- Two people were killed in a car crash and fire in North Portland late Saturday night. The crash happened on North Marine Drive at North Leadbetter Road. Two vehicles crashed and one vehicle caught fire. Portland Fire & Rescue put out the fire and found two victims dead inside of the vehicle. One other person was hospitalized with traumatic injuries. Police say there were several people who were in the area when the crash happened but left the scene. They're asking anyone with video of the crash to contact detectives. These were the 10th and 11th traffic-related fatalities in Portland since the start of the year.

Driver Arrested In Fatal Crash

(Portland, OR) -- A driver was arrested for DUI in a fatal crash that happened in downtown Portland early Saturday morning. Police say the suspect was southbound on Naito Parkway when he was involved in a minor crash but didn't stop. The suspect crashed into a second vehicle at Columbia Street. A man was trapped in the back seat of the car that was hit. He later died at a hospital. Two other men in the car and the suspect were also hospitalized. Forty-six-year-old Jacob Tabor was treated and released from a hospital and arrested for DUI and Assault. More charges will be filed, because of the death.

Driver Shot During Carjacking

(Clackamas, OR)  --  A driver was shot during an apparent carjacking early Thursday morning in Clackamas.  The 22-year-old victim was at a gas station at Southeast Sunnyside Road and 122nd Avenue when two people tried to steal his car.  He resisted, they shot him and they fled in a vehicle.  Gas station employees helped the man who was shot.  His injuries were non-life-threatening.  Clackamas County Sheriff's detectives are asking anyone with information about the case to contact them.

Survey Finds Concerns About Downtown Portland

(Portland, OR)  --  A survey of people living in the greater-Portland area finds major concerns.  Sixty-nine percent of people feel the city is on the wrong track.  Homelessness, crime, and the high cost of living are the biggest problems.  Eighty-one percent of people say they don't feel safe in downtown Portland at night.  Sixty-nine percent of people in the Tri-County area say taxes are too high.  Trust in elected officials has fallen from 63 percent to just 25 percent.  The survey questioned 500 registered voters in mid-December 2023.

School Exclusion Day February 21

(Portland, OR)  --  Children in school or childcare need to have up-to-date immunizations by February 21st, or they may be kept out of school.  February 21st is School Exclusion Day this year in Oregon.  State law requires all children in public and private schools, Head Start and certified childcare facilities to show documentation their immunizations are complete.  Last year, more than 26-thousand letters were sent to parents reminding them to get their kids immunized.  County health departments offer vaccines for people who can't pay or don't have health insurance.  Call 211 to find out more.

Marijuana Producer Loses License

(Portland, OR)  --  An Oregon marijuana producer has lost its license for alleged violations.  The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission pulled the license from Solray Enterprise.  They're accused of transferring 80 pounds of marijuana to a private residence, which is against the law.  They also had 100 pounds of marijuana missing.  The OLCC requires marijuana producers to keep track of their product.  Solray couldn't account for a hundred pounds of marijuana.  The OLCC investigation is ongoing.

Nearly $28 Million Invested In Portland Area Behavioral Health

(Portland, OR)  --  Nearly 28-million-dollars is being invested in behavioral health programs in the Portland area.  Health Share, Oregon's largest coordinated care organization, will use the money to add drop-off withdrawal management services at Unity Center for Behavioral Health and create new outpatient bridge clinic services at both Unity Center and Randall Children's Pediatric Care Clinic.  A feasibility study will also be conducted into a new 48-bed inpatient behavioral health unit at Providence Portland.

Optimal Time Reward Program

(Portland, OR)  --  Customers of Pacific Power can save money through a new program called Optimal Time Rewards.  Using a smart thermostat connected to heating and cooling equipment, or a similar system for electric water heaters, Pacific Power will make minor adjustments to reduce power consumption during times of high demand.  The program incentives can be worth up to 50-dollars.  More details are available on the Pacific Power website.

107 Derelict Boats Recovered

(Portland, OR)  --  A program to dispose of derelict boats recovered 107 vessels in the Portland area.  The boat take-back program allowed boat owners to dispose of unseaworthy, damaged or poor condition vessels.  They often end up abandoned on waterways or along roads.  The Oregon Legislature funded the program with 250-thousand dollars.  The primary reasons for turning in the boats was that the owner had died or it was so worn down it couldn't be used. 

$500 Million Housing Production Bill

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is asking legislators to approve her 500-million-dollar housing production bill.  It would create the Housing Accountability and Production Office.  It would streamline the development process to build homes.  Construction plans would be available along with city codes to expedite development.  The bill would also make 500-million-dollars available to help cities build infrastructure, like water and sewer connections, for new housing developments.  The money would come from existing state resources.

West Linn Officials Admit Failings In Doctor Abuse Investigation

 

(West Linn, OR) -- West Linn city officials admit they should have done better in their handling of patient sex abuse accusations against a former local doctor. Former patients of Dr. David Farley say West Linn Police and the Clackamas County D-A's office failed them, by not getting a criminal indictment against Farley. Results of an independent review presented to city council Tuesday night conclude that Detective Tony Christensen was not properly trained to investigate the allegations. Officials say officers will now have specialized trauma-informed training and a detective will be added for oversight. The Oregon Medical Board revoked Farley's license, and a change in state law makes it easier to prosecute doctors for abuse in the office.

State Of Oregon Revenue Increases

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Legislature has more money to work with. The latest revenue forecast shows an additional 76-million-dollars for a total of nearly 560-million-dollars that lawmakers can spend. There are dark clouds on the horizon. New population trends show the number of people moving to Oregon is slowing, and combined with a decline in the birth rate, the state will reach zero population growth. That would hurt revenue resulting in an estimated 440-million-dollar loss in the 2029 biennium. Republicans say business costs need to be reduced. Governor Tina Kotek says there needs to be more affordable housing.

Deadline Extended To Replace Spoiled Food

(Salem, OR) -- People in 27 Oregon counties who receive SNAP benefits and lost food due to winter storms can have it replaced. The deadline to make the request has been extended to February 16th. The maximum amount of food that can be replaced can't exceed the normal SNAP benefit for the household. Applicants need to have a list of the lost food, the cost to replace it, and proof of the event that caused the food to go bad.

Streets Flooded By Broken Fire Hydrant

(Hillsboro, OR) -- Authorities say a car crashed into a fire hydrant in Hillsboro Wednesday morning flooding streets. Water spewed from the broken water line at a rate of 500 gallons a minute. The hydrant was located near Northeast 25th and Sunrise Lane. The loss of water pressure caused the City to issue a boil water order for 45 customers in the area.

Oregon Lottery Offers Bets For Swifties

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Lottery's DraftKings Sportsbook is offering prop bets for the Super Bowl and Swiftie bets for fans of Taylor Swift. The pop star is expected to be at the game to cheer on her boyfriend, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. The "Shake If Off" line allows bets on whether the 49ers or the Chiefs will score first. The"Wildest Dream" wager calls for Travis Kelce to score the first and last touchdowns of the game. Other prop bets include the color of Gatorade dumped on the winning coach, who will be the game's MVP, and whether will there be a scoreless quarter. During last year's Super Bowl, Oregon players placed 307-thousand bets worth five-point-three million dollars. The biggest win was 21-thousand dollars on a 350-dollar bet choosing the league winners ending with the Super Bowl.

TradeStation Crypto $3 Million Settlement

 

(Salem, OR) -- The cryptocurrency investment firm TradeStation Crypto has reached a three-million-dollar settlement with Oregon and eight other states. TradeStation Crypto was accused of operating an unregistered crypto interest earning program. The Florida-based company would pay customers interest on their cryptocurrency investment. The company didn't register with the states. TradeStation Crypto agreed to stop offering the program until it has registered with the states.

Missing Vancouver Girl Found In California

(Oakland, CA) -- A 14-year-old girl who was reported missing from Vancouver was found in Oakland, California. Kailey Furno was reported missing on Sunday by her grandmother. She suffers from a health condition that requires regular treatment and would get worse if she didn't receive it. Furno was found by the Oakland Police Department in good health and turned over to California's Child Protective Services. They'll reunited her with her family.

OHSU Study: COVID Vaccine More Effective In Different Arms

PORTLAND, OR -- Researchers at OHSU say multi-dose vaccines could be more effective if given in alternating arms. 

Dr. Marcel Curlin studied blood tests from about 2,000 OHSU staffers who agreed to take part in the project, in the early days of the COVID vaccine roll-out. About half took both doses in the same arm, the other half alternated arms. "If you got your second dose in the opposite arm from the first dose, you had something like a 1.5 to two-fold increase in your antibody levels that were directed against COVID, the strain that the vaccine was made of," says Dr. Curlin.

And, when tested against future variants, like Omicron, there was a four-fold increase in the antibody response, and for a longer timeframe, "When you switch arms, you get an increase in the absolute size of the response. But you’re also getting a broader response, that’s more able to cope with slightly different variations and changes in the virus as they come in; so, new threats."

Dr. Curlin says they’re learning more about the human immune system, "When you get exposed in one place in your body, the lymphatic system on that side is what’s learning to respond. And so, if you switch arms, you’re now asking a new lymphatic center to respond. So, you may be getting two for one."

More study is needed to determine whether the results hold true with other immunizations or when administered in a leg, like for infants. But Curlin hopes it'll lead to better outcomes with other multi-dose vaccines, "If you have a marginal vaccine that’s close to maybe 50% effective, and you can be smart about how you vaccinate and inch up the efficacy by even 10 or 15%, suddenly you have something that actually works."

Overall, he's encouraged by the results, "If you’re getting vaccinated for the first time against something and you’re going to get more than one dose, it does make sense to consider alternating arms because we think there’s a chance that it could boost the immune response that you get from that."

 

Washington County Sued Over Behavioral Health Responses

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  Washington County is being sued for sending police to behavioral health calls made to 911.  The lawsuit alleges it increases the risk of harm and leads to adverse outcomes for people with mental health concerns.  The lawsuit was filed by Disability Rights Oregon and the Oregon ACLU.  The county says it's been in negations with the groups to address their needs and they're disappointed they filed the lawsuit.

Baby Rhino Ventures Out

(Portland, OR)  --  The baby rhino at the Oregon Zoo has ventured out for the first time.  Temperatures were warm enough over the weekend to allow the mom, Jozi, and her two-month-old 225-pound male baby to briefly walk outside of their den.  It'll be later in the year, when temperatures are warmer, that they'll spend more time outside.  The zoo staff says the baby is gaining weight and doing fine.  Jozi continues to be a good mom.  The baby's birth is important for the critically endangered black rhinoceros species.

Drone Helps Locate Robbery Suspect

(Gresham, OR)  --  A Gresham Police drone helped locate robbery suspects Monday night.  A woman was opening her garage door when she was assaulted and robbed.  The victim was hospitalized because of her injuries.  Police used K9s and a drone in a four-hour search.  Two juvenile suspects were found hiding in the backyard of a home.  A third suspect was found a short time later.  They were all taken into custody.

Audubon Society of Portland Changes Its Name

(Portland, OR)  --  The Audubon Society of Portland has a new name.  It's now the Bird Alliance of Oregon.  The move to rename the nonprofit to reference birds stems from controversy over the racist legacy of naturalist John James Audubon, for whom the organization is named.  Although the National Audubon Society's board of directors opted to keep the name, some local groups decided to ditch it.  After public outreach, Oregon officials decided to follow other former Audubon organizations including Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, and Madison, in adopting the Bird Alliance name.

Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast Decommissioned

(Astoria, OR)  --  A Coast Guard cutter stationed in Astoria that you may have seen in the Rose Festival fleet has been decommissioned.  The Steadfast is a 210-foot, Reliance-class medium endurance cutter.  It's been in service for 56 years.  The ship and its crew have conducted rescues and national security missions.  Steadfast will transfer to Baltimore where it will be available for transfer to another country as an Excess Defense Article.

Federal Government Approves Oregon State Hospital Plan

(Salem, OR)  --  Following the escape of a patient from the Oregon State Hospital last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved a plan to increase security.  The plan details changes in the way patients are moved in vehicles, incident response, training, and documentation.  The Plan of Correction was needed for the state hospital to continue receiving federal funding.  

Oregon Gas Prices Decline

(Portland, OR)  --  The price of gas in Oregon continued to decline last week, while prices nationally increased.  The Triple-A reports Oregon's average declined two cents to 3-60 a gallon.  The national average increased two cents to 3-15.  This is typically the time of year when prices are lowest.  Increasing demand during the spring and the switch to more expensive summer blends of fuel will cause prices to slowly rise.  A wider conflict in the Middle East, or a disruption from winter weather, could cause prices to rise faster.

Driver Arrested In Fatal Hit And Run

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Police have arrested a driver in connection with a crash that killed a pedestrian early Monday morning.  Investigators 26-year-old Skyler Lee-Stiles was reportedly speeding through a work zone when he hit a pedestrian who was crossing Southeast 82nd Avenue mid-block.  Police claim Lee-Stiles didn't stop.  Investigators identified him as a suspect and he was arrested a short time later.  Lee-Stiles is charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide, hit and run, and Tampering with Evidence.  His vehicle was seized as evidence in the case.

Boy Scouts Employee Arrested for Sex Abuse

(Molalla, OR)  --  A Boy Scouts of America employee is jailed after police caught him in a vehicle with a juvenile at a park in Molalla.  Last Thursday night, a Molalla Police officer on patrol spotted the vehicle in the park after hours and found a juvenile in the back seat of the car.  An interview with the juvenile led to the arrest of the driver, 28-year-old Peter Collins Simpson, on two counts of Second-Degree Sex Abuse.  Further investigation found that Simpson was employed by the Boy Scouts of America.  The organization was notified and is cooperating with the investigation.  The juvenile is not connected to the Boy Scouts.

Family Rescued From The Wilderness On The Coast

(Coquille, OR)  --  A Hillsboro woman and her three children are safe, after they were found stranded in the wilderness on the Southern Oregon Coast.  Coos County Sheriff's officials say Alice Schwartz and her kids were Geocaching near Burnt Mountain Road outside Coquille [[ coe-KEEL' ]], when she turned the car down an unpaved road and it high centered on a log.  The family walked a mile in the cold rain to get a cell signal to call for help.  A sheriff's deputy and a sergeant were able to clear the log and the family drove out on their own.  Geocaching is where participants use GPS to find containers with prizes hidden by other participants.

Portland Man Arrested For Driving 150 MPH

(Tri-Cities, WA)  --  A Portland man is accused of driving 150 miles an hour on Highway 395 north of Tri-Cities, Washington.  The suspect was first spotted on I-90 by Washington State Patrol.  He turned onto Highway 395 toward Tri-Cities.  Grant County deputies tried to pull him over, but he sped away.  The suspect hit two cars and a guard rail, and then ran from the scene, but was caught.  33-year-old Issac Burks, Jr., from Portland, was arrested for driving under the influence and eluding police.

Salem Barber Accused Of Sex Crimes

(Salem, OR) -- A barber is Salem is facing sex crime charges, and authorities worry there may be more victims. KOIN-TV reports Eron David Griffin is accused of subjecting clients to sexual contact during appoints at the barbershop he ran out of his home. Police say he's charged with third-degree sex abuse and commercial sexual solicitation. Anyone who may have been a victim, or who has information in the case, is asked to call the Salem Police Department.

Raw Sewage Spills Across Sidewalk

(Portland, OR) -- Cleanup is underway after raw sewage spilled under the west end of the Burnside Bridge Monday morning. The sewage covered a sidewalk and flowed into a storm drain into the Willamette River. The spill was caused by a problem with a pressurized pipe from a pump station. The pump was turned off while repairs are made. City crews roped off the area while the sidewalk was cleaned. They're advising people to stay out of the Willamette River around the Burnside Bridge through Wednesday.

Police Arrest Suspect Armed With Samurai Sword

(Vancouver, WA) -- No injuries are reported after a man armed with a samurai sword allegedly walked into a Vancouver Walmart screaming and threatening to hurt people Sunday afternoon. When Vancouver Police arrived, they evacuated the store and located the suspect. They got the man to surrender the sword. He also allegedly had a five-inch knife in his pocket. 43-year-old Ravi Saxena was arrested for harassment, possession of a dangerous weapon and displaying a weapon.

Safe Rest Village Opens In Aloha

(Aloha, OR) -- A new Safe Rest Village has opened at the Aloha United Methodist Church. Pallet structures with heating and cooling can house up to 30 people. Open Door HousingWorks is operating the shelter. Case managers work to help people who are homeless get into stable housing. There are three pod shelter locations in Washington County providing over 400 beds.

Police Search For Missing Boy

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police are asking for help finding a missing ten-year-old boy. Alexander Lewis Jr. was last seen on Friday leaving his father's house in the area of East Burnside and 146th Avenue. He got off a bus near Southeast 202nd and Division in Gresham. Investigators believe he may have been going to his mother's house near Northwest 12th and Wonderview Drive, but he didn't arrive. Alexander is Black, five-feet six-inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. If you've seen him contact the Portland Police Bureau's Missing Persons Unit.

Legislative Session To Begin

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon legislators return to Salem Monday for a short 35-day session. The main issues are expected to be homelessness, affordable housing and a fix to Ballot Measure 110 that legalized drug possession. Republicans want tougher restrictions on drug possession than Democrats. Republican senators say they are not planning to walk out, but it is an option if Democrats don't include them in negotiations.

Fatal Bar Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- A man was killed in a shooting at a southeast Portland bar Friday night. Officers responded to the Lariat bar at 172nd and Southeast Division Street. They found a man inside of the bar who had been shot. Officers started first aid until medics arrived. The man was taken to a hospital, where he later died. The other man who was involved in the shooting remained at the scene and talked to officers. Homicide detectives took over the investigation. No arrest has been made. Police say they aren't looking for a suspect.

Fatal Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- A man was killed in a shooting Saturday evening in Portland's Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood. It happened near Northeast 37th and Milton Street. When police arrived they found a man deceased in the street. The suspect had fled the scene and there hasn't been an arrest.

Man Arrested For Mother's Death In Lake Oswego

(Lake Oswego, OR) -- Police have arrested a Lake Oswego man in connection to the death of his 78-year-old mother. Police responded to a home on Mardee Avenue near Jenn Road Friday morning to perform a welfare check and found the woman dead. Police arrested 52-year-old Chad Brix at the scene. Police are investigating the death as a homicide.

Teenager Shot In Back

(Sandy, OR) -- A teenager is recovering after being shot in the back at a house in Sandy. Officers responded to a report of a shooting near Davis Street and Gary Street around 11:30 Saturday night. They found a 17-year-old with an apparently accidental gunshot wound to the back. The teenager was treated at a hospital and released. Police took a male into custody. The investigation is ongoing.

Troops Return From Middle East

(Ontario, OR) -- Oregon Army National Guard troops deployed in the Middle East for the past nine months, returned home over the weekend. Eastern Oregon-based Adder Company was overseas, in support of Operation Spartan Shield. They spent most of their time in Kuwait. Sixteen soldiers were welcomed home at Saturday's demobilization ceremony in Ontario.

Federal Protections Remain For Gray Wolf

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday it will develop what it calls a long-term and durable approach to the conservation of gray wolves.

Some in Oregon had hoped the federal agency would again try to remove the wolf from the Endangered Species list. Instead, a first-of-its-kind National Recovery Plan under the Endangered Species Act will be in place by the end of 2025. Click HERE to read more about the plan.

In Oregon, wolves west of Highway 395 are federally protected; east of 395, they are not.

Oregon Receives $5 Million In Opioid Settlement

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon will receive five-million-dollars in a national settlement with a company that marketed several opioid drugs. Publicis is one of the world's largest healthcare advertising companies, and handled most of Purdue Pharma's marketing. The money will be added to the nearly one-billion-dollars the state has received from manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers of opioids. The money will go toward treatment and recovery programs.

Police Seek Serial Robbery Suspect

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police are asking for help finding an armed robbery suspect who targets marijuana dispensaries. Forty-three-year-old Cory Jackson is believed to be responsible for five robberies in five months last year. He's also wanted for felonies in Washington, Arizona, and Nevada. Jackson often wears wigs to avoid being caught. He's described as white, five-feet ten-inches tall and 170 pounds. He has multiple tattoos. The one on his knuckles reads HOME SICK. If you see him, contact Portland Police.

Zoo To Ask Voters To Renew Bond

(Portland, OR) -- Metro will ask voters to renew the Oregon Zoo's bond measure. The proposed 380-million-dollar bond would give visitors better views of the animals, make it easier for people move through the zoo's hilly campus, and provide better protection to the animals and staff from extreme heat and weather. It would cost the owner of a 400-thousand-dollar home around 34 dollars a year.

Cow Moose Killed By Poacher

(Ontario, OR) -- Moose aren't native to northeast Oregon, but around 50 moose live in the area. A poacher killed a female moose about a mile east from Ontario, near the Idaho border, and left it to waste. The Oregon Hunters Association is offering a two-thousand-dollar reward for information that leads to an arrest or citation in the case. Most of the moose are in the Snake River drainage and only a few sightings a year are reported.

370 Gallons Of Liquid Heroin Seized

(Portland, OR) -- Acting on a tip, police busted a group of men hauling drugs into Oregon and seized over a ton of liquid heroin. Officers learned a transnational organization was moving a large load of narcotics into Oregon. They spotted the suspects' rented moving truck and a pickup on I-84 and followed it to Tigard. They executed search warrants on the suspects' hotel room and the vehicles. They found eight 55-gallon barrels in the moving van containing 370 gallons of liquid heroin. The four suspected drug traffickers were arrested without incident.

Woman Who Pushed Child Onto MAX Tracks Sentenced

(Portland, OR) -- A woman who pushed a three-year-old child onto MAX tracks in 2022 has been sentenced to psychiatric care. Surveillance video showed 33-year-old Brianna Workman shove the child off the MAX platform and onto the tracks. The child's face hit the metal rail and rocks. The child had a severe headache from the incident. Workman was found guilty, except for insanity on all five charges. She was sentenced to the care of the Psychiatric Security Review Board for up to ten years at the Oregon State Hospital. The victim and her family were in the courtroom for the sentencing.

>Highway 101 Speed Reduction At Slide

(Newport, OR) -- A section of Highway 101 between Newport and Depoe Bay continues to slide following heavy rain from the storms in January. ODOT has covered the area with gravel to stabilize it. The speed has been reduced from 55 to 35 miles an hour. The road will remain graveled until conditions dry out and the slide stops moving, then they'll pave it.

Yakima Products To Pay For Duty Violations

(Lake Oswego, OR) -- A Lake Oswego company that makes racks, and other vehicle accessories, will pay three-million-dollars for avoiding duties on aluminum purchased from China. The U.S. Department of Justice says Yakima Products knowingly failed to pay required antidumping and duties on the aluminum. One-point-three million dollars of the payment is restitution, the rest covers the unpaid duties. Yakima Products will pay the settlement over a one-year period.

Pneumonia Outbreak Among Bighorn Sheep

(La Grande, OR) -- A pneumonia outbreak is killing bighorn sheep in Hells Canyon. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife along with officials in Washington and Idaho are monitoring the situation. Pneumonia outbreaks often lead to die-offs that can range from five percent to the entire population. Usually, about half of the population will survive. There's no way to treat the animals. They'll monitor the population over the next several months and try to keep the bighorn sheep from spreading it to other populations.

Two Firefighters Injured Battling Fire

(Dunthorpe, OR) -- Two firefighters were injured battling a house fire in Dunthorpe early Wednesday morning. The house is located on Iron Mountain Boulevard. One firefighter was taken to a hospital for evaluation and one firefighter was treated at the scene. Damage to the house is estimated at 125-thousand dollars. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Raymond James To Pay Investors Over Fees

(Salem, OR) -- The investment company Raymond James has settled with several states, including Oregon, for over-charging commissions to retail customers on small-dollar transactions. More than 270-thousand trades were made resulting in over-charges of eight-and-a-quarter million dollars. In Oregon, investors made 27-hundred transactions resulting in 96-thousand dollars in over-charges. The company will pay 109-thousand dollars in restitution and interest to Oregon customers and will pay the state a 75-thousand-dollar civil penalty.

ODOT Worker Rescues Drivers

(Veneta, OR) -- An ODOT Maintenance Coordinator rescued several drivers who were stranded on Highway 126 between Florence and Veneta. Freezing rain coated everything in ice and trees were coming down across the highway. ODOT's Jake Jensen had three chain saws and got stranded drivers to help cut fallen trees to clear a path. The extreme cold had the trees frozen, and he went through six saw blades. A tree fell on his truck damaging the overhead sign. No one was hurt. After several hours they cleared a path, and the drivers were able to get out.

Golf Course Considered For MLB Park

(Portland, OR) -- The group trying to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland is planning to buy a southwest Portland golf course. The Red Tail Golf Center has 164-acres. The Portland Diamond Project says it's in talks to buy the property. They say it would create the largest sports and entertainment district in the history of Major League Baseball. They say the site would put them in the best position to acquire an MLB team.

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