Regional News Archives for 2024-03

Resident Found Dead During House Fire

(Salem, OR)  --  A person died in a house fire early Wednesday in Salem.  The Salem Fire Department responded to Sunnyview Road near Hawthorne Avenue and found the house fully involved in flames.  The house was searched and a person was removed.  After consulting with a hospital, medics determined the person had died.  The Medical Examiner will determine the person's name and cause of death.  An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Hillsboro Meat Processor Receives $250,000 Grant

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  The Meating Place in Hillsboro is the first Oregon Department of Agriculture slaughter and processing plant in the state.  Oregon got permission from the USDA to run the program.  The federal government is giving The Meating Place 250-thousand dollars to purchase equipment and expand its operation.  They have three-thousand customers a week.  The new equipment will allow them to increase their services by 14 percent to 290 ranches, hire ten new employees and increase access to locally raised meat.

Suspect In Six Car Crash Arrested

(Tigard, OR)  --  A man armed with a knife was arrested in Tigard after crashing into six cars and sending two people to a hospital.  The incident happened on Wednesday.  Forty-three-year-old David Rudge is accused of hitting five vehicles on Pacific Highway with his pickup and then crashing into a car at Southwest 78th Avenue.  He got out of his truck armed with a knife.  An off-duty Lake Oswego Police officer helped bystanders hold Rudge down until Tigard officers arrived to arrest him.  Investigators learned earlier in the day Rudge eluded Lake Oswego Police.  He faces vehicular assault and other charges.

Deaths Of Frozen Puppies Investigated

(Goble, OR)  --  The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is investigating reports that puppies were being frozen and later used as feed for snakes.  Deputies searched a home in Goble, near St. Helens, last Friday and found 18 dead, frozen puppies.  A snake was also seized by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  There were several snakes at the home.  The Oregon Humane Society will determine how the puppies died.  The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.

Sheriff Warns Of Fake Jewelry Scam

(Hillsboro, WA)  --  The Washington County Sheriff's Office is warning about a scam where people on freeway onramps and highways sell fake jewelry.  They claim to need money for gas to return home and try to sell the jewelry.  In some cases, the scammers get aggressive with their demands for cash.  The Washington County Sheriff's Office wants anyone who fell victim to the scam to contact them.

Sleeping Suspects In Stolen Car Arrested

(Cornelius, OR)  --  Two stolen car suspects were found asleep in a vehicle in Cornelius and arrested.  The Washington County Sheriff's Office says the suspects fled from deputies, but crashed and ran from the car.  Deputies searched the area, but couldn't find the suspects.  They expanded the search and found a stolen Lexus with two people asleep inside.  They used patrol cars to pin the vehicle.  The 17-year-old driver and 15-year-old passenger, both from Portland, were arrested and booked into the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center.  Deputies found a loaded handgun and stolen items in the car.
 

More People Using Frances Online For Unemployment Benefits

(Salem, OR)  --  Some Oregonians are still struggling to use the new Frances Online system to get unemployment benefits.  The Oregon Employment Department says the number of people using Frances Online increased two percent over the last week to 89 percent.  More than half of people trying to call for help are waiting over 15 minutes for their calls to be answered.  Nearly 15-million-dollars in benefits were paid last week.  The new system went live a month ago.

Portland Street Response To Lose Half Of Funding

(Portland, OR)  --  The City of Portland expanded the Portland Street Response program with one-time money from the American Rescue Plan Act.  Now, that money is running out and the program faces budget cuts.  At a meeting Wednesday night, several community members spoke in support of the mental health crisis teams that are sent to calls instead of police.  The program costs nearly 12-million-dollars and half of that funding will run out.  The program is under the Portland Fire Bureau, which faces an additional three-million-dollars in budget cuts.  One suggestion was to move the program from the Fire Bureau to the Community Safety Division.  More hearings are scheduled.

Missing Woman Search

(Vancouver, WA)  --  Police are trying to find a 61-year-old Vancouver woman who's missing.  They say her disappearance is suspicious.  Cristina Ase left for work Tuesday morning, but didn't show up.  Police found her SUV on Wednesday in Vancouver.  She may be carrying a black-and-white bag or purse, but they don't know what she was wearing.  Police are asking residents with surveillance cameras near her house on 123rd Avenue in Vancouver to check for signs of Ase.  Also, in Portland near 88th and Southeast Clayborn and Southeast 92nd and Flavel.  Specifically, on March 25th at 4 p.m. and March 27 at 5 p.m.

Driver Arrested In Fatal Crash

(Portland, OR)  --  A driver who was involved in a fatal crash on Christmas day last year in Portland has been arrested.  The crash happened near Southeast 122nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard.  One person was critically injured and later died at a hospital.  Twenty-four-year-old Conner Wells was a passenger in the car driven by 26-year-old Martell Mason.  Mason was indicted by a grand jury in January, but he couldn't be located.  U.S. Marshals found Mason on Wednesday and he was arrested.  He'll be charged with Manslaughter in the First Degree, Hit and Run, and reckless driving.

17-Year-Old Driver Killed In Crash

(Woodburn, OR)  --  A teenage driver was killed in a crash early Wednesday morning in Woodburn.  Police say the crash happened at North Boones Ferry Road and Vanderbeck Lane.  It was a single vehicle crash.  The 17-year-old driver, a Woodburn resident, died at the scene.  A 14-year-old passenger was flown on LifeFlight to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.  A 19-year-old passenger was taken to a hospital in an ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.  Investigators say speed and alcohol are factors in the crash.

Stabbing Suspect Arrested After Standoff

(Portland, OR)  --  A suspect in a Wednesday morning stabbing has been arrested after a long standoff in Northeast Portland.  A woman was stabbed several times.  She went to the MAX station at 122nd and Burnside to get help.  She was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.  She helped police identify the suspect and when police tried to contact the man he threatened to shoot them.  He was barricaded in an apartment for several hours while negotiators tried to get him to surrender.  Police eventually forced their way in and arrested the man.  Twenty-nine-year-old Beka Nebi Dekebo is charged with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Domestic Violence.

Clackamas County District Attorney Forms Advisory Panel

(Oregon City, OR)  --  Clackamas County is the first in the state to form a District Attorney's Office Advisory Panel.  It's comprised of a diverse group of people representing various communities within the county.  Unlike other advisory boards in the county that report to the county commission, this group only reports to the District Attorney.  The goal is to promote open communication, encourage community involvement in criminal justice affairs, and create education initiatives.  The panel will meet once a quarter.

Fentanyl Trafficker Sentenced To Prison

(Portland, OR)  --  A local drug trafficker with ties to Mexican cartels is headed to prison.  In 2021, the DEA started investigating a drug dealing organization in Portland and Vancouver that was also selling guns.  Twenty-eight-year-old Francisco Moncada was stopped in a car and officers seized 15 pounds of fentanyl.  Less than two weeks later, Moncado was stopped again and agents seized ten pounds of fentanyl.  Moncada lived in Portland and Vancouver.  A search of his properties discovered 50 pounds of fentanyl, 40 pounds of methamphetamine, and smaller amounts of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.  Moncada was sentenced to nine years in federal prison.

Semi Rolls Onto Side

(Portland, OR)  --  Authorities say a semi was going too fast Tuesday when it rolled onto its side while taking the eastbound off-ramp from the Morrison Bridge in Portland to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.  The truck was carrying a freight container and damaged the railing on the side of the off-ramp.  The off-ramp was closed until tow trucks were able to pull the truck onto its wheels.  There were no reports of injuries from the crash.

Firefighter Takes In Burned Puppy To Teach Fire Safety

(Coos Bay, OR)  --  A Coos Bay firefighter has adopted a puppy with burn injuries and will use it to teach fire safety to kids.  The puppy was saved from a house fire and suffered burns to its paws, head and back.  The South Coast Humane Society nursed the dog back to health.  They named it Smoky, because it survived the fire.  A Coos Bay firefighter fell in love with Smoky.  He and his wife adopted the puppy and he'll use it in stop, drop, and roll presentations at schools. 

Oregon Settles With Cryptocurrency Asset Platform

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregonians who invested in a cryptocurrency asset platform need to move their money.  The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation says the Abra platform wasn't following state rules.  167 Oregon residents have more than 32-thousand dollars invested in Abra financial products.  Abra has agreed to stop selling unregistered securities in Oregon.  Consumers will have at least seven days after receiving notice to remove their assets.  If they don't, they'll get a check sent to their address.

5.7-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Oregon Coast

(Port Orford, OR)  --  A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit 110 miles west of Port Orford Tuesday night.  The quake wasn't strong enough to trigger a tsunami, but residents along the coast from Washington to California reported feeling it.  No damage or injuries were reported.

Portland Police Step Up Security For NCAA Tournament

(Portland, OR)  --  You'll notice more police officers on the streets of Portland this week, as thousands of fans and players arrive for the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament that starts Friday at the Moda Center.  Officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols around the team and fan hotels.  In addition, some traffic officers will escort team buses around the city, and when they're not doing that, those officers will patrol city streets to enhance safety.  This is in addition to regular patrols in the downtown core and Entertainment  District.  The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games will be played between Friday, March 29th and Monday, April 1st.  
 

Virtual Exhibit Celebrates First Female Governor

SALEM, OR -- A little-known piece of U.S. history is the focus of a new virtual exhibit on the Oregon State Capitol website. As part of Women’s History Month, the exhibit recognizes the nation's first female Governor, who served Oregon in 1909.

While Caralyn Shelton only served as acting Governor of Oregon, she got a lot of attention in her day. "She was intelligent, articulate, smart, recognized for her executive abilities," says the Willamette Heritage Center’s Kaylyn Mabey, who has studied Shelton for nine years.

Shelton's role lasted a long weekend. She was appointed by Governor George Chamberlain as he resigned to take his newly elected seat in the U.S. Senate. Curator Kylie Pine says Shelton simply held down the fort until the Secretary of State could be sworn in as Governor the following Monday, "It was three days. But it became more, almost a marketing stunt to showcase the ability of women to do things in politics."

Pine says her role as acting Governor garnered worldwide attention, "Women didn’t even have the right to vote in Oregon. It would be another three years before women were able to gain the right to vote, and nationally it would take several more years to do that. So, to have somebody serving as the highest executive office within the state was a really, really big deal." In fact, says Mabey, "It was coming on the heels of the fourth defeat of the referendum for the women’s vote. And it was a charge that George Chamberlain, the sitting Governor, was very passionate about and supportive of." She says he knew exactly what he was doing with the appointment, "He used this opportunity as a way to also put forth that idea that women can serve just as capably as men can in these higher government offices."

Shelton, who was originally from the eastern Oregon town of Union, later moved to Washington, D.C. to work with Chamberlain in the Senate. "What a beacon of hope she was to the women who were fighting for suffrage," says Mabey, "Not just Oregon women, who had just been defeated again by the men, but also across the United States and the world. Women were fighting for their voices to be heard and counted."

The virtual exhibit is a partnership between the Willamette Heritage Center and the Oregon State Capitol Foundation. See it HERE through May 31, 2024. 

Image of Caralyn Shelton: Willamette Heritage Center 2019.13.0008

One Person Killed In Shooting

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Police are trying to identify a suspect in a fatal shooting that happened Monday afternoon.  Officers responded to Northeast 93rd and Glisan where they found 18-year-old Jamirion Smith-Belhumeur dead at the scene.  The suspect was gone and police have not made an arrest in the shooting.

Salem-Keizer School Teachers Reach Tentative Contract

(Salem, OR)  --  Teachers in the Salem-Keizer School District have reached tentative agreement on a new two-year contract avoiding a possible strike.  Under the proposed contract, teachers would get a six-and-a-quarter percent increase this year and a six-thousand-dollar retention bonus.  The second year of the contract has a three-and-a-half percent increase.  Negotiations have been underway for 11 months.  Teachers still need to approve the contract.

Fire Destroys Asian Market

(Portland, OR)  --  A commercial building in the Madison South Neighborhood was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning.  The 20-thousand square foot building in northeast Portland contained a boarded-up restaurant and an Asian market.  Smoke was pouring from the restaurant when firefighters arrived. Flames broke through the roof and three alarms were called.   After 90 minutes the fire was controlled.  There were no injuries.  The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.
 

Clark County Co-Responder Program Has Success

(Vancouver, WA)  --  The Clark County Sheriff's Office says it's seeing success in the first 90 days of its pilot co-responder program.  Sea Mar Community Health Centers send behavioral health professionals, or make them available by phone, when deputies need them for people in crisis.  The goal is to provide options for interventions.  There have been 47 calls with 25 of those calls resulting in outreach.  It takes behavioral health responders about a half hour to respond after they're called.  Sheriff John Horch says the program is a lifeline for the community.
 

Oregon Health Authority Launches Abortion Website

(Portland, OR)  --  A new state website provides information for people seeking an abortion. The Oregon Health Authority’s Reproductive Health Program is behind the new website called Abortion Access In Oregon. It includes links with information about accessing services. It also explains people’s legal and privacy rights for reproductive care. 

Governor Tina Kotek issued a statement saying, "Anyone who comes to our state for an abortion, regardless of immigration status, has the legal and protected right to that abortion service, not just Oregon residents."

 

Markham Elementary Remains Closed

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Public Schools says they will not reopen Markham Elementary School this fall.  The school was closed earlier this year, because of damage from January's ice storm and freezing temperatures.  Officials say they found hazardous materials in the building.  The district says it had planned to finish reconstruction this summer.  Now, students will stay at temporary relocation schools until further notice.

Mail Theft Suspect Arrested

(Salem, OR)  --  Salem Police have arrested a suspect who was allegedly stealing mail from across the city.  A two-year investigation identified 33-year-old Ross Sierzega as the suspect.  Police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service searched his apartment and found 30 pounds of mail, several counterfeit mailbox keys, tools to make keys, multiple checks, bank cards and financial documents.  Making a counterfeit mail key can result in a 10-year prison sentence.  Sierzega made his first appearance in federal court on Tuesday.

Rosenblum Rallies For Abortion Rights

(Washington, D.C.)  --  Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum spoke in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building as arguments were being presented inside to allow access to the abortion medication mifepristone [[ MIF'-eh-PRISS'-stone ]].   Justices are reviewing an appeals court decision blocking recent FDA changes that made the medication more widely available.  Rosenblum spoke alongside New York Attorney General Letitia James.  Rosenblum says mifepristone is part of a gold standard of care for medication abortion. 

Deputies Investigate Littering Call, Find Bag Of Weed

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  A big bag of weed was found in a pile of debris along a road in Cornelius.  The Washington County Sheriff's Office got a call about littering.  There was a pile of junk on Northwest Long Road near Susbauer Road.  The debris was scattered in a ditch and deputies found a 15-pound sealed plastic bag filled with dried marijuana.  The weed will be destroyed.  The Sheriff's Office says it's thankful for the person who made the report.

Rare Wolverine Spotted On Oregon Coast

NEWPORT, OR -- A busy wolverine spotted on the Oregon coast is getting a lot of attention from state wildlife officials. "We’ve had some sightings over the last year or so, which have come as an exciting surprise to us," says Beth Quillian, with Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Sightings are extremely uncommon, but reports came in this month from Newport, Netarts and Nehalem. Quillian tells KBND News, "It is likely that this wolverine and the individual that was seen last year are probably dispersing from other areas where wolverines live, and looking to pave their own road and find somewhere to set up shop, so to speak." She admits it may even be the same animal, since wolverines can travel up to 30 miles a day.

Quillian suspects it’s just passing through and doesn’t plan to stay in the area, "Wolverines really need alpine, high elevation habitat. So, the habitat on the coast that it’s been making its way through is not ideal."

By 1936, most wolverine were gone from Oregon, due to over-trapping, "Since then, we’ve had a few documented sightings from the 60s and the 90s but it’s very hard to verify and to confirm wolverine sightings." It's now a legally protected threatened species. Quillian says one known full-time Oregon wolverine lives in the Wallowas, "He pops up every now and then and we get him on camera. But that’s the only one that I’m aware of. And besides that, the closest wolverine population that we know of, is close to Mt. Adams in Washington."

Although they can be tough to confirm, recent sightings give officials hope, "Keep an eye out. If you see something, try to get a photo of it; definitely report it to us." You can submit photos and sighting info online HERE. And, "If you’re in a situation where you’re very close to a wolverine," says Quillian, "Just make sure that you give it an opportunity to escape. It’s certainly an animal that would not like to be cornered."

 

 

Oregon In Path Of Partial Eclipse

PORTLAND, OR -- Astronomers are gearing up for another North American solar eclipse on April 8th. But how much you’ll see depends on where you are in Oregon. 

Jim Todd, OMSI’s Director of Space Science Education, says totality will miss us by a wide margin, "The dark section, called the umbra, is going to move from Mexico into Texas, the Midwest, up to New England. And they’re going to get the totality." OMSI and the rest of the state will see a partial eclipse, "At the angle that we’re at, we’ll get about 23%. But if you start moving eastward, toward the Idaho border or Ontario, they’re going to get about 33%." Bend will see a maximum of 25% at 11:25 a.m. In Burns, it'll be 30% at 11:27 and Jordan Valley gets the most in Oregon at 35%.  

If you plan to view any portion of the eclipse, "It’s imperative, imperative to wear solar viewing glasses from start to end. Just do not take them off," says Todd, "Show children how to use them."

Todd tells KBND News, " If you want to get a last look at a solar eclipse - whether it’s partial, annular or totality, you want to see the one on April 8th. If you plan to stay in Oregon, that’s the last time you’re going to see one in a very long time." He says "We won’t get any kind of eclipse, of any kind, in North America until probably 2040-something."

image courtesy of NASA.

Engine Fall Suspect Also Crime Spree Suspect

(Vancouver, WA) -- A man who was crawling on a telephone wire across Main Street in downtown Vancouver on Saturday is also a suspect in a crime spree. Vancouver Police say Romando Stanley allegedly stole a bike from a home, but dropped it after being chased by a neighbor. In downtown Vancouver, Stanley is accused of entering a business, taking a cell phone from an employee and then punching the person in the chest. Stanley went to the roof of a building near 6th and Main Street where he climbed across the street on a phone line. A fire engine was moved under the wire and when Stanley fell onto the truck he was arrested. He's charged with robbery and theft.

Murder May Have Been Staged

(Hockinson, WA) -- Two men are under arrest in connection with the murder of a woman that may have been staged near Vancouver. The Clark County Sheriff's Office says the suspect in the fatal shooting of 60-year-old Lindy Rummell in Hockinson on Friday, 55-year-old Darrell Riley, was arrested in Eugene. Police found the truck he allegedly stole burned in rural Benton County, Oregon. Investigators believe Rummel's husband, James Rummell, may have conspired with Riley to kill Rummell and make it look like it happened during a burglary. James Rummell was arrested for making false statements to police. Additional charges related to the murder may be added.

2024 Funding Package Includes $36 Million For Oregon

(Washington, D.C.) -- The 2024 federal funding package approved by Congress last weekend and signed by President Biden includes 36-million-dollars for Oregon. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley say the money will fund 28 programs across the state. Nineteen programs concern health care and education including a 988 Suicide & Crisis Prevention campaign, drug addiction treatment and nursing programs. Six programs benefit job creation and innovation and three programs involve community resilience and emergency response coordination.

Two Injured In Apartment Fire

(Portland, OR) -- Several units in a Southwest Portland apartment complex were damaged by fire Monday afternoon. The apartments are located on Cashmur Lane near Southwest 87th Avenue. When firefighters arrived, flames were burning through the roof and people were trapped inside. A second alarm was called to get more crews to battle the fire. Four residents were treated for injuries and two people were hospitalized. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Woodworking Partnership For Inmates

(Salem, OR) -- Some inmates at the Warner Creek Correctional Facility, in Lakeview, will be able to join a work release program at a woodworking business. Oregon Corrections Enterprises has announced a partnership with Pacific Pine Products, in Lakeview, to train and employ workers from the prison. Inmates would be screened for community safety and have a desire for self-improvement. They would be paid hourly. Pacific Pine would train the inmates in a variety of jobs. The partnership will officially be launched April 2nd.

Stolen Vehicles Recovered

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police recovered more stolen vehicles during a mission on Friday. They worked with Gresham Police, Port of Portland Police, the Air Support Unit and the Facebook group PDX Stolen Cars to locate the vehicles. Ten stolen vehicles were recovered, 18 people were arrested, 11 drivers eluded police, and six of them were captured.

Strip Club Shooting Suspect Sentenced

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A Washington County judge has sentenced a suspect in a strip club shooting to prison. In August 2022, Joshua Michael Best went to the Sunset Strip and assaulted a woman inside of the club. Security ordered him out and when Best was driving away he fired several shots at the building. Rounds hit the building and a car. No one was hurt. Best pleaded guilty to Attempted Murder. He was also a felon and not allowed to have a gun. He was sentenced to over seven years in prison.

Oaks Park Open For Spring Break

(Portland, OR) -- Oaks Park in Southeast Portland is open for Spring Break. The rides, mini golf, and carnival games will be in operation through March 31st. After Spring Break, the park will be open weekends until summer when it changes to a six-day-a-week schedule. The Roller Rink is also open during Spring Break.

Polystyrene Recycling Plant Closing

(Tigard, OR) -- A Tigard plant that recycles polystyrene foam is closing. Agilyx has announced the Regenyx plant has stopped taking polystyrene foam and will close at the end of April. They say it was a five year project that met its goals. They diverted over six-million-pounds of used polystyrene from landfills. The company is building a new plant in Japan.

Portland Police Officer Cleared Of Criminal Charges

(Portland, OR) -- A Multnomah County grand jury has cleared a Portland Police officer of criminal charges in a fatal shooting that happened in January. Officers responded to reports that shots were being fired from inside an apartment. Officers tried to contact the person, but they never responded. A neighbor reported bullets coming through their wall and Officer Joshua Howery, who was outside of the apartments, fired a shot killing 31-year-old Matthew Holland. They found an AR-15 rifle inside of the apartment. No one in the apartments was injured.

Oregon Joins Apple Lawsuit

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon is joining 15 states and the federal government in a lawsuit against Apple. It claims Apple has a monopoly over the smart phone market. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says the action is to protect consumers and the integrity of the marketplace. She says Big Tech companies have to play by the same rules as everybody else. The lawsuit accuses Apple of having tight controls over iPhone software that prevents competition.

Man Sentenced In Domestic Violence Homicide

(Portland, OR) -- A Multnomah County judge has sentenced a man to 25 years in prison for killing his wife. Last June, Brandon Briscoe fatally shot Heather Booker in Corbett. Briscoe pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree with a Firearm Constituting Domestic Violence. He was also a felon in possession of a gun. Briscoe will be transferred from Multnomah County to the Oregon Department of Corrections.

Driver Charged In Fatal Crash

(Portland, OR) -- A Tumwater, Washington man has turned himself after being indicted for a deadly crash in Portland last December. Thirty-three-year-old Codey Ammons-Brock was driving and crashed into a utility pole near Southeast 118th and Division Street. His passenger, David Lamb, of Portland, was injured and later died in a hospital. A Multnomah County grand jury indicted Ammons-Brock on charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Driving Under the Influence, and Reckless Driving. He was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.

Human Remains Found In Fairview Greenspace

(Troutdale, OR) -- An investigation is ongoing into human remains found in a Fairview greenspace. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office responded to a suspicious circumstances call near Northeast Halsey Street and Fairview Parkway where they found the remains. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner recovered the remains and is assisting with the investigation. They have not said how long the remains were there or the condition. They don't believe there's a threat to the public.

Mother's Bistro Closing Two Days A Week

(Portland, OR)  --  A fixture of downtown Portland, Mother's Bistro, will now be closing on Sundays and Mondays.  Owner Lisa Schroeder says it's not because of crime, but people changing their habits.  Her restaurant is located in the Hilton Hotel and occupancy has been lower than before the pandemic.  Schroeder says before COVID they had 102 employees and now they have 70 workers.  Foot traffic downtown is down 37 percent.  The City of Portland is offering a business tax incentive program for businesses that commit to staying in the downtown area.

Student Arrested For Drug Distribution

(Aloha, OR) -- A student from Aloha High School has been arrested on drug distribution and illegal firearm charges. The Washington County Sheriff's Office found social media posts the student made showing large amounts of cash, illegal narcotics, and guns. They pulled his car over and he reportedly ran. Deputies caught him after a short chase. During the arrest, they found a semi-automatic "ghost" gun, two Glock magazines, ammunition, scales, suspected cocaine, marijuana, and cash. He was booked into juvenile detention on drug and firearm charges.

Unemployment Benefit Frustrations Continue With New Frances Online

(Salem, OR) -- More people receiving unemployment benefits in Oregon are learning how to use the new Frances Online system. The number of weekly claims increased from 81 percent to 87 percent. But, people who can't get the new system to work for them have been frustrated with long wait times at the call center. About a third of calls wait over an hour, and in some cases several hours. The Employment Department recommends using online self-help tools, videos and FAQs to get answers. The call center is funded by the federal government, and the funding doesn't allow for enough call-takers. The Oregon Legislature passed a bill to spend state money on the problem. It's waiting for the Governor's signature and would take several months to hire and train new workers.

PPB To Form Crowd Control Unit

(Portland, OR) -- Portland City Council has approved a process to form a crowd control unit in the Portland Police Bureau. The previous version, called the Rapid Response Team, was dissolved after officers quit when one officer was indicted for excessive use of force. City Council has set specific guidelines for the development of the new unit. Officers will be paid an additional six percent, which is similar to other specialized units. They want the public order team in place by the November General Election.

New Parasite Found In Hatchery Trout

(Salem, OR) -- A new parasite is sickening rainbow trout raised at three Oregon fish hatcheries. ODFW fish health and hatchery staff noticed more fish dying at the Klamath Falls, Rock Creek and Elk River facilities, but they didn't detect any known pathogens in subsequent testing. Oregon State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Microbiology were brought in to help. They discovered a previously unknown parasite infecting blood vessels, gills and kidney tissue of the trout. It appears to first infect invertebrates like worms, then move into the water, where it infects fish. To stop the spread, ODFW disposed of 160-thousand legal-sized rainbow trout, which will lead to a slight decline in the number of trout stocked across the state.

PPS Changing Schedules

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Public Schools is changing class schedules next year. The School Board made the decision to add instructional time while maintaining teacher planning time. K through 5 schools will go from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. K through 8 schools will start at 8:45 a.m.. Elementary students will end the day at 3:15 p.m. and middle school students will continue through 3:30 p.m. Middle schools will run from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m and high schools will go from 8:26 a.m. through 3:30 p.m.

PFB Battles Two House Fires

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Fire crews battled two house fires Monday night. The first house was located in the Clinton Neighborhood. It started in an exterior shed and spread to the home. The flames damaged the second floor and an attic addition. It took 30 minutes to put out the fire. At the same time, another house fire happened 20 blocks away in the Richmond Neighborhood. Fire crews from further away responded along with unassigned crews from the first fire. No one was injured in either fire. Investigations into how the fires started are ongoing.

75 Arrests Over St. Patrick's Weekend DUI Mission

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police teamed up with county and state law enforcement over St. Patrick's Day weekend to conduct a high-visibility DUI enforcement mission. Sixteen-hundred vehicles were stopped, 950 citations were issued and 75 arrests were made. Violations included speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving. Portland Police Chief Bob Day says the mission saved lives and increased awareness.

Hiker Who Died In Fall Identified

(Portland,, OR) -- The hiker who died in a fall from a cliff near Horsetail Falls in the Columbia River Gorge has been identified. Sixty-one-year-old Terina Kaye Chapman was reported missing on Friday and found at the base of a cliff on Saturday. She was hiking by herself when she fell.

Oregon Gas Prices Jump 15 Cents

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon had the sixth-largest weekly jump in gas prices across the country. The Oregon average increased 15 cents to $4.10 a gallon. The national average jumped a dime to $3.49. Prices are increasing, because of refinery maintenance and the switch to more expensive summer blends of fuel that produce less pollution. The price of crude oil is also up, because of drone attacks on Russian oil refineries. Russia is one of the world's major oil producers and the attacks are causing prices to rise as the supply might be threatened.

Nike Co-Founder Donates $2 Million To PAC

(Salem, OR) -- Nike co-founder Phil Knight has donated two-million-dollars to the Bring Balance to Salem political action committee. The PAC supports Republican candidates for the Legislature. Democrats control both chambers. A bill that's awaiting Governor Tina Kotek's signature would prevent donations of that size in the future. They would be limited to 33-hundred dollars per candidate per election and five-thousand-dollars per two year cycle.

Portland Gets $7 Million Federal Funding

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland is receiving seven-million dollars from the federal government for a variety of projects. More than two-million-dollars will be used to improve safety at two intersections on Southeast 112th Avenue. Two-million-dollars will fund the Barbur Apartments affordable housing project. One-and-a-half million dollars will pay for Portland Police body cameras. Nearly a million dollars will pay for a new culvert at Tryon [[ TRY'- on ]] Creek and Portland Parks will get half-a-million dollars to replace outdated lighting with new LED lights.

Injured Climber Rescued From Mt. Hood

(Timberline Lodge, OR) -- An injured climber on Mt. Hood was rescued over the weekend, during an 11-hour operation. The 43-year-old woman was descending the popular South Side route when she was hit by falling ice, near the summit, Saturday afternoon, causing her to fall. AMR's Reach and Treat team and Portland Mountain Rescue used a complex set of rope systems to get the woman to a snowfield where a Timberline snowcat picked her up. She arrived at the parking lot at about 3 a.m. Sunday and was transported to a hospital.

Former Prison Officer Sentenced For Accepting Bribes

(Portland, OR) -- A former federal corrections officer at the prison in Sheridan has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for accepting bribes and smuggling items to inmates. Nickolas Herrera pleaded guilty to smuggling drugs, a cell phone and Yeezy brand designer sneakers to inmate Dontae Hunt. An associate of Hunt, Elizabeth McIntosh gave the items to Herrera and paid him cash. Hunt pleaded guilty and was sentenced to an additional 15 months on top of his original sentence and McIntosh was sentenced to probation without jail time.

Stolen Vehicle Mission Results In Arrests

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police continue to coordinate missions to focus on stolen cars. They use specific criteria to stop vehicles that are potentially stolen. In last week's mission, they worked with Gresham Police, Port of Portland Police, Vancouver Police, and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. They made 28 traffic stops, recovered eight stolen vehicles and arrested six people. Five drivers tried to elude police and four of them were arrested. Eight vehicles were towed. Deputies from the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office joined the mission to observe the techniques, so they can conduct similar missions in their area.

MAX Train Stabbing Suspect Sentenced

(Portland, OR) -- A suspect who pleaded guilty to a stabbing on a MAX train last September in Portland has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Twenty-six-year-old Adrian Cummins stabbed two Black teenage boys in a racially motivated attack. One of the boys nearly died. Cummins was supposed to be in jail at the time, but had been refused booking for medical reasons. Cummins was sentenced for attempted murder, robbery and bias crime.

Pollution Control Tampering Plea

(Ridgefield, WA) -- The co-owner of a Ridgefield diesel truck maintenance and sales company has pleaded guilty to tampering with pollution control software. Fifty-year-old Sean Coiteux's company would charge up to two-thousand dollars to modify a diesel truck to eliminate pollution controls. They deleted the software on 375 trucks and made 538-thousand dollars. It improves power and performance, but causes the engine to spew 12-hundred times the amount of pollution. Coiteux's wife Tracy Coiteux is also charged and set for trial in May. The company's service manager pleaded guilty. Prosecutors are recommending Coiteux be sentenced to no more than six months in prison, but the judge can impose any sentence allowed by law.

Cold Case Murder Suspect Convicted

(Portland, OR) -- A suspect in a cold case murder who was identified from gum he spit out has been found guilty. In 1980, the body of Barbara Tucker was found near Mt. Hood Community College. She had been kidnapped, sexually assault and beaten to death. In 2021, DNA that was found on her body was tested and a genealogy trace indicated Robert Plympton was the suspect. He lived in Gresham. Detectives followed Plympton and when he spit out his gum, the DNA was tested and matched the DNA on Tucker. In a bench trial, Plympton was found guilty of Murder in the First Degree. He'll be sentenced June 21st.

OR Among Most Well-Rested States

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is among the most well-rested states in the U.S. New data from the CDC shows folks in Oregon, Washington, South Dakota, Montana and Vermont get the most shut-eye each night. According to the numbers, about 33 percent of local residents get fewer than seven hours of sleep a day. West Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Nevada, and Tennessee are the most sleep-deprived states.

Sex Abuse Suspect May Have Other Victims

(Aloha, OR) -- Police say an Aloha man may have used advertisements for housekeepers and math tutoring services as a way to find victims to sexually abuse. On Friday, a woman called 911 after responding to a housekeeping ad at 55-year-old Jimmy Liu's house. She claims he grabbed her bare feet and rubbed them on his face. Deputies found another woman made a similar report in February. Liu is charged with harassment and sexual abuse. He's been running ads for a housekeeper on social media since 2017, along with ads for math tutoring services for children, and investigators want to hear from any victims.

I5 Project Aims To Rebuild Portland Neighborhood

PORTLAND, OR -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek says transportation funding will be a top priority in the 2025 legislative session. That package is likely to include state funding for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project.

Winta Yohannes, Executive Director of the Albina Vision Trust, says the project will help undo the racist efforts of urban planner Robert Moses, who designed the interstate to divide the Lower Albina neighborhood, "Then, home to 80% of the city’s Black population. The Albina Robert Moses laid his eyes upon was a bustling residential and commercial hub nestled against the banks of the Willamette."

Moses was hired by the city in 1943. Interstate-5 was built in the 1950s and '60s. JT Flowers, with the Albina Vision Trust, says construction was done in the interest of progress, without regard to the impact on that community, "We know what it means to have floors, posts, beams, windows and foundation pulled from under our feet; to be robbed with a smile."

The US Department of Transportation recently awarded grants totalling $488 million for Albina Vision Infrastructure Projects. Of that, $450 million is for ODOT, the other $38 million was awarded to the city of Portland.

Yohannes says capping the freeway in North Portland will eventually reconnect a community lost decades ago, "This catalytic infusion will restitch the district by constructing a buildable highway cover, transform the streetscape of our neighborhood and accelerate the generational work of rebuilding Albina." She adds, "We are leading America’s largest restorative redevelopment effort. One that centers the rerouting of Black people, families and culture in the core of Portland’s city center."

Congressman Earl Blumenauer says he’s pleased to be part of undoing a piece of the city's racist past, "I feel like I’ve been chasing the ghost of Robert Moses, literally, for 50 years. And too often, he was ahead of us. But slowly but surely, we’ve turned that." He says, "This is the way Portland’s comeback occurs. It goes through Albina; it goes through the partnerships that are being developed. And the half billion dollars is a drop in the bucket." He believes it’ll also rebuild wealth in the community.

The USDOT money is just a portion of what’s needed for the massive project and the state is expected to pitch in.

Photo: Supporters celebrate the $488M allocation of federal money. (l-r) US Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), US Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), State Rep. Tawna Sanchez (D-North Portland), State Sen. Lew Frederick (D-North Portland), Albina Vision Trust Executive Director Winta Yohannes, Albina Vision Trust Board Chair Mike Alexander, US Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps.

Hikers Stuck Near Waterfall Self Rescue

(Multnomah Falls, OR) -- Two women hiking in the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday got trapped near a waterfall. Corbett Fire and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office responded. The call came in around 6 p.m. A drone was flown over the area and the woman acknowledged the drone. They were able to eventually work their way back to a trail and weren't injured. It happened in the same area where a woman was found dead at the base of a cliff earlier in the day.

Suspects Arrested In Carjacking

(Portland, OR) -- Two suspects in a carjacking on Friday in Northeast Portland have been arrested. The victim was unloading groceries from his car when the two suspects approached, pointed a gun at the victim and stole his SUV. The victim wasn't injured. Police spotted the SUV near Northeast 82nd and Lombard and the vehicle was found crashed near Northeast 70th and Mason. The suspects ran, but were caught by police. Forty-one-year-old Raheim Carter and 24-year-old Brandon Plumb were arrested for robbery and auto theft.

Dumpster Fire Threatens Apartments

(Portland, OR) -- A dumpster fire threatened two apartment buildings in Northeast Portland early Sunday morning. The fire was burning between both buildings and had spread to the siding. Firefighters cut holes in the roof and were able to keep the flames from spreading. Several units were damaged. Everyone safely evacuated the buildings. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. While the fire was being fought, a shooting happened nearby and one engine was sent to the shooting to help the victims.

Boeing Plane Loses Panel

(Meford, OR) -- The FAA is investigating how a Boeing plane lost a piece of external panel prior to landing at the Medford airport last Friday. A United Airlines ground crew discovered the damage on the underside of the aircraft after it parked at the gate. The flight carrying 139 people and six crew members departed San Francisco and landed in southern Oregon shortly before noon. Everyone on board appeared unaware of the problem until the plane landed.

The Oregon Zoo Welcomes Baby Penguin

(Portland, OR) -- The Oregon Zoo has a new baby small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The tiny, fluffy Humboldt penguin chick hatched last week and managers in the penguin habitat say the chick's parents are doing a great job caring for their new arrival. It'll grow fast. By summer, it'll be as tall as its parents. The chick is the 194th Humboldt chick to hatch in Portland since breeding of the threatened species began at the zoo in the 1980s. Humboldt penguins are native to the South American coastline off Peru and Chile.

Two Wounded In Drive-By Shooting

(Portland, OR) -- Two men were injured in a drive-by shooting early Sunday morning outside of a bar in the Lloyd District. Officers responded to the shooting near 14th and Northeast Broadway and found one man who was wounded by gunfire. Another shooting victim was taken to a hospital in a private vehicle. Both men suffered non-life threatening injuries. The suspects fired the shots from a moving car and fled the scene. No arrests have been made.

Asian Man Injured In Unprovoked Attack In Portland

(Portland, OR) -- A 73-year-old man is recovering from a brutal, unprovoked attack along Portland's Eastbank Esplanade. His family wonders if he was targeted for being Asian. Xinmin Liang  was fishing Tuesday morning near the Steel Bridge, when a white man dressed in gray and a blue beanie approached. Police claim he didn't say a word, just beat the victim with a big wooden stick until it broke and then left. Xinmin has a broken arm and a bruised, swollen face. No arrest has been made. Police are calling this an assault investigation for now, but it could turn into a bias crime.

Suspect Arrested In East Portland Bias Crimes

(Portland, OR) -- A Southeast Portland man accused of a bias attack on his neighbor a Hazelwood area apartment in early February is back in jail, accused of attacking the same neighbor again. Fifty-one-year-old Fabian Bigeagle was arrested on February 5th, for punching his neighbor, after previously calling him a racial slur. He was charged with Bias Crime and Assault and released from jail. Wednesday, police responded to another assault. The same victim had been punched in the face and called a racial slur again. Bigeagle was arrested Thursday, charged with Bias Crime, Burglary and Assault.

Natural Gas Leak Forces Evacuation

(Vancouver, WA) -- A Vancouver neighborhood is back in their homes after being evacuated for a gas leak. The fire department responded to the area of 11-hundred West Fourth Plain Boulevard yesterday afternoon on a report of natural gas leaking. Crews cleared everyone out and closed the road. Turns out, a car had hit a gas meter. No one was hurt. The gas was turned off and the area reopened after it was safe.

Disqualified GOP Senators File For New Offices

(Salem, OR) -- Two Oregon Republican state senators who are barred from running for re-election due to last year's walkout are running for different offices. Dallas Senator Brian Boquist is running for state treasurer as the only Republican candidate. State Senator Elizabeth Steiner and Jeff Gudman, a financial analyst, are running on the Democratic side. Klamath County State Senator Dennis Linthicum is running for secretary of state. He'll face investment broker Brent Barker and market analyst Tim McCloud in the May primary.

Serial Burglary Suspect Indicted

(Gresham, OR) -- A serial burglary suspect has been indicted for allegedly breaking into businesses in Gresham and Portland. Gresham Police started investigating last October when two businesses were burglarized. They found the suspect was also connected to three other burglaries in Portland and Gresham. Thirty-seven-year-old Adam Johnson was already in jail on other charges. A Multnomah County grand jury has now indicted him on 17 charges in connection with the burglaries.

Portland Offers Discounts On St. Patrick's Day Rides Home

(Portland, OR) -- People celebrating St. Patrick's Day around Portland this weekend can get a free ride. The city is offering discounts on taxi, Uber and Lyft rides to help residents get home safe. This starts tonight and will be available between 5 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Monday. Discount codes will be added to the Uber and Lyft apps starting at 8 o'clock this morning. Paper coupons for up to 20-dollars off a taxi ride can be found at many locations. The PBOT website has additional details.

Def Leppard & Journey Announce Moda Center Performance

(Portland, OR) -- Tickets go on sale today for this summer's Def Leppard and Journey concert at Portland's Moda Center. The bands will perform September 2nd. Def Leppard released their 12th studio album Diamond Star Halos in 2022 and in 2023 released Drastic Symphonies, featuring their greatest tracks reimagined with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road. Journey has been playing sold out arenas on their Freedom Tour.

More Time For Wind Energy Comment Requested

(Washington, D.C.) -- Some Oregon lawmakers are concerned about federal offshore wind energy projects planned for several coastal communities. U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Congresswoman Val Hoyle sent a letter this week to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management asking the agency to extend the comment period for the Coos Bay and Brookings Wind Energy Areas. They say the potential impacts warrant more public engagement before environmental assessments are complete. Last month, Governor Tina Kotek said the state will ensure coastal communities and tribal nations are consulted throughout the development of wind energy areas.

Lincoln Co. Man Arrested In Death Of Mother

(Lincoln County, OR) -- A Lincoln County man who reported the death of his mother is now facing homicide charges. The sheriff's office says he called 911 Tuesday night to say he accidentally killed his mom. When deputies arrived at the home in Siletz, they found the 79-year-old woman with "injuries consistent with homicidal violence." Her 56-year-old son was arrested on scene, and the Oregon State Police Crime Lab is now investigating.

Beaches Marked With Nesting Warnings

(Newport, OR) -- Warning signs are up along parts of the Oregon Coast as the western snowy plover's nesting season gets underway. The plover is a threatened species, and their white speckled eggs and chicks easily blend in with the sand. Nesting areas will be marked through September 15th. Dogs, even on leashes, are prohibited near the nests along with vehicles, biking, camping, fires, kite flying and drones. Pedestrians and horses are allowed below the high-tide line on wet, packed sand. The plover nesting area includes 40 miles of Oregon's 362 miles of shoreline.

OHCS To Start Homeowner Assistance For Wildfire Victims

(Salem, OR) -- The first phase of a homeowner assistance program for wildfire victims in the state is starting March 25th. Oregon Housing and Community Services will take applications for the Homeowner Assistance and Reconstruction Program. Victims of the 2020 wildfires and straight-line winds will be able to get help repairing their homes or building new ones. Applications must be done online. Those who aren't accepted initially might get benefits later, if funds are available.

Ten States, FTC Sue Women's Cancer Fund

(Washington, DC) -- Oregon is joining nine other states and the Federal Trade Commission in suing a charity accused of fraud. The lawsuit claims Women's Cancer Fund, also known as Cancer Recovery Foundation International, brought in 18-million dollars between 2017 and 2022, but only one-percent of that money went to cancer patients. Four times that amount allegedly went to Gregory B. Anderson, who operated the charity. The complaint was filed in the U-S District Court for the Southern District of Texas earlier this week.

Hillsboro Arsonist Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter

(Hillsboro, OR) -- The suspect arrested for arson in the January 2022 fire at Hillsboro's Weil Arcade has pled guilty to a number of crimes in the case. According to court documents, Roel Leon, whose true name is Rose Sylvia Sunrise, was facing a second degree murder charge after the body of 40-year-old Ronald Knapp was found in the burned-out building. Leon has pled guilty to manslaughter, arson, and criminal mischief.

EV Rebate Program Resuming

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon is reopening its Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, but only for two months. The rebates can only be given while the program has funding. Battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles under 50-thousand dollars that are purchased between April 3rd and June 4th will be eligible. There's a 25-hundred dollar rebate available to all applicants and a 75-hundred dollar rebate for qualifying low-income applicants. They'll have six months from the date of purchase to apply for the rebate.

Governor Requests Disaster Declaration For Winter Storm

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is asking President Biden to approve a disaster declaration for parts of Oregon because of damage from the winter storm in January. The declaration would cover ten counties and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. Seventeen Oregonians were killed during the storm. Peak power outages affected more than 238-thousand people. Several counties are still struggling with repairs from the storm. Losses to small businesses are estimated at 165-million dollars. The preliminary public assistance damage assessment is 48-million dollars.

Port Projects Get Federal Funding

(North Bend, OR) -- Several projects on the Oregon coast will receive federal funding, through a port infrastructure development program. The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded nearly eight-million dollars to the Ko'Kwel Wharf Improvements Project in North Bend, nearly three-and-a-half million dollars for Port of Newport operational capacity improvements, and in Astoria the Pier Two West Rehabilitation Project will get 25-million dollars. Investments focus on modernizing ports, strengthening supply chains and improving economic security.

Mt. Hood Meadows Extends Season

(Mt. Hood, OR) -- Mt. Hood Meadows is extending its season after receiving heavy snow this month. Meadows is 40 inches away from their average of 430 inches. Seven-day-a-week operations have been extended through April 28th. They'll be open Friday through Sunday the weekends of May 3rd, May 10th and May 17th. The popular Pond Skim will be held May 4th. The season got off to a slow start, but it's ending with excellent spring conditions.

Cycling Increase In Portland

(Portland, OR) -- The number of people biking to work in Portland remains down significantly, but it is starting to rebound. The 2023 Portland Bicycle Growth Report shows a five percent increase last year compared to 2022. From 2019 through 2022, cycling was down 35 percent. It accounts about five percent of the overall commuters in the city. According to the US Census in 2020, around 11-thousand people biked to work in Portland. For the first time, the report counted e-bikes and found one in six people rode electric bikes. The report says an increasing population and negative safety perceptions are some of the reasons why numbers are down.

Funding To Cover I-5

(Portland, OR) -- The federal government will spend 450-million dollars on the I-5 Rose Quarter Project to cover the freeway. When I-5 was built, it divided the Albina community. Covering the freeway will reconnect the lower Albina Neighborhood. 38-million dollars will also be spent to redesign Broadway and Weidler to connect with the Rose Quarter Project.

Portland Offers Discounts On St. Patrick's Day Rides Home

(Portland, OR) -- The City of Portland wants you to get home safe if you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day in the city. They will be offering discounts on taxi, Uber and Lyft rides. Between 5 p.m. on Friday March 15th and 3 a.m. on Monday, discount coupons will be available. Paper coupons for up to 20-dollars off a taxi ride will be available at many locations. Starting at 8 a.m. on Friday March 15th, discount codes on Uber and Lyft will be posted. The PBOT website has additional details.

Highway 217 Closing This Weekend

(Tigard, OR) -- Highway 217 will be closed this weekend between Highway 99W and Greenburg Road for demolition of the Hall Boulevard overpass. It needs to be built with wider supports for the Highway 217 Auxiliary Lanes project. Highway 217 will close at 9 p.m. Friday and remain closed through 5 a.m. on Monday. ODOT advises using a detour on Highway 26, I-405 and I-5. Construction on the Highway 217 project will be complete in 2025.

Fish & Wildlife Restoration Funding

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife is getting 32-million dollars from the federal government for wildlife and sport fishing restoration projects. 23-million dollars will go to 45 wildlife grants and two grants related to hunter education and shooting range enhancements. The other eight-million is for boating access projects and other sport fishing restoration work. That funding also helps monitor salmon and steelhead populations in the Rogue Deschutes, Willamette and Umpqua rivers, and on the coast.

DUI Driver Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A Washington County judge has sentenced Sara Moore to 18 months in prison for a DUI crash that happened a year ago. Prosecutors say she was driving 60 miles an hour in a 40 mile an hour zone on Murray Boulevard near TV Highway when she crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a car head-on. A person in the car that was hit suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial fractures and underwent several surgeries. Moore had a blood alcohol level of point-one-two and officers found a marijuana vape pen in the car. Besides the prison term her driver license will be suspended for 18 months.

Multnomah County Revises Homeless Plan

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland area has a new goal for the plan to address homelessness. Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson says by 2025 they will have half of the homeless population, that's 27-hundred people, in shelters or stable housing. They will add a thousand shelter beds, hundreds of behavioral health beds and a drop-in sobering center. Their goal is to keep 75-percent of people who move into stable housing there for at least two years.

Clackamas County Allocates $16 Million For Addiction Treatment

(Oregon City, OR) -- The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners has approved spending 16-million dollars for mental health and addiction treatment programs. The money comes from the Oregon Health Authority. The money will be used for an outpatient health center. Next year, a crisis center will open to reduce the strain on local law enforcement and hospitals. Homes will be available where people can stay to continue their treatment after being released from medical facilities. The county is also planning a recovery center for people with substance use disorders to help them successfully reenter the community.

Kotek Directs Oregon Transportation Commission To Pause Tolling

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon Governor Tina Kotek is telling the Oregon Transportation Commission to stop planning for tolls on Portland area freeways until the Legislature provides more direction. Kotek says the path toward implementing tolling in the Portland metro area is uncertain at best. This does not include the Interstate Bridge project. Kotek says it should move forward with Washington state using its tolling infrastructure to raise revenue for the project. This raises questions about the Abernethy Bridge project on I-205 which is currently under construction. Its funding was linked to tolls on I-205. Kotek says the 2025 Legislature will face tough decisions on raising revenue for ODOT.

Chronic Identity Thief Sentenced

(Portland, OR) -- A chronic identity thief in Portland is starting her time behind bars. Sarah Salo was found guilty in three separate bench trials. Prosecutors say she would use stolen personal information to take over bank accounts and drain them of their money. The 46-year-old was sentenced to more than six years in prison. She also faces charges of burglary and identity theft in Columbia County.

Bighorn Poaching Reward

(Pendleton, OR) -- Oregon State Police continue to investigate the poaching of a Rocky Mountain bighorn ram south of Baker City last November. The reward for information in the case is now 45-hundred dollars. Poaching a bighorn carries a penalty of up to ten-thousand dollars in fines, as well as hunting license suspension and forfeiture of the firearm used in the crime. Anyone with information is urged to contact OSP or the Turn in Poachers TIP line. About 800 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep live in the northeast corner of the state.

Johnsonville Meat Recalls More Than 35,000 Pounds Of Turkey Sausage

(Denmark, WI) -- A recall is in effect for turkey sausage sold in Oregon. Johnsonville is recalling more than 35-thousand pounds of meat after multiple reports of black rubber. The Wisconsin-based company recalled its ready-to-eat Polish kielbasa turkey sausage after at least two people reported the material. That's according to the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. The product was produced October 30th and 31st and shipped to retail distribution centers in several states.

Contaminated Cinnamon Could Be In Kitchen Pantries

PORTLAND, OR -- Health officials in Oregon urge people to check spice cabinets for ground cinnamon that could be contaminated with lead. Consumers should not eat Supreme Tradition ground cinnamon, which was sold in Oregon at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar.

The investigation started back in October, after several brands of cinnamon applesauce were recalled. "The FDA initiated a targeted survey of ground cinnamon products from discount retail stores, and analyzed samples for lead and chromium," says Perry Cabot, with the Multnomah County Health Department, "The lead in the Wanabana Apple Cinnamon Puree was traced back to the cinnamon; so here we are, talking about the cinnamon. In that instance, the investigations determined the lead was likely added to the ground cinnamon, as sort of what we call an adulteration process." Cabot says lead is sometimes added to brighten the color and add to the weight of a product. But, in last fall’s investigation, officials found, "It was added to the cinnamon at quite high levels. The pure cinnamon that was analyzed as part of that investigation had levels of between 2,000 and 5,000 parts per million lead, and that’s extremely high." 

While the ground cinnamon involved in this month's voluntary recall by the FDA didn't show levels that high, Cabot says it should still not be consumed, "If you see that you have that particular brand, I would dispose of it."

He says, "We’ve been in touch with at least two of those locations ourselves, and they are very aware of this issue and we were immediately provided feedback that the product was not available and should not be available at any locations around." But, Supreme Tradition cinnamon has a long shelf-life and may still be in home kitchens. 

Overall, Cabot says shoppers need to be aware some products are at higher risk, "Number one: please be aware that if you’re out searching for ground cinnamon, you should be taking to consideration what we’ve already learned about a number of different products being of concern."

Lead is especially dangerous for babies and toddlers, and parents should contact their doctor if they think their child has been exposed. 

 

Park Murder Suspect Arrested

(Salem, OR) -- The suspect in a shooting that killed one teenager and wounded two others in Salem is behind bars. Nathanial McCrae Junior went with a parent to the police station last Friday and turned himself in. Officers say he opened fire the day before in Bush's Pasture Park, where they found all three victims shot. The 16-year-old was booked into the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center on charges of murder, attempted murder and assault.

Double Shooting Suspect Arrested

(Corvallis, OR) -- One person is behind bars for a deadly double shooting in Corvallis. When officers arrived at a home on Northwest Highland Drive Saturday night they discovered one woman dead and a second woman suffering serious injuries. She remains in the hospital. Police identified the suspect as 53-year-old Jerry Mitchell Senior. He was found in northern California and arrested. Investigators are putting the pieces together but haven't revealed what led up to the shooting.

Attempted Murder Suspect Sought

(Astoria, OR) -- Police in Astoria are searching for a 30-year-old man suspected of attempted murder. Firefighters were dispatched to the Port of Astoria Boatyard last Thursday for a reported fall, but medics soon discovered that didn't cause the victim's injuries. Detectives are looking for Dylan Campana who is considered armed and dangerous. He's also wanted for a State Parole Board violation. The victim in the case remains in stable condition. His identity has not been released.

Pro-Palestinian Demonstration Blocks I-405

(Portland, OR) -- Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked I-405 in Portland for two hours on Saturday. Drivers were able to get past the demonstration using one lane that was open. Portland Police didn't respond to the demonstration which frustrated many of the drivers. Police said the group did not have a permit for the demonstration and that they were monitoring the event. On Friday, police arrested four people for disorderly conduct during a demonstration. They say on Saturday it was an issue of resources.

Pedestrian Found Injured In Hazel Dell

(Vancouver, WA) -- Clark County Sheriff's detectives need help to find out more about an injured pedestrian they found Thursday morning in Hazel Dell. Just before 9 a.m., deputies and medics responded to the man found injured on Northeast Highway 99, near Minnehaha Street. He was taken to a hospital in serious condition. The Major Crimes and Traffic Units are investigating the circumstances and cause of his injuries. They ask anyone who saw an injured adult male in that area overnight to report it to the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

34 Arrests During Police Mission

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police and Oregon State Police worked together on a crime crackdown on Wednesday. It focused on downtown, Old Town, The Pearl and Central Eastside. Thirty-four people were arrested, including one person for Distribution of a Controlled Substance. Twenty-nine Ballot Measure 110 tickets were written for possession of small amounts of fentanyl. One-and-a-half grams of fentanyl were seized along with two stolen vehicles and one gun.

Transit Drug Bill Moves To Governor

(Salem, OR) -- Using illegal drugs on public transit will be a Class A misdemeanor under a bill that passed the Oregon Legislature. It only covers people using drugs on trains or buses. Illegal use of drugs on transit platforms or stops will be covered by another bill that is recriminalizing drug use. A Class A misdemeanor carries a potential one year in jail. TriMet says this will give law enforcement the tool they need to support security efforts on public transit. The bill now goes to the Governor.

Food Smell Forces Restaurant To Close

(Portland, OR) -- A Vietnamese restaurant in Portland was forced to close, because of the smell. An odor complaint that was filed anonymously led to the closure. The owner of Pho Gabo says he hasn't received a complaint since the restaurant opened five years ago. He has other restaurants in Hillsboro and Happy Valley. Portland City Commissioner Carmen Rubio has paused action on odor complaints tied to restaurants until the city code can be evaluated. Five Vietnamese-American state Representatives released a statement about their concerns over the city's code.

Shooting Investigated At Salem's Bush's Pasture Park

(Salem, OR) -- Salem Police are investigating a shooting at Bush's Pasture Park Thursday afternoon. It's located south of Salem Hospital. One person was killed and two juveniles were injured. They were taken to Salem Hospital. They're conditions weren't released. South Salem High School was placed in lockdown while police searched for a suspect. An arrest has not been made.

Suspect Arrested Dog Shooting

(Kelso, WA) -- A suspect has been arrested in connection with a dog that was found shot in the head with its snout taped shut near Toutle. The English Retriever was found on the Spirit Lake Highway last November. The dog was badly injured, but survived and is now known as "Trooper." The dog is being cared for by a host family. Detectives identified 33-year-old Jessica Schmidt as the dog's former own and a suspect in the case. She's charged with Animal Cruelty, Making False Statements, and Driving while Suspended.

Multnomah County Commissioner Call For Gaza Ceasefire

(Portland, OR) -- The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners have voted unanimously for a ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution also calls for a return of hostages, and safe passage for humanitarian organizations that will provide medical aid, food, water, and fuel to Gazan civilians. 35 people testified on the resolution. Chair Jessica Vega Pederson said she believed the resolution was the right compromise that best reflects the shared values and intentions of the Board.

One Killed In Small Plane Crash

(Cave Junction, OR) -- A pilot was killed in a small plane crash in southern Oregon on Thursday. The crash happened at Illinois Valley Airport around 11:30 a.m. The aircraft was an experimental ultralight called the Firestar K-X-P. The NTSB and FAA are investigating the cause of the crash.

Avalanche Forecaster Killed In Avalanche

(Baker City, OR) -- A back country skier was killed in an avalanche in eastern Oregon. The incident happened Wednesday afternoon on Gunsight Mountain, near Anthony Lakes, northwest of Baker City. Nick Burks was skiing with a friend when he reportedly triggered the avalanche and was killed. Burks was also a forecaster for the Wallowa Avalanche Center. The incident is under investigation.

Suspect Arrested In Synagogue Damage

(Eugene, OR) -- An Oregon man is charged with a federal hate crime for repeatedly defacing a Eugene synagogue. The incidents started last August when 34-year-old Adam Braun allegedly defaced Temple Beth Israel in Eugene. Some of the graffiti included antisemitic symbols. On January 14th, surveillance video recorded him with a hammer and as he was preparing to hit the glass doors, he saw the camera and stopped. Instead, he spray painted "White Power" on the building. Police searched his residence and found evidence of the attacks. Braun was arrested on Thursday and will be held pending further court proceedings.

New Bear Cubs Spend More Time Outside

(Portland, OR)  --  Visitors to the Oregon Zoo have a better chance of seeing the two new bear cubs from Alaska.  They were named after Portland's major league soccer teams, Timber and Thorn.  They were both found wandering separately in Alaska and were too young to survive on their own.  They arrived in December and have spent most of their time behind the scenes.  As they're getting used to the new habitat they're spending more time outside.  They're doing a lot of playing and climbing trees.

Portland Council Considers Leaf Blower Ban

(Portland, OR)  --  Gas powered leaf blowers would be banned in Portland after 2026 under an ordinance being considered by City Council.  They would be allowed from October through December, because of heavy wet leaves.  A full ban would take effect in 2028, as long as electric leaf blower technology advances.  The City Council would review technology in September 2028 and could extend the temporary use.  Property owners would be fined for violations.  The first violation is a warning and then fines range from 250 to one-thousand dollars.  Some money would be available to help small landscaping companies convert to electric leaf blowers.

Pregnant Woman Assaulted In Beaverton

(Beaverton, OR)  --  A pregnant woman is hospitalized after being pistol whipped.  The Washington County Sheriff's Office says the incident happened yesterday on Southwest 189th Avenue a few blocks south of Farmington Road.  The woman approached the man about drug activity when he hit her in the face with the gun.  Authorities later arrested Robert Brooks for assault.  Deputies served a search warrant at his house and found several guns, nearly six pounds of marijuana, various pills and meth.

PPB Brings Back Cold Case Unit

(Portland, OR)  --  Two years after Portland Police dissolved its Cold Case Unit, the division has returned. It was originally formed in 2004, to utilize new investigative technologies that could be applied to unsolved cases dating back to the 1960s. Despite solving more than 50 homicides over 18 years, it disbanded in 2022 because the bureau faced cuts from retirements, COVID and civil unrest.

PPB is one of eight agencies around the country to receive a National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant. Portland received $2.5 million to fund four detectives and provide $300,000 to conduct Forensic Genetic Genealogy testing. Homicides will be the top priority for the unit. Violent crimes will be prioritized based on time remaining on the statute of limitations. "We are, to the best of our ability, very committed to trying to find resolutions and answers for folks. And this grant, at a time of limited resources, limited capabilities, is going to be a huge, huge asset for us," says Portland Police Chief Bob Day.

It’s been almost seven years since Brian Spaulding failed to show up for work. His father George Spaulding told reporters Wednesday, "So, we went over to do a welfare check on him and my wife and I found him shot to death. Worst day of my life." His June 2017 murder is among hundreds of unsolved Portland homicides likely to get another look by the unit. "We can’t bring him back. But Brian was a great believer in personal responsibility. And, there should be some justice in his case."

Brendan McGuire is one of the four detectives brought back from the brink of retirement to join the unit, hoping to take advantage of forensic techniques developed in just the last few years, "They can get DNA from hair samples with no roots. Historically, all my career, we’ve been told that if a hair sample didn’t have the root from the hair, you’re not getting any DNA from it. So, there’s homicides going back all those years, where detectives operated under that working theory, that we can re-look at now." Det. McGuire is grateful for the grant, "This does give us three years. Hopefully we can maybe extend it beyond that, to keep going. Ultimately, our goal is to bring as many of our unsolved cases up to current investigative standards as we can. And by doing that, hopefully solve some and bring some resolution, some justice to the case and to the families."

Chief Day is also optimistic, "But I think it’s so important that we remember that what we’re attempting to do here is really provide that connection and that closure that is so deserving of the families."

 

photo: Portland Police Bureau Chief Bob Day Announces the return of the Cold Case Unit.

Oregonians Struggle With Unemployment Benefit Computer Upgrade

(Salem, OR) -- The Oregon Unemployment Insurance program switched to a new computer system on Monday called Frances Online. In the first two days, the Employment Department reports 23-thousand people were able to create new accounts and file weekly benefits. They don't know how many people haven't been able to create accounts and are struggling with the update. Wait times at the call center are hours long, even though additional customer service workers were brought in to help. They recommend people who haven't been able to create a login to restart the process. If they're unsuccessful, they can file weekly claims on the automated phone line.

Older Adults Eligible For Second COVID Shot

(Portland, OR) -- Oregonians 65 and older can now get an additional dose of the 2023-2024 updated COVID vaccine. Last week, the CDC opened eligibility to older adults, who are most at risk for serious illness from the virus. Oregon health officials say vaccine-induced immunity can wane over time, but a second dose restores that protection for older adults. They urge you to get the second shot if it's been at least four months since receiving the first dose of the 2023-2024 vaccine. Contact your health plan, health care provider, county public health clinic, or pharmacy.

Weiner Wagon Hot Dog Stand Found

(Vancouver, WA) -- The Weiner Wagon hot dog stand that was stolen from Vancouver has been found. The trailer was stolen from the owner's home. Someone reported it being towed over the Interstate Bridge. The Weiner Wagon was found in Portland on Northeast Wasco [[ WAH'-scoe ]] Street. One person was taken into custody. The hot dog stand was returned to its owner.

Tornado Confirmed In NE Oregon

(Milton-Freewater, OR) -- The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in a field near Milton-Freewater, in Northeast Oregon. The small town is located northeast of Pendleton. A resident took a photo of the tornado. It didn't cause any damage. It was likely an EF0 with winds of 65 to 85 miles an hour.

Closed Columbia River Locks Contribute To Gas Price Increase

(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices continue to rise. In Oregon, the average increased nine cents to $3.86 a gallon, while the national average increased a dime to $3.37. The AAA reports the increases are driven by refinery maintenance and the switch to more expensive and less polluting summer blends of fuel.

In Oregon, prices also increased because locks at dams on the Columbia River are closed, which prevent fuel barges from moving through. Maintenance on the locks is supposed to end later this month.

Canby High School Student Killed By Train

(Canby, Or) -- Grief counselors were on hand at Canby High School yesterday after a student was struck and killed by a train. Officials say Mason Warshaw was crossing the tracks near Pine Street last night when he was hit by a freight train. He was pronounced dead at the scene. School officials offered condolences today all of Mason's friends and family.

Convicted Child Rapist Sentenced

(Albany, OR) -- A man who was found guilty of child rape in Oregon has finally been sentenced. Fifty-one-year-old Gary Coomer was convicted in LInn County in January of sexually assaulting his two daughters, but he failed to show up for his February 15th sentencing. Police found him later that month hiding on a property east of Lebanon and arrested him. Yesterday, Coomer was sentenced to 50 years in prison during a remote hearing, during which his microphone was muted following an outburst.

Suspect Killed By Police Armed With Two Guns

(Vancouver, WA) -- Authorities say a man who was shot and killed by deputies near Orchards in Southwest Washington was armed with two guns. Clark County deputies were doing a welfare check when they learned a woman was being held against her will and had been sexually assaulted. When deputies tried to arrest the male suspect, he grabbed for a gun in his waistband and was fatally shot. Deputies found the loaded gun at the feet of the suspect. They also found a loaded revolver in his right front pants pocket. The Washington State Patrol crime lab is continuing to analyze evidence from the case. The investigation will be forwarded to the Clark County Prosecutor's Office for review.

Oregon Loses 4,900 Jobs In January

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon lost 49-hundred jobs in January following a gain of 19-hundred jobs in December. The Oregon Employment Department reports the state's unemployment rate was four-point-one percent compared to the national rate of three-point-seven percent. Over the last year, the state lost a total of 49-hundred jobs. The private sector cut 15-thousand jobs while health care and social assistance added more than 13-thousand. In January, the largest losses were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, other services and transportation, warehousing, and utilities.

Gateway Transit Center Reopens

(Portland, OR) -- TriMet's Gateway Transit Center has reopened, marking a milestone in the Better Red construction project. New track has been added between Gateway and Portland International Airport, new bridges were built over I-84 for trains, pedestrians and cyclists, and the airport MAX station was rebuilt. The Better Red project will add ten stations to the line from Beaverton Transit Center to Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport. The extended Red Line will start operating in late August.

Oregon State Parks Nearly Set 2023 Record

(Salem, OR) -- Oregon State Parks nearly set a record last year for the number of visitors. It was the second busiest year for day-use visits at 52-million. The record was 53-million in 2021. It was the fourth best camping year with two-point-nine million camping nights which is slightly less than the record of three-million set in 2021. Parks with the largest increases were Beachside State Recreation Site, Ecola State Park, and Harris Beach State Recreation Area. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is spending 50-million-dollars on improvements at nine parks.

Opening Date Set For Milwaukie Marketplace

(Milwaukie, OR) -- An opening date has been set for the New Seasons Marketplace in Milwaukie. It'll open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday March 27th. Milwaukie Mayor Lisa Batey and store manager Joe McCarthy will hold a bread breaking ceremony. The new store is larger than most, so it can serve as a community gathering place. There will also be food samples, live music, and a llama and an alpaca.

Bottle Drop Sites Close During Fentanyl Emergency

PORTLAND, OR -- Two downtown Portland bottle redemption locations are now closed, in an effort to curb fentanyl sales and use. The sites inside a Safeway and a neighboring Plaid Pantry convenience store won’t accept bottles and cans for the month of March.

Mike Myers, the city’s fentanyl emergency incident commander, says the two locations were identified as fentanyl hot spots, "It only takes a handful of bottles or cans to be traded in for cash, to be cycled right back to purchase fentanyl and keep the cycle going." He says officials will study whether the closure has an impact, "It’s a trial. We want to see what’s going to happen; we want to  do some assessment here, whether it’s going to work or not. But we do think the suspension may help stop some of the activity right there in that location." He added, "We will need to assess it every day, if it’s having positive impacts. If there are negative impacts, we will look at that as well."

Officials involved in Portland's tri-government fentanyl emergency have said they want to create a model other regions can use to respond to the fentanyl crisis. So, could we see bottle redemption center closures elsewhere?

Mark Pettinger, with the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, says they've suspended enforcement of the Bottle Bill for those two locations, similar to what happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. But there can be unintended consequences, "There are a number of people who do rely on returning those cans and bottles as a means of survival - and not necessarily just to buy drugs, but to purchase food and other items in order to survive because they may be unhoused."

He notes the OLCC and Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, who manages Bottle Drop locations, are aware of problems and complaints at numerous sites around teh state, "When we have these flare-ups, or these concerns, we work with OBRC and the various city and/or county officials to try and put in place solutions to mitigate whatever the problem is."

The OLCC and OBRC are collecting information during the 30-day closure, "Is there a ripple effect? Or is there a ‘whack-a-mole’ effect? Is the problem going to move just from one location to another? And with some data, then, I think there can be some more informed decisions about how to handle all of this activity," says Pettinger, "It will certainly give us some data to begin to make some data-driven decisions. Whether or not that can be extrapolated and applied to other parts of the state, [it's] too early to say."

 

Motorized Scooter Rider Dies After Crash

(Portland, OR) -- A 74-year-old man who suffered life-threatening injuries in a crash on February 7th in Southwest Portland has died at a hospital. Peter Pellegrin was hit by a vehicle near Southwest Boones Ferry Road and 19th Avenue. The driver remained at the scene. No charges have been filed. The crash remains under investigation.

Police Seek Bank Robbery Suspect ID

(Tualatin, OR) -- Tualatin Police have released photos of a suspect who's accused of robbing the Unitus Community Credit Union near Bridgeport last Friday. The suspect gave the teller a note demanding large bills of cash. The money was handed over and the suspect fled the bank before police arrived. He's described as a white male adult, approximately five-feet nine-inches tall with an average build. He was wearing a tan dress shirt with a black striped necktie, tan pants and a tan baseball cap. He had skin-colored prosthetic gloves, an orange curly-haired wig and sunglasses. He was also wearing a prosthetic nose and cheeks. Anyone with information should contact Tualatin Police.

Time Change Bill Raises Opposition

(Salem, OR) -- A bill to keep Oregon on Standard Time all year drew opposition in the state Senate. It passed by only two votes. Supporters say it aligns naturally with body clocks, but critics say having more daylight in the evenings would increase safety during the winter. Malheur County, which is currently on Mountain Time, would stay that way and continue to change twice a year. If the bill passes the House and it's signed by the Governor, it would only take effect if Washington and California make a similar change.

Pothole March Madness

(Portland, OR) -- The Portland Bureau of Transportation is declaring March Madness on potholes. The cold winter weather in January made the pothole problem especially bad. Through March 15th, PBOT will divert crews from other jobs to work specifically on pothole repair. Four pothole crews will be dedicated to streets east of 82nd Avenue where the problem is especially bad, one crew will cover reported potholes in other parts of the city and two crews will perform work on large areas with a lot of potholes. You can report potholes online at pdx reporter dot org.

Oregon Firefighters In Texas

(Amarillo, TX) -- Sixteen firefighters from Oregon are helping to battle the Smokehouse Creek fire in Texas. It's burned over one-million acres and is only 15 percent contained. Firefighters were dealing with 50 mile an hour winds on Sunday. The Oregon firefighters are in Texas under a mutual aid agreement. Fire danger in Oregon is low this time of year, so the crews can help in Texas without impacting protection in Oregon. The team includes five engines and a strike team leader. Last year, 123 firefighters from out-of-state helped battle Oregon's fires.

Police Seek Suspects In Abuse Investigation

(Hillsboro, OR) -- A man who was arrested in connection with assaults on an underaged girl in Washington County may have additional victims. 23-year-old Marquise Brazile allegedly assaulted and strangled the girl and threatened her with a gun. He was arrested last month at a house in Gresham where police found a stolen handgun. Brazile has been the subject of investigations in Portland, Gresham and Beaverton. He's also been connected to several shootings, assaults and rapes. Additional victims should contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Lake Oswego Father Accused of Drugging Girls

(Lake Oswego, OR) -- A Lake Oswego father is jailed in Clackamas Country, accused of drugging three of his daughter's 12-year-old friends during an August sleepover at his house. OregonLive reports 57-year-old Michael Meyden turned himself in last week. He's accused of lacing smoothies with the sedative benzodiazepine, known by trade names including Valium, Xanax, and Ativan. Meyden pleaded not guilty to multiple felony and misdemeanor charges at his Wednesday arraignment. Bail was set at 50-thousand-dollars.

Traffic Stop Leads to Fentanyl Seizure

(Brownsville, OR) -- Two California men are jailed in Linn County, after a recent traffic stop on I-5 that led to the seizure of a large quantity of fentanyl powder and pills headed for the street. Oregon State Police say it happened February 16th, when a trooper pulled a Honda Accord over for a traffic violation on I-5 near Brownsville. A search of the vehicle turned up ten-thousand fentanyl pills and four pounds of fentanyl powder, among other illegal drugs. Eighteen-year-old Danny Cruz Benitz of Oakland and 20-year-old Walter Aguilar of Sacramento were arrested on drug charges. Aguilar was also wanted for a parole violation.

Suspect Accused Of Driving Into Homeless Camp

(Portland, OR) -- A man charged with manslaughter allegedly drove into a homeless camp killing a man. Court documents show that last week, 22-year-old Shane McKeever got into an argument with David Bentley and a witness says McKeever purposely drove into the camp killing Bentley. The crash happened on Southeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Belmont Street. McKeever remains in the Multnomah County jail without bail.

Murder Suspect Sought

(Portland, OR) -- Portland Police have identified a suspect in a fatal shooting on February 5th at a north Portland bar. Charles Hassel died at the scene. Harold "Bob" Dulaney, of Portland, is wanted for murder in the second degree. He's a Caucasian male, six-feet three-inches tall, 260 pounds and has brown hair and hazel eyes. He walks in a hunched posture and uses a cane. Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Protest Help Against Drug Bill

(Salem, OR) -- A demonstration was held at the Oregon State Capitol against the drug bill passed on Friday in the Legislature. The measure recriminalizes use of controlled substances and allocates funding to drug addiction treatment. Demonstrators say the Legislature should have given Ballot Measure 110 more time. Critics say the measure was a failure, because without potential jail time drug users had to no reason to enter drug treatment. The bill now moves to the Governor.

Mobile Home Damaged By Fire

 

(Hillsboro, OR) -- Two people in a Hillsboro mobile home escaped a fire Saturday evening. The mobile home is located on Southeast Minter Bridge Road. Smoke alarms alerted the residents to the fire and they got out safely. Twenty-foot flames were reported by neighbors and the mobile was fully involved when the first fire crews arrived. The fire was put out in about 20 minutes. Firefighters were able to salvage some important items in the fire-damaged area of the home. An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.

Officials Defend Tri-Government Fentanyl Emergency Actions

PORTLAND, OR -- One month after elected leaders declared a tri-government fentanyl emergency in Portland, city, county and state officials are defending their work.

"Every day, we are moving people from the street into either a treatment facility or into a temporary alternative shelter site," says Mike Myers, incident commander for the city of Portland. He adds, 18 who got into shelters through the emergency effort will move into housing in March. Myers also cites statistics from Portland Fire’s Overdose Response Team as evidence their efforts are working, "They’ve already saved dozens of people from overdose death in the past 30 days. Portland Fire and Rescue also launched an in-field drug treatment team and has distributed at least 1400 Narcan kits in the operational area."

But much of that work was already happening. And questions remain about what’s new as a result of the emergency structure. Portland Police Sgt. Jerry Cioeta says before the declaration, each effort - law enforcement, treatment, housing - worked separately, "It wasn’t until this started happening that we were actually out working together, that Portland Police, the Bike Squad, Neighborhood Response Team was working with the Street Services Coordination Team. We’re working with OSP, we’re working with CHAT, we’re all working together." Cioeta says that coordination allows them to surge drug enforcement in key areas alongside outreach workers. 

And, the leadership team announced Thursday, "Effective March second, two Bottle Drop sites, where there’s been highly acute fentanyl activity, will be suspended." Myers says the Governor and OLCC authorized the 30-day closure of the Bottle Drop in the downtown Safeway and a nearby Plaid Pantry, to cut off the funding some addicts use to buy fentanyl and study the impact of the closure. "The intent is not to simply move the problem around the corner in Portland. The [Multnomah County] Chair was very specific: it’s about not moving this problem into East County. And the Governor was very specific about not moving this to just another city."

Sean McGann, deputy incident commander for the state, says the goal is to create a response model that can be used elsewhere, "This is not just a Portland problem, it’s not an Oregon problem. This is an international problem." McGann adds, "Other municipalities, other communities can use the lessons that we’ve learned and replicate that as they address the fentanyl crisis in other regions." 

Information about the emergency incident command and monthly updates are available HEREThe emergency declaration is in place for 90 days. But McGann says the 91st day is as important as the first. 


 

Former Investment Advisor Fined

(Salem, OR) -- A former Oregon investment advisor who was fined has been fined again. In 2019, Laura Shean, who ran PlanNow, lost her license after she made a series of six unauthorized transactions taking more than 124-thousand dollars from an elderly client. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred her from future investment work. In 2021, Shean filed a false order with the state say she wasn't involved in investment advisor activities when she was. Shean was told to stop financial advisor work and was fined 140-thousand dollars, plus 20-thousand dollars in previously suspended fines.

PGE Requests 7.4% Rate Increase

(Portland, OR) -- After raising rates 17-percent in January, Portland General Electric wants to raise rates another seven-point-four percent next January. PGE says the additional money is needed for battery energy storage projects, investments in transmission, and upgrades to technology and generation facilities. The Oregon Public Utility Commission will review the rate increase request and make a decision this fall.

Multnomah County To Re-evaluate Ambulance Service

(Portland, OR) -- The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners has voted to re-evaluate the Ambulance Service Plan. Currently, AMR can't meet the demand of staffing ambulances with two paramedics each. There's a nationwide shortage of paramedics. This review will re-evaluate staffing levels along with response from fire departments. Chair Jessica Vega Pederson wants AMR to subcontract paramedics, provide hiring incentives and fully staff Basic Life Support ambulances to take pressure off the system.

Clackamas Superfund Site Gets More Cleaning

(Clackamas, OR) -- A Superfund site in Clackamas that was cleaned once will be cleaned again. The 53-acre Northwest Pipe & Casing Superfund site is the source of a plume of chlorinated solvent contaminated groundwater. The original cleanup work didn't stop the plume of chemicals. New technology has been developed to remove the chemicals. Eleven-and-a-half million dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be used to design and implement one of the new technologies which should reduce the size of the chemical plume.

OR Is Among Nation's Three Least Religious States

(Portland, OR) -- Oregon is being called one of the nation's three least religious states. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey shows Oregon has the third-fewest number of church-goers in the U.S. The numbers show around 65-percent of Oregon residents never attend religious services or go less than once per year. Maine was ranked the least religious state, with 69-percent never attending services, followed by Vermont with the same percentage. The survey was conducted in January and February of this year.

Hall Boulevard To Close For Nine Months

(Tigard, OR) -- The Hall Boulevard overpass at Highway 217 in Tigard will close at 6 o'clock Monday morning and will remain closed for nine months. The overpass will be demolished as part of the Highway 217 project, because its footings are too narrow. The Pfaffle Road intersection with Hall Boulevard north of the overpass will also be closed. A detour will be in place.

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