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Regional News Archives for 2012-08


Merkley Hopes to Bring More Jobs with "WIFIA"


Senator Jeff Merkley visits the Portland Water Bureau to rally support for his new proposal to improve community water services while putting Oregonians back to work. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, WIFIA, is based on an existing program that funds transportation programs. Merkley hopes to find bipartisan support. Merkley's plan aimed to increase community access to low-interest, government-backed loans needed to water projects. He hopes to gain bipartisan support heading into the 2013 Congress.

Measure 82 Up for Discussion


A group of voters from around the state with varying political views have taken a long look at Measure 82; that's the measure on the Oregon November ballot that would allow for the development of private casinos.

 

Tyrone Reitman with Healthy Democracy says most of the review panel is opposing Measure 82, concerned about the negative effects of gambling on the state. About seven of the 24 panel members like the possible economic impact of casinos related to job growth and tourism.

 

It's State Fair Time!


More than 230,000 people are expected to visit the Oregon state fair during its 11-day run at the state fairgrounds in Salem.  The 151st edition of the Fair is open now. Fair Manager Tony Payseno says there are over 9,000 things to taste, see and do this year; hundreds of them free with your fair admission.  One of the newest features this year is "Rock-U", the interactive Institute of Rock 'n Roll Exhibit where you can play drums and other instruments.  The fair runs through September 3rd .

Grigsby Pleads "Not Guilty"


A 25 year old Portland woman tells a federal court she is not guilty of crimes related to a raciest killing spree in Washington, Oregon and California. 

 

Holly Ann Grigsby told a federal court she's not guilty of 14 counts of racketeering, kidnapping, carjacking and other charges. The Oregonian reports, during Grigsby's court appearance, she agrees to be returned to Oregon to face the changes in the federal indictment, which accused Grigsby and her boyfriend, David "Joey" Pederson, 32, of killing four people because of their perceived ethnicity, religion or quote "degenerate" conduct. Pederson’s father and stepmother were killed; a 19-year-old Oregon man and a 53-year-old California man during a ten-day crimes spree last fall.

Merkley Wants More Suggestions About Mortgage Problems


U.S. Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan visits Portland, joining a round-table discussion on how to address the nation's financial woes by looking at new ways to help families who are under-water on their mortgages. Senator Jeff Merkley says his plan is one of many proposals floating around Congress – one is to rebuild equity. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici joined the round-table with housing counselors and homeowners in downtown Portland.

Four Arrested for Animal Abuse


Four people have been arrested for animal abuse after neighbors witnessed them hitting pit bulls with a shovel and a hammer. Beaverton Officer Mike Rowe says police went to the house on Southwest 11th Street, north of Allen Boulevard around 10 a-m Wednesday. Ten dogs were found. The suspects are: Carl Crosswhite, Stanford Evans, Steven Mathew Young and Darline Eexendine are all residents of the house. The dogs are being check out by vets.  Police have not said whether the suspects are breeders or if the dogs may have been a part of a dog fighting operation

Labor Day Travel Could Be Heavy


This year's Labor Day weekend travel volume is expected to be the highest it’s been since the recession began in 2008.  Marie Dodds says Triple A predicts over 5 million people here in the Pacific region will travel at least 50 miles from home, a jump of over 3%.   She says pent-up demand for travel and increasing consumer confidence are driving the predictions.  Even with higher gas prices, the vast majority- 85% will go by car.  However, air travel is also expected to increase over 3.5%, with recent drops in airfares.  

OHSU Pays Big Fine


The OHSU Primate Center is paying an $11,000 fine, in part, because of the 2009 escape of animals.  Jim Newman with the center says they self-reported incidents which caused the death of a number of animals that year.  All the primates were safely recovered, but another primate suffered a death due to human error. He says the center is re-training personnel and has built a better primate fence.  The USDA is fining the center $11,000. 

Marion County Workers Could Vote to Strike


On Monday, union representatives for Marion County workers will meet with county officials for mediated negotiations on terms of their next employment contract. Sara Fillion, Employees Association Vice President says, like the last two-year contract, the county's current offer requires more pay and healthcare cuts. And the county hasn't shown willingness to bend.  That could happen August 30th. The current contract expired June 30th. Negotiations are scheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. 

 

Libertarians Unhappy with Washington Ballot


Washington Libertarians have filed a lawsuit against the state and the Republican Party, aiming to keep Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan off the November ballot.

 

David Ammons in the Secretary of State's Office says the filers of the suit claim Republicans should be considered a minor party.  And because they did not hold nominating conventions and collect signatures, they don't qualify.

 

Thurston County Judge Thomas McPhee will review the case. Until they're told otherwise, the Elections Division plans to put the Republican presumed-nominees on ballot.

"Bonnie& Clyde" Couple Indicted


The death penalty could be the sentence for an Oregon couple accused of four murders in three states last September.

 

The Feds says Joey Pedersen, 32 and Holly Ann Grigsby, 24, were involved in a criminal conspiracy last year when the killed four people and terrorized Washington, Oregon and California.  In the indictment, the Feds say, a conspiracy to boost white supremacy.  If convicted the pair could be executed.

Kyron Horman's Dad Speaks Out


After two years it would seem the Multnomah County investigation into the disappearance of Kyron Horman has stalled.  But, Kyron's father, Kaine Horman disagrees, saying the attention of a new lawsuit against his ex-wife, who was the last to see Kyron, could help discover more information about him.  Kaine's hopes the court will force Kyron's stepmother to finally talk about what she knows about his disappearance.

Craigslist Buyer Assaulted


A Hazel Dell, Washington man who tried to solicit a prostitute on Craigslist got beat up by a man who arrived with the prostitute.  They were apparently trying to rob the victim and the sheriff's office wants to hear from other victims.  Sergeant Kevin Allais says they arrested Danielle Azevedo, 24, and Jacob Diepenbrock, 40,  They’re charged with attempted murder, robbery and burglary.

London Olympians Visit Portland


The University of Portland Womens Soccer team, still enjoying the glow of the Olympics where three former Pilots won medals, kicks off its season Friday night. Coach Garrett Smith says they're aiming to win a national title.  Medalists American Megan Rapinoe and Canadians Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt will attend the game against North Carolina, signing autographs beforehand, then being honored at halftime.

Another Step in the Kyron Horman Case


A Portland judge has ruled that a lawsuit against the stepmother of Kyron Horman can go forward.

 

When Desiree Young filed suit against Terri Moulton Horman, her attorney tried to get the lawsuit delayed two years, because it could affect the criminal case.  However, Judge Henry Kantor said a delay wouldn't serve a purpose. 

 

While detectives have focused on Terri Horman; they haven't called her a suspect.  Terri Horman was the last person known to have seen Kyron. He was 7 when he disappeared June 4th of 2010.  The suit will proceed Thursday with a deposition of Terri Horman's biological son, James Moulton.

Citizen's Arrest!


When a thief stole a $2,000 bike in Portland and tried to sell it on Craigslist in Seattle; he had no idea what he was getting into. 

 

The bike's owner, Jake Gillum says that he watched the Internet, found his bike for sale and set up a sting to catch the seller.

 

When the seller showed up, Gillum tried to make a citizen's arrest.  He also had the police standing by and they took Craig Ackerman into custody.  He's charged with one count of trafficking in stolen property.

Drive Sober Campaign


Oregon State Police and other law enforcement agencies will team up to enforce DUII and seat belt laws over the next two weeks.  OSP Lieutenant Gregg Hastings says Labor Day weekend is one of the deadliest times on Oregon highways; an average of seven deaths per year, alcohol a contributing factor in about half of those. 

 

Hastings says they'll also be watching for buckled belts, reminding parents to make sure their children are secured in car seats and booster seats appropriate to their height and weight.

Oregon Unemployment Creeps Up


 

More unemployed Oregonians decided to get back into the workforce.  The state jobless rating moving up just slightly in July, from 8.5 to 8.7%.

 

State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks says  Oregon's rate remains just a little higher than the national unemployment rate of 8.3%.  But the state added about 1800 jobs in July; and July marked the first five-month streak of payroll growth since March of 2007.

State Fair Now Hiring


The Oregon State Fair begins in a couple of weeks, and they have hundreds of openings for ride operators, food workers, and more.   Craig Spivey at the Oregon Employment Department says hiring is under way.  You can go to the employment trailer at the State Fairgrounds starting at 9 am Monday.  Applicants need to be 16 or older when the Fair begins on the 24th.

Corporate Kicker Will Be on November Ballot


Oregon Ballot Measure 85 is a proposed constitutional amendment, which would re-direct the corporate income tax refund to help pay for K through 12 education in the state.  The measure is now being endorsed by the Independent Citizen Review panel.

 

Tyrone Wightman with Healthy Democracy Oregon says the panel does not like one part of the measure; they would like to see wording that will ensure fund are dedicated to education.  The panel's full recommendation will be in the next voter’s pamphlet.

Portland Trees Are More Than Pretty


If it seems like Portland has a lot more trees these days, it's not your imagination. A new report says almost 30%of the city is covered by the tree canopy.

 

Forester Jenn Cairo says that's good for the environment, your health, and your pocketbook as well.  The canopy will keep growing, too, as the city has a goal of 33% tree coverage.

World Series of Softball in Portland


11- to 13-year old girls are on the fields at Alpenrose Dairy in southwest Portland for the Little League Softball World Series.

 

Six teams from the U-S will meet up with teams from Canada, Mexicio, the Netherlands and the Philippines for the tournament.  The semi-finals and World Championship games broadcast on ESPN 2.  There is no charge for admission to the games.

Oregon Not Tops in College Workplaces


The Chronicle of Higher Education's new list of the "Great Colleges to Work For" is out.  No Oregon schools are on the list.  The Chronicle lists 103 colleges, both two and four-year schools, that are known for workplace morale, benefits to employees and more.  Western Washington University made the list; 6 California schools made the list, but Oregon schools? Nada.  The Oregonian reports the study shows Western Washington ensures faculty have a say in tenure, hiring and other matters.  In Oregon, faculty are paid well-below the national average.

Washington Woman Investigated for Horse Neglect


A Rainier woman cited and investigated for animal neglect in May could face additional charges for failing to provide proper care for six horses found severely malnourished. David Lytle with the Oregon Humane Society says all animal owners have a legal obligation to ensure animals are well fed. When money's tight try to find ways for your animals to get care through organizations or friends  - or even sell them.  Officials started investigating Yvonne Byrd-Lynch after a horse was found dead on her property. When they returned to continue the investigation this week, she and her horses were gone. Tips from the public helped them track down the animals and put them in veterinary care.

 

The Humane Society will put the horses up for adoption after legal matters are settled and when the animals are in good health.

Gas Prices


Gas and diesel prices are expected to rise in the northwest because of the refinery fire in San Francisco. 
Marie Dodds, with the triple-a, says the loss of production will create tight supplies and that causes prices to rise.
Since last week prices in the northwest increased around 4-cents a gallon to 3-dollars and 70-cents but this week you could see prices ump at your gas station.
How high prices go and how long they remain high will depend on how long it takes to repair the refinery in San Francisco.

Big Fine for "Hobo Prince" Scam


The State of Oregon has hit the man known for the Hobo Prince Investment scheme with a $1-million fine.  Shelby Bell, who lives in Vancouver, would take $25 investments for the promise of $900 a week for seven years.  Van Pounds, Chief of Enforcement for the Oregon Division of Finance, says the $187,000 collected appears to have been spent.   It doesn't appear that any of the investors got money back.  Bell attracted clients at seminars, through religious organizations and over the Internet.

Fire Around the Region


A thunderstorm that rolled from southeast Oregon into Washington Sunday night included more than 4,600 lightening strikes that causes about 19 fires. Carol Connolly in the northwest interagency coordination center says most were less than a half-acre in size. But two of the fires were larger - about 500 acres in size and currently burning in brush and grasses. The Cougar Fire is in the Vale Bureau of Land Management Area on the eastern edge of Oregon. The other fire is burning in Washington near Chelan

Connolly says additional resources were sent to the area to watch for new starts.

Wyden Says Gridlock is Both Side's Fault


Senator Ron Wyden says he's never seen gridlock in the capital as bad as it is right now. Wyden says he's trying to help improve the atmosphere by joining forces with a republican on a bill that would encourage job growth in the U.S. Wyden added that members of congress are getting a scolding from constituents during the summer recess for capitol hill's  inability to work together.

Beaverton Teenager injured in Boating Accident


A 12 year old Beaverton boy was seriouly injured in a  boating accident recently.

It happened on a lake near Mossyrock, Washington.

 

Stacy Brown,  with the Lewis County Sheriff's Office, says the boy was in the water when he was hit by the propeller.

 

"The father of the victim mistakenly put the boat in reverse.  Alcohol was not a factor in this case, it was purely an accident."

 

The boy suffered injuries to his left thigh, upper torso and chest.  He was airlifted to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

Will Haugen Get His Wish?


An Oregon judge has ruled that the execution of Gary Haugen can proceed.  The judge agreed with Haugen that unless he accepts the Governor's reprieve, the Governor's moratorium on executions is not valid.  Amy Wojcicki, in the Governor's Office, says he wants the Legislature and the people of Oregon to decide whether the death penalty should remain in effect. 

 

The judge ruled that since Haugen doesn't want the reprieve, an execution date should be set.  The Governor is reviewing the decision and has not decided whether the state will appeal.

AAA Has Help for Electric Vehicles


Portland is one of six markets where the Triple-A is testing a new roadside assistance truck for owners of electric cars.  It’s equipped with a compressed natural gas powered generator to re-charge electric vehicles when they run out of power. And it only takes about 15 minutes for a charge.   That's enough for the driver to get to a charging station.  Because of the high voltage produced by the generator; they have to use special grounding on the truck, and they extra careful when it's raining.

Don't Forget the Sun Block!


Seriously, you need that sun block.  With temperatures expected to creep up toward 100 degrees at times, Providence Milwaukie Hospital ER Doctor Chad Byars has a reminder: lather it on every couple hours, and don't forget about the little ones. 

 

Dr. Byars says sports drinks will help rehydrate and suggests checking on elderly neighbors and family members as the weekend progresses. Their bodies do not adjust to the heat as quickly as younger bodies and some prescription drugs can make the heat even more unbearable.

Mars Landing


The eyes of the science world will be focused on the red planet now, as NASA's Mars 'Curiosity' Mission has touched down.  Dr. Jeff Barnes of Oregon State University has spent years working on the project, and he says that it could send back some amazing information. 

 

The scariest part will be the module's descent and landing; it goes from 13,000 miles an hour to zero in 6 minutes.

Blueberry Farms Have Unique Watchdogs


Oregon’s larger blueberry farmers are using trained falcons to keep starlings out of their fields.  Getty Pollard runs a company that trains the birds to act was watch dogs against starlings.  He says falcons work much better than orchard cannons or other noise makers, because the birds learn the noise makers won't hurt them.  The falcons will kill them if they remain in the fields.

More "Tsunami Money" Could Be Available


West Coast states would get faster response from the federal government for major tsunami debris under a new bill.  It's co-sponsored by representatives Suzanne Bonamici, from Oregon, and Jamie Herrera-Beutler of southwest Washington. 

 

Bonamici says it would put NOAA in charge of deciding when debris is large enough to require a federal response. 

The bill has support of 16 representatives from Oregon, Washington and California.   It would require NOAA to decide within 60 days whether a piece of tsunami debris is large enough to require federal funding.

Dems Frustrated By GOP Schedule in the House


Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer says he's frustrated by the schedule set up by Republican members of the House.  He says they'll only be in session 10 days between now and the election.  Blumenauer says it's preventing them from voting on key legislation.

 

The biggest issue is renewal of tax cuts, but he says it's also stopping other legislation such as his wind energy bill that has bi-partisan support.

Biomass Again in the News


The Oregon Department of Energy's Forest Biomass working group is out with a new strategy that looks for ways to use forest waste to make money.  The Department's Lisa Joyce says they are taking comments through September on developing markets for biomass fuel.

Missing Mom


A Marion County man is concerned about his wife, a mother of four, who hasn't been seen by friends and family since Wednesday morning.

 

Don Thomson with the Marion County Sheriff's Office says around 8:30 Wednesday morning, Kate Andres, 36, dropped her kids off at her sister in laws house in Tualatin and did not return.

 

Husband Devin Andres says the family's been struggling financially and he's worried about her mental state.

 

The family lives north of Salem in a rural area on Wheatland Road.

 

She's driving a gold 1999 Plymouth Voyager, plate number WTW584. She's white, petite, and often wears her strawberry blonde hair in a ponytail.

 

Anyone who's seen her is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

OSP Memorial Site Ground Breaking


The site has been chosen and the ground broken, but volunteers planning a new memorial for fallen Oregon State Police troopers still have about $100,000 to raise to complete the project.

 

Greg Willeford, Chairman of the project, says the memorial will be built with local materials, including basalt from Madras.

 

The names of Oregon’s 33 fallen troopers will be listed on the wall.  Willeford says OSP has lost more officers than any other agency in Oregon and is deserving of a memorial devoted specifically to troopers.

 

 

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