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Regional News Archives for 2012-10


Baby Found Alone with Dead Mother


A two year old boy is in state custody after being found home along with his deceased mother.  The woman suffered from medical issues, and a friend found her dead in her southeast Portland home.  Sergeant Pete Simpson says the boy was hungry and thirsty, but otherwise ok.  He was taken to a hospital as a precaution.  The state is working to locate relatives and determine custody.  It appears the woman died of natural causes.  The medical examiner will determine the official cause of death.

Albany Man Loses Arm- Gets it Reattached


An Albany man will most likely be able to use his arm again, thanks to fast work by first responders and the efforts of a Legacy Emanuel surgeon. Jesse Gonzales's right arm was severed at the elbow during an accident at work, the Mary’s River Lumber Company in Philomath. He knew he's lost his arm by the time he was headed to Portland on Life Flight, but didn't know he'd get it back.

 

Doctor Steven Madey says time makes a difference when attempting to re-attach a limb; the faster it's back on, the more likely it is to re-gain proper function. 

 

Gonzales couldn't discuss how the accident happened; an OSHA investigation still underway, but he's relieved he'll be able to use his arm again, even if it's not as strong as it once was.

Sandy May Affect Gas Prices


Gas prices are down 12-cents a gallon in the northwest to $3.84 a gallon.  Triple-A's Marie Dodds says Hurricane Sandy might cause prices on the east coast to rise.  Diesel is down 11 cents a gallon to $4.16.  Oregon and Washington are still in the top ten for the highest prices in the country.

Oregon Cultural Trust Looking for Submissions


There’s much more to culture than classical music and fine art. That’s what the Oregon Cultural Trusts new Oregon Culture Field Guide is designed to demonstrate. Meryl Lipman with the Trust, says a lot of people are willing to travel for a mind-opening experience. She points to the John Day Historical Preservation Foundation.  Lipman says you can go to: www.Oregonculturefieldguide.com and learn about activities statewide or nominate cultural events to be featured by the Trust.

 

Rose-Tu's Impending Delivery


Rose-Tu is expected to deliver a new elephant calf in the coming weeks. Her keepers are monitoring her blood-progesterone level. It will drop significantly when she's within a couple days of birth but they wish they had better, earlier indicators of when she'll go into labor. That’s why researchers have started documenting Rose-Tu's actions. They'll compare her actions to those of four other elephants.  Oregon Zoo Conservation Research Associate Karen Lewis says they'll also use data gathered during Rose-Tu's last pregnancy with Samudra (who, by the way, now weighs nearly two-tons.)

Oregon Teen Tops in "Speed Golf"


A high school senior from Westside Christian in Lake Oswego has won the Amateur Speed Golf Championship at Bandon Dunes.  Mark Stockcamp finished his round of 18 holes in 47 minutes and 29 seconds, with a score of 81.  He says the sport combines golf and running: you hit the ball and then run as fast as you can to where it rests to hit it again. Stockcamp is a cross country runner and a golfer, so he says it was natural to combine the two sports

Controversial Gene Research at OHSU


Researchers at Oregon Health Sciences University have made a discovery that could be controversial, and could help prevent babies from inheriting certain rare diseases.  The research is controversial, because they create embryos from one man and two women.  OHSU researchers say they are not using the embryos to produce children.   And it's not clear when or if this technique will be put to use.  It could lead to a method that would allow genes that lead to rare and incurable diseases to be removed, so babies don't inherit the disease.  Similar research was stopped in Britain because of ethical issues.  The British government is taking public comment before it decides whether researchers can move forward.

Oregonians Less "Trashy"


Oregonians appear to be holding on to stuff longer or recycling more, according to a new report released by the State Department of Environmental Quality. Mary Lou Perry with the DEQ says Oregon recovered more than 50% of the municipal waste generated last year, the highest amount per-capital since 1992. And waste disposal rates also dropped to the lowest level in 20 years. Perry says waste disposal tends to drop when the economy is slow but says trends suggest people are doing more to keep trash out of landfills.

Help With Credit Report Problems


You’ve asked a credit reporting agency to fix inaccurate information on your credit report without success, it might be time to take it to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Scott Pluta with the CFPB says it's important not to give up because errors on your report can hinder your ability to get phone service, approval on a new mortgage or rental application and much more.  The CFPB will also hear complaints on credit reports being used inappropriately or problems with credit monitoring services. For more, visit the bureau's website.

Arrest in Heichel Murder


 

Jonathan Holt, 24,  was arrested for the murder of Whitney Heichel. Holt was interviewed several times when police became suspicious and could connect Holt to Heichel through forensic evidence through a crime lab. Holt lived in the Heichel’s apartment complex and was a friend of the family. He was charged with aggravated murder around the same time Heichel’s body was found Friday night. Police are still not releasing details of the murder.

Trade Mission to Asia Features Oregon Agriculture


Oregon’s potato and dairy representatives are part of a delegation accompanying Governor Kitzhaber to Asia next week. 

 

Oregon Agriculture Department's Katy Coba says they hope this trip will open up more opportunities for trade:  “I think always when we can travel with the governor, it just brings that much more credibility to the state as a whole. A governor in Asian countries is a very well respected figure and it just draws more attention to the whole delegation. Certainly, agriculture can benefit from that."

 

The three destinations: China, Hong Kong and Japan seem to be very interested in more agriculture and possibly more dairy products such as powdered milk, yogurt and cheese.

 

The delegation will be in Asia from October 14th through the 25th.

 

Charlie Bucket Ready for A New Home


Charlie Bucket is ready for a new, permanent home. He’s the kitten that was found in July by a police officer in a taped, five-gallon bucket with four other kittens that did not survive. Multnomah County Animal Shelter Manager John Rowton says Charlie has been in foster care for the past few months.  Charlie will be released for adoption when the shelter opens at noon Wednesday. He has a non-life threatening virus that must be treated with shots and he should not be around other cats. Rowton says, if Charlie's not the best pet for you, there are about 80 other cats at the shelter looking for a new home.

No Fungal Meningitis in Oregon So far


The Oregon Health Authority has confirmed none of the steroid medication linked to 105 fungal meningitis cases across the country was shipped to Oregon; and there have been no reports of fungal meningitis cases or strokes linked to the outbreak in Oregon.

 

The company that produces the steroid medication - New England Compounding Center, does provide other medications to Oregon clinics. But the head of the Public Health Division, Doctor Paul Cieslak says none of those are connected to the contaminated lot.

 

And there have been no reported cases in Washington. Clark County Health Officer, Doctor Alan Melnick, says none of the steroid was shipped to the Vancouver area.

Vista House Closed for Highway Construction


Vista House, the popular landmark and viewpoint on the Columbia River Gorge is closed until the end of the year while construction crews restore the historic Columbia River Highway. Don Hamilton with the Oregon Department of Transportation says the highway is also closed from Larch Mountain Road to Latourell Falls. The highway and Vista House are more than 100 years old. The project's projected completion date is late spring of next year.

Big Fight Over Dog Custody


A Benton County judge has ordered the immediate release of a husky-Siberian mix to the dog's original owner. The battle began months ago, when Sam Hansen Fleming saw the dog he lost months before in southeast Portland with Corvallis student, Jordan Biggs. Biggs didn't follow through with a plan to return the dog, later saying she found him and trained him as a service dog to ease her struggle with asthma. Hanson-Fleming later sued Biggs for felony theft. The dog, named Chase by Hansen-Fleming, was put in the protective custody of the Oregon Humane Society. The judge hoped arrangement would be made out of court. The Oregonian reports, because the fight continues, the judge decided dog should be released to Hanson-Fleming.  Biggs' criminal trial set for October 24th

Portland Council Disagrees with State Employment Board's Ruling


The Portland City Council has given unanimous approval to a resolution that tells the city attorney to appeal a State Employment Board's ruling that orders the city to reinstate Officer Ron Frashour.  The Police Union has ardently supported Frashour, arguing he followed Bureau protocol, acting in defense when he fatally shot Aaron Campbell in 2010.  Commissioner Nick Fish says the council's backing is not an attack on the union, but an effort to clarify policies and protect the public.  Councilor Amanda Fritz says she's also asked the mayor to put the issue on the city's list of priorities for the next Oregon Legislative session.

Voter Registration Deadlines


Voter registration deadlines are rapidly approaching in Washington. Mail-in registrations must be post-marked by Saturday. On-line registration closes Monday. But in-person voter registration at elections offices continues until October 29th. Brian Zylstra in the Secretary of State's office says voter's pamphlets will be big this year, but there's an on-line voter's guide.  The paper voters guides will be sent in mid-October. Oregon voters must be registered by October 16th.

Vets Job Fair Big Draw


The Oregon Convention Center saw a parade of veterans Wednesday for what is called a “Stand Down.” It offers help for veterans of all ages.  The Stand Down offered health services, education, jobs and housing information.  About 800 people attended.  Besides employers such Vigor Industries and Leatherman, the Stand Down also offers health care and housing information.

PSU Students Watching the Space X Launch


When a commercially owned Space-X rocket launches Sunday, aimed for the International Space Station, Portland State University engineering students will be watching. They’re sending a payload of experiments to ISS, hoping to learn more about how liquids react when gravity is gone. Doctor Mark Weislogel says it's a unique and fascinating learning experience. This is the 50th round of PSU projects headed for the Space Station.  In past experiments with NASA, the students have interacted with astronauts who help the students perform their tests.

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