The Oregon Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Samuel Lawson. He was convicted in the 2003 murder of Noris Hilde at an Umpqua National Forest campground. The conviction was based on eyewitness testimony from Sheryl Hilde, two years after the crime, and after the lead investigator showed a single photo of the suspect. The Oregonian reports that the Supreme Court is using this to tighten the use of eyewitnesses - especially based on new research that shows how eyewitnesses can make mistakes. The trial date has not been set.
After ten years on the lam, an international fugitive wanted on eco- terrorism charges in Oregon and in four other Western states, is behind bars. Canadian citizen Rebecca Rubin, 39, surrendered to the FBI Thursday in Blaine, Washington. The U.S. Attorney's office in Portland says she will return to Oregon to face federal arson and conspiracy charges in the largest eco-terrorism case in U.S. history. The Oregon charges include a 1997 arson at the BLMS' Wild Horse and Burro Facility near Burns and the 1998 attempted arson at the Medford offices of U.S. Forest Service Industries, Inc. Ten other members of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front have already been prosecuted, two more are still on the run.
An O-DOT incident response truck was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning. It was stopped on the side of I-205 southbound near Gladstone assisting with a small crash when the fire erupted. O-DOT's Don Hamilton says the driver was out of the truck when it happened. Fire crews closed the freeway until the fire was out. The trucks carry flares and extra fuel to assist drivers, and that made the fire more dangerous than normal to fight. O-DOT has eight trucks in the Portland area. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Paying the $16-billion debt Oregon owes the Public Employee Retirement System could change what the state can do for taxpayers. Hood River State Representative Mark Johnson says part of the answer would be to eliminate the income tax breaks given to retirees who move out of Oregon. He says there are 8 bills ready to be considered by lawmakers.
Vancouver Police are investigating a kidnapping, shooting and robbery that happened early Wednesday morning. Kim Kapp, with Vancouver Police, says an Oregon man was kidnapped in east Vancouver and then taken to Vancouver Lake Park where he was robbed and shot. The victim was hospitalized with non life threatening injuries. The suspect escaped in the victim's car, which is a black 2012 Nissan Sentra.
Patient, deliberate financial planning seems to be the reason Oregonians are successful lottery winners. Oregon Lottery spokesman Chuck Bauman says the West family of Medford took their time claiming the $340-million Powerball jackpot in 2005 and had a plan in place. Statistics from the National Endowment for Financial Education indicate that 70% of people who get a financial windfall such as a lottery jackpot, lose it within a few short years.
Marijuana growers often set traps to protect their plants. Police were called to a house south of Olympia by a man who had shot another man. He said it was in self defense, but investigators say it actually happened during a drug buy. As they were searching the house and found the marijuana grow. They found two five foot alligators near a make shift pool. Their job was apparently to guard the pot. The watch gators are now with animal services. The man who was shot is expected to recover.
West coast U.S. Senators, including Oregon's Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, are calling for an investigation into gas price spikes. Senator Jeff Merkley is one of six U.S. Senators asking the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the reasons gas prices soared over four dollars in the summer. A recent study done for a California investigation of fuel prices shows crude oil prices were dropping while west coast gas prices increased from May to October.
A threatened strike by port security workers at Portland's freight terminals has some companies ready to send their ships to California ports rather than risk coming into Portland.
State Economist Mark McMullen says shippers are looking for the least expensive way to ship their products. The first ship to avoid Portland was a Honda car-carrier with 2000 vehicles on board.
The Coast Guard will continue public hearings to learn exactly what cause the fishing vessel, Lady Cecelia, to sink in March.
Hearings are scheduled Monday through Wednesday of this week. I the first hearing on the Lady Cecelia, coast guard investigators learned about the history and condition of the fishing vessel, which sank on the 10th of March this year.
Additional public hearings are being held this week at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, north of Seaside. The boat and its crew went missing off the coast of Washington; the Coast Guard finding a debris field after an extensive search, but they didn't find the boat or its passengers. The hearings are open to the public, beginning at 8 a.m.
Oregon’s counties have a lot of work ahead of them as the 2013 legislative session approaches. Many - especially rural counties are continuing to deal with significant budget problems that will only get worse without new streams of revenue.
Eric Schmidt with the Association of Oregon counties says some of the traditional methods of solving problems have to be put away – and legislators must look for new ways of making counties more sustainable.
Many counties have significantly reduced staffing for sheriff's offices, in turn forced to release inmates from county jails before their sentences are served.
If you're looking for adventure to get your Christmas tree this year, you can get a permit from a ranger station and go into the forest to find a tree.
Amber Burleigh with the Mt. Hood National Forest says be prepared for snow.
When you buy the permit, you can also buy a map of forest service roads. Don't rely on the GPS system in your car; they usually don't include forest service roads.
Also, tell someone where you're going in case you get stuck. And don't play on your cell phone working;most cell phones don't work in the mountains.
After five years of stagnant growth, Oregon’s population is increasing again. According to preliminary numbers from Portland State University's Population Research Center, the state added over 26,000 new residents. Population Program Manager Risa Proehlsays only 44% of the growth was due to natural increase. The number of births minus deaths. Most of those who moved here settled in Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion, Deschutes and Lane counties.
Times have changed at Oregon Thanksgiving tables. The state's once-thriving turkey industry was wiped out by a massive recall of turkeys in the early 90's and most birds now come from out of state. Jim Hermes, poultry specialist with the OSU Extension Service, says its still possible to buy an organic Oregon-grown bird, but you have to know the farmer. And while some small producers talk of resurrecting Oregon’s commercial turkey industry, it’s not likely to happen. Hermes says there aren't any processing plants here.
A Portland police car ran over a jaywalker while he was being arrested Monday night. When police tried to stop Jimmy Duffey, 31, he ran. An officer caught up with him and had him on the ground and a backup officer arrived in his car. When he got out, he forgot to put it into park and the car rolled over Duffey. Sergeant Pete Simpson says Duffey was arrested on an outstanding warrant, and also charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.
If you plan to hit the stores for Black Friday in search of great bargains, Kyle Kavas, with the Better Business Bureau, says you need to read the fine print in the ads very carefully. Stores often put restrictions on the sales and you need to know the details before going to the store. You should also find out what the limits are on returns and exchanges. Clearance or final sale items often can't be returned.
Living longer is as simple as walking. A study from the National Cancer Institute shows you don't have to lose weight to have a positive effect. Dr. Eric Hansen, at the Oregon clinic, says walking 75 minutes a day can add 2 years to your life. And walking more each week and extend your life by up to 7 years.
Legacy Health Systems is equipping first responder vehicles throughout the metro area with new “Life-Net Systems”, mobile units that can take hospital quality EKG's and send that information to emergency departments. American Medical Response field training officer Michael Templeton says the machines help him do his job better and faster. The faster cardiologists can review the EKG's, the faster they can move a patient into the process of repairing the heart and saving a life. The new systems shaving minutes off what doctors call "door-to-balloon time".
Legacy Emanuel Cardiologist Shawn Patrick isn't surprised the FDA is investing five-hour energy drinks. He says the drinks pack too much caffeine into a small amount of juice, making it too easy to consume a dangerous amount of the stimulant. And for people with heart problems, diagnosed or not, too much caffeine can be harmful, possibly fatal. He warns parents that “Monster Energy” drinks, a favorite among teens, have more caffeine. The FDA also investigating 13 deaths possibly connected to the drink.
Columbia Spas in Jefferson, a company that makes spas, was destroyed in a four-alarm fire Thursday morning. Tammy Robbins, with Jefferson Fire, says the building was fully involved when the fire crews arrived. The 25,000 square foot building is a total loss. No one was hurt. Fire crews from seven agencies were called to battle the flames. No employees of the business were inside at the time. Fire investigators will determine the cause.
Three people are under arrest in Texas and police want to arrest four others for a burglary ring that targeted more than 40 homes in the Portland area. John Bennett, with the Washington County Sheriff's Office, says there were multiple groups working the ring. They would drive rental cars from Texas to Oregon; buy tools to commit the burglaries, and then dump the tools as they drove back to Texas with the stolen gold and jewelry. They would sell it for pennies on the dollar. They have stolen more than a million dollars worth of gold, jewelry and cash.
Still no decision in the southwest Washington State Senate District 17 race. It's too close to call between incumbent Don Benton and Tim Probst. Benton currently leads by 65 votes. He says the state needs to modify its election law to hurry up the process. In Washington State, ballots only need to be post marked on Election Day. So, ballots continue to trickle in to election headquarters and workers verify and tally the votes. It could be the end of the month before the race is decided.
Local governments can no longer afford to pay for updating transportation, energy and public works systems critical to competing in a global economy. So West Coast government and development officials are partnering to find alternative ways to build and finance infrastructure projects. Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler says the nonprofit infrastructure exchange will bundle projects and link them with financing sources. It will also encourage more private investment in public projects. The goal is to develop an innovative public/private financing system that provides better collaboration between government agencies and more bang for the taxpayer's buck.
Not everyone in Oregon is happy with the re-election of President Obama and they want the Beaver State out of the United States. There is, according to the Oregonian, a man in Tillamook by the name of Kristopher W. (no last name), and he has sent a petition to the White House demanding that the state be allowed to peaceably secede from the union. The paper reports the fist petition was sent in November 10th, with 4482 signatures. A second petition had 5033 signatures including people from Lake Oswego, Central Point and, yes, Portland. Petitions have come in from 11 other states. The petition alleges the federal government's abuse of power.
A freshman at Beaverton High School has lost a battle with a rare form of thyroid cancer. Maddy Lauer was 14 years old. In October, she was crowned homecoming queen. Her mom says news it was the thrill of her life, and happened at just the right time. Her friends tied hundreds of purple ribbons; the color used to honor thyroid cancer victims, and they were handed out to students Tuesday morning.
The Better Business Bureau is warning you about strange magazine mailings showing up in mailboxes in Oregon and around the country. Spokeswoman Kyle Kavas says Liberty Publisher's Service, Inc, of Medford and White City has racked up more than 130 complaints in the last year. Kavas says they're hard to track down, because they operate under more than 50 different business names. To protect yourself, check your previously paid invoices to see if you've done business with that company before contacting them. If not, avoid responding to inadvertently accept new subscriptions.
Residents of a southeast Portland neighborhood are angry that a sex offender treatment center has been doing business for nearly a year. The front of the business gives no indication that it's a sex offender treatment center. It serves 120 court ordered clients from Clackamas and Multnomah counties. The owner, Johneen Manno, says she's willing to move. She says she tried to talk to community members when she moved there from Oregon City. They say she didn't try hard enough.
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber wants Congress to extend the wind energy production tax credit for another year. He says the construction of wind turbines and related businesses in Oregon has been worth $4- billion. Kitzhaber is a member of the Governor's Wind Energy Coalition and those governors are lobbying congress to extend the Wind Energy Tax Credit before this session of Congress adjourns.
After six years, construction of the new Highway 35 Bridge over the White Salmon River on Mt. Hood is complete. It was destroyed during a “Pineapple Express” event in 2006. The new bridge is longer and higher than the old bridge, but Don Hamilton, with O-DOT says there are no guarantees. Highway 35 has been washed out 20 times since 1907. It happened twice in 1926 and 1959. The washout in 2006 was the most severe.
The Christmas Tree Inspection Program by the Oregon Department of Agriculture is required by Hawaii and other countries before they'll take Oregon trees. Gary McAninch, with the Department of Agriculture, says if bugs do get through the inspects, they have a process they'll use to purify the trees. Oregon is the nation's leading producer of Christmas trees.
A hike on the horsetail falls trail east of Multnomah Falls turned into an overnight stay for Scott Morrison, 43, of Beaverton. He got lost Thursday afternoon and didn't have a flashlight. When it started getting dark; he called 911 and a search was launched. They found him around 1:30 Friday morning. It was raining and snowing overnight. He wasn't able to find dry wood, so he burned his backpack to stay warm. Rescuers hiked down the trail with him and other than being cold he was ok.
This winter will not be an El Nino, nor a La Nina weather pattern. That's because ocean temperatures in the tropics will be near normal. Steve Pierce, President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society explains that there is a greater chance of more snow in lower elevations, because water temperatures in the tropics are at normal. The winters of 2003 and 2008 were both neutral years and both years had significant snow and ice events.
The number of students enrolled in Oregon’s colleges and universities is at an all-time high of over 101,000. Oregon University System Vice Chancellor Melody Rose says they added another 1,077 students this fall, for a total of 19,000 students in the last five years. At this rate, Rose says the university system is on track to meet the state's ambitious education goal of seeing 40% of Oregonians with advanced degrees by the year 2025. Oregon State University grew by 1400 students, the University of Oregon by 144. Four campuses, led by Southern Oregon University, actually lost students.
A controversial Portland Police officer is moving on, securing the votes to be a county sheriff. Chris Humphreys was elected to serve as Wheeler County Sheriff. The Oregonian reports Humphreys was scrutinized for his involvement in the officer-involved use-of-force case that resulted in the death of James Chasse in 2006. And in 2009, he was involved in the bean-bag shooting of an unruly teen girl on a Max Platform. Humphreys had collected stress-related disability payments from the City of Portland intermittently for three years before deciding he was ready to run for Wheeler County Sheriff, where he worked as a deputy before working for Portland.
With two months remaining in 2012, Oregon’s passed last year's record of 47 pedestrian deaths. Shelley Snow with the department of transportation says that's an important and tragic fact that all pedestrians, cyclists and drivers should remember as they head out. Snow says most drivers and walkers are leaving for work and returning home in the dark at this time of year. Rain, fog and other winter conditions just make visibility a bigger challenge. She urges pedestrians and cyclists to wear bright clothes or reflective gear and asks drivers to take more time at intersections and crosswalks.
Eric Meiser may face another murder charge. He’s already charged with the murder of Fritz Hayes of Lake Oswego and now detectives are looking at him for the stabbing death of Nick Fickett. He was found stabbed to death in a tent along the Kelso River. His mother, Ginger Conant, says that finding a suspect in her son's murder would be a step forward. Meiser has not been charged with Fickett's murder, but investigators say they want to speak to anyone who had contact with Meiser in Kelso, especially if it was in late July.
Recent polls indicate the race for Oregon’s Secretary of State is close. Kate Brown, the incumbent, a Democrat, says she's proven to voters she's worth your vote by performing audits on state agencies to reduce spending. She says her opponent will support changes to election law that could reduce voter involvement. But Republican Knute Buehler, a physician and business owner, says that's absolutely untrue. Instead, Buehler says he wants to implement reforms to campaign finance, limiting out-of-state contributions and overhaul the Secretary of State's Corporate Division to make Oregon friendlier to small business.
11 employees from Vancouver based Clark Public Utilities are flying to the east coast to help restore power. More than 4-million homes and businesses are without electricity from Hurricane Sandy. Erica Erland, with Clark Public Utilities, says they'll receive specialized training on systems and topography of the area; but basic line repair work is the same everywhere. They don't know where they will be sent or how long their mission will last.
Women need to beware of ads on Craigslist seeking soccer players to take part in a self defense course. The ads are posted by Brandon Clifford, a sex offender who travels the country hiring women to kick him in the groin. This woman, who didn't want her identity revealed, responded to the ad. Portland Police confronted Clifford while warming up for one of the self-defense seminars. They told him that if he stayed in Oregon longer than 24 days that he would have to register as a sex offender.
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