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Regional News Archives for 2013-05


California Condors New Residents at the Oregon Zoo


There was a time when peacock ruled the roost at the Oregon Zoo; but they got a little aggressive and were put up for adoption in 2008. Now, the zoo has a new exhibit featuring pretty pink flamingos. But, behind the scenes, the zoo's been working to save an endangered bird that's not a classic beauty: the California condor. Zoo Director Kim Smith the zoo will open the “Condors of the Columbia” exhibit next spring between the Cougar Crossing and Trillium Family Farm exhibits in the great northwest section.

Shutter By a Butterfly


An Oregon State University researcher hopes you and your insect-loving kids will help her learn more about butterflies. Katy Prudic invites you to share pictures of the butterflies you've spotted in your travels, or your backyard, on a website: www.ebutterfly.org.  She'll use the information to learn how butterflies adapt to changes in the environment, or move to find the conditions they need to survive.  So far, about 10,000 people have been involved; but many of them are in Canada. Collection of information from amateur etymologists in the U.S. has just begun.

 

Albany Student Held on Explosive Charges


A 17-year-old West Albany High School student has been arrested on charges of manufacture and possession of a destructive devices. Albany Police Captain Eric Carter says the department received a tip that the suspect, Grant Acord, might be planning to set off a device at school. They searched his apartment and found evidence. Carter says the devices could have done harm, possibly death, if detonated. Explosive Device Investigators with bomb-sniffing dogs performed a second search of the West Albany High School grounds Friday afternoon to make sure they're safe when students return on Tuesday.

Help for Bullied Teens


One in three kids are bullied and one in six parents don't know their child is the victim of a bully.  Tom Parker, with “Lines for Life,” says their youth life is staffed with kids to help kids.  The kids trouble shoot the problem and offer solutions for where they can go for help.  For more go online to: www.lifesforlife.org.

 

PDX Naked Man Could be Fined by Feds


The Portland man who stripped naked going through security at PDX now faces a $1000 federal fine.  John Brennan was cleared of local charges for indecent exposure, and says that the federal government is now trying to fine him for interference and intimidation of TSA screeners.  The screeners wanted to conduct a hand inspection after detecting nitrates on his clothing; that’s when he stripped to prove he wasn't carrying explosives.  He expects the fine to be upheld and he plans to appeal the fine in hopes of eventually bringing change to the way screenings are conducted.

Cougar Scares Vancouver Neighborhood


A cougar in a tree was tranquilized early Friday morning in Vancouver.  A man's dog scared the cougar into a tree near northeast 117th and Major Street, east of I-205.  Captain Murray Schlenker with Fish and Wildlife says it's an older female.  The big cat had to be tranquilized twice before it went to sleep.  It was moved it to another location.

Honeybee Die Off Creating Problems


U.S. honeybees continue to die at a rate of 30% a year.  If the problem isn't solved, it's going to make food more expensive. Ramesh Sagili, a bee expert at Oregon State University, says there isn't one problem.  Mites are killing some bees, others are dying because of a bad diet and genetically bees are not diverse.  Beekeepers are keeping populations alive by taking new queens and splitting hives, but that's a slow process.  Finding a solution to mites and improving the genetic pool also take years.  It is likely that the shortage of bees will continue to cause food prices to rise.

Gas Prices Beginning Summer Climb


With the start of the summer travel season just weeks away, you'd better plan on setting aside more money for gas.  The average price of gas in Oregon is up 17 cents in the last week to an average of $3.77 a gallon.  Analysts say the price of crude oil is the main reason for the increase; it's increase more than $10 a barrel over the last three weeks to $9.  The longer crude prices remain high, the higher the price of gas will go.  Add the demand of the summer travel season that'll begin next month and that'll put more pressure to keep gas prices high.

 

No Coal Terminal for St. Helens


The company planning to build a coal export terminal at the Port of Saint Helens has changed its mind.  Kinder-Morgan says it's dropping the plan because of poor site logistics.  Lauren Goldberg with the Columbia Riverkeeper disagrees.  This is the second terminal plan to be dropped.  However, plans are still moving ahead for terminals in Bellingham, Longview and Boardman.

Redemption Centers to Take Drink Containers


A change to Oregon’s Bottle Bill will set up a string of redemption centers around the state.  They will take your recyclable drink containers.  Representative Mark Johnson says the plan includes two zones.  The first privately funded centers will be in the most populated areas of the state.

Telemarketer Settles with Oregon AG


A telemarketer that targeted Oregonians, primarily retirees, has agreed to give refunds to all of its customers in Oregon.  “U.S. Doc Assist” would sell online businesses with the promise of steady income for little hands on work.  Jeff Manning, in the Oregon Attorney Generals Office, says the victims would then be hit up to buy add-ons, which cost from $2,000- $50,000.  They don't know how many Oregonians bought into the scheme.  The company is giving refunds and paying a $400,000 fine to the state.  For information on the refunds go to the Oregon Attorney Generals website.

Day of the Cowboy Passes in Legislature


The fourth Saturday of July will be known as "The Day of the Cowboy" in Oregon. State lawmakers have approved a resolution that's been passed in other states as national day of honor for the folks who rope and ride. Klamath Falls Senator Doug Whitsett carried the bill in the Senate. Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords carried the proposal in the U.S. House in 2008, and her state was the first to pass the resolution in their legislature.

 

Oregon Milestone in Immunization Exemptions


Oregonians for Healthy Children says the numbers from this year's statewide exclusion day show a 6.4% rate of kindergartners exempted from required immunizations on religious grounds.   Spokeswoman Anne Stone says 17 of those counties passed the 6% threshold, which lowers "herd immunity" for some vaccine-preventable diseases.  The organization is pushing a policy change. Senate Bill 132 would require parents to certify that they have completed vaccine education, through the state or their physician,  before their children could get the exemption.

Washington County Inmates Can Now Video Chat


 

Inmates in the Washington County Jail can now have video visits with friends and family.  Sergeant Bob Ray says it doesn't cost the county anything; the equipment cost is paid for by the company supplying the service.

 

Calls cost $9.90.  Each call lasts 30 minutes and there's no limit to the number of calls that inmates can make.  Traditional in-person visits are limited to two visits of 60 minutes a week.  The calls, like all inmate communication, are monitored.

Rapist Turns Self In


Edie Luter,  35, of Salem, is charged with the rape and sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl.  He turned himself in to deputies and confessed.  Deputies confirmed the story with the girl.  She's from the country of Micronesia, where her parents still live.  They sent her to Oregon in hopes of giving her a better life.  She’s now in the care of relatives here while deputies try to contact her parents.

Bill Promotes Electronics Usage in Classrooms


A proposed law that will require Oregon School Boards to develop policies for use of personal electronic devices like Ipads and Smartphones in the classroom is headed to the Governor for final approval. Senator Mark Hass says bill allows students to use their own Smartphones or I-pads, but it does not require them to use their own devices or buy them to participate in classroom activities.  It also tells districts to find out if textbooks and other instructional material is available online for free.  If approved by the Governor, the policies must be set by the 2014-2015 school year.

 

Big Rock on TriMet Train Track


A Max train in Beaverton hit a large rock on the tracks Thursday morning.  The rock broke a hydraulic line on the train.  TriMet's Roberta Altstadt says the rock could not have naturally fallen on the tracks, and they do suspect foul play.  They're asking any witnesses who might have seen people near the tracks to contact TriMet security.  There were passengers on the train, but no one was hurt.

Clackamas Shooting Report Out


The report shows that Jacob Roberts bought magazines for an AR-15 rifle and ammunition three days before the shooting.  But, his friends didn't learn until two days before the shooting that he didn't move to Hawaii like he planned.  He spent the early morning hours on the day of the shooting with his friends.  They didn't know it, but that's when he stole the rifle.  Only two minutes elapsed from the time he entered the Macy’s to when a call to 911 was made, shots were fired killing two and wounding a third, and the deputies arrived at the mall.  They didn't find Roberts body for another 21 minutes; dead in a service hallway.

Fire Season Could Be Ugly


The second wave of hot weather is headed our way, and wildland fire officials are nervous.  Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Tom Fields says wildfires started popping up around the state last week.  One charred 25 acres near Alsea  in the coast range, before crews snuffed it out. He says you can help prevent fire by cleaning around your home, and clearing  out dead vegetation.  Instead of burning it, Fields suggests chipping the material or hauling it away.  For more suggestions, long onto: www.oregon.gov/odf.

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