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Regional News Archives for 2014-04


Teen Facing Arson Charge For School Fire


(Vancouver, WA)  --  A 17-year-old boy will face criminal charges for a fire that destroyed Crestline Elementary School in Vancouver.  The teen is slated to appear in court May 21st on a charge of second-degree arson.  The fire ripped through the school in February 2013.  No one was injured in the intense blaze.

Man Accused Of Stealing Necklace From Toddler


(Woodburn, OR)  --  A man is in police custody after being accused of stealing a necklace from a two-year-old.  Authorities allege that 26-year-old Garcia Sanchez ripped the gold necklace from the child's neck yesterday at a strip mall on North Pacific Highway in Woodburn.  Police tracked the suspect to his home and arrested him.  Sanchez was booked for robbery and assault.

Linfield College Ranked Among Top Schools For Financial Aid


(Avalon, NJ)  --  The bachelor's degree program at Linfield College in McMinnville is ranked among the those providing the most financial aid for students.  According to an article by Top Degrees Online, Linfield is 19th in the nation in the percentage of online students receiving grants or scholarships.  The report ranks 25 colleges and universities that offer fully-accredited, U.S.-based, online bachelor's degree programs with solid histories of financial-aid generosity.

Report: Half Of Portland Roads 'Poor' To 'Very Poor'


(Portland, OR)  --  A report issued by the Portland Bureau of Transportation says half of the city's streets are in either "poor" or "very poor" condition.  City Commissioner Steve Novick says that makes the case for imposing an eight-to-12-dollar-a-month fee to raise revenue to fix those streets.  Novick says the revenue the city collects from the gas tax isn't sufficient to fund street maintenance.  A town-hall meeting on the fee issue is scheduled for tomorrow evening at 6:30 at Woodstock Elementary School.

Northbound I-5 Ramp To Kruse Way Closed


(Tigard, OR)  --  Northbound Interstate 5 commuters are being urged to leave a little early this morning after a semi-truck jack-knifed on the Kruse Way off-ramp.  The accident happened around 1:30 this morning and has the ramp blocked.  The state transportation department says the ramp will likely be blocked throughout the morning commute.

Two Arrested After Attack At McMinnville Park


(McMinnville, OR)  --  Two people are facing charges after an attack on a high-school couple at McMinnville City Park.  Police say a group of teens attacked the couple Monday night as they took a walk after swimming at the city pool.  Authorities say two teen girls began punching and kicking the couple and four boys then joined in the attack.  The girls were later arrested and charged with assault.  The couple went to a hospital, where they were treated and released.  

Hit-and-run Driver Being Sought


(Portland, OR)  --  Police are looking for the driver of a vehicle that hit and injured a 14-year-old girl before speeding off.  The crash happened around 1:00 p.m. yesterday at the intersection of Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard.  The girl is being treated for injuries that aren't considered life-threatening.  Police say the driver is described as a white woman in her 40s, driving a gold-colored, midsize SUV, possibly a Lexus.

Anti-abortion Demonstration Planned Near Beaverton School


(Beaverton, OR)  --  Anti-abortion demonstrations are planned for today in front of Westview High School in Beaverton.  The Beaverton School District says it has notified police of the planned demonstrations, saying they're not school events and won't be conducted on school grounds.  A similar demonstration was held near Prairie High School in Battle Ground earlier this month.

Mudslide Search Scaled Back


(Everett, WA)  --  As the search for two people who remain missing following the Washington mudslide is being scaled back, a commission is being formed to explore the circumstances surrounding the deadly slide.  Snohomish County Executive John Lovick says he's working with Governor Jay Inslee's office to form the panel.  The commission will try to determine how the mudslide occurred, discuss land-use decisions made by officials prior to the slide, and review the response to the disaster.  Sheriff Ty Trenary says he remains committed to finding Steven Hadaway and Kris Regelbrugge, who are still missing and presumed dead.

Body Tentatively Identified As That Of Missing Woman


(Vancouver, WA)  --  Authorities say a body found in the Columbia River near Beacon Rock is believed to be that of a Vancouver woman who was reported missing.  Forty-four-year-old Daphne Alexander-Christ was last seen March 7th.  Her station wagon was found later that week on the Washington side of the Gorge.  Police say the body was found by hikers yesterday and was tentatively identified as that of Alexander-Christ.

Police Seek Missing Linfield College Student


(McMinnville, OR)  --  A Linfield College student who was reported missing earlier this month is being sought.  Police say 22-year-old Michelle Kawachi hasn't been seen since April 17th.  Kawachi is described as standing five-feet-four, weighing 135 pounds, with long, black hair and dark brown eyes.  She drives a blue or turquoise 1992, two-door Toyota Celica with Oregon license plate SSY790.

Man Arrested After Walking Into Clinic With Gun


(Vancouver, WA)  --  Police say they've arrested a man who walked into a Vancouver mental-health clinic with a gun.  A SWAT team and crisis investigators were dispatched to the Northeast 144th Street clinic around 10:00 a.m. yesterday after the man entered the building with a rifle.  No shots were fired and no one was injured.  Authorities say 39-year-old Gregory Castro surrendered and was booked into the Clark County Jail.

Tigard Woman Cited In Crash That Injured Three


(King City, OR)  --  A Tigard woman is suspected of DUII in a wrong-way crash that injured three people in Washington County.  Sheriff's deputies say 48-year-old Brenda Gentry was driving south in the northbound lanes of Oregon 99W Saturday night.  Authorities say Gentry's car struck another vehicle, injuring two Newburg residents.  Deputies say Gentry's injuries are serious and the injuries to the other two people are less severe.

Safe, Keys Stolen From Portland Church


(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police are trying to determine who's responsible for the recent theft of a safe and a set of keys from a local church.  Investigators have surveillance video of the thief in action at Greater Grace Church on Southeast 162nd Avenue.  Police say the video shows the thief pushing the 150-pound safe through the front door.

Beaverton Police Investigate Tire Slashings


(Beaverton, OR)  --  Beaverton police are investigating after eight automobile tires were slashed in the parking lot of a local restaurant.  Authorities say the incident happened around 4:00 a.m. Saturday at the Great China Restaurant and Lounge on Southwest Hall Boulevard.  Police tell "The Oregonian" that three of the vandalized vehicles were owned by an employee at the restaurant.

Morrison Bridge Reopened


(Portland, OR)  --  The Morrison Bridge is open again to normal traffic after being closed yesterday.  Multnomah County officials say car and bus access was restricted as crews were sent to work on problems with the deck.  Normal traffic flow resumed yesterday afternoon.

Family Escapes Fire In SE Portland


(Portland, OR)  --  A Southeast Portland family is doing fine following a fire that ripped through a house.  Officials say the family's three cats perished in the blaze, which was reported at 8:30 yesterday morning at the home on Southeast 113th Avenue.  The Red Cross is helping the family find housing.  Investigators are trying to find out what caused the fire. 

Public Memorial Set For Portland Police K-9


(Portland, OR)  --  A public memorial is scheduled next month for Mick, a Portland Police Bureau K-9 officer who was killed in the line of duty.  The memorial will take place at Hillsboro Stadium on May 12th at 10:30 a.m.  Mick was shot and killed while pursuing a burglary suspect on April 16th.  Mick's handler, Officer Jeff Dorn, was shot in the legs but is recovering.

Committee: Cover Oregon Exchange Should Be Scrapped


(Salem, OR)  --  A technological advisory committee is recommending that the Cover Oregon health-care exchange be scrapped.  The panel says the state should switch to the federal exchange, which would cost about five-million dollars.  Cover Oregon consultant Deloitte says that's compared to the estimated 78-million it would take to partially fix the Cover Oregon website.  The Cover Oregon board is scheduled to vote on the recommendation when it meets today.

Portland Commutes Ranked Among Nation's Worst


(Portland, OR)  --  A new report ranks Portland's commutes among the worst in the nation.  Traffic services website Inrix says the Portland metro area has the 13th-worst traffic in the country, with commuters wasting an average of more than two hours per month sitting in traffic.  Inrix says the worst commute in the city is along the stretch of I-5 between Corbett and the Tomahawk Island exit, which can take up to 50 minutes to traverse during peak times.

Bomb Scare Evacuates OSU Dorms


(Corvallis, OR)  --  Police continue to investigate after a bomb scare prompted evacuation of dormitories on the Oregon State University campus.  Officials say someone phoned in a claim last night that a bomb had been placed in an undisclosed residence hall.  Police swept each dorm building, but found no explosive devices.  The all-clear was given around 9:30 p.m.

Man Accused Of Murdering Portland Woman In Hawaii Found Guilty


(Kaneohe, HI)  --  A U.S. Marine accused of killing a Portland woman in Hawaii is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of murder.  A military jury returned the verdict yesterday against Sergeant Nathaniel Cosby, who could be sentenced to life without parole.  The body of Ivanice "Ivy" Harris was found in a remote area more than 30 miles west of Waikiki last May.  "The Oregonian" reports Harris had been visiting Hawaii with her boyfriend, who was also her pimp.

School Auction Fundraiser Won't Include Puppy


(Portland, OR)  --  Portland's Jesuit High School will not include a puppy as part of its fundraising auction this year.  The school had planned to offer a Bernese Mountain Dog for sale, but pressure from "certain animal-rights protesters" via social media has prompted the school to scrap those plans.  School officials say they give careful consideration to the choice of breeds and placement of puppies in their annual auction and don't agree with the protesters.  Jesuit High says concern for the school community and the privacy of responsible dog owners and breeders it has worked with previously has prompted its decision not to offer a puppy at the auction.

A Portland Bureau of Transportation employee is accused in a car-theft operation.


(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland Bureau of Transportation employee is facing multiple charges after being accused in a car-theft operation.  Authorities say 53-year-old Barbara Lorraine Peterson allegedly tipped off a tow-truck driver to reports of abandoned vehicles in the Portland area.  Police say the truck driver would then steal the abandoned vehicles and bring them to a facility where they were crushed and sold as scrap.  Investigators allege that Peterson was paid cash for providing the tips.

Two Schools Locked Down As Suspect Sought


(Hillsboro, OR)  --  Hillsboro police say Glencoe High and Evergreen Middle schools were placed on lockdown following a report of an armed student.  Authorities say no threat was found after a search yesterday of classrooms at the high school.  The lockdown was lifted shortly before 4 p.m. 

Oregon Scientists Determine Cause Of Salmonella Outbreak


(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon scientists are credited for determining what caused a nationwide salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 130 people.  Public Health Epidemiologist Emilio DeBess says bearded dragons were the source of a strain of salmonella resistant to the antibiotic ceftriaxone [[ SEFF-tree-AX-own ]].  Bearded dragons are popular pets with children, but DeBess says children under ten should not be allowed to handle any reptile.  He tells "The Oregonian" that those who handle reptiles should wash their hands frequently and sanitize any surface that children might touch.

Cold-case Homicide Suspect Facing Murder Charges


(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland man accused in a homicide that happened 18 years ago is facing two counts of felony murder.  Forty-eight-year-old Danny Conner is accused of shooting 24-year-old Darrin Ezell to death during a home-invasion robbery in Southeast Portland in 1995.  Police say the murder happened while the victim's two children were inside the house.  Conner appeared in court yesterday for arraignment.

Man Accused Of 1995 Murder In Southeast Portland


(Portland, OR)  --  A man is in custody after being accused of a murder that happened 18 years ago.  Forty-eight-year-old Danny Conner is being charged in the murder of 24-year-old Darren Ezell.  Ezell was killed in December of 1995 at an apartment on Southeast Ramona Street.  Conner was arrested by Portland Cold Case Homicide Unit detectives and booked into the Multnomah County Jail.

Hales: Trader Joe's Says 'No' Again To NE Portland


(Portland, OR)  --  Mayor Charlie Hales says Trader Joe's will not reconsider locating a store on city-owned property in Northeast Portland.  Hales met last month in California with Trader Joe's executives in an effort to persuade them to reverse their decision to scrap plans to locate a store on the property.  The mayor says he heard yesterday from the company, who said "no" to the proposal.  Trader Joe's had planned to build a store on the corner of Northeast Alberta Street and Northeast Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, but withdrew the plans in February, citing negative community feedback.

Man Wielding Syringe Robs Ice Cream Parlor


(Portland, OR)  --  Police say a man who was armed with a syringe robbed an ice cream shop in Southwest Portland.  Authorities say the man entered a Baskin-Robbins on Southwest Broadway last night and told employees the syringe he was holding was "full of AIDS."  The man reportedly fled with an undisclosed amount of money.  Police describe the suspect as a white man in his 20s, five-feet-nine, slim build, short brown hair, wearing glasses and bright colors.

Washington County Approves Ban On Medical Pot Dispensaries


(Hillsboro, OR)  --  A year-long ban on medical-marijuana dispensaries is now in place in Washington County.  The County Board of Commissioners voted last night to enact the ban following several hours of testimony, most of it in favor of the dispensaries.  The ban applies to unincorporated areas including Aloha, Bethany, Cedar Mill, Cedar Hills, Reedville, and Rock Creek.  Hillsboro, Beaverton, and other cities in Washington County have their own temporary medical-marijuana dispensary bans in effect.

Obama Visits Site Of Mudslide


(Oso, WA)  --  President Barack Obama is praising the first responders, volunteers, and officials who are helping the Snohomish County community of Oso recover from last month's devastating mudslide.  The president took a tour yesterday of the site of the slide, and met with families who lost loved ones in the disaster.  Forty-one people are known dead and two are still listed as missing.  Obama told the community that "the whole country is thinking about you, and we're going to make sure that we're there every step of the way."
 

Man Accused Of Shooting Cop, K-9, Appears In Court


(Portland, OR)  --  Trial is likely for a man accused of wounding a Portland police officer and killing his K-9 partner.  Twenty-year-old Paul Alan Ropp has pleaded not guilty to 17 criminal counts, including attempted murder and armed robbery.  The shooting happened as police pursued three suspects following a break-in at a police supply store last Wednesday.  Officer Jeff Dorn was shot in the legs and the K-9, named Mick, was killed.  The two other suspects have also pleaded not guilty.

Kelso Funeral Home Mixed Deceased's Bodies


(Kelso, WA)  --  A funeral home in Kelso will be put on probation and fined for mixing up two men's bodies.  KATU-TV reports an employee at Dahl-McVicker Funeral Home was responsible for the mix-up, which resulted in one man being mistakenly cremated and the second man placed in the casket at the first man's funeral.  Washington state investigators found the funeral home at fault and has fined it 12-thousand-500 dollars.  It will also be on probation for a year.

Portland Among Nation's 'Funniest' Cities


(Boulder, CO)  --  A study by the University of Colorado's Humor Research Laboratory ranks Portland among the nation's "funniest" cities.  The study places the Rose City fifth among the 50 funniest cities in the U.S., based on the research lab's "Humor Algorithm."  Among the criteria used in the study are the number of comedy clubs per square mile, frequency of visits to comedy websites by the city's residents, and the number of famous comedians born in each city.  Seattle is ranked tenth on the list, with Chicago coming in first.

Obama To Visit Mudslide Site Today


(Oso, WA)  --  President Barack Obama is scheduled this afternoon to visit the site of the Snohomish County mudslide.  Today marks one month since the devastating slide in the community of Oso.  The president is slated to meet with victims' families, survivors, and first-responders after Air Force One lands at Everett's Paine Field.  The official mudslide death toll now stands at 41, with two people still listed as missing.

Former Teacher Gets 30 Days For Abusing Student


(Hillsboro, OR)  --  A former teacher at Sherwood High School will spend 30 days in jail for having sex with a 16-year-old student.  Denise Keesee has also been placed on probation for five years and must register as a sex offender.  Keesee was arrested in June after being accused of having sexual contact with three students, but the conviction involves only one student.  Keesee will also be required to surrender her teaching license and complete sex-offender treatment.

Teens Accused Of Throwing Bricks At Cyclists


(Portland, OR)  --  Two 15-year-old boys are facing charges after being accused of throwing bricks at passing bicyclists in Northeast Portland.  Police say at least two bike riders were hit late Sunday night, one of them in the face, in the area of Northeast Seventh Avenue and Tillamook Street.  The teens have been booked into juvenile detention for second-degree and third-degree assault.

Body Found In River Identified As Portland Man


(Albany, OR)  --  Authorities say they've identified a body found in the Willamette River near Albany as that of a Portland man.  Linn County officials say 45-year-old Jared Ethan Brown was reported missing on March 31st.  Brown had wandered away after the bus he was riding from Roseburg to the Portland area stopped in Corvallis.  His body was recovered from the river Sunday afternoon.

Bomb Scare At OHSU Proves False


(Portland, OR)  --  Police say a bomb scare at Oregon Health & Science University turned out to be false.  A bomb squad was called to the campus around 10:45 yesterday morning after someone reported a possible pipe bomb.  It was later determined there was no explosive.  A person who had been thought to have the device was detained for questioning.

Body Found In Willamette River In Albany


(Albany, OR)  --  Linn County authorities are investigating after a body was found in the Willamette River in Albany.  The man's body was recovered around 3 p.m. yesterday after it was spotted in the river near Bryant Park.  Officials say the man, who hasn't been identified, was a little more than six feet tall and had a beard and short, graying hair.  Deputies say the body was in a moderate state of decomposition.

Police: West Linn Burglar Caught In Act


(West Linn, OR)  --  A suspected burglar is in custody after he was allegedly caught in the act at a home in West Linn.  Police say a man and his roommate left their home Saturday afternoon and returned a few minutes later to find a car parked in the driveway.  One of the men saw someone carrying a bundle running from the back of the house, then chased him and tackled him.  The man and his roommate detained the suspect, identified as Ezekiel "Zeke" Kirk, until police arrived and arrested him.

Woman Detained Following Shooting


(Portland, OR)  --  A woman is in police custody following a shooting in Southeast Portland.  Officers were dispatched yesterday morning to the area of Southeast 122nd Avenue and Southeast Boise.  Police say 36-year-old Myesha Lewis-Turner is facing charges of unlawful use of a firearm and discharging a firearm in the city.  There were no reports of injuries.

No Arrests Following The Shooting Of Three Women


(Portland, OR)  --  Police are still looking for suspects after three women were shot at a Northeast Portland home that had six children inside.  Police say at least nine bullet holes were found in the front of the home on Northeast 111th Avenue and Knott Street following the Wednesday night shooting.  Two of the women were taken to a hospital and one was treated at the scene.  The children were not injured.

Portland Teens Facing Robbery, Assault Charges


(Portland, OR)  --  Two teenagers, including a member of the Roosevelt High School football team, are accused of trying to steal marijuana from someone near the school.  The "Oregonian" reports the teens appeared in court yesterday on charges of second-degree robbery and fourth-degree assault.  Portland police say the teens are accused of trying to steal the pot from a student's backpack, and one of teens allegedly punched and kicked that student when he resisted.  Bail has been set at a quarter-million dollars.

Accused Urinator Banned From Mount Tabor Park


(Portland, OR)  --  An 18-year-old accused of urinating into a Mount Tabor reservoir won't be allowed to enter the park for the next month.  Officials elected to drain Reservoir 5 of 38-million gallons of Portland's drinking water after Dallas Delynn allegedly relieved himself into it around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.  Delynn and two other teens, Daniel McDonald and Trey McDaniel, were cited for trespassing and won't be allowed to enter the Mount Tabor park for 30 days.  Delynn was also cited for public urination after security video showed him leaning forward against the iron gate and then hitching up his pants.

One Killed, Five Injured In Polk County Crash


(Independence, OR)  --  Police are investigating a two-vehicle crash that killed one person and injured five in Polk County.  Investigators say an SUV crashed into the side of a car that was pulling out of a parking lot yesterday afternoon on Stryker Road in Independence.  The driver of the second vehicle, an 18-year-old woman, was killed.  An eight-year-old boy was critically injured and four other people sustained injuries that aren't life-threatening.

Woodland Principal Accused Of Assaulting Student


(Woodland, WA)  --  The principal of Woodland Primary School is facing charges after being accused of assaulting a student.  Mark Houk is charged with three counts of fourth-degree assault after he allegedly assaulted a third-grade special-needs student on several occasions.  Houk, who's now out on bail, has been principal at Woodland Primary for 13 years.
 

Suspect Accused Of Shooting Officer, Killing K-9 Identified


(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland police officer who was shot by a suspect is recovering from his wounds.  Authorities have identified the suspected shooter as 20-year-old Paul Ropp, who's also accused of shooting a police K-9 to death.  Officer Jeff Dorn and the dog, Mick, were responding to a burglar alarm at Blumenthal Uniforms on Southwest Barbur Boulevard early Wednesday morning when both were shot.  Also detained were 25-year-old Jemaell Riley and 20-year-old Steven Young.

Oregon Voter-registration Website Back Online


(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon's voter registration website is back online after an outage.  The Secretary of State's Office says the site crashed Wednesday night because of a problem with the Google Captcha security feature.  The return of the website means people can register online before the April 29th deadline for signing up to vote in the May 20th primary election.

Suspects Arrested After Police Cars Rammed


(Aloha, OR)  --  Aloha police say they've arrested two suspects who are accused of ramming two patrol cars after fleeing a traffic stop.  The suspects, a man and a woman, are reported to be subjects of a sex-trafficking investigation and were pulled over in the area of Southwest 173rd and Washington Court yesterday before the vehicle sped off.  Police allege the suspects' vehicle crashed into a detective's vehicle and a marked K-9 vehicle, then hit another car on Farmington Road.  Twenty-one-year-old Davontie Donahue and his wife, 22-year-old Torri Donahue, were arrested and are each being hospitalized.

Portland Cop Accused Of Skirting Parking Fees


(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland police officer is the subject of an internal investigation after being accused of avoiding downtown parking fees.  The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office alleges that Officer James Escobar covered the VIN number on his personal vehicle and drove around without license plates to avoid the parking fees.  The D.A.'s office says Escobar committed the acts while off-duty and paid more than a thousand dollars in fines, which is why criminal charges won't be pursued.  The matter is being investigated by the Portland Police Bureau's Internal Affairs Division.

Teen Pleads Guilty In Synthetic-drug OD Case


(Sherwood, OR)  --  A 17-year-old boy will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty in connection to a drug overdose by two girls in Sherwood.  The teen entered the plea yesterday to unlawful possession of a controlled substance, but charges of distribution were dropped as part of the plea deal.  Authorities say the girls, ages 16 and 17, overdosed in January on "25i," a synthetic drug that's classified as a hallucinogen.  Both girls suffered seizures and were hospitalized.
 

Officials Say 37 Confirmed Dead From Mudslide


(Arlington, WA)  --  Thirty-seven people are confirmed dead from the March mudslide in Snohomish County, Washington.  Officials say another body was recovered from the slide area yesterday but hasn't yet been identified.  Seven people are still listed as missing.

Scappoose Priest Accused Of Trying To Lure Teenager


(Vancouver, WA)  --  A Scappoose-based priest is facing felony charges after being accused of trying to lure a teenage girl in Vancouver.  Prosecutors allege that Michael T. Patrick followed the 14-year-old for several blocks on March 10th and tried to get her to get into his car.  Authorities say the car continued to follow the teen even though she had said "no" to Patrick.  The Archdiocese of Portland says Patrick is suspended pending conclusion of the case.

Motorcyclist Killed In Vancouver Crash


(Vancouver, WA)  --  Police are investigating a multi-vehicle crash that killed a motorcyclist in Vancouver.  The collisions happened shortly before 4:00 p.m. yesterday on Padden Parkway.  The motorcyclist died at the scene and two other people sustained minor injuries.  Police shut down Padden Parkway from 94th Avenue to SR 503 for several hours before the scene was cleared.

Firefighters Battle Two SW Portland House Fires


(Portland, OR)  --  Fire investigators say combustion of a pile of oily rags may be responsible for a fire that damaged two homes in Southwest Portland.  Firefighters were dispatched to the 44-hundred block of Southwest Vesta Drive around 2:00 p.m. yesterday after neighbors called in reports of two houses on fire.  One house was heavily damaged and the other partially damaged.  No one was injured.

Bodies Recovered From Columbia, Willamette Rivers


(Portland, OR)  --  No names have been released yet after two bodies were found, one in the Columbia River and one in the Willamette.  As deputies were responding yesterday to a report of a body floating in the Columbia River across from Reeder Beach on Sauvie Island, another body was spotted in the Willamette River near the Railroad Bridge.  Police haven't released any information on the names, ages, or hometowns of the victims.

Oregon, Washington Among 'Most Normal States'


(Undated)  --   "Business Insider" ranks Oregon and Washington among the nation's "most normal" states.  The publication arrived at its rankings using Census Bureau figures and unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Washington comes in as the second-most normal state, as indicators such as median age, birth rate, and rate of people with disabilities were close to their respective national averages.  Oregon came in third because its rate of residents with health insurance and its median apartment rent are near national standards.  Illinois ranks as the "most normal" state.

911 Outage Affecting Washington, Parts Of Oregon


(Olympia, WA)  --  CenturyLink officials say they have technicians working on restoring 911 service throughout the state of Washington.  The widespread 911 outage has prompted CenturyLink to ask customers to call the respective agency's ten-digit emergency number should an emergency arise.  The outage is affecting all of Washington and parts of Oregon.

Car Crashes Into MAX Train


(Portland, OR)  --  No injuries are being reported after a car collided with a MAX train in Northeast Portland.  The crash happened around 9:30 last night at the intersection of Northeast 108th Avenue and Burnside Street.  TriMet officials say the train had the right-of-way when the car turned into its path.  The train was returned to service later last night.

Oso Landslide Death Toll Reaches 36


(Arlington, WA)  --  Officials say 36 people are confirmed dead and ten remain missing following the March 22nd mudslide in Snohomish County, Washington.  Thirty-two of the victims have been identified by the County Medical Examiner's Office.  Army Corps of Engineers personnel are building an emergency berm at the site of the Oso mudslide so crews can search under several feet of water for the missing people.
 

Officials ID Man Killed By Train


(Sherwood, OR)  --  Authorities continue to investigate the death of a man who was hit by a train near Sherwood.  He's been identified as 42-year-old James Yelton of Tigard, who was struck by a Portland & Western Railroad train around 11:40 Monday night.  Investigators haven't determined why Yelton was on the railroad tracks.

Clinton: More Compromise Needed


(Portland, OR)  --  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says American politics needs more compromise and less partisan divide.  The former first lady made the remarks yesterday at Portland's Keller Auditorium during a meeting of the World Affairs Council of Oregon.  Clinton spoke of her fight for gender equality, saying "no country can truly thrive by holding down the contributions of half of its people."  The former U.S. senator from New York is considered an early front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, though she hasn't said whether she will run.

Four-year-old Falls From Second-floor Window and Survives


(Forest Grove, OR)  --  A four-year-old girl is expected to survive after falling from a second-story window in Forest Grove.  Fire officials say the child fell from a balcony at the Parkside Apartments on Main Street shortly before three p.m. yesterday.  She was taken to the trauma center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.  The fire department says her injuries appear to be non-life-threatening.

Deputy: Motorcycle Reached 133 MPH Before Being Stopped


(Salem, OR)  --  Marion County authorities say a motorcyclist reached speeds of up to 133 miles per hour before being pulled over in Salem.  Officials say a deputy began pursuit after seeing the motorcyclist weave in and out of traffic in the area of MacLeay Road Southeast and Cordon Road Southeast yesterday afternoon.  The deputy, who was in an unmarked car, said the motorcyclist accelerated and "rocketed out of sight."  Twenty-six-year-old David Ladeby has been cited on charges of careless driving and speeding.

President Obama To Visit Washington Mudslide Site


(Washington, DC)  --  President Obama will get a first-hand look at the devastation when he visits the Snohomish County mudslide area later this month.  White House officials say the president is scheduled to visit the Oso slide area on April 22nd, one month after the disaster took place.  The death toll from the mudslide is currently 34, and 12 people are classified as missing.

Gas Prices Rise


(Portland, OR)  --  The price of gasoline in Oregon remains on the rise.  Triple-A reports the average for regular is nearly three-70 a gallon, up a half-cent from yesterday.  It's also two cents a gallon above the average of a week ago.  Marie Dodds of Oregon-Idaho AAA says Oregon's statewide average is now 10th highest in the nation, up from 11th place last week.

Ex-cheerleader Allegedly Recruited Underage Teen For Prostitution


(Lake Oswego, OR)  --  A former Lake Oswego High School cheerleader is facing charges for allegedly recruiting an underage former student into prostitution.  Nineteen-year-old Julia Haner is charged with sex trafficking of a minor and transportation of a minor for prostitution.  Facing similar charges is Haner's alleged pimp, 30-year-old Konrod Mason.  Federal prosecutors allege that Haner was ordered by Mason to recruit prostitutes for him.

Police Officer Cleared In Deadly Shooting


(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland police officer won't face criminal charges in the fatal shooting of a wanted fugitive in March.  A Multnomah County grand jury found that officer John Romero was justified in the use of force that resulted in the death of Kelly Swoboda.  Swoboda was shot to death in March during an encounter with police in Portland's Hillsdale neighborhood.  He was suspected in several bank robberies and in the kidnapping of a woman working at an Oak Grove-area tanning salon.

Man Killed By Train In Sherwood


(Sherwood, OR)  --  A man is dead after being struck by a train in Sherwood.  Washington County sheriff's deputies say the man was spotted in a "downward position" on tracks in a remote area near Southwest Tonquin Road shortly before midnight last night.  The train put on its brakes, but wasn't able to stop in time.  An autopsy will be conducted.

PSU Faculty Strike Averted


(Portland, OR)  --  There will be no faculty strike at Portland State University.  A tentative contract agreement has been reached between the school's administration and the American Association of University Professors.  The agreement was reached following a marathon negotiating session that began Friday and ended around 5:30 yesterday morning.  The new pact includes higher faculty salaries and more money for professional development travel.

OSP Trooper In Serious Condition Following Deadly Crash


(Dallas, OR)  --  An Oregon State Police trooper is listed in serious condition following a fatal crash in Polk County.  Trooper Bryan Fitch was a passenger in a Ford Ranger driven by his 18-year-old son, Cayden, when the vehicle crashed head-on Friday night into an oncoming Toyota on Oregon 22.  Cayden Fitch was killed, as was the driver of the Toyota, 69-year-old Michael Joseph Moylett of Gresham.  Moylett's wife, Estella, is listed in good condition.      
 

Two Who Robbed Portland Bar Still At Large


(Portland, OR)  --  Police are looking for two men who held up a Portland bar at gunpoint.  Authorities say the men, one of whom was carrying a handgun, entered the Fremont Ridge Inn in Northeast Portland early yesterday morning and demanded money.  The men fled the bar with an undisclosed amount of cash.  They're described as white males, each five-feet-seven to five-feet-eight, one wearing a black hoodie and one wearing a gray hoodie.

Police Investigate Deadly Stabbing


(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police are investigating a stabbing that killed a 44-year-old man.  Authorities say the victim died after he was taken to Adventist Medical Center by a private car yesterday.  Investigators aren't certain where the stabbing took place.    
 

Small Earthquake Recorded Near Sherwood


(Sherwood, OR)  --  There are no reports of injuries or damage so far following a three-point-three-magnitude earthquake that was recorded near Sherwood.  The U.S. Geological Survey says the temblor struck at 8:33 last night at a depth of six-point-two miles.  The epicenter was pinpointed about seven-and-a-half miles north-northeast of Newberg.

Habitat For Humanity To Help Slide Victims Rebuild


(Oso, WA)  --  Habitat for Humanity of Snohomish County, Washington says it will help families affected by the Oso landslide repair or rebuild their homes.  The organization has set a fundraising goal of one-point-five-million dollars for repairs to nine homes and rebuilding ten.  Money for the cause can be donated directly to a fund set up by Coastal Community Bank.  In addition to financial support, Habitat for Humanity is accepting donations of material and volunteer assistance. 

Beaverton Teacher Accused Of Harassment Of Student


(Beaverton, OR)  --  A Beaverton teacher is in trouble with the law after being accused of harassing a student in his class.  Forty-year-old Larry Coates, who's a band teacher at Whitford Middle School, is alleged to have made unwanted physical contact during a confrontation yesterday with the student, though the contact was not sexual in nature.  Coates was booked on two counts of harassment.  He's now free on his own recognizance.

Man Accused Of Attacking Passing Vehicles


(Portland, OR)  --  Police say they had to use a beanbag gun to subdue a man who allegedly attacked passing vehicles near Lincoln High School.  Authorities say officers responded to a report of a man punching passing cars along the MAX tracks yesterday afternoon on Southwest 18th Avenue and Salmon Street.  Police say the man appeared to be under the influence of drugs.  The man reportedly boasted of having a gun and was shot with a beanbag round before being arrested.

Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 30


(Arlington, WA)  --  The death toll from the Snohomish County landslide now stands at 30 with the number of missing at 17.  The Medical Examiner's Office says 27 of the deceased have been positively identified.  Officials say one set of remains doesn't match anyone on the current list of those who are missing and is being tagged as a John Doe.  Authorities say the man is estimated to have been between 50 and 60 years of age. 

Suspects Sought Following Theft From Guide-dog School


(Gresham, OR)  --  Police are looking for three suspects who are believed to have stolen money from a school that trains guide dogs for the blind.  Authorities say two men and a woman broke into vehicles owned by Guide Dogs for the Blind in Boring and stole gas credit cards.  The cards were used to make 48-hundred dollars in purchases at gas stations in Gresham, Troutdale, and Portland.  Police have images of the suspects from surveillance video.   

Portland State Faculty Union Votes To Strike


(Portland, OR)  --  Portland State University officials say they want to settle on a new contract with union members of its faculty.  The union voted yesterday morning to issue a ten-day strike notice.  Such a strike would be the first public university strike in Oregon history.  PSU and the union are set to resume negotiations today in an effort to reach an agreement on faculty pay and other issues.

Three Arrested; Guns, Drugs, Fake Money Seized


(Portland, OR)  --  Three men are in custody and a cache of drugs, guns, and counterfeit money have been seized as part of an ongoing investigation.  A warrant was executed yesterday morning at a home on North Buchanan Avenue by the Portland Police Bureau's Special Emergency Reaction Team.  Authorities say two guns, counterfeit U.S. currency, and drugs including Oxycontin, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana were seized from the home.  The three suspects were booked into the Multnomah County Jail.
 

Identity Theft Investigated At Aloha, Beaverton Post Offices


(Aloha, OR)  --  Possible cases of identity theft are being investigated at post offices in Aloha and Beaverton.  The Washington County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Postal Service are conducting the investigation following reports of people noting suspicious activity on their ATM and credit card accounts after buying stamps at the two post offices.  The "Oregonian" quotes investigators who say suspects may be creating duplicate card readers and PIN pads that they attach and later remove from self-service kiosks.

One Injured After Car Crashes Into 7-Eleven


(Portland, OR)  --  A customer is being treated for injuries after a car crashed into a North Portland 7-Eleven.  Police say the customer was pinned after the vehicle slammed into the front of the store around 2 p.m. yesterday.  The driver reportedly confused the gas pedal for the brake and crashed into the building on Northeast Columbia Boulevard.  The driver received citations for careless driving and driving uninsured.

Portland In Middle Of Pack For Marriage Longevity


(Undated)  --  Portland ranks in the middle of the pack for marriage longevity.  A "Men's Health" magazine survey says Portland is listed at 45th out of 100 U.S. cities included in the survey.  Seattle ranks as one of the best cities for married couples, coming in at Number Five.  Madison, Wisconsin tops the marriage-longevity list, and Charleston, West Virginia is last at Number 100.

Twenty-nine Known Dead From Mudslide, 13 Missing


(Arlington, WA)  --  Snohomish County, Washington officials say a total of 29 people are known dead following the March 22nd mudslide in Oso, and the number of those presumed missing has been reduced to 13.  President Obama has approved Governor Jay Inslee's request for a major-disaster declaration in Snohomish County, which will trigger financial assistance for people and businesses affected by the devastating slide.  Officials say people can register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by logging on to DisasterAssistance.gov.

Tigard Woman Convicted Of Killing Four-year-old Son


(Tigard, OR)  --  A Tigard woman is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of murdering her four-year-old son.  Twenty-five-year-old Jessica Dutro and her boyfriend, Brian Canady, were arrested in August 2012 after the boy, Zachary Dutro-Boggess, died at a hospital of numerous injuries.  An autopsy determined the child died of complications resulting from blunt-force abdominal trauma.  Canady pleaded guilty earlier this month to manslaughter and assault charges.

No Criminal Charges Filed In Death Of Pedestrian


(Portland, OR)  --  Criminal charges won't be filed against the driver of a car that struck and killed a 78-year-old woman and injured an 80-year-old man in February.  Thirty-eight-year-old Jarred Holt has instead been cited for careless driving causing death and serious injury.  The crash happened at the intersection of Southeast 84th Avenue and Division Street, killing 78-year-old Yan Huang and injuring her husband, 80-year-old Zhi Hu.  Holt remained at the scene and cooperated with police.

Former Teacher Pleads Guilty In Sex-abuse case


(Aloha, OR)  --  A former Aloha High School teacher accused of sexually abusing a student is headed to jail after pleading guilty.  Thirty-seven-year-old Eric Wise entered the plea yesterday to charges of second-degree sex abuse and furnishing alcohol to a minor.  Wise was arrested in January after authorities received a tip that he had a sexual relationship with a student, who was 17 at the time.  As part of a plea agreement, Wise was sentenced to two months in jail and five years' probation.

Sheriff: Jail Shutdown Would Threaten Citizen Safety


(St. Helens, OR)  --  The sheriff of Columbia County is warning that citizen safety will be under threat if the county jail shuts down.  Sheriff Jeff Dickerson is urging voters to approve a seven-million-dollar levy that would keep the jail running for another three years.  The levy vote is slated for May 20th.  Columbia County voters rejected a similar levy in November.

Fire Out At Washington Gas Plant


(Plymouth, WA)  --  A fire that raged following an explosion at a liquefied natural gas plant Benton County, Washington is now extinguished.  Plymouth residents who were ordered to evacuate their homes following Monday's blast were allowed to return yesterday.  Plant officials say the gas that's still leaking from a tank at the facility is not toxic and chances are slim that another explosion will take place.  Five people were injured in the explosion, and four of them have been released from the hospital.

Mudslide Death Toll At 28, 20 Missing


(Arlington, WA)  --  Officials say the death toll from the March 22nd mudslide in Snohomish County, Washington is 28 and the number of people missing has decreased to 20.  Improved weather in the area has made it somewhat easier for search crews to sift through the massive amounts of mud and debris resulting from the slide.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reportedly formulating a plan to create a new channel around the debris field to divert spring runoff into the Stillaguamish River and reduce the chance of further flooding.

Two Arrested In Bogus Credit-card Case


(Beaverton, OR)  --  Two men are facing charges after being accused of using counterfeit credit cards throughout metro Portland.  Authorities say 28-year-old Yasser Hernandez and 26-year-old Raul Gonzalez-Rodriguez allegedly used the bogus credit cards at a number of stores between March 26th and 29th.  Police say the suspects were arrested Saturday as they tried to use a fake credit card to rent a car at Portland International Airport.
 

Portland Police Chief Seeks Additional Funding


(Portland, OR)  --  Portland Police Chief Mike Reese is asking the City Council for funding that would allow the return of a traffic-enforcement night shift.  Reese wants 300-thousand dollars included in the next city budget to restore the shift, which was eliminated in the last budget.  Reese says there were 35 traffic-related fatalities in Portland in 2013.  He says bringing back the night traffic shift will have a "measurable impact" on restoring public safety.

Teen Injured In Alleged Road-rage Incident


(Albany, OR)  --  A Linn County man is facing charges after an alleged road-range incident that left a teenager injured.  Linn County sheriff's deputies say 45-year-old Robert Ramsey is accused of smashing the passenger-side window of a vehicle last Thursday after threatening to beat up the driver.  The passenger, an 18-year-old woman, suffered facial injuries.  Ramsey is scheduled to be arraigned next month on charges that include assault, criminal mischief, reckless endangering, and disorderly conduct.  
 

Man Accused Of Abusing Foster Child


(Portland, OR)  --  A Troutdale man is facing charges after being accused of sexually abusing a foster child in his care.  Authorities allege that 32-year-old Jerrett Hetrick abused the teenage victim at his home several times during February.  Hetrick has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of sex abuse.

Oregonian To Go To Tabloid Format


(Portland, OR)  --  Oregon's largest newspaper is about to get smaller.  Starting tomorrow, "The Oregonian" will shift from a traditional broadsheet format to tabloid-size, measuring about 15 inches from top to bottom instead of 23.  Last year, The Oregonian placed more emphasis on digital delivery of news and reduced home newspaper delivery to four days a week.

Measles Warning Issued For March 24th Visitors To PDX


(Portland, OR)  --  Health officials are warning people who visited Portland International Airport on the evening of March 24th of a case of measles involving a child who passed through the airport briefly.  The Multnomah County Health Department says the infant child was diagnosed with measles after returning from an overseas trip.  The department says people who visited the airport on the evening of the 24th should be checked by a physician.

Man Accused Of Attempted Murder In St. Helens


(St. Helens, OR)  --  A Scappoose man is facing a charge of attempted murder in the stabbing of a woman in St. Helens.  Police say 43-year-old Thomas Googins was found early Saturday morning, covered in blood, and was arrested.  The victim was found in the five-hundred block of North 10th Street around two a.m. Saturday and was taken to a Portland hospital.  Bail for Googins is set at 150-thousand dollars.

Four Injured In Plant Explosion


(Plymouth, WA)  --  Five people are injured following an explosion at a liquefied natural gas plant in Benton County, Washington.  Officials say shrapnel from yesterday's blast at the Williams Northwest Pipeline Gas Plant punctured a tank that contained about seven-million gallons of liquid natural gas.  A two-mile-radius evacuation order was issued, but that was later reduced to one mile.  None of the injuries is considered life-threatening.

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