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Regional News

(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland veterinarian, who was imprisoned and stranded for months in East Timor, is now back home.  Stacey Addison arrived last night at Portland International Airport, with her mother there to greet her.  Addison was imprisoned for about two months without being charged and was stranded for several months afterward because her passport had been seized.  She had been on an around-the-world trip since January 2013 before she was arrested.

(Salem, OR)  --  Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says she'll run for re-election in 2016.  Rosenblum's office recently launched an investigation into allegations of influence-peddling by now-former Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes.  Rosenblum later deferred to federal investigators in the case.  She'll be seeking her second term in office next year.

(Portland, OR)  --  A group of East Portland residents is petitioning to secede from the rest of Portland.  The East Portland de-Annexation Movement says it doesn't feel like it's getting the services that reflect the tax dollars they spend for them.  The petition needs 31-thousand signatures in order to have an option placed on the ballot in November 2016.  East Portland covers about one-fifth the area of the entire city of Portland.

(Salem, OR)  --  The measure that would extend Oregon's clean-fuels program is on its way to the governor's desk.  The House gave the measure final legislative approval yesterday, but not before hours of debate between Democrats and Republicans.  The final vote was 31 for, 29 against.

(Portland, OR)  --  Prices at the gas pump are still getting higher.  Triple-A reports the average for regular in the Portland area is about two-90 a gallon, up nearly two cents from yesterday.  It's also more than 33 cents a gallon above the average of a week ago.

(Salem, OR)  --  State officials say Oregon's jobless rate fell in January to six-point-three percent, compared to six-point-seven percent in December.  The current unemployment rate is Oregon's lowest in more than six years.  The state Employment Department says Oregon gained 76-hundred non-farm jobs in January.  The state's rate of job growth was three-point-three percent over the past year.

(Salem, OR)  --  A man who was an assistant girls basketball coach in the Salem Keizer Educational Foundation basketball league is accused of sexual assault.  Salem police say 39-year-old Arthur Nigel Chavez is facing multiple charges after being accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a juvenile female.  Chavez was arrested in November, but police are continuing the investigation.

(Salem, OR)  --  A bill that supporters say is aimed at curbing school absenteeism in Oregon is awaiting action in committee.  The measure would gradually change state school funding to a formula based on how many students come to school rather than how many are enrolled.  Opponents of the measure say schools in poor communities would he hurt because low-income students are likely to miss more school.  The House Education Committee is considering the bill.

(Fairview, OR)  --  A Portland-area playground is ranked among the best in the nation.  A new report by the Early Childhood Education Zone shows the 101-acre Blue Lake Regional Park in Fairview is ranked 26th among the nation's 50 top playgrounds.  The survey touts the park, located near the south shore of the Columbia River, for its combination of fun activities for kids and ample space to roam and enjoy the peace and quiet.  The top playground in the survey is Zachary's Playground in St. Peters, Missouri.

(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland and Multnomah County councils are considering the adoption of a policy to oppose oil and coal exports through the area.  A draft revision of the joint Climate Action Plan is intended to make it difficult for permits or facilities to be obtained for any oil or coal export projects.  Officials say the policy is being considered for purposes of protecting residents' safety and the environment.  The proposal is slated for a vote by the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission on April 7th.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police are investigating a shooting that killed a man in Northeast Portland.  Authorities say the shooter fled the scene after 29-year-old Marquis Delon Chaney was killed in the area of North Blandena and Commercial Avenue around 2:30 yesterday afternoon.  Police say Chaney was inside a car, which hit a van after the shots was fired.  Investigators say it's not known whether Chaney was the intended victim.

(Salem, OR)  --  An elderly man from Salem is being sought after he was reported missing.  Police say 80-year-old Edward Bakke [[ BOCK-ee ]] was last seen around 5:30 p.m. yesterday, leaving his home in the area of Northeast March Avenue and Hawthorne Avenue.  He walked to a Target store about a half-mile away and hasn't been heard from since.  Bakke is described as white, six feet tall, 155 pounds, with white hair down to his neck, unshaven, and last seen wearing khaki pants, a dark blue puffy jacket, and a black beanie cap with an eagle on the front.

(Gladstone, OR)  --  Gladstone Police Chief Jim Pryde is stepping down earlier than planned, in what's being called a "mutual decision" between him and the city.  Pryde was set to retire in July, but he told "The Oregonian" that the city made him an offer he "couldn't refuse," which includes a severance package.  Gladstone City Administrator Peter Boyce says Pryde's departure will enable the city to get an early start on the transition.  Sergeant Lee Jundt will be interim chief through the end of March, and Lieutenant Jeff Bailey will take over April 1st and remain in place until the city hires a permanent chief.

(Portland, OR)  --  A Portland veterinarian who was imprisoned in East Timor for months is on her way back to the U.S.  Doctor Stacey Addison was taking a cab in September from Indonesia to East Timor when she was arrested while riding with a passenger who had drugs.  She was imprisoned until being released on Christmas, then was stranded in East Timor because her passport was confiscated.  Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley lobbied on Addison's behalf, and former East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta negotiated for her release.

(Portland, OR)  --  Authorities are working to identify a man whose body was found along the east bank of the Willamette River.  Sheriff's deputies say the body was found yesterday afternoon by a fisherman near North Port Center Way, north of the Fremont Bridge.  An autopsy has been scheduled.

(Happy Valley, OR)  --  A seven-year-old boy who had been reported missing is safe at home.  Clackamas County sheriff's deputies say the boy walked away from his baby-sitter's apartment in Happy Valley around 3:30 yesterday afternoon.  Deputies conducted a search and found the child, unharmed, at a nearby school.

(Portland, OR)  --  An autopsy is scheduled for a man who was shot to death in Northeast Portland.  Police say 20-year-old Esteban "Steve" Del Cid was shot early Saturday morning near Northeast Rodney Avenue and Cook Street.  The victim died yesterday at a hospital.  Police are hoping to find witnesses to the shooting.

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  Hillsboro police are investigating the death of a pedestrian on the Tualatin Valley Highway.  Authorities say the 51-year-old man was crossing the highway early yesterday morning near Southwest Cornelius Pass Road when he was struck by a sedan.  The "Portland Tribune" reports the 29-year-old driver, Beatriz Rivera of Issaquah, Washington, was arrested on an unrelated misdemeanor warrant for violation of probation.  The pedestrian's name hasn't been released.

(Portland, OR)  --  A man is in custody after being accused of burglarizing the Multnomah County Courthouse.  KOIN-TV reports 27-year-old Michael Longinos Hernandez is also accused of pulling fire alarms inside police headquarters late last night.  Authorities say Hernandez used a metal grate to break open one of the courthouse's glass doors near Southwest 5th and Southwest Salmon, and is suspected of activating a fire alarm at the Portland Police Bureau Central Precinct before breaking into the courthouse.  Hernandez is scheduled for arraignment later today.

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police are investigating after a man's body was found near the Burnside Bridge.  Officials say the body was found under a drain pipe on the banks of the Willamette River yesterday morning.  Investigators say it's possible the man was inside the drain pipe and was pushed out by rainwater.  An autopsy is being conducted.

(Salem, OR)  --  Former Governor John Kitzhaber's fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, is suing "The Oregonian" in an effort to block the release of her emails.  Hayes contends the emails aren't a matter of public record, and says she's asserting her constitutional right against self-incrimination by not releasing them.  She filed the lawsuit against the newspaper yesterday in Marion County Circuit Court.  Hayes and Kitzhaber are under investigation in an alleged influence-peddling scandal.

(Kelso, WA)  --  Cowlitz County authorities say 41-year-old Christopher Lee Yourkwitz, who's accused of shooting his roommate during an argument, has surrendered to authorities.  The shooting happened at a house on Veys Avenue in Kelso Wednesday night, and deputies had been searching for him since.  Yourkwitz contacted the sheriff's office last night and told them he was on his way to turn himself in.  He's been booked on charges of third-degree assault and felon in possession of a firearm.

(Washington, DC)  --  Federal officials say Washington was one of 26 states that set records in goods exports last year.  The U.S. Department of Commerce says the Evergreen State exported 90-point-six-billion dollars' worth of goods in 2014.  Oregon also set a record, exporting nearly 21-billion dollars in goods.  The Commerce Department says total merchandise exports from all 50 states helped the U.S. achieve the fifth consecutive record-setting year of goods-and-services exports.

(Portland, OR)  --  A man is in police custody after he was accused in a DUII crash that killed another man in Portland.  Authorities say 25-year-old Joshua James Vann crashed Wednesday into a car driven by 55-year-old Dale Edward McConachie [[ muh-KONN-uh-kee ]] at the intersection of Northeast 33rd Avenue and Columbia Boulevard.  McConachie was killed when his vehicle slammed into a concrete structure.  Vann was treated at a hospital, then was booked on charges of first-degree manslaughter, DUII, second-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment.

(Portland, OR)  --  Police say a woman who was found lying on the ground near the Steel Bridge died during some kind of medical emergency.  An autopsy is being conducted on the woman, who was found yesterday afternoon south of the bridge along the Eastbank Esplanade.  Her name hasn't been released.

(Salem, OR)  --  State officials say the FBI and the IRS are partnering in a federal investigation of former Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes.  KOIN-TV reports Oregon Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan was questioned two weeks ago by representatives of both federal agencies.  The day after the interviews, Kitzhaber announced his resignation.  The ex-governor and Hayes are being investigated following allegations of influence-peddling.

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland police say a man who shot at officers and then shot himself to death was a known gang member and a federal fugitive.  Authorities say 26-year-old Quintrell Holiman was wanted for escape on the original charge of felon in possession of a firearm.  Officials say Holiman left Shimmers Bar and Grill near Southeast 80th and Foster early Wednesday morning and fired a couple of shots at two officers who were chasing him on foot.  Police say Holiman apparently shot himself as officers tried to engage him at a Raymond Street residence, where he was found hiding.

(Undated)  --  A new survey from Zillow shows Portland has among the fastest-rising rents in the nation.  The survey places Portland at Number five, with the average rent increase at seven-point-two percent from January 2014 to January of this year.  The median amount renters are paying is more than 15-hundred dollars a month.  In the top spot is San Francisco, with an increase of nearly 15 percent and a median rent of more than three-thousand dollars.

(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland school district says three Wilson High School teachers are being investigated following allegations of hazing.  Officials say a leadership teacher and two health teachers are on leave and substitutes have been appointed to take their place during the investigation.  There's been no information released on the nature of the hazing.

(Portland, OR)  --  One person is dead and another injured, following a two-vehicle crash in Portland.  Police say the wreck happened around 4:30 p.m. yesterday at Northeast Columbia Boulevard and 33rd Avenue.  One driver died at the scene and the other was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.  No names have been released.

(Salem, OR)  --  A criminal investigation is being conducted into the leak of former Governor John Kitzhaber's emails.  KATU-TV reports Oregon chief operating officer Michael Jordan sent an email to staff members, saying he's asked Oregon State Police to conduct the investigation.  The emails in question were leaked to "Willamette Week" reporter Neil Jacquiss, who says they showed Kitzhaber's fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, trying to profit from her relationship with the then-governor.  Jordan says two senior state managers will be duty-stationed at home pending the outcome of a personnel investigation.

(Portland, OR)  --  The Port of Portland is buzzing with activity again, as Longshore union workers try to catch up on a backlog of shipments.  The containers began to accumulate after a labor dispute began October 31st of last year with waterfront terminal operators and shipping lines.  The dispute affected dozens of West Coast ports as discussions took place between the International Longshore Workers Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.  A tentative agreement was reached Friday, and union workers are scheduled to vote on whether to approve the agreement in the next few weeks.

(Hillsboro, OR)  --  No citations have been issued, following a crash that killed a pedestrian in Hillsboro.  Police say 34-year-old Jamey C. Haines was crossing Southeast Tualatin Valley Highway near Imlay Avenue around eight o'clock Saturday night when she was hit by an eastbound minivan.  Officials say Haines was not in a crosswalk at the time.

(Salem, OR)  --  House Democrats say they'll move forward with debate on a Senate-passed bill to extend Oregon's clean-fuels program.  Republican opponents have argued that the measure should be tabled until federal investigators determine whether former Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, were paid by outside groups to push the extension.  House Speaker Tina Kotek says the bill will move to the House floor as planned.  "The Oregonian" reports the bill could be sent to Governor Kate Brown as early as next week.

(Salem, OR)  --  A bill awaiting action in committee would prevent licensed mental-healthcare providers in Oregon from practicing what's known as "conversion therapy" on LGBT youth under 18.  The goal of such treatments is to change a person's sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.  Opponents of the practice say it's confusing for young people and can cause lifelong trauma.

(Oregon City, OR)  --  Sheriff's deputies are trying to find out what caused a crash that killed an 18-year-old woman and critically injured a seven-year-old boy near Oregon City.  The crash took place around six p.m. Friday on South Redland Road near Lyons Road.  Deputies say Madison West veered into the oncoming lane and crashed into an oncoming vehicle.  West died later at a hospital, and the seven-year-old who was riding in the second vehicle is listed in critical condition.

(Kalama, WA)  --  Authorities say a man who was posing for a photo in Cowlitz County was struck and killed by a train.  Sheriff's deputies say the man, who had been driving from Portland to Tacoma, was posing for the picture along railroad tracks in Kalama when he was hit by an Amtrak train around 10:30 Saturday morning.  The man's name hasn't been released.  His female companion, who was taking the photo, was not injured.

(West Linn, OR)  --  Police say speed was a factor in a crash that killed two West Linn teenagers in Skamania County.  A vigil was held last night at West Linn High School for students Antonio Caballero [[ cah-bah-YAIR-oh ]] and Cooper Hill, both juniors and members of the school lacrosse team.  The Washington State Patrol says three cars and six people were involved in the crash, which happened Saturday on Highway 14.  Two other people were injured.

(Portland, OR)  --  A motorcyclist is dead, following a crash off Southwest Capitol Highway in Portland.  Police say the crash happened in the parking lot of the Multnomah Arts Center around 1:30 yesterday afternoon.  A woman, who's said to be in her 50s or 60s, was killed.  Police say she was learning to ride a motorcycle and crashed into a parked car.

(Portland, OR)  --  Officials say former Portland Trail Blazer great Jerome Kersey died after a blood clot traveled to his lungs.  The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office says the clot broke loose from Kersey's left calf and caused a pulmonary thromboembolism.  Doctor Larry Lewman of the medical examiner's office says he's running tests to determine how long the clot may have been in Kersey's body.  Kersey died Wednesday at Meridian Park Hospital in Tualatin.

(Salem, OR)  --  Cover Oregon would be abolished under a bill passed by the state Senate.  The measure would also merge the failed medical-insurance exchange into an existing state agency.  Oregon would still operate an insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act using a federal website.  The bill now moves on to the House for debate.

(Portland, OR)  --  An autopsy is will be conducted on a woman whose body was found in the Willamette River at Kelley Point Park.  Authorities say a 22-year-old man called police Wednesday and told them his girlfriend had disappeared while they camped in the park.  The body was found later in the river.  The boyfriend, who police have identified as Nicholas Ross Estrada, has been arrested.

(Forest Grove, OR)  --  Police say they've arrested a man who entered Joseph Gale Elementary School in Forest Grove and picked up a student.  Authorities say 29-year-old Joseph Alan Brown has no known connection to the seven-year-old girl.  Brown was arrested yesterday after he was chased down by school staff, and the girl was unharmed.  Police say it appears Brown was under the influence of a controlled substance.

(Undated)  --  A new Gallup poll shows Oregon is among the states with the lowest rate of residents who attend church on a regular basis.  Oregon ranks 45th and Washington 46th, with 24 percent of those questioned in each state saying they attend church weekly.  Vermont is ranked as having the lowest rate of regular church attendance, at 17 percent.  Utah is ranked first with 51 percent.

(Portland, OR)  --  Under an ordinance approved by the Portland City Council, all full-time city employees and contractors will make a minimum wage of 15 dollars an hour.  The unanimous vote amends Portland's Fair Wage Policy, and allows the city to join Multnomah County and the county housing authority in paying employees a 15-dollar minimum.  Officials say the move will cost the city more than one-point-one-million dollars a year.

(Salem, OR)  --  A lawmaker is proposing that the Oregon Legislature approve a ballot measure that seeks to establish an executive impeachment process.  Salem Representative Jodi Hack says the system would allow lawmakers to try the governor for serious crimes, much like the authority Congress has to impeach the president.  "The Oregonian" reports Oregon is the only state that has no impeachment process.  In order for the item to be placed on the statewide ballot, it will need a majority vote in both the House and Senate.

(Salem, OR)  --  The office Kate Brown vacated to become Oregon's new governor is now being filled by her former deputy, Robert Taylor.  "The Oregonian" reports Taylor will manage day-to-day operations in the Secretary of State's Office until Brown appoints a permanent successor.  There's no word on when Brown will announce her permanent replacement.  A spokesperson for the Secretary of State's Office says Taylor spent most of yesterday preparing for the office's annual budget presentation to the Legislature's Joint Ways and Means Committee.

(Salem, OR)  --  Kate Brown is now the governor of Oregon, following the resignation of John Kitzhaber.  The former secretary of state took the oath of office yesterday during a ceremony on the floor of the state House of Representatives.  Brown said she's ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work on the tasks that lie ahead.  She said her first order of business is to "regain the confidence of the people."

(Salem, OR)  --  A measure that would extend Oregon's clean-fuel standard will move to the House after passing by a narrow margin in the Senate.  The measure was approved, despite the argument by Republicans tying the bill to outgoing Governor John Kitzhaber's fiancee, Cylvia Hayes.  The program, designed to combat climate change, sets increasingly lower limits on the carbon "intensity" of vehicle fuels.

(Undated)  --  A new report ranks Portland among the U.S. cities considered to be the most physically active.  The report, prepared by BetterDoctor.com, shows Portland at Number Seven, with a score of 70 out of a possible 100.  Rankings are based on health criteria such as physical activity, healthy weight, and access to quality parks.  Seattle ranks fifth in the survey, with Aurora, Colorado, San Francisco, and Oakland occupying the top three spots, respectively.

(Eugene, OR)  --  An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death of a University of Oregon student-athlete.  School officials say 18-year-old freshman Lauren Jones, who was a member of the Ducks' acrobatics and tumbling team, died yesterday after requiring medical attention.  Lane County Public Health officials are investigating whether Jones's death was the result of an outbreak of meningococcemia meningitis, which has hospitalized three students at the university.

(Colton, OR)  --  A Colton man who was shot to death by Clackamas County sheriff's deputies is ruled to have committed suicide.  The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office says 34-year-old Bruce Steward orchestrated the Sunday incident that led to his shooting by refusing to drop a hatchet while approaching the responding deputies.  Authorities say the deputies were dispatched to a home on South Wall Street in Colton after a report of a stabbing.  No stabbing victim was ever found.

(Portland, OR)  --  Portland-area gasoline prices are still climbing.  Triple-A's latest survey shows the average for regular at two-40 a gallon, up more than two cents from yesterday.  It's also nearly 12 cents a gallon above the average of a week ago.  The national average for regular is about two-27 a gallon.

(Salem, OR)  --  Secretary of State Kate Brown is set to take the oath of office tomorrow as governor as she replaces John Kitzhaber, who's stepping down.  Brown will be sworn in by Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Balmer during a ceremony on the House floor.  Brown has already announced the hiring of former aide Brian Shipley as her chief-of-staff.  Shipley is the chief lobbyist at Oregon Health & Science University.

(Portland, OR)  --  The secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor hopes to help end the contract dispute that's causing work slowdowns at the Port of Portland and other West Coast ports.  Secretary Tom Perez is expected to meet today with representatives of both sides in an effort to help smooth over differences in contract issues.  Loading and unloading of cargo vessels at all 29 West Coast ports have been on hold since Friday night.  Perez will meet in California to try to re-start stalled labor discussions between shipping companies and the dockworkers' union.

(Hood River, OR)  --  Police have a Bend man in custody after accusing him of killing a Portland woman who was hiking on a trail in the Columbia River Gorge in 2009.  Forty-year-old Stephen Wagner Nichols was arrested at the San Francisco Airport, and is accused in the death of his girlfriend, 23-year-old Rhonda Kristen Casto.  The "Hood River News" reports that a secret indictment for murder was filed against Nichols in April 2014, ten months before his arrest.  His next appearance in Hood River County court is set for March 3rd.

(Salem, OR)  --  A Salem man is being treated for serious injuries after he was thrown off his motorcycle and into the Willamette River.  Police say 73-year-old William Chamberland, Jr. lost control of his motorcycle early yesterday morning and collided with a van, hit a barrier on the south side of the Marion Street Bridge, then went airborne and plunged into the river.  A couple who were in a boat on the river provided aid to Chamberland, who's being treated at Salem Hospital for potentially life-threatening injuries.  The driver of the van stayed at the scene and cooperated with police.

(Portland, OR)  --  Sheriff's deputies are investigating a deadly crash in Portland involving an Italian sports car.  Authorities say speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the wreck that killed the passenger in the Maserati near the intersection of Southeast Jennings Avenue and Southeast Jade Court early yesterday morning.  The driver is hospitalized after being cut out of the damaged sports car.

(Salem, OR)  --  Secretary of State Kate Brown is continuing preparations to replace John Kitzhaber as governor.  Kitzhaber is scheduled to step down Wednesday after announcing his resignation Friday, in light of state and federal criminal investigations regarding the role of Kitzhaber's fiancee is his administration.  Brown mentioned nothing about the soon-to-be ex-governor Saturday, as she joined former Oregon governors Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski for a celebration of the 156th anniversary of Oregon statehood.

(Corvallis, OR)  --  Police in Corvallis are conducting a criminal investigation after a body was found in a local park.  The body was found around 10:30 yesterday morning in Alan B. Berg Park.  Police haven't released the name, age, or gender of the body.  KOIN-TV reports the Benton County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police, the Philomath Police Department, and the Linn County Sheriff's Office are involved in the investigation.

(Woodland, WA)  --  Authorities are looking for a Clark County woman who has suffered multiple strokes.  Sheriff's deputies say 56-year-old Lisa McNair was reported missing on February 11th.  She was last seen walking west on Cedar Creek Road toward Woodland.  McNair, who uses a cane to help her walk, is described as white, about five feet tall, 185 pounds, with short, spiky brownish-gray hair, and was wearing black stretch pants and a light-blue hoodie and carrying a black bag.

(Portland, OR)  --  An elderly Northeast Portland woman who had been reported missing is now safe at home.  Police say 81-year-old Ada Lee Little vanished Saturday night after not returning home from a walk.  Authorities say Little, who was considered medically fragile, returned home safely last night.  

(Salem, OR)  --  Top Democrats and the state treasurer of Oregon are asking their governor to resign.  Governor John Kitzhaber is the target of a criminal corruption probe into alleged conflict-of-interest.  The investigation involves the role of his fiancee as an unpaid advisor to the governor and consulting contracts she currently holds.  State Treasurer Ted Wheeler says Oregon deserves a governor who is fully focused on the duties of state, and Secretary of State Kate Brown says she's ready to step into the job should Kitzhaber step down.

(Salem, OR)  --  Governor John Kitzhaber's fiancee is being told to release emails from her personal accounts relating to state business to "The Oregonian."  Under the state public-records law, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has ordered Cylvia Hayes to turn over the emails.  Rosenblum rejected Hayes' argument that she was an "honorary" first lady and was not duty-bound to produce the emails.  Following the attorney general's order yesterday, Hayes has seven days to comply with The Oregonian's request or file suit to block the emails' release.

(Beaverton, OR)  --  A new high school is on the horizon in Beaverton.  The Beaverton School District says it will use a portion of the money from its 2014 bond measure to build a new high school in the South Cooper Mountain area.  Officials say the new school will help alleviate overcrowding at four of Beaverton's five high schools.  The school's opening is tentatively scheduled for September 2017.

(Portland, OR)  --  The demand is outgrowing the supply, so the go-ahead is being given to bring more taxis to Portland.  There are currently 460 cabs registered to operate in the city, and permits were approved yesterday to increase that number by as much as 60 percent.  Dylan Rivera with the Portland Bureau of Transportation told KOIN-TV that the new taxis will be a great help, especially on weekend nights when demand for taxicabs is highest.

(Portland, OR)  --  Gasoline prices are still heading up in the Portland area.  The latest survey by Triple-A shows the average for regular is about two-32 a gallon, about a penny-and-a-half higher than yesterday's average.  The national average for regular is about two-24 a gallon.

(Portland, OR)  --  The Portland City Council is scheduled to vote next week on a proposed smoking ban in city parks and along trails.  The Council held a public hearing on the issue last night.  The ban would include tobacco products, as well as marijuana and e-cigarettes.  If the proposal is passed, it will take effect July 1st.

(Vancouver, WA)  --  A Vancouver high-school teacher accused of having sex with a student is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty.  Evergreen High English and drama teacher Stephanie McCrea is facing counts of third-degree child rape, witness tampering, and sexual misconduct.  McCrea, who was arrested January 27th, is accused of having sex repeatedly with a 15-year-old student, beginning last December.

(Bellingham, WA)  --  Many Albertsons and Safeway supermarkets are about to be rebranded.  Haggen Incorporated, which is based in Bellingham, Washington, has purchased 146 Safeway and Albertsons stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona.  The conversions are scheduled to take place over the next several months.  A Lake Oswego Albertsons will be the first Portland-area store to become a Haggen when it's rebranded in mid-March.

(Estacada, OR)  --  The Estacada City Council will eventually hold a prayer before each of its public meetings.  The council has voted unanimously to start its public meetings with a prayer.  Mayor Brent Dodrill, who's also pastor of Estacada First Baptist Church, told KOIN-TV that there's been little opposition to the idea.  The city is developing a plan on how to structure invocations.

(Portland, OR)  --  Even though he didn't finish first, Portland chef Gregory Gourdet [[ gore-DAY ]] says he had fun.  Gourdet came in second in the just-completed season of "Top Chef" on the Bravo cable channel.  He's the executive chef at Departure, which is located at The Nines hotel.  The winner was Los Angeles chef Mei Lin, who was only the third female winner in the show's history.

(Salem, OR)  --  The holders of three winning tickets will split a jackpot that reached more than a half-billion dollars for last night's Powerball drawing.  The tickets were sold in North Carolina, Texas, and Puerto Rico.  Lottery officials say the grand prize grew to 564-million dollars before the drawing was held.  The Powerball jackpot has reset to 40-million dollars for the Saturday night drawing.

(Portland, OR)  --  Triple-A is reporting another rise in Portland-area gasoline prices.  The average for a gallon of regular is about two-30, up two cents from yesterday.  It's also about 14 cents a gallon above the average of a week ago.

(Tigard, OR)  --  A man being sought in connection with a murder in Tigard is in custody, after being arrested near Tacoma, Washington.  Police say 28-year-old Orlando Pouncey, who was arrested Monday evening, is accused of gunning down 36-year-old Jerry Nguyen [[ nwin ]] on January 30th.  Witnesses had reported seeing Pouncey running from the scene following the shooting.  There's no word on when he'll be returned to Oregon.

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