As California’s drought deepens, more rural communities are running out of water. Heavy pumping is depleting groundwater supplies that aren’t being replenished by rain and snowmelt. More than 1,200 wells have run dry this year statewide, a nearly 50% increase over the same period last year, …
In Busse's book and on the stump, he takes aim at his former industry, and himself, for an evolution he realized years ago was “really going off the rails.”
An independent investigation into the scandals that erupted in the National Women’s Soccer League found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the sport, impacting multiple teams, coaches and players. U.S. Soccer commissioned the investigation by former acting U.S. Attorney G…
A renewable energy facility in Oregon that combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there will be the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America. Clean energy experts say the project, which can power 100,000 homes, addresses some key ch…
The three women who want to be Oregon’s next governor clashed over gun rights, abortion and other hot-button topics in a debate, just six weeks before election day. The debate was held at Oregon State University-Cascades, in Bend, Oregon, and televised and livestreamed by local TV. There are…
A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state. The Seattle Times reports that if the Federal Aviation Administration eventually certifies the small airplane to carry passengers, it could become the first all-electric commercial airplane.…
Portland city officials have approved Zenith Energy’s plan to phase out crude oil at its terminal and move to renewable fuels in the next five years. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports on Monday, the Portland Bureau of Development Services OK'd the company’s land use compatibility statement and said Zenith’s plans for its terminal in the northwest industrial area are compatible with the city’s climate action goals. The announcement comes over a year after the city denied the company’s certification because it didn’t meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The company has been planning to expand its operations since 2020 but needed a land-use certification from the city to move forward.
The Western Washington Incident Management Team has confirmed that the Bolt Creek Fire burning northeast of Seattle was human-caused. KING-TV reports the fire as of Monday had grown to approximately 19.5 square miles and was 36% contained. The fire is being allowed to spread into the Wild Sky Wildnerness, primarily around Eagle Rock north of Skykomish, away from most homes. The exact origin and cause of the blaze remains under investigation. All evacuations were lifted over the weekend. U.S. Highway 2 was back open Monday afternoon after closures to remove fire-damaged trees. Officials anticipate infrequent and short closures to continue this week.
Oregon Supreme Court Justice Thomas Balmer has announced that he will retire at the end of the year. Balmer said Monday he wrote a letter to Gov. Kate Brown announcing his retirement, calling it an honor and the privilege of a lifetime to serve on the high court. Balmer has been a member of the Supreme Court since 2001 and was chief justice from 2012 to 2018. He oversaw the statewide Oregon eCourt system project, among others. Brown said Balmer has brought a keen legal intelligence and a deep understanding of the state to the Supreme Court.
A jury has awarded a 2020 protester more than $1 million in a lawsuit she filed against the city of Salem accusing officers of violating her civil rights. Eleaqia McCrae, a Black woman, sued the city and the Salem Police Department in 2020, also accusing police of intentionally targeting Black people with deadly force during the protest following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Statesman Journal reported on Monday that a jury found McCrae proved that Officer Robert Johnston shot her in the eye and chest, and violated her “Fourth Amendment right not to be subjected to excessive force." Salem officials said they appreciated the jury’s work and respect their verdict.
In Busse's book and on the stump, he takes aim at his former industry, and himself, for an evolution he realized years ago was “really going off the rails.”
An independent investigation into the scandals that erupted in the National Women’s Soccer League found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the sport, impacting multiple teams, coaches and players. U.S. Soccer commissioned the investigation by former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and a law firm after former NWSL players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim came forward with allegations of harassment and sexual coercion dating back a decade. But it was clear the problems were widespread. Five of the 10 head coaches in the league last season either were fired or stepped down amid allegations of misconduct.
Oregon environmental regulators have issued a $2.7 million fine to an electric charging company over accusations it sold fraudulent credits through the agency's clean fuels program. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said Friday it discovered Thompson Technical Services, or TTS Charging, sold over $2 million in fraudulent credits. The program is designed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. It provides credits to companies that produce transportation fuels like electricity or biofuels. Those companies can then sell credits to other companies in order for them to comply with state emissions rules. TTS Charging did not immediately respond to a request for comment from OPB.
A woman who was sexually assaulted by a Spokane police officer has filed a tort claim against the city of Spokane. KREM-TV reports the unnamed woman is seeking $1 million in damages from the city, alleging “red flags” related to now ex-police officer Nathan Nash's behavior were ignored. Nash was convicted in August on one count of third-degree rape and one count of second-degree rape in two separate incidents in which he was on duty. The woman intending to sue says in the claim that the city’s hiring, training, and supervision of Nash was inadequate and a proximate cause of her injuries. The city has about two months to respond to the claim.
Biologists working for the state of Washington have killed two members of the Leadpoint wolf pack this week in an effort to stop the pack from preying on cattle in Stevens County. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday that an adult male wolf was killed on Tuesday and an adult female was killed on Wednesday. Agency director Kelly Susewind last week authorized the killing of up to two members of the pack. That was after WDFW documented five depredation events on cattle on private grazing lands since Aug. 22. Those attacks killed three head of livestock and injured two more. The agency said it has not documented any additional wolf depredations in the Leadpoint pack territory since Sept. 19.
A renewable energy facility in Oregon that combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there will be the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America. Clean energy experts say the project, which can power 100,000 homes, addresses some key challenges facing the industry as the U.S. transitions away from fossil fuels. Interest in on-site battery storage to even out production from solar or wind generation has soared, but the combination of wind, solar and storage batteries at one location promises to make the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility particularly efficient.
The three women who want to be Oregon’s next governor clashed over gun rights, abortion and other hot-button topics in a debate, just six weeks before election day. The debate was held at Oregon State University-Cascades, in Bend, Oregon, and televised and livestreamed by local TV. There are 1 million registered Democrats and 729,000 registered Republicans in Oregon. But there are also 1 million registered voters claiming no party affiliation. Which way they swing come Nov. 8 could be decisive in whether a Republican will be Oregon’s governor for the first time since 1987, or an independent since 1935.
A Portland City Council candidate has formally asked elections officials to waive a $77,000 fine, arguing that a deeply discounted downtown office space he received from a wealthy backer doesn't go against the city’s campaign finance rules. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports since May, Rene Gonzalez’s campaign has paid a $250 a month to rent office space in a downtown building owned by real estate mogul Jordan Schnitzer. Portland’s Small Donor Elections program director Susan Mottet has said the fair market value of the office and two parking spaces is about $6,900 a month and calls the discount an illegal in-kind contribution. The Gonzalez campaign contends that assessment of downtown rental rates is grossly exaggerated.
A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state. The Seattle Times reports that if the Federal Aviation Administration eventually certifies the small airplane to carry passengers, it could become the first all-electric commercial airplane. The plane, built by startup Eviation, was built to carry nine passengers and up two pilots. It took off from Moses Lake, Washington, at 7:10 a.m. Tuesday, and landed eight minutes later. The company’s goal is to show such electric planes are viable as commuter aircraft flying at an altitude of about 15,000 feet. The plane, designed by engineers in Washington state and Israel, is powered by 21,500 small Tesla-style battery cells.
A Washington state trooper who was shot and wounded in Walla Walla Thursday is expected to make a full recovery. The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reports Trooper Dean Atkinson Jr.'s father, Dean Atkinson Sr., said Monday that there's nothing that would prevent him from reengaging as a trooper, if he chooses. Atkinson was shot multiple times around 5 p.m. Thursday in Walla Walla while on duty. Brandon O’Neel is facing attempted murder and other charges and remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bail. Documents say O'Neel was served an eviction notice and locked out of his residence before the shooting. His next court appearance is Oct. 3.
A former manager at an Arby’s restaurant in Washington has been sentenced to more than five years in prison after admitting he possessed child pornography and urinated into a milkshake mix that might have been served to dozens of people. Police in Vancouver say they uncovered footage of 29-year-old Stephen S. Sharp peeing into a bag of milkshake mix as they were searching his phone as part of a child porn investigation. Sharp pleaded guilty in August to possessing child pornography and second-degree attempted assault. He was sentenced Monday to five years and seven months in prison. Sharp is also prohibited from going to any Arby’s restaurants.
An ex-Everett, Washington, bar owner has been arrested again on additional accusations of sexually assaulting people in Oregon. The Daily Herald reports former Anchor Pub owner Christian Sayre was arrested Monday after Everett police received a faxed notice that Sayre was wanted on a felony warrant in Oregon's Washington County. Police say he was booked him into the Snohomish County Jail where he remained Tuesday with bail set at $1 million. The new Oregon warrant lists Sayre as wanted for six felony sex crimes including rape. He's also facing sexual assault charges in Washington. Sayre was expected to appear in court later Tuesday.
Idaho universities are warning staffers not to refer students to abortion providers or emergency contraception because they could face criminal charges under a state law. One school also says employees shouldn't tell students how to get birth control. It’s the latest restriction in a state that already holds some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation. Mike Satz is the former interim dean at the University of Idaho’s College of Law. He says the guidance will have a chilling effect on speech. The prohibition on abortion and emergency contraception referrals come from a law passed in 2021. The ban on advertising birth control comes from a law first enacted in 1867.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Navy have started efforts to recover the wreckage of a floatplane that crashed in Washington state's Puget Sound. Ten people were killed in the crash. KING-5 News reports that a barge equipped to conduct the recovery entered the shipping channel Monday. The U.S. Navy will use a drone, a barge and a crane to recover the wreckage from the seafloor. The flight was traveling from San Juan Island to the Seattle suburb of Renton when it crashed. Only one body was found. Officials say determining the probable cause of the crash could take 12 to 24 months.
Since Oregon residents voted in 2020 to decriminalize hard drugs and dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to treatment, few people have requested the services and the state has been slow to channel the funds. Oregon still has among the highest addiction rates in the country. Fatal overdoses have increased almost 20% over the previous year, with over a thousand dead. Steve Allen, behavioral health director of the Oregon Health Authority, acknowledges that Oregon’s experiment has had a rocky start. But he says a milestone has been reached, with more than $302 million being sent to facilities across the state to help people get off drugs.
Two ships that have been abandoned in the Columbia river for years are being removed, and the U.S. Coast Guard is working with state agencies to clean up the fuel and oil that leaked from the vessels. The ships are a Navy tug called the Sakarissa and a Coast Guard cutter called the Alert. They have been abandoned near Hayden Island for more than a decade. Both of the ships sunk two years ago. The Coast Guard raised the Sakarissa from the river on Monday, and work to remove the 125-foot Alert was expected to begin Saturday. The removal and cleanup effort is expected to cost roughly $3 million.
Some Oregon parks officials say high demand for crowded campsites is leading to arguments, fistfights and even so-called campsite pirates. The Statesman Journal reports that park rangers have sometimes had to play mediator and detective when disputes break out over reserved and first-come, first-served campsites. In some cases, would-be campers will remove a reservation card from a reserved site and replace it with their own. Brian Carroll with Linn County Parks and Recreation says in a few cases people have even thrown punches in disputes at Sunnyside County Park. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has said it will seek legislation to give rangers added protection amid increasing harassment on the job.
Oregon State Police say Grants Pass police killed a resident while chasing a suspect from a city park into a neighborhood after a suspicious-activity call. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports police responded to the call around 8 p.m. Monday and came upon a suspect, who fled on foot into a nearby neighborhood. During the pursuit and search that followed, police say an officer encountered an armed resident and shot him. Oregon State Police identified the resident as 46-year-old Mark Barrett Caldwell. Police declined to say what led to the shooting or if they believe Caldwell was connected to the suspicious-activity call. The unidentified officer was put on leave while Oregon State Police investigate.