Portland is considering whether to ban homeless camping during daytime hours in most public places. The measure before the Portland City Council on Wednesday would prohibit camping between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. in city parks and near schools and day cares. The measure aims to bring Portland into…
Hundreds of corporate Amazon workers upset about the company’s environmental impact, recent layoffs and a return-to-office mandate protested at its Seattle headquarters. The lunchtime protest on Wednesday comes a week after the company’s annual shareholder meeting and a month after a policy …
By all appearances, Oregon’s 2023 legislative session has crashed on the rocks amid a GOP boycott over an abortion/gender affirming bill. The governor says talks to end the walkout have failed. A ballot measure approved by Oregon voters was supposed to disqualify state lawmakers who carry ou…
The semitruck driver involved in a crash on Interstate 5 in Oregon earlier this month that left seven farmworkers dead has been indicted on charges of manslaughter. Court documents show that a grand jury in Marion County Court on Tuesday indicted Lincoln Smith on 12 counts, including manslau…
A federal appeals court has breathed new life into a rural Nevada town's unusual bid to halt government repairs to an aging irrigation canal that burst and flooded more than 500 homes in 2008. The town of Fernley and area farmers and ranchers say the renovation that began this year would eli…
Criminal justice advocates have struggled at the Louisiana Legislature as they seek legal relief for hundreds of people convicted of serious crimes by nonunanimous juries. They believe their arguments were bolstered by the acquittal in March of Evangelisto Ramos. Ramos was found not guilty i…
Funding for drug treatment centers in Oregon, financed by the state’s pioneering drug decriminalization policy, stands these days at over a quarter-billion dollars. Officials are calling for closer monitoring of where the money goes. That need for oversight was demonstrated this week when st…
A federal appeals court has breathed new life into a rural Nevada town's unusual bid to halt government repairs to an aging irrigation canal that burst and flooded more than 500 homes in 2008. The town of Fernley and area farmers and ranchers say the renovation that began this year would eliminate leaking water they have used for a century to help fill their wells east of Reno. The government says locals don't have any rights to the water that belongs to U.S. taxpayers. A federal appeals court recently ordered a lower court to reconsider the case.
Law enforcement officials are continuing their search for four of seven teenagers who escaped from a juvenile detention center after assaulting a staff member and stealing her car. The seven teens ranged in age from 15 to 17. They escaped from the Echo Glen Children’s Center campus in Snoqualmie just after midnight Sunday. That's according to the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families, which runs the facility. The King County Sheriff’s Office apprehended three of the teens on Sunday afternoon in the city of Burien. Officials later recovered the stolen car, but four of the teens remained missing. Echo Glen is a medium-maximum security facility and houses the department’s youngest Juvenile Rehabilitation population up to the age of 17.
Criminal justice advocates have struggled at the Louisiana Legislature as they seek legal relief for hundreds of people convicted of serious crimes by nonunanimous juries. They believe their arguments were bolstered by the acquittal in March of Evangelisto Ramos. Ramos was found not guilty in a new trial after the U.S. Supreme Court declared his nonunanimous jury conviction was unconstitutional. However, neither federal nor state courts will apply the decision retroactively to older cases. A bill in the Legislature would establish a commission that could look at the cases and grant parole. The bill came up short in a key House vote last week.
Funding for drug treatment centers in Oregon, financed by the state’s pioneering drug decriminalization policy, stands these days at over a quarter-billion dollars. Officials are calling for closer monitoring of where the money goes. That need for oversight was demonstrated this week when state officials terminated a $1.5 million grant agreement with a drug recovery nonprofit in Klamath Falls. The nonprofit is accused of failing to submit completed expenditure and data reports and buying a building for more than double the authorized amount. A bill to provide more oversight staff has been delayed as Republican lawmakers maintain their three-week walkout.
A judge has ruled that the U.S. Forest Service can keep using chemical retardant dropped from aircraft to fight wildfires, despite finding that the practice pollutes streams in western states in violation of federal law. The ruling Friday from U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Montana came after environmentalists sued the government for dropping the red slurry material into waterways hundreds of times over the past decade. Government officials say chemical fire retardant is sometimes crucial to slowing the advance of dangerous blazes. Wildfires across North America have grown bigger and more destructive over the past two decades.
Emergency dispatch logs in Portland, Oregon, show that a man died while waiting over a half-hour for an ambulance after being struck by a hit-and-run driver last month. Firefighters say the incident highlights their frustration at a lack of available ambulances to respond to emergency calls. The logs were obtained through a public records request by KGW-TV. County officials say ambulances should arrive to nearly all calls within eight minutes. But KGW-TV reports that during a five-month period ending in February, that mark was missed a third of the time. Police say the man who died shortly after midnight on April 28 was apparently attempting to cross the street in his wheelchair when he was struck.
A man convicted of murder in the death of a 16-year-old girl at her Washington high school over 30 years ago will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. The Seattle Times reports King County Superior Court Judge Josephine Wiggs sentenced 59-year-old Patrick Nicholas on Thursday to nearly 46 years in prison for the killing of Sarah Yarborough. She was found fatally strangled on the Federal Way High School campus in 1991. A jury found Nicholas guilty of first-degree murder and returned a special verdict that Yarborough’s killing was sexually motivated. The jury’s finding allowed prosecutors to seek the additional prison time. Prosecutors say Nicholas' DNA was found on her body.
The city of Portland, Oregon, will take steps to remove tents blocking sidewalks under a tentative settlement announced Thursday in a lawsuit brought by people with disabilities. The federal class action lawsuit alleged that the city violated the American with Disabilities Act by allowing tents to obstruct sidewalks. The plaintiffs included a caretaker and nine people with disabilities who use wheelchairs, scooters, canes and walkers to get around. They said the homeless encampments prevent them from navigating the city. The settlement still requires approval from the City Council and the U.S. District Court in Portland. The City Council last year voted to ban existing street encampments.
The family of one of four University of Idaho students killed in a stabbing attack last fall wanted to celebrate her birthday by remembering the joy she brought others. Madison Mogen’s family created Maddie May Day, urging people to commit random acts of kindness in Mogen’s memory every May 25. The idea quickly spread, and on Thursday the Maddie May Day hashtag and stories of kind acts began spreading across social media. One person donated to a military charity in Mogen's name, another surprised her grandmother with a bouquet of flowers. Other people brought coffee or donuts to coworkers. Mogen's father, Ben Mogen, says he just wants people to remember his daughter in the best way they can.
Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek has begun meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders of the statehouse to try to end a three-week-old boycott by GOP senators. The governor's office says this year’s troubled legislative session has reached “a crucial point.” No progress was announced, however, with only one month remaining in the session that began on Jan. 17. Over 100 bills that have emerged from committees remain in limbo and both the Senate and House must approve state budgets for the next two years before the session closes by a June 25 deadline.
Officials in the city of Tacoma, Washington, will pay $3.1 million to the family of a Black man who was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in 2019. The City Council announced Tuesday’s settlement with the relatives of 24-year-old Bennie Branch in a news release. Branch was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Tacoma, Washington, in September 2019. A prosecutor cleared the officer of any wrongdoing. A statement from the city says while the settlement is not an admission of legal liability, officials agreed with the family’s representatives that it will allow both sides to avoid an expensive trial.
Caregivers at a South Florida ocean park are taking steps to prepare an orca whale named Lolita for a possible return to her home waters in Washington’s Puget Sound. She's been held captive for more than a half-century at the Miami Seaquarium. The park’s owner and a nonprofit announced a plan in March to possibly move the 57-year-old orca to a natural sea pen. But the move isn’t a done deal. Veterinarians and trainers are working to make sure the whale is strong enough for the journey and can acclimate to her new home.
A former Seattle man who stole over $1 million in jobless benefits and small business loans during the COVID-19 pandemic has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison. U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said 42-year-old Bryan Sparks was also ordered at sentencing Tuesday to pay over $1 million in restitution. He was indicted for the fraud scheme in November 2021 and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in January. From March 2020 into 2021, Sparks and a coconspirator used stolen personal information of over 50 Washington residents and businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Administration and unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department.
SALEM — Republican senators whose walkout of the Oregon Senate has prevented a quorum for almost three weeks said Tuesday they're not coming back until the very last day of the legislative session next month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies are investigating reports of 18 salmonella infections linked to Papa Murphy's cookie dough. The CDC said Tuesday that interviews with sick people show that raw cookie dough sold at Papa Murphy's Take ‘N’ Bake pizza stores may be contaminated. The CDC says people have been sickened in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, California and Missouri. Two people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. The number of sick people is likely higher than the number reported, and could extend to other states. People who have Papa Murphy's raw chocolate chip cookie dough and s’more bars dough should throw it away.
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Recent shark bites in Florida and Hawaii and a suspected case in New Jersey have piqued interest in the age-old summer question of whether it's safe to go in the water. Scientists and researchers who study sharks said the overwhelming answer to that question is yes, it is safe. Scientists say potentially dangerous interactions between humans and sharks are uncommon, and serious injuries and deaths from the bites are vanishingly rare. Nonetheless, the dramatic nature of shark bites and the stories of survivors capture the imagination. But there were only 57 unprovoked bites last year worldwide, and five of those were fatal.
One of Oregon’s largest labor unions says it’s going to try to oust a Democratic state lawmaker. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 said Monday it had filed paperwork to initiate a recall effort against Rep. Paul Holvey of Eugene. If successful, it could trigger an election later this year deciding whether Holvey can stay in office. The union says his failure to support a bill that would block cannabis employers from interfering with employee unionization efforts is one reason behind its decision. Holvey says he had questions about whether the union bill was legal and acted accordingly in asking for a legislative legal opinion.
Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek is asking a state legislative panel for changes to a Senate bill that would address a constitutional crisis that has left thousands of people accused of crimes without attorneys. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports Kotek’s letter to the panel comes after lawmakers and policy experts have spent over than a year crafting the legislation. Senate Bill 337 would fundamentally change how Oregon provides lawyers to people who can’t afford them. It would create a system with public defenders who are state employees, and eventually end the use of contracted for-profit defense firms. Kotek doesn't want to add public defense to the governor's office responsibilities.
The names of the farmworkers killed and injured Thursday in one of Oregon's deadliest highway crashes have been released. Authorities say seven people died and four were injured in the crash on Interstate 5 near Albany. The Mexican Consulate in Portland says those injured and killed were farmworkers of Mexican nationality. The people who died were identified as: Eduardo Lopez; Alejandro Jimenez Hernandez; Josue Garcia Garcia; Luis Enrique Gomez Reyes; Javier Suarez; Alejandra Espinoza Carpio; and Juan Carlos Leyva Carrillo. The driver of the semitruck that struck the van was arrested Friday on suspicion of manslaughter, DUI and other charges.
A judge has entered not guilty pleas for a man who opted to “stand silent” to charges in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students. The pleas potentially set the stage for a trial in which he could face the death penalty. Bryan Kohberger declined to enter pleas on his own behalf in Monday's arraignment. He was arrested late last year and charged with burglary and four counts of first-degree murder in connection with with the Nov. 13, 2022, killings. Prosecutors have 60 days to announce whether they will seek the death penalty. The deaths of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin left the rural community of Moscow, Idaho, reeling. At the time, the 28-year-old Kohberger was a graduate student studying criminology at nearby Washington State University.
A special investigation by Lee Enterprises showed that of 105 agencies serving communities identified as diverse, 76 underrepresented the percentages of people of color by 10 points or more.
A sharp uptick in thefts of Hyundais and Kias over the past two years has been linked to viral videos posted to TikTok and other social media platforms that teach people how to exploit a security vulnerability to steal the cars. Police and others say despite voluntary fixes from the automakers, waves of thefts have continued, illustrating the lingering effects of dangerous content that gains traction with teens looking to go viral. Police departments are frazzled, attorneys generals have urged federal intervention and cities and consumers have resorted to lawsuits to hold car companies accountable. Still, some point the finger at social media platforms unable to remove content at the breakneck speed it appears.
An Oregon union says the victims of one of the state's deadliest highway crashes were farmworkers traveling in a van at an hour when agricultural laborers typically commute home after toiling in the harvest. Authorities have not yet released the names of the seven who died or the four who were injured in Thursday's crash on I-5 near Albany. But the PCUN union says all 11 were farmworkers. The Mexican Consulate in Portland also said that the victims were farmworkers. In a statement posted on social media, the consulate said the seven dead and four injured were of Mexican nationality. The driver of the semitruck that struck the van was arrested Friday on suspicion of manslaughter, DUI and other charges.