1st Oregon News Minute from the AP

Date: 10/18/2012 03:59 AM

OR–1st NewsMinute/351
Here is the latest Oregon news from The Associated Press


GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – Heavy rains that drenched much of Western Oregon recently have prompted the Oregon Department of Forestry to lift fire season west of the Cascade Range. Fire prevention specialist Brian Ballou says the rain turned out to be much more than expected. However, department spokesman Rod Nichols said yesterday that restrictions on open burning, campfires, smoking and ATV use remain across the region east of the Cascades. The fire risk is now listed as “low.”

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – A man convicted of killing his girlfriend’s mother when he was 16 will be freed from prison next month. The Oregon parole board ruled yesterday that Shane Sopher can be released after 19 years behind bars. He told board members he had a troubled childhood and struggled to control his anger but has become remorseful for the murder. Sopher and four other inmates known as the Oregon Five have had their release dates in limbo because they were convicted during a six-year period when Oregon had no clear sentencing guidelines for juveniles convicted of aggravated murder.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Portland Police Bureau is creating a crisis intervention team and updating its written policy on the use of Taser stun guns in response to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation that found officers too frequently use excessive force against the mentally ill. The Police Bureau said yesterday all officers will continue to be trained in how to deal with the mentally ill, but a specialized team with “enhanced” skills will be dispatched when a mental health issue is the main reason for the call.

ST. HELENS, Ore. (AP) – Boise Inc. is shutting down its remaining paper machine at its mill in St. Helens, eliminating 106 jobs. Boise says in a statement that “the machine cannot compete in the marketplace over the long-term.” The Oregonian reports the company expects to stop production by the end of the year and offer severance packages and outplace assistance to eligible employees. Boise said it took $31 million in charges last quarter to cover the cost of shutting down the mill.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.