1st Oregon News Minute from the AP

Date: 04/12/2013 03:59 AM

OR–1st NewsMinute/425
Here is the latest Oregon news from The Associated Press


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An Oregon man accused of harassing at least a dozen families of the victims of the movie theater mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., has pleaded not guilty to charges of telephone harassment and stalking. Kevin Purfield had the plea entered for him yesterday in a Portland courtroom. Judge Adrienne Nelson set Purfield’s bail at $100,000 and appointed him an attorney. Aurora police say the 45-year-old contacted victims by email, social media and phone calls, and told them the killings didn’t happen or the caskets of victims were empty. The shooting rampage last July 20 left 12 people dead and another 70 injured.

MILLERSBURG, Ore. (AP) – Fire crews have controlled a zirconium fire that posed special challenges at a rare metals manufacturing plant in Millersburg, Ore. Albany Fire Marshal Mike Trabue says crews responded yesterday to a building at ATI Wah Chang after a report of a combustible metals fire that was extending to a building. No one was injured. Firefighters found several stainless steel containers of zirconium sponge on fire. Trabue says zirconium metal can react violently when it comes in contact with water so fire crews couldn’t use that. Firefighters used special extinguishing powders and sand to control the blaze.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Three of five disputed trees outside a U.S. Bank branch in downtown Salem were chopped down last night despite an earlier protest that tried to save them. About a dozen people protested earlier this week. Yesterday, David Greysmith held a sign that read “Trees help people be cool.” He says when the word came that last night was the night, there wasn’t time to organize a large turnout. The city’s Shade Tree Advisory Committee approved a permit for the bank to remove the trees. The bank says they obscure sight lines of the building and their roots crack the sidewalk and clog storm water lines.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon legislators have begun hearing public testimony on a proposal that would grant short-term driver’s licenses to people who live in the country illegally. The Senate Business and Transportation Committee drew a large crowd yesterday to testify on Senate Bill 833. Under the bill, immigrants who have lived in Oregon for at least a year and meet other requirements would be eligible for four-year driver’s licenses without proving U.S. citizenship. The license could not be used to vote, board a plane or purchase a firearm. Supporters have said the proposal would help make Oregon roads safer.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.