2 April, 2014
Oregon campaign wants quick answer on gay marriage
Sponsors of a ballot measure to legalize gay marriage in Oregon have asked a federal judge to make a speedy ruling in a case that challenges the state’s ban.
The campaign said in a filing Tuesday it will not go ahead with its initiative if Judge Michael McShane overturns the ban quickly. Otherwise, the sponsors said, they would press ahead with the campaign – at great time and expense.
McShane has scheduled oral arguments for April 23 on two consolidated lawsuits challenging the prohibition.
Also Tuesday, a coalition of 36 Oregon employers – including Nike and Intel – filed a “friend of the court” legal brief in support of overturning the ban.
The employers say Oregon’s marriage exclusion makes it more difficult to recruit talent.
No Tsunami Threat
U.S. officials say they’ve found no threat of a tsunami along the coasts of Alaska, California, Oregon or Washington after a major earthquake near Chile, with danger to Hawaii limited to potentially strong currents at beaches.
Bill Knight, a scientist at the National Tsunami Warning Center, says early data show that by the time waves generated by Tuesday night’s magnitude-8.2 quake reach the West Coast, they’ll be too small to pose any threat.
Director Chip McCreery of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says officials don’t expect a major tsunami threat to Hawaii. But the center issued an advisory saying swimmers, boaters and others at beaches might see strong currents and sea level changes.
Death Row Could Await Defendant
Jury selection began this week in Eugene for a man accused of aggravated murder and several bank robberies, including one in Mapleton.
David Ray Taylor has already spent 27 years in prison for a murder he committed in 1977; he was released in 2004.
The 58-year old is accused of killing 22-year old Celestino Gutierrez of Eugene in August 2012, then using his car in a robbery at Siuslaw Bank in Mapleton.
A conviction could put Taylor on death row.
Gas Prices Jump
Drivers are facing another jump at the pump. The local average cash price for a gallon of regular gasoline increased by nine-cents in the past week to $3.55. That’s a penny less than the national average price as measured by Triple-A… the closest the two prices have been in several months.
Oregon’s average price went up a nickel in the past week and is still considerably higher than the Florence price at $3.68 a gallon.
Marie Dodds with Triple-A of Oregon says she believes prices are near their springtime peak.