Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. PDT

Date: 04/15/2016 06:20 AM

AP-OR–2nd Right Now/1132


Officials: North Bend prison inmate escapes, is captured

NORTH BEND, Ore. (AP) – Officials say an inmate escaped from a minimum security prison in North Bend and was captured within a few hours.

Officials say staff at Shutter Creek Correctional Institution discovered 34-year-old Justin Alley missing at about 7:20 p.m. Thursday. Officials say he was captured nearby at about 9:45 p.m.

Alley entered custody in January 2016, on one count of first-degree burglary in Lane County. The earliest he could be released is May 2018.

Oregon Department of Corrections spokeswoman Betty Bernt says how Alley escaped wasn’t immediately clear and that she expects there will be a full investigation.


West Coast fisher denied endangered species protections

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided against giving federal protections to a weasel-like critter called the West Coast fisher, saying threats to the species weren’t as significant as previously thought.

Environmentalists criticized Thursday’s decision by the federal agency, saying it gave in to pressure from the timber industry. The Center for Biological Diversity says it’s talking to other environmentalists about challenging the decision in court.

Populations of the West Coast fisher have been declining for several decades, nearly disappearing from the California, Oregon and Washington state forests.

The federal agency decided against adding the fisher to the endangered species list in 2011, reconsidered the decision in 2014 before reaching the same conclusion Thursday. Wildlife officials have been reintroducing the species to Washington and California, and have plans to do the same in Oregon.


Bend man charged in death of neighbor’s cat

(Information from: The Bulletin,

BEND, Ore. (AP) – A Bend man is facing charges in the death of his neighbor’s cat after the animal was found hanging from the fence between their homes.

KTVZ-TV reports that 55-year-old Glenn William Lacoss was arrested after last week’s incident and booked into the Deschutes County Jail. He has since posted bail and faces one count of aggravated animal abuse.

Police had been called to Shannon Garza’s home after the woman found her cat named Sweetie dead and hung over her fence.

Police say Lacoss told them he had been upset about feral cats in his backyard and had killed the cat because it was scratching his trees.

The case remains under investigation.



Man gets probation for firing shots at Sandy home

(Information from: The Oregonian,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A man who fired a handgun into his lawn after a night of drinking at his home in Sandy has been ordered to serve three years of probation and undergo alcohol treatment.

The Oregonian reports that Robert Clevenger II was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the Saturday incident. Additional charges of reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct were dropped as part of a plea deal.

Police say Sandy officers and Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies had responded to Clevenger’s home to a report of shots fired. A probable cause affidavit says responding officers had ducked behind a truck for cover as Clevenger fired shots into the ground.

Police did not return fire and no one was injured.



La Pine places recreational marijuana ban, tax on ballot

(Information from: The Bulletin,

BEND, Ore. (AP) – Officials in La Pine have agreed to let voters decide on a ban and a tax on recreational marijuana sales.

The Bend Bulletin reports the City Council approved the November ballot measures Wednesday.

The ban would apply only to new recreational pot businesses, and not the city’s two medical marijuana shops. If voters shoot down the ban and approve the tax, recreational marijuana sales would be taxed up to 3 percent.

The proposals come after Deschutes County voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2014. A bill passed by the state Legislature last year lets cities and counties decide whether they want to allow pot businesses in their jurisdiction.



The Latest: Kasich says he can still be GOP’s 2016 choice

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican presidential candidate John Kasich acknowledges that running third among the three remaining White House hopefuls is a difficult position to be in.

Yet he says in a television appearance that he thinks “part of it is because I wasn’t very well known” earlier in the 2016 primary season.

Kasich tells “Late Night with Seth Myers” he still believes he has a chance to be the GOP standard-bearer and says he thinks the race for the nomination will be settled on the convention floor in Cleveland in July.

He also says he thinks his prospects will improve dramatically in that scenario, saying “when somebody becomes a delegate, they begin to realize, ‘Wait a minute, you mean I might be picking the next president of the United States?’ ”


Texas campus slaying suspect said family made him leave

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Court records say the family of a 17-year-old runaway accused in the campus killing of a University of Texas student had an “extensive history” with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

The records shed more light on the troubled upbringing of Meechaiel Criner. Authorities say the homeless teenager will be charged with murder in the death of 18-year-old Haruka Weiser, a dance student from Oregon whose body was found April 5.

Criner was in the custody of Child Protective Services before being reported as a runaway on March 24.

According to records filed by the Department of Family and Protective Services, Criner claimed he left home in August because his grandmother’s religious beliefs demanded that teenagers his age go “make their own way in the world.”


Portland to spray for gypsy moths

(Information from: Capital Press,

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Officials will soon begin spraying insecticide to keep gypsy moths out of Portland.

The Capital Press reports that the Oregon Department of Agriculture will spray three applications by helicopter beginning April 16. The second and third applications will be done in May.

The department plans to spray about 8,800 acres with the insecticide commonly known as Btk, a bacterial species that has been used on gypsy moths in Oregon since 1984. They will cover the St. Johns, Forest Park and Hayden island areas of Portland and will also treat a spot across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

Gypsy moths are notoriously destructive. There is concern that they will damage Northwest forests and crops like Christmas trees.



Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.