Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment

Date: 04/18/2016 03:20 AM

AP-OR–1st Right Now/1273


Last Oregon occupier still talking on YouTube – from jail

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – David Fry was the last occupier of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon to surrender to federal authorities.

But before he left the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, he launched into an incoherent tirade that was heard by thousands as he used a digital camera to send it out on the Internet. Fry threatened to kill himself, declared war on the U.S. government, asked for marijuana and pizza, and talked about UFOs before he finally walked into federal custody.

Two months later, the 27-year-old from Ohio is in a jail cell where he is awaiting trial.

At a recent court hearing, a federal judge expressed concern about Fry’s mental stability and turned down his request for pre-trial release.

But Fry’s father argues his Ohio home offers the love and compassion his son needs.


Willamette River floater arrested after refusing rescue

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – A man floating in the Willamette River was arrested after refusing rescue attempts. Eugene Police say Charles Eugene Miller has been charged with harassment, second-degree criminal trespass, interfering with a police officer, recklessly endangering and disorderly conduct.

The Register-Guard reports Eugene police officers and Eugene Springfield Fire emergency personnel responded to a 911 call of a man floating past Maurie Jacobs Park.

The caller, who was on his jet ski, was trying to rescue Miller, but the very large man struggled, purposely breaking free of the caller’s grasp.

Emergency responders tried repeatedly to rescue him until Eugene police officers grabbed him in the middle of the river and pinned him to a rescue boat.

Authorities say Miller was becoming hypothermic in the cold river. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation before taken to the Lane County Jail.



Funeral Sunday for Oregon Marine who died in Hawaii crash

(Information from: The Oregonian,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The family of an Oregon Marine who died in a training accident in Hawaii in January is burying his remains at home on Sunday.

Lance Cpl. Ty Hart was one of 12 Marines aboard two transport helicopters that crashed off Hawaii.

The Oregonian newspaper reports Hart’s remains arrived in Portland on Saturday night and were driven to his hometown in a procession on Sunday morning before a private ceremony.

The 21-year-old was born and raised in Marion County and was an all-around athlete at Stayton High School. He played football, wrestled, ran track and also played baseball. He graduated in 2012.

He is survived by his wife, Hanna Hart, whom he married last year, as well as his parents and siblings.

Gov. Kate Brown ordered all flags at public institutions to be flown at half-staff on the day of Hart’s memorial service.



Coast Guard suspends search for missing swimmer

NORTH BEND, Ore. (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a swimmer who went missing near Siuslaw River, Oregon, on Friday night. Several Coast Guard boat and air crews searched for more than 12 hours over about 100 square miles.

Friends say they lost sight of a 20-year-old man when he went swimming at a beach party near the Siuslaw River entrance.

Local 911 dispatchers relayed a call to the Coast Guard around 8 p.m. Friday. His friends said the young man was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he swam 40 yards from shore and did not return.

The man reportedly removed his clothing before he went into the water. The water temperature at the time of the call was reported to be 54 degrees.


Police investigating stolen tombstones found in Albany yard

(Information from: Albany Democrat-Herald,

ALBANY, Ore. (AP) – Authorities are investigating after a resident who recently moved into a rental home in Albany found five tombstones in a side yard that police believe were stolen.

The Democrat-Herald reports that police say they have determined that four of the tombstones discovered on Saturday came from cemeteries in Albany, Turner, Silverton and Eugene. Officers are still investigating the origin of the fifth tombstone of Michael Blagg, who died in 1988.

Police say one of the grave markers is for a boy who died in 1959, and it appears that none of the tombstones are related in any way.

The case remains under investigation.



Justice Department lawyer files civil rights complaint

(Information from: The Oregonian,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A lawyer in the Oregon Justice Department has filed a civil rights complaint in the wake of a racial-profiling scandal that started during an investigation of Black Lives Matters supporters.

The Oregonian reports a spokesman for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has confirmed receiving the complaint Friday from Erious Johnson Jr. He is the attorney in charge of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The spokesman, Charlie Burr, says the Oregon Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will handle the investigation.

In addition to the complaint, Johnson also filed a tort claim on April 2 that reserves his right to sue the state for damages and “lost earning potential.”

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum released findings days ago from an outside attorney hired in November to review allegations that Johnson, who is African American, had been profiled by his own colleagues.

The complaint argues that the surveillance wouldn’t have happened if he had not been a black male.



Lawyers fight over Josephine County GMO ban

(Information from: Capital Press,

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – Farmers seeking to overturn the ban against genetically modified crops in Josephine County are under fire in court.

The Capital Press reports a court hearing this week over the validity of the county’s prohibition largely centered on whether the plaintiffs even have the right to challenge it.

The fundamental dispute in the lawsuit is whether state law overrules the county’s prohibition against genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Oregon lawmakers pre-empted most local GMO regulations in 2013 but Josephine County voters approved a ballot initiative banning such crops the following year.

Landowners Robert and Shelley Ann White filed a lawsuit challenging the GMO ordinance shortly before it was set to go into effective in September 2015.

While the county government decided not to defend the ordinance, proponents of the ballot initiative – Oregonians for Safe Farms and Families and Siskiyou Seeds – voluntarily intervened in the case as defendants.



Crews search for man swept into water by sneaker wave

DEPOE BAY, Ore. (AP) – Authorities are searching for a 26-year-old man who got swept into the water by a rogue wave near Depoe Bay on the Oregon Coast.

Oregon State Police said in a news release that multiple agencies responded to a report of a man washed off shore at Rocky Creek Scenic View Point Friday morning.

Police say Kelly Bennett Smith from Athens, Georgia, was visiting the coast for the first time with friends after finishing a job in Corvallis, Oregon. Officials say Smith and a friend climbed beyond the viewpoint onto rocks to take photos when a wave approached and struck them from behind.

Police say Smith was pulled by the current into rough seas.

Friends and responders had spotted him but he has since disappeared, officials said.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.