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Sheriff: Contrary stories in Portland Police Chief shooting

BURNS, Ore. (AP) — The Harney County Sheriff says when he first heard about an April 21 hunting accident in which a man was shot, he was told the wound was self-inflicted.

Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward said in a news release Monday it wasn’t until three weeks later that he found out Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea had accidentally shot his friend in the back.

Ward says due to the contradictory information, he asked the Oregon State Police to help investigate. It’s unclear where Ward heard the initial report.

Portland police say O’Dea was on vacation when he fired his .22-caliber rifle, hitting his 54-year-old friend. Police say the man was treated at a hospital and released.

O’Dea said last week he’s thankful his friend is OK. He declined comment to The Oregonian/OregonLive through a spokesman on Monday.


Lawyer to court: Dismiss conspiracy charges in refuge case

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A defense lawyer in the Oregon wildlife refuge occupation case argues a federal conspiracy charge leveled against over two dozen people is constitutionally vague, could threaten free speech and should be dismissed.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports attorney Amy Baggio argued Monday on the first day of legal motions in the case stemming from the Ammon Bundy-led 41-day occupation of the Malheur refuge earlier this year.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight challenged Baggio’s statements, saying the conspiracy statute in this case is not about speech but about conduct. Knight said what makes their conduct criminal is the conspirators’ agreement to prevent federal officers from doing their work at the refuge.

The defense also wants a weapons charge against some of the occupiers dropped.

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown says she’ll rule on the motions in the near future.



Ex-Deschutes County sheriff’s captain pleads guilty to theft

(Information from: The Bulletin,

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A former Deschutes County sheriff’s captain accused of stealing more than $200,000 from the county and using the funds to buy gifts for an ex-colleague with whom he had a romantic relationship has pleaded guilty in the case.

The Bend Bulletin reports that Scott Beard pleaded guilty Monday to charges of theft and money laundering.

Beard, who was fired in February, is accused of stealing the money between 2014 and 2015 while he oversaw the finances of a regional drug task force.

An indictment alleges he gave at least $100,000 to former sheriff’s office employee Krista Mudrick, who is charged with lying to investigators.

Beard said in court Monday he was seeing a counselor for issues with post-traumatic stress disorder. His attorney declined to comment on the plea hearing.



Oregon sheriff warns Owyhee proposal could trigger standoff

SALEM, Oregon (AP) — Sparks flew during a hearing in the state Capitol on a proposal to turn 2.5 million acres of canyonlands in southeastern Oregon into a federally protected monument.

Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe told a panel of state lawmakers on Monday he worried that armed outsiders would exploit the situation. And ranchers said their livelihoods could be threatened.

Environmentalists, on the other hand, predicted degradation of the canyonlands if they aren’t given federal protection.

The area is known for its spectacular scenery. It is used by fishermen, rafters, ranchers and others.

Conservationists want President Obama to declare the area a national monument. Opponents say the area is already protected enough by different agencies and laws.

It is unclear to what extent the White House is aware of the proposal.


Priest escapes jail time in attempted luring case

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to trying to lure a 14-year-old girl into his car while she was walking home in Vancouver has avoided additional jail time in the case.

Michael Patrick was sentenced Monday to one year in jail but was given credit for 23 days already served and 244 days were suspended. Patrick is allowed to serve the remaining time in a work release program.

The former pastor of an Oregon church pleaded guilty to attempted luring in connection with the March 2014 incident. However, he told the judge Monday he didn’t do the crime.

The victim reported that Patrick urged her to get inside his car by saying, “Come on, cutie.” She says she told him no multiple times, but that he continued to follow her.


‘Gigantic’ corporate tax hike likely headed to Oregon voters

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — This November, Oregon voters could decide on a $2.8 billion annual tax hike on large corporations as a way to boost funding for public services such as education and health care.

The ballot proposal could give Oregon the most aggressive tax structure for big business in the nation. It comes amid a national debate on ways to close economic disparities between the rich and poor in a post-Recession era.

Labor unions behind the proposal are just one step from getting it on the ballot after submitting 130,000 signatures to state elections officials last week. They say it’s a progressive strategy to force large companies to pay their fair share for the greater good.

But a new state analysis shows much broader implications, with job losses, rising consumer costs and population declines.


New Marine Life Center on Oregon Coast opens

(Information from: KUOW-FM,

SEATTLE (AP) — The new Marine Life Center on the Oregon Coast is part museum, part aquarium, part learning lab and part gallery. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held over the weekend at the new attraction at the mouth of Coos Bay.

KUOW-FM in Seattle reports the center is located on the campus of the University of Oregon’s marine lab overlooking the marina in Charleston. It was built with grants, donations and money left over from other projects.

It will be open to the public on afternoons from Wednesday through Saturday. Admission for children and students is free.



Fatal log truck crash closes Sunset Highway near Banks

(Information from: KATU-TV,

BANKS, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Transportation says a fatal log truck crash closed Highway 26 early Monday morning, near the intersection with Highway 47. Authorities say at least one person died in the crash.

KATU-TV reports the collision happened around 6:45 a.m. Monday near Banks, Oregon, on what is also known as the Sunset Highway.



Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.