AP-OR–2nd Right Now/1197
Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. PDT
SPRINGFIELD POLICE CHIEF
Springfield police chief stepping down, accepts new job
(Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com)
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) — The chief of the Springfield Police Department has announced plans to leave the agency three years after accepting its top leadership position.
The Register-Guard reports that Chief Tim Doney plans to step down in July. Deputy Chief Rick Lewis will become the interim police chief, while the city looks for a successor.
Doney said Tuesday he has accepted a job as an independent contractor and program coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program based in Salem. He says the new position will allow him “more flexibility” with his family.
Since becoming police chief in 2013, Doney and the city have faced at least three lawsuits filed by former department employees. Doney says the suits didn’t play a factor in his decision to leave.
DOOMSDAY DRILL-THE LATEST
The Latest: Mega-quake drill to be ‘as prepared as we can’
CAMP MURRAY, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says the Northwest needs to be “as prepared as we can be” for a devastating earthquake as a multi-day earthquake and tsunami drill began throughout the region.
Inslee was joined by Major General Bret Daugherty, commander of the Washington National Guard, and FEMA Region X Administrator Ken Murphy at a news conference Tuesday.
Inslee, standing in front of military and other federal vehicles brought into Camp Murray for the exercise, called the event a “remarkable partnership.”
Inslee said that the region needs to be ready for the inevitability of a strong earthquake that could have devastating effects. He said “at some point in the future, we hope in our distant future, it will strike in our beautiful region.”
By running through the scenarios well in advance, he said the state can better prepare and identify potential weaknesses.
Man accused of barging in on women using unisex bathroom
(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com)
GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) — Police say they arrested a man on accusations of intentionally barging in on women using a single-occupancy, unisex bathroom in a Gresham bar.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Matthew Raymond Dziewiontkoski is facing a misdemeanor charge of invasion of privacy.
Police say Dziewiontkoski opened a faulty bathroom door to look at women “in various states of undress” on April 25.
People in the bar identified Dziewiontkoski that night and police interviewed and arrested him Monday.
Jail records say the 57-year-old was booked into the Multnomah County Jail Monday and released on his own recognizance later that day.
OREGON SPEED LIMIT
Oregon to lower speed limits on some highways
(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — State transportation officials say they’re lowering some speed limits on some highways, including at a location where a woman and three children died in a May crash.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the transportation department was reducing the speed limit by temporary order on certain stretches of U.S. Highway 97 and U.S. Highway 20 after new engineering analyses and reviews of crash data.
It will decide over the next year with the state Speed Zone Review Panel whether to make the newest changes permanent.
The speed limits on eight eastern Oregon highways had been raised in March from 55 to 65 mph and to 60 mph for trucks.
The lowered speed limits will go into effect when new signs are posted in the next few weeks.
Wildfire burns in Oregon’s Malheur Country
(Information from: Argus Observer, http://www.argusobserver.com)
JORDAN VALLEY, Ore. (AP) — Wildfire season has started for Oregon’s Malheur County.
The Argus Observer reports that a wildfire started in Owyhee Canyon on Sunday night and has grown to about 32 square miles.
Vale District public information officer Larry Moore says the Owyhee Canyon Fire is southeast of Burns Junction and likely started from a lightning strike.
By Tuesday morning, there were 25 combined engines from the Bureau of Land Management and contracted firefighting services, two bulldozers, four water tenders, four Snake River Valley crews and one hotshot crew fighting the blaze.
An air attack was called in Monday and expected to continue Tuesday.
Feds: Former US Attorney for Oregon lied about affair
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Office of the Inspector General says former U.S. Attorney for Oregon Amanda Marshall had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate and lied about it when confronted.
The inspector general released the findings Tuesday in a brief investigative summary that did not identify Marshall by name. A government official speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed it’s about Marshall.
Marshall cited health problems when she resigned last year amid rumors she had an affair with an assistant U.S. attorney and harassed him when the relationship ended.
The inspector general says Marshall won’t face prosecution, but the findings will be forwarded to the Office of Professional Responsibility. That office will decide whether Marshall’s conduct warrants referral to appropriate bar authorities.
Marshall’s attorney Charese Rohny said she would speak with Marshall about whether to comment.
Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report from Washington.
Years of drought causing tree die-off in Oregon forests
(Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/)
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Douglas firs and other trees are dying in Southern Oregon forests, where three years of drought have been taking their toll.
The Mail Tribune reports that experts say even more drought-tolerant trees like Ponderosa pines have lost out in the competition for water. The wet winter couldn’t prevent tree death after years of drought and beetle attacks.
The die-off in Applegate Velley, up the West Cascades and into the Willamette Valley appears to be even worse than those caused by drought in the mid-1990s and early 2000s. The scale of the die-off will be quantified during aerial mapping surveys next month.
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest plant pathologist Ellen Goheen says there seem to be more dead and dying conifers than at any point during the past 22 years.
Corporate tax hike gets greenlight for November
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The biggest corporate tax hike proposal in Oregon history is officially headed to voters this fall.
On Monday state elections officials approved more than 95,000 signatures Initiative Petition 28. If approved the measure could generate an extra $3 billion in annual tax revenue — a quarter percent-boost to the state’s general fund — from the state’s 1,000 largest businesses. IP 28’s public union-backers say that would help solve decades-long funding issues in education, health care and senior services by targeting only the wealthiest companies doing business in Oregon. The state remains heavily reliant on personal income taxes after voters have repeatedly rejected the idea of a sales tax.
But details about spending money generated by the measure were ultimately left to the Legislature. Some Republican lawmakers say it’s a “blank check” that raises questions about the motives of the measure’s backers.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.