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Portland ends pilot ‘safe sleeping’ policy for homeless

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has announced the end of an experimental city policy that allowed homeless people to sleep on the streets undisturbed by law enforcement.

Hales said Tuesday the so-called “Safe Sleep” policy will end immediately after confusion about what it allowed. Business owners also objected to the policy.

The end of the pilot program in the famously liberal city marks a major reversal for Hales, who unveiled six emergency initiatives in February as Portland sought to address a growing problem with homelessness. Late last week, Hales also said he would postpone by a month a sweep of a large homeless encampment that had been planned for Monday.

The city will continue several other programs it started six months ago, including city-serviced portable toilets, day storage for the homeless and street outreach.


Woman indicted for groping passenger on flight to Portland

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon woman has been indicted on a charge of abusive sexual contact for an alleged incident on an Alaska Airlines flight.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the federal indictment filed Tuesday against 26-year-old Heidi Anne McKinney alleges she inappropriately touched a woman in May while they were traveling from Las Vegas to Portland.

The Banks woman had initially been accused in state court of third-degree sexual abuse related to the incident, but the charge was dismissed and referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Port of Portland police say officers had been called to the Portland International Airport on May 8 after the alleged victim reported she had been molested by another female passenger.

McKinney is expected to make her first federal court appearance Wednesday.



Deschutes County pot ban to be lifted

(Information from: The Bulletin,

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Deschutes County officials are lifting a ban prohibiting some marijuana businesses from operating in unincorporated areas.

The Bend Bulletin reports that the County Commission adopted an ordinance Monday that repeals the ban starting Sept. 1.

Commissioners had already approved policies for medical and recreational pot businesses in June that are now in effect. The ban, which had been implemented in December, remained in place because of an appeal period when the regulations could have been challenged.

No appeal had been filed.

Monday’s decision comes after rural property owners urged the county to continue the ban earlier this year and called for it to be placed on the November ballot. Members and supporters of the industry pushed for the ban to be lifted so they could apply for recreational licensing from the state.



Pastor who won AR-15 raffle may have violated Oregon law

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (AP) — A pastor in an affluent suburb of Portland may have run afoul of Oregon law when he transferred an AR-15 assault rifle that he won in a softball league raffle to a gun-owning friend for safekeeping without performing a background check.

Oregon State Police spokesman Capt. Bill Fugate confirmed Tuesday to The Associated Press that his agency would open an investigation.

Fugate says the decision of whether or not to charge the Rev. Jeremy Lucas, of Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego, would fall to the local district attorney’s office.

Lucas drew national attention last week when he used $3,000 in church funds to buy as many of the raffle tickets as he could.

Lucas has said he wanted to win so he could destroy the gun.


Too much lead: Water shut off at 2 Medford grade schools

(Information from: Mail Tribune,

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Drinking water has been shut off at two Medford schools after tests revealed too much lead.

The Mail Tribune reports the school district received the test results Friday evening for Jackson and Roosevelt elementary schools.

They showed that water from 73 percent of fixtures at Jackson and 80 percent of fixtures at Roosevelt exceeded standards for lead set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Water bottles are being distributed for students and staff to use during a summer camp program at Roosevelt and Jackson.

The district completely replaced the plumbing in both elementary schools in 2009, and tests taken between 2011 and 2015 showed no indication of elevated lead levels.



The Latest: Washington fire under control, structures lost

BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — A fast-moving fire in central Washington that started Tuesday afternoon has been brought under control with some homes and outbuildings lost.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says the fire is still burning but not making a run as it did earlier in the day with high winds just north of Moses Lake. Officials say they don’t yet know how many structures have burned or the amount of land.

Shelters have been set up for people as well as livestock from about two dozen evacuated residences.

Also on Tuesday, fire crews were making headway on a blaze that started Saturday night in south-central Washington on the U.S. Army’s Yakima Training Center.

The fire that has scorched about 276 square miles was up to 20 percent contained, from 10 percent Tuesday morning.

It’s the largest of several wildfires burning in Washington state.


Boardman Tree Farm gives way to traditional crop land

(Information from: East Oregonian,

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — The Boardman Tree Farm, a longtime landmark along Interstate 84 in eastern Oregon, has been disappearing to make room for more conventional crops.

The East Oregonian reports that Portland-based GreenWood resources sold the land earlier this year. One-third of the 25,000-acre property is to become a dairy farm and the remainder was purchased by the Tri-Cities’ AgriNorthwest.

AgriNorthwest Division Controller Will Evans says the company plans to convert its portion of the land into crop land while harvesting the remaining trees. He says the transition has gone better than expected since the company took over in February.

The Boardman Tree Farm has become a popular attraction opening in 1990. Locals will have a chance to say goodbye to the farm during its final “Very Poplar Run” this year.



Woman accused of robbing Wyoming bank waives hearing

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A woman accused of robbing a bank so she could go back to prison has waived her preliminary hearing and requested to remain in custody.

During a short hearing Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Kelly Rankin granted both requests by 59-year-old Linda P. Thompson.

A plea hearing was being scheduled for Wednesday.

Authorities said Thompson was released in June from prison in Wilsonville, Oregon, where she had been sentenced on a second-degree robbery conviction. Thompson told authorities at the time that she didn’t want to be released.

She was arrested July 27 after a US Bank branch in Cheyenne was robbed by a woman who then tossed the money into the air outside and offered some to people passing by.

Police say Thompson told investigators she wanted to go back to prison.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.