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AP-OR–2nd Right Now/1211


Homeless campers move to new site in Eugene

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A group of homeless residents in Eugene who were forced to move from property near the University of Oregon’s football stadium has started moving into their new home.

The Register-Guard reports more than a dozen homeless people moved to a garden plot on the Eugene Mission property Tuesday. The mission agreed to take the campers in, so the property near Autzen Stadium can again be used for parking during UO football games.

This week’s move comes after officials reneged on a decision to move the city-sanctioned camp to a neighborhood in response to residents’ concerns.

The mission’s executive director, Jack Tripp, says the agency hopes there’s little friction between the new campers and other groups who use the Eugene Mission facility. He says he doesn’t expect it to be a big adjustment.



Portland drag queen crowned world’s oldest drag performer

(Information from: KOPB-FM,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An 85-year-old drag queen in Portland has been crowned the world’s oldest performing drag queen by Guinness World Records.

Guinness awarded Darcelle XV the designation this week.

Oregon Public Radio reports Darcelle’s friend Doyle Stiles worked on the application and said the quest began last year when a female impersonator who is younger than Darcelle was listed as the world’s oldest.

Walter “Darcelle XV” Cole will turn 86 in November. Cole is the owner and operator of Darcelle XV Showplace in the Chinatown area of Portland.

Guinness reports Darcelle XV Showplace is home to the West Coast’s longest running drag show.

Darcelle performs there at least four times a week.

She told Oregon Public Radio the designation is an honor and she doesn’t even mind being called old.



Woman pleads guilty to drowning 1 daughter, slashing another

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — A woman charged with killing one daughter and injuring another at a Cannon Beach resort has pleaded guilty to the crimes.

Jessica Smith entered Alford pleas Wednesday to aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder for drowning her 2-year-old and slashing her teenager in 2014.

The 42-year-old from Vancouver, Washington entered the pleas after two days of settlement talks. In an Alford Plea, the defendant doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a conviction.

Smith accepted the evidence against her, “wishing to avoid additional stress and harm” to her surviving daughter, her family and herself.

Smith has said her daughters didn’t want to live with her ex-husband and said she killed her toddler to “end her misery.”

She will serve at least 40 years in prison and is scheduled for sentencing next week.


Aloha man’s body recovered from lake near Portland

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say they’ve recovered the body of a 76-year-old man in a lake near Portland.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release they were called to a rural area near North Plains Wednesday morning for a possible drowning.

Families members reported Charles Merrill of Aloha missing and said they saw the family boat capsized on a lake where they have property.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office dive team found Merrill’s body Wednesday afternoon in the lake near the boat. It does not appear he was wearing a lifejacket.

The Washington County Medical Examiner believes Merrill suffered a medical issue which caused him to fall into the water.


Police arrest Oregon murder person of interest in Seattle

(Information from: The World,

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — Police and U.S. Marshals have arrested a person of interest in Seattle in connection with a murder in Coos Bay.

The World reports 36-year-old Lucas Perkins was taken into custody Wednesday after someone called 911 saying he was outside a movie theater in north Seattle.

On Sunday, Perkins’ uncle, 64-year-old Richard Perkins, was found dead in a home they shared in Coos Bay. An autopsy showed Richard Perkins died as a result of severe blunt force trauma from a blunt object, a result of homicidal violence.

District Attorney Paul Frasier says Lucas Perkins is not a suspect, but was arrested as a material witness in the case.

Lucas Perkins was taken to King County Jail in Seattle. Frasier says he intends to seek the man’s extradition back to Oregon.



Grant County commissioner is victorious in recall vote

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A county commissioner in Oregon has survived a recall election with a decisive victory.

Grant County Clerk Brenda Percy says final unofficial results show that 65 percent of votes cast said “no” to the recall, keeping County Commissioner Boyd Britton in office. Percy says 35 percent of votes were for the recall.

That margin of support is even greater than the 49 percent of the vote the last time Britton ran in a primary, Percy says, in which he ran against two other candidates, who split the difference.

Among other things, the recall petition faulted Britton for not calling for an investigation into the 2015 Canyon Creek Fire. U.S. Forest Service firefighters were unable to get the fire under control in its early stages.


Former Portland police chief takes over as county sheriff

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former Portland police chief is officially taking over as Multnomah County sheriff.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that former Portland chief Mike Reese began his new job as sheriff on Wednesday. The 57-year-old outgoing sheriff, Dan Staton, retired Tuesday after 27 years at the agency.

Staton’s retirement comes after accusations of bullying, sexism, profiling, retaliation, improperly purchasing a fancy car and trying to influence a union vote. A labor union representing workers in his office called for him to resign and the county opened an investigation into his treatment of employees.

Staton announced in April that he chose Reese as his successor.

Reese was a Multnomah County sheriff’s deputy before joining city police. He retired as police chief in 2015.

Voters will elect someone to finish Staton’s term in November.



Oregon jet boat operator sets up shop on non-park land

(Information from: Mail Tribune,

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — An excursion jet boat operator is back in business along Oregon’s Rogue River after park officials did not renew its permit.

The Mail Tribune reports that owners Taylor and Emily Grimes launched Rogue Jet Boat Adventures on a narrow strip of riverside land not owned by the Oregon State Parks Department.

Officials say they didn’t renew the Grimes’ permit in October because other park users complained about the company’s activity last year.

Taylor Grimes told the Mail Tribune by email that the business operates “on the river, not a state park.”

The jet boat company now operates on land owned by the Oregon Department of State Lands, which allows them to launch trips from there and install their own gangplank without a permit.



Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.