Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment



Native Americans protest effort to bottle water in town

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Native Americans came to the state capitol in Oregon to protest persistent attempts to bring a commercial bottled water industry to an Oregon county that rejected the plan in a ballot measure in May.

Anna Mae Leonard was one of those who came, and has embarked on a food and water fast in protest.

She said on the step of the capitol, rocking a bit unsteadily on her feet, that she wants to get the attention of the governor and other state officials. She began her fast on Monday.

Hood River County voted overwhelmingly during Oregon’s primary election to ban commercial water bottling. But Gordon Zimmerman, city manager of Cascade Locks, the town where the bottling plant was planned, said most of the town residents voted for the plant.


Parents of baby poisoned by lead sue landlord for $1.3M

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland couple is suing their landlord for $1.3 million after finding that the home they rented contained high levels of lead that poisoned their toddler.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Craig McIntosh and Naimah Shaheed filed the suit earlier this month on behalf of their daughter. The couple says the girl was tested months after they moved into the home in 2015 and found with more than twice the acceptable level of lead in her blood.

The suit names the entity that owns the property and the landlord as defendants, alleging they should’ve known about the unacceptable lead levels.

An investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined the lead came from an illegal auto-scrapping business that operated at the site until 2005.



Drunken driver sentenced in Oregon dispatcher’s death

(Information from: Mail Tribune,

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A Grants Pass man charged with killing an emergency dispatcher in a wrong-way collision on Interstate 5 while he was intoxicated has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison.

The Mail Tribune reports that 45-year-old Richard Webster Scott was sentenced Wednesday after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter in the 2014 crash.

Authorities say Scott struck Karen Greenstein head-on after driving on the wrong side of the highway, killing the 58-year-old woman who had been a longtime dispatcher for Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon.

Prosecutors say Scott’s blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit after the crash.

Scott apologized in court Wednesday and said he “will never drink again.”

Scott has five previous drunken-driving convictions.



Eugene police found justified in shooting of armed man

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The Lane County District Attorney has cleared two Eugene police officers of wrongdoing in the shooting of an armed man outside his Eugene apartment.

The Register-Guard reports District Attorney Patty Perlow said Wednesday the officers were justified in their use of force against Edgar Rodriguez. The announcement came one day after Rodriguez filed a tort claim signaling his intent to sue the city and the county.

Perlow says Rodriguez called 911 to report a dispute inside his apartment on Sept. 10 and was holding a gun when officers Mark Hubbard and Timothy Hunt arrived at the scene.

She says Rodriguez didn’t comply with commands to drop the weapon and was then shot by the officers.

Rodriguez’s claim notice alleges the officers never told him to drop the weapon and that he was struck by six bullets during the incident.



Wildfire rehab in Idaho, Oregon includes fall herbicide

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The federal government’s 5-year, $67 million rehabilitation effort following a rangeland wildfire in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon is entering its second year with another round of herbicide applications combined with plantings of native species.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has started applying Imazapic on federal lands to knock out invasive weeds in Oregon and will begin in Idaho in October.

About 100 square miles, roughly half in each state, of aerial spraying is taking place and visitors are asked to stay away from posted areas.

The 2015 wildfire scorched about 436 square miles of sagebrush steppe that supports cattle grazing and some 350 species of wildlife, including sage grouse.

The rehabilitation is part of a plan to develop new strategies to combat increasingly destructive rangeland wildfires, mainly in Great Basin states.


Trooper: Driver for refuge occupier a government informant

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon State Police trooper testified a government informant was driving Ammon Bundy when the Oregon standoff leader was arrested on his way to a community meeting north of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Trooper Jeremiah Beckert said Wednesday that informant Mark McConnell alerted police that Bundy and other occupiers were traveling Jan. 26 and provided their location.

Beckert then described the ensuing traffic stop and arrests. He said he did not see what happened to Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, the occupation spokesman shot by police after fleeing the stop.

U.S. District Judge Anna Brown warned attorneys not bring up the circumstances of the Finicum shooting in front of jurors. When it was mentioned, she told jurors this trial is not about the Finicum shooting.

Bundy and six co-defendants are charged with conspiring to impede federal officers from doing their jobs at the wildlife refuge.


Court directs board to reinstate cop killer’s release date

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man who killed a police officer nearly 25 years ago is a step closer to leaving prison after an appeals court ruled the state parole board incorrectly rescinded his release.

The board planned to release Sidney Dean Porter in June 2013 but objections from then-Gov. John Kitzhaber and law enforcement officers led the board to reverse itself.

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the board did not a valid reason to postpone the release.

Kristina Edmunson, spokeswoman for Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, says the state is reviewing the decision and has yet to decide whether to petition the Oregon Supreme Court for review.

Porter bludgeoned Frank Ward with firewood in 1992 after the John Day police officer responded to a domestic violence call.


Vapor issues may slow emptying of Hanford tanks

(Information from: Tri-City Herald,

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — New deadlines for emptying some Hanford nuclear waste tanks might not be met if the government takes steps to better protect workers from chemical vapors.

The Department of Energy requested that its tanks contractor look at the potential impact of a union demand that supplied air respirators be used not only within the boundaries of Hanford tank farms but in an expanded area of 200 feet beyond tank farm fences.

Contractor Washington River Protection Solutions concluded that rather than having five leak-prone tanks from a set of 12 emptied by the end of 2020, the work might not be completed until 2021.

The Tri-City Herald says that, in addition, nine tanks in the A and AX Tank Farms might not be emptied until 2026, two years beyond schedule.



Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.