Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment



Biomass testing delayed at Boardman coal plant

(Information from: East Oregonian,

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Portland General Electric says it’ll determine whether Oregon’s last remaining coal-fired power plant can run entirely on biomass in the next couple of months.

The East Oregonian reports PGE had planned to conduct a test burn at the Boardman plant using woody debris by the end of December. But the test has been delayed due to the utility having to keep up with an increased electricity demand brought on by winter weather.

PGE spokesman Steve Corson says the full-day biomass test burn will now be held sometime in the first quarter of the year.

The utility has been looking into whether the coal plant can run on an alternative source of fuel, instead of installing costly emissions upgrades.

The facility faces closure if PGE can’t decide on an alternative fuel source by 2020.



Shielded Native American sites thrust into debate over dams

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A little-known federal program that avoids publicity to protect from looters the thousands of Native American sites it’s tasked with managing has been caught up in a big net.

The Federal Columbia River System Cultural Resources Program tracks some 4,000 historical sites that also include homesteads and missions in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Now it’s contributing information as authorities prepare a court-ordered environmental review concerning struggling salmon and the operation of 14 federal dams in the Columbia River Basin.

A federal judge in May urged officials to consider breaching four of those dams on the Snake River.

Fish survival, hydropower, irrigation and navigation get the most attention.

But at more than a dozen public meetings in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana, the cultural resources program has equal billing.

Comments are being taken through Jan. 17.


3 injured after driver hits crowd in Salem parking lot

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Three people were injured when a vehicle struck a crowd of people following a fight in a Salem grocery store parking lot early Sunday.

Salem Police said in a news release that a 51-year-old woman suffered critical injuries and was taken to a local hospital. Two others sustained less severe injuries. All three are from Salem.

A fight had spilled from the Shack Bar & Grill and moved into the Fred Meyer parking lot around 2:15 a.m.

Police say one of the people got into a sedan, circled the crowd a couple of times, then drove through the people who were fighting. The driver hit at least three people.

The motorist was last seen driving east through the parking lot. Police are investigating.


Report: Sheriff didn’t face hostile work environment

(Information from: Mail Tribune,

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A newly released report looking into a discrimination complaint filed by Jackson County Sheriff Corey Falls concludes that he was not subjected to a hostile work environment.

The Mail Tribune reports Jackson County released the February report after Falls held a news conference last week saying he was treated in a demeaning manner by county officials. Friday was Falls’ last day as sheriff. He resigned to take a job in Gresham.

In December 2015, Falls complained to Jackson County Human Resources that he was treated in an unprofessional, demeaning and discriminatory manner.

Independent investigators hired by the county wrote a preliminary report that found Falls has not been subject to a hostile work place. Falls withdrew his complaint letter, and the report was not released until recently.

Falls told KOBI-TV that the findings are one-sided, sheriff’s employees weren’t interviewed and the manner in which the report was released validates his concerns.



Girlfriend arrested in man’s killing; 3rd homicide in 6 days

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A 22-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of her boyfriend in Klamath Falls early Sunday.

Klamath County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release that the death marks the third homicide handled by the county’s major crimes team in the past six days.

Officers responded to a report of a shooting at about 12:40 a.m. and found 25-year-old Tyler Balais dead. Police arrested Kassandra Imbert. She has a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Klamath County Circuit Court.

A juvenile relative was arrested in the killing of a 74-year-old Keno woman early Saturday.

And on Monday, a California man was arrested and accused of killing his younger brother in Bonanza, Oregon. A probable cause statement filed by Oregon State Police says 52-year-old Travis Kimball called 9-1-1 Monday to report that he stabbed his brother Troy Kimball, and then shot him.


Salem man drowns while hiding from police under Salem bridge

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Salem Police say a 34-year-old man has drowned after he ran from police following a traffic stop and attempted to hide under a bridge in the water.

The police department says Christopher Free, of Salem, died early Sunday morning. Police say officers tried to negotiate with him for 20 minutes to get out of the water before he submerged. An officer jumped into the water and pulled him out. He died at a local hospital.

An officer spotted a speeding car at about 12:40 a.m. and attempted to stop the driver. As the officer approached the car on foot, the vehicle took off and later crashed. The driver fled on foot and was later found hiding under the High Street bridge.

An autopsy is planned for Monday.


Body of dead woman found in Multnomah Channel

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The body of a woman has been found in the Multnomah Channel in Portland.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call on Saturday afternoon from a resident at the Rocky Pointe Marina. The resident reported seeing a body in the channel, near their home.

The River Patrol arrived soon after and recovered the body from the water.

Detectives will be conducting a death investigation.

The body will be turned over to the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office.

No further details were immediately available, pending identification and family notifications.


Assailants hit licensed marijuana grow in southern Oregon

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A marijuana grower in southern Oregon was beaten and robbed last month in the first reported instance of violent crime at a state-licensed cannabis production operation.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported last week that 56-year-old James Bowman was hospitalized for several days after the Dec. 16 attack in the rural community of Wimer.

Jackson County authorities say the assailants beat him, filled a rented truck with hundreds of pounds and harvested marijuana and took off. Bowman’s workers discovered him tied up a couple of hours later.

Jackson County Detective Jason Penn says the agency is taking the case seriously and is investigating.

A spokesman with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission says the agency will conduct an administrative investigation into the security breach once the criminal investigation concludes. Bowman reported the theft to the commission as required.



Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.