Air stagnation advisory issued for parts of southern Oregon
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — State officials have issued an air stagnation advisory for parts of southern Oregon through Saturday evening.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued the alert Thursday.
The advisory includes parts of eastern Curry County and Josephine and Jackson counties and the inland valley cities of Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Medford, Merlin, Gold Hill, Williams and Ashland.
Forecasters expect an inversion over these areas, which include conditions of high pressure, cold surface temperatures and limited mixing in the air. During an inversion, smoke can be trapped at ground level where people breathe.
Officials ask people in the affected areas to limit outdoor burning and the use of uncertified woodstoves.
Scientific studies have linked smoke pollution to problems including coughing, aggravated asthma, bronchitis and irregular heartbeat.
Oregon bans weapons in state workplaces
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials have banned state employees from carrying weapons in the workplace unless they’re needed for their jobs. This has caused some Republican lawmakers much consternation.
The Oregon Department of Administrative Services said that it imposed the ban, effective Jan. 6, in hopes of “providing a safe and secure environment for employees and visitors.”
Banned are firearms, daggers, slingshots, and even knobkerries, which are clubs used by indigenous people in southern Africa.
House Republican leader Mike McLane said Thursday the order was tantamount to limiting employees’ right to self-defense, and said he would ask Gov. Kate Brown where the authority for the new rules comes from.
Man wanted in ’99 abduction, assault caught in Oregon
SEYMOUR, Ind. (AP) — A man wanted in the 1999 abduction and sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl in southern Indiana has been arrested in Oregon.
U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler says he’ll talk about the case Friday at the Seymour Police Department. He didn’t release details, but court documents identify the man as Charles Hollin. He was arrested Tuesday.
In a court filing, the FBI says DNA evidence linked Hollin to the crime. State charges were filed in 2000 but Hollin had disappeared, likely with thousands of dollars from a home equity loan.
The FBI says Hollin was living under the name of Andrew David Hall, a man who died in 1975. The FBI got a big break in December when it learned that a 2007 U.S. passport application in Hall’s name had a photograph that resembled Hollin.
T25-GONZAGA-PORTLAND MAKE-UP GAME
No. 5 Gonzaga will play make-up game at Portland on Jan. 23
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Fifth-ranked Gonzaga will play at Portland on Jan. 23 to make up for a game that was originally scheduled for Jan. 7 and postponed because of severe winter weather.
The West Coast Conference game will start at 5 p.m. in the Chiles Center.
The major winter storm prompted numerous cancellations and closures in the Portland area.
AP-US-OREGON ZOO SNOW DAY
Frosty weather delights Oregon Zoo animals in popular video
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — While residents may not be reveling in the recent frosty weather, some animals seem delighted by the snow in a recent Oregon Zoo video.
The Wednesday snowfall seemed to delight Nora, the polar bear, as the video shows her rolling back and forth in the thick white powder. Two seals slide around in the slush, an otter grabs a snack in the snow_even an elephant joins in on the fun.
The video had been viewed on Facebook more than nine million times, and Oregon Zoo spokeswoman Sara Hottman said feedback has been positive.
She said locals who aren’t used to the snow love to see their community zoo animals enjoying it.
Almost a foot of snow fell in downtown Portland on Tuesday and Wednesday, making it one of the biggest snowstorms in its history.
OREGON MONUMENT EXPANDED
Obama expands Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — President Barack Obama has expanded the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southwestern Oregon to protect its rich biodiversity.
The expansion announced Thursday adds about 48,000 acres to a landscape of rich forests, grasslands and shrubs that was established as a monument in 2000. It includes about 5,000 acres in northern California.
Obama said in his proclamation that the expansion will create a landscape that will connect vital habitat, protect the watershed and preserve the area’s extraordinary biodiversity. The monument, originally 65,000 acres, is home to rare plant and animal species.
Conservation groups and Oregon’s Democratic U.S. senators praised the decision.
Oregon Public Broadcasting says detractors have expressed concern that a larger monument would hurt the region’s economy with limits on logging and grazing. The Oregon Cattleman’s Association said in a news release that the decision will have a rippling effect on ranchers, farmers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Oregon’s Clatsop County withdraws from timber lawsuit
(Information from: The Daily Astorian, http://www.dailyastorian.com)
ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s Clatsop County has dropped out of a class-action lawsuit involving more than a dozen counties seeking $1.4 billion from the state over logging harvests on state-managed lands.
The Daily Astorian newspaper reported that the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to withdraw from the suit.
The lawsuit alleges the state failed to meet an agreement to maximize timber profits.
Clatsop County’s forestland represented 23 percent of the land cited in the lawsuit.
The counties rely on logging money from harvests on state lands and say they are owed $1.4 billion.
In voting to leave the lawsuit, commissioners cited concerns from residents that the state would raise taxes if it lost the legal battle to pay counties the timber revenue they say they lost.
NORTHWEST WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: 5 escape injury when Hillsboro roof collapses
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Hillsboro Fire and Rescue says five people escaped injury when the roof of the warehouse in which they were sleeping collapsed.
Spokesman Storm Smith said the three men and two women were wet from flooding caused by fire-sprinkler pipes. Police officers took them to headquarters to warm them up and arrange for Red Cross clothing and housing assistance.
The warehouse is not permitted as residence. Smith says the damage estimate is $250,000.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.