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Red, blue states split over Trump’s ‘sanctuary city’ order

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s promised crackdown on “sanctuary cities” has triggered divergent actions from blue and red states: Some are moving to follow his order and others are breaking with the U.S. government to protect immigrants in the country illegally.

Trump’s recent executive orders threatening to withhold federal funding from communities with sanctuary policies and calling for a border wall have revealed the deep national divide on immigration.

California is pushing for a statewide sanctuary that would prohibit law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. A fellow U.S.-Mexico border state, Texas, is seeking to withhold funding from cities with the policies.

Cities have mostly taken up sanctuary laws. But liberal states would not be the first to block police from enforcing federal immigration law. Oregon pioneered a statewide sanctuary with a 1987 law.


Immigrant rights’ group files lawsuit against Trump ban

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Immigrants rights’ groups have filed a federal lawsuit in Portland seeking an injunction against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Unite Oregon filed the suit Wednesday, asking the court to prohibit the government from “unconstitutionally banishing” lawful immigrants or refugees who seek to return to their homes, jobs or reunite with families at Portland International Airport.

Mat dos Santos of the American Civil Liberties Union Oregon, who has also signed onto the suit, said at a news conference that it also asks that people being detained are afforded ACLU attorneys.

He says each day one to three people are being pulled from Portland airport customs lines and interrogated without legal representation.

Trump’s order temporarily suspends the entire U.S. refugee program and bans all entry from seven countries with majority-Muslim populations for 90 days.


Portland equipped with 100 tons of road salt for snow storm

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland is stepping up its snow response in anticipation of another winter storm.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that a storm is expected to hit the city Thursday afternoon.

If the forecast materializes, the city will expand its use of road salt and the number of plow routes along city streets.

Commissioner Dan Saltzman says the city purchased 100 tons of rock salt for $20,000. That’s only enough to treat three roads, but officials say the salt will be used early in the storm to prevent sheets of ice similar to those seen earlier this winter.

Officials are urging Portland residents to avoid travel or take transit, particularly if snow is followed by freezing rain.

Portland’s transportation bureau is also requesting $1 million for snow-clearing equipment to have during future storms.



Jury fails to reach verdict in pipeline disruption

(Information from: Skagit Valley Herald,

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the case of an Oregon man who tried to shut off an oil pipeline last year north of Seattle.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports the hung jury 60-year-old Kenneth Ward’s case was announced Wednesday.

Ward, of Corbett, Oregon faced felony burglary and sabotage charges for the Oct. 11 incident in which he broke through a fence and turned a safety valve along the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline near Burlington.

Ward testified that he targeted the pipeline in an attempt to raise awareness about climate change and that he hoped to inspire a transition off of fossil fuels.

He was among nearly a dozen people arrested that day amid attempts to shut down oil pipelines in Washington, North Dakota, Minnesota and Montana in solidarity with those protesting the four-state Dakota Access pipeline project in North Dakota.



Oregon Legislature begins 2017 session

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature has begun its 2017 session facing a $1.7 billion deficit that threatens to exacerbate tensions between Republicans and Democratic lawmakers who have the majority in both chambers.

Demonstrating the inclusiveness that many Oregonians strive for, a Muslim cleric Imam opened the session in the House on Wednesday by reciting from the Quran, first in Arabic and then in English. He implored God to show lawmakers the correct path.

In the afternoon, several dozen demonstrators stood on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol in a chilly wind and denounced President Donald Trump’s orders on immigration.


Backers of right to die fear Trump Supreme Court nominee

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Supporters of a terminally ill person’s right to take his or her own life are alarmed by President Donald Trump’s nominee for the vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat.

Peg Sandeen, executive director of the Death With Dignity National Center in Portland, said Wednesday that Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation could mean a renewed legal battle over Oregon’s law that gives terminally ill patients the right to end their lives with medicine prescribed by a doctor.

In the book, the conservative-leaning justice from Colorado says so-called aid-in-dying amounts to “consensual homicide.”

He cited Oregon’s law extensively to make the case against it.

Oregon voters approved right-to-die ballot measures in 1994 and 1997.

The first-in-the-nation law survived a 2006 Supreme Court challenge.

Four states now have similar laws and 25 more are considering them.


Land sale bill floated by Utah lawmaker includes Ore. acres

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Utah lawmaker’s proposal to sell 3.3 million acres of public land in 10 states would include 70,300 acres in Oregon but it’s uncertain whether the legislation will go anywhere.

Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz last week introduced a bill to sell off lands in 10 states maintained by the Bureau of Land Management to help rural communities.

The Statesman Journal reports the bill would impact public lands in 19 Oregon counties. The parcels would range from 44,533 acres in Harney County to 1 acre in Marion County.

Environmental groups have denounced the effort. It’s not clear whether President Trump would support the bill.

Jim Moore, a political science professor at Pacific University, said he thinks the proposal is basically a test balloon.


Large numbers of salmon return to Oregon’s Deschutes River

(Information from: The Bulletin,

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s Deschutes River saw a large number of native sockeye salmon return to its waters in 2016.

The Bulletin reports that a total of 536 sockeye salmon returned to a complex of hydroelectric dams and reservoirs called the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project. That’s a significant improvement over recent years — since 2010, annual returns have ranged between 19 and 86 fish.

The dam complex stretches over about 20 miles of the Deschutes River.

According to genetic testing received by Portland General Electric in January, more than 93 percent of the sockeye originated in the Middle Deschutes basin.

The dam complex is co-owned by PGE and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. A PGE spokesman says this year’s numbers are good but that reintroduction efforts are still in the early stages.



Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.