Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment



Grand jury finds Oregon homeowner to blame for explosion

(Information from: Mail Tribune,

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man whose home was destroyed in an explosion that he claimed was set by intruders seeking medical records has been indicted on arson and attempted theft charges.

The Mail Tribune reported Tuesday that a grand jury handed down the indictment against Michael Charles McNall of Prospect last month. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Thursday.

McNall’s home was damaged by the explosion in April 2016.

Witnesses had reported hearing about six or more explosions and several neighboring houses sustained damage.

McNall blamed the explosion on thieves who sought files from his medical billing company, Pioneer Healthcare Management LLC.

He said he and his wife had received threats prior to the incident.

McNall’s lawyer, Peter Carini, could not be reached for comment.



Student at Reed College dies of apartment fire injuries

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A student at Reed College in Portland has died from injuries she suffered in an apartment fire early Sunday.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Mara Gibbs died Tuesday at a Portland hospital.

Gibbs managed to call 911 before she was overwhelmed by the blaze in her apartment. Firefighters found her inside, pulled her into a hallway and resuscitated her.

Two other women in the apartment leaped out a second-story window.

Portland Fire and Rescue officials say one of the women, who they didn’t name, broke her back in the fall. The other, Miranda McGough, was treated and released.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Gibbs, who grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, had been accepted to the Reed Software Design Studio internship program.



New bill: Workers can’t be barred from smoking pot off-hours

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Employers in Oregon would be prohibited from banning marijuana use by employees during their days off under a bill introduced in the Oregon Senate.

The bill is among several that cover marijuana, whose recreational use was legalized in a statewide ballot measure in 2014. Bill No. 301 would make it unlawful for employers to condition employment on “refraining from using any substance that is lawful to use in Oregon,” an official synopsis of the bill says, without specifically mentioning marijuana.

The bill aims to amend a state law that has the same provisions about use of tobacco, to include cannabis and any other substance that is legal in the state.


The Latest: Jury sworn for trial of 6 in Bundy standoff case

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A jury has been sworn in for opening statements Thursday in Las Vegas in the federal trial of six defendants accused of stopping U.S. agents at gunpoint from rounding up cattle near Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April 2014.

The 16-member panel includes 11 women and five men. Four will end up as alternates.

They were told Tuesday to be prepared for 10 weeks of trial in the case against four men from Idaho and one each from Arizona and Oklahoma.

Bundy and other defendants are due for trial after the first trial finishes.

U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro could decide evidence matters Wednesday, including whether defense teams will get U.S. Bureau of Land Management disciplinary records about Daniel Love. He’s the supervisory agent from Utah who headed the Bundy roundup.



Iranian baby with heart defect admitted to Portland hospital

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Iranian infant in need of life-saving heart surgery has arrived at a Portland hospital with her family after being temporarily banned from coming to the U.S. by President Donald Trump’s immigration orders.

The 4-month-old girl, Fatameh Reshad, was admitted to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital on Tuesday morning.

The girl’s family chose Portland because of proximity to relatives.

Iranian doctors told the child’s parents weeks ago that she needed surgery.

The family previously had an appointment in Dubai to get a tourist visa. But it was abruptly canceled after Trump announced his executive order banning the entry of people from seven countries with Muslim majorities. The girl and her parents had to return to Iran.

A Seattle judge issued a temporary restraining order on the ban the same day a waiver was granted for the baby.


Portland woman gets 15 years in husband’s death

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in the shooting death of her estranged husband in Lake Oswego.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 51-year-old Nancy Westbrook was sentenced Tuesday in the Feb. 4 death of 36-year-old Joshua Westbrook.

She was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter as part of a plea agreement.

Court documents say Westbrook told police she shot her husband while they discussed their marriage at his home. Prosecutors say both were drinking heavily and oxycodone was found in both their systems after the incident.

Lake Oswego officers had responded to the home to a report of a suicide and officers eventually determined the man died as a result of a homicide and say he was shot twice.

Nancy Westbrook apologized in court after reading a rambling statement.



Election boosts public engagement in politics in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Since the divisive November national elections, Oregon lawmakers and its congressional delegation are seeing unprecedented public participation in the political process, and are hoping the public can help chart a course out of the state’s budget crisis.

The Legislature’s committee that determines state budget policy will host public hearings throughout Oregon, with the first one coming in the Oregon State Capitol in Salem Friday evening.

Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, said those who live nearby will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about budget issues.

Rep. Tina Kotek, D-Portland who is the House speaker, told reporters she is looking forward to hearing from Oregonians on how to prioritize. Lawmakers must find a way to increase revenue and cut spending to make up for a $1.8 billion budget shortfall.


Oregon school district bans Confederate flag after fight

(Information from: The World,

NORTH BEND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon school district banned the Confederate flag from school property following a fight between two girls, one of whom was wearing a hat that included the symbol.

North Bend Superintendent Bill Yester says the punches were thrown last week at the high school campus. Neither student has been disciplined as of yet and there were no serious injuries.

Yester contends the ban doesn’t violate free expression because schools have the legal authority to provide an environment free of harassment, and district policy allows principals to prohibit clothing that distracts from the educational process.

The World newspaper of Coos Bay reports protesters unhappy with the new policy were outside North Bend High on Monday, holding up Confederate flags, a Gadsden flag and the flag of the United States.

Rumors that the school district banned the American flag were incorrect.



Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.