Oregon lawmaker looks to replace meadowlark as state bird
(Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com)
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon lawmaker says the current state bird is unoriginal, and instead wants to replace it.
The Statesman Journal reports that state Sen. Fred Girod sponsored a resolution to replace the western meadowlark as Oregon’s state bird with the osprey.
The Stayton Republican says the meadowlark is also the state bird of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming, making it unoriginal. He also says the meadowlark is no longer commonly seen in Oregon, making it an inappropriate choice. Girod says the osprey can be found throughout Oregon and better captures the state’s spirit.
Salem Audubon Society president Ray Temple says meadowlarks are declining and could use the extra attention of being the state bird.
Officer fired after probe into Black Lives Matter posts
(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A police officer in northwest Oregon has been fired following an investigation into posts on his Facebook page that appeared to endorse violence against the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that West Linn Officer Tom Newberry was fired Wednesday.
He had been on paid administrative leave since July, when the police department began an investigation into whether Newberry violated department or city policies.
Police Chief Terry Timeu says the investigation is closed, but Timeu and the city manager have declined to say why Newberry was terminated.
In one Facebook post, Newberry shared a story of protesters blocking a road with his comment that when facing “such mobs” to push the “right” car pedal to the floor.
Newberry worked for the police department for seven years.
Oregon band teacher arrested again in child sex abuse case
(Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com)
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A middle school band teacher in western Oregon has been arrested for the second time this month on child sexual abuse charges.
The Register-Guard reports that 34-year-old Matthew McKinley Woodford of Springfield was jailed Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on 15 charges. The charges allege he engaged in inappropriate communication and sexual contact with a student younger than 15.
Woodford has pleaded not guilty.
The new indictment follows Woodford’s Feb. 3 arrest on similar charges but includes details alleging he sexually abused the victim on numerous occasions.
Woodford has been placed on leave from his job as Thurston Middle School’s music director.
School district spokeswoman Jen McCulley says the district has started the termination process for his employment.
Nearly 100 pounds of meth worth $2M seized in Portland area
(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Deputies seized nearly 100 pounds of methamphetamine worth over $2 million and arrested three people at residences in Portland and Gresham.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said that investigators served search warrants Wednesday evening at the two homes, also seizing nearly 2 pounds of heroin, pills, a handgun and nearly $30,000 in cash.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Chad Gaidos says the amount of drugs recovered likely puts the bust in the top 10 drug seizures statewide by a police agency.
Detective Josh Zwick says the meth was imported from Mexico.
Alfredo Narcisco Pineda of Portland; Alejandro Lopez Gonzales of Gresham; and Celso Marroquin Benitez of Portland were booked into jail and face drug and gun charges.
HIGH SCHOOL STABBING
Police investigate student stabbing at high school in Salem
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police say detectives are investigating the stabbing of a student at a high school in Salem.
Salem police said in a news release that a school resource officer returning to North Salem High School Thursday afternoon came upon an injured high school student on the sidewalk.
The boy was taken for treatment for superficial wounds.
Investigators say the boy was stabbed by another high school student. Police say the school and a nearby middle school were placed on lockdown as officers searched for the male suspect.
Police say he had not been taken into custody as of Thursday afternoon.
Detectives say they are investigating the incident as possibly gang-related.
Lawmakers consider boost to service industry worker rights
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are considering proposals that’d give baristas, bartenders, seasonal workers and others in the state’s service industry more control of their weekly schedules and guarantees of being paid despite scheduling issues.
Under the proposals, certain employers would be required to honor employees’ preferred work hours and post work schedules two weeks in advance or pay a penalty wage for any changes thereafter. Workers called in last-minute would also earn at least four hours’ worth of wages if their bosses didn’t allow them to work a full shift.
The proposed legislation is backed largely by workers’ rights groups and unions, which teamed up with the University of Oregon and Portland State University for a study on how workers’ lives, finances and families are impacted by irregular work schedules.
Oregon cites harmful effects of travel ban; goes to court
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Emphasizing ways in which Oregon is reliant on immigrants, the state has told a federal court it wants to join Washington state’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
State Treasurer Tobias Read said much of Oregon’s $92 billion investment portfolio, more than 19 million shares, are held in technology companies that have expressed alarm at the likely impacts of Trump’s Executive Order on their businesses.
In the motion filed late Wednesday by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Read said Trump’s order would harm that portfolio, the state’s credit ratings and its economic health.
A senior Oregon Health Authority official said the immigration ban, which has been put on temporary hold due to Washington’s lawsuit, would make it harder to have foreign doctors work in underserved areas of the state.
This story corrects the spelling of the treasurer’s surname to Read.
Alaska AG says feds couldn’t overturn state’s pot law
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A representative for the Alaska attorney general’s office says a change in how the federal government enforces its own marijuana laws would not affect state marijuana laws.
Department of Law spokeswoman Cori Mills says Alaska’s law legalizing recreational marijuana wouldn’t be overturned.
She commented after White House spokesman Sean Spicer suggested during a press briefing Thursday that President Donald Trump’s administration might crack down on states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Mills says there is a different federal law, and it will be up to the federal government how they want to enforce that.
Cary Carrigan is executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association.
He says it’s too early to get too worked up about Spicer’s comments, and that this sounds like an initial overture.
Carrigan says, “You have to see something happen before you can really react to it.”
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.