Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment



Drunk driver who killed passenger gets 6 years in prison

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A California man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for killing his passenger in a drunken driving crash southwest of Portland last summer.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 25-year-old Kevin Sumlin of Oroville, California also was ordered Wednesday to serve three years of post-prison supervision, participate in an alcohol treatment program and had his driver’s license suspended for life.

The rollover crash killed 27-year-old Miles McCullough of Beaverton, Oregon.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says Sumlin was speeding July 5, lost control while traveling through a curve, hit a ditch and that the Honda Accord rolled onto its top.

McCullough died at the scene. Sumlin was treated for minor injuries.

Sumlin pleaded guilty to manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants in February.



Salem pastor sentenced to 37 years for child sex crimes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A 56-year-old church pastor has been sentenced to 37 years in prison for multiple counts of rape and other sex crime charges against a child under age 14.

The Marion County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release that Mauricio Aguilera-Garcia pleaded guilty Tuesday to rape, sodomy and unlawful sexual penetration.

He entered the pleas at the end of the first day of his jury trial after the victim testified.

Prosecutors say the victim knew Aguilera-Garcia, who was at the time a family friend and her church pastor.

Prosecutors say Aguilera-Garcia also was convicted of sex abuse against a child under age 12 in 1985.


Gov. Kate Brown to Trump: Hands off Oregon legal pot biz

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says the federal government should leave the state’s legal marijuana industry alone. Brown says that if the Trump administration makes a move against legalized recreational marijuana, it would be going against its own goals such as improving the economy, creating jobs and giving states more say in policies.

In an interview, Brown said, “Let our people grow these jobs.”

In Oregon alone, an economist says, that’s at least 12,500 jobs. In Oregon, Washington state and Colorado, marijuana tax revenues totaled $335 million last year.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates and licenses the state’s recreational marijuana industry, says it has nearly 13,000 applications for marijuana worker permits and over 2,100 marijuana license applications.


The Latest: Deputy: 4 dead in Oregon fire were children

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A sheriff’s spokesman says four children were killed in a house fire in a small Oregon timber town.

Douglas County Deputy Dwes Hutson said Wednesday the children ranged from 4 to 13.

Two adults and a 13-year-old boy survived and suffered serious injuries in the fire that broke out at 2 a.m. in Riddle, a town about 200 miles south of Portland.

Thirty-nine-year-old James Keith Howell, 38-year-old Tabitha Annette Howell and 13-year-old Andrew Hall-Young were transported to a Portland hospital.

Killed were 4-year-old Gwendolyn Howell, 7-year-old Haley Maher, 10-year-old Isaiah Young and 13-year-old Nicholas Lowe.

Hutson says Nicholas was a foster child.

Tabitha Annette Howell was the mother of all the children.



Washington produces record wine grapes crop in 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The state of Washington produced a record harvest of wine grapes in 2016.

The Washington Wine Commission reported Wednesday that the 2016 harvest was 270,000 tons, up 22 percent from the previous year.

Tonnage in 2015 was down a little compared to the previous record harvest of 227,000 tons in 2014.

Red varieties produced more tons than white, totaling 58 percent of the harvest. Cabernet Sauvignon was the state’s top variety at 71,100 tons, or 26 percent of the total

Washington is one of the nation’s top producers of premium wines, and most of the grapes are grown east of the Cascade Range.


Portland school employee cleared of sex abuse charge

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A judge has acquitted a 31-year-old Portland Public Schools employee accused of molesting a 7-year-old developmentally disabled girl in a school bathroom.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge David Rees on Wednesday found Brett Christy-Hamilton not guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

Christy-Hamilton declined to comment after the six-day trial. His lawyer Stephen Houze said it was “a textbook example of how an innocent person can be charged with a heinous crime he did not commit.”

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Christy-Hamilton, a paraeducator assigned to help the student throughout the day, was accused in November 2015 of molesting the girl while accompanying her to the bathroom.

Prosecutors said that despite the girl’s speech impairments, she could be understood by her mother.

The defense had argued it was impossible that the girl could have offered such a detailed account of what happened.



The Conservation Alliance starts fund to protect lands

(Information from: The Bulletin,

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The Conversation Alliance has long focused on providing grants to secure new public lands across North America.

The Bulletin reported Wednesday that the Bend-based environmental group is shifting its tactics and will offer a new fund dedicated to protecting existing public lands that are managed by the federal government.

John Sterling, the group’s executive director, tells the newspaper that the decision is directly related to President Donald Trump’s election, which he says has emboldened Republican lawmakers critical of federal land management.

The public lands defense fund will target local and regional conservation organizations that oppose the transfer of public lands and defend federal laws on public lands.

Sterling says he expects to give out $200,000 during the first funding cycle, which has an application deadline of May 1.



Bull trout lawsuit targeting Columbia Basin dams dismissed

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal lawsuit by an environmental group seeking to force federal agencies to analyze whether about two dozen dams operating in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana are harming bull trout has been dismissed.

U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez in a ruling last week said federal agencies took action after the lawsuit was filed in July that met demands sought by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, making the lawsuit moot.

The lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation sought to force the agencies to complete consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on how to operate the dams in areas designated as critical bull trout habitat.

The federal agencies in their motion to dismiss said those consultations have been started or reinitiated.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.