Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment



State lawmakers hold hearings on gun control measures

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers have held hearings for several gun control proposals, taking passionate testimony from backers and supporters.

The Register-Guard reports gun control proposals with hearings held Monday are less wide-ranging than a 2015 expansion of gun sale background checks.

Senate Bill 797 would require a background check actually be completed before a gun sale could be made.

Senate Bill 868 would allow someone to seek a protection order for an immediate family member believed to be a suicide risk or a threat to others. If granted, the person would have to surrender guns and ammunition and would be prohibited from buying a gun for a year.

Senate Bill 764 makes an assortment of gun law changes including that a person must take an in-person shooting training course to obtain a concealed handgun permit.



Measure allocating money for vocational training in limbo

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Last November, Oregonians agreed the state’s low high school graduation rate was unacceptable and possible solutions being offered by a measure that required money be set aside for vocational training were worth a try.

Yet, five months later, the fate of Measure 98 remains in limbo at the Oregon Legislature. Measure 98 said whenever good times in the economy generate an extra $1.5 billion-plus in biannual tax revenue, lawmakers must preserve a $300 million-chunk for mandated spending on career-technical education, dropout prevention and college-credit opportunities.

Tuesday is the deadline for all bills at the Oregon Legislature to advance past the first stage or fail, and two drastically different Measure 98 proposals are up for vote beforehand. One proposal would make minor tweaks, while another would fundamentally alter the measure and its funding.


Officials unveil plan to boost Oregon town’s power capacity

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials are working to provide Prineville with enough electricity to ensure the central Oregon community can keep powering huge data centers operated by Facebook and Apple and make room for other companies to move in.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Facebook and Apple’s arrival produced a surge in electricity demand in Prineville over the past several years that has overwhelmed the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission capacity.

But BPA is now working on a plan that calls for doubling Prineville’s capacity for electricity within a few years. It would involve upgrading electrical substations and changing how the federal agency manages power on its grid.

The city learned of its power troubles last year after an unidentified manufacturer proposed bringing 300 jobs to Prineville to build an energy-intensive factory.



Poll: Marijuana safer than opioids, but moms shouldn’t use

DENVER (AP) — A new national poll says Americans think it’s safer to use marijuana than opioids to relieve pain.

The Yahoo/Marist poll out Monday says two-thirds of the respondents in the telephone survey said opioid drugs such as Vicodin or OxyContin are “riskier” to use than pot, even when the pain pills are prescribed by a doctor.

Only one in five said marijuana was riskier than opioids. The rest weren’t sure.

Those answering the poll overwhelmingly said pot should be legal for medical use. But they were less comfortable with children and pregnant women using pot to treat medical conditions.

The telephone poll of 1,122 adults was conducted last month. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.


Man drowns while swimming in Rogue River below Rainie Falls

(Information from: Daily Courier,

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a 24-year-old Oregon man drowned in the Rogue River.

Josephine County Search and Rescue coordinator Cory Krauss says Juan Carlos Hernandez-Nunez and a cousin swam across the river a few hundred feet below Rainie Falls. The cousin made it back across Saturday, but Hernandez-Nunez disappeared shortly after re-entering the water.

Friends and bystanders found the Medford man unconscious and their efforts to revive him failed.

The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports a rescue crew arrived about 90 minutes after 9-1-1 was called —too late to help.

Krauss says the cold water and powerful current make swimming in the Rogue very risky at this time of year.



Nonprofit remodeling shuttered camp for traumatized veterans

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A Eugene-based nonprofit is working to get a camp up and running in a secluded area in the Coast Range to house dozens of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Register-Guard reports Veterans Legacy Executive Director Mark Oberle says the group is hoping to fix up the seven-building complex and open it this summer.

The facility is the former site of a Lane County Sheriff’s Office inmate camp, which was shuttered for more than a decade before the nonprofit moved in in February.

County officials agreed to lease the complex to Veterans Legacy last year.

The camp will provide space for veterans coping with PTSD and other conditions to learn skills such as cooking and farming.

Veterans Legacy is still working to raise enough money to fund the project.



More and more marijuana shops prepare to open in Eugene

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Pot shops in Eugene are about to face more competition.

The Register-Guard reports two retailers are opening soon on the same block of the aptly named High Street.

They are among 20 new shops in the works in Eugene. The new stores will join about 40 shops already selling marijuana around the city.

The most popular areas for pot shops are downtown, west Eugene and near the University of Oregon.

City land use analyst Mike McKerrow says available retail space and zoning rules drive the decision of where to open a shop.

Recreational marijuana has become a multimillion dollar industry in Oregon. The latest tax figures from the state Revenue Department show that more than $26 million worth of marijuana products were sold statewide in January.



The Latest: No quick verdict in Bundy ranch standoff case

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A jury has ended a full day of deliberations without a verdict in the federal trial of six men who had assault-style weapons during a standoff that stopped government agents from rounding up cattle near Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April 2014.

Officials said Monday the U.S. District Court jury will return to work Tuesday.

Each defendant faces 10 charges including threatening and assaulting a federal officer, obstruction, extortion, weapon violations and conspiracy.

Each could face more than 50 years in prison if he’s found guilty of crimes of violence, and more than 100 years on all charges.

No shots were fired in the standoff near Bunkerville.

It was seen as a victory by states’ rights advocates in an ongoing battle over federal control of vast rangelands in the West.



Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.