Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment

Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. PDT


New Oregon eclipse campsites quickly sell out

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State park officials opened 1,000 additional campsites for people coming to watch the summer solar eclipse from Oregon.

And it didn’t long for them to fill.

Parks Department spokesman Chris Havel says the campsites were made available for reservation at 8 a.m. Wednesday and it took just over an hour for them to be snapped up.

All state park sites available by reservation are now taken, though cancellations may return a few sites to the pool.

The highly anticipated eclipse will occur on the morning of August 21.


Oregon man sentenced to 20 years in fatal DUI crash

(Information from: Herald and News,

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man with a history of drunken driving has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a crash that killed a pedestrian.

The Herald and News reports 52-year-old Charles Vermillion of Klamath Falls pleaded guilty Tuesday to manslaughter, assault, drunken driving and reckless endangering.

Vermillion veered onto a sidewalk last November, striking 25-year-old Joseph Carter. The victim died while being flown to a Portland hospital from Klamath Falls.

Vermillion told officers he had three or four 24-ounce cans of malt liquor before driving. His blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

The Herald and News reports Vermillion had five prior DUI arrests in Oregon since 1990, and that led the judge to impose a tougher sentence than the mandatory minimum.



DHS restores in-home care services for disabled Oregonians

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Human Services has temporarily halted cuts to in-home care services for people living with disabilities.

Disability Rights Oregon, a Portland-based nonprofit, last week filed a federal lawsuit against DHS, alleging it violated disability laws by cutting assistance for in-home services. The services, which include help with cooking, bathing and taking medication, are primarily funded with federal Medicaid dollars.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane on Wednesday granted the disability-rights group’s request for a preliminary injunction. People whose service hours were cut will see them revert back to their previous level while the parties in the lawsuit try to devise a long-term plan.

Disability Rights Oregon said in a statement the order is not a final fix, but will allow services to remain in place as the case continues.

The group says roughly 11,000 Oregon residents relied on in-home care services between 2015 and 2017.


The Latest: Jury ends day of work in Bundy standoff trial

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A jury spent a third full day together but did not reach a verdict in the federal trial of six men who brought assault-style weapons to a standoff that stopped government agents from rounding up cattle near Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April 2014.

A court official said Wednesday that jurors will return to deliberations on Thursday in U.S. District Court

The jury deliberated about three hours Thursday before returning for full days Monday and Tuesday.

Trial took two months, and each defendant faces 10 charges including threatening and assaulting a federal officer, extortion, obstruction, weapon violations and conspiracy.

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


Call on water concerns Upper Klamath Basin farmers, ranchers

(Information from: Herald and News,

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Irrigators in the Upper Klamath Basin are deeply concerned about a recent call on water by the Klamath Tribes.

The call alerts secondary water users that the Tribes will use its water allocation in the Williamson, Sprague and possibly the Wood rivers for the benefit of fish habitat over irrigation for farming and cattle operations.

Rancher Becky Hyde tells the Herald and News the call is potentially devastating for irrigators, and puts a strain on their relationship with the Tribes.

Area ranchers spent years hammering out an Upper Basin agreement over water use with the Tribes. The agreement remains on the books, but has no funding behind it and is moot.

The agreement would retire some 18,000 acres of land from use to put water back into the streams. In turn, there would be water security for ranchers.

Tribal Chairman Don Gentry says he understands the agricultural concerns, but there must also be concern for the fisheries.



Federal court kills wind project near Steens Mountain

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal court has killed a large wind energy project in southeast Oregon over concerns about a declining sage grouse population that needs the area to breed.

The U.S. District Court in Portland vacated plans for the project Tuesday, bringing an end to lengthy litigation over the proposal by Columbia Energy Partners.

The project proposal was for wind energy development on roughly 10,500 acres of private land in Harney County.

The transmission line’s right-of-way would have crossed public lands where sage grouse breed.

Environmental groups won a legal battle last year when a federal appeals court ruled the U.S. Bureau of Land Management hadn’t conducted any surveys to see if sage grouse were present during the winter at the site.

Tuesday’s court ruling flows from that legal victory last year.


Oregon dog breeder pleads guilty to improper care

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 72-year-old dog breeder from Oregon has been sentenced to two years on probation after admitting she failed to meet care standards.

The Register-Guard reports Shirley Ann Stephenson of Veneta pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge relating to standards of care applicable to dog breeders. Prosecutors dismissed a felony charge of animal neglect.

Stephenson owned Monet French Bulldogs, a dog-breeding business she operated on the property of Evelyn Maas, where both women lived. Maas was indicted in January but the charge was dismissed when she died the following month.

The women were investigated last year after police and the Oregon Humane Society received reports that sanitation was poor inside the house. Eleven dogs were seized.

During probation, Stephenson can’t own animals or be involved in animal breeding. She also must complete 40 hours of community service.



Email show police contacted man later suspected of murder

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) — Emails show police had prior contact with a man they would later arrested on suspicion of murder and had instructed him to return to a state mental health facility.

The Register Guard reports emails between Springfield Police Department and the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board obtained by the newspaper show that police located Joshua Jaschke in December. Police later contacted mental health worker Kenneth Roders who asked police to release Jaschke.

Sgt. David Lewis says after first contact, the PSRB decided Jaschke would return to the hospital on his own.

Roders did not respond to requests for comment.

Records show Jaschke was being treated at Oregon State Psychiatric Hospital in Salem before police arrested him on suspicion of killing 51-year-old Spiros Steve Ghenatos and attempting car theft late March.



Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.