Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment



Panel formed to come up with new Oregon business taxes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Leaders in the Oregon Legislature are forming a temporary, bipartisan committee that’ll spend the next several weeks hashing out a business tax-overhaul plan that may go to voters for final approval in a special election.

In a memo Wednesday, House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney, both Democrats, said they are creating the Joint Tax Reform Committee with the 14 lawmakers who handle the state’s money-making policies in the House and Senate revenue panels.

The new Tax Reform Committee will hold public hearings to flesh out final details of a proposal to overhaul Oregon’s current system of taxing corporate income. That revenue-boosting proposal will serve as the second major component to a broader plan to address the 1.6 billion-deficit that looms over Oregon’s 2017-19 budget.


Oregon lawmakers push colleges to respect diverse community

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Lawmakers in the Oregon House of Representatives have approved a bill that would require public universities and community colleges to respect people from all cultures, races and sexual orientations.

The lawmakers spoke, at times emotionally, on Wednesday about the state’s racist history, about continuing discrimination, and about their desire for inclusiveness.

The bill, which passed by a 45-15 vote and now goes to the Senate, aims to have institutions of higher learning achieve “cultural competency,” which means responding respectfully and effectively to people from all walks of life.

Each public institution must provide oversight for cultural competency standards.


Oregon yellow light critic files free speech lawsuit

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man who was investigated and fined by a state board for unlicensed practice of engineering has filed a lawsuit alleging the state’s definition of an engineer violates the First Amendment.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Mats Jarlstrom was fined $500 after identifying himself as an engineer in emails he sent to Beaverton officials challenging Oregon’s timing of yellow traffic lights as too short.

The Beaverton man has joined the Institute for Justice to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against members of the state Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying.

Jarlstrom’s attorneys say the board’s attempt to keep people from calling themselves engineers if they’re not an Oregon-licensed professional engineer is a violation of their right to free speech.

A spokesman for the board declined to comment.



Oregon lumber company plans to appeal wastewater fine

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

GLENDALE, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon lumber company is accused of letting wastewater flow into a creek near its mill without a permit.

The Register-Guard reported Wednesday the state has fined the company more than $20,000 for its wastewater discharge.

The state Department of Environmental Quality says the violations occurred for more than six years. The company is accused of allowing hot water and detergent from a wash station to run into Windy Creek.

The company, Swanson Group, says it plans to appeal the fines. The company claims it stopped using the wash station in November.

The company has until May 9 to appeal.



Bookkeeper accused of taking $250,000 from treatment center

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Aggravated theft charges have been filed against a bookkeeper accused of stealing $250,000 from the drug and alcohol treatment that employed her in Eugene, Oregon.

An arrest warrant affidavit written by a Eugene police detective says 60-year-old Melodi Ann Sappe used some of the money to purchase Visa gift cards worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The Register-Guard reports Sappe pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Tuesday.

Sappe has been fired the center, Serenity Lane. She had worked there since 2004.

Serenity Lane moved from Eugene to a new facility in Coburg last year.



Boy who shot Trump protester ordered to youth prison

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 14-year-old boy who shot a man participating in a November President Donald Trump protest in Portland has been ordered to youth prison, possibly for over a decade.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the boy could be released at any time officials at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn determine he’s rehabilitated.

He’ll be released no later than his 25th birthday.

The teen shot 21-year-old Louis Carlos Paredes-Luis in the leg and grazed another person in the head about 1:20 a.m. on Nov. 12 on the Morrison Bridge.

It’s unclear why the boy opened fire on protesters who were upset about the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The teen previously pleaded no contest to two counts of assault with a firearm and guilty to one count of unlawful use of a weapon.



Coquille man sentenced to 50 years after rape conviction

COQUILLE, Ore. (AP) — A Coquille man convicted of raping a child has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier says Frank Wayne Noakes is ineligible for any form of early release or parole, other than credit for time already served.

Jurors earlier this month found Noakes guilty of rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and unlawful sexual penetration — all in the first degree — after a two-day trial.

Frasier says the victim was younger than 12 and known to Noakes, who’s 44.


Prominent powwow set to begin in wake of pipeline protests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One of North America’s most prominent powwows is set to begin in New Mexico.

The Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque comes in the wake of pipeline protests in North Dakota that became a historic display of Native American solidarity.

Last year’s powwow attracted about 3,000 dancers from hundreds of tribes in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It routinely draws at least 80,000 visitors.

The event, which opens Thursday, is intended to be nonpolitical, but Larry Yazzie, its official announcer, said people will be reminded why they are coming together, and that the “water protectors” — those who joined the pipeline protests — will be acknowledged.

The Gathering of Nations will be held at Expo New Mexico after the organization parted ways in a public spat with its longtime host — the University of New Mexico and its basketball arena.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.