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Tuesday July 12, 2011 - Times viewed: 7761
After watching the Boston Bruins win the 2011 Stanley Cup, my friends and I raised the question: why isn't hockey popular in Portland? The intensity and tough nature of the sport grips the audience from start to finish. The power behind the body checks and slap shots invigorate even the casual sports fan, while the finesse of each shot and the quick athleticism of the goalie amaze then toughest critics. Recall the patriotism surrounding hockey's storied history. The 1980 Miracle on Ice in which the United States Olympic hockey team beat the U.S.S.R. powerhouse inspired the country. The cling-to-your-seat nonstop tenacity of the United States vs. Canada 2008 Olympic gold medal game grabbed the North American continent's attention. These games unite the attitudes of our country's people like the World Cup on a smaller scale. On a local level, the National Hockey League teams unite the sentiments of the people in their respective cities throughout the entire season. Though the Portland Winterhawks are not in the NHL, intensity and skill are there. Why don't they have more local support? (Portland only has two professional sports teams after all.) National sports media attention ra ...
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Tuesday July 12, 2011 - Times viewed: 7976
It's a good thing my brother took Spanish in high school. My family and I arrived in Mexico and had no way to communicate with any local person we saw. We needed to eat, drink water, and find activities with which we could occupy our time. My brother's minimal Spanish experience helped us acquire the basic essentials in the land of our neighbors to the South. When it comes to international relations between our fellow North American countries, our country strives to maintain a peaceful stance, but in order to cultivate friendly relations with our Mexican and Canadian neighbors, we must be able to communicate. Though many Oregonians may never visit Mexico or the French speaking areas of Canada (nearly 80% of Quebec citizens use French), the language barrier in the United States grows larger every year. According to CIA.gov, English comprises only 82% of the languages spoken in the United States, while Spanish sits at 10.7%. The need for Spanish in the workplace and everyday social interactions rises with every new immigrant from a Spanish-speaking country. The latest census estimated that 48.4 million Spanish-speaking immigrants live in the US. Though the need for pr ...
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Tuesday July 12, 2011 - Times viewed: 7741
MADRAS, Oregon — Railroad officials and central Oregon sheriff's detectives are trying to determine who pushed large boulders onto railroad tracks near a Madras, Ore., trestle twice in recent weeks. A freight train locomotive hit the first boulder and suffered damage. Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas says train conductors spotted the second boulder last week and stopped the tr ...

Tuesday July 12, 2011 - Times viewed: 7590
SALEM, Oregon — Gov. John Kitzhaber plans to name his predecessor, Ted Kulongoski, to a commission reviewing Oregon's criminal-sentencing laws. The Salem Statesman Journal reports that the commission was part of a package of proposals to revamp state government that Kulongoski made a month before he left office. The commission will be led by Chief Justice Paul De Muniz and have members from ...

Tuesday July 12, 2011 - Times viewed: 7756
PORTLAND, Oregon — As a result of budget cuts, Oregon officials plan to close three cottages that house sex offenders at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn. The Oregonian newspaper reports that plans call for transferring about 75 convicted sex offenders to other "close custody" units or possibly to less secure halfway houses run by private nonprofit agencies. Three other youth corrections units are slated to close, two in Salem and one in Albany. In all, the Oregonian reported, 150 offenders will be transferred, including 50 held in "close custody" units who will be moved to community based-residential programs. The rest will be transferred to other Oregon Youth Authority facilities around the state. The agency is also talking to employees about impending layoffs. About 100 workers are expected to lose their jobs. ...
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Tuesday July 12, 2011 - Times viewed: 7639
On Saturday July 9, 2011, the Portland Police Bureau's Gun Task Force, with the assistance of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, conducted a search warrant in Milwaukie after receiving information that a convicted felon was in the possession of numerous firearms. The search warrant was conducted at a single family residence at 8074 Southeast Rofini Court in Milwaukie. Officers arrested 48-year-old Dohnald Lee Roy Hartman of Milwaukie, and recovered 17 firearms and one stun gun. Officers also recovered a safe, gun cleaning kits, gun boxes, 13 firearm magazines (clips) and more than 1,200 rounds in assorted ammunition. Hartman was charged with 18 counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm and is being held in the Clackamas County Jail on $500,000 bail. Hartman has previous felony convictions for Burglary in the Second Degree, Attempted Kidnapping in the Second Degree, Theft in the First Degree, Failure to Appear in the First Degree, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Forgery in the First Degree, and Attempted Murder with a Firearm. The Gun Task Force seized 7 handguns, 5 rifles, 5 shotguns. The list of guns follows: Cobray Machine pistol 9mm (2) Springfield . ...
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Monday July 11, 2011 - Times viewed: 7741
SALEM, Oregon — Gov. John Kitzhaber plans to name his predecessor, Ted Kulongoski, to a commission reviewing Oregon's criminal-sentencing laws. The commission was part of a package of proposals to revamp state government that Kulongoski made a month before he left office. The commission will be led by Chief Justice Paul De Muniz and have members from all three branches of government. The ...

Monday July 11, 2011 - Times viewed: 7653
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As it stands, groundbreaking for a new Columbia River bridge between Oregon and Washington is not set to begin for another 18 months. But six years since the project began, both states have already spent $130 million without picking up a shovel. The Oregonian reports that sub-contractors and consultants have billed the protracted project millions of dollars. The project spends about $60,000 a day. One example was German engineer Seigfreid Hopf, who received along with two colleagues $83,000 for the equivalent of two months of work. The German engineer provided instrumental analysis of initial bridge designs. He traveled from Stuttgart to Portland three times at $7,000 a trip. Hopf was one of more than dozen engineers already on the panel overseeing the project. Nancy Boyd, the project's newly named director, said the project's spending is well within reasonable ranges. She added that engineers are looking for ways to reduce construction costs to partially offset the unexpected $100 million price jump. "Early project development is messy, even more so on a large, complex project like this one," Boyd said. That being said, "I don't see any red ...
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Sunday July 10, 2011 - Times viewed: 8019
CHAMPOEG STATE PARK, Oregon - State Police have reported that 41-year-old John Barry Pearce of Tigard was killed at Champoeg State Park on Friday. He was driving a Honda Civic out of the park around 9:20 p.m. when he lost control of the car. The Civic left the road, went through a fence then rolled down an embankment. According to OSP Senior Trooper Douglas Brown, on July 8, 2011 at approximately 9:17 p.m. OSP, fire and medical personnel responded to a report of a single vehicle injury traffic crash just inside the entrance to Champoeg State Park. Preliminary investigation indicates a Honda Civic hatchback driven by JOHN BARRY PEARCE, age 41, from Tigard, was leaving the park grounds when PEARCE lost control. The Honda traveled off the roadway and through a fence where it rolled down and embankment. PEARCE was ejected from the car and pronounced deceased at the scene by arriving medical personnel. He was not using safety restraints. The passenger was not ejected and was seriously injured. STEVEN FRANK ELDREDGE, age 54, from Portland, was initially transported to Newberg Hospital and then transferred to Oregon Health & Sciences University. ELDREDGE was using safety restra ...
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Saturday July 9, 2011 - Times viewed: 7729
ROSEBURG, Oregon - After watching his mother and her boyfriend break each other's bones and get in knife fights, 12-year-old George Prummer resorted to sleeping in sheds or on friends' couches to stay safe. "I was living in a very abusive, neglectful environment," recalled Prummer, now 67. The authorities stepped in midway through his seventh-grade year, and Prummer was placed in the home of a couple in their 30s, who lived in a house in the country near Umpqua. Though he stayed there less than a year, Prummer said he never forgot his loving foster mom. Prummer came face to face with his past during an emotional reunion in April when he discovered Eileen Benefiel was living in Rose Haven Nursing Center, where he works as a physical therapist assistant. Benefiel, 91, said she was undergoing physical therapy in a room at the center when she overheard someone say Prummer's name. She immediately started asking questions and was introduced to Prummer. "She asked me if I'd ever been in foster care, and I thought she meant adult foster care," he said. "So I gave her some cute reply." Once she rephrased the question, it didn't take long for him to realize the connection. ...
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Saturday July 9, 2011 - Times viewed: 8136
ST. HELENS, Ore. (AP) — In his first official day as a candidate for Congress, Brad Witt is already addressing the criticism he knows he'll be getting. The state legislator from Clatskanie is the second Democrat to launch a challenge against U.S. Rep. David Wu in next year's primary. He knows there will be some who will say he should've been the first Democrat to challenge Wu, if he hopes to win the party's nomination. He also knows there will be others who will say nobody should be challenging the party's incumbent. But Witt has an answer for all of them. "This election is too important to be about incumbency or who gets into the race first," Witt told a handful of spectators this week from the steps of the Columbia County Courthouse here, launching his campaign with a swing through the five counties that comprise Oregon's 1st Congressional District. He's taking on an incumbent who has been battered by reports about his mental health and his erratic campaign-season behavior leading up to the last two elections. Witt also faces another opponent, state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who launched his campaign in April and has had months to begin raising the considera ...
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Friday July 8, 2011 - Times viewed: 11766
On Thursday July 7, 2011, 37-year-old Brad Richard Ballantyne pled guilty to Murder in connection with the 1993 death of Kimberly Jean Dunkin. Ballantyne was sentenced to 25 years in prison. On Friday, January 1, 1993, at 10:30 a.m., 30-year-old Kimberly Jean Dunkin, was found shot to death inside the driver's seat of her blue 1973 Chevrolet Camaro parked in front of 4927 Northeast Skidmore Street. An autopsy determined that Miss Dunkin died from a gunshot wound to her head. Kimberly Dunkin reportedly attended a New Year's Eve party alone at a residence near the intersection of Northeast Sandy Boulevard and Northeast 77th.Avenue. Investigators believe she left the party sometime in the early morning hours of January 1, 1993. Dunkin may have stopped at a neighborhood convenience store after leaving the party. A witness saw Dunkin's car parked in front of 4927 Northeast Skidmore Street at 6:00 a.m. At the time the witness saw the car, he noticed a person slumped over in the driver's seat, but thought the person was asleep. At 10:30 am, the same witness walked by the car to check on the person and observed Miss Dunkin's body. Homicide Detectives believe Dunkin had been dea ...
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Friday July 8, 2011 - Times viewed: 7867
COQUILLE, Oregon The mother of a teenage girl murdered 11 years ago testified that the last time she saw her daughter, the 15-year-old said she was going to take her mom's advice and spend less time with her boyfriend. That boyfriend, now-29-year-old Nicholas McGuffin, is on trial for first-degree murder in Leah Freeman's death. The girl disappeared on the night of June 28, 2000. Leah's body was found five weeks later. Cory Courtright told a Circuit Court jury that she had told her daughter that she needed to spend more time with friends. Police investigated McGuffin, but no charges were filed until last year, when a grand jury considering new evidence indicted him. Prosecutor Erika Soublet told jurors that testimony would show McGuffin and Leah Freeman were seen together after Freeman left a friend's house the night she vanished. Defense attorney Shaun McCrea said in her opening statement that prosecutors have no physical evidence linking McGuffin to the crime. ...
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Friday July 8, 2011 - Times viewed: 7641
SALEM, Oregon - A killer on Oregon's death row said his attorneys did not obtain his consent for a psychological examination by the state that ultimately led the Oregon Supreme Court to block his execution. In letters to the court cited Friday by the Salem Statesman-Journal, inmate Gary Haugen said his attorneys didn't advise him of his doctor-patient rights and illegally made his psychological ...

Friday July 8, 2011 - Times viewed: 7649
WARM SPRINGS, Oregon - A wildfire that destroyed two houses on the Warm Springs Reservation in Central Oregon is reported under control. Fire crews have dug a line around it and are putting out lingering hot spots. A spokeswoman for the agencies working the fire says investigators are still looking into its cause. A deputy state fire marshal says it began when a couple was trying to burn off ...

Friday July 8, 2011 - Times viewed: 7656
PORTLAND, Oregon - Two men are reportedly in good condition after spending five days on the ocean when their boat lost power off the Oregon coast. The Oregonian reports the men were in the waters off Florence, Ore., on Friday morning, waiting for a motor lifeboat to tow them back to shore. The U.S. Coast Guard also sent a helicopter to pin down the boat's exact location. It did not release t ...

Thursday July 7, 2011 - Times viewed: 7714
PORTLAND, Oregon - Josh Seater could have done some serious harm when he stepped up to the wrought-iron fence around the Portland reservoir last month if he were holding something more ominous than a full bladder. The open-air reservoir contains treated water that goes directly to people's spigots, and Seater's decision to urinate there after a night of drinking led Portland officials to drain the entire basin to keep from rattling the public's nerves about the purity of the drinking supply. The saga delighted headline and joke writers, but it reveals a threat to urban water supplies in about a dozen cities. Portland has five of up to 30 uncovered reservoirs around the country that contain treated water, some accessible to the public. The fear is that a terrorist could drop or somehow get a toxic chemical agent into a reservoir and sicken people. "You can use your imagination. If somebody wanted to do something malicious, they could," said Richard Luthy, a Stanford University professor of civil and environmental engineering on a trip to a California reservoir. Luthy and others told congressional panels after Sept. 11 about the vulnerability of infrastructure includin ...
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Wednesday July 6, 2011 - Times viewed: 7819
Authorities say 45-year-old Darryl Swanson left several voice mails with various agencies threatening to kill the president and his family. Federal investigators say the man is upset that Obama did not send him a $70 million check. Swanson is being held without bail while he's waiting for a mental evaluation. ...
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Wednesday July 6, 2011 - Times viewed: 7812
HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Highway Patrol says a motorcycle collided with a pickup truck turning left off of U.S. Highway 2 in northwestern Montana, killing the two Oregon residents on the motorcycle. The patrol says the pickup, which was pulling a camper, had slowed to turn left the highway near Libby shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday. The driver of the truck began his turn as a 2009 Harley David ...

Wednesday July 6, 2011 - Times viewed: 7600
GRANTS PASS - The Obama administration says it will not try to revive a plan to double logging on federal lands in western Oregon, dealing a blow to the timber industry and rural counties that depend on the government's timber payments. Responding to a lawsuit brought by conservation groups, the U.S. Bureau of Land filed papers late Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland saying it agrees that the Western Oregon Plan Revision should be vacated by a judge because it did not go through proper consultation with other agencies over what harm the logging might cause threatened species such as the northern spotted owl and salmon. A federal judge still has to decide whether to vacate the 2008 Bush administration plan. "What they are saying is we can continue to having logging in these lands, yet we need to do it in a way supported by sound science that protects the water, protects the fish, and protects the owls," said Earthjustice attorney Kristen Boyles, who represents conservation groups that challenged the plan after a federal court ruling from Washington, D.C., had revived it. BLM spokesman Michael Campbell said the agency will announce its plans in coming weeks. They w ...
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Tuesday July 5, 2011 - Times viewed: 7998
VANCOUVER, Washington - Twenty-five years ago, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act set in motion a bold experiment in federal land use across one of the Northwest's most dramatic landscapes. Today, even as the bistate commission that administers the law struggles to carry on its work in the face of deep budget cuts, the act has largely succeeded in containing sprawl along the Colu ...

Tuesday July 5, 2011 - Times viewed: 7667
LINCOLN CITY, Oregon - Police in a popular tourist hamlet on the Oregon coast are looking for a man who allegedly abducted an 18-year-old woman at knifepoint from the parking garage at an outlet mall before driving her to a secluded road, where she escaped. Lincoln City police said the woman suffered knife wounds that are not life-threatening in the attack Sunday afternoon. Officers have been u ...

Tuesday July 5, 2011 - Times viewed: 7721
BEND, Oregon - Dry grass and brush burned east of Bend and north of Terrebonne in a busy of Fourth of July for central Oregon firefighters. KTVZ reports a slash-pile burn got out of control and burned across a field east of Bend. Neighbors slowed it down before firefighters arrived. Later, four small fires broke out along a four-mile stretch of Highway 97 north of Terrebonne. They may have b ...

Monday July 4, 2011 - Times viewed: 7737
PORTLAND, Oregon - Oregonians have been hitting the ski slopes as the Independence Day weekend finally brought summer to the state. Several resorts were open. At Mount Bachelor in Central Oregon, where it's been years since there was skiing this late, a spokesman reports more than 1,000 people on the hill. But if the wet winter and late spring have extended the ski season, they have also made the streams downhill cold, high and fast. The Eugene Register-Guard says authorities closed a popular stretch of the Willamette River for the summer. One man's less-than-sturdy raft got trapped against a bridge piling. Rescuers say that when they got to him, he was holding on to the piling with one hand and calling 911 on his cell phone with the other. ...
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Sunday July 3, 2011 - Times viewed: 9202
SEASIDE, Oregon - Twenty-year-old Caroline McGowan of Corvallis has won the 2011 Miss Oregon Scholarship Pageant at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. McGowan emerged the winner among 22 young women who competed in the Saturday pageant, and will go on to compete at the Miss America Pageant next January in Las Vegas. McGowan was crowned by the reigning Miss Oregon, Stephenie Steers. ...
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Sunday July 3, 2011 - Times viewed: 7673
PORTLAND, Oregon — A crash between an Amtrak train and an SUV has left the vehicle driver injured. Clackamas County fire spokesman Steve McAdoo says the accident happened around 5:30 p.m. Saturday at a busy railroad crossing in Oregon City. He tells the Oregonian that the SUV apparently was trying to squeeze through the crossing gate when the collision occurred. The train was traveling about 45 mph and took a half mile to stop. McAdoo says the driver, whose name was not released, was hospitalized with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening. No train passengers were injured, and the train resumed its trip between Los Angeles and Seattle about 90 minutes later. ...
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Sunday July 3, 2011 - Times viewed: 7666
PENDLETON, Oregon - Bicyclists in eastern Oregon say they're getting whacked on the head by an angry bird. Riders in Pendleton told the East Oregonian that a male hawk is dive-bombing them because they're too close to a nest he's guarding in an old cottonwood tree. Bicyclist Mack Temple says the bird came in from behind like a fighter plane and whacked his helmet. Another rider, Charlie Newhouse, says the attack on his helmet was "like getting hit with a baseball bat." He says the talons went in through the helmet. Bird-watchers say the large bird is a Swainson's hawk. The riders say he's been vigilant for a few nesting seasons, but hasn't been as aggressive as this year. Bird-watchers say the hawk will ease up once his brood learns to fly. ...
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Sunday July 3, 2011 - Times viewed: 7684
PORTLAND - The wolves came within howling distance of the house, but were gone by the time Kim Jacobs found dead lambs on her family's eastern Oregon ranch that spring morning. While many conservationists welcome the return of gray wolves into the Pacific Northwest, Jacobs wants to shoot them if they harm her livestock. "A lot of (people) can't wrap their mind around what wolves are capable of," said the fourth-generation rancher from Baker City, Ore., whose family lost at least 26 sheep to wolves in 2009. As gray wolves have moved into the valleys and forests of Oregon and Washington in recent years, the conflicts that marked wolf debates in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are unfolding here. Congress in April stripped federal endangered-species protections from wolves in Montana, Idaho and the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon. Wolves are still on the federal list of endangered species in the western two-thirds of Washington and Oregon, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing whether that protection should continue. Public comments on that review are due Tuesday. This summer, Washington wildlife officials are finalizing a draft wolf management plan ...
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Saturday July 2, 2011 - Times viewed: 7699
OREGON CITY, Oregon - A 55-year-old transient who abandoned a cat in an Oregon City storage unit was sentenced to 30 days in jail for animal neglect and ordered not to own another pet for five years. The 4-year-old male orange tabby was discovered starving and close to death on February 9, 2011, inside a storage unit rented by Anthony Glenn Johnson. The manager of the Money Saver Mini Storage at 1197 Molalla Ave heard the cat's cries. He was tied by a leash to a shopping cart inside the storage unit. ...
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Saturday July 2, 2011 - Times viewed: 7892
GRANTS PASS, Oregon - A southern Oregon woman who manages a clinic that helps people obtain medical marijuana cards has been convicted on drug manufacturing and delivery charges, The Daily Courier reported Friday. Brenda Thomas, 44, was the manager of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation clinic in Grants Pass. The foundation, headed by longtime Portland marijuana activist Paul Stanford, has clinics in nine states, where doctors examine patients looking for state authorization to use pot to treat medical conditions. A Josephine County jury deliberated for about an hour Thursday before convicting Thomas after a six-day trial that included testimony about medical marijuana growers regularly using the cover of providing medicine for patients to pile up hundreds of pounds of illegal weed they can sell on the black market at low risk of going to jail. The case against Thomas began with an October 2009 traffic stop on Interstate 5 in neighboring Jackson County, where a Nevada couple was pulled over and told Oregon State Police they purchased marijuana from Thomas for $1,000. Under Oregon's medical marijuana law, patients can have someone else grow pot for them, but growers cannot ...
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