Pacific Northwest

Fire safety team eyes camp sites

There have been 200 abandoned campfires in the past several weeks within the Mt. Hood National Forest and a special team of fire prevention experts is now on the move to educate visitors about safety restrictions in place during hot and dry weather. “Everybody needs to be aware of the dangers of wildfire, while still enjoying the many recreational benefits the national forest provides,” said Mark Wiles, leader of the Mt. Hood National Forest NW Area Fire Prevention Team.

August 17, 2018 1:45 p.m. read more..

With strong economy, state jobs go unfilled

SALEM — Amid a strong economy and a tightening labor market, private employers across Oregon are struggling to fill job openings. And while state officials say there's no definitive data on the subject, anecdotal evidence suggests that state government is having similar problems.

August 14, 2018 3:04 p.m. read more..

OR parks and rec seeks comments

SALEM — Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is seeking public comment on proposed rules that would allow the agency to implement flexible rates for state park campsites. The proposed rule would allow OPRD to vary campsite rates within a set range.

August 14, 2018 2:10 p.m. read more..

Fee hikes to fund housing

In June, the cost of recording deeds, mortgages and liens took a 61 percent jump — from $65 to $105 — with all of the increase going to pay for affordable housing in Oregon.

August 7, 2018 1:25 p.m. read more..

Feds on the move to get fire assistance

Three members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation are on the move to get federal assistance for farmers in Sherman and Wasco counties who have sustained damage from recent wildfires. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has written a letter asking U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to allow emergency grazing of livestock on Conservation Reserve Program ground. He also asks that farmers be given flexibility to plant cover crops for soil stabilization without being placed in the continuous production category with the Risk Management Agency and having their crop insurance adversely affected.

August 3, 2018 1:37 p.m. read more..

Highway 14 reopens

Today at 2:00 p.m., Highway 14 will be reopened at a reduced speed limit, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. There will be reader boards at both ends of the highway and the speed limit will be 45 miles per hour.

August 2, 2018 2:34 p.m. read more..

Ban on publicly-funded abortion heads to ballot

A constitutional amendment to ban publicly-funded abortion in Oregon has qualified for the statewide general election. The Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act — which will likely be called Measure 106 — had just enough valid signatures to secure a place on the ballot. "We are really excited because we have been working at this since 2012," said Brooks resident Marilyn Shannon, one of the initiative's three chief sponsors.

July 31, 2018 1:58 p.m. read more..

Tolling initiative refiled

SALEM — State Rep. Julie Parrish, the architect of Oregon Measure 101 in January, has joined as a chief sponsor of a 2020 initiative to require voter approval for tolls on existing roadways, bridges or freeways.

July 31, 2018 1:58 p.m. read more..

OR joins lawsuit over 3-D printed guns

SALEM — Oregon is joining a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State to prevent a Texas company from posting designs for guns that can be made on 3-D printers. California, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

July 31, 2018 1:55 p.m. read more..

Zoo releases endangered butterflies

PORTLAND — Some of the Oregon Zoo’s tiniest residents have headed for the mountains of Oregon’s coastal range. On July 12, butterfly conservationists with the zoo joined colleagues from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo to release 500 Oregon silverspot caterpillars on the slopes of Saddle Mountain in an effort to stabilize declining wild populations of the species.

July 24, 2018 2:40 p.m. read more..

Report knocks OR taxes

SALEM — A new report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities is critical of Oregon’s property tax limits, which could be a target of reform in 2019. The report, released last Wednesday, examined Oregon and three other states — Michigan, Massachusetts and New York — with limits on property taxes. The limits have driven cities and counties to squeeze revenue out of fees and charges that disproportionately affect low-income people, the authors of the report from the Washington, D.C. think tank argue.

July 24, 2018 2:35 p.m. read more..

Fire claimed four homes, 2M bushels

The Substation Fire wiped out an estimated 2 million bushels of wheat at a value of $12 million, and began on the first day of what is normally the two busiest weeks of harvest, said an official with Mid-Columbia Producers. Jeff Kaser, general manager for MCP, said Monday that insurance adjustors, including crop specialists from all over the country, were busy evaluating losses, and a final number on the loss is at least a week away.

July 24, 2018 1:43 p.m. read more..

‘The flames were like lava’

Kylee VanOrman-Ruby said neighboring farmers did everything they could to save her parents property, but Tuesday’s fire was driven by strong wind gusts that couldn’t be controlled. “Everyone tried to get ahead of it, but it was everywhere — it was just unbelievable,” she said.

July 20, 2018 1:55 p.m. read more..

First deep well drilled for Mosier orchard

For adventures in deep-well drilling, look no further than the 1,223-foot well recently drilled for orchardist Bryce Molesworth in the Mosier Valley. It came in at just over 1.5 times the estimated cost and took far longer than expected, but it’s finally done and has been in service for several months now, Molesworth said.

July 17, 2018 2:15 p.m. read more..

I-84 night closure begins

Interstate 84 will be closed nights eastbound and westbound at exit 56 Monday, July 16 through Thursday, July 19. Delays may be minimal because the off-ramp leads directly to an on-ramp and a quick return to the highway.

July 17, 2018 1:59 p.m. read more..


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