Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment
Portland teachers give district new proposal
(Information in the following story is from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Negotiators for Portland teachers have given the school district a new contract proposal in face-to-face talks that lasted more than four hours. A strike is set for Feb. 20 if no agreement is reached before then.
The Oregonian reports that the teachers union later described to members some concessions made in the proposal.
The newspaper says Thursday's proposal leaves the two sides just over half a percentage point apart on salary increases. The union is now seeking about 2.5 percent to 2.6 percent annual raises with the district most recently proposing 2 percent a year.
The document sent to teachers also says the proposal offers concessions on rules governing how teachers are transferred and the role that teaching qualifications play in the layoff process.
Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith says the two sides will meet again Sunday. She says both sides are working "really hard" to reach agreement.
Portland has the state's largest school district with 48,000 students and 2,900 teachers.
Kitzhaber: Low-carbon fuel mandate will go forward
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Unable to convince the Legislature to keep Oregon's clean fuels program alive past its scheduled expiration next year, Gov. John Kitzhaber says he's ordering the stricter fuel requirements to go into effect anyway.
Oregon's low-carbon fuel standard aims to reduce the amount of carbon emissions associated with extracting, refining, transporting and burning the fuels used in transportation.
The Department of Environmental Quality is requiring fuel producers and importers to report the amount of carbon emissions associated with their fuels. But DEQ has said it won't require fuel companies to begin reducing the amount of emissions unless the Legislature continues the program beyond 2015.
Kitzhaber said Thursday he now wants DEQ to move forward the reduction mandates.
Oil companies, truckers, farmers and other large-volume fuel users worry that costs will rise.
Ore. schools could keep Native American mascots
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon schools may get to keep Native American-themed symbols despite a statewide ban under a bill currently making its way through the state Senate.
The bill would allow schools to use mascots that have a connection to a federally recognized Native American tribe in Oregon if a school board and the tribe enter into a written agreement that meets specific conditions. The bill revives the issue after Gov. John Kitzhaber vetoed a similar bill in August.
This time, supporters worked with the governor's office and tribal representatives to find a compromise. Under the revised bill, the State Board of Education must consult with Oregon's Native American tribes to develop rules governing the mascot agreements.
A state Senate committee voted Thursday to send the bill to the full Senate.
Skiers injured in deadly avalanche praise rescuers
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two backcountry skiers injured in a deadly Eastern Oregon avalanche are in satisfactory condition, and have released statements thanking rescuers.
Authorities say 60-year-old Susan Polizzi of Wenatchee, Wash., suffered two broken legs and a broken arm during Tuesday's avalanche in the Wallowa Mountains. Forty-year-old Bruno Bachinger of Snohomish, Wash., had a broken thigh bone.
The two are hospitalized in Walla Walla, Wash.
Polizzi said Thursday she survived in part because of the efforts a backcountry ski guide who "scarcely left her side" and the skills of the rescuers who brought her to safety.
Bachinger, meanwhile, released a short statement also thanking those who came to his aid.
The avalanche hit a party of six skiers and two guides. The bodies of a skier and guide who did not survive remain on the mountain.
Landslide means I-84 in gorge to be slow for days
HOOD RIVER, Ore. (AP) — The Washington State Patrol says a fatal two-car crash on Washington Highway 14 in the Columbia River Gorge closed that highway in both directions for several hours. That crash came a day after a landslide interrupted eastbound traffic on Interstate 84 on the other side of the river.
The I-84 landslide increased traffic on Highway 14, a winding, two-lane road on the north side of the Columbia.
Trooper William Finn says two cars collided Thursday afternoon east of the Bridge of the Gods. Highway 14 reopened Thursday night.
TRUCK CRASH-DRUG STASH
Ore. big rig crash yields more than $1M in drugs
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Portland say it looked at first like an unremarkable rollover crash involving a tractor-trailer rig on U.S. Highway 97 in north-central Oregon. That all changed when tow truck company employees called Sherman County sheriff's officers to say they'd found bundles of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine hidden in the pallets of bell peppers.
Sheriff's officers tallied the haul at 190 pounds of meth, 11 pounds of heroin and 7.5 kilograms of cocaine.
The Oregonian reports the drugs are estimated to be worth more than $1 million. The U.S. attorney's office says it's believed to be Oregon's largest drug seizure.
The 53-year-old East Wenatchee, Wash., man who was driving the truck on Jan. 17 has been charged with four counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute the drugs. Salvador Martinez-Perez pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court in Portland. He remains in custody with a trial date of April 22.
HILLSBORO MOTEL FIRE
Ore. motel fire injures 1, displaces guests
HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — A fire department spokesman in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro says a two-alarm fire injured one guest at the Hillsboro Budget Inn and displaced more than two dozen others.
Firefighters found flames coming from a second-floor unit Thursday afternoon in the two-story, cinder block residential motel. Spokesman Bruce Montgomery says crews knocked down the flames in that room but found the fire had entered the attic space.
The spokesman says one person was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening burn injuries.
Damage is estimated at $100,000.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The American Red Cross is assisting residents with temporary housing.
STUCK IN PIT
Ore. woman missing for week found alive
(Information in the following story is from: KEZI-TV, http://www.kezi.com/)
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (AP) — Police in the Willamette Valley community of Cottage Grove, Ore., say a 52-year-old woman missing for a week has been found alive in a pit in a wooded area.
KEZI-TV reports the woman survived without food and with only a little water, living through a fierce snowstorm that hit late last week.
Corporal Conrad Gagner says police decided to search an area called Mount David on Thursday, after a relative said the woman liked to go there. Officers had searched other areas earlier.
Gagner says the woman was conscious and responsive. She told her rescuers she went to the woods last Friday for some solitude, got stuck in the pit and couldn't climb out because it was too slippery.
She says she used a plastic bag to collect water to drink.
Gagner says the woman was taken to a hospital in nearby Springfield. Her condition was not available late Thursday. Police did not release her name.
Ore. man, 76, rescued after SUV goes into creek
COQUILLE, Ore. (AP) — The Coos County sheriff's office says firefighters and an ambulance crew have rescued a 76-year-old Coquille (Ko-KEEL), Ore., man who was trapped when his Ford Explorer ran off a road and wound up on its side in a creek.
Sheriff's officers say Clyde Blaylock told rescuers he swerved Thursday to miss a doe and yearling deer in the road. He says he was in the water about a half hour.
He was treated at a local hospital.
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