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Oregon

The Oregon Supreme Court Thursday upheld the death sentences of a father and son convicted in the bombing deaths of two Oregon police officers in 2008. But with a moratorium on the death penalty still in place, it's unlikely the executions will be carried out any time soon.

"He lived a hardscrabble life in a rusty steel town. John Kasich never gives up."

An hour after that campaign ad aired on Portland radio Wednesday afternoon, Ohio Gov. John Kasich did give up, pulling the plug on his presidential campaign. 

Ballots are going out in the mail this week to Oregon voters in advance of next month's primary. And it appears that independent voters are signing up in droves to vote in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries.

Portland State University, the city of Portland and Multnomah County announced plans Wednesday to spend $125,000 on a two-year study of the city’s toxic air pollution.

The grocery industry is calling it quits on a potential ballot measure that would have privatized liquor sales in Oregon. Currently, hard liquor like whiskey, vodka and gin can only be sold in state-chartered stores.

Grocers want to be able to sell it along with their current selections of beer and wine, but the industry group behind the effort said Wednesday they won't collect any more signatures for the initiative.

The Oregon Department of Justice recently commissioned a review into why state investigators were scrutinizing Oregonians who used the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media, including tweets by the head of the agency’s own Civil Rights Division.

The  suggests that two employees potentially broke state laws with their searches, but ultimately acted on their own volition.

Oregon is falling short of many of its own goals when it comes to caring for children in its foster care system. That's according to a review released this week.

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission voted 4-1 Thursday to approve new air pollution restrictions for colored glassmakers statewide.

Commissioner Morgan Rider voted no, saying the rules were a rushed overreaction to public outcry and would be unnecessarily burdensome to businesses.

Taxes from marijuana sales continue to outpace expectations in Oregon. The state Department of Revenue Wednesday said the state has collected nearly $7 million in pot taxes so far this year.

An Oregon start-up that’s trying to use kites to generate electricity has secured close to a quarter of a million dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state agencies.

Beaverton-based eWind Solutions is working with Oregon State University to develop kites that generate power by flying in a figure ‘8’ pattern. The hope is that will make the kites pull hard on their cords, which are attached to a ground-based ratchet system that spins a power generator.

Martha Guise is the principal of Century High School in Hillsboro, a Portland suburb. She says class sizes at her school are around 34 — much higher than desired.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

For all Washington's fretting over state funding for education, there are people in Oregon who would love to have Washington's problems.

Keep your kicker or donate it?

Oregon taxpayers have the chance to donate their kicker rebate to fund state schools as they fill out their tax forms this year. But hardly anyone is choosing to do that. So far this tax season, less than one-half of one percent of Oregonians are choosing to donate their kicker.

When Tim McClure was 42 years old, he was convicted of illegally growing marijuana on his ranch near The Dalles, Oregon. And at this time last year, McClure was living with the shame of being a felon.

"I don't think it's the measure of me as a man,” McClure said 2015.

Is The Future Of Solar Bright In Oregon?

Apr 14, 2016

When the most recent legislative session ended in Oregon, the state’s energy future looked very different than it had just a few months earlier. Lawmakers moved to get Oregon off of coal by 2030. And that means replacing one-third of the state’s power supply in just 14 years.

Renewable energy development will likely benefit – and in particular, Oregon’s new laws are setting up solar as a potential big winner.

More Oregon taxpayers than normal are facing a longer wait for their refund this year. But as a later-than-usual April 18 filing deadline approaches, the Oregon Department of Revenue said it's clearing out the backlog.

The Bureau of Land Management released a new proposal Tuesday for managing the former Oregon and California Railroad forestlands in Western Oregon.

The so-called “O&C Lands” have traditionally been used to generate money for local counties, but since the 1990s, those revenues have been shrinking.

Bullseye Glass has announced it plans to resume using cadmium in its glassmaking operation now that the company has installed a pollution control device to reduce harmful emissions.

The company voluntarily suspended its use of cadmium and arsenic in February after a U.S. Forest Service study and follow-up air testing revealed heavy metal hot spots near the Southeast Portland facility. In March, Bullseye announced plans to install a pollution control device.

Oregon House Speaker Criticizes DEQ Investigation Of Swan Island Odors

Apr 11, 2016

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek has criticized the state Department of Environmental Quality’s handling of a contentious air quality problem in North Portland, and is asking the agency to reconsider a determination that paint fumes from a truck maker are not posing a nuisance to neighbors.

During her second State of the State address Friday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown renewed her call for the legislature to approve a massive transportation funding package.

Supporters of a resolution to one of the West's most protracted water wars made their way to a remote location on the Northern California coast to witness the signing of two major agreements Wednesday that could make history.

The new deals move the region a big step closer to the removal of four dams on the Klamath River, which runs through Southern Oregon and Northern California. It also ensures that farmers will not be financially responsible for restoration of salmon runs once the dams are gone.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown will deliver the 2016 State of the State address this Friday in Portland. It's her second one since taking office last year in the wake of John Kitzhaber's resignation.

So far Brown's office has released few details about what the governor will talk about.

Last summer, Democratic U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden visited the seven natural wonders of Oregon, which include Crater Lake and Mount Hood.

What he heard again and again, he said, were stories of people trying to get outdoors but being stymied by government bureaucracy.

“We heard that people were getting up at 6 a.m. to wait in line in effect to wait again for the prospect of getting a permit,” Wyden said.

Health officials announced Friday that they have discovered a small but "statistically significant" increase in the number of bladder cancers in North Portland between 1999 and 2003.

The Oregon Health Authority has been looking at cancer rates in neighborhoods around two glass manufacturers in Portland after a notable increase in air pollution was detected earlier this year.

The manufacturers had been using heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic to color glass, and elevated levels were found nearby.

The Oregon primary is still more than a month away, but ballots are already going out in the mail to some voters. And starting Tuesday, campaigns will have to report finance transactions on a timelier basis.

Oregonians listening to the Pandora streaming music website might hear a seemingly surprising commercial about Gov. Kate Brown and the environment.

The new ad, from the environmental advocacy group Oregon Wild, complains about how Brown has handled issues ranging from Portland air pollution to endangered wolves. It charges that she “is failing to protect the things that make the state special.”

Oregon Kills 4 Wolves After Confirming Livestock Attacks

Mar 31, 2016

Oregon wildlife officials killed four wolves in northeastern Oregon Thursday after determining they are responsible for killing too many livestock.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday that information transmitted from collared wolves in the Imnaha pack allowed the agency to confirm that four pack members have been chronically preying on livestock.

The oil industry said it's backing down from an effort to overturn Oregon's clean fuels law at the ballot. Instead, the Oregon Fuels Association will try to get lawmakers to modify the law when they renew debate on a highway funding plan in 2017.

Andrew Layton is a barista at Java Hound, on Portland's stylish NW 23rd Ave. He knows how much taxes he pays.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

In Oregon, the state tax system puts the burden more on the rich than the poor.

Washington state is the opposite: Part-time workers pay up to 24 percent of their earnings in taxes, and people at the high end of the wage scale pay around 5 percent.

KUOW Graphic/Kara McDermott

Washington has to pony up $3.5 billion for basic education – but how the heck is that going to happen?

A back-of-the-envelope calculation by the Department of Revenue makes the solution look simple: Be like Oregon – or Idaho – and get an income tax.

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon, some activists and entrepreneurs are taking the next step: They're running for office themselves.

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