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Oregon

One of the final items Oregon lawmakers approved before closing out their 2016 legislative session Thursday was a measure that would allow cities and counties to require developers to include low-income housing options in new developments.

Oregon lawmakers voted Wednesday to eliminate the statute of limitations for first-degree sex crimes, including rape. Under current law, prosecutors have 12 years after the crime to file charges.

It’s official: Oregon’s minimum wage will increase over the next six years after Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the bill Wednesday at a state Capitol ceremony. Brown called the measure her top priority for this year's legislative session.

Families near two Portland glass manufacturers say they need more help from state regulators.

Last month, warnings were issued about elevated levels of airborne arsenic and cadmium near the Bullseye and Uroborus glass companies.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Director Dick Pedersen is stepping down effective mid-March, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday.

Pedersen's resignation follows weeks of public outcry and criticism of DEQ over the discovery of unhealthy levels of cadmium and arsenic in the air in Southeast Portland.

DEQ Deputy Director Joni Hammond will replace Pedersen as interim director until a permanent successor can be named.

By the year 2030, the electricity that most Oregonians use won't be powered by coal. That's the goal of a measure that's moving through the Oregon Legislature. The state House approved the plan Tuesday.

One of the initiative campaigns to raise Oregon's minimum wage announced Monday that it's ending its signature-gathering efforts. But a separate campaign says it will keep trying to get an initiative on the November ballot.

The stretch of public land where Angie Ketscher grazes her cattle is so expansive she’s never seen the whole of it.

Neither has its owner, the Bureau of Land Management.

Ketscher’s ranch is one of four that turn their cattle out to feed on this nearly 300,000 acre parcel of the sagebrush sea.

Standing on a ridge above her ranch, Ketscher pointed across a narrow, treeless valley. Her permit begins on the other side and runs to three separate mountains in the far distance. By horseback, it would take three days to cover that distance.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a measure that would lift the state's nearly two-decade-old ban on inclusionary zoning laws. The Oregon Senate voted Friday to allow cities and counties to require builders to set aside a portion of large developments for affordable units.

The Oregon House approved a measure Thursday that would create a statewide tip line to report threats against schools. The idea is that in some cases, someone who intends to do harm tells a friend or relative ahead of time.

Republicans returned to work Thursday in the Oregon Senate, one day after GOP lawmakers refused to show up for a late-day floor session. The rare walk-out denied majority Democrats the quorum they needed to approve legislation.

The costs associated with the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are still being tallied up. They include police overtime, lodging, meals and fuel. Initial estimates show the total will easily top $1 million.

Two measures aimed at protecting low-income Oregonians from rising housing costs are moving forward in the state legislature.

Since officials announced the discovery of unhealthy levels of arsenic and cadmium in the air in Southeast Portland earlier this month, they've released a lot of new information about airborne heavy metals and the associated public health risks.

Here's what you should know at this point:

The discovery came from testing tree moss.

Gun buyers in Oregon could have to wait longer to get a weapon if there's a delay in processing their criminal background check. The Oregon House narrowly approved the measure Monday.

Last November, a long-time Oregon state representative announced he is facing a "likely diagnosis" of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Vic Gilliam said he would continue to serve as long as his conditions allowed.

About 200 residents gathered at Harriet Tubman Middle School Thursday for a second community meeting on the recent discovery of heavy metals in the air in Portland.

The meeting was much like the first session last week, with officials from Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Forest Service and Portland Public Schools available to answer questions and hear concerns.

Standing in front of a stained glass window in his showroom, Uroboros Glass President Eric Lovell walks through some of the colors and the metals used to make them.

"You're looking at chrome and copper greens, gold pinks and iron sulfide ambers," he said. "The yellow border there and the parrot feathers, reds and oranges, are the cadmium colors that are the current topic."

Inside the North Portland workshop, employees scoop glowing, molten glass out of 2200-degree furnaces.

Oregon lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a measure that will increase the state's minimum wage over the next six years. The vote in the Oregon House now sends the measure to the governor's desk.

Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would allow law enforcement officers involved in fatal shootings to ask a court to shield their name for 90 days.

It's been one year since Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber resigned. The Democrat stepped down last February amid an influence peddling investigation.

Republicans in the Oregon legislature are taking advantage of a little-used procedural move to force bills to be read out loud in their entirety. It's adding up to some lengthy floor sessions.

Voting in Oregon could get even easier -- and cheaper. Lawmakers are considering a measure that would require the state to pay the postage when voters return their ballots through the mail.

During the nearly five weeks of the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, the FBI kept a low profile, and it attracted some criticism for being too easy on the militants. But the feds' low-key profile concealed a deliberate strategy, one that evolved during an earlier round of confrontations with anti-government protesters in the 1990s.

A plan to hike Oregon's minimum wage is moving forward in the state legislature. The state Senate Thursday approved a measure that would increase the wage to as much as $14.75 per hour over the next six years.

Bill Radke speaks with Anna Griffin, reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting, about the dramatic, peaceful end to a 41-day standoff at Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The surrender of the remaining four holdouts was broadcast live via cellphone to a "riveting and incredibly disturbing" audio feed on YouTube. "It's as if," Griffin said "you could be inside the white Bronco with O.J. Simpson as he livestreams himself."

Oregon's economy continues to flourish, but the long-term outlook isn't as rosy. That was the message to lawmakers Wednesday from state economists, who released their quarterly revenue forecast.

Opponents of genetically engineered crops in Oregon want state lawmakers to allow local governments to ban those crops. The measure under consideration would reverse a bill approved during a special session less than three years ago.

Second Portland Glass-Maker Suspends Use Of Cadmium

Feb 9, 2016

A second glass-making company in Portland has voluntarily suspended its use of cadmium in response to tests showing elevated levels of the metal in nearby moss.

Uroboros Glass in North Portland announced Thursday it would stop making red, yellow and orange glass colors because they rely on the use of cadmium, a heavy metal that can raise the risk of lung cancer at elevated levels of exposure.

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