Oregon | KUOW News and Information

Oregon

The privatization of retail liquor sales in Washington state has delivered a sustained boost to the state liquor divisions in neighboring Idaho and Oregon.

Customers of Portland-based health insurance company Moda should rest assured their policies will be honored. That was the message from state regulators Monday after they announced a consent order meant to keep the company afloat.

A plan to hike Oregon's minimum wage is moving forward in the Oregon Legislature. A measure cleared a committee Friday and is headed for a vote on the Senate floor.

In December, Congress adjourned without passing legislation to ratify a trio of agreements meant to end the long-standing water wars in the Klamath Basin. This essentially killed the deal, which was arrived at through years of painstaking negotiations between farmers, ranchers, tribes and other groups.

Now, there’s a move to demolish four dams on the Klamath River through a separate regulatory process, bypassing the need for Congressional approval. This unexpected turn could shape the ongoing Klamath saga.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would close what some activists call a "loophole" in the state's criminal background check law. It allows gun sales to go through if a background check isn't completed by the end of the next business day.

Oregon lawmakers want to continue to root out cases of police profiling. A House panel Tuesday advanced a measure that would require additional research into the issue.

It's been a month since armed militants took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, and even though the leaders of that occupation have been arrested, the community of Harney County finds itself deeply divided.

That anger erupted on Monday in the form of a huge shouting match on the steps of the county courthouse in Burns, Ore. It's a small town of about 2,700 people, so it's not every day that you see 400 or 500 people out on the street, screaming at each other.

Following the militant occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the Obama administration is weighing whether to move forward with a huge land conservation proposal in an Oregon county that has drawn strong local opposition.

A decision by President Barack Obama to protect up to 2.5 million acres surrounding the remote Owyhee Canyonlands could help cement his legacy for protecting the country’s wild lands.

Oregon and California have struck a deal with PacifiCorp and federal regulators on a new path to removing four aging dams on the Klamath River without congressional approval.

The move was hailed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the Obama administration as a key step forward after years of delays in implementing a landmark agreement designed to resolve ongoing conflicts over water.

"Oregon is moving forward in the Klamath Basin," she said in an statement. "We can't afford to sit back and wait for another crisis to batter these communities."

An Oregon state lawmaker is making what he calls a long shot attempt at heading off an initiative that would raise corporate taxes.

Oregon lawmakers kicked off a five-week legislative session Monday with a long "to do" list. But some at the Capitol think the legislature is overstepping its authority.

Capturing Valhalla: OPB's Toughest Shoot

Jan 31, 2016

In the summer of 2015, OPB’s Oregon Field Guide and a team of highly skilled canyoneers embarked on a journey to explore Valhalla — an uncharted gorge hidden in the Oregon wilderness.

The expedition was a dream come true for crewmembers who have spent their lives working in and exploring the outdoors. It would prove to be the most challenging project in Oregon Field Guide’s 27-year history.

Descending Into Uncharted Territory

Jan 31, 2016

For most of the crew, a nearly 100-foot waterfall crashing down moss- and fern-covered rock was an awe-striking symbol of the journey ahead. The previously uncharted falls boomed through their bodies; the echo carried far past their sight and off into the mysterious canyon.

The armed standoff between anti-government militants and law enforcement in Oregon has lasted more than four weeks.

People from three Pacific island nations have the right to live and work in the United States, thanks to a unique 1986 treaty. But a separate Congressional action 20 years ago means that they are not eligible for Medicaid -- even those who become taxpayers.

Many have settled in Oregon, where lawmakers will consider a bill in February that would require the state to subsidize medical care for people from these nations.

The Marshall Islands are an independent nation made up of more than 1,000 small islands near the equator, about 2,000 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Oregon lawmakers return to the state Capitol Monday for a whirlwind legislative session. Legislators are expected to debate topics such as the minimum wage, corporate taxes, and gun control.

A federal judge ordered the organizer of the Oregon wildlife refuge occupation, Ammon Bundy, and his brother, Ryan, held without bail.

FBI: Standoff Continues In Oregon, Video Of Rancher Death

Jan 29, 2016
LaVoy Finicum, a rancher from Arizona, was shot by police on Tuesday night. The FBI has released a silent video of what happened.
OPB/Amelia Templeton

Four people remain inside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge south of Burns, Oregon, the FBI said during a press conference on Thursday evening.

“The negotiators continue to work around the clock to talk to those four people in an effort to get them to come out peacefully,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing.

The remaining militants inside are David Fry of Blanchester, Ohio, husband and wife Sean and Sandy Anderson of Janesville, Wisconsin, and Jeff Banta of Elko, Nevada.

As law enforcement increases its activity surrounding the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said her primary concern continues to be the safety of Oregon residents.

Ammon Bundy, center, one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, walks off after speaking with reporters during a news conference at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, near Burns, Ore.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Bill Radke speaks with Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter John Sepulvado about the future of the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge after the FBI arrested Ammon Bundy, the leader of the militant group. 

In a sign the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge may be winding down, the FBI announced late Wednesday that eight people had left the compound. Five were released and three arrested.

The FBI said in a statement:

"All [three] were in contact with the FBI, and each chose to turn himself into [sic] agents at a checkpoint outside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The arrests were without incident.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown wants state lawmakers to approve roughly $500,000 in emergency funding to cover costs associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Will The Oregon Occupation Ruin Bird Habitat?

Jan 26, 2016

The employees of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge have not been able to go back to their desks ever since the armed occupation started earlier this month.

They’ve been able to do much of their work off-site, but some important stuff is being left undone.

That includes the effort to eradicate an invasive fish from the refuge’s waters.

The common carp arrived in the refuge in the 1920s and multiplied like mad, crowding out native species and severely messing up the habitat.

California is beginning its analysis of how three Klamath River hydroelectric dams are affecting water quality.

The state is in the middle of a series of scoping meetings, providing the public its first official chance to weigh in since the Klamath Basin Water Agreements fell apart at the end of December.

The Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability said Monday Judge Vance Day should be removed from office after refusing to perform same-sex weddings. Day's spokesperson said in a statement that the judge would vigorously defend his innocence and his rights at the state's highest court.

It was hard to tell where the snow ended and the sky began – a strange, dim-white blanket that didn’t end.
 

On Jan. 11 the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon were there to cut fence. A bundle of photographers, TV camera operators and other journalists, including me, were there to capture the action.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wants state lawmakers to fund a new set of investigators specializing in elder abuse cases. It comes as more than 150 prosecutors, attorneys and law enforcement officers meet to discuss elder abuse in Salem Tuesday.

Hundreds Rally In Portland, Eugene, Bend To Oust Malheur Occupiers

Jan 21, 2016

Oregonians across the state braved a soggy afternoon Tuesday to protest the ongoing occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The message for armed occupiers was clear: “Get out! Get out! Get out!”

In Portland, protesters were old and young, native and immigrant, urbanites and those who drove in from Harney County.

The union-backed group that's seeking to increase taxes on some of Oregon's largest corporations is ramping up its signature collection efforts this weekend.

Thanks to a measure approved by Oregon lawmakers last summer, you’ll soon be able to legally drive faster on more than 1,500 miles of highways in Oregon. But while the bill sped through the legislature fairly quickly, there's a lot to be done before Oregon drivers can speed up.

Pages