Latest Oregon news, sports, business, and entertainment at 6:20 p.m. PDT


Portland Police Force stop minor traffic stops citing inequalities

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) – Police in Oregon’s largest city are being advised to stop prosecuting drivers for low-level traffic violations – including expired license plates and broken headlights – unless the security threat is imminent. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also announced Tuesday that if the police stop a driver, they must obtain written consent prior to searching the vehicle and clearly inform the person that they have the right to refuse. Wheeler said both changes are in response to data showing a different impact on black drivers during traffic stops and vehicle searches. While 6% of Portlanders are black, they make up 18% of traffic stops in the city.


Oregon legislature passes an amendment to “pause” evictions

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) – As the state and federal eviction moratorium expires in late June, Oregon lawmakers have passed a safety net for struggling tenants that will “pause” some evictions. Under the “Safe Harbor” amendment to Senate Act 278, tenants who are unable to pay their July or August rent would not be evicted for 60 days if they demonstrate to their landlord that they have applied for Rent Aid through Oregon Housing and Community Service. The amended bill, passed Tuesday, will next go to Governor Kate Brown’s desk to be signed. As of Tuesday, 10,830 households in the state had applied for rental allowance.


Local students are allowed to wear cultural items upon graduation

EUGENE, Oregon (AP) – As Andrew Mike prepared for his graduation from Willamette High School this spring, he and his family were able to make the event even more special. His mother spent time decorating his mortarboard with intricate beadwork. He tied an eagle feather that his grandmother had given him to his cap, which hung next to his tassel. Mike is a registered citizen of the Confederate Tribes of the Siletz Indians and is also Shoshone Paiute and Winnebago. Donning the items means not only representing a large part of yourself, but your larger community as well. House Bill 2052, passed in May, allows Indian and Native American high school graduates to wear tribal regalia and other cultural items during their graduation ceremonies.


Biden accelerates efforts to combat the increasing violent crime

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is expected to announce a partnership between federal law enforcement agencies and the local police force to help combat an increasing tide of violent crime. The effort is aimed at building on his government’s previous arms control efforts and bringing in new forces to combat the arms trade. Concern about crime is real and is believed to be fueled by the pandemic that created economic hardship, displacement and fear. But there are also delicate politics. The rise in crime has become a talking point among Republicans and has been widely discussed in conservative media.


Ex-headmaster accuses the school district of discrimination

ALBANY, Oregon (AP) – A former director of South Albany High School is suing Greater Albany Public Schools, alleging the district racially discriminated against and created a hostile work environment. The Albany Democrat Herald reports that Nain “Nate” Munoz filed the lawsuit in the US District Court in Eugene last month. He filed a complaint about illegal employment practices, including discrimination and retaliation. Munoz was interim director and then director of South Albany from July 2018 to June 2020. In the lawsuit, Munoz is identified as being of Mexican-American descent. Barrett Mersereau represents Greater Albany Public Schools and told the newspaper he could not discuss the case.


Biden’s anti-crime efforts include illegal arms dealers

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden announces efforts to contain a rising national tide of violent crime as government officials prepare for a potentially tumultuous summer. They focus on targeting gun violence, funding cities in need of police force, and providing community support. In Biden’s speech on Wednesday, he will announce a “zero tolerance” policy that gives arms dealers who do not comply with federal laws any leeway – their sales license will be revoked the first time they violate them. The Department of Justice is deploying forces in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC to defeat illegal arms dealers.


Couple on trial on famine accusation of murder

VANCOUVER, Washington (AP) – The adoptive parents of a 15-year-old boy from Vancouver, Washington, who died of starvation, placed $ 1 million each on bail during a Clark County court hearing. Colombian reports Felicia L. Adams and Jesse C. Franks appeared in Superior Court Monday on charges of domestic violence for second degree murder and homicide in the death of Karreon Franks. In response to the charges being read, Franks said, “I don’t know why I’m being charged with all of this.” Assistant Attorney James Smith described the allegations as “extremely worrying”. Smith says Adams and Franks each face a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment if convicted.


In the midst of the clamor to increase the prescribed burns, obstacles await you

SALEM, Oregon (AP) – Six decades after the University of California forest professor Harold Biswell was experimented with prescribed burns and treated with ridicule, he is viewed as someone whose ideas are saving the forests of the U.S. west and the threat of wildfires could decrease. Hundreds of millions of hectares of forest are overgrown and vulnerable to forest fires that devastated cities and smoked the west coast. Today officials want to greatly increase prescribed burns. But several realities speak against them: The periods between forest fires, in which prescribed burns can safely occur, are getting shorter and shorter; some forests are too overgrown to ignite without thinning; and prescribed fires can turn cities into smoke.

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