Judge told vacate or explain order nixing virus restrictions
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court is giving a rural judge until Tuesday to toss out his ruling that found the governor’s coronavirus restrictions are invalid. If Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff declines to vacate the order, he must explain why. He must also give the state and churches who sued over the stay-at-home directives an opportunity to make further arguments. Shirtcliff ruled that Gov. Kate Brown exceeded her authority when she shut down in-person religious services. He said she should have sought the Legislature’s approval to extend the stay-at-home orders beyond a 28-day limit.
Some recreational fishing set to reopen in Washington
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state officials say after two months of closures because of concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the state’s coastal waters are set to reopen for fishing on Tuesday. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said marine areas 1-3, including Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, will open for bottomfish, shellfish, mussels, clams, oysters, and other species. Crabbing on the Columbia River is also set to resume under normal regulations on Tuesday. Halibut and razor clam harvest will remain closed in these areas for now due to continued port closures and concerns about the spread of coronavirus in local communities.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CLACKAMAS REOPENING
Oregon gov. approves Clackamas County phase 1 reopening
OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has given the green light to Clackamas County’s phase 1 reopening plan. It will be the first of the state’s three most populous counties in the Portland metro area to start reopening restaurants, gyms, salons and bars with safety measures on Saturday. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports gathering sizes are still limited to 25 people but the governor’s guidelines do allow malls, such as the Clackamas Town Center, to reopen if they can follow retail guidelines. Multnomah and Washington counties are the only counties not yet approved to begin reopening.
ELECTION 2020-OREGON PRIMARY
Fagan wins Democratic primary for secretary of state
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Shemia Fagan, a state senator from Portland, has won the Democratic primary for Oregon secretary of state. Fagan beat fellow state Sen. Mark Hass, of Beaverton, in a very tight race. She will face state Sen. Kim Thatcher in the fall. Thatcher, from Keizer, won the GOP primary. The secretary of the state, who is Oregon’s second-highest elected official, runs elections and other matters. Meanwhile Alex Spenser has won the Democratic primary in Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District race. Spenser of Klamath Falls will face former sate senator Cliff Bentz, who won the GOP contest. Voters in November will chose a replacement for Rep. Greg Walden, the Republican who didn’t run for a 12th term
CHILD SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT
Children sue day care owner, state agencies over sex abuse
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The representatives of three children who attended a Polk County day care are suing the day care owner, their abuser, the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Department of Human Services for $5.1 million over sexual abuse. The Statesman Journal reports the children attended the now-closed Stinky Feet Childcare in Independence owned by Ceola Harden. Harden’s son, Quinlyn Harden, was convicted of raping and sexually abusing five children at the day care and sentenced to 54 years in prison last year. The lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses the state agencies of failing to investigate sexual abuse reports involving Quinlyn Harden. Officials with the state agencies declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing the pending litigation.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FRUIT PLANT
24 workers at Vancouver fruit plant have coronavirus
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Two dozen employees at a Vancouver, Washington, food processing company have been sickened with the coronavirus. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports it may be the Portland area’s biggest workplace outbreak reported so far, excluding the health care sector. Firestone Pacific Foods CEO Josh Hinerfeld says the company had its first confirmed case Sunday and learned of two more later that afternoon. The Vancouver plant shut down Monday but the infection total has grown.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-GASOLINE RULES
Rule allowing self-serve gasoline in Oregon ends Saturday
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The temporary rule change allowing self-serve gasoline in Oregon amid the coronavirus pandemic will end over the Memorial Day weekend. The Office of the State Fire Marshal says the rule ends at midnight Saturday. Starting Sunday, attendants will again provide service at gas stations in Oregon where self-service is not allowed. Self-service is allowed in some coastal counties and in eastern and central Oregon. The rule change was implemented to address worker shortages at gas stations statewide because of COVID-19.
METH MAKING CHARGES
Man charged with making meth, heroin, west of Salem
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A 75-year-old man has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and heroin. The Statesman Journal reports on Wednesday, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched a home west of Salem in Otis. Deputies say they found stolen property including firearms that had been taken during recent burglaries in the north Lincoln County area. Authorities say they also found controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, packaging materials and money. Deputies say they arrested the man who lived in the residence after they saw him drive by. James Golden Golden was taken to Lincoln County Jail and had bail set at $500,000. It wasn’t immediately known if he has a lawyer.