Oregon

Former astronaut Mark Kelly was among those speaking out in favor of a measure requiring criminal background checks for most private gun sales in Oregon.

Oregon lawmakers convened Monday for a whirlwind 35-day session. But the thorniest topics were largely absent from the opening day festivities.

Tedder / Wikimedia Commons

A once-stalled plan to support Christmas tree growers nationwide looks to go forward as part of Congress’ new Farm Bill. This could affect many growers in Oregon, which leads the country in Christmas tree production.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he has concerns about proposals to allow grocery stores to sell hard liquor.

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Drops To Five-Year Low

Jan 22, 2014
Andreas Klinke Johannsen / Flickr

December’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent to 7 percent. That’s the lowest mark in five years, according to the Oregon Employment Department. 

Oregon Dungeness Crab Now in Stores

Dec 17, 2013
Fred Benenson / Flickr

Oregon crab fishermen are out on their boats bringing in pots brimming with Dungeness crab. The season started at midnight Sunday.

Oregon's unemployment rate is at its lowest in more than five years according to numbers released by the Oregon Employment Department Tuesday.

Oregon voters could have the chance to follow Washington's lead next year when it comes to liquor sales.

Kitzhaber Kicks Off Bid For Record Fourth Term

Dec 9, 2013
Michael Clapp

No governor of Oregon has ever served four terms. John Kitzhaber says he wants to be the first. The Democrat kicked his campaign Monday pledging to make progress on health care, the environment and the economy.

Kitzhaber Expected To Announce Re-Election Bid

Dec 9, 2013
Media Advisory For Planning Purposes

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is expected to announce a re-election bid Monday. The Democrat has scheduled an announcement Monday morning at a Portland elementary school where he says he'll discuss his plans for the coming year.

Oregon's insurance commissioner is defending a decision to allow health insurance companies to keep policies in place for a year even if they don't comply with the Affordable Care Act.

Galina Mikhalishina / Creative Commons

Regulators have approved an air pollution permit for a proposed biomass power plant in Lakeview, Oregon. Some residents have questioned the permit because the town is already struggling with pollution from wood stoves.

A so-called megaload is stuck just a few miles south of Pendleton on it’s winding route through the Northwest.

Why is Oregon's Dungeness Crab Season Delayed?

Dec 2, 2013
David Gallagher / Flickr

Oregon's Dungeness crab season has been delayed until Dec. 16. The season normally starts around the first of the month, but the crustaceans don't have enough meat yet.

Ken Lund / Flickr

A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel has awarded back pay to a former federal law clerk in Oregon who was denied health benefits for her same-sex domestic partner. 

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says his latest proposal to increase logging on Oregon forest land will also respect environmental concerns. 

Jon Sullivan / Wikimedia Commons

The restrictions apply to the pesticide ingredients dinotefuran and imidacloprid. Officials say they believe those ingredients killed more than 50,000 bumble bees earlier this year when they were sprayed on trees that have their own natural toxicity.

First, it was Washington and Colorado. Now, Oregon could be on the list of states where recreational marijuana use is legal.

Leadership Changes At Cover Oregon

Nov 22, 2013
Orna Izakson / Wikimedia Commons

"We are putting all hands on deck to make sure again that everyone who wants and needs health coverage in this state, is able to get it and get enrolled in a plan by January 1st," says John Kitzhaber.
He announced two main staffing changes.

The head of Cover Oregon is acknowledging the troubles of the health insurance exchange. But Rocky King described the system as “unfinished”, rather than “broken.” Oregon lawmakers are questioning King Wednesday in hearings on why Cover Oregon has failed to sign up even one customer. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman says despite the troubled rollout, King's job doesn't appear to be in immediate jeopardy.

Oregon’s online health insurance exchange won’t be up and running in time for people to get covered by the beginning of the year.

Oregonians Can Keep Health Insurance

Nov 15, 2013
Elizabeth Allen / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon’s insurance commissioner is giving insurance companies the option to extend their health plans through the end of next year, even if they don't comply with the federal health care law.

Homemade Bomb Damages Jackson County DA’s Office

Nov 13, 2013

A homemade bomb caused an early morning explosion outside the offices of the Jackson County District Attorney’s office in southern Oregon. The local police chief is calling the blast an act of domestic terrorism.

Chris Lehman

You've seen those safety posters marking so many days since a workplace injury. Oregon's state capitol building could have one that says "75 years without burning to the ground!" The original two went up in flames. Now, a series of events scheduled next week will mark the 75th anniversary of Oregon's third and longest standing state capitol. The celebration comes as lawmakers consider a $300 million overhaul.

Falling Tree Kills Firefighter In Central Oregon

Aug 2, 2013
Mary R Bernsen

Authorities are identifying the wildland firefighter who was killed Thursday outside the town of Sisters as John Hammack of Central Oregon. Another firefighter was injured in the accident and was taken to a local hospital. 

What Happened To Astoria, Oregon? It Got Better

Jul 25, 2013
BeachcombersNW

Thirty years ago, many viewed Astoria, Oregon as a grim, drug-infested and alcohol-infused place, down on its luck following the exodus of the canneries and lumber mills that once densely populated its riverfront. Back then, most travelers to Oregon’s North Coast passed through town along Highway 30 without stopping.

Oregon wildlife managers approved a plan Friday to allow ranchers and wildlife enforcement officers to once again kill wolves that prey livestock. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

Cacaphony / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon lawmakers had hoped to finish up their legislative session over the weekend. But it didn’t work out that way. Instead, the final gavel is expected to fall sometime Monday. Democrats control both chambers and the governor’s office, and they claimed a series of victories. But many of the highest-profile agenda items didn’t go as planned. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman explains.

It could soon be a lot more expensive to be caught texting while driving in Oregon. State lawmakers voted Sunday to double the maximum fine for texting behind the wheel to $500.

It's still not clear when the Oregon legislature will wrap up its work for the year. Lawmakers could vote as soon as Tuesday on a controversial package that would raise some taxes and cut benefits to retired public employees.

But lawmakers have other work to do, such as finalizing budgets for several large state agencies.

One might expect that they would be in a great hurry to get out of here before the Fourth of July but remember, their original adjournment target was last Friday, June 28th. So they've already blown through that deadline.

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