Oregon

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Forest owners in the Northwest use helicopters to spray weed killer after logging. It is an effective way to kill plants like blackberry and alder that compete with the next crop of tree seedlings. But it is controversial.

Last year people near the coastal Oregon city of Gold Beach claimed they were poisoned. State officials and timber lobbyists blamed that incident on mistakes by the pilot. But sometimes, communities report drift even when timber companies appear to be following the rules.

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Idaho and Oregon have the highest share of unauthorized immigrants who will benefit from President Obama’s recent executive action. That’s according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

46 percent of Idaho’s and 43 percent of Oregon’s undocumented immigrants are newly eligible for deportation protection. The program Obama announced last month extends protection to people who have been in the country for more than five years and have children born in the U.S. D’Vera Cohn from the Pew Research Center says that describes many of Oregon’s 120,000 unauthorized immigrants.

Chris Lehman

The first statewide recount in more than six years is underway in Oregon. Elections workers Tuesday started hand-counting the more than 1.5 million votes cast for and against Measure 92.

The initiative would require food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods. It failed in the initial tally by just 812 votes. That triggered a state-funded recount. In Salem, Marion County clerk Bill Burgess has a team of about 50 temporary workers combing through ballots. He says the counters found just one correction to make during the first three hours on the job.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Dozens of Oregon cities rushed to approve taxes on recreational marijuana before Oregon voters legalized it this fall. But it's not clear whether those revenues will ever materialize since Measure 91 seemingly rules out local taxes on pot.

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The most expensive initiative in Oregon history appears headed for a recount.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A new law to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon doesn't begin to take effect until next year. That means state lawmakers have the chance to tweak the measure before it kicks in. A legislative panel discussed some options Wednesday at the state capitol.

Measure 91 allows adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation. Just what that state regulation looks like is still being determined. Democratic Senator Lee Beyer reminded his colleagues that there's nothing to stop them from putting their own stamp on the voter-approved measure.

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

Nov 18, 2014
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Oregon’s unemployment rate held steady last month. That’s despite steady job growth in several industries.

Oregon added 9,900 new jobs in October. That’s the largest single month employment gain in almost 20 years.

State employment economist Nick Beleiciks says those jobs came from growth in several key industries.

“Manufacturing has added a lot of jobs during the recovery, professional business services, and healthcare and social assistance just keeps growing,” Beleiciks said.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Astroturfing is when interest groups run a campaign that’s designed to look like it’s grassroots in nature. A document obtained by public radio shows the oil industry is at the center of more than a dozen Astroturf groups in Washington, Oregon, and California.

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A new report published Monday identified the culprit behind the mysterious disease that’s been killing millions of West Coast starfish.

After months of research, scientists have identified the pathogen at the heart of the starfish wasting disease.

They said it’s different from all other known viruses infecting marine organisms and have dubbed it as “sea star associated denso virus.”

Oddly enough, West Coast starfish have been living with the virus for decades. The densovirus was detected in preserved starfish specimens from as far back as the 1940s.

Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

Sponsors of a food labeling initiative in Oregon said they haven't conceded the election yet.

Measure 92 would require food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods. As of Friday afternoon, it's still losing by about 5,000 votes. But that's close enough to give supporters a glimmer of hope.

Measure 92 supporters are still raising money. They're using it to bankroll an ongoing effort to contact voters with contested ballots.

Yes on 92 spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said he knows it's a bit of a Hail Mary.

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