Oregon Sheriff’s Association releases statement on Malheur occupation

Sheriffs in all 36 Oregon counties have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Oregon, and the laws thereof. Our oath is our pledge to you, to be conservators of the peace for our citizens, while being respectful of the rights afforded to all of us under the Constitution.

What a great state and nation we live in that allows everyone to express their opinion, hold a sign in protest, lobby for change and live free without fear of retaliation from the government. Our founding fathers created a system of government consisting of three branches: legislative, judicial and executive.

Sheriffs and Sheriff’s Offices are part of the executive branch, charged with enforcement of laws as directed by the legislative branch and interpreted by the judicial branch. Under our system of government, the judicial branch is given the authority to interpret the Constitutionality of our laws. We are a nation of laws, and the executive branch cannot override the laws passed by the legislative branch, nor can we ignore the clear guidance of the judicial branch. There is a process for changing the laws of our great nation and for amending our Constitution, and that process does not involve the armed takeover of government facilities and disruption of an entire community. We fully support the expression of political opinions, and advocating for change within the legal system — that is what sets our country apart from developing countries where the government is changed by an armed takeover.

Recently, men and women have broken the law and encouraged others to take up arms against our local and federal governments. These individuals have used firearms and their interpretation of the Constitution to justify their criminal behavior. These militia men and women have broken into publicly owned buildings, disrespected Native American heritage and intimidated and harassed local residents and officials.

These men and women are asking for change, and we support their right to challenge our government to make change. However, we do not agree with or support any citizen or elected official who would advocate for change in a manner that includes illegal action, threats of violence, or violence against any citizen of the United States.

Read the original: Grand Jury sealed indictment released to media

On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging 16 individuals in relation to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Attached please find the unsealed indictment. Neither the U.S. Attorney’s Office nor the FBI can comment further give the on-going legal process.

The indictment remained sealed until a release Thursday morning at 9:17 a.m. Below is a copy of the indictment:

02 05 17 federal indictment in Malheur case

House committee hears Rep. McCabe’s ‘Erin’s Law’ legislation

Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, (left) speaks with Fran Singer (center) and Olivia Holderman (right), a sexual assault survivor, during the public hearing on House Bill 2183 Monday, Feb. 1.

Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, (left) speaks with Fran Singer (center) and Olivia Holderman (right), a sexual assault survivor, during the public hearing on House Bill 2183 Monday, Feb. 1.

Legislation commonly referred to as “Erin’s Law” was heard in the House Education Committee Monday. House Bill 2183, sponsored by Rep. Gina McCabe, would establish a task force to provide recommendations for implementing an age-appropriate, prevention-oriented child sex-abuse- and awareness program in K-12 schools.

Currently, 26 states have enacted similar legislation, and it is pending in others.

“‘Erin’s Law’ is saving lives in other states and we are hoping to add Washington to the growing list of states that have implemented this law,” said McCabe, R-Goldendale.

“Erin’s Law” is named after Erin Merryn, a child sexual abuse survivor and activist.According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, as many as one out of four girls and one out of six boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Many more cases alleging sexual abuse go unreported.

“Erin turned her life around and was determined to make a difference for other victims of sexual assault. We now have the ability to build from her great work and educate our children about the very real dangers that exist, and the safe outlets available for them to speak up,” said McCabe. “Not only may this prevent children from being abused, but it also lets them know it is alright to go to someone they trust and that this act of violence against them is not their fault.”

McCabe says schools already teach kids about the dangers of drugs, and how to stay safe in fires and natural disasters, and they should implement sexual assault prevention curriculum so children can stay safe in their neighborhoods.

In a key education bill signed by President Barack Obama Dec. 10, Congress included a provision allowing states to use federal grant funding for Erin’s Law programs.

“I am hopeful with the federal education bill, ‘Erin’s Law’ stands a better chance of being adopted in Washington,” said McCabe.

The public hearing was held in the House Education Committee on Feb. 2, and the bill is scheduled for executive session Feb. 4.

Wasco County Sheriff’s office press release on stabbing, home invasion

PRESS RELEASE

Lawrence James Berry

Lawrence James Berry

On February 1st 2016 at 8:47am, Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, The Dalles City Police and Oregon State Police responded to 2670 E 18th on a reported burglary in progress. Responding law enforcement was advised that a male subject, later identified as Lawrence James Berry, was inside the house and had obtained a butcher knife from the kitchen of the residence.

Upon arrival at the above residence law enforcement found Berry had exited the house and he was immediately taken into custody without incident. A search of the residence was conducted for any other suspects and none were found.

Berry was interviewed and it was determined a potential assault had occurred at 2662 E. 18th, (property just above 2670 E 18th). Law enforcement then responded to this location to secure the potential crime scene. While at the 2662 E 18th property it was determined there may be more potential suspects inside buildings located on the property. The Dalles City Police SERT was dispatched to the scene and all buildings were cleared with no further persons/suspects found.

The investigation of this incident revealed Lawrence Berry and Tipasa Lusuni Uiliata had a physical altercation at the 2662 E 18th Street property. Tipasa sustained injuries to his head and neck from the altercation and self reported himself to MCMC. Tipasa was transported, via Life Flight, to a Portland area hospital on unrelated health issues to the incident.

Berry was transported to MCMC as a precaution for potential injuries. Upon being medically cleared by MCMC, Berry was transported to NORCOR. The Wasco County District Attorney’s office filed charges today, alleging Lawrence James Berry committed the crimes of Assault I, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Burglary I. Berry a 35 year old resident of The Dalles, is scheduled for arraignment today at 1:15pm for arraignment on the charges. This case will be presented to the grand jury in the near future for its consideration of charges.

It is unclear at this time what the physical altercation was about and the investigation is ongoing.

If you have further information related to this incident please call the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office at 541-506-2580.

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According to records at NORCOR, Berry is held under $300,000 bail.

Listen: Goldendale Shoreline Master Plan update

On Monday, February 1, Mark Daniel of the engineering firm Reid Middleton presented an update on the progress of the Shoreline Master Plan for Goldendale to the Goldendale City Council. Below is a copy of the Power Point slides used in that presentation and you can hear his report by clicking on the grey podcast bar at the bottom of the page.

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The Dalles City Council picks city clerk as new city manager

02 02 16 Julie KruegerThe Dalles City Council has settled on a choice for a new city manager picking City Clerk Julie Krueger. She has been acting city manager since September 14, when four out of five councilors voted to terminate the contract of the previous city manager Nolan Young.

Following an executive session at noon Monday, council members came back into open session and moved to have City Attorney Gene Parker negotiate a contract with Krueger.

This decision came after a nationwide hunt. “We went through a pretty exhaustive process,” said Mayor Steve Lawrence. “We had over 40 applications; we found out what’s out there. We did make an offer to our number one candidate and we were turned down because that person selected another opportunity. And the council didn’t feel like there was someone else they wanted to make an offer to, even with more investigation. So at this time, their decision is to look inside,and ask the city attorney to see if there’s a possibility of negotiating a contract with our interim city manager. It’s a pretty straightforward choice as far as I can see it.”

Krueger, who has worked 23 years for the city, said she hadn’t originally considered applying for the job.

“After about the first month of doing the interim job, I realized that I was able to do the job and learn the things I didn’t know in a very quick manner,” she said.  “I feel like I have the support of the department managers. They have been a really good team with me. and the city council is pleased with my work and I wanted to continue on.”

Councilors could vote on a contract as early as next Monday.