MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Orchardists in southwestern Oregon are benefiting from the wet winter but say all the water will result in a late season for pears.

The Mail Tribune reports Medford has exceeded the 18-inch annual average precipitation total with more than 21 inches since the water year began Oct. 1. The city is also more than 8 inches above the normal count for this time of year.

Pear blossoms were already popping out around this time last year, but orchardist Ron Meyer says it’s going to be a late season this year. He anticipates few orchards will be adorned in white for the city’s 64th annual Pear Blossom Festival next month.

Meyer says the pears haven’t been affected by all the rain but it’s been more difficult to prune the trees.

Police find missing 9-year-old Gresham girl

GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) — Police have found a 9-year-old Gresham girl who failed to return home after taking out the trash.

Gresham police said in a tweet shortly before noon Tuesday that Elisa Salmeron has been returned to her mother. The agency posted a photo of the girl hugging her mother.

Salmeron had last been seen Monday night.

TriMet surveillance cameras captured her standing with a suitcase at a light-rail stop near her home. Police say she got on a westbound train and got off at the next stop. She appeared to walk away with a young couple and another child.

Autopsy: Newborn in faith healer group died from prematurity

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A medical examiner has ruled that a girl born to members of an Oregon church that practices faith healing died from complications of prematurity.

Oregon Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson told KATU-TV on Tuesday that Gennifer Mitchell’s lungs could not take in enough oxygen.

The baby and her twin sister were born to Sarah Mitchell on March 5 in a home birth.

There were three midwives, church members and family present.

Authorities said no one called 911 when the baby struggled.

Several members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City have been convicted for failing to seek medical care for their children, including Sarah Mitchell’s sister.

Sgt. Brian Jensen says Clackamas County investigators will present a case to prosecutors.

The Mitchells didn’t return a phone message Tuesday.

 

Man sentenced in shooting that wounded 2 on a Bend street

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A man has been convicted and sentenced to more than eight years behind bars for shooting two people on a street in Bend last year.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said Tuesday that 24-year-old Walter Owen Henneke was convicted of two counts of assault in the first degree and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.

Hummel said Henneke apparently was upset that a group of people were noisy as they passed his house early on April 24. A fight ensued. Hummel said after it ended, Henneke came out of his house and opened fire with his semi-automatic rifle, hitting two people and causing serious injuries.

A court sentenced Henneke to 100 months in prison and ordered him to pay $35,000 restitution to the victims.

Oregon mulls joining National Popular Vote movement

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A years-long movement to elect the presidential candidate with the most popular votes is up for discussion in the Oregon Statehouse for the fourth time in last eight years.

The proposal, which is piggybacking on momentum from Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory, drew more than 220 public testimonies on Tuesday for its first public hearing in Salem.

Proponents say it’s a way to ensure that all votes are weighted equally, while opponents say circumventing the Electoral College would only disenfranchise rural America.

The National Popular Vote compact is an interstate agreement that’s triggered when enacted by states with at least 270 electoral votes, the magic number needed to clinch the presidency. The compact is already 61 percent of the way toward meeting its goal, and Oregon could be the 12th state to sign on if lawmakers approve it this year.

Texas hikers rescued at Multnomah Falls; no injuries

MULTNOMAH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a dozen hikers from Texas were rescued in the Multnomah Falls area after they became stuck across a snow hazard.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office says deputies and other rescue personnel were dispatched Tuesday afternoon to search after receiving location data from a hiker’s cellphone that placed them 1.2 miles up the Multnomah Falls Trail.

Rescuers first reached a 21-year-old man who had slipped down a snow embankment into a small creek. The sheriff’s office says he was uninjured and able to walk out on his own.

The sheriff’s office says a rope system was set up across the snow hazard where the remaining hikers were stuck. Rescue personnel walked each hiker across and authorities say all made it out uninjured.

The hikers, in their early 20s, were in Oregon for spring break.

Fire crews rescue iguana from eastern Oregon house fire

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Fire crews slipped an oxygen mask over the face of a 20-pound iguana after rescuing the creature from a house fire in Oregon.

Pendleton Fire Department Assistant Chief Shawn Penninger tells the East Oregonian that only an adult human and the reptile were home at the time of the fire on Friday afternoon. The person was unharmed.

Penninger says crews removed the iguana from the heavily damaged home and gave it oxygen.

The fire department on Saturday said they didn’t know the iguana’s name.

Investigators say a preliminary investigation shows the cause of the fire to be improperly disposed smoking material.

An estimate of damages to the home — where a family of three lives — also wasn’t available.