Oregon National Guard heads to wildfire near Crater Lake

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Over 100 Oregon National Guard members are deploying to southern Oregon to fight a fire near Crater Lake as the state endures peak wildfire season, less than a week before the eclipse.

Lt. Col. Martin Balakas said on Tuesday as the soldiers took refresher training on fighting wilderness fires that they will take a bus Wednesday to battle a blaze near Oregon’s iconic Crater Lake.

They are among about 375 Oregon National Guard members who were activated in 2015 to fight fires, including the Canyon Creek Fire near John Day that destroyed 43 homes and nearly 100 barns, workshops and other structures.

The part-time soldiers were wearing yellow hardhats Tuesday as they used tools to cut and move brush into piles where they were doused with a hose.

Oregon woman charged with assault for baby’s injury

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Police arrested a southern Oregon woman accused of injuring an 8-month-old girl she was babysitting.

Medford police Lt. Justin Ivens tells the Mail Tribune that 25-year-old Alicia Gunn is a friend of the child’s mother. He says Gunn went to neighbors for help after realizing the girl was hurt, and the neighbors called for help.

The girl suffered a brain injury and was transferred to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Gunn was charged with first-degree assault. A judge set bail at $250,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Monday.

Court records show Gunn has been arrested at least 15 times, often for drugs but also for burglary, theft, harassment and assault.

Corvallis groups ask county leaders to exit timber lawsuit

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Several Corvallis groups are asking the Benton County Board of Commissioners to abandon a $1.4 billion timber lawsuit against the state of Oregon filed on behalf of several counties.

The Gazette-Times reports Linn County and 15 others claim the state cost them money by not maximizing logging revenues. Benton County could be awarded about $30 million if the lawsuit is successful.

Fifteen environmental, outdoor, community and progressive organizations told the board at its Tuesday meeting that the lawsuit could hurt state forests, contribute to global warming and affect the state’s budget for schools, social services and county funding.

The board voted in January to stay as a defendant in the lawsuit. Officials have said the outcome of the lawsuit will not increase logging in the state.


Oregon refuge occupier jailed amid mental health concerns

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has revoked the release of a man convicted of conspiracy during last-year’s armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Darryl Thorn was taken into custody Wednesday. The judge recommended he undergo a mental health evaluation because of concerns about suicidal threats he had made.

Thorn was convicted in March of conspiracy to impede federal officers along with other charges. He had been freed pending his sentencing in November.

Defense lawyer Jay Nelson says Thorn never meant to hurt himself or others. He says Thorn has had trouble finding work and a place to live after moving from Spokane, Washington, to the small eastern Oregon town of Monument in June.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel says Thorn represents a danger to himself and others.

Missing woman hoisted to safety on rugged Oregon coast

FLORENCE, Ore. (AP) — Coast Guard and other crews have rescued a missing Oregon woman near the Sea Lion Caves on Oregon’s rugged central coast.

The Dallas woman had been missing since Saturday and was located by her husband. The Register-Guard reports that a helicopter crew hoisted the woman off a cliff above the Pacific Ocean Wednesday afternoon.

Dallas Police Lt. Jerry Mott says Heather Mounce Davison was rescued near where her car was found abandoned along the side of Highway 101 in Florence over the weekend.

Fire Chief Jim Langborg of Siuslaw Valley Fire & Rescue says she had minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital in stable condition. He says her husband found her and called 911.

The 37-year-woman was reported missing by her family when she stopped communicating with a family member Saturday. They traced her phone to Florence and had been searching in the area for her.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown reverses decision on theater veto

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has opted not to veto $1 million for the restoration of the Holly Theatre in Medford.

Brown recently said she would veto money for that project and two others in southern Oregon.

During the legislative session, state Rep. Sal Esquivel agreed to vote for a hospital tax increase in exchange for the projects that would benefit his district.

But Esquivel then joined other Republicans in trying to send the tax increase to voters. Brown decided there must be consequences.

Brown said Tuesday she decided not to veto the theater project after hearing about its importance to Medford. She went ahead with her vetoes of an irrigation project and a baseball field.

Oregon makes drug possession a misdemeanor

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A bill signed by Oregon’s governor has reclassified personal-use possession of cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs as a misdemeanor from a felony.

Among its supporters are the police and sheriffs’ associations, which said felony convictions include unintended consequences, including barriers to housing and employment.

The bill signed Tuesday morning by Gov. Kate Brown also directs a state commission to develop methods for recording data concerning police-initiated pedestrian and traffic stops.

This is aimed at ensuring police aren’t stopping people based on racial or other profiling.