Today, according to Oregon Republicans, the Oregon Department of Revenue released the latest revenue forecast, predicting enough additional tax revenue to trigger the "kicker" and return an expected $349 million to Oregon taxpayers. "Boosted by lower energy prices leading to more disposable income, Oregon's economy is on the rise, and the voter-enacted kicker will boost this prosperity," said Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day).
Representative Jodi Hack (R-Salem) announced plans to increase state government oversight and accountability with a legislative proposal to amend Oregon's constitution to allow for impeachment procedures of the executive branch. This announcment follows an earlier call by another republican legislator for a big overhaul of Oregon's ethics rules.
Jerome Kersey, the small forward who played his first 11 NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers and helped the San Antonio Spurs win the 1999 title, has died. He was 52.
Kersey died when a blood clot traveled from his left calf to his lung and caused a pulmonary thromboembolism, according to Dr. Larry Lewman with the state medical examiner's office.
An autopsy was conducted Thursday morning.
Seaside Police Chief Dave Ham has announced the promotion of Sergeant Steve Barnett to the position of Lieutenant. Lt. Barnett has over 40 years of law enforcement experience, including the past 32 years with the Seaside Police Department. Lt. Barnett served as the department's lead criminal detective investigator for 17 years before returning to a patrol sergeant position this past summer. The lieutenant position is the patrol division commander and serves as acting police chief in the absence of the chief.
Coast Guard crews responded to a report of a disabled vessel and assisted local law enforcement personnel with the arrest of a mariner in Ilwaco, Friday. After locating the disabled vessel and towing it to Station Cape Disappointment, Coast Guard personnel discovered safety and possible criminal violations aboard the mariner's vessel during a post search and rescue boarding, prompting the involvement of both Wahkiakum and Pacific County Sheriff personnel resulting in the mariner's arrest.
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has just announced his resignation.
Kitzhaber, who has served for nearly 40 years and was just re-elected to a fourth term in November, faced calls to resign by the leaders of his own party and appeared to have virtually no support in state government circles.
The governor's resignation will take effect Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m.
His resignation letter read, in part, "It is not in my nature to walk away from a job I have undertaken – it is to stand and fight for the cause. For that reason I apologize to all those people who gave of their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three decades. I promise you that I will continue to pursue our shared goals and our common cause in another venue."
Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley made the following statement after Governor John Kitzhaber announced his resignation earlier today:
"John Kitzhaber loves Oregon deeply and has contributed enormously to making our state a better place. Today, he did what was right for Oregon by resigning.
"I know that our incoming Governor, Kate Brown, will continue the fight for our Oregon values, from clean air and clean water to a robust economy, and I look forward to working with her."
Oregon's top legislative leaders have called on Gov. John Kitzhaber to resign because of a growing ethics scandal.
The board approved a letter to Sen. Betsy Johnson and Rep. Deborah Boone urging support for a transportation funding package in the Oregon Legislature that would boost revenue to counties. In part, the letter states "The erosion of the highway fund due to decreasing gas tax revenues, the reduction of Secure Rural Schools funding and the continued deterioration of roads and bridges has put Clatsop County's road system in jeopardy." (entire text here).
The community-led effort to renovate the only existing playground in Gearhart took a big step forward with the announcement of Lum's Auto Center, awarding a donation of $10,000 toward the Gearhart Playground Project. The state of the art, eco-friendly structure is designed to provide a safe and controlled space where children can receive numerous health benefits while simply playing and having fun.
Life Flight Network (LFN), the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States, announced it will be opening a base in Astoria. The base will begin 24/7 operations May 15, 2015. The LFN base in Astoria will significantly improve access to air medical resources along the Oregon and Washington Coast.
Tuesday evening at 11:12 PM, a 19 year old Astoria female reported to Astoria Police that she was the victim of an assault. The victim reported that she had been walking on the Astoria Riverwalk near the foot of 31st when she was grabbed from the rear.