Woman reports sexual assault, waits year for answers due to police lab backlog

The Oregonian

Oregon’s stockpile of thousands of untested sexual assault kits is a longstanding problem that the Legislature tried to address last year with Melissa’s Law, named for Portland teen Melissa Bittler, who was killed in 2001 by a serial rapist.
The law is intended to ensure sexual assault evidence is tested in a timely way. The state got $1.5 million to hire nine DNA and biology evidence technicians, bringing to 44 the total number of staff who analyze the kits and other evidence. The effort to speed things up at the lab has had the unintended effect of slowing things further for months.


Wolves’ return to Oregon brings political debate

The Associated Press

The fact that Oregonians are debating when and how to kill wolves at all is incredible given the predators didn’t exist here a decade ago, said Derek Broman, carnivore coordinator with the state Department of Fish & Wildlife. As the point person on the upcoming wolf management plan, he hears from dozens of competing interests on what to do with wolves.


Harrowing Wildfire Season Ends, But Political Debate Burns On

Oregon Public Broadcasting

“What’s made it different this year is that it’s now clear that the fires are bigger and hotter and more powerful,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon. He’s a central figure in the congressional fight over wildfire funding and forest policy.


Oregon vehicle registration fees will increase Jan. 1

Portland Tribune

In addition to a vehicle registration fee increase, a package produced by the Legislature is funded by increases in other transportation-related fees that take effect Jan. 1.




Unions Will Endorse in Hotly Contested Oregon Senate Appointment

Willamette Week

The competition to succeed state Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) is one of the most complex, hotly contested and consequential metro-area legislative appointments in many years.

One sign of how meaningful it is: Unions and trial lawyers are taking the unusual step of endorsing choices for a seat that’s appointed by county commissioners.


Multnomah County Soda Tax Supporters Postpone Vote On Measure

Portland Tribune

“Because of shifting political currents, the Coalition for Healthy Kids & Education has decided that focusing on a higher turnout election will maximize our chances of success. While this means we won’t be on the ballot in May 2018, we will continue our strong grassroots campaign over the next year, with a close eye on the congressional election in November 2018,” said campaign manager Terri Steenbergen.




Guest: Clean Energy Jobs bill will put state on right path

Lucy Vinis is the mayor of Eugene. Kitty Piercy was Eugene’s mayor from 2005 to 2017

We have a tremendous opportunity in 2018. Our state Legislature can create an innovative and constructive pathway for our community by passing the Clean Energy Jobs bill. We can take action that strengthens our triple bottom line across the board. We can strengthen the personal health and economic health of the families in our state. It all is tied together: the well-being of our community, our economy, our families. Our job is to build a bright future for our children, and create the prosperity our families need now to have a good quality of life.




Lawmakers want swift sexual harassment consequences, but split over calls for resignation

The Washington Post

Lawmakers embraced a bipartisan bill that would modernize procedures for handling sexual harassment allegations on Capitol Hill, but they were divided Sunday over whether congressmen facing allegations should resign or face some other immediate consequence.



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