Oregon

A series of intense wildfire seasons has taken a toll on the Oregon Department of Forestry. That's according to an audit released Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Oregon voters may get the chance to ban the sale of items made from certain wildlife species this November. Backers of an initiative that would do just that submitted signatures Thursday in an attempt to get their measure on the November ballot.

The candidates for governor in Oregon have spent nearly $1.7 million dollars so far this year in their quest for office. So what has all that money bought them as the May 17 primary approaches?

Oregon's Republican presidential primary is taking on a new look. The Ted Cruz campaign said the Texas senator will stand down in Oregon to clear a path for Ohio Governor John Kasich. The Cruz campaign will also pull back its efforts in New Mexico.

In return, the Kasich camp will back off in Indiana.

Voters in two Oregon counties will decide in the May primary whether to allow marijuana-related businesses. County commissioners banned marijuana retailers and growers in unincorporated parts of Klamath and Grant counties last year.

Keep your kicker or donate it?

Oregon taxpayers have the chance to donate their kicker rebate to fund state schools as they fill out their tax forms this year. But hardly anyone is choosing to do that. So far this tax season, less than one-half of one percent of Oregonians are choosing to donate their kicker.

The list of iconic movies filmed at least partly in Oregon is long. It includes “The Goonies,” “Animal House,” and more recently, “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has officially launched her campaign to win another two years in office. The Democrat filed election papers in Salem Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon is the deadline for candidates to file to appear on the May primary ballot in Oregon. It also marks a milestone for the state's newest major political party.

Oregon's biggest power companies will have 14 years to wean themselves from coal, under a new bill approved by lawmakers Wednesday. The measure has the support of Gov. Kate Brown — and the state's two largest electric companies.

Several environmental groups have backed the bill, which calls for requiring large utilities to ensure that at least 50 percent of their power comes from renewable sources by 2040.

It’s official: Oregon’s minimum wage will increase over the next six years after Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the bill Wednesday at a state Capitol ceremony. Brown called the measure her top priority for this year's legislative session.

Gun buyers in Oregon could have to wait longer to get a weapon if there's a delay in processing their criminal background check. The Oregon House narrowly approved the measure Monday.

A plan to hike Oregon's minimum wage is moving forward in the state legislature. The state Senate Thursday approved a measure that would increase the wage to as much as $14.75 per hour over the next six years.

Oregon's economy continues to flourish, but the long-term outlook isn't as rosy. That was the message to lawmakers Wednesday from state economists, who released their quarterly revenue forecast.

Customers of Portland-based health insurance company Moda should rest assured their policies will be honored. That was the message from state regulators Monday after they announced a consent order meant to keep the company afloat.

An Oregon state lawmaker is making what he calls a long shot attempt at heading off an initiative that would raise corporate taxes.

Oregon will soon check whether lottery winners owe money to the state because they received too much public assistance. It's a new law that takes effect in January.

It's been more than a month since Oregon Governor Kate Brown told a reporter after a parade during the Pendleton Round Up that she's doing what most political observers expected: running for Oregon governor.

Recreational Marijuana Becomes Legal in Oregon

Oct 1, 2015
Ryan Kang / AP

At midnight last night recreational marijuana became legal to buy and sell in Oregon. Medical marijuana dispensaries licensed by the state will operate as retail stores until recreational regulations are put in place next year.

Gosia Wozniacka / AP

Starting Thursday, adults 21 and over can buy marijuana for recreational use in Oregon. And they will have plenty of places to buy it from.

Russel Sanders / Raise the Wage Oregon

Low-wage workers in Washington will find out later this week how much the state minimum wage will go up next year to account for inflation.

Meanwhile, Oregon voters could see competing minimum-wage initiatives on their 2016 ballot. A group that favors a hike to $13.50 per hour kicked off their signature gathering campaign Monday.

Chris Lehman

Starting next month, adults in Oregon will be able to walk into a medical marijuana dispensary and buy pot for recreational use. But not in dozens of communities across the state, where local officials have banned such sales.

Across the street from a KFC in La Grande, Oregon, you can buy marijuana - if you know where to look.

Evidence in hundreds of criminal cases is being reviewed following accusations that a forensic analyst with the Oregon State Police tampered with drug evidence.

The Oregonian reports the analyst, who worked at the agency's lab in Bend, has been placed on leave. The woman has not been identified, but agency spokesman Lt. Bill Fugate confirmed she is under investigation over the handling of drug evidence. The discovery puts current cases and convictions in doubt and could cost counties thousands to retest and retry cases.

The state unemployment rate in Washington and Oregon was falling at a steady pace in recent years. But lately it's stuck. The latest reading from Washington state released today (Weds.) pegs the state unemployment rate at 5-point-3 percent. That's the same it's been since June. Oregon's jobless rate actually edged up slightly last month to 6.1 percent, as new jobseekers outpaced job creation.

Washington state labor economist Paul Turek says the unemployment rate will probably resume its decline in autumn.

Oregon Legal Pot Sales Begin October 1, Officially

Jul 28, 2015

Oregon marijuana dispensaries can begin selling marijuana as soon as October 1, under a law signed Tuesday by Governor Kate Brown.

Chris Lehman

Every morning, Jim Larson takes a walk around town. Down to the railroad tracks. Up the hill behind City Hall. There's hardly a sound.

The silence is not unusual for a weekday morning in Larson’s small town of Prescott, Oregon. There’s not even a morning rush hour.  

“No, because there isn't that many people even that work anymore, either,” Larson said. “Everybody up this hill that I live on, from my house up. Nobody works here; they're all retired."

The mural in downtown Corvallis, Ore., is big: 10 feet high and 100 feet long. One side shows a peaceful countryside setting in rural Taiwan. The other shows police beating protesters in Tibet and a Buddhist monk setting himself ablaze in protest.

Oregon's Secretary of State released an audit today (Tuesday) showing the Department of State Lands violated the constitution by spending money it shouldn't have from the Common School Fund. But as Rob Manning reports, paying back the money isn't expected to harm schools.

SALEM, Ore. – President Obama and House Republicans continue to spar over whether to extend a soon-to-expire payroll tax cut. But one group of Oregonians will definitely see their taxes go down in January. They’re the wealthiest taxpayers.

When Oregon voters approved Measure 66 nearly two years ago, income taxes immediately rose for the highest tier of earners in the state. But the jump was temporary.

Starting this January 1st, the rate will drop back, though not all the way to pre-Measure 66 levels.

Oregon's timber dependent counties are still hoping for a federal rescue. But they're creating contingency plans in case Congress doesn't come through with a replacement for historic timber revenue.

Officials from eight counties met with Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber Monday to discuss their options. Some counties say they could become insolvent in the next year without additional funding.

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