Oregon

Bend-based Western Communications is suing Deschutes County’s District Attorney alleging that Patrick Flaherty violated the law when he denied a public records request submitted by the company’s flagship paper, the Bend Bulletin.

In a letter sent this past July, Bulletin reporter Hillary Borrud asked the DA for the job applications of two attorneys recently hired by his office. Flaherty’s response came a week later. He denied the request claiming the information was exempt under Oregon law. The lawsuit claims that Flaherty never cited the statutory basis for his denial.

Soon, trains will once again roll down the rail line to the Oregon coast port of Coos Bay. A key rail link that was abandoned four years ago is set to re-open this month.

The previous private owners of the 110-mile rail link abruptly shut it down in September of 2007 citing deteriorating tunnels and track conditions. The Port of Coos Bay bought the tracks and used about $25 million in state and federal money to rehab the line. The Port's Martin Callery says it means sawmills and other shippers in the region won't be dependant on trucks alone to get their products to market.

SALEM, Ore. - Customers of one of Oregon's largest health insurance companies may see a large rate increase soon. State insurance regulators held a rare public hearing Wednesday on the request by ODS Health Plan to hike its rates an average of 10 percent. A decision on the requested rate hike could come next month.

JEFFERSON, Ore. - Two Oregon police officers killed along Interstate 5 by a drowsy driver ten years ago were honored with a memorial sign along the highway where they died. But in an ironic twist, people attending the ceremony got a vivid demonstration of the dangers of distracted driving.

Salem, OREGON – The Oregon Supreme Court has sided with five juvenile killers who’ve long maintained the state treats them more harshly than adult murderers. The high court Thursday called on the Oregon Board of Parole to schedule hearings and even decide on release dates for two of the five.

The Eugene-based Oregon Toxics Alliance has published a report that looks at pesticide use on 5 state highways in Lane County. The organization wants the state to reduce its use of chemicals along roadways.

Results from earlier this summer showed fewer Oregon students met federal benchmarks last year, than at any time since Congress passed the No Child Left Behind act.

Now, more detailed test results demonstrate what officials claimed at the time: that students were improving at Reading and Math – but that fewer students were passing because the required minimum score went up.

The new test results show double-digit gains on many measures, especially in high school.

An oil-loving clay used to sop up creosote in the Portland Harbor has been so successful that it will be applied to a much larger project this fall on the Grand Calumet River in Gary, Indiana.

University of Texas Professor Danny Reible worked on the Willamette River cleanup site. Thousands of tons of a specially-formulated clay were used to cap the sediment.

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