Sen. Jackie Winters
SALEM—After gaining a reputation for bogging down in partisan gridlock over the past four years, Oregon lawmakers surprised most observers with something quite the opposite: The state's shortest special session in history — a decisive, six-hour affair in which lawmakers approved more funding for schools, new restrictions on payday lenders and tougher penalties for sex crimes against children.
They also managed to spend $178 million in those six hours, giving $42 million in unanticipated lottery profits to schools and earmarking $136 million to close a budget gap in the state's human services programs.
Washington State Ferries, the largest ferry system in the country, has topped the list of targets for maritime terrorism in the United States, according to a report from the Justice Department's inspector general's office.
It's the first time the FBI has publicly acknowledged the high risk to the state ferries system. The findings are based largely on analysis of suspicious incidents at the nation's maritime centers.
Amnesty International USA activists from across the country will tackle some of the most pressing human rights issues facing the world today when they convene for the organization's 2006 Annual General Meeting in Portland this weekend.
Up to 1,000 people are expected to attend this year's convention, set for April 28 to 30 in the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, 921 S.W. Sixth Ave. The public is invited; registration is $100 for three days or $20 for one day.
NEW ORLEANS — Mayor Ray Nagin and Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, beginning a month-long run-off campaign for New Orleans mayor, will be fighting over the White conservative voters who favored other candidates in the primary.
Nagin, in a complete reversal from four years ago, scored heavily with Black voters and was practically abandoned by Whites, while Landrieu scored some Black voters and did well with French Quarter residents.
Portland police officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths will be the topics of a third report being written by the Police Assessment Resource Center.
Oren Root, deputy director of the assessment center, will meet with members of the Portland Police Bureau's Citizen Review Committee in a public meeting from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Lovejoy Room in Portland City Hall, 1221 S.W. Fourth Ave. The meeting is open to the public, and public comment will be taken.
SALEM—Gov. Ted Kulongoski on Monday signed "Jessica's Law," a measure passed during last week's special legislative session to increase criminal penalties for sexual predators who victimize young children.
The new law increases mandatory minimum sentences for offenders convicted of first-degree rape, sodomy or unlawful penetration if the victim is under 12. The new law sets the minimum sentence at 25 years.
Community activist Maggie Gibson, center, celebrates her retirement after 32 years at Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield at a party, April 22, with her daughter, Georgeann Pierce Robinson, son Larry Gibson, friends and parishioners of St. Andrew Catholic church in Northeast Portland. Gibson worked as an imaging tech and never missed a day of work.
Oregon voters face an important decision this year: Who will govern the state next?
To help answer that question,OregonPublic Broadcasting will present intimate conversations with each of the six major candidates in the May 16 primary election for governor. The program will be broadcast from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 6, and again at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 7, on OPB TV Channel 10.
Cal Ripken, Jr., baseball's "Iron Man," will be the keynote speaker at the eighth annual fund-raising luncheon for Oregon's largest cancer facility — the Providence Cancer Center.
The keynote subject is "Positive Perspectives: Creating Hope for Cancer Patients." The luncheon, sponsored by the Prov-idence Portland Medical Foundation, will be held from 11a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, in the Oregon Convention Center.