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Oregon 167 articles

Oregon Legislature to pay $1.32 million to resolve sexual harassment claims

The Oregon Legislature has agreed to pay $1.32 million to resolve sexual harassment claims brought by eight women who claimed they had endured unwanted touching, and verbal and electronic propositioning while working in the Legislature. State Sen. Sara Gelser started the ball rolling when she registered a complaint against then-Sen. Jeff Kruse, which led to an investigation by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). That investigation, which wrapped up earlier this year, found that the women had been subjected to sexual harassment and that legislative leadership, namely House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney, had failed ... Read More

183 Amtrak passengers stranded in small snowy Oregon town

An Amtrak train with 183 passengers aboard has been stranded in the tiny town of Oakridge in Oregon since about 9:45 a.m. Sunday, when the Coast Starlight Train 11, traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles, struck a tree that had fallen onto the snow-covered tracks. No one aboard the train was injured, but “conditions further deteriorated with numerous track blockages from snow and fallen trees,” Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari told ABC News. Poor weather conditions have forced road closings in the area. Crews are working to clear the track and were expected to reach the stranded train around 6 a.m. ... Read More

U.S. Traffic Deaths Exceed 40K for Third Consecutive Year

U.S. traffic deaths exceeded 40,000 in 2018, the third year in a row that the number of people killed in traffic accidents surpassed the 40k mark. Additionally, 4.5 million people were seriously injured last year in traffic crashes, a 1-percent rise over 2017’s figures, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Although data shows that traffic deaths have dipped slightly since 2016 (40,327 deaths) and 2017 (40,231 deaths), the estimated 40,000 people killed in 2018 is still 14 percent higher than four years ago. The spikes in traffic deaths were found in Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania ... Read More

Massachusetts Boosts Tobacco Sales Age to 21

With the New Year comes a new Massachusetts state law boosting the minimum age for the purchase of all tobacco products, including vaping products, to 21. The new law comes on the heels of data showing that teens are turning to vaping in alarming numbers, rolling back decades of progress in reducing smoking rates among U.S. youth. Considering that nicotine is harmful to the developing brains of people 25 and younger, it may be surprising to know that the new law makes Massachusetts just the sixth state to restrict the sale of tobacco products to individuals 21 years or older. ... Read More

Helicopter company to pay widow $6 million in wrongful death case

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania-based Haverfield Aviation Inc., will pay a New York woman $6 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit involving a 2012 helicopter crash that killed her husband. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford granted the motion to approved the settlement between the aerial power line inspection company and Brenda Crout, whose husband, Dale, 41, died while inspecting power lines in Corning, New York, for New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG). The crash also took the life of pilot Mackenzie Bleth, 24, of Grand Ronde, Oregon. Though young, Bleth was an experienced pilot, having worked previously for Coastal Helicopters ... Read More

California Romaine Grower Linked to E.Coli Outbreak Recalls Other Produce  

A California farm linked to the E. coli-contaminated romaine lettuce that triggered a massive nationwide recall is now recalling other types of produce as a precaution. Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. of Santa Maria, California, said the new recalls include red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and cauliflower harvested on Nov. 27 through Nov. 30, 2018. Although none of the produce has tested positive for the E. coli strain associated with the outbreak (E. coli O157:H7) and no illnesses have been reported, the company says it’s voluntarily recalling the extra produce out of an abundance of caution. The recalled cauliflower was ... Read More

Whistleblower Retaliation Case Against Oregon Lottery Goes to Trial

A former Oregon Lottery official who filed a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against the lottery agency and the state is having his allegations heard. The trial began on Monday, Dec. 10. According to Willamette Week, Trinh C. Tran filed his whistleblower lawsuit against the lottery last year claiming that lottery director Barry Pack retaliated against him in 2016 after he talked to the Lottery Commission and the governor’s staff about former lottery director Jack Roberts’ management style. Shortly after talking with Lottery Commission member Elizabeth Carle and Gov. Kate Brown’s staff, Gov. Brown fired Mr. Roberts. Mr. Pack, who worked as ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues Oregon DMV, Alleging Retaliation Over Sexual Harassment Complaints

A Salem, Oregon woman has filed a whistleblower complaint against the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, accusing the agency of retaliating against her for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. The whistleblower complaint was filed in Marion County Circuit Court Nov. 8 by a woman who worked for the Oregon DMV as a document specialist. The plaintiff’s position was a temporary one, but she was interviewing last year for a permanent position as office specialist within the DMV. It was on Dec. 8, after her second interview, that she says her troubles at the DMV began. According to the Salem ... Read More

Renovators of historic hotel cited for improper handling of asbestos

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries fined three companies involved in renovations of the historic Otis Hotel in downtown Spokane nearly $140,000 for mishandling toxic asbestos in the old hotel. Curtis Rystadt purchased the building for $1.4 million in June 2017. His company, Hos and Boz LLC, and Santiago’s Handyman Services, both of Oregon, were hit with a $24,500 fine for violating eight serious and three general worker safety rules, and an additional $45,000 for serious violations regarding hazardous materials. Both companies have appealed the fines. Kent, Washington-based 4 Aces Restoration was hit with a $200 fine for ... Read More

Supreme Court allows climate change lawsuit to proceed

A group of young people suing the U.S. government over climate change can have their day in court, the Supreme Court ruled. The case was put on hold last month just before it was slated to go to trial in late October in a federal district court in Eugene, Oregon. The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case. The landmark lawsuit was brought by 21 people ranging in age from 11 to 22 who say the federal government violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by failing to protect them against climate change. Specifically, the ... Read More