Gresham In The News

  • OregonLive - News

  • Portland Metro Wednesday Traffic: The metro area gears up for a Presidential visit tomorrow - expect delays

    TriMet already sent out an e-mail to riders suggesting they plan extra time for buses and trains from Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon.


    Today promises to be the calm before the slog. As with any high ranking official Portland visit, Thursday and Friday's traffic will feel the heat when President Barack Obama comes to town.

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    UPDATE VISTA RIDGE TUNNEL 8:42 a.m.; Stall inside the tunnel on U.S. 26 westbound blocking left lane. ODOT is assisting. CLEARED.

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    UPDATE BEAVERTON 7:11 a.m.; Crash on the offramp from Highway 217 Southbound to Highway 8 (Canyon Road). CLEARED.

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    UPDATE CANBY 6:48 a.m.; NON injury crash on Highway 170 between Marquam and Canby at Gribble Road. HWY 170 closed in the area.

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    VANCOUVER AREA 6:45 a.m.; Washington State has declared this "Bike to School" day. Watch for extra kids on bikes in Clark County today.

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    TriMet already sent out an e-mail to riders suggesting they plan extra time for buses and trains from Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon. City center routes are already planning detours and service disruptions. Expect changes for the MAX Green and Yellow lines as well as for any bus lines that run on Fifth and Sixth avenues.

    Drivers, bikers, walkers and streetcar users should expect closures of streets in the area of Southwest Morrison to Washington streets, from Ninth to 12th avenues beginning 2 p.m. Thursday.

    We'll have more details later today and early tomorrow. The Oregonian's Joe Rose gives a detailed breakdown of what to expect and when

    Check back throughout the morning for the latest commuting updates and follow us on Twitter: @trafficportland

  • Gresham City Council OKs medical marijuana businesses

    In a 4-to-3 vote, councilors approved rewriting zoning ordinances and other city codes to establish allowable time, place, and manner for the businesses after more than an hour debate.

    Medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations will be allowed in mostly industrial areas of Gresham after the City Council approved rules and fees to establish the businesses Tuesday night.

    In a 4-to-3 vote, councilors approved allowable time, place, and manner for the businesses after more than an hour debate. The legislation does not apply to businesses looking to sell the drug for recreational uses.

    Business can begin to register May 6.

    Councilors Kirk French, Karylinn Echols, Mario Palmero and Lori Stegmann voted in favor. Mayor Shane Bemis, Council President Jerry Hinton and Councilor Michael McCormick voted against.

    Dispense_Available.jpg

    Some of the rules go a step further than the minimum requirements of state law: all employees will require background checks, instead of just the manager. Businesses can only set up in zones that have no residential uses, which excludes many commercial areas and leaves mostly industrial sites as possibilities.

    A person will have to pay $250 at the time of the business application and an additional $5,000 once the document is completed and reviewed by the city. To renew the license every year, the cost remains at $5,000. All fees are non-refundable.

    The cost pays for the staff time needed to process the paperwork and inspect the businesses, said Eric Schmidt, director of Community Development Services.

    The mayor said the decision was tough because leaders have to find the balance of allowing decriminalization of the drug to move forward yet maintain the character of the city.

    To get a sense of the city's appetite for marijuana, more than 51 percent of Gresham's 35,556 votes on Ballot Measure 91 last year said yes to allow the recreational use of the drug, according to City Council records. Gresham, the state's fourth largest city, has a population near 110,000,

    The city also received 517 responses to a questionnaire about medicinal-use businesses with 54 percent of the respondents supporting dispensaries and 59 supporting grow operations.

    "From a pure standpoint of ... government, I struggle with the amount of fees and regulations because I can bet you can walk into any number of taverns, bars or whatever and you can probably find a felon behind the bar," Bemis said. He questioned the fairness of the $5,000 renewal fees, the highest of any business in the city.

    Grow_Available.jpg

    Echols said she supported the areas chosen for the businesses.

    "I'm not on the recreational train at all at this point," Echols said. "I'm comfortable with medical marijuana. I personally believe it's between a physician and a patient."

    Echols helped sway Stegmann to approve the proposal because she was hesitant about pending state Senate legislation that could require changes by the city next year. Bemis and McCormick also said they worried about the impact from any new laws coming from Salem. 

    Senate Bill 844 could change zoning requirements but wouldn't apply until March 2016, said David Ris, city attorney.

    "Originally when I was thinking let's just wait, I wasn't really thinking so much about patients who need it medically," Stegmann said. "Those people should be entitled to those services."

    Hinton said his no vote reflects a large contingency of folks who want to protect their loved ones from another intoxicant, despite medicinal or recreational use.

    "I need to represent that half of the citizens of Gresham that did not vote for marijuana," Hinton said. "If fact, I believe it could be argued that it's a greater amount than half if you consider the families that are connected."

    Gresham follows Hillsboro and Tigard this year to consider regulations on businesses that sell pot and others that grow the plant.

    "Of the 242 incorporated cities in Oregon, we know at least 34 have adopted some form of a time, place or manner regulation," Kevin Toon, communications manager for the League of Oregon Cities, said Monday.

    -- Tony Hernandez
    thernandez@oregonian.com
    503-294-5928
    @tonyhreports

  • Portland Metro Wednesday Forecast: Cloudy with rain showers in the morning, clearing in the afternoon

    This morning's more steady rain should ease off by about 10 a.m. leaving us with partly cloudy skies, sun breaks and the possibility of some strong afternoon showers, and maybe some hail.

    Much like yesterday, today's rain is hard to predict. It could pour at your house and four blocks over... nothing.

    This morning's more steady rain should ease off by about 10 a.m. leaving us with partly cloudy skies, sun breaks and the possibility of some strong afternoon showers, and maybe some hail.

    It's a mixed bag sort of weather day. The temperatures should top out at 63. Last night's low of 44 was fairly typical for this time of year.

    Tomorrow might start off with a few clouds, but high pressure is building in again and we should see mostly sunny skies tomorrow and into the weekend.

  • Tuesday evening Portland-area commute: Crash on Highway 26 westbound at Vista Ridge Tunnel

    The latest Portland traffic updates for Tuesday night.

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    PORTLAND, 5:50 p.m.: Westbound Vista Ridge Tunnel

    Looks like a crash is blocking westbound traffic on Highway 26 near the tunnel. Interstate 405 south is jammed over the Fremont Bridge.

    UPDATE, 5:59 p.m.: The middle westbound lane is closed.

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    PORTLAND, 5:15 p.m: Interstate 84 east

    Crash on I-84 east near 60th Ave. Traffic slow back to 33rd Ave. and growing.

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    Traffic is slow on Interstate 205 south from Killingsworth down past Foster. Not really sure why. Might just be regular ole congestion.

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    Tuesday starts out with light congestion on the major roads and one serious accident near Oregon City involving a Clackamas motorcycle patrol deputy. 

    Don't forget about President Obama's upcoming visit to Portland on Thursday. Sure to disrupt traffic through Friday.

    Follow the Oregonian's commuting alerts on Twitter: @TrafficPortland

  • David Douglas' Joshua Kellebrew faces strategic challenge in pursuit of 800 repeat

    Joshau Kellebrew will have some tough competition in going after his second Class 6A title

    David Douglas senior Joshua Kellebrew doesn’t have the typical pre-race routine. As he waits for his races, the Harvard-bound Kellebrew often plays chess.

    It’s hard to argue with his results. The reigning Class 6A champion in the 800 meters has made his mark on the school record book, where he is No. 1 in the 800, No. 2 in the 400 and No. 6 in the 200.

    For Kellebrew to end his high school career in style, though, he probably will need to draw on some of those tactical skills he exercises before races.

    His competition in the 800 this year probably will include Cleveland senior Roba Sultessa, the reigning Class 5A champion in the event. When they went head-to-head in the Centennial Invitational last year, Sultessa beat Kellebrew in the 800 by .22 seconds.

    “He’s definitely going to go out and try to defend his 6A title,” David Douglas coach Cameron Cross said of Kellebrew. “It’s going to be tough with Sultessa up from Cleveland. That’s going to be a tough race.”

    The 800 field also is likely to include Centennial senior Thomas Morrell III, who beat Kellebrew in the Mt. Hood Conference district meet last year, and Lincoln senior Josiah Langstaff, the state runner-up a year ago.

    “He knows it’s never easy to repeat, and then you get quality racers like that, and it makes it even tougher,” Cross said.

    In an effort to improve his speed, Kellebrew has spent much of the season running the 200 and 400. He has made progress – he ranks No. 2 in the state in the 400 (48.93) and No. 7 in the 200 (22.18), both personal bests – despite being hampered by a tight iliotibial band, a thick band of tissue outside the knee.

    “Pushing off real aggressive in the 200 and 400 has been hard to do, but it doesn’t affect the 800 as much because he doesn’t have to be as fast in the first 200,” Cross said.

    Kellebrew ran the 800 for only the second time this season last week, finishing in 1:55.60, the seventh-best time in the state this season and well off his personal best of 1:53.31 from last year. Cross believes Kellebrew is primed to finish strong, though.

    “I think 1:52 is realistic,” Cross said. “You just never know. If that leg cooperates, he could go a little lower.”

    Kellebrew has not run the 400 before at district, but with his excellent time this season, it is a possibility.


    "We're still toying with the idea of the 400," Cross said. "But he'll definitely run the 800 and the 4x400."


    -- Jerry Ulmer


    julmer@oregonian.com
    503-816-7323
    @jerryulmer

  • Sweet Cakes: Faith-based Wisconsin nonprofit launches fundraiser for Christian bakers

    Continue to Give founder Jesse Wellhoefer said a crowdfunding web page for Melissa and Aaron Klein went live May 5, little more than a week after GoFundMe shut down a similar account for the Oregon couple, saying it violated the company's terms of service.

    A faith-based nonprofit in Wisconsin announced Tuesday that it has opened its online giving platform to a fundraising campaign for the embattled owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

    Continue to Give founder Jesse Wellhoefer said a crowdfunding web page for Melissa and Aaron Klein went live May 5, little more than a week after GoFundMe shut down a similar account for the Oregon couple, saying it violated the company's terms of service.

    "We want to help people raise money if they have gone through any trying periods where they need to raise money," Wellhoefer told The Oregonian/OregonLive. "In this case, that's exactly what Sweet Cakes needs to do."

    The Kleins are the Gresham bakery owners who refused to bake a wedding cake for a Portland lesbian couple, citing their Christian beliefs against same-sex wedding. An administrative law judge earlier this year ruled that the Kleins illegally discriminated against the women because of their sexual orientation and ordered them to pay $135,000 in damages for emotional suffering.

    State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian is reviewing the 900-page-plus transcript following a recent hearing on the penalty phase of the case, and is expected to issue a final order and damages award this summer.

    The Kleins closed their Gresham storefront shop in September 2013 and now operate the business out of their home in Sandy.

    A family friend established a GoFundMe account on April 24 to help the Kleins defray the cost, but GoFundMe closed the account that same day after several people contacted the company to complain the campaign violated its terms of service.

    California-based GoFundMe clarified its policies last week, saying it will not allow campaigns that benefit individuals or groups facing formal charges or claims of serious violations of the law.

    The Sweet Cakes case is one of several cases at the heart of the nation's culture wars over anti-discrimination laws and religious freedom rights.

    Wellhoefer said he has known about the Kleins and their shuttered bakery for some time, and welcomed the opportunity to help them. He said he was not dissuaded by the recent controversy involving GoFundMe, nor by the fact the Kleins stand accused of violating Oregon's anti-discrimination laws.

    "After speaking to lawyers about the issues at hand here, we are OK with the fundraiser," he said.

    Continue to Give, based in Schofield, Wisconsin, helps churches, missionaries, nonprofits and individuals raise money through online, mobile and kiosk giving. Wellhoefer said the nonprofit has helped many churches increase their tithes by setting up on-site kiosk stands and card readers to process electronic payments.

    He described himself as a 32-year-old web developer who was inspired to start Continue to Give after going on several mission trips around the world.

    As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Continue to Give campaign had raised about $1,000.

    Meanwhile, the Oregon man who set up the GoFundMe account for the Kleins said he was still awaiting receipt of the proceeds. More than $109,000 was raised in a matter of hours, and Mark D. Kost said company officials assured him the money would be forthcoming soon.

    Two other entities are accepting donations for the couple: Samaritan's Purse, a Christian nonprofit in North Carolina, and Lynchwood Church of God in Southeast Portland.

    On their business' Facebook page, the Kleins took note of the new online fundraising campaign and expressed their thanks to supporters:

    The events of the last week have shown us that we are not alone. An overwhelming number of Americans agree that we should all be free to live and work according to our faith without fear of punishment by the government. Thank you again for your support.

    -- George Rede

    grede@oregonian.com
    503-294-4004
    @georgerede

  • Fire damage to 30-unit Government Camp condo complex tabbed at $10.8 million

    All of the condo residents were safely evacuated, and no injuries were reported to firefighters. However, all of the residents were displaced. The Red Cross provided emergency assistance.

    GOVERNMENT CAMP - Damage is estimated at $10.8 million for a three-alarm fire that destroyed a 30-condo complex last month.

    However, cause of the blaze still remains under investigation.

    Fire Marshal Scott Kline of the Hoodland Fire District said Tuesday that he is working with investigators from several insurance companies to determine what started the blaze.

    "We're working together on various aspects of it," Kline said. "But so far, we can't say for sure what caused it."

    He said he expected the investigation to be completed by the end of this month.

    Fire broke out at the Golden Poles Chalet, a three-story complex built in the 1960s, around 2:45 p.m. April 20 and spread quickly. Fire crews initially believed the blaze was burning only on the top floor, but soon discovered it was burning below as well.

    All of the condo residents were safely evacuated, and no injuries were reported to firefighters. However, all of the residents were displaced. The Red Cross provided emergency assistance.

    Much of the complex, 31086 East Multorpor Road, near Mt. Hood Skibowl, has been pulled apart so investigators can probe the charred wreckage.

    -- Rick Bella rbella@oregonian.com

    503-294-5915; @southnewshound

  • Is Mt. Hood Conference the state's toughest 6A baseball league?

    OSAA's average rankings say Mt. Hood rates ahead of Three Rivers and Metro

    Is the Mt. Hood Conference the toughest Class 6A baseball league in Oregon?

    Ranking the 6A baseball leagues
    1. Mt. Hood 18.9 (OSAA average ranking)
    2. Three Rivers 21.6
    3. Metro 22.3
    4. Southwest 23.9
    5. Central Valley 25.4
    6. PIL 37.9

    With two weeks remaining in the 2015 regular season, that's what the OSAA rankings indicate. The MHC, led the OSAA's 1-2 of Clackamas and Central Catholic, has an average power ranking of 18.9.


    Certainly, the Mt. Hood's top half is as formidable as any team in Oregon. Clackamas, Central Catholic, Reynolds and Gresham all rank among the top 12. Only the Metro League has as many teams ranked among the top 16, which guarantees a home game for the first round of the state playoffs.


    The average power ranking for each 6A league is MHC (18.9), Three Rivers (21.6), Metro (22.3), Southwest (23.9), Central Valley (25.4) and Portland Interscholastic (37.9).


    If the playoffs started today, Clackamas and Central Catholic would be guaranteed home games through the semifinals, and North Medford and West Linn through the quarterfinals.


    Many will closely watch the OSAA rankings during the next two weeks, as the final number determines seeding, and ultimately, home games. The top 16 play host to first-round games, while the top eight are guaranteed home games through the second round.


    Have an opinion as to the state's toughest baseball league? Comment below.


    --Nick Daschel


    ndaschel@comcast.net


    @nickdaschel

  • Grant, Barlow, Central Catholic headline latest 6A state girls track projections

    The 6A state girls track and field meet is May 22-23 at University of Oregon

    With most of the big regular-season track and field meets in the rear view mirror, it seems like a good time for another Class 6A state girls projection.

    Based on the latest state bests and a little bit about what we know regarding state meet entrants, it's Grant by a narrow margin over Barlow and Central Catholic. But with just over two weeks before the state meet, it's really anyone's guess between the Generals, Bruins and Rams.


    For that matter, North Medford.


    The top three contenders have plenty of room for jockeying. For instance, will Barlow's Danelle Woodcock compete in three or four events? Does Grant's Ella Donaghu go in the 800 and 1,500 meters, or defend her state titles in 1,500 and 3,000? Central Catholic has plenty of options in entering its athletes, as does Barlow with its sprinters.


    Most 6A teams are finished and preparing for next week's district meets. The 6A state meet is May 22-23 at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.


    Here are the latest projections:


    1. Grant 58


    2. Barlow 55


    3. Central Catholic 52.5


    4. North Medford 48


    5. Sunset 39


    6. Jesuit 37


    7. Sheldon 32.5


    8. Tigard 32


    9. Grants Pass 30


    10. Roseburg 29


    --Nick Daschel


    ndaschel@comcast.net


    @nickdaschel

  • Portland Metro Tuesday Traffic: I-84 crash blocks left lane at 28th Ave.; showers for the morning commute

    ODOT reopened all lanes of I-84 eastbound at the 257th Avenue exit after repairing the large hole in the roadway there.


    Commuters this morning should expect light showers and some wet roads. It's been a while since the last good rain. Drive with care.

    ODOT reopened all lanes of I-84 eastbound at the 257th Avenue exit after repairing the large hole in the roadway there.

    BEAVERTON 8:24 a.m.; Crash at Southeast Jenkins Road east of west Baseline Road.

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    Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 8.10.06 AM.pngSR 14 West near 164th 

    UPDATE EAST VANCOUVER 8:20 a.m.; Crash on SR 14 westbound near 164th Avenue blocks the left lane. CLEARED TO RIGHT SHOULDER, some clean up left to do in the left lane.

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    BEAVERTON 8:06 a.m.; Crash on Southwest Cedar Hills Boulevard north of Barnes Road.

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    ALOHA/HILLSBORO 7:57 a.m.; Non-injury crash on Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway at 185th Avenue.

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    Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 7.08.22 AM.pngI-84 Westbound at 28th 

    UPDATE I-84 WESTBOUND 7:34 a.m.; Crash in the left lane is blocking traffic westbound on I-84 at 28th Avenue. CRASH CLEARED.

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    NORTHEAST PORTLAND 7:00 a.m.; Emergency vehicles rolling to a car vs. motorcycle crash at Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Broadway. 

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    UPDATE HILLSBORO 7:44 a.m.; Non-injury crash on Northwest Cornelius Pass Road where it crosses Northeast Cornell Road. CLEARED.

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    Pump your own gas, in Oregon?? Unheard of, or is it? The Oregonian's Joe Rose talks about a bill in the legislature now to allow those in rural areas to pump there own fuel. Read about it here

    Check back throughout the morning for the latest commuting updates and follow us on Twitter: @trafficportland

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