Gresham In The News

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  • Hourly wage needed for Oregon 2-bedroom apartments rose $3 in a year: study

    The amount of money a renter would have to make to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Oregon rose by nearly $3 an hour in a single year, from a $16.61 hourly wage in 2015 to $19.38 now, according to a study.

    The amount of money a renter would have to make to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Oregon rose by nearly $3 an hour in a single year, from a $16.61 hourly wage in 2015 to $19.38 now, according to a study published Wednesday.

    The Out of Reach study, published annually by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, calculates a so-called "housing wage" - the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a modest rental home without spending more than 30 percent of his or her income on rent and utilities. It comes at a time when affordable housing has emerged as a top political issue as cities up and down the West Coast have seen skyrocketing rents and a low supply of available apartments.

    Oregon's housing wage was the 18th highest in the nation, the study found, but the $15.73 an hour you'd need to rent a one-bedroom apartment and the $19.38 needed for a two-bedroom ranked slightly below the national averages of $16.35 and $20.30, respectively. (Hawaii's $34.22 housing wage was the nation's highest. The District of Columbia and California ranked second and third.)

    Predictably, the Portland metro area requires a higher housing wage than the national average - residents in the region need to make $19.63 an hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment and $23.23 an hour for a two-bedroom, according to the study.

    "We all need a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home," said Alison McIntosh, deputy director for policy and communications at the Portland nonprofit Neighborhood Partnerships, in a news release reacting to the study. "Housing costs are continuing to rise relative to wages, combined with a huge number of no cause evictions, rapidly increasing rents, and very low vacancy rates. The Legislature can do more to invest in affordable housing and protect tenants, and we'll be advocating for the 2017 Legislature to do more for Oregonians who are affected by the housing crisis."

    The study named the San Francisco Bay Area as the most expensive metro, where people need to earn $44.02 an hour for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, $40.44 in Oakland and $38.35 in San Jose. Honolulu and Stamford, Connecticut (part of the New York metro) rounded out the top five.

    "The struggle to afford a decent home isn't limited to minimum wage workers," the study's authors wrote in the introduction.

    In Oregon, the cheapest counties for renters are Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Wallowa and Wheeler counties, where it only takes $12.65 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment, according to the study.

    -- Luke Hammill
    lhammill@oregonian.com
    503-294-4029
    @lucashammill

  • Man shot, killed by police after domestic violence incident identified

    Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps of Fairview, 22, died as a result of gunfire, police said.

    Bodhi Wilson Dean PhelpsBodhi Wilson Dean Phelps 

    Police on Wednesday identified the man who was fatally shot by officers after allegedly assaulting and forcing a woman into a car in a Gresham.

    Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps of Fairview, 22, died as a result of gunfire, Gresham police said Wednesday in a news release. Witnesses said he refused repeated orders to drop his knives.

    Police responded to the 800 block of Southeast 190th Avenue shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday on reports of a man assaulting and abducting a woman. Witnesses told police that Phelps forced a 25-year-old woman into a sedan. He drove away before police got to the scene.

    Witnesses said the woman was screaming and banging the inside of the sedan, which was stopped in the 18900 block of Southeast Grant Street.

    She also called 911, police said, and reported Phelps assaulted her. He was outside the car at that time.

    Phelps ran from officers when they arrived and didn't stop when they told him to. Two officers ran after Phelps, who brandished a pair of knives.

    People told police they heard police tell Phelps multiple times to "drop the knife" and later heard gunshots.

    Phelps had three outstanding warrants: a felony warrant for heroin possession and probation violations for identity theft and heroin possession, police said.

    The case is under investigation and will later be heard by a grand jury. Police didn't identify the officers involved in the incident.

    Detectives with the county's Major Crimes Team ask any witnesses who haven't yet spoken with police to come forward. Witnesses can reach detectives at 503-618-2719.

    -- Jim Ryan
    jryan@oregonian.com
    503-221-8005; @Jimryan015

  • Cops used spike strip to stop wrong car, $49k lawsuit says

    Sophia Holmes is suing Portland police for $49,000, claiming they mistakenly stopped her Honda Civic using spike strips because they believed she was driving a stolen car.

    A 24-year-old woman who says she was stopped by Portland police, ordered out of her car at gunpoint and briefly handcuffed under the mistaken belief that she was driving a stolen car has filed a $49,000 lawsuit against the city.

    Officers used a spike strip to flatten the tires of her 1999 Honda Civic and had her back out of her car with her hands up before they realized their blunder: The officer who first spotted her had matched only part of her license plate to the license plate of a car reported as stolen, according to police reports.

    The stop unfolded about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 10 as Sophia Holmes was driving back to her Gresham home, according to the suit filed this month in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

    According to Officer Christopher Gjovik's report, the officer spotted Holmes driving by at Southeast 148th and Powell Boulevard. He was able read the first numeral of her license plate, as well as all three letters. Gjovik assumed he had just seen a stolen car listed on his "hotsheet," and so he radioed for Gresham police to throw down a spike strip at 181st and Powell, according to Gjovik's report.

    According to a report written by Portland Officer David Arnold, Arnold set out a spike strip at 169th and Powell. Holmes drove across it at about 35 mph -- and her tires quickly flattened, causing her to come to a stop within two blocks, Arnold wrote.

    Although Holmes was ordered to raise her hands up and face away from the officer, Arnold's police report says no guns were drawn.

    But Holmes' attorney, Josephine Townsend, said Holmes says officers were pointing guns at her when they ordered her to drop to the ground in a prone position. Police reports say Holmes was "detained," but make no mention of handcuffs. Townsend said her client was handcuffed.

    When police told Holmes she was driving a stolen car, Townsend said her client proclaimed her innocence.

    "She was terrified and told them that it was her car and she was on her way home," Townsend wrote in an email to The Oregonian/OregonLive.

    Police said the stop was brief.

    "We immediately recognized our error and apologized profusely to the driver," Gjovik wrote in his report.

    Police gave Holmes information about where to get her tires fixed and the phone number of the city's risk management office, where she could file a complaint for damages, according to police reports.

    The City Attorney's Office declined comment on the lawsuit.

    Sgt. Pete Simpson spoke in general terms about police procedures for stopping a suspected stolen car.

    When officers believe they see a stolen car, they typically will radio for back-up and ideally try to stop the car with a total of four patrol cars present. Officers can either do that with lights and sirens, or surround all four sides of the suspected stolen car and bring it to a stop, Simpson said.

    Spike strips might be used preemptively or if the suspect doesn't stop, Simpson said. But officers use their own discretion when conducting stops, depending on the circumstances, Simpson said.

    The lawsuit claims that police failed to follow established police protocols and procedures. It also says police endangered Holmes' life by using the spike strips, describing them as potentially "deadly physical force."

    "In this case, they did not even attempt to pull her over with lights or siren," Townsend said. "They just threw out the spike strips as she was driving by. No police car ever tried stopping her before they did that."

    The lawsuit states that Holmes has suffered stress, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, nausea and vomiting because of the stop.

    The suit seeks $19,000 for past and future medical and counseling expenses and $30,000 for her emotional distress. Read the lawsuit here.

    -- Aimee Green

    agreen@oregonian.com

    503-294-5119

    o_aimee

  • Portland Metro Wednesday Traffic: Cloudy and drizzly commute; Nighttime road work coming to Sherwood

    Nighttime road construction is coming to Sherwood beginning Tuesday, May 31. Seven intersections along Roy Rogers and Tualatin-Sherwood roads and along Highway 99W are slated for traffic signal upgrades.


    It's a gray day, with plenty of clouds and possible shower or two. It's also a good day to drive with the headlights on or to wear your brighter gear if you're biking, jogging or walking to work/school.

    EAST VANCOUVER 8:57 a.m.; Crash on SR 500 eastbound, just past Stapleton Road on the right shoulder.

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    I-84 WESTBOUND 8:25 a.m.; Stalled vehicle blocks the left lane at 74th Avenue.

    Update 8:43 a.m.; Cleared.

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    LINNTON 8:05 a.m; Injury crash eastbound on Highway 30 at Linnton.

    Update 8:08 a.m.; Eastbound left lane is closed.

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    NORTHEAST PORTLAND 7:24 a.m.; Crash on the right shoulderI-205 southbound before the I-84 westbound exit. 

    Update 8:05 a.m.; Cleared.

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    GRESHAM 7:07 a.m.; Police responding to a two vehicle blocking crash at Northeast 172nd Avenue and Glisan Street.

    ***

    SALEM 6:30 a.m.; Crash I-5 northbound after OR 22 causing a backup.

    Update 6:55 a.m.; Cleared.

    ***

    Nighttime road construction is coming to Sherwood beginning Tuesday, May 31. Seven intersections along Roy Rogers and Tualatin-Sherwood roads and along Highway 99W are slated for traffic signal upgrades.

    Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 5.34.36 AM.pngSherwood road work 

    The work is scheduled for 8 p.m.-5:30 a.m. weeknights through June 25. Expect delays and try to use an alternate route. Details here: www.wc-roads.com

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

  • Portland Metro Wednesday Weather: Heavy cloud cover with possible drizzle, high of 63

    An on-shore flow arriving in the metro area might bring some drizzle in the morning hours, and a possible shower or two in the afternoon.

    A strong marine layer colors our weather on Wednesday. And that color is grey. Expect heavy cloud cover most of the day with only a slight possibility for a sun break or two in the afternoon.

    An on-shore flow arriving in the metro area might bring some drizzle in the morning hours, and a possible shower or two in the afternoon. The high temp today will reach 63.

    Thursday will be a similar forecast with temperatures below seasonal normal range and possible drizzle or showers.

    The chances for rain increase on Friday. Saturday we return to overcast skies, but dryer weather. Temperatures will remain in the mid 60s through Friday, warm a bit to 67 on Saturday and currently Sunday looks to be cloudy and a high of 70.

    Memorial Day weekend doesn't look to be a washout, but it won't exactly be a scorcher either. The coast looks to mirror much of our valley weather with clouds, sun breaks and a shower or two.

  • Affordable apartment complex opens in East Portland

    The latest project resulting from a partnership between nonprofit PHC Northwest and developer Rob Justus is about ready to open its doors to lower-income families.

    The latest project resulting from a partnership between nonprofit PHC Northwest and developer Rob Justus is about ready to open its doors to lower-income families.

    Fern Grove, a 33-unit Southeast Portland complex of three-bedroom apartments designed for three to seven people, will hold a grand opening ceremony June 2. Rents, which PHC said will be $984, are set to be affordable to households making 60 percent of area median income or less.

    The $4.2 million three-building complex is at the southwest corner of East Burnside Street and Southeast 143rd Avenue - a short walk to the East 148th Avenue MAX station. PHC owns and funded the project and Justus built it.

    Justus has made a name for himself building affordable housing in eastern Multnomah County without the help of public subsidies. He works hard to cut construction and post-build operational costs, he said, while still delivering quality - if simpler - units. An average unit at Fern Grove is nearly 1,200 square feet, Justus said.

    "We're not reinventing the wheel," Justus told The Oregonian/OregonLive in a story published last year. "We build to city code and use industry standards. Our units are safe, efficient and have amenities you would find in other new apartment projects being built around Portland."

    Justus and PHC have a goal to produce 500 units of affordable housing in East Portland, and they're now at about 200.

    Fern Grove has a playground, sports court, off-street parking and community space, including a shared laundry room. Construction crews were finishing up landscaping and testing the fire alarms earlier this week.

    -- Luke Hammill
    lhammill@oregonian.com
    503-294-4029
    @lucashammill

  • Gresham police shoot man after woman in car screams for help

    A woman screamed for help inside a car in a Gresham neighborhood, moments before officers shot and killed a man they say was forcibly detaining her, police said. Watch video

    UPDATE: Man shot, killed by police after domestic violence incident identified

    A woman screamed for help inside a car in a secluded Gresham neighborhood Tuesday morning, moments before officers shot and killed a man they say was forcibly detaining her, police said.

    The shooting occurred just after 3 a.m. in the 18700 block of Southeast Grant Street, but 911 calls originated about 14 blocks to the north, according to Officer John Rasmussen, a Gresham police spokesman.

    Multiple witnesses first reported seeing an ongoing assault between a man and woman at an apartment complex in the 800 block of Southeast 190th Avenue. The woman screamed for help and was forced into a car against her will, callers told police.

    Minutes later, more 911 callers reported seeing a woman screaming and banging from inside a car on Grant, a cul-de-sac that intersects with 190th, police said.

    "I don't know that they have any connection to either area," Rasmussen said when asked if the man or woman lived at either location.

    When officers arrived at Grant, they encountered the 22-year-old man in the street, where he was shot.

    Rasmussen declined to provide details about the confrontation, including whether the man was armed or why police used deadly force. He said detectives are looking for witnesses, and that releasing details could taint the search.

    "I don't know where she was in relation to him," Rasmussen said. "I have not been told what weapons he had. That's all what's being investigated."

    The woman's condition is unknown, and detectives haven't identified those at the scene, police said. The two officers directly involved in the shooting were placed on paid leave during the initial phases of the investigation, a standard practice.

    Natalie Scribner, a neighbor who lives on Southeast 189th Avenue, said she believes she heard the commotion while she was half asleep overnight.

    She didn't think much about it. She's never had to worry about safety in her neighborhood. At worst, she said, she hears drag racing Friday nights on Northwest Division Street to the south of her home.

    Police don't often visit that cluster of homes off the Grant cul-de-saq.

    "I've responded there maybe twice in 11 years," Rasmussen said.

    Detectives ask anyone who has information about the confrontation and shooting to call the Gresham Police tip line at 503-618-2719.

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

  • Portland Metro Tuesday Traffic: Various Washington County road projects slow the commute

    The Bureau of Reclamation is doing seismic testing of Scoggins Dam and will close the southbound lane of West Shore Drive at Hagg Lake May 31-July 1.


    Road projects are heating up in various parts of Washington County and commuters are having to take it slow, or choose alternate routes.

    Currently Evergreen Parkway remains closed at Cornelius Pass Road through May 30. Crews are replacing the road at the railroad tracks. Pedestrians and bikes can get through, but cars must use the detour.

    NORTHWEST PORTLAND 8:52 a.m.; Crash reported in an eastbound lane U.S. 26 near Sylvan.

    Update 8:56 a.m.; Quickly cleared.

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    SOUTHEAST PORTLAND 8:13 a.m.; Lanes blocked due to a crash southbound 82nd Avenue south of Division Street.

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    VANCOUVER 8:13 a.m.; Injury rollover crash Interstate 5 southbound near the Main Street overpass. Traffic quickly backing to Hazel Dell.

    Update 8:50 a.m.; Crash now moved to the right shoulder. Traffic still heavy from Hazel Dell.

    ***

    SOUTHWEST PORTLAND 7:52 a.m.; Injury crash involving a pedestrian at Southwest Barbur Boulevard and Terwilliger Road.

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    INTERSTATE BRIDGE 7:42 a.m.; Disabled vehicle blocking the center lane southbound I-5 on the bridge. Traffic was already slow from an earlier crash.

    Update 7:50 a.m.; Cleared.

    ***

    LAKE OSWEGO: McVey Avenue paving 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, from Erickson to State Street.  Partial lane closures and obey detour signs and  flaggers.

    ***

    GLADSTONE 7 a.m.; Crews heading to a crash I-205 northbound between Highway 213 and the Gladstone exit. Right shoulder blocked.

    ***

    Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 6.34.36 AM.pngI-84 west at Lloyd Boulevard 

    I-84 WESTBOUND 6:36 a.m.; A multi-vehicle crash has the right travel lane and the right exit lane blocked on I-84 westbound at Lloyd Boulevard. Expect delays.

    Update 7:20 a.m.; CLEARED. Backup remains to I-205.

    ***

    Verboort Road remains closed through mid-July.

    The Bureau of Reclamation is doing seismic testing of Scoggins Dam and will close the southbound lane of West Shore Drive at Hagg Lake May 31-July 1. Only one-way northbound traffic will be allowed over the dam. The west side of West Shore Drive can be accessed by following Scoggins Valley Road around the lake.

    Construction on Southwest Walnut Street at Tiedeman Road heats up again this week as crews work on sidewalks and bike paths. Expect long delays during work hours.

    For more information on Washington County road work, check here.

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

  • Portland-area pets for adoption May 24 (photos)

    Animals currently available for adoption at local shelters.

    Big floppy dogs. Small shy kittens. Rascally rabbits. Which is perfect for your temperament, your lifestyle, your floor space?

    Finding the right pet is never easy, but across the Portland area a passel of agencies is ready to help you find the right cat, dog or other adoptable animal for your home zoo. Each week, we present a photo sampling of the animals available with information supplied by the shelter or agency putting them up for adoption.

    Find more on the pets and other adoption choices at:

    If you adopt a pet featured on OregonLive's Pets for Adoption gallery, send us an email telling us your story to susangreen@oregonian.com

  • Portland Metro Tuesday Weather: Higher temps and more sun breaks

    Currently forecasters believe Wednesday and Thursday will be mostly dry with overcast skies and chances for sprinkles or light showers mostly held to the morning hours.

    There were enough sun appearances Monday to warm the metro area to 65 degrees. Tuesday we'll see even more sun and temperatures climbing to 71 degrees under partly cloudy skies.

    The overall weather pattern this week is unsettled and hard to predict. A broad and fairly disorganized upper low dominates much of the west, including the Canadian west making it hard to see what's coming up, even in the near future.

    Currently forecasters believe Wednesday and Thursday will be mostly dry with overcast skies and chances for sprinkles or light showers mostly held to the morning hours.

    Everyone is curious about the Memorial Day weekend weather, but the jury is still out on that one. We're not likely to have warm, fun, beach weather, but it's not certain it will be a wash out either. Stay tuned.

    The Pacific Northwest doesn't get a lot of very active thunderstorms compared to some other parts of the country. But the National Weather Service would like to dispel some myths about lightening safety for when you are caught in a storm.

    Here are a few tips from the website that offers facts about some common misconceptions:

    Myth: If it's not raining or there aren't clouds overhead, you're safe from lightning.
    Fact: Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud. "Bolts from the blue" can strike 10-15 miles from the thunderstorm.

    Myth: Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning by insulating you from the ground.
    Fact: Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires. Remember, convertibles, motorcycles, bicycles, open-shelled outdoor recreational vehicles and cars with fiberglass shells offer no protection from lightning. When lightning strikes a vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground. Don't lean on doors during a thunderstorm.

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