Multnomah County Animal Services is looking for tips to solve two animal abuse cases.
Yet another dog has been found in the Portland area with its muzzle wrapped shut.
On Wednesday, a Good Samaritan discovered a pit bull puppy in a box in Kane Park on Northeast Kane Drive in Gresham with a tie around its snout. That person took the dog to Multnomah County's animal shelter in Troutdale on Thursday morning.
Mike Oswald, the shelter's manager, said X-rays showed the pup has two broken legs. It's been turned over to a clinic for care. The abuse of the dog was upsetting, Oswald said, but so was the timing.
"It's disturbing that this could happen to a little puppy on the heels of the other dog we're dealing with," Oswald said.
On Nov. 24, some girls found a Shih Tzu lost and bleeding in North Portland
with a rubber band tied around its mouth. The dog was taken to DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Northwest Portland for treatment and then transferred to Multnomah County Animal Services. Oswald said the dog has been adopted by the people who found it.
They named him Lucky.
Multnomah County has yet to find those who abused it however. It also wants leads in this latest case. Oswald asked anyone with information to call investigators Michelle Luckey at 503-988-6238 or Jenny Kimmons at
Oswald does not know whether there's a connection between the two cases or if the second was a copycat incident.
"We don't know at this point," Oswald said.
-- Lynne Terry
The crackdown was part of a nationwide campaign to reduce traffic fatalities.
Gresham police officials cracked down on intoxicated driving, citing 59 people between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2.
The crackdown was part of a multi-agency effort, including the Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Impact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and state and local law enforcement agencies.
The campaign included $14 million in national advertising about the consequences of impaired driving.
According to NHTSA, there were 10,322 traffic fatalities in 2012 in which the driver's blood alcohol content was at or above the legal limit. That represents a 5 percent increase in fatalities from 2011. But in Oregon the rate dropped 10 percent over the same period.
For more information, visit the NHTSA's campaign headquarters at stopimpaireddriving.com.
-- Lynne Terry
Twenty-four-year-old Fairview Police Officer Brian Gerkman fired a round on Nov. 11 at a vehicle during a traffic stop. The driver later rammed a Multnomah County Sheriff's patrol car, injuring a deputy.
A rookie Fairview police officer who shot a man during a welfare check early Tuesday recently had been cleared in another shooting 22 days earlier.
Officer Brian Gerkman, 24, was placed on administrative leave this week after the confrontation at the Fairview Oaks-Woods Apartments complex at 22719 N.E. Halsey St.
Gerkman graduated from the Oregon Basic Police Academy in June 2012, according to a city newsletter that described him as "one of Fairview's own." He was awarded the "Top Shooter" award for his class, an honor bestowed on the best marksman who also demonstrates leadership.
Fairview Police Chief Ken Johnson said Gerkman was dispatched to Apartment 104 along with two Multnomah County deputy sheriffs sent to assist him in checking on a report of a man acting strangely, either as a result of mental health issues or drugs.
A resident allowed the officers to enter the apartment, where Gerkman and Deputies Pete Reed and Kevin Baird made contact with Tyler Brown, a visitor from Federal Way, Wash.
While they were assessing the situation, Brown dashed into the small kitchen and grabbed a large kitchen knife, the chief said.
Gerkman drew his duty weapon and ordered Brown to drop the knife, Johnson said. The men were standing close to one another, Johnson said. Brown lunged while "holding the knife in a threatening manner," he said in a news release.
That's when Gerkman fired three rounds, striking Brown.
After being shot, Brown struggled with officers as they tried to give him first aid. Brown was taken to a hospital and has been upgraded to stable condition.
It was the Fairview Police Department's second officer-involved shooting in the past month and Gerkman was involved in both, Johnson said.
He elaborated on that shooting for the first time Thursday.
On Nov. 11, when Gerkman tried to stop a Chrysler 300 with stolen license plates for traffic violations near Northeast 223rd Avenue and Northeast Townsend Way, the driver fled.
Gerkman pursued the sedan down a dead-end road, the chief said. The driver turned his car so it was facing Gerkman's police car, then stopped.
Apparently thinking the driver was surrendering, Gerkman exited his car and pointed his gun at the driver and ordered him to surrender, Johnson said. That's when the driver accelerated and drove the Chrysler directly at Gerkman, Johnson said.
Fearing he was going to be struck and killed, Gerkman fired one round at the car when it was a few feet away, striking the hood. The driver swerved and missed the police officer, who jumped back in his patrol car, radioed for backup and continued the pursuit.
The suspect, while speeding, struck a Multnomah County sheriff's patrol car at Northeast 223rd Avenue and Sandy Boulevard, injuring a deputy and a seriously injuring his own passenger.
Gerkman was placed on administrative leave after the incident, a standard procedure in officer-involved shootings. Since no one was injured or killed, Gerkman was returned to duty on Nov. 13. A grand jury found that the driver, 30-year-old Richard James Rummery, had unlawfully used the Chrysler 300 as a weapon against the Fairview officer, Johnson said. Rummery faces a series of charges, including third-degree assault and reckless driving.
Johnson determined that Gerkman had acted within Fairview Police Department policy and his use of force was justified.
Nearly three weeks later, Gerkman was again the lone police officer in the city working the 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. graveyard shift when Tuesday's welfare check call was dispatched.
Fairview police hired Gerkman on Feb. 1, 2012, according to Johnson. Gerkman also served as a Fairview reserve police officer and as a cadet for the Gresham Police Department.
Gerkman is back on administrative leave pending decisions from a grand jury and the Fairview Police Department Use of Force Review Board, which will determine whether he acted within department policy.
Meanwhile, the East County Major Crimes Team -- an interagency group of investigators from Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, Portland Police Bureau, Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County District Attorney -- continues to investigate the recent shooting.
It is the third shooting for the nine-officer department since Jan. 27, 2012. Last year, Fairview Officer Mike Morton, a 15-year-veteran, shot Larry M. McKinney as he stood holding a carving knife at the door of his mother’s
apartment. A grand jury cleared him of criminal wrongdoing and
Johnson declared the shooting
justified after his own investigation.
Morale has taken a blow, Johnson said.
"This is a huge anomaly for any agency, let alone for an agency of this size," Johnson said. But Gerkman's involvement in the current shooting will be investigated separately from his earlier incident.
"The fact that he's been involved in two incidents, each should be regarded independently," the chief said.
-- Kimberly A.C. Wilson
ABC's newsmagazine "20/20" picked up The Oregonian's original story and broadcast its own segment. The actor William H. Macy portrayed Porter in the television movie "Door to Door," in 2003.
Bill Porter has died.
If you've lived around Portland long enough, the name means something. If not, then let me get the details of his death out of the way before I tell you about the man.
The end came Tuesday night when Porter was rushed to a hospital with severe stomach pain. By night's end, he was gone. An infection had spread through his body. A memorial of some kind will be scheduled in the next week or so. I'll let you know when and where.
Newspaper style requires me to use the man's last name. But it doesn't seem right here.
He was always Bill.
Forget the rules.
Bill was 81 and had lived in an assisted living center in Gresham. He moved there in September, finally giving up the fiercely independent life he fought so hard to maintain.
He'd lived alone in a small one-level Gresham home. But he continued to fall.
One night, his friend told me, Bill had to spend the entire night on the floor because he couldn't reach the phone. The falls convinced him it was time to get help.
If you want to take any solace in this story, figure that Bill had to spend less than four months that way.
You see, asking for help was never his way.
And that's what made him the man he was.
He lived in anonymity until 1995 when I wrote about him. He put me off three times when I came to his house to talk about his life.
He didn't want the attention.
But I was persistent.
I finally wore him down when I dropped in unannounced one Saturday morning to make my final pitch. With a sigh, he motioned to a chair.
He wasn't famous then, wasn't rich and not a celebrity in the way the word is so casually tossed around these days.
He was a nobody.
He sold products door-to-door.
For more than 45 years.
Like I said, he wasn't a big shot.
When I met him he was 63. He had cerebral palsy and spoke and walked with great difficulty. When he was a young man, the state considered him unemployable and suggested he collect disability payments. He refused.
For more than 40 years he earned a living selling Watkins products on routes that took him through Portland's westside neighborhoods. At night, he would return to his small house. Hunched over an old typewriter and with a twisted hand, he slowly banged out orders for everything he'd sold that day.
For several years he was Watkins' top retail salesman in all of Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California. When I wrote about him, he was the only one of the company's nearly 50,000 salespeople who sold door-to-door.
Until I wrote about him, hardly anyone really knew Bill. If anything, Portlanders recalled him only as the odd man who shuffled along the downtown transit mall, the strange man they spotted trudging through neighborhoods.
But the story about his life and his journey touched something in readers.
When it first appeared, more than 2,000 people called or wrote the newspaper.
Remember, this was back in the day before Facebook and Twitter. To say the story went viral would have made no sense back then.
But today we can say it did.
I still get calls and letters about Bill Porter.
Portlanders wrote me to confess that, as children, they'd teased Porter on the bus.
Or that they had run away to hide when he passed through their neighborhoods.
They wanted to apologize.
The outpouring stunned Bill. He never wanted sympathy. He didn't want to be seen as disabled. But messages from readers were filled with admiration, not pity.
He told me that made him realize his life had value, that he filled a more important place in the world than he'd thought. His dead mother, he said, would have been proud of him.
The article was reprinted by Reader's Digest.
More mail flooded in.
ABC's news magazine "20/20" picked up the original story and broadcast its own segment. The network received more than 2,000 calls and letters, the most for any "20/20" story ever broadcast.
Here's an excerpt from one of the letters I received:
"In today's world we have too few heroes to look up to. Upon hearing your story, I felt humbled and look up to you as a hero and a fine man. Your tenacity, perseverance and courage set an example to your fellow men and women.''
The actor William H. Macy portrayed Porter in the television movie "Door to Door," in 2003. It won four Emmy Awards.
"He never understood what all the fuss was about," said Shelly Brady a longtime friend and assistant who wrote the book "Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter."
"The attention humbled and touched him," she said Thursday. "I began with him as an employee and became his friend. He is part of our family."
At the end of 1995, I did an update on Bill – right about this time of year, in the weeks before Christmas.
Here are some excerpts:
Bill touches us so profoundly, apparently, because he reminds us of who we all set out to be. And where we would like to go. He is, first of all, someone from our own branch of the human family. Almost none of us has the God-given talent or spiritual purity to become one of the remote, larger-than-life heroes who loom over our world. Who are we to measure ourselves against the great athlete, the skilled surgeon or the religious saint?
But Bill is a salesman. Each day, he puts his infirmities aside, screws up his courage, goes out into the world and asks others to accept what he has to offer.
So do we all.
Bill reminds us of what we were when we set out in life. He fights the war we call life every day, without complaining. Whatever the internal truth of Bill Porter, we perceive him, in his perseverance, as pure, untouched by the ills of society. He isn't greedy. He doesn't take handouts. He -- of all of us -- could produce a hundred excuses. But he never makes excuses.
His determination challenges us. When we see past Bill's disabilities, we see the disabilities in ourselves.
That raises questions. Am I working hard enough in my life? Do I have that kind of integrity?
Good words to think about in this holiday season.
--Tom Hallman Jr.
Jurors will be asked whether they think 17-year-old Taylur DeWolf understood the risks of snowboarding and was at fault for her death, or whether Skibowl should have placed warnings around a dangerous area of slope.
Attorneys made opening statements Thursday in a $4.65 million lawsuit against Mt. Hood Skibowl that alleges the resort operated a dangerous run that led to the death of a 17-year-old snowboarder who struck a tree.
The estate of Taylur DeWolf claims that Skibowl underrated the difficulty of the Dog Leg run -- designating it intermediate level rather than expert. The estate also contends the resort failed to place warning poles along a particularly dangerous slope near the tree that DeWolf fatally struck.
“They didn't even put up $8 worth of bamboo poles to redirect people,” said Jeff Merrick, an attorney for the family, to a 12-person jury in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
DeWolf died on the evening of Jan. 27, 2012.
An attorney for Skibowl contended DeWolf died not because of negligence on the resort’s part. The slope was appropriately designated as a blue run, said Skibowl attorney Brad Stanford. He said DeWolf was skiing too fast on a slope designated above her abilities.
“This is a case about individual responsibility,” Stanford said. “It's about choices that Taylur DeWolf made on Jan. 27 that led to her death.
Stanford said that four weeks before the accident, DeWolf acquired her season’s pass by signing a document acknowledging that she understood the risks of skiing and snowboarding. Stanford said DeWolf had been down the Dog Leg trail just a few weeks before her death.
The plaintiff’s first witness, a ski-safety consultant, said that doesn’t mean resorts are off the hook when it comes to warning skiers of hazards.
“There is some responsibility on the part of the ski area,” said Richard Penniman, who has investigated more than 1,000 ski accidents. “This is not the backcountry. This is not the wilderness. This is a theme park.”
DeWolf was one of 12 snowboarders or skiers who have died while recreating at or near Mount Hood ski resorts in the past decade. Among them was James Malcarne, 37, who died at Skibowl while crashing into a tree two months after DeWolf’s death.
The Oregonian has compiled a list of those who've died while recreating on the mountain since 1883.
The suit seeks medical, burial and memorial expenses -- plus damages for lost earning potential and for pain and suffering her parents have endured.
The DeWolf family’s attorney said she had a bright future. She earned a 3.98 GPA at Mt. Hood Community College and she’d hoped to find a cure for diabetes.
The trial is expected to last about a week.
-- Aimee Green
Good morning, Portland commuters. It looks like a quiet ride so far this morning, but it's early and things can change so keep an eye on this post for the latest hiccups on your commute. Tweets about "#pdxtraffic" ODOT speed map Reload page for most current map -- Noelle Crombie
Four Oregon individuals and one boys team are in the field for Nike Cross Nationals, the national high school cross country championship race, held Saturday at Portland Meadows. Central Catholic’s boys earned a berth into the field as an at-large entry. The Rams, winner of the Class 6A state meet in November, placed third at the NXN regional meet...
Four Oregon individuals and one boys team are in the field for Nike Cross Nationals, the national high school cross country championship race, held Saturday at Portland Meadows.
Central Catholic’s boys earned a berth into the field as an at-large entry. The Rams, winner of the Class 6A state meet in November, placed third at the NXN regional meet in Boise.
Oregon girls in the meet are Grant’s Ella Donaghu and Summit’s Hannah Gindlesperger, this year’s Class 6A and 5A state champions, respectively. Among the boys are Reynolds’ Ahmad Ibrahim and South Eugene’s Reilly Bloomer.
Another local in the meet is Camas junior Alexa Efraimson, one of the favorites to win the girls title. Efraimson is a two-time Washington state champion and winner of the NXN regional in Boise. Efraimson was fourth a year ago at Cross Nationals.
The Cross National field includes 22 teams and 45 individuals in boys and girls. Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.) is shooting for its seventh consecutive girls title. The girls race starts at 10:05 a.m., followed by boys at 11:35 a.m.
After Thursday's interview, Fairview Police Chief Ken Johnson said his agency would issue a press release with further details of the incident, including the officer's name and the name of the man shot during the incident.
The unidentified Fairview Police officer who shot and wounded a man Monday during will be interviewed Thursday by the East Multnomah County Major Crimes Team.
Police have released few details about the incident, which happened after an officer was dispatched around 3 a.m. to an apartment complex in the 22700-block of Northeast Halsey Street for a welfare check.
Chief Ken Johnson has said the welfare check was "basically an individual that was having some difficulty, talking to themselves, acting strangely." Shortly after the Fairview officer and two Multnomah County Sheriff's Office deputies encountered the man, the Fairview officer fired his weapon.
After Thursday's planned interview, Johnson said his agency would issue a press release with further details of the incident, including the officer's name and the name of the man shot during the incident.
Saturday Multnomah County Animal Services adoption special: Between now and Dec. 31, adoption fees will match the date ($6 on Dec. 6, $7 on Dec. 7, etc.). The shelter is open Tuesday-Sundays. Details: multcopets.org. Lewis & Clark Cat Show: See more than 200 cats of up to 30 breeds at the 42nd annual Lewis and Clark Cat Show, 9...
Multnomah County Animal Services adoption special: Between now and Dec. 31, adoption fees will match the date ($6 on Dec. 6, $7 on Dec. 7, etc.). The shelter is open Tuesday-Sundays. Details: multcopets.org.
Lewis & Clark Cat Show: See more than 200 cats of up to 30 breeds at the 42nd annual Lewis and Clark Cat Show, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the DoubleTree Lloyd Center, 1000 N.E. Multnomah St. in Portland. Admission: $4 for adults (free for children under age 6); $1 from each admission will be donated to Cat Adoption Team. Details: lewisandclarkcatclub.com.
America’s Largest Christmas Bazaar: Visit the Oregon Humane Society booth at the Christmas bazaar to find gifts for animals and meet adoptable pets. Lisa Cohn, and son, Michael, authors of “Bash and Lucy Fetch Confidence,” will sign and sell their children’s dog book at the OHS booth 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday-Sunday. Details: oregonhumane.org.
Golden Bond Rescue holiday bazaar: This annual benefit for Golden Bond Rescue of Oregon will feature Golden Bond rescue merchandise knitted items, baked goods and more, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday at the Aurora Pythian Hall, 14979 N.E. Second St., Aurora. The event will also include a walk around the historic town of Aurora at 11 a.m. and photos with Santa from noon to 2 p.m. Details: goldenbondrescue.com.
Oregon Dachshund Rescue holiday open house: Have a photo of your dog (any breed) taken with Santa Claus and shop the pet gift market at this event benefiting Oregon Dachshund Rescue, a non-profit, no-kill Dachshund rescue. Items for sale are handmade by the rescue’s volunteers. The event takes place noon-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at ODR’s Bowser Boutique, 7725 S.E. 13th Ave, in Sellwood. Details: odr-inc.org.
Winter Tails holiday photo shoot: This holiday pet photo shoot features a winter backdrop, pet costume pieces to borrow and an optional photo op with Santa, noon-4 p.m. Saturday at Western Pet Supply, 6908 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in Portland. Cost: $10 for a four-by-six-inch photo card or digital photo file; $15 for both. All proceeds benefit Animal Aid. Details: animalaidpdx.org.
Kitten and cat adoptions: Kittens and adult cats from Meow Village, a nonprofit cat rescue in Aurora, will be available for adoption from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Lloyd Center Pet Pro Store, 1113 N.E. Broadway in Portland. Details: meowvillage.org.
Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank: Pet food will be distributed to struggling pet owners from noon-1:30pm at The Pongo Fund’s Southeast Portland location. Please call for important details before arriving: 503-939-7555 or visit thepongofund.org.
Rabbit Advocates outreach: Meet rabbits available for adoption, learn about rabbits as pets or have your pet rabbit's nails trimmed or groomed, noon-3 p.m. (but try to arrive before 2:30 p.m. for grooming and nail trims) at Tigard Petco, 11705 S.W. Pacific Highway, Tigard. Free; $5-$10 suggested donation per rabbit for nail trims/grooming. Details: visit adoptarabbit.org or call 503-617-1625.
Pet photo shoot with Santa: This benefit for Indigo Rescue features a professional photographer and a Santa Claus with an authentic beard, noon-5 p.m. Sunday at Bethany Family Pet Clinic, 15166 N.W. Central Drive in Portland. Cost: $15; includes a four-by-six-inch print and digital download. Details: indigorescue.org.
Memorial art therapy workshop: Choose to make either a paperweight or cremated remains keepsake to memorialize a beloved pet that has passed away during this free workshop with art therapist and certified grief counselor Enid Traisman, 3-4:30 p.m. for people of all ages in the Community Room at DoveLewis, 1945 N.W. Pettygrove St. Bring photocopies of a variety of pictures of your pet to incorporate into your project. More info.: visit dovelewis.org or call 503-234-2061.
Good morning, Portland commuters. Not much happening on area roads this morning, but it's early and things can change so keep an eye on this post for the latest hiccups on your commute. Tweets about "#pdxtraffic" ODOT speed map Reload page for most current map -- Noelle Crombie
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