Weekday Wrap: Dead bears in Southern Oregon; Washington County arson; politicians blast grocery merger

By OPB staff (OPB)
Nov. 3, 2022 5:22 p.m.

Stories you may have missed from staff reports and our news partners around the region

A firefighter stands at the top of a ladder to look at a tall pine tree. A bear was found dead in the tree.

Oregon State Police are investigating the deaths of two bears found dead the last week of October in Southern Oregon trees. This provided photo shows a responding firefighter at one of the trees.

Courtesy Oregon State Police

Two bears were found dead in Southern Oregon trees. Police are searching for whoever killed them


In the past week, the bodies of two black bears were discovered near Talent, Oregon. State police believe a person killed them. The first bear was found dead in a tree on Saturday. Troopers investigated and determined the bear had been struck by an arrow and shot twice. On Monday, Oregon State Police said another dead bear turned up in another tree in the same area. While the second bear had decomposed, OSP believes its death was also an act of poaching. Troopers are asking anyone with information about the bear deaths to come forward. (OPB Staff)

Sheriff’s office: Washington County apartment fire was an act of arson

Police say a fire at a Washington County apartment complex that injured eight people was started intentionally. It happened at 3 a.m. last Saturday in the 8100 block of Southwest Barnes Road. Deputies and firefighters rescued several people and their pets from the apartments. KGW reports some of the pets died in the fire. The fire heavily damaged the apartment complex and displaced two dozen people. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced on Wednesday that 51-year-old Wendy Kay Southam was arrested in connection with the fire. She faces charges of animal abuse, criminal mischief and arson. (OPB Staff)

OHSU to pay fines for animal welfare violations

Oregon Health & Science University will pay nearly $38,000 in fines for a series of animal welfare violations, according to a statement. The violations occurred from 2018 to 2021 at OHSU’s animal testing facilities, including the state’s largest, the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Hillsboro. OHSU self-reported nine incidents at the facilities, which are used as for ongoing research and experiments tied to health care that have been long criticized by animal advocacy groups. The university has listed mitigation and prevention measures in response to each incident. (Portland Tribune)


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Washington’s US senators rip Kroger-Albertsons merger

The $24.6 billion merger of supermarket giants Kroger and Albertsons faces both a lawsuit and mounting criticism in Washington state. If the deal gains federal approval, the parent company of Fred Meyer and QFC would acquire all of Albertsons shares and assume its $4.7 billion in debt. The companies say the merger will help them expand and reach more households. Washington’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, aren’t buying it and have criticized the deal. So has state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who joined other states in a lawsuit Wednesday to stop Albertsons from paying a nearly $4 billion dividend to shareholders. (Sarah Wolf/The Columbian)

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Oregon signs driver license agreement with Japan

Oregon drivers who move to Japan and Japanese drivers who move to Oregon will have an easier time transferring their licenses. A new agreement that took effect this month means drivers 18 and older will not have to take a knowledge test or behind-the-wheel test to get a license. “This agreement is a symbol of the strong business, education and tourism relationships between Japan and the state of Oregon,” said Oregon DMV Administrator Amy Joyce in a press release. (Chris Lehman/KLCC)

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More than $48M will help Oregonians with winter heating bills

Federal lawmakers for Oregon announced on Thursday the state was awarded $48.4 million in funding to help low-income families and individuals pay for heating costs and unpaid utility bills. The funding will be delivered through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and includes support from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and funding passed by Congress to address rising energy costs in 2023. In addition to covering home heating costs, the funds will help families make cost-effective home energy repairs to lower their heating and cooling bills. Individuals interested in applying for energy assistance can visit energyhelp.us or call the National Energy Assistance Referral hotline at 1-866-674-6327. (OPB staff)


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