Weekday Wrap: 25 endangered sunflower sea stars found on the Oregon Coast

By OPB staff (OPB)
June 9, 2023 6:16 p.m.

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

The Yaquina Bay discovery is a positive sign for the critically endangered species

Divers with the Oregon Coast Aquarium recently documented 25 critically endangered sunflower sea stars in Yaquina Bay. It’s the most counted in one location on the Oregon Coast since sea star wasting syndrome began decimating the species about a decade ago. (Zach Urness/Salem Statesman Journal)


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Related: This disease causes sunflower sea stars to waste away ▶

Grazing land in Southern Oregon is healing after 2021′s Bootleg Fire

A wet winter has helped grasses and understory vegetation regrow across a swath of Southern Oregon burned in the massive Bootleg Fire of 2021. Ranchers between Klamath Falls and Lakeview say it’s a sign that grazing land is healing, but all that grass has a downside too — it can become fuel for large rangeland fires. (Craig Reed/Capital Press)

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Related: How a decline in lottery revenue hampered fire prep before Bootleg 📉


Rogue Valley solar projects score millions in state grants

Southern Oregon communities are reaping the rewards of a bill passed last year to fund local renewable energy projects. Southern Oregon University will build a solar array on elevated parking structures. Ashland will draw up plans for a “solar farm.” Those are just two of the projects receiving grants through the statewide program administered by the Oregon Department of Energy. (Morgan Rothborne/Rogue Valley Times)

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Investigators name the Southwest Washington officers involved in a fatal shooting last month

Investigators have identified four police officers involved in the shooting death of Joshua James Wilson, 43, in Vancouver on May 30. Detectives Colton Price and Aaron Yoder, and Officer Brandon Riedel work for the Vancouver Police Department. Detective Zach Nielson works for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. All of the officers are currently on leave. (OPB Staff)

Related: Here’s more background on the shooting 🔎

Oregon state workers rally for higher wages

Hundreds of state employees turned the park outside the Oregon Capitol into a sea of purple Thursday to demand a pay raise. The labor union SEIU 503, which represents public service employees and care providers in Oregon (and wears purple), held the rally as it negotiates new contracts with the state. The union says the state is offering raises that don’t match the rate of inflation, creating a “crisis” in the workforce. (Shannon Sollitt/Salem Statesman Journal)

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Related: St. Charles hospital in Bend reached a deal with the nurses union to avert a strike 🏥


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