Weekday Wrap: Wildfire, heat warnings issued for this weekend in Willamette Valley

By OPB staff (OPB)
July 14, 2023 7:26 p.m.

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

Portland and the Willamette Valley forecast calls for low humidity, gusty winds and high heat

Low humidity, gusty winds and temperatures in the 90s spell trouble this weekend across the Willamette Valley. The National Weather Service has issued a fire watch and a heat advisory. The warning comes as Oregon’s wildfire danger has reached high levels across most of the state. Campfire bans are in place in the Mount Hood National Forest and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Others could follow. (Zach Urness/Salem Statesman Journal)

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Yakima family to pay $500,000 in back wages to 400+ orchard workers

A family-owned apple and cherry orchard and fruit processing operation in Yakima, Washington, just agreed to pay about a half-million dollars in back wages to 437 workers. The payment from Rene and Carmen Garcia, owners of RC Orchards LLC and a fruit processing facility called C&G Orchards, settled a yearslong lawsuit brought by Washington State’s attorney general. The state’s Labor & Industries investigation found that workers weren’t paid correctly for the fruit they harvested between 2018 and 2021. Per contract — the farm owners owed workers either the piece rate for fruit harvested or an hourly rate — whichever was higher. Workers were also owed for the time they spent waiting for machines to be repaired. (Anna King/Northwest News Network)

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Avelo Airlines will begin offering commercial flights from Salem

The Salem Airport will offer commercial flights to Burbank and Las Vegas starting in October. Salem city leaders announced Thursday that Avelo Airlines will bring commercial flights back to the airport. Avelo is a discount carrier that also serves Bend, Eugene and Medford. City leaders in Salem have spent several million dollars hiring more staff and improving the airport terminal with the goal of attracting commercial flights, according to the Salem Statesman-Journal. Salem civic leaders hope commercial air service will increase tourism and help local businesses. Opponents of the money spent on upgrading the terminal say commercial flights aren’t a priority in Salem, particularly given the impact air travel has on climate change. (Whitney Woodworth)

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Bend restaurant hits paws on dog food menu after warning from county health officials

Roam, the restaurant in Bend’s Oxford Hotel, is shelving its menu of gourmet dog meals less than two weeks after it launched. Feeding dogs on the outdoor patio is off limits under Oregon food safety rules, though other restaurants in Bend have a history of serving dogs. (Suzanne Roig/Bend Bulletin)

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Advocacy groups try to block Donald Trump from 2024 ballot

The groups Free Speech for People and Mi Familia Vota Education Fund have sent a letter to Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade asking her office to keep Donald Trump off the ballot in 2024. The groups are relying on a section of the 14th Amendment intended to prevent former Confederates from holding federal office after the Civil War. (Julia Shumway/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

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Clark County workers could see pay raises after a recent salary study

Some Clark County employees could be in line for as much as a 15% raise based on the results of a yearlong county government employment classification and compensation study. Baker Tilly evaluated 288 county positions in its market assessment, representing just under 65% of all county positions, comparing them with “market rate” data from several nearby cities. The consulting firm found 4.7% of salaries it surveyed fell below market rate at the minimum level, 7% were below market at the midpoint and 9% were below market at the maximum. (Shari Phiel/The Columbian)

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