Gresham In The News

  • OregonLive - News

  • Portland home values continue to grow at nation's fastest pace

    Home values in the Portland region continued to grow faster than any other metro area in the nation for the sixth straight month in March, according to the monthly Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller home price index.

    Home values in the Portland area continued to grow faster than any other metro area in the nation for the sixth straight month in March, according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday.

    The local market in March posted 12.3 percent year-over-year gains in home values, which was the largest increase by a significant margin among the 20 metro areas surveyed. Seattle (10.8 percent) and Denver (10 percent) were the only other two regions to post double-digit annual gains.

    "It remains a tough home buying season for buyers, with little inventory available among lower-priced homes," said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, in an email. "The competition is locking out some first-time buyers, who instead are paying record-high rents."

    Portland's inventory has been historically low recently. The latest report from the local Regional Multiple Listing Service showed inventory at a miniscule 1.4 months in April. The figure estimates how long it would take for all current homes on the market to sell at the current pace. (Six months of inventory indicates a balanced market.)

    Prices have also reached record highs; the average sale price in the Portland area was $397,700 in April and the median reached $350,000.

    Nationally, home values in March posted annual gains of 5.2 percent, the Case-Shiller report found, down from 5.3 percent the previous month.

    "Home prices are continuing to rise at a 5 percent annual rate, a pace that has held since the start of 2015," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee, in a news release. "The economy is supporting the price increases with improving labor markets, falling unemployment rates and extremely low mortgage rates."

    Blitzer added that the number of homes currently for sale is "less than two percent of the number of households in the U.S., the lowest percentage seen since the mid-1980s."

    "The Pacific Northwest and the west continue to be the strongest regions," Blizter said.

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

  • Portland Metro Tuesday Traffic: Strong bright sun for the morning commute; two Washington County road projects start today

    Night time road work starts Tuesday at several intersections along Roy Rogers Road, Highway 99W and Tualatin-Sherwood Road. Expect delays and detours from 8 p.m.-5:30 a.m. weeknights through June 25.


    Bring the sun glasses for the drive this morning as bright sun greets drivers, bikers and transit riders today.

    Night time road work starts Tuesday at several intersections along Roy Rogers Road, Highway 99W and Tualatin-Sherwood Road. Expect delays and detours from 8 p.m.-5:30 a.m. weeknights through June 25.

    The work is part of a project to improve traffic signal function in the area and reduce congestion. For more details visit www.wc-roads.com

    SYLVAN 8:58 a.m.; Stalled truck blocks the left lane U.S. 26 eastbound near the Sylvan overpass.

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    ALOHA 8:40 a.m.; Injury crash reported on Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway and 209th Avenue.

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    CONVENTION CENTER 8:39 a.m.; Crash reported on Southeast Grand Avenue and Lloyd Boulevard, near the Convention Center.

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    TIGARD 8:16 a.m.; Crash on I-5 northbound blocking the left lane near the Barbur Boulevard exit.

    Update 8:36 a.m.; Cleared.

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    DOWNTOWN 7:57 a.m.; Fire crews are blocking the street on Southwest Jefferson Street at 12th Avenue for an elevator rescue.

    Update 8:20 a.m.; Fire is clearing the scene and Jefferson should be open shortly.

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    OUTER SOUTHEAST 7:50 a.m.; Car into a ditch Southeast Foster Road at Jenne Road.

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    EAST VANCOUVER 7:04 a.m.; Crash in the right lane SR 500 westbound at I-205.

    Update 7:18 a.m.; Cleared.

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    AIRPORT 6:37 a.m.; Crash reported on Northeast 82nd Avenue and Airport Way.

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    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.

    Good news is the Brookwood Parkway construction project was completed last Friday. All traffic moving through that area normally again.

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

    no traffic white.jpgFind you full Portland-area traffic report here. (The Oregonian file photo) 

  • Portland Metro Tuesday Weather: Temps climb to near 90 with more on the way

    Expect to see temperatures nearing 90 today. The coast will see some shifts in the weather today which will hold temperatures down to the 70s on the beaches. Might be the place to go if you'd like to cool off a bit.

    The upper level ridge that moved in late Saturday and stuck with us through the long holiday weekend adds one more day to its visit. The Pacific Northwest will see mostly sunny skies and warming temps Tuesday.

    Expect to see temperatures nearing 90 today. The coast will see some shifts in the weather today which will hold temperatures down to the 70s on the beaches. Might be the place to go if you'd like to cool off a bit.

    Wednesday will be warm as well with highs near 85. Some changes come Wednesday night as a decent shot of low and mid level moisture should push inland from the coast and bring us back down to the high 70s for Thursday under mostly cloudy skies.

    Wednesday and Thursday look to be our most "normal" late spring days this week as strong high pressure is expected to build back in by the weekend, possibly raising temperatures to near 100.

  • 'Billowing' fire in Gresham causes $500,000 in damages

    An apartment building in Gresham caught fire early Sunday morning, displacing 38 residents and causing more than $500,000 in damages, according to a police report. At 4:20 a.m., emergency personnel responded to the fire at 400 NE Cleveland Ave., in Gresham. Police said smoke and flames were "billowing" out of the building at the center of the complex. Gresham...

    An apartment building in Gresham caught fire early Sunday morning, displacing 38 residents and causing more than $500,000 in damages, according to a police report.

    At 4:20 a.m., emergency personnel responded to the fire at 400 NE Cleveland Ave., in Gresham. Police said smoke and flames were "billowing" out of the building at the center of the complex.

    Gresham Police said no one was injured. Investigators don't know the cause of the fire but ask that anyone with information call the department's tip line at 503-618-2719.

    -- Oregonian/OregonLive

  • ON Semiconductor acquisitions feed Gresham factory's growth

    A wave of consolidation sweeping over the semiconductor industry is washing into Gresham – and bringing more jobs with it.

    A wave of consolidation sweeping over the semiconductor industry is washing into Gresham - and bringing more jobs with it.

    ON Semiconductor celebrates its 10th anniversary in Oregon this month, marking a decade since it bought LSI's aging Gresham factory for $105 million. In the years since, ON Semi has made a half-dozen acquisitions of other chip companies and it's in the process of buying Fairchild Semiconductor for $2.4 billion.

    The deals have added to the workload in Gresham, where ON Semi now employs 750 people, 50 percent more than it had when it arrived in 2006. The Arizona company plans to add 30 more jobs this year, and chief executive Keith Jackson said the Fairchild deal will add to the volume.

    "It will bring more work, and specifically to Gresham, because they (Fairchild) have outsourced much of their manufacturing," said Jackson, in Gresham last week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the facility's purchase. "We believe we can do it more efficiently here."

    The Gresham factory was already eight years old when ON Semi bought it, an eternity by industry standards. But ON's power-control technology doesn't require the cutting-edge manufacturing companies like Intel spend billions of dollars a year deploying, so ON can recycle older facilities and manufacturing tools.

    The automotive industry is ON Semi's biggest market, providing 40 percent of its revenue. The company's sales grew 10 percent last year, but fell in the first quarter this year amid a downturn in communications, computing and consumer technologies.

    There was $110 billion in mergers-and-acquisitions activity in the chip sector last year, by far the most in history. That reflects a maturing industry, according to Jackson. Advances in semiconductor technology are slowing down, sales are falling and interest rates are low.

    "Companies looking to expand earnings are looking to do that, frankly, with acquisitions," Jackson said.

    The Fairchild acquisition is ON Semi's biggest deal yet, but Jackson said it won't be the last. He said incorporating others' technology into ON's products - and bringing it into ON's factories - is core to the business.

    Although the Gresham facility is 18 years old, Jackson said it remains the company's most advanced and will continue to fill that role indefinitely.

    "It still has much more than a decade of a future here," he said.

    -- Mike Rogoway

    mrogoway@oregonian.com
    503-294-7699
    @rogoway

  • Portland Metro Saturday weather: Mostly cloudy start to holiday weekend, but sunshine's on the way

    The Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to get off to a cloudy start Saturday, but sunshine is expected to return for Monday.

    If your idea of perfect Memorial Day weekend weather in Portland is cloudy, not too cold, not too hot and with a slight chance of drizzle, Saturday should make you celebrate. The National Weather Service predicts Saturday will be mostly cloudy, reaching a high near 70.

    There's a slight chance of light rain on and off during the day, and in the evening.

    As the holiday weekend continues, it looks like Sunday promises more of the same.

    But sunshine should return on Monday, Memorial Day, which has a predicted high of about 77, and clear skies in the forecast. That should get us warmed up for a hot spell coming midweek, where Wednesday's high could jump to 91.

    -- Kristi Turnquist

  • Memorial Day: Scouts place flags at Willamette National Cemetery (Photos)

    In preparation for Memorial Day, more than 1,000 scouts helped place American flags on 140,000 veterans graves.

    It was a remarkable scene at Willamette National Cemetery as more than 1,000 Scouts fanned out Thursday to place American flags at each of the 140,000 veterans graves in preparation for Memorial Day.

    This represents the 48th year that the Thunderbird District of the Cascade Pacific Council of the Boy Scouts of America has coordinated the flag placement program.

    "It gives them a good understanding of the sacrifice and the serious nature of national service," said Ric Chambers, chairperson for the Willamette National Cemetery Flag Placement Program. 

    The participating Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts represent 67 troops from the Parkrose, David Douglas, Centennial, Reynolds, Gresham and Sandy school districts. They ranged from 6 to 18 years old. Also participating were students in the Lewis And Clark Young Marines program.

    The event began with a short service featuring a fly-over by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, and a brief speech by retired U.S. Army Maj. Doug Thomas.

    Chambers reminded the group that many of the graves will not be visited this weekend.

    "This is, for many of them, the only recognition they will get individually for the whole year, Chambers said, "so do it respectfully and give them the Scout salute."

    The federal holiday is observed the last Monday of May and honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. 

    The main flag at the cemetery, situated just southeast of Portland, was lowered to half-staff while bagpipes played. Then the work began.

    Scouts clutched bouquets of small flags, and fanned out among the headstones.

    "I think it's very important to honor veterans and something that definitely has to be done," said Kayden Doering, 16, a Boy Scout from Gresham.

    This was Doering's ninth year placing flags. As his troop gathered armfuls of miniature American flags provided by the cemetery, he reminded them of the proper placement protocol: clean off the grave, place the flag, read the name on the headstone and salute.

    In just over an hour, the cemetery hills were covered in a sea of red, white and blue.

    --Kristyna Wentz-Graff

    @kwgphoto

  • Gresham police release names of officers involved in fatal shooting of Fairview man

    Gresham police officers Gavin Sasser and Kevin Carlson were involved in the fatal shooting of Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps, who allegedly ran from them and then threatened them with a pair of knives during an encounter, police said.

    Gresham police have released the names of the two officers involved in Tuesday morning's fatal police shooting of a 22-year-old Fairview man.

    Gresham police officers Gavin Sasser and Kevin Carlson were involved in the fatal shooting of Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps, who allegedly ran from them and then threatened them with a pair of knives during an encounter, police said. Phelps had allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and forced her into a car earlier that morning.

    Officer John Rasmussen, a Gresham police spokesman, couldn't confirm whether both of the officers shot during the encounter. He said the officers are on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice in officer-involved shootings. They will be on leave at least through the culmination of the grand jury process, Rasmussen said.

    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 the woman, 25, into a sedan. He drove away before police got to the scene.

    Bodhi Wilson Dean PhelpsBodhi Wilson Dean Phelps 

    Minutes later, 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 threatened them with a pair of knives during an encounter, Rasmussen said.

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

    Phelps wasn't running away when he was shot, Rasmussen said.

    Gresham police hired Sasser in August 2008 and Carlson in August 2015, police said in a news release.

    Sasser has worked in law enforcement for more than 7-1/2 years, police said, and Carlson began his law enforcement career working for Oregon City police more than 4-1/2 years ago.

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

  • Portland Metro Thursday Traffic: U.S. 26 traffic ramp construction delays at Brookwood Parkway, Hillsboro

    Increased DUII patrols are common precautions for most major holidays. Traffic safety and decreasing crash numbers are a main concern. If you're going to partake, designate a sober driver, call a cab or car service or take public transportation home.


    Crews will work from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, May 26 installing traffic detection loops in the ramps at Brookwood Parkway and U.S. 26. Expect delays there and consider using Cornelius Pass Road or Jackson School Road on and off ramps.

    NORTHWEST PORTLAND 8:44 a.m.; Reported crash on NorthwestThompson Road just west of McDaniel Road and east of Saltzman. 

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    INDUSTRIAL NORTHWEST 8 a.m.; Crash reported on Highway 30 eastbound at Yeon Avenue.

    Update 8:05 a.m.; Quickly cleared.

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    BEAVERTON 7:05 a.m.; Police and Fire are with a crash on Canyon Road westbound at Hwy 217. Right lane blocked.

    Update 7:55 a.m.; Cleared.

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    ROSS ISLAND BRIDGE 6:28 a.m.; Stall blocks the right lane westbound on the Ross Island. Expect slowing.

    Update 6:35 a.m.; Cleared.

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    As we quickly approach the Memorial Day weekend, most county sheriffs and city police departments are reminding drivers to think before they drink. Increased DUII patrols are common precautions for most major holidays. Traffic safety and decreasing crash numbers are a main concern. If you're going to partake, designate a sober driver, call a cab or car service or take public transportation home. Be safe.

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

    day traffic white.jpg 

  • Powell likely to be dropped from Powell-Division rapid bus project

    Rapid-bus service proposed for Division Street and Powell Boulevard in Southeast Portland might move ahead — but without Powell.

    Rapid-bus service proposed for Division Street and Powell Boulevard in Southeast Portland might move ahead -- but without Powell.

    After learning in March that the Powell-Division proposal would be slower for many riders than the bus it would replace, a Metro committee is now considering the service solely along Division Street.

    Eliminating the detour to Powell, planners for the regional government say, would likely provide faster service than the existing Line 4 bus.

    That would come in part by reducing the number of stops from 26 to 11 between 82nd Avenue and 8th Avenue. Some riders, therefore, would have to walk farther to reach their stop. It would also gain time through faster boarding and traffic signal prioritization, possibly including intersections where the buses would jump ahead of traffic.

    Craig Beebe, a Metro spokesman, said the work done to this point is preliminary, but "promising."

    The redesigned route would serve somewhat fewer low-income and minority residents, who the project was intended to reach. It would also force extra-long buses to snake through narrow, congested sections of Division Street, though planners said the rapid-bus line would work "mostly" within the existing street width.

    "Nobody wants to forget inner Powell," Beebe said. "We're going to continue to talk about that going forward, what kind of improvements can be made on inner Powell."

    Metro originally planned for service to begin by 2020. Now TriMet hopes to start operating the new line in 2021.

    "Bus rapid transit" uses high-capacity buses to carry more passengers, and it boards through multiple doors (like light rail) to reduce time at stops. It can also use traffic signal priority to skip past traffic backups at intersections.

    In its most intensive form, the buses operate in exclusive lanes so they don't have to contend with traffic at all. The Division Street project, however, would mostly operate in mixed traffic.

    The project would be the first bus rapid transit project within Metro and TriMet's jurisdiction, but the transit agency serving Clark County, C-Tran, is building a bus rapid transit line it's calling The Vine.

    -- Elliot Njus

    enjus@oregonian.com
    503-294-5034
    @enjus

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