Gresham In The News

  • OregonLive - News

  • Sam Barlow High School prom, 'A Night Under the Stars' rocks out in Portland

    "A Night Under the Stars," Sam Barlow High School's prom, rocked out at Portland's Left Bank Annex.

    Sam Barlow High School celebrated "A Night Under the Stars," Saturday night. The students were dressed in their finest and the dance floor spilled into the entire room at the Left Bank Annex in Portland.

    There were too many photos for one gallery, so I created a second gallery with more images from Barlow's prom

    As the DJs spun dance tunes, pounding the room with music and light effects, students didn't take long to fill the floor, and then some. Tight parking space found students walking a couple blocks from the Rose Quarter garage to the Left Bank Annex. A few limos dropped partiers at the door, but most kids walked. But the pictures says it all, so enjoy the gallery and check out my Instagram videos at mikelloydviz.

    Last year, Barlow held their 2013 bash at Portland State University's Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom.

    The Stars theme must be on-trend, because the kids at Gaston High School kicked off our prom coverage last week with "A Night With the Stars".

    Parents, students and teachers can add their own photos via Twitter and Instagram using #ORprom. See all the photos with the #ORprom hashtag.

  • Officer hangs onto car as driver tries to flee scene of crash

    It began when the driver of a black Lexus, Sean Hacker, 33, of Gresham, turned from Northeast Glisan Street onto Northeast 223rd Avenue. The car spun out and hit a tree on the sidewalk north of the intersection, Gresham police said.

    An off-duty homeland security officer who tried to intervene in a Thursday night crash got taken on a ride while the driver was trying to flee the scene.

    It began when the driver of a black Lexus, Sean Hacker, 33, of Gresham, turned from  Northeast Glisan Street onto Northeast 223rd Avenue. The car spun out and hit a tree on the sidewalk north of the intersection, Gresham police said.

    An off-duty homeland security officer observed the crash and tried to intervene. The driver fled the scene while the officer was reaching into the car to take the keys. The officer was hanging onto the door while the car was traveling in reverse southbound on 223rd for about 150 feet before the driver stopped, and the officer was able to let go without injury.

    The driver continued to drive in reverse until he reached the driveway of Crunch Fitness, located at 355 N.E. 223rd Ave. There he tried to turn around while still driving in reverse, and hit a raised curb.

    The driver ran from the scene on foot. A police dog tracked him to a swampy area west of the crash, and he ran into officers who had set up a perimeter.

    Hacker faces a variety of charges and is lodged at the Multnomah County Detention Center.

    -- Kasia Hall 

  • Central Catholic's Riley Ford sets a state best in 300 hurdles, but Barlow boys and girls sweep dual meet: Oregon track and field recap

    Barlow's Danelle Woodcock wins three events to lead the Bruins

    Central Catholic and Barlow girls combined to produce some of the state’s best track and field marks during a dual meet Wednesday at Barlow.

    The Rams’ Riley Ford set the season’s state best in 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.4 seconds. Ford also ran a leg on Central Catholic’s victorious 400 relay team (48.69 seconds) that just missed its previous best time, currently the state’s best.

    Barlow’s Danelle Woodcock won the 200, long and triple jump. Her mark of 36 feet, 10 ½ inches in triple jump was No. 2 in the state this season. Woodcock is the state’s current leader in long jump, and No. 4 in 200.

    Also posting excellent marks in girls were Barlow’s Taylor Rispler in javelin (116-3) and Central Catholic’s Olivia Gabriel in the 100 (12.59).

    Barlow won both meets, taking girls 93-51, and boys 79-66.

    None of the boys won more than one event. Central Catholic’s John Nizich, the national high school leader in javelin, won that event with a throw of 187-10.

    Twitter: @nickdaschel

  • Joshua Kellebrew's state best leads David Douglas boys to dual meet win, St. Mary's romps in girls: Oregon track and field recap

    Kate Patterson wins two events as the Blues cruise in a three-way meet against Centennial and David Douglas

    St. Mary’s Academy's girls and David Douglas boys dominated a three-way Mt. Hood Conference dual meet Wednesday at Marshall High School.

    Kate Patterson won the 200 meters and javelin to lead the Blues to victory over Centennial and David Douglas. St. Mary’s (76 points) easily outpaced Centennial (40) and David Douglas (30). In boys, David Douglas defeated Centennial 87-62.

    St. Mary's is now 4-0 in MHC girls meets, while Centennial is 1-2 and David Douglas 0-3. The Scots (1-1) won their first MHC boys meet, while Centennial (0-2) remains winless.

    David Douglas’ Joshua Kellebrew set a state best at 400 meters, winning in 49.34 seconds. Kellebrew also claimed the 200 in 22.75. Scots teammate Shakur Gross was also a double winner, taking the 300 hurdles (41.66) and long jump (19 feet, 2 ¼ inches).

    Duke-bound Paige Rice of St. Mary’s skipped her usual distance races, where she is among the state’s best, and instead won the 400 and took second in the 200. David Douglas’ Kennedy Allen swept the distance races, winning the 1,500 (4 minutes, 54.77 seconds) and 3,000 (10:47.9). Centennial’s Samara Rivera claimed two firsts, winning the 100 and 300 hurdles

    Twitter: @nickdaschel

  • Medical marijuana dispensary moratoriums approved in Gresham, Fairview

    Troutdale City Council members appear poised to follow suit at their meeting next Tuesday, after supporting a similar ordinance during a first reading April 8.

    As expected, the city councils of Gresham and Fairview have adopted one-year moratoriums on medical marijuana facilities.

    The Gresham City Council on Tuesday afternoon approved the moratorium, recently allowed under state law, with a unanimous vote following no more discussion. The council had signaled its support last week during discussion at the ordinance's first reading.

    Fairview's council did much the same during a work session Wednesday night, unanimously passing an emergency ordinance after a public hearing with no testimony.

    Troutdale City Council members appear poised to follow suit at their meeting next Tuesday, after supporting a similar ordinance during a first reading April 8.

    Wood Village was the only east Multnomah County city where at least some council members seemed willing to consider allowing marijuana businesses. But the council ended up voting 3-1 last week for a moratorium. Like many cities and some counties across Oregon, Wood Village opted to impose a moratorium while legal issues are sorted out.

    Marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, but the Obama Administration has largely taken a hands-off approach in states that have legalized the drug for medical or recreational use. State lawmakers, meanwhile, so far are not allowing cities and counties to impose permanent sales bans.

    Previously, Gresham and neighboring cities blocked dispensaries through their business license rules or zoning ordinances that required business to comply with all state and federal laws.

    East county residents with a medical marijuana card still have ways of obtaining cannabis, including buying it from dispensaries already operating in Portland, which is among cities that have not tried to block sales.

    -- Eric Apalategui

  • Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton draws interest from Fairview City Council with policing plan

    Mayor Mike Weatherby said his council will talk soon about taking a deeper look at a contract with the sheriff. “I think that now we're going to have to get down into it,” he said after Wednesday's meeting.

    Fairview City Council members appeared intrigued Wednesday at the prospect of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office managing their police force, especially the potential to increase service while chopping hundreds of thousands of dollars from Fairview’s budget.

    But whereas a similar shift could happen in neighboring Troutdale by July, Sheriff Dan Staton said it would take at least a year, maybe two, to enter a contract with Fairview.

    “I'm basically bringing you a suggestion,” Staton told council members during a work session. “This is not a takeover by the sheriff's office, as has been portrayed.”

    Mayor Mike Weatherby said his council will talk soon about taking a deeper look at a contract with the sheriff.

    “I think that now we're going to have to get down into it,” he said after the meeting.

    Earlier this month in Troutdale, where sheriff's staff have been meeting with city officials for several years, Staton offered a more concrete plan that would save that city $800,000 the first year and more than $1 million annually after that. Troutdale employees would fill a number of vacancies on Staton's payroll, and the county likely would pay to use the city's police headquarters.

    No such specifics emerged in Fairview. But Staton reviewed the outline of the agreement taking shape in Troutdale and suggested a similar approach was an option in Fairview, where existing officers likely would join the sheriff's department as part of a potential contract.

    Troutdale leaders haven't adopted the plan yet but have scheduled another work session for early May.

    Fairview council members will be watching.

    “I am optimistic by what's happening in Troutdale and certainly open to hearing what collaboration might do for our city,” council member Tamie Arnold said in an interview.

    “For me, it's all about coming up with an agreeable level of service,” Steve Owen said immediately after the meeting. “I really want to see how the numbers play out. I think we owe it to the community to take a look at this.”

    Officer Brad Robertson, president of the Fairview Police Officers' Association, doesn't need any more convincing.

    “I've spoken to our union a lot,” he said. “We're unanimous in that we think it would be a great thing for Troutdale and for us.”

    Robertson said combining forces with a larger agency would increase services, including the resources to better respond to major incidents and conduct time-consuming investigations in Fairview. He said in the past three years, two homicides, a vehicular homicide and several officer-involved shootings “completely tapped out our agency.”

    Fairview officers also would benefit by more access to training and expanded career opportunities, Robertson said.

    “It's a win for everybody,” he said.

    Staton’s agency already serves more than 33,000 people in unincorporated Multnomah County and the cities of Wood Village and Maywood Park. Staton said that if both Troutdale and Fairview were added, the resulting partnership would cover the sixth or seventh largest population area in Oregon. That size would give the east Multnomah County cities several advantages, including cost savings by eliminating duplication of some services and other efficiencies, he said.

    City residents would also benefit from a larger capacity to investigate crimes, respond to major incidents and take a greater role in prevention activities, such as drug and gang enforcement, Staton said.

    Troutdale stands to save millions, and smaller Fairview might also reap significant savings, Staton has said.

    He said his agency, meanwhile, would achieve modest financial gains by eliminating high overtime costs that have dogged his department, thanks to the rapid infusion of city officers to its force.

    The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners won't accept any budget increases to serve the cities, Staton said.

  • Columbia River Gorge scenic highlights, one of 7 Wonders of Oregon, mile by mile on I-84 (photos)

    Here we present an outdoor explorer's guide to I-84 through the gorge, which may help you determine whether you're looking at Dog Mountain or Hamilton Mountain. Both are on the Washington side, but that's wonderful, too.

    Ever wonder what that natural wonder is when you're driving the speed limit on Interstate 84 through the Columbia River Gorge, one of Travel Oregon's  '7 Wonders of Oregon'?

    It would by nice to know, because it is undoubtedly wonderful!

    So, here we present an outdoor explorer's guide to I-84 through the gorge, which may help you determine whether you're looking at Dog Mountain or Hamilton Mountain. Both are on the Washington side, but that's wonderful, too.

    If you're like most travelers, when you're flying down the freeway through the gorge, but can't help but trying to recognize which of those lovely landmarks out your window match up with that great hike you took five years ago -- or the hike you want to take this summer.

    Or maybe you just want to be able to ID the natural wonders clicking by on both sides at 65 mph (all those waterfalls -- so confusing!). The array of natural features certainly made an impression on Congress, which made the Columbia River Gorge the nation's only officially designated National Scenic Area, an act signed into law in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

    The gorge also made a deep impression on Native Americans who told legends about kind or vengeful gods creating and destroying bridges and rapids, gods who turned into some of the snow-covered volcanoes of the region.

    So here is some of what you'll see, if you know where and when to look, when driving Interstate 84 through the gorge west to east, from Troutdale (mile 17) to Hood River (mile 62). The mile markers that begin at zero from I-5 in Portland are noted on freeway exit signs, as well as on reflective green posts at mile intervals along the highway.

    On a clear day, Mount Hood shows up in full glory while driving through east Portland, but it disappears once you enter the gorge. That's where you're likely to need help identifying other features.

    But please, don't read all about it while you're driving; let your passenger do that.

    At some point, do get out of your car to explore or just to breathe the river air and get an unimpeded view -- a long, standing-still view -- of one of the most beautiful places in the country.


    Mile 18

    Just across the Sandy River bridge at Troutdale, Broughton's Bluff (south side) comes into view. Part of day-use Lewis and Clark State Park (south), the bluff's crags have long attracted technical rock climbers. The bluff is named for English Lt. William Broughton, who sailed to this point on the Columbia River during Capt. Vancouver's expedition in 1792. Dog walkers park and then walk the flats of the Sandy River Delta (north side), the site of a bird blind in Maya Lin's Confluence Project (north). In the distance, 4,390-foot Silver Star Mountain (north) and neighboring peaks anchor the southwest edge of the Washington Cascades. Larch Mountain, 4,055 feet high, rises straight above the freeway on the Oregon side in this stretch.

    Mile 23-25

    The state park Vista House atop Crown Point (south) is one of the signature manmade features of the gorge. The art nouveau landmark was built by Multnomah County in 1918 to celebrate the completion of the Columbia River Highway, the first great motorway in the Pacific Northwest. Perched 600 feet above the river, the house was restored in 2006. The prominent pinnacle along the freeway, Rooster Rock (north), lends its name to the largest state park day-use area in the gorge (day use only, fee charged for entry). Westbound, there is a scenic pullout, with a view of the Columbia River and Reed Island (north).

    Mile 27-28

    The long line of cliffs on the Washington side is Cape Horn (north). Look for waterfalls in season. Prindle Mountain (north) is the high point east of Cape Horn. A small island called Phoca Rock (north), small in this view, juts sharply 30 feet above the surrounding Columbia. Bridal Veil Falls (south), a wide, 60-foot plunge, shows itself briefly. Angels Rest (south) is a popular hiking destination, with a trailhead just off the Bridal Veil exit. The 1,600-foot-high summit affords breathtaking views of the western gorge.

    Mile 30-31

    Benson Lake (south, a day-use state park) and other bodies of water sheltered from winds by cliffs are often host to white tundra swans and snow geese during winter. Mist Falls (south) plunges spectacularly during the wet season, but dissipates into mist the rest of the year. Multnomah Falls (south), a 620-foot plunge, is the most-visited outdoor recreation site in Oregon. Lots of visitors hike the trail to the top of the falls, others continue to the summit of 4,055-foot Larch Mountain. Beacon Rock (north), rising 850 feet above the Columbia, comes into view on the Washington side. This is where Lewis and Clark noticed tidewater in 1805.

    Mile 33-34

    Discerning viewers can pick out narrow Oneonta Gorge (south) and then 175-foot high Horsetail Falls (south), which come in and out of view very quickly at freeway speeds. Archer Mountain (north) is the prominent peak in Washington.

    Mile 35-37

    Rock of Ages Ridge (south) is the long line of cliffs that culminate in Nesmith Point, 3,900 feet high. Saint Peters Dome (south), 1,500 feet high, rises alone within the cliff-lined basin, but is best viewed when driving west. Ainsworth State Park (south) and its campground are in this section. Beacon Rock (north) is directly across the river, with its state park campground.

    Mile 38-40

    On the Washington side, cliffy 2,339-foot Hamilton Mountain (north, above Beacon Rock) and farther along massive, 3,417-foot Table Mountain (north) are perhaps the two most spectacular mountains along the Columbia River in the gorge.

    Mile 40-41

    Bonneville Dam (north) and the Eagle Creek Trail (south) draw in lots of traffic in this section. Before driving into a tunnel, notice intricate rock work of the Historic Columbia River Highway (above the freeway), which is now a biker/hiker trail. The Eagle Creek campground (south) was the first built by the U.S. Forest Service in the country, and the trail up the creek is one of Oregon's most scenic; both are accessible just south of Exit 41.

    Mile 44

    The upper part of Bridge of the Gods (north) comes into view as you pass Cascade Locks. The name is from a Native American legend about a natural stone bridge in the same location (a love rivalry in which two gods hurl white-hot rocks results in the destruction of the bridge). Scientists believe a landslide created a natural bridge there about 1,000 years ago. Construction of the modern bridge began in the 1920s.

    Mile 46-47

    Notice the proposed site, east of Cascade Locks, for the Warm Springs Tribes' casino and resort (north). The Herman Creek area (south) has a small campground, fish hatchery and trails, accessible from the Cascade Locks exit.

    Mile 50-51

    Wind Mountain (north), across the river, is a Washington landmark. Notice the landslide scar on the south slope of the 1,900-foot high peak.

    Mile 55-56

    Massive Dog Mountain (north), soars to 2,900 feet on the Washington side. The grassy opening near its summit turns yellow in late May with the bloom of arrowleaf balsamroots and other wildflowers. Starvation Creek (south) has restrooms and a trail up lofty Mount Defiance, at 4,960 feet the highest point on the rim of the gorge. Viento State Park (south) is a campground and windsurfing beach on the Oregon side.

    Mile 58

    Mitchell Point Overlook (south) is the last mountain outcrop on the Oregon side before the freeway begins its climb into Hood River. Mitchell Point's lower viewpoint, 160 feet above sea level, is a short hike from the freeway rest area. A trail also climbs to the 1,200-foot top, but watch out for poison oak along the way.

    Mile 62-63

    Distant Mount Adams (north) comes into view, at 12,276 feet the second-highest peak in Washington, as you drive past Hood River. The beauty of the gorge continues east to around milepost 130 when it widens out and the cliffs dwindle.

    (The story was originally published June 15, 2008.)

    -- Terry Richard

  • Backyard burning season in east Multnomah County begins today

    Gresham's interim Fire Chief Greg Matthews announced that the 2014 Spring Backyard Burning Season for the cities of Fairview, Gresham and Wood Village begins today. Burn hours last until 5 p.m.

    Gresham’s interim Fire Chief Greg Matthews announced that the 2014 Spring Backyard Burning Season for the cities of Fairview, Gresham and Wood Village begins today. Burn hours last until 5 p.m.

    Burning will be allowed 10 days during spring. The authorized burn days will fall on Wednesdays and Saturdays if the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) decides conditions are appropriate for burning that particular day. Residents must call the Gresham burn line, 503-618-3083, each Wednesday and Saturday to find out if it is an approved burn day in their city and what hours burning is allowed.

    The season will continue until a total of 10 allowable days have been met.

    Following are the regulations for backyard burning:

    • Burn piles must be no larger than six feet in diameter and three feet high.
    • Burn piles must be 25 feet from any combustible materials (houses, fences, etc.).
    • Burn piles must be attended at all times.
    • You must have a means to extinguish the fire if needed (energized garden hose, fire extinguisher, shovel, etc.).
    • Burn piles must contain only yard debris. No other material, such as garbage, tires, treated wood or building materials, is allowed to be burned.
    • Burn piles must be extinguished if wind gusts reach 15 mph.
    • Backyard burn piles are for residential locations only; no burning is allowed at commercial properties.
    • It is against the law to conduct any open burning that unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or property, creates a public nuisance or is a hazard to public safety.

    Violations of safe burning regulations or air quality regulations are subject to citation and/or fines from the cities and DEQ. Property owners may be held liable for costs relating to firefighting or damage to neighboring property or structures because of unsafe burning practices.

    There are two burn seasons per year, spring and fall. Learn more about backyard burning and the types of burning that require a permit at Gresham’s website.

    -- Susan Green

  • 8 questions for Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton on why he wants to take over police duties in Fairview and Troutdale

    I sat down with Staton to hear more about his plans to contract with Troutdale to provide police services in the small city, as Fairview residents await details regarding a similar plan in their city.

    Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton will take his pitch for combined police operations to the Fairview City Council on Wednesday night.

    During the meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at the council chambers on 1300 N.E. Village St., Staton will detail how he expects to save Fairview taxpayers money and improve services by contracting his agency's services out to the city.

    Staton made a similar pitch earlier this month in Troutdale. For more reading about the sheriff's plans in East County, read my colleague, Eric Apalategui's story.

    I sat down with Staton to hear more about his plans for Troutdale as Fairview residents await details regarding their city. Here's what Staton had to say:

    How did the proposed contract come about?

    Staton has been talking with Multnomah County's easternmost cities since he took office more than four years ago, when many local public safety agencies were responding to budget shortfalls.

    "We realized we needed to start saving money by working cooperatively. Nobody was going to give us an infusion of dollars to keep us stable."

    Troutdale's police leaders were interested in combining operations, Staton said, but the sheriff and Chief Scott Anderson "couldn't' make a contract feasible at that point."

    "As I started running into succession issues in the sheriff's office, it became feasible. I've got vacancies, and he's got staff."

    If city councilors approve the contract, how would staffing work out? There was some concern about whether filling nine vacancies within the sheriff's office with Troutdale officers would lead to an overall loss of officers patrolling streets within the county.

    Many of Troutdale's patrol officers also work part-time on other duties, such as investigations and administrative tasks. Troutdale's caseload is small enough that sheriff's office units dedicated to those special tasks could absorb the work, leaving Troutdale's patrol officers free to patrol full-time.

    In addition to two officers patrolling Troutdale's streets full time, a supervisor currently works 70 percent of the time. The supervisor wouldn't be needed under the contract, because the sheriff's office already staffs supervisors around-the-clock in East County. Those supervisors would broaden their area to include Troutdale.

    Would Troutdale citizens notice any difference in the local police presence?

    Residents would notice more patrol cars coming and going in Troutdale, as sheriff's deputies working in East County begin using the Troutdale Police Department as a home base.

    For the contract's first year, Troutdale police officers would continue covering their old territory, wearing the same uniform with the subtle addition of a sheriff's office badge on the chest. In later years, as former Troutdale officers seek other posts within the sheriff's office, Troutdale citizens could notice some new faces patrolling the street.

    What about the police cars?

    Troutdale police cars would maintain the same appearance during the first year of the contract. After that, he said, the sheriff's office could seek public input about whether or not to change the vehicles' appearances.

    The vehicles would become the sheriff's property, and half of Troutdale's existing fleet will be sold, Staton.

    Who would pay for the $7.5 million police station that Troutdale voters agreed to fund 2010?

    The sheriff's office would lease the building from Troutdale. The exact amount of the lease has not been determined.

    What happens if, a few years down the line, Troutdale backs out of the agreement?

    All officers who work for Troutdale on the day the contract takes effect would revert back to their former jobs with the city. "Their jobs would be protected."

    Patrol vehicles and other assets that would become the sheriff's property for the life of the contract would be transferred back to Troutdale's ownership.

    If the city council approves the agreement, when would the contract take effect? Troutdale councilors requested a second work session on May 6 to discuss the proposed contract. If city councilors approve the proposal in time, the contract could take effect as soon as July 1, the first day of the 2014-15 fiscal year.

    How would the agreements affect county taxpayers?

    "The county is going to get greater efficiencies, more than a dollar figure savings." Combining the agencies' operations and housing some sheriff's patrols in the Troutdale police building could lead to faster response times for East County residents.

    --Kelly House

  • St. Mary's hoping to start another league title winning streak in Mt. Hood Conference girls golf this spring

    The Blues have won the first two tournament, led each time by medalist Alison Brennan

    St. Mary’s Academy has had the upper hand during the early stages of Mt. Hood Conference girls golf tournaments, winning the first two at Gresham and Rose City golf courses.

    Blues’ junior Alison Brennan has established herself as the player to beat, earning medalist honors both times. Brennan shot a 72 at Gresham to win that tournament. Girls who are chasing Brennan this season include two-time MHC champion Sophia Schiavone of Central Catholic and Barlow’s Shelby Hunt.

    Brennan tied for eighth in last year’s Class 6A state tournament.

    St. Mary’s is attempting to return to the top of the Mt. Hood standings this season after having the Blues lost the title for the first time since 2006 to Central Catholic last season. Four more MHC tournaments remain, plus the district tournament.

    St. Mary’s finished third at state last year, and Blues coach Dan Friedhoff believes the Blues could accomplish something similar this season.

    “If everybody shot their career-best round two days in a row, which has happened, we could contend for the state title. It’s not out of the question,” Friedhoff said.

    Twitter: @nickdaschel