Gresham In The News

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  • 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. 

    ***

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

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

    ***

    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.

    ***

    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.

    ***

    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

  • Portland Metro Thursday Weather: Strong cloud cover breaks up in the afternoon for some sun, high of 63

    Expect heavy cloud cover Thursday morning with a slight chance of drizzle and a slight chance of a shower if you're near the foothills of the Cascades or in the coastal mountains.

    If Wednesday's clouds, light drizzle and afternoon sun breaks was your perfect cup of tea, you get a second pour today as Thursday is going to be a near repeat.

    Expect heavy cloud cover Thursday morning with a slight chance of drizzle and a slight chance of a shower if you're near the foothills of the Cascades or in the coastal mountains.

    By afternoon the clouds will slowly break up and offer a few glimpses of the sun. Expect highs to be in the low to mid 60, nearly the same as yesterday.

    Friday is our best chance this week for a real shower or two. Currently the forecast calls for Friday to be mostly cloudy with very few sun breaks and the heavy marine layer might be carrying a bit more moisture and thus more likely to give off a shower or two. The high on Friday will be 64.

    For Memorial Day weekend the Portland area will likely see a mixture of clouds and sun with highs in the low 70s. Monday looks the warmest and driest of the days with a high of 75 and plenty of sun. Now that's not all that bad, is it?

  • Hourly wage needed for Oregon 2-bedroom apartments rose $3 in a year: study

    The amount of money a renter would have to make to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Oregon rose by nearly $3 an hour in a single year, from a $16.61 hourly wage in 2015 to $19.38 now, according to a study.

    The amount of money a renter would have to make to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Oregon rose by nearly $3 an hour in a single year, from a $16.61 hourly wage in 2015 to $19.38 now, according to a study published Wednesday.

    The Out of Reach study, published annually by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, calculates a so-called "housing wage" - the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a modest rental home without spending more than 30 percent of his or her income on rent and utilities. It comes at a time when affordable housing has emerged as a top political issue as cities up and down the West Coast have seen skyrocketing rents and a low supply of available apartments.

    Oregon's housing wage was the 18th highest in the nation, the study found, but the $15.73 an hour you'd need to rent a one-bedroom apartment and the $19.38 needed for a two-bedroom ranked slightly below the national averages of $16.35 and $20.30, respectively. (Hawaii's $34.22 housing wage was the nation's highest. The District of Columbia and California ranked second and third.)

    Predictably, the Portland metro area requires a higher housing wage than the national average - residents in the region need to make $19.63 an hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment and $23.23 an hour for a two-bedroom, according to the study.

    "We all need a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home," said Alison McIntosh, deputy director for policy and communications at the Portland nonprofit Neighborhood Partnerships, in a news release reacting to the study. "Housing costs are continuing to rise relative to wages, combined with a huge number of no cause evictions, rapidly increasing rents, and very low vacancy rates. The Legislature can do more to invest in affordable housing and protect tenants, and we'll be advocating for the 2017 Legislature to do more for Oregonians who are affected by the housing crisis."

    The study named the San Francisco Bay Area as the most expensive metro, where people need to earn $44.02 an hour for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, $40.44 in Oakland and $38.35 in San Jose. Honolulu and Stamford, Connecticut (part of the New York metro) rounded out the top five.

    "The struggle to afford a decent home isn't limited to minimum wage workers," the study's authors wrote in the introduction.

    In Oregon, the cheapest counties for renters are Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Wallowa and Wheeler counties, where it only takes $12.65 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment, according to the study.

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

  • Man shot, killed by police after domestic violence incident identified

    Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps of Fairview, 22, died as a result of gunfire, police said.

    Bodhi Wilson Dean PhelpsBodhi Wilson Dean Phelps 

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

    Police on Wednesday identified the man who was fatally shot by officers after allegedly assaulting and forcing a woman into a car in a Gresham.

    Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps of Fairview, 22, died as a result of gunfire, Gresham police said Wednesday in a news release. Witnesses said he refused repeated orders to drop his knives.

    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 a 25-year-old woman into a sedan. He drove away before police got to the scene.

    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 brandished a pair of knives.

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

    Phelps had three outstanding warrants: a felony warrant for heroin possession and probation violations for identity theft and heroin possession, police said.

    The case is under investigation and will later be heard by a grand jury. Police didn't identify the officers involved in the incident.

    Detectives with the county's Major Crimes Team ask any witnesses who haven't yet spoken with police to come forward. Witnesses can reach detectives at 503-618-2719.

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

  • Cops used spike strip to stop wrong car, $49k lawsuit says

    Sophia Holmes is suing Portland police for $49,000, claiming they mistakenly stopped her Honda Civic using spike strips because they believed she was driving a stolen car.

    A 24-year-old woman who says she was stopped by Portland police, ordered out of her car at gunpoint and briefly handcuffed under the mistaken belief that she was driving a stolen car has filed a $49,000 lawsuit against the city.

    Officers used a spike strip to flatten the tires of her 1999 Honda Civic and had her back out of her car with her hands up before they realized their blunder: The officer who first spotted her had matched only part of her license plate to the license plate of a car reported as stolen, according to police reports.

    The stop unfolded about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 10 as Sophia Holmes was driving back to her Gresham home, according to the suit filed this month in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

    According to Officer Christopher Gjovik's report, the officer spotted Holmes driving by at Southeast 148th and Powell Boulevard. He was able read the first numeral of her license plate, as well as all three letters. Gjovik assumed he had just seen a stolen car listed on his "hotsheet," and so he radioed for Gresham police to throw down a spike strip at 181st and Powell, according to Gjovik's report.

    According to a report written by Portland Officer David Arnold, Arnold set out a spike strip at 169th and Powell. Holmes drove across it at about 35 mph -- and her tires quickly flattened, causing her to come to a stop within two blocks, Arnold wrote.

    Although Holmes was ordered to raise her hands up and face away from the officer, Arnold's police report says no guns were drawn.

    But Holmes' attorney, Josephine Townsend, said Holmes says officers were pointing guns at her when they ordered her to drop to the ground in a prone position. Police reports say Holmes was "detained," but make no mention of handcuffs. Townsend said her client was handcuffed.

    When police told Holmes she was driving a stolen car, Townsend said her client proclaimed her innocence.

    "She was terrified and told them that it was her car and she was on her way home," Townsend wrote in an email to The Oregonian/OregonLive.

    Police said the stop was brief.

    "We immediately recognized our error and apologized profusely to the driver," Gjovik wrote in his report.

    Police gave Holmes information about where to get her tires fixed and the phone number of the city's risk management office, where she could file a complaint for damages, according to police reports.

    The City Attorney's Office declined comment on the lawsuit.

    Sgt. Pete Simpson spoke in general terms about police procedures for stopping a suspected stolen car.

    When officers believe they see a stolen car, they typically will radio for back-up and ideally try to stop the car with a total of four patrol cars present. Officers can either do that with lights and sirens, or surround all four sides of the suspected stolen car and bring it to a stop, Simpson said.

    Spike strips might be used preemptively or if the suspect doesn't stop, Simpson said. But officers use their own discretion when conducting stops, depending on the circumstances, Simpson said.

    The lawsuit claims that police failed to follow established police protocols and procedures. It also says police endangered Holmes' life by using the spike strips, describing them as potentially "deadly physical force."

    "In this case, they did not even attempt to pull her over with lights or siren," Townsend said. "They just threw out the spike strips as she was driving by. No police car ever tried stopping her before they did that."

    The lawsuit states that Holmes has suffered stress, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, nausea and vomiting because of the stop.

    The suit seeks $19,000 for past and future medical and counseling expenses and $30,000 for her emotional distress. Read the lawsuit here.

    -- Aimee Green

    agreen@oregonian.com

    503-294-5119

    o_aimee

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