Gresham In The News

  • OregonLive - News

  • 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



  • Centennial rallies for an 11-9 win over Central Catholic, David Douglas' Joshua Kellebrew sets a state best: Mt. Hood Conference weekly rundown

    St. Mary's Academy and Central Catholic take the league's early lead in girls and boys golf

    Here are some of the week’s best sports stories from schools in the Mt. Hood Conference:

    Barlow

    Barlow boys and girls sweep a dual track and field meet from Central Catholic.

    Centennial

    Seventh-inning rally gives Centennial an 11-9 baseball win over Central Catholic

    Central Catholic

    The Rams pay the price for Jesuit fracas with eight suspensions in an 11-9 loss to Centennial

    Central Catholic continues to dominate MHC boys golf despite a rebuilt roster

    Rams senior John Nizich throws a national best in javelin.

    David Douglas

    The Scots’ Joshua Kellebrew establishes a state best in 400 meters in a dual meet against Centennial.

    St. Mary's Academy

    St. Mary’s hopes to restart a winning streak in MHC girls golf after losing the title in 2013 for the first time in eight years.

    Blues dominate a three-way track and field meet against David Douglas and Centennial.

    CeCe Wooten on the roster for this year’s Northwest Shootout.

    Twitter: @nickdaschel

  • Sam Barlow prom; Corbett's stellar national rankings; Earl Blumenauer’s Centennial homecoming: East Multnomah County schools

    Charter school drama, prom and a congressional visitor: Here's what's happening in east Portland and east Multnomah County schools this week.

    Charter school drama, prom and a congressional visitor: Here’s what’s happening in east Portland and east Multnomah County schools this week.

    Corbett earns stellar ranking; charter school woes continue

    Corbett Charter School again ranked high in a unique rating system from The Washington Post that aims to spotlight “America’s most challenging high schools,” according to the newspaper.

    The annual ranking looks at the number of college-level tests such as Advanced Placement that students take in a given year, divided by the number of graduates in the same year.

    The result in 2014? Corbett Charter ranked third out of more than 1,900 public schools across the country.

    That didn’t surprise Bob Dunton, the charter school’s founding director. The school, which launched in 2009, has ranked high on The Washington Post’s list for the past four years because it encourages all students to enroll in AP classes, Dunton said. Last year, the average student took three AP classes, he said.

    Not all rating systems measure worthy goals, Dunton added. “I like what this one tries to get at, which is opening the doors to AP classes to as many students as possible,” he said.

    Corbett High School also performed exceptionally well in the rankings, coming in at No. 13 on the list.

    The two schools performed similarly because they currently share a building, a common practice across the country known as co-location. Unlike other school systems, Corbett’s charter school and the community school also share teachers. In an additional twist, charter school students sit next to community school students in the same classes.

    However, the Corbett School Board voted in February to stop leasing space to the charter school beginning in the fall.

    Thursday, Dunton said the charter school would not offer a high school program next fall. It’s not clear yet what will happen to the elementary and middle-school programs, he said. “There are other components that are still up in the air,” Dunton said.

    Sam Barlow High School sends girl to Junior Olympics; seniors celebrate prom

    Joey Cooksey, a 16-year-old student at Sam Barlow High School in Gresham, recently qualified for this summer’s Junior Olympics in — wait for it — cup stacking. She’s hoping to raise $1,500 to help pay for entry fees and travel expenses.

    Cooksey learned about the unique sport, which is also known as speed stacking, by watching videos on YouTube. Competitors stack and unstack small plastic cups in a series of pyramids of various sizes. The goal, of course, is to build and unbuild the sequences in as little time as possible.

    Joey’s personal goal is to one day make it into the Guinness Book of World records.

    While Joey was focused on her upcoming competition, fellow Sam Barlow High School students celebrated prom at Portland’s Left Bank Annex. Check out The Oregonian’s continuous coverage of metro-area proms.

    Centennial homecoming for Earl Blumenauer

    U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a 1966 graduate of Gresham’s Centennial High School, is scheduled to visit the school Tuesday when he will award a scholarship in his name to a current student.

    Blumenauer (D-Portland) also will meet privately with Centennial’s school board and, separately, the high school’s student council, a press release from the Centennial School District read.

    No bow ties required, we assume.

    -- Beth Slovic

  • Man accused of dragging off-duty homeland security officer in vehicle has drunk driving history

    Sean Hacker, 32, is accused of driving while suspended, driving under the influence of intoxicants, recklessly endangering another, reckless driving and failure to perform the duties of a driver.

    A motorist accused of driving off Thursday night as an off-duty homeland security officer hung onto the door of his car was arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court Friday.

    Sean Patrick Hacker, 32, is accused of driving while suspended, driving under the influence of intoxicants, recklessly endangering another, reckless driving and failure to perform the duties of a driver.

    seanpatrickh.jpegSean Patrick Hacker

    During Hacker's arraignment Friday, a prosecutor told Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dailey that Hacker has four prior convictions for driving under the influence of intoxicants since 2003.

    The judge ordered Hacker to participate only in a pre-trial supervision evaluation. If he is to be released from custody, he must wear an electronic bracelet that monitors his alcohol intake, Dailey said.

    "Obviously no driving - you don't have a license,'' Dailey told Hacker.

    Hacker, of Gresham, was driving a black Lexus Thursday night when the car spun out and hit a tree north of the intersection of Northeast Glisan Street and 223rd Avenue, Gresham police said.

    The off-duty homeland security officer saw the crash and tried to intervene. The officer reached into the vehicle to remove the keys in an effort to prevent the driver from fleeing the scene, police said.

    The officer was hanging onto the door while the car traveled 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, at 355 N.E. 223rd Ave. Hacker ran from the scene, police said. A police dog tracked him to a swampy area west of the crash, and he was taken into custody.

    Hacker is scheduled to return to court April 28. He's being held at the Multnomah County Detention Center.

    --Maxine Bernstein
  • Authorities respond to person making threats near David Douglas High School

    The individual was suffering mental health issues, the family told police.

    Portland police responded to calls of a person making threats near David Douglas High School at about 1:40 p.m. Friday.

    When officers arrived, the individual had already returned home. The individual was suffering mental health issues, the family told police. The family transported the individual to a mental health facility for treatment.

    Those who know someone who is experiencing a mental health crises or wants to help avoid a crises can call Multnomah County's Mental Health Call Center at 503-988-4888.The line is staffed 24/7.

    -- Kasia Hall

  • Does my city have the same system? A look at Washington, Clackamas and Clark County's emergency notification programs

    Emergency officials are discussing whether teaming up on a regional emergency alert system is the most cost-effective and reliable way to alert the nearly 3 million residents of the Portland Metro region of potential disasters.

    Emergency officials are discussing whether teaming up on a regional emergency alert system is the most cost-effective and reliable way to alert the nearly 3 million residents of the Portland Metro region of potential disasters.

    Even before Portland has a less than desired outcome with its emergency notification system this week during an early morning shooting on Wednesday, city emergency preparedness officials were discussing of a regional plan.

    "We intend to go out to bid," Dan Douthit, spokesman for the Bureau of Emergency Management said. "Whether the end of August or sometime next year, with some of the other regional partners."

    The timing is right.

    Portland's contract with FirstCall, a Louisiana-based emergency notification company, expires in August. The city paid $73,000 to the company for services this year, PBEM officials said, to provide targeted emergency alerts to notify residents in times of crisis.

    Other counties are also open to the discussion. Clackamas and Washington counties, in particular, seem to be on board with the plan.

    Nancy Bush, director of emergency management for Clackamas County, said the tri-county already works together, and it makes sense to "move in this direction."

    "It will just make it that much faster and efficient in notifying our residents," she said, pointing out that disasters "don't know boundaries."

    Aerial view of Oregon City shooting An aerial view of the Oregon City neighborhood where reserve officer Robert Libke was shot and killed. The Clackamas County emergency alert system successfully notified residents of the incident and told them to remain indoors, officials said.
    Clackamas County used its emergency notification system successfully just this week on a test exercise, Bush said. The county also deployed the alert system in November to warn residents to stay inside their homes just minutes after Oregon City Police Reserve Officer Robert Libke was shot and killed.

    Bush said the county preprograms a series of potential disasters and other incidents into the system. They have messages for  water-boil orders and potential disasters involving a dam failure at Timothy Lake dam or other dams in the county.

    If the region suffers a catastrophic event, Bush said, the current system wouldn’t suffice.

    The counties emergency management leaders already met a couple times to discuss options. They're meeting against next week.

    “There are some benefits in going together regionally,” said Carmen Merlo, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management director.

    The counties would likely agree to buy the same service, saying costs and helping to streamline communications.

    Clark County is also at the table, although the Washington county is already teamed up with three neighboring counties across the Columbia River to provide services. Cheryl Bledsoe, emergency management division manager for Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency said teaming p has to make sense. "unless it saves me considerable time and money or time and effort, there's no benefit for me to change systems."

    Bledsoe, who recently switched systems to a company called Hyper Reach, said "so far so good,"

    "But I'm a little nervous watching Portland," she added.

    "Nothing is certain in the technology world," Bledsoe said.

    A reminder: these alert systems allow counties (or cities) to send out specific targeted alerts to neighborhoods or other geographic areas. In contrast, the alerts sent out in February for the snow storm went out to all wireless customers in the county.

    But for the targeted systems, they rely on landline phones, plus the typically small handful of wireless users who opt in to receive alerts (You can sign up for alerts in your community at this website).

    OK, so what's the lay of the land as we speak in the metro area?

    Clackamas County:
    System: Twenty First Century Communications
    Estimated Cost: Roughly $15,000 annually
    How it's doing: "This system has been working very well for us," said Bush. "We have been very fortunate that when we've been sending out messages, we haven't had any issues."
    Expires: July 2015.
    Why use it: "When people get this call, we want them to know, this is really important. Listen to this," Bush said.
    Landlines: 132,063
    Cell phones/other devices: 4,601

    Washington County
    System: CityWatch
    Estimated Cost: Roughly $20,000 annually
    How it's doing. "We haven't had any issues," said Larry Hatch, assistant director of the Washington County 911.
    Expires: June 2014
    Why use it: "I've taken a position of questioning the value of these systems with the move of a lot of our population to cell phone only," Hatch said. "We're going to keep it, I just think its good to questions where we're spending our money."
    Landlines: 207,000
    Cell phone/other devices: 5,400

    Clark County    
    System: Hyper-Reach (recently switched from Twenty First Century). Clark County teams with Skamania, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum County
    Estimated Cost: roughly $21,000 - $22,000 annually
    How it's doing: Too soon to tell. On Twenty First Century, the county switched because of rising costs and other problems. "It worked pretty well, but we were beginning to have some customer  service issues," Cheryl Bledsoe, emergency management division manager for Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency said.
    Number of Landlines: 160,000
    Number of signed up: not available

    Multnomah County/Portland
    System: FirstCall
    Estimated Cost: $73,000 annually
    How it's doing: The city has said there is "growing concern" with the software's reliability. PBEM is asking for $100,000 in ongoing general fund dollars next fiscal year, partly due to these concerns.
    Expires: August 2014
    Number of Landlines: roughly 303,000
    Number of signed up: 17,000 signed up


    -- Andrew Theen

  • 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

  • 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.


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