Gresham In The News

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  • Shoplifting cases drop at north Gresham Safeway

    The number of shoplifting cases from the Safeway store on Gresham's Northeast 181st Avenue dropped by almost half from 2011 to 2014, according to police statistics. And it was on pace to drop by another half this year, with only seven cases.

    Since news broke last week about the pending closure of a Safeway store at Northeast 181st Avenue and Halsey Street, community members, shoppers and The Oregonian/OregonLive readers have speculated crime, especially theft, was the key factor for the company's decision.

    But the number of shoplifting cases at the store along the border of the city's Wilkes East and North Gresham neighborhoods dropped by almost half between 2011 and 2014, according to police statistics. And it was on pace to drop by another half this year, with only seven cases.

    "I can't speak to how crime affected profits at this location specifically," said company spokeswoman Jill McGinnis when asked July 23, "but I do know that half a mile away at the Albertsons, we run a successful store in the similar neighborhood."

    Police filed 33 shoplifting reports from the Safeway store in 2014, a 45 percent drop from the 61 cases in 2011, according to the data. The Albertsons had 20 cases in 2014 compared to 21 three years prior.

    When compared to two other Safeways in the city, the 181st Avenue location had the most theft cases in 2011 and 2014, and the Safeway at 1455 Northeast Division had the most: 77 in 2012 and 55 in 2013.

    Last year, the Kmart on 440 Northwest Burnside Road had the most shoplifting cases in 2014, according to a comparison of city stores that include a Rite Aid and a Walgreens not far from the Safeway that's due to close.

    Capt. Claudio Grandjean, a Gresham Police Department spokesman, said reports of theft were common for the area. The numbers of cases that vary from year to year depend on security.

    "There can be a difference in the way individual stores deploy their loss prevention people," Grandjean said. Some may have more security or have a more aggressive approach to reporting thefts.

    Gresham residents Richard and Dorinda Zamora, who say they have shopped at the Safeway on 181st Avenue for 16 years, said they've noticed store staff behave more vigilant in recent weeks.

    "We walked out the door and they checked our receipt," Richard Zamora said as his wife loaded up their groceries in their car last week.

    "They never used to do that," she said.

    In addition to the two Portland-area store closings, Safeway is shuttering nine stores in the Denver area and two stores in Arizona this summer.

    News of the Portland-area closures came only weeks after Albertsons, which finalized its purchase of Safeway in January, filed for an initial public offering of stock.

    -- Tony Hernandez
    thernandez@oregonian.com
    503-294-5928
    @tonyhreports

  • Quarterbacks from 10-1: Oregon's most intriguing high school football players 2015

    Last week, we revealed our list of Oregon's 10 most intriguing quarterbacks for the 2015 season and asked readers to help us determine which of those 10 is the state's best. The results are in.

    Last week, we revealed our list of Oregon's 10 most intriguing quarterbacks for the 2015 season and asked readers to help us determine which of those 10 is the state's best. The results are in.

    Do you agree or disagree? Who's missing from the list entirely? Keep in mind that this is not meant as the be-all, end-all list for the 2015 season. It's a starting point. Who are you most excited to watch come September? Who's poised for a breakout season? Who should be on our radar?


    >>>Come back Monday as we reveal our overall list of Oregon's 10 most intriguing players for the 2015 season.


    Most intriguing quarterbacks for 2015


    10. Wyatt Smith, McMinnville: The son of Linfield football coach Joseph Smith, Wyatt is one of two juniors on this list, joining West Linn's Tim Tawa. The 6-foot-1 Smith, a two-sport standout as he's also a top-rated catcher, was an all-Greater Valley Conference selection in 2014. 


    9. Taylor Jensen, Forest Grove: The son of Forest Grove coach Dwight Jensen, Taylor is a three-year starting quarterback who landed an honorable mention 6A all-state berth in 2014. The 6-foot-5 Jensen completed 170 of 295 passes for 2,322 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Vikings last season. 


    8. Mitch Verburg, Lake Oswego: Yet another top-flight quarterback on this list who is a two-sport standout, as the 6-4 Verburg is expected to be one of the state's best pitchers next spring. Verburg is a three-year starter for the Lakers, who hope to return to prominence this fall with an experienced roster.


    7. Eric Restic, Jesuit: The pieces seem to be in place for Restic this season, as he's a three-year starting quarterback with a stud receiver in Jordan Happle, a good Crusaders offensive line and a coach who never overlooks the running game. Restic passed for 21 touchdowns and 1,902 yards last season.


    6. Sam Noyer, Beaverton: The 6-4, 200-pound senior, who has committed to Colorado, hopes to lead Beaverton toward a Metro League title run this fall. Noyer passed for nearly 2,100 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.


    5. Justin Herbert, Sheldon: Herbert was a candidate for first-team all-state quarterback a year ago when he broke his leg during Sheldon's fourth game of the season. The 6-foot-5 Herbert, who threw 10 touchdown passes in the season's first three games, has college offers from Portland State and Northern Arizona. Herbert figures to pile up yards and touchdowns this season playing in the Irish's quarterback-friendly offense.


    4. Tim Tawa, West Linn: Here's someone on the short list for the state's 2015-16 athlete of the year. Tawa, a standout shortstop who has committed to Stanford baseball, is a returning Class 6A second-team all-state quarterback, the only sophomore on the first or second team all-state offense in 2014. Last season, Tawa completed 187 of 264 passes for 2,963 yards and 38 touchdowns.


    3. Gabe Matthews, South Salem: Like West Linn's Tim Tawa, Matthews is among the favorites for state athlete of the year in 2015-16, as he's a solid three-sport athlete. A year ago, Matthews led South Salem to the Greater Valley Conference title after throwing and running for a combined 40 touchdowns and 2,747 yards.


    2. Wyatt Hutchinson, Clackamas: If Clackamas is to make a run at Central Catholic in the Mt. Hood Conference this season, Hutchinson figures to lead the way. The 6-1 senior is a dual threat, as last season he passed for about 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns, while running for about 400 yards and five scores.


    1. Trevor Watson, Springfield: The clear-cut favorite for 5A offensive player of the year, Watson is the Millers' four-year starting quarterback and a two-time Midwestern League player of the year. The 5-11 Watson has accumulated more than 10,000 offensive yards and 100 touchdowns during his career.


    Readers also mentioned: John Bledsoe, Summit; Dante Reid, Tualatin  


    -Text by Nick Daschel, For The Oregonian/OregonLive

  • Running backs from 10-1: Oregon's most intriguing high school football players 2015

    Last week, we revealed our list of Oregon's 10 most intriguing running backs for the 2015 season and asked readers to help us determine which of those 10 is the state's best. The results are in.

    Last week, we revealed our list of Oregon's 10 most intriguing running backs for the 2015 season and asked readers to help us determine which of those 10 is the state's best. The results are in.

    Do you agree or disagree? Who's missing from the list entirely? Keep in mind that this is not meant as the be-all, end-all list for the 2015 season. It's a starting point. Who are you most excited to watch come September? Who's poised for a breakout season? Who should be on our radar?


    >>>Come back Monday as we reveal our overall list of Oregon's 10 most intriguing players for the 2015 season.


    Most intriguing running backs for 2015


    10. Parker Bull, Aloha: Is there a better name for a running back? Look for Bull to emerge this season after two years of grinding tough yardage for Aloha. The 5-10, 180-pound Bull ran for 582 yards and eight touchdowns last season despite being the focus of opposing defenses.


    9. Jeff LaCoste, West Albany: The latest and last in a long, sensational line of LaCoste brothers. Jeff, brother of former 5A players of the year Anthony and Jake, is a 5-10, 190-pound back who had several 200-plus yard games last season, including a 320-yard, three-touchdown performance against Forest Grove. 


    8. Sam Colbray, Hermiston: Pound for pound, might be the toughest football athlete in the state. A three-time state champion in wrestling, Colbray was a dominant running back in leading Hermiston to the 5A state title. The 5-9, 210-pound Colbray ran for 169 yards in a 30-10 semifinal win over Marist, then had 34 carries for 112 yards against a rugged Silverton defense in the championship game. 


    7. Devin Kaneshiro, Liberty: The 5-9 senior is a three-year starter and figures to be a driving force on both sides of the ball as Liberty looks to win its second consecutive Northwest Oregon Conference title. Kaneshiro was a first-team all-NWOC selection last season, when he ran for more than 1,000 yards. 


    6. Jake Eisenbeiss, Sherwood: Can't have a top 10 list of running backs without someone from a team with the state's premier running game. The 6-2, 205-pound Eisenbeiss is the next in a long line of productive Sherwood running backs. Eisenbeiss averaged nearly seven yards a carry and scored 14 touchdowns last season.


    5. Conner Mitchell, Oregon City: So much for Mitchell becoming a Laker. Mitchell transferred to Lake Oswego midway through 2014-15 school year, but plans to return to Oregon City for his senior year. If his mind is right, Mitchell should be a force this fall, as the 5-10 running back ran for nearly 2,900 yards and 26 touchdowns for the Pioneers the past two years.


    4. Jason Talley, Jesuit: Talley figures to get the ball early and often in an offense that prefers the running game. Despite sharing duties with Portland State-bound Chase Morrison, Talley ran for 1,234 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for the Crusaders.


    3. Richie Mock, Oregon City: The 6-2, 215-pound Mock is in his second year at Oregon City after transferring from Putnam. Mock, one of the Northwest Oregon Conference's top running backs as a sophomore, emerged with several big games late in 2014, including a 224-yard performance against McNary in a first-round playoff game. Pioneers coach Randy Nyquist and his love for the running game could mean big things for Mock this season.


    2. Daniel Wilson, Springfield: Wilson is an interesting entry in this top 10, as he'll play running back and wide receiver for Springfield. The 6-foot, 180-pound Wilson was a 5A second-team all-state running back selection in 2014 and adds to the serious wealth of skill the Millers have on offense this season.


    1. Ronnie Rust, Central Catholic: If the 6-foot, 200-pound Rust is fully healed from a shoulder injury sustained late last fall, he'll be a handful on both sides of the ball. Rust doesn't have eye-catching overall statistics because he plays on a Rams roster deep with productive athletes. But when the game matters, Rust is Central Catholic's man on the ground, as he displayed with an 18-carry, 236-yard, four-touchdown performance in last year's 6A semifinal win over Sheldon.


    Readers also mentioned: Elijah Molden, West Linn; David Morris, Sherwood 


    -Text by Nick Daschel, For The Oregonian/OregonLive

  • Kickers from 5-1: Oregon's most intriguing high school football players 2015

    Last week, we revealed our list of Oregon's 5 most intriguing kickers for the 2015 season and asked readers to help us determine which of those 5 is the state's best. The results are in.

    Last week, we revealed our list of Oregon's 5 most intriguing kickers for the 2015 season and asked readers to help us determine which of those 5 is the state's best. The results are in.

    Do you agree or disagree? Who's missing from the list entirely? Keep in mind that this is not meant as the be-all, end-all list for the 2015 season. It's a starting point. Who are you most excited to watch come September? Who's poised for a breakout season? Who should be on our radar?


    >>>Come back Monday as we reveal our overall list of Oregon's 10 most intriguing players for the 2015 season.


    Most intriguing kickers for 2015


    5. Cole Cooper, Beaverton: The Beavers standout, who rarely misses an extra point and has good length to his kickoffs, is the returning first-team Metro League kicker.


    4. Noah Dahl, Silverton: Dahl is the top returning kicker in Class 5A, as he was second-team all state in 2014. Dahl, who also starts on offense and defense, scored 64 points a year ago just as a kicker for state finalist Silverton.


    3. Zach Emerson, Mountain View: As is the case with several prominent kickers in Oregon, Emerson will be busy this fall. Emerson is one of the state top soccer players, and a two-time Intermountain Conference player of the year. In football, Emerson's long kickoffs often give Mountain View great field position, and he's reliable on field goals inside 45 yards.


    2. Adley Rutschman, Sherwood: Could be one of the state's top athletes for the upcoming season, as Rutschman is a multiple-position player in football and one of the state's top pitchers. As a kicker, Rutschman's booming kickoffs make most opposing return teams useless. Rutschman, the 6A's second-team all state kicker, is the grandson of Linfield great Ad Rutschman.


    1. Gabe Matthews, South Salem: Like Sherwood's Adley Rutschman, Matthews is more than just a big leg, as he's the Saxons' quarterback as well as a starter on last year's state tournament basketball team. Matthews, the Greater Valley's all-league kicker and punter a year ago, averaged 33.5 yards per punt in 2014.


    Readers also mentioned: Ian Bream, North Bend; Jaxon Clark, Grants Pass 


    -Text by Nick Daschel, For The Oregonian/OregonLive

  • Motorcyclist seriously injured following crash at NW 257th; road closed

    A motorcyclist has been seriously injured Friday in a crash with a vehicle at Northwest 257th Avenue and Northwest 257th Way in Troutdale.

    A motorcyclist has been seriously injured Friday in a crash with a vehicle at Northwest 257th Avenue and Northwest 257th Way in Troutdale. 

    Northbound Northwest 257th Avenue will be closed for at least an hour as Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies investigate what caused the crash. The driver of the car remains at the scene and is cooperating with law enforcement, according to a news release from Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.  

    This post will be updated as more information becomes available.  

    -- Nuran Alteir
    nalteir@oregonian.com
    503-294-4028
    @whatnuransaid

  • Friday evening Portland-area commute: MAX Yellow line experiencing delays

    The latest Portland traffic updates for Friday evening.

    ***

    TriMet warns of 15 minute delays on the MAX Yellow line due to an earlier collision. Should normalize around 7:30 p.m.

    ***

    PORTLAND, 5:39 p.m.: Ross Island Bridge

    Looks like a crash on the eastbound side of the Ross Island Bridge. Long line of vehicles trying to cross.

    ***

    PORTLAND, 4:58 p.m.: Interstate 5 north at Columbia Blvd.

    The left northbound lane of I-5 is blocked by a stall. Traffic jammed back to Multnomah from earlier congestion.

    ***

    A stall is blocking the left northbound lane of Interstate 205 just north of the Highway 213 exit. Traffic is crazy jammed back to Interstate 5.

    The excessive heat is also causing MAX trains to slow for safety reasons. Plan accordingly.

    Follow the Oregonian's commuting alerts on Twitter: @TrafficPortland

  • Gresham woman accused of attacking estranged husband when he wouldn't pick up kids

    Kristine Buschert, 29, of Gresham was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on suspicion of first-degree burglary, unlawful use of a weapon and fourth-degree assault.

    Kristine Buschert.jpgKristine Buschert 

    When Gresham police officers responded to a home on Southwest Pleasant View Avenue last week, they found Kristine Buschert "rolling around, screaming and crying," court documents say. Then they arrested her.

    Her husband, Ben Buschert, told police that the couple had been separated for several months and that his estranged wife had broken into his parents' home, where he was staying, and attacked him and his new girlfriend, a probable cause affidavit said.

    Kristine Buschert, 29, had gotten upset when her husband didn't pick up their children from her home and instead had his mother do it, the affidavit said. He claimed he was trying to avoid his wife because of past problems.

    She banged on the front door of the parents' home, but Ben Buschert wouldn't answer, according to the affidavit. The husband claimed he then saw his wife hop over his fence, go to the back door and kick it until she broke the door frame.

    Ben Buschert, 35, told police that his wife punched him several times and hit him with a 4-foot piece of wood from the broken door frame. He claimed she kicked him several times in the head when he tried to stop her from attacking his girlfriend. The girlfriend locked herself in the bathroom and called police.

    The husband had red marks on his back from being hit by the wood and scratches on his forearms, left calf and chest, the affidavit said.

    His wife admitted to police that she kicked in the back door because she didn't have a key, punched her husband and hit him with a piece of the door frame because she "couldn't overpower him without it," the affidavit said.

    Kristine Buschert was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on accusations of first-degree burglary, unlawful use of a weapon and fourth-degree assault.

    -- Everton Bailey Jr.

    ebailey@oregonian.com
    503-221-8343; @EvertonBailey

  • Gresham City councilor announces campaign for Multnomah County's District 4

    Gresham City Councilor Lori Stegmann intends to run for a seat on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, she said at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast Friday.

    StegmannLg.jpgLori Stegmann

    Gresham City Councilor Lori Stegmann intends to run for a seat on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, she said at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast Friday.

    "I believe everything I have done in my life up until now has prepared me for this opportunity," Stegmann said in a statement sent to the media Friday morning. Stegmann seeks to fill the District 4 spot held by Commissioner Diane McKeel who is term limited. The election is next year.

    Stegmann, 55, told The Oregonian/OregonLive two weeks ago her priorities include homelessness, stable housing and creating opportunities for youth development in the Rockwood neighborhood and east-county areas. She said Friday her goal is to leverage assets and find new ones.

    Stegmann has worked as an insurance agent for more than 20 years, and she owns her own agency today in Portland's Southeast 181st Avenue. Her interest in public service stems from her time with Soroptimist International, an organization that promotes social and economic empowerment for women and girls, she said.

    She's also served as the City Council president in 2014. At the age of 33, she received her bachelor's in business from Portland State University and received an associate's degree from Mt. Hood Community College. She was born in Korea, adopted and grew up in Gresham.

    Though campaign donations to the group Friends of Lori Stegmann began to trickle in January and February, the city councilor raised $7,900 in June, according to data kept by the Secretary of State's office. Stegmann's group has raised $8,465 so far, records show.

    Gresham voters elected Stegmann in 2010, and in November the councilor began her second four-year term on the City Council. She said this month she would remain on the City Council during the campaign.

    Before her first election, she served on the Gresham Planning Commission, Rockwood Stakeholders Group, and the Gresham Redevelopment Commission Advisory Committee, according to her city profile. She's also served as a board member to the city's Chamber of Commerce.

    "I grew up in East County and have such fond memories," Stegmann said. "I want this community - and especially the kids - to have that same feeling of family and home."

    -- Tony Hernandez
    thernandez@oregonian.com
    503-294-5928
    @tonyhreports

  • Gresham leaders, entrepreneurs talk about Rockwood development

    City leaders hope a 5.5-acre development, wedged between East Stark and Burnside streets, will transform one of the state's roughest neighborhoods into an economic engine. Watch video

    The smell of beef fajitas, carnitas, corn chips and tortillas filled a room Thursday evening in the Rockwood neighborhood as a couple dozen Gresham residents listened to successful and up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

    Lucy De Leon manages the Gresham-based food company Salsas Locas, which provided the dinner at the Sunrise Community Center. She spoke to residents during a panel and networking event hosted by the Gresham Redevelopment Commission that's charged with finding small business owners to fill a 5.5-acre development at the Plaza Del Sol.

    City leaders hope the development, wedged between East Stark and Burnside streets, will transform one of the state's roughest neighborhoods into an economic engine that trains people for local jobs or encourages them to open their own business.

    They're willing to spend $6.8 million from urban renewal dollars, find tax credits and partner with a yet-to-be-chosen developer to build the $30 million to $35 million project. If all goes to plan, expect shovels to start digging next year, said Josh Fuhrer, the commission's executive director.

    "We need this here," De Leon said about the development called Rockwood Rising. De Leon grew up in Rockwood and graduated from Reynolds High School.

    Combined, Rockwood residents speak about 70 languages and are among the youngest in the state, said Josh Fuhrer, the commission's executive director. Think of the food possibilities, he told the group Thursday.

    Despite the positive spin, many residents live in poverty or don't have good access to health care, he has said.

    There's plenty of crime, and just last week, another grocery store plans to close its doors to residents.

    "We will continue to search for additional, innovative ways to provide access to healthy foods," said City Councilor Lori Stegmann. "Many exciting things are on the horizon."

    Once built, people will find local meats, produce and grocery items, or find ready-made meals and other non-food products sold inside 320-square-foot shipping containers transformed into business fronts. There's space for brick-and-mortar restaurants in a plaza that also hosts Gresham's Farmers Market and the annual Rock The Block event.

    Aside from food options, residents should find technology laboratories open to all while others get trained in the medical careers at a health clinic, Fuhrer said. The project has room for a potential library and other resources, such as lenders, to help people open a small business.

    The cost to open a business in less than 1,000 square feet normally runs about $17,000 in city fees and charges, but entrepreneurs at the Rockwood Rising location won't pay a dime, according to materials given to people Thursday.

    People thinking of starting a small business have more resources today than in the late 90s, De Leon told people. De Leon's parents sold their home in Texas to pay for their food business in Oregon in 1999, she said.

    "My mother thought, 'what if it fails,'" De Leon said, "but my father would always say, 'what if it doesn't.' So, it's a risk they took, and now we've been in business 16 years."

    -- Tony Hernandez
    thernandez@oregonian.com
    503-294-5928
    @tonyhreports

  • Thursday evening Portland-area commute: St. Johns Bridge closed due to protest

    The Portland Police have closed the St. Johns Bridge as they deal with the Greenpeace protesters. The bridge will probably remain closed through the evening commute.

    ***

    PORTLAND, 6:20 p.m.: Interstate 5 south past Interstate 84

    A crash is blocking the left southbound lane of I-5 just after the I-84 junction. Jammed back to Fremont Bridge.

    ***

    PORTLAND, 6:10 p.m.: Highway 26 west at Sylvan

    The right westbound lane of Highway 26 is blocked by a crash. Jammed back to the Zoo.

    ***

    PORTLAND, 5:23 p.m.: Interstate 5 north at Terwilliger.

    The left northbound lane of I-5 is blocked at Terwilliger by a crash. Quickly backed up to Capitol and growing.

    ***

    PORTLAND, 5:13 p.m.: Interstate 84 west ramp to Interstate 5 north

    A stall is blocking I-84 westbound traffic trying to merge on to I-5 north. Backed up past 60th Ave.

    ***

    TriMet warns of 20-30 minute delays on all MAX lines due to the extreme heat.

    ***

    The Portland Police have closed the St. Johns Bridge as they deal with the Greenpeace protesters. The bridge will probably remain closed through the evening commute.

    It also looks like a crash is slowing westbound traffic on Highway 26 near 185th Ave. 

    There is also slowing on Interstate 205 south near Sunnyside. 

    Follow the Oregonian's commuting alerts on Twitter: @TrafficPortland

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