AP Regional News

December 23, 2011 12:59 am Associated Press, News

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – A University of Oregon faculty member is recovering from arm burns and some cuts suffered in a chemical explosion in a lab at a campus science building. The man was treated at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield. The university says the explosion was confined to the work station where the man was handling chemicals. It broke glass but there was no substantial fire damage.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A suburban Portland police sergeant implicated by investigators in the killing of his spouse has been fired over allegations that officials say are unrelated to the murder investigation. Gladstone Police Sgt. Lynn Benton appeared publicly for years as a woman but  privately underwent gender reassignment and married Deborah Higbee Benton last year. Benton has not been charged in his wife’s killing.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A Beaverton man who ran a vacuum cleaner scam has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Portland, Johnny “Mickey” Brown collected credit card information from unsuspecting victims who thought they were investing in a vacuum cleaner inventory for a profitable business.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Barely eight weeks into Portland’s new curbside food waste program, the Oregon town next to the composting facility is crying foul. Officials and residents of North Plains say there’s a stench coming from the processing plant, which receives the bulk of Portland’s food waste. But they got some Tuesday — Washington County commissioners denied a bid from the waste contractor – Nature’s Needs – to permanently use the facility.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An 18-year-old who pleaded guilty in the hit-run death of a bicycle rider in Portland has been sentenced to five years in prison. Ashawntae Rosemon pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, driving under the influence of intoxicants and other charges for the crash in August that took the life of bicyclist Dustin Finney and injured another bike rider.  The Oregonian reports part of the sentence requires Rosemon to write a letter to Finney’s family every six months to explain the steps he’s taken to become a better person.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Homeless people in Portland will be allowed to camp in their cars in the parking lots of religious and nonprofit groups under a test program. The Oregonian reports City Council yesterday approved a one-year test of the idea, which is much like a car camping program in Eugene. Organizations could allow up to four cars, RVs or trailers, but not tents, provided they also follow several other rules.

ST. HELENS, Ore. (AP) – A hearing over the mental competency of a man accused of gunning down an Oregon police chief resumes today after an Oregon State Hospital forensic psychologist testified Tuesday that Daniel Butts is mentally capable of cooperating with his lawyers. Butts’ defense says he is not mentally fit to stand trial, citing a history of schizophrenia in his family and a previous head injury. He’s charged with aggravated murder in the Jan. 5 killing of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Last week Gov. John Kitzhaber announced a state employee hiring freeze. Next week a committee of top agency managers will consider exceptions. The Statesman Journal reports the panel will look at filling jobs that are mandated by law or essential to public health and safety. Exceptions also could be made to jobs that help Oregon generate revenue.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Jasmine Smith scored a career-high 35 points and Saint Mary’s never trailed in a 72-62 victory over Oregon yesterday. Deanna Weaver scored 14 to pace the 8-4 Ducks, who have lost four of six after starting the season 6-0. Jasmin Holliday had 12 points and nine rebounds for Oregon, which shot a season-low 24 percent.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) – The Seattle Seahawks are hoping to become the first team this season to score a rushing touchdown on the San Francisco 49ers. Marshawn Lynch is on the greatest  scoring streak in Seattle Seahawks history with at least one touchdown in each of the last 10 games he’s played. San Francisco cornerback Carlos Rogers says it’s going to be a challenge to keep their streak alive against Lynch on Saturday.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – C.J. Miles scored 17 points, including a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left to help the Utah Jazz hold on for a 92-89 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers last night. Al Jefferson added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who avenged a 20-point loss in Portland on Monday. Raymond Felton led the Trail Blazers with 17 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

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