Gene-modified crop ban? — A measure to ban genetically modified crops in Jackson County in Southern Oregon has qualified for the ballot in 2014. County officials confirmed Wednesday that petitions seeking the vote had enough valid signatures — 4,662 were required. The Medford Mail Tribune reports that means the measure goes to a vote in the May primary election in 2014. The measure would ban anyone from raising genetically engineered plants in Jackson County, with exemptions for scientific research. It also calls for the county to conduct inspections and allows enforcement through citizen lawsuits.
Football hazing investigation — Ashland police say three members of the high school football team and a fourth youth have been charged after an investigation into hazing that involved attempted sexual assaults at a summer football camp. The police said Thursday all four were charged with coercion, two with conspiracy and one, who is not a student at the high school, with attempted sexual penetration with a finger. The Ashland Daily Tidings reported the fourth youth was a 17-year-old who had practiced with the team and attended a football camp with the team last June at Linfield College. An Ashland police officer says that investigators substantiated four incidents of attempted sexual penetration.
UO defends diversity changes — A University of Oregon administrator defended her decision to restructure the Office of Equity and Inclusion and demote three vice presidents. The head of the office, Yvette Alex-Assensoh, held her first public meeting Wednesday on campus and answered questions from about 50 students, alumni and university employees. The Register-Guard reports additional town hall meetings are scheduled Thursday and Friday. Alex-Assensoh says she’s changing the office structure to infuse diversity into the workings of the university. A member of the Native American Student Union, Nadine Swartout, told her she feels the university no longer values the cultural differences Native Americans bring to campus.
Portland police captain demoted — The Portland Police Review Board recommended firing Capt. Todd Wyatt after finding him untruthful and questioning his integrity in incidents that included improperly touching women employees and flashing his badge and gun in an off-duty encounter with another driver. Instead of firing Wyatt, Chief Mike Reese decided to demote the 21-year veteran to the rank of lieutenant. The director of the Independent Police Review Division, Mary-Beth Baptista told The Oregonian, “This is not what police accountability looks like." Reese says he determined the demotion was the proper discipline for Wyatt after reviewing the investigation and consulting with the city attorney’s office.
— From wire reports