Advanced Placement — Oregon high school students are taking Advanced Placement courses and passing them in greater numbers than a decade ago, but state officials say more should take rigorous coursework, particularly low-income and minority students. Oregon ranked 25th in the percentage of its 2012 graduates who passed at least one AP exam, according to the College Board’s annual “AP Report to the Nation." The College Board said 16.2 percent of recent Oregon graduates had an AP score of 3 or better on an exam — the score generally associated with receiving college credit — an increase from 15 percent last year and 8 percent in 2002.
Fugitive killed — A federal fugitive shot and killed by officers outside a Portland hospital was armed with a telephone receiver handle that he had broken to simulate a handgun, authorities said. Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Portland police spokesman, said Merle Hatch used the 8-inch piece of black plastic to twice threaten security at Portland Adventist Medical Center before confronting officers in the parking lot Sunday. Hatch, 50, was released from federal prison earlier this month and was considered an escapee because he failed to report to a halfway house in Colorado, the state where he robbed a bank in 2004. The case will soon be presented to a Multnomah County grand jury for review.
Power outage — Pacific Power, which warned ahead of time about the dangers of loose holiday balloons, says a flyaway bundle of metallic Valentine’s Day balloons caused a power outage that affected 5,000 customers. Company spokesman Tom Gauntt says some of the balloons got tangled in power lines and others melted in the Monday outage that affected customers near Independence, southwest of Salem. The Oregonian reports the power was out for about six minutes.
Witness slain — A Southern Oregon man has been sentenced to life in prison for the shotgun slaying of a man scheduled to testify in a check fraud case. The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports that Laurence King, 31, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to murder. He admitted killing Daniel Baker, 29, at a gas station in Grants Pass last February. King was not a defendant in the check fraud case at the time of the slaying, but police said later they believed he had hard feelings against Baker because of it.
Body found — The body of an unidentified man was pulled from wood and brush in the South Umpqua River at an island in central Roseburg. The News-Review reported that police had no identity or information about the body after fishermen discovered it Tuesday. Police said it appeared the river had receded from the island.
— From wire reports