Around the State


Published Jun 29, 2013 at 05:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

Beach advisories lifted — Oregon public health officials have ended advisories that warned the public to avoid the water at two beaches in Seaside and Cannon Beach. The advisories were issued Thursday after public health workers doing routine testing found elevated levels of fecal bacteria in the water. KATU-TV reports that the Oregon Health Authority says tests on Friday showed the bacteria levels had gone down and it was safe to go in the water again. The advisories had only applied to contact with the water, not visiting or playing on the beaches. The specific beaches were located at 12th Avenue in Seaside and near Ecola Court in Cannon Beach.

Man loses hand to illegal firework — Police in the southern Oregon city of Medford say a man had his hand blown off early Friday by an illegal firework. Lt. Mike Budreau said 37-year-old David Jenkins, of Medford, tried to relight a device that had failed to ignite in the driveway of a home. The firework had only about a quarter-inch of fuse left and exploded in his hand. The Medford Mail-Tribune says Budreau described it as “a devastating injury,” adding that “a majority of the hand is gone.” Jenkins was flown to Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland. The Oregonian reported he was in fair condition. Police say Jenkins and others had been trying to light an aerial-display rocket. When that didn’t work, Jenkins removed the explosive mortar from the top of the rocket and put it in his garage. Police say that after drinking with his companions, he came back out and lit the removed shell, which exploded. Officers cited Jenkins for illegal possession of fireworks.

Driver on cellphone hit by train — Beaverton police say a driver whose vehicle collided with a train near Tualatin Valley Highway will be cited because he was using a cellphone when the crash occurred. Sgt. Jim Shumway says 38-year-old Denis Pittman was taken to the hospital Friday with injuries not considered life-threatening. Witnesses told investigators that Pittman was on the phone as he slowly approached the tracks, ignoring both the train’s whistle and the waving arms of bystanders. The train was traveling 25 mph when it slammed into the driver’s side of the vehicle, flipping it over. Shumway says Pittman will be cited on suspicion of operating a vehicle while on the phone and failure to stop at a railroad sign.

Same-sex marriage backers ready petition — Organizers of the effort to make same-sex marriage legal in Oregon say they have a final ballot title and will start collecting signatures next month to put the measure on the November 2014 ballot. More than 116,000 valid signatures must be collected for the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative to make the ballot. Chief petitioner Jeana Frazzini says petitions will be ready at July 20 events in Portland, Eugene and other cities. In 2004, voters by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent voted to amend the Oregon constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

— From wire reports