Ex-agency leader guilty of embezzling nearly $1M — A federal jury Thursday found Mary Holden Ayala guilty of stealing nearly $1 million from an Oregon foster agency that she had led as president and executive director. Ayala, 59, who ran the private foster care agency Give Us This Day from 2008 through 2015, was found guilty of multiple counts of theft, money laundering and filing false personal income tax returns after an eight-day trial before U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez. Ayala led the agency from at least 2008 through 2015. “Children in foster care rely heavily on the agency to which they are entrusted and these agencies are responsible for protecting and caring for them. Mary Holden Ayala grossly neglected her duties and selfishly stole from children in need,” said Billy Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, in a prepared statement after the verdict.
Oregon art college to close after 112 years — The Oregon College of Art and Craft will close its doors in May after a 112-year history after suffering from low enrollment and administrative turnover in recent years. Talks with Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland State University and other entities over the past year did not yield a solution. The school has been a fixture in the Pacific Northwest’s craft movement for years. The college grew out of an Arts and Craft Society founded by artist Julia Hoffman. It offered a summer art camp attended over the years by thousands of Portland-area kids. The 135 students currently enrolled will transfer elsewhere, but it’s not clear where. The campus will be sold to finance the last few months of operations.
Albany man charged after allegedly stabbing mom — Albany resident Jeremiah Sullivan, 29, was arrested shortly after noon Thursday by Albany police officers and charged with menacing, second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon after allegedly cutting his 61-year-old mother with a knife. Lt. Alan Lynn said the Police Department was notified of a stabbing at a home in the 3100 block of South Shore. Lynn said when officers responded, they found a 61-year-old woman who had cuts on a hand and fingers. The woman said she had been in an altercation with her son. She was transported to Samaritan Albany General Hospital by Albany ambulance, where she received stitches for her wounds. Lynn said South Shore Elementary was placed under a lockout order while officers searched the area for Sullivan. Sullivan was booked and lodged at the Linn County Jail.