Man allegedly pepper sprays 9 people on bus — A 31-year-old man faces charges he assaulted nine people after he allegedly released pepper spray inside a bus in Portland. It’s not clear if the driver was targeted or hurt in the incident Saturday. The man who released the spray fled the bus. Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Allen says officers later found and arrested a man matching the suspect’s description at a nearby restaurant. Police say nine people were affected by the spray, which can cause coughing, shortness of breath and a burning sensation. Allen says the man unbuckled his seat belt as officers were driving him to jail and tried to get out of the car. He was taken to the Multnomah County Detention Center.
Marker recognizes nation’s 1st black paratroopers — History buffs, local officials and a sociology professor recently dedicated a historical marker in Oregon recognizing a segregated Army battalion comprised of the nation’s first black paratroopers. Eastern Washington University sociologist Bob Bartlett says 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion soldiers thought they were heading to Japan when they stopped at Pendleton Army Airfield in the spring of 1945. Barlett said the soldiers were instead assigned to fight forest fires as smokejumpers. They were also expected to find and dismantle bomb-carrying hydrogen balloons that Japan launched to drift across the Pacific. The interpretive panel on Main Street in Pendleton describes the unit known as the Triple Nickles and their work. The marker also acknowledges the discrimination that the 300 or so black soldiers experienced in Pendleton at the time.
Five lightning-sparked fires merge into one — The Gopher Fire — now the name for five merged fires — is burning 11 miles east of Prospect in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. Estimated at 300 acres, the fire is the result of smaller fires that burned together following a Thursday lightning storm that moved through the area, fire officials said. From Saturday to Sunday morning, the fire grew by 70 acres, largely because it consumed snags and woody material left over from the 2008 Middle Fork fire that burned along a branch of the Rogue River, officials said. The Gopher Fire is burning east of Prospect and south of Crater Lake.
Newport man charged after fatal crash on Highway 20 — A 52-year-old Newport man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and related charges after a fatal single-vehicle crash Saturday on U.S. Highway 20. Oregon State Police said Michael John Craycraft lost control of his Jeep just before 6 p.m. while traveling eastbound on the highway. The vehicle spun off the road and smashed into an embankment. The impact threw the Jeep’s unrestrained passenger, Rhawnie Lynn Harp, 40, out of the vehicle. She died of her injuries later that day at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport, police say. Craycraft was arrested Sunday upon his release from the hospital and charged with second-degree manslaughter, driving while under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving and reckless endangering.