Health alert for 3 beaches — Health officials have issued a public health advisory because of higher-than-normal bacteria levels found off three Oregon beaches near Newport and nearby bodies of water. Oregon Health Authority officials said Wednesday people should avoid contact with the water at Beverly Beach State Park and Agate Beach and Seal Rock state recreation sites until the advisory is lifted. Officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours of any rainstorm because of possible stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.
Powdery substance at prison mailroom — About two dozen workers at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility were evacuated from the prison after an employee in the mailroom discovered an envelope containing a powdery substance. Someone called 911 about the suspicious package at 9 a.m. Wednesday. No inmates were taken out of the Wilsonville-based women’s prison, and the facility was put on lockdown. Four employees exposed to the substance were decontaminated as a precaution. An investigation is ongoing to determine what the substance is.
Suspected car kidnapping — Authorities say a Hillsboro man has been arrested after hiding inside a woman’s car for hours and forcing her back inside when she tried to escape. Lawrence Alan Roland, 43, was jailed on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping and menacing. He remains in custody. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said deputies serving the small city of Banks responded Tuesday morning to reports of a man trying to force a woman inside a car. The woman told deputies the suspect had been hiding in her car for hours and didn’t make himself known to her until after she dropped her child at school.
Plea for hemp truck driver — Prosecutors in Idaho say they’ve reached a plea deal with an Oregon truck driver who faced felony charges for driving a truckload of hemp through the state. The Ada County Prosecutor’s office said 36-year-old Denis Palamarchuk, of Portland, has agreed to plead guilty to hauling an improperly permitted load, a misdemeanor. In exchange prosecutors are dropping felony trafficking charges and will ask that most of his jail time be suspended. Idaho State Police troopers stopped Palamarchuk along Interstate 84, and they arrested him after they found the semitruck he was driving was carrying several thousand pounds of hemp for Montana-based Big Sky Scientific. Idaho’s anti-marijuana laws include hemp.
Regional meth trafficker sentenced — The leader of a large-scale methamphetamine drug trafficking organization in Eastern Oregon has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Michael Simon sentenced Abel Lomas Murillo, of Weston, on Tuesday. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Murillo was dealing methamphetamine from July 2017 through May 2018, bringing the drug up from California and hiring couriers to distribute the methamphetamine in northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. Investigators said they seized about 60 pounds of methamphetamine as part of their investigation.