From slug races to crafts, see why this annual springtime event attracts hundreds of kids to Portland’s only city-owned botanical garden.

Sammy Bidwell watches the slug races being put on by Ron Goodwin at Leach Botanical Gardens.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Typically, Leach Botanical Gardens is relatively quiet, as folks linger in the test gardens, marvel at the natural surroundings, or learn about the unique species of plants and animals found at this outer East Portland nature spot.

It wasn’t a burglary. The driver claims mechanical problems; cops don’t buy his story. You won’t believe the damage that was done — even after you see our exclusive photos‚

The driver tries to explain to Portland Police officers how making a right-hand turn caused his pickup truck to end up parked half-way inside the Woodstock RadioShack store.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Everyone‚ including the driver‚ agrees on what happened late in the evening on June 17. But why a full-sized Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck ended up halfway through the Woodstock RadioShack store front window is still unclear.

They say the driver had a heart attack and lost consciousness, causing him to veer off Marine Drive. Learn how rescue teams from three agencies worked hand-in-hand to rescue the victim‚ still alive‚

After veering off NE Marine Drive, the pickup truck plunged to a depth of 17 feet under the cold Columbia River’s surface.

By David F. Ashton
A motorist on NE Marine Drive and a cyclist on the bike path tell 911 operators they just saw a black Ford Ranger 4×4 splash into the Columbia River, just west of the Glenn Jackson Bridge, on June 19.

Eddie is a big, energetic cuddly pooch who seems to love people‚ that is, unless you are a fleeing criminal suspect. Learn more about Portland’s four-footed cops‚ and where to meet them, in person, on June 23‚

Portland Police Bureau K9 Officer Shawn Gore tells neighbors how police dogs help apprehend criminals and aid officer safety.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Folks who came to the Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander’s Forum in June met two special guests, two officers from neighboring Southeast Precinct.

See what locals say could have prevented the death of this 17-year-old Brooklyn neighborhood resident‚

Portland Police Bureau officers confer with Portland Fire & Rescue Truck 23 firefighters, a Union Pacific security officer, and railroad workers, as they begin to unravel why a 17-year-old high school junior was killed in the Brooklyn train yard.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For several evenings after his sudden death, friends of 17-year-old Christopher John King gathered near the steps of Cleveland High School. They were mourning the loss of, what one student described as “a cool guy”.

Organization and hard work have helped the backers of the Lents International Farmer’s Market turn into an every-Sunday food-and-fun event. Take a peek at our exclusive coverage of their opening day‚

The market manager of the Lents International Farmer’s Market, Jill Kuehler, introduces us to some of their many vendors.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Last year, the northwest corner of SE 92nd Avenue and Foster Road was the once-per-month testing ground for a new kind of farmer’s market. Instead offering up standard farm fare, they specialized in providing produce with international appeal.

Wait until you get a look at the kids in the Kissing Booth! Oh my! See why we had so much fun at this school event‚

The “Beach Blanket Bingo” fair is a festival near the end of school for the summer, at which student art is displayed and funds are raised for next year’s activities.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It wasn’t long ago we were invited to attend a new event, sponsored by Parkrose Schools’ Bronco Boosters. Although the ocean is a long way off, the hosts chose the lively theme of “Beach Blanket Bingo” (a cultural reference most likely lost on the kids).

No one drove to this party! Learn why several organizations got together to throw a springtime bash for the newest portion of the SpringwaterTrail that links inner SE Portland  to the trail leading to Gresham‚

Sisters Pat Farris, Barbara Swails and Michaele Gregg take their Saturday morning “power walk” across the McLaughlin Blvd. Bridge.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Although the inner SE Portland Three Bridges section portion of the Springwater Trail was dedicated last fall, that didn’t stop Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) from coordinating a “Springtime Three Bridges Celebration” on May 19.

See what happens when pro photographers and community members get behind a project that allows young people to explore the art and science of photography‚

Parkrose High School freshman Elena Curtin shows us one of the photos she created, while taking the extracurricular, after-school course.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It started as project to involve students and community members in nontraditional learning process last fall.

But, the after-school photography class produced a full-fledged photo-art show this spring at Parkrose High School (PHS). Then, many of the prints went “on tour”, showcasing the students’ works around outer East Portland.

Learn what it took for ten teens to pass by hundreds of musically-talented kids to get a finalist slot in this new competition. We’ll find out who the winner is on June 16 at Reed‚

SE Portland’s Mackenzie Winter performs at the PDX Teen Idol semi-finalist competition at Mt. Scott Community Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
One by one, 26 talented teenagers walk on the bare stage at Mt. Scott Community Center in SE Portland; pick up the microphone, and sing‚ first without, the with accompaniment‚ each one hoping to win the approval of the judges.

They call it a “thesis exhibition”‚ but it looks like a great art show, and party to us! Take a look at the work of the two graduating artists we met

Graduating Reed College art student, Daniel Sander, shows his multi-dimensional work, “Self portrayal of Lil’ Red”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Reed College maintains a lower profile than many major institutions. But, this liberal-arts school graduates many students who go on to national prominence in many fields, such as fine arts.

At the opening of seven graduating seniors’ “thesis exhibitions” a couple of weeks ago, we meet professor who chairs the college’s Art Department, Gerri Ondrizeck.

And, see how the fun folks from the Parkrose Business Association have been promoting the only Portland Rose Festival event east of 82nd Ave‚ the June 24th Parkrose Cruise-in

Lt. Joe Rossi, Parkrose Posse, shows around a poster for their “most wanted man”‚ retiring Parkrose Schools superintendent Michael Taylor. The Posse tried to capture him during the Gateway Fun-O-Rama Parade. Remember, the Rossi Barn Bash is coming up on July 14!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The lighthearted members of the Parkrose Business Association (PBA) are always dreaming up was to have fun‚ while they work hard to beautify their area and provide scholarships for high school seniors.

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