Police say the homeowner was defending herself when attacked by a bungling burglar …

By the time we arrived on scene, investigators had cordoned off the scene; journalists were lined up trying to get more information on this unusual case.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
On September 6, a few minutes before 7 p.m., officers were called to do a “premises check” ‚Äì seeing if everything is OK ‚Äì in the 7900 block of SE Alder St.

When the arrived, the cops found the body of 59-year-old Edward Dalton Haffey inside the home. They called in detectives from the Homicide Division to investigate.

Detectives say that the 51-year-old homeowner, nurse Susan Kuhnhausen, returned home from work and found an intruder inside her home. A violent struggle ensued resulting in the death of the intruder, and non-life-threatening injuries to Kuhnhausen.  Kuhnhausen ran to a neighbor’s home and called police. She was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

A day later, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Haffey. The result: not death from the blows of a hammer, as some media had been reporting, but death by strangulation. The Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.

Officer Catherine Kent told us that detectives have determined that Kuhnhausen killed Haffey in self-defense. Investigators now believe that Haffey was in the process of burglarizing the home when Kuhnhausen came home.  Detectives did find property of the victim’s stacked up inside the home.

Detectives do not believe this case will be presented to a Grand Jury; however, investigators and the District Attorney assigned to this investigation are still in the process of reviewing the case.  A final determination will probably be made early next week.

The victim has not made herself available to the media and the 9-1-1 tape will not be available until the final disposition has been reached.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Steve Ober (503) 823-4033 or Detective Rich Austria (503) 823-0449.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Aaarrrr, avast, ye maties! See 1,200 kids and adults having a great time to the tunes of ‘Captain Bogg and Salty’, as a Southeast Portland Summer Reading Program comes to an end ‚Ķ

The turnout to see ‘Captain Bogg and Salty’ at Sellwood Park was even larger than expected by the youth librarians at the Sellwood Library.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The area of Sellwood Park north of the Sellwood Pool started filling with parents and kids long before the band was to take the stage on August 9. It was apparent that word had gotten out that ‘Captain Bogg and Salty’ were set to entertain.

Going backstage to greet Captain Bogg, we were rebuffed. This band dresses, swaggers,  talks — and treats the press! — like pirates. “The Captain is tuning up his voice, best not to bother him,” said First Mate McGraw (Kevin Hendrickson). “Or he may ye walking the plank!”

We settled for an interview with First Mate McGraw, who told us, “We’re a pirate band for all ages. We play many libraries every summer.”

We asked, “Why libraries?”

“Kids need good music, too!” exclaimed Mr. Fillabuster, aka Lucas Haley. “This is the third time they’ve played for Sellwood Library.”

The First Mate added, “Each time we’ve moved to a larger location. Now it looks like there be better than 1,200 young and old buccaneers here!”

Making their eye-patches at the event are Nico, Jake, Owen and Jenna Robertson. Asked why they came, mom Jenna said, “Why do you think? Arrrrr! This is so much fun!”

Reading treasured
Minutes after the very entertaining band started playing, kids were laughing and dancing. We asked Sellwood Children’s Librarian Marcy Davis why the library chose a pirate band to perform at the finale for their Summer Reading Program.

“Pirate-themed movies have caused an upswing in kids looking for pirate books. And we like anything that gets kids to read,” Davis explained. “We love having them perform for our kids. No one gets them having more fun than Captain Bogg and Salty.”

Everyone seems to be have a great time listening to, and watching, the antics of Captain Bogg and Salty’s professionally-performed, yet silly, musical show.

The band, all Portland natives who have played together for seven years, do more than just play songs and make jokes. “They connect kids with the love of books,” Davis explained.

School support for summer reading
Brianne Williams, another staffmember at the Sellwood Library, revealed that 747 kids signed up for the summer reading program at the branch this year. “But this number doesn’t include all the kids who signed up directly at their school,” Williams explained.

For the last few years, she said, the Multnomah County Library system has worked directly with public and private elementary and middle schools to get kids signed up for summer reading before school is out in June.

“For example, the librarian at Llewellyn Elementary, Cheryl McDonald, has worked with teachers to get every single student signed up for summer reading the last two years,” said Williams.

Bogg and band to play Pirate Fest Sept. 23

You have another chance to see this fun group on September 23 ‚Äì but you’ll have to go to St. Johns to see them!

If you missed this event, you can take in a “full day day of piracy,” as First Mate McGraw put it, at Cathedral Park on September 23. “We’ll have The Lynx, a replica pirate ship used in recent motion pictures docked under the bridge.”

Interested? See www.PortlandPirateFestival.com for more information.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

With fun Рnot business Рon their minds, see Gateway business people having fun at an outdoor party featuring – yes – a hat contest …

Arlene Halverson of Sterling Savings Bank is checking in “Not your ordinary bean counter”, GABA member Kevin Minkoff, CPA.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Taking a break from the serious side of business, the Gateway Area Business Association hosted their “summer frolic” a few weeks ago.

The outdoor event, held at 111th Square on NE Halsey St., featured Mexican food, a hat contest, and an arm-wrestling championship.

Jon Turino, Farmer’s Insurance; Kevin Minkoff, CPA; Bill Gates, Parkrose United Methodist Church; Lee Powell, Farmer’s Insurance; and Jeralyn Morgan, Portland Rent-all/Party Place all show off their hats

Hat judges Fred Sanchez of Realty Brokers, Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Guisto, Multnomah County Commissioner Lonnie Roberts, and Oregon State Representative Jeff Merkley all look over the contestants’ entries.

Grand prize sponsor, Craig Mendenhall of American Sani-Can congratulates winner Jeralyn Morgan (her second win, in as many years), with host Fred Sanchez.

The other “business” of the day included arm-wrestling competitions against David Hardy, personal trainer and owner of One-on-One Fitness at 111th Square.

No matter how hard Sheriff Bernie Guisto tried to beat him, David Hardy prevailed during the first contest of strength and skill.

In the second arm-wrestling match-up, Ann Sanchez of Realty Brokers took a surprise win against muscle-man Hardy. We asked Hardy if he “took a dive” ‚Äì but he wasn’t talking ‚Ķ

All in all, the group had a great time. Come meet these folks at the next GABA meeting on September 14 at JJ North’s, 10520 NE Halsey St. Reservations are not needed. For more information, see www.gabanet.com.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton  ~ East PDX News

If you haven’t been in to visit, come to their open house and see why people come to Midland Library for much more than simply to read books ‚Ķ

One of the most recognizable landmarks along 122nd Avenue is Midland Library’s clock tower.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
Come to this “birthday party” and you get the gifts! All the folks at Midland Library hope you’ll drop by to celebrate their tenth year of operation in their “new” building.

Midland’s director, Carolyn Schell, told us that the original library serving outer East Portland was first opened in 1958. “It was three times smaller than this facility,” she said. “In fact, this new building occupies the space once taken up by the old building plus the parking lot.”

At 24,000 square feet, Midland Library is the largest branch of the Multnomah County Library. Customers enjoy its landmark clock tower, and its spacious interior with views of Midland Park.

Midland Library is the third busiest in Multnomah County library system, Schell continued. “We’re celebrating the diversity of the people we serve here through a variety of programs. The library provides free information to everyone in the area. One can get information on all kinds of information, on all kinds of topics. Midland is also a teaching center, including computer classes for adults.”

Come party on September 16
The library’s open house celebrating ten years of service runs from 1 – 5 p.m. on Sept. 16.

A colorful Chinese Lion Dance kicks off the event, followed by Library Director Molly Raphael’s welcome, and a cake-cutting ceremony.

Stay and see multi-cultural performances — including a Vietnamese Dance Team, Ballet Popotle performing Mexican folk dancing, and Americanistan presenting music from the Middle East.

WANT MORE? Read on! There will be crafts during the day, and participants can build their own birdhouse with the Jane’s Park Committee from 1-3 p.m. Refreshments and other activities will also be provided throughout the celebration.

The Midland Library is located at 805 SE 122nd Ave., a block south of SE Stark Street. Midland Park is located behind the library’s parking lot ‚Äì be sure to see the Jane’s Park Group there while you visit. For more information, call the library at (503) 988-5392 or visit the library’s website at www.multcolib.org.

We’ll see you then!

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Getting health care coverage for 117,000 uninsured Oregon children is a top priority, Gov. Ted Kulongoski tells school teachers and administrators …

Student Joana Rodriguez spends a few minutes talking with Gov. Kulongoski before he kicks off the “Covering Kids and Families Back-to-School Campaign” at Helensview School in northeast Portland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
If Gov. Ted Kulongoski has his way, “every child in Oregon will be afforded medical and dental car, whether or not their family can afford insurance”.

This is the message Kulongoski delivered to a receptive group of school administrators and teachers at Helensview School in outer Northeast Portland on August 17.

Warming up the crowd, Kulongoski began, “Here we are, in a school; and to many of us, we realize that summer is passing. While I’m sad summer is about to end, it moves me closer to November 7 [election day]. But we’re here to talk about health care for all children.”

The governor said three major institutions charged with socialization: Families, churches, and schools. When families and churches play less of a role, schools play a larger role, he said.

“Statistically, we have more than 900,000 kids in Oregon under age 19. Over 500,000 of them are in our K-12 educational system. Educators can have an impact on children,” said the Governor.

Kulongoski tells the group, “‚Ķ like the line from the movie, ‘Cool Hand Luke’, ‘we have a failure to communicate’ that health care for kids is available.”

“Of the children in Oregon, 117,000, or about 13% of them under the age of 19, are uninsured. We’re trying to find how to provide health care for them. 60% of them are eligible for the Oregon Health Plan. There are the resources available. But, like the line from the movie, ‘Cool Hand Luke’, ‘we have a failure to communicate’ that health care for kids is available.

“When a youngster has a toothache, he or she can’t concentrate on school. Should they then become really sick, they end up in the emergency room.

“In our next state congressional session, we have scheduled to find ways to have health care for every child, from prenatal until age 19. In most cases, these kids’ parents are working. Their employer does not provide healthcare for them.

“A solution seemed to be a low-cost insurance program for employees. We have the plan, but with the rising cost of health care, it is too expensive for many working families. We will provide a public subsidy to see that they have access to health care.

“I’m committed to school-based health care centers. Some Portland areas centers are open during the evening and weekends.”

Statistics and goals
Kulongoski introduced Ellen Pinney, with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, representing the Oregon Health Action Campaign, who presented data about Oregon’s uninsured.

“Since 2002, the number of uninsured children has increased from 10% to 13%. We have been able to find resources, but many are still not enrolled. Kids are twice as likely not to receive medical care as an adult,” Pinney stated.

Goals she presented included providing kids with a checkup up before school begins; taking care of small medical problems before they become major; and not making families choose between health care and putting food on the table. “Healthy kids learn better,” Pinney concluded.

A school nurse’s view
Bill Tomlinson told how, from his experience as a school nurse for 18 years, young students’ health problems do affect their ability to learn.

There are three main reasons, Tomlinson said, why many families who are eligible don’t enroll in free health care programs. “First, the application and reapplication process is complicated, and requires follow-through. Second, families don’t see kids’ health insurance as a priority. And finally, for recent immigrants, the concept of health insurance is foreign to them.”

The Tomlinson mentioned that Multnomah Educational Service District has two full-time people assigned to enrolling kids in state-sponsored health care plans.

“In Spanish, the word for ‘insurance’ is ‘security’,” Tomlinson concluded.

More comments
After these presentations, representatives from two families told the gathering how much they appreciated having health care provided for them.

The principal of East Gresham Elementary School, Todd Gestrin, claims his school signs up more kids for state-sponsored health insurance than any other Portland-area school.

Last on the program, Todd Gestrin, principal of East Gresham Elementary School addressed the group, “We’ve had the highest enrollment of any school in outer East County. It takes a whole community to take care of kids. When we hold ‘insurance sign-up nights’, we have families who will walk a mile to get there. Health care is not something first-graders can do for themselves.”

Kulongoski concluded the meeting by saying, “Teachers can’t talk about his, but I can. We have suffered from a very difficult time with declining state resources, and employers cutting back on health care. The state is trying to fill the hole.

“In the next legislative session, we have the ability to make a plan to invest in health care for students from preschool through university. See that the legislature makes the investment.

“If you get a good education, you can do anything you want, even become governor.”

To find out more, call 1-877-KIDS-NOW.

It was a media feeding-frenzy after the meeting as several reporters asked the governor to repeat his comments for them in short, easy-to-edit sound bites.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Police say this guy is yet another good example of how
drinking and driving don’t mix ‚Ķ

One wonders how fast this truck must have been going, to do this kind of damage.

It looked like the driver bulldozed through boulders to get his truck firmly wedged into the front of this apartment house in southeast Portland. You can see one boulder behind the passenger-side rear tire.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On a relatively quiet afternoon in southeast Portland, it looked like a fellow tried going into the front door of an apartment, perhaps to lounge in the living room or get a snack in kitchen.

The only problem was – he was still driving his large pickup truck!

Police say they got a call just after 3:00 p.m. about a truck that ran into an apartment building on SE 68th Ave., just south of Foster Road, on August 22.

Police say this man shouldn’t have been behind the wheel of any vehicle — in his condition.

“We’ve arrested 41-year-old Michael Herrin for DWII and Reckless Driving,” an officer on scene tells us. “Driving while intoxicated causes so many problems,” he adds, “I wish people would stop and think before they drink and drive.”

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

As promised, here are more photos of this great annual celebration than you’ll find anywhere else ‚Äì including a pix of Portland Police Bureau Chief Rosie Sizer’s ONLY visit to outer East Portland ‚Ķ

This chalk art welcomed neighbors to a Russell Neighborhood celebration on National Night Out.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
By all measures, the National Night Out for Safety was the best-attended outer East Portland event of its kind since its inception.

Participating groups held street parties, barbecues, parties-in-the-parks, and back yard gatherings.

Group leaders who held “official” events were supplied with packets containing crime prevention tips, safety gadgets and discount coupons from participating restaurants and stores. Local stores also provided prizes, food and supplies for several of the larger events.

Parkrose Heights Association of Neighbors
Oregon Baptist Retirement Homes

Lou Fontana admires some of the 100 vehicles attending their Cruise In. “We chose Saturday, because we wanted more people to attend. We’re expecting about 1,500 guests this year.”

At the grill are the not-so-famous Williams Brothers: Steve and Larry. Steve: “It is fun to see the guests come in and enjoy the hospitality.” Larry: “For a couple of bucks, we’re serving fresh, hot burger meals, right off the grill!”

Band members of “Drawback” rock out at this National Night Out Saturday celebration.

Lents
Reedway Place

Jim Barrett, President of Rose Community Development, and Nick Sauvie, ROSE director, welcome neighbors to their July 29 event. “ROSE Community Development is holding this block party at our Lents project. We look at this is a good way to build community and reduce crime,” Savuie says.

Organizers say 200 people came to immerse themselves in community – and partake of great food.

Mill Park
14000 Block of S.E. Taylor St.

July 29 event organizer Larry Markham and Duane Sanger are cooking up a feast for their street-party pot-luck dinner. “It’s important to get the neighbors together,” Sanger says. “When you get to know each other, you tend to look out for each other. It is a good thing.”

The folks on this Mill Park street enjoyed a relaxed afternoon of good food and conversation.

Parkrose Heights Association of Neighbors
Knott Park

Hoisting up the banner, and welcoming neighbors as they kick off their association-sponsored Night Out in Knott Park, are Mike Brown, James Woods and Allison Newman-Woods.

Some of the fun to be had in Knott Park included the fun and sillyness of our favorite East Portland clown, Steevie Weevie. Here, Jacob Brown gets a balloon hat from Steevie.

Mill Park
SE 114th Ave at Yamhill St.

In the foreground, you can see Carl Moody grilling up chicken for 200!  Standing behind him, organizer Todd Baker says they’re enjoying sidewalk chalk, a raffle, and other fun. Yes, htere was all this, plus, lots and lots of good food! By the way, the chicken was smothered in “Moody’s Madness” ‚Äì a locally made product. We are sorry we have to move on to other National Night Out parties — we’re told this was a great one!

Centennial
Parklane Park

Friends and neighbors gather in Centennial as their National Night Out gets started.

Patty Hicks, Multnomah County Commissioner Lonnie Roberts and the Clemensons enjoy the beautiful evening in Parklane Park.

Wilkes/Russell
Wilkes Park

Wilkes and Russell neighborhoods band together to put on this premier Night Out celebration.

Wilkes Community Group Chair Ross Monn tell us, “Thanks to the help of our volunteers we’ve planned for a picnic for 300 people. And they all came! We’re giving away both children’s and adult’s door prizes.”

Cooking up sizzling burgers in Wilkes Park are volunteers Paul Capell, Rod Martin, and Bob Larsen.

Glenfair
GlenFair Park

Neighborhood chair Stephen Jenkevice welcomes 200 neighbors for an evening of fun, games – and yes, lots of great pizza.

Lotty Dotty was busy squeaking up balloons, including the sword for Timothy Holten.

Community Center
East Portland Community Center

Growing their celebration, this is their second annual event.  Here, staff member Jennie Birt gives a beauty makeover to Ryan Hodge. Hat and button making, fun with the library folks, and games added to the merriment.

Woodland Park
NE 101st Ave at Bell St.

Officer Jeff Dorn introduces Ranger, a 2¬? year old German Shepherd — the newest member to Portland Police Bureau’s K9 team.

Grillmaster Glen Heiner cooks up great grub for everyone who came by their celebration in Woodland Park. Organizer Laura Heiner tells us, “As a mom of four children, I want to do all I can to increase safety in our street.”

Parkrose
NE 113th Ave. near Freemont St.

Officer Searle on rides Jack, and Officer Pashley rides Norman, as they visit the celebration organized by Nancy Boxell. She says, “In the last year, we helped other drug people move out; stopped car prowls, burglary, and mail theft thanks to our phone tree. We have ‘night out for safety’ all year long!”

Crews from Portland Fire & Rescue came by to meet and greet people at nearly all of the Night Out celebrations — just as they do here in Parkrose.

Argay
Argay Park

Police Chief Rosie Sizer came to visit Argay’s celebration. She tells us, “This is my fifth party tonight. This event provides a platform for the community and the cops to talk to one another. It allows us to connect on a human level. Community-oriented policing is a cornerstone of my administration. I’m glad to be here!”

It didn’t take long for the TV cameras to appear and for reporters to interview Chief Sizer.

Organizer Valerie Curry works the ice cream stand. Her event attracted 250 neighbors.

Little Kyan Avery is shucking some great Rossi Sweet Corn that Rossi Farms donated, cooked, and served to hundreds of party-goers.

Rocking riffs provided by The Kooltones kept the celebration rocking.

Mill Park
SE 117th and Washington St

Organizer Nicole Barlow gives Julie Frangipani a Night Out for Safety packet. Barlow tells us, “This was my first time in charge. I’m pleased we had 20 people join in our potluck dinner. I do believe this event helps get crime off the street, so we can take our neighborhood back.”

Hazelwood
Along NE 134th Ave.

Pat Webster organized this neighborhood picnic. “We had a potluck dinner and dessert. We’re glad we can get together. NRT Officer Michael Gallagher snapped this photo for us.

Russell
12500 block of NE Knott Street

Charlotte Weeks, Marjorie Lusby and Kelli Davison smile at the success of the first Night Out in a long time for this Russell neighborhood. Lusby says, “”We’re delighted that fifteen families came by to join us. Next year, I’ll bet we have even more.

Lents
Lents Park

“We’ve stuck to what works for us,” says organizer Judy Welch. “Our ice cream social attracted more folks than ever!” Judging by the empty tubs of ice cream, it looks like dozens of neighbors had a great time.

Will we see you next year at a National Night Out for Safety?

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

1,500 hot dogs later, another great Lents Founder’s Day celebration comes to a close. See our exclusive story, told in photographs ‚Ķ

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
One of the great things about Portland is all the different ways neighborhoods celebrate. The big party in Lents takes place in mid-August every year.

See for yourself what goes into making a great Lents Founder’s Day celebration:

Lents Softball Challenge

When the dust settled, at the August 19 Lents Softball Challenge, the final score was 16 points for the City Stickers vs. 20 points for the Lents Rebels (pictured here), after six innings of regulation play.

The City Stickers, a team made up of players associated with the City of Portland, played hard, and took the lead early in the game, but lost to the intrepid Lents Rebels.

Ken Turner, manager of Eastport Plaza and long-time Lents area booster, pitches a winning game for the Lents Rebels.

Sliding into home base, scoring another run for the Lents Rebels, is Tisha Henderson.

Lents Founders Day Parade

Everyone loves a parade, including the Lents Founder’s Day Parade on August 20. It starts out at the Wattles Boys and Girls Club and encircles Lents Park.

Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams is warmly greeted by neighbors as he, once again, marches in this parade. Sam looks like he’s doing a good job “holding up his end” for the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association.

Lents Founder’s Day Celebration

Ray Hites, putting up his extensive Lents Historical Exhibit. Look for your opportunity to see this exhibit if you seek a great pictorial history of Lents.

After the parade, East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs talks with Robert Ross, a veteran of WWII, and his daughter Judy Welch, former chair of the Lents Neighborhood Association.

Over the years, this family ‚Äì Kathryn Lansing, John Lansing, Angela Lansing, Mary Lansing, Mark Urell, and Cindy Lansing ‚Äì have quenched the thirst of hundreds of Founder’s Day Celebration goers, giving away gallons of delicious, ice-cold Lents Lansing Linoleum Lemonade.

Among the volunteers serving up some of the 1,500 hot dogs that the New Copper Penny restaurant donated – cooked, hot, and ready-to-enjoy – are Gerardo Ambries, Aida Velazquez, Maria Ambries, and Adrian Ambries. This soon-to-be-satisfied guest is Gene Woodberry.

Knights of Pythias member, and volunteer, John Murchison fits Daniel Oliver with a new bike helmet.

Filling Lents Park with swinging big-band music is the Providence Stage Band, under the baton of Larry Morrell, conductor.

Backed up by the Providence Stage Band, Maria Blum belts out a happy tune on a hot day. Or, was it a hot tune on a happy day?

Congratulations, Lents, on producing another fine celebration!

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Do you know these punks?  Turn them in and get $1,000 ‚Ķ

Parkrose High School principal Roy Reynolds says he’s pretty sure these two fellows aren’t students. He is sure that their midnight target-practice session cost the school thousands of dollars.

UPDATE: On Thursday, August 31 at 12:35 p.m,  Portland Police East Precinct detectives arrested 15-year-old Aaron Kinsey on one count of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree in connection with the August 11 vandalism at Parkrose High School.  Kinsey was taken into custody in the 4500 block of NE 111th Ave. and was lodged into the Multnomah County Juvenile Detention Center.

Story by David F. Ashton
Many positive things have happened since Roy Reynolds came to Parkrose High School a couple of years ago: Grades are up, attendance is better, vandalism is way down.

Reynolds gives the credit to the staff and great students who “come here to learn. This includes learning to really care about the school.”

Talking about the new school year about to start, Reynolds looks confident and enthusiastic as he tells us how the staff is getting ready for another great year at the home of the Broncos.

“But, I’ve got to tell you, David,” Reynolds says, with a serious expression, “Walking around, seeing the damage these guys did, it’s a bummer.”

Smashing spree
On August 11 at 2:16 a.m., Portland Police discovered windows of the high school, along with several outbuildings, were vandalized.

The school’s surveillance cameras recorded the suspects shooting at the windows with an unknown type weapon, possibly a BB gun or .22cal handgun, throwing rocks and eventually throwing a log through the window.  The suspects were caught on tape “celebrating” and laughing as they committed over $5,000 damage to the school.

Police describe “Suspect #1” is described as black male teenager wearing a black “skull cap”, a white long sleeve hoodie sweatshirt under a black t-shirt, baggy jean shorts, and white tennis shoes with dark laces.

They say “Suspect #2” is described as a white or Hispanic teenager, wearing a dark colored hoodie sweatshirt, dark baggy shorts, and dark tennis shoes.

Drain on school resources
“This damage just diverts resources away from programs that benefit our students,” Reynolds tells us, “into needlessly replacing windows We’ve carefully looked at the photos, and, at this time, we don’t believe either one of these guys are Parkrose students.”

Finger the punks, get a grand
Got information? Give Detective Scott Pitton, Portland Police Bureau at (503) 823-4802.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in this case, or any unsolved felony, and you remain anonymous.

Call Crime Stoppers at (503) 823-HELP (4357). The Case number is “06-26 HIGH SCHOOL VANDALISM”.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Still going strong after five decades, this church proves it has staying power …

On August 13, Senior Pastor Gary Lay, and his wife Tammy, led the congregation in a celebration of 50 years of service to the community at the Mill Park Baptist Church.

“It all started on July 29, 1956,” Lay said, “and we hope to serve the Mill Park Community for another half-century.”

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Known world-wide as Portland’s place for tranquility and meditation, see why The Grotto was cleared by police and remained closed for a day ‚Ķ

As many as 30 Portland Police Bureau officers cordoned off a large area around The Grotto, searching for a man said to be carrying a weapon.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
One vehicle after another was turned away from The Grotto on August 18.

“Why are they closed?” asked the driver of a passenger-filled mini-van with Idaho license plates.

“There is a police action in the area, sir,” responded East Precinct’s Officer Shadron, his patrol car parked blocking NE Skidmore St. at Sandy Blvd.

Disturbed man disrupts gift shop
The afternoon-long police action started in a nearby home and moved to The Grotto’s gift shop.

“I had just started celebrating Mass when this took place,” said Father Jack Topper, the executive director of the facility. “A woman came into our gift shop, our employees told me. They said a man followed her in and was shouting at her. It was more of a verbal abuse thing. Our employee called the police and he took off.”

Father Jack Topper, executive director of The Grotto, tells news reporters that the only previous time the grounds have been shut down was during severe weather.

Topper said he didn’t know whether or not the man was brandishing a weapon. “I did see the woman in our parking lot. She was upset, and said she was sad that this situation was causing a problem.”

Dragnet for suspect begins

As officers fan out around The Grotto searching for suspect Robert Wimbish, Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs talks with his officers as they plan their next step.

“It started as a domestic violence call off NE Skidmore,” was the word from Sgt. Brian Schmautz, spokesman for Portland Police Bureau. “The victim knew a suspect who showed up today, identified as 35-year-old Robert Wimbish. From what we’ve learned, he’s acting angry delusional, and perhaps has some mental health issues. We understand he hasn’t slept in days, and he’s been using controlled substances for quite some time.”

Police say this man, Robert Wimbish, threatened a woman in The Grotto’s gift shop. Their concern: he may have had a weapon with him.

Schmautz said, the while they hadn’t seen a weapon, the victim told police that Wimbish did have a weapon with him. “We’re trying to isolate where he is, and if he is a danger to himself or anyone.”

After several hours, the Portland Police SERT team was brought in to search a house in which officers suspected Wimbish was hiding.

Watchfully waiting
“I’ve seen several younger men coming and going,” is what across-the-street neighbor Jay Cowan told us. “This person looked like an older man than the others. There haven’t been any problems at the house that I’ve seen.”

When asked why the police hadn’t stormed the home where they thought Wimbish might be hiding out, Schmautz said, “It is her house. We don’t know if he is in there. Right now, we don’t know whether going in will help or hurt the situation.”

Taking no chances, SERT officers hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Officers from the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) assembled as their armored vehicle arrived. They approached the house, and then made entry.

Minutes later, Schmutze told us, “SERT has cleared the victim’s home and confirmed that the suspect has left the immediate area. Officers did seize one long-barreled firearm.” He added that Wimbish is currently wanted on a Multnomah County warrant, and faces additional charges because of this incident.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

In addition to growing 215 marijuana plants, officials say someone was stealing electricity to run the grow operation …

As firefighters clean up after putting out the blaze, police investigators move in to investigate this home they call a “pot factory”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The ranch-styled home, located in the southern Centennial Neighborhood at 3432 Southeast 156th Ave., looked like a typical, middle-class dwelling.

“No I didn’t suspect anything,” said across-the-street neighbor Ron Taylor. “Normally you’d like having quiet neighbors. It didn’t seem lived-in. We thought it might be an ‘investment’ home.”

Neighbor Ron Taylor said he didn’t suspect anything going on in the burned home, seen behind him.

Taylor said people would come and go once or twice a week. They’d take care of the front yard, come in and out the front door.

“Other than that, nothing seemed unusual,” Taylor told us, “until last night. My wife and I smelled some smoke. We attributed it to the Mt. Hood fires. It smelled like ‘old’ smoke.”

Pot farm afire
Fire officials suspect what Taylor and his neighbors smelled was overheating wiring or transformers in the structure. “But, we can’t be sure until the fire investigators have completed their work,” Lt. Allen Oswalt told us on-scene.

“When we got here, it was all fire and smoke,” Oswalt recounted. “We attacked the fire by going inside. In the dark and smoke, firefighters saw the pot growing operation, and became suspicious of booby traps. They pulled out.”

While the he Portland Police Explosive Unit was in route, firefighters continued to knock down the fire from the outside. No booby traps were located.

Lt. Allen Oswalt looks at some of the extensive damage at the rear of the home.

“It took only 10 minutes to actually put out the fire,” Oswalt continued. “The fire had a significant pre-burn time. There is deep charring through support beams in the attic. There isn’t much wood left in several of the support beams; the roof is sagging.”

Two rear bedrooms and the garage were dedicated to the marijuana-growing operation, according to Oswalt. “The way the bedrooms were set up ‚Äì there are no beds ‚Äì it makes it unlikely people were living here. There was some living room furniture and a TV.”

An fire investigator makes his way into the garage, filled with what police say are pot plants, lights, and a tangle of electrical cords.

Stealing juice
Firefighters noted the “creative electrical wiring ‚Äì large power cords that snaked through the home from the garage. When a crew from Portland General Electric was called in to shut off the power, they noticed thick electrical cables going out a side door, and into the ground.

Here’s some of the “creative wiring” uncovered by PGE workers. Someone tapped the home’s main power supply before it got to the meter.

“Theft of service is a crime,” Portland Police’s Sgt. Brian Schmutz told us. “Depending on the dollar value of the power taken, it could be prosecuted as a Class B Felony.”

Here are some of the more than 200 pot plants which fire and police officials found growing in this suburban home.

The final plant count for marijuana growing operation was 215 plants, according to police officials.  Investigators have no suspects in custody, and are not releasing suspect information.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

© 2005-2019 David F. Ashton East PDX News™. All Rights Reserved.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial