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Salem City Council bans carryout plastic bags in city

The Salem City Council has banned plastic carryout bags throughout the city.

The Statesman Journal reports shoppers will need to bring reusable bags to the store or pay a small fee for recyclable paper bags next year under the ban approved Monday.

The measure gives large stores such as Costco until April to comply while smaller businesses will have until September to follow the rules.

Some businesses can request an extension in certain circumstances.

Stores will still be able to supply customers with plastic bags used for items such as meats, vegetables, fruit and pharmacy prescriptions.

Salem has joined cities such as Corvallis, McMinnville and Portland, which have enacted similar bans in recent years.


Man sent to prison for financing homes used to grow pot

A man who fled to China as police five years ago moved to shutter illegal marijuana grows at seven homes he owned in Portland has been sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 65-year-old Yim Sun Chan pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and was sentenced Tuesday.

Chan paid cash for the homes and had accomplices modify them so the entire square footage could be used to grow pot, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kemp Strickland.

The case grew out of a Portland police investigation of Forest Grove-based Portland Garden Supply, which supplied indoor marijuana growing equipment to customers.

Police say the company operated as a front for the illegal marijuana enterprise.

Through a Cantonese interpreter, Chan told the judge he knew he was wrong and expressed regret.


Man indicted on manslaughter, DUI charge in pedestrian death

A 23-year-old man has been indicted on manslaughter and DUI charges related to the death of a pedestrian in North Portland.

Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill says Calum Breitenberg appeared in court Tuesday for an arraignment on the grand jury indictment.

A plea of not guilty was entered on Breitenberg’s behalf.

Jason Burns was collecting bottles and cans on November 15 when Breitenberg drove his vehicle at a high rate of speed and crashed it into a parked Honda Civic.

Underhill says the impact pushed the Honda onto the sidewalk while Breitenberg’s vehicle spun out of control and struck Burns.

Burns was hospitalized by later died of his injures.

Underhill says Breitenberg as intoxicated at the time of the crash. His next court date is Jan. 7.


Meningococcal disease outbreak over at Oregon State

An outbreak of meningococcal disease at Oregon State University is officially over.

The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports the university recorded five cases of the same strain of the potentially deadly disease over a 12-month span beginning in November 2016.

(A sixth case was initially reported as strain B, the same as the other cases, but further testing showed it to be a different genotype and therefore unrelated.)

The disease primarily afflicts young people, often in congregate living facilities such as dorms and fraternity houses.

As of Friday, a full year had passed since the last related case was diagnosed, meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for determining the outbreak had ended and allowing local public health officials to declare victory.

All of the Oregon State students infected with the disease have made full recoveries.