News Stories Tue., Jan. 23, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 64-year-old Oregon woman was sentenced Monday in a federal embezzlement case that accused her of stealing nearly $300,000 from an Alaska tribal organization. Federal prosecutors say Delia Commander of The Dalles, Oregon, will serve 18 months after pleading guilty to one count of embezzlement from an Indian tribal organization in connection with the theft at the Skagway Traditional Council. Prosecutors say the embezzlement occurred between at least 2010 and 2014 when Commander was the council’s tribal administrator. Prosecutors say the embezzlement was discovered after she resigned in 2014. Prosecutors say Commander used the tribal credit card for unauthorized uses, including paying for online university courses, personal credit card bills and a Hawaii trip for her and a relative.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Senate President Peter Courtney has repeatedly blocked a bill that would permit Oregon to give all seven of its Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote during presidential elections. But that is poised to change at next month’s legislative session. Courtney has said he would allow the Senate to vote on a popular-vote bill only if Oregon voters have the final say on the matter. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that a bill introduced Monday satisfies that demand. If passed next month, Senate Bill 1512 would send the popular-vote question to Oregon voters for their approval or rejection.

Many people incorrectly believe homelessness means living on the streets. But, being homeless really means that a person does not have a stable, safe and secure place to live. This can be doubling up, living in hotels or motels, camping, residing in shelters, living out of camp trailers and vehicles, temporarily staying with family or friends, being a runaway or fleeing from domestic violence. The annual Point in Time Survey and Homeless Count happens every January around the country to get accurate counts of homeless populations. The information from the count can be used to help provide services for homeless people and track trends in homelessness. The count is done nationwide and the data submitted to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The count in Warm Springs is this Friday. Folks can go to the Family Resource Center between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm and take a one-page survey. There will be light meals served at noon and 5:00, information available, incentives and free clothing and warm weather items.

Oregon voters have until 8:00 this evening to cast ballots in the special election over Measure 101. The federal government is reducing payments for Medicaid. This effectively forces Oregon to either find a new way to pay to cover people who received insurance when President Obama expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act, or make some poorer Oregonians find health insurance elsewhere. Last summer, the Oregon Legislature passed a package of tax and fee increases to cover the gap in funding. A yes vote on Measure 101 would maintain those taxes and fees. A “no” vote on Measure 101 would eliminate two parts of that: a 0.7 percent increase to an existing tax on hospitals and a 1.5 percent tax on health insurance contracts. If the measure fails, legislators will have to get together in February to develop a new way to pay for expanded Medicaid. If you are still holding on to your ballot, please fill it out and take it to a drop box by 8:00 tonight.

Madras High School Freshman, JV & Varsity Girls’ Basketball are hosting Gladstone today – game times are 4:00, 5:30 and 7:00 pm. The boys’ teams travel to Gladstone.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A powerful earthquake struck off an island in the Gulf of Alaska, prompting a tsunami threat that sent the state’s residents along the southern coast and western Canada fleeing for higher ground just after midnight Tuesday. After a few intense hours, the tsunami warning was canceled, allowing people to return home from shelters. There were no immediate reports of damage, not even on Kodiak Island, the closest land to the epicenter of the magnitude 7.9 quake. Elsewhere in the United States, Washington state, Oregon, California and Hawaii were under tsunami watches, which eventually were lifted. Officials in Japan say there was no tsunami threat there.