News Stories Tue., Mar. 6, 2018

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed into law a bill that bars convicted domestic abusers and people under restraining orders from buying or owning guns and ammunition. Brown signed the bill, which expands an existing law to add more people to the ban, on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol as several hundred onlookers cheered. Among them were high school students who had come to press for school safety and to meet with the Democratic governor.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have signed a second cooperative agreement as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. The tribe was one of the first to benefit from the program. During the Obama administration, the equivalent of 10,172 acres was restored to tribal ownership in Oregon, with individual Indian landowners receiving more than $12.4 million for their fractional interests, according to data from the Department of the Interior. The Trump administration is now prepared to give the tribe another go. As part of the new agreement, outreach meetings are being held in March to inform landowners about the program.

Madras senior Lynden Harry has been voted Tri-Valley Conference girls basketball player of the year, receiving the honor for the third straight season. The White Buffaloes’ Zach Lillebo was named coach of the year, while Madras senior Kaliyah Iverson joined Harry on the all-TVC first team. Also for Madras, sophomore Jiana Smith-Francis and freshman Jayden Davis were voted to the second team, and senior Alesha Freeman and junior Vanessa Culps received honorable mention. For the boys, Madras senior Kanim Smith III and junior teammate Byron Patt have been selected to the Tri-Valley Conference boys basketball first team. Senior Tyler Lockey was voted to the all-TVC second team.

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature approved $39 million in bonds for construction of a second academic building at the Oregon State University campus in Bend. The House and Senate both overwhelmingly approved the measure and Gov. Kate Brown has said she will sign it into law. Republican Sen. Tim Knopp of Bend thanked the governor for her leadership on the issue, telling The Bulletin newspaper it’s important to give credit where credit is due. Knopp says the money will allow OSU-Cascades to keep pace with its plans to expand with the rapidly growing Central Oregon population.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has handed a defeat to tribal members who say a sacred site was destroyed to expand a highway near Mount Hood. The elders from the Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde claim the Federal Highway Administration violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They said the government in 2008 could have widened the road without bulldozing a site that included a stone altar and medicinal plants. But Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You ruled that tribal members failed to show that the project substantially burdened their right to practice religion. Transportation officials widened Highway 26 after receiving complaints about a dangerous stretch east of Portland. Tribal leaders said in a statement Monday they plan to appeal.