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School Cancels Dance Over 'Unsafe' Dirty Dancing

'It's over the top, sexual,' says a district spokesperson

(Newser) - Administrators at a Portland, Oregon, high school have canceled an upcoming winter dance because of concerns about dirty dancing. A Portland Public Schools official says dancing has made some students at Cleveland High School feel unsafe. "This is way worse than dirty dancing. It's over the top, sexual... More »

Pharmacists Will Prescribe Birth Control in 2 States

Women in California and Oregon just have to undergo a quick screening

(Newser) - More than half of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the US each year are unplanned, according to the Guttmacher Institute . Oregon and California policymakers are trying to buck that trend with what the New York Times calls "groundbreaking" new laws that would allow birth control to be doled... More »

Oregon Teen Is Latest Plague Victim

That brings the total to 16 cases in the US this year

(Newser) - A teen in Oregon is the 16th person in the US to contract the bubonic plague this year. The girl fell ill on Oct. 21 while on a hunting trip in Morrow County and was hospitalized a few days later, officials say, adding she likely acquired the infectious disease "... More »

Overdue Books Finally Returned 52 Years Later

'I'll let you decide their fate now'

(Newser) - Portland State University librarians in Oregon finally got their hands on two overdue books—half a century after they were checked out. The Oregonian reports that someone put two books checked out in 1963 for a high-school speech class into a book drop, accompanied by an anonymous, handwritten note. The... More »

Oregon Shooting 'Lucky One' Gives Details of Massacre

Mathew Downing describes how it unfolded

(Newser) - The 18-year-old college student singled out by the shooter as the "lucky one" to survive and deliver a package to law enforcement has told his story for the first time about the massacre in Roseburg, Oregon. In a written statement that was the most detailed account thus far of... More »

Cops Foot Bill for Ore. Shooting Victim's Family

They were notifying victims' families, discovered one had water shut off

(Newser) - One small piece of kindness came out of the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon: Given the awful task of notifying victims' families that their loved ones had been killed, two Jackson County deputies discovered that one student's family had recently had their water shut off over an... More »

Portland Thieves Take Off With Tofu Truck

Vehicle was eventually found—but not the tofu or organic juice that was inside

(Newser) - In what could be the most Portland crime ever, the hapless driver of a refrigerated truck for a Seattle natural-foods wholesaler reported his tofu-laden vehicle stolen Tuesday, the Oregonian reports. The driver made a morning stop at a Safeway, but came back out after 20 minutes or so to find... More »

Carson Scoffs at 'Silliness' Over Ore. Shooting Comments

Says he wasn't judging victims' actions, just looking at the 'big picture'

(Newser) - Ben Carson is doubling down after catching flak for comments he made about gun control after last week's UCC shooting in Oregon . Reaction to the ensuing hubbub:
  • In a Facebook Q&A Monday, Carson said, "There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking—but I never
... More »

Oregon Shooter's Mom Boasted About Guns

She spoke about open-carry laws, Asperger's on social media

(Newser) - Laurel Harper boasted online about having guns for protection, but it was her son who turned out to be the most dangerous person in the community. In social media postings, mostly on Yahoo Answers, Christopher Harper-Mercer's mother, a nurse, doled out medical advice, as well as spoke about guns... More »

Petition: Give Shooting Hero Highest Honor

Thousands want to see Chris Mintz get Medal of Freedom

(Newser) - Thousands of Americans say the hero of the Oregon school shooting should be awarded the highest possible honor for a civilian: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A petition on the White House's We the People site describes Chris Mintz as one who "continues to display the values of... More »

Oregon Gunman Gave 'Lucky One' a Message

Christopher Harper-Mercer handed over an envelope, parents say

(Newser) - Details are emerging on the grisly mass murder at an Oregon college—including reports that the shooter gave one "lucky" student a message for authorities before killing nine people and taking his own life , reports the AP . Gunman Christopher Harper-Mercer handed over an envelope and said that student "... More »

Obama on Oregon Shooting: 'I Will Politicize It'

'Our inaction is a political decision that we are making'

(Newser) - President Barack Obama says opponents of gun control laws know how to stir up fear and scare politicians. At a news conference Friday, Obama lamented the inability to pass stricter gun laws even after incidents such as the shooting Thursday at an Oregon community college that killed nine people. He... More »

Veteran Charged Oregon Shooter, Was Shot 5 Times

Chris Mintz, 30, now in stable condition after surgery

(Newser) - A sheriff is refusing to speak the name of Oregon school shooter Chris Harper Mercer, but this name does deserve to be spoken: Chris Mintz. Family members say the 30-year-old Army veteran and second-year student at Umpqua Community College charged Mercer in an attempt to protect others, was shot at... More »

An Emotional Obama Responds to Today's School Shooting

He's now made 15 statements on mass shootings since taking office

(Newser) - A visibly frustrated President Barack Obama said Thursday that thoughts and prayers are no longer enough as Americans respond to another deadly school shooting , and he challenged voters wanting to deal with the problem to vote for elected officials who will do something. Obama addressed the nation from the White... More »

Suspected School Shooter: 'This Is the Only Time I'll Be in the News'

20-year-old male exchanged gunfire with police, authorities say

(Newser) - The gunman in Thursday's shooting at an Oregon community college was a 20-year-old male, Gov. Kate Brown said at a press conference broadcast by KOIN . Police and the superintendent of the state also said the gunman exchanged gunfire with police and that he is dead, though it was not... More »

Stories of Horror From Today's School Shooting

Shooter apparently asked students to state religion before firing

(Newser) - Horrific stories are trickling out from inside Thursday's mass shooting at an Oregon community college:
  • Student Kendra Gordon tells Fox News she was in a classroom next to on where the gunman was shooting. "I was sitting in class when we had first heard the shot. And we
... More »

Bakery Owners Won't Pay Gay Couple $135K for Cake Refusal

Claim it would cause 'financial ruin,' despite at least $515K raised via crowdfunding

(Newser) - A couple ordered by the state of Oregon to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple they refused to make a wedding cake for won't pay up—despite the fact that more than half a million dollars has been raised for them via crowdfunding, the Oregonian reports.... More »

Pot Is Now Legal, Tax-Free in Oregon

Dispensaries opened doors at midnight

(Newser) - Oregon marijuana shops began selling marijuana Thursday for the first time to recreational users, marking a big day for the budding pot industry. Some of the more than 250 dispensaries that already offer medical marijuana in Oregon opened their doors soon after midnight—just moments after it became legal to... More »

John Walsh Helps Find 'One of My Most Wanted Guys'

Fugitive was on the lam for nearly 25 years

(Newser) - A man wanted for a quarter-century for the rape and torture of two women is finally back in police custody. Some 24 years ago, brothers Paul Erven Jackson and Vance Roberts were accused of kidnapping, raping, and torturing at least two prostitutes in Roberts' home in Hillsboro, Ore., where police... More »

Couple Fighting With Verizon Over $2M Bill

Verizon blames glitch, but pair's mortgage company won't sign off on a loan

(Newser) - Nobody likes dealing with bills. Especially really big, incorrect bills. But one couple in Oregon is facing not just a comically large cell phone bill—$2 million for one month of service—but the urgent need to take care of it so that they can qualify for the mortgage on... More »

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