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06/08/03

OREGON Suspect in Phoenix killing arrested by U.S. marshals

MEDFORD -- A suspect in the 2001 murder of a Phoenix, Ore., teenager was arrested in San Diego as he attempted to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico.

Miguel Avendano Velazquez, 19, was arrested Thursday by U.S. marshals, and his wife, Yvonne Torres, 23, was taken into custody as a material witness in Medford the same day, Jackson County sheriff's Capt. Joe Puckett said.

Investigators think Velazquez and another man, Gerardo Martinez Galvan, 24, killed Victor Joel Cruz, 18. Cruz was found shot to death Sept. 23, 2001, in his family's car.

Galvan left for Mexico immediately after the killing but returned to Medford in December 2002 and was arrested, Puckett said. Galvan is awaiting a September trial in Jackson County Court.

Velazquez, who also is a Mexican citizen, fled to Tijuana shortly after Galvan was arrested, Puckett said. Velazquez was lodged in the San Diego County Jail, where he is awaiting extradition to Oregon. Inmate with hepatitis who led lawsuit against state dies

EUGENE -- An Oregon inmate with hepatitis who was a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Corrections has died of complications from the disease.

Rodger Anstett, who contracted hepatitis C before he went to prison, alleged in the 2001 lawsuit that he and other inmates were not properly tested and treated for the potentially fatal disease. Anstett, 52, died Wednesday.

Ten other inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary were also lead plaintiffs in the federal class-action lawsuit, and 400 more contacted attorney Michelle Burrows after learning about it. Anstett requested antiviral medication during his 10 years in prison but only received it six months before his release, Burrows said.

In Oregon, about 2,300 inmates -- or 30 percent -- are known to have chronic hepatitis. Oregon prisons strengthened their screening of new inmates in 2001.

Burrows said the lawsuit, which seeks $17.5 million, will continue. Warm Springs tribal leaders say 2000 Census missed 800 The 2000 Census may have missed as many as 800 people on the Warm Springs Reservation, about 20 percent of the population, tribal officials say.

According to their estimates, the census missed 482 Native Americans and 300 or so non-Native Americans living on the reservation.

The tribes plan their own door-to-door census later this summer or next fall. They hope the results will persuade the federal government to increase grants for everything from housing to health care.

The problem is not unique to the Warm Springs, one of nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon. At least 128 other tribes across the West claim they were undercounted in the census, said demographer Rick Anderson of Tribal Data Resources, a Redding, Calif., company helping tribes challenge census results.

The 2000 Census put the population on the 647,000-acre reservation of high desert at 3,334 people, of whom 3,018 indicated they are Native Americans. According to tribal registries, 3,522 tribal members live on the reservation, said Carla Greene, enrollment officer in the tribe's office of vital statistics. Fern Ridge Lake's full now but faces drawdown until '06

ALVADORE -- The popular Fern Ridge Lake west of Eugene is full, but after the annual Labor Day drawdown it could be kept dry until summer 2006.

"It could be longer," said Mark Dasso of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, project manager of an investigation into the 62-year-old dam's failing drainage system.

When the lake is refilled depends on when repairs to the dam are complete, and that depends on whether the Corps of Engineers can secure up to $6.8 million from Congress.

The dam was built for flood control, but if it can't hold water it could mean severe downstream flooding near Veneta and Monroe and possibly beyond. Crook County panel gives preliminary OK to resort

PRINEVILLE -- A Crook County planning commission has given preliminary approval to a Central Oregon resort on an 1,800-acre site 19 miles southwest of Prineville.

The resort will include 900 housing units, a $7 million 18-hole golf course and swimming, tennis and equestrian facilities. It will be owned and operated by Eagle Crest, a subsidiary of Klamath Falls-based Jeld-Wen, which has a resort near Redmond.

The panel's decision can be appealed until June 16 by anyone who submitted testimony during the comment period. Activist protests goldfish use in university's art exhibit

ASHLAND -- An art exhibit at Southern Oregon University that incorporates live goldfish has drawn allegations of torture from animal-rights activists.

The installation at the Schneider Museum of Art by adjunct professor Shawn Busse features concrete pillars holding up nine half-gallon fishbowls, each holding black pebbles, plastic ferns and goldfish.

But when animal activist Barbara Rosen went to see the exhibit, several of the goldfish were floating belly-up in their bowls. Since then, Rosen has been protesting the exhibit daily, standing in front of the student union with a sign that reads: "Stop the Animal Torture." She said she has gathered more than 120 signatures on a petition to ban the use of live animals in campus art exhibits.

The artist said his exhibition touches on the themes of threat and danger inherent in modern life, but the death of the fish was never intended. He said he has taken steps to improve the fish survival rate.

Miles Inada, chairman of the college's art department, said he won't change policies regarding what can be used in exhibits. "I think it's an issue that each artist has to address themselves." Salem teen dies after train, unable to stop, strikes him

SALEM -- A Salem teenager was killed by a train after falling asleep or passing out on the tracks, a police spokesman said.

Chris Newton, 18, died early Thursday when a southbound Union Pacific train hit him as it passed through town, Salem police Lt. Bill Kohlmeyer said. An engineer saw Newton lying on the tracks but couldn't stop in time.

Newton had been drinking with friends under the railroad tracks earlier and decided to walk home, Kohlmeyer said.

He was the 25th person to die in the Salem rail corridor since 1993. Death of man being booked into jail in Salem is a mystery

SALEM -- A man arrested on charges of criminal mischief and disorderly conduct died after he stopped breathing while restrained in a chair at the Marion County Jail, officials said.

John Joseph Courchesne, 39, stopped breathing shortly after 11:10 p.m. on May 31 as deputies began booking him into the jail, Sheriff Raul Ramirez said Friday.

Paramedics revived him, and he was taken to Salem Hospital, where he died about 4:40 p.m. June 1, Ramirez said. The sheriff called the weeklong delay in releasing news of Courchesne's death "an oversight" for which he accepted responsibility.

An autopsy conducted Monday was unable to determine the cause of death. More tests are planned and results are expected within five weeks.

The Marion County district attorney's office will review all final reports released.



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