The Latest

Opponents to sue over Monsanto alfalfa crop

thelatestA national food safety group is gearing up to sue the federal government over the controversial practice of planting genetically modified alfalfa seeds. Farmers are following the issue with great interest in Oregon, where alfalfa is a $175 million crop.

Bills target initiatives, campaign finance

thelatestThe house rules committee will hold a hearing next Monday on two bills that seek to improve Oregon's initiative process and provide more transparency to political contributions.

University reform gains momentum

thelatestThe latest stop on the campaign trail for higher education reform happened last night at Portland State University, where education officials repeated many of their same proposals: less state regulation and line item budgets, more university control of tuition. More efficient and independent universities able to save on costs while expanding the reach and quality of education.

24 million pounds of e-waste gets recycled

thelatestDuring the first year of a statewide ban on dumping electronics in the trash, Oregonians recycled more than 24 million pounds of electronics, or about 5 million pounds more than they did in 2009.

Long journey for Oregon Trail game

thelatestThe pioneering computer game Oregon Trail enters its 40th year with a hot iPhone app and a key Facebook launch. A closer look into the game's history offers insight for all those raised in an age of educational computer games. There's also something of a parable for game developers here in the Silicon Forest about a man with a clever idea and brilliant approach, actualized with the help of state support and outside business investment, who eventually took control of his vision and built the most successful educational video game ever.

Facebook hits Oregon Trail

thelatestSay you're under 40 and, like most everyone else, you log into your Facebook account today. You'll notice the latest iteration of a game you played in elementary school, Oregon Trail. Only instead of rationing your resources in a classroom, you can now play for hours with friends online, spend real money in the form of facebook credits on wagon gadgetry, and, say, bomb down the Green River collecting gold coins and rescuing drowning children.

Lompoc expands in North Portland

thelatestBeer enthusiasts, construction workers and a few North Williams Avenue residents stood in the cold this morning to watch an enormous crane hoist a 30-foot-tall grain silo atop Lompoc's Fifth Quarter brewery in North Portland. Among them was giddy Lompoc owner Jerry Fechter, who said the $65,000 silo will reduce his brewing costs by 25%.

State sues Countrywide for $14 million

thelatestOregon has filed two lawsuits against the infamous subprime mortgage lender Countrywide in an attempt to recover $14 million in losses to the state's pension and worker's comp funds.

Funding, pay and graduation rates lag for Oregon universities

thelatestThe latest numbers show that Oregon's support of higher education has crumbled, faculty pay lags behind other states and graduation rates have crept below the national average.

Bob's Red Mill donates $5 million to OSU

thelatestThe founders of Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods are giving $5 million to Oregon State University to establish an academic center that will boost the school's research in areas such as nutrition and childhood obesity.

OSU strengthens connections with the private sector

thelatestOregon State University changed the name of its Office of Technology Transfer on Monday, a seemingly minor step but one university officials call a major shift in philosophy that could also prove lucrative. The new Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development will take a more proactive approach in finding and selling research projects.

EPA backs away from biomass regulations

thelatestThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it will defer for three years any greenhouse gas permitting requirements for biomass, potentially boosting the industry that Oregon advocates say can create thousands of jobs, provide a renewable fuel source for the state, and propel thinning projects in national forests.

State certifies industrial properties

thelatestState economic development officials have certified three large industrial properties in an attempt to brighten the jobs outlook in Prineville, The Dalles and Ontario.

Military boosts solar power business

thelatestA military authorization law signed by President Obama on Friday could boost Oregon's solar industry. That's because a provision buried deep within the document requires the Department of Defense to buy American solar panels.

State bans telemarketer

thelatestAttorney General John Kroger has banned a major national telemarketing firm from operating in Oregon. Sadly, the agreement has no impact whatsoever on the annoying fundraisers who stalk pedestrians in downtown Portland.

Umpqua cruises into Hawthorne

thelatestUmpqua Bank opened its newest location today on SE Hawthorne Boulevard, a branch styled as a folksy hangout to further the bank's goal of embedding in Portland neighborhoods. This is the first of five "stores" that Umpqua plans to build through 2011, an expansion by 25% within the metro area for Oregon's dominant regional bank.

Nike on track for a $20 billion year

thelatestNike's fiscal second-quarter earnings increased 22%, exceeding analyst expectations of Oregon's largest company.

Timbers rev up for debut

thelatestThe Portland Timbers expect to surpass 10,000 season tickets sold by the end of the year in advance of their inaugural season as a Major League Soccer franchise.

SolarWorld reaches 1,000 jobs

thelatestSolarWorld's five-year expansion has ended on target, with the company's addition of its 1,000th worker in Hillsboro.

Leaders pull no punches at summit

thelatestFiscal calamity or a decade of budget austerity loom for Oregon as the recession leaves thousands of Oregonians jobless and the demand for government money outpaces its ability to pay for services, business and political leaders agreed on Monday.

Boeing Air Force contract would bring 300 jobs, $14 million to Oregon

thelatestBoeing anticipates the creation of 300 jobs and $14 million in annual impact in Oregon if the company wins its bid to build the Boeing NewGen Tanker for the U.S. Air Force.