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Morning Roundup

ZoomCare leaves marketplace, Union Pacific has most violations nationwide and Ilani Casino wins last battle.


ZoomCare leaving health insurance marketplace

The health care "transformation" startup launched its Zoom+ Performance Health Insurance just two years ago — but the company is now withdrawing from the market, the Portland Business Journal reports. The health plan is also now under supervision by state regulators as it winds down this year. ZoomCare told the state it lost $4.7 million from the health plan last year, up from $3.8 million the year prior. Less than 2,000 people purchased the health care plan.

Union Pacific receives most violations in government rail inspections

A federal inspection of lines carrying crude oil found 24,000 track defects nationwide, the AP reports. These defects include worn rails, cracks in steel bars and broken bolts. Broken bolts were the cause of Union Pacific's oil train derailment in Mosier last summer. Union Pacific received more than 800 of the 1,118 violation recommendations.

Ilani Casino beats final obstacle

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear opponents appeal to the project this week, ending a six-year battle, the Columbian reports. The Cowlitz Indian Tribe plans to open the $510 million casino by the end of the month. The decision also allowed the tribe to open its new $32 million interchange at exit 16 on Interstate 5 to ease increased traffic.

Bill would create hurdle for farms considering commercial solar projects

House Bill 3050 would require developers to prove alternative sites aren't available for solar facilities larger than 12 acres, Capital Press reports. The bill is an effort to protect Oregon farmland. Concerns were sparked by a recent uptick in solar developments in the Willamette Valley. Wind turbine projects are already subject to similar rules.

Sen. Merkley speaks for 16 hours in attempt to block Supreme Court nominee vote

Merkley spoke overnight Tuesday until about 10 a.m. to block the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, Willamette Week reports. The Democratic party plans to filibuster to block a vote. Republicans could pass a rule to allow Gorsuch's confirmation to occur with a simple majority vote, but that option was deemed unlikely. 

Republicans took that "nuclear" path this morning, the New York Times reports. The rule change allows the GOP to bypass a filibuster and conduct a simple majority vote. A final vote is now set for Friday.

Rep. Walden schedules town hall in Bend, Prineville

Walden has been widely criticized lately for failing to visit the largest city in his district. Walden's last town hall in Bend was in 2013. The U.S. representative will host a town hall in Prineville and Bend April 13, the Bend Bulletin reports.

Boeing selling jetliners to Iran

Boeing plans to sell 60 737s to Iran for $6 billion, the New York Times reports. The deal requires federal approval and would create 18,000 U.S. jobs. The deal is likely to test Trump, who is outspoken in his hostility toward Iran but a large proponent of U.S. job creation.

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1 comment

  • Aaron Douglas
    Aaron Douglas Thursday, 06 April 2017 10:55 Comment Link

    We made a huge mistake not making the railroads public. Clearly, they put profit ahead of safety.

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