Here is the latest news from the Associated Press and Newstalk 870.

Oregon Ethanol Plant Built With Taxpayer Funds Secretly Converted to Oil Storage Facility

 

ORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An ethanol plant on the Columbia River that was built with the help of $36 million in Oregon state loans and tax credits is now being used to store and ship crude oil. The Oregonian reports the plant's switch came with little public notice. It was built at a cost of $200 million for Cascade Grain at the Port of St. Helens' Port Westward Industrial park near Clatskanie. The owner filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Convicted Rapist Could Get Death Penalty for Killing Prison Guard

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The same jury that convicted a Monroe Reformatory inmate of aggravated murder for strangling a prison guard has started work in Everett on whether Byron Scherf will be executed. Snohomish County jurors were told during the trial that the convicted rapist was already serving a sentence of life without parole in 2011 when he strangled Jayme Biendl in the prison chapel.

Law Would Ban Gas Engines on Waldo Lake in Oregon Cascades

 

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature has decided that all gas-powered engines should be banned from Waldo Lake. The Oregon House approved the measure yesterday and sent it to Gov. John Kitzhaber. The bill puts into law a state Marine Board rule banning gas-powered motorboats on the lake in the Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon. It also would ban seaplanes.

Federal Officials Claims Sequester Will Hurt Firefighting Efforts This Season

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says the nation is heading into a tough wildfire season made even more challenging because budget cuts mean fewer firefighters. Jewell spent the past two days touring the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. A dry winter and early warming is creating heightened potential for Western states, including central Idaho.