Oregon In Brief

Buckley files for re-election

House Majority Whip Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, chair of the House Education Committee, filed with the Secretary of State's office on Monday to run for re-election to a third term in the Oregon House of Representatives in 2008.

"We made tremendous progress in education and on a number of other issues in the 2007 legislative session, but we have a long way to go to be where Oregon needs to be. I greatly look forward to the work ahead," Buckley said.

Buckley represents House District Five, covering Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, Jacksonville and a portion of west Medford.

School board to reconsider 5-year plan

After an additional month of work on, the Ashland school board will once again consider approval of its five-year strategic plan at a meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

The plan is meant to ensure long-range improvement in curriculum, instruction, staffing, facilities and communication with the students, staff, parents and community.

At last month's meeting, board members decided to revise the indicators of success to include both how the board would implement different strategies and measure their success.

Once the plan is approved, staff will develop action plans to address specific goals over the next five years.

The board will also consider the Continuous Improvement Plan, a document required by the Oregon Department of Education in relation to the No Child Left Behind standards.

Regulators approve changes to gas rates


Natural gas customers in Oregon will soon see small changes in their utility bills.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission approved rate decreases for customers of Northwest Natural and Avista Natural Gas. Customers of Cascade Natural, meanwhile, will see rates increase by less than — percent.

The adjustments take effect Nov. 1.

Father accused of shaking baby


Medford police arrested a father on charges of assault and criminal mischief after hospital staff notified them about a baby girl with a head injury.

Luis Enrique Isordia-Benavides, 18, was arrested Sunday and lodged at the Jackson County Jail, Lt. Tim Doney said. The baby is recovering at a Portland hospital.

Medical staff at Medford's Rogue Valley Medical Center told police they were treating a 20-day-old girl with bleeding on the brain from what they believed was "non-accidental head trauma," Doney said.

The injuries were consistent with the baby being shaken several times, Doney said.

She was flown to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, and a hospital spokeswoman said she was in good condition.

A detective interviewed the child's parents, who are both 18. After the investigation, Isordia-Benavides was arrested. He also is suspected of being in the country illegally and is being held without bail.

'Waddling Bandit' held in jail


The 71-year-old Tillamook man fingered as the "waddling bandit" in about 15 Northwest stickups is a millionaire property owner, according to court testimony.

Family members say that's why it's impossible that Robert Christie is the robber of distinctive, toddling gait who has been knocking over bank branches along the Interstate 5 corridor between Medford and Kelso, Wash., since April 2005.

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"We have evidence my client is a wealthy person with no need to rob banks," his attorney, Michael Levine, said Tuesday.

The assets are what make him a flight risk, said U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald C. Ashmanskas.

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