Oregon In Brief

20-foot Christmas tree stolen


Mary Moran figures she'll turn that 3-foot stump in her front yard into a Christmas statement of sorts.

The Corvallis woman awoke Wednesday to find that a long-needled pine the family had decorated for years was cut down and stolen during the night.

The family planted the pine 10 years ago, and it had grown to 15 to 20 feet high.

"The neighbors and grandkids really looked forward to the tree being lit up," Moran said.

She said the thief probably had chosen the house at the end of a dark cul-de-sac and brought a truck to cart away the tree, which an arborist valued at as much as $1,500.

And the thief had fastidiously taken the lights from the tree, draping them on rocks around the tree's raised bed.

"I'm probably going to string the lights around the base of it and just light the base of it," she said.

OSHA investigating sawmill death


Regulators are investigating the death of a worker hit by a forklift at a southwest Oregon sawmill.

Gerald Fausnaugh, 61, died Saturday from injuries sustained Oct. 16, said Hank Snow, vice president of human resources at Roseburg Forest Products.

Fausnaugh was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg then transferred to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where he remained until his death. He had been with the company for 36 years.

The Occupational Safety Health Administration is investigating whether the company followed safety rules.

Fausnaugh was struck by the forklift while walking in a crosswalk, said Lisa Morawski, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, of which Oregon OSHA is a division.

Morawski said investigators have spoken with company officials and Fausnaugh's fellow workers. She expects the investigation to conclude late next month, at which point more information will be released.

Roseburg Forest Products conducted its own investigation, but Snow declined to comment on the findings.

Starr opts out of secretary of state race


State Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, announced he will not run for secretary of state, citing a desire to spend time with family.

"This decision is in no way based on political calculations about winning and losing," Starr said in a statement Wednesday.

Starr had been mulling a run for months. His decision means there are still no Republicans in a race that already includes four Democrats.

"" The Associated Press

The Democrats seeking the job are all state senators &

Kate Brown of Portland, Brad Avakian of Beaverton, Vicki Walker of Eugene and Rick Metsger of Welches.

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