Top Oregon news stories of 2011

Top Oregon news stories of 2011

Top Oregon news stories of 2011


by David Krough

Posted on December 21, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 23 at 2:18 PM

Occupy Portland

The protests in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street started with a demonstration and march attended by thousands on October 6, followed by a long camp-out in two Portland parks. A late-night eviction from those parks and a subsequent bank protest resulted in 150 arrests, the pepper-spraying of several protesters, and costs to the city of more than $1 million in overtime and damages. More: Occupy Portland

Gov. halts Haugen execution, suspends death penalty in Oregon

Despite consent from convicted killer Gary Haugen, and approval from the state's highest court, Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber intervened and announced there would be no more executions during his term, halting Haugen's scheduled Dec. 6 execution. More: Haugen death penalty

Resignation of Rep. David Wu

Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon resigned from Congress in the wake of allegations that he had a sexual encounter with an 18-year-old woman, following a year of reports of erratic behavior and staff resignations. More: Wu resignation

Wet year records

Cool and wet were the weather words for most of 2011. The first five months of 2011 all saw records for rain broken or threatened, and summer was unseasonably cool as Oregonians soaked and shivered through a drenching La Nina. More: Wet year in Oregon

West Coast murder spree

David "Joey" Pedersen and his girlfriend, Holly Grigsby, were charged in a deadly killing spree in early October that spanned three states. They pair were charged with aggravated murder in the Everett deaths of Pedersen's father and stepmother last September. They were also charged with killing 19-year-old Cody Myers in western Oregon and Reginald Clark near Eureka, Calif. More: West Coast murder spree

Oregon tsunami warning

Many Oregon Coast residents were awakened in March early in the morning by sirens alerting them to a tsunami warning issued because of the devastating earthquake in Japan. Some residents returned to damaged property after low-elevation evacuations were ordered. More: Oregon tsunami

Economy - unemployment/housing

The Portland housing market continued to decline and unemployment remained stagnant as Oregon continued to experience the effects of a downturn in the U.S. economy. But there were bright spots heading out of 2011, as unemployment numbers improved slightly. More: Economic hardship

Yashannee Vaughn murder

Yashanee Vaughn, 14, disappeared in Northeast Portland on March 19 and was reported missing by her mother two days later. Detectives later arrested suspect 16-year-old Parrish Bennette. After volunteers searched in vain for weeks, Bennette finally led police to where he buried her body on Rocky Butte. More: Vaughn murder

Raging river takes out homes

In January, a raging Sandy River destroyed at least three homes and several vehicles, and damaged others in the area of Lolo Pass in the foothills of Mt. Hood. Several hundred residents were cut off for days by the river, which scoured a new path through the area. More: Sandy River flooding

Rainier police chief killed

Rainier police chief Ralph Painter was shot and killed outside a church just before noon on January 5 after a struggle with a 21-year-old man at a car stereo shop. The suspect was identified by Columbia County officials as Daniel Butts, of Kalama. More: Chief Painter killed

Filmed in Portland

The jabs and gentle mockery directed at Portland continued -- as Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's "Portlandia" was picked up for a second season on IFC starting in January. City Hall said it was the busiest film and television production year ever for Portland. Film crews also dotted the region as NBC shot its fantasy Friday night favorite "Grimm." Now in season 5, TNT's "Leverage" announced it will not only use the Rose City as a location to shoot, it will be the setting for the crime drama as well. More: Portlandia | Grimm | Leverage

Also: Top national/world stories of 2011 | Top sports stories 2011