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State News Briefs


Tribal burial case

Federal Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You has handed a defeat to tribal members who say a sacred site was destroyed to expand a highway near Mount Hood.

The elders from Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde claim the Federal Highway Administration violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

They said the government in 2008 could have widened the road without bulldozing a site that included a stone altar and medicinal plants. But the judge’s ruling said tribal members failed to show that the project substantially burdened their right to practice religion.

Transportation officials widened U.S.

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Tribal burial case

Federal Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You has handed a defeat to tribal members who say a sacred site was destroyed to expand a highway near Mount Hood.

The elders from Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde claim the Federal Highway Administration violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

They said the government in 2008 could have widened the road without bulldozing a site that included a stone altar and medicinal plants. But the judge’s ruling said tribal members failed to show that the project substantially burdened their right to practice religion.

Transportation officials widened U.S. Highway 26 after receiving complaints about a dangerous stretch east of Portland. Tribal leaders said in a statement Monday they plan to appeal.

Salmon woes

Ongoing problems with Sacramento River salmon survival means there likely will be very little, if any, sport and commercial salmon fishing this summer off the Southern Oregon Coast.

Preliminary stock assessments estimate only 229,400 fall chinook will be in the ocean; that’s 1,300 fewer than last year’s small run.

Youth shelter funded

The Legislature gifted a high school student $200,000 to help fund a homeless youth shelter in Salem.

Lawmakers included $200,000 for the shelter in a $93 million omnibus spending bill approved Saturday as the 2018 Legislative session neared its final hours.

McKay High School student Raul Marquez is trying to raise $400,000 to open the shelter in the former Catarino Cavazos Center, once a center for at-risk Latino youth that’s now up for sale. Marquez already has received a $100,000 grant from the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, where he is a teen board member, and $24,900 in community donations.

Marquez could not be reached for comment.