November 2012 Archives

Landowners faces lawsuit after destructive Oregon fire

A group of landowners who own the vacant lot in Ashland, Oregon, that was the center of a 2010 fire that destroyed 11 homes have been sued for failing to maintain an appropriate level of safety at the site. The plaintiffs are four insurance companies that paid out $1.7 million to six homeowners after the blaze, which has been called Ashland's worst fire in the past 100 years. The plaintiffs request damages compensating them for the insurance payments.

Oregon man files $5M lawsuit over alleged police torture

An Oregon man has sued two counties, a city and 15 people in federal court, claiming the defendants violated his civil rights when he was abused by police. Claiming that authorities subjected him to "abuse, assault and tortuous treatment" while failing to accommodate his "significant mental illness" and is seeking $5 million in damages. The plaintiff says he will require surgery before being able to return to work as an auto mechanic.

Court supports Oregon county's right to block pipeline

The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled against a natural gas company over a county's ability to block construction of a 41-mile pipeline despite formerly approving the project. The county commission voted in favor of zoning for a terminal that would feed the pipeline in 2010, but a new group of commissioners overturned that approval several months later. The company behind the pipeline, Oregon LNG, filed a lawsuit against the county in response, arguing that the commission's initial approval was wrongfully reversed. However, the state Court of Appeals disagreed with that assertion, blocking the civil litigation and siding with the county.

Oregon officials hear arguments regarding water plant expansion

A planned extension to a water treatment plant has been met with mixed reactions in a Minnesota town, which recently held its third planning commission meeting devoted to discussing the project in two weeks. Over 50 people spoke at the West Linn Planning Commission regarding applications by nearby towns Lake Oswego and Tigard to expand their plant and build a new pipeline that would run underneath several parts of West Linn. The Planning Commissioned delayed a vote on the project in May 2012, with the land use dispute continuing ever since.

Oregon judge temporarily blocks controversial project

An Oregon town's $70 million surface water improvement project has been put on hold after a judge issued a preliminary injunction in response to concerns about the uncertainty of whether the project will cause pollution or other environmental issues. The director of an opposition group known as Stop the Drain explained that the city's "decision about the management of water and decisions like this are going to have an effect on the water system for the next 100 years," adding that "they need to be made very carefully."

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