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Around the state

— From wire reports


Lane County strike ends — Striking government employees in Lane County are going back to work after a walkout that lasted more than a week. The county says it reached a contract agreement with nearly 700 workers represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The agreement must be ratified by union members and the Lane County Board of Commissioners before taking effect, but the workers in the Eugene area returned to their jobs Wednesday. The sides clashed on the size of pay increases and a proposal that workers start contributing money to their health insurance plans.

Dirty prison dishes — Complaints about food are common in prison, but some inmates at the Columbia River Correctional Institution are concerned with the dishes. Inmates said they’ve been eating off dirty trays and using grimy utensils since the minimum-security prison in Portland switched from a dishwashing machine to washing dishes by hand. The Oregon Department of Corrections said the lockup changed to hand-washing by inmate work crews in 2015 because doing so requires less water and the machine was unreliable and expensive to maintain. It’s now one of five prisons statewide that relies on what corrections officials call a “three-sink method” for dish washing. The system involves dunking dirty dishes in soapy water, then clear hot water and sanitizing solution. Since April, seven Columbia River inmates have lodged complaints about the dinnerware issue, according to the Corrections Department. “The cups come out greasy, the trays come out greasy and the spoons come out greasy,” inmate Michael Page said. “It’s disgusting.” Corrections Department spokeswoman Betty Bernt said the agency follows rules to ensure cleanliness and the most recent visit from a health inspector found no significant issues at the prison.

Slain wolf reward — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and five conservation groups have teamed up to offer $15,500 for information about the illegal poaching of a federally protected gray wolf that was shot dead in a national forest in southern Oregon. The wolf, known as OR-33, was being tracked by authorities and is one of at least eight that have been poached or died under mysterious circumstances in the state since 2015, the conservation groups said. The groups in a statement Tuesday said OR-33 was found dead of gunshot wounds in Fremont Winema National Forest on April 23. DNA tests only recently confirmed that he was OR-33, a 4-year-old male who left a pack in northeast Oregon in 2015. His radio tracking collar stopped working last year. Over two days in June, he killed two goats and one lamb at a small livestock operation near Ashland. The federal agency is offering $5,000 for information about the poaching and the conservation groups are offering an additional $10,500 combined.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off
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