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July 8, 2006 Teen missing after rafting accident MAUPIN — A 17-year-old member of a church group on a rafting trip was thrown into the water and remained missing overnight, authorities said Friday. The girl, not immediately identified,

Teen missing after rafting accident

MAUPIN — A 17-year-old member of a church group on a rafting trip was thrown into the water and remained missing overnight, authorities said Friday.

The girl, not immediately identified, was one of two who were flung Thursday into the water when their raft flipped in a series of rapids on the Deschutes River about 8 p.m., rescue workers said.

Sheriff’s deputies and search and rescue workers said the missing girl was reportedly wearing a life jacket and the search for her continued Friday.

The second girl was hospitalized, authorities said.

Medford pulls meals tax off the burner

MEDFORD — With restaurateurs protesting, the City Council has given up on imposing a 5 percent meals tax in Medford.

Council members said they would look at a surcharge on utility bills, a cell phone tax or a property tax increase to pay for 30 new police officers and 10 new firefighters to keep up with the city’s growing population.

Because of staffing shortages, Police Chief Eric Mellgren said, the time it takes for police to respond to a violent crime has increased from three minutes in 2000 to nearly 10 minutes.

Restaurant owners and business representatives opposed the meals tax during a council meeting Thursday.

John Larkin, owner of Roxy Ann Lanes, said a third of his clientele is senior citizens on fixed incomes, and a meal tax is unfair. To those customers, he said, “25 cents is a big deal. There’s got to be a better way to just spread this out.”

Lamb Weston buys Boardman plant

BOARDMAN — ConAgra Foods Inc. has purchased the Logan International Ltd. potato processing plant in Boardman and has closed it for remodeling.

The french fry plant should employ 130 workers when it reopens this fall, said Melissa Baron, ConAgra communications manager. It is adjacent to the potato processing plant that Lamb Weston Inc., a ConAgra brand, has operated in Boardman.

Oregon recruit makes plea deal

EUGENE — A second man accused of sexual abuse for a groping incident during a football recruiting visit to the University of Oregon in January has made a plea deal.

Major Marquis Culbert, 18, of Harbor City, Calif., pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing and harassment.

He was sentenced to five years of probation and 25 days in jail, according to court records. Charges of burglary and sex abuse were dropped.

The UO dropped its recruiting effort for Culbert. He signed with the University of Nebraska as a defensive back.

Another recruit, Marvin Johnson, 18, of Compton, Calif., signed with the university before the school learned that he also would be charged.

Johnson, who was 17 at the time and had no prior criminal record, made a similar plea deal last month and will play for the Ducks under a full scholarship, a UO official said.

The incident involved two UO students in a dorm room.

— Wire reports

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