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Oregon In Brief

PGE proposes pollution controls at plant


Portland General Electric has proposed spending $300 million for pollution controls at Oregon's only coal-fired power plant.

An analysis produced for PGE and given to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on Monday estimates the upgrades will cut emissions of haze-causing pollution by 75 percent at the plant near the Eastern Oregon city of Boardman, which is one of the few coal plants in the West without modern pollution controls.

PGE would install the pollution controls over five years, finishing by 2013, said Arya Behbehani-Divers, PGE's manager of environmental services.

Because of an earlier DEQ requirement, the utility will simultaneously install equipment to capture more than 90 percent of the plant's emissions of toxic mercury. Power plants that burn coal release mercury into the air as a byproduct. It later rains out of the air and into in rivers and lakes, where it collects in fish.

Consumers will eventually see their rates rise by an estimated — percent to help pay for the improvements, PGE spokeswoman Gail Baker said.

But those consumers should also see clearer skies from Mount Hood to Hells Canyon, according to the analysis by CH2M Hill and Black Veatch, two consulting companies.

Ore. woman killed on drive to funeral


A two-vehicle crash Monday killed an Eagle Creek woman driving to her father-in-law's funeral in Oregon City, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said.

Kimberly Erwin, who turned 40 on Friday, died when the car she was driving collided with a pickup on Redland Road in Estacada, said Detective Jim Strovink. Erwin's husband, Michael, 51, and daughters, Kayla, 16, and Kiera, 14, suffered non-life threatening injuries. They were transported to Oregon Health Science University Hospital in Portland.

The driver of the pickup, Andrew Altman, 22, of Oregon City, was also injured and taken to a local hospital.

The crash remains under investigation, Strovink said.

Teen kills self after leaving jail


An Oregon teenager killed himself shortly after his release from a downtown Portland jail, where he had been on suicide watch the night before, Multnomah County sheriff's officials said.

Joshua Overstreet, 18, of Lake Oswego died of head, neck and back trauma Friday night after jumping from a parking garage across the street from the Multnomah County Detention Center.

Overstreet had been placed on suicide watch after he was booked Thursday on a heroin possession charge, The Oregonian newspaper reported. He was held overnight, with a deputy regularly checking on him.

It's unclear what Overstreet said or did to be placed on suicide watch and why mental health evaluators later decided he was no longer a threat to himself.

County Health Department officials declined to provide any information about the case, citing medical privacy rules. Though the jails are run by the sheriff's office, Health Department employees make suicide watch determinations.

"" The Associated Press

Oregon State Police troopers were reconstructing the crash scenes and the investigation was still active late Monday.