Income in rural Oregon loses ground to national average

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PORTLAND — A state study that reflects the long-term decline of logging and milling in Oregon’s economy shows that rural Oregonians’ incomes have slipped markedly when compared with the incomes of their peers nationwide.

The study of 2011 data from the state Employment Department shows that rural Oregonians earn, per capita, about 25 percent less than their city counterparts in the state — $39,267 in the 11 counties considered urban, $31,383 in the rest of the state.

The difference of $7,884 was due primarily to the difference in earnings from work, the Oregonian reported Monday.

The study points up the erosion of rural incomes relative to national averages and attributes it in large part to the timber business.

Economists and political leaders often point to the state versus national income comparisons as a signal of Oregon’s sluggish economy.

911 dispatcher sends mother

to rescue stranded boater

CATHLAMET, Wash. — A 911 dispatcher in Washington state called on her own mother to rescue a stranded boater in the Columbia River, knowing her mother could kayak to the area faster than sending the sheriff’s office patrol boat.

A 45-year-old kayaker was hanging onto a log piling Sunday afternoon after her kayak sank in swift current near a jetty, Wahkiakum County dispatcher Raedyn Grasseth told The Daily News.

The woman was paddling with a companion when her kayak sank.

“Jetties are very dangerous,” Grasseth said Monday. “The currents around them are horrible. It sounds likes her kayak just got sucked toward the jetty and went down.”

Her companion left to seek help.

The stranded woman “hung onto the jetty until she could climb up and get on to as much of the log piling as she could and waited,” Grasseth said.

Grasseth notified the sheriff’s office, then realized her mother, Cindy Faubion, and other members of her family lived nearby and could get there quicker..

She called her mother, Cindy Faubion, who is a kayaker. Faubion and other family members quickly paddled to the piling in a kayak and a skiff.

The rescued woman was cold and shaken but did not require medical care.

The woman was visiting from out of town, had limited boating experience and wasn’t familiar with the treacherous waters near the mouth of the Columbia River.

“She’s lucky she’s alive, plain and simple,” Grasseth said.

Semi driver on cellphone rear-ends apple truck near Pendleton

PENDLETON — Oregon State Police say a truck driver was looking at his cellphone when he rear-ended another truck Monday on I-84 near Pendleton.

Troopers say a semi with a trailer of apples was traveling about 5 mph because of two flat trailer tires. The driver of an approaching tanker truck didn’t notice the slow vehicle because he was looking at his phone.

The crash resulted in only minor injuries. The tanker truck driver was cited for following too close, and the driver of the apple truck was cited for operating an unsafe vehicle.

Dozens shimmy, shake to protest Washington state’s dance tax

OLYMPIA — Dozens of people protesting a decades-old state tax on dance venues swayed, kicked and twirled to the rhythm of music Monday in support of a repeal being considered by lawmakers in Washington state.

Protesters danced the salsa, the blues, flamenco and tango, and at one point, a conga line snaked up and down the steps of the state Capitol. Koe Suzuteki performed the Charleston amid the groups who had gathered to dance in protest.

The dancers were targeting a law from the 1960s that levies a tax on businesses that offer attendees the “opportunity” to dance. Cover charges and tickets for movies, plays and concerts are exempt from that tax.

Proponents of the repeal say enforcement is arbitrary.

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