NORTH BEND

Authorities were searching late Monday for an inmate who stole a prison employee's vehicle and rammed through a fence to freedom.

David Marrow, 29, a minimum-custody inmate at the Shutter Creek Correctional Institution near North Bend, was last seen driving a 1999 red Jeep Cherokee with Oregon license plate GATITA, said Perrin Damon, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Corrections.

He was wearing a khaki shirt and blue jeans, both stenciled with the word "inmate" prominently in orange.

Marrow was imprisoned in August 2006 for assault from Clackamas County. His projected release date was December 2008. The prison will remain on modified lockdown until the gate is repaired,

PORTLAND

A Portland-area school board has drafted a resolution condemning the comments that one of its members made about special-education students at a meeting last month.

Ron Chinn, a member of the Multnomah Education Service District Board, referred to the students as "a bunch of slabs - slow, low and belows."

Board Chairwoman Janice Gratton wrote the resolution to censure Chinn - the toughest action the board can take. Gratton said she didn't want the community to think the board isn't committed to special-education students.

During the Dec. 19 board meeting, Chinn made reference to a speaker at an educational workshop attended by board members. The woman had told her story about being considered a special-education student because of a physical condition.

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A legislator from Vancouver, Wash., has introduced a bill in the Washington Legislature that would keep back-to-school shoppers at home - at least for a little while.

The bill would create a one-weekend holiday from sales taxes on computers and computer supplies, clothing, school art supplies, instructional materials and other school supplies. The bill sets a limit on eligible items. A computer, for example, would have to cost less than $2,000.

Rep. Jim Moeller, a Democrat, said the legislation would have big effect on shoppers and businesses in his district, and Mark Johnson, a spokesman for the Washington Retail Association, predicted that such a tax holiday would indeed lead to a spike in sales.

SALEM

The Oregon Supreme Court is considering a temporary suspension of one of its former justices, Ed Fadeley of Eugene, from law practice in a dispute over an unrefunded legal fee.

A decade ago justices considered removing him from office after the state Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability concluded that he had acted inappropriately toward female employees. He resigned in January 1998.

The issue this time is his handling of $10,000 a client paid him for initiating divorce proceedings.

An Oregon State Bar panel concluded that earlier he broke four disciplinary rules

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A Salem driver was charged with manslaughter after her SUV crashed into a tree, her passenger died and police found her hiding in bushes near the accident site.

Jess Gregory, 24, collapsed after crawling out of the SUV late Sunday along with Aislyn Decorte, 25. He later died, police said.

Police said the impact jammed the front doors of the vehicle, and both occupants exited from the rear.

Decorte fled, but a witness pointed out her path and police found her nearby, said Sgt. Kevin Halvorsen.

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Oregon grass seed growers have started an early attack on any attempt to ban field burning in Oregon even though no bill to do so has been introduced.

Some legislators have said such a ban is on the list of environmental bills they would like to see made into law this session.

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