Committee considers PacifiCorp rate hike

SALEM - A state legislative committee will consider a bill to increase power rates for PacifiCorp customers to finance removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. Dam removal is part of the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement that seeks to resolve disputes about water in the basin.

The bill would raise up to $180 million a year. Opponents say it allows PacifiCorp to raise rates at will for its 500,000 Oregon customers.

Postal cut may be a threat to vote-by-mail

PORTLAND - If mail service must be cut to five days a week, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown wants to make sure Tuesday deliveries remain.

U.S. Postmaster General John Potter asked Congress last week for the authority to reduce mail service from six to five days a week as a way to cut costs. If Congress agrees, postal officials say mail could be eliminated on either Tuesday or Saturday. Those days typically have the lightest volume.

Brown, in a letter to Potter, said abandoning Tuesday mail delivery could hinder Oregon's vote-by-mail process.

Licensing agency managers suspended M

SALEM - Six managers at the Oregon Health Licensing Agency are on paid administrative leave while state prosecutors investigate concerns reported to Gov. Ted Kulongoski last week.

The managers were placed on leave Monday after meetings involving the governor's office, the Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, said Tony Green, spokesman for Attorney General John Kroger.

Green would not name the managers or say what is being investigated.

The small consumer protection agency licenses and regulates businesses that are subsidiary to the health care industry such as hair styling, tattooing, body piercing, midwifery, respiratory therapy, athletic training and sex offender treatment.

Troopers make 125 Super DUI arrests

OLYMPIA, Wash. - State Patrol troopers on Super Bowl patrol arrested 125 drivers suspected of drunken driving Sunday night and Monday morning.

That compares with 75 during the same period the previous week.

Bank sues Country Coach over debt

EUGENE - Luxury motor home manufacturer Country Coach's main creditor, Wells Fargo Bank, wants the financially ailing company to immediately repay nearly $8 million.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene, the bank asked a judge to appoint a receiver with authority to sell off any and all assets of the company to repay the money left over from a 2007 loan.

Country Coach vice president Matt Howard says they agree a receiver should be appointed, but they want some of their assets kept off-limits to the receiver.

A hearing is scheduled Wednesday. The company's Junction City factory has been closed since early December.

- The Associated Press

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