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Sep-23-2009 17:21printcomments

Wednesday Newscast on (VIDEO)

The latest stories from Oregon in our live 7:00 p.m. newscast.
Chris Barichio and Jerry Freeman are part of the team.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Coming up in tonight's news, an investigator who worked on the Brooke Wilberger case for years comments on her remains being recovered this week. A police pursuit ended in a man's arrest last night. Salem officers say the man they arrested for DUII, probably fled over an existing warrant for... you guessed it, DUII.

Police released surveillance footage of a pair who they say robbed a radio shack store in Clackamas County. And Salem's Mayor goes green, getting her ride to lunch today, in a human powered bicycle taxi.

Brooke Wilberger

McMinnville Police Chief Ron Noble was a Corvallis Police Lieutenant when Brooke Wilberger disappeared in May 2004. Her remains were recovered in recent days after a confession from her killer, Joel Courtney. He avoided a death sentence by revealing the location of her remains.'s Tim King was a Photojournalist/Reporter with Portland, Oregon ABC station KATU at the time of Brooke's disappearance.

Like many Oregon journalists, Tim went with search crews, interviewed many people, and did his best to get the information out to the public. Over the five years of's existence, the story of Brooke Wilberger has surfaced many times.

Noble says he is relieved by the recovery of Brooke's remains and he says it is bittersweet news. Her family waited a long time to learn what happened to their young daughter and now they know. It is a sad day in Oregon but any time that a missing person is located is a positive step.

Police Chase

Salem Police were busy last night with a vehicle chase that ended in NE Salem near Silverton Road. Our news photographer recorded these images from our POV VIO dashcam and it shows the hurried state of police as they worked together to bring the pursuit to a quick end.

Salem Police Lt. Keith Blairs says 38-year old Christopher Eric Kennerson took officers on a three and a half mile chase, mostly in circles, as reported. It started at 9:55 p.m. when an officer paced Kennerson at 90 miles per hour on the freeway. The chase was on.

The suspect made it about three miles before police terminated the pursuit on Silverton Road. Once they made contact, they learned that Kennerson had a warrant for Felony DUII, he was arrested for that, and also for DUII related to the chase. He also faces charged of Eluding Police and Reckless Driving.

Oregon Fire Danger

Yesterday firefighters made good headway on the Deer Ridge Fire and the Siskiyou Fire, known collectively as the South County Complex.

The 633-acre Deer Ridge Fire east of Medford is 45 percent contained, according to Oregon Forestry.

The night crew reported excellent progress in mopping up within the containment lines. The 190-acre Siskiyou Fire in the southwest portion of Ashland is 85 percent contained, with full containment expected on Thursday.

The night crew said they are exceeding their targets in mopping up inside the lines. Better weather conditions - lighter winds and good humidity recovery at night - have aided firefighting efforts. The Office of State Fire Marshal's Red Team, a structural fire team, will demobilize today.


Today saw temperatures in the low 80's, expect an overnight low of around 49 degrees. Tomorrow look for a high of 79 and a low of 46 degrees. We'll go into the weekend with a sunny Friday, temperatures will again be in the low 80's, and overnight lows will drop down just below 50. Sunny condictions wiht highs around 80 will continue until around Tuesday, when clouds will cool things off just a little bit. Should be a wonderful weekend. Currently we have just under 80 degrees outside, and variable winds of just three and a half miles an hour.

Media Mistakes

The Statesman Journal reported this morning that a proposal before the September 28 City Council meeting includes closing the State Street pedestrian crosswalk across Front Street. This is not correct. The proposal is to relocate the vehicle and pedestrian crossings at the railroad tracks one block to the South. These relocations would be timed with the completion of other improvements to the Park and are not expected to take place for eighteen to twenty-four months. Under the proposal, pedestrians will still be able to cross Front Street at State Street and then enter the Park at either the Court Street entrance one block to the north or the relocated entrance one block to the south. To accommodate the rail crossing relocation, the developer has agreed to a number of conditions.

Help for Africa

Itafari is Kinyarwanda for BRICK.

A brick represents the weight of a malnourished child that cannot be comforted. It is the burden that a woman carries down a hill as she struggles to find a way to feed her family. It is the color of the soil that cannot feed its people. A brick also represents hope; it is the cornerstone for a woman's new business, a first step on the road to self-sufficiency and the building blocks of a school.

Itafari Foundation is holding a VIRTUAL fundraiser on September 25-27 to raise money for the school we’re building; Kigali Secondary Parents School. For $75 you can buy a BRICK (itafari!) with your name or the name of a loved one on it which will be placed in the school in Rwanda.

Education is the key to ending poverty and hate. The group explains that education also guides you through a world filled with choices. You can choose to make an extraordinary difference in the world and choose to make a lifelong difference in the life of a child - for $75. It can start slowly with something as simple as a brick.

Itafari’s weekend of fundraising is a unique occasion to give, interact, learn and listen. The economy, time, and lack of opportunity all present their individual challenges; however, virtual interaction helps to combat them. There isn’t a need to drive, fly or pay per plate; there is a need for compassionate understanding and an opportunity to come together within your own space, in support of education. To give within your means, provides a chance for a child to learn, listen and believe.

They say the best change occurs when committed people join together in a spirit of respect and empathy from a deep-rooted core of wisdom and compassion. The children will remember always that people all over the world believe in them. The Itafari Foundation is tapping into the core of compassion that lives in us all.

More than a decade after the Rwandan genocide claimed nearly one million innocent men, women and children, the country continues to struggle against illiteracy, starvation, disease, and an ability to become self sufficient. People of conscience throughout the world have begun to realize that this wasn’t solely Africa’s problem, and that any human rights violation impacts us all. From that place of consciousness and compassion, the Itafari Foundation was born.

“The people of Rwanda do not want to be identified by the genocide of 1994 but by their strength and resilience. We will honor them and those who died more by our action than our grief.” Victoria Trabosh co-founder and President of the Itafari Foundation

For more information on participating in the fundraiser, visit Itafari’s website at

Today saw temperatures in the low 80's, expect an overnight low of around 49 degrees. Tomorrow look for a high of 79 and a low of 46 degrees. We'll go into the weekend with a sunny Friday, temperatures will again be in the low 80's, and overnight lows will drop down just below 50. Sunny condictions wiht highs around 80 will continue until around Tuesday, when clouds will cool things off just a little bit. Should be a wonderful weekend. Currently we have just under 80 degrees outside, and variable winds of just three and a half miles an hour.

Jack Herer Update

Our Dr. Phil Leveque and Hemp Icon Jack Herer, go back a long way. Over the years, along with other noted activists and doctors and attorneys, these individuals have led the movement to legalize cannabis, or marijuana, and of course, Hemp.

Jack Herer is the author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes", the bestselling book that educated the world about why marijuana was criminalized in the first place.

Jack Herer spoke at Portland's HempStalk on September 12th, and suffered a heart attack soon after. Since that day, he has shown some hopeful signs, but has not awakened.

As of this morning, Jeannie Herer told Salem-News, "Right now we're just waiting for the results of the latest EEG test. He still hasn't woken up."

Jack is a fighter though, which he's proven again and again through many challenges that would have stopped nearly all others.

"The Emperor" is currently on the 11th edition, 16th printing. Long story short, Herer explains in fantastic, factual detail that the hemp plant provides the strongest natural fiber known to man, and how Dow and Dupont had to get it off the U.S. market back in the 1930's, to make way for synthetic drugs and in order to market the newly invented plastic and nylon rope; two industries that have led to a major pollution in the United States.

Herer also exposed the connections between the Hearst Newspaper chain, which was an instrumental tool in turning Americans against "Marihuana" and convincing the population that it turned people into ax murderers, through distribution of the movie "Reefer Madness". A mass of fabrication and propaganda, put on film and fed to impressionable young people, Reefer Madness has become an adjective for the belief system it successfully installed and has been maintained through the generations, regardless of the facts. If you've seen it, you understand the level of falsehood I'm referring to. If you haven't, please do.

In this interview, Dr. Phil Leveque talks about his friend, Jack Herer, who fights for his life at the time of this writing. Hang in there Jack.

Going Green in Salem

Salem Mayor Janet Taylor went to lunch in style today. A new human-powered bicycle taxi operated by Michele Darr and Mark Babson, showed up at city hall to shuttle the mayor off to lunch where she was scheduled to meet with a new mayoral candidate.

The bike taxi is one of the many friendly environmental alternatives that are hitting the streets today with rising gas prices. It's better for the earth also, Michele Darr says. Darr is known in Oregon as a peace activist who goes the extra mile to make her point. The new taxi will be going a few extra miles too she says, as the community is already dialing in with the idea.

These stories and more in tonight's news.

Watch live video from salemnewsroom on newscast 9-23-09 Part 1

Watch live video from salemnewsroom on newscast 9-23-09 Part 2

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