News Briefs

Kerry to accept nomination
WASHINGTON (AP) – Bowing to pressure, John Kerry decided Wednesdayto accept the nomination at the Democratic presidential conventionin July, scuttling a plan to delay the formality so he could narrowPresident Bush’s public money advantage. He turned quickly to hisbackup plan, issuing a statement with a blunt appeal for campaigndonations that could go to national and state partyorganizations.

Kulongoski wants action on gas prices by feds
SALEM (AP) – Gov. Ted Kulongoski, citing the hardships that risinggasoline prices are causing for Oregon’s economy, urged PresidentBush to take steps to bring down prices, urging Bush to discontinuestockpiling oil in the nation’s reserve to increase availablesupplies.

The Democratic governor said U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroftshould seek federal legislation to deal with any “marketmanipulation” of gas prices.

Kulongoski’s letter came as Democratic presidential hopeful JohnKerry was taking aim at skyrocketing gas prices during campaignstops Tuesday in Portland.

With regular gasoline prices now exceeding $2.30 per gallon,Oregon has some of the highest gas prices in the nation.

Oregon suicides protected by courts
The federal appeals court ruled yesterday in support of Oregon’sassisted suicide laws, against attempts made by U.S. AttorneyGeneral John Ashcroft to sanction Oregon doctors who prescribedlethal overdoses to terminal patients that had requested theassistance.

Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act of 1994 was approved twice byvoters and allows terminally ill patients not expected to livebeyond six months to request a lethal dose of medication. Thediagnosis must be made by at least two doctors and the patient mustbe confirmed to be in a mentally competent state to make therequest.

Oregon is the only state that allows doctor-assistedsuicide.

Search for missing student continues
A 19-year-old woman went missing Monday near a Corvallis apartmentcomplex. She was visiting home after finishing freshman year atBrigham Young University.

Officials believe the woman, Brooke Wilberger, may have beenkidnapped. Family members and other volunteers have spent the lastfew days searching for her.

Safety officials at Oregon State University have warned studentsto be on guard, as a possible kidnapper may still be in thearea.

The summer of taxes?
The state legislature has been trying to convene a special sessionfor summer to discuss taxes, but the 15 Senate Democrats havewithdrawn support, meaning majority support for a special sessionno longer exists.

The main topic would be a proposal on spending limits.

House Democratic Leader Jeff Merkley (D-Portland) said in a May20 statement that the proposal is not ready to be discussed and putto vote.

House Speaker Karen Minnis (R-Wood Village) issued a responseemphasizing the importance of meeting in summer.