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Ore. woman seeks longer term to get prison treatment
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — An Albany, Oregon, woman who called in three bomb threats to elementary schools has persuaded a federal judge to sentence her to a longer prison term that prosecutors recommended.

The Register-Guard reports that 47-year-old Jenelle Pinkston told U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken on Tuesday that the government's recommended 24-month sentence wouldn't give her enough time to take full advantage of prison medical and mental health treatment programs.

Aiken granted her request and imposed a 37-month sentence. Pinkston has served nearly 19 months in county jail since her arrest, so she will have about 18 months left on her sentence.

The court was told that Pinkston has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from incidents dating back to her childhood.

The woman was arrested in June 2013 after calling in two hoax bomb threats to Waverly Elementary School and another to Periwinkle Elementary School in Albany. In all three incidents, hundreds of students were evacuated. No bombs were found.

___

Information from: The Register-Guard

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Mt. Ashland set to partially open Friday
MOUNT ASHLAND, Ore. -- Local mountains are opening their lifts this week. 

Mount Shasta will open three lifts for lessons and tubing. The ski park received 8 inches of new snow overnight for a base of 20 inches, organizers reported Wednesday. 

Lift hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Life tickets are $49.

Mount Ashland plans to open Friday morning at 9 a.m., but only the beginner lift, Sonnet. Lift tickets will be $7. Lessons and rentals are available.

Resort managers say the lodge bar will also be airing the Southern Oregon University football team's first appearance at the College National Championships on Friday. The resort will make a decision about next week's operations during the weekend. 

The base is just 9 inches. The mountain needs at least double that to open all lifts. 

Lane County bans e-cigarette sales to minors
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Lane County Commissioners have voted to ban e-cigarette sales to minors.

KLCC radio reports the action Tuesday was on a 3-2 vote.

In testimony, county Public Health Director Patrick Luedke said a 12-year-old could buy a small vial of the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes, and that would be enough to kill four toddlers.

The measure applies to unincorporated parts of the county. It also establishes tobacco retail licensing. It's scheduled to go into effect in 30 days.

One commissioner voted against the measure out of concern it could be challenged in court. Another said it needed more public comment.

AP Sources: U.S., Cuba seek to normalize relations
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has spoken to Cuban President Raul Castro about normalizing full diplomatic relations between the longtime foes.

Senior administration officials say the two leaders spoke by phone Tuesday for more than 45 minutes. It's the first substantive conversation between U.S. and Cuban leaders since 1961.

The call follows more than a year of secret discussions between the U.S. and Cuban officials. The talks happened in Canada and the Vatican and included personal involvement by Pope Francis.

Obama will discuss the opening of relations with Cuba from the White House Wednesday. The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of Obama's announcement.

Grants Pass business closing after 27 years
By Molly Trotter/KTVL.com

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- After 27 years in Grants Pass, a business is closing for good.

One-of-a-kind artwork came to life at Fiberoptic Lighting.

"We've done a lot of stage signs for people like Travis Tritt, Tony Bennett and we even made something for Ringo Star one year," Hyla Lipson of Fiberoptic Lighting said.

Lipson had a vision to bring color and movement together through fiberoptics nearly 30 years ago, but recently had to let her dream because something of the past.

"LED message signs and walls came into effect and those are progammable and we're not," she said. "Once you glue a fiber, it stays and you can't change the message."

In the 90s, the business was booming with 45 employees working here behind the scenes. But when she closes the door one last time, the six that remain will have to find work somewhere else.

"Every step of the way there was a red flag saying, 'I think it's the end of the industry and I probably should have closed the doors in 2008,'" Lipson said. "But because we had a crew and because I thought things would be better I didn't."

Fiberoptic Lighting will hold an auction on Saturday for the artwork and tools left behind.

Crimestoppers: Security Camera Theft
GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Thieves are pulling security cameras off of Grants Pass businesses and homes. 

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said the thieves may have targeted the cameras for their high trade value. Deputy Chief Jim Hamilton said he is concerned with the recent spike in thefts on his turf.

"All of a sudden, they have become very popular and we have had nine theft cases of cameras taken since September and, in addition to those nine, two attempted thefts," he said. 

Cameras at Bridge Street Market were able to save two images of the suspected thieves before they were stolen in November. Police are trying to identify the people in these images to see who is behind the thefts. 

The case number is 12-16-14. If you have any information on the security cameras, call Crimestoppers. Depending on the case and information given, Rogue Credit Union will pay you up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and filing of charges. You can remain anonymous. 

Rogue River Mail-Theft Free so Far This Christmas Season
By Aaron Nilsson/KTVL.comROGUE RIVER, Ore. -- A string of mail theft two years ago in Rogue River has residents keeping a close eye on their letters.Stolen mail became such a problem, officers went around town leaving notices on each mailbox.The notices gave neighbors a warning to watch out for anything suspicious.Police recommended asking a friend or neighbor to collect mail if you won't be home when the mail arrives."I would watch for the mailman and get it as soon as possible and don't even leave it overnight or even during the day. Have someone pick it up if you're not home," Rogue River Community Center Director, Sue Smith, said.Community members said a post office box is a great option to protect your identity and mail from anyone's curiosity.Rogue River police officers reported this Christmas season is mail-theft free and so far so good.

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