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State may approve up to $15-hour wages for home-care workers
(MGN Online Photo)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Home-care workers and the state will likely approve a contract that makes $15-per-hour wages possible.

The Service Employees Union International Local 503 announced that a tentative agreement had been reached with the state to increase wages to $14.50 per hour by February 2017.

An additional training certification would earn workers another 50 cents per hour starting in 2017.

State retirement options are also part of the contract, which bargaining team member Alice Redding says is a historic first for home-care workers. The contract also includes paid time off.

Selected union members will vote on ratifying the contract soon.

The union is facing a class action lawsuit filed by the Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Washington state that says union membership should not be required.

Firefighters at Oregon wildfire prepare for windy weather
(MGN Online Photo)

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- Structural fire crews have returned to protect homes on a wildfire in eastern Oregon as National Guard and other fire crews worked to reinforce lines against winds forecast to be gusting up to 40 mph.

The Canyon Creek fire complex covered 135 square miles Friday. It is located south of John Day mostly on the Malheur National Forest.  

Spokeswoman Stefanie Gatchell says the cold front bringing rain to western Oregon this weekend will bring thunderstorms and gusty winds to the fire, so crews are working to reinforce their lines.

Smoke made air quality very unhealthy in John Day, but was moderate to good across most of the state.

Meanwhile, the north entrance to Crater Lake National Park reopened Friday after being closed due to a nearby wildfire.

Kapowsin Meats recalls pork from Washington, Oregon, Alaska
(MGN Online Photo)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- Graham-based Kapowsin Meats is recalling more than 520,000 pounds of pork shipped to Washington, Oregon and Alaska after food inspectors found that it may be contaminated with salmonella.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recall after sampling at Kapowsin Meat's facility. Salmonella was found in whole hogs for barbecue, associated pork produces and around the business. The company has voluntarily suspended work.

The pork was produced between April 18 and Aug. 26. The recalled products include boxed or bags whole hogs for barbecue, various pork offal products, pork blood and pork trim.

The state Department of Health notified the USDA of salmonella-related illnesses in July. Those illnesses were linked to pork from Kapowsin.

Oregon hiring 11 recreational marijuana inspectors
(MGN Online Photo)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is recruiting 11 marijuana compliance specialists in preparation for the Oct. 1 rollout of recreational marijuana.

Medical marijuana dispensaries will begin selling marijuana products to consumers in October and the state will begin accepting permits applications for marijuana businesses Jan. 4.

Compliance specialists will investigate businesses and production facilities, as well as organize decoy operations where minors attempt to buy marijuana. The new positons pay between $3,610 and $5,277 a month. Three of the 11 positions are temporary.

An OLCC spokesman says alcohol regulatory specialists will also be trained for marijuana regulations, but because they do not know how many permit applications they will receive in January it's better to hire more inspectors than less.

Texas PTA's one-of-a-kind fundraising sheet strikes a familiar chord with parents
Photo courtesy of Dee Wise Heinz

By Nia Towne/CNYCentral.com

A Texas middle school PTA chose to take a more hands-off approach to fundraising this year.

The PTA sent students home with a flyer explaining the different options to show support for the school, that sheet has since gone viral after one mom shared it to Facebook.

When Dee Wise Heinz's daughter brought the sheet home, she thought "a fundraiser already? But after reading it, my husband and I got such a chuckle out of it and we thought it was so refreshing," the mother of three said in an interview with ABC News.

The letter asks for monetary donations instead of the traditional volunteer hours, baked goods and walk-a-thons.

Here are a few of the options:

-- "I do not want to hit up friends, family and co-workers, so here is the money I would have spent buying wrapping paper" is the $25 donation

-- "I really wouldn't have helped anyway, so here is $100 to forget my name."

-- The last option allows you to enter your own amount, saying "I am making this donation to express my appreciation for having nothing to buy, sell or do except fill out this form."

"I think it has struck a universal chord with parents everywhere. I'm getting messages from Australia, England, Scotland and all over. I do want to note; however, that I am not in any way anti-fundraiser," the mother said. "I think they serve a very valuable purpose to our communities, schools, churches and non-profits. I just personally appreciated the option to donate directly and loved the humorous way in which the PTA approached it."

The letter has been shared over 175,000 times on Facebook.

Holly theatre restoration project
By Justin Matthews/KTVL.com

MEDFORD, Ore.- The first phase of restoring the inside of the Holly Theatre is underway.
   
The theater's main entry is being completely refurbished and is being restored to its original 1930's design.
   
When the project is done there will be live concerts, films, and other special events in the theatre.

"Once you're ready to do the rest of it it gets uglier before it gets better, you have to put in all the electrical, the mechanical, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, all those things that aren't very sexy maybe but are absolutely necessary," said Randy McKay, the theater's executive director.

A benefit concert for the Holly Theatre restoration fund is happening this Saturday at the Edenvale Einery Amphitheater.
   
It is starring Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts.
   
General admission lawn seats are still available.

To buy tickets or donate to the Holly Theatre: http://www.hollytheatre.org/

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Fed vice chair indicates September rate hike still possible

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer says that incoming economic data and market developments will likely determine whether the Fed boosts interest rates in September.

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   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
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RICK SPRINGFIELD-YOUR BUTT IS FINE WITH US

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