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POLICE

Sketch of suspect released

Portland police are looking for a man who allegedly raped a 28-year-old woman who was driving near Northeast 122nd Avenue and Inverness Drive late last month when her car stalled.

The man, apparently a transient who frequents the MAX station at Northeast 122nd Avenue and Burnside Street, is 'armed and dangerous,' police say.

On Thursday, they released a sketch of the suspect, described as a white male in his late 30s or early 40s, 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11, with a thin build, waist-length stringy brown hair, and a cut or infected sore on the left side of his upper lip.

The woman said the attacker, who had a 9-inch knife, opened the passenger door and ordered her to drive to a secluded area near Northeast 125th Avenue and Marine Drive. He then sexually assaulted her and robbed her.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Call 503-823-HELP (4357).

Council OKs cop consultant

On Wednesday, the Portland City Council approved spending $50,000 to hire an outside consultant to review police shootings and deaths in custody. The unanimous vote was a setback for the newly formed Citizens Review Committee, a part of the division of Independent Police Review, created by the council last year to investigate complaints against the police.

A majority of the nine-member committee wanted the council to give it the authority to review the shootings and deaths. But the council instead sided with the Portland Police Association Ñ the union representing the city's rank-and-file officers.

The vote came as controversy increases over recent police shootings. Portland police have shot at 11 people since January 2001, including five minorities.

More than 60 people gathered to criticize the shootings during a Wednesday night forum called in reaction to the shooting death of Byron Hammick Jr., a black man who was killed by police Feb. 22.

Hammick reportedly refused the officers' orders to stop beating a 3-year-old boy in a Motel 6 room on Southeast Powell Boulevard. A Multnomah County grand jury cleared the officers in the death.

MEDIA

What's it all about, Z100?

When Z100 advertised that 'the end is coming,' some listeners reasonably thought that the hip radio station was closing down.

Turns out the slogan was merely a gimmick to announce the Clear Channel-owned station's talent and name changes. That will happen at 5 p.m. today, said General Manager Ron Saito.

'We'll put everything into place,' including the morning show, disc jockeys and drive team, he said.

Its format of contemporary rock will stay the same.

Z100, whose call letters are KKRZ-FM, cleaned house in the last two weeks, firing Stacy Lynn, Dr. Doug, Skippy the Prize Guy and Matt Wilcox. The station hasn't had a morning team since December, when Murphy and Clark departed. The change is partially because of ratings, Saito said. Z100 pulled in a 3.2 share, or about 11,500 listeners age 12 and older, during the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m slot.

'The ratings were satisfactory but not what we wanted them to be,' he said. 'We think the station should be doing better than that.'

BUSINESS

Stores ponder merger

Two of the country's largest department store chains Ñ including May Department Stores Co., owner of Meier & Frank Ñ reportedly are in preliminary merger talks.

It's apparently not the first time that May, based in St. Louis, has discussed the possibility of merging with Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores Inc., whose holdings include The Bon MarchŽ chain. A story in The Wall Street Journal this week said the discussions haven't reached a stage where specific details are being discussed.

Both Federated and May, whose holdings also include Lord and Taylor, Hecht's, Foley's, Famous-Barr, Filene's, David's Bridal and Strawbridge, refused to comment.

But retail analysts say such discussions, which would bring together two companies with annual sales of nearly $60 billion, probably are inevitable as discount department stores such as Target, Wal-Mart and Kohl's continue to hugely outperform their full-line counterparts.

May has 408 department stores in 34 states, including 21 Meier & Frank stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah.

AT&T allows cable access

After withstanding a barrage of lawsuits and other challenges, AT&T Broadband is, under its own terms, opening its coveted cable lines to high-speed Internet service providers.

AT&T Broadband and EarthLink said this week that EarthLink could use AT&T's cable pipes to send high-speed Internet signals to its online customers. Lindy Bartell, a Portland-based AT&T Broadband spokesman, said Portland EarthLink customers could receive the service sometime in 2003.

The city of Portland and AT&T have had a contentious relationship over the so-called 'open access' issue. The two fought in court over AT&T's refusal to open its cable lines to other high-speed Internet providers. AT&T ultimately won the case on appeal.

ENVIRONMENT

Report: Polluters foil DEQ

A Portland-based environmental group released a report Wednesday that found big flaws in Oregon's efforts to curb air and water pollution.

The Oregon Environmental Council's report, titled 'Holding Polluters Accountable,' argued that the state Department of Environmental Quality is losing ground to major industrial polluters.

According to the group's research, the DEQ lacks the resources to inspect companies that hold permits to discharge pollutants into the air or the water. DEQ employees are now responsible for overseeing twice as many permits as they were 10 years ago.

As a result, more inspections are being missed, the report states.

'I think they made some good points,' acknowledged Stephanie Hallock, DEQ's director, 'There might be some things we disagree with them on, but I definitely agree that we have resource problems. É We do, though, have an office of enforcement and compliance now, which we didn't have when I became director.'

The study is accessible online at www.orcouncil.org or by calling 503-222-1963, Ext. 110.

GRANT

Cash will fight drug abuse

The Multnomah County Department of Community Justice will use a $241,613 grant awarded this week to serve about 240 juveniles with substance abuse problems.

The county was one of 11 counties to receive the grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a national philanthropy based at the Graduate School of Social Work at Portland State University.

The project, called Multnomah Embrace, will begin in 2003 and involve local law enforcement, juvenile court judges, treatment providers and others in the community.

Ñ Tribune staff