PacifiCorp signs wind deal

PacifiCorp has agreed to purchase the entire electrical output of a new Oregon wind power plant during the next 20 years.

The 41 megawatts of new power will come from the Eurus Combine Hills wind farm, which is scheduled to be up and running by the end of the year in Umatilla County.

It was the first wind deal signed under Oregon's energy restructuring law, which took effect in March 2002.

The Energy Trust of Oregon, which was set up under the restructuring law, is subsidizing the project with an upfront payment of $3.8 million.


School blazes investigated

Investigators are looking for clues into an arson at Jackson Middle School in Southwest Portland that caused $25,000 in damage, according to fire officials.

The fire early Sunday gutted a first-floor counselor's office and caused smoke damage to a second-floor classroom. The fire bureau is working with school police, officers and administrators to find the culprits.

Investigators haven't said whether the fire is related to a recent string of four fires at Wilson High School in the last week. A counselor's office also was hit there, and the blaze caused $2,000 in damage, fire officials said.

There also was some damage caused by a fire last week at Gray Middle School, in Southwest Portland.

In a separate case, investigators still are looking for the cause of last Thursday morning's fire in a business at Northeast Glisan Street and 80th Avenue, which they said was intentionally set. One woman reported seeing a suspicious person leaving the scene.

Fire officials have not officially drawn a link between that blaze and a commercial fire the day before, half a mile away on Southeast Stark Street and 79th Avenue. No arrests have been made in any of the cases.


Council to hear police case

The City Council soon may review a police internal investigation into the case of Merrick Bonneau, arrested by officers who were looking for his half-brother.

The rules governing the hearing have just been completed by Richard Rosenthal, director of the Independent Police Review Division of the city auditor's office. Rosenthal said the council hearing could happen as early as July 13.

Bonneau, 26, was arrested Sept. 4, 1999. A Multnomah County jury acquitted him of all charges six months later.

After the acquittal, an internal affairs investigation cleared the arresting officers of wrongdoing. Bonneau appealed the findings to the Citizen Review Committee, created 18 months ago to handle appeals of the results of such investigations. The committee voted that the arrest was unreasonable, in part because Bonneau looks black, while his half-brother is white.

Because the committee had not referred a case to the council before, Rosenthal had to write the rules before it could be heard. The new rules allow both sides to make presentations to the council.


Housing office seeks loan

The Portland City Council has authorized the Housing Authority of Portland to apply for a federal loan of up to $11.5 million to get the cash needed to start demolition of Columbia Villa this fall.

The authority plans to level the existing public housing at the North Portland site and replace it with a mixed-use, mixed-income development by 2006.

The loan is necessary to fill a cash gap between the city's $20 million commitment to the project and the authority's timetable, which was accelerated after the city's commitment was made.

The loan application was approved Thursday without the city and the authority reaching agreement on which entity will be responsible for paying the interest and other costs of the loan.

The amount of those payments will depend on how much of the $11.5 million authorized actually is borrowed, how quickly it's repaid and the rate of interest. The issue must be resolved before the closing on the loan can take place in September.

Ñ Tribune staff