Fire causes $50K in damage to home

A Forest Grove couple escaped their home after a fire tore through their garage Thursday night, according to Fire Marshal Dave Nemeyer.

When firefighters arrived at 2810 14th Avenue around 9:25 p.m. Feb. 7, fire had "enveloped the garage" of the two-story home, Nemeyer said. Firefighters removed the garage door and controlled the flames before they spread to the home's interior. Fire investigators confirmed the resident's statement that he had been working to remove moisture from inside his car's headlights with a "heat gun" just before the fire broke out. Officials said the blaze caused $50,000 in damage to the home and its contents. About 25 firefighters from Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, Hillsboro Fire and the Cornelius Fire Department worked to extinguish the fire.

New crosswalks coming in Forest Grove

After a minor delay, a pair of crosswalks are back on the drawing board in Forest Grove. Plans for pedestrian paths at Thatcher Road (at Thatcher Park) and Gales Creek Road (at Forest Gale Drive) were put on hold when county requirements bumped the price tags above what the city had budgeted. But at a work session Monday, city councilors gave the go-ahead to redesign both projects with a $60,000 budget for Thatcher Road and $70,000 for Gales Creek Road. Public Works Director Rob Foster said he's confident he can get the work done for less. Both crosswalks will included new curbs, ramps, asphalt striping and solar-powered flashers.

Forest Grove continues to look at urban renewal

City councilors in Forest Grove still have lots of questions, but authorized city staff to continue exploring the idea of setting up an urban renewal district. Within such districts, increasing property tax receipts are designated to pay off bonds used economic development projects, ranging from sidewalk improvements, parks and streetlights. The program has been used by several cities in Oregon. Hillsboro approved a district for its downtown in 2010. Tualatin recently phased out a district, formed in 1985, that led to the development of the Tualatin Commons, which has become a regional recreation and shopping destination.

Cornelius police conduct safety belt 'blitz'

The Cornelius Police Department, in conjunction with more than 100 other police, sheriff and state police agencies throughout the Northwest, will have additional patrols working a two-week targeted traffic enforcement "blitz" dedicated to proper safety belt and child restraint use. In addition, texting and speed enforcement will also be a priority, said Assistant Chief Joe Noffsinger.

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