Cornelius driver hits, kills Portland woman

A Portland woman was struck and killed by a minivan while apparently hitchhiking in the dark and wearing black clothing on Highway 219 just after midnight on May 18.

Melissa Bernard, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene. She was hit by a 2004 Kia Sedona driven by Owen Moyco, 42, from Cornelius. He remained at the scene, cooperated with investigators, and was not charged with any crimes.

According to Washington County Sheriff’s Office reports, at 12:10 a.m. on May 18, deputies were called to Highway 219 south of Southwest Burkhalter Road concerning a person who was reportedly walking in the road, hitchhiking in the rural community of Farmington.

As the deputies were traveling to the area, another person called seven minutes later and said that he had hit a person with his vehicle in the same location. When the deputies arrived, they found Bernard had apparently been walking north in the middle of the northbound lane when she was struck by Moyco’s northbound vehicle.

Moyco said he was driving about 55 mph when he saw Ms. Bernard in front of him at the last second. Moyco told deputies he tried to swerve around her, but there was a vehicle driving toward him in the opposite direction and he was unable to avoid hitting her.

Bike stolen at knifepoint, says youth

Cornelius police officers arrested Gustabo Pineda-Pineda, 21, for allegedly stealing a bicycle at knifepoint.

According to police reports, a 17-year-old boy called police to the 1900 block of S. Alpine Street at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11. The youth said he was riding his bike in that area when Pineda, a Cornelius resident, aggressively approached and began asking him about his connection to gangs. The victim told Pineda he was not involved in gangs. Pineda came closer, quickly, according to the victim, who dropped his bike and ran away when he saw a large knife in Pineda’s hand.

Pineda was nowhere in sight when officers from Cornelius, Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Washington County responded to the 17-year-old’s call, but they tracked him down, took him into custody and took him to jail on charges of robbery 1, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and theft.

The bike has not been found, but the alleged victim said it was an older, light purple, 24- or 26-inch, women’s 21-speed Magna mountain bike. Anyone with information on the bicycle or the incident is asked to contact Cornelius police at 503-359-1881.

Banks votes in new councilman

Banks City Council members voted in Dan Keller last Tuesday, May 14, to fill the vacant position.

Keller, who served on the Banks council from 2005 to 2008, is back again.

The council position was left vacant when former council president Pete Edison took over the mayoral position, filling in for former mayor John Kinsky, who moved to Hillsboro earlier this year.

Prime Timeout not quite over

Prime Time fans who are eagerly tracking the progress of the sports bar’s new Pacific Avenue building at the east edge of Forest Grove have probably noticed that it looks like it’s almost finished. And they’re right — about the outside, which is 90 percent done, according to co-owner Greg Jansen. “Inside is where the fun is happening,” said Jansen, who apparently defines “fun” as electrical work, insulating, sheetrocking and setting up the bar, kitchen and walk-in coolers. “We are making progress,” said Jansen, who estimates the new Prime Time will be open by the second week in July.

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