9/16/2023 News Roundup


<<A federal agency has ordered the Oregon State Hospital to make immediate changes to the way it transports patients two weeks after a shackled patient stole a hospital van then eluded police for more than a day.

The Oregon Health Authority disclosed late Friday that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found lapses identified at the Oregon State Hospital that put patients in “immediate jeopardy” of harm or death and ordered them quickly addressed. The agency administers federal health coverage for people over 65, with disabilities or who have little or no income, and its finding could cost the state a substantial portion of its funding if it doesn’t quickly implement the changes.

The health authority didn’t directly tie the finding to the escape of Christopher Lee Pray, 39, who police described as “extremely dangerous” after he drove off and eluded officers. Officials from the hospitals and its state oversight agency have refused to discuss the case or any internal response since Pray was found stuck in mud in a North Portland pond and placed back in state custody, citing health privacy laws.

Under the “immediate jeopardy” order, the state hospital has 23 days to make approved changes to improve the safety of transporting patients or it could lose its eligibility to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The state hospital received about $18.7 million in Medicare and Medicaid funding during the last two-year budget cycle.

According to a news release from the Oregon Health Authority, the federal employee who surveyed the hospital cited issues related to “the secure medical transport of patients, including patients who are currently involved in the criminal justice system or are under the supervision of the state Psychiatric Security Review Board.”>>



<<Commissioner Dan Ryan was a guest on this week’s episode of Straight Talk>>

<<Ryan was previously in charge of developing Portland’s Safe Rest Villages, offering temporary tiny houses for homeless Portlanders, and he expressed pride that the villages are up and running, declaring that he didn’t want to “keep adding more policy that won’t be implemented.”

The village program has continued to function alongside Mayor Ted Wheeler’s more recent initiative to create larger sanctioned campsites.

“What we’re seeing is some great early results,” he said. “One, we have over 500 people that are safely sleeping tonight, when you combine the seven Safe Rest Villages — one more than promised — coupled with the sites that the mayor and I co-sponsored, which will probably be under the same umbrella eventually.”

Early results are showing that more than 50% of people who stay in the villages eventually land in permanent housing, he said, with an average stay of between six and nine months.>>



<<A 19-year-old security officer was arrested Wednesday after stabbing a man in the Hazelwood Neighborhood, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

Officers responded around 8 a.m. to a business complex in the 500 block of Northeast 122nd Avenue, where they found Nathan Milton suffering from stab wounds.

An affidavit of probable cause filed by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office states that security guard Arturo Troncoso Jr., who was working at a bottle drop on Northeast Glisan Street, yelled through a fence at Milton and a group of friends in the parking lot of a McDonalds.

The document says Troncoso saw the group smoking drugs on foil and told them to leave the area.

After Milton refused to leave, the incident escalated into a fight, according to the affidavit. The affidavit says Portland police have surveillance video of the incident, with footage showing Milton and Troncoso on the ground fighting.

A second security officer got involved, and someone pepper sprayed them.

The affidavit says the video shows Milton and Troncoso walking away in opposite directions, then Troncoso running toward Milton and stabbing him in the back.

Milton was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover.

On Friday, he spoke with FOX 12.

“I can hardly move or like breathe or cough,” Milton said.>>

<<Police said Troncoso remained on the scene, and was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. He was arraigned Thursday on charges of assault and unlawful use of a weapon. He was released on bail and will be back in court next week.>>



<<In an attempt to protect students, parents and players, Portland Public Schools has begun testing out a new weapon detection system – just in time for Friday night football.

Two portable detectors stood at the entrance of McDaniel High School stadium for Friday’s game. If the system detected any weapons, alarms would go off.

Testing these devices is part of an overall plan to reduce gun violence in and around major school events. They were among the several recommendations made by a Safety and Security Task Force that the district assembled last May.>>