By Emily Scarvie
(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Thursday, Dec. 9 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.
After a carjacking suspect was shot and killed earlier this week on Interstate 5 by a police officer after reportedly wounding a woman while trying to steal her car, the Portland Police Bureau has identified the suspect. Brandon L. Keck, 30, was shot and killed by Officer John Hughes. Hughes has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
Around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, officers received reports of a home invasion where the suspect stole a vehicle. Authorities then began receiving several reports of carjackings in the area. One of the stolen vehicles was spotted by officers, who then tailed the suspect. The suspect reportedly drove onto I-5, driving north against southbound traffic.
Following the shooting, I-5 was closed in both directions near Columbia Boulevard for several hours for an investigation. Anyone with information on the alleged carjackings or crimes leading up to the incident is asked to contact Detective Erik Kammerer at Erik.Kammerer@portlandoregon.gov and 503-823-0762 or Detective Shaye Samora at Shaye.Samora@portlandoregon.gov and 503-823-0768.
The Vancouver Police Department is testing out a body camera and dash camera computer system for the next 60 days to determine if the technology will meet the department’s needs. The body camera snaps into an officer’s bulletproof vest and the two dash cams are placed in front of the car and in the back. The cameras have automatic recording features that will trigger when sirens are on, when an officer steps out of the vehicle with their sirens on or if they pull their gun.
Officials with the department say this is a necessary step toward transparency. If everything goes well with the cameras during the testing period, the department hopes to implement the body cam system fully in Spring 2022.
It’s the busiest time of year for the United States Postal Service and the holiday rush is in full swing at the USPS Processing and Distribution Center in northeast Portland. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, the center delivers around 850 to 900 million parcels.
“We process all of the parcels incoming from all over the nation as well as letters and magazines,” Titus Muyuela, senior manager of distribution operations at the Portland center, told FOX 12. “On average we do about 12 million pieces of mail including parcels, letters and flats on a daily basis.”
According to Muyuela, the distribution center is staffed to handle the demand and utilizes the Enhanced Package Processing System, one of only two in the country, which can sort around 25,000 packages in an hour.
Still planning on sending holiday gifts through USPS? These are the mail-by dates to make sure they get there by Christmas:
- Retail Ground: Dec. 15
- First Class: Dec. 17
- Priority: Dec. 18
After being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Grotto’s annual Christmas Festival of Lights is back this year with over two million lights, choir performances, puppet shows and more.
“We’re hoping this will bring a sense of normalcy to families who have come here for years,” Samantha Kocher, The Grotto’s events and community outreach coordinator, told FOX 12. “The Festival of Lights has been going on for over 30 years and we hear from families who remember coming as kids and now want to bring their kids… So we’re hoping this will bring some Christmas spirit back to families who weren’t able to experience it last year.”
The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights runs from Nov. 26 through the end of the year. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets online and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is required to get into the event.