Portland, OR

Monday in Portland: Ukrainian family seeking refuge in Portland shares story and more news

Emily Scarvie

(Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Monday, June 6 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Ukrainian family living in Portland shares story

Two months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a Ukrainian woman and her daughter were able to escape and seek refuge in Portland. Inna Koytun said she knew the war had started when they were woken up to the sound of missiles four months ago.

“I’ve cried, about my family, and I still can’t believe how this is possible in the 21st century,” Koytun told KATU. “I can’t explain it, it was very scary.”

Koytun’s husband stayed behind to fight for Ukraine. She said she worries every single day about the rest of her family.

“It’s just very hard. It’s just very hard. I’m very worried about my parents, about my family, about my sister. My sister is doctor, she can’t move because she needs to help people,” she said.

Koytun hasn’t yet applied for a longer-stay visa. The Biden administration introduced the Uniting for Ukraine program earlier this year, which provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside of the U.S. to stay temporarily in a two-year period of parole.

2. Roosevelt High School's graduation ceremony honors teen shot, killed last year

At Roosevelt High School’s graduation ceremony on Sunday night, a teen who was shot and killed in Gresham last year was honored. Seneca Alexander Jr. was set to graduate this year, but lost his life to gun violence in August 2021. On the stage, his photo sat with a gold sash and a black graduation cap. Seneca Alexander Sr. attended the ceremony and listened to the honors for his son.

“Not too many happy days but today was a good one,” he said. “It’s so special, despite what happened. There are so many people that knew him, that were around him, and were affected by him and everything he brought to the table.”

Gresham police issued a warrant last year for the arrest of Isaac Bynum Jr., who investigators believe is connected to Alexander Jr.’s death. He has not yet been found.

3. Salt & Straw introduces 'Summer Picnic Series' for June

It’s a new month and that’s means new flavors at Portland’s Salt & Straw. The June flavors, or “The Summer Picnic Series,” feature a five-course menu in ice cream form. The new flavors include pink rosé and watermelon sorbet, baked brie and fig cheesecake, deviled egg custard with smoked black tea, cinnamon and honey fried chicken and chocolate nocino cherry pie.

The new flavors are available online and in Salt & Straw shops throughout June. To read more about The Summer Picnic Series, click here.

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