Portland, OR

Wednesday in Portland: City continues to see deaths, injuries from illegal street racing and more

Emily Scarvie

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(Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Wednesday, Sept. 7 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Deaths, injuries from street racing continue one year after Portland's emergency ordinance

Last year, Portland enacted an emergency ordinance aimed at cracking down on street racing and takeovers, but the city is still struggling to contain the illegal events. These events sometimes draw hundreds of spectators, blocking major roads, including Interstate 84, the Burnside Bridge, the Sunset Highway Tunnel and the Fremont Bridge. Since August 2021, the events have left two people dead and injured at least eight.

On Aug. 27, 26-year-old Ashlee Diane McGill was hit by an “out of control” street racer around 5:30 a.m. near Southeast Stark Street and 133rd Avenue. McGill’s mother, Misty Nicholson, told KATU that her daughter was just waiting for a bus when the car struck her. McGill had a 6-year-old son.

At least seven people have been killed by street racing incidents since 2015, and many more injured. The ordinance enacted last year changed street racing or takeovers to misdemeanor offenses, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Portland police have partnered with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police for several “speed racing missions” since then and have “seen success,” according to Mayor Ted Wheeler.

2. Newberg Youth Soccer coach arrested for attempted invasion of privacy against a 12 year old

After digital evidence was recovered from the suspect’s cell phone, a Newberg Youth Soccer coach was arrested Tuesday for attempted invasion of privacy against a 12 year old. Michael Erin Doty, 47, was arrested on two counts of attempted invasion of privacy in the first degree. The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office said the victim is a 12-year-old who knows Doty from his job as a youth soccer coach in Newberg.

Court documents say Doty had a camera in a bathroom and a bedroom and attempted to record the 12-year-old victim. Search warrants were served and a cell phone was submitted to the forensics laboratory. Officials were then able to obtain digital evidence to proceed with an arrest.

The sheriff’s office believes there may be other victims who have not yet come forward. Anyone who suspects a child may be experiencing abuse or neglect can report their concern to the dedicated Department of Human Services Child Abuse hotline at (503) 378-6704 or contact local law enforcement.

3. Portlander launches 'Pizza for Ukraine' to feed Ukrainians, fundraise for nonprofits

Corey Watson, who moved from Portland to Ukraine this summer, is raising money for what he refers to as pizza diplomacy missions: opportunities to help feed displaced, wounded, orphaned and active duty Ukrainians. The former software engineer learned the art of Neapolitan pizza making in Naples, Italy, and had originally intended to moved to London to work in a pizzeria, but changed his plans when the war broke out in Ukraine.

“I think that pizza is such an interesting, unusual vehicle to fundraise for and could gain a lot of attention,” Watson said. “It’s really the best food made in the worst situation.”

Watson originally went to Poland and helped prepare food for World Central Kitchen. In June, he moved to Lviv, Ukraine, and started Pizza for Ukraine. They provide free pizza to those in need and raise money for local nonprofits. Watson plans to stay in Ukraine indefinitely.

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