Morning Roundup: Hospital charges all over the map; Prineville’s housing solution

Prineville tackles housing issues, Oregon hospital report reveals inconsistent charges.

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— Prineville has become a popular location for data centers (Apple just announced its third in the city.) The facilities have been great for the economy but bad for the city’s housing market. The Bend Bulletin reports the planning commission is considering a land use code change to provide relief for the housing crisis. The code could allow for temporary housing sites in sections of the city restricted to industrial construction.


— When The Bent Brick in Northwest Portland announced the restaurant would eliminate tipping, it sparked a discussion on business practices. That new policy was supposed to go into play last weekend. Instead, the restaurant closed, with Bent Brick owners citing financial strain. The Oregonian has more.

— The first Oregon Hospital Payment Report shows hospitals statewide are charging different sums for the same procedures. Gallbladder surgery, for example, has a median pay amount of $9,029. But charges for that procedure ranged from $6,496 to $14,644. Read more from the Statesman Journal. 

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— Environmentalists have reportedly gone “old school” in Noti, spiking logs at the Swanson Brothers Mill. The technique was used in the 1990s to prevent logging. Metal spikes were inserted into trees, creating danger for saws wielded by loggers. A group told the mill it spiked trees last month. Read more from OPB. 

Related news: From the Archives: Revenge Forestry 

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— Oregon State University has released a free computer program to evaluate a water resource’s potential as an energy source. OPB reports the program’s intent is to find hydropower opportunities in off-the-grid areas in need of power. Since OSU released the software last week, there have been more than 40 requests from all over the world. 



— Comcast is partnering with Netflix to keep customers using their cable box, rather than third party products to view Netflix programming. The partnership will allow users to login to Netflix through Comcast’s X1 box. Netflix has been trying to get TV providers to pay for its subscription service for years. Read more from Reuters.

— Google has acquired another startup to expand its technological reach. Moodstocks, which specializes in smartphone image recognition, announced the deal today. Business Insider reports the software will provide Google with superior image recognition tools. The technology could be helpful in Google’s self-driving cars, which reports show are already succeeding in recognizing cyclists hand signals.