Morning Roundup: Oregon to fight shell corporations; Sen. Merkley asks for Wells Fargo criminal investigation

In today’s news, Oregon Secretary of State unveils plan to combat shell companies, Roseburg Forest Products withdraws water source from California town and Sen. Jeff Merkley calls for Wells Fargo investigation.

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1. Oregon legislation to stop shell corporations 

Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins unveiled a plan to address anonymous shell companies in Oregon. The proposed legislation would require companies to disclose the owner’s name and a physical street address for incorporation records, the Portland Business Journal reports. Atkins wants to give her office the authority to investigate and ensure individuals on incorporation records are liable for fraud damages.

2. Roseburg tells Weed to get water elsewhere

Roseburg Forest Products owns the spring that sits on the edge of Weed, Calif. where many residents get their water. The Oregon company is now negotiating with the city to find an alternative water source, the Register Guard reports. For the past 50 years, Roseburg has charged Weed $1 a year to use the water. In July, that annual rate was bumped to $97,500. The company hasn’t released plans for the spring water. But Roseburg already sells water to Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring for bottling, and Crystal Geyser wants to increase its supply. 

3. Sen. Jeff Merkley calls for criminal investigation into Wells Fargo

Merkley was joined by Minnesota Sen. Al Franken at a press conference this morning to call for an investigation into Wells Fargo and its executives following the revalation that the bank created millions of fraudulent accounts without permission.

4. Merkley also celebrated the re-opening of Klamath Falls commercial flights

Klamath Falls lost its commercial airline SkyWest in 2014. Pen Air officially started commercial service at the airport yesterday. The service signals the recovery of the Crater Lake Klamath Falls Airport, but many of Oregon’s rural airports are still struggling, as we reported last spring.

5. Oregon cities work to extend residents life as a Blue Zone City

A Blue Zone City emphasizes community health and wellbeing through environmental and social programs. The Bend Bulletin reports Prineville, Lebanon, Coos Bay and The Dalles are all in the running for Blue Zone status. Prineville, for example, hopes to use a Blue Zone partnership to improve the health of its residents, many of whom are obese. The winning city wil receive $200,000 to implement programming. 

6. Federal government considers mining ban to protect sage grouse

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management released a report studying sage grouse habitats Tuesday. The report will be used to determine economic and environmental trade-offs in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming for 10 million acres currently used for mining. The BLM will release a draft environmental impact statement in December, the Oregonian reports. 

7. Portland No. 7 in nation for telecommuting

According to U.S. Census data, about 6.4% of the region works from home. The Oregonian ranked the top 10 nearby cities for telecommuting. In Lake Oswego, that number is 12.4% of the workforce.

8. The cover story: Shooting our October issue

Go behind the scenes with OB editors. Like most food events in PDX, shooting our Generation Diner cover was a collaborative effort, reports OB Art Director Wes Boyd.

9. Portland electric car showroom planned for April

A permanent downtown Portland storefront to showcase electric vehicles and charging equipment is expected to open in April 2017.