$3.6 Million Oregon Lottery Prize Reduced to $9.30
Trisha Whiting got a check from the Oregon Lottery—but not the one she wanted. Whiting played video poker in October at the Greek Village deli in Beaverton and walked away with a winning slip for $3.6 million. Not so fast. When Whiting, whose windfall was first reported by WW's news partner KATU-TV, sought payment, lottery officials told her the machine she played was faulty. Her attorney, Randy Harvey, says lottery rules give the agency wide discretion in the case of disputes. Lottery spokeswoman Joan Stevens-Schwenger says there's no dispute. "The video lottery terminal that Ms. Whiting played malfunctioned and printed an erroneous ticket during an electrical brownout," Stevens-Schwenger says. "The ticket announced that the prize amount was void. Her actual win was $9.30. We sent her a letter with this information and a check for her winnings." Harvey says that's unfair: "Shame on the Oregon Lottery for enticing the poorest of the poor to gamble in games stacked in favor of the Lottery and then legally cheat them out of their winnings."
Oregon Governors Keep Elevating Aides
Gov. Kate Brown last week elevated longtime aide Barry Pack to be permanent head of the Oregon Lottery, without conducting a candidate search or competitive hiring process. Pack's not the first director of a key state agency to get his job that way. In 2013, Gov. John Kitzhaber named onetime chief of staff Steve Marks to run the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, where he remains. Pack now gets $180,540 a year to lead the state's second-largest source of money after income taxes, despite his lack of experience in the gaming industry or running another agency. Pack faces a Senate confirmation hearing next month. "After hearing positive feedback from stakeholder groups and staff, it was decided a national search was not necessary," says Brown's spokeswoman, Kristen Grainger.
Mayor Feuds With Anti-Trump Protesters
The tense relationship between Mayor Charlie Hales and Portland protesters of Donald Trump's presidency fractured further this week when police arrested three anti-Trump march organizers. On Nov. 21, Portland police arrested Gregory McKelvey, Kat Stevens and Micah Rhodes for disorderly conduct, alleging they directed student protesters to defy orders issued by police on loudspeaker. McKelvey says his arrest was politically targeted; Hales and the Police Bureau deny that. The next day, Hales canceled his "March of Hope" against acts of discrimination, saying he feared disruption from counterprotesters.
Give!Guide Reaches 2,700 Donors
Willamette Week's annual Give!Guide is live and accepting donations at giveguide.org. Giving has surpassed $570,000 and 2,700 donors. If you give on Nov. 29, you'll have a chance to win a Trek FX 1 bicycle courtesy of Bike Gallery.