Accused Opioid-by-Mail Dealer Dies in Jail

Jessica Collins, mother of Aisha Zughbieh-Collins, an 18-year-old Portlander who died of an overdose of the synthetic opioid U47700 in February ("Death by Bitcoin," WW, July 5, 2017), learned this week that her daughter's accused dealer has died in jail. Theodore Khleborod, a South Carolina man indicted on federal charges of supplying the fatal dose—and selling opioids to thousands on the Dark Web—died of an apparent suicide while awaiting trial. "Aisha's life was stolen from us," Collins says. "I hope that he suffered the same pain that he has caused so many families."

Legal Showdown Looms Over Sentencing Reforms

It's not every day that one of the state's top law enforcement officials—Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote—sues the state for breaking its own laws. But on Nov. 15, Foote and two crime victims, Deborah Mapes-Stice and Mary Elledge, filed a lawsuit in Clackamas County Circuit Court over House Bill 3078, legislation passed in 2017 that reduces penalties for certain property crimes defined by 2008's Ballot Measure 57. The suit alleges the new law runs afoul of Ballot Measure 10, passed by voters in 1994. That initiative requires any changes to voter-approved criminal-sentencing measures to pass by a two-thirds majority in both chambers. The bill fell short of that number in both the House and Senate. The lawsuit sets up a showdown between critics of Oregon's criminal justice system and Foote, a staunch defender of that system. The lawsuit seeks a ruling that HB 3078 is "invalid and unenforceable."

Metro Eyes Housing Bond for 2018

On Nov. 13, TriMet canceled plans to send a $1.7 billion transportation bond to voters in November 2018. But regional planning agency Metro is now angling to fill that spot on the ballot—with an affordable housing bond. New polling shows Metro has preliminary support to move forward with a $500 million housing bond next year. Of the 800 respondents surveyed by FM3 Research, 66 percent supported raising taxes by $50 a year. The poll, for which Metro paid $42,250, had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. This would be Metro's first housing bond. Last year, Portland voters approved a $258 million housing bond.

Give!Guide Donations Top $350,000

Willamette Week's annual Give!Guide is live and accepting donations at giveguide.org. Giving has already surpassed $383,000 and 2,480 donors. This year's goal is to raise $4.4 million. If you give $10 or more on Thursday, Nov. 16, you'll be eligible to win a two-night stay in a luxury suite at Brasada Ranch, plus a round of golf at its course outside Bend.