Kellee Azar, KATU News

Kellee Azar


Portland, OR, United States

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Past articles by Kellee:

Multnomah County Health recommends indoor masking as COVID-19 cases rise

Health officials are keeping a close eye on a rise in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly-transmissible mutations of the omicron variant. → Read More

Dad of missing Canadian teen found in Oregon City says predators are 'master manipulators'

A Canadian family is back together, thanks in part to help from law enforcement in Oregon. Lila Smith, 13, had been missing for a week. → Read More

Suspect charged with attempted murder after stabbing in Portland's Old Town

A suspect was arrested for attempted murder afterr. → Read More

Family of woman, 3-year-old boy murdered speaks out: 'She really loved that little boy'

It's been a long three years since Karissa Fretwell and her three-year-old son, Billy, were murdered. → Read More

Gas prices continue to rise in Oregon, Washington

Gas prices are continuing to rise in Oregon and Washington. According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gas in Oregon is $5. 52. That’s two cents more than the day before. RELATED | Record-high gas prices push inflation to climb at fastest pace since 1981. In Washington, the average price for a gallon of gas is nearly $5. 53. That’s a little more than a cent above the previous day.… → Read More

New Washington law leading more people to flee police, WSP says

While police pursuits can be eye-catching, they can also be extremely dangerous for the public. That was the basis behind the change in House Bill 1054 in Washington last year. This year, the bill became law, restricting law enforcement from engaging in pursuits. “The law has changed, and we are restricted in what kind of pursuits we can engage in. In order to engage in a pursuit, there have to… → Read More

Portland Fire & Rescue investigates string of RV fires

The list continues to grow: Shells of what once were RVs or homes for some are now burned out with nothing left. “I was on my couch Friday night. It was an explosion,” Chris Pearcey said. Pearcey lives near a RV fire that happened in the past month. Since then, there have been four more. One along Northeast 33rd and Sunderland that investigators say was intentionally set by someone throwing an… → Read More

City of Gresham tries new approach to get homeless back to work

John King was once homeless. “I was homeless for 16 months, living in mostly shelters,” he said. For just over a year, King lived without a permanent roof over his head, and now he works for the city of Gresham. A job he's proud of. “We wake people up who are sleeping in doorways and on sidewalks. We offer them food and clothing, shelter and offer them advice to get off the street,” King said.… → Read More

Stabbed 11 times, Beaverton woman fights off stranger with a bat

Lauren Carrier thought she was going to die. A man with a knife, a stranger, had begun stabbing her as she stood just inside the front door of her apartment. Carrier knew she had to fight if she was going to live, and it was thoughts of her 9-year-old daughter that kept her going. She grabbed a bat and fought her attacker off and yelled for help. Her neighbors came to her rescue. She had been… → Read More

Clark County receives $3 million for C-Tran improvements

The population growth in Southwest Washington can be felt in many different ways. One of the biggest is transportation. Whether you are driving, crossing the Interstate Bridge, driving around town or taking C-Tran to get to your destination, the squeeze can be felt. “Clark County has changed and evolved over the years. We certainly strive to change and evolve with it to make sure we're serving… → Read More

No new variants on the horizon as mask mandates drop, OHA says

With Oregon’s mask mandate being lifted, the question lingers whether it is too good to be true. Remember last summer, when we finally got a reprieve from mask wearing only to be hit by the delta variant in the fall? On Friday, hours before the state’s mask mandate was to end, Oregon health officials explained why we are in a better spot now than we were then. → Read More

Gas prices in Oregon, SW Washington not expected to go down any time soon, AAA says

With gas prices skyrocketing, experts at AAA says they won’t be going back down any time soon. The previous record for a gallon of gas was set back in 2008, at $4. 21 per gallon. In Oregon and Southwest Washington, gas prices are up nearly 50 cents per gallon compared to just last week, making it difficult for drivers. Gas prices are expected to keep rising as the war between Russia and Ukraine… → Read More

Vancouver City Council doubles down on 'Safe Stay Community,' second site planned

Vancouver's Safe Stay Community is a much different site than just eight months ago. It's run by a nonprofit but paid for and built by the city. Now, after such success, Vancouver may see a second site. This past summer, a camp along Northeast 51st Circle became a source of concern after a fire broke out in a tent. Neighbors shared their concerns back then with KATU about the unsanctioned… → Read More

Mandates could be lifted by spring as COVID cases trend downward, OHSU analyst says

Case numbers of COVID-19 over the last two weeks have plateaued and dipped; they are no longer breaking records daily. Which, according to OHSU analyst Dr. Peter Graven, is great news. “The data is showing that the increase in hospitalization we've seen over the last really four or five weeks is coming to a halt. That we're at the peak we think of where our numbers are going to end up,” Graven… → Read More

Heat wave deaths prompt Oregon lawmakers to consider funding AC units for eligible

Multiple days of triple-digit heat made for unbearable and deadly days in Oregon this past summer. Nearly 100 people died because of that heat. “Most people who passed away had no access to cooling devices such as air conditioning or heating and cooling pumps in their home,” Oriana Magnera said as she presented a bill Wednesday. Which is why House Bill 4058 and Senate Bill 1536 were drawn up and… → Read More

Oregon hospitals prepare for staffing shortages as omicron surges

This is not our first, and likely not our last, surge of COVID-19, and to say frontline workers are feeling it would likely be an understatement. “Nurses are certainly overworked, exhausted, undervalued. We've been through five surges to this point. This will be the sixth,” Kevin Mealy, with the Oregon Nurses Association, said. As omicron pushes case numbers across the state to record heights,… → Read More

Getting COVID on purpose still a bad idea, doctor says

Wednesday was another day of record-breaking coronavirus cases, and it has much of the health care system and state bracing for what could be the worst of this pandemic. With the omicron variant seemingly milder, many have wondered if we would all be better off if we just got it. While that may seem tempting, it's not a direction we should be headed in; instead, doing everything we can to stay… → Read More

Record-breaking Oregon hospitalizations expected amid COVID surge, OHA says

The director of the Oregon Health Authority said Tuesday that he expects record-breaking hospitalizations in the state because of the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. The state on Tuesday once again broke the record for the number of new cases reported in a single day, with OHA logging more than 4,500. That beat the previous record set last week by more than 1,000 cases. → Read More

White House focusing on supply chain as omicron threatens a surge

These days, when you go to the store, there are no guarantees you will find what you are looking for. “There have just been ongoing things that I used to buy and now I can't find,” Michelle Major said. It’s a complaint many people have and for that, you can blame the supply chain. RELATED:'We have stock': Smaller stores aim for last-minute shoppersOver the last two months, ports like those in… → Read More

Plans unveiled for OMSI District along Portland's Eastbank Esplanade

Big changes are on the horizon for the Eastbank Esplanade, and for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). The neighborhood is looking to become a major destination for the city, and keeping with OMSI's theme, it's designed to be fun for families and a place to learn. OMSI has announced its big plans to develop the space surrounding the museum into the OMSI District. These plans have… → Read More