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SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown announced a plan Thursday to limit Oregon’s unique tax rebate known as the kicker, saying she wants to divert $500 million in tax credits away from the state’s top income earners to pay down pension costs and invest in rural housing.

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Oregon State University College of Forestry will spend the next year working with the Department of State Lands to transform the Elliott State Forest into a research forest, the State Land Board decided Tuesday.

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Interim Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Winston, will keep his state Senate seat. In unofficial final results released Wednesday night by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, the Republican senator defeated Democratic challenger Shannon Souza of Coos Bay by 64.3 percent to 35.5 percent.

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Interim Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, will keep his House District 2 seat. In unofficial final results released Wednesday morning by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, Leif defeated Democratic challenger Megan Salter 66.2 percent to 33.6 percent.

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Incumbent House District 7 Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Fall Creek, defeated Democratic challenger Christy Inskip 61 percent to 39  percent, according to unofficial results updated at 11 p.m. Tuesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's Office.

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Four candidates for three state legislative positions discussed the economy, education, healthcare and other issues at the League of Women Voters legislative candidate forum Tuesday at the Holiday Inn Express in Roseburg.

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Shannon Souza will be allowed a seat at a Tuesday candidate forum after all. The League of Women Voters of Umpqua Valley announced Friday it was reversing an earlier decision to not seat Souza. The original decision was made because her opponent, Interim Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Winston, had dec…