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Billups leans over the camera during a basketball game.
Chauncey Billups, former NBA player, was hired as head coach for the Trail Blazers in June. Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

In local news:

• Most of the 54 confirmed heatwave victims died alone in multifamily homes with no air conditioning, according to a preliminary report released by Multnomah County officials today. State, county, and city officials will continue to review the region’s response to the heatwave and evaluate how to improve their extreme weather response and mitigate the impacts of future heatwaves.

• When Chauncey Billups was announced as the new Trail Blazers coach, fans raised questions about Billups’s decades-old rape allegation that was settled out of court. While the team assured fans they had completed their own investigation into the allegations and determined “nothing nonconsensual” happened, an OPB investigation found the Blazers did not obtain information from multiple primary sources during the investigation, including the accuser.

• The Bootleg fire, which has been burning for a week in southeast Oregon, grew to 200,000 acres Tuesday. The fire slowed over the weekend because the layer of smoke overtop the fire created a cooling effect that tempered its growth, but higher temperatures and winds Monday accelerated the spread again.

• With the devastation of the fire comes the need for community support. Check out WW’s round up of crowdfunding efforts for people who have lost their homes to the flames.

In national news:

• COVID-19 cases in the US are rising again, prompted by the highly-transmissible delta variant, a lull in vaccination rates, and Fourth of July gatherings. The number of new cases per day has doubled over the past three weeks, and all but two states—Maine and South Dakota—are reporting an increase in cases over the past two weeks.

• Pose actress Mj Rodriguez made history Tuesday, becoming the first transgender performer to be nominated for a major Emmy Award category. Rodriguez, who is nominated for outstanding leading actress in a drama series, said her nomination is a pivotal moment allows “the door to be knocked down for so many people.”

• Move aside Salmon cannon, the new way to transport fish is… dropping them out of a plane and letting them plummet err, “flutter” into the water.

• Have you noticed that things seem a little pricey lately? Turns out, US consumer prices surged by 0.9 percent in June and 5.4 percent over the past year—the highest 12-month increase since 2008. The inflation is due to a swift increase in spending as the country “reopens” while pandemic-induced shortages remain stagnant.

Support The Portland Mercury

• While goods and services made be a bit expensive, the Mercury has you covered for inexpensive summer drinks with our Summer of Slushies! Snag a $5 boozy frozen beverage from your favorite bars all through July!

• I just want to take this opportunity to thank the Oregon Zoo’s social media team. You make Twitter a better place.