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Oregons Grandview fire, July 11.
Oregon's Grandview fire, July 11. Oregon Fire Marshal

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! And now you've given me, given me, nothing but shattered dreams, shattered dreams. Feel like I could run away, run away from this empty heart. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• According to a preliminary report from the Multnomah County Health Department, most of the 54 residents who died during June's horrific heatwave lived alone and without air conditioning. Officials are reportedly working on ways to protect more people during (what will surely be) the next heatwave. Our Isabella Garcia has lots more details on this report and the county's press conference.

• In a blockbuster report from OPB, it certainly seems like the Trail Blazer organization's "thorough investigation" into the 1997 rape allegations against their new head coach Chauncey Billups, was kind of not thorough at all, and in fact, whoever did the investigating neglected to contact several primary sources, including the alleged victim. (That sound you hear is Blazers' management murmuring, "Ohhhhhhh shiiiiiiit.") Seriously though, this is an amazing piece of reporting, and you should read it.

• It's official: Southern Oregon's Bootleg fire is the largest in the nation, consuming at least 200,000 acres (bigger than the size of Chicago) as of Tuesday. Some areas of Lake County are under evacuation orders.

• The delta variant of COVID has arrived in Eastern Oregon and is spreading rapidly, leading Umatilla County's public health officer to issue this cryptic warning: “It’s not a question for unvaccinated people if they’re going to get the virus. It’s when they’re going to get it and how sick they’re going to get.”

• Washington state prosecutors have reached the dicey conclusion that the police killing of Jenoah Donald outside of Vancouver during a "broken taillight" traffic stop was justified. The officer claims he thought there was a gun in the car (it was a screwdriver), and that the car itself was a weapon (because Donald revved the engine).

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• Thanks to the spreading delta variant, July 4 celebrations, and Republican-encouraged drop in vaccinations, new American cases of COVID have doubled over the past three weeks.

• Very much related: Thanks to pressure from shithead anti-science Republicans, the Tennessee Department of Health will not only stop suggesting that teens get the COVID vaccine, they'll no longer encourage getting ANY vaccines.

• Senate Democrats are ready to push a new $3.5 trillion plan to finance the expansion of the economic safety net, boosting Medicare and creating new funding for clean energy—that is if they can get stubborn Dems like Joe Manchin on board.


• More than 150 companies—including Pepsi, Amazon, Target, Macy's, and more—are rallying behind the idea of Congress updating and restoring the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act which was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013.

• Overdoses in America skyrocketed during the pandemic last year reaching 93,000 cases, and significantly eclipsing the previous record of 72,000.

• Like sex, weed, and scares? Get a sweet taste of ALL our fun film fests (HUMP, SPLIFF, and SLAY) with the Mercury's SUMMER MOVIE MASHUP! Get those tickets now!

Support The Portland Mercury

• Too hot for ya? Get ready for a cool July because the Mercury's SUMMER OF SLUSHIES is serving up $5 delicious, boozy frozen concoctions from your fave bars all damn month long!

• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: A cooling trend kicks off today with a high of 82 that will drop down to 74 by Friday!

• And finally, DEAR INTERNET: Please don't eat billionaire Jeff Bezos (ha-ha) or slurp on his blood (hee-hee).