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Oregon kids return to school today and are contending with the Delta variant as well as conservative school boards.
Oregon kids return to school today and are contending with the Delta variant as well as conservative school boards. Matthew Hatcher / Getty Images

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Now here we are, so close yet so far. Haven't I passed the test? When will you realize, baby, I'm not like the rest. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell has tapped Assistant Chief Mike Frome to become his shadow chief deputy chief after the departure of former shadow chief Deputy Chief Chris Davis who's moving on to run Green Bay, Wisconsin's police force. Shadow editor News editor Alex Zielinski has more.

• Kids across Oregon are returning to in-school learning today, and parents are (to say the least) worried about a host of issues—including keeping their children safe from the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19, and Republican meddling in school affairs. (Read a creepy example of that below.)

• The conservative majority Newberg school board is at it again! After banning Black Lives Matter and Pride symbols from their school district, the right-wingers are refusing to give an inch in the face of massive pushback, and have hired a lawyer to defend their decision which pretty clearly goes against First Amendment rights. So good luck with that! (And for the rest us, it's a reminder that EVERY election is important!)

•  Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and other congressional members are asking the Department of Justice to investigate the Proud Boys and other right-wing extremist organizations who keep coming to Portland to provoke violence and spread terror. (There's also a smidgen of shade cast against Mayor Ted Wheeler for agreeing with cops that they should stand down while domestic terrorists rampaged through a BIPOC neighborhood.) Alex Zielinski has the details!

• Oregon COVID-19 cases continue rising, with 2,414 new positive cases reported yesterday, and 43 deaths—the largest number since the dark days of February, and inching up to a potential new death toll record.

• Fourteen months ago during the Black Lives Matter protests, Donavan LaBella was peacefully protesting when he was shot in the face with a "less lethal" munition by federal officers and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Today according to an investigation from OPB, LaBella is "homeless, living in a tent, and the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a criminal investigation of the incident." But accountability for these law enforcement officers may still be far away.

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

A very strict abortion law in Texas has gone into effect—one that bans the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy, which is the vast majority—and so far the Supreme Court has been silent about the emergency appeal that would put the law on hold.

• As President Biden defends America's exit from Afghanistan, praising the speedy extraction of US citizens, thousands of Afghans who assisted the military are still stuck and being pursued by the Taliban.

• The Labor Day weekend is quickly approaching, and due to the scourge of the Delta variant sweeping the nation, the CDC is advising the unvaccinated to cancel their travel plans (and even those who are vaccinated should weigh the risks).

Support The Portland Mercury

• Today in "Who woulda thunk it?": Four conservative radio talk-show hosts bashed coronavirus vaccines. Then they got sick.

• Hey Savage Love fans! Get your tix now to see Dan Savage live and in-person on October 2 for a reading of his newest book, Savage Love from A to Z, an illustrated collection of 26 never-before-published essays! (Plus, paid attendees get their own copy of the book!)

• Alert! We've combined three of our world-famous film festivals into one, big, sexy, stoney, scary, movie showcase called the Mercury Movie Mashup! It's the best of the best from SPLIFF (our stoner film fest), SLAY (our horror film fest), and HUMP! (the little porn festival that started it all!), featuring all the blood, sex, and weed you can handle in a ONE NIGHT ONLY show at the Clinton Street Theater—go get those tix now!

• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: A mostly sunny day with a high of 77. (And a much warmer weekend is on the way!)

• And finally, a few words from "regular guy" Jeff Bezos.