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A bus driver waves out a bus window
Portland Public Schools is raising hourly wages for bus drivers in an attempt to combat a severe driver shortage. Portland Public Schools

In local news:

• More than two dozen current and former Oregon law enforcement officers appear to have been members of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia group that helped organize the January 6 insurrection, an OPB investigation has found. One of the officers with apparent ties to the far-right group is current Portland police officer Joseph Webber. Webber’s case has been referred to internal affairs, according to Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell.

• Over 200 city and county employees are expected to be fired Monday after failing to get vaccinated or submit an acceptable exemption by the vaccine mandate deadline. Congratulations to the 92 percent of both city and county employees who chose to get vaccinated—I wish you all a very nice weekend full of your favorite activities!

• Portland Public Schools is increasing school bus drivers' wages by $3 to $6 an hour in an attempt to incentivize new hires and combat staffing shortages. PPS has had to cancel 13 bus routes this year due to the shortage of drivers, but offers $300 per month to families whose bus routes have been canceled to help alleviate alternative transportation costs.

• The future of tolling on Portland freeways is starting to take shape through ODOT’s Tolling Program. But, environmental and equity-focused groups are raising concerns over how ODOT will balance pricing tolls fairly while raising revenue for future transportation projects.

• ICYMI: Funds from Metro’s supportive housing service income tax are starting to reach Portland’s homeless population. Here’s what that looks like in action.

In national and international news:

• A panel of experts unanimously recommended the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorize a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Friday. The panel recommended people 18 and older receive the additional shot at least two months after their initial dose. Just yesterday, the same panel recommended a booster shot of the Moderna vaccine for anyone 65 and older. It’s unclear when the FDA will make a final decision on whether or not to authorize a booster dose for the J&J and Moderna vaccines.

• Apple has fired a lead organizer of the #AppleToo movement, which catalogued hundreds of anonymous claims of workplace harassment and mistreatment, amid a company investigation to find employees who leaked internal documents to the media. The organizer says her firing is in retaliation to her effort to expose the company's poor workplace environment.

• The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill banning transgender girls and women from participating in school sports Friday. Conservative lawmakers claim the bill protects “fair competition,” even though there is ZERO EVIDENCE that trans girls and women are dominating their respective sports. If Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs the bill as expected, Texas will join seven other states who have passed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation this year.

Support The Portland Mercury

• Get ready for the fun fright of your life with SLAY—the Mercury's short HORROR film fest coming at ya online from Oct 22-31, and LIVE and IN-PERSON at the Clinton Street Theater on Oct 29 & 30! GET THOSE TICKETS NOW.

• And finally, Adele is back and still very good at singing (shocker):