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A sign requiring a mask to walk inside
Motoya Nakamura / Multnomah County

In local news:

• Oregon doesn’t have a designated threshold for when the state’s mask mandate will be lifted, a decision that several health experts say is a mistake. According to three different public health experts, the public needs to know what it will take to end indoor masking or they will lose trust with state health officials.

• Being a high schooler is hard. Being a weird art kid in high school can be extra hard, which is why Mean Girls: The Musical cast member Mary Kate Morrissey hosts a studio program for teenage theater kids to let loose and be themselves. Check out Morrissey's conversation with Elinor Jones about playing Janis, the power of weird art kids, and why she loves visiting Portland ahead of the musical’s stint at the Keller.

• Washington chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are calling for the US Department of Justice to investigate regional law enforcement agencies for discriminatory policing. A letter from the two civil rights groups asks the federal department to look into the Vancouver Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office for an alleged “pattern of deadly force, disparate policing, and favoritism toward known white supremacist extremist groups.” Those two law enforcement agencies have shot and killed eight people since 2019.

• Add sex workers to the list of people skeptical of former New York Times columnist Nick Kristof’s campaign for Oregon Governor. Kristof has faced criticism for conflating sex work with sex trafficking in his reporting and columns, prompting Oregon sex workers to worry he would over regulate or punish consensual workers if given the opportunity.

In national news:

• Kyle Rittenhouse testified in his murder trial Wednesday, recounting how he shot three people, killing two of them, during a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin last year. Rittenhouse claims he was acting in self defense. During cross examination, the judge stopped the lead prosecutor twice due to improper lines of questioning. The judge is currently considering the defense’s request for a mistrial which, if granted, would prevent Rittenhouse from being tried again in the future.

• The US Justice Department is suing Uber for charging “wait time” fees that it says unfairly harm people with disabilities. Wait time fees kick in two minutes after an Uber driver arrives to pick up a passenger, penalizing people who keep the driver waiting at the curb. The suit states disabled people may need more time to get to the car and the fee violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Uber argues that the app already allows riders who certify they have a disability to apply for a wait time fee refund.

• A judged okayed the $626 million settlement for Flint, Michigan, residents who were exposed to lead-contaminated water Wednesday. The settlement, which was originally proposed in August 2020, will make money available to every Flint child exposed to the water, every adult who can show injury, some business owners, and anyone who paid water bills.

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• If you need a drink after all that news, you won’t want to miss the Mercury’s “Shot & Beer” week, featuring creative, one-of-a-kind pairings of shots and beers from your fave local drinkeries. It all goes down THIS WEEK and ends November 14. You can get a taste of all the offerings here!

• Today I learned that Porcupines can walk really fast: