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Good afternoon, Portland! What's that I see in the forecast for Saturday? A little sunshine? Let's hope it stays that way. Here are the headlines!
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Mayor Ted Wheeler confirmed this morning that Urban Alchemy, a California-based nonprofit that has been the subject of multiple class action lawsuits for labor abuse and harassment, will run the city's first very legal/very humane mass tent encampment. Wheeler also confirmed that the first encampment will be located in the Central Eastside and is expected to open this summer. A real crowning achievement for all involved. Our Isabella Garcia has all the details.
"The city did not say how much the site will cost to build and operate, though in its bid for the project, Urban Alchemy said it would cost $5.1 million a year to operate a 150-person site and an additional $400,000 for startup costs."https://t.co/bo79bZGXFu— Shane D. Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) March 9, 2023
• TriMet has unveiled its budget for the fiscal year, and it's planning on increasing bus and train service, and extending the MAX Red Line to Hillsboro—so long as board members vote to approve a fare increase in May. Even if the fare increase is approved, service will still remain below pre-pandemic levels.
• The man accused of fatally shooting June Knightly and wounding four other people at a racial justice protest at Normandale Park last year pleaded guilty to nine criminal counts in Multnomah County court on Wednesday. Benjamin Smith will be sentenced on April 18. Isabella Garcia has more.
Benjamin Smith pleaded guilty Wednesday to fatally shooting one person and injuring four others during a mass shooting at a protest near Normandale Park last year. https://t.co/qFSqxnTeN5— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) March 9, 2023
• ICYMI: Guess we know why the Portland City Council isn't so keen on having a transparency watchdog. Turns out that the city’s Community Safety Division, overseen by Mayor Ted Wheeler, tried to hand the equivalent of a no-bid contract for the job of running a truth and reconciliation commission on Portland policing to... a group with heavy ties to the Portland Police Bureau.
Strap on your brain, trivia lovers! Let's see how you score on this week's super fun POP QUIZ PDX. This week: fancy new cop cars, Republican dickwhistles, and SLAP FIGHT! SLAP FIGHT! SLAP FIGHT! 👋https://t.co/X6wdWHEBCm— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) March 9, 2023
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Alan Shaw, the CEO of Norfolk Southern, appeared before Congress today and was grilled by Democrats over the fact—for starters—his company's trains keep derailing while the company's stockholders get extremely rich. Oregon's own Jeff Merkley asked Shaw whether he'd commit to pausing stock buybacks until the company makes safety improvements. He would not.
Senator Merkley pressed Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw to commit to halting stock buybacks for wealthy shareholders until he completes the major safety overhauls that the company admits it needs to undertake.— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) March 9, 2023
The CEO refused to commit. pic.twitter.com/3rlIXRKPg9
• Donald Trump may finally be hit with criminal charges, and it's all thanks to his old friends in Manhattan. Trump has reportedly been invited to testify in front of a grand jury next week in the matter of his alleged payoff of Stormy Daniels. If he's charged, it would be first criminal indictment of a former American president.
• Teamsters President Sean O'Brien went toe-to-toe with Republican Senator and multimillionaire Markwayne Mullen while testifying in the Senate yesterday, at various points telling him he's "out of line," mocking him as a "tough guy," and calling him a "greedy CEO." Watch this video for O'Brien, stay for Bernie Sanders eventually getting irked with Mullin too and yelling at him to "STAY ON THE ISSUE."
Teamsters president Sean M. O'Brien vs. Sen. Markwayne Mullin in the Senate this morning. pic.twitter.com/K6ET5KjWhl— jordan (@JordanUhl) March 8, 2023
• It's not just TriMet that dropped a new budget today. Joe Biden was in Philadelphia to unveil his preferred federal budget for the year, which will not pass given Republican control of the House, but still makes for interesting reading—Biden wants to restore the child tax credit and, of course, it's Joe Biden we're talking about here, hire more cops.
• At least seven people were killed in a mass shooting at Jehovah's Witness center in Hamburg, Germany on Thursday night, with many more wounded. Police believe the gunman is among the dead.
it’s not much but it’s honest work https://t.co/MdITR0DSgM— Kate (@yungkatelynne) March 9, 2023