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Good morning, Portland! Let's jump right in today.

In local news:

• Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall told county commissioners Wednesday that she addressed the blurry ballot barcode issue during the May primaries in a timely way and the response was “nothing but a success.” Clackamas County Commissioners pushed back, asking how Hall can claim success when the work facing county election workers kept mounting and mounting until Hall finally accepted assistance from county staff on election day. Clackamas County didn’t certify its elections results until nearly two weeks after election day and cost taxpayers $600,000 to duplicate the defective ballots. Hall has, however, found a new ballot printer for the November election.

• Signing bonuses have been a key hiring incentive for agencies like TriMet and the police bureau to combat employee shortages throughout the pandemic. However, hiring incentives are about to become much more difficult to offer as an Oregon exception for pay equity laws comes to an end in September.

• The Salem-Keizer School Board voted Tuesday to ban concealed carry weapons on school grounds, joining at least six other Oregon school districts in doing so. The ban narrowly passed, with some school board members raising concerns about inconsistent enforcement of the ban leading to profiling.

• Three current Portland police officers have been flagged by the Multnomah County district attorney for being so untrustworthy that if they are ever asked to testify in a court case, their previous behavior may jeopardize their testimony. Many other cities have much longer lists of officers that shouldn’t be called to the stand, leading local defense lawyers to believe there are Portland officers with a history of unethical behavior that are still relied on in court cases.

In national news:

• A string of killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque has put the city’s Muslim community on edge. On Tuesday, police announced the arrest of 51-year-old Muhammad Syed, a Muslim man who was regularly involved in the city's Muslim community and who police say may have been motivated by “interpersonal conflict.” Instead of the news of a suspect in police custody providing relief, some Muslims in the region describe the news as additional grief and shock.

• Despite the rumors you may have heard, HBO Max is not canceling its scripted shows after it merges with discovery+. After the merger was announced, viewers feared that the combination of the two streaming platforms meant that HBO Max was going all-in on reality shows that discovery+ is known for. HBO leaders squashed the rumor, confirming that the platform will continue to make scripted series and noting in an earnings presentation that “HBO Max has never been hotter.”

• Today in SCIENCE: New research indicates that spiders may have REM-like sleep similar to humans

• Taylor Swift claimed in federal court this week she never heard of the group 3LW or their song “Playas Gon’ Play” before she was sued in 2017 for allegedly stealing lyrics from the song for her 2014 hit “Shake It Off.” Personally, I did grow up listening to “Playas Gon’ Play” because it was included on Now That’s What I Call Music! 7, AKA my favorite NTWICM release to ever exist. The song was sandwiched between “The Call” by the Backstreet Boys and “Ride Wit Me” by Nelly—an ICONIC trio. If you, like Ms. Swift, have managed to get this far in life without listening to “Playas Gon’ Play,” here’s your opportunity to rectify that transgression.