The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

Good morning, Portland! And an extra good morning to the person on a bike placing hexes on all of the cars parked along the walkway into Mt. Tabor park last night—I really like your energy. 

A bit of housekeeping before we move into the headlines: This week is the one and only BURGER WEEK. With nearly 50 participating locations, you’re sure to find a burger that suits your fancy for the low low price of $8 (truly a steal during these inflation times, so make sure to tip well!) Alright, now on to the news!

In local news:

• A new IT system at Providence Health and Services has led to approximately 90,000 employee complaints of inaccurate paychecks. Some employees say they were short a few pennies, while others say they didn’t receive a paycheck at all. Nurses in the system filled a class-action lawsuit Monday, alleging widespread wage-theft. Providence leaders say the problem is being address and they are issuing back pay paychecks daily.

• On Monday, a Multnomah County judge ruled Monday that a ballot measure proposing changes to the city’s charter is constitutional and can move forward to the November ballot. The Portland Business Alliance had sued the city over the measure, claiming that because it made three changes at one time that it violated the single-subject law for ballot measures. The judge ruled that all three changes fall under the single subject of government process.

• A GIANT moth known as the Atlas was spotted in Bellevue, Washington, despite only previously being seen in Thailand. The moth, which has a wingspan of nearly 10 inches, is labelled as a pest by the federal government. According to KUOW, an eBay seller has been illegally importing and selling live cocoons of the tropical insect, which explains its presence in Washington.

• We’re headed into a slightly warmer week, starting with today climbing to 89 degrees—six degrees higher than the average mid-August day in Portland. Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be the hottest of the week, with a heat advisory already being issued.

• This year’s apple crop may be limited due to the unusually long and cold spring in the Pacific Northwest earlier this year. Overall, the Washington State Fruit Tree Association is projecting an 11 percent decrease in the crop compared to 2021. 

In national and international news:

• A prolonged drought paired with high temperatures has left large areas of China with inconsistent access to water, reducing crop yields and limiting drinking water. Rainfall in Chongqing, a southwestern “megacity,” is half of what is usually expected in the mountainous area, meanwhile other areas of the country are experiencing flash flooding. According to state media, fire trucks are delivering water to outlying villages for drinking and irrigation. 

• The FBI and New Mexico Medical Examiner have determined that the shooting on the set of Rust that killed the director of cinematography was an accident. A report released Monday also found that while Alec Baldwin said that the gun went off on its own, the gun was in working order and would not have fired unless it was cocked and the trigger was pulled. It’s unclear how much weight the report will have in prosecutors’ decision to bring charges against anyone involved in the shooting. 

• First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced Tuesday. She is experiencing mild symptoms and President Joe Biden is still testing negative.

• Kraft is recalling nearly 6,000 cases of Capri Sun (Wild Cherry flavored) because diluted cleaning products were “inadvertently introduced” to the juice. Aka, DON’T DRINK THE KOOL AID CAPRI SUN!  Only Capri Sun products with a June 25, 2023 “Best When Used By” date are being recalled.

• Everyone say hello to Fritz, the newest hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo!