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Good morning, Portland! It’s set to be a gloomy yet dry day in P-town and I know you may be feeling a little groggy, BUT SUNSET IS AT 7:15 PM NOW! Let’s jump into the news.
In local news:
• Portland police routinely failed to perform breath tests or draw blood in alleged DUI cases last year, leading to one in five alleged impaired driving cases referred to the DA’s office to fall apart. According to an internal memo from the MultCo District Attorney’s office, a high number of driving while impaired cases could not be prosecuted at all because of a lack of evidence collected by the police.
• Speaking of DUIs, Portland saw another record year of traffic fatalities in 2022. Sixty-three Portlanders died in traffic crashes last year, the same number as in 2021 and another 30-year high. Transportation official point to speeding, dark conditions, and persistent exposure to traffic as key factors in a majority of the deaths. Impaired driving is also cited as a concern in the report.
Portland Art Museum apologizes, revises policies after employee tells Indigenous visitor to remove traditional woven baby carrier https://t.co/Pm3VOCaIHq— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) March 14, 2023
• City Auditor Simone Rede is already making waves in City Hall. First was when she went toe-to-toe with city commissioners over a proposed transparency advocate position (which City Council torpedoed). Now, Rede negotiated a tentative labor contract with her employees, opting to be the lead bargaining agent instead of leaving that authority to city human resources staff. Rede argues that the city auditor has authority over human resources matter per city charter, while city officials imply the contract Rede negotiated is too generous and may cause other unionized employees to demand higher bonuses.
• It rained a shit ton yesterday, so now there may be shit in the Willamette River. Stormwater and sewage overflow occurs when Portland’s Big Pipe system reaches 100 percent capacity, which causes any excess untreated water to be dumped into the river. The pipe hit capacity at 1:55 pm Monday, and officials are asking people to avoid contact with the river for 48 hours.
Today I learned you can track how full Portland's Big Pipe is online: https://t.co/I0TA0H779B— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) March 13, 2023
(It's currently at 100% — don't go swimming)
In national news:
• President Biden is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday that will aim to increase the number of background checks for buying guns, encourage more secure gun storage, and other gun control measures. The order will call on the US Attorney General to clarify rules for federally licensed gun dealers so they know they have to perform background checks. Biden will also require stronger reporting of ballistics data from local and state law enforcement to a federal database that matches shell casings to guns.
• I love when I can learn exclusively through meme formats:
Doing some journalism pic.twitter.com/en4kKEuBiH— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) March 13, 2023
• Illinoisans will be able to take paid time off of work for any reason starting next year, thanks to a new state law signed Monday. The law requires Illinois employers to provide employees with one hour of paid time off for every 40 hours worked and places no restrictions on how that time off is utilized (AKA, workers don’t have to be sick to take sick time because its just general time off). Supporters of the law say the move allows workers to take time off without fearing reprisal from their employer.
mood pic.twitter.com/WQ88VyDXep— cats being weird little guys (@weirdlilguys) March 12, 2023