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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Before we get to the news, let's do a quick check-in on your STOMACH. Is it currently filled to the brim? No? Good! That means you have lots of room left to cram in the delightful, delicious $3 slices of the Mercury's PIZZA WEEK! It's happening right now and at 36 (!) locations, but only through Sunday, so do not dilly or dally! Now let's cram in some NEWS.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Justice is served: Benjamin Smith, the man who brutally shot five people and killed 60-year-old activist June Knightly, all of whom were assisting at a 2022 peaceful protest in Normandale Park, has been sentenced to life in prison, and with the possibility of parole only after 55 years. He is currently 44. Find out more about what happened during the sentencing hearing, where emotions ran expectedly high, in this report from our Courtney Vaughn.
Survivors and friends of a woman killed in 2022 while aiding with a nearby protest erupted in fury during a sentencing hearing for shooter Benjamin Smith. https://t.co/x55sbJ0cN3— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) April 19, 2023
• Unsurprising headline of the day: "Portland police went to fewer calls, made fewer arrests in recent years but used force in greater percentage of arrests, data shows." Oh and for those who remember that the Department of Justice ordered Portland police in 2014 to stop using excessive force on those experiencing a mental health crisis, there's this illuminating paragraph:
The consultants also found that the proportion of people experiencing a mental health crisis who police used force against rose over those five years, from about 11% in 2018 to 17% last year. It had peaked in 2021 at 20% during the period studied.
• In more "try to contain your shock" news:
Some Portland officers responded to LGBTQ+ training with racist feedback, report says https://t.co/C6N7CpeqhC— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) April 18, 2023
• You may remember that yesterday we reported that the REI store in the Pearl announced they were closing due to "an increase in break-ins and thefts in the neighborhood" and that they had "outgrown" their location. Turns out that might not be the only reason: According to new reporting from Oregon Business, employees at the store were getting very close to unionizing. [Insert dramatic sting here.]
• The 2019 murder of Nikki Kuhnhausen was a huge blow for both the queer community and all those who loved her, and a new play documents a side of her that you may be unfamiliar with. Here's the Mercury review.
A new play from Mikki Gillette, "American Girl" draws from deep conversations with Nikki Kuhnhausen’s mother to show her teenager daughter's real life.https://t.co/R874nAOuml— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) April 18, 2023
• Reminder to keep an eye on today's city council meeting in which Commissioner Mingus Mapps has rallied enough council support to yank away nearly $5 million in promised funds from Reimagine Oregon, a group created to support Black Portlanders. Why would Mapps do such a thing? He claims the organization has been too slow to dole out the money, but the truth (which he probably knows) is that the city kept the money out of their hands. So once again, "why would he do such a thing?" Maybe somebody should ask his bosses over at the Portland Business Alliance.
Record Store Day is this Saturday! Here are five record stores that we recommend for the occassion and all year round. https://t.co/SVOY80e4ME— EverOut Portland (@EverOutPortland) April 18, 2023
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• Great news, and not-exactly-great news: The lying liars at Fox News are going to have to fork over a whopping $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems after a last minute settlement—like, super last minute... the jury had literally just been seated when the announcement was made. While this is almost assuredly the largest libel settlement in history, the not-so-great news is that Fox was not required to fully admit they lied repeatedly about their ridiculous claims that Dominion had helped Biden win the 2000 election. Here's all Fox was required to say: “We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false.” 🙄 Welp, maybe now they won't be able to afford Tucker Carlson?
Fox News’s last-minute settlement with Dominion Voting Systems on Tuesday earned banner coverage on every television news network but one: Fox News. https://t.co/Lne9bwLk0A— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 19, 2023
• The Supremes are expected to rule sometime today on whether or not to block a lower court's ruling that would limit the abortion pill mifepristone across the nation. 😬
• And after a white man in Kansas City shot a Black teen for the crime of ringing the wrong doorbell, and another white man in upstate New York shot a young woman for turning into the wrong driveway, we get today's trigger-happy gun nut headline: "Man arrested in shooting of Texas cheerleaders after one mistakenly got into the wrong car."
Happy Birthday to Tim Curry~April 19th 1946🎂 pic.twitter.com/gjWnVHyMQl— 🔪🔪Jeanne Loves Horror🔪🔪 (@1carolinagirl) April 19, 2023
• And now, a reminder that Zoom staff meetings CAN BE RECORDED: The CEO of furniture company MillerKnoll, Andi Owen, is now the subject of internet justice after telling staff members in a video town hall that they need to stop worry about getting bonuses, make the company $26 million, and while they're at it? "Leave pity city." (Has she been taking boss lessons from Elon Musk?)
• And finally... today in "life (or in this case 'light') comes at you fast:
he destroyed the wrong beer. He broke the busch light cans 😭 pic.twitter.com/6gRr4HOi3N— Victoria 🎀 🔆 (@EuphoriTori) April 18, 2023