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GOOD MORNING, ROSE CITY! It’s 7/11, AKA Free Slurpee day. If you don’t feel like staining your mouth blue, or just need a more “adult” experience, hit up one of the locations for this month’s Summer of Slushies.

In Local News:

  • Good news/bad news: Remember PETA’s stolen chicken transport truck we told you about last week? Well, police found it in the same Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood it was stolen from, but it was vandalized (shocking!) The animal rights activist group had offered up to $5,000 in reward money and a hefty supply of vegan chicken for the return of its box truck, which had large images of chickens being transported for slaughter on its sides. Still, PETA plans to offer Portland police free vegan chicken sandwiches as a thank you for finding the truck.
  • Last week, Portland Commissioner Mingus Mapps announced his bid for mayor in the 2024 election, making him the first to announce his candidacy for an election that is a year and three months away. Mapps is filing now to be part of the city’s small donor election program, though he can’t officially file with the elections office until next June. Taylor Griggs has an in-depth look at Mapps’ campaign and his time in office so far.
  • In case you missed it, Portland’s own Darcelle XV Showplace is teaming up with local clothing maker Wildfang in an attempt to set a new world record for longest-running drag performance. The plan is to keep the stage occupied for 48 hours, and a gaggle of comedians, actors, musicians and other fun celebs have signed on to take part. The Mercury will be live-blogging the show, so check back for color commentary and social media updates!

  • Multnomah County leaders are halting plans to distribute aluminum foil and straws to opioid users as part of a controversial harm reduction program. Willamette Week reported last week about the county’s plans to distribute the supplies in an attempt to prevent fentanyl users from injecting drugs with needles, saying smoking opioids is safer than using needles. The announcement drew swift backlash from Portland city leaders and the public, but health officials say the program has been successful in other states. 

In National/World News:

  • MADONNA IS OK! I mean, she’s probably got a rough road ahead, but the pop icon is recovering from a gnarly bacterial infection that sent her to the hospital in late June. The 64-year-old contracted the illness while on tour, and subsequently had to postpone the tour to recover.
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  • A 31-year-old man who worked as an interpreter for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and fled the country after the fall of Kabul was shot and killed while driving for Lyft. Reports say Nasat Ahmad Yar was driving a late night shift for Lyft when he was found dead inside his car in Washington, D.C. last week. Surveillance video shows suspects fleeing the scene. Yar had four kids and moved to the United States in 2021 because he was a target of the Taliban. 
  • In a story that sounds like the plot from a hokey ‘70s action comedy, but sadly, isn’t, a Texas sheriff’s office has come into the spotlight for corruption and dysfunction, including failure to arrest a man reported for domestic violence who was later charged with killing five of his neighbors in May. The Associated Press reports Sheriff Greg Capers and the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office had previously been at the center of corruption complaints and an independent investigation into his office’s failure to “do basic police work” while often focusing instead on legally questionable asset seizure cases. 
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer is calling for an investigation into Prime energy drinks, which, judging by the caffeine content, might be the closest thing to meth a kid can get. Prime drinks were founded and backed by social media influencers Logan Paul and KSI. If you don’t know who these people are, you’re probably doing great in life. Paul and KSI both gained popularity via YouTube, with Paul now working as a WWE wrestler and KSI being primarily known as a rapper and boxer. Anyway, apparently the drinks are popular with teens, but they contain as much caffeine as six Coke cans, or two Red Bulls, and a bunch of artificial sweetener, ya know, the same stuff that researchers say is altering human DNA. Other energy drinks contain similar caffeine content, but none have an ambassador that looks like this, so, fair target.