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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Prepare for gorgeous weather today (a high of 83 and a low of 65)  but beware! A red flag warning is in effect due to high temps and dry conditions, meaning fire danger is especially high today. Stay cool, stay hydrated and stay away from any funny business while we’re extra dry today, OK?!

In Local News

  • Yesterday, the entire Portland City Council gathered with a few county officials and staff from Urban Alchemy to unveil the first temporary mass shelter site in Southeast Portland. When the mayor’s office first unveiled the plan for these sites, they essentially wanted tents on palettes, proposing plans that offered little more than what unhoused Portlanders on the streets already have. When they couldn’t get funding for a site that offered neither safe nor viable shelter, plans changed. Now, the sites resemble the Safe Rest Village model, with climate-controlled pods, which is what many community members pushed for to begin with. Worth noting: the city is eager to develop more shelter beds so it has somewhere to direct people when they’re forcefully removed from public spaces. 

  • In a disturbing but unsurprising development, county prosecutors say the deaths of four women in and around the Portland metro area are likely linked. Police were initially quick to stave off rumors of a serial killer, when six women mysteriously died within a short timeframe. Now, Willamette Week is reporting that a person of interest was released early from prison in 2021, when former Gov. Kate Brown commuted his sentence for good behavior. The man was re-arrested earlier this month, but it’s unclear what charges he’s being held on. Police say they don’t think the public is in danger, but it never hurts to queue up the classic Antoine Dodson clip.
  • Nurses at OHSU are preparing to strike, after more than six months of stalled labor negotiations. At issue: nurses say the organization has relied heavily on traveling nurses, rather than giving full time staff better wages and benefits. Nurses say departments are understaffed. One nurse told the Mercury she had to give up health benefits to get vacation time…at a health care organization. Make it make sense.
  • Ever wonder who keeps tabs on local government (besides journalists, and YOU, THE VOTER)? It’s largely auditors, and recently, Portland’s new city auditor released the list of topics her office will be delving into this fiscal year. I find this stuff riveting, but if you don’t, that’s OK! The auditor’s office does the important work and the public reaps the benefits, although staff at the audit division say it’s ultimately up to the public to make sure elected officials in Portland carry out any changes or recommendations the auditors suggest.
  • And finally, it’s the Mercury’s NACHO WEEK! It’s a glorious time, when restaurants around the city dish out their best iteration of tortilla chips piled high with savory toppings and slathered with cheese or whatever delectable sauce they’re slinging, for just $8 Go get some!

In National/World news:

  • A six-week abortion ban in Iowa is on hold for now, after a judge halted the state’s new, unrealistically restrictive law, pending further court review. The law, signed by Iowa’s governor, prohibits abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy, which is typically the earliest time frame a pregnancy is detected.
  • Donald Trump says he’s officially been notified that he’s the target of an ongoing investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection that sought to overturn the 2020 election results. The letter could mean we’ll see Trump indicted for his role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol in 2021, as the former president faces a bevy of other legal trouble. In the words of our lady and savior, Lizzo, “It’s about damn time!”
  • Russia attacked some of Ukraine’s grain ports with a volley of missiles, in an ongoing war that has led the United States and other nations to give aid to Ukraine’s military. The attack has stymied the flow of grain, corn, and wheat in the region, threatening other cities around the world who rely on the exports of essential foods from Ukraine.
  • Portland may have had its goats during its heyday, but a neighborhood in Florida now has…rabbits? Enjoy this video of lionhead rabbits taking over a neighborhood, after a backyard breeder turned them loose.