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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! If you're already starving this morning, here's your lunch and dinner plans: It's the Mercury's SANDWICH WEEK, kicking off today and running through Sunday! Think about it: 45 delicious, one-of-a-kind sammies created by the city's best sandwich makers, and only $8 each? WHAT. YES! Put them in your stomach now! And while you're at it, fill up that brain with this NEWS.


• Tough news for Oregon school kids: According to a recent Harvard study, and compared to 29 other states, Oregon's students remain desperately behind in both reading and math, while states like Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi are back to pre-pandemic levels. And while this situation is especially pronounced in low-income areas, even rich, white folks are not immune to the drop in basic academic skills. One possible cause: Individual districts with varying strategies, instead of hewing to a cohesive, statewide plan. 

• Reminder to all you sexy pants out there...

• Another challenge for our state: The fentanyl epidemic has hit Oregon the hardest out of all the states in the nation, with overdose deaths growing by an estimated 1,500 percent (!) since 2019, according to federal overdose data. Currently we're about in the middle of the 39 states that were studied, ranking 17th in deaths caused by fentanyl—but the speed at which the epidemic is growing in Oregon easily eclipses all other states in the study.

• Check out this 🔥 opinion piece from Portland's own Donovan Scribes for the Mercury about, which rightly poses the question: "Why should Black people have to pay to learn where we were stolen from?"

• RIP to one of Portland's top chefs, Lauro Romero—famous for being head chef at the Ritz-Carlton and the mastermind behind celebrated pop-up Clandestino—who has died at the age of 42.


• Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny who died last week in an Arctic Russian prison, has promised to continue the fight of her late husband, offering harsh words for Putin, saying he was murdered by the regime and accusing Putin's lackeys of refusing to release the body of Navalny to his mother.

• Unsurprisingly, former president (and convicted fraudster) Donald Trump commented on Navalny's death by making it completely about himself, saying the activist's untimely end was a lot like his current predicament of being brought to justice in American courts, which he, of course, calls "crooked." (Kind of a strained segue, if ya ask me.)

• Two officers and a firefighter were shot and killed by an armed gunman in the suburban Burnsville, Minnesota, this weekend. Police were called to the scene on a domestic disturbance call to find the heavily armed man inside the house with seven children, who later killed himself. The children escaped safely.

• A small group of asshole neo-Nazis marched in downtown Nashville on Sunday—that is, until they were confronted by activists who scared them into jumping back into their rented U-Haul truck and driving out of town to wherever chickenshit losers like themselves live.

• And finally... coming down the stairs into Monday!