Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• The Oregon Health Authority announced today that the state has hit another single-day record in COVID deaths, with 24 additional people dying from the virus. A whopping 1,233 new cases were reported since yesterday.
The new framework has four risk levels based on counties' current #COVID19 spread, to take effect after the "freeze” ends on Dec. 2. The graphic below for counties in the “extreme risk” category has been updated and reflects a change in the faith venue guidance. pic.twitter.com/SRPoyrDIel
— OR Health Authority (@OHAOregon) December 1, 2020
• A federal judge has agreed with activist group Don't Shoot Portland that local cops violated a court order to stop unnecessarily firing so-called "less lethal" munitions at protesters during the summer demonstrations. BUT GET THIS: While the judge agreed Portland Police clearly violated the restraining order three times—it was only for ONE SINGLE DAY, which means there are more than 100 other days that will be closely examined as well. The penalty for violating the restraining order is forthcoming, but for the city... it ain't gonna be pretty. Our Alex Zielinski has more.
• Gov. Kate Brown has announced Oregon's proposed budget for the coming year, which includes money for homelessness and affordable housing (particularly for people of color), school programs, and updates to the unemployment distribution system, while—more controversially—trimming compensation for healthcare workers and closing prisons.
.@OregonGovBrown's budget proposal calls for closing 3 prisons that together house more then 1,000 inmates. Shutter Creek Correctional Institution in North Bend, Warner Creek CI in Lakeview and Mill Creek Correctional Facility in Salem. by @dirquez #orpol https://t.co/SWrFEcJVnZ
— Conrad Wilson (@conradjwilson) December 1, 2020
• The white Ashland man accused of shooting and killing Black teenager Aiden Ellison during a loud music dispute is now claiming self-defense—though there seems to be no evidence that a fight occurred.
• Some rare good news: Darcelle XV, the oldest drag bar in Portland, has been designated as a nationally recognized historical site—the first in Oregon chosen specifically for its significance in the LGBTQ+ community.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• In news that's sure to send Trump into AN ALL-CAPS TWEET RAGE, mewling lackey/Attorney General Bill Barr announced that the Justice Department has found NO evidence of widespread voter fraud that would've given the election to Trump. I'd advise him to start brushing up his resume... but I don't think Burger King is hiring.
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting systems manager, is just exasperated. "It has all gone too far." A technician in Gwinnett County was told he should be hung for treason. The Secretary of State's wife is getting "sexualized threats."
"It has to stop." pic.twitter.com/qSuukNfJib
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 1, 2020
• Dr. Scott Atlas—the president's woefully unqualified coronavirus "expert" who downplayed the seriousness of the virus and spewed mountains of disinformation—has resigned. Note to Burger King: Don't hire this loser either.
• Speaking of criminals, Rudy Giuliani is reportedly already angling for a pardon from Trump—even though he hasn't been officially charged with anything yet. But hey... it's probably smart to think ahead.
BREAKING: The Justice Department is investigating a potential crime related to funneling money to the White House or related political committee in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to court records unsealed Tuesday in federal court. https://t.co/ydQsiiwjvw
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 1, 2020
• Despite Trump's incessant bullying, the head of the FDA says the organization refuses to be rushed into approving any COVID-19 vaccine, so they can "get it right."
• Today CDC advisors voted on which groups of people should be first in line to receive any upcoming COVID-19 vaccine—and healthcare workers and nursing home residents are at the top of the list.
• A group of bipartisan senators introduced a $908 billion COVID relief plan that will probably not please anyone, but especially not Senate Majority Turtle Mitch McConnell who will probably go to his grave trying to stop it... that is, if he doesn't obstruct death first.
• All eyes are on Georgia for the make-or-break Senate elections—and there's a lot to digest. Luckily for you, Jasmyne Keimig breaks all the latest news down for you in her easily digestible "Flipping Georgia" column!
• Sad science news: The huge radio telescope at Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory—which provided countless astronomical discoveries and a fantastic set piece for many movies—has completely collapsed weeks after officials said it was too expensive to repair.
• Let the bells ring and confetti fall: Elliot Page—the star of Juno and Umbrella Academy—has come out as transgender and non-binary. Congrats to him/them!
• Running now through Thursday Dec 10: The brand new "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Vol. 2" featuring the sexiest short flicks from the past 15 years of festivals! (Look, you NEED this. GET THOSE TIX NOW!)
• The results are in, and the people have spoken: YOU LOVE GOOD AFTERNOON, NEWS! Never miss a single informative, entertaining post by subscribing HERE.
• THE WEATHER REPORT: Sunny and a bit windy tomorrow with a high of 50!
• And finally, I'm sorry, but this heavy metal mashup of a Kenneth Copeland sermon is a certified BANGER.
Oh Lordy, I'm dying, more Heavy Metal Kenneth Copeland 😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/NqWoImhCgQ
— Ellie Jingle bellie (@A_Dixie_Girl) November 28, 2020