Good morning, Portland! Large gatherings may be banned in Oregon, but we can still gather here in Blogtown, and I'm grateful for that.
Here are the headlines.
Coronavirus Goes Local: After new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Oregon yesterday, Governor Kate Brown has banned all gatherings of 250 people or more in the state for the next four weeks, in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a similar ban yesterday as well.
Coronavirus Goes National: The NBA has suspended its entire season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus. The stock market keeps falling amid fears about COVID-19's effects. Donald Trump has banned all incoming flights from Europe for a month. (He gets to do a travel ban, but it's against mostly majority-white countries, so I'm sure this is a mixed bag for him.)
And also, there's this:
MLS is suspending its season immediately until further notice due to coronavirus, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Sports Illustrated.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 12, 2020
Coronavirus Goes Global: Italy has closed all businesses besides banks, grocery stores, and pharmacies. The World Health Organization praised China and South Korea for their responses to the coronavirus—and not the United States. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have tested positive for the virus while in Australia.
Some Good News: A federal judge is banning attorneys with the City of Portland from using an argument in court that blames Quanice Hayes' death by a Portland cop on actions Hayes took before he encountered the police in February of 2017. The argument had sparked outrage among many Portlanders, including a slate of City Council candidates.
Spit On, Hannah!
Too busy to get to this today, but important news: Hannah Ahern’s case has been dismissed by Multnomah County DA (seven months after her arrest). She plans to sue the city. https://t.co/k0QK3IP3qo
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) March 12, 2020
Adults in the Room: House Democrats have a new coronavirus economic relief package that includes free testing, new unemployment benefits, and paid sick leave. One thing it does not include is a payroll tax cut, which Donald Trump asked for and which Democrats say would help corporations more than average workers. Will it get passed and signed into law anyway? Well, Mitch McConnell called it “an ideological wish list that was not closely tailored to the circumstances,” so maybe don't hold your breath!
Unclean: Four companies are challenging a plan to clean up the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, which covers 11 miles of the Willamette River. These companies, which are also responsible for polluting the river in the first place, claim the Environmental Protection Agency's plan is based on outdated data. Read more from OPB.
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I rely on papers like the Merc for more than news or analyses of the best store-bought pickles at New Seasons (MoonBrine, fyi). When building a pattern and practice case against a City or County, I need a record only a scrappy, truth-telling news org like the Merc can provide. https://t.co/aGhBSH3wmg— Juan C. Chavez (@inafutureage) March 12, 2020