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AP - Oregon-Northwest

Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. PDT

VIRUS OUTBREAK-OREGON

Officials: Oregon could reach 900 new COVID-19 cases a day

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon had a record 281 new confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday,  but officials predict that the increase may become much steeper during the next month, potentially reaching 900 new cases per day. In addition, health officials said daily admissions to hospitals could increase from eight people per day to 27.  Oregon has had five straight weeks of case growth, reaching nearly 9,000 total confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday. 

RACIAL INJUSTICE-OREGON

Oregon House speaker slams Portland police use of tear gas

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police arrested more than two dozen people and used tear gas to disperse protesters during a night of ongoing demonstrations. Police in the North Portland neighborhood declared the Tuesday night gathering a riot and used tear gas to break up the protest. Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek on Wednesday condemned the use of tear gas in a residential neighborhood in a strongly worded letter to Mayor Ted Wheeler. Kotek called the officers’ actions “unacceptable.” Hundreds of people have turned out every night for more than a month since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in police custody. 

ASIAN HORNETS TRAPPING

Washington state begins trapping for Asian giant hornets

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — About 600 traps to catch invasive Asian giant hornets are being placed in Northwestern Washington’s Whatcom County by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, more than doubling the number already set out by citizens. The Capital Press reports the state traps are being placed around Blaine, Custer and Bellingham, the only places in the U.S. that the giant hornet has been found. The traps are being put on the edge of forested areas. Asian giant hornets are brutal to pollinators, known to decapitate honey bees and are the subject of wide fascination. Five Asian giant hornets have been found in Whatcom County since last winter. 

ELECTION 2020-REPUBLICANS

GOP candidate is latest linked to QAnon conspiracy theory

DENVER (AP) — A small but growing number of Republican congressional candidates have links to the far-right conspiracy theory known as QAnon. This theory advances unproven allegations about a so-called deep state plot against President Donald Trump that involves satanism and child sex trafficking. Lauren Boebert won a surprise victory over a five-term Colorado GOP congressman Tuesday. She based her campaign on her support for gun rights but had also said when asked about the conspiracy theory, “I hope that this is real.” Other GOP candidates, including the Senate nominee in Oregon, have been more explicit.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-EMERGENCY

Oregon Gov. extends coronavirus emergency proclamation

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has extended the COVID-19 state of emergency for 60 days. Brown said in a news release Tuesday there have been over 8,600 coronavirus cases in the state, with over a quarter of those identified in the past two weeks. Earlier this week she mandated mask wearing for people throughout the state starting Wednesday to slow the spread of the disease. The state of emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders Brown has issued throughout the pandemic. Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect. The emergency proclamation will now last through Sept. 4. 

RACIAL INJUSTICE-ACLU LAWSUIT

ACLU files class-action suit against Portland police, city

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon has filed a class-action lawsuit against Portland Police and the city on behalf of journalists and legal observers who they say were targeted and attacked by the police while documenting protests. KOIN reports the suit says police have used tear gas, pepper spray, shot rubber bullets and thrown flash bangs directly at both journalists and legal observers. The filings also say police have arrested journalists and legal observers. The complaint lists six primary plaintiffs—two ACLU observers and four journalists—and includes others similarly situated. A City of Portland spokesperson told KOIN the city does not comment on pending litigation. 

FIRE DISTRICT-CUTS

Levy failures force fire districts to make cuts

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Fire districts and cities in the Mid-Willamette Valley are making budget cuts following voters’ rejection of operating levy increases in the May election. The Statesman Journal reports the levy failure for Marion County Fire District 1 means a $2.4 million reduction in the department’s operating budget, including $1 million in budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year that will take the form of laying off three people and other cuts in service. The measures looked like sure things when they were filed, but when the pandemic hit, it was too late to pull them from the ballot or modify them. And the consensus is that taxpayers were uncertain of the future due to economic uncertainty decided against the increases.  

The Associated Press