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COVID-19 cases in Oregon surge, hospital beds filling fast

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Oregon and in some counties officials are seeing the highest hospitalization numbers since the pandemic began. Statewide coronavirus-related hospitalizations increased to 379 people on Tuesday. That’s 39 more than the previous day. KOIN-TV reported Monday that some hospital officials including those at Oregon Health & Science University say they are postponing some surgeries that are not urgent. Health officials reported 1,575 newly confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. That’s the most since early January. About 29% of adults in the state are unvaccinated and over 102,000 vaccine doses have been thrown away due to non-use.


Oregon adopts emergency rules to protect workers from smoke

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has adopted emergency rules meant to protect workers from wildfire smoke and shield workers living in labor housing from extreme heat. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the rules will go into effect on Aug. 9 for six months. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health administration is working on adopting permanent rules this fall. The agency is also working on permanent standards to protect workers in labor housing. The new rules require that employers make an effort, whenever feasible, to change work schedules or relocate work when air quality levels reach 201, which is considered very unhealthy. If employees will be exposed to air quality levels above 201, employers must ensure that workers wear N95 respirators. 


State officials kill 2 wolf pups after killing 4 wolves OK’d

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff shot and killed two wolf pups Sunday after approving a permit for ranchers to kill up to four uncollared wolves in eastern Oregon. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the agency said staff in a helicopter shot and killed two pups from the Lookout Mountain pack. The state agency said earlier it had approved a rancher’s permit to kill wolves in Baker County, where officials said the Lookout Mountain pack had attacked four cows during the last two weeks of July. Agency spokesperson Michelle Dennehy says the pup killing was “reducing the pack’s food needs and disrupting the pack’s behavior so they don’t associate livestock with an easy meal.” 


Huge California fire grows as heat spikes again across state

GREENVILLE, Calif. (AP) — California’s largest wildfire exploded again after burning for nearly three weeks in remote mountains. Officials are warning that hot, dry weather would increase the risk of new fires in much of the state. Firefighters saved homes in the small community of Greenville near the Plumas National Forest as strong winds stoked the Dixie Fire, which grew to over 395 square miles across Plumas and Butte counties. Dry conditions and powerful winds made for dangerous fire conditions again Tuesday in Hawaii. Firefighters gained control over the 62-square-mile Nation Fire that forced thousands of people to evacuate over the weekend and destroyed at least two homes on the Big Island.


Community honors slain Washington detective

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Hundreds of law enforcement and other vehicles lined up Tuesday at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, for a procession to honor Clark County Sheriff’s Detective Jeremy Brown, who was shot to death while doing surveillance work. The Columbian reports Brown was shot July 23 while he sat in his vehicle in an apartment parking lot. During his service with the sheriff’s office, Brown worked as a corrections deputy and patrol deputy. He worked with the Washington State Department of Corrections and as a reserve officer with the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office in Montana. Several people have been arrested in connection with his death.


Seattle’s mayoral primary is a contest between liberal camps

SEATTLE (AP) — In Seattle’s mayoral primary, voters will decide between candidates who represent the political divide between activist-left residents and more moderate progressives in one of the nation’s most liberal cities. The question is whether voters on Tuesday will back moderate candidates who reject pleas to reduce police budgets or candidates who support the agenda espoused so forcefully by protesters during last summer’s racial justice rallies. The election comes weeks after Democratic primary voters in New York’s mayoral race picked a former police officer and centrist who objected to calls from the left to “defund the police.” Seattle’s elections are nonpartisan. The top two vote-getters Aug. 3 will face off in November.


US plans 50% more wild horse roundups amid Western drought

RENO, Nev. (AP) — U.S. land managers have begun efforts to capture about 50% more wild horses than originally planned this year because of severe drought across the U.S. West. The emergency roundups that began Sunday and Monday target about 6,000 additional animals primarily in Nevada, Oregon and Colorado. The Bureau of Land Management says the expanded effort concentrates on places where “chronic overpopulation” of the herds has stretched available food and water to their limits. Horse advocates say the emergency roundups are being driven by pressure from ranchers who don’t want wild horses competing with their livestock for limited forage and water. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says ranchers have voluntarily reduced and rotated grazing on federal lands during the drought.


Oregon: Settlement with Victoria ‘s Secret owner ends ‘fear’

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials believe a $90 million settlement with the parent company of Victoria’s Secret guarantees an end to its culture of harassment and fear. Under the settlement, Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, owned by L Brands Inc., committed to each invest $45 million to protect employees from harassment and discrimination and require accountability from executives when misconduct occurs. The settlement is on behalf of the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund and other shareholders. They alleged L Brands’ board failed to investigate former CEO and Chairman Emeritus Leslie Wexner’s ties with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and ignored a company culture of sexual harassment.