Good afternoon news: Olshey out, Oregon scientists testing poop for COVID, TriMet faces historic pilot shortage – Blogtown

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Neil Olshey was fired on Friday after a Blazers investigation uncovered evidence of misconduct at work. Steph Chambers / Getty Images

You want to find the perfect gift while supporting local businesses, right? YES! So don’t miss the MercuryThe Holiday Gift Guide, featuring only the coolest gifts and where to find them … locally!

Now to the headlines!

In the local news:

Portland Trail Blazers fired Neil Olshey, the president of basketball operations, on Friday after a four-week investigation uncovered Olshey’s misconduct at work. Olshey was hired in 2012 as the team’s general manager before being promoted in 2015. The Blazers have said they will not reveal details of the investigation or who participated in it.

• TriMet will cut service on 20 of its 84 bus lines starting January 9 due to a severe driver shortage. The agency reports that there are 45 drivers missing, while the union representing TriMet drivers says the shortage is closer to 60 drivers and is linked to worker shortages linked to the pandemic, as well as increasing assaults bus operators face at work.

• Earl is connected with the trends:

Oregon State University scientists to begin testing regional wastewater samples for COVID-19 next week. Poop samples that are positive for the virus will then go through a sequencing process to determine which variants are most important in the samples. YEAH SCIENCE.

• In case you don’t have time this week, I highly recommend that you read Three-part series of OPBs on a large private security company operating without surveillance in downtown Portland this weekend. It is full of illuminating details, easy to read and you can find the first part here.

In the national news:

• While the police are still investigating the shooting on the set of “Rust” that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, Alec Baldwin appeared on national television Thursday for his first interview since the tragedy. Baldwin, who held the gun that killed Hutchins, said he was told the gun was empty and that he never pulled the trigger, but rather that the gun fired after being army.

• The a jury has been selected for the trial of the white Minneapolis cop who shot Daunte Wright, a black motorist, during a traffic stop. Officer Kim Potter said she mistakenly pulled out her handgun instead of her Taser during the shutdown. The opening statements are scheduled for next Wednesday.

The parents of the teenager who shot dead four Michigan high school students earlier this week have been charged with manslaughter.. Prosecutors say parents committed “rude” acts by ignoring school requests for advice for their son after he was observed at school searching for ammunition online, drawing an image of guns and a person who had been shot, along with other clear warning signs.

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Federal prosecutors announced an investigation into the Mount Vernon Police Department, a police force in the New York suburbs, Friday. The investigation was launched after public complaints and media coverage of police brutality, alleged drug plantations by police and videos of strip searches and body cavities that violated department rules.

• Wow, that was heavy. Let’s end today by watching the Oregon Zoo’s new otters, Lemmy and Lila, frolic on:

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