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School reopening debates exclude families of color, Portland mother writes

School districts around Oregon are deciding whether to return to in-person instruction after Gov. Kate Brown loosened pandemic-related restrictions. Many parents who are advocating for schools to reopen say that the longer distance learning continues, the more likely it is that the achievement gap widens between students of color and white students. But Rashelle Chase, an early childhood educator and Portland mother, says that the voices of families of color are not being included in those conversations.

Three candidates are in the running for Portland Community College president.

Enrollment at Oregon’s community colleges fell in 2020

College enrollment is declining across Oregon. Community colleges have been hit the hardest, with an overall 23% enrollment decline, compared to a 3.8% decline across all institutions. This could spell lasting consequences for both the colleges and students.

Oregon’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout for teachers and older Oregonians

As Oregon continues to roll out vaccinations for health care workers and nursing home residents and staff, the Oregon Health Authority is gearing up to distribute vaccines to the next group on their priority list: K-12 education workers. Oregon’s teachers, campus staff and bus drivers are all next in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of Gov. Kate Brown’s Feb. 15 goal to get students back into schools. But they’ll be ahead of thousands of home-based Oregonians over the age of 65.

Traffic fatalities in Portland last year reached highest level since 1996

Fifty-four people died due to traffic collisions on Portland’s streets in 2020, surpassing 2019’s count. There haven’t been that many traffic fatalities in the city in 24 years. There's historically a pattern of reduced driving and traffic deaths during recessions, but 2020 bucked that trend. Portland Bureau of Transportation Public Information Officer Dylan Rivera joins us to discuss the increased number of traffic fatalities last year.

Oregon City police hire a behavioral health specialist

Oregon City police now have the option of calling a behavioral health specialist when they encounter someone experiencing a mental-health crisis. Valentina Muggia started the job a few weeks ago, but she’s spent the last five years working with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office in a similar position.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Mayor Ted Wheeler’s second term in office

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was narrowly reelected for a second term in office in a runoff election in November. Wheeler is the first mayor since Vera Katz who will serve consecutive terms as mayor of Portland. He’s recently pledged a tougher stance on people who commit violence and vandalism at protests following demonstrations on New Years Eve. We check in with Wheeler about his plans and goals for his second term in office.

Scientists warn of climate emergency

Last year, researchers at Oregon State University led a group of 11,000 scientists worldwide to declare a climate emergency. This week, those same researchers renewed their calls for action.