Weekday Wrap: A giant fentanyl bust in Vancouver, a food fusion, a grant for internet in Umatilla, and a friendly airport cat

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Vancouver men charged in federal fentanyl investigation

Two Vancouver men have been charged with federal crimes for allegedly running a drug trafficking ring responsible for manufacturing and distributing hundreds of thousands of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. Both men, Joshua Clay Wilfong and James Hunn Jr., were arrested Wednesday. According to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office, the two regularly sold hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills in single transactions, selling an average of 10,000 pills per week. (Jessica Prokop, The Colombian)

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Protections for union workers in Oregon would remain after the food merger

Two of the largest food companies in the USA want to merge. Kroger bid $20 billion for Albertsons on Friday. Kroger owns Northwest grocery chains Fred Meyer and QFC, and Albertsons owns grocery stores Alberston’s and Safeway. United Food and Commercial Worker Local 55, a union representing food workers in Oregon, said unionized workers are protected. “Regardless of what happens with the merger, which may take a very long time, our members’ contracts will remain in place with their wages, health insurance and retirement secured,” union spokesman Miles Eshia said in a statement. Together, the companies employ around 710,000 people. The Associated Press reported that some food workers expressed concerns about the plan, which would inevitably result in store closures. (OPB staff)

Jackson County Examiner addresses departmental errors detailed in state review

After a review by the Oregon Department of Treasury found low staffing levels and staff turnover, which led to a number of errors, the Jackson County Assessor’s Office will update policies and procedures. Mistakes include inaccurate estimates of county property values, inadequate staff training, and a lack of on-site visits. The item that is expected to take the longest is the completion of the revaluation of residential lots across the county. The office will begin reassessments in the Medford area. (Roman Battaglia, Jefferson Public Radio)

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$15.5M Grant Boosts High-Speed ​​Internet on Umatilla Indian Reservation

The Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation secured more than $15.5 million for expanded high-speed internet deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs and healthcare in tribal areas. Funding comes from the non-partisan Infrastructure Act. (John Tillman, Eastern Oregonian)

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There is a friendly little cat at the airport in Pendleton

A friendly tortoiseshell tabby cat has become a fixture at Eastern Oregon Regional Airport. Every day, the little airport cat waits for Boutique Air Pilatus’ PC-12 aircraft to complete its route between Portland International Airport and Pendleton. Pilot Omar Reynoso, who flew this flight for about a year, said the little cat waits for the plane and runs to greet it every evening. (Charly Hotchkiss, Eastern Oregonian)

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White letters on a light blue background read: “OPB Weekday Wrap”.

Employees / OPB

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