Wildfires in Oregon continue to rage
The mayor of Portland issued a state of emergency last Friday as wildfires edged closer to towns and suburbs, according to The New York Times. Approximately 500,000 individuals have been given evacuation orders — about one in every 10 residents. The wildfires, which have already burned nearly a million acres in Oregon, continue to threaten the state as officials add that winds are making battling the flames difficult. Residents continue to face additional problems due to air quality, smoke and ash.
Colleges across the U.S. face outbreaks of COVID-19
Despite protocols and processes in place, colleges across the U.S. are facing outbreaks of COVID-19 on their campuses. According to The New York Times, partying and “‘willful noncompliance’” from some individuals has led to an outcome that’s different from the predictive models that were created by researchers. A survey conducted by The New York Times of 1,600 U.S. colleges found at least 88,000 cases and 60 deaths, although most of the deaths were of university employees and occurred in the spring. USA Today reported that of the 25 “hot spots” in the U.S., 19 of them were in communities with a large population of college students.
South Dakota meatpacking plant under scrutiny from OSHA
The Smithfield Foods pork plant in Sioux Falls, SD, was issued a $13,494 fine last Thursday from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to the Associated Press, OSHA found the plant guilty of having workers too close in proximity to one another and failed to provide safety measures to further protect its employees. Upon the latest assessment, the plant was the source of four COVID-19 related deaths, at least 1,294 infections and 43 hospitalizations. The company has stated that they plan to fight the citation and fine.
Attorneys fight for separate trials in the case of George Floyd’s death
Attorneys for the former officers involved in the killing of George Floyd last May have argued that the trials need to be separated, citing the individuals “pointing fingers at one another,” according to The Guardian. Derek Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter, and Thomas Lane, J Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with the aiding and abetting of both second-degree murder and manslaughter. Prosecutors are requesting a joint trial as the evidence for each officer is similar and witnesses and family members may be “traumatized” by several trials.