The Oregon Liquor Control Commission granted recreational marijuana licenses to eight growers, the first licenses granted under the state's recreational cannabis program.
John Rosman / OPB

Some Portland cannabis businesses and workers to get boost from emergency relief fund

Few businesses have been untouched by the pandemic. Some were able to get federal and other assistance, but not those in the cannabis industry, since it’s illegal under federal law. Cannabis businesses already faced challenges from being unable to access traditional financing and other banking services.

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A PPS sign at Franklin High School August 9, 2019.

Portland teachers propose changes to school schedules

The union that represents teachers in Portland Public Schools want the district to suspend in-person high school classes on Fridays for the rest of the school year and cut instructional time for younger students as well. The union says these measures are necessary to avoid more fights and disruptive behavior in schools, as well as burnout among teachers. The district is pushing back, saying students can’t afford to lose more class time.



Peter DeFazio speaks at a podium in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio announces retirement

After more than three decades as a mainstay in Oregon politics, the state’s longest-tenured U.S. House member, Rep. Peter DeFazio, announced Wednesday that he won’t seek a 19th term. OPB political reporter Dirk VanderHart joins us to talk about DeFazio’s legacy.


Firefighters with Portland Fire and Rescue demonstrate how they would apply fire retardant foam to contain and extinguish an oil train fire.

Fire bureaus trying to mitigate occupational hazards for firefighters

The Portland Fire and Rescue Bureau honored one of its firefighters last week. Lt. Jerry Richardson died of lung cancer after retiring from the bureau where he served 22 years. Firefighters are often exposed to toxic chemicals from smoke, which drives up their cancer risk.


The sudden and troubling rise of a private police force in Downtown Portland

As business and property owners become increasingly frustrated with Portland’s public safety system, they are tapping private security to fill the vacuum. But while businesses and property owners may treat private security firms such as Echelon like a public safety agency, state law does not. The result: Across the city, private security firms — even the most highly regarded ones — are thrust again and again into a public safety role for which they are not prepared.





Report examines inequities facing Oregon’s female superintendents

“Women superintendents are calling for change in the gender inequities that thrive in Oregon’s education system.” That’s according to a new study from the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators, the Oregon Commission for Women and the Oregon Department of Education.


Helping the helpers

The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely hard on health care workers. They’re struggling with mental health issues, stress and the complex emotions that go along with treating people who chose not to get vaccinated. We hear from two people who provide support to doctors, nurses and hospital staff.




How youth are coping with anxiety and stress

The COVID-19 pandemic is having dramatic impacts on the well-being of our youth in many ways. School districts are struggling to maintain safe learning environments for their students, staff and teachers. For many young people, the most significant impacts are on their mental health. And even if we’ve turned some corners in the pandemic, the emotional effects linger. We held a live Zoom conversation recently, where we heard directly from students, from mental health professionals, and from participants in a youth support circle.



REBROADCAST: Colum McCann

We listen back to a conversation with the author of “Let the Great World Spin” and “Transatlantic.” We spoke to Colum McCann in 2017 about his book “Thirteen Ways of Looking.”


‘Seek You’ delves into American loneliness

Author and illustrator Kristin Radtke started working on a book about loneliness in 2016, four years before a global pandemic made the topic even more pressing and personal for all of us.


The exterior of a brick and stone school building with a grassy lawn out front.

Schools all over Oregon face behavioral challenges

Reynolds Middle School is not alone in facing challenges related to student behavior and delays in social-emotional learning after more than a year of online school.


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