Portland, OR

Portland Daily Roundup: PDX sees more catalytic converter thefts, Portland Mercado's Empanada Festival returns

Emily Scarvie

(Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Thursday, March 24 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. PDX continues to see catalytic converter thefts

Despite added security measures, Portland International Airport continues to see catalytic converter thefts in its parking lots. From January to March 22, there were 38 reported catalytic converter thefts at the airport, compared to just seven in that same time frame last year. However, there are a lot more people traveling and parking this year. PDX has seen a 70% increase in the number of parked cars compared to last year at the same time.

In an effort to deter thieves, a new state law implemented this year will prohibit scrap metal businesses from being able to buy catalytic converters from anyone but commercial sellers or the owner of the car it came from. It’s unclear so far if the law has been a deterrent, but the Multnomah County DA’s office said it will look into the data next month.

2. The Portland Mercado's Empanada Festival returns this weekend

The Portland Mercado is bringing back its Empanada Festival this weekend, with tasty options from nine different vendors. Empanadas can be purchased directly to-go from the vendors or at the Portland Mercado, located at 7238 Southeast Foster Road. Masks and social distancing are required while in attendance.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. To read more about the different vendors, click here.

3. Westbound Morrison Bridge ramp from I-5 closed this weekend

Drivers headed westbound on the Morrison Bridge from southbound I-5 will need to take a detour this weekend due to a painting project on the bridge. The westbound ramp will be closed from 5 a.m. Saturday to around 8 p.m. Sunday.

As an alternative route, drivers can take the I-5 southbound exit to Belmont Street eastbound and come across the Morrison Bridge westbound. One westbound lane will remain open to vehicle traffic. Bicyclists and pedestrians will not be impacted by the closure.

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