Portland, OR

Friday in Portland: Mayor to deliver State of the City address, Oregon Zoo names baby orangutan & more

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Friday, May 6 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Mayor Wheeler to deliver annual State of the City address on Friday

On Friday, Mayor Ted Wheeler will deliver his annual State of the City address, sharing his plans for a better future for Portland. Earlier this week, Wheeler released his $6.7 billion budget proposal aimed at addressing the “root causes of the challenges” the city is facing, particularly homelessness, public safety, livability and economic recovery.

The State of the City address is set to begin at 12 p.m. and can be watched live here.

2. 'Robot Dog' begins patrolling Portland National Guard base

The Portland Air National Guard’s 142nd Security Forces Squadron received a new “Robot Dog” last December that will assist in collecting video surveillance and giving warnings without putting humans in danger. The robot, named Rover Shock, is a Quadruple Unmanned Ground Vehicle, or Q-UGV.

“When I think about a potential that we have with this capability, I get excited about that,” Technical Sgt. Jamie Cuniff said. “If you have a scenario where something is remote, you have an aircraft that doesn’t have the capability to fly and they’re out an airfield in a town and you got to send people out you can send a dog with them, they can program a route, have the dog walk that route.”

For the time being, Rover will walk perimeters or specified areas to collect real time feedback and practice responding to threats and incidents. Cuniff says it can be used in dangerous situations, rather than putting humans in harm’s way. While the robot does have limitations, those working on Rover are excited for its future capabilities.

3. Oregon Zoo finally decides on a name for baby orangutan

After Kitra, the Oregon Zoo’s 20-year-old Bornean orangutan, gave birth on April 13, the zoo has finally arrived on a name for its newest addition. The baby orangutan has been named Jolene, inspired by the iconic Dolly Parton song that says in part, “Your beauty is beyond compare, with flaming locks of auburn hair.”

“Because we’re giving Kitra and her baby plenty of room to bond, we were unable to tell if she’d had a boy or a girl until recently,” Kate Gilmore, who oversees the zoo’s primate area, said. “Once we confirmed she was a girl, our keeper team knew right away what they wanted to call her. They’ve been playing the song on repeat ever since.”

Jolene and Kitra are spending more time in their outdoor habitat lately and visitors to the zoo should be able to catch a glimpse of the pair, according to zoo officials.

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