Portland, OR

Monday in Portland: Explosion at downtown Portland food cart pod shatters windows, damages businesses

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Monday, Aug. 29 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Explosion at food cart pod shatters windows, damages downtown businesses

An explosion at a downtown Portland food cart pod shattered windows and damaged nearby food carts and businesses early Sunday morning. Officers responded to the 5th Avenue Food Cart Pod off Southeast 5th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street around 3:40 a.m. Upon arriving at the scene, officers found that a food cart had exploded.

Fire investigators said it appears to have been caused by a fuel gas explosion. An estimated 300 windows were broken in the blast.

Officials said there’s no indication that an explosive device was involved, but the official cause is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau at crimetips@portlandoregon.gov.

2. Shooting at Bend grocery store leaves 3 people dead

Three people are dead after a suspect carrying an assault-style rifle opened fire in the parking lot of a Bend shopping center on Sunday night. Police said the man starting shooting in the parking lot of the Forum Shopping Center, located off Highway 20 near Northeast 27th Street, around 7 p.m.

According to a Bend police spokesperson, the gunman allegedly starting shooting near the Big Lots store, then moved to the west entrance of the Safeway. He shot and killed someone at the front of the grocery store, then continued firing throughout the store. Another person was killed toward the back of the store.

Police said a third person, believed to be the shooter, was found dead inside the store. An AR-15 style assault rifle and shotgun were recovered near the suspect.

It’s unclear how many other people were injured. Bend police said they investigated reports of a second shooter, but found no evidence of any other shootings in the city.

3. Students heading back to school this week with relaxed COVID rules

More than 50,000 students in the Portland and West Linn-Wilsonville school districts are heading back to school on Tuesday, and it’s likely to feel like a return to pre-COVID norms. It’s up to school districts to set their own COVID-19 protocols this year. In both districts, masks are mostly optional, COVID-19 quarantines are shorter and more students are vaccinated than at the start of last year.

While health and safety protocols will be locally decided, Oregon Education Director Colt Gill said earlier this month that masking, ventilations and vaccinations will be “key” as new variants emerge.

Masking is currently optional in both districts but is “encouraged” in West Linn and required in some areas of Portland school buildings. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will have to stay home for 5 days in both districts.

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